The Kabuki Starts in Three… Two… One…

It was an interesting and emotional mid-term election, and the results were pretty much in conformance with historical norms: the out-of-power party – in this case the Dem/socialists – took control of the House, and the party in power – this time the GOP – retained control of the Senate.

The Dem/socialists eked out enough seats in the House to win a slim majority, but sadly for them it was at the expense of “moderates” who were more likely to “cross the aisle” to find compromise with them than those GOPers who remain. In the Senate they actually lost seats, widening the gap and ceding even more power to the GOP and Mitch McConnell, as well as the newly-energized Lindsay Graham.

In other words, the “Blue Wave” that was expected turned pretty much into a trickle.

The wild-eyed Sturm und Drang we’ve seen coming from the left will now be institutionalized. Pelosi unleashed! Maxine Waters on the prowl! Why not?

To get any proposed legislation actually enacted into law will mean it will have to make it through the Senate and past Trump’s potential veto. But that kind of compromise and moderation isn’t the face the Dem/socialists put on their campaign. This is the party of the “#Resistance”! This is payback for defeating Ms. Pant Suit in 2016! It’s time to get even!

That’s why I think we’re in for a couple of years that promise to be highly entertaining; in fact, I think it will be a spectacle.

Much of Pelosi’s House contingent is made up of hardcore zealots who will consider their new majority as being the sign of a mandate to advance their radical agenda. So I think there’s a real chance we’ll see proposals for much more draconian gun control, universal “free” healthcare and education, and a repeal of the recent tax cuts, along with proposals to actually increase taxes.

Now that they’re no longer facing an electorate that might react adversely to such antics – at least for the next two years – the extreme fringe nuts – yes, Maxine, I’m looking at you – will push hard for “investigations” and impeachments; certainly of Trump, and maybe even others, such as the recently-seated Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Of course, the political reality is that none of these antics are going to actually produce any tangible results. The Senate and the veto, again. But think of the theater of it all! Great political Kabuki!

Pelosi’s problem is compounded by the fact that she probably doesn’t want the House to end up looking like an impotent joke. So she’s faced with a real tightrope walk. How does she get legislation proposed and enacted into law while at the same time appeasing the far-left base that gave her party the House, all while facing a Senate and President who vehemently oppose the agenda of that base?

What a predicament!

Meanwhile, Trump will be calling her and her party out as being obstructionist – the “party of ‘No’” – as they try to block his agenda. Trump is also a president who isn’t afraid of government shutdowns, as he’s already demonstrated. We’re not talking about a Bush here. This is The Donald.

The upshot is that I think this actually paves the way for Trump to enjoy a casual cruise to re-election in 2020.

He’s a master at ridiculing and belittling his opposition. Like it or not, he does it masterfully, and Pelosi and Company are going to give him plenty of ammunition.

If Pelosi’s House actually does impeach him – which will be a futile gesture since conviction and removal from office will die in the Senate – it will be viewed as the political stunt it is and redound to Trump’s benefit.

Mueller’s eternal joke of an “investigation” will be revealed as the waste of time and money it was, and will be over, gone, and forgotten.

All the while Trump and McConnell will be ushering judicial and other presidential appointments through the Senate confirmation process, the same process that brought us Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, among many others.

The Dem/socialists don’t even have a viable presidential candidate, at least as of now. Who are they going to run? “Lie-A-Watha” Elizabeth Warren? Cory “Spartacus” Booker? “Lunchbucket” Joe Biden?

I have to say, I’m kind of looking forward to the next couple of years. It looks to me like a lot of good material to write about.

Let’s raise the curtain! It’s show time!

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

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

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A Conservative Guide to Voting in Santa Clarita (and Commiefornia)

I’ve said it before, right in these pages: we’re in the midst of a civil war in this country every bit as profound and fundamental as the one that took place in the 1860s. So far it’s been pretty bloodless, but make no mistake. We’re in a battle for the very soul of this nation.

In the two years since Donald Trump put an end to Hillary Clinton’s “unstoppable” ascendancy to the Oval Office the Dem/socialists have cranked their outrage meter all the way up to eleven, culminating in the outrageous and despicable attempt at character assassination targeted against Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process as a Supreme Court justice.

