Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bonjour la France!

Of all the countries from which comes traffic to this site, France is #1 today, #3 for the week and #4 for the month.
Si vous êtes Français et ce site web vous interesse, je vous prie de m'écrire a Vous pouvez m'écrire en Français, puisque j'habitais Paris pendant quatre ans dans les années quatre-vignt.
Aves-vous lu L'Obsession Anti-Americaine, par Jean-Francois Revel?
Howard Hyde

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On Libertarianism and Republicans

[From the President's Address to the members and guests of the Southern California Republican Women and Men, April 26, 2014, by
Howard Hyde:]

Today our meeting competes with the California State Convention of the Young Americans for Liberty at USC and coincidentally, my talk today is about Libertarianism and Republicans. I did not know about that event before I planned my presentation. I don't pretend to know anything in detail about that organization, but I do know something about Libertarianism from my own perspective, and with just enough serendipity today I hope to make a positive contribution to the discussion.

People sometimes ask me if I am a Liberarian, to which I reply, well, yes, I have some libertarian tendencies, but it's not like I have a meth lab in my Winnebago or anything. To clarify, I say that when I am elected President of the United States, Ron Paul will be my Czar in charge of the decommissioning of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, The Community Reinvestment Act, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Equity and Fairness Reform Act or TEFRA, and the Fed. On the other hand, as it pertains to foreign policy and geo-politics, my nominations for Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretaries of Defense and State are, in no particular order, John Bolton, John Bolton and John Bolton. In the unlikely event that Mr. Bolton is unequal to all three commissions simultaneously, my alternates are Allen West and Benjamin Netanyahu (it shouldn't be difficult to procure a credible birth certificate for Ben, considering precedent).

Almost half of the attendees of CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) were under the age of 26, and a plurality of these are libertarians or members of the liberty caucus. This is an international movement of youth who have opened their eyes and realized that as a generation they have been screwed by the collectivist members of their parent's generation, and are determined to do something about it. In libertarianism they see the solution.

Is this good or bad for Americans in general and Republicans in particular? In my opinion it is on balance very good, with the caveat that like anything else, the thing needs to understood by all at a greater than sophomoric level, or, like anything else again, it could just as easily lead to catastrophe.

So, what exactly is libertarianism? What do we need to understand about it?
The modern libertarian movement has its roots in the Austrian School of economics, which began in the late 19th century with Carl Menger and reached its apogee in the works of Friedrich Hayek (Nobel Laureate) and his mentor Ludwig Von Mises, whose 93-year lifespan overlapped with Menger's from 1881 until 1973, after Nixon had declared that "we're all Keynseyans now." (Come to think of it, that's probably what killed him.)

Like classical liberalism and modern American conservatism, libertarianism holds that the best model for political economy is that characterized by the most limited interference in the decisions of citizens, low taxes and light to no regulation beyond preventing and punishing murder, assault, robbery, theft, fraud, rape, persecution and conspiracy. Conservatives may call this being guided by the Ten Commandments; Libertarians might consider it plain common secular sense.
The Austrian school was the most radically minimalist in its view of the appropriate role of government, and that minimalism was taken to its radical extreme in the work of Mises' disciple Murray Rothbard, who posited that government wasn't even necessary for police and defense, as these services could be bought and sold on the free market just like bread and haircuts.

In 1963 Rothbard wrote a book on the Great Depression that I consider one of two absolutely required reading for anyone wanting to know just how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did NOT save the country from the Great Depression but rather worsened the crisis, and how Herbert Hoover was no free-market, laissez-faire pro-capitalist president; the other required reading being Jude Wanniski's (of Wall Street Journal fame) How the World Works. In the same book Rothbard also wrote the most clearly articulated presentation of Austrian business cycle theory (or the theory of booms, busts and crashes), a theory to which the financial crisis of 2008 fits like a textbook case.

