Gary Johnson Will Not Be President!

distress flag

 

Neither will John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, nor the Green Party’s Jill Stein. That’s just a fact of life, and we’d all better get used to it.

In the 2008 election pitting McCain against Obama, I voted for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate. I also quit my lifelong membership in the GOP and re-registered as “Decline To State”, this state’s version of Independent. That was because I saw McCain as only very slightly less “progressive” than Obama, a view I still hold to this very day.

There was also the potential benefit in a McCain loss that the GOP – which had already meandered to the Left over the post-Reagan years – would learn a valuable lesson from such a defeat and mend their errant ways.

Well, that clearly didn’t happen, as the Establishment GOP kept to their chosen path, the result of which has finally been a populist uprising resulting in the nomination of outsider Donald Trump as their nominee. Good, bad, or indifferent, that’s the way it is.

I wish I could go into that polling booth in November and cast my ballot for someone else, but I can’t if I want my vote to have any actual relevance, and wishing I could won’t change anything. If wishes were horses, beggars would be riding instead of walking.

The further reality is that even if Trump hadn’t thrown his hat into the ring I’m not sure I would have been able to vote for a real conservative anyway. Over the last decade plus, the Establishment GOP has constantly crept ever-further leftward, scorning the true conservatives in their ranks. How else to explain the nominations of John McCain and Mitt Romney? That, too, is a fact, and further proof that the Establishment GOP is not just stuck on stupid, but super-glued in place. The GOP is in reality the PSP – the Perpetually Stupid Party.

So where does that leave us?

The two major parties have named their candidates, and one thing we know for certain: come January either Clinton or Trump WILL be taking the oath of office as President.

In Trump we have an unknown. A guy who CLAIMS to be conservative, yet has a record of backing leftist causes and policies. An unmitigated blowhard. Someone not familiar with the details and minutiae of policy. Absolutely no record when it comes to elective experience or voting history.

Basically, he’s a pig in a poke. We don’t really know what we’d be getting. He could end up being great; he could end up being an absolute disaster. His presidency could fall somewhere in between. Who knows?

His choice of Mike Pence as his running mate gives me a sound basis for the hope that he’ll follow through on his vow to select solid conservatives as his appointees, both judicial and otherwise. And judicial appointments, particularly to the Supreme Court, are a huge but neglected issue this election.

no hillaryThen there’s Clinton, certainly not an unknown. In fact, we know FOR CERTAIN what we’d be getting with her, and frankly, it’s an outright disaster for this country. An unindicted federal criminal with a pathological bent for lying. A scandal-ridden crone married to a convicted perjurer and accused serial rapist who’d be re-occupying the White House. A corruptocrat whose policy decisions can seemingly be bought with large “donations” to her sham “foundation”. A woman who can’t point to a single policy success in her term as Secretary of State, and whose big claim to qualification for the office is that she has a uterus. A leftist ideologue who’s vowed to continue, and even expand upon, the disastrous policies of Obama. A die-hard anti-gun fanatic. A woman who will, with absolutely no doubt, appoint the most leftist jurists she can find to nominate to the Supreme Court, changing the dynamic of that institution for decades to come.

For me the defining moment came while I watched FBI Director Comey spend 14 minutes detailing Clinton’s criminal actions, then spend about 1 minute declaring that the FBI would recommend that she NOT be prosecuted for those actions. I was absolutely stunned. As far as I was concerned, that moment defined the depth of the corruption of the Dem/socialist party, and the Obama/Clinton cabal in particular. It’s an outright and blatant corruptocracy.

So there you have it. A summary of two candidates, one of whom WILL be the next President of these United States. It’s certainly clear, at least to me, that no matter how bad a President Trump MAY turn out to be, Clinton would DEFINITELY be orders of magnitude worse.

We conservatives pride ourselves on voting our conscience and our principles. But I think there’s one overriding principle that overshadows all others: the ultimate future of our country. I believe this is the single most important presidential election at least in my lifetime.

I’ve made my decision. In spite of everything I’ve written over the last year, in light of the issues I’ve outlined here I’ve decided to cast my vote for Trump.

What about you?

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal )

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The Witless, Gutless GOP

If you keep up with the political scene, you know that in the wake of the political massacre the Dem/socialists suffered in this year’s mid-term elections Obama has vowed to take unilateral action on Obama dictatorseveral issues, most notably illegal immigration, by granting illegal aliens de facto amnesty through Executive Order.

In spite of the fact that such an action is clearly illegal and exceeds a President’s constitutional authority – as noted by no less an authority than Professor Jonathan Turley, noted legal scholar and self-proclaimed “social liberal” (Newsmax article) – Obama seems determined to again ignore and bypass Congress on this (and several other) issues.

