Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Conservatives Have Conservatives To Blame For GOP State Of Affairs

Guess what fellow conservatives?
There is a huge problem in our ranks and we have ourselves to blame.
Before ye call me a sellout, RINO, etc., etc., read on.
A case in point and what I will concentrate on is the Republican leadership in congress. 
Recently former Speaker of the House, John Boehner, all but handed conservatives a gift by giving up and leaving congress. Mind you, Mr. Boehner was not some hippy, left-winger. He was reliably conservative while moving up the leadership ladder. Something happened when Mr. Boehner attained the pinnacle of house leadership, the speaker's office. Mr. Boehner came in as House minority leader and acted as such when he became the speaker. It appeared that Mr. Boehner was more interested in cutting the deals no matter what rather than taking stands against the overreach of the executive branch. Sure, we are in divided government and at some level, deals will be cut. Conservatives simply wanted floor votes on a myriad of proposals that did not have a chance of even getting out of the then Democrat senate. But Mr. Boehner did nothing when the Republicans took control of the senate this year. 
As I noted yesterday, the GOP could simply have taken a page from the Democrat playbook of 1974-76 and sent the whole left-wing agenda to an impotent President Ford. He vetoed 66 pieces of legislation and was only overridden on 12. That's an over .800 winning percentage. Maybe it will end up the same but what the Republican base wants to see is less deal making and some back-bone. Count me in that group. 
But when Mr. Boehner quit, where was the great conservative to win over the disparate forces of the House of Representatives GOP caucus? 
NO ONE, but NO ONE wanted the job. The current Speaker, Rep. Paul Ryan, literally had to be dragged into the job. Where was Daniel Webster? Where was anyone in the Freedom Caucus? Huh? 
I'll tell you where they were. 
Hoping that they would not have to try for a job that saw a pretty conservative fellow, Mr. Boehner, run out on the rail.
I fear that some firebrand conservatives realize that because deals have to be done, some disgusting, some just unpalatable, they do not want their fingerprints on it. Really, that is what we have to conclude.
You know who cut some lousy deals with a worse political landscape but turned out to be a damn good president?
Ronald Wilson Reagan.
So the dude literally dragged into the speaker's chair, Mr Ryan, cut a lousy budget deal that as he said the cake was already baked.
He is right. 
What was he supposed to do? Rip it up and start over? Maybe. Give conservatives more of a place at the table? Well, duh! 
By getting this out of the way, next year is going to be different. Conservatives will have a place and Mr. Ryan will make much more of a conservative effort to govern with the most left-wing president in our lifetimes. 
We conservatives expect a lot and were promised a lot over the past couple of election cycles. at a real level, we have been hosed. But we also are so damn tribal, we can't get a good, unifying governing majority. 
I hope my fellow conservatives think about all of this and don't think blowing up the place will make for a winning coalition. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Trump Train Rolls Along To The Cliff

I still do not get it, the Trump Train that is.
It seems that the Donald's support only grows and it is whenever he opens his illogical mouth and shoots off some absurdity.
Is it the fault of the GOP establishment? The Democrats? The Dear Leader, President Obama, himself?
It's all of the above I'm afraid.
The GOP establishment seems more interested in cutting deals, such as the latest budget deal in congress, than ever confronting the Democrats and their titular leader, the president of the United States. Votes should have been had on repealing Obamacare as an example. Yes, the Democrats would fight in the senate and try the filibuster. So what? The GOP leader, Ol' Mitch McConnell, could drop a nuke on the filibuster and make the Dear Leader, President Obama, veto it.
The Dems did this to Gerald Ford after he became president in 1974 and they swept to super-majorities in both houses in the midterm elections that year. The impotent successor to Richard M. Nixon in less than two years as president vetoed a total of 66 bills. Only 12 vetoes were overridden by congress and thus became law. And I will note that a Democrat, one Jimmah Carter, was elected president in 1976.
My point?
It can be done and not hurt in the long run. It inspires a base that is needed to turn out the vote in 2016 no matter who the candidate is. It shows a party that believes in what it runs on.
I get all of that.
I would like to remind my friends who are on that Trump Train thinking that the Donald walks on water and says nothing wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a little political experience when running for office.
Despite the comparisons to one Ronald Wilson Reagan, by the time he made his serious campaign for the presidency in 1976, he had served two successful terms as governor of California, and was able to enact welfare reform before it was cool. He had a record. And he had a lot of serious people supporting the failed '76 effort. Many of those would be influential in his two successful terms as president.
I'll say it.
Donald J. Trump can not and could not shine Ronald Reagan's shoes on a  good day.
Yeah, go ahead and show a picture of Mr. Reagan shaking the Donald's hand once as proof I am wrong.
Policies and ideas matter.
I have written before and will again that the Trump Train is more like the eventual Schwarzenegger Train Wreck.
There is no there there. What proof does ANYONE have that the Donald can do anything that he says he wants to do.Yesterday in an interview, the senate majority leader, Sen. McConnell, said there will never be passage of any Trump plan to ban Muslims entering the United States. Sen. McConnell and congressional leadership is a whole other post. There is no record because while the Donald has never been in any political office. Like Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger, there is the feeling of somehow we should just trust him.
I don't.
The Donald has no serious policy advisers. His national spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, seems to be as unserious as he is.
In the end I do believe that the Donald could score some early victories. Or maybe not. The Donald does not have much organization in Iowa, a caucus state. He leads substantively in New Hampshire, but it is essentially an open primary. Think some Democrats won't try to skew the vote there? The Donald could win in South Carolina, but many pols there are making their support clear now that Sen. Goober Graham has left the presidential race.
If your a conservative and Republican, the only way we win is with the most electable CONSERVATIVE in any given race.
And that is not Donald J. Trump and his merry train wreck in the making.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Trump's Muslim Plan A Non-Starter

I get the point that Donald J. Trump is making regarding Muslims coming to the United States and our extremely permissive immigration policy, especially under the Dear Leader, President Obama.
But it is a non-starter for a variety of reasons.
For one, the way that Trump says we can stop Muslims coming to the United States is to simply ask them at the point of customs.
Really?! Does the Donald really think that a Muslim being asked that question is going to answer honestly? Why would they?
And many are not coming to stay but to travel and do business. Are we going to ban people who practice Islam, or at least say they are Muslim, from doing business in the United States? And travel, are we really going to turn away people simply coming to see relatives and or travel and go home? Many do that. Not all stay over their visas.
The insanity of the Donald is that he compares what he proposes to what the paragon of liberalism, one Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the opening days of the United States entering World War II.
Interning Japanese-American CITIZENS and to a lesser extent German-Americans and Italian-American CITIZENS in concentration camps and taking away their property.
Why many Trump supporters are also pointing out that the former worst president of the United States, Jimmah Carter, banned Iranians from travelling to the United States during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-80. Even that is kind of wrong as this points out that the ban was against travelling TO Iran.
What is the pattern in all of that?
The United States took these actions against nationalities, not religions. And even that became questionable especially concerning the Japanese-Americans during World War II. The fact was that it was a total overreaction and did not prove to be effective. We threw the baby out with the bath water.
You know what nations use what Trump is talking about against a nation?
Arab and Islamic nations against Israel. If one has an Israeli passport, don't bother trying to go to a nation outside of Egypt or Jordan, the two Arab-Islamic nations Israel's have relations with.
Is that what we want?
I don't.
There is a way to make the point by simply not accepting refugees on face value. To some that is harsh and xenophobic, but rather than try to cherry pick between Syrian Christians and Muslims, we have to be willing to say no to any at this time.
What should be done is to visit this aspect of immigration without the whole so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform refrain and set very concrete policies for allowing or not allowing refugees into the United States. It is the role of congress and the executive branch. But I suspect that both have very different ideas on how to handle this situation.
But outright banning Muslims coming to and fro is not the same as banning people from nations that are clearly our enemies and or frenimies. My United States passport does not have a place for religion and it should not. Is it the price of living in the type of society we do, a free one? Possibly. But again, if congress and the executive could work out some kind of legislation that could do a better vetting process, it would help.
This brings  me to a new conclusion about the Donald.
I thought I answered the question that the Donald is not a fascist in the traditional sense of the word and he is not.
But he is a strongman type. The Donald is used to getting his way in business and it is totally different from politics in which, like it or not, coalitions are built. He acts and reacts like a businessman that has a set way and expectation.
What is troubling is that man conservatives, myself included, see the current occupant of the White House as a sort of strongman. Yet many Trumpettes do not seem to get that the Donald is the same thing only with an R after the name.
My point is that I do not want to replace one strongman for another. I want to see a constitutionalist in the White House. One that does not want more power but willing to let go of power, especially as in regards to usurping state rights and or obligations via Washington, D. C.
The Trump Muslim plan is a non starter and the reaction of a strongman, not a leader.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Barbara Ma'am Boxer Continues To Be The WORST Senator

