Arizona’s governor moves to block any local school mask mandates or closures

Doug Ducey, the less than useless Republican governor in Arizona during this past year of Wuhan panic, has apparently finally seen the light, and has begun to take action to prevent the Democratically-controlled local school boards and city governments from imposing new mask and vaccine mandates as well as shutting schools out of an unjustified fear of COVID-19.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday announced schools that impose mask mandates in the state will not have access to a $163 million grant program backed by coronavirus relief funds he controls.

The Republican governor said schools with mask mandates or that have closed due to COVID-19 concerns will not be eligible for an additional $1,800 per student. The announcement comes one day after he issued an executive order banning cities and counties from mandating vaccinations.

Ducey also announced a grant program to award parents if their schools require quarantining or isolation of students.

The governor also announced a $10 million grant that intends to award parents $7,000 for each student if their public school required isolating or quarantining due to COVID-19 exposure or if it gave preferential treatment to vaccinated children or mandated masks.

As expected, the Democrats in the state legislature railed against such measures, not because the mandates actually prevent the spread of any disease, but because Ducey’s actions rob them and their allies in local government of the unbridled power they have enjoyed for the eighteen or so months. Before they simply had power, and it corrupted them somewhat. Since the arrival of the Wuhan panic they have had absolute power, and it corrupted them absolutely. They are addicted to it, and can’t tolerate giving it up.

Meanwhile, it should not take a governor to recognize the right of the people to live their lives as they choose. That Ducey has to do this tells us that the public has ceded to much power to the government, no matter who is in charge. That too has to change, and it has to change at all levels, from the smallest local school board to the presidency of the entire nation.

Today’s blacklisted American: Wells Fargo blacklists Republican candidates for Congress

Wells Fargo bans Republicans
Wells Fargo: Republicans blackballed from having bank accounts.

They’re coming for you next: In the past week Wells Fargo has unilaterally shut down the bank accounts of two past Republican candidates for Congress, in one case stranding the individual on a trip with no cash.

In both cases the action was taken without warning in a manner that denied the individuals access to a large amount of their own cash. And though Wells Fargo gave no explanation for its action, both individuals strongly suspect it had to do with their political positions.

First conservative activist Lauren Witzke discovered that her Wells Fargo bank accounts had suddenly been shut.
» Read more

Today’s blacklisted American: Black Congressman blacklisted by Congressional Black Caucus

Banned for not being black or lefitst enough
Congressman Byron Donalds, banned by the
Democratic Party’s Congressional Black Caucus
for not being the “right kind” of black.

Blacklists are back and the Democrats’ have got ’em! Congressman Byron Donalds (R-Florida) has discovered that simply being black is insufficient to qualify for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Apparently he must also be a Democrat and flaming leftist who supports Marxist causes and the racist agenda of Critical Race Theory.

From the first link:

“Since starting in Congress, our office and the Congressman have engaged with several CBC members expressing his interest in joining, but all we’ve gotten is the cold shoulder,” Donalds’ Communications Director, Harrison Fields, told the Daily Caller. The CBC is denying Donalds entrance, individuals familiar with the caucus’s plans reportedly told Buzzfeed News.

From the second link, this statement from the CBC gives their vague explanation why Donalds has been blackballed:
» Read more

Georgia election officials predict senate election count will take weeks

The fix is in: Georgia election officials are now predicting that a final count on the two senate runoff elections in early January will take weeks to complete.

What they are actually doing is preparing the public for a suspicious vote count that will give victories to both Democratic Party candidates, similar to the suspicious vote count that gave the state victory to Joe Biden in the presidential election. Expect more allegations of fake ballots, blocked poll watchers in Fulton County districts dominated by Democrats, and the misuse of Dominion machines whose trustworthiness is very suspect. Those allegations, the same as seen from the November 3rd vote, will result in legal battles because the election board and the quisling Republican governor Kemp will fight any effort to investigate the allegations.

If those allegations carried no weight, these crooks would not fight a full investigation. That they are resisting strongly suggests they are hiding something. And any Democrat victories, with polls showing both Republicans in the lead, will reinforce that suggestion.

Note too that these crooks have also done nothing to make sure these allegations do not get repeated. Nothing.