Fortunately, that attack failed and Kavanaugh has been seated. But that battle may well not be over. Many of the Dem/socialists’ leading voices – luminaries such as Nancy “The Red” Pelosi, Cory “Spartacus” Booker, and Maxine “Muddy” Waters, among others – have intimated, if not outright promised, that they will explore the possibility of impeachment, not only of Kavanaugh, but Trump himself, too, if they manage to take over control of the House of Representatives.

It doesn’t matter to the unhinged left that there aren’t any “high crimes and misdemeanors” upon which to hang an impeachment charge, nor that removal from office requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate, a level impossible to attain. This is all political kabuki, theatrical melodrama designed to impede the political process while chomping from a bowl of sour grapes.

We need to put an end to this right now.

The first step is to make sure that Katie Hill doesn’t win election to the House of Representatives. She’s already made her position clear on Kavanaugh, calling him a “serial predator” in a tweet (https://twitter.com/KatieHill4CA/status/1045009222918799361). As I discussed in my September 19th column (“A Lynching in the Senate”) there was no actual evidence to support the outrageous accusations, but that evidently didn’t mean anything to Hill. Is that the mindset we want to see in the person representing us in the US House of Representatives? Guilt and personal destruction by unsupported accusation? Do we want to send her to Washington so she can hop on the impeachment bandwagon?

Throw in the nature of the policies she supports – gun control, government-run healthcare (which will destroy both healthcare and the economy), amnesty – and you have a hard-left activist who I believe doesn’t represent the values of our community.

Let’s re-elect Steve Knight.

We have our work cut out for us at the state level, too. If and when the Sacramento socialists get a super-majority, bad things will happen. You think the gas and car registration tax hike was bad? Well, buckle up if they get even more power!

To that end, it’s a big “NO” on Christy Smith and a “Yes!” for Dante Acosta. For those of us in the north part of the SCV, Tom Lackey gets the nod over Steve Fox.

The race for Governor is pretty much a no-brainer. It’s interesting how, in his media ads, Gavin Newsome tries to come across as reasonable and moderate. All you have to do is look at his tenure as Mayor of San Francisco to see the real face behind the mask. John Cox is the guy to vote for.

Leftist extraordinaire Xavier Becerra is being challenged by Steven Bailey for the post of state Attorney-General. This is an often-overlooked position in people’s election thinking, but it really is quite important. Let’s support Bailey.

At the local level, I’ve previously mentioned that we have a group of radical leftist activists who have “endorsed” certain candidates for some of the offices on the ballot. To me, that’s a list of candidates to avoid. Here they are:

City Council: Haddock, Trautman, and Logan Smith. There are 12 other candidates from which you can choose, including my friend Jason Gibbs.

Saugus Union School District: Barlavi, Arrowsmith, and Chris Trunkey.

Hart Union School District: Donna Robert and Kelly Trunkey.

You may have noticed I didn’t mention the race for US Senate. Feinstein versus De Leon. Well, it reminds me of a movie: “Dumb and Dumber”. I’m sitting that one out.

I’m not a member of any political party, so, as a conservative “independent”, those are my recommendations for the upcoming elections.

Vote as if your kids’ futures depend on it. Because they do.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

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

Deplorables: Making America Great Again

Back when Ronald Reagan was President the mainstream press hated him as much as they hate Trump now, and there was a joke that made the rounds that I think is just as applicable today. It goes like this:

If there had been a press corps a couple of thousand years ago like the one we have today, and they covered Jesus like they cover Reagan, the day after He walked on water the headline would have been: “JESUS CAN’T SWIM!!!”

To quote Yogi Berra, it’s déjà vu all over again. In fact, in the age of Trump, I think an updated version of that punch line would read: “JESUS IS AN ANTI-SWIMMER NAZI!!!”

The volume of the hysterical outrage from Dem/socialists and Never-Trumpers is a wonder to behold. Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is in full and marvelous bloom. The added irony is that as their outrage level gets cranked ever higher, Trump’s popularity simply seems to increase in direct response. It looks like we Deplorables just aren’t buying the snake oil. In fact, as of July 26 the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll had Trump’s approval rate at 46%, which is higher than Saint Obama’s numbers at the same point in his presidency.

Now, I have to admit that I had very grave doubts about Trump during the 2016 election cycle. If you’re interested you can go into the Signal archives, or my old blog entries, and read my columns from that time. I was a hardcore Ted Cruz guy. But as Election Day in November came rolling near, and it became clear the choice was a binary one between Trump and Hillary “Whiny” Clinton, I reluctantly threw my support to Trump, since I viewed Whiny as a disaster-in-waiting for the country.