Seriously, I just hope that if California is stuck with either Kamala Harris or Loretta "Woo! Woo! Woo!" Sanchez as U. S. senator after next year for anything is a improvement over current Sen. Barbara Ma'am Boxer.
She is without a doubt the WORST person in the senate and that is saying a lot.
Look, both political parties have some hack people elected in safe seats and are none too bright. To be fair, a Republican senator I can think of that fits is Louisiana's David Vitter, who just lost his bid to become Louisiana governor.
But Sen. Vitter can't hold a candle to Sen. Ma'am Boxer.
Unbelievably after one of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11, in a push for federal gun control laws, the ignorant tool said this:

Sensible gun laws work. We've proven it in California. And were not going to give up.

Has the tool been under a rock for the past what, 24 plus hours?! Did she not see the carnage that was committed in a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the land? How in the hell could this tool say what she said?
Yes, two people had a helluva lot of firepower. Most were high-powered at that. And all indications are that the two terrorists that carried out the attack yesterday in San Bernardino, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, obtained the weapons legally. And because of the California laws regarding magazines and the like, they are different than in other parts of the United States. They take longer to reload. And don't forget the bomb factory that was in the home of the two terrorists. And since they were killed in a shootout with law enforcement, we will not know what the California gun charges would have been.
But because today was a vote to try to increase background checks and allegedly close a "loophole" about gun show sales, our national embarrassment spoke in her usual manner.
People still get guns. Law abiding citizens follow the law to get guns. Some criminals do as well. Most who are criminals, however, do not. Even an outright gun ban, which is what is had essentially in France, can't stop people, especially committed terrorists, from obtaining weapons. Whether they be guns and or IED's or God forbid even worse.
What matters is how illegal use of guns are prosecuted. Not whether the person had the gun in the first place.
Sen. Ma'am Boxer's replacement has to be better than her for she is not a national treasure but a national buffoon.

Media Coverage Of Islamic Terrorism Pretty Much What You'd Expect

Yesterday, December 2, 2015, a husband and wife committed an act of terrorism that killed 14 and wounded 21 in San Bernardino, California.
As it turns out, it is  safe to say this was an act of terrorism, not "workplace" violence. The two suspects, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were not exactly, oh I don't know, Scandinavian. By the looks of the names, definitely Middle Eastern and or South Asian. And as more information is disbursed, it appears that they were . . .wait for it . . .practicing Muslims.
Put the two together and you get, RADICAL Islamic terrorism.
No, it was not some anti-abortion fanatics. It was not a case of workplace violence. It was a well planned assault on a group of innocent people, having a Christmas party.
But the media coverage is actually worse than expected.
Sometimes I wonder about the whole cable news thing. All the networks, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. All engage in speculation and not trying to get the facts. Some of it is the sheer laziness of reporters. It is much easier to tweet and engage in speculation than actually using resources to obtain the facts and disburse that. Thus we end up with newspaper front pages like this doozy:

Why of course, it's all about gun control! And beating up people of faith, mostly Christians.
Too bad the terrorists had bombs that just did not go off.
Why do I mention the anti-abortion angle? Well, as reported by Allahpundit over at Hotair, Bloomberg Business made sure to note that the shooting was taking place near the local Planned Parenthood clinic. And again, knowing little if any facts, political "leaders" used the occasion to push for gun control. Again, not knowing any of the facts.
One fact is that the home of the terrorist, Farook, was described as an IED (improvised explosive device) factory. That as many as twelve pipe bombs were found is better reported in the foreign press than our own press.
Our press is interested in narrative and facts be damned.
The most important thing that media should do is remember the five W's and one H.
There is nothing taught in a reputable journalism school that adds an S-speculation-to the story formula.
The fact is that the line no longer exists between a reporter and a pundit. Every reporter seems interested in producing spin than fact gathering. Pundits think that their opinion is fact.
We must absolutely demand better reporting and less punditry in these events. It takes time and serious investigation to ascertain facts. It's not neat and tight as an episode of CSI. Once the facts are indeed in, report it accurately and then, then lets comment and pundit away.
When people that are supposed to deliver facts engage in speculation and feed a particular narrative, they are failing in their basic duty.
As the American media continues to decay further into irrelevancy, we the consumers of information end up being uninformed and unable to make up our minds as to what would be the best way to understand and deal with any given situation.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

If I Am Against Donald Trump, Who Am I For?

I don't think that it is a secret that I support Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for the GOP nomination for president in 2016.
But I also strongly oppose the campaign that one Donald J. Trump has been and continues to run for the same GOP nomination.
A thought came to me when I was on a Republican site on Facebook.
A gentleman was making the case that many of us that oppose the Donald seem to beat up on the guy and do not boost the candidate that we support.
The gentleman was and is right.
Thus I took his challenge and explained why I support Sen. Rubio over any other candidate. As it turns out, the gentleman is a Rubio supporter as well.
But his point was spot on.
One of the aspects of Trump supporters is the fact that they are always on defense because of the many wild things the Donald says. In their zeal, they are mocking and demeaning those that oppose their candidate. And we who oppose the Donald end up feeding this and forget we support some other candidate.
If someone that criticises the Donald does not support another candidate at this point in time, then it is nothing but dumping on Trump and I don't support that.
A candidate like the Donald comes around once a generation. Yes, he is tapping into a certain group of people. Not all are a bunch of racists and or bigots. Not all think the United States is in such a state that we need to Make America Great Again. What does animate many is the fact that the promises that the GOP leadership has made over the last five years have fallen far short. That the leadership has ridden the Tea Party and their agenda only to not support it when it counts. Sure, we're not able to win every battle but at least we put the Dear Leader, President Obama, and the Democrats on the record on any given issue. At least most could say that the leadership tried. Maybe there will even be a stronger negotiating point as well. What the Donald does is sound like a Tea Party candidate because he says the GOP establishment sucks. Yet on many an issue, he is not a Tea Party candidate in the least.
That is why I oppose the Doanld's candidacy.
But why I support Sen. Rubio is because of the fact he actually took on the GOP establishment and won. Many seem to forget that. All that some can remember is that Sen. Rubio tried to cut a deal on illegal immigration. Something that I oppose and think that the junior senator from Florida realizes was a huge mistake. I remember that Sen. Rubio took on now Democrat Charlie Crist and defeated him handily in a GOP primary. Had Mr. Crist won that race and the subsequent election in 2010, that would have been a sure vote for so-called comprehensive immigration "reform". As it turned out Crist was such a loyal Republican, he became an Obama Democrat and a loser in running for his old job in 2014.
Sen. Rubio has a solid conservative record in the senate (American Conservative Union lifetime rating 96% as of 2014. A Conservative review lifetime rating of 80%. Both well north of 50%.). And before people scream that he has missed senate votes, his record on that is quite a lot less than that of the last two senators to run for the presidency, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and the Dear Leader, President Obama.
When righteously criticizing the Donald, we must make the case for our candidate as well and that needs to be at all times. Just writing the latest wild comment and dumping on it shows us to be tearing down and being not much better than what we say about the supporters of the Donald.
It's not just about what we are against but what are we for.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Is Donald Trump A Fascist? What Does Trump Believe?