The fix is in. This is the Republicans last hill to fight on. If they don’t fight here, and win, there will be no more fights. They will never win another election ever. The Democrats will use their majority in the House and Senate, combined with the fake President Biden, to pass laws that will make political opposition impossible, as they have done in California and New York and Chicago and anywhere where they had the power to do so.

And since it appears the Republicans are not fighting, the war is over. Freedom and democracy in America is about to die.

A good summary of the status of the election political battle

Link here. The author, William Jacobson, always has a solid legal grounding on the political warfare that is on-going today in America. In this case he argues correctly that the key has always been winning elections, and that the Republicans have consistently failed to play that game hard. They didn’t fight the use of loosely regulated mail-in ballotss They didn’t fight ballot harvesting. They didn’t reject the use of Dominion software. And he gives a classic example in Wisconsin, whose Supreme Court has rejected election lawsuits partly because of the following reason:

There is no better example of why elections matter, and how the 2020 presidential election was lost months ago. Liberal Jill Karofsky defeated conservative sitting Justice Daniel Kelly in an April 2020 election the Wisconsin Republicans completely botched by allowing it to take place the same date as the Democratic presidential primary. Guess who turned out to vote? Democrats. That took the court down to a nominal 4-3 conservative majority, with Justice Brian Hagedorn the weak conservative link.

In many other states, legal and political battles were fought strategically by Democrats over the several months leading up to the election. Democrats organized for a mail-in election, Republicans didn’t. Republicans were out-organized, out-hustled, and out-lawyered.

Even now the Republicans in Georgia are not gearing up to deal with potential election fraud in the upcoming Senatorial runoff elections that will determine who controls the Senate. They are fiddling around as the entire credibility of the election process burns. The odds of them winning even one of those two run-offs I rate is low, because not only will the same cheating take place by the Democrats, Republican voters will not come out to vote, because they don’t see their party as a useful party to vote for.

And yet, the most important and only task Republican-controlled state legislatures have right now is to insure that fraud cannot happen in future elections. It is their last hill to stand on. That in Georgia they seem uninterested in dealing with this now, before these runoffs, tells us how weakly they will likely fight in other states in the coming years.

And if they don’t fight, they will lose. It is that simple.

Supreme Court dismisses Texas suit on election

The dead Constitution

The Supreme Court today dismissed the Texas lawsuit asking it to invalid the election results in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia because of election law changes made by bureaucrats rather than the state legislatures as directed by the Constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday evening rejected the state of Texas’ challenge to the 2020 election results in four battleground states, extinguishing one of the last remaining hopes for President Trump’s campaign to reverse Joe Biden’s lead in those states.

“The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution,” the justices ruled. “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.”

No one should be surprised by this. It is not the court’s job to give permission to the state legislatures to do their job. It is their responsibility to act, and they have ample evidence that the vote has been, if not stolen, very unreliable and not trustworthy.

They are just too cowardly to do it. They’d rather have an excuse to cop out. They will now do so, saying that they can’t do anything because the Supreme Court told them they couldn’t. This is a lie, and a joke.

The election has been stolen. Do not expect there ever again to be a legitimate election in the United States. Expect Democrats to begin winning every race, in every battleground swing state.

The coming purge

Hitler's purge in 1934, the night of long knives
Hitler’s violent purge of his opponents in 1934: The Night of Long Knives.

I have just finished reading The Memo: 20 years inside the deep state fighting for America first. Written by military intelligence and national security expert Richard Higgins, it described his long and mostly fruitless effort in Washington to make our foreign military policy more effective.

In 2016, in desperation, he allied himself with Donald Trump, hoping that a victory by this very unconventional outsider might finally put Higgins in a position of some control.

It did not work out that way. At first the established players in Washington blocked his appointment. Eventually he managed to get an assignment at the National Security Council (NSC), but at a lower ranking than initially promised. Worse, the make-up of that council remained largely controlled by Democratic Party holdovers. As Higgins described things at the NSC in the first year after Trump’s inauguration:
» Read more

The disputed elections must recounted properly, or the states should refuse to certify the results

Signing the Constitution in 1787
The signing of the Constitution in 1787.

