Arizona calls the first Convention of States since 1861

Back then the Civil War loomed.  Now it’s national bankruptcy.  The failure of the “Peace Convention” made the war inevitable.  If someone, somewhere, somehow, doesn’t stop the cycle of spending, deficits and debt, our economy will eventually collapse.

Any State Legislature could have called a Convention of States at any time in the last 156 years.  For any number of reasons, the time for it was now, and Arizona has stepped forward.  Never before in our history has the federal government been so completely out of control.  Congress is paralyzed, incapable of passing laws to solve our most pressing problems, such as health care.  They can’t pass a budget.  But they can spend money without one.  Every year the deficit is between half a trillion and a trillion dollars.  That represents money stolen by this generation from its own children.

The Framers foresaw this possible state of affairs, and provided a remedy in Article V.  The States, and the people, are the ultimate sovereigns in our Constitutional system, and, if they can reach a consensus among themselves, can amend the Constitution to solve the federal government’s problems for it.  Such as forcing Congress to live within its means by a balanced budget amendment.

But what if Congress refuses to comply with such an amendment?  My recommendation would be to call another Convention of States, where remedies could be discussed, and if one is agreed to, assemble Article V Resolutions from 34 States and have another Amendment Convention.  That Article V Convention could, if authorized by the call, propose any number of solutions.  One would be to dissolve Congress and elect a new one.  When you’re the sovereign, you can do that.

And that’s what’s really behind the George Soros funded drive to stop Article V.  A fear of the people, as represented by their State Legislators.  Congress can be controlled, but not the State Legislators.  There are a lot of them, 7,383, and they’ve never been organized.  In some ways, the Phoenix Convention will be an organizational meeting, as well as a planning one.  If Phoenix succeeds, an organization will have been formed.  What is done with it, once the Convention adjourns, is up to its members.

The purpose of the Phoenix Convention is limited to two items, proposing rules for a subsequent Article V Convention, and to recommend where it should be held.  It was inspired by our most obstinate opponents, the ones who actually fear a runaway convention.  They will see with their own eyes the men and women chosen by their Legislatures to represent them at the Planning Convention.  They’ll see them, up close and personal.  And they’ll see American patriots, not much different than themselves.  People who can be trusted.  The same people, by and large, who will attend the Article V Convention to follow.

One thing will be settled for once and for all in Phoenix.  One State, One vote.  That’s how every Convention of States in American history has voted, and that will always be the practice.  In addition, a set of Rules will be adopted, and recommended to the Article V Convention.

In a sense, the Phoenix Convention is a demonstration project, a way to prove the feasibility and trustworthiness of the real thing, the Amendment, or Article V, Convention.

Bill Fruth of the BBA Task Force is responsible for this Convention, along with the indispensable Speaker of the Arizona House, J. D. Mesnard.  Remember that name.  You’re going to hear more of it.

What will be the Second Article V Amendment?

For years we’ve been trying to get the attention of conservative donors  — people with money who are concerned about the national debt and the concentration of power in Washington.  We’re still trying, but no luck so far.  But we have managed to get the attention of the progressive left.  They take us seriously, and, led by groups affiliated with Soros, have mobilized against us.  They have virtually unlimited money, and have purchased the organization “Common Cause”, and are using it as the vehicle to oppose us.  So we’re finally being taken seriously, but only by the opposition.

In a nationally coordinated campaign, they have won a rescission in New Mexico, may be on the verge of a rescission in Maryland, and are starting a rescission Resolution in Nevada.  We could lose three States this year, putting us back to 27.  This means we have to run the table this year and next, winning in all seven target States which are under Republican control.  That would get us to the magic number, and there are no other States which are under complete Democratic control.  As long as Republicans control one chamber, we don’t have to worry about another rescission.  If we had the money that our opponents do, we could win all seven with a massive publicity campaign.  Absent that, our only real hope is the September Planning Convention.

At the first Convention of States since 1861, we must convince State Legislators from these target States that an Article V Convention will not run away, it will function as intended, propose one and only one Amendment, and adjourn.  These skeptical, and sometimes hostile, legislators will be able to see with their own eyes who will, in fact, be running an Article V Convention.  It will be the same people who are running the Planning Convention.  People who are really no different from the skeptics themselves.

The Planning Convention, or the Convention of States, may also attract the notice of some conservative donors.  If it were not for this Convention, we would be reduced to praying for a miracle.

Until now, we haven’t sought out any help from Trump world.  We were trying to maintain a facade of bipartisanship.  But if we lose all these Democrat controlled States, it will be the Democrats who have turned this into a partisan fight.