The short answer is no, the Donald is NOT a fascist the way one would understand it.
The long answer is that the Donald really has no clue as to what he believes and says and promotes whatever comes to his mind with little if any thought.
If one looks at this link at Wikipedia, the one thing that the Donald seems firm on is nationalism. Otherwise, I do not see a candidate fitting the fascist label.
The Donald is more like that relative that says what he or she thinks and doesn't really care how or what comes out.
If one really does back to his speech announcing his quest for the GOP nomination, it was all off the cuff. No notes. Hence his comments about Mexico sending all their criminals here to the United States. And it has gone downhill from there.
Here is what really gets my goat.
Many of the Trumpettes love to compare the Donald to the Great Man himself, Ronald Reagan.
There is absolutely no comparison, period.
OK, take it back.
The only comparison is that both did take it to the GOP establishment.
But here is the difference.
Ronald Reagan was an actual thinker, despite what the left says about him. It is known that Mr. Reagan read extensively, talked to many people and came to the conservative idea over a period of time. Mr. Reagan got into elective politics almost by accident. Everyone today knows that Mr. Reagan gave a last-ditch awesome speech for the 1964 GOP presidential nominee, Sen. Barry M. Goldwater (R-Ariz). It is known simply as The Speech. Two years later, a group of conservative businessmen talked the retired actor into running for governor of California. And the rest is history.
But there is an in between history that a lot of people do not know about.
After losing the 1976 GOP presidential nomination to the incumbent president, Gerald R. Ford, Mr. Reagan became a radio commentator and as archives now public show, Mr. Reagan did his own research and wrote out the five-minute commentaries that kept him in the public eye.
My question is what does the Donald actually believe? Whatever seems to be attractive to his core supporters.
And the supporters are not bad people, despite my usage of the phrase Trumpette. Most are people that are frustrated with politics in general and the GOP establishment in particular. Many feel that GOP congressional leadership has acted impotently regarding the Dear Leader, President Obama. I agree with that. But I listen very carefully to the Donald and do not see how he would have any relationship with congress be it a Democrat or Republican one.
The bottom line to me about Donald Trump is that whatever he believes, and it is not fascism, it is certainly not conservative. And that disqualifies him to me.

Shooting At Planned Parenthood Clinic And Both Sides React As Expected

One of the things I have stopped doing even when there is opportunity is live blogging breaking news.
Yesterday was one of those days.
In Colorado Springs, Colorado, one Robert L. Dear went on a shooting rampage at an Planned Parenthood clinic that injured nine and, sadly, killed three people including a police officer for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Needless to say both the left and the right went to work before the event came to and end and Mr. Dear was arrested.
The left went on offense on two fronts.
Of course they assumed that this shooting was by an anti-abortion, pro-life zealot. That could be true but according to the linked article, Lt. Catherine Buckley said that they have no idea on the motive or motives of the suspected gunman. "We don't have any information on this individuals mentality, or his ideas and ideology." according to Lt. Buckley.
But of course, the Dear Leader, President Obama, used the attack to push for what will be his pet issue til he leaves office, gun control. From the Dear Leader, President Obama:

"If we truly care about this - if we;re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience - then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough."

The reaction, and believe me it is a reaction, is to simply push back and not do the obvious.
That would be to tell the pro-abortion, gun control zealots to wait until all the facts are in before jumping the gun, so to speak, and politicizing an ongoing situation. There is time for that.
Then there is social media and both sides using it to push the agenda.
I have read from right-leaning sites that the suspect is not registered as a Republican and in fact identifies himself as a woman.
I already gave examples from left-leaning sites.
A novel idea is to wait for investigators to talk to the suspect. Once there is ample time for questioning, more than likely the reason will emerge. Until that takes place, it is not worth our time to speculate as to the reason(s) why the event happened.
News events is a tricky business as responsible outlets will tell you. So much of what is out there in an ongoing story turns out to be false or over-reported and dilutes the actual facts.
The fact is that not every story has a political angle to it. This may turn out to be just that. But don't let possible facts get in the way.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!
We do have a lot to be thankful for and this is a day to remember just what all the things in our lives we should be thankful about.
The following is the Thanksgiving proclamation from President Abraham Lincoln at the height of the Civil War, or if you prefer, War Between The States. Please read an ponder the words as you enjoy time with family and friends, a real blessing.

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Monday, November 23, 2015

That Louisiana Governor's Race

This past Saturday, Democrats had a substantive win in the Louisiana governor's race with their candidate, Jack Bel Edwards defeating Republican U. S. Senator David Vitter by a healthy 10 point margin.
Needless to say this made the Dems happy and the thought that maybe they are turning the corner in the South and Republicans should be weary of these results.
I agree with the thought that yes, it should be of concern for Republicans. It was not helpful to run a candidate like Sen. Vitter, a man with a lot of baggage. Mostly it is his role in a sex scandal in 2007. While he was able to win reelection, another bit of baggage was his frosty relationship with the current governor and former GOP presidential candidate, Bobby Jindal. That is noted here in this excellent analysis by Taylor Millard. In fact, their dissonance goes back to the 2007 prostitute scandal and then gubernatorial candidate Jindal not offering support and or forgiveness to Sen. Vitter. In fact, Mr. Millard gives us this from a local political blog:

The main source for voter hatred of Vitter, the 15-year-old extramarital behavior which came to light in 2007, didn't defeat him then. But the constant drumbeat of "hookers, hookers, hookers" an "hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite" in this election created and insurmountable gender gap and wiped out his chances of getting the job he always wanted.

In other words, his behavior, still even in a horribly corrupt state as is Louisiana, came to bite him in the butt when it counted.
But here's an odd thing.
It did not go down ticket to the race for Lt. governor as the Republican candidate, Billy Nungesser, defeated the Democrat candidate, Melvin Holder, by about the same margins as Mr. Bel Edwards defeated Sen. Vitter.
 Also, the Democrat attorney general lost to the Republican challenger. And the state legislature is one of the most solidly Republican in the South.
There is no question that some voters did vote against Sen. Vitter to also vote against Gov. Jindal. Some voters probably did not like that fact that he was running for president and his statewide popularity numbers were in the 30s. So who knows if Gov Jindal did more to help Sen. Vitter would it have helped or hurt more?
What is clear is that this is more of a blip for Democrats than a preview of 2016. In fact this was much more of a GOP year than not. Look at Kentucky as a Tea Party Republican, Matt Bevin, won the governor's mansion. Look at Virginia as the GOP kept control of the senate and the state legislature.
In about two months, we will see what all of this means for the Republicans as caucus-goers in Iowa and voters in New Hampshire will set the pace and if it is going to be a Republican year all the way around.

Monday, November 16, 2015

I Will Not Change My Facebook Profile Photo To The French Flag

Oh I know, you are thinking that I am totally heartless and do not care what happened this past Friday night in the capital of France, Paris.
That is the furthest from the truth.
One of the reasons that I write this blog in the first place is to point out that we are in a real war, the War Against Islamofacist Terror, as I have coined it.
What happened in Paris was an extension of this war.
The photo below is the inside of the Bataclan nighclub that was seized and where the height of the carnage occurred. An American, Nohemi Gonzalez, a student at California State University, Long Beach, was among one of the dead. The event was a concert being performed by the American rock band, The Eagles of Death Metal.