The amount of evidence that there was clear election fraud in the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin continues to build.

For example, in Pennsylvania a review of absentee ballots found that 100,000 had suspicious postmarks, with 23,000 apparently postmarked one day but then marked by the election authorities as having arrived the day before, an impossibility. Tens of thousands of other absentee ballots had similar problems.

In Michigan numerous residents and poll workers have signed affidavits describing blatant violations of election law and suspicious behavior. In addition, one contractor witnessed poll workers rescanning the same votes repeatedly, essentially double counting those votes.

In Wisconsin thousands of absentee votes were submitted in a manner that required no voter identification.

In Georgia there is evidence that the software used to count the ballots is corrupted, or was corrupted, ending up switching many votes from Trump to Biden in what they innocently claim was merely a “glitch.” Worse, this “glitch” in election software has now been found to be exist in other states as well.

The list above is only a small sampling of the numerous stories in the past week of suspicious and well documented incidents of voter fraud. The problems in these states appears widespread and systemic. The election results are thus suspect.

According to the Constitution, the real arbiters of the election are the state legislatures. » Read more

New Hampshire legislature flips from Democrat to Republican

Resist! Not only did all parts of the New Hampshire legislature flip from Democrat to Republican, Republicans saw upset victories in state races in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine.

The victories included the defeat of the incumbent Democratic Party state house speaker in Rhode Island, the first time that has happened in more than a century. The same thing happened to the incumbent house speaker in Vermont, where voters ended the Democrats hold on a super-majority.

The Republican victories generally strengthen their power throughout much of New England, a region that for years has been assumed to be a permanent Democratic stronghold. It appears that assumption is no longer valid.

Why Barrett’s confirmation went fast: Senate Republicans finally grew a spine

Link here. The author outlines all the ways the Democrats tried to duplicate their slander campaign against Brett Kavanaugh, then notes this:

The biggest difference is that Republicans simply weren’t playing with these attacks. Each and every one of these stories — and dozens of similar ones — was met with swift condemnation or yawns. Every single one.

It took a few decades of the left playing the exact same games with most confirmation battles, but finally, the right figured out how to render those attacks worthless. It’s not just conservative Americans, but the senators themselves who are playing this differently.

Rather than the Senate Judiciary Committee immediately responding to the Washington Post’s anti-Kavanaugh attack by bending to the will of the Democrats, this time they just didn’t care. As Democrats openly said on national television that they would do anything to stop Barrett’s confirmation, rather than act scared, the Republicans were not moved. They haven’t responded with outrage or drama, but just a steely resolve to get the nomination done. [emphasis mine]

Why it took Senate Republicans decades to figure out this basic premise, that the best way to deal with bullies and temper tantrums is to ignore them, is another question. It suggests that for decades those Republicans really liked bowing to those tantrums, because they really didn’t want to achieve any of the conservative goals their voters wanted and that they always campaigned on.

However, fake conservative senators like Jeff Flake and Bob Corker are gone, replaced with senators who are either more legitimately conservative (Marsha Blackburn) or faced with a tough reelection fight that forces toughness (Martha McSally). The result is that no Republican in the Senate is willing to play the Democrat’s game anymore. They can scream and kick and hold their breath, but on Monday Amy Barrett will be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Conservative firebrand Loomer easily wins Republican primary

A good sign: Conservative firebrand and outsider Laura Loomer easily won her Republican primary today in Florida, beating five opponents by a large margin.

Loomer gained prominence on social media over the past few years for a number of stunts, including handcuffing herself to Twitter’s headquarters to protest her suspension from the platform and hopping the fence at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s house to protest immigration. In addition to her suspension from Twitter, Loomer has also been suspended from GoFundMe, Facebook, Uber, and Lyft.

After being suspended from multiple platforms, Loomer’s campaign message was that of free speech, “making America safe again,” and the Second Amendment. With the help of large donors, Loomer raised more than $1 million while campaigning.

She will now face the Democratic incumbent, Lois Frankel, in the November election.

A detailed look at the new Republican Obamacare revision

Link here [pdf]. This is worth a read, as it provides the best most detailed look at the Senate’s proposed bill I have seen so far.

