from the Cleveland Tea Party
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Thursday, December 29, 2016
art credit: redstate
In an article “Kasich Veto Draws Cheers From Environmental Lobby,” Steve Byas at The New American reports:
Once again, Ohio Governor John Kasich used his veto power to kill yet another bill favored by conservatives in his state. On Tuesday, he killed a bill that would have made renewable energy benchmarks voluntary, rather than mandatory, for the next two years.
Kasich defended his action, saying, “Ohio workers cannot afford to take a step backward from the economic gains that we have made in recent years, however, and arbitrarily limiting Ohio’s energy generation options amounts to self-inflicted damage to both our state’s near and long-term economic competitiveness.” Of course, how suspending mandatory benchmarks imposed on electric companies would limit the companies’ “energy generation options," as opposed to doing exactly the opposite, Kasich did not explain.
Not surprisingly, the Environmentalist Lobby cheered Kasich, who ran for president this year as a Republican. The Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, and Ohio Consumers’ Counsel all praised the veto. The “benchmarks,” as they are called, were created by legislation in 2008, requiring electric companies to gradually obtain more energy from “renewable sources,” rather than being allowed simply to make a free market decision to buy the least expensive electricity.
Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinatti), however, was not pleased. “It is apparent that Gov. Kasich cares more about appeasing his coastal elite friends in the renewable energy business than he does about the millions of Ohioans who decisively rejected this ideology when they voted for President-elect Trump,” Seitz said in a press release. “We can only hope that President Trump and his amazing cabinet of free market capitalists will save us from this regulatory overreach of Al Gore-style policies that take unnecessary money out of ratepayers’ pockets.”
Seitz said he would move to totally repeal the mandates in the next legislative session.
Kasich made it clear by his veto that he does not trust the free market to sort out which type of energy source is best for Ohio consumers. This veto is a confirmation for many more conservative Republicans that Kasich is simply not a conservative.
Ohio legislators can return to Columbus to override this veto, if they wish. . .
During the Republican presidential contest, Kasich defended the implementation of controversial Common Core standards in his state, and attacked fellow Republican candidates who opposed them — fellow governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, as well as former Governor Mike Huckabee, and U.S. Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. At the time, Donald Trump was not mentioned, although Trump also opposed Common Core, seen by conservative opponents as an attempt to nationalize public education.
There have been numerous other deviations from conservative principles by Kasich, including his backing of the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio under ObamaCare. When Kasich was in Congress, he was one of only 42 Republicans who voted for President Bill Clinton’s ban on assault rifles. He also favors granting U.S. citizenship to illegal aliens.
Clearly, Republican primary voters made a good decision to reject John Kasich for the Republican nomination for president.
And another item on the 2017 New Year’s Wish List to Columbus lawmakers: Pass the Ohio Health Care Compact.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016
art credit: Benjamin T Brixey
One of my favorite columnists, Dr. Thomas Sowell, is retiring. His farewell column is here. And here are a few take-aways from it:
Most people living in officially defined poverty in the 21st century have things like cable television, microwave ovens and air-conditioning. Most Americans did not have such things, as late as the 1980s. People whom the intelligentsia continue to call the “have-nots” today have things that the “haves” did not have, just a generation ago.
In some other ways, however, there have been some serious retrogressions over the years. Politics, and especially citizens’ trust in their government, has gone way downhill.
. . .
Years of lying presidents – Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican Richard Nixon, especially – destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility which the office itself once conferred. The loss of that credibility was a loss to the country, not just to the people holding that office in later years.
With all the advances of blacks over the years, nothing so brought home to me the social degeneration in black ghettos like a visit to a Harlem high school some years ago.
When I looked out the window at the park across the street, I mentioned that, as a child, I used to walk my dog in that park. Looks of horror came over the students’ faces, at the thought of a kid going into the hell hole that park had become in their time.
When I have mentioned sleeping out on a fire escape in Harlem during hot summer nights, before most people could afford air-conditioning, young people have looked at me like I was a man from Mars. But blacks and whites alike had been sleeping out on fire escapes in New York since the 19th century. They did not have to contend with gunshots flying around during the night.
We cannot return to the past, even if we wanted to, but let us hope that we can learn something from the past to make for a better present and future.