This is what the Islamic State does on a constant basis. This is but a death cult.
The following is what I believe for myself and not intended to offend for the sake of offending people. Everyone has a reason for what they do or don't do. This is why I won't.
I won't change my profile photo to the French flag because I find it a cheap way to show support. To me, I will support France in all that it does to fight back against the evil Islamic State. That includes calling the enemy what it is.RADICAL Islam. It is not the whole religion. It is a low percentage but very high numbers that support a radical ideology that is akin to the seventh century that they would like to return.
I won't change my photo profile because I still have my remembrance of 9/11/01 when RADICAL Islamic savages brought the war here to the United States. Make no mistake, this is a world-wide war. These RADICAL Islamics want their brand of "pure" seventh-century Islam to be around the world.
To me, changing a photo to show solidarity means I will show solidarity for what needs to be done. As the French president, Francois Hollande, said it was an act of war and that the French response would be pitiless. And France has already shown that it will take the fight right to the Islamic State and bombed the de facto capital of the Islamic State, Raqqa. I expect more of this. Too many that have changed their photo will not support the response that is needed for what has been declared an act of war.
No, I will keep my profile photo to show my remembrance of 9/11 as support for France and all that they will have to do to respond and maybe nudge us timid, sleeping Americans back to real action.
Vive La France! Vive La Amerique!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Starbucks Christmas Cup Kerfuffle

OK, I make no apologies to liking Starbucks coffee and that I am not a boycotter.
So there is a new kerfuffle about the current Starbucks Christmas/Holiday cups as pictured below.
OK, the cup is all red, a color very connected with the Christmas/Holiday season. No problem. Plain Red with the Starbucks' logo.
Over the last several years, this is what a Starbucks Christmas/Holiday cup looked like.
See the difference?
Recently, a Christian vlogger made the lack of any Christmas reference on the 2015 Christmas cup an issue.
Joshua Feuerstein recently noticed the change and sent out a viral You Tube video suggesting that people who buy drinks beyond a simple coffee should respond when their name is asked to answer Merry Christmas.

Of course if everyone in any given Starbucks says Merry Christmas is their name, well what a back up that will be.
But seriously, I will commend Starbucks for the fact that they refer to the special coffee blend at this time of year as Christmas blend. Almost all of their competitors refer to the season special coffee blend as Holiday blend. And the cup is still red, folks.
To my knowledge, the Christmas blend is still such.
But the real issue, and it is an issue, seems to be lost on everyone.
The disingenuous nature of corporate America at this time of year.
This is the one holiday, Christmas, that is not referred to as such. Suddenly, there is a generic holiday and that is what it is called.
Why I recently received a "Holiday" gift guide from a clothing company I like.
My question is, what "Holiday"?!
Maybe Veteran's Day. Thanksgiving. I don't know. Maybe it was Halloween since I received the gift guide the week before Halloween.
We all know that the holiday in reference is Christmas. The forces that are forcing corporate America to not use the C-word in advertising and discouraging people from wishing others specifically a Merry Christmas know. Corporate America knows it. The American people know it.
Yet every year we do this Kabuki theatre dance to avoid offending some people.
How many people really get so worked up over the Christmas season that we, as a society, are forced to purge it as much as possible?
The reality is that it is an activist community more than average people that get worked up over such a thing. There is not a viable thought to this Christmas hate other than, well Christmas hate.
Starbucks is in reality a company that has not buckled under the pressure to holidayize Christmas but because people said that Christmas blend coffee would be cool, they did it. The cup is red, I'm fine with it.
As a Christian, I want people to know the real meaning of what we celebrate on December 25 every year. It's not really about corporate America does to guilt us into getting that last gift we forgot about. But the same corporate America can respect the fact that people are shopping for CHRISTMAS gifts from roughly Thanksgiving Day to December 24. That Holiday is Christmas and honesty is better than fraud.
There is a war against Christmas, but in this case Starbucks is not against Christmas and if you want to say your name is Merry Christmas when you get that Peppermint Mocha Latte, mazeltov!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Donald Begging For Cash?! Say It Ain't So!

According to this piece in Politico, I am afraid I have some bad news for the Trumpettes as this is a serious undermining of one of the themes of the Donald J. Trump presidential candidacy.
Now the article does say straight up in the second paragraph that Team Donald started to "build relationships" but that in doing that with gambling mogul, Sheldon Adelson, Team Donald, no the Donald himself, was pretty much asking for money for a possible (at the time) presidential run. The Donald personally made a call to set up a meeting with Mr. Adelson. After all but begging, Mr. Adelson has declined to support the Donald, who pointed out that he lives in heavily-Jewish populated New York and that one of his daughters' married a Jew, and is leaning to Florida Republican senator, Marco Rubio.
Needless to say, the Donald is now beating up on Mr. Adelson.
I don't think so.
Then there is the case of Paul Singer, another big money dude like the Donald. The story is similar and the result is that when Mr. Singer announced that he will support Sen. Rubio, the attack Donald came out.
And let us not forget that there was a Super PAC that was supporting the Donald and that the Donald actually went to a fund-raiser before heat was put on the campaign about that issue. Now Team Donald, led by the chief attack dog himself, is disavowing that Super PAC and discouraging any more attempts to form any Super PAC in the name of the Donald.
Then there is the eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll Koch brothers, noted libertarians but supporters of small government Republicans.
There was a big Koch donor confab here is California recently that included five GOP presidential candidates. The aforementioned Sen. Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (before he dropped out of the race), former Florida governor, Jeb! Bush, Sen, Ted Cruz, and former Hewlett-Packard executive, Carly Fiorina. Some one was not invited. Guess who?!
If you said Donald J. Trump, you would be correct.
And of course his inner attack dog came out on Twitter:

(Koch) is looking for a new puppet after Governor Walker and Jeb Bush cratered. He now likes Marco Rubio - next fail. 

After the Donald tries to illicit support, either by name and or money, and does not get it, he unloads on them.
It is possible that the Donald did all of this to say to his Trumpette supporters, see, I really can not be bought!
But why try in the first place?
I am of the nature to believe that in the end, the Donald is no different from any other politician. And make no mistake, he is in the game so at least for a season he is a politician. And politicians seek support from seemingly like minded people.
I can tell you why the Koch brothers would not support the Donald. Because he is too dependent on the government. He is a rent-seeker. He loves him his eminent domain. He sees no problem with asking the politicians for special favors when it suits his purposes. That's not the Koch brothers' agenda.
This is one big blow to a campaign that claims to seek no money from anyone. That this candidate is so rich that he can't be bought.
But he can beg for support and cash from his fellow billionaires. And so far is a big failure on both.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

O, Canada!

Oh, Canada, indeed as voters on Monday ended nine years of Conservative party rule and swept Justin Trudeau and the Liberals to power.
It was not even close as the third party, the Liberals, went from 34 seats to a staggering 184 out of 338 seats, a solid majority. And it was not just the ruling Conservatives that were vanquished but the opposition, far-left New Democrats that suffered losses as well. The New Democrats lost 59 seats and is now back to being the third party and has 44 seats. The Conservatives lost 67 seats and is a stronger opposition party than the Liberals were for this election. The Conservatives have 99 seats.
The Liberals meteoric rise from the ashes can be summed up in two words.
Justin Trudeau.
Mr. Trudeau is the son of the late Liberal Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau and the clan is essentially the Kennedy family of the Great White North. The Montreal-Toronto dominated media elevated Mr. Trudeau to a God-like status while it became clear he did a terrible job as PM. But he was an "intellectual" and let's face it, that trumps anything even and including strong leadership. Sure, Mr. Trudeau suppressed terrorism and kept Canada together, at the expense of making French-speaking Quebec a nation within a nation and forcing the nation to become a bilingual one. And his economic record was standard, liberal fare and proved to further alienate the economically stronger prairie provinces and British Columbia.
To be blunt, Justin Trudeau is not even in the same league as his father was. Justin Trudeau is but a dilettante much like the late John F. Kennedy, Jr.
But damn if he is not good looking and has that family name.
Very hard for the soon to be ex-prime minister, Stephen Harper, to go up against.
In comparison, one can compare Prime Minister Harper to Mitt Romney running up against Barack Obama.
No doubt that the Conservatives hurt themselves with some less than savory candidates that made rude comments against First Nation (Native Americans, Eskimos, Indians) people. Also, the economy is beginning to stagnate due to international pressures. Some Canadians saw Prime Minister Harper as wanting to be more like the neighbors to the South, the United States. Yet Prime Minister Harper is openly very much a Canadian nationalist.
But one aspect of a Canadian election compared to an American one is that it is not a popular-vote election. Because it is a parliament and a first past the post system, it is actually 338 separate elections. Think of it as a perpetual congressional mid-term. It is the leader of the majority party that usually forms the government. Even if it is not 170 seats in the case of this past election. Prime Minister Harper led two majority-minority governments before winning an outright majority prior to this election. Another aspect of Canadian elections is that the sitting prime minister can call for elections anytime before the fixed, four-year term ends.
With a 14-seat majority, Justin Trudeau has four years to see what he can do.
It maybe four long years for Canada.
Oh, Canada, indeed.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Cost Of The Scandinavia Welfare State

