Harvey Houston Rescues Republicans

Before the Houston flood, September was looking ugly for Republicans.  The R’s have no choice but to raise the debt ceiling, and fund the government.  It looked like an absolute mess, with Trump insisting on his wall money, Democrats unwilling to lift a finger to help, and the Republican House and Senate leadership unable to unite their caucuses.  Then came Harvey.

For some months now I have been predicting that the Republicans are capable of passing one (1) major bill this year: the Monster Reconciliation Bill of 2017.  With the flood, it just got a lot easier.  Politically, Congress has no choice but to pass a massive relief bill for the hurricane victims.  This will be extremely difficult for any Congressman to oppose, so it’s included in the Monster, along with raising the debt ceiling, continuing spending at current levels for a few months, and whatever else they can throw in there.

This is how Congressional leadership likes to legislate  —  take it or leave it.  This bill will not be the work of any legislative committee.  The general membership has no formal input.  It will be written behind closed doors, and be a thousand pages long.  No one will have a chance to read it before voting begins.

Power is concentrated tightly at the top.  Lobbyists and contributors understand this, which is why the Speaker and Majority Leader are such prolific fundraisers.  If you’ve got juice with them, you don’t need it with anyone else.

McConnell, Ryan and their inner circle will decide what goes in the Monster, and what stays out, all with an eye to the magic numbers of 51 and 218.  We might get a little dollop of health care reform, or infrastructure.  It’s possible you get to add a little tax reform to boot.  I’m almost certain there will be a special goodie for Kentucky.  McConnell is not popular in his home state, and bringing home the bacon is critical for him.  Most of his colleagues understand, and sympathize, so Mitch always gets his bite of pork.

It’s a hell of a way to run a government, but it’s the best Congress can do.  All grist for the Article V mill.

Here’s the Alaska angle.  Next year they”ll do all this again, with the Monster Reconciliation Bill of 2018.  And opening up ANWR will be in it.  Zinke and Trump are setting the whole thing up.  It’s the only way, and it can be done with 51 votes.  Someone really needs to try to explain all this to Lisa Murkowski.

I’ll be stopping by Vegas on my way to Phoenix to see an old law school buddy.  He’s a criminal defense lawyer, and has been appointed to represent one of the Bundy defendants in federal court in Las Vegas.  One set of defendants has just been scheduled for their third trial.. The first two ended with hung juries.  This was the way I expected these cases to play out.

The judge is in the tank for the government, so the defense lawyers have been prevented from putting on a defense.  So, at final argument, they all stood mute.  None of them offered a word of argument, as a protest against the entire railroaded trial.  And at least one juror got the message.

This isn’t a criminal trial.  It’s a conspiracy by the government against private citizens.  All it takes is one juror who understands what’s actually going down, and the government can’t get a conviction.

Recently, in Oregon, a federal jury flat out acquitted one of the Bundy boys and some others.  Thank God for the right to a jury.  I always say Article V is the last line of defense, and that’s true, politically.  But for a citizen, up against the government, the jury is your best friend.

Clive Bundy and his gang are the most politically incorrect people in this country, bar none.  Otherwise, they would be martyrs.


I hate Trump more than you do!

In religions, as in every sphere of life, there is competition.  In some versions of Christianity, the devout and the fanatically devout inflict physical pain on themselves, often in imitation of the Passion of Christ.  It can merely be wearing a hair shirt under your robe, as a constant irritant and penance.  Or it can go all the way to self flagellation and crucifixion.  Whoever suffers the most wins the competition as the most holy.

Today’s leftists have their own weird religion, and the believers have a competition among themselves.  Who hates Trump the most?  At the top of the heap, and at the tip of the spear, are the fascist antifa.  They hate Trump so much they’ll punch you in the mouth if you say his name.  You talk about hatred!   They have won the moral leadership of the left because they hate Trump more than anyone else.

Since they are pure of heart, their tactics are above criticism.  “No enemies on the left” is a political tradition.  Has any prominent Democrat condemned them?  I haven’t read about it, and the silence is deafening.  And as St. Thomas More put it, silence is assent.

But this silence comes with a cost, and it will first be paid in Virginia on 11-7-17  —  a very lucky number for Governor-to-be Ed Gillespie.  I haven’t made a political prediction since I said Trump would never be elected President, so I’m overdue.  In Virginia, it’s Gillespie with a big win, bigger than any poll predicts.  And for the state legislature, the Republicans maintain a large majority in the House.

The election of 2018 is too far away to say anything about, but if this antifa business continues, it will do great harm to the Democratic party.

I’ve never cared for Obama, but he could do his party, and his country, a lot of good if he stood up for free speech, and condemned the antifa fascists.  But I don’t think he’s a big enough man to do it.

My friend Matthew Monforton has a piece in the Resurgent about the Montana Republican Senatorial primary of 2018.  The favorite is State Auditor Matt Rosendale, a good conservative, according to Matthew.  But he’s on record as favoring Mitch McConnell to continue as Majority Leader.  This will get him a lot of McConnell’s money, but it comes with a price.