Much to my delight, Trump’s turned out to govern as the single most conservative President since Reagan. Who’da thunk it?

I know, I know… I’m just a Deplorable who “cling(s) to guns or religion” per Saint Barrack; a racist, xenophobic, homophobic, gun-loving, small-government, nativist, greedy, ignorant Nazi. Bummer.

The problem for the TDS crowd is that we Deplorables just don’t care about the things that whip them into such a lather. Did Trump have girlfriends back in the day? Who cares? The guy was a rich guy in show biz. Didn’t they all? I voted for a guy to be President, not saint.

“But, but… Mueller!…” Yeah, what about Mueller? A year and a half of wasted time and taxpayer dollars on an “investigation” that’s wandered very far afield of what it was supposedly investigating; that’s lost any semblance of objectivity (Strzok, Page, McCabe); and has only managed to indict a bunch of Russian internet trolls located halfway around the globe. How utterly underwhelming.

“Treason!” That’s the latest meme from the loony left. They don’t like how he’s carrying out foreign policy, so now they’re accusing him of “treason”. Seriously! Check out the Boston Globe, Chicago Trib, Baltimore Sun, Congressman Ted Lieu, Anderson Cooper on CNN, among many others. Talk about unhinged. This is exactly why normal people can’t take TDSers seriously.

One of the most ironic “treason” accusations came from former CIA Director John Brennan. The irony stems from the fact that in 1976 Brennan voted for Gus Hall for President. Hall was the nominee of the US Communist Party. How this guy ever got a security clearance is beyond me. When I was in Army Intelligence that would have been an immediate disqualifier. Instead, he rose to become CIA Director.

Between that and the Mueller “investigation”, not to mention James Comey’s outright malfeasance with the investigation into Whiny’s home brew email rig, there’s certainly credence to Trump’s complaints about the operations and objectivity of the intelligence apparatus, at least to my mind. The Intel community sure has changed since I was a member.

Trump has a summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un? “Terrible” per the TDSers, though Saint Barrack bowing and scraping to every tin pot dictator in sight was a great thing. Trump gets Kim to make concessions? “Meaningless”. What did they expect? That Kim would ask to be annexed as a state?

Trump pressures other NATO members to start hauling their own weight? “Outrageous”, per the TDSers. But guess what? That sounds like a GREAT idea to us Deplorables!

Meanwhile, the economy’s cooking, people are taking home more money, they’re paying less in federal taxes, there are more jobs than applicants, unemployment’s at record lows, the stock market’s at record highs, we’ve pulled out of the Paris Accords “climate change” scam, we’ve had a great new Supreme Court Justice seated in Neil Gorsuch with another terrific nominee in Brett Kavanaugh awaiting confirmation, and we’re really on our way to “Making America Great Again”.

It’s time for the TDSers to grow up and put their big boy pants on. The election’s over. Whiny lost and is never going to be President (thank God). Trump’s not going to be impeached and removed from office.

That’s just the way it is.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Also published today in The Signal)

The Asylum Scam

I often find columns by our resident leftists to be entertaining, and even amusing, and Anthony Breznican’s “Debunking Baker’s Latest Column” on 10 July (Link) was no exception.

He starts out with the SOP leftist bleat about being victimized: “(Baker) also decided to make a series of personal attacks against me, but I’ll ignore those insults and distortions. They are beneath our community newspaper.”

What was that “insult”? I said he lied to his kids. But what does he call the things I wrote that he’s “debunking”? “Baker Lie”, in boldface type and all. I guess it’s not “beneath our community newspaper” if he’s doing it. Hypocrisy, anyone?

I’ve been debating leftists for literally decades, and I’m still amazed at their lack of self-awareness.

I think his first “debunking” is instructive of the quality of his material:

BAKER LIE: ‘… they wouldn’t have been separated from their kids, which is exactly the same thing that happens to ANY lawbreaker who’s arrested for any crime.’

