Kentucky’s finest

Matt Bevin is my kind of guy.  Up by his boot straps, he made a pile as an asset manager, then rode to the rescue of Bevin Brothers Manufacturing, in the family since 1832, and about to go under.  Under very trying circumstances he pulls if off, and the last American manufacturer exclusively of bells stays in business.  Next time you ring a bell, think of Matt Bevin.

Then he decides he’s going to take on Mitch McConnell, and makes a serious run at it.  At this point you admire his courage but question his judgement.  After getting clobbered he gets up and says he’s going to run for Governor.  He is fortunate in the primary, and squeaks out an 83 vote win in a fractured field.

I wasn’t there, but I’d wager a key point in the general election race came when Bevin embraced, literally, the county clerk who went to jail for not issuing gay wedding licenses.  There’s a picture of them together, standing in front of a court house, celebrating her release.  Her husband, dressed in faded overalls, is right up there with them.  They’re not what you would call photogenic.  These are plain people, the kind of people a whole lot of Kentuckians identify with, regardless of party.  I’ll bet Matt Bevin won a lot of votes with that picture.  Which means he’s a smart guy.

And a new Governor with a big agenda, not least the adoption of a right to work law.  And a Governor looking at a Republican and cooperative State Senate, and a House under the Speakership of your worst, sworn, enemy, Greg Stumbo.

Bevin’s election was the death knell for the Democratic Party of Kentucky.  There’s no way in hell the Democrats hold on to the State House in next year’s election, and everybody knows it.  A Democrat from Louisville just switched, bringing Stumbo’s margin down to 53-47.  Governor Matt Bevin is going to do all that he can legally do to get four of those House D’s to switch parties, and depose Stumbo, and allow his agenda a chance of passage.  The Governor of Kentucky has a lot of power, as do Sens. McConnell and Paul. All their guns will be trained on Stumbo.  It’s happening as I type.  I think he’s going down.

Idaho Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis is immovable.  He refuses to talk about Article V with anyone.  I tried to see him when I was in Boise, at the end of the session.  I tried again when I was driving back to Montana this summer.  Utah Senate President Curt Bramble tried to talk to him, but he refused to discuss it.  Lew Uhler’s friend, Greg Casey of BiPac, a very big hitter in Idaho Republican politics, tries to talk to him about Article V, and is refused.

Apparently Davis is such an intimidating presence that no one in the State Senate can stand up to him, at least on constitutional issues.  The only person who could take him on is the Senate President, and he doesn’t seem to have the guts.  We’re at a loss, for the moment.  I’m sure Greg Casey hasn’t given up.  At Lew’s party in D.C. he promised me he’d take care of Davis, and we shook hands on it.  I believe he’ll do everything he possibly can.

Bill McIlvain is on the case in Wyoming.  He’s taken this project on as his own, and knows more about the Wyoming legislature than just about anybody.  This is a guy you can count on.

The Convention of States is making mischief here and there, some times at our direct expense.  You get the feeling that these people don’t want anybody to win if it can’t be them.  They are actively undermining us in some states.  The answer to all this is publicity.  Any decent reporter, writing a story on the Article V movement, would expose them for what they are.  But no reporter has written that story, because we’re not taken seriously.  That’s going to change, once we hit 30.  Until then we’ll have to put up with the CS.

When the moon’s orbit swings it close to the earth and into a perfect alignment with the sun a king tide is created, called the autumn equinox.  If this coincides with a major storm, the result is a 100 year tide.

Does that sound like any circumstance you might be familiar with?

 

They’re all made out of ticky tacky

And they all look just the same.

That’s what some hippie sang about the modest working class homes of  South San Francisco.  It is typical of the contempt the left has for the working people of this country, the ones who get up every day, do their boring job, and keep the country going.  Without them the country collapses.  No matter.  They’re boobs.

Nothing is more important to the leftist than to preen in his moral superiority to the common people of America.  It is the basis of his status as an enlightened and cosmopolitan  citizen of the world.  He is a member of an international elite of sophisticated opinion and tastes.  He embraces cultural diversity, rejecting any claim of American exceptionalism.

All this explains his attitude toward Syrian refugees.  Depending on how this all plays out, this could be a very hot political issue, and a major factor in the coming Republican landslide.

