Trump, the Mind Bender

“Virgil, quick, come see, there goes Robert E. Lee”

Hippie folk singer Joan Baez recorded “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” in 1971.  In her song, she spoke for Confederate Virgil Caine, mourning the loss of his proud and brave eighteen year old brother, laid in his grave by a Yankee.  This was still the Civil Rights era, and Baez was a progressive, but she still sang this sad song of the South.  If she tried it today she’d be physically attacked.  This is what Trump has done.  He has driven his opponents crazy.

There’s no difference between the Taliban destroying Bhuddist monuments and the morons pulling down Robert E. Lee.  Lunacy, in different forms.  People say Trump is crazy.   When you drive your opponents into this kind of frenzy, who’s calling who crazy?  Like a fox.

In next month’s budget battles, Trump has made clear his top priority:  The Wall.  It’s brilliant, and the latest example of his political gifts.  If he gets The Wall, he wins.  If he doesn’t get The Wall, his opponents lose.  Heads I win, tails you lose.  Not a bad bet.

We’ve been building walls since Jericho, 10,000 years ago.  A lot of people live behind walls today, especially the wealthy.  In fact, as you read this you’re probably behind some kind of wall.  Walls are a great way to defend your life and property.  Until the 15th century, and cannon, a walled castle was virtually impregnable.  Walls keep things in, but they’re mainly to keep things out.  They’re barriers, and borders.  They come naturally to men.

People understand all this, and they know why Trump wants The Wall, and they agree with him.  If the Democrats stop funding for The Wall, they will pay a price, politically.  But because the Congressional Republicans are so feckless themselves, they won’t benefit.

Because they’re such miserable failures, these Republicans deserve to lose control of the House, and I hope they do, and I hope Nancy Pelosi is the next Speaker.  Let the American people get a full two years of her, and 2020 will be a bigger Republican win than 2016, a true wave election, sweeping in Republicans up and down the ballot, including state legislators.  If the Article V BBA hasn’t got 34 states by then we’ll finally get there in 2021.  Just in time, maybe.  Better late than never.

The task ahead is to add to our total of 27 in 2018, and defend what we have from rescission.  The sooner we get to 34 the better, but hanging on what we’ve got means the cause lives on, to rise again, if necessary.  And if Pelosi is Speaker, we’ll have two years to wait.  The Democrats in Congress will kill any Article V Amendment, if they’re in power, by hook or by crook.

We’ve seen this movie before.  Last time, instead of waiting for two years, we had to wait for 30 years for the time to be right again.  After Alaska passed the BBA Resolution in 1983, becoming the 32nd state, 30 years went by before another state passed one.  After sixteen rescissions the BBA Task Force brought the movement back to life.

One thing I’m confident in between now and 2020.  Congress will further beclown itself, and the case for Article V will grow, and rise again, and succeed at last.


On 11-7-17 Virginia speaks for the nation

Richard Fernandez asks what comes after the War on Statues?  He says the current wave of lunacy sweeping the country started in 2005 when Larry Summers lost his job as President of Harvard.  He was dumb enough to suggest that, genetically, there are more math geniuses who are men than women.  He thought the truth would be his defense, and paid the price when he was proven wrong.

Twelve years later the Mayor of New York City is thinking about tearing down a statue of Christopher Columbus.  In a way, Columbus was the first American, so it’s doubtful he’ll survive.  He’s an icon to Italian Americans, and to the millions of Catholic men who have belonged to the Knights of Columbus.  No matter.  He mistreated the Native people of America, and must be condemned.

All, or most, of this nonsense will end when mainstream Republican Ed Gillespie is elected Governor of Virginia on November 7th.  He wants Confederate statues to stand.  The Democrat wants them to come down.  Gillespie, because he’s a smart politician, almost won the Governorship four years ago by defending the mascot of the Washington Redskins.  This time he will win defending the statue of Robert E. Lee.

It’s a piece of cake.  Ten days before the election he runs an ad featuring a decorated black Army veteran standing next to Lee’s statue.  He explains why, as an American patriot, an Army man, and a black man, he believes the statue should stand.  Slam dunk.  I’d get a guy with political ambitions.  This ad would be a great introduction to the voters of Virginia.

With Governor Gillespie’s help, we’ll have a shot for the Article V BBA next year.  The Virginia Senate will be a challenge.  Loren Enns of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force is on the case, and he’s as effective an advocate as we have.  But he’ll need help.

