The Ten Dollar Bill

 

Take a ten dollar bill out of your wallet or purse. Take a look at it. What’s it worth?

“Obviously, ten dollars, Brian”, you’re thinking.

Maybe.

The actual intrinsic value of any object is the cost of its production and/or its rarity. Gold, for example, derives its value from its rarity. But that ten dollar bill isn’t rare at all and is nothing more than a small piece of rag paper and a smidgen of ink, less than a penny’s worth of material. So its intrinsic value is also less than a penny.

But it does have “worth”, a value we as a society agree on as to what it represents. That could be a specific quantity of something that has intrinsic value, such as a rare metal. We saw this when this country was on the gold standard, at which time that ten dollars represented about 1/3 ounce of refined gold metal. You could take the bill to a bank and exchange it for the appropriate amount of the metal.

Once the dollar was delinked from gold, its worth became a much more fluid property subject to the fluctuations of governmental policies. The only physical limit to the production of more ten dollar bills is the availability of ink and rag paper, and since there’s no shortage of either the government can crank those bills out in unlimited quantities should it so deem.

But creating physical ten dollar bills doesn’t create more actual “worth”. In fact, the opposite can take place.

Our current ten dollar bill’s actual worth is based on its buying power. How much of a person’s labor or the physical goods they produce – through agriculture, manufacture, or intellectual creation – does societal consensus allow that ten dollar bill to purchase?

If I raise cattle, John makes cloth and you sell gasoline, how do John and I pay you for the gasoline you sell us? Do you have to accept some amount of cows and bolts of cloth, as well as all the other disparate products and services people produce, to sell your product? The ten dollar bill is the method used to assign a universally accepted value to facilitate the exchange for transactions, replacing the need for actual barter.

As our country’s economic base – our ability to produce goods and services – has increased our supply of ten dollar bills has also increased to make those transactions possible. In a perfectly balanced system there will always be just enough ten dollar bills available to accurately reflect the relative value of each product or service.

If our economic base shrinks, it’s also important to remove some of those ten dollar bills from circulation to maintain balance and currency value. But the real problem arises when the government – which doesn’t actually create anything of value itself (government is a “consumer”, not a “producer”) – turns on the printing press and cranks out a lot of ten dollar bills that don’t reflect any increase in societal productivity. Those “excess” ten dollar bills flood the market, and since they don’t reflect an increase in societal productivity, they dilute the actual value of the ten dollar bills that are already in circulation.

This is what is meant by “inflation”, which is a decrease in the buying power of money. The ten dollar bill buys less.

In fact, graphic examples abound of what happens when governments turn on the printing presses with abandon. In a few short years Venezuela went from being the most prosperous nation in South America to an economic wasteland, its 2018 rate of inflation being an incredible 929,789%. Its money is essentially worthless. In 2008 the inflation rate in Zimbabwe was 250,000,000%. Following World War I the inflation rate in Germany hit 344% per month!

Which brings us to the current Democrat party presidential primary. The current gaggle of candidates seems to be in a race to see how much “free” stuff they can offer to the electorate (pretty much legal bribery, in my opinion). The list includes “Medicare for All”, including illegal aliens; eliminating private health insurance; open borders; “free” college; writing off current student loan debts; “guaranteed monthly income” of $500 – $1000 per month depending on the candidate; “free” universal daycare and pre-K, the “Green New Deal”; and a plethora of smaller programs too numerous to get into.

How do they propose to pay for this largesse? It pretty much boils down to “tax the rich”. Sadly for them, the reality is that even a complete confiscation of everything “the rich” own won’t come close to paying for this cornucopia of “free” goodies. Their only alternative will be turning on the printing presses, and cranking out more and more of those ten dollar bills.

Ultimately, you’ll need a barrel full of ten dollar bills just to buy a gallon of milk… IF there’s even any milk on the shelves.

If they win we’ll get to find out personally what it’s like to live in Venezuela. Is that what you want?

 

©Brian Baker 2019

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

Advertisements

Both Political Parties’ Establishments Don’t Get It

Donald Trump’s election to the presidency was as clear a clarion call as there could be that “business as usual” was no longer acceptable to the voters. The GOP Establishment seems to be utterly deaf to the message.