The D’s are way on the wrong side of this, but they’re stuck there because of  their contempt for the white working class.  This is so incredibly stupid, politically, that only explanation is that it represents a core value to the left, one they just can’t walk away from.

You almost get the feeling that they enjoy flaunting their alienation from the majority.  It makes them feel special.  An issue that so starkly contrasts them from working class whites has an inherent appeal.  For, above all, it is a clear demonstration of their moral superiority.  Practical political concerns just have to take a back seat.  This is the essence of who a liberal is.  You can hear them sing.  “I gotta be me.”

The Kentucky General Assembly convenes on January 5th, with the House, in my opinion, under the leadership of Speaker Jeff Hoover.  The last time they had a Republican Speaker was 95 years ago.  Like the West Virginia Assembly last January, where the Republicans took power for the first time since 1928, they’ll have a lot on their plate. After almost a century in the Minority, you’ve got a pretty big to do list, especially with an ambitious incoming reformist Governor.

They’ll be in session until April 15th, so they can get a lot done.   Will they have time for an Article V BBA Resolution?  They didn’t in West Virginia.  We died on the Assembly floor on the last day.  In order to avoid the same fate in Kentucky we need to have this all set up in advance, as a priority of the leadership.  I suspect that will only happen with some outside persuasion, coming from people like Sens. Paul and McConnell, for starters.  The Task Force needs to make this happen.

In 2016, as the party of government, the Democrats are screwed.  The Pew Research Center is out with a report on our attitude toward the government.  75% of us think the government is run by a few big interests.  57% think the government is almost always wasteful and inefficient, and 79% are either angry or frustrated with it. It goes on.

Somebody’s going to have to explain this to me.  Here you’ve got a candidate that 2/3 of the people don’t trust, running on a promise of more of a government that they fear and dislike.

How does that work?

 

 

 

Marco, Ted and Jeff

There are smart guys, and there are really smart guys.  Self made billionaires are smart guys, but in politics they’re really not that bright.  The Kochs are smart as hell, but the bulk of their political money doesn’t actually accomplish anything.  On the left the Bloombergs and Steyers of the world piss their money away on gun control, climate change and other fantasies,  And don’t get me started on the incredibly stupid way Soros throws money around.

Then there’s Jeff Bezos and Carlos Slim.  They buy the flagships of American journalism.  That’s smart money.

Slim’s got a nice piece of the New York Times, but Bezos owns the Washington Post whole, and it’s beginning to show.  Everybody who works there knows his politics, and the paper is evolving in that direction.  I’ve watched it pretty closely the last two years and I see signs.  It’s a gradual process.  Bezos bought a brand, and he wants to maintain its mainstream prestige.    But he bought a media outlet for two reasons.  One was to make money, of course.  Bezos doesn’t believe in philanthropy.  But there easier ways for Bezos to make money.  He wants political influence.

This is a big deal.  The WaPo has vast journalistic resources at its disposal and remains one of the big foot journals in this country.  In the past, most of Bezos’ limited political contributions have been those you would expect of a man in his business.  He contributes to Washington’s two U.S. Senators, but not because they’re Democrats, but because they’re from his adopted state of Washington.  He contributes to Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, where Amazon has issues.  He spent big to support gay marriage in the state of Washington, but he also gave to Meg Whitman when she ran for Governor of California as a Republican.

He started his business in Washington to avoid sales taxes.  He donated heavily to defeat a Washington state initiative to raise the income tax on the wealthy.  The most he’s said publicly about his politics is that “… for profit models improve the world more than philanthropy models…”  That’s an unreconstructed capitalist talking.

Most people get their politics from their parents, and Bezos is apparently no exception.  He’s been described as a libertarian, and has contributed to Reason Inc.  Like Rubio and Cruz, he mainly learned about life and politics from a Cuban exile  — his father.

Not his biological father, but his real father, the man who married his mother when he was four, adopted him, and from whom he gets his name.  This man, Miguel Bezos, fled Cuba alone when he was fifteen, worked his way through the University of Albuquerque and got a job as an engineer at Exxon.