The rebellion against the Deep State started, in my view, in October of 2013 with the introduction of Obamacare to the American people.  Trump had nothing to do with it.  He  just took advantage of the building rebellion in getting elected.  He’s got tremendous political instincts, as do most demagogues.

In supporting interim Senator Luther Strange against Judge Ray Moore for the Senate seat vacated by AG Sessions in Alabama, Trump is going against his own base.  He’s doing the Swamp’s bidding, and it’s a mistake.  A poll shows Moore with a 20 point lead.  He’s too well known in Alabama to be taken out by negative ads, but McConnell will attack him nonetheless.  Backing Strange was a mistake for Trump, and Senator Ray Moore, after he wins on September 26th, will explain it to him.  He’s more Trump than Trump is himself.

All this statue craziness was started by Trump’s remarks after Charlottesville.  He knew precisely what he was doing.  He understood, on a gut level, that he was right.  And he was well aware what the reaction would be, and he welcomed it.  Normal Americans look at all this in amazement.  And it’s all because President Donald Trump had the courage to tell the truth.

Virginia Governor Ed Gillespie is going to owe the President a big one.



“Dad, we think you’ve done enough.”

The fact that Hillary Clinton almost got elected in 2016 is a testament to the power of the deep state, and its auxiliaries in the media.  With any Republican other than Trump, it would have been a landslide.  The deep state did manage to get him nominated, and that was almost enough.  But he and his team were so much smarter than anyone realized that they pulled it off.

Embarrassed and humiliated, the deep state now plots Trump’s downfall.  A plan is in place, and is being executed.  His political survival is in doubt.

But his personal political fortunes are unimportant in the big picture.  What is important is the attack on the deep state that he is leading.  That attack must continue, and intensify.  He has a hand picked successor, ready and willing, at his side.  The Trump Insurgency will continue, and grow stronger, with President Pence.

Trump is wearing himself out as President, as most men do.  None worked harder than James K. Polk, who was smart enough to be satisfied with one term.  Even so he only lived five months after leaving office,  dying at the age of 51.  If Trump served a second term he’d be 78 years old when he left office.  It’s virtually guaranteed that his health will be gone by then.  Eight years in a pressure cooker will drain any man, of any age.

The attacks on his family are unfair, but they all seem to be good troopers, and are bearing up.  Not for themselves, but for him, at some point they have to sit down with him and ask him not to run again.

How much can one man do?  What’s more, under Pence, the work he’s begun can continue for eight more years.  Pence would win the 2020 election in an historic landslide, sweeping in Republicans at every level of government.  It would, in fact, be a referendum on the Presidency of Donald Trump.  What better way to exit the stage but in triumph?

We may not see Congress get much done under Trump, but that’s their fault, not his.  He can do enough with appointments, executive orders, and deregulation to get the economy growing strongly.  And he knows full well that the American people will not tolerate another war.  So Mike Pence will be running on a record of peace and prosperity, always a winner.

We were hoping for too much from a Trump Presidency.  Congress is the problem, and no President can solve that.  That’s up to the states, using Article V.  If an Article V Amendment  — any of them — is adopted in the next three years Congress will be on notice.  There is a power greater than yours, set forth in the Constitution, and now the states know how to use it.

There will be a lot to talk about at Phoenix.

Mueller’s plan to take out Trump

Sometimes people ask me how long I was a State Senator, and when I say “two years” it sounds like I was some kind of political loser.  But I was gerrymandered out of my seat, and my tale of revenge is pertinent today.  My target was the Democratic Governor of Alaska.  Robert Mueller’s target is President Donald Trump.  Mueller wants to do to Trump what I did to Sheffield.

Republican Governor Jay Hammond designed a State Senate seat specifically for me, and once I was elected in 1982, I was going to be very hard to get rid of, in an election.  After he was elected to succeed Hammond, Sheffield and Supreme Court Justice Jay Rabinowitz came up with a plan to get rid of me.

In a case that has perplexed legal scholars since it was decided, in Carpenter v. Hammond, 667 P. 2d 1204 (1983) Rabinowitz decided that there was a minor flaw in one House District in Southeast Alaska, and that this gave the new Governor the right to reapportion the entire legislature.  Previously, prior to the 1982 election, Rabinowitz had upheld Hammond’s reapportionment plan.  What changed his mind?  A conversation with Bill Sheffield, no doubt, which resulted in the Governor owing a huge favor to the Alaska Supreme Court.