We’ve seen this reality play out from Trump’s first announcement of his candidacy right through to the present day.

During the election primaries, none of his opponents thought he had a slightest chance of actually winning the nomination, an incredulousness shared by the party machine. They mocked and belittled him, refusing to take him seriously. They were utterly stunned when he went on to actually win that primary.

But did that win alert the GOP that something profoundly different was going on this time around? Nope.

Many of Trump’s former opponents refused to endorse his candidacy, a few even threatening to endorse his opponent, Clinton. The GOP’s candidates for other offices continued to run on the promise to “repeal and replace Obamacare” in their own campaigns, repetition of a 7-year-old party campaign theme. But clearly, most of them didn’t take Trump’s campaign seriously, either.

How do we know this? Because when the most shocking and unexpected event took place, and Trump actually won the General Election, nobody was prepared to actually move forward and fulfill the promises they’d campaigned on for many years.

Having secured both chambers of Congress and the White House, was the GOP now prepared with a “shovel ready” plan to actually live up to and fulfill that years-old campaign promise of getting rid of Obamacare?

Not even close. They had absolutely nothing, because, as a party, they’d banked on the idea that Trump had absolutely no chance of actually winning the election.

In scientific parlance, this is what’s called “stupid”.

Compounding the problem, that stupidity continues, with no sign of abating. The “Never-Trumpers” are still in full roar, glorying in their “moral superiority”, reminiscent of Nero fiddling while Rome burned, utterly oblivious to the voices of that plebian mass in fly-over country that elected Trump. Elitist snobbery personified.

On the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton’s defeat was sending the same message to the Democrat Party, with the same result: deafness and denial.

When the campaign season opened the Establishment Democrats deemed Clinton the ordained candidate, and no other “mainstream” Democrat even threw their hat into the ring.

And then along came Bernie Sanders, the Democrat equivalent of Trump, an “outsider” who wasn’t even a member of the Democrat Party, having been elected throughout his career in the House and Senate as an “Independent” who only caucused with the Democrats.

To the consternation of the Establishment Democrats, Sanders’s candidacy put the coronation of Clinton in serious jeopardy, to the point that party officials conspired with Clinton campaign people to cheat Sanders out of any chance of winning that party’s nomination. Needless to say, the Sanders supporters were outraged by this when it became publicly known.

Once Clinton had secured the nomination, the DNC and her campaign apparatus evidently felt so confident of her chances of winning, and so scornful of Trump, that they decided to concentrate their campaign on the coastal urban centers and special-interest coalitions that in reality were already in the tank for her, utterly and completely ignoring everyone in “fly-over country”, as well as the masses of people who were ardent and now-outraged Sanders supporters, essentially wasting their time, energy, and resources.

Then the unthinkable happened. Trump actually won.

The result? A Democrat party in complete disarray and dissension, to the point of being in a shambles. A schism over what the meaning of such an unexpected and catastrophic loss means.

The Clintonistas are welded to the idea – really just an excuse – that it was “the Russians” and Comey at fault, unwilling to accept that Clinton was a terrible candidate who ran an incompetent campaign.

The Establishment, with a very few exceptions, can’t seem to decide whether their message to the electorate was too far to the left, not far enough to the left, too married to “corporate” interests, or what.

The very few who seem to get it have said that their party needs to take a serious look at the direction they’ve taken and the policies they’re promoting, and that it could be that the emphasis on social engineering – letting men use the same bathrooms as little girls, amnesty for illegal aliens, and the like – taking priority over bread-and-butter concerns about jobs and the economy may just be a very big mistake. The far-left culture-war policies that play so well in the coastal blue regions and some other major urban areas don’t go over at all well in areas outside of those enclaves.

Unfortunately for the Democrat party, if they want to be relevant on a national scale moving into the future, those voices really are being lost in the wilderness.

I think voters are clearly signaling to their respective parties that the old “Establishment” way of doing business isn’t going to cut it anymore. In the case of the GOP, that means they’ll no longer accept empty campaign promises that aren’t followed up with serious and concerted effort to actually implement the promised policies if elected. For Democrats, it means dropping the obsession with Social Justice and class warfare, and directing attention to matters that are of more concern to average everyday Americans.

