Change comes to Illinois

…but will it succeed?

Bruce_Rauner_August_2014

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Newly elected Illinois ‘Pub Governor, Bruce Rauner, is preparing to engage one of Illinois’ largest political machines. Yes, one even larger that Richard Daley’s Chicago machine at its heyday. He preparing to battle Illinois’ public service unions and the SEIU. Rauner wants to bring Right-to-Work to Illinois.

I can hear the screams and howls already.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Primed for a Showdown with Unions

Jake (Diary)  | 

Up in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker has shown it’s possible to take on unions, including government unions, and live to tell the tale, and in large part because of his courage, he is now being considered as a Presidential candidate. It looks like his neighboring governor to the south, Bruce Rauner of Illinois, wants to follow in his footsteps. Rauner is one of the many Republican success stories of the 2014 election, and it looks like he isn’t going to be one to waste his mandate. In a recent appearance in Decatur, Illinois, he announced his intentions to take on the government union bosses. Northern Public Radio quoted him as saying:

“The taxpayers on the outside. It’s a conflict of interest. It’s a closed loop. This is what’s going on. Big problem. And it’s driving up our bureaucracy and jobs are leaving. It’s that closed loop up that; it’s what going on: the unions that contract with the state. I think it’s the number one conflict of interest in our state today.”

As their article also notes, he is blaming prevailing wage and Project Labor agreements for playing a role in driving up costs. He did not stop there. The major goal of his Decatur speech was to push one of his major policy goals: the establishment of “right to work zones” in the state. According to one of the local CBS stations, here is what he said specifically:

“The states that are already growing don’t force unionization into their economy,” Rauner told an audience at Richland Community College in Decatur, a city he said could benefit from such a plan.

“I’m not advocating Illinois becoming a right-to-work state, but I do advocate (for) local governments being allowed to decide whether they’re right-to-work zones,” he said.

As Scott Walker proved up in Wisconsin, it is possible to take on the unions and live, but it is by no means an easy task. I hope Gov. Rauner has the spine his neighbor to the north does. It will be very interesting to follow him over the next few years. He could be the next big star for the Republican Party if he is successful in his endeavors. The articles I linked here make it clear that the unions are not happy with the Illinois governor’s remarks, so we should expect a battle that could be just as intense and drawn out as the one that happened in Wisconsin. We need to make sure Governor Rauner knows he has our support, especially if you live in Illinois.

Rauner is also proposing to lower Illinois’ minimum wage to the federal standard to make Illinois more competitive to its neighboring states. That, too, is an anathema to Illinois unions.

Right-to-Work is returning to Missouri’s legislature this year as well. There have been a number of Right-to-Work bills already filed for the 2015 legislative session, House Bills 47, 48, and 116 as well as Senate Bill 127 and 129. In all, nearly 20 labor related bills have been filed.

The unions had and still have massive clout in Jeff City. One of the leading union shills in the Missouri Legislature, Jeff Roorda, lost his election in November. He was in the news today when he engaged in a scuffle with a St Louis Alderman.

It is time to pass Right-to-Work in Missouri and Illinois.

***

Many of us would like to see the EPA abolished. If that agency ever had a real, useful purpose, that purpose could just as easily be performed by the states. In fact every state has an EPA equivalent so the transition or responsibilities would be minimal.

Another federal agency whose time may have come to fade away, or at least be constrained, is the FCC. The FCC, or the Federal Communications Commission, is a child of the 1930s, a product of FDR’s New Deal. Its creation was a merging of the older FRC, or Federal Radio Commission, that regulated radio stations and wireless communications with telephonic communication of wired telephone and telegraphic operations by the ICC, the Interstate Commerce Commission.

In the early days of wired and wireless communication, some oversight was needed. Before federal intervention, multiple radio stations used the same transmitting frequency, or frequencies so close to one another that they created mutual interference. The result was a race to acquire the most powerful transmitter. The stronger signal received the most listeners. The FRC was created to insure no two stations used the same frequency within a given geographic area and to insure stations on adjacent frequencies had sufficient separation to prevent mutual interference. The FRC issued regulations that governed transmitter power. signal bandwidth and standards for signal purity.

Early wired telephonic and telegraphic communications was a patchwork of carriers across the country. There was little to no interoperability and many companies openly competed, sometime violently, for the same territory. As wired technology increased, standards were required to insure seamless communication across the country and with our neighbors, north and south, who used different national standards. British standards in the case of Canada.