“THE TRUTH: Crossing the border is a misdemeanor, seldom prosecuted in cases of asylum seekers. USA Today reports it usually comes with a fine of $10. This is like someone ringing your doorbell to ask for help after a car accident — and you calling the police to have them arrested for trespassing. American law has never mandated seizing the children of people charged with misdemeanors. Ask anyone who has been caught driving without a license, or shoplifting, or engaging in disorderly conduct. In America, the punishment fits the crime, and caging young children over a misdemeanor is cruel and unusual.”

Now, while the majority of what he wrote is actually true, it doesn’t directly respond to, or in any way negate, what I specifically wrote. In fact, it’s pretty much irrelevant. There are a whole lot of misdemeanors for which people are jailed. The definition of a “misdemeanor” is that it is a crime for which the maximum sentence is one year or less in jail. And just as I wrote, if someone is sent to jail – for whatever length of time – their kids don’t accompany them. What Breznican is doing here is indulging in the timeworn leftist tactic of misdirection and obfuscation. That’s pretty much his go-to SOP.

Further, those kids weren’t “caged”. They were placed in facilities which are more accurately likened to daycare facilities. But then, there’s no emotional drama in that, is there?

A bit later he writes:

BAKER LIE: He writes about the Obama administration’s policy of processing the claims of asylum seekers and then releasing them on bond with a court date. In court, their request for asylum will either be accepted or denied. ‘Those illegal aliens for the most part never showed up in court for their hearings,’ he writes.”

But that’s not what I wrote. I didn’t restrict my statement to “asylum seekers”. Yet another attempted bait-and-switch.

Which brings me to what I believe is the underlying, and far more important, reality of this issue. This was clearly illustrated by the now-infamous cover photo of the July 2 edition of Time magazine. That cover juxtaposed a picture of a crying little girl looking up at a seemingly indifferent Trump, symbolizing his – and I assume others’ who aren’t part of the illegal alien lobby – lack of empathy for those seeking “asylum” at our southern border.

But even before publication it became known that the kid’s mother wasn’t actually a legitimate “asylum” seeker, and had in fact taken the kid to be used as the “beard” for the mother’s request for asylum, which itself was phony. It turns out that Mom had taken the little girl without Dad’s knowledge (Link), and that she was never, in fact, separated from her daughter at all.

Yet even though they knew that their cover illustration was a lie, Time decided to go ahead with it anyway. False and misleading or not, it made a political point for them that they wanted to have made. So much for integrity from the left, at least on this issue (and almost any other, in my experience).

Ask yourself this question: if someone from Central America truly wants legitimate asylum, why would they go all the way to the US border when they have to pass through Mexico to get there, a country with very accommodating laws on asylum and immigration? (Mexican asylum) Why wouldn’t they just stay in Mexico?

The reality is that our border has been under invasion for decades, and I think that in many, if not most, cases this “asylum” claim is just a scam. People in Central America can read the news and access the internet just as easily as you and I can. There are hordes of lawyers who specialize in the subject, not to mention those, such as the coyotes, who profit from motivating people to make the trek.

Those people know that if they can pluck the heartstrings of America and get us weeping about little kids there’s one heckuva chance that once they show up at the border and wrap themselves in the mantle of asylum with a couple of cute kids in tow, they’ll wind up getting to stay.

Could this be why there’s been a 1700+ percent (!) increase in asylum claims at our southern border in the last ten years? (Percentage increase) I think we’re being gamed.

What do you think?

 

©Brian Baker 2018

 

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

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)

Impeachment Hysteria Versus Reality

 

Our family is very politically aware (and fortunately for us and family comity, all conservatives), and as everyone with a pulse knows, virtually from Inauguration Day there have been calls for President Trump’s impeachment. The hysteria seems to be reaching a crescendo recently, dominating news coverage, and as a result I received an email the other day from one of the younger members of our clan, a Millennial:

“Hello there!

“What do you think the odds are of Trump getting impeached? That’s all I see in my news feed now!

“Brett R.”

To answer Brett’s question, I think the odds of that are pretty much zero. First of all, you’ve got to understand that the “news” feed is all pretty much just biased – and I mean to a point I’ve never before seen in my lifetime – agenda-driven rubbish.

But to the actual legalities, there has to be actual “cause” for impeachment. Per the Constitution, that means “high crimes or misdemeanors”. So, what actual “crimes” or “misdemeanors” has Trump actually committed? None that I can think of.

Then there’s political reality. Impeachment takes place in the House, and conviction takes place in the Senate and requires a 2/3 vote of the Senators to do so and remove him from office. Both the House and the Senate are controlled by the GOP. So, what are the odds of ANY of that actually happening?

