Friday, February 28, 2014

Michael Gerson, The GOP Establishment And The Tea Party

One of The Washington Post's supposed conservative writers, Michael Gerson, just simply does not get the Tea Party whatever.
That is why he writes dreck like this.
First its the choice of establishment Republicans like Mr. Gerson to beat up on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) and rocker Ted Nugent. But the long knife is always out there for the former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin. Note this line from the column:

(save Sarah Palin, who finally lost her long, sad struggle with ideological delirium)

Actually, Mrs. Palin is much more in touch with many Americans than is Mr. Gerson, now a total captive of the Washington Beltway.
Well, right after that gem from Mr. Gerson, here is this paragraph:

No political movement can persuade a great democracy without displaying a measure of democratic grace. And any ideological movement that claims to be inspired by faith and morality is discredited by language that dehumanizes its opponents.

For a moment, I thought that he was describing the current occupant of the White House, the Dear Leader, President Obama, and the current Democrat party.
But no, Mr. Gerson is in his mind describing the current state of the Republican party as he sees it.
One of the reason's there is a Tea Party movement is because the feeling among many Americans that the politicians just do not listen to them about anything. That there is a disconnect between the people and the politicians. And the evidence is much more on the Tea Party side than Mr. Gerson's side.
Now I do agree with the fact that we do have to have candidates that can win in November. And yes, some Tea Party candidates have not been all that. And yes sometimes conservatives to show how much they are against the establishment will back clear losers to the bitter end. Yes, Christine O'Donnell comes to mind in Delaware.
But that does not mean that long-time incumbents should never be challenged. If that did not happen in Utah for example, there would not be a Sen. Mike Lee. In Texas it was an open seat that now Sen. Cruz was running for. The establishment GOP in Texas was lining up behind the Lt. Governor, David Dewhurst, against now Sen. Cruz. And not only did he win the two-stage primary (a candidate has to get at least 40% in the first round, which neither did) but easily win the election for his seat. In Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio was a little-known state legislator that took on the worst of the GOP establishment in that state, former Gov. Charlie Crist. Of course the establishment all lined up for Mr. Crist. But Mr. Rubio not only prevailed but won the general election in a landslide. Oh, and lets not forget that Mr. Crist is now a Democrat running for his old job as governor in Florida. Good luck to that.
As I look at it this time around, the same thing is happening but the candidates are not as good as was in the 2010 and 2012 election cycle.
But it shows desperation when the GOP establishment seems more hellbent on beating up the upstarts over the potential Democrat challenger.
One of the clear realities of the Tea Party movement is that there is not one unifying leader to it. Thus it does lead to some things being done right and some being done wrong.
And thus we see that while Sen. Cruz is right on the overall point that O-Care needs to be repealed, doing so will not happen until there are more Republicans elected. And they need two things at the federal level. To win the senate, which they should be able to do this election in November, and the White House, which is a good possibility in 2016. I would really like to see Sen. Cruz work to get Republicans elected who can lead to that. Until then, we will still have this abomination known as O-Care.
The problem is that Mr. Gerson does not get why people aligned with the Tea Party movement on the right and the Occupy movement on the left is that it is the very groups as the United States Chamber of Commerce and big money donors on the Republican side that do not want the real change the Tea Party seeks. The big money donors are pretty much our crony capitalists. They just want the federal government to help them out and not the American people as a whole. When the United States Chamber of Commerce seem more interested in legalizing 10,000,000 illegal aliens over having a strong economy where American citizens get the jobs, it is just wrong. These two groups have narrow interests that the Tea Party is against.
Mr. Gerson is totally right in what this little fight among friends is all about:

Republicans are sorting through what kind of populists they hope to be.

The problem is that big money and establishment groups within the GOP are not exactly prone to populist notions. They are almost always perceived, and usually rightly so, as always willing to cut a bad deal especially with Democrats. Democrats that are like Lucy Van Pelt pulling that football away just as Charlie Brown gets that foot up to kick it. In that sense, many of us see Sen. Cruz as one who will at least fight, albeit not always smartly.
So here is something I look at in one race. That for the senate seat in Kentucky.
The incumbent is Sen. Mitch McConnell and the challenger is Matt Bevin. I wrote about it here. I know some people will suggest that I am everything like a RINO* and sellout and all the bromides that some can muster. But Mr. Bevin is not a good candidate. He can't explain why he was for TARP before he was against it. That is a big issue for Tea Party people. He wants Tea Party support and some will sink with him to show how much they don't like Sen. McConnell. If he can't do well against Sen. McConnell, imagine if he does win the primary and how he will do against the Democrat candidate, most likely to be Allison Grimes? Look, Sen. McConnell's biggest problem? He can't explain things in simple English when he goes on the radio or especially television. He sounds like he is speaking Washington double-talk, gobbly-gook. That is kind of why he is being challenged. But in this case, I would have to go with Sen. McConnell. Because in the end, I want to keep this seat in the Republican column, and that only has a chance with Sen. McConnell. Really.
Unlike Mr. Gerson, there is nothing, not one thing, wrong with having a challenge. There is nothing wrong with the party having to have an open debate on the issues. But we must absolutely unify when the primaries are over and get the winning candidate elected. Whether it is an establishment or Tea Party candidate. We can't have whiners like a Charlie Crist. Or a Mike Castle in Delaware. Or a Richard Lugar in Indiana. We can't have losers act like losers and not support the Republican candidate. That, more than anything is why we will lose any given election.
Without the Tea Party in the GOP orbit, there will not be major victories. With the establishment not being with Main Street instead of Wall Street, there will not be GOP victories. With people like Michael Gerson, we will be a minority party when we should be the majority party throughout the United States. The key is how to work together to get to those wins. That is what primaries are for.

