Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Time for an Urban Agenda, GOP!

The South Los Angeles-Inglewood Republican Assembly has formed in the heart of deep blue Los Angeles County.

While Republican leaders and armchair consultants kept declaring that African-Americans belong in the GOP, a group of dedicated conservatives started reaching out and getting a California Republican Assembly unit started in the regions of LA with larger black communities.

Forty people have formed the group, which was officially recognized by a unanimous vote.

There are interested people out there who want to hear about liberty and prosperity.

They know that there is more to life than barely getting by on bad credit deals and keeping one's head above water. They want to move on up, to the deluxe apartments in the sky. Todd Blair, Founding President of the Torrance-Lomita Republican Assembly heeded the call of his local church and sought to deliver the message of hope and grace to other communities, ones where Republicans tend to drive by and not look back, in his words.

Republican party leaders have all but given up on the urban core. Riding high on suburban and rural voters for decades, the dilapidation of the cities was not the prime concern for outrage. Those dynamics need to change, and not just for scoring political points, Blair told me.

Every American deserves an opportunity afforded in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Not poverty, disease, and dependence on the government.


It's time for a clear-cut urban agenda, GOP!

Let's start with a great yet  much-neglected idea, promoted by the late, great Jack Kemp, Congressman from New York and later Vice Presidential candidate on the 1996 ticket, and the better of the ticket, if I may add.

Public Housing to Private Ownership

He suggested allowing tenants in public housing learn and receive training and assistance to purchase their own homes. The New York Times wrote about it, and included the profile of a lady living in public housing, who had no problem being used because she knew that she was using Republicans like Jack Kemp and his ideas to own her own home.

People who own their own property tend to treat it better, maintain it, and thus pay attention to their neighborhoods. Families, communities, and entire cities can prosper when ownership and investment mean more to people than just barely getting by.

Investment and Business Creation in Inner Cities

Homeboy Ministries is the prime example of this reform. Father Gregory Boyle works with former gang members and ex-cons, gets them off the street, into the workforce, and helps them become entrepreneurs. People need guidance and  mentoring, not neglect and reproach.

From the website:

Homeboy Industries traces its roots to “Jobs For A Future” (JFF), a program created in 1988 by Fr. Greg at Dolores Mission parish. In an effort to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth, Fr. Greg and the community developed positive alternatives, including establishing an elementary school, a day care program and finding legitimate employment for young people. JFF’s success demonstrated the model followed today that many gang members are eager to leave the dangerous and destructive life on the 'streets.'

Jobs and education. Wow! What a concept. Boyle invested in the areas, helping troubled inner-city youth go from gang-banging to profit-margins, the legal and profitable way.

School Choice

Before jobs, there is education. Many inner city kids fear going to school or even exceling because of peer pressure and bullying. Charter schools are opening doors for young people to learn about free markets, free enterprise, and the liberty of time and effort investing into a long and prosperous future.

Allow inner city kids the opportunity to find other schooling better places. Vouchers in inner cities would be a move in the right direction, too.


Pension/Labor Reforms

A number of cities are run (or overrun) by public sector unions. The employees did not have a choice whether to join or not, and many times they witness money taken from their paycheck in agency fees. Why not offer higher salaries to public sector employees to buy them out of unsustainable benefits and pension obligations? Right-to-work can be extended at the local level and state level, if city leaders have the courage and fortitude to offer then pursue this policy.

Chartering Neighborhood Councils

Los Angeles City Council approved the neighborhood council format throughout the large metropolis. These groups receive funding to hold committee meetings and community outreach, and they have turned the tables on city leaders, as these groups have turned their advisory role into an advocacy force which recommends or rejects key legislation and policy proposals discussed by the city councils. Imagine what local conservatives could do on a neighborhood council in San Francisco or Chicago which their current representatives have failed to consider.

Jill Holman also listed the following urban GOP proposals, including health care and infrastructure. Public-private transit investments would promote the true stance of the GOP: government does facilitate commerce, but does not create it.

From Todd Blair's individual investments in South Los Angeles to Republican gains in San Diego and growing opportunities in Chicago, Illinois and Baltimore, Maryland (where two Republican governors made their wins strong and steady in 2014), the GOP has opportunity not just necessity beckoning conservatives to advance an urban agenda.


Kaskanian Misses Top Two, or Does He?

City of Gardena Seal

Last night, as the polls were closing in Gardena, CA, The Daily Breeze reported that incumbent City Councilmember Dan Medina had won the top spot in terms of votes, followed closed by Mark Henderson.

Art Kaskanian, endorsed by three sitting council members, trailed in the third spot.

I spoke with Kaskanian this morning, who reported to me that some of his mailers were not released. A number of residents informed him that they had received none of campaign material.

He will be investigating this strange circumstance.

Furthermore, the Gardena City clerk informed him that there were still three hundred provisional ballots to be counted, and the final tally would be ready on Monday.

I recall during the 2014 Torrance City Council elections that one candidate surged from fourth place to second place in the wee hours of the next morning. Anything can happen in Gardena City Council race.


CBS Los Angeles reported the following tally by 11pm last night (March 3rd, 2015):


CITY COUNCIL                   15 of 15 Precincts Reporting
GARDENA
DAN MEDINA 51931% 
MARK HENDERSON 48629% 
HAROUT KASKANIAN 35621% 
RON ROSS 33019% 

The Daily Breeze the reported the final percentages:

With all precincts reporting and vote-by-mail ballots counted, Medina won re-election with 31.9 percent of the vote and Henderson, an information technology manager and former city commissioner, won the second seat with 27.6 percent. Businessman Art Kaskanian came in third with 22.4 percent and retired social worker Ron Ross finished last with 18.0 percent.

By the early morning, Kaskanian has gained few percent, and Henderson had fallen about two percent.