Unfortunately, the FCC, especially under recent liberal administrations and commissioners, has wandered far astray from its original purpose. No longer is the Commission primarily concerned with technology and interoperability, but has shifted focus to content, and that is where the conflict between the FCC and Congress rests.

FCC Under Scrutiny as GOP Senators Try to Head Off More Internet Regs

Republican measure would limit the commission’s regulatory authority while many Dems want to treat Net like public utility.

by Rob Longley, January 28, 2015 – 10:45 pm

A Senate hearing last Wednesday took aim at a controversy that has vexed Congress, federal regulators and the telecommunications industry for the better part of a decade: How best to regulate the Internet — and how large a role the Federal Communications Commission should play.

The hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee focused on a Republican proposal to maintain so-called “net neutrality” — the idea that all Internet content should be open to the public and treated equally.

The GOP bill, crafted by the committee’s chairman, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), and his counterpart on the House panel, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), is an effort to head off the FCC’s own plan to preserve net neutrality. Most analysts expect the FCC to push for greater regulatory control over the web and the Internet service providers that deliver it to consumers. The FCC has sought greater control in the past, but the federal courts have struck down its efforts, saying the commission lacked congressional authority to take such action. The commission is set to announce its latest plan next month.

The Republican measure would allow the FCC to impose tough new limits on ISPs, especially with respect to how they manage their networks. But it also would limit the commission’s regulatory authority, and would fall well short of the solution touted by many Democrats and consumer groups: Turn the Internet into a veritable public utility like water and electricity, a move that would give the FCC broad powers to control service providers and, in effect, oversee their operation.

Such a scenario does not sit well with Thune.

“There is a well-founded fear that regulating the Internet like a public utility monopoly will harm its entrepreneurial nature [and] chill investment,” the senator said in his opening statement Wednesday.

Meredith Atwell Baker, president and CEO of industry trade group CTIA — The Wireless Association, agreed. She was one of five witnesses to testify at Wednesday’s hearing. Baker said the FCC’s expected plan, which would include a decades-old set of regulations known as Title II, would force “1930s-era wired rules” onto wireless broadband services. That, in turn, she said, would stunt growth and innovation, and in the end, lead to higher costs and diminished services for the public.

“It would harm consumers and our economy,” Baker said.

But Democrats fear that weakening the FCC’s bite would lead to a less-than-open Internet, a development that could also harm consumers, said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the committee’s ranking Democrat. Consumer groups fear that service providers would use “loopholes” in the GOP plan to set up a two-tiered Internet by charging companies a kind of information-superhighway toll to boost their websites’ visibility and access, an option known as paid prioritization. By necessity, that means companies who refuse to pay the toll have less visibility — a situation that goes against the principles of an open Internet.

“[The public] does not want their access to websites and services blocked,” Nelson said Wednesday. “They’re worried about their broadband provider picking winners and losers on the Internet by relegating those content companies who refuse to pay a toll to a slow lane of service.”

You can read the entire article at the PJ Media website.

Some of the same groups fear an impotent FCC as well. No one disagrees that the FCC was done a great job and provided a needed service—in the past. However, its current focus on content is negating that accumulated good will from the public. The FCC needs to be reined in and returned to its focus of maintaining the nation’s lead in communications and cease its efforts to enforce a liberal political agenda. For be broken up into a less oppressive organization.

Vampire Day

No post today. Out getting stuck.

It’s not easy…

…being a RINO.

Conservatives in Congress continue to give John Boehner and Mitch McConnell headaches. That makes me smile! It’s hardly been a month since the GOP took control of both houses of Congress. In the first week of the new Congress, more legislation has been passed that in the entire year of 2014 under Harry Reid. The ball has now passed to Obama. Will he sign or veto?

Unfortunately, most of the legislation passed has been non-consequential. The tough bills, changes in abortion funding and border security have been pulled in the face of conservative opposition who have problems with sections of both bills.

Trouble in GOP ranks kills votes on border and abortion bills

– The Washington Times – Monday, January 26, 2015

Facing a rebellion in their own ranks, House Republican leaders scrapped their plans to vote this week on their first border security bill of the new Congress, blaming the weather for the delay but buying themselves time to try to stiffen the bill and make it more palatable to conservatives.