*RINO-Republican In Name Only

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sen. Marco Rubio Speaks Truth About Red Cuba

I meant to write about this awesome speech on the senate floor by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in which he schools commie sympathizer, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Ia.) about his recent trip to Red Cuba and touting the socialist medicine as people like Sen. Harkin are wont to do.
Sen. Harkin gave a speech on the senate floor touting how wonderful life is in Red Cuba. No surprise there really. And what do you think was the starting point of life in Red Cuba?
What else but the wonders of government-ran and controlled health care. Remember, not only is health care "free", but so is medical school.
Quick thought here. The late Venezuela dictator President Hugo Chavez went to Red Cuba for medical treatment for his cancer that eventually killed him. I guess you get what you pay for with "free" health care.
I do not know how many more times I have to do this, but once again I must refer you to this post that I wrote way back in 2009 about the left's claim that health care is a "right". In that post I went to explain the truth of "free", government-controlled health care the real Cuban citizen has to endure. And also once again, I will link you to The Real Cuba and explaining what the real average Cuban citizen has to deal with in their paradisaical health care system.
I know that there are enough people saying that I am those who oppose the Castro family and their reign of terror are basically full of it. People like Sen. Harkin would probably be one of those. So I would ask those people and Sen. Harkin is this.
Am I really seeing a hospital or clinic that the average Cuban would get to go to? I have found this web site that shows this as the conditions most Cubans endure in health care delivery. What of it? Are there really separate facilities for the foreigners and the Communist party elite?
They are legitimate questions if you really want to know. See how the hosts respond and act accordingly.
I highlight the health care argument that the Castro-enablers like Sen. Harkin always trot out as a way to get chummy with the Red Cubans. We who oppose government-ran health care also point this out as an argument against such a program.
But I do recommend that you actually watch Sen. Rubio eviscerate the likes of Sen. Harkin right on the senate floor. If you can not, then do read the speech here at
I know, I know, many of my fellow conservatives will cite Sen. Rubio and his role in trying to get something done on so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform. That is enough to turn you against him. Normally I would agree. But I think there was something for him to try to be a part of the negotiations. He, knowingly or unknowingly, showed the flaws of the so-called reform and he was the only one that wanted to try to get stricter enforcement. Without that, he walked away. Rightfully so. On that, I give him a pass for it has not come up again and that too is because he has not pushed it.
The speech shows the passion that is why Sen. Rubio caught my eye way back in 2010 when he announced his campaign for the United States senate. He was backed by the Tea Party and still today this is one of the best wins we had that year. The GOP establishment backed one Charlie Christ and poo-pooed Mr. Rubio. Oh yeah, note that Mr. Christ did not win the GOP nomination and ran and "independent" campaign for the senate seat. And lost. Mr. Rubio had 49% of the vote in a three-man race. And today, surprise, Mr. Christ is running for the Democrat nomination for governor.
Sen. Rubio gave one of the best speeches on the senate floor in years. No, it was not a filibuster or a long oratorical session. It was less than 15 minutes with minimal notes but facts on his side.
Sen. Rubio spoke the truth about Red Cuba and is a great voice for America in the United States senate.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Say, Did You Know That There Is A Revolution In Venezuela

Yes, we have seen the people's revolution in The Ukraine pretty much unabated. The cameras roll as the people forced out pseudo-President Viktor Yanukovich and turned the capital city, Kiev, into semi-anarchy.
But did you know that there is a revolution in Venezuela as well?
No, you didn't?
Hmm, maybe one of the reasons is that the dictator, President Nicolas Maduro, cancelled the press credentials of four of CNN's journalists covering the revolution. After all, the dictator, President Maduro, has pretty much taken over all media in Venezuela. Sorry Howard Stern, but dictator President Maduro is the King of All Media. At least in Venezuela. And for good measure, dictator President Maduro wants CNN en Espanol to "rectify" it's coverage of the revolution for it, well it just undermines his reign of terror.
The dictator President Maduro took power when the previous dictator, Hugo Chavez, died of cancer. At least President Chavez had some charisma and a solid following. President Chavez was a high-brow thug. Dictator President Maduro, well he is lower than a low-brow thug.
Want an example?
How about the murder of former beauty queen Genesis Carmona? She was not a political person according to an uncle, Jose Gil. But a former Miss Tourism state of Carabobo, Miss Carmona was tired of the economic deprivation caused by the insane socialist policies caused by Caudilo Maduro. Those policies have led to food shortages. Shortages of basic staples such as bread, and milk. Oh, and throw in baby food too.
According to witnesses at the protest, a group of roughly 50 thugs on motorcycles armed with handguns and that they fired into the crowd. Miss Carmona was shot in the head and later died at the hospital. And do you know that the government "investigators" are suggesting that one of those that were protesting with her did the deed. What makes this ridiculous is that Venezuela has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the world.
Now there are many more examples that I can provide about what is going on in Venezuela that our venerable American leftywhore media is ignoring. But a great source of information is Fausta's Blog. It is a clearing house of information that is primarily from non-American news sources.
Why is the American leftywhore media ignoring this story?
Well, Ed Morrissey over at has some interesting observations, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal:

From Mexico to Brazil, most Latin American governments have remained impassive as the Venezuelan government violently cracks down on growing protests, arrests opposition leaders and censors most of the country’s media.