Because of the low voter turnout, because of the remaining ballots, the race will not be officially over until Monday.

Anything is still possible for Kaskanian at this point, or even for Ross.

One other fact about Gardena elections. . .

Not only was the turn-out really low (3,000 votes out of 59,000), but two years ago, the city re-elected incumbent mayor Paul Tanaka, even though he did not campaign, and actively supported another mayoral candidate.

Low-information and low-interest would characterize the 2013 turn out. To what extent did those two factors influence this year's Gardena city council elections?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sorry, USA, Obama's Just Not That into You (Let Me Tell You Who Is)

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves Americ. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” Retired NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Rudy was right.

Sorry, America, but the truth is that President Obama just isn't that into you.


Barry Doesn't Care
He wasn't really into you the moment that you agreed: "We are the change we have been waiting for."

He wasn't really that into you the moment that he laid eyes on you.

He wanted to fundamentally transform you, America.

You paid for the food during the date. He left you with the bill. He talked badly about your parents, and told you that you looked funny.

He had told you that you were beautiful the way you were, then talked badly about you all around the world, and apologized for everything that you did, because in his eyes, you are always wrong.

Sorry, America, but Barry just isn't that into you.

Now then, who is into you?

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu: he loves you, America!

He is speaking to a joint session of your country's Congress this week.

The Prime Minister has more respect for you than your own President. He understands that freedom and prosperity go together with national security, and he respects the men and women in this country who lay down their lives to protect this great country.

Who else is into you?


Nigel Farage MEP 1, Strasbourg - Diliff.jpg
Add caption
Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party.

He called your ancestors "Brilliant People" who came together and formed a country. Would that Barry loved you as much as Nigel.

Who else loves you, America?


Jean-Francois Revel

Jean-Francois Revel. Yes, a French intellectual, who died all too soon in 2006, took the courage to declare that Democracies all too often kill themselves in the pursuit of bland ideals, while ignoring existential threats in their midst and abroad.

He also criticized the cliché French fad of denigrating the United States in his work "Anti-Americanism", then praised the many great innovations of this country.

Even the left-wing intellect Bernard-Henri Levy says good things about this country, convinced that the greatest hopes of this world lay in America.

There are a lot of smart men out there who love you, America, and they are into you!

Forget Barry. He's a loser.

And he's just not that into you!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Is Political Courage Still Possible?

I have looked at the next dance over the Department of Homeland Security funding, I was impressed with Speaker John Boehner's stern about face, as he pressured the President and stood with his colleagues against the Obama's unjust and unconstitutional power grab.

The DHS funding bill, which included amendments blocking funds for executive amnesty, ended up in the Senate, where Republicans have a clear majority: fifty-four seats. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin has signaled to the press that he will vote with Republicans to fund the DHS with the necessary amendments.

After four attempts to pass an up-or-down vote on the House bill, Democrats in the minority sat on the bill and refused to budge away from an endless filibuster. Conservative Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama suggested that Senate Majority Leader McConnell finish what Senator Reid and his former majority had started, and eliminate the filibuster altogether. Other Republicans indicated that they would not go along with the legislation.

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Then McConnell offers to offer  a clean DHS bill, without the amendments blocking executive amnesty. Speaker Boehner repeated to reporters and supports that the House of Representatives did its job, fully funding the Department of Homeland Security while tying up misappropriations of funds to unlawful executive actions.

Republicans have the majority in both chambers, and Americans across the ideological and ethnic spectrum do not support the President's unlawful maneuvering. McConnell did not play nice with the Keystone bill, forcing an up-or-down vote on amendment from liberal Democrats who did not support the project, and demonstrated no interest in changing their mind.

What has happened? Why did McConnell then decide to remove the necessary House amendments in favor of a  clean funding bill, which will not match the House version? Republicans are still not making the case for the long-term consequences of President Obama's imperial maneuvers. They have not yet understood that it is not enough to be right, but that other people have to agree.

McConnell caved: Why?

Once again, media pressure is playing an unsavory role in this turnabout. Keystone enjoyed widespread bipartisan support in Congress, particularly in the US Senate before the Republicans took over. Media, both Left and Right as well as Marginalized, supported the project. Labor unions and corporate interests want the Keystone Pipeline laid in, as well. The wellspring of support made it more difficult for Democrats to push against their constituents on this project.

When it comes to Executive Amnesty, however, the media class still demonizes Republicans as obstructionists who want to deport women and children. Still fearful of the press' impression of them, Republicans want to present themselves as adults who will govern.

The problem is that the House did exactly that, and offered a bill which would forbid the President's unconstitutional power grab. The overwhelming civility of some Republicans is becoming a liability which no one can ignore anymore. Democrats in the US Senate have gotten so accustomed to sitting down and having their way, frustrating and blocking amendments and bills, many of which were passed in the House along bipartisan lines.

Republicans held the moral high ground, and they could have forced the Democrats to filibuster the bill by standing and talking the bill to death. Put their progressive heart into it, so to speak. Instead, they back off. If the funding does run out, it would have been the Democrats' fault, who had no moral argument for blocking the funding, and in fact admitted frequently throughout the past week that they were blocking -- blocking! -- the funding.

Where is the political courage? This much-needed characteristic is still weak if not non-existent in Washington, but is political courage all but disappeared?

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

That is not the case, if we look at the states. Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Mexico have passed or are pushing right-to-work legislation. Welfare reform is the norm in the states, as well. While President Obama opens America's borders to rampant illegal immigration, state governors have sued the federal government and have mobilized forces to protect their states and the people. Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico continues to push for repealing driver's licenses for illegal aliens. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker reformed collective bargaining entitlements for public sector unions. Greg Abbot of Texas campaigned against amnesty and in-state tuition for illegal aliens, and won.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Republicans and Democrats in Washington are insulated from the American voters, and many of them still see the media class as the final arbiter of winners and losers. State lawmakers and leaders are not. While the media held strong influence over Beltway politics in the past, they have less influence in local markets. We no longer live in the days of Walter Cronkite, who decided whether a policy was good or bad. The mainstream media has become marginalized on account of the litany of scandals from the Obama Administration, even against Big Media itself with the DOJ seizing the phone records of AP reporters.