Dr. Sowell is also a prolific author of books; he has made esoteric or downright boring subjects (such as economics) accessible and interesting. Check out some of them here. Most will be available at your local library. But his regular columns will be much missed.
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Sunday, December 25, 2016
Friday, December 23, 2016
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
cartoon credit: Margulies [okay, so it's 4 years old!]
Gateway Pundit posted this report on the Electoral College vote on Monday in Columbus:
Ohio GOP Delegate Casts Vote for TRUMP – Then Torches All of His DNC Troll Letters in Yard Pit
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones received HUNDREDS of harassing letters from Hillary trolls begging him [to] reject Donald Trump.
Sheriff Jones ignored the letters, emails and phone calls and voted for Donald J. Trump for President on Monday in Columbus, Ohio.
Then he went home and dumped his pile of letters into a yard pit. Poured lighter fluid on the pile. … And torched them all.
Sheriff Jones posted the videos on Twitter . . . [scroll down on GP website here]
And in the comments section, we find some photos of the Sheriff and Cleveland Tea Party’s own Ralph King, who also served as a member of the Electoral College and cast his vote on Monday for Donald J. Trump:
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Monday, December 19, 2016
image credit: insider.foxnews.com
From The Columbus Dispatch earlier today:
Ohio members of Electoral College cast all 18 of their votes this afternoon to formally elect Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence as president and vice president.
None of the electors strayed from the GOP ticket despite protests from some of those who oppose Trump.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Saturday, December 17, 2016
art credit: The Hockey Writers
Following the Trump win six weeks ago, the Democrat party and its supporters have been apoplectic. And they have been employing all sorts of tactics to undo the results.
First, the strategy was to claim Hillary won the popular vote, so the electoral vote was not a true measure of the winning campaign. But nobody knows how many illegals voted in California due to Motor Voter laws, and some estimates go as high as 3 million. Without those and other potential illegal votes elsewhere, nobody can say whether Hillary or Trump won the popular vote. (Two short essays on the Electoral College are here and here.)
And when that strategy didn’t get any traction, the Democrats (presumably backed by the Clinton campaign and her financiers) got Green Party candidate Jill Stein to demand recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. That blew up in their face, too. Pennsylvania denied Stein legal standing, Wisconsin’s recount yielded an additional 100+ votes for Trump, and the Michigan recount was discredited when something like a third of the tallies in Wayne County (Detroit) showed more votes counted than were actually cast.
So now the Clintons et al are coming out with two more strategies to attempt to either change the results of the election or to de-legitimize to the maximum extent possible, the Trump win. Now, Hillary is blaming Vladimir Putin for hacking the election, even though what is hackable is the emails exchanged within the DNC, not to mention Hillary’s own email server that was notoriously exposed and unprotected. She and Podesta also continue to blame Comey and the FBI. And the lamestream media is repeating this baloney despite the fact that there is NO evidence for these claims. (Anything but the obvious problem of an unlikeable and flawed candidate with a long list of alleged criminal activity who didn’t campaign much in the months leading up to the election…)
DNC supporters are now doing everything they can to intimidate duly chosen electors who will cast their votes in the Electoral College on Monday; many Trump electors are on the receiving end of everything from death threats to mail/telephone/social media pressure to withhold their vote or cast it instead for Hillary, even when many states have laws that require electors to vote for the winning candidate in their respective states.
President Obama piled onto the most recent why-Hillary-lost “narratives” before flouncing off to Hawaii for his final Christmas vacation on the taxpayer’s dime. FLOTUS is already complaining that America now understands what it is like to be “hopeless” – as she joins her family in Hawaii to vacation on the taxpayers’ dime (“Hopeless In Hawaii”).
Despite all the interference in and attempts to undermine the election process, despite all the phony baloney accusations, it is likely that the results of the Electoral College votes on Monday will lead to the Jan. 20 inauguration of Donald J. Trump.
# # #
Monday, December 12, 2016
woody.typepad via Steven Crowder/Twitter
If you managed to wade through Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, you already know that the term “fascism” has been misappropriated by Communists, Progressives, and other left-of-center isms to mean the opposite of its original far left definition. Several online dictionaries today reflect the switch in meaning, and even the Wikipedia entry shows the difficulty of navigating the origins of the term and its current usage by the political Left as a pejorative.