Precedent. Only two sitting Presidents have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson and “Quick-Zipper Bill” Clinton. Neither was convicted. Johnson’s impeachment was purely politically motivated, based on his Reconstruction policies, and his conviction was one vote shy. Clinton actually had committed a crime – perjury – and yet wasn’t convicted in the Senate. So, particularly in light of Pantsuit Hillary’s federal felonious actions with her email rig and the failure to indict HER, I can’t see any way an actual impeachment takes place.

Another political reality. I think impeaching Trump would actually BENEFIT him. We saw the same dynamic when Billy-Bubba was impeached: his popularity actually increased. I think the same dynamic would inure to Trump. There’s a VERY large percentage of people in this country that are simply fed up with the SOP of how both major parties have been conducting business over the last few decades. Trump’s election is the embodiment of that frustration. Impeaching him… the consequences of that could be beyond imagination.

All these impeachment noises are being made by left-wing radicals spouting moronic sound bites for public consumption; people like Maxine Waters and “Nancy the Red” Pelosi. It’s become Dem/socialist SOP to act like silly, spoiled children. And all the while they’re doing it they’re losing actual political power all across the country with the exception of a few blue coastal states like Commiefornia and Taxachussetts.

I see this as simply political Kabuki from the American socialists. Think about it. If Trump’s impeached and convicted, that doesn’t roll back the election clock and make the Pantsuit Lady President. Mike Pence becomes President! They know that as well as I do. And that would be about the worst thing that could happen to them and their agenda, because he’s as clean as a whistle, and a great conservative. It would absolutely CRUSH their political aspirations. The whole point of this impeachment drivel is to try to keep Trump off balance, and to delegitimize him in order to try to weaken him. An actual impeachment would be a huge strategic error on their part.

Like I said, I think the chances are pretty much zero.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

 

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

 

It’s About Damned Time!

After decades of bringing a plastic toy bat to a gunfight, the GOP – that party with an uncanny record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – finally grew some gonads and “went nuclear” on the confirmation process for Judge Neil Gorsuch.

It’s about damned time!

The result is that Gorsuch has taken his rightful place on the bench at the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

We’ve all heard the incessant bleating from the left. “It’s a stolen seat! It should be Merrick Garland’s! Senate rules! Tradition!” Blah, blah, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

I, for one, couldn’t care less about their whining. In fact, in all honesty, I’m absolutely reveling in it! Because the time finally came when they had to pay the piper, and they didn’t like it one little bit. They’re squealing like stuck pigs. Good!

For decades, for purely political purposes, they changed rules, and moved the goalposts, at will. They counted on the GOP to consider themselves to be above such “petty” political games when they were themselves in power, and for the most part they’ve been right… up to now. The GOP was indeed stupid enough to keep letting them get away with it while refusing to resort to the same tactics themselves.

This kind of cynical, manipulative behavior goes all the way back to FDR, who threatened to “pack” the Supreme Court with like-minded leftist judges who’d back his socialist programs, and when the GOP legislators chickened out and backed off, the stage was set.

When Reagan nominated Robert Bork, a superbly qualified originalist jurist, to SCOTUS the scurrilous attacks on his character, ironically led by Ted Kennedy – the “Lion of the Senate” who was apparently taking a break from molesting and drowning young interns at the time – were so outrageous that Bork ended up withdrawing from consideration. The episode was so shameful it even led to the coining of the term “borking” for subjecting nominees to irrational and unreasonable political attacks.

When Bush I nominated Clarence Thomas to SCOTUS Senate Dems tried, unsuccessfully, to “bork” him with the infamous Anita Hill slander. When Bush II nominated Samuel Alito Senate Dems tried unsuccessfully to filibuster his appointment. They did successfully block Bush II’s nominee to the DC Circuit, Miguel Estrada, using a filibuster.

Yet when the shoe has been on the other foot, Dem/socialist nominees have sailed through to an easy confirmation, in spite of their political bent, with little to no GOP opposition, die-hard doctrinaire leftist Ruth Bader Ginsburg being a classic example. A Carter appointment, she was confirmed in the Senate by a vote of 96 to 3. Breyer was confirmed 87 to 9; Kagan by 63 to 37; and Sotomayor by 67 to 29.