It’s the second bill in as many weeks that Republican leaders have had to pull after internal opposition. Last week the GOP scrapped a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, acting the night before the March for Life, after realizing that some female Republican House members had concerns.

The border bill had to be pulled after conservatives objected, saying it didn’t do enough to build the border fence or to step up enforcement against illegal immigrants in the interior of the U.S.

Rank-and-file Republicans said they’ve been assured the delay is temporary — a similar assurance was given to pro-lifers on their bill last week — and the border bill will be brought back once GOP leaders can add other get-tough provisions to it. They are looking to combine it with updated versions of interior enforcement bills that passed in the previous Congress.

“The idea was just to get the companion bill out here. That is the game plan,” said Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Georgia Republican. “It all depends on the progress in [the House] Judiciary [Committee] and them getting it done.”

The column continues here.

At least Boehner did the right thing and is giving conservatives an opportunity to modify both bills as they have demanded. But neither Boehner nor McConnell have gained any confidence from conservatives. Neither Boehner nor McConnell are viewed as having any fortitude to confront Obama and the democrats. The simmering rebellion in the ranks has not dissipated. It’s still there and appears to be growing.

Boehner-McConnell retreat in Obama amnesty fight panics conservatives

– The Washington Times – Sunday, January 25, 2015

http://media.washtimes.com/media/image/2015/01/25/boehnermcconnell_s878x789.jpg?bd854b5a5236db4fa381af0adc34957a3c20f6c9

The conservative core of the Republican Party has long been leery of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, who are viewed derisively as establishment stalwarts.

Conservatives saw it as raising a white flag when Republican congressional leaders pledged not to withhold funding for the Department of Homeland Security in the fight over President Obama’s deportation amnesty, stoking fears that for the next two years House Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will consistently surrender.

For the Republican base, Mr. Obama’s unilateral move to grant legal status and work permits for up to 5 million illegal immigrants was an unlawful power grab that created a constitutional crisis.

If Republican leaders were not willing to use Congress’ power of the purse — the most potent weapon possessed by lawmakers to restrict a president — to stop a brazen unconstitutional act, conservatives reasoned, would the GOP-controlled Congress ever go to the mat to fight Mr. Obama?

The conservative core of the party has long been leery of Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell, who are viewed derisively as establishment stalwarts. The refusal of the leaders to threaten a government shutdown or even close a single agency to force Mr. Obama to revoke his immigration edicts seemed only to confirm the right wing’s worst suspicions.

“The anger I see from my audience at the Republican Party cannot become any more palpable,” nationally syndicated talk radio host Steve Deace said. “We have a president who looks for new and unique ways to shred the Constitution on an almost daily basis, and we have a Republican Party leadership that refuses to do anything about it.”

He said Republican incumbents should expect a backlash and primary challenges next year because of their weak attempt to stop the amnesty.

“People are this angry about it. They feel as if they are already not represented and essentially they have been betrayed by most of the people they just worked to elect in November,” said Mr. Deace. “That’s why people are angry at this, because they realize the people that are in charge of our party don’t believe in almost anything in our party platform. They don’t. They are just treacherous.”

Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell declined to use the power of the purse to try to stop deportation amnesty when they pushed through a spending bill in December that funded all of the government except Homeland Security for the remainder of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

They promised a showdown over immigration before temporary funding for Homeland Security expires Feb. 27. But faced with a spate of terrorism in Europe and cyberattacks by North Korea, the Republican leaders also promised not to shut down Homeland Security and jeopardize the safety of Americans.

Meanwhile, Mr. McConnell and his team expressed doubts about getting the 60 votes in the Senate needed to approve the House-passed spending bill for Homeland Security that included policy riders blocking Mr. Obama’s immigration moves.

Spineless cowards. I have an idea! Let’s use Harry Reid’s rules. Let’s declare these bills as budget bills and pass them with a simple majority. It it worked for Harry, why not for Mitch?

We know why. Boehner and McConnell are more afraid of democrats than they are of us. That can be changed. We had the opportunity with the election of a new Speaker. Unfortunately, not enough Congressmen have spines and need to be replaced.

They’re off!