Today Bookworm (of the Bookworm Room blog) has a piece at American Thinker that summarizes the origin of the left/right nomenclature and the sleight-of-hand in redefining “fascism” – all in the context of a short history lesson. The entire article is here. Below are a couple of extracts:
For months now, the Democrat-Progressive fever swamps have been using the word “fascist” in connection with Donald Trump and those who voted for him. It took Michael Kinsley to elevate this shoddy claim onto pages of the Washington Post: Trump, he asserts, is a fascist.
. . .
Given that conservatives Republicans, including the majority of Trump supporters, are on the liberty side of the spectrum, far from the world’s most brutal tyrants, what gave rise to the glaringly false syllogism that “Republicans are right-wing fascists and Hitler was a right-win fascist, so all Republicans are Hitler”?
You can blame it on a nasty little historic and linguistic trick American communists pulled, which was to make “fascism” synonymous with the political “right.” Once having done that, they could claim that American conservatives, being “right wing,” are therefore fascist. This is pure disinformation.
. . .
“Fascism,” another historic term, is one that American statists embraced until Hitler tainted it. It first gained political traction in Italy in the 1920s. Mussolini defined it to mean “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” In other words, fascism is purely on the statist side of the continuum.
Savvy readers will have noticed that fascism sounds remarkably like communism: It’s all about concentrating all power in the state, leaving the individual entirely subordinate to the state. The primary difference between the two ideologies is that in communism the government nationalizes private property, whereas in fascism the government does not nationalize it but nevertheless completely controls — as is the case, for example, with Obamacare, which saw the government establish the rules for the private insurance market and mandate that Americans buy the product.
. . .
One more thing: Obama said that the biggest disappointment of his presidency was his failure to grab more guns from American hands. Statists always grab guns because their regimes are fundamentally hostile to the citizens they control, making it impossible for those citizens to defend themselves against tyrannical government. Trump’s promise to protect the Second Amendment is the antithesis of a statist, especially a “fascist,” regime.
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Saturday, December 10, 2016
Mark Steyn offered some sobering thoughts on the dwindling supply of American heroes here. He quoted John Derbyshire:
Soon they will all be gone: the last participants in the human race's most astonishing, most audacious, most wonderfully inspirational adventure to date.
Gone with them will be the memory of a U.S.A. that could accomplish such marvels, in those last years of heroic national vigor, before we turned our energies to guilt and rancor and divisive social crusades, and to persuading ourselves and each other that in the human sphere, everything is equal to everything else.
John Glenn must surely have wondered, as all the astronauts weathered into geezers, how a great nation grew so impoverished in spirit.
Our heroes are old and stooped and wizened, but they are the only giants we have. Today, when we talk about Americans boldly going where no man has gone before, we mean the ladies' bathroom. Progress.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Passing out of the Ohio House in October 2015, the Health Care Compact (HB 34) has a new life and making an end of session comeback to put Ohio back in charge of our own healthcare destiny.
The Health Care Compact legislation can be one of the most powerful and one of the most important bills that can pass this legislative session. The Health Care Compact would empowere member states with the legislative and fiscal freedom to make health care truly reflective of the health care needs of their state and not a costly one-size-fits-all federal health care program (Affordable Care Act) that has proven to be a failure.
The Ohio Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee is holding hearings on the Health Care Compact (HB 34) today and tomorrow. To read the text of HB 34, click here. To read the Legislative Services analysis of HB 34, click here.
Already passed in 9 states, in line with health care freedom Ohioans have been fighting for and looked at favorably by the incoming Trump Administration, more and more the Health Care Compact is becoming the clear solution to Obamacare....
Obamacare is dead. Long live ... what? That is unclear. "Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Tuesday that repealing and replacing ObamaCare would be the first item on President-elect Donald Trump's agenda," according to Fox News. Its successor will emerge from a series of discussions soon to take place. "It’ll be the first thing out of the gate. ... He wants the Congress when they convene in early January to take up the task of repealing and replacing ObamaCare first."
One of the possible replacements could be the Health Care Compact if only because the list of those who supported H.J.Res.50 reads like a Who's Who in the incoming administration.
- Indiana (home to VP-elect Pence)
- Alabama (AG-nominee Sessions)
- Georgia (HHS nominee Price)
- Texas (endorsed by Sen. John Cornyn)
- Kansas (proposed and endorsed by Rep. Pompeo and Sec. of State Kris Kobach)
- Oklahoma (endorsed by Sen. James Lankford)
The program that Mother Jones once derided as "a longshot" and pipe-dream of a delusional Tea Party has now come within measurable distance of becoming a serious contender to replace Obamacare.