What sort of life lessons must Miguel have imparted to little Jeff?  Bezos is a secretive man, and doesn’t talk a lot about himself.  So we have to use our imaginations.  I suspect young Jeff heard the same sorts of stories and life lessons that little Marco and Ted heard from their Dads:

We’re lucky to be Americans.

Unless you remember where you were, what you were doing, and who you were with on this date 52 years ago you don’t really understand what a black swan is.  They come from nowhere, and change everything.  They cannot be anticipated, though they can be exploited, as demonstrated so brilliantly by Lyndon Johnson.  To this day we live with the political consequences of a president assassinated by a communist.  Some things are so traumatic they take forever to get over.

Even in benighted California there are glimmers of hope.  A couple Republicans are filing an initiative that would take around $8 billion that’s currently dedicated to high speed rail and spend it on water projects.  It would also give humans priority over other creatures when it comes to water.

This is an absolutely brilliant idea, and if they can’t raise the money to get the signatures there really is no hope in this state.  High speed rail is a colossal boondoggle.  It will never be built, because no one in their right mind would put a nickel into it.  California’s voters did, but they are often not right in the mind.  If they have to choose between this ridiculous project and water, I think they’ll make the obvious choice, and Jerry Brown’s great legacy will be a few miles of abandoned track in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley.

We’ll call it the Moonbeam Express.

 

Take this job and shove it

Obama will not officially be on the 2016 ballot.  But most political models which attempt to forecast presidential elections include the approval rating of the retiring incumbent.  Since Hillary has no choice but to embrace everything Obama, I think it’s even  more important this year.  So I’m imagining I’m the Clinton brain trust and I’m watching Obama lately.  I’m pulling out my hair.  It’s almost like he’s trying to sabotage Hillary.  He makes no effort at understanding or placating those who oppose him.  He denigrates them, dismisses them.  Hillary’s problem is that he’s insulting large swaths of the American electorate.  He seems to enjoy showing his nonchalance.  Maybe he thinks it makes him look cool to the brothers.

This has been getting worse.  The latest, his flat affect discussing Paris, and his righteous anger at opponents of refugees, is the worst so far.  He’s not going to stop.  Why should he?  For Hillary and the Democratic Party?  They were both of use to him, but are not needed any longer. He’s planning a glorious, exciting, fun filled post-Presidency.  He’s looking forward to burnishing his legacy.  He can’t wait, and doesn’t mind showing it.

Sorry, Hil.

The big Article V news of the week is from Louisville, Kentucky where two term Democrat Rep. Denver Butler switched parties to bring the Democratic majority down to 53-47.  Four more switches and we’re in the majority, and a new target state.

This wasn’t hard to spot coming.  I’d have been surprised if it didn’t.  The Democratic Party of Kentucky was destroyed by the election of Matt Bevin.  It has no future.  And everybody knows it.

The icing on the cake was the concession speech by Speaker Stumbo.  He was in shock.  He just couldn’t believe a dope like Matt Bevin could win that election.  He starts rambling on about how Jesus didn’t come to Jerusalem on an elephant, and how Hillary will be riding into the state next year on a donkey.

I’m serious.  That’s what he said.  So I’m a Democrat in the State House watching this performance, and I’m thinking, This dumb bastard thinks Hillary Clinton is the answer to our problems in Kentucky?  I’m getting on the phone with Minority Leader Jeff Hoover.

Jeff’s a busy man right now.  He’s going to be Speaker when the House convenes on January 5th.  He just doesn’t want to give away too much to get there.

Butler is from relatively urban northwest Kentucky.  The Democrats who will make Hoover Speaker are from southeastern, coal country.  There are about fifteen of them.  They’ll want to come over as a group.  This increases their bargaining power.

They’ll want a lot, and this negotiation may take some time.  A  mistake can be costly, as happened in South Carolina when Sen. Hugh Leatherman led a group of Democrats into the Republican Party.  What he got out of it was control over the State Senate for the next quarter century.

A deal will be reached.  Jeff’s a reasonable man, and it’s in everyone’s interest that this legislative coup take place cleanly and without controversy.  I feel kind of badly for Stumbo.  From a big shot to road kill.  His wife probably loves him.

And we better start getting ready to move in Kentucky.

