Admiral James Stockdale, 1992: “Who am I? Why am I here?”

An American hero, Admiral Stockdale will be remembered as a dope.  As Perot’s V. P. pick in 1992, he opened a nationally televised debate with these rhetorical questions.  And he never got around to answering them.

In Shattered we learn that Hillary had the same questions about herself, and wanted her campaign staff to provide the answers.  They were unable to do so, and she blames their failure for her loss.  But where was her husband of forty years, a political genius and the winner of two Presidential elections?   Why couldn’t he come up with the answers?

I don’t think it’s that complicated.  She was running for Obama’s third term, but she couldn’t say it.  She was, at the same time, running for Bill’s third term, and she couldn’t say that.  She was the consensus choice of the Democratic Party establishment, but she couldn’t say that, either.

As for a platform, she didn’t have one because the Democratic Party doesn’t have one, other than the defense of the welfare state and its ruling class.  But they can’t say that.

Bernie Sanders had something to say, but he’s not a Democrat, he’s a socialist.  Which is where the Democratic Party is heading, an acknowledgement that it wants a more socialist society.  Like Europe, with its enormous taxes, and smothering government.   Nationalizing health care is just the start.  Socialism has never sold in this country, and I doubt it sells today, but we’ll see.  It’s Bernie’s party now, and that’s his prescription.

But as long as Trump is around, the Democrats don’t need a platform.  As long as they’re against Trump, the whole party is united.  2018 could be a good year for the Democrats.  They might even get close to winning the House, and they would almost certainly pick up State Legislative chambers, such as the Colorado Senate.  If that happened Soros and crew would be pursuing an Article V rescission Resolution from opening day.   Based on their success in New Mexico and Nevada, we would be hard pressed to stop them.  So as far as Article V goes, it’s 2018 or Bust.

Dave Biddulph highly recommends Rep. Ken Buck’s “Drain the Swamp”.    Rep. Buck says the only way to fix Washington is to use Article V, starting with a Balanced Budget Amendment, and then term limits.  Welcome aboard, Congressman.  We’ll be asking for your help.

California dreaming

Jerry Brown succeeded Ronald Reagan as Governor of California in 1974, and ran for President in 1976 at the age of 36.  Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia beat him, but Brown did run second in the popular votes cast in the primaries.  After being reelected Governor in 1978, he ran against President Carter in 1980, but gained no traction after Senator Ted Kennedy also jumped in the race.

In the same year Brown first became Governor of California, 1975, the Article V Balanced Budget Amendment movement was formed by two Democratic State Legislators from Maryland and Mississippi, and spread rapidly in State Legislatures across the country.  Most of these legislatures were, at the time, under Democratic control, and it was a completely bipartisan effort.

When Brown first campaigned for President in 1976 the national debt was $620 billion, and it was considered a national disgrace that could no longer be tolerated.  Brown had three principal campaign themes, one of which was the adoption of a Balanced Budget Amendment through the use of Article V.  It made sense, politically.  It was a popular issue.  By 1980 30 States had adopted BBA Resolutions.

All of which leads me to believe we can get Governor Jerry Brown of California to come to the Phoenix Convention of States.  I’m going to see if I can get my old club, the Cal YR’s, to encourage him to come.  He’d be a great ally.

Give the States the power of Initiative

Bill Fruth self -published 10 Amendments for Freedom in 2010.   Three years later, radio personality Mark Levin latched on to the idea, and wrote his eleven Liberty Amendments, which are slightly different from Fruth’s.  Looking them over, I think I see room for another one more, an Initiative Amendment.

If 30 State Legislatures pass Resolutions calling for enactment of the exact same piece of federal legislation, it would appear on the ballot for the next regularly scheduled Congressional election.  The people of each Congressional District would vote on this proposal, and it would become the law of the land if approved by voters in a majority of the electoral college.  A State’s senatorial electoral votes would be determined by the statewide vote.

Congress is a failed institution, and it’s an institutional failure, not a failure of leadership.  I don’t think it’s going to get any better.   Pelosi and Schumer would make it even worse, and while Ryan and McConnell are weak leaders, they’re weak because their members are weak.  What’s going to change?  What’s going to get better?