Ideological affinity with Venezuela’s leftist government and economic interests, including the country’s oil largess, have complicated the response—or lack thereof—in the region. “The silence has been deafening,” said Michael Shifter, the president of the Washington-based think tank, the Inter-American Dialogue.
That lack of condemnation gives Mr. Maduro a lot of political leeway to increase the pressure on his opponents, according to former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge CastaƱeda. “There is no Latin American government that is going to lift a finger,” he said.

Yep, it is clear that South American nations that have freely elected left-wing governments, kind of sort of like the fact that the dictator President Maduro is not letting go of power. For it is defending the left-wing ideas that is important to these governments.
Basic human rights? Fuget bout it!
In fact, again courtesy of Hotair, an advisor to the Argentine president, Cristina Kirchner, Luis D'Elia, tweeted this in reference to opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and his arrest by Venezuela police (he surrendered peacefully):

(Mr. Lopez) should be shot by a firing squad as an agent of the CIA.

Oh yeah. This is an advisor to President Kirchner. I would love to know what she thinks.
But back to the lack of coverage from the American leftywhore media.
According to Mr. Morrissey's post, here is a breakdown of the big three networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) and what is on their websites:

ABC had no new information on their website as of 12noon, EST today. The last update was February 19. That is this past Wednesday.
CBS did report something on this last night but in a comparison of coverage between The Ukraine and Venezuela, two nations facing revolution in the streets.
NBC has 15 mentions regarding The Ukraine on the front of the news web page. And what about Venezuela? Not a mention.

Does our so-called news media not even care about a revolution less than 500 miles off the United States? One has to wonder because it has not stopped. It is only getting larger. It could be that they are afraid to report and or try to get on the ground coverage since the overt threats of the dictator President Maduro. So what? It is their job to report on a real news story. This is a real news story whether they choose to minimize coverage or not. They are ceding ground to foreign outlets that will do anything for the story.
If you do go to Fausta's Blog, scroll down because you will see photos of hundreds of thousands if not millions out in the streets taking on the dictator President Maduro. Does that not rate for some more than cursory reportage from the American leftywhore media?
Or is it that our media overlords do not want to make the dictator President Maduro look bad and keep making Venezuela sound like heaven on earth? After Red Cuba, of course!
I think that it is a combination of things. Yes the American leftywhore media does tacitly support the leftism that permeates in Venezuela. But I also think that they are too scared to send reporters in and or depend on local media contacts. They do not want blood on their hands.
But despite the lack of coverage, the revolution will continue in Venezuela. And maybe at some point, our media will do some real reporting on it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

This Tea Party Candidate Can Not Be Supported

Matt Bevin is running for the Republican nomination in Kentucky for the senate seat currently held by senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell.
Mr. Bevin is being supported by the Tea Party.
But two reasons come to the surface that make me believe Mr. Bevin is not the candidate for Kentucky.
Before I continue, anyone that has read this blog with any regularity knows that I am a solid conservative. I supported Sen. Marco Rubio in 2010 before anyone knew who he was. I thought that Christine O'Donnell in Delaware was getting a raw deal in her race against then congressman Rep. Mike Castle. I backed Sharon Angle in Nevada and she actually ran a great campaign.
The point is that this is not the kind of post I want to write. I am a Tea Party Republican.
But what are Mr. Bevin's two sins?
Let's start with his support of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known as TARP. TARP essentially bailed out the big banks that over extended themselves during the housing boom and essentially lended money to anyone with a pulse. Mr. Bevin was the president of am investment firm known as Veracity Funds. And in a letter to investors, it appears that Mr. Bevin signed it and in the letter it supports TARP. This link to Breitbart explains the now tortured reasoning Mr. Bevin is giving in signing the letter. The bottom line is that Mr. Bevin was for TARP before he was against it. Here is an excerpt from that letter. The excerpt that I believe damages Mr. Bevin's credibility:

Most of the positive developments [in the market this quarter] have been government led, such as the effective nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the passage of the $700 billion TARP (don't call it a bailout) and the Federal Reserve's intention to invest in commercial paper. These moves should help to stabilize asset prices and help to ease liquidity constraints in the financial system. We have yet to see significant improvement in lending spreads (for the most part the opposite is true), but are hopeful that the groundwork has been laid.

OK, the letter essentially says that the wonders of TARP is what has been the positive development in that particular quarter. At the end of the paragraph it essentially says that thanks to TARP, the groundwork is laid to see improvements to lending spreads.
When one puts a signature on any letter, at least they should take a cursory peek at what was written. I think that Mr. Bevin is speaking out of all sides of his mouth. First he refers to the document as an "investment commentary" then as a prospectus. Now he denies both claims. According to this article from Breitbart, Mr. Bevin claimed that he had to sign the disputed document by law. However, if you read on, Mr. Bevin did not sign a similar letter in 2009.
Yes, this is in the weeds but goes to credibility as to what Mr. Bevin really believes and if he does deserve the support of the Tea Party folks. If Mr. Bevin is really going John Kerry on the Republican voters of Kentucky, being for something before he was against it, then as a supporter/member of the Tea Party, I could not support Mr. Bevin.
The second reason is this wonderful commentary as to Mr. Bevin's opposition to same-sex marriage. 
Yep, Mr. Bevin essentially said that same-sex marriage could lead to parents marrying their children for some kind of tax benefit.
I give you the particular paragraph from the Janet Meffered program:

If it's alright to have same-sex marriages, why not define a marriage-because at the end of the day a lot of this ends up being taxes and who can visit who in the hospital and there's other repercussions and things that come with it-so a person may want to define themselves as being married to one of their children so that they can then in fact pass on that certain things to that child financially and otherwise.