While the bill has many good things, overall it really is no different than Obamacare. It is a bureaucratic mess, it leaves many of Obamacare’s worst rules in place (such as the requirement that everyone, male or female, pay for maternity care), and it continues the inappropriate micromanaging of Congress in this private sector industry.

It might pass, but if it does, all it will accomplish is to stain the Republicans with this monstrosity of a law, as premiums will surely continue to rise, as will medical costs. Up until now, the Republican Party has been saying it had nothing to do with Obamacare and its consequences, and for one rare time, these politicians were not lying when they said that. If this bill becomes law, however, they will no longer be able to deny their part in Obamacare, unless they lie. And the public will know they are lying when they do.

Update: Heritage Foundation releases its own analysis which says this bill will encourage the growth of government.

John McCain, Liar

In commenting about the failure yesterday by Senate Republicans to pass a trimmed down version of an Obamcare repeal by a vote of 49-51, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has this to say:

There are going be a great many Americans who tonight feel a sense of betrayal. …If you stand up and campaign and say we are going to repeal Obamacare and you vote for Obamacare, those are not consistent. And the American people are entirely justified in saying any politician who told me that and voted the other way didn’t tell me the truth. They lied to me.

He then added:

“No party can remain in power by lying to the American people.”

Cruz is right, but only partly. The entire Republican Party did not lie to its voters. Instead, a small contingent of fake Republicans lied, led by John McCain, king liar and the most likely person to stab a friend in the back I have ever seen.
» Read more

Trump rules out moving embassy to Jerusalem

Breaking promises: Despite firm and loud promises during the campaign to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Trump administration officials today said that no move is planned, for the near future.

And the Republicans wonder why they can’t get the Jewish vote. I have talked to numerous Jewish relatives, and though many are conservative, all of them have great reservations about the Republican Party, which they perceive as two-faced towards Israel and the Jewish people. Repeatedly they have seen Republican presidential candidates (from Reagan to Bush to Bush to Trump) promise to move the embassy, and then betray that promise once they were in office.

Granted the Democrats are very hostile to Israel these days, but they already have the blind loyalty of many Jews. You want to change their minds? Don’t backstab people, as the Republicans and Trump are now doing.

But then, this behavior has become typical for the Republican party. Across the board they show little loyalty to the people who voted for them. Instead, once in power they routinely ally themselves with the Washington power elites, often in direct betrayal of their campaign promises.

A side note: The link explains nicely how moving the embassy would probably aid the peace talks. Based on the failure of everything that has previously been tried, I see no reason not to do it.

Head of ethics office Obama supporter

Surprise, surprise! The head of the Government Ethics Office that the Republicans tried to defang two weeks ago donated money to Obama.

It appears by his actions since the Republicans were forced to back off that their concerns were completely justified. He has since tried to help the Democrats by pushing to have hearings for Trump’s nominees slowed. In addition, he has been harshly attacking Trump’s plans to separate himself from his businesses, in great contrast to his strong support of Clinton when ethics questions were raised about her paid speeches to foreign governments.

There is more at the link. It is quite clear that the Republicans in the House knew this guy was a Democratic plant, and wanted to get him out. They just handled it badly, and are still stuck with him. Fortunately, it appears that they are not only mostly ignoring him, his documented biases are now working against him. Expect them to act to shut this ethics office down not too far into the future.

Senate passes Obamacare partial repeal

In a party line vote last night, the Senate passed an Obamacare repeal bill that ends the law’s tax and financial components.

It must be emphasized that the failure to repeal the law’s regulations is entirely due to the unwillingness of any Democrats to cross party lines, end the filibuster, and allow a vote. The result: we are still stuck with some of the most egregious components of the law. In 2018 many of those same Democrats will be faced with difficult re-elections. It will be time to remove them.

I should add that, just like Obamacare itself, the manner in which this repeal is being written and approved actually appears to be unconstitutional. It is tax policy and it is originating in the Senate. The Constitution however clearly states “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” (Article 1, Section 7) The same section also states that the Senate can propose, so I suppose this is how they get around this issue.

Republicans moving to restore earmarks

Idiots: Senate Republicans are pushing for a secret vote tomorrow that will propose restoring earmarks.