Will anyone in either party “Establishment” pay any attention?

I don’t think Trump is the causative agent of any of this. The success of his primary campaign, and Clinton’s failure to beat him in the general election, are merely symptomatic of a greater dissatisfaction in the body politic, and the results of the last election – from primaries to general election – were the overt expression of that exasperation.

What’s truly interesting is how both parties are suffering at the same time from the same kind of malaise and disaffection. How this will play out at the polls is anyone’s guess.

Or in the streets.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

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

The “Weekend At Bernie’s” Campaign

weekend-bernies

 

Remember the 1989 movie “Weekend at Bernie’s”? Two amiable losers try to convince everyone that their dead boss is still alive by hauling his body around everywhere, manipulating his dead limbs, and posing him like a mannequin in various party settings.

Well, in a presidential election year that seemingly couldn’t get any more bizarre, what with the two leading candidates in a dead heat for the Least Popular Person On The Planet Award, we have a new wrinkle thrown into the mix.

At last week’s New York City event commemorating the 9/11 Twin Towers disaster, Hillary Clinton collapsed and had to be hustled into a waiting van by her aides and security detail and rushed to either a hospital, or her daughter’s apartment, depending on who’s telling the story. Video of the event has gone viral, and shows Clinton collapsing and being hoisted into a van, losing one of her shoes in the process, which was later retrieved by an NYPD cop.

Clinton’s health has been at issue for quite a while, and this certainly adds fuel to the fire. I sure can’t remember any candidate in my lifetime who’s had so many overt and obvious health concerns, what with all the hacking and coughing, weird facial expressions and gestures, and need to be physically helped up and down stairs (as seen in so many pictures). And now this latest episode.

It got me to wondering if she’d ever actually tell the truth (for once!) about her health issues, and withdraw if she wasn’t really physically up to the job.

Frankly, I don’t see her dropping out even if it ends up being the “Weekend At Bernie’s” campaign.

clinton-stairsI can see her being carried around by Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, propping her up under each arm, with sunglasses perched on her face. Everything she’s done since her perjuring husband left office in 2001 has been geared toward running for Prez; she’s a complete megalomaniac; and at her age this is her last and only chance.

So prepare yourselves, folks! This truly bizarre campaign season is poised to become even weirder!

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

 

The GOP: Stuck On Stupid

In the week or so that’s passed since Trump secured the official GOP nomination as their candidate for President, I’ve watched that party tear itself to shreds.

As I noted in my last column, “The GOP is in reality the PSP — the Perpetually Stupid Party”.

For years they’ve ignored their inherent base supporters, traditional conservatives, instead treating them like redheaded step-children. The unrest of that base has long been obvious, as evidenced by the failures of McCain and Romney in their own presidential bids, not to mention how tight Bush’s two contests were against incredibly inept opponents, Gore and Kerry.

Did the PSP learn anything from all those years of declining support? No, they did not. And the result is the success of the populist uprising led by Trump.

Like it or not, he is the official candidate of the Republican Party.

hissy fitSo, what’s been the response of the usual suspects, the Establishment GOP hacks that have led that party ever-leftward? To throw an extreme hissy-fit, like a passel of spoiled brats. Is Trump a great candidate? Heck no! I spent a year pointing out some of his obvious flaws. But he IS their candidate, won fairly and squarely.

His opponent is Her Royal Arrogance Clinton, probably the single most beatable Dem/socialist in a couple of decades; a woman with more baggage than a cruise liner.

But instead of rallying around their official nominee, the PSP is indulging in a nihilistic paroxysm of pique and self-destruction. Many of the former candidates are refusing to honor their pledge to support the eventual victor of the primary, a pledge that Trump finally and begrudgingly did sign. Where’s their honor now? At least one prominent member of the PSP – Meg Whitman – has gone so far (as of this writing) as to actually endorse Clinton. Amazing!

circular firing squadThe end result is that the PSP has set Trump as the target of their circular firing squad.

The possible upside to all this turmoil is that we could hopefully see the GOP, like a phoenix arising from the ashes of its own destruction, change its errant ways and rededicate itself to actually acting like it believes in the principles it claims to support.