Really, why did Mr. Bevin go there? To make the sheer suggestion that say a mom could marry her daughter for tax purposes. And otherwise? Why did Mr. Bevin have to add those two words? And otherwise.
What the hell does that mean?
I think it is open to interpretation. But one is already being done by the left. And that is suggesting that incest could be what he meant.
This is where inexperience comes to rear it's ugly head.
This could be Mr. Bevin's Todd Akin moment. And because of it, Sen. McConnell will probably cruise to winning the GOP nomination.
Republican candidates have to grasp this in discussing same-sex marriage. And that is don't go down the road of "because of this, fill-in-the-blank will occur". Why not do that? Because the leftywhore media and the Democrats, I know redundant, huh?, will make that candidate sound like a total whack job.
Mr. Bevin actually had a great point about the tax benefits same-sex couples would have equivalent of married couples. As a supporter of the flat-tax and no deductions, it would eliminate the tax code being used for social engineering. And it is done by the right and the left. It's really pretty bipartisan if you ask me. Taxes should only be an evil necessity to fund the government, period. That is a better argument.
Another point that Mr. Bevin could have made is that he is not in favor of redefining marriage. Because same-sex marriage does redefine marriage. The proponents have to be honest about that. All that Mr. Bevin could add is that the traditional definition of marriage, one man to one woman, has been the bulwark of Western society for roughly 2,000 years. And there is the inconvenient truth that Utah was not admitted to the Union as a state until it stopped polygamy. And a revelation came to the then president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that stopped polygamy and then Utah became a state.
I believe that if any candidate is running to try and stem the tide of same-sex marriage, they should speak with a bit of eloquence and no throw in bromides that will turn off the great middle that any candidate needs to win a general election. Then mere suggestion that same-sex marriage can lead to parents marrying children is beyond a bromide. The reason is that opponents have tried the worst-case scenario and people, even some conservatives that do favor same-sex marriage, find it out of bounds. And if we want to win elections and maintain principles, our side better damn well do so but with a lot more savvy.
The things are that the Tea Party is about curtailing excessive government spending and intrusion into our lives. When a candidate claims he opposed one of the fundamental reasons for the Tea Party's being, TARP. and it turns out that is not true, it seems like said candidate is going to be stuck spending a lot of time on defense. That would be Mr. Bevin. When a candidate expresses opposition to same-sex marriage and goes into one of the most bizarre reasons why, it sounds more that said candidate is not always opposed to big government. That would be Mr. Bevin, again.
If a Tea Party candidate is having these problems in the primary and somehow wins the GOP nomination, unseating Sen. McConnell, realize that this will be the left's number one seat to take. And it will be easier because of what is happening now.
I must admit, I am not a big fan of Sen. McConnell. He is way too cozy in the Washington Ways. Seems to always be willing to cut bad deals with the Democrats. But on one issue, Sen. McConnell was spot on and that was his principled opposition to so-called campaign finance reform. Especially the dreaded McCain-Feingold debacle. I would have no problem giving Sen. McConnell a primary if the candidate actually knew what he was talking about. Mr. Bevin does not.
The Tea Party has to realize this. What is more important is to have a credible candidate in November. And like it or not, Sen. McConnell is a credible candidate and Mr. Bevin is not. I don't want this to be a waste of time, money and energy.
Therefore I can not, in good conscience, suggest to people in Kentucky to vote for Matt Bevin for the Republican nomination for senate. And I am not endorsing Sen. McConnell. But Matt Bevin is one Tea Party candidate I can not support and should not be supported.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Are My Fellow Californians Really This Stupid?

Really, are you, my fellow California citizens, whatever that means nowadays, this stupid to back warning labels and higher taxes on sodas?
It appears according to this Field Poll, you really are this moronic.
I can tell you something without the benefit of a warning label and or higher taxes.
Soda is bad for you. No really, any kind of soda is bad for you. It has a lot of sugar and or sugar substitutes and can make you fat and have teeth problems up to and as bad as losing said teeth.
Why I gave that advice to you for free.
But I guess my fellow Californians will believe anything. Anything as long as it's for the kiddies.
I never thought that I would write such a thing but screw the kiddies.
I mean it. If you are a parent and can not show simple restraint in what your children put into their bodies, your parenting can come into questioning. If you are an adult as most of those reading this are, and you don't know this, then you are stupid.
The most appalling aspect of this poll is the breakdown as far as support.
Overall, 74% of registered voters polled support warning labels on soda products. Not surprisingly, 80% of Democrats support it. And 75% of independents also show support of the warning labels. But 64% of Republicans support warning labels on soda products.
Sixty-four percent of Republicans?!
What happened to adults making their own decisions based on the facts presented to them? I guess There is a bunch of Republicans that don't care anymore.
The group known as the California Endowment, which supports pretty much any left-wing cause including the warning labels, paid for this poll and hired the Field Poll because it has a reputation of being tacitly non-partisan.
Here is what a proposed warning label would say:

Studies show that daily consumption of sodas and other sugary drinks contribute to diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay.