I ran for the State House to get revenge, and because Sheffield was corrupt, I was able to get it.  His Attorney General, Norm Gorsuch, was an honorable man, who I had defended from stupid charges from some brain dead House Republicans when I was in the Senate.  These morons were trying to prevent him from being confirmed as AG, and I told them they were full of it.  I knew Gorsuch’s reputation as a lawyer, and he was clean.  I’m sure Gorsuch appreciated my attitude.

So two years later, as a member of the State House, I write Gorsuch a formal letter, asking him the criteria he would use in determining if a special prosecutor should be appointed in cases involving criminal charges against the Governor.  He wrote a very thoughtful, lawyerly letter back, which proved quite useful.

Some whistle blower in Sheffield’s administration exposed some dirty deals the Governor was doing in state leases, to benefit his contributors.  Some of the details are in this L. A. Times story.  Once this news got out, I wrote Gorsuch a letter asking that he recuse himself, and appoint a Special Prosecutor, pursuant to the criteria he had laid out in his previous letter to me.

He didn’t respond, and so every day during special orders, when any member can speak on any subject, I’d get up and raise holy hell about the need for a special prosecutor.  None of the Democrats on the floor got up to oppose me.  I kept it up, day after day, and things were getting pretty intense.  Then Gorsuch announced he was appointing a special prosecutor.  It was George T. Frampton, a former Watergate prosecutor.

He impaneled a grand jury in Juneau, and forced Sheffield to testify in front of it.  Sheffield lied through his teeth, and the grand jury recommended that the Legislature meet in special session to consider impeaching him.  We met, and decided against it.  But Sheffield’s political career was over.  He lost the Democratic primary in 1986 in a landslide.

This is what Mueller wants to do to Trump.  Get a D.C. grand jury to recommend impeachment.  Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy lays it all out at NRO.  

Trump will never be impeached, but the political damage would be immense.  For this, and many other reasons, I don’t think Trump runs for reelection.

What’s on the agenda of the Phoenix Convention of States?

In response to a request from Bill Fruth of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, the Arizona Legislature has called a Convention of States for the purpose of planning for an eventual Article V BBA Convention.  Response from the 32 red states has been very positive, and a quorum of 26 sates will certainly send Commissioners.  But none of the fourteen blue states has shown any inclination to participate, and in the four split states the Democratic presiding officers have not shown any interest.  Of the 99 legislative presiding officers, 32 are Democrats.  None of them, not one, wants anything to do with a Balanced Budget Amendment.  It’s highly unlikely any of them will agree to send delegates to a Convention solely devoted to the BBA.

In thinking about what subject matter can realistically be addressed by Article V, polls are misleading.  80% of Americans want Congressional term limits.  It’s bipartisan.  But the people who count, state legislators, don’t like term limits.  They don’t like it when their terms are limited, and many are content with their Congressional delegation, and its seniority.  So passing term limits with Article V is an extremely tough sell.  The experience of the Convention of States organization (CoS) tells the tale.  Their Resolution includes a call for term limits, and this has kept their total of Resolutions passed down to twelve.  It won’t get any easier for them.

It’s the same with the Balanced Budget Amendment.  80% of the public wants one, including 65% of Democrats.  But the people who count, Democratic state legislators, want nothing to do with a BBA.  This is why they won’t send delegates to Phoenix.

The last Democratic State Legislator to cast a deciding vote in favor of a BBA Article V Resolution was my mentor, Senator Bob Ziegler of Ketchikan.  The Alaska State Senate was split 10-10, and Bob’s deciding vote brought the count up to 32 states.  This was in 1983.  It’s been downhill ever since, as far as getting Democratic support.

To be truly successful, the Phoenix Convention of States needs to be bipartisan.  Anything having to do with Article V has to be bipartisan.  No political party can unilaterally amend the Constitution.  There are three exceptions:   the 13th, 14th, and 15th  —  the Civil War amendments.   The Democrats couldn’t stop them, because they were in secession.

When the Phoenix Convention convenes, it becomes the master of its own fate.  Unlike an Article V Convention, it is not limited by the scope of the call.  So if a majority of the states present wish to take up a subject not included in the call, they are free to do so.  The majority will rule.

Only if its agenda is expanded will Democrats participate, and the Phoenix Convention succeed.