Trump is having trouble with Congress, and he may be in for a lot more.  Grand goals like the deconstruction of the administrative state may be out of reach through normal channels.  To make such a deconstruction permanent would require a Constitutional Amendment.  Good luck getting 67 votes in the Senate for that.  So a Deconstruction Amendment could only be achieved through Article V.  Such an Amendment would do more to restore our liberties than people realize.  It would be the crowning accomplishment of a Presidency.  If we have a successful BBA Convention, it would be proof that a Deconstruction Amendment can be done through the use of Article V.  If enough financial resources are made available, and a real campaign was run, it could be done.

Trump World isn’t interested in any of this right now.  They’re still trying to figure out how to get something, anything, through Congress.  When they realize, at the end of summer, that Congress doesn’t actually function, and can’t be expected to do anything, then they may begin to look for alternatives.  And the only real alternative to Congress is Article V.

Because ignorance of the Constitution is so widespread, few people realize that Congress, and the federal government itself, is subject to the several States.  Acting together, using Article V, the States can make Congress do anything they want.  Such as pass a balanced budget.  Beyond that, it’s a question of what’s politically practical.  And only measures which enjoy broad, bipartisan support can get the supermajorities required by Article V.

Eventually, some enterprising reporter is going to look into all this, and tell this tale.  It will eventually get told at the September Convention.  But sooner would be better.




The time has come for something completely different

Since nothing much is happening in Washington, we have manufactured stories to entertain us.  I call it the Nunes-CIA-Manafort-Flynn-FBI- Kushner-Putin-NSA-Podesta-Clinton-email scandal.  What a farce.  Meanwhile, we see a lot of Republican resistance to cutting federal spending.  Oh no, you can’t cut here, and you can’t cut that, and we really need to spend more, not less, on this.  And these are the “Republicans”.  Actually, they’re not.  They’re Congressmen.  And Congress, as an institution, is corrupt, incompetent, lazy and dysfunctional.  A dysfunctional Congress leads to an imperial Presidency, which is what we’re going to get. Obama concentrated a great deal of power in the Presidency, and Trump will wind up keeping a lot of it.  If Congress won’t do anything, what else can he do?

2016 was a change election, but Congress doesn’t want to change.   The appetite for change is as strong as ever.  In fact, I suspect the few people who are paying attention to politics right now are so fed up with all this stupidity that they want change more than ever.

And we’re stuck with them.  The one thing they have accomplished is to devise a system where an incumbent Congressman is very hard to take out.  They may not be good for much, but they know how to win elections.  Ryan and his leadership team are such failures that there is talk of the Democrats taking the House in 2018.  With an approval rating in the 30’s, Trump wouldn’t be of any help.

But what, pray tell, will the Democrats campaign on?  The Clinton campaign message, the one that failed so dismally?  No, it’s Sanders time.  But these people don’t seem to understand.  Sanders is a socialist.  In most of this country, socialism is seen as a failed political model.  It doesn’t work.  And in the places Democrats need to pick up seats, you can’t sell socialism.

So we’ll have this Congress, in pretty much its current form, for the next six years, at least.  And this Congress is useless.  The latest deficit projection is $560 billion, and heading higher.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump added a trillion to the national debt in his first year.

So, what’s to be done?  If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know my answer.  My question is, if you don’t like my idea, what’s yours?  There are a lot of people with a lot of money who are scared to death of the growing debt, and believe it is a threat to our national security.  If they won’t step forward to help us, what will they do?

I’ve been singing that tune for several years now, and it hasn’t caught on.  Our best hope for a breakthrough will be in Nashville.  If that doesn’t work it may be game up.

I’m hoping we can get Governor Jerry Brown to come as a delegate from California.  When he ran for President one of his main themes was to use Article V to get a Balanced Budget Amendment.  Unless he’s changed his mind, he should be a supporter.  Brown has an independent streak a mile wide.  He might surprise everybody and reaffirm his support of a BBA.

120 years ago the Democrats were the party of hard money.  But there hasn’t been a “Cleveland Democrat” since then.  Who knows?  Maybe the time has come.


Profiles in cowardice

Trump wants jobs, and Congress could help, but if all he’s got is a phone and a pen, he can do a lot.  Consumer confidence just rocketed to a 16 year high, more people are entering the work force, and the failure of Ryancare hasn’t tanked the stock market.  Economists know there’s a psychological component of economic growth, but there’s no way to quantify it exactly.   But Trump’s election has given people hope, and it’s contagious.