The progressive, leftist culture which has perverted education, entertainment, and the press is slowly falling apart. The states are catching up, but Washington, with its long-time political insiders, still see the status quo as the safest way to go. New lawmakers are entering Washington refusing to get along to go along. The thirty-one US Senators who voted against a "clean" DHS bill, for example, included the large majority of Republicans recently elected in 2014.

Political courage is still possible, but must be fomented by a new culture from the bottom up reshaping the perception of the average voters, to see the whole story, not just the narrative which fits the progressive world view. Conservative politicians need to accept that they must refine the media and define the narrative first, then push hard against the deceptions and distortions of left-wing liberal pandering. The war must be fought and won for the hearts and minds of individual voters, not just votes in committees and the floors of legislative chambers.

Time to Tell the Truth: Time for CaliResistance

In California this past weekend, a historic moment of a sordid sort transpired in Republican politics.

The CAGOP officially recognized the Log Cabin Republicans as a chartered member.
For those unaware, this group is composed of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender members, and sympathizing individuals who support them. I imagine that very soon the “questioning” element will be added, if it has not come already.

On a wide vote, 861-293, delegates overwhelmingly supported this move.

I was devastated by the outcome. Throughout the meeting I was contacting a delegate friend of mine, who rejected chartering the group because she felt that the current by-laws of the party would not permit a charter. She stood her ground on this issue, even though she held the minority view on the subject.
After the vote, I spoke at length with one of my conservative Christian friends, who voted for the charter.

He explained to me that he has gay friends, that another friend of his had a child who struggled with sexual feelings and identity. This child was bullied at her school, attempted suicide, yet lingered on in a vegetative state for four years before passing away. He also pointed out that Republican volunteers who live homosexual conduct had worked for him and other winning Republican candidates.
I cried when he related to me these harrowing, personal, tragic accounts. I understood the stories he told me of gay friends helping him get elected.
Nevertheless, I countered on the whole premise he had been offering: “gay friends”. The issue goes back to identity, and the entire homosexual agenda, as outlined in a 1993 book

However, I have another close conservative friend, who lost a loved one due to gun violence. She did not become a gun control advocate as a result.

Public policy simply cannot be the dictate of our feelings. Our hearts, what we identify and believe in, and our minds, what we decide and respond to, help us inform our stake on societal issues.

Yet for many pro-family groups, and conservatives in general, they are not willing to fight against the cult of feelings which shames people for saying the truth:

Homosexuality is a disordered form of conduct, and not an identity. Yes, I just wrote that. Deal with it. The evidence is overwhelming regarding the health concerns which afflict homosexuals.

My good friend from Northern California, who related to me his painful hurt about what his friends have gone through, opened my eyes to understanding why pro-family, pro-marriage proponents are not winning.

Instead of putting aside feelings, they are embracing them. Instead of asking homosexuals hard questions and getting straight answers, they are simply accepting their decision as more than a lifestyle, but an identity.

My Christian friend candidly told me that his gay friends have their same-sex feelings, and they do not know why. These are valid points, and therefore to say that homosexual conduct is a choice free of force or shame makes no sense.

I qualified my remark: people engage in homosexual conduct, or identify with it in response to abuse, neglect, or confusion. The shame of sexual molestation is so deep, that even the most professional and successful of adults still struggle with identity issues. Oprah Winfrey, a king-maker and global influence in her own right, candidly admitted that she still blamed herself for the abuse she had endured, even though counselors, support groups, and good friends had affirmed that she did nothing wrong.

Only when Winfrey, forty-two years old, interviewed a group of convicted child molesters, did she realize that part of the modus operandi of abuse is to convince the victim that they deserve the abuse, i.e. that it is their fault. She was an established adult, yet she did not understand.

That moment of truth set Oprah free. Truth has that effect, and the same helps many who struggled with sexual identity and same-sex attraction. Many adults victimized by abuse and neglect do not pinpoint right away their same-sex attraction to these concerns. Most people would rather “come out” as gay rather than acknowledge the pain of abuse.

Neglect is another key source of gender confusion and same-sex attraction. Many young men do not know or never understood the love of their fathers, and they try to seek the same in other men. Same for women. Confusion reigns supreme in public institutions. Adolescents as a matter of development routinely deal with confusion, and now it’s worse because authorities in our governments and hubs of culture (churches, charities, after-school programs) are telling people that they can change their gender, that this basic and immune aspects of our being can be altered.

In short: we are not telling people the truth, for fear of offending someone, of losing political influence, of seeing more issues fall away from us.

Pro-family forces need to relate to people that it’s not about shame, guilt, or hate. It’s about the documented realities, historical, empirical, and anecdotal, that homosexual conduct as an aberration hurts rather than helps, which destroys individuals, families, and communities.

In Massachusetts, a pro-family group MassResistance, is waging the fight to protect young people, aid adults, and inform everyone of the consequences of state-imposed gay marriage, and the attending consequences of homosexual conduct.
Perhaps it's time for CaliResistance. In other words: time to tell the truth about homosexuality, and the truth that sets people free!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

California's US Senate Race: Update

Only one month has passed, and already the dynamics of CA's US Senate race are getting bolder, brighter, more disparate and desperate, depending on who is hoping for what.

My first choice was  (and still is):


Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice

A black conservative movement is petitioning for Condoleezza Rice to reconsider and run for US Senate.

