I tweet, you tweet, we all tweet

I don’t tweet. I’d wager few MRAK readers do. Twitter is for the politically correct, and if you stray off the leftist reservation, you’re censored.

I’d like to tweet. I have the occasional random thought that I’d like to share. Such as:

I have very serious doubt that Trump runs again for President. He’ll turn 76 next month. He’d be 82 at the end of another term. That’s too old. And no one, not even Trump, can run for office without the support of their spouse. Melania’s first priority is her son Barron, who just turned 16. Does she want him back in the fishbowl of the White House as he makes the transition to adulthood?

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has three little kids, the youngest only two years old. His wife is recovering from breast cancer. He’s only 43. Is this his time, or should he put off a Presidential run? He seems like a guy who would put his family first.

Trump is getting a lot of attention with his primary endorsements. But when the primaries are over his endorsement doesn’t help any more. As Glenn Youngkin demonstrated in Virginia, Republican candidates in a general election need to distance themselves from Trump. The people who will be talking about Trump will be the Democrats, trying to fire up their base.

The Democrats are in serious trouble in 2024. They don’t have a candidate, and they don’t have a message. Actually, they had awful candidates, with no message, in 2016 and 2020. They only lost by a whisker in 2016, and squeaked through in 2020, because half the country can’t stand Donald Trump. Their only hope in 2024 is Trump as their opponent. Personally, I think Republicans will realize this, and nominate a mainstream conservative, like Mike Pence.

This is a Republican year. It’s not a good time to run if you’re a Democrat. especially in Alaska. So I think Republicans will control both houses of the legislature next year. One thing they’ll want to do is repeal the part of Prop 2 that abolished political primaries. They could also repeal ranked choice voting, but should they?

I’d counsel against it. Alaska is a red state, and Republicans have a natural advantage. Actually, I’ve been in favor of ranked choice voting since 1982, when I first ran for the State Senate. That’s when Democrat Bill Sheffield was elected Governor with 46% of the vote. Conservatives were divided between Republican Tom Fink and Libertarian Dick Randolph. With ranked choice voting, almost all of Randolph’s votes would have gone to Fink, who could have won.

In the last forty years I’ve seen the same thing happen time after time in Alaska elections. So I’d say keep ranked choice voting. It keeps political minorities, like Alaska Democrats, from winning elections.

So those are my tweets. If Elon Musk wins control of Twitter I’ll start tweeting for real, and I hope many of you do as well. It would be a convenient forum

Joe Biden is the left’s last gasp

You’re looking at the best the left can offer. There’s no one waiting in the wings. They have nothing to say, and nobody to say it. The party’s over.

After the Democratic Debacle to come —- 2024 —-they’ll have to totally reorient themselves. It’s going to take them a long time to do it.

The years ahead look good. It’s Article V time.

The Red Tide of 2022 Begins in Texas

The first political data of 2022 was provided by the voters of Texas yesterday. There’s only one piece of datum which really counts: 800,00 more Republican voters than Democrats.

Elections are decided by who turns out, and Texas proves that R’s are far more anxious to vote than D’s. It makes perfect sense. Aside from habitual voters, Democrats are dispirited and disillusioned. Republicans are pissed off.

I mean, really, if you’re a Democrat why in the hell would you run for office this year? And why would you bother voting? Trump’s not on the ballot, so you have nothing to motivate you.

We’re just eight months away from a blowout.

Russia, Ukraine and the Price of Oil

It looks like Russia will take its second bite out of Ukraine at the end of the Winter Olympics, on or about 2-22-22. Its first bite, Crimea, was taken at the end of Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. No one will stop them now, just as no one stopped them eight years ago. Economic sanctions won’t deter them now, just as they didn’t stop them before.

Modern Russian adventurism is tied to the price of oil. With oil currently above $90 a barrel, the Russians are taking in $1 billion a day in hard currency, and sanctions won’t put a dent in that income. Oil is a fungible commodity. There will always be a market for Russian oil somewhere.

In 1979, when the Russians invaded Afghanistan, oil was at $115 a barrel. In 2014, when the Crimea was invaded, it was at $120 a barrel. In contrast, in 1986, when Gorbachev threw in his hand, and gave up on competing with the United States militarily, the price got down to $11 a barrel. Without hard currency from oil, Russia could no longer afford to play the superpower game, and the cold war was over. As Reagan had predicted, and helped bring about, we won, they lost. Oil was a big part of it.