When Bush I was president then-Senator Joe Biden – who was at the time chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee – said he would block any Bush nominee to SCOTUS that may occur in an election year. So much for the “stolen seat” of Merrick Garland, since all the Senate GOPers did during the last year of Obama’s term was follow that very same “Biden Rule”.

And when Obama was president the ever-despicable Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader at the time, used the so-called “nuclear option” to eliminate the filibuster option for all judicial appointments other than to SCOTUS, thereby ensuring that Obama was able to load the lower-level Circuit Court system with activist leftist jurists. The truth is in the numbers: at the end of Bush II’s term ten of thirteen circuit courts had majorities nominated by Republican presidents. But as of now, nine of them have majorities nominated by Democrat presidents. In other words, the situation reversed by almost 180 degrees during Obama’s time in office.

There’s nothing in the Constitution that requires anything other than a simple majority for the Senate to act. As it’s been used on judicial appointments, in reality it’s been a tyranny of the minority exploited by the Dem/socialists to pack the court system, right up to and including SCOTUS, with activists more concerned with advancing a “social justice” agenda than with ensuring that proper legal and constitutional principles are observed.

Thus the irony is so thick it can be cut with a knife when Mitch McConnell and the other Senate Republicans used the Democrats’ own traditional strategy, the “nuclear option”, to ensure Gorsuch’s ascension to a seat on SCOTUS. It’s why the wailing and bleating of the left is music to my ears.

Their own chickens have come home to roost.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

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

Who’s To Blame for the Failure of the Healthcare Reform Bill?

 

 

On March 29th The Signal published a column by Gary Horton entitled “What’s next after health care”.

This absurd column was full of hyperbole and hysteria, with a lot of ad hominem thrashing about thrown in for good measure. A return to his old “style”.

That’s a shame, too, because his last few columns were pretty good. But those were on the topic of Measure H, on which he took an actual “conservative” position, so maybe what we’re seeing here is an illustration of how conservatism is easy to support rationally, while socialism needs wild-eyed ranting to seek its justification.

As to the latest healthcare debacle, there’s a lot more blame to go around than just facilely throwing it at Trump, though I’m sure he’s the bogeyman Horton likes to target. House GOPers have had over 6 years to come up with a viable plan, something that actually made sense and included realistic elements that would address the free-market shortcoming of the current wealth redistribution scheme in place. The “Ryan plan” was a non-starter from the jump; in reality just a place-holder they could point at when asking for votes in the past elections.

Now that they finally had both chambers of Congress and the White House, to have seriously rolled out that tired piece of garbage as their offering was stupid beyond belief. There was no way it was ever going to be passed, as bad as it was. It was hardly better at all than Obamacare. What would have been the point?

They should have taken their time and crafted something that actually would have repealed and replaced Obamacare, not just tinkered with it a little bit. And Trump’s biggest failure was in not making them do exactly that. Maybe due to his own political inexperience, I don’t know.

As I’ve written before, we need to get government out of the healthcare and insurance equation. Government is the problem, not the solution.

 

(Also published today in The Signal)

Write It On Ice

 

write-on-ice

 

In my last couple of columns I’ve been discussing how the American Left has blown its collective mind over the election of Trump, and their hair-on-fire antics in trying to turn the tides of time back to pre-November 8, when their queen bee in waiting, Miss Pantsuit, was still just a stone’s throw away from her coronation.

As I’m writing this (who knows what they’ll come up with tomorrow?) the Next Big Thing is that Russia hacked the DNC computers because “they wanted Trump to win”. It’s splashed all over the place in the leftist media. Big headlines; op-ed topic du jour.

But let’s examine this for a moment. Left unexplained is why the Russians would want Trump over Clinton. Are the Dems trying to imply that he’s a Russian agent or something? A Manchurian Candidate? It certainly can’t be that the Russians were afraid of Clinton. After all, as Secretary of State she was an abysmal failure, and all of her policies led to disastrous consequences, from the Arab Spring meltdown, to Benghazi, to China’s resurgent aggression in the South China Sea, to Russia’s own newly energized militarism in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. So no, that can’t be it.