The 2016 campaign season started this week with GOP sessions in Iowa and other locales. Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio received applause. Rand Paul a few less, mainly due to his lack of support for national security. Apparently Rand Paul has no problems with the Castros in Cuba. Cruz and Rubio, do. In Arizona, John McCain was booed at the AZ state GOP meeting and Sarah Palin hinted she may consider running again in 2016. Of course, the liberal media went into hysterics. All-in-all, it was a good start.

***

Everyone is watching the scenes and positions: Conservatives vs. RINOs, RINOs and Liberals against Conservatives. There  is another, less well known, battle going on in, of all places, the gamer and science-fiction communities. Have you heard about Gamergate and the controversy in the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) over the Hugo Award? Most people think the conservative vs. progressive conflict involved only politics. Wrong!

Gamergate is…complicated. The SFWA controversy less so. Both involve censorship and attacks by ‘progressives’ against more conservative participants. Gamergate, a term created by Firefly actor, Adam Baldwin, began with a controversy involving sexism, feminism in on-line games. Self-declared critics quickly took sides and the battle was on. Taken as a whole, Gamergate is trivial. Viewed as a cultural battle, it is another battleground used by the progressive movement to change American culture into a tyranny where free speech and expression do not exist.

It issue became so controversial that Wiki banned five feminist editors from touching the topic. The issue was ‘fairness.’ ‘Fairness,’ however, depends on your personal viewpoint. Wiki strives to maintain impartiality for their online encyclopedia. Usually, they are successful and this ban is a response to maintain that impartiality.

The SFWA/Hugo Award controversy is less confused. Larry Corriea, a SF/Fantasy writer is on one side, that of conservatives, many of them members of the Baen writers group. Baen writers are generally conservative. Many of the writers product military science fiction and write with a more conservative viewpoint. On the other side is John Scalzi, a self-declared liberal and progressive, and the progressive members of SFWA.

An explanation about the Hugo awards controversy

A few days ago the finalists for the Hugo were announced. The Hugos are the big prestigious award for science fiction and fantasy. One of my books was a finalist for best novel. A bunch of other works that I recommended showed up in other categories. Because I’m an outspoken right winger, hilarity ensued.

Many of you have never heard of me before, but the internet was quick to explain to you what a horrible person I am. There have been allegations of fraud, vote buying, log rolling, and making up fake accounts. The character assassination has started as well, and my detractors posted and tweeted and told anyone who would listen about how I was a racist, a homophobe, a misogynist, a rape apologist, an angry white man, a religious fanatic, and how I wanted to drag homosexuals to death behind my pickup truck.

The libel and slander over the last few days have been so ridiculous that my wife was contacted by people she hasn’t talked to for years, concerned that she was married to such a horrible, awful, hateful, bad person, and that they were worried for her safety.

I wish I was exaggerating. Don’t take my word for it. My readers have been collecting a lot of them in the comments of the previous Hugo post and on my Facebook page. Plug my name into Google for the last few days. Make sure to read the comments to the various articles too. They’re fantastic.

Of course, none of this stuff is true, but it was expected. I knew if I succeeded I would be attacked. To the perpetually outraged the truth doesn’t matter, just feelings and narrative. I’d actually like to thank all of those people making stuff up about me because they are proving the point I was trying to make to begin with.

Allow me to explain why the presence of my slate on the Hugo nominations is so controversial. This is complicated and your time is valuable, so short explanation first, longer explanation if you care after.

Short Version:

  1. I said a chunk of the Hugo voters are biased toward the left, and put the author’s politics far ahead of the quality of the work. Those openly on the right are sabotaged. This was denied.
  2. So I got some right wingers on the ballot.
  3. The biased voters immediately got all outraged and mobilized to do exactly what I said they’d do.
  4. Point made.

The column continues with a discussion about motives and issues surrounding the award process. If you read all of Correia’s post, you will notice the controversy is not about books, novels, nor much about their quality nor content. It’s about politics—conservatives vs. liberals.

On the other side, among many, is John Scalzi, past President of SFWA whose term expired in 2013. Scalzi, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, chose to not run again for office. His name was the only one on the ballot when he was elected.