Montana is Trump country, and McConnell is very unpopular there.  There’s another good conservative running, State Senator Al Olszewski.  He says he won’t vote to keep McConnell as Majority Leader.  If Olszewski can raise a little money, he can beat Rosendale, McConnell, and the Democrat, Tester, in the general.  All he needs is a little money.  Actually, come to think of it, I’ll bet he’s able to raise some money.  An interesting race.

Senator Olszewski was one of the few Republicans with the courage to vote for the BBA Article V Resolution when it came to the floor of the House in 2013.  He may not remember it, but I do.  With that vote, he told the crackpot John Birch Society to go jump in the lake.  I admire that, and will talk to the people I know in Montana about Al Olszewski.

Al for Senate.

Must Trump Fight Alone?

Every Republican with a brain in his head knows that Trump is spot on in his attacks on the media.  These people have been leftist shills for my entire life.  I’ve just about forgiven Trump for all his faults, because he has the courage to fight these smug hypocrites.  No one else in the Republican Party seems willing to do it.

It’s because they’re all cowards.  They want to make nice with the media so they, themselves, won’t be attacked in the press.  John McCain is the worst.  Ever since he ran for President in 2000 McCain has sucked up to the media.  A fat lot of good it did him when he was the Republican nominee in 2008.  They made a fool out of him.

Where’s Vice President Pence?  Why isn’t he carrying this ball?  He should be leading the charge against CNN and all the other fake news.  It’s what Vice Presidents are for.  They’re supposed to take the heat for the boss, as Spiro Agnew did for Richard Nixon.  If Pence expects to inherit Trump’s political base, he should get out and earn it.

Monumental stupidity, on the part of the entire Democratic Party, is the best thing the Republicans have going for them.  It’s like they learned nothing from the 2016 election.  Whites are the majority of voters in this country, and will be for some time.  The Democratic Party is in the process of becoming the anti-white party.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything stupider in my life.

And then there’s Article V of the Constitution.  It’s not white, or black, or Republican or Democrat, or conservative or liberal.  It’s clean, and fresh, and never been used — a breath of fresh air.

The Phoenix Convention of States couldn’t happen at a more opportune time.

Explain yourself, Mr. President

President Obama was justly criticized for his failure to ever articulate for the American people what the hell were we doing in Afghanistan.  He never addressed the nation, and gave a carefully reasoned rationale.  He owed the American people that.

Now it’s Trump that owes us an explanation.  If he’s honest with us, we can support him.  But we have to know what we’re fighting for.  Why is this problem our responsibility?  And if we’re responsible in Afghanistan, where else in the world are we responsible, and must shed blood if necessary?  How long is this list?

Peace and prosperity wins elections, and prosperity is on the way.  But peace comes first, and if Trump fails here he’s a failed President.

The American people don’t want to go to war.  Anywhere, for anything, except our own national security, and the freedom of the seas.  Trump knows that.  He just needs to act on it.

One of the most interesting elections in 2018 will be for Governor of Alaska, where a three way race has taken shape.  Highly unpopular incumbent Bill Walker will run as an Independent, former Senator Mark Begich will be the Democratic candidate, and State Senator Mike Dunleavy the Republican.  If you enjoy politics, this will be one to watch.  In his last campaign, Begich made a serious mistake, which may have cost him his senate seat.  We’ll see if he’s learned anything.

Out of the gate, I’d lay my money on Dunleavy.  But the race has just started.  Fourteen months to go.  The way I read it, it’s Dunleavy’s to lose, and I don’t think he’s a loser.

The Missing Liberty Amendment

“A state legislature may establish rules and procedures for the recall of members of its Congressional delegation.”  —  The Recall Congress Amendment.

Presidents can be removed from office by impeachment.  Supreme Court Justices can be impeached.  Why can’t members of Congress be removed from office?

The original Virginia Plan of James Madison provided for the recall of members of the House.  19 states allow for the recall of elected officials.  Why shouldn’t there be a way to recall Senators and Representatives?

The proposed Constitutional Amendment set out above could, of course, only happen through the use of Article V.  State legislators, not voters, control the Article V process, so don’t expect a headlong dash from these politicians for a recall amendment.  State legislators hate the power of recall, at least insofar as it applies to them.  They don’t want people to start thinking too much about this whole “recall” business.  So this amendment would be very difficult to pass.  But if the use of Article V by the states becomes routine, it could have a chance down the road.

That shouldn’t stop some enterprising and ambitious legislator in Arizona or Alaska from introducing an Article V Recall Congress Resolution.  A lot of people are upset with McCain and Murkowski, and it might get a lot of public support in those two states.  It might even pass, in which case the Recall Congress movement will be born.  Two states down, 32 to go.

It might appeal to state legislators more if they realized the power this amendment would give to them.  It allows state legislators to control the whole recall process.  They could write a law that gives them, or a supermajority of them, the unilateral power to recall a member of Congress.

Talk about a hammer!  Every member of Congress, House and Senate, would be looking over their shoulders at their state legislature, and trying to stay on their good side.  All this talk of repealing the 17th Amendment is moonshine.  The people will never give up their right to elect United States Senators.  But the people might not mind if these Senators could be recalled, either.

There will be a lot of legislators from Arizona at the Phoenix Convention, and hopefully a few from Alaska.  This will be something to talk about.