The two dominant branches of Libertarianism in America today are represented by the Cato Institute on the one hand, based in Washington D.C. and focused on practical, policy-oriented research and lobbying, and the Mises Institute on the other, deliberately based away from the centers of power in Auburn Alabama in order to remain more purely focused on theory and academic freedom. While Murray Rothbard and the Mises Institute's president Lew Rockwell have carried Mises's theoretical torch forward in many ways admirably, in many other cases they have made assertions that Mises never did and probably never would have, and have done so dogmatically and intolerantly.

My infatuation with Rothbard ended abruptly when I read the op-Ed piece that he had written at the conclusion of the Reagan Administration. "Eight years, eight dreary, miserable, mind-numbing years of the Age of Reagan, are at long last coming to an end." he groaned in a piece titled 'Ronald Reagan, an Autopsy' -- fifteen years before the Gipper's actual passing. It was a littany of accusations worse than Thomas Jefferson's indictments of King George III in the Declaration of Independence. Nancy Pelosi could not have penned a more bitter diatribe. The only thing Rothbard gave credit to Reagan for was lifting the 55 mph federal highway speed limit.

Now, Ron Paul is derived from Rothbard, and in many respects in a good way. It was Rothbard who first penned the academic The Case Against the Fed from which Paul's more populist End the Fed is derived. I am mostly in agreement with these positions on domestic economic issues, as is John Allison, current president of the Cato Institute, bank president for 25 years and author of The Financial Crisis and the Free-Market Cure.

So again, while I am wary of extremists of any stripe, my only quarrel with Libertarianism as such is the role and character of America's diplomacy and armed forces in the world; on the latter I stand firmly with Ronald Reagan. Otherwise I look forward to the day when we'll say that "We're all (conservative) libertarians now". That's much better than being all Keynseyans, or progressives, or all socialists. Maybe the young people can help us bring that about.

If you found this article valuable, consider making a donation of $1 today to encourage more work like it. Visit our Donate Page or click:

California's Golden Goose Getting Throttled

By Howard Hyde
[Previously published as the 'President's Message' in the May edition of the Newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.]

We are honored to have as our featured speaker for May 24 Stephen Frank, political consultant and editor of California Political News and Views.

As our once Golden state continues to bleed entrepreneurs, productive citizens, large businesses like Toyota and small businesses too numerous to count, Frank is one of the courageous and persistent individuals who keep us informed and educated in ways not otherwise available. As is stated on the About page of the site: 'The purpose of the CPNV is to provide information the mainstream media either downplays, misleads or denies existing.'

In case you've been asleep for 30 years, California's economy is not what it used to be. A generation ago, California had the sixth most productive economy in the world as compared to other nation states. That position has slipped to ninth, and for anyone with an inkling of knowledge of economics and the indispensibility of free markets, it's not difficult to understand why.

California state income taxes are the highest in the nation, topping out at 13.3% (on top of federal income tax rates). After income is earned, it is taxed at the checkout stand with sales taxes ranging from 7.5% to 10%. The corporate income tax rate - 8.84% -- is the 5th highest in the nation, while the $800/year business tax, imposed without regard to profits or losses, kills companies in their cradles.

Professional atheletes such as DeMarcus Cousins of the NBA comtemplate the half-million extra tax dollars it costs him every year to play for a California team instead of being traded - or moving the whole team - somewhere else, say, Seattle.
That's the tip of the tax iceberg. Here's a tip of the results iceberg: Golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson bug out. Bank of America and Wells Fargo lay off California workers. Mattel ships 100 jobs from El Segundo to New York. Campbell Soup closes its oldest facility in the country and shifts production to North Carolina, Ohio and ... drumroll please ... Texas. Boeing announces it is laying off 1,000 workers at its Long Beach facility in 2015. Apple Inc. expands domestic manufacturing...everywhere but California. Raytheon pulls out of El Segundo for...Texas.

Not all businesses are leaving for other states. Superior Industries of the San Fernando Valley relocated to Chihuahua Mexico. Apparently a nation under siege from drug cartel wars is a more hospitable place for business than California. Low hourly wages alone cannot explain dumping some of the most productive workers in the world; the excessive costs of employing Californians over and above their wages and salaries has to be recognized.
In all, between 2011 and 2012 Bloomberg estimates a loss of 73,000 businesses in California, a 5.2% drop. The tax and regulatory environment has not improved since then, so there's little reason to expect change for the better.