With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-Vt.) running for president, he is the closest candidate that promotes a Scandinavia-style welfare state. it is worth analyzing what the cost of such a state is really like.
Scandinavia are also referred to as the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
The dirty little secret is that there is one three word reason the Scandinavian nations can afford a welfare state with a dab of capitalism.
The United States.
One of the reasons all the Scandinavian nations can do what they do is that they spend very little on defense spending. They all have small armed forces, including marginal navies and equally marginal air forces. They joined NATO and thus depend on the United States with it's still strong defense budgets and being the world's last superpower. Even with the cuts in defense spending, the Scandinavians can depend on the United States to help rescue them if there is some kind of military conflict.
So why is the Scandinavian model something the United States should avoid at all costs.
One, it is expensive with questionable results.
Two, it does not work.
Let's take a look at someone that lives in Denmark and see what it is like to live there.
In this article from earlier this year, the writer, Michael Booth, makes the point that American liberals/leftists love to point out the fact a McDonald's worker can easily make $15 an hour. And that more than 50% are sliced off the top in taxes. In fact for the average Scandinavian, as much as 60% of their income is taken away in taxes before they see what they can take home. In return there are a lot of "freebies" including free life-time education from cradle to grave. Same for health care for this is the land of single-payer, government-run health care. There are boatloads of mandates to the so-called private-sector economy that make it such almost in name only. Mandated, paid maternity leave for both parents, vacation time, sick time. You get the picture.
Here is an idea of the cost of living in the capital city, Copenhagen. This site says that of this writing, the Danish krone is 6.57 to the American dollar. So let's look at the link of the cost of living to see how much a very average car, a Volkswagen Golf costs. It is an average of 275,273 krone or $41,898.48c. How much does that car cost in the United States? At the Volkswagen website, the starting price is $20.175. It is more than half off the Danish price.
Why is that?
Ahh, there is the Value Added Tax, better known as a VAT that is cooked into the price of many items, especially big ticket items. This would be a way that big-government proponents would like to fund their plans to offer free college for all and even pay for single-payer healthcare. Of course the downside is that people will not be inclined to buy big ticket items if they do not have to.
But if you have that new Volkswagen Golf, how much is gas gonna cost ya? \
Well, almost triple the price of gas in the States. How about $6.34c a gallon? A fill 'er up? If the Golf has a 17.5 gallon gas tank, a cool $110.95c. Again, the tax is cooked in the price and thus it is hidden. Which is how it is in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia.
Wanna take the family, mom, dad and two kids to the local McDonalds? Well, four combo meals cost a total of 280 krone or 70 krone each. That is $10.65c each. Roughly what one would pay at an airport in the States.
High taxation and low productivity are a disaster and only now, with the massive declining native birthrates, there seems to be a willingness of all Scandinavian governments to take in mainly Middle East, Muslim immigrants. New taxpayers.
But another downside is the fact that when all is taken care of you by the state, one's total well being cannot always be dealt with by the state.
According to Mr. Booth, the Scandinavian nations lead the world in suicides and the taking of anti-depressants. Also, and this is a surprise, these nations also are European leaders in violence against women. In this article, the Scandinavians are prolific binge drinkers. In Finland, Russian-adjacent, the leading cause of death among men in alcoholism. It is the second leading cause of death among women.
What Scandinavia celebrates is averageness. It does not really celebrate success. It is why those that can get the hell out. In many Scandinavian nations, leading hockey players that land NHL contracts know that if they stay citizens of their native land it will be massively taxed. Many, not all but many, realize their success is not something the home nation appreciates except as a big tax and thus many become American citizens.
Averageness leads to lack of innovation and or drive. In other words, Bill Gates could not really do what he did in any Scandinavian nation. Medical advances do not happen as often as in other developed nations. It is not to say some advances have not occurred in Scandinavian nations. But overall, even today, it is the United States that leads to innovation and yes, drive.
When Sen. Sanders touts Scandinavia, especially Denmark, he is asking for America to give up it's unique role in the world and celebrate averageness that we do not want to celebrate or make national policy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's Come To This

This is modern America, folks.
The land of the lawsuit for anything culture.
Let's meet this douchebrain, Jennifer Connell and why she is a candidate for douchebrain of the year. Hell, the decade.
Miss Connell is a human resources specialist that lives in Manhattan, New York. She went to help her nephew, Sean Tarala, celebrate his birthday in 2011. At the time he was an exuberant youngster celebrating his eighth birthday. And when he saw his aunt, an aunt that he seemed to really love, he went to say hello in a special, rambunctious eight year old boy way. Sean jumped up to say hey. Landed in her arms and they fell to the ground. And apparently, Miss Connell broke her wrist as a result of her nephew's exuberance.
I guess she did not believe little Sean when he said, in her words, "Auntie Jen! I love you!"
This is the basis of her lawsuit against, not the parents, but now 12-year-old Sean, is this:

“The injuries, losses and harms to the plaintiff were caused by the negligence and carelessness of the minor defendant in that a reasonable eight years old under those circumstances would know or should have known that a forceful greeting such as the one delivered by the defendant to the plaintiff could cause the harms and losses suffered by the plaintiff.”

Yes, every eight year old boy surely knows to greet ol' Aunt Jen on bent knee and kissing her hand. 
Oh, didn't I mention that Miss Connell is a human resources specialist?! 
And didn't I mention that she sought $127,000 from SEAN? 
What human being does such a thing to another? 
A useless gold digger, that's who. 
I think that one should not share with a jury that she was having trouble holding a plate of hors d'ovures. Or that because she lives in a walk up in Manhattan she should get the $127,000. 
Boy, Miss Connell must have sure learned a lot in her job to take such a vindictive action against a boy that loved her. 
The jury in the case only took 20 minutes to tell this nit wit no way. That Sean Tarala is not liable for her breaking her wrist and or anything else. What happened was a total fluke. 
As for Miss Connell, there is a special place for her and we all know where that is! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Infantilization Of California

Yes, the state of California thinks that we are so stupid that they are making pharmacists have a conversation with you whenever you get any new medications.
I found this out the hard way yesterday.
On our way home from church, we took a side trip to our pharmacy to pick up a couple of nose sprays and a anti-biotic. We are going through the drive-thru and Mrs. RVFTLC tells the nice lady that there are 3 prescriptions for yours truly. The nice lady comes back with the medicine and proceeds to tell us that because they are new prescriptions, I have to have the pharmacist give me a consultation. But she was the only one available. Too bad she was at lunch. I was told I could wait a half hour or come back. I chose to come back and I did so today.
So I went to pick up the prescriptions, of which one of the nose sprays was not approved, a tale for another time. I also had additional prescriptions that needed to be filled. The nice gentleman was going to simply give me all my medicine without the consultation that I was told had to be done. So I proceeded to ask for the consultation. The nice pharmacist did what she was supposed to do and told me about each medication.
I wasted her time to make a point.
Whether it is an old medicine or a new medicine, all drug stores provide the reasons one's doctor gave you the medication. The dosage and when to take the medicine. All the possible side effects. In other words, whatever the pharmacist told me, I could easily read on my own.
The reason is not store policy but a California state law that makes an often overworked pharmacist have to take time to do something the consumer should do on their own.
It is why I believe our state government has infantilized us California citizens.
When my doctor prescribed the said medicine, he told me why and how often to take it. His nurse had already asked if I was allergic to medication, to which I said no. The doctor looked over the medicine information that I provided before making the prescription choices. Again, all important information is provided on stickers on the medication bottle and usually two sheets of often scary information. Not unlike the many medicine commercials one sees on television commercials.
Now, the state has added a layer of needless time-wasting when if any patient has a question or questions about new medicine they can always ask.
What is this to help the timid people that can't ask a question? Is this to do a CYA* for pharmacists?
Folks, it is a waste of time for all concerned.
I don't need to be told I can not get my medicine until I have a state-mandated consult with the pharmacist who is taking a needed lunch break. And when I come back the next day another pharmacy tech is just going to hand me all my medication without a consult.
How much more do our over paid, under worked state legislators need to get into our grills? How much more do they need to treat the populace like dweebs and morons.
Sure this is one thing. But as more and more of this bull crap keeps coming from our seers in Sacramento, it adds up.
We need to stop ignoring or saying something like we can't fight these ridiculous pieces of legislation. We need to take our lives back and this is a place to start.
I for one am writing my California state assemblyman and state senator to revisit this bad law and repeal it. And to start treating adults as such and stop even thinking of such crap. If you value being treated like an adult and live in California, you will do the same thing.
We have to stop the continuing infantilization of the California citizenry and here is a place to start.