HHS nominee Tom Price's rhetoric suggests he would have no objections in principle to taking Washington out of the picture. In a quote cited by the Wall Street Journal Price said: “We think it’s important that Washington not be in charge of health care,” the six-term congressman said in an interview this summer. “The problem that I have with Obamacare is that its premise is that Washington knows best.”
Congressman Price supporting the Health Care Compact, which utilizes block grants for the states and is a state based solution, is consistent with the incoming strategy of Trump & Pence as noted below....
Trump and Pence reissued their calls to eliminate barriers to encourage competition between health insurers across state lines, make it easier for Americans to open health savings accounts and block grant Medicaid funds to the states
Please contact the below GOP members of the Senate Government Oversight &Reform Committee and respectfully request that they support the Health Care Compact (HB 34) and put Ohioans in charge of their own health care destiny.
Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee
State Senator Bill Coley (R) Chair
PH: (614) 466-8072
Email: Click Here
State Senator Bill Seitz (R) Vice-Chair
PH: (614) 466-8068
Email: Click Here
State Senator Troy Balderson (R)
PH: (614) 466-8076
Email: Click Here
State Senator Dave Burke (R)
PH: (614) 466-8049
Email: Click Here
State Senator Kris Jordan (R)
PH: (614) 466-8086
Email: Click Here
State Senator Frank LaRose (R)
PH: (614) 466-4823
Email: Click Here
State Senator Larry Obhof (R)
PH: (614) 466-7505
Email: Click Here
State Senator Tom Patton (R)
PH: (614) 466-8056
Email: Click Here
State Senator Bob Peterson (R)
PH: (614) 466-8156
Email: Click Here
Monday, December 5, 2016
Late last week, Cleveland Tea Party blogged about the re-emergence of the Health Care Compact as a key part of the solution in rolling back Obamacare. Rep. Tom Price,M.D. (R-GA) is President-Elect Trump’s nominee to head up Health and Human Services, and Price is a longtime advocate of the Health Care Compact.
Last year, the Ohio House passed the Ohio Health Care Compact, and then the bill stalled. It was supposed to come to a vote in the Senate but nothing happened. However, with the incoming administration and Rep. Price’s upcoming nomination, something is percolating in Columbus. The Senate Committee is finally planning to reconsider the bill (and hopefully get the bill passed out of Committee for a vote).
The committee reviewing the legislation is the Government Oversight and Reform, and that committee website is here.
At this link, you can access the Chair, Sen. Bill Coley (R); Vice-Chair Bill Seitz (R); and Ranking Minority Member Kenny Yuko (D). You can access these and the rest of the members of the Committee by phone or by email. Urge them to support the Ohio Health Care Compact (HB 34); if you are emailing, just click on the committee member's picture to access the "contact" options, then choose the health-related drop-down subject line and type in that you support putting the Ohio Health Care Compact before the full Senate. That’ll take a few seconds. And if you have a little bit more time, call or email them to let them know WHY you support it.
If you previously submitted proponent testimony in support of the Ohio Health Care Compact in 2014 or 2015, this is the time to update your testimony and resubmit it directly to Chair, Sen. Bill Coley. Or write up a few paragraphs now and email the Chair.
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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Via Instapundit and Michael Walsh at PJ Media on Trump and the media / celebrities:
"As Oscar Wilde famously said, "One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing." Ditto with these cocksure pronunciamentos about the impossibility of a Trump presidency from the usual suspects. (The Ann Coulter clip is especially funny!) Enjoy":
# # #
Thursday, December 1, 2016
art credit: before it's news
According to the Congressional record the HCC [Health Care Compact] would give "primary responsibility for regulation of health care to the state. Federal and state laws remain in effect in a member state until suspended by the state. A member state is responsible for federal funding obligations that remain in effect in the state. Each year, a member state is entitled to federal funds equal to the total federal spending on health care in the state during FY2010, adjusted for inflation and population." It turns federal funds into what amounts to a block grant, leaving states free to create, cooperate and compete.
The HCC specifically does not affect the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. "The compact establishes the Interstate Advisory Health Care Commission to collect information and data to assist member states in their regulation of health care. The commission may make non-binding recommendations to the member states."