The downside is that it’s taking place at the worst possible time, when the Dem/socialist candidate is a person so unfit for office, and whose policies are so destructive, that the country might never recover if she wins the election.

How will this all play out? I guess we’ll soon see…

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in The Signal)

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 )

Comey In The Tank For Clinton

 

Newest fledgling member of the Obama/Clinton corruptocracy

Corruption 2

 

Part 1 – Corruption

I just watched FBI Director James Comey make his announcement that his agency is NOT recommending that charges be filed against Hillary Clinton for her blatant “mishandling” of classified information on her home-brew email setup.

He confirmed that there were hundreds of such emails on her jerry-rig setup, with classifications ranging all the way up to Top Secret SAP (Special Access Program); that any and all people cleared for access to classified data are presumed knowledgeable about the requirements for how such data must be handled; that even unintentional security breaches can be considered criminal offenses; that she forwarded emails containing such information to people outside government employment; that she used her wireless devices while in venues and countries where they were extremely vulnerable to being hacked; that the feds had no idea if they were even able to review all the appropriate emails because of the “cleansing” to the hard drives done by her legal team before turning the drives over to the feds; yet he claimed that her political status had nothing to do with the decision not to recommend prosecution.

To quote Comey: “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences.”

Gee… I wonder what former General David Petraeus thinks about that last claim. I guess he must think it’s a real bummer he wasn’t a Clinton when HIS case was being considered…

Translated into the plain English normal people use, Comey’s saying that Clintons don’t have to obey the same laws as the rest of us mere mortals.

corruptionComey also claims there was “no political influence” on his decision. Um… yeah, right. Bill Clinton boards Attorney-General Janet Lynch’s airplane at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport and has a completely private “conversation” with her for 30 minutes, and we’re supposed to believe that was mere meaningless coincidence. At the exact same time that Comey’s making his announcement Her Royal Arrogance Hillary is on an airplane WITH OBAMA on a pre-announced campaign jaunt, and we’re supposed to believe that it’s not meant to be interpreted by Comey and his minions as a clear signal that he should leave her alone.

“Nothing to see here, folks. Move along”. Or, for fans of The Wizard of Oz, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”.

Take your pick.

Part 2 – Criminal Intent

As a person who held a Top Secret clearance, let me explain the requirements for how classified material MUST be handled by law, and the issue of “intent” Comey glossed over.

All classified material must be either in a person’s personal possession, and/or secured in an approved container or facility. It may not be taken from its normal facility except in certain instances, and then only with prior authorization. Period.

classified filing cabAny time you’re not actually using a classified document, it must be secured. That means returned to the safe or lockable file cabinet in which it’s normally stored, or in the case of certain types of documents, returned to the secure storage room.

Let’s say it’s the end of your work day and you’re going home. You forget to return a document to the secure safe and leave it on your desk. Guess what? You just committed a security violation, and you’re gonna be cited for it. I’ve known of people who lost their clearances just for doing that, and that’s CLEARLY unintentional, a mistake.

It’s the end of the workday, and you decide to throw that document in your briefcase and take it home to work on it there. That’s a HUGE no-no, and not only will you be cited and lose your clearance, but you’ll probably be criminally charged, too. And since you INTENDED to take it home, that was clear “intent” to circumvent the law.

Note that there was no “intent” to commit espionage by trying to give it to another entity. There was merely “intent” to circumvent the rules on how to handle documents.

Petreaus was criminally charged under circumstances similar to that last example. But Clinton did EXACTLY the same thing, INTENTIONALLY circumventing the rules on document storage and handling. It was her INTENT to ignore those laws. It wasn’t an “accident” that she had an unsecured server at an unsecured location; it was done ON PURPOSE. Whether or not she “intended” to give the data to other unauthorized people is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

That, friends, is the law on handling classified information and documents.

Those servers didn’t just accidentally fall out of the sky and set themselves up in her bathroom.

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

Are Unicorns Real?

I’m feelin’ the Bern…!