*CYA-Cover Your A*s

Thursday, October 08, 2015


This morning Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, CA) abruptly ended his quest to become speaker of the house of representatives in a closed-door meeting with the Republican house caucus.
The linked story talks about the fact that support for Rep. McCarthy crumbled after his remarks regarding the formation of the select committee on the events of Benghazi and now Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's knowledge of events during her tenure as secretary of state.
But buried in the link is what I believe to be the real reason.
No, it is not pressure from grassroots conservatives as much as this letter from Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) wanting to properly vet potential candidates for speaker for skeletons in their closet from the time of being in congress.
How refreshing.
Could it be true? Something that I have reported on here which I have read here. That in fact, Rep. McCarthy is indeed having an affair with a fellow member of the house, Rep Renee Elmers (R-N.C.). Who by coinkidink is from the same state as the devout Roman Catholic, Rep. Jones.
The official line from Rep. McCarthy that it is time for a new face to be in the top leadership position. And he is completely correct.
The troika of current speaker, John A. Boehner (R-Oh.), Rep. McCarthy and Steve Scalise (R-La.) have taken ineptitude to a high level. And have been absolutely terrible at communicating simple messages and or themes. All we have to do is look to Rep. McCarthy and his comments on the Benghazi committee as proof of ineptitude.
Bu the bottom line is the inability to communicate an effective conservative alternative to the current occupant of the White House, the Dear Leader, President Obama. He is running roughshod over the majority party in the congress. And even with basically 50/50 support at best and for the most part running underwater in poll after poll, at least the Dear Leader, President Obama, looks like he is doing something.
Sorry but it is not enough that excuses are made that oh, the president will just veto anything that should miraculously come out of congress that he does not like. It puts him on record that he has danced around with rhetorical flourishes. It's called being the opposition party.
I hope that this latest development makes this man, Jim Jordan, think about getting into the race for speaker. I believe that he, not current leadership, can effectively unite all forces in the house and become an effective opposition to the Dear Leader, President Obama, in the waning days of his second and final term.
Now that Rep. McCarthy is out, is the question to ask who else is out of the running or who is in the running?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Is This Good Stewardship?!

I will just say that this is a perplexing tale of politics and religion that make me as the headline question.
According to this article, the former Florida governor and GOP presidential candidate, John Ellis Jeb! Bush, charged St. Martin's Episcopal church $50,000 for a speech a year ago September and it was on  . . .stewardship.
This is what a church does to encourage people to give money and or more money?!
Let me write this.
If my church spent that kind of money to encourage people to give more money to pay for the functions of the church and it's outreach ministries, we would probably recall our vestry, the governing board, and ask for our rector and or priest-in-charge to be removed.
You have to understand that St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Houston, is the largest and one of the wealthiest churches in The Episcopal Church. It has some of the cream of the crop of the Houston establishment as members including former President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara. And Mr. Bush's top long-time crony, James A. Baker. That is just the political establishment. You get the picture that this is high-end folks.
There is no doubt in my mind that this church could have found something more worthy than lining the pockets of the then future Republican presidential candidate.
I do agree that it takes money to make money, but giving one's time, talent and or money for one's church is not the same thing.
People will do the above if they believe in what the church has done, is doing and will be doing in the future. Yes, there needs to be encouragement, but to spend $50,000 to encourage people to give more to a church seems strange. And to giving to a son of a particular parish as is Jeb! Bush just has cheese written all over it.
I have been to many a stewardship dinner in my 23+ years at my Episcopal church and the most exciting, if one can say that, was held at a private country club. Probably paid for by the member and used as a tax write off as a charitable contribution. Not a give me $50,000 and I might give some of it back.
The Episcopal Church is not a "tithing" church in the sense that everyone is expected to give a tenth of their income, based on the Holy Bible, but more what they can and when they can not, use one's time and or talent in such a way that can be beneficial to the particular parish. Many a communicant/congregant do give a tenth of their salary to the church. Some more, some less and some can't give money at all.
The best way of encouragement I have found are the personal stories of those that have been touched in a positive way by the church's ministries. It is knowing that which has made us dig deep to pledge more than we might have in the past.
But to be honest, Mrs. RVFTLC and I would really have a hard time with a famous person speaking at a stewardship dinner and making off with a speaking fee as if this was just another notch of speaking fees. Which I think in any other setting is cool. If any group and or organization wants to pay a fixed fee for any famous person to speak, mazeltov.
But the cheese factor in which Jeb! Bush charges a HIGHER speaking fee from a church is, well disgusting.
That, to me, is not good stewardship. Even if the church can afford it.
This is but one more reason I do not find Jeb! Bush an attractive candidate for president.

H/T:  Jeff Bradshaw.

Friday, October 02, 2015

The Politics Of Mass Murders

It is not very often that you will read it on this blog, but for once Donald J. Trump is right about something.
And surprisingly, the Dear Leader, President Obama, is wrong.
Yesterday another mass murder took place and this time it was at a community college in Southwestern Oregon that took the lives of 10 people and injured another seven. It was an act of madness as is seemingly all of these mass killings have been. They always are.
My friend and fellow blogger, Mr. Social Extinction, juxtaposed the reaction of the current GOP front-runner for president, the Donald, and that of the Dear Leader, President Obama.
It appears that, of course, the Donald is cold and almost callous when you just read what is below:

"You're going to have these things happen and it's a horrible thing to behold, horrible. It's not politically correct to say that, but you're going to have that will be for the next million years, there's going to be difficulty and people are going to slip through the cracks. what are you going to do, institutionalize everybody?"

Good question since in almost all cases there is some kind of mental issue involved. And we will not completely know because this gunman, Chris Harper Mercer, was killed by police that arrived on the scene of the carnage. Of course there are many accounts on Mr. Mercer's life, but one thing is clear that there was some kind of issue. Mr. Mercer graduated from the Switzer Learning Center in 2010. It is a high school that specializes in youths with learning disabilities. It is a broad term, learning disabilities. But more will come out, that is certain. And to note, Mr. Mercer had multiple weapons that, at this writing, he passed all the background checks and appeared to purchase legally.
Which leads to the Dear Leader, President Obama.
We know that he is pissed off because the gloves came off in a news conference yesterday.
An aside.
Why do we have to hear from any president on such a situation before everything is known? Whoever the next president is, I sure as hell do not want hear that president go on the air to pontificate without ascertaining all the facts. Period.
Now back to the Dear Leader, President Obama.
Why now, instead of just offering prayers and condolences, the Dear Leader, President Obama, said that we should just out and out politicize these events until there is "sensible" gun control laws.
Of course.
And now the Dear Leader, President Obama, claims that there is something "routine" about these reports. No, in fact these are still isolated incidents. That is why it is still big news.
But then the Dear Leader, President Obama, outright lied when he claimed that states and or localities that have strict gun laws have less violent crime. May I remind the president that his hometown of Chicago has some of the strictest gun restrictions and the highest murder, murder, rate at the hands of guns than many states with such laws as open-carry. And let me throw in a few cities like Baltimore, Detroit, and now even Los Angeles that the murder rate at the hands of a gun are up drastically.
So here is what our Dear Leader, President Obama, had to say about this matter:

"Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium ends up being routine. And what becomes routine is the response those who oppose any sort of gun control legislation."