As I’ve discussed previously,  impeachment – though warranted – is impractical at this point. Obama’s in his last two years of office; it would be politically counter-productive in the extreme; and the net result, even if successful, would be at best a Pyrrhic victory, leaving Crazy Uncle Joe Biden in the Oval Office. It makes no sense to jump from the frying pan into the fire.

However, as a result of the mid-terms the GOP has taken control of the Senate, securing two of the three levers (House, Senate, President) of legislative control. Now that Harry Reid has been removed from the equation as the Despot Of The Senate, they can easily pass a budget that prevents Obama from spending any funds whatsoever to advance his unilateral actions. They completely control the power of the purse strings.

So, in light of this undeniable mandate given to them by the American people, what’s been their response, along with their bobble-head sycophants in the Establishment GOP?

scared childIt reminds me of a little kid scared of the Bogeyman and other monsters hiding under his bed.

Both Mitch McConnell, the new Senate Majority Leader, and John Boehner, the incumbent House Speaker, have already stated that they won’t allow a government shutdown in a budget war with Obama.

I hope that the next time I’m in the market for a new car my salesman has the negotiating skills of Boehner car dealershipand McConnell. I’ll end up owning the dealership.

They’re scared that any government “shutdown” will be blamed on them, and they’ll suffer politically in the next election. Well, first of all, we just HAD an election about Obama’s policies – as he himself stated – and it turned out GREAT for the GOP.

Secondly, who even worries about any such “shutdown”? Did anyone even notice the last time it happened? Thirdly, it takes two to tango, and any such impasse in negotiations is just as much – if not more so – Obama’s fault as it is the GOP’s… which after all, and again, controls two of the three levers of legislative power. Can’t the GOP find ANYONE who can clearly state that simple fact (other than me, and I’m not even a Republican)?

On top of everything else, we just had an election on these issues; it’s TWO YEARS until the next one; and no one’s even going to remember a “shutdown” that happens now when that time rolls around.

If these gutless GOPers aren’t going to stand up for what they were elected to do, what’s the point in even ever voting for them? How can they ever claim any justification for their very existence, if all they’re ever going to do is play patty-cake with Obama, and let him control the agenda and negotiations on his own terms?

After all, as Obama himself stated, “elections have consequences”.

Someone should alert the GOP to that, and send them a memo.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2014

Obama Caesar: The Runaway Presidency

ripcon 4

 

In my last essay I discussed the arrogance and lawlessness of the Obama administration and its bureaucrats, practiced on a scale unprecedented in American history. Now I’d like to address the ramifications, and what they might mean for the country.

Speaker of the House John Boehner is spearheading an effort by that chamber of Congress to sue Obama in federal court for exceeding his constitutional authority as President. Some – notably Sarah Palin – are calling for Obama’s impeachment. I think both approaches are doomed to failure at this point in time.

Both approaches require lengthy legal processes, and we’re less than four months away from the mid-term elections. As such, I believe they’re distractions that are red meat for parts of the “base”, but will prove ultimately futile, and may even be politically counterproductive in the GOP’s efforts to secure a majority in the Senate.

Any impeachment process that starts now would go nowhere, as when the current 113th Congress is replaced by the 114th in January, if Obama hasn’t already been convicted by the Senate – an impossibility as the Senate is currently controlled by loyal Democrats – the process wouldn’t carry over to the new Congress, and would have to start all over again.

A similar problem attaches to any lawsuit, in addition to which the courts are very leery of getting involved in matters of separation of powers jurisdictional issues. Further, the House may have a major problem establishing “standing”, or defining an actual tort damage, as they retain the power to address Obama’s excesses through their exclusive constitutional power of the governmental purse strings, whether or not they want to use it.

Let’s assume for this discussion that the GOP retains the House and takes control of the Senate. Then what?

At that point Obama would be the lamest of ducks, and there would be nothing at all to restrain him from indulging his imperial proclivities to their fullest extent; Obama Caesar.Obama Caesar If he’s ignored the Congress and the Constitution up to this point – and he has, blatantly – there would be no reason for him to hold back at all anymore.

Impeachment then does become a distinct possibility. But we should never forget about Obama’s anti-impeachment insurance policy: Joe Biden. Can you imagine HIM as President? Talk about hopping from the frying pan into the fire!

But there are also other avenues to explore. Attorney-General Holder is still under a contempt citation; he should be impeached. Lois Lerner of IRS scandal fame can and should be prosecuted. The Benghazi scandal should be aggressively pursued. Heads should roll over the scandalous and corrupt actions that have taken place within the Veterans Administration resulting in the deaths of vets. A GOP-controlled Congress can use the power of the purse strings to defund the EPA’s excesses (and they should).

Obama should be so mired in his scandals that his already dismal approval ratings plummet even further. Public opinion is the one sure way, at least at this point in history, to hobble a runaway presidency and will have the added benefit of tarring the Dem/socialist candidate hoping to succeed him in the 2016 presidential election.