 

Everyone who knows me, or my writings, knows I’m about as conservative as it gets. When I became eligible to vote in 1970, I immediately registered as a Republican. Between then and now, though I’ve on occasion voted for “third-party” candidates, I’ve never voted for a Dem/socialist. In fact, in the entire panoply of Democrat politicians, I’ve only ever been aware of two I’d have considered actually voting for prior to today: Zell Miller and Jim Webb.

Going one step further, when the GOP nominated John McCain as their candidate in 2008, I was so disgusted with that result that I quit the GOP and re-registered as “Decline To State” (DTS), California’s equivalent of “Independent”. I even resigned my Life Membership in the NRA over their decision to endorse McCain. That’s how strongly I feel about actual traditional American conservative values and principles; McCain was certainly NO conservative.

So in light of all of that, what’s happened to make me cast my vote today for “the Bern”, Bernie Sanders, self-avowed socialist candidate for the Democrat presidential nomination?

A unique and unlikely confluence of events.

First, California’s goofy and Byzantine election laws permit DTS voters to simply choose at the polling place whether or not they want to vote in any particular party’s presidential primary, and those laws leave it up to the parties to determine for themselves whether or not they’ll allow DTS voters to vote in their primary. This year, the Democrats have chosen to allow DTSers to do so, and the Republicans have chosen not to do so.

Further, as of now that’s actually pretty irrelevant as to the GOP, since Donald Trump has already won enough primary victories to secure the GOP nod, and his opponents have withdrawn from the race. That’s a done deal. So even if it were possible to vote in the GOP primary, why would I even bother?

IMAG0126

My hand doing the formerly unthinkable

However, there’s much to be gained by participating in the Democrat primary!

If the Bern were to somehow, magically, secure the Democrat nomination, that would almost certainly guarantee a November defeat for that repugnant party. And, of course, there’s that “other” candidate, Her Royal Arrogance Hillary Clinton. I so thoroughly despise her that it’s almost impossible to pass up the opportunity to throw a few banana peels in the path of her haughty march to the Dem convention in Philly in July. Maybe one of those banana peels could be a Sanders win in California. How could I possibly pass that up?

And so… I did it. I actually cast a vote for a self-avowed socialist Democrat. It didn’t feel as weird as I thought it would, and the hand I used to cast my vote didn’t fall off my wrist or develop blisters, much to my surprise.unicorns

So consider this: if I could cast this vote, is it really out of the realm of possibility to think that someplace on this big planet there is actually a herd of unicorns prancing around?

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/153159/)

Homo sapiens democratus horribilis

My knowledge and experience as an eminent bio-political socio-anthropologist has enabled me to identify, and name, a previously unrecognized sub-species of human beings (Homo sapiens). I have named this sub-species Homo sapiens democratus horribilis.

This sub-species can be identified by the presence of several distinctive traits:

1.  The inability to apply logic, reason, and/or common sense to practical political problems and issues.

2.  The inability to consider the actual historical record.

3.  The inability to acknowledge the reality of human nature, and consider its effect while seeking real solutions to problems.

4.  The propensity to apply wishful thinking to the task of problem-solving while ignoring real-world practical solutions.

Democratus horribilis have an extreme tendency toward self-destruction, particularly as applied to any social institution in which they find themselves that may have well-established social mores, customs, and traditions. Once recognized, they should be quickly removed from any position which may empower them to have influence over such institutions, or control over individual members of that society.

This has been a public service announcement.

PSA

 

©Brian Baker 2016

 

 

We Need A “Deus Ex Machina”, Stat!

 

In the literature of Ancient Greek tragedy, the playwrights would often plot their characters into a corner, an irresolvable situation in which doom was the inevitable deus ex machinaoutcome until lo and behold! A god or other supernatural character would descend to the stage in a chariot and resolve the problem, saving the hero from disaster. That plot device was called deus ex machina, which translates literally into “god from the machine”, the “machine” being the chariot. Today we call it a “chariot of the gods”.

As a result of the Indiana primary election, both of Donald Trump’s GOP opponents, Cruz and Kasich, have “suspended” their campaigns. That means that Trump is now unopposed in his quest for the nomination and barring some unforeseen event of epic proportion, he’s going to be the GOP presidential nominee in November.