That would ironically make it an ideal vehicle for states like Vermont or California whose voters are largely opposed to the Trump administration to roll their own health care and effort in which other like-minded liberal states can join them. HHS nominee Tom Price's rhetoric suggests he would have no objections in principle to taking Washington out of the picture. In a quote cited by the Wall Street Journal Price said: “We think it’s important that Washington not be in charge of health care,” the six-term congressman said in an interview this summer. “The problem that I have with Obamacare is that its premise is that Washington knows best.”
The general tenor of an Obamacare replacement plans emphasize giving consumers money to pick and choose policies instead of forcing them to consume Federally prescribed products.
. . .
The HCC like so many other dark horses in this year of unexpected upsets is now a real player. Too many impossible things have taken place for anyone to easily dismiss anything out of hand now. The next few weeks will give a clearer indication of where health care policy is trending. But one thing is for sure. The long shot's not such a long shot any more.
The article includes a key quote from (gasp) the New York Times. Read it and the rest of Fernandez’s article here.
The last time Cleveland Tea Party reported on the Ohio Health Care Compact was October 2015, when the House in Columbus passed the bill. At that time, it was headed for the Senate. Perhaps the time has come.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016
image credit: highfieldtales.wordpress
Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and classicist. He also contributes columns to PJ Media and National Review online. Although he started off in the NeverTrump camp in the now infamous Never Trump issue of National Review, I decided to give him another look today.
His column today (“A Party of Teeth-Gnashers”) is about the fallout from the election and what has become of the Democratic party and the Progressive agenda. Here are a few paragraphs:
After the Democratic equality-of-opportunity agenda was largely realized (Social Security, Medicare, overtime, a 40-hour work week, disability insurance, civil rights, etc.), the next-generation equality-of-result effort has largely failed. What is left of Democratic ideology is identity politics and assorted dead-end green movements as conservation has become radical environmentalism and fairness under the law is now unapologetic redistributionism. The 2016 campaign and the frenzied reaction to the result are reminders that the Left is no longer serious about formulating and advancing a practical agenda. In sum, for now it is reduced to a party of teeth-gnashers.
. . .
Progressive outrage should not be taken too seriously because it is not intended to be serious. When Barack Obama invites rapper Kendrick Lamar into the White House and announces that his “To Pimp a Butterfly” is the president’s favorite song of the year — whose album cover shows the corpse of a murdered white judge, with Xs in place of eyes, on the White House lawn, as African-American youth toast his demise with drinks and cash — do we really assume that progressives like Obama believe in stopping hate speech and imagery, or perhaps even believe in anything at all?
Donald Trump, to progressives, supposedly harmed the Constitution and threatened our democracy because he would not say, after the WikiLeaks revelations, that he would accept the outcome of the election if he thought it was rigged. Yet after Clinton’s defeat, suddenly irate progressives have lodged conspiratorial charges that voting machines (miraculously only in swing states Hillary lost) were supposedly rigged, that the Electoral College should be dropped, and that electors should be bullied to ignore their pledges. Did anyone ever believe their original outrage at Trump’s suggestion that election results might be rigged? Are we now to have recounts in Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire, and all the close states Trump lost, and then on into spring more recounts of recounts, until the last count achieves the desired result?
The Democratic party leadership is no longer an alternative to corporate wealthy America, but is corporate wealthy America, albeit in a new garb of jeans and flip-flops, Silicon Valley–style. The small-business person, assembly-line worker, and non-government wage earner mostly now vote Republican.
Progressivism is a pyramidal capstone of wealthy elites who have the influence and money to embrace boutique positions and the cunning to profess egalitarianism, all while they lead private lives that would otherwise be condemned as illiberal and apartheid-like. So affirmative action ends up providing high-cheekboned Elizabeth Warren entry into Harvard Law School, the same way that progressive investigative journalism is reduced to Politico’s “hack” Glenn Thrush (who asked the Clinton campaign to fact-check and approve his article), and in the manner that philanthropy is reduced to the Clintons’ piling up of millions by selling influence. We are a long way from Harry Truman’s working classes.
. . .
The Democratic party for now is reduced to a loud racist/sexist/homophobe broken record that fewer and fewer are listening to — including many of the Democratic elites who continue to play it.