She is not running. I hate admitting it, but I have learned to treat serious statesmen (and women) with utmost respect, and take their statements seriously. She does not want to run. No matter how many armchair political consultants plot and map out the ideal candidates and how well they would do in a contest, there are too many factors beyond our own ideas, and the evidence in front of us, to determine whether the candidate we think that would work out, does not even want to work for it.

Case in point: I was gung-ho for Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka running for the 66th State Assembly seat in 2014. Local activists and state consultants wanted Torrance mayor Frank Scotto to run, and the local Democratic machine feared Scotto the most.

Both turned down the opportunity. They both would have been great candidates, but they did not want the job. Two consultants came down from Sacramento to plead with Scotto to change his mind. He made it clear to 66th Central Committee Chairman David Hadley: this will be the last time you see me to discuss this.

Scotto said no, and Tanaka ran for LA County Sheriff. Other local city officials also turned down the race. I personally called Patrick "Kit" Bobko to run, but he had his law firm to consider, as well as a testy city council race and oil settlement in Hermosa Beach to deal with.

Hadley became the candidate for the seat. Many were skeptical, including his closest friends and political allies. I was not turned on to his running at all. I still wanted Tanaka to run. I even admitted this to the Gardena mayor that five months into Election 2014. Dreams die hard.

Still, Hadley came, ran, and won. Done. Dreams die hard, but living realities are worthy enjoying. The Democratic supermajority has been stopped. Republicans are slowly gaining ground. I did not get my wish, but what has transpired exceeded my dreams nonetheless

So, the first point I would make to Condi enthusiasts: let it go. Someone worthwhile will come around for the US Senate seat.

David Dreier
David Dreier


Other names are floating around, including retired Congressman David Dreier of San Dimas.

No way? Way!

 A conservative's conservative from Claremont-McKenna, he ran for office straight out of college and never looked back as he become part of the Washington D.C. institution. He worked behind the scenes to get Democratic governor Gray Davis recalled, and Schwarzenegger elected. He was the face of the House GOP conference for years, and as the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee he commanded clear influence in Washington.

Would Dreier, the small "l" libertarian be willing to step out of retirement and help the California Republican Party cause one more time with a run for US Senate? A Public Policy Poll put him within striking distance of Democratic frontrunner Kamala Harris (who is not well-know in the California voting public, anyway).

David Dreier for US Senate?

Well, unlike Condi, David has not said yes or no. I reached out to him by email through his website daviddreier.com, but no responses. I may find a well-connected intermediary to help me out and discover whether Dreier is even remotely interested.

Now, no one should throw up their hands and declare: It's hopeless.

Three, no four people have sounded their interest.


Tom Del Beccaro
Tom Del Beccaro

Beccaro is a dynamic writer and radio/TV personality. He was also the prior California Republican Party Chairman before Jim Brulte. Local leaders have criticized his lack of fundraising as well as the relative break-down and malaise of the CA GOP during his tenure. On the other hand, he is boldly throwing his hat toward the ring with an exploratory committee. David Hadley, my local committee chairman, ran for office and won, so it is hardly unheard of for the political organizers to step up and out for office, when no one else does. Besides, his articles are routinely read and well-received on Forbes Magazine. I have learned a lot from this man.


Duf Sundheim
Duf Sundheim

Before Del Becarro, and then Ron Nehring before him, there was Duf.

I know more about Tom, but that does not mean anything by itself.

The San Francisco Chronicle put together a strong profile of this moderate Northern California Republican. The year of his election as Republican Party Chairman, voters revolted against massive deficits, rolling energy blackouts, and general political dysfunction in Sacramento, all tied to recently-reelected Democratic Governor Gray Davis.

Sundheim sent him, Arnold, to run in the recall, and he won.

What was the legacy of the Terminator for California? Jerry Brown, and a diminished Republican presence in California. Gray needed to go, but so did the entitlement mentality of the political class, the lobbyists, the public sector unions, and every interest group based on and defined by grievance.

Schwarzenegger had some bold ideas, but when it came to the political realities of dealing with a  hostile, liberal Democratic legislature, he got terminated in turn. The 2005 litany of initiatives, including paycheck protection and extensions of teacher tenure, failed miserably. Was that all the Austrian-born Republican Governor's fault? I am not so inclined, but it did demonstrate that the political sclerosis of pay-for-play dominating Sacramento would need more than Hollywood Charisma and kitschy-catchy media hype. In  local Republican clubs, Arnold gets booed more than praise to this day.

Is the legacy of a liberal Republican governor the lasting impression which Duf would like to present to the electorate? With little else granting him the spotlight, is there anything else that would make Duf more of a Duff.

Rocky Chavez
Rocky Chavez

The San Diego Assemblyman is a team player. He helped David Hadley get elected to the state assembly. He is a fiscal conservative. He is a current, elected official connected with a strong Republican machine in one of the most active and thriving GOP regions in the state.

He is also pro-amnesty and pro-gay marriage. For social conservatives, he is a non-starter. At least he is talking about running, and he is not afraid to attack Kamala Harris (even though most people in California have no idea who she is). He also has 28 years of experience in the Marine Corps. He also sounds a lot like Neel Kashkari: "Californians care about job and education. That's it."

We all know how Kashkari turned out.

Then again, he is an elected official. He has politicked and won offices. He has a record of political and thus legislative accomplishment. No one else above has these credentials. He cares about fiscal discipline, school choice, and has strong and active ties to CA GOP leaders throughout the state.

There is another Republican candidate running, who has already filed papers, but has achieved little traction. . .


John Estrada

John Estrada

A Fresno farmer who worked to recall Governor Davis and help cherry farmer Andy Vidak get elected, Estrada was not even on the radar until I learned about his campaign. I contacted him within a day. He and I discussed key issues at length, including his long history in the state helping Republicans get elected

He even spoke on my radio show two weeks ago: "The State of the Union".