All these businesses leaving California leaves California with one of the highest unemployment and poverty rates in a nation with an already abysmal average, thanks to the most anemic recovery in 50 years fostered by unprecedented hostility to wealth creation and entrepreneurship emanating from our nation's capital. The unemployment rate might be higher except that thousands of productive, employable people are leaving the state along with those thousands of businesses, for greater opportunity elsewhere.
And the taxes keep coming. Proposition 30, Assembly Bills (AB) 8 and 241, and Senate bills 622, 782, 768 and many more (see Bill's Bills) continue to pile taxes upon taxes.

Oh, and did I mention public employee pension liabilities, the budget deficit, and our children and future citizens held hostage to the most powerful syndicate in the state? Sorry, I'm out of room here.

So are we doomed?

We still have Proposition 13, in letter and in spirit. And there is growing opposition to increased taxes in places that are not Republican strongholds. Richmond is 26% black and voted 67% against Proposition 30, as did 77% of the residents of El Monte, which is 69% Hispanic. Proposition A was defeated in the City of Los Angeles.

These are the small seeds we have to cultivate, which points up our failing and our challenge as Republicans: to reach out and recruit beyond our traditional base into the evolving demographics of our once and future great state.

If you found this article valuable, consider making a donation of $1 today to encourage more work like it. Visit our Donate Page or click:

The Conservative Solution to Poverty and Inequality

A talk by Gary Aminoff
[Previously published in the June edition of the Newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.]
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the “War on Poverty” as announced by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, along with his “Great Society” program. These two programs were experiments in using the massive power of the Federal Government to radically lift the poor out of poverty and to improve the lives of Americans everywhere.

Fifty years later, or $20 Trillion later, depending on how you count, is a good test of its effectiveness, and has given us the time to conclude that it has totally failed.

The result of the War on Poverty has been to lessen some of the effects of poverty but not to reduce poverty itself. What has happened is that government programs have made the poor more secure in their poverty. Because the government has put a safety net under their poverty through massive entitlement payments, it has eliminated the incentive for most of the poor to attempt to rise above the poverty level.

Because the “War on Poverty” and the “Great Society” were ideas of the left, and since they have demonstrably failed, it is time for the political right to take on for ourselves, based on our own principles of self-responsibility, free people and free markets, making it possible for more people to pull themselves out of poverty and into the middle class, and from the middle class to wealth.

We have to do it because a) the Left has pretty much given up doing anything about poverty at this point in time, other than fostering hate against those who have been successful, and b) we owe it to our fellow citizens to show that free market principles really work, and that capitalism is not a dirty word. We need to show that you are truly free to rise, of your own effort, to climb the ladder of financial success, and that it is really possible to do so.

The conservative plan for how to achieve that will be the subject of my talk on Saturday, June 28.

Ayn Rand on Money

[From the President’s Address to the members and guests of the Southern California Republican Women and Men, May 24, 2014, by Howard Hyde:]
We’re going to take a digression for just a few minutes now. One of the things we do here every month is take a little time to step back a bit from the clanging issues and petty quarrels to contemplate and reinforce our philosophy, our theory and our principles. A reconsideration of economic theory was indispensible to my own personal conversion from Liberal-Socialist-Progressive-Democrat to Constitutional-Conservative-Libertarian-Republican, and a review of principles will strengthen all of us in our ability to persuade our fellow citizens of the validity of our policy and candidate recommendations. As the German-American psychologist Kurt Lewin said, there is nothing more practical than a good theory.
Today’s speech writer is Ayn Rand, and her speaker is Francisco d’Anconia, a character in her novel Atlas Shrugged, which tells the tale of mid-20th century America in which the confiscation of wealth and liberty by the political power-broker class becomes so intolerable that the great industrial entrepreneurs themselves go on strike.
Ayn Rand challenges us to think more than superficially about the nature of that much maligned medium of exchange in a post-barter economy, MONEY. I will be reading an abridged version [950 of the original 2700 words], but you are encouraged to read the complete one (for that matter, read the whole novel).
“Francisco’s Money Speech”
“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
“But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made–before it can be looted or mooched–made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.’ […]
“But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality–the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind. […]
“Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?
“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it. […]
“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun. […]
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. […]
“Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, ‘Account overdrawn.’ […]
“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose–because it contains all the others–the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money.’ No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity–to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality. […]
“Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other–and your time is running out.”
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand may be purchased at

