Is that all there is?

Stanley Greenberg’s got a book out  — America Ascendant  — that will be closely read by the thinking left.  Stan’s been there for Clinton, Gore and Kerry, and he’s back chock full of advice for Hillary.

Don’t run for a third Obama term, he says.  Check.  Have bold policy proposals.   Check.  But wait.  The Democrats haven’t had such an idea in a generation.  So I go to Amazon to check out the opening of the book.  Stanley may be on to something.  This guy’s been around for as long as I have, except he’s operated at the very highest levels of Democratic politics.  He’s networked, wired and in the know.

It turns out his models of successful governance are California (which, he assures us, is the very best state for business)  and New York City.  I’m starting to breathe easier.  Stanley is delusional.  And then he sums it up  — “Democrats will have to make the case for governmental activism at the national level.”

That’s it.  More government.  Stan’s off his rocker, but he’s also right.  If the Democrats are unable to make the case for governmental activism they have no case to make.  They are the party of, by, and for the government.

This is not a winning message in 2016.  It’s a recipe for disaster.  But it’s the only one they’ve got.  They have one tool, one idea, one prescription: government.

O. K., I’m a libertarian, and I’m in the minority in the extent to which I despise government.  But my God we’ve just had a big heaping pile of government called Obamacare.  How’s that working out?  Do we really want another helping?

I keep reading about Obamacare is facing more and more serious difficulties.  Some very bad things could happen in 2016.  Pretty much what guys like Avik Roy and James Capretta have been saying for the last two and a half years, at least.  They’ve been on the money up til now, as far as I can tell.  Every time this story intrudes onto the campaign it hurts Hillary and every Democrat.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Black Lives Matter is going to college, and allying itself with a bunch of affirmative action crybabies.  What a spectacle.  There are a lot of good decent black Americans, and they have got to be appalled by all this.  They need to speak up.  In the mean time, BLM is more or less an official affiliate of the Democratic Party.  That will bring home those working class whites!  That’s the ticket!

Trump’s not getting the nomination, but I think he’s still doing the party a service.  He’s bringing attention to the whole process, and he’s pushing the party to the right on immigration.  These are good things.

The thing about the Donald is, someone is going to beat him, most probably Rubio or Cruz.  And whoever does is going to be a hero to everybody else in the party.  He saved us from Trump!  Either one of the Cubans will have a united party behind them.  So, in that sense, the longer the Donald sticks around, the better.

And then there’s Obama, Barack the Indifferent.  He just doesn’t care any more, and he doesn’t mind showing it.  And Hillary’s packing his baggage  all the way to next November.

This is all just too good.  Go away, black swan.

I am a man of constant sorrow

I’ve seen trouble all of my days, and the latest is in Idaho, with Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis (B,  — for Birch — Idaho Falls).

I saw him on the floor in Boise back in April, and learned a few things.  He’s a big, affable guy, and apparently well liked by his colleagues.  And as we’ve been told, he’s the go to guy in the Idaho State Senate when it comes to constitutional questions  — such as Article V.  As a member of the leadership he can see that our Resolution is referred to State Affairs, where he has an outsize voice.  We haven’t found anyone in the Senate to take him on.  He believes strongly in his Birch fantasies, and will not be moved.  I imagine he can be a little intimidating.

Bill Fruth will be flying to Idaho to meet with as many State Senators as he can, looking for an opening, a way around, over or through Davis.  It won’t be easy.  We have to face the fact that we may not get Idaho next year, in which case we’re looking at 2017 to get to 34.

When I was young and ignorant, a couple years ago, I thought the Article V BBA campaign would get to 34 in 2016, and be a major boost to the Republican ticket.  That could still happen, but only if the BBA Task Force gets a massive amount of help, and gets it soon.  We can’t plan on it.  Until the nomination fight is over (April?  May?) all eyes are on it, and we can’t expect some well heeled donor to discover our cause and fund us.  So we need to start thinking about 2017.  Now.

That’s because the filing deadlines for target legislatures are coming up.  I don’t have the exact dates, but based on the deadlines from 2014 the last day to file for the legislature is:

Kentucky — January 28th

Idaho — March 3rd

Montana  — March 10th

Once these dates pass we need to contact candidates with a chance of winning and explain Article V to them.  Very few will have heard of it before.  It’s not that hard to explain.  And the sooner you contact them, the more receptive they’ll be.  Hell, I remember when I first filed for the legislature in 1982.  If someone from outside had called me up, right after I’d filed, and talked to me about a national issue that I would be addressing if I won, I would have been flattered.  The key is to do it right after they file, when they’re in the planning stage of a campaign.  If we had some money, we could make a modest contribution — $250 is a lot of money to these guys  — to get them to remember us.