Congress has become little more than an assembly of 535 political entrepreneurs, each looking out for themselves.  There’s no way to discipline them, and they have no loyalty or allegiance to anything but self interest.  There are exceptions, but the bulk of them are time servers and egomaniacs.  They’d rather have excuses than votes that upset anyone.

The House Freedom Caucus has pissed a lot of people off, so they may be on to something.  Rather than pass legislation designed to appease the squishes in the Republican Party, maybe it’s better to pass nothing at all, and let Trump govern as Obama did, without Congress.  I don’t think Trump needs to do much.  He just needs to undo a lot of things, and he’ll see results.  He can kick the can down the road to October, then cram everything he really needs into the Monster Reconciliation of 2017, and round up 51 votes in the Senate and 218 in the House.  They either vote “yes” or shut down the government, default on the debt, and send the economy into a recession.  Regular order is dead, because Congress as an institution is dysfunctional.


A disappointing non-vote in the Tennessee House State Government Committee today, so the location of September’s BBA Planning Convention will not be determined until next week’s hearing.  My understanding is that one of our votes in Committee had to leave, and since we were at the bottom of the calendar we were put off for a week.  But this Convention will be held.  In some things what’s important is not what happens, but that it happened at all.  When the Chair of the first Convention of States since 1861 gavels the meeting to order, it will in one sense be mission accomplished.  Everything after that is gravy.

Trust in God, but tie your camel

It didn’t take an act of God to get Arizona as our 29th State, but it’s almost like we couldn’t have done it without Him.  The most strident, pig headed, and determined opponent of Article V in the country is Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona’s 5th District.  He wrote the Bible of opposition, The Con of the Con-Con.  He was the President of the Arizona Senate until last year, and an Article V bill would pass the Arizona Legislature over his dead body.  There are powerful and vengeful powerful Presiding Officers, and Biggs was one of them.   He would use every tool at his disposal to stop us.  Arizona was a lost cause, but we had to get Arizona.

Matt Salmon represented the 5th District from 1994-2000, when he honored his pledge to serve no more than three terms.  In 2002 he ran for Governor against Janet Napolitano, and lost by 12,000 votes, a heart breaker.  The guy who took over his House seat, Jeff Flake, ran successfully for the Senate in 2012, so Matt went back to Congress from his old district, winning easily.  It’s one of the most conservative Congressional districts in the country.

He was only 58 years old last year, serving his fifth term in Congress, in a life time seat.  For some reason, he retired.  Biggs ran to replace him, and won the Republican primary in a recount.  The new President of the Arizona Senate is a believer in Article V, and with new House Speaker J. D. Mesnard as our sponsor, we passed the Senate today, 17-12, one vote to spare.  We even got Senator Dave Farnsworth, after Biggs, the strongest opponent we had.

We had the same problem in Wisconsin, with a State Senator named Glenn Grothman.  He was blocking us in the Senate, and there was no way around him.  Then a Congressional seat opened up, which he won, and his replacement in the Senate is with us.  Quite a coincidence, really.  As a result, Senator Kapenga has clear sailing in getting us through this year.  The sooner, the better.  30 is a lot better than 29.  It starts with a three, meaning it’s in the third decade.  And the third sounds and reads quite a bit bigger than the second.  At least that’s the way it seems to me.  So, on Wisconsin!

We’ve got the same kind of problem in Idaho, with Senator Bart Davis.  But he’ll be gone next year, so we hear, when he’s appointed the United States Attorney for Idaho.  Thank you, Jesus.  When Rep. Zinke got appointed to Secretary of the Interior, I hoped Senate President Scott Sales might get his seat, and be out of our hair.  But he didn’t make it, so the Good Lord wouldn’t go that far for us.

I’m not sure, it may take a similar sort of divine intervention to get past Senate President Hugh Leatherman of South Carolina.  He’ll celebrate his 86th birthday in a couple weeks.  Maybe they’ll give him a little party.  Nothing happens in the South Carolina Legislature without Leatherman’s say so, and right now, nothing’s happening, because he wants a gasoline tax, and nobody else does.  So nothing happens.  I thought the new, vigorous Senate Majority Leader, Shane Massie had figured out a way around this guy, but maybe not.  On the other hand, he may be just biding his time, waiting for pressure to mount on Leatherman before he makes his move.

My understanding is that there is a great deal of corruption in the South Carolina Legislature.  The person to do something about it is the next United States Attorney for South Carolina.  Investigating corruption in a State Legislature is the legitimate business of a U. S. Attorney.  Maybe we don’t need divine intervention.  Maybe we need a federal investigation.