No, really?! I am so shocked that I need the government to tell the soda makers that they have to inform the so sheltered public that there are potential risks of consuming their products.
Of course I am not shocked! I have heard much of this since I was a wee tyke back in the late 1960s and 70s when I was growing up. And it is pretty much a known fact that these are the potential side effects of excessive, and that is the key, excessive soda consumption.
Have we fallen so bad on using our common sense that we need government interference? Are we that gullible to think that an essential 24c tax on 12 ounces of soda will really go to the kiddies? Well, that is what we were sold on the state lottery. If that was the case, every school in the state would be fully funded, teachers would be paid more awesome salaries than they already are and we would be producing the best educated kids in the United States.
Now when questioned about the actual soda tax, the number actually goes down to 67% in the poll. And it is noted that similar legislation failed in the city of Richmond, California and in polling in San Francisco, it is short of the 67% that it would need to pass the voters if put on the local ballot later this year.
Clearly, while a majority seem to support the tax idea in theory, when it comes down to voting on it, there is a failure to get two-thirds a vote that is needed to raise such taxes.
But understand why it has such a high number is that the scam idea is that as long as the money is spent on supposed programs to to help childhood programs regarding this issue.
I have a novel idea.
Why is this not part of the school curriculum? Right from first grade children should be taught about such dangers as excessive soda consumption and general hygiene such as dental care and the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth. If that is done, we don't need such silliness as another tax that will, more than likely, be squandered and not do what it is supposed to.
This is for my fellow Californians from a place of seriousness.
Parents, it is up to you to teach your children about what is good and not good for them to drink and eat. You already know that soda is probably not good for them to consume. You need to exert control. You do not need the government to do it for you.
Adults, I repeat, soda is not good for you. you do no need the government to force soda makers to make you aware of that fact. Also, do not think that a separate program that is suppose to help "educate" the kiddies will do what it claims will work. Do not be fooled into supporting higher taxes because, well its for the kiddies.
In other words my fellow Californians, don't be stupid and fall for this new act of government intrusion into our private lives and decisions. Say no to warning labels and taxes against sodas!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Republicans Win Big In San Diego Mayor Race

Sure, California elections for local offices are officially non-partisan, but the dirty little secret is that everyone knows who is with what party and they do funnel money to these races.
San Diego had to have a special election for mayor yesterday as a direct result of former Democrat mayor Filthy Bob Filner and his gross sexual harassment charges. And it had to go two rounds because in last years election, no one got 50% + one to avoid the runoff that was yesterday.
The Democrat-backed candidate was a city councilman, David Alvarez. Mr. Alvarez was heavily backed by the usual "progressive" suspects. That would be labor unions, race-huckster groups, community organizers, and the like.
The Republican-backed candidate was also a city councilman, Kevin Faulconer. Mr. Faulconer was backed by business interests, former mayor Jerry Saunders (a Republican and very popular still), the local newspaper, U-T San Diego (U-T is for the longhand name, Union-Tribune), and even a former Democrat city attorney, Mike Aguirre.
Mr. Alvarez ran the Team Obama type of campaign. With a boatload of union money, targeting specific pro-Democrat group voters and starting early to try to define Mr. Faulconer.
But Mr. Faulconer ran a campaign kinda sorta Warren G. Harding style and an underlying theme of a return to normalcy in city politics. Now I don't mean the corruption that San Diego politics can be known for. I mean that the mayor is going to do his best to run things efficiently and put some conservative ideas in place.
And while many figured that based on voter registration, which heavily favors Democrats, and an urge of some voters to elect the first Hispanic mayor in San Diego history, Kevin Faulconer, Republican, prevailed and in a pretty substantial manner winning the mayor's office by a 55% to 45% over Democrat David Alvarez.
So, a moderate Republican, Mr. Faulconer, pulled off a big win and a shot in the arm for the moribund California Republican party and how did he do it?
First, his strategy was to go to places Republicans normally avoid like the plague. His strategy was to expand the Republican base, which is about a voter registration of 27%. It means that he has to reach out to independent and yes, Democrat voters. And no doubt some Democrats were not thrilled about Filthy Filner and is dalliances. He needed to get at least another 25% of potential voters.
Mr. Faulconer did not, as some will report, downplay being a Republican as much as talking about issues that the voters cared about.
On the other hand, Mr. Alvarez tried to make it a base election, thus again based on voter registration should have given him a win. The Democrat voter registration in the city of San Diego is about 40% and independents are actually ahead of Republicans. So, Mr. Alvarez has his base and figures he could get enough independents and win pretty easily. Again, it was exactly from the Team Obama play book in 2012.
But given the climate as why there was an election in the first place and the general drift of San Diego government, the voters decided to get things back on track and went with Faulconer.
Is this a turning of fortune for Republicans in California?
The reality is that there is no major, serious candidate for governor of California on the GOP side. The two announced candidates are state assemblyman and Tea Party favorite Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari who's claim to fame is that he implemented and oversaw the infamous TARP program.
Mr. Donnelly can be characterized as a loose cannon while Mr. Kashkari will have a lot of baggage in dealing with the whole TARP program. No doubt in my mind that Mr. Kashkari will get the official state GOP backing in the non-partisan open primary this coming June. And current Gov. Jerry Brown, with about $15,000,000 in the bank has still not announced his plans regarding running for reelection or not. It is very possible that Gov. Brown will not run which would throw the race all around in turmoil. \
But I look at either candidate as probably losers in November due to lack of name recognition in the case of Mr. Kashkari and controversy surrounding Mr. Donnelly and his connection to the border-security Minutemen group.
That will hurt many down-ticket races for the seven other constitutional offices and possibly other races that could get enough Republicans elected in the state assembly and senate to end the Democrat super-majority. It can also affect congressional races.
That is the down side.
The upside is that a Republican can win when focusing on issues that matter. It is very important in California not to let the very leftywhore-dominated media define the Republicans, especially on social issues. I'm not saying Republicans should not speak on them, but do so intelligently.
Most important is that Republicans must be on offense to win any election. Each Republican candidate must define the Democrat opponent before it is done to them. Don't count on much of the leftywhore state media. But hammer enough to make them take notice.
And this is also important. Do not leave any area to the Dems. Seriously. There is no Karl Rove model in California. Yes, I would stay away from San Francisco and Oakland and the coastal Bay Area. But look to the suburbs for potential growth. Places like Contra Costa county. And while we can't currently win Los Angeles county, there are a lot of Republican strongholds. Take advantage of those areas and seek to expand to more areas. It is what the Democrats do.
Kevin Faulconer had a big win for Republicans in the San Diego mayor's race. Can that be translated to the state level?