On the Dem/socialist front Hillary Clinton’s lead over her sole opponent, self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, is virtually insurmountable barring her indictment for federal charges stemming from her criminal misuse of classified information on her illegal web server.

So, as an independent conservative, this November I’m going to be faced with an absolutely appalling choice. I can vote for a man I despise, who has absolutely no record of trump clintonconservatism (in fact, quite the opposite) and no experience in public service; a loud-mouthed egotistical buffoon; a charmless amateur driven by self-aggrandizement and megalomania… Trump.

Or I can vote for a scheming, lying, corrupt woman who is the worst kind of Big Government leftist and has committed federal crimes affecting national security… Clinton.

Or I can vote for neither of them.

If ever the political stage of this country needed a deus ex machina, now is that time, more than ever before.

 

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal: http://www.signalscv.com/section/35/article/151770/)

 

 

 

Scalia’s Replacement and the Election

supreme court

Of course, the big news this past week or so is the very sad passing of a legal giant, Antonin Scalia, Justice on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

There’s a political knife fight brewing over replacing him, with Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell at this point vowing to block any Obama nomination because he has so little time left in office, while Obama and his minions – including a sycophantic mainstream media – are clamoring that to do so is to subvert the intent expressed in the Advise and Consent Clause of the Constitution.

Indisputably, the Republicans have the authority by virtue of their control of the Senate to proceed however they wish, including blocking Obama’s nominees from confirmation. It’s borkalso indisputable that the Dem/socialists’ ginned up “outrage” is laughably hypocritical. After all,  when Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to SCOTUS, his confirmation was blocked on purely political grounds by a Senate Dem/socialist lynch mob led by Ted Kennedy, and they thought that was just perfectly fine. In fact, they took great pride in it.

Even more hypocritical is that when Bush 2 nominated Sam Alito to SCOTUS back in 2006, a little known Senator from Illinois, one Barrack Hussein Obama, participated in a filibuster attempt to block the nomination. It sure seems to me that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

At issue is the fact that SCOTUS has been pretty evenly divided ideologically for quite some time, with many cases being decided by a 5 – 4 vote, Kennedy being a “wobbler” who vacillates between originalist (“conservative”) and living constitutionalist (“liberal”) positions. Scalia has always been a fervent originalist. In his absence the Court is evenly divided between the two camps (always with the caveat that Kennedy’s something of a wild card, and there’s the occasional Roberts hiccup, too).

So, the argument goes, in a year in which the presidential election is so contentious, particularly on divisive fundamental philosophy, and we’re so close to the actual election, any SCOTUS appointment should be delayed until the newly-elected President can make his or her own choice.

I think there’s merit to that argument, but frankly I don’t really care about it. As far as I’m concerned, the Constitution gives the approval power to the Senate, the GOP controls thecongress control Senate, and they don’t need any rationalization to block Obama’s appointments if that’s what they want to do. There’s plenty of precedent, as I’ve already pointed out, and there’s no way such a rabid leftist zealot as Obama is going to make any nomination that’s going to be any good for this country. Period.

But there’s another aspect I don’t hear anyone talking about when considering the upcoming election and SCOTUS nominations.

Scalia was 79 when he died. But Ginsburg, a hard-Left zealot, is 82. For that matter Breyer, another doctrinaire Leftist, is 77. It’s quite conceivable that either or both could retire or die during the first term of the next President. At 79, Kennedy could very well be in play, too.

That means, assuming that Obama can’t successfully replace Scalia, that the next President could very well be able to appoint four SCOTUS Justices. So let’s do some math and see how this could play out.

Let’s assume that over the next President’s first term three more SCOTUS seats open up, for a total of four. The current ideological split, in Scalia’s absence, is essentially 4 – 4. If the Dem/socialists win, they can appoint 4 leftists, giving them a 6 – 3 (Roberts, Thomas, and Alito) majority. If the GOP wins, they might also get to appoint 4 conservatives, giving them a 7 – 2 (Kagan and Sotomayor) majority.

Anybody have any questions about how important this election is? It’s way past time for the GOP to get its act together, stop screwing around, and – for once – get it right.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Published in my local newspaper, The Signal, on 2/26/2016: http://www.signalscv.com/section/33/article/149114/)