Senate Republicans are poised to restore earmarks unless opponents muster the votes to stop them in a secret ballot Tuesday. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, is under severe pressure from his members and has agreed to study the issue. “Very tone-deaf,” Mr. Coburn told The Washington Times. “I’d love to know who the smart guys are in the Republican conference who want to do this.”

Earmarks increase spending. Right now we have a spending problem in the federal government, which is also the hammer that government uses to wield its out-of-control power over the citizenry. Doing anything that increases that spending thus increases that power and is entirely counter to the overall sense of the electorate that voted in November.

Coburn is right. This is very tone-deaf, and incredibly stupid.

The powerless GOP

Obama is imposing an unprecedented number of new regulations in his final months in office, and the Republican leadership says it is helpless to do anything about it.

Data compiled by the Heritage Foundation found that the Obama administration issued 184 major rules during its first six years. The conservative organization, citing regulators’ estimates, says those could come with a price tag of almost $80 billion a year. The American Action Forum, which dubs itself as a “center-right” think tank, concludes that since Jan. 1 of this year, the administration has picked up the pace, finalizing 60 new rules and proposing 60 more at a potential cost of $16.5 billion next year alone.

Republican lawmakers and independent experts expect more to come. But Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas told Roll Call that his party cannot do much because “the framers of the Constitution didn’t give us a lot of tools that didn’t involve a presidential signature to overturn them.” [emphasis mine]

Excuse me, Senator Cornyn, but the framers of the Constitution gave Congress all the power. All you have to do is read the Constitution, a document only 16 pages long (excluding amendments), to find out. One would think a sitting Senator might do that once in awhile.

The problem is that Congress for decades has abdicated its responsibilities to the bureaucratic wing of the executive branch, and in the recent years the Republican leadership has further chickened out when voters demanded that they take some of those responsibilities back. The Republicans could very easily shut the whole shebang down, which might finally force some compromise from the Democrats. Until they do, however, expect no compromise from the left, which keeps getting exactly what it wants.

Republicans and Democrats fight to restrict freedoms

Ugh: House Republicans move to introduce new gun control law, House Democrats vow to fight it because it will allow for due process.

From the second link:

A Democratic source said the more controversial gun-purchase provision may be similar to a bill sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that’s backed by the National Rifle Association. Democrats say the Cornyn bill doesn’t go far enough since it includes a “probable cause” standard that would require law enforcement officials to prove that a gun buyer is an actual terrorist rather than a suspected terrorist. Instead, Democrats want a vote on legislation that would bar firearm sales to anyone on a terrorism watch list or no-fly list.

Without a vote on their own legislation, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and other Democrats have threatened to take control of the House floor once again after they return from the Fourth of July recess. On Wednesday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and dozens of other Democrats held events around the country demanding action to stop gun violence.

It is disgusting how Democrats no longer support the idea of due process, that they are cool with the idea of secret lists that can deny any American his or her constitutional rights. Boy will they squeal when those lists are used to deny them their rights!

However, it is just as disgusting that the Republicans are playing into the Democrats hands here by introducing any gun control legislation. This is not how you fight Islamic terrorism, by denying Americans access to guns. You fight Islamic terrorism by standing up for our rights while aggressively going after the terrorists who commit those acts of violence.

45 Republicans vote against Paul Ryan nomination

The Republicans have nominated Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) for Speaker of the House with only 200 of 245 votes.

Those 45 members are enough to block him from getting the Speakership during the partisan floor vote on Thursday — if the 45 GOP legislators maintain their opposition, and if Ryan is not aided by a last-minute bloc of Democratic votes.

During the closed-door conference, Ryan won just 200 votes for the nomination. Former Florida House Speaker Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) earned a whopping 43 votes. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) — who isn’t officially running for Speaker — received one vote. House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who dropped out of the Speakership race a couple weeks ago, got one vote as well.

The failure on Ryan’s part to win 218 votes—the threshold for anyone to win the Speakership on the House floor assuming every member of the House is present and voting for a person—is a major embarrassment on his part.

If those who opposed Ryan in this Republican vote maintain that opposition when the whole House votes, the only way Ryan can become Speaker is if he gets Democratic votes. If that happens than either he won’t become Speaker or the Republican Party faces a breakup.

Based on recent events with the budget deal, it might make sense for some of these fake conservatives in the Republican Party to admit their real loyalty and join the Democrats. The conservatives would then probably lose control of Congress, but at least we would know where people honestly stood.

Republican leaders find support for Boehner’s speakership very weak in House

Whoa! The Republican leadership tried prior to the August recess to squelch an effort to oust Speaker John Boehner and discovered they did not have the votes.

House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) had been planning to call up on the House floor last week a measure from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) that would have removed him as Speaker of the House if it succeeded—intending to embarrass Meadows—but abandoned the plan after his entire leadership structure learned that they did not have the votes to re-elect him as Speaker before the August recess.

Though a lot of the information in the article is about complicated House rules issues, what some call “inside baseball” and quite boring, it is very much worth reading because it indicates strongly that John Boehner’s position as Speaker is very exposed. He could very well be ousted when Congress reconvenes in September.

There are 25 members who voted for a Republican alternative at the beginning of this Congress, and now there are plenty more who are disaffected with the tactics of Boehner and his allies in leadership. More members, those who want to replace Boehner suspect, will, over the course of the month of August, come out publicly against Boehner at town hall events and in interviews with media. Unless Democrats bail Boehner out in September or October, if and when such a vote for the speakership would occur, by that point there would be enough members opposed to Boehner’s re-election for him to lose his position.

Even if Boehner survives, the dynamics here suggest that the conservatives have the stronger hand, and are going to try to force him to cater to their desires — something he has not been interested in doing — or face removal.

“It’s declassified and made public once it’s agreed to.”

Does the quote above, said by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) during debate over the secret Obamatrade bills, remind you of anything? Weren’t we forced to try this dubious legislative approach by Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and the Democrats with Obamacare?

Finding out what was in it after Obamacare was made law has very clearly turned out to be a disaster. The last thing the Republicans should be doing now is to repeat this corrupt practice themselves.

Update: Support for this foolishness in the House appears tepid at best:

According to The Hill, only 116 Republicans and 19 Democrats in the House are committed or leaning to supporting the bill, while 130 Democrats and 29 Republicans are committed or leaning to opposition. That leaves 139 up in the air, most of them Republicans. To get to 218, Boehner and Pelosi will have to find at least 82 more votes out of the 139, a tall order indeed.

Most Republicans fold to Boehner

It appears there will not be a battle in the Republican Party to replace John Boehner.

Instead, the Republicans in the House appear eager to accept their place as brown-nosing boot-lickers to Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. Moreover, the leadership that likes licking these boots is getting aggressive about it:

Heightening the party’s intramural angst were new political ads by the American Action Network, run by Boehner’s allies. They began running Tuesday in the districts of about 50 House Republicans who defied him on Homeland Security last week. The $400,000 campaign includes phone calls, a few TV ads, and ads on popular conservative talk radio shows. They urged constituents to call their representatives, not vote them out of office.

For years I’ve argued against splitting off a third party, because I know it will only fracture the right’s strengths and give more power to the left. At this point, however, I see no point supporting this Republican Party. It appears they have no interest in fighting for conservative values, and merely wish to act as a go-between between the left and the right, with their sole goal being to placate the right as they facilitate left wing policies.

If we are to be led by leftists, let’s let them lead, do their worst, and show the world exactly who they are. At least then there will be no doubt to future generations who destroyed this country.

The sideshow of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress

The report notes the increasing flood of Democrats who say they will boycott Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next month. It also makes this cogent point:

In a sane world, as soon as Netanyahu expressed an interest in speaking, Boehner and McConnell could have responded to both the Prime Minister and our President and said it was a fine idea, set up a time and moved forward. If Obama didn’t want this to be a mess and conceivably even find a way to turn it into an advantage, he could have extended an offer to meet privately with Bibi before the speech or even show up at it with him. That would have presented a unified front between two allies for the rest of the world and the whole thing could have been a done deal by now. There’s nothing remarkable about a world leader making a speech in Washington. It’s pretty much what the place exists for.

While the House Republicans have worked this event for their own political advantages, their invitation to Netanyahu did no harm to American interests or our ally. Obama and the Democrats however have done everything they can to push back politically, even though their push back apparently threatens our ally while damaging our interests in the Middle East.

To put it another way, ask yourself whose actions are doing real harm to the diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel? Who is rejecting an ally and refusing to talk or listen to him?

Update: Check out this very pointed column noting the different reactions of the President and the Democrats to two identical invitations from Congress: “A Jew and a Catholic were invited to Congress…”

Senate Republicans call for gas tax hike

Lying slime: A number of Senate Republicans have joined with Democrats to call for an increase in the gas tax.

Though the last time the gas tax was increased was during Bill Clinton’s presidency, the only reason the highway fund is short of money is that they don’t spend it wisely, wasting a lot on stupid projects. (Sounds a lot like almost everything the federal government does, doesn’t it?) Rather than increase the tax, Congress should take a close look at how the money is being spent, and clamp down.

I should note that House Republicans have already said that they will oppose this increase. Whether they stay that course however remains to be seen.

Focusing on strategy instead of substance

This article, about the back room maneuvers by both political parties leading up to last week’s election, has been making the rounds on all the political websites. Called a “must-read, vivid piece”, it reveals all the strategies, mistakes, and childish in-fighting that took place during the campaign, the kind of stuff that makes many people consider politicians such a lower form of life.

I am normally not interested in these smoke-filled backroom stories as I care a lot more about what politicians do when they are in office. This is why I didn’t read the article until today, two days after it was published and after I had seen it quoted in maybe a dozen other political articles about the election.

Having read it I have to agree it is worthwhile reading, but my main take-away is that its focus on the campaign strategies and maneuvers by politicians of both parties epitomizes all that is wrong with modern political journalism as well as the interests too many of its readers. Only once did the article hint at the actual issues crucial to the election, when it summed up the Republican strategy near the beginning of the article:

From the outset of the campaign, Republicans had a simple plan: Don’t make mistakes, and make it all about Obama, Obama, Obama. Every new White House crisis would bring a new Republican ad. And every Democratic incumbent would be attacked relentlessly for voting with the president 97 or 98 or 99 percent of the time.

That’s it. That’s the only hint at real substance in this whole very long and detailed article.

For you see, the election was about Obama and his fumbling incompetence. It was about the policies he and his Democratic supporters in Congress had foisted on the nation. And it was about how those policies have been a disaster for ordinary people all across the nation.

All the games that these politicians play against each other during campaigns really isn’t that important. It might tell you something about their character, but what really matters is what these guys do, when they are in office. Keep that in mind when the next election rolls around, because I guarantee that the politicians and the journalists who write about them are not going to be interested in talking about that. It would be far too embarrassing.

A simple but powerful strategy for Congress against Obama

I’ve read a lot of analysis offering many ideas on what the Republican Congress should do to combat Obama in the next two years, but the best proposal I’ve read yet was posted as a comment to this website earlier today by mpthompson:

The best thing the Republicans can do would be to craft small, simple pieces of legislation that have the broad support of the American people (hmmmm,hmmmm border enforcement) and dare the Obama to veto. Do this week after week until it’s drilled into the electorates heads as to who is really the obstructionist.

Regarding Obamacare. Craft a one page amendment to the law that removes the mandate so that people can choose for themselves whether they want to participate (a pro-choice amendment so to speak). Then another amendment that removes the restrictions on they type of coverage a company can offer (another pro-choice amendment). Then let the public see the Dems for the big-government fascist they are.

There are a host of proposals that could fit this strategy. In addition to the ones suggested above, what about the approving the Keystone pipeline, cancelling the Obamacare medical tax, limiting the abuses of the IRS, limiting Obama’s travel expenses, and punishing the National Park Service for its partisan administration of the law during the Occupy movement and the government shutdown.

I am sure that my readers could think of many many more.

Update: It appears that the new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), might be planning to follow this strategy, at least when it comes to Obamacare.

Taking a broad look at Tuesday’s Republican sweep

I don’t have much to add to the numerous reports about yesterday’s election by political pundits far more qualified than I. The Republicans won a big landslide victory yesterday, not only gaining control of the Senate, but winning more seats than expected. They also won more seats in the House than expected, widening their majority there to numbers not seen since the 1920s. In addition, they made it a grand slam by winning a plethora of governorships — many in Democratic stronghold states such as Massachusetts, Illinois, and Maryland — as well as taking control of more state legislatures than ever before.

What matters to me, however, is not the election but what this new Republican majority does with its majority. In the past, 1994 and 2000, they more or less squandered the opportunity to rein in government. In 1994, they allowed the government to grow but at a rate below the rate of inflation so that in a few years this resulted in a balanced budget and surpluses. But the government still grew in power and size. In 2000 they did not even do this, allowing government spending and yearly deficits to balloon, even though they had a Republican president who would have supported them if they had wanted to cut the size of government.

Thus, while I am hopeful, I also remain very skeptical about what will happen in the next few years. In order to prove to me and the conservative base that elected them that these Republicans mean what they say when they say they want to shrink the size of government, they are going to have to prove it with real action. They are going to have show us that they really do want to repeal Obamacare. They are going to have to show us that they really do want to gain some control over the border. And they are going to have to show us that they really do want to cut the budget and get it balanced.

I understand that the Democrats in the Senate and Obama can still block many of these initiatives, but too often Republicans have used this fact as an excuse to not try at all. This must stop! They must apply strong pressure on these left wing ideologues, make them reveal their politics for all to see by forcing them to veto or block these initiatives. Only by demonstrating a resolve to rein in government will anyone believe the Republicans when they claim that’s what they want to do. And by doing so they will also simultaneously expose the Democrats as the left wing ideologues that they are.

Making these points can only be for the good, politically.

Two more points, often unstated but fundamental to what elections in the United States represent.
» Read more

Whose side are you on?

Whose side are you on?

The three most important words in politics are: “Compared with what?” And I am more than a little sympathetic to conservatives’ complaints about the failures of elected Republicans in Washington, who consistently disappoint us even when they are in the majority. I am also sympathetic to the view that our situation may have deteriorated to the point that even a unified Republican government under the leadership of principled conservatives may not be enough to turn things around. And though I reject the notion that Mitt Romney wasn’t good enough for true-believing conservatives, let’s say, arguendo, that that was the case. Unless you are ready to give up entirely on the notion of advancing conservative principles through the ballot box, you might consider looking at things this way: Even if you do not think that it matters much whether Republicans win, it matters a great deal that Democrats lose.

Maybe you were not that excited that 2012 gave you a choice between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. I sympathize — I liked Rick Perry. But how is President Romney vs. President Obama a hard choice? How is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a hard choice? How is Speaker of the House John Boehner vs. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a hard choice?

It isn’t.

Read it all. He smashes to pieces the reasoning many passionate conservatives use to justify not voting at all when they are presented with a choice between a hard leftwing Democratic and what he calls a “squishy RINO.” By abstaining they help put radical leftwing Democrats in power, a circumstance far worse for the country.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t put hard pressure on the squishies to make them less so, only that when push comes to shove, they are still a better option than a politician who is liberal and not squishy.

This is how the tea party ends.

This is how the tea party ends.

The Tea Party’s success is not gauged by primaries alone. It’s gauged by how much the Tea Party’s priorities become the Republican Party’s priorities.

The Tea Party’s impact in primaries is largely about putting fear into establishment candidates, whether they knock them off or not. It took them two cycles, but the traditional Republican establishment took the right lessons from the Bennett and Lugar losses. Orrin Hatch spent 2011-12 voting lockstep with Mike Lee. Primary threats made Mike Enzi part of the organizing group for the defund push. Pat Roberts is doing his best to don the winger apparel. Lindsey Graham is trying like mad to re-establish his conservative credentials. Thad Cochran is the exception that proves the rule: it’s no accident that a traditional Washington appropriator who hasn’t modified his ways is the most vulnerable GOP Senator this cycle. So if establishment Republicans understand that they are vulnerable in primaries, and have to pretend to be Tea Partiers when they’re in cycle, is that a sign that the Tea Party is dead – or a sign that it’s had a significant political impact?

The tea party movement has won because it is now driving the political debate, in both parties. Republicans want to look like tea partiers, and even Democrats are shaping their election campaigns with tea party issues in mind.

1 2 3