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Today's WTH Moment

Last night in Chula Vista, California there was an accident on a freeway in which firefighters and police responded to and what happened next, well it truly falls into the WTH* file.
Apparently there was a territorial dispute between the California Highway Patrol officer on the scene and a firefighter.
According to this account in U-T San Diego, the CHP officer asked the firefighter, employed by Chula Vista, to move the fire engine out of traffic lanes. The firefighter is the engineer, or driver of the fire engine. He said that he had to go to check with his captain as they follow a chain of command. The CHP officer did not like that as Chula Vista fire chief, Dave Hanneman, relayed this quote from the officer according to the firefighter:

"No you need to move now or you'll be arrested."

Again, WTH?!
As Chief Hanneman noted, the fire engine was parked behind an ambulance that was loading people involved in the accident inside. That is done because as Chief Hanneman said:

"Our firefighters are trained to use the engine to protect the scene. Our number one priority is the safety of our firefighters and patients." 

According to Chief Hanneman, this is the first time that he has heard of such an incident in San Diego county but he has heard of such territorial disputes in other parts of California.
But that is not even the topper of this tale.
The officer proceeded to cuff the firefighter that he was talking with and put in in the back of his squad car. And the officer also ordered a fire-rescue crew from the city of San Diego to leave the accident scene.
For a third time, WTH?!
When supervisors from all departments arrived, the officer did release the firefighter.
Of course the job of the firefighter and the police officer are different and overlap at an accident scene. Usually the firefighters are there to ascertain the situation and determine if any of those involved in the accident need to be treated at the scene or hospitalized. In that case an ambulance or paramedic truck would be called to remove the people and get them to a nearby hospital.
The officers arrive to also ascertain the situation, investigate as much as they can about the possible cause, speak with those that can speak and very importantly to make sure that the scene is secured enough so the firefighter and rescue personnel can do their job.
The authority should be shared not one over the other.
But a clearly testosterone-infused CHP officer decided he would be the one to be in charge and show that he was the boss. He was so impressed with himself that he decided to handcuff the firefighter and put him in the back of his squad car. And to top it off, he decided to chase off other firefighters in a show of brainless he-man.
It is incidents like this in which the public will quickly and rightfully take sides. I can almost guarantee that most will take the side of the firefighters. And count me in on that.
There is no reason whatsoever for this to have escalated the way that it did.
The fact that supervisors have to be called in to referee this territorial dispute shows how absurd the situation got.
I am thinking that, God forbid, if this was a real emergency situation such as an earthquake and there was more than what happened in this particular would this have happened?
I should like to think not.
But this should make clear that the firefighters were correct to protect the other emergency personnel doing their job. It should also make clear that all personnel should work together and not with some pointless agenda.
The other takeaway from this is that firefighters are just more respected on the whole than police officers. Especially the California Highway Patrol.
Firefighters are seen as people that will do anything to save a building in a fire. Rescue people. Even rescue animals.
Police officers are seen, most of the time wrongly, as people that are filled with some kind of rage issues. Authority problems. Yes, color of authority problems as well.
I am certain more will come out of this incident and that may explain more of how the situation deteriorated.
In the meantime, its a total WTH moment, isn't it?

*WTH-What The Hell

More Of The Folly That Is Obamacare

Oh, I know my lib friends will tell me that all of this is either the result of the still eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll insurance companies and of course the fact that this is such a large program, this Obamacare.
Well today I will share two aspects of the so-called Affordable Care Act. One is this article from the Left Angeles Times and the other a personal true story.
The thrust of the Times article is that, surprise!, many of those enrolled the California state health insurance exchange, Covered California, are having trouble with doctors and whether or not they are actually a part of Covered California.
Take Danielle Nelson of Aliso Viejo in Orange County, California.
Miss Nelson signed up with Anthem/Blue Cross HMO and at the time of her sign-up already been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In January she discovered a lump near her jaw. When she signed up under Covered California Anthem/Blue Cross, she was assured multiple times that oncologists that she wanted were part of the network they work with. But she went to her oncologists office and, again surprise!, there is a nice bright orange sign saying that in fact they are NOT part of Covered California Anthem/Blue Cross. The sad part is Miss Nelson's reaction to this:

"I'm a complete fan of the Affordable Care Act, but now I can't sleep at night. I can't imagine this is how President Obama wanted it to happen."