Another aspect of this issue the Left doesn’t seem to raise, and in fact wants to distract people away from thinking about, is really basic: if there was nothing in those hacked emails to hide, what’s the big deal anyway? This is the modern computer era. Everybody gets hacked. That’s a given. There’s even a phrase for it: “The internet is forever”. Never write, post, publish, or email anything you don’t want to see splashed all over the web. Even kids know this. So what was in those “hacked” emails that supposedly brought Clinton down?

Truth. The simple truth.

Those emails, whether hacked by the Russians or someone else, revealed the depths of the corruption of the Clinton cabal in their maneuvering to win office, from the manipulations of Debra Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile in stealing the primary from Bernie Sanders, to the complicity of the Clinton team in her illegal email rig, to the cooperation of the allegedly “independent and unbiased” press, right on down.

But there’s also a further reality. Those hacked emails didn’t actually reveal anything people didn’t already know about Clinton. All they really did was confirm what people already knew: that Clinton is cynical and corrupt to her core, and surrounds herself with like-minded people. Nothing new here, move along.

Thus the net impact of those hacked emails, in reality, was pretty much a big, fat zero.

Let’s face it. This latest burst of sanctimonious outrage is nothing more than another effort to deny the reality of the election outcome, and a lame attempt to besmirch and delegitimize the guy who won the election fair and square: Donald Trump.

My Armenian mother told me there’s an old-country maxim that goes: “Write it on ice”. In other words, if you write something down that you might not want people to see later, it will disappear forever when the ice melts, but you never know about anything written on paper – or nowadays in emails.

So the lesson for the Dems is this: next time, don’t document your corruption in emails. Better yet, why not consider abandoning that corruption altogether?

 

©Brian Baker 2016

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

Baseball and the Electoral College

In my last column I discussed the hair-on-fire reaction of the American Left to the electoral rejection of the pantsuit woman in favor of the guy with the world’s biggest combover. Since then, more hilarity has ensued.

kabukikWe have the political Kabuki of Jill Stein, hitherto a virtual political unknown non-entity, trying to force vote recounts in three (as of this writing) states. Of course, she has a better chance of winning the Powerball lottery than actually reversing the results in any of those states, but that doesn’t really matter. She’s now catapulted herself from complete obscurity and irrelevance to being nationally known, not to mention being in control of millions of dollars not previously available to her. Think that might come in handy in… oh, say… four years, when her presidential aspirations are as sure to resurface as a dolphin gulping for air?

You tell me.

Then, of course, we have the complete and utter outrage that Miss Pantsuit can win a couple million more popular votes than Mr. Combover but still lose the actual election, all due to the “arcane, unnecessary and outdated” institution of the Electoral College (EC). Naturally, this leads to bleats for the elimination of the EC altogether.

Wake up time, snowflakes. The EC isn’t going anywhere, since it would take an amendment to the Constitution to do that.

But here’s where the so-called “logic” of the Dem/socialists falls to pieces. Our national election is just like the baseball World Series, in that the election consists of 50 individualscoreboard contests for electoral delegates just as the World Series consists of seven individual games. The outcome is based on who wins the most of those individual contests (in the election) or games (in the Series), not the cumulative total of home runs… or votes. That team with the most states – or won games – wins the election or the Series.

There’s another huge gap in their “logic”. There’s a built-in assumption that if the election were a straight plebiscite the vote totals would be the same as they are under our present system. But here’s a dose of reality. I know of several personal acquaintances – and I’m sure they’re typical of many based on simple human nature – who are conservatives and/or Republicans, who simply never vote for President because they know that this state’s 55 EC delegates are going to the Dems no matter what. They consider their votes a waste of time, or an opportunity to make some other “statement”, a la the NeverTrumpers.

But if those people had known their votes would actually have a direct impact on the actual outcome of the election, I have no doubt they’d have showed up in droves to vote, not for Trump, but against Clinton.

As of now Clinton’s popular margin is around two million more votes than Trump, but I’d bet big money that if there weren’t an EC he’d have gained around a million votes out of California ALONE. Throw in New York, Massachusetts, Washington state, and Illinois and he’d have cleaned her clock in the popular vote, too.

I often say that in order to be a leftist you have to be able to ignore five things: facts, logic, history, human nature, and the Constitution. If you can ignore those five things you, too, can be a practicing leftist.

Well, take notice of how this latest umbrage over the EC covers all those bases with the possible exception of history. A perfect fit!

 

 

©Brian Baker 2016

(Also published today in a slightly edited version in my local newspaper, The Signal)