Let me remind the readers here that the Dear Leader, President Obama, and the Democrats controlled the legislative (congress) and executive branches for the first two years of his presidency. And the senate was a veto-proof one at that. Hell, he could have done what he cited yesterday, the massive gun confiscation done in Australia after a mass shooting in 1996. And it was done under a conservative government there. Of course it would have been ruled unconstitutional under that pesky second amendment to the United States constitution. It reads in it's entirety:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,  the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. 

I highlight people because it means law abiding citizens that could be called up in the case of war and or insurrection.
The American left hates this and intentionally blurs the plain meaning every chance that it gets. And here it is once again.
While the Donald often makes little if any sense and has a sketchy record on gun control, his statement made perfect sense. All the laws other than outright confiscation of all firearms might have stopped this. But reality is that it probably would not have done a thing.
Thus, mass murders will constantly be a source of great division for many Americans. But it would behoove Americans to have a sane, tempered approach rather than a knee-jerk We can solve the problem if only.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Is The American Left Intentionally Diminishing Our Role As The Leader Of The Free World?

Of course they are.
Think about this for just a moment.
The Middle East is about to become a vassal state of Russia/Syria/Iran on one side and Sunni/The Islamic State/Israel on another. What is the current administration's standing in all of this? Essentially letting Russia and Vladamir Putin prop up the Bashar al-Assad regime of terror, by extension allowing Iran to join in the fun and their vassal state within a state, Hezbollah (the state within the "borders" of Lebanon) trolling for enemies to their Shia branch of Islam.
And a seemingly unholy alliance of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and yes, Saudi Arabia and even more perplexing but understandable, the Islamic state, all Sunni's except for Israel, obviously.
The result of this war has been a mass exodus of people from the region to Europe, well pretty much everywhere that will in one way or another take them.
This is just one way America is weakened in the world.
But is this all by design?
The reason I believe that it is the case is simple.
Defense spending, the most important and only constitutionally mandated duty of the federal government, takes a huge bulk of spending that the left would like to see spread out in other ways. The only way to cut defense spending is to curb our role in the world. Once that is done then more of the defense budget can be cut and funnelled into favored left-wing programs.
Do you remember growing up seeing something that went like this:

It will be a great day when the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.

That was because of schools having to hold fundraisers for various things. In a perfect world, I could agree with that. But unlike the lefties that still today parade that around, I live in the real world. A world in which there are nations and radical ideologies that would love to destroy our way of life. Radical Islam does not care if we hold a bake sale for a bomber or spend more money on education. They have their own, perverse, ideas about education. Iran looks to us as some Great Satan. We have to be put in our place. And bye-bye to Israel.
But why? Why would we either outsource and or abdicate our role in the world?
Because at the end of the day, to complete the Europeanization of the United States, the defense forces, again the only constitutionally mandated entity called for in the constitution, must be gutted. And that includes the State department and the C. I. A  as well. Once all of that is done, the left will make a case to expand the welfare state beyond the wildest dreams of even 20 years ago.
So yes, the American left, led by the Dear Leader, President Obama himself, is trying desperately to lower our standing and prestige around the world. There is even a segment of the isolationist right that would welcome this, but for different reasons.
Once that is done, then the Great Society can ramp up in earnest.
The fact is that, like it or not, the United States is the only superpower in the world that is a responsible one. The other actors such as Red China and Russia  could go half-cocked over something most would find innocuous. Without a strong United States at home and abroad, can you imagine what would happen if things continue to deteriorate in such places as the Middle East?
It is all the more reason that the Republicans need to nominate someone who has a clue on how a responsible superpower is supposed to act.
Because we all know the Democrats and the left-wing will not allow an actual candidate that believes in what we call American Exceptionalism.
As long as the left continues to diminish our role around the world, it becomes clear that they do not care. And that is a tragedy for the United States.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pat Sajak For California Governor?

With the California governor, Jerry Moonbeam Brown, being term-limited out of office in 2018, no time like now to begin to see a replacement for the four-term left-wing governor.
So why not Pat Sajak?!

Pat Sajak?!
Isn't he the dude that hosts the Wheel Of Fortune game show?
And what, pray tel, makes him worthy of consideration for California governor? Haven't we already had an actor screw up the state once?
Normally I would be in agreement.
But Mr. Sajak is NOT Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Well, Mr. Sajak is a Republican, right?
Yes, he is.
So he must be a squish, right? Just like Benedict Arnold, right?
In reading this I do not think so in the least.
Mr. Sajak is a solid conservative.
One huge difference is that Mr. Sajak is, to be blunt, a Globaloney Warming/Climate change denier. And while not a certified meteorologist, Mr. Sajak was a weather reporter for KNBC channel 4 in Los Angeles before he made it big in Wheel Of Fortune land. Along the way one has to assume he learned a thing or two about weather. And where it all fits in on the great ecological debate of this era.
Mr. Sajak is not shy about the fact he believes in what we now call American Exceptionalism. Here is from the profile article:

"The Wright Brothers, what was it, 1903, they got about 20 feet in the air and went about 180 feet. Sixty-six years later we put a man on the moon and brought him back. Oh, and in the meantime we fought two world wars and fought a great depression."

A very short, succinct history of the United States in the 20th century. I would add that, under Ronald Reagan, the United States defeated and literally ended expansionist Soviet communism.
Mr. Sajak is a college dropout but serves on the board of Hillsdale College. And a vice-chairman, no less.
Unlike Benedict Arnold, who ran for California governor on a lark, I would expect Mr. Sajak to think about it with seriousness. He is 68 years old and a very young looking one at that. He would be about 70 years old if he were to take the challenge. And he is not annoying about his politics. It rarely, if ever, shows up on Wheel Of Fortune. One of the extreme times it did it was not so political as it was somewhat endearing. Mr. Sajak was talking to a contestant and he said to the contestant "You're engaged - some woman agreed to marry you!" the man told Mr. Sajak, "Some gentleman." to which Mr. Sajak retorted in an innocuous way, "Oh, I'm sorry - wrong again. I had a 50-50 shot." Of course the gay crusaders noticed it during the summer reruns and gave Mr. Sajak a hard time. When Mr. Sajak is not hosting a television gold mine, he is doing some writing over at the Ricochet conservative website.
Mr. Sajak is a lot like Ronald Reagan in that he does not take himself seriously but the ideas matter to him.
But in a clearly moribund California Republican party, he very well could be a shot in the arm in making the party truly competitive statewide.
While he is not thinking about it now, Mr. Sajak has nothing to prove in Wheel Of Fortune land. It is more successful than he ever imagined. Mr. Sajak literally saved the show. He is a wealthy man.
Maybe it will be time for Mr. Sajak to save California from the excesses of the leftist power structure.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Kevin McCarthy In Speaker Race

No surprise as Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, Ca.) announced that he will run in the election to replace John A. Boehner as speaker of the house.
In Rep. McCarthy's announcement, he sounded the right themes. And he did address the growing chasm between the GOP base voters and the representatives in Washington, D. C. in both the house and the senate:

 "If elected speaker, I promise you that we will have the courage to lead the fight for our conservative principles and make our case to the American people. But we will have the wisdom to listen to our constituents and each other so that we always move forward together. I look forward to fighting for our conservative principles."

Forgive us in the rank and file but part of the problem is that Rep. McCarthy is a part of the GOP house leadership. The same one that has been led by John Boehner. The same leadership that ignored the base. The same leadership that cannot point to a meaningful, conservative accomplishment under this leadership.
It is possible that Rep. McCarthy, watching what happened to Mr. Boehner, gets the message. Rep. McCarthy has the chance to make amends with conservatives in the congress by not punishing opposition to leadership. And pursuing measures that conservatives want to see at least come to a vote. And to use his bully pulpit to pressure the senate GOP leadership to take up some of if not all the measures that go that way.
There will be more than Rep. McCarthy running for sure. It all depends on if conservatives can, once and for all, rally behind one candidate.
Are you ready for another election campaign?!