These are not big shot politicians.  They’re just regular people with an interest in politics and a willingness to serve.  Unless they’ve been previously infected with the Birch virus, we should get every one of them.

Depending on what else is going on, this is a project I’m assigning myself.  I like these people.  I was one of them, a long time ago.  I might enjoy it.

I’ll be calling Rep.DeCesare in Kentucky next week.  If there’s not a coup that tosses Speaker Stumbo, we still want to pass our Resolution in the Senate, to put pressure on Stumbo, and create a campaign issue in the legislative races next year.  We’re going to try to do this in all the split states where we haven’t passed  — Maine, Minnesota and Washington.  Biddulph is working on Minnesota with Speaker Daudt.  Senate President Pam Roach of Washington has told me it’s not going to  be possible there, but I can double check with her.

So it looks like  I was too optimistic when I thought we’d get there next year.  But I think I’ve got a better feel for this Presidential race than I had for our prospects in various state legislatures.  And the coming Republican landslide is what will put us over the top, not vice versa.

Kentucky will be solidly red, I have no doubt of that.  One more target state.  After the blowout of 2010, Washington, Maine and Minnesota were solid Republican state legislatures.  2016 will be a Presidential year, and bigger than 2010, so we can get them back.  More target states.

And in target states like Arizona, Idaho and Montana the wave should give the Republican majorities a lot of new members.  And new members, we’ve found, are far less likely to have been brainwashed by the Birchers than the old fossils they’re replacing.  And our margin for error will increase.  The more Republicans, the more you can afford to lose, and still have a majority.

This can be done, and will be done.  I’ll see you on that golden shore.

Counter Intel

Since I’m so cock sure about a Republican landslide a year from now (barring black swans), I’m always on the prowl for contrary indicators.  I read a lot of articles by lefties, and try to see things from their perspective.  I regularly consult 538 Nate  for the views of the nation’s premiere number cruncher.  I read everything that lefty gurus like Stan Greenberg have to say.   They’re all counting on demographics, the politics of the simple minded.

And income inequality.  If they have an issue, this is the big one.  The economic wizard they principally rely on is Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.  Back in April he issued his manifesto, “The Rules of the American Economy” in conjunction with the Roosevelt Institute.  It’s just been released in book form, “Rewriting the Rules.”

I read the manifesto upon which the book is based, and am decidedly unimpressed.  He wants more money spent on infrastructure.  Yawn.  No word on whether these projects will be shovel ready, or where the money comes from.

He wants to help the unions organize.  That’s some real 21st Century avant garde thinking.  It’s 2016, and everybody wants to join a union!  Good God.

He wants selective minimum wage increases.  That’s the ticket!  The key to middle class economic anxiety is assuring them that when they’re at last reduced to working at McDonald’s, they’ll be getting enough for a single young adult to squeeze by on.  We all feel so much better now.

He wants education!  This is a truly amazing insight.  No one has ever thought of this before.  He’s liable to get another Nobel Prize for that one.

And he wants paid family and sick leave.  If that doesn’t get the country fired up I don’t know what will.

That’s it.  That’s all he, and they, have got.  And it’s pathetic.  Oh wait, I forgot, there’s one not on Stiglitz’s list  — Hillary is going to take on Wall Street!   She’s a social justice warrior, fighting for all those little people out there.  If you want to know why people don’t trust Hillary, it’s because they know such talk on her part is complete B.S.  Nobody  believes her.

Another one Stiglitz didn’t mention was climate change.  This is a donor issue, not one most people really care about, and won’t, until there is an economic recovery, if ever.  But the donors insist, and it will be an issue with no real constituency.

Actually, there is an issue of economic inequality which should be a campaign issue.  It’s generational income inequality, as described recently in Fortune.  And it’s getting worse.  In 2000 oldsters (65-74) had $48,000 in family income.  In 2012 they had $58,000.

In 2000 youngsters (25-34) had $62,000 in income.  In 2012 they had $53, 000.

Old people in this country are doing just fine, and young people are getting screwed.  Think Social Security.

These numbers are a surprise, to me, and have political significance.  The political class, Republican and Democrat, have delivered for the old people of this country, and the young are paying the price.  It may simply be that old people are more effective politically, or are working more.  But it is a very unhealthy trend, and one which serious public policy experts should put their minds to.

I ain’t one of those, but I’ll give it some thought myself.  From the political side.