He is solidly conservative, supporting life and marriage. The Fresno Bee featured him in their paper, but no one else has been writing much of anything about him. He focuses on the water issues plaguing the Central Valley. He supports a secure border, ending public benefits to illegal aliens, but he also supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens already here. I respect the differences people have on this issue, and I also realize the impracticality of removing eleven million illegal residents. Border security, E-verify, and welfare reform are a must.

Estrada touts his strong connections with the Latino community, and he supports marriage between one man and one woman.

And very likely, you have not heard of him until. . .now.

Concluding Remarks

I am concerned about the direction of the California Republican Party. There is too much talk focused on changing ideological stances, instead of broadening outrage to key constituencies, like Asians and African-Americans. And Hispanics. I am more inclined to Estrada's candidacy because he and I share the majority of conservative views and values.

But does this guy really have more than a dustbowl's chance of miracle springs flowing?

I would enjoy seeing retired Congressman Dreier run. Would he?

Chavez? Not thrilled about it. Del Beccaro is at least the most serious as far as name and connections. He plays the media game much better than the others. One Nor Cal GOP told me that Del Beccaro will not be able to raise money, in part because of the negative legacy of his chairmanship.

Things are heating up, even though the June 2016 primary is a year away. Krazy Kammy is a relative unknown, the Liberal Latino caucus is furious with the routine neglect they endure from the Sacramento Democratic political class. Even though former two-term Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has declined to run, the Latino Democratic machines are working overtime to find someone else. Former Assembly speaker John Perez, perhaps?

And Republicans still have time to watch as a strong Presidential contender brings up the national ticket, and helps CA GOP US Senate chances in 2016.



Log Rolling in the CA GOP

In deep blue states where Republicans are struggling for traction (or even relevance), the local media loves to review and highlight the internecine struggles of the GOP conventions in those states.

In Massachusetts, a center-left columnist referred to the annual Republican Party convention as a WWF wrestling match, where all the wrangling is choreographed and exciting, yet ultimately irrelevant. Despite this condescending perception, the Mass GOP now holds the Corner Office (with Governor Charlie Baker), and the Republicans have expanded their numbers on Beacon Hill (the state legislature in Boston). The wrestling match over the last two years actually had some real-life impact. Let us not forget that for two years, MA had a GOP US Senator (even if he was centrist to left on certain issues).

The Illinois press all but wrote of the Republican Party in the Land of Lincoln six years ago. Today, the state has a Republican US Senator, eight of eighteen Republican House Reps, and now a reform-minded Republican Governor who is bringing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's reforms to Springfield.

In California, state capital news organs like the Sacramento Bee, and also the larger newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the Bay Area News groups love to discuss the divisions and rancor of the CA GOP. One small-time female delegate made a comment about abortion and rape, and the local papers jumped all over it.

When four Democratic state senators end up arrested, convicted, or indicted for corruption and voter fraud, the newspapers engage in the obligatory, even cursory reporting, then let the accounts drift away. The fact that former Senator Roderick Wright served barely one hour in jail got little to no press at all. Obviously, the California media is not just tilting left, they love reporting at any lone Republican who tilts at windmills, as though the idiosyncrasies one Republican speak for all California Republicans.


The latest controversy at the California Republican Party Convention centers on the Log Cabin Republicans, and their desire to become a chartered group under the CA GOP. The organizations by laws lay out that different chartered groups based on profit or alternative lifestyles cannot be chartered. I agree with that principle. The very discussion regarding this by law, and the nature of homosexual behavior brings up the bigger issue: how Democrats have distorted this issue, and how Republicans need to take back this who argument from the Left and get this country right again on this and other issues.

Yes, the Republican Party is the party of family values. It should stay that way, because free markets, free enterprise, and free people mean nothing where the love and nurture of families are diminished or rendered irrelevant. Families matter, and the culture of love and grace which prospers children into strong and productive adults begins and ends with families.

This structure is not compatible with homosexuality.

Regarding the truth of the matter, let us have the courage to love and respect all people, the same way the Blue State Republican Governor Bruce Rauner made his appeal to conservative Republicans, heard their concerns, shared his views, and yet appealed to their core shared values. "God hates fags!" or "You are going to hell!" is not going to get anyone to recognize the broken nature of certain choices.

And yes, homosexuality is a choice, and a bad one. This is testified to in research, history, and psychology. These points may offend, but we need to stand by the truth. Not demonizing anyone, but granting people a clear recognition of the truth. Homosexuality is not an identity, but an alternative lifestyle. Pro-family groups have been unwilling to be clear and convincing on these issues, for fear of offending someone, or not seeming "politically correct."

We should not readily fault conservatives and Republican politicians in general for balking at serious discussions on these issues. The media bullying which Republicans have endured, including the latest journalistic voyeurism of the California press into CA GOP convention controversies, has made many adverse to speaking the truth without the benefit of media support to back up the truth while pushing back against the lies.


Margaret Thatcher
Second, Republicans as the conservative party should not be afraid to remind voters that the conservatives are the true "Live and Let Live" Party. Conservative MP Margaret Thatcher worked hard to decriminalize consensual homosexual conduct. She advocated for and succeeded in enacting the truth libertarian position. Live and let live means allowing adults to engage in consensual acts, without government intrusion against people of conscience. Republicans and Democrats need to understand the true value of marriage, and put aside the notion that this argument can be reduced to tradition v. equality, which includes reducing the role of the state and expanding the worth and responsibility of the individual. Toward the end of her tenure as Prime Minister, Thatcher never embraced the notion that homosexuality should be recognized as a protected minority status, either. Once again: "Live and Let Live".