Political Discussion and Debate Forum Breaks Records

By Michael Lerew
[Previously published in the June edition of the Newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.]
Greetings, politically active, involved and interested readers! Last month we had a lively discussion during our club's open issues forum. Having a good attendance of some forty people helps, I think! In considering how to present the forum report this time, I thought it might be useful to set down the questions that were discussed. This might be useful to those who perhaps have never attended one of our meetings, and wonder what we are all about!
During the forum portion of our club meeting, the moderator (yours truly, or some other brave soul, if I am not there--as will be the case in June) poses questions on issues of local, state or national interest, which have to do with politics in some way. If you would like to comment, raise your hand, and you will be called on, and have three minutes. No one else may interject or interrupt while you are speaking. If someone wishes to pose a question to you based on your comment, then your reply may be as much as two minutes. In the interest of decorum, there is no direct back-and-forth allowed between those who wish to speak--everybody has to wait for their turn and be recognized. After eight years of being moderator, I can attest to the wisdom of this policy. It has a certain calming influence if talk gets heated!
If you would prefer to listen and not speak, that is fine. That is the preference of many of the folks who attend our meetings.
Now, the topics from last time:
In a little over a week, the California primary election will take place. Are there any races which you find especially interesting? Are there any on which you would like to comment?
An issue much in the news is that of problems with the Veterans Administration hospitals. Any comments on this? (We heard from people who had good experiences, and not-so-good. I would say more people mentioned good experiences than otherwise).
Since our last meeting, Toyota announced they would leave the South Bay for Texas, costing California 3,000 jobs. Comments?
At a recent debate of candidates for supervisors, seeking to replace Zev Yaroslavsky, several of the Democrats running said that the most important issue facing the county is to improve the troubled child welfare department. Do you agree?
Another big issue facing the county is whether to build a new, modern jail, with much better facilities for handling the large number of mentally ill inmates. The cost estimates for this project are as high as two billion dollars. What do you think about this?
Those were our main topics of discussion in May. Sometimes we focus much more on state or national issues, but last time it happened that we had plenty to talk about on local issues! Also, if there is a particular topic you would like to hear discussed, you can let me know, and I will try to make sure it comes up. Some of our members are especially interested in: public education issues, including budgets; veterans issues; right to life issues; Second Amendment issues; increasing Republican turnout in elections; races for elective office in the City of Los Angeles; races in other parts of L.A. County; and we have had the privilege of having candidates for statewide office, also, attend and speak to us about their races.
I know that it is inspiring to me, to hear someone in that big room in the restaurant stand up and speak with passion about why they are seeking an elected office. It is a very tough and often thankless and expensive effort, and I admire all those who have the strength and courage to do it! The Founding Fathers of our country would be proud of all you candidates. Getting to meet and know such bright and interesting people is one of the benefits of coming to our meetings!
Michael Lerew is a Vice President and former President of SCRW&M.
Email to:

Resources for California Voters

By Howard Hyde
[Previously published as the 'President's Message' in the June edition of the Newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.]
Few things illustrate just how much some California voters are not paying attention than the fact that one candidate for Secretary of State, who had not only withdrawn from the race, but is under indictment by the FBI for bribery and trafficking shoulder-mounted rocket launchers in a high-profile criminal corruption case, nevertheless placed third among eight candidates with almost 290,000 votes, or 10% of the total: California State Senator and leading gun control activist Leland Yee.
All we can say is, those 290,000 voters aren’t members of SCRW&M and don’t read this newsletter, because if they were, they would make better choices.
We pride ourselves here at SCRW&M for being a training ground for leaders, a place for informed voters to become even better informed, from fundamental principles to the particulars of specific races and legislation. Our meetings provide the opportunity for grassroots Republicans to speak and be heard, to learn and to teach, and to connect with other activists, candidates and party officials. There are no low-information voters here.
We recognize that getting good information about what’s going on politically and economically in California can challenging. The typical sources of news are either hopelessly biased toward a liberal-progressive-socialist agenda or they lack important information, focused on local traffic accidents and bank robberies, events in Washington or international geo-politics, diplomacy and war. Good information about our state, the ninth largest economy among nation states in the world, is harder to find.
For this reason we will offer some valuable resources here. provides “California’s most significant political news”, compiled from dozens of sources including The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Sacramento Bee, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, the Orange Country Register and more. Columnists published on include Larry Elder, Dennis Prager, Charles Krauthammer, Thomas Sowell and Steven Greenhut (columnist for the OC Register and author of Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation).
For example, regarding the 290,000 votes for the indicted alleged Mafioso, see Katy Grimes article: Californians Prove This Is The Crazy State:
Another invaluable resource for California politics is California Political Review at, at which our featured speaker at the May 24 meeting, Stephen Frank, is Senior Contributing Editor and our own club Treasurer William Saracino has been a contributing editor for 24 years.
The news isn’t all bad. For example, at CAPoliticalReview you can read Carson Bruno’s article: The Week’s Other Political Earthquake – In California, Naturally:
The California Permanent Employment Statute, which grants lifetime tenure to teachers after just 18 months of service and makes it prohibitively costly (on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars) to fire incompetent teachers, has been declared unconstitutional (violating the California Constitutional rights of students to a quality education) by Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Rolf Treu, in the case Vergara vs. California. It remains to be seen how this ruling will hold up on appeal. Meanwhile, the two surviving candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction have weighed in. Tom Torlakson, the Democrat backed by the CTA to the tune of $3 million, has expressed ‘support for the teachers’. Marshall Tuck has emphasized the rights of the students.

Finally, for the serious student of California history, politics and political economy, there are the books:
• Crazifornia: Tales from the Tarnished State: How California is Destroying Itself and Why It Matters to America, by Laer Pearce.
• Taxifornia: Liberal’s Laboratory to Bankrupt America, by James V. Lacy.
• Eureka! How to Fix California, by Arthur B. Laffer, PhD
For information on election results in California, see:

If you found this article valuable, consider making a donation of $1 today to encourage more work like it. Visit our Donate Page or click:

Notes from the July SCRW&M Forum

By Howard Hyde
[Previously published in the July edition of the Newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.]
It was my honor and privilege to moderate our world-famous discussion and debate Forum in the absence of our past President and now Vice President Michael Lerew. The Forum is one of the features that makes our club truly unique and a training ground for leaders. Everyone is encouraged to participate, to articulate, to teach and to learn.

We covered a broad range of topics. We discussed ways in which Republicans may capitalize on the failures of Liberalism which even many on the Left are beginning to acknowledge. Honest liberals are concerned about the harm done to poor and minorities by anti-capitalist legislation like California's Cap and Trade bill AB 32. See Patricia L. Dickson is a black female Christian conservative veteran who writes 'Why black voters should vote Republican' June 17 on Public school teacher tenure has been successfully challenged in the courts. see:
So through the fog of bad news we can yet perceive some opportunity and cause for optimism.

The current fiasco in Iraq has re-opened a national debate on our role and strategy there, and members and guests shared their views on that. Among the most intense debates are between Republicans, particularly those that defend George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq, and Libertarians. My article on this topic, 'Answering the Libertarian Indictments on Iraq' appeared on July 9 at:

Members and guests were asked, with the increasing talk of the possibility of impeachment of the President of the United States, how many of them would be willing to put bumper stickers on their cars reading 'Joe Biden for President 2015'? A surprising plurality responded positively. Then they were asked for their Republican picks to run for President in 2016. Scott Walker won our informal poll this time. The suggestion of Chris Christie was booed.

Resources for fighting Obamacare
The very important topic of how to win the communication war about Obamacare was raised. After the meeting we put together a partial list of resources.
One great group of doctors that has been fighting government intrusion into the practice medicine since 1943 is the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons or AAPS:
Docs 4 Patient Care is another organization that has outlined its Prescription for healthcare:
I myself have written several articles on Obamacare and free market solutions that have been published on American Thinker and Frontpage Magazine including:
The Heritage Foundation has been articulating alternatives to socialized medicine for years:
There is a caucus of Republican doctors in Congress who have been offering bills with alternatives in the House for years:
Excellent books currently available on Amazon include:
- Sally Pipes, The Pipes Plan: 10 Ways to Dismantle Obamacare.
- Betsy McCaughey. Beating Obamacare.
And, of course, Howard Hyde's Pull the Plug on Obamacare:
The resources are abundant. More can be found at
The mainstream media that claims that there are no alternatives to Obamacare are simply wrong.

A Primer for GOP Candidates

By Burt Prelutsky
[Previously published in the July edition of the Newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men.]
I get very discouraged when I come across polls that show Barack Obama’s job approval rate as high as 43.9% and a generic congressional ballot that has Democrats leading Republicans 43% to 42.3%, even though the percentage of those thinking that America is headed in the right direction stands at just 29.8%.
Apparently, about 14% of us are incapable of connecting even two or three dots. So much for public education!
Still, being an eternal optimist, I take some comfort from the fact that Obama is the only two-term president who ever received fewer votes the second time around, and that since 2008, the GOP has won most of the elections, whether it was Senate and House seats, or a governor’s mansion, that was up for grabs.
We Republicans would have done even better if we had kept just a few simple rules in mind. First off, no matter how enticing you, as a candidate, find a TV lens or how much you enjoy having reporters hang on your every word, never answer a question unless you happen to be appearing on Fox. Just about everyone else in the media is your mortal enemy.
Also, never go off script. Even Bob Hope didn’t become Bob Hope by ad-libbing. He had a stable of very expensive writers.
If you can’t avoid answering questions, learn from the opposition. On those very rare occasions when Democrats find themselves being asked a question they don’t wish to deal with, they pretend they were asked an entirely different question and that’s the one they answer.
So, whenever a reporter asks how you feel about some social issue, such as same-sex marriages, abortions or the legalization of marijuana, ask them how they feel about it. If the reporter replies that how he feels is unimportant because he’s not running for the Senate or the House, point out that you are, and the reason that you are is because you want to do something about ObamaCare, the EPA, taxes and unemployment, and finish up by mentioning that you intend to do everything in your power to restore America’s military might. By the time you stop talking, he’ll have probably forgotten his own silly question and so will everyone else.
Obama has been so badly damaged by the scandal at the VA and his pretense of knowing nothing about it until he read about it in some newspaper -- even after we saw footage of his talking about the problems at the VA as far back as 2009 -- that he was forced to don a military jacket and put his golf game on hold while he flew to Afghanistan for a photo op with the troops, laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and gave a commencement address at West Point.
I know some people are put off by Obama’s obvious contempt for the military, a contempt shared by Secretary of State John Kerry. I, on the other hand, am more deeply offended when the alleged Commander-in-Chief feigns respect for those in uniform. At least the contempt has the saving grace of being sincere.
On the other hand, as much as I admire those who put their lives and limbs on the line in defense of America, the time has come to acknowledge that once they put those uniforms in moth balls and enter political life, as often as not they tend to show themselves to have feet of clay, if not something even grungier. I mean, everyone from John Murtha, Charley Rangel, Colin Powell and David Petraeus to John Kerry and Eric Shinseki, have worn the uniform with greater or lesser distinction, and all have proven themselves as civilians to be the moral equivalent of draft dodgers.
It seems that Mariel Hemingway is outraged because the brilliant muckraker, James O’Keefe, caught her and fellow pinhead Ed Begley, Jr., having lunch with an actor pretending to be an oil sheik looking to finance an anti-fracking feature film.
Even though the faux Arab confessed that he was only interested in the production because fracking would help make America energy-independent and would therefore cut into his oil profits, Hemingway and Begley seemed to be okay with it. At least neither of them skipped dessert and stalked out of the Beverly Hills Hotel, as I suspect they might have done had they known they were on camera.
I’m sure that the two Hollywood drips had no problem tarring Donald Sterling or Mitt Romney when their private conversations were transmitted to the world at large, but it was quite a different matter when it was their own oxen being gored in the public arena.
After listening to Ms. Hemingway bemoaning the invasion of her privacy to Fox’s Howard Kurtz, it’s obvious she doesn’t grasp that sting operations are often the only way to nail drug dealers, child porn producers and arrogant, self-congratulatory, Hollywood hypocrites, who put their own nutty environmental agenda ahead of the nation’s essential energy needs.
The irony of the situation is that in 2012, Matt Damon co-wrote, co-produced and starred in a stinker titled “Promised Land.”
The sole purpose of that film was to propagandize against the alleged evils of fracking. The movie was financed at a cost of $12 million by Image Productions, but was such a dud that apparently even a pair of loony tree-huggers like Hemingway and Begley avoided it.
Image Productions, by the way, is solely owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

Bill's (Sacramento) Bills - July 2014

By William Saracino
[As published in the July 26 edition of the Newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men]
We have a little of the good and the bad from the Capitol Clown Car, and some of the truly ugly from the national scene. First, from the pointy building in downtown Sacramento, to start off with a change of pace – a couple of actual beneficial pieces of legislation. The good:
Assembly Bill (AB) 1711 - Cooley. Requires an economic impact assessment for regulatory acts passed either by the legislature or a state agency. What a concept.
AB 2723 – Medina. Modifies the state rulemaking process to require state agencies to consider the effect of regulations on sole proprietorships and other small businesses when assessing the economic impact of a proposed regulation.
AB 2362 – Grove. Authorizes the forfeiture of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits whether the individual was prosecuted for UI benefit fraud under the penal code or the UI code.
AB 2866 – Brown. Prevents an employer from being financially penalized through the assessment of statutory civil and criminal penalties, fines, and interest if the employer relies in good faith on written advice from a stage agency and a court determines the agnecy’s advice was wrong.
The bad:
AB 1522 – Gonzalez. Increases employer mandates by requiring all employers, large and small, to provide all employees - including part time and temporary - with paid sick leave, and threatens employers with statutory penalties and litigation.
AB 483 – Ting. Thwarts the will of the voters when they passed Prop 26 ( 2010) that reuires all local taxes must be approved by voters.
Senate Bill (SB) 241 – Evans. Imposes a 9.9% of value tax on each barrel of oil severed. Just the thing to discourage oil exploration in California and raise gas prices even more.

And for the truly ugly – the situation at the Mexican border. There are two iron-clad rules in politics. The first is that there are no coincidences in politics. The second is that there are no exceptions to the first rule. The chaos at the border is no coincidence. It is a pre-planned attempt to flood the border, overwhelm the border patrol, disperse the hundreds of thousands (yes, that will be the final number) of illegals untraceably throughout the country and institute de-facto amnesty for them. This has been the clear intent of Obama from several months ago up to his recent refusal to go to the border.
After being surprised by the vehemence of the bi-partisan backlash to the de-facto open border policy, Barry O. said several times in recent days that all the illegal minors would be sent back to their home countries. He’s lying. None of them will be.
Truth is they will be “ticketed” for future appearances before immigration courts – then sent throughout the country and expected to show up of their own volition months from now to face deportation hearings. Can I see the hands of anyone who thinks the illegals will show up for these hearings? Anyone with a raised hand please see me later for a terrific bargain on a bridge.
This is a pre-planned strategy from the Regime to create the liberal dream, totally open borders, without Barry O. having to issue the executive order to do so. My gumbas the ancient Romans had a saying “cui bono”, or “who