A GOP-controlled Senate will also then have the power to prevent Obama from appointing activist leftist judges to the federal court system, maybe one of the most important reasons for the GOP to take the Senate in November.

What happens if the Dem/socialists retain a Senate majority, you ask?

Buckle up, because we’re looking at a potential catastrophe for the next two years as that lamest of ducks will have no restraints at all to keep him from indulging himself to the fullest extent, free from worrying about suffering any real repercussions at all, because his Dem/socialist abettors and enablers in the Senate will continue to insulate him from the consequences of his actions, just as they’ve already been doing for years.

I’m not overstating when I say that I’m not sure the country can survive that eventuality. I hope we don’t have to find out.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2014

 

(This column was also published in my local newspaper today. http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/124472/)

Arrogance, Personified

Take a look at this man’s face.

koskinen

Is this Monte Burns from “The Simpsons”?

 

This is John Koskinen, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), arguably the most powerful and feared bureaucracy in the Federal Government.

Who does he remind you of? Doesn’t he bring to mind the character of Mr. Burns in the long-running TV series The Simpsons? Sure does to me. And like that character, he has the ability to destroy people’s lives through the wanton exercise of raw, sheer power, in his case via his agency’s ability to direct the force of government against individuals and organizations.

The only check against such naked power is the Congress.

We all know about the scandal surrounding the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative organizations for harassment, and the efforts by the House of Representatives to get to the bottom of that mess. And those acts took place before Koskinen’s assumption of the reins of that agency.

But when he took over the agency six months ago he vowed to be proactive “in restoring public trust” to that institution (businessweek.com/news/2014-01-07).

So… how’s he doing?

I think the latest development sums it up pretty well. It seems the IRS has “lost” several years’ worth of emails that Lois Lerner – the miscreant at the center of this whole fiasco – sent out to her minions, emails that anyone with half a brain realizes could prove to be very incriminating, not only to her but to others farther up the political food chain. Quite possibly as high as the Oval Office itself.

Bear in mind, this is the exact same agency that won’t accept YOUR excuse that you lost your receipts for some tax deduction you claimed.

And how has Koskinen reacted when asked about these “lost” emails by Darryl Issa’s House committee members?

With absolutely smug sanctimony, contempt, arrogance, and a rigid refusal to even offer any kind of apology for the malfeasance of his agency. Way to go in “restoring public trust” in the IRS, John-Boy!

This, my friends, is what the face of arrogance looks like.

When Nixon was President the Watergate scandal took center stage. Members of the House from both parties set aside partisanship to ensure the rule of law prevailed. Nixon resigned, and several members of his staff – including Attorney-General John Mitchell – went to prison for acts that were utterly benign compared to the level of outright corruption we’re seeing from this administration.

The ongoing IRS mess; Operation Fast & Furious; the Benghazi affair; the NSA spying on civilians; the illegal “rewriting” of laws, such as all the Obamacare extensions and exceptions; the imperial imposition of “rules”, such as through the EPA, that far exceed presidential authority; the failure of the Justice Department and the FBI to pursue action based on political considerations; the outright refusal to enforce immigration law and border security; the Veterans’ Administration letting vets die on secret “waiting lists”; the list goes on and on and on. This President and his minions have absolutely no regard for the rule of law that I can see. The level of corruption in this administration is simply staggering and unprecedented.

Koskinen’s is only the latest face in a Rogue’s Gallery of arrogance, personified.

Further, this corruption of our system is being willfully abetted by the Democrat members of Congress who are facilitating the destruction by not only standing idle, but actively supporting the administration’s efforts. I’m talking about people like Harry Reid, Elijah Cummings, Nancy Pelosi, and far too many others to name.

Jonathan Turley is a well-known professor of law at George Washington University Law School with a self-described “socially liberal agenda”, often seen on various news shows as a commentator and expert analyst, and has had many of his works published. On his own blog he’s written a couple of essays that are well on point. In one, “How Nixon Won Watergate”, which was also published in USA Today (how-nixon-won-Watergate) he states, “…the painful fact is that Barack Obama is the president that Nixon always wanted to be”. He expands on that topic in his essay “A Question of Power: The Imperial Presidency”, which was also published last month in American Legion Magazine (the imperial presidency), in which he writes, “The shift of power to the presidency certainly did not start with President Barack Obama. To the contrary, this trend has been gaining ground for decades. But it has accelerated under Obama, who has succeeded to a degree that would have made Richard Nixon blush.”

If Nixon would be blushing, Obama and his acolytes have exceeded all bounds. The scandals pile up so fast you need wings to stay above them. It’s absolutely dizzying.