Third, regarding the Log Cabin Republicans as group: should they be chartered?. Individuals who believe in free enterprise, limited government, individual liberty, constitutional rule, and the supremacy of the states vs. the federal government on all other matters not relating to national security, natural rights, and fiscal policy: they have every right to attend Republican conventions and make their plea to promote those values. To argue for another chartered group around such behavior as though it is an identity, however, does not merit further discussion. Individual who want to identify as Log Cabin GOP should be honored for their natural rights as any other, yet the pursuant discussions about the redefinition of marriage or the static notion of sexual feelings as final identity cannot be accommodated.
Logo for the LCR

Besides, bastions of "the gay lifestyle" are no longer, like the Castro district in San Francisco, where families, where men, women and their children are moving in. West Hollywood actually discussed removing the rainbow flag, precisely because there were fewer homosexuals and a greater diversity based on. . .families, which procreate. The political argument about reaching out to individuals who live homosexual conduct is not a viable strategy precisely because it is not a viable community.

Most millenials do not even care about this issue, and many of them are not able to marry because they cannot find good, stable careers More importantly, they have not been taught let alone demonstrated the full value of marriage, that the institution is meant to enhance (not necessarily complete) our lives. Other conservatives are furious with the ongoing discussions on marriage, to the detriment of policy reforms on education, military engagement, tax codes, and labor issues.

Last of All, Republicans need to do a better job of holding the Democratic Party and their conventions to the spotlight. What kind of infighting goes on among their ranks? The American, particularly the California public, deserve to know more. What kind of log rolling are the Democratic operatives having to undergo?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Walker and Gay Marriage

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker issued the following statement after the federal courts struck down Wisconsin's gay marriage ban:

"For us, it's over in Wisconsin," Walker said, according to the Associated Press. "The federal courts have ruled that this decision by this court of appeals decision is the law of the land and we will be upholding it."

Notice that it's over in the Dairy State, but not necessarily in the United States. Governor Walker's statewide options are limited, but as President, there will be so much he (and his supporters) can do.

During his third campaign for governor, Walker remained silent on the issue, too. Talking Points Memo reported:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) seemed to bend over backward during a Thursday news conference to avoid articulating a position on same-sex marriage.
 
"It really doesn't matter what I think now," Walker said, as quoted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "It's in the Constitution."

In a sense, that is the best answer a governor can give at this time. Marriage is not defined by a politician, and most reporters are not interested in a genuine appraisal of this or other Republican lawmakers' take on gay marriage, but rather seek to incite controversy and discomfort. If anything, Walker's non-answer was the best one. Why are we even discussing the definition of marriage? Surviving and thriving civilizations have already settled this discussion: marriage is between one man and one woman.

To all concerned partisans upset with Walker's non-stance on the gay marriage concern, what would they like him to do right now?

The deeper problem with the redefinition of marriage is not the militancy of gay rights groups, or the ideological questions about homosexuality, its etiology and its biological origins, but the arrogant usurpation of state and federal courts imposing the redefinition of marriage on the American public.
Even in liberal California, a clear majority of voters defined marriage as between one man and one woman, to be enshrined in the state constitution, which the Supreme Court summarily overturned on legal technicalities.

The first fight must focus on the illiberal, uncivil, and illegal federal judiciary. President Walker would be in the perfect position to nominate strong conservative judges who would respect the integrity of the Constitution and the supremacy of the states and the people vs. the federal government.

Right now, Walker the governor has just won reelection a third time in this blue state, and he must deal with budget battles and ideological conflicts of a number of sorts, like union entitlements and academic abuse of tax dollars. School choice, welfare reform, and tax cuts are not just preeminent but fully within his and his Republican legislature's power to work on effectively.

Walker after 2014 victory (WisPolitics.com)

One battle at a time.

Furthermore, conservative partisans worried about the state of marriage should ask more probing questions about the role of the government and the family. Perhaps pro-family forces need to make the case for marriage in a way that even the most unaware can understand. Too many Republicans have argued for marriage as a matter of tradition. That line of reasoning has no value in a court of law, and jurists have rebuked such briefs by reminding pro-marriage advocates that slavery and segregation where traditional legal frameworks for decades.

The appeal to history, biology, sociology, and scientific research must become the norm in future cases. Pro-family forces in Massachusetts, particularly MassResistance, have proceeded effectively in other countries to push back against the unsightly juggernaut of homosexual marriage. Marriage proponents need to make their case locally, based on facts and legacies. Why is marriage important?

The answers are plentiful and well-documented: strong families united with a father and a mother; the properly development of children into strong adults. A lower cost on social services; no expansive welfare state to make up for the lack of parenting; the diminution of venereal disease; the long-term stability of the rule of law, including public safety, etc.

In the meantime, marriage activists must inform the governor of the dire need to protect businesses, churches, and charities from unwarranted lawsuits. Live and let live may have to be the standard for now, but with a freedom-loving governor appealing to the truth and dignity of a free America, founded on Judeo-Christian values, there is no reason to suspect that Walker has given up on defining and thus defending marriage.

Last of all, Presidential contenders may want to embrace the Balanced Budget convention proposal and include the definition of marriage within it. Perhaps removing the institution from government purview altogether and restoring its civil sanctity away from state sanction would be the best approach.

Whatever measures one pursues, conservative partisans and Republicans in general should not fault Walker for not taking up the fight on gay marriage at this time. His record and rhetoric affirm that Walker is a committed conservative Christian (he even tweeted Philippians 4: 19 on his official Twitter account and openly discusses his prayer life), and his belief in true marriage has not waivered.

Boxer's Distorted Remarks on DHS and Immigration

US Senator Barbara Boxer

"A baby's a baby when the baby is born."