In the end, Russia will likely wind up with a piece of eastern Ukraine, where most of the ethnic Russians live. What’s left of Ukraine will not join NATO and will be, effectively, a satellite of Russia. Demography is not destiny, but geography is. Demographics can change. Geography never does. The Ukrainians are cursed because of their location next to Russia and terrain that provides no defense.

It’s not fair, and it’s not right, but there is a lot of injustice in this world. The American people deplore all of it. But we won’t fight a war to stop it. Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan have taught us a lesson. From now on, we will only fight wars when our national security is at stake. That’s definitely not the case in Ukraine.

Joe Biden will bear some of the responsibility for the invasion of Ukraine. Beginning in his first day in office, with the cancellation of the Keystone pipeline, he declared war on American energy production. To him and his fellow environmental extremists, it is the price of fighting climate change. It’s a high price, but he’s willing for you to pay it. He wants high energy prices, in order to depress consumption, reduce pollution, and incentivize the transition to alternative energy sources. When he took office oil was around $50 a barrel. It will be $100 a barrel before long.

High oil prices enrich some of the worst human rights violators in the world — the Russian autocrat Putin, the Saudi royal family, and the Iranian mullahs. To curb their wealth, and their mischief making, we need to encourage North American oil and gas production. American shale production helped bring down the price of oil, and it can do so again. Federal lands, most especially Alaska’s ANWR, need to be opened up again for exploration and production. Until then the Saudis, the Russians and the Iranians have some fat years ahead of them.

We were well on our way under President Trump. The next President will be a like-minded Republican, barring satanic intervention. We’ll be back on the road to energy dominance on January 20, 2025. Until then we’ll pay at the gas pump, we’ll pay to heat our homes, and we’ll pay with inflation.

The political coalition that brought down Trump in 2020 was fanatical in its determination. They were willing to break the law, destroy their own credibility, and violate every American political norm. They were willing to foist an incompetent old fool on the country as President. None of that mattered. The only thing that mattered was beating Trump.

We’re all paying the price of this fanaticism. Sadly, so will Ukraine.

Democracy and a Convention

Opponents of a constitutional convention point to the passage of Prop 2 as an example of what could go wrong. Outside dark money got it on the ballot, and then convinced a bare majority to vote for it. This is the danger inherent in direct democracy, which is what initiatives are.

Federal initiatives are not allowed by the United States Constitution. The Founding Fathers didn’t believe in direct democracy. They gave us a constitutional republic, in which the people don’t directly make decisions. Rather, the people vote for representatives, who do have the power to decide.

In the case of a convention, the people will not be proposing amendments directly. They will instead elect representatives – delegates – who will meet, deliberate, and then decide what amendments should be submitted to the people.

The proponents of Prop 2 knew they could never get it passed by the Alaska legislature. It was a radical change in the structure of Alaska politics. Their only hope was through an initiative, using millions of dollars in a fundamentally dishonest campaign. There was no real organized opposition, and voters were fooled in to voting for it.

If a convention is approved in November, the legislature will decide how delegates will be elected. Every part of the state will send trusted and respected citizens. Outside dark money can’t possibly control these elections, taking place from Ketchikan to Kotzebue. That would require a conspiracy so large, and so well disguised, that only a paranoid conspiracy freak could believe in it.

Participating in a constitutional convention is serious business. Voters will only support people they know, and have confidence in. Since a convention is of limited duration, and is a limited commitment. People who can’t make the commitment to service in the legislature will be candidates. Community leaders from all walks of life will be step forward..

Instead of fear mongering about a constitutional convention, Alaskans should fear what our ruling elites are trying to do to this state. In Saggoonick v. State of Alaska, they recently came within one Supreme Court vote of shutting down our oil and gas industry. In the name of climate change, the plaintiffs came very close to destroying Alaska’s economy.

We shouldn’t be deterred by paranoid fantasies of a Great Constitutional Conspiracy. Instead, we should worry about the very real threats to our liberty and economy by the elites who run this state. They are the danger, and they are very real. The legislature can’t pass the amendments we need to protect the dividend, provide for school choice, and rein in a judiciary running amok. Only a convention, elected by the people, can do that.

That’s why we get the chance to vote for a convention every ten years.