Brandon Finnigan of NRO has a piece on Hillary’s numbers in Wisconsin that affirms what I’ve believed for some time now.  The blue wall can be breached in the Midwest, in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.  He cites, and vouches for, the Marquette Law Poll, which shows that Hillary is totally in the toilet with white working class men.  These are the guys, who, if they’d turned out, could have won the election for Romney.

They may not like Rubio or Cruz that much, but they’ll turn out to vote against Hillary.  I know these guys.  I’m very comfortable around these guys.  I don’t go to bars, but the few times I did here in Sonora I got along great with the locals.  They even invited me to join E Clampus Vitus, a local redneck organization.  I asked them if they allowed black people and they said they hadn’t given it any thought.  I declined.

I’m saying I know these people, and they just cannot stand Hillary Clinton.  She’s a complete and total bitch.  And a Barack Obama stand in.

Can you feel the tide?

 

Rome’s fall, and ours

In 1787 America was a lightly populated strip of North America bordering the Atlantic Ocean.  But our Founding Fathers were planning on a continental empire of liberty, and designed the Constitution accordingly.

One of their principal inspirations was the Twelve Tables, the foundation of the law of Rome and the Roman state.  Adopted in final form in 499 B. C., it was, as Will Durant states, “… the first written form of that legal structure which was to be Rome’s most signal achievement and her greatest contribution to civilization.”  It was a Constitution.

At the time Rome was one of many small, ambitious city-states in Italy, and only 360 square miles in area.  Then, for over three and a half centuries Rome expanded.  Now a mighty empire, Rome still, to a very great extent,  remained true to its laws.

That changed in 132 B.C., when Tiberius Gracchus, an impatient liberal populist, openly  flouted the Constitution by forcibly removing his fellow tribune from office, and thus overrode his veto of reformist laws.  Tiberius compounded his disregard for the Roman Constitution by seeking reelection as tribune, in complete disregard of the term limits in the Constitution.

Tiberius was quickly murdered by the Senate, but his willingness to ignore the law of Rome was not forgotten.  The Social and Civil Wars which followed ended with the ascension of Sulla Felix, who became a dictator.  A bit later, with Julius Caesar, the Roman Republic, and Roman law, were only memories.

The American Founding Fathers were familiar with this history, and determined to avoid it.  The reforms advocated by Gracchus, and prevented by the Twelve Tables,  should have been adopted.  There were necessary to avoid the civil strife that followed.   But the Twelve Tables contained a fatal flaw, which the Framers knew they would have to correct.  The American Constitution, unlike the Roman, would include procedures for amendment.

The Romans did have 367 years of constitutional governance.  They went from a bunch of mud huts along the Tiber to the greatest power in  the world.  But a Constitution designed for a small city-state was wholly inadequate for a world power.  The Twelve Tables contained no provision for change.  It was their downfall.

So the Framers decided to allow Congress, by 2/3 vote, to propose amendments, with 3/4 of the states necessary to ratify.  Not easy, but done successfully 27 times, about once every ten years.  But some of the Framers, Madison and Mason in particular, weren’t satisfied.

The Romans, like the Americans, were violently opposed to monarchy and the concentration of power.  The system of government set out in the Twelve Tables is designed to preserve liberty by diffusing power.  A bewildering array of offices was created, with overlapping jurisdictions.  What they all had in common was term limits.  No citizen would be allowed to remain in power long enough to pose a threat.  Political power was widely dispersed.

Actually, it was a mess, which the Framers wished to avoid.  So they designed other mechanisms to widely distribute power  — federalism, the separation of powers, an independent judiciary, and a Bill of Rights.  And, ultimately, Article V.

Article V is not just an alternative method of amending the Constitution.  It’s a fundamental statement of federalist principle:  the federal government is subservient to the States.  If the central government is deemed a threat to our freedom, the States, through Article V, have a means of controlling it.

Most Americans now fear the federal government has, indeed, become such a threat.  Once they realize the Founding Fathers gave us a tool to defend ourselves, they’ll use it.

The first Article V Amendment Convention will probably convene in 2017, once the necessary 34 State Resolutions have passed.  We have 27 Resolutions calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment today, and might even get seven more next year.

Whenever it comes  — and it is coming — this Convention will begin the resurrection of federalism, and the Constitution.