If there was a meeting of the 99 State Legislative leaders  — all the Presiding Officers  — they might be able to agree among themselves on the language of an Obamacare Repeal and Replace Act.  I think they could write a better bill than Congress.  Once they reach agreement they go back to their States and get their Legislatures to pass the Resolutions, it would be on the ballot the following November of an even numbered year.  If it’s better than the status quo, which isn’t asking a lot, it could pass.

It’s a way around Congress.

This is the kind of idea that can be kicked around, informally, at Phoenix.  We’re looking for a consensus, on something.  Fruth has ten ideas, Levin has eleven, and I have one.  Maybe  — who knows?  —  one of these ideas is the consensus choice, the one that almost everyone can agree on.  And that would be the subject of the next Article V Amendment Campaign, once the balanced budget amendment is sent to Congress with 34 Resolutions.

The core elements of the BBA Task Force would be the place to start such a campaign.  The contacts made by Bill Fruth alone are enough to get the ball rolling, and quickly.  It would be a question of funding.  There would have to be some substantial money behind the next effort.  Of course, when I think of the incredible amounts of money wasted on political advocacy and politics, we’re not talking about really huge amounts.

Of all the active Article V efforts, only one was originally instigated by State Legislators themselves.  Senator Jim Clark of Maryland and Rep. David Halbrook of Mississippi began the BBA campaign in 1975.  It was organic, it came from within the body of State Legislatures themselves.   It wasn’t suggested to them, or somehow imposed on them.  It was their idea, and they quickly got 30 States.

If the Commissioners in Phoenix sit down and think about it, they probably could agree on something.  We’ll find out when the time comes.

 

Trump, the hedgehog, knows one, big, thing.

“America First”, properly understood, is a simple statement of realpolitik.  Trump has probably never read a book about foreign policy, and his historical knowledge is superficial, but he’s a realist, a pragmatist, and an American patriot.  So he acts, almost instinctively, in what he sees as America’s best interest.  He respects other world powers, but not world opinion.  He’s surrounded by knowledgeable and experienced people, and has Herr Doktor Kissinger on call, so he’s getting good advice.  As a result he’s amazed his friends and confounded his enemies in his first foreign policy moves.

As a New Yorker, he’s familiar with the Five Families  —  the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese.  I see the world as the Five Boroughs of New York writ large, with Five Families  —  the American, European, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.  There’s one big distinction.  In the world we live in, one of the families, the American, doesn’t live in the same city as the other four.  We’re on the outskirts, and our turf doesn’t collide with anyone else’s.  So we’re the natural peacemaker.

The European/Russian border has been a source of tension for over 200 years, and it will be for a very long time.  But Russia also has to concern itself with its eastern neighbors, the Chinese and the Japanese.  There are territorial disputes, some going back to the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945.  Both Russia and Japan claim ownership of the Kurile Islands.  The Rape of Nanking is remembered in China today, and these two sister families will never trust one another.   So it’s complicated.

Except for us.  Since, with the fracking revolution, we are a self sufficient North America, we don’t need to be friends with anyone we don’t want to be.  The exceptions are Israel and the Anglosphere, which we ally ourselves with for cultural and historical reasons.  We want and will pursue good relations with the other four families, but we don’t need any of them.

Trump came into office with the intention of coming to an understanding with Putin.  For a variety of reasons, that’s off the table for the moment.  A Trump/Putin summit will take place at some point, and both parties will have an incentive to come to terms with one another. No hurry.

For the moment our problem is the Norks, a bunch of renegade criminals operating on the turf of the Chinese family.  This is China’s part of town, and they have jurisdiction.  But Trump has bluntly told them, as a Genovese to a Gambino, if you don’t take care of this, I will.

He’s got to back it up.  He’s said the situation is intolerable, so that means he has to do something about it.  If a Gambino says he’s going to do a hit, and doesn’t do it, he loses face.  And losing face can cause big problems, since it suggests weakness.

I read that the carrier Ronald Reagan may be joining the Carl Vinson.  If any pilots are forced to engage, I hope they’re from the Reagan.  The Gipper would be proud.  He did the same thing in the Gulf of Libya in 1982.

If the Chinese do take care of the Nork problem, it would create a marvelous opportunity for an Chinese-American Grand Bargain.  Solve all our problems, geopolitical, territorial, economic, trade, currency, at one big meeting.  It could be the basis of a de facto alliance, a Pax SinoAmerica over the whole Pacific.  The Chinese family and the American family together could enforce the peace.  With our friends the Japanese.