Yes, I am doing a major-league face-palm and a couple of SMHs*.
It does not matter what the Dear Leader, President Obama, wanted to happen. What is reality is because, in the immortal words of then Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.), we have to pass the bill to see what's in it.
And of course this is what is in it.
Because the crony capitalist health care companies need to hold down costs, they are offering fewer doctors and hospitals that are in network.
Thus insurance companies are putting incomplete and uncorroborated information about doctor and hospital availability. And it is affecting real people. People like Miss Nelson.
But get a pant load of this from the California insurance commissioner, Democrat Dave Jones:

"It's a little early for anyone to know how widespread and deep this problem is. There are a lot of economic incentives for health insurers to narrow their networks, but if they go too far, people won't have access to care. Network adequacy will be a big issue in 2014."

The now head-shaking face-palms and SMHs are getting stronger.
It is proof of what we who opposed the so-called Affordable Care Act warned long before now. It is one of the reasons that some people like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) wanted the whole hot mess repealed.
I highlighted the second part of Mr. Jones' comment because there is cost-containment right at the point of doctor and hospital availability. And Mr. Jones' is correct that hell yeah, this is a huge issue. And it is not limited to California.
In defense of the people that did sign-up in the health insurance marketplace, they went by information provided by the insurance companies and Covered California. The least that it can be is accurate, up-to-date information. Especially because many of those signing up are people with serious, preexisting conditions.
Again, we warned of these things happening not by error but by design. Because one can not expand a pool of people, many unhealthy to begin with, and expect Cadillac health care. Hell for many that do not get the federal subsidy, its not really all that affordable.
Now I would like to relate a direct effect of Obamacare on my household.
For about eight years now, we have been getting health coverage thru Mrs. RVFTLC's employer. It is an HMO and by and large we have not had any problem with it. Sometimes the referral process is a bit long, but otherwise it is great coverage for us.
Mrs. RVFTLC is diabetic and uses an insulin pump. The pump itself is constant, but the supplies that go with it to make it work are not and have to be ordered like a prescription. There is a needle attachment and the reservoir that goes in the pump for the insulin to be in. The insulin is essentially constantly pumping the insulin through a narrow tube and is part of the needle attachment.
There is some background.
Mrs. RVFTLC had been waiting for the replacement supplies since the beginning of the year. She contacted the pump company, Medtronic, and they had placed the order for the replacement supplies. Again, this was the first of the year. She was waiting. And waiting. And realized that she was running out. Without the supplies, she has to go back to shots which has it's own problems. Once again she contacted Medtronic and was told that they are waiting for authorization from the insurance company. She was told by Medtronic and her regular diabetic doctor/internist that this is due to all the enrollment into O-care. That the insurance companies are backed up in such authorizations. Now as I noted, Mrs. RVFTLC can use shots. But the interruption means that she has to essentially reset the pump, which is a long process and often requires phone assistance from one of Medronics very wonderful staff. If you are having to use an insulin pump, this company is awesome and I would recommend that you should get your pump through this company. We are not under any O-care plan. This is health insurance provided by Mrs. RVFTLC's employer. Yet because of all the changes wrought by O-care, Mrs. RVFTLC is a victim. It makes me wonder how many other diabetics are in a similar situation not just in California but in the United States?
These examples are but many highlighting the folly that has been and is health care now in the United States. The standards of those that already have insurance, whether it is a group policy provided by an employer at shared cost or on the open individual insurance market is clearly being lowered. At some point I will not be surprised if the insurance company will stop authorizing insulin pumps due to costs. What this health care scam does, as all government controlled plans do, is stifle any innovation. Better drugs? More expensive. New treatments? Too expensive. To keep everyone covered, costs are paramount, not patient care. And while the eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll health insurance companies have done that on more than one occasion, do you still really think that government controlled health care will do better? Of course not. It never does.
When this so-called reform truly affects real people and their health problems, the folly of it makes it all the more tragic and must lead to repeal the so-called Affordable Care Act and replace with real reform that will truly give those with no access to health care insurance coverage just that and not lower the plans that the vast majority of Americans have now.

*SMH-Slap My Head

CVS Drug Store To Stop Selling Tobacco Products

The CVS Caremark drug store chain has announced that they will no longer sell tobacco products by October of this year.
And to me, so what?
After all, CVS Caremark is a private and publicly traded company.
CVS Caremark is pursuing an aggressive strategy to become a major health care provider. After all, many CVS Caremark stores are known for their Minute Clinics in which a consumer can have some very basic medical needs taken care of.
And let's face it folks, tobacco is now pretty much considered an icky product. While yes, many people still smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chew tobacco, it is one of the most discouraged products that is still legal.
So, what else does CVS Caremark sell that is icky to many people?
How about candy? Soda? A panoply of junk food?
Those are very easy marks, of course. But there are other items that some people find objectionable. Such as condoms, sexual lubricant. Some religious people at the very least would not like to see these items over the counter. Maybe with the other drug items that are behind the pharmacy counter.
The point is that there is a slight case of political correctness here.
It is easier to phase out a product like tobacco that is seen by the vast majority of people as, for lack of a better word, icky. But the other items I mentioned? Uh, not so much.
CVS Caremark is going to take an immediate hit of roughly $2,000,000,000 in revenue from tobacco sales. But they hope to make some of it up in tobacco cessation products. I'm going to take a guess and say that they will not make up all of that lost revenue. But it does refocus the chain from tobacco provider to strong cessation provider. And it may work with CVS Caremark. Maybe more people will obtain their prescriptions there and give them their overall business. After all, in a sense this is a new niche market.
But before people get worked up that it is another assault on smoker's rights, it is not.
Again, a private company can choose what they want to sell or not. And a publicly traded company does have an obligation to it's stockholders. So why continue carrying a product that is not exactly a good one such as tobacco? And one can get tobacco at other places. Smoking lounges are becoming a big deal. Especially cigar lounges. This is the possibility of where smoking is going. Into it's own niche market.
In the long run, CVS Caremark probably made the right decision as it is switching it's market. And it is possible that the items I named may also be phased out over time. Who knows?
But do not expect a wave of this kind of product removal. As long as people are willing to smoke and pay the price, economically and health-wise, there will be places that sell tobacco products.
For now, the removal of tobacco products is limited to CVS Caremark and it will take a while to determine if it is the right or wrong move.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Why Are People So Quick To Give Up Their Freedom?