I like this guy Jeff Bezos.  He’s a gazillionaire who doesn’t believe in charity.  Instead he’s using his money to make more money, but in unusual and socially constructive ways.  He’s going into space tourism.   It’s like back in the day when airplanes were brand new, and people were trying to figure out how to make money with them.  So they’d go to county fairs and charge people for joy rides.  That’s Bezos’ idea, in a nutshell.

His company just landed a rocket for reuse, using reverse thrust.  How cool is that.  I was a science fiction nut when I was a kid, and this is the kind of thing we were all dreaming about.

What a brave new world we live in.

Turn, turn, turn

We’ve gone through three political cycles in the last century, and are about to embark on a fourth.

The first began in 1920, as a reaction to Wilson’s progressivism.  The eight years of Harding/Coolidge were a time of peace and prosperity.  Then came the unworthy successor, Hoover, who cocked everything up and gave us 20 years of the New Deal.

The second cycle started in 1952 with Eisenhower.  Again, eight years of peace and prosperity.  The unworthy successor, Nixon, lost to Kennedy in 1960, and the next 20 years were politically unstable, featuring four consecutive failed Presidencies  — LBJ, Nixon, Ford and Carter.  This was an era of a vast expansion of federal power, under both Republicans and Democrats.

The third cycle began in 1980 with Reagan.  Once more, eight years of peace and prosperity, followed by an unworthy successor, Bush 1, followed by three consecutive failed Presidencies, Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama.  Once again, a vast expansion of federal power under the Republican and the Democrats.

The fourth cycle begins next year, with the election of a Republican in a landslide.  We’ll have eight years to put things right.

While Harding/Coolidge, Eisenhower and Reagan all succeeded, none reversed the continuing concentration of power in the federal government.  Harding/Coolidge left the 16th and 17th Amendments in place, Eisenhower made peace with the New Deal, and Reagan was forced to accept the Great Society.  This coming cycle, riding a hundred year tide, promises more.  If the states are able to exercise their power under Article V, we can permanently transform the political landscape.  It is possible to return to the Constitution,  and our liberty.

I compare 1920 to today in a piece I submitted to American Thinker.  Editor Thomas Lifson likes it, and will post it when he thinks it will get the most exposure.  I’ll do the link.

There is a time for every season under heaven, and every purpose..

Our time is now.

Let’s get ready to rumble

Thanksgiving is here, so it’s time to take off the gloves and mix it up.

Kasich’s Superpac decided to throw some punches at Trump.  This could be interesting, I thought.  What will they come up with?

A Nazi allusion.  My God, how much are they paying these clowns?  It’s a sanctimonious sermon from a Vietnam war hero.  It’s a joke.  It won’t harm Trump a bit.  Unfortunately, it’s the kind of attack which probably appeals to Kasich the moralist.  He’s a tolerant and caring man, offended by anyone who he thinks is offensive to someone else.  It seems to me that Kasich’s admiration of himself is what led him to like this kind of attack (although, of course, since his Superpac did the ad, he’d never seen it.  Right).

A few weeks ago I figured Christie would be the guy to after the Donald.  It made a lot of sense.  For whatever reason he passed.  I think he’d do a better job than Kasich, who has consistently disappointed.

The other rumble is between the Cubans, over amnesty and data collection.  It’s all noise.  They’re wasting their time and money.  I guess they look at the calendar and figure we better start spending some of this money we’re sitting on.  Don’t just sit there, do something.

Since it’s become the conventional wisdom that it will be one of the Cubans they’ve both been going up in the polls, dramatically, in Cruz’s case.  Since Trump shows no sign of going away soon, and has even risen slightly since Paris, Cruz is the next target of the Donald.  Cruz doesn’t want this fight, not now.  He may not be able to avoid it.

All fascinating to watch.  Campaigns tell you a lot about a person.  They test your judgement, and your nerves.  And your balls.

If I’m Kasich or Christie, or anyone on the stage, for that matter, at the next debate (Vegas, 12-15), here’s my question for Trump.  “You’ve called me a stupid loser, you complained about Ms. Fiorina’s face, you told the Governor of Ohio he didn’t belong on the same stage with you  etc.  etc.”  You repeat some personal abuse that Trump has heaped on every person on that stage.  “We are all seeking the nomination of our party in one of the most critical elections in our history.  By the sort of adolescent insults you’ve thrown at every person on this stage, you have demeaned this entire process.  It’s as though you think you’re back on your TV reality show. If this is the way you conduct yourself as a Presidential candidate, why shouldn’t we expect the same sort of juvenile behavior if you’re elected?”

You’re looking Trump right in the eye as you ask this, and you’re dead serious.  This is a serious question, and you have a right to a serious answer.  I doubt he’d handle it well.

Who’s got a set?