Trump’s foreign policy is evolving before our very eyes.  He didn’t plan it.  It’s just happening.  China is no longer a trade manipulator because we’re offering them an incentive to take care of the Norks.  That’s flexibility, adaptation, evolution.  NATO is no longer obsolete.  When the situation changes the policy changes.  I’m delighted and amazed.

 

 

The Guldenschuh Report

Fellow Article V Supporters:

 

Enclosed is your April 16, 2017 edition of The Article V Convention Legislative Progress Report.  By my latest worksheet count, 175 or more pieces of Article V legislation have been filed in 40 states so far in 2017 with one or more states still to weigh in before the 2017 legislative sessions are complete. As mid-April approaches, we are beginning to see the 2017 legislative sessions wind down as 11 states have gone sine die and another five have completed their Article V work for this year. More and more the focus will now turn to Arizona where plans continue to move forward to host a non-Article V national convention of states starting on September 12, 2017.

 

Progress continues to be made on the Article V front, notwithstanding the full frontal assault from Common Cause and their media friends. The BBA is moving forward in Wisconsin under the leadership of Sen. Chris Kapenga and in South Carolina under Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey. A BBA resolution is close to filing in Minnesota led by Rep. Jerry Hertaus and Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer. The CoSP is moving forward in Texas, Iowa and Missouri. US Term Limits passed this past week in the Missouri Senate and Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee. Congratulations to all groups for your great successes!

 

A special note goes out to the CoSP team in Illinois: The CoSP resolution minus the third prong (HJR32) is gaining steam in the Illinois House. It passed committee 8-0 and now moves to the floor. It has bi-partisan support with 19 Democrat and 27 GOP sponsors. 60 votes will be needed to pass. Congratulations to CoSP’s Illinois team for your great work reaching across the aisle.

 

Rescission efforts remain active in Nevada. SJR12 has passed the Senate and been referred to the Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections.  If all of us in the Article V movement would pick up the phone and call, or send an e-mail to, the committee members, we might be able to make a difference. Here is a link to the Committee webpage: http://asm.leg.state.nv.us/Assembly/LOE.aspx.  The Vermont Senate has passed a rescission resolution that would repeal the Wolf PAC Fair Elections Resolution. George Soros is funding both sides of that battle. As most of you know, New Mexico and Maryland have already rescinded this year.

 

In recent weeks, we have had some excellent legal articles come to the forefront. Michael Farris has authored a comprehensive article on the 1787 convention which establishes beyond any doubt that the Framers were acting within their respective state-granted authority when they drafted a new Constitution and referred it to Congress for submission to the states. Here is the cite and a link to the article:

 

Michael Farris, Defying Conventional Wisdom: The Constitution Was Not The Product Of A Runaway Convention, 40 Harv.J.L.Pub.Pol. 61 (2017), copy available at http://www.harvard-jlpp.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Farris_FINAL.pdf.

 

Prof. Rob Natelson has likewise been active responding to the ever growing media attacks on Article V. Here are links to some of Rob’s more recent work:

 

On Justice Scalia’s quotes re Article V and a “constitutional convention”: Natelson, Scalia Probably Favored an Amendment Convention – But What Does It Matter? (The Daily Caller April 12, 2017), copy available at http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/12/scalia-probably-favored-an-amendment-convention-but-does-it-matter/.

 

On the Arizona Planning Convention: Natelson, Arizona Calls First National Convention of States in 150 Years (The American Spectator April 10, 2017), copy available at https://spectator.org/arizona-calls-first-national-convention-of-states-in-150-years/.

 

On the 1787 Convention: Natelson, Yes, the Constitution was adopted legally (The Hill April 11, 2017), copy available at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/uncategorized/328112-yes-the-constitution-was-adopted-legally.

 

Thanks to Michael and Rob for their steadfast efforts.

 

Here’s wishing you a Happy Easter/Passover/Spring Holiday! Next AVCLPR will be coming out Derby Week, the first week in May. Until then . . .

 

Good luck to all. If I can ever be of assistance to any of you, please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

David F. Guldenschuh

Editor and Publisher

The Article V Convention Legislative Progress Report