"I thank God these people were not in charge of Congress when I was growing up or else they might have deported my mother" --   US Senator Barbara Boxer

An inconsequential senator for the lack of legislation or insight, US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has uttered an undue number of distorted, inappropriate, and outright offensive remarks on camera and on the US Senate floor.

From shaming a military official to call her "Senator" instead of "Ma'am", to open race-baiting against the CEO of the Black Chamber of Commerce, and even disputing the viability of life within the womb, Boxer has had a reputable share of disreputable comments.

In her latest jab at Republicans, during the final hours before a potential Department of Homeland Security shutdown, Boxer pulled all the stops.

First, she had to acknowledge some dispiriting realities:

We all know Republicans won in huge numbers in the 2014 election and they took over the Senate and they run it. They run it--or at least they are trying to run it.

Yes, Ma'am, the Republican party made huge gains in Washington, taking back the US Senate and unseating five incumbent Democrats in the process, and not just in the conservative South. They also took over 70% of the state legislative seats, and command more trifectas in the country than in  nearly a century. Even when the Republicans lost a governor in Pennsylvania, Republicans expanded their numbers in the Harrisburg legislature, and the newly-elected Democrat Tom Wolf will find himself governing with incremental success and successful conservative opposition for the next two years.

Even in liberal New England, Republicans swept Maine, and Massachusetts has a Republican governor one again. Two Republican House seats and a embattled Democratic governor in Vermont have put the liberal elements in the country on the alert.

Boxer still attempted to paint the newly-elected Republican majority as incompetent, irresponsible, and ineffective. The reality remains, however, that for the first time in nearly three decades, Washington politicians are fighting about whether to fund and how much, instead of ongoing resolutions to spend money which the country simply does not have. Tea Party cohorts brokered spending cuts and a sequester, too, and despite media hounding and Democratic bewailing, the American people did not notice.

Let's be clear. Less than 8 weeks after they took over the Senate we are facing a shutdown, a shutdown of the very agency that protects the health, the safety, the lives of the American people--the Department of Homeland Security.

The Republicans have taken over, in large part from American voters fed up with Democratic policies not only ruinous for their fiscal profligacy, but also on account of the moral crisis of President Obama's unconstitutional executive actions.

For the past three weeks, as the funding for DHS was running out, Democrats deliberately blocked discussion o the bill, not even permitting amendments to the House legislation. The pandering silence of the media on Democratic complicity in government gridlock is astounding. As House Speaker John Boehner indicated to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, the House did its job, passing  a full funding bill with necessary amendments to prevent wasteful, unconstitutional appropriations of taxpayers funds to unlawful executive actions.

As credible sources have repeated, including the Associated Press, the essential security functions tied to Homeland Security will not close up until funding renews. These operations, including border security, must continue to serve and protect even if their paychecks do not arrive on time. Boxer has memorized the same hollow narrative of blaming Congressional last-minute spending-shutdowns o Republicans, even though she and her minority caucus are fully to blame for this crisis.

We are 4 days away, and even if they come up with a continuing resolution, a small little patch, they are shutting down the programs that fund our firefighters and our first responders back home. So any way we look at it, this is a national disgrace.

No Republican is guilty of shutting down any programs. Democrats are closing the doors and the funding for our serving men and women with the ongoing filibuster. When will Boxer and her liberal cohorts start acting like responsible adults and legislate? For the record, the disgrace at the time of this speech was the harmful, unfeeling rhetoric of Senator Boxer.

The next set of remarks were deeply offensive. First, she mischaracterized the 2013 US Senate immigration bill:

We had a bill that garnered 68 votes in the last Congress.

No, just in the US Senate. The House never voted on it, and the American People resoundingly rejected the ObamaCare of immigration reform. House members were willing to work on piecemeal efforts, but found the President untrustworthy on the issues.

All they have to do is bring it up, pass it here, and then pass it in the House. It will pass with overwhelming majorities. The President will sign it, and that would make his Executive order unnecessary. The only reason he issued an Executive order is that we are facing a crisis in this country. There are 11 million undocumented folks.

There is a crisis because of the overwhelming number of illegal aliens in the country, which President Obama's actions have only made worse. President Obama was facing a crisis of his own making, and his executive order is not justified with that fact in mind.

Some of those undocumented folks are DREAMers. To me, that is the most important category.

Republicans are doing a poor job of punching back at this emotionally charged yet factually supported argument. The real Dream should be for American citizens, born and naturalized. American kids come first, not the illegal alien parents who exploited their children. Even US Senator Jeff Sessions has spent more time talking about the plight of the American worker, but what about American college students who attend colleges outside of their native state? How come they have to pay higher tuition than enrollees who do not even live in the country legally? Where's the fairness and equity in that?

They are young people who were brought here when they were children. They know no other home. All they want to do is stay here and give back to America. Republicans want to deport them and their parents. They want to deport the parents of American citizens. I thank God these people were not in charge of Congress when I was growing up or else they might have deported my mother. It took her awhile to get through her naturalization. What if they passed something such as what the Republicans are proposing?

This remark about deporting Boxer's mother is outrageous at its core, and more. The fact that Boxer's mother sought naturalization through legal means affirms that the legal framework is both necessary and proper. Inadvertently, the junior Senator from California justifies the stance of Republicans in the House and conservatives throughout the country. This petty personal appeal should not go unchallenged in subsequent Senate sessions on the floor.

Californians were thinking: "Can we deport you, Ma'am?!"

Without reading the minds of concerned conservative Californians, any half-wit could guess that a growing majority of Boxer's constituents were thinking: "If your mother had been deported, we wouldn't have to deal with your lawless folly!" or "Forget your mother. Can we deport you, Ma'am?!"