How Boehner Screwed Up The GOP

Well, it's not all John A. Boehner's fault as much as the wing of the GOP that continues to pretty much ignore the base and pursue a "we're better at running the Welfare State than the Democrats" strategy.
Yesterday, the soon to be former speaker of the house took to the Sunday morning snore-fests to, essentially, diss the conservative base not just of the rank and file but of his own GOP caucus itself.
On Face The Nation, Mr. Boehner hung out the white flag in an obnoxious manner:

"And so, we've got groups here in town, members of the house and senate here in town, who whipped people into a frenzy believing that they know - they know - are never going to happen."

Great, Mr. Boehner. Then why are there two parties in the first place? Talk about feeding into the conspiracy theories. We give you a substantial majority in the house. We give Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a majority in the senate. And now you tell us it was all on falsehoods? Now you tell us that we need a Republican president; No kidding, Sherlock?! And a supermajority in both the house and senate. For what? To just drip the socialism slowly or to actually do what we, the voters, want?
I get it that there is a Democrat in the White House, the Dear Leader, President Obama. If Sen. McConnell had testes, he would force the nuclear option and block filibusters and send some of the legislation to the Dear Leader, President Obama, and let him veto it. That is what the Democrats did to then President Ford after the 1974 mid-term elections when they sent bill after bill that President Ford vetoed. Some were over ridden and became law. Other vetoes were sustained.
Taylor Millard over at Hot Air explains part of the problem and that is people being elected to do one thing, stay in Washington, D. C. way too long and become part of the problem.
John Boehner is but a perfect example of such a problem.
Mr. Boehner was elected in 1990 and joined with the Newt Gingrich forces that eventually ousted long-time house minority leader, Robert Michel. And he was all in on the Contract With America that was the cornerstone of the Republicans taking the house of representatives in 1994 for the first time since the 1950s. And when he saw that Mr. Gingrich was becoming politically toxic, Mr. Boehner was part of the so-called group that  led to the ouster of Mr. Gingrich as speaker.
So, Mr. Boehner for a while knew how to deal with the internal politics of the GOP caucus. And he moved up the ladder in leadership. And of course in 2010, he became the speaker of the house and the game seemed to change for Mr. Boehner, already a house member for 20 years.
Instead of talking about the efforts to fight the so-called health care "reform" and the other multitude of excesses of Team Obama, the is what Mr. Boehner thinks are accomplishments.

The Ryan-Murray budget and or sequestration. 

Extending most of the George W. Bush tax cuts.

Passage of the so-called "Doc-fix" bill. 

Mr. Millard, as I am, is not impressed with this record of accomplishment. I suspect most members of the house are not impressed either. And the rank and file GOP voter, forget it.
The problem is that there is just this obsession about the "institution" and "process" among the GOP leadership. Thus what happens is the conservative message is co-opted for elections and then we get crap. All the "accomplishments" Mr. Boehner cites are beyond inside baseball. Did Mr. Boehner have a tax reform plan? HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! How about a plan to at the very least force some reform of Obamacare? HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! Those are but two issues that separate the GOP from the Democrats. And yet, yet nothing! NOTHING!
Now to many voters, the GOP is not a party of reform but of basically greasing the wheels for their clients.
THAT is how Mr. Boehner, and Sen. McConnell are screwing up the GOP.
I pleased that Mr. Boehner is retiring but mad that he did not appreciate the mandate that he was given to be bold and lead. He became the very establishment that he fought against in his early years.
Whoever replaces Mr. Boehner needs to remember that an opposition party can still get what it wants even if the end result is not a absolute victory.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Letter Of James

The letter of James is much more interesting now that I have taken to writing about it.
I did not realize how much importance there is to the letter.
Today's reading from the Letter of James is important as it speaks of bringing a Christian believer (although not specifically referred to as such since the Christian church was not distinct from first-century Judaism yet) who strays back to the fold.
The reading (James 5 13-20):

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them., anointing them in the name of the Lord with oil. The prayer of the sick will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.
My brothers and sisters, if anyone wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner's soul and from death and cover a multitude of sins.

There is so much to unpack, as they say. But I want to deal the last sentence because that is something that I know affects every believer at some point in the Christian journey.
As a Christian, I believe in the truth of Jesus Christ. That he was born of a virgin and lived and died as one of us. That he was betrayed, crucified, died and buried. And that he rose on the third day and is sitteth at the right hand of the father and will come back to judge the quick and the dead. And that He died on the cross to absolve me of my sins if I just believe in him as Lord and Savior.
That is the very, very short version of the truth of Christianity.
But many people, many actually brought up in the church from baby to young adulthood end up at some point rejecting that truth. Some look at other religions. Some look to the "earthly" things such a success and drive to achievement. In the process, they lose that understanding of the simple truths of the faith.
One of the most prolific reasons, I believe, is the reality that all organized religion of any kind is led by human beings. Some of those human beings are driven by their own agenda and not that which is God's agenda.
Think about before the Protestant reformation and the fact that the organized clergy kept the Holy Bible from the people. Only they could read from the Holy Bible and it was in a language that, as the Book of Common Prayer notes in the 39 Articles of Religion, not understandeth by the people. Latin was not understood by the average German. Spaniard. English-speaker. By translating the Holy Bible into the language of the people where ever they lived, it took so much of the mystery of of the Holy Bible.
It also meant that we could all study the Holy Bible and understand such a powerful reading as the one above.
Do you have someone that you care about who has left the Christian fold? One that you wished you could bring back to the fold but did not know how?
What I understand this reading to mean is that the power of prayer can work. It may not be the way we think, but by prayer and asking God to directly intervene, which he also can do in his way, not ours, is all that it takes. It may not be some way to beat to the power of Christ but simply and sincerely saying to that person, "I'll pray for you." maybe all that it takes.
Remember, God is the one in charge.
And that is what makes this letter so important to remember.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Ultimate Friday News Dump; John Boehner To Resign As House Speaker

The Flaming Skull over at the Ace of Spades and Allahpundit's updates are proof of the ultimate Friday news dump.
That is that the speaker of the house, John Boehner, will resign as speaker and the house at the end of October.

The likely replacement will be the house majority leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield).
Ahh, not so fast.
According to one of Allahpundit's updates, some conservatives may try to "Livingston" the likely successor, Mr. McCarthy.
The short history of what "Livingston" means is when Newt Gingrich resigned in the late 1990's, his successor was to be the then house majority leader, Bob Livingston (R-La.). But then it was exposed that he was having an affair and he stepped aside for the eventual winner, Denny Hastert (R-Ill.)
And there has been speculation, of course not confirmed, that Mr. McCarthy is a married man cavorting. And not just with any gal but another Republican congressman, Renee Elmers (R-N.C.)
If that is the case one of two things can happen.
Mr. McCarthy will be a conservative dream, held hostage in a sense, to be at the seat of power. Or he will try to be like a Boehner and seen as to willing to compromise. That will lead to either a drip of a possible McCarthy affair or an outright exposure that will lead Mr. McCarthy to stand down and also resign a la Livingston. And if it is with another member of congress, that congressman will probably resign as well.
So what other candidates are there out there?
One to watch is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Oh.), a solid conservative and one that I believe will unify clearly disparate forces within the GOP majority.
Of course there is Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N. C.) who started the latest round of Boehner hate by filing a motion to "vacate the Chair" of speaker. Bet on him to run no matter what. Why not? He has nothing to lose, right?
My guess is that unless there is a serious attempt to oust Mr. McCarthy, he will become the next speaker of the house. And before people get all upset, Mr. McCarthy will be on a short leash by conservatives. Look for a possible McCarthy speakership to be more confrontational with Democrats and the Dear Leader, President Obama. Whoever is the new speaker that will be the case no matter what.
It really is the ultimate Friday news dump for John Boehner to resign as speaker while Pope Francis sucks up the news cycle on his first visit to the United States ever.