Correia and Vox Day have been accused of attempting to stuff the ballot box by creating proxy memberships in SFWA. Scalzi admits that the tactic has been used before by liberal writers in their attempts to win Hugos. The tactic is fine when liberal writers do it. But when Correia gathers some real conservative writers and persuades them to join SFWA, it suddenly become controversial. Another form of the liberal bias is the weighted voting system. Toni Weisskopf, Baen’s publisher, had the most votes for Editor Long Form award, but came in 2nd due to WSFS’s (World Science Fiction Society) weighted voting system. Baen’s conservative books are an anathema in the SFWA.

Scalzi wrote this posting after the Hugo Awards were announced. I’ve never heard of the winning writers, Charles Stross excepted, and I’ve been reading science fiction since I was in grade school sixty years ago. Of the winners, however, every single one of them is a progressive who push their political agenda openly in their novels. Even USA Today noticed the conflict.

Thoughts On the Hugo Awards, 2014

Friday Follies for January 23, 2015

Under the tag line of, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” comes this tidbit from Politico. Given their continuing failures in reporting news, CNN is in discussion with changing Anderson Cooper’s 360 program to a game show. We all know that CNN has not been a news channel since the first Gulf War when their lead anchor, Bernard Shaw, had hysterics in Bagdad at the start of the Gulf War I air war. I suppose it’s only reasonable that CNN comes out of the closet and admits it hasn’t been a news channel and moves on.

CNN developing political game show

By DYLAN BYERS, 1/21/15 2:42 PM EST

CNN is producing a new political game show hosted by Anderson Cooper, TVNewser reports.

The show, which is set to air on Presidents’ Day, will be a quiz-style program focused on presidential politics. If the show is a success, CNN is likely to produce future episodes.

We’ve reached out to CNN for more details and will update here if and when we hear back.

CNN, like MSNBC, has drifted so far from reality that nothing they do now surprises me.

***

The Jubilee has come! Eric Holder actually changes DoJ policy in favor of the states. The FedGov will no longer usurp state and local asset forfeiture cases. In many of those cases, the state and local law was more restrictive than federal law. The DoJ would takeover cases then give local PDs a cut-of-the-action. Theft by government order. I’ve never liked asset forfeiture until the accused has actually been convicted and sentenced. Even then the laws are too broad; seizing accounts and assets unrelated to the actual crime(s).

Holder Has Made It Harder for Federal Government to Legally Seize Your Property

Jason Snead / / Andrew Kloster / /

In a stunning announcement last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Department of Justice would immediately stop “adopting” state civil asset forfeiture cases. Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement came exactly one week after leaders on Capitol Hill called on him to halt the controversial program as a step toward broader reform of the nation’s civil forfeiture system.

Before today’s announcement, federal agencies could take over, or “adopt,” forfeiture cases from local or state law enforcement agencies. In other words, state or local law enforcement personnel would seize property and then turn it over to the federal government to process.

Pursuant to agreements with the federal government, once the property was successfully forfeited in federal court, the originating state or local agency got a portion of the proceeds, potentially as high as 80 percent. That money had to be used for law enforcement operations, placing it beyond the control of local governments and state legislators.

The program became the subject of controversy for effectively allowing local agencies to circumvent restrictive state laws in favor of the potentially more lucrative federal route, raising serious federalism and good government concerns. Even where states had strong procedural safeguards for property owners or limitations on the use of forfeiture funds, law enforcement could partner with the federal government and use federal rules to seize property and make use of the profits.

Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Reps. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., and John Conyers, D-Mich., wrote that “these seizures might circumvent state forfeiture law restrictions, create improper incentives on the part of state and local law enforcement, and unnecessarily burden our federal authorities.”

Apparently responding to these concerns, the attorney general’s new policy bars federal authorities from adopting local or state seizures of “vehicles, valuables, cash and other monetary instruments.” The AG was able to make this change unilaterally because the statutes underlying federal civil forfeiture made the equitable sharing payments optional. The Department of Justice has the authority to craft, and to change, the rules of the program. The Treasury Department, which operates its own forfeiture fund, announced its forfeiture operations will conform to the same guidelines as those laid out by Holder.

The article continues with an explanation of exceptions under Holder’s new directive. All-in-all, it’s a step in the right direction.

***

Ya just gotta love Dave Clark. Who’s he? He’s the black, conservative, Milwaukee County Sheriff who won his last election despite the efforts of liberals who hate black conservatives. He does not hesitate to make his opinions known. This time the subject was Al Sharpton.