 

©Brian Baker 2014

 

(6/30/2014: My local newspaper published an edited version of this essay today:  http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/122832/)

 

War And Syria. An Open Letter To My Congressman

The following is a letter I hand-delivered to the local office of my Congressman, Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon, who also happens to be Chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services. I’ll let the letter speak for itself.

Brian Baker
(ADDRESS)
Saugus, CA   91390

(661) (PHONE NUMBER)

(EMAIL ADDRESS)

4 Sep 2013

th[6] (3)Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon

Dear Buck,

I want to take this opportunity to express to you my thoughts on the current situation vis-à-vis Syria, as I know you and your fellow legislators will be debating the issue in the very near future.

First some background. I grew up in a foreign service/military family and spent five years in the Middle East (Iran) where I went to high school in the mid 1960s. My Armenian mother, now a naturalized American citizen for over six decades, was born and raised in Iran. I’m a Vietnam veteran, Life Member of the VFW, and student of military affairs and doctrine. Because of this background I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the issues involved in this current situation.

To be blunt, I see absolutely no reason for this country to be engaged in the internal strife in Syria, on any level.

First of all, we don’t even have a horse in this race. Why would we consider backing one group against another group when the reality is that whichever side prevails is still going to hate us? Haven’t we learned anything from history? From Iran? From Libya? From Egypt? From Iraq, which is already falling to pieces again?

Consider Afghanistan. Why are we fighting there? What’s our purpose? How do we define “victory”? How do we get back out of there? When? What’s going to happen after we leave? Do we want to keep repeating the same stupid mistakes over and over and over again?

Einstein noted that the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions while expecting different results. Isn’t that what we’re doing in the Middle East? Or as Santayana noted, those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it.

There are only two reasons why this country should ever go to war: to defend ourselves, and to protect or extend our own national self-interest. Well, Syria certainly isn’t attacking us, and I can’t discern any national self-interest in what’s taking place in their internal civil war.

Obama babbles about some vague and chimerical “responsibility” that “the world” has to respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Iraq, and then threatens to attack Syria with missiles. Well, first of all, if “the world” has such a responsibility, why isn’t “the world” doing the attacking? Why are we “the world’s” police force? And isn’t such an attack absolutely no different from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor? That “day that will live in infamy”? We would be attacking a country that hasn’t attacked us, nor any other country beyond its own borders. There are no treaty obligations or commitments anywhere that would attach to or justify such an action.

Let’s examine the strategic implications. First of all, as anyone with military knowledge and/or experience knows, your battle plan lasts only until the first shot is fired. After that, the other guy gets a say, too, and your plan goes out the window. From that point on, everything is improvisation. Obama may think, in his abject ignorance, that he can blithely lob a few missiles at Syria without any repercussions, but he – and we, if he does it – is in for a rude awakening if Syria or its allies decide to respond in some fashion. They have a myriad of choices on what they can do, and most of them are potentially very unpleasant. You’re the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee; I’m not telling you anything there that you don’t already know.

There are also the political considerations of the end result. Obama, as did Bush before him, seems to think that somehow we can accomplish some kind of “nation building” in the region resulting in Western-style democracies friendly to our country. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I say that based on my intimate knowledge of the region. The regional Islamic nations don’t have the cultural or social heritages requisite for such a result. They’re riven by sectarianism, centuries-old rivalries based on religious dogma, clannishness, endemic and institutionalized corruption, and a religion that discourages individuality and independent action. Their social structures are dominated by “strong men” who hold on to power with a death grip. Show me one example where we removed one of these men and he was replaced by what we would consider a “democracy”. There aren’t any such examples.

th[5]The last, and possibly most, important thing I want to mention is this: just who does Obama think he is to drag this nation to the brink of war on his own say-so? The Constitution is crystal clear that the power to declare war rests SOLELY with Congress. The President doesn’t have the power to declare war on his own, nor does he have the veto power over Congress’s own determination.

Obama’s been acting like he’s been coronated with the laurel wreath of an Emperor, instead of simply elected as President. He has absolutely no authority to go around lobbing missiles at other hapless countries simply because he feels like it, no matter what his supposed “justification” is. That’s up to CONGRESS to decide, not him.

And I’ll take that one step further. Obama’s been making not-so-veiled threats of proceeding with his bombing anyway if he doesn’t get congressional approval. In my opinion, that is the very definition of an impeachable offense, and if he does in fact do that, I’ll expect articles of impeachment to follow promptly.

Thank you, Buck, for taking the time to consider my thoughts on this matter. I’m also going to post a copy of this on my own blog site as an “open letter”. I hope you don’t mind, but I want my readers to know my thoughts on the subject.

Here’s the site’s URL, if you’re interested:  https://theviewfromtheisland.wordpress.com/

Sincerely,

 

 

© Brian Baker 2013