“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.

Leading horses to water

You can’t blame anyone for your own failures.  It’s tempting to get angry, and take out your frustration on those who don’t see things your way.  But that’s no way to go through life.  If you fail, you move on.

Apparently our dysfunctional Congress, currently on summer vacation, will do nothing about anything until the end of September, when the federal government runs out of money, and the debt ceiling has to be raised.  So they’ll wind up passing one Monster, Kick the Can, bill.  Pathetic.

It’s the best they can do.  It’s a hell of a way to govern a country, but what can be done about it?

For seven years the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force has tried to convince state legislators that Article V is the answer.  With virtually no resources, the Task Force has won victories in fifteen state legislatures.  Seven more are needed to force a Call of an Article V Amendment Convention.  None of the remaining target states will be easy, and without some support it’s just not going to happen.

But I don’t see any of the 27 states on record with BBA Resolutions rescinding any time soon, with the possible exception of Colorado.  This is a base of support that’s not going away.  A BBA Resolution lasts indefinitely, until rescinded, and those 26 or 27 Resolutions will sit there, until someone with some serious money decides to finish the job.

The horses have been led to water, but you can’t force them to drink.

This has been a year of decision for me, personally.  My 95 year old mother is now under my responsibility, and will be close by in a nursing home.  I’ve finally arranged for my 76 year old sister to be united with her daughters in Tacoma.  The situation with my three sons is stabilizing.  My 101 year old mother in law lies close to death.  And Babbie and I hope to purchase property in Montana this year, close to my youngest son and his growing family.  I have a lot to be grateful for.

Nothing I or the Task Force have done has been in vain.  There is now more awareness of Article V in State Capitols across the country than ever before.  It’s the obvious answer to our problems with the federal government.

Its time will come.

Anthony Kennedy (2018) and Antonin Scalia (2016) win elections

You can make a strong case that Donald Trump owes his victory to the death of Justice Scalia.  If there had not been a Supreme Court vacancy to fill, the Never Trumpers at National Review would have had a lot more company.  If Clinton controlled that appointment, it would have shifted the 4-4 balance of the Court (the ninth Justice, Kennedy, is a switch hitter) into an unbreakable 5-3 liberal majority.  This would have been calamitous for constitutional conservatives.  I didn’t vote for Trump because I live in California, and my vote doesn’t really count.  If I was in a battleground state I probably would have forced myself to vote for him.  Supreme Court vacancies move votes, at least from people like me.

I call Kennedy a switch hitter, and that’s not really fair.  He’s much more comfortable with his colleague Neil Gorsuch than he is with Justice Sotomayor.  And he’s decided to let Trump pick his replacement next summer. His timing is perfect, and all Republicans will benefit, particularly in the Senate.

The left is going to absolutely bat guano crazy, because Kennedy is the fifth vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, and abortion rights in general, and his replacement will be the fifth vote to overturn Roe.

Which really isn’t that big a deal.  Before Roe v. Wade, states had their own abortion laws, and they were evolving toward more leniency.  As Governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed such a bill into law.  Once Roe is overturned, the states will once again control the laws on abortion within their borders.  California will continue to have the most liberal abortion law in the country.  South Dakota will probably have the most restrictive, with the rest of the states somewhere in between.  There’s enough money in the pro-abortion movement to help pregnant women in South Dakota get to an abortion clinic somewhere, so this isn’t really such an important decision in the real world.

Politically, it’s dy-no-mite.  Every Democrat in the Senate must, must vote against Trump’s nominee, regardless of how qualified and attractive they are.  They have no choice, and it’s going to hurt them.

As they demonstrated in the Gorsuch hearings, Senate Republicans know how to conduct themselves with Supreme Court nominations.  Cruz and others on the Senate Judiciary Committee will make mincemeat of the Democrats, who have no choice but to be hysterical.  Good TV, and bad politics for Democrats.

This will help the Republicans in the House, as well.  Although, at the rate they’re going they may be beyond help.