The other day, one of my best friends who is a huge opponent of plastic bag laws posted this on his Facebook page about my hometown of Pasadena, California, where there is a plastic bag ordinance:

While at Ralph's in Pasadena recently, I remembered that people with reusable bags have to thoroughly wash them. Unfortunately, we're going through a drought. If Pasadena didn't have plastic bags ban we'd conserve more water. Gotta love the irony.

That comment produced a 62 comment thread of varying opinion. Of course your humble blogger participated.
The reality is that my friend is correct. There is an irony to it.
But one of his friends that I do know just does not understand why anyone of us would be opposed to the plastic bag law at all.
The friend asserts that because it is done in foreign nations and that people do not wash their bags after multiple uses, well dammit, why can't we do that here in the good ol' U. S. of A.? The friend also asserts that we who oppose these plastic bag laws just need to simmer down and adjust. Because it's all about the environment after all.
I made the assertion that we should not be following bad laws and or ideas in foreign nations. That the United States should always where possible be the trailblazers. My friend also pointed out the crony capitalist angle of this.
The crony capitalist angle is to get mostly markets to go along, the ordinances allowed for paper bags. Oh, that is if you don't have your reusable and the market has the pleasure of charging 10c per paper bag. And another interesting angle is how department stores are exempt from this. Yep, Macy's, Marshall's, Ross and T. J. Maxx are all exempt from the ordinance. Target is not because they sell food.
See it is the merging of two bad forces in the United States today.
Environmental extremism and crony capitalism.
As the debate went on, our mutual friend asserted that paper bags were not even being used. Again, yes they are. At the cost of 10c each.
What is the point of this?
How easily people are willing to give up freedom in the name of some perceived societal good.
Another odious ordnance here in Pasadena is the home smoking ban.
Yes, if you live in an apartment, condominium, a town home or even a duplex, you can not smoke inside your domicile.
Now I see that apartments can choose to be all non-smoking. But a condo, duplex or town home is mostly owned by a person. That is their domicile that they are paying a bank for. They theoretically own it.
But the busybody Pasadena city council passed this ordinance three years ago.
An apartment is a rental unit and the landlord can determine such things on their own. If a homeowners association, which most if not all condos and town homes have, can put such restrictions up to a vote of the owners. If the majority votes in the affirmative, then its policy. If not, try again.
Understand that this is because, supposedly, second-hand smoke can go through vents into neighboring units and thus. Well, you know that it's for the children. It's always for the children.
What's more, one can not smoke in common areas, balconies, and patios. And if you wanna smoke, better make sure you are 25 feet away from your complex.
OK, I am not a smoker. I have an occasional cigar. But not here in my town home. Nope, if I want one I have to find somewhere nearby but 25 feet away from the complex to enjoy a cigar.
But as the city website asserts, this is all part of the master plan to reduce smoking. Oh, and if you want to be a snitch, there is a contact phone number in the link.
Again, based on flimsy evidence at best, a freedom is taken away.
Another bit of not just taking away freedom but attacking an animal group that, God willing, we would not do to fellow humans is breed specific laws, or BSLs.
We have a crazy city councilman here in Pasadena who wants to ban pit bulls. 
Steve Madison is on a one-man jihad against pit bulls. 
Because the MSM loves to write about the bad things that pit bulls do, which sadly does include attacking and even killing people. Other breeds do the same thing and what the MSM does not note is how often times it is stray dogs that will attack totally out of fear and lack of proper socialization.
But BSL are basically blaming a whole breed over the reality that dogs are animals and can do what animals do when they feel threatened. These laws do not put the blame on owners as much as the dog.
Compromise legislation is being introduced to have all pets spayed and neutered, which I support. It cuts down on the strays and makes owners have to be responsible about the animal they have in their home.
But Mr. Madison, he still insists that Pasadena has to ban pit bulls specifically. I should note that Mr. Madison owns a Maltese. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It is the misguided thought that a Maltese can not snap and turn on people any more than a pit bull and or pit bull mix.
How is this another giving up of freedom?
Because if we as a society say a whole breed of animal is so inferior and a threat, when does that eventually lead to the same thing for humans?
And if the overall policies of the Nazis and Adolf Hitler is not enough to make that a reality, then there is no hope for humanity.
Every little bit of more government means that the trade off is less freedom for the individual and the people as a whole. It is a fact. People do not really think about it until it really affects them.
That is why I point these things out.
It may seem like no big deal, but it is a big deal.
And as I ask, why are people so quick to give up their freedom for a false sense of security?