Hanson is not completely sold on Trump, though, as you will gather if you read the rest here.
# # #
photo credit: Star Tribune
Good news! Rep. Tom Price is going to be Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. CTH reports:
President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Representative Tom Price, a six-term Republican congressman from Georgia who has led opposition to the Affordable Care Act, to be secretary of health and human services, according to a transition team official.
Mr. Price, an orthopedic surgeon, has been a severe critic of the health law, saying it interferes with the ability of patients and doctors to make medical decisions.
And he says that events have borne out his warnings. “Premiums have gone up, not down,” Mr. Price said recently. “Many Americans lost the health coverage they were told time and time again by the president that they could keep. Choices are fewer.”
An announcement of Mr. Price’s appointment is expected as soon as Tuesday, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been released. [The WaPo announced it here.]
Some Republicans have attacked the Affordable Care Act without proposing an alternative. Mr. Price, by contrast, has introduced bills offering a detailed, comprehensive replacement plan in every Congress since 2009, when Democrats started work on the legislation.
From his days as a Georgia state senator, Mr. Price, now 62, has been a voice for doctors, often aligned with the positions of the American Medical Association and the Medical Association of Georgia.
Even the New York Times had something nice to say.
For Tea Party people who were active during the run-up to the passage of Obamacare, Tom Price is one of our heroes. Good news, indeed. And as Stephen Green (Mr. Vodkapundit) adds on PJ Media, “Give that man a giant scalpel.”
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Sunday, November 27, 2016
Friday, November 25, 2016
Cleveland Tea Party founder Ralph King is quoted in the Washington Examiner’s article “Mitt Romney wrong choice for Trump’s secretary of state, experts say”, published on Nov-23:
Mr. Trump’s transition team has floated the former Massachusetts governor’s name for appointment to the post, and the two men met privately over the weekend in New Jersey.
Some in the tea party movement and some prominent conservative Republican stalwarts don’t trust Mr. Romney to hew to Mr. Trump’s views on a number of policy issues that were central to his upset victory Nov. 8.
“I trust Donald Trump’s decision-making, but I don’t trust Mitt Romney policy views,” said Cleveland Tea Party founder Ralph King. “I think Romney will actually work against Trump on trade, good relations with Russia, avoiding wars in the Middle East. Trump can fire him, but will he want to do that?”
Mr. King said firing a top Cabinet official gives ammunition to the president’s enemies.
“I understand why people say, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,’ but you don’t want to give them a gun to shoot you with, politically speaking,” Mr. King said.
# # #
Michael Ramirez cartoon (via Bookworm Room)
"The US Election Without the Electoral College"
William Sullivan at The American Thinker has a good article on the subject, well worth reading in light of the ongoing temper tantrums we are seeing:
By now, you’ve heard the disgruntled leftists parroting the sentiment that the Electoral College is an archaic relic that is either racist (what else?), or has obviously outlived any usefulness it may have once had. Therefore, in the interest of progress, it must be abolished.
Outgoing California Senator Barbara Boxer has recently introduced a doomed-to-fail bill meant to do just that.
This argument is, of course, painfully dim and tiresome. The Electoral College is one of many safeguards against what de Tocqueville would later describe as the “tyranny of the majority” that our Founders feared, or more specifically, the threat of a concentrated majority in a state that happened to be more populous than another. After all, it’s doubtful that Rhode Island would have chosen to ratify the Constitution and join these United States if they believed that their state’s unique desires at the federal level would be perpetually overruled by the much more populous New York, for instance.
In the simplest terms, the United States was conceived as a voluntary union of sovereign states which were unified under the limited federal government which bound them -- one which could only act within the very strict guidelines enumerated in our Constitution. It is very much by design that the prerogative of each sovereign state is influential in the election of our president, and the Electoral College helps to ensure that.
But I won’t beat that dead horse. There is ample reading material to inform interested parties about the wisdom of the Electoral College, in contrast to a strictly popular vote where highly-populated urban strongholds located in a minority of states might disenfranchise the will of the large majority of other states in presidential elections.
# # #
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org
Re-posted from a 2013 Cleveland Tea Party blog:
What Thanksgiving really means To Americans
A couple of years ago, Jerry Bowyer, writing in Forbes Magazine, recounted the real significance of Thanksgiving, a significance that is too often lost among the turkey dinners, football games, and stories about Indians who befriended the early settlers.