David Clarke, Wisconsin sheriff: ‘Al Sharpton ought to go back into the gutter he came from’

– The Washington Times – Thursday, January 22, 2015
http://media.washtimes.com/media/image/2014/12/10/david-clarke_s878x473.jpg?de75613b37228017a9f5cb3e6ff07328005a3223

Milwaukee’s tough-talking black sheriff, David Clarke, argued this week that white Americans have “made great strides” in healing race relations, and that sooner or later they’re going to grow tired of having their noses “rubbed in the past sins of slavery.”

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke didn’t pull any punches in his assessment of the Rev. Al Sharpton — who vowed to keep fighting for justice for slain Ferguson teen Michael Brown, despite the feds’ decision to drop a civil rights investigation — and characterized him on national television as less than intelligent and unworthy of respect.

“The grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, got it right,” Sheriff Clarke said, during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” “Officer [Darren] Wilson has been exonerated. The thing I want to know is how does he get his reputation back?”

Sheriff Clarke then directed anger at Mr. Sharpton, who spoke sharply in the wake of Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute Mr. Wilson, a former police officer, on civil rights charges.

Sic’em Dave!

***

Former Speaker of the House, Tom Delay.

Tom Delay may be out of Congress, but the libs failed to defeat him. The Texas Supreme Court ended the Travis County (Austin, TX) democrat prosecutor’s vendetta against Delay. He’s back now with a review of Obama’s SOTU speech earlier this week.

In Obama’s speech, a conservative call to arms

– – Thursday, January 22, 2015

I found President Obama’s State of the Union address this week infuriating — and exhilarating.

It was infuriating for all the usual reasons. For all the talk that this time things would be different, in the first State of the Union speech since the American people repudiated his entire agenda we got the same old Mr. Obama, arrogant, disdainful, defiant of the new Republican majorities and of the voters who sent them to Washington. Had there been a referee on the premises, he would have thrown a flag for taunting.

It was perhaps the most in-your-face speech of this kind that I have ever heard, and I felt for the Republican lawmakers who had to sit through it, knowing that the television cameras were ready to pick up any scowl, eye roll or failure to join a “spontaneous” standing ovation. (It must have been especially tough for House Speaker John Boehner, who had to preserve his dignity and remain polite while Joe Biden was bouncing up and down like a manic jack-in-the box behind the president.)

The president either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that his party badly lost the elections. He’s not listening to the American people, as was evident in the very first minutes of his speech when he laid out the same old tired agenda that dragged down the Democrats in the first place. When President Clinton got a similar repudiation in the 1990s, at least he had the smarts to cooperate — sometimes kicking and screaming — with our new Republican majorities to get items like welfare reform passed. Things worked out so well that now Mr. Clinton brags about the things we forced him to accept.

That’s clearly not Mr. Obama’s way. What we got instead was one of the most misguided, frankly unconstitutional speeches ever given by an American president. The president called for universal child care, gender pay equity, guaranteed paid sick leave for workers, a higher minimum wage, free community college and new rules to make labor unions stronger — not one of which is the responsibility of the federal government under the Constitution. Then he laid out all the things he’s ready to veto if he doesn’t get his way — not exactly the bipartisan outreach that his advisers said was coming.

Even more infuriating — if possible — was Mr. Obama’s boasting about how far we have allegedly come under his watch. He bragged of bringing down the federal deficit in recent years when it was his uncontrolled — and unconstitutional — spending and taxing that ran up the deficit and debt in the first place. The official unemployment rate is down, but only because 90 million Americans have grown so discouraged that they’ve dropped out of the labor market altogether.

The president says he wants to turn his attention to stagnant wages and income inequality, apparently oblivious to the fact that wages aren’t going up precisely because there is a vast army of nonworkers out there saturating the job market. And income inequality will never be “fixed” by taxing the job producers more and giving the money to people who aren’t working. That approach has failed everywhere it has been tried.

The president’s victory lap was even more incredible when you consider the full plate of crises beyond our borders, from Russia and Iran to Yemen, Nigeria and Syria — the easily foreseen consequences of an administration that brags of “leading from behind.” The president claims the “shadow of crisis” has passed, but that’s not true to anyone who has been paying attention.

So why the exhilaration, you ask?

The more I listened to the speech, the more I was convinced that the president is handing the Republicans an incredible opportunity. He’s not backing down from his disastrous progressive agenda, and that means conservatives cannot afford to back down from theirs.