Senator Boxer's latest tired against Republicans, responsive legislative, and good, constitutional governance should not go unheeded. The majority faltered somewhat with the first round of fighting, and the House has (barely) passed a one-week funding extension. Yet in the next week, House and Senate Republicans must listen to the American People and provide a unified strategy which will put such heated, immoral baiting from liberal partisans like Boxer in their place.

American youth deserve to have their dreams come true, and the American people in general want a limited government which upholds the immigration process without releasing a floodgate of unhinged invasion. The American taxpayer should not have to witness their hard-earned dollars wasted on public benefits for illegal aliens while citizens barely get by. The security and military personnel stationed throughout the country deserve to be paid and respected, engaged and enabled to do their job without the amnesty pandering of Democratic lawmakers who make a mockery of the rule of law.

Snowball Fight in the US Senate

In his latest floor speech against climate alarmism, US Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) bagged a snowball from outside the capital, then threw it to the presiding officer Senator Ben Saase (R-Nebraska) during the Feb. 26 Senate session.

The freezing weather assaulting New England is hitting Washington DC, and despite the claims of record heat last year, Inhofe placed those statistics in context, pointing out that the information registered within the margin of error, by tenths of a degree, nothing serious.

US Senator James Inhofe

Inhofe's remarks included:

Mr. President, I am reminiscent with the snow on the ground of about five years ago. The occupier of the chair at this time, Mr. President, was not here, and you don't have the advantage of knowing the story tthat is behind this.

Inhofe motioned to a large photo with a snow pile, featuring his daughter and her children. The record snow fall five year ago was so great then, and yet this year, the inclement weather exceeds that snowfall.

At the time, it got a lot of attention. It [the snowstorm] got national attention. We keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record. I ask the chair. You know what this is? It's a snowball, just from outside here. So it's very, very cold out.

What was this snowball for? A lead-in to another speech decrying climate alarmism:

We hear the perpetual headline that 2014 was the warmest year on record but now the script has flipped. And I think it's important, since we hear over and over again on the floor of this senate. Some outlets are referring to the recent cold temperatures as "The Siberian Express". As we can see, with the snowball out there. This is today. This is reality.

Evidence in his hand and on record, Inhofe exposes that the heightened concerns about climate change have little heat behind them.

Others are printing pictures of a frozen Niagara Falls, 4,700 square miles of ice formed on the Great Lakes in one night. Never happened before. So, let's talk more about the warmest year claim. On January 16th, NASA's Goddard Institute on Space Studies and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, concluded that 2014  was the warmest year in modern record, which starts in 1880. NASA relied on over 3,000 measuring sessions worldwide, and found an increase of only two one hundredths of a degree over the previous record.

Inhofe appealed not just to experts, but to their data, and their data was based on an accumulation of information. He also presented live examples, with the snowball, and his humorous jab at the climate change movement hit the Twitterverse briefly.

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)

How did Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) respond? With the Leftist tactics of mockery and appeal to conforming experts and authorities, at the expense of hard evidence or comparable data:

I wanted to complete my remarks in reference to the Senator from Oklahoma and his snowball. I would like to ask for unanimous consent that I show the Earth Now website on the I-pad device that I have.

And if you go to Earth Now, it is actually quite easy to load, and you can see how that polar vortex measurably brings the cold air down to New England where we are right now.

Senator Whitehouse fails meteorology and geography in one sentence. A polar vortex does not support the severe claims of climate alarmists. The US Senate is not in New England, but in Washington D.C., nestled between two mid-Atlantic/Southern states. If the Senator from Rhode Island cannot accurately identify the location of the national capital, perhaps he should retire and return to Rhode Island.

And this is produced by NASA. These are pretty serious people. So, you can believe NASA, and you can believe what their people measure on the planet, or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.

Whitehouse conveniently neglected that Senator Snowball Inhofe referenced NASA and other organizations. At the very least, there is a conflict of opinion, and hardly any consensus, on the causes and consequences of climate change, or global warming.

The United States Navy takes this very seriously, to the point where Admiral Locklear, head of the Pacific command, has said that climate change is the biggest threat we face in the Pacific

Takes what seriously, Senator? An Admiral is not the final say on scientific matters, either. The appeal to authority carries no factual appeal.

He's a career military officer, and he is deadly serious. You can either believe that United States Navy, or the Senator with the snowball.

People can be deadly serious, and still be wrong. "Deadly serious" does not even make sense.

The religious and faith groups are very clear on this, by and large. I would particularly salute the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has made very clear, strong statements. We are going to hear from Pope Francis about this when he releases his encyclical, and when he speaks to the joint session of Congress on September 24th.

You can either believe that US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis, or you can believe the Senator with the Snowball.

In the Early Renaissance, the Catholic Church taught that the sun revolved around the earth. They also taught as church dogma that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones. Scientists rigorously tested then disproved this assertions, and were branded heretics. The consensus of church authorities does not determine the error of truth of any matter.

By the way, for a politician who appeals to faith on the matter of climate change, he also argued that "God is not going to help us with climate change." Perhaps Whitehouse should consult with Bishop Tobin and confess his other sins, too.

In corporate America, there is an immense array of significant, intelligent, responsible corporations who are very clear that climate change is real.

The US Senate voted 98-1 agreeing with that perception, which Senator Inhofe deftly explained.

Companies like Coke and Pepsi. Companies like Ford and GM.

Whitehouse recited a litany of companies, the whole cohort of which cannot establish the truth or error of anything.

A first-year English major could take Sheldon to task for this argument based on ethos, or authority.

But for all of the Rhode Island's talk about the different high-ranking and influential political and corporation officials who believe in climate change, there was neither demonstration nor appeal to hard evidence disputing Inhofe's arguments against climate alarmism.

Based on the evidence, factual, personal, and empirical, I believe "Senator Snowball". As for Whitehouse, perhaps his ardent fans (and hardened critics) should call him "Senator Airhead".