In 1620, the Plymouth pilgrims based their original community on Plato’s Republic, a collective model that appealed to their religious convictions and morality. But the communal model didn’t work for them. After over two years of failing harvests and resulting malnutrition, disease, starvation, and deaths, the pilgrims replaced the communal model with a model based on private property. The ensuing harvest was abundant, with surpluses available for trade.
Their Thanksgiving celebrated the triumph of the individual, private property, and incentive, over collectivism. At first, the pilgrims felt guilty because they were putting self-interest over the seeming altruism of socialism. Yet the devout survivors had learned two lessons: 1) that a theoretical and Utopian collective society fails, and (2) in real life, private property and capitalism produce prosperity. For them, God, not Plato, knew best. Accepting the principles of private property and self-interest was God’s way of harnessing self-interest to the greater good. We know all of this because an elder of the Plymouth plantation, William Bradford, kept a journal and it survives today. Mr. Bowyer’s earlier article, with additional historical background, is here.)
It’s wrong to say that American was founded by capitalists. In fact, America was founded by socialists who had the humility to learn from their initial mistakes and embrace freedom. One of the earliest and arguably most historically significant North American colonies was Plymouth Colony, founded in 1620 in what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts. As I’ve outlined in greater detail here before (Lessons From a Capitalist Thanksgiving), the original colony had written into its charter a system of communal property and labor.
As William Bradford recorded in his Of Plymouth Plantation, a people who had formerly been known for their virtue and hard work became lazy and unproductive. Resources were squandered, vegetables were allowed to rot on the ground and mass starvation was the result. And where there is starvation, there is plague.
After 2 1/2 years, the leaders of the colony decided to abandon their socialist mandate and create a system which honored private property. The colony survived and thrived and the abundance which resulted was what was celebrated at that iconic Thanksgiving feast.
As my friend Reuven Brenner has taught me, history is a series of experiments: The Human Gamble. Some gambles work and are adopted by history and some do not and should be abandoned by it. The problem is that the human gamble only works if there is a record of experimental outcomes and if decision makers consult that record. For many years, the story of the first failed commune of Plymouth Bay was part of the collective memory of American students. But Progressive Education found that story unhelpful and it has fallen into obscurity, which explains why (as I alluded to before) a well-educated establishment figure like Jared Bernstein would be unaware of it.
I’m often asked why our current leadership class forgets the lessons of the past so often. They are, after all, very smart men and women. Don’t they know that collectivism will fail?
No, they don’t. Not anymore. For much of our history, our leaders were educated in the principles which were to help them avoid errors once they have joined the ruling class. They studied to learn how to not misuse power. Now our leaders learn nothing of the dangers of abusing power: their education is entirely geared to its acquisition. All of their neurons are trained on that one objective – to get to the top. What they do when they get there is a matter for later. And what happens to the country when they’re done with their experiments is beside the point: after all, their experiments will not really affect them personally. History is the story of the limitations of human power. But the limits of power is a topic for people who doubt themselves and their right to rule, not the self-anointed.
That’s how it is now, and that’s how it was in 1620. The charter of the Plymouth Colony reflected the most up-to-date economic, philosophical and religious thinking of the early 17th century. Plato was in vogue then, and Plato believed in central planning by intellectuals in the context of communal property, centralized state education, state centralized cultural offerings and communal family structure. For Plato, it literally did take a village to raise a child. This collectivist impulse reflected itself in various heretical offshoots of Protestant Christianity with names like The True Levelers, and the Diggers, mass movements of people who believed that property and income distinctions should be eliminated, that the wealthy should have their property expropriated and given to what we now call the 99%. This kind of thinking was rife in the 1600s and is perhaps why the Pilgrim settlers settled for a charter which did not create a private property system.
But the Pilgrims learned and prospered. And what they learned, we have forgotten and we fade. Now, new waves of ignorant masses flood into parks and public squares. New Platonists demand control of other people’s property. New True Levelers legally occupy the prestige pulpits of our nation, secular and sacred. And now, as then, the productive class of our now gigantic, colony-turned-superpower, learn and teach again, the painful lessons of history. Collectivism violates the iron laws of human nature. It has always failed. It is always failing, and it will always fail. I thank God that it is failing now. Providence is teaching us once again.
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