New Sen. Joni Ernst struck a nice, hopeful tone in her official rebuttal speech, but building the Keystone pipeline and getting more help to vets is not a full agenda. The joint House-Senate Republican retreat last week was another missed opportunity to pre-empt the president’s liberal agenda, to put a true constitutional conservative program on the table and force this president to react.

But Mr. Obama’s speech made it crystal clear that Republicans have no alternative to confrontation, a clash that should last through the 2016 election. Facing a delusional and defiant president, this is no time for conservatives to play small-ball. We need a bold agenda that presents an alternative to the left. We need real, pro-growth tax reform. We need to repeal Obamacare — now. We need to slash spending. We need to defund the president’s illegal executive actions, starting with his amnesty for illegal immigrants. We have to show we respect life and traditional values.

There can be no debate about it any more. Barack Obama has made it unmistakably clear he wants a fight.

We should give him one.

Well said, Tom. Well said.

Sidetracked

I started to write a post today but was interrupted…and interrupted. **Sigh** I hope to do better tomorrow.

A paradigm shift?

I didn’t watch Obama last night. I wasn’t interested in listening to his pontifications and lies. Listening to the top-of-the-hour news this morning, I was vindicated in skipping Obama’s brag fest.

Instead, I went to a small meeting to listen to a friend who is a political activist and heads a state-wide organization. I’d rather listen to him than Obama.

I’ve heard my friend speak before. He’s always been knowledgeable and has numerous inside contacts in Jeff City. He original topic was the upcoming legislative session in Jefferson City. I was particularly interested in HB 188, a bill designed to attack grassroots organizations, like the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, by forcing them to disclose their membership lists and donors.

That was his intent. And…he did cover a few of the items coming forth in Jeff City. We were a small group last night. Many of the usual members didn’t come. Some are snowbirds and were out-of-state in more warmer climes. When questions started from the floor how we, as individuals, could be more effective lobbying in Jeff City, his planned talk went out the window.

In retrospect, the diversion was good. He explained the legislative process that many did not understand. How opinions of legislators can be changed. He cited the successful veto-override effort for SB 523 in the last session. We discussed various techniques how individuals can influence legislators…and how some tactics, yelling at staffers over the phone, can back-fire.

The discussion spread far and wide and as I listened I began to hear an underlying concept, something I’d heard from others outside Missouri…the federal government is becoming irrelevant. Every new tyranny from Washington has an opposite and equal reaction within the states. The result of the reaction is more ‘nullification’ bills being filed in state legislatures. More states joining the Convention of States movement. More states resisting, and in many cases, succeeding, edicts being issued from Washington.

Prior to the Civil War, an individual’s primary loyalty was to his state. After that war, a person’s loyalty, supported strongly by the triumphant North, was to the country as a whole and to the central government. That viewpoint has continued until Obama was elected. (For some, it was earlier but I’ll not argue the point.)

What I am hearing from many across the country is a return to the primacy of state loyalty. The growing view that it must now be the states who defend their citizens from the tyrannical acts of the central government. It matters not the issue, be it education and common core, the EPA and water-rights, Obamacare and the forced expansion of medicaid, or the failure to secure our borders. Here, there, people’s loyalties are shifting and I don’t yet think the liberals have noticed. Yet.

I’m of two minds on this paradigm shift. I was born, as was my wife, in Illinois. I have relatives who live in the oppressive state, still. But, I’m glad my wife and I left over forty-five years ago. Missouri is now my state, my home, and I’m proud of it and our ‘Pub controlled legislature.But I’m still loyal to the nation as a whole—not the FedGov, but to the United States. I once swore an oath to defend the nation and the Constitution. I’ve not recanted that oath. But the Constitution no longer rules the federal government. Loyalty to the Constitution is not loyalty to the FedGov.

Note above, I said ‘Pub controlled state legislature, not conservative controlled. Not all of the ‘Pubs in Jefferson City are conservatives. It’s a work-in-progress to change them to conservatives…or replace them with conservatives.

I’m sure the libs will call those who have shifted their primary loyalty to their states racists, fascists, Nazis, the usual liberal diatribe. They overlook one central fact: conservatives can live quite well without the federal government in their lives. The liberals and social parasites, cannot. That, perhaps, may be the real divide within this nation.