X=?

What’s the magic number, the one that proves that 34 is within reach?  We know it’s not 27.  Wisconsin will be 28, but that won ‘t do it.  I think it’s 31 or 32.   That’s when we’re taken seriously.

Rep. Gary Banz believes he’s got things lined up for Oklahoma to be #29 in February.  The bills from last session carry over, we don’t need to go through committee, and his ducks are lined up.  Gary’s been working this for years, will be term limited next year, and will do all a man can do.  Yeah, Oklahoma is 29.

West Virginia should be 30.  They adjourn on March 5th, so if it happens it will happen quickly.  Scott Rogers is working on it, and the indefatigable Fruth will be visiting fairly soon.  Seante President Cole is with us, and Speaker Armstead is not an opponent.  Senate Presidents Faber of Ohio and Long of Indiana will help.  We ran out of time last year.  It won’t happen again.

If we win next year we will have passed in Wyoming (adjourns March 3rd) and Idaho (March 17th).  Fruth had a pleasant half hour conversation with Wyoming Senate President and has arranged to go to Wyoming to meet not only Nicholas but travel the state, speaking with legislators and others.  It is better for Fruth to do this than me.  I don’t think Nicholas, or anyone else in Wyoming, has any kind of problem with me.  I don’t have a bad attitude.  Swear to God.  But Bill has a proven track record of success.  He’s pulled it off before, in Tennessee, and he can do it again.  I’m not willing to bet the farm, but I think Nicholas comes around and we get Wyoming and 31.

Which gets us to Idaho Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis.  NFIB lobbyist Suzie Budge told us today there’s really no way around him.  He’s got that kind of juice.  The Senate President won’t cross him, and the other lawyers in the Senate are intimidated by the guy.  Fruth will fly to Idaho Falls to meet him in a few weeks.  At least he’ll talk to Bill, which is more than he’d do for me.  I tried to get an appointment to see him when we were driving through Idaho Falls on our way to Montana.  No luck.  The good news is that Bart Davis is not Andy Biggs.  He’s no Bircher, and he’s no fool.  As a lawyer, he’s concluded that an Amendment Convention can’t be controlled.  He needs to stop thinking like a lawyer and start thinking like a politician.  Given the political realities in this country today, will a BBA Convention run away?  Will the 31 legislatures controlled by Republicans allow that to happen?  Balance that infinitesimal risk against the looming threat of national bankruptcy.  We don’t know if Davis can be reasoned with, so Idaho is a big question mark.

The other possibility is Virginia, which adjourns March 5th.  We expect Republican gains in the November legislative elections, but until them it’s idle speculation.

If Idaho or Virginia get us to 32, we’ll still need Arizona and South Carolina.  I say we get South Carolina for 33, and the Governor calls the Arizona legislature into special session and make it 34.  If Maryland has rescinded, you have to go back and pick up Montana, Idaho or Virginia.

It’s a double bank shot.

I used to be able to make those, when I was a freshman at Cal back in ’62.  They had a very cool pool hall in the Student Union, and that’s where I spent most of my time.  College wasn’t working out for me.  I wasn’t ready.  I was flunking German, which I hated.  The other classes didn’t really interest me.  I wasn’t learning anything.

So I became a pretty fair pool player.  We played for small stakes, and I held my own.  Pool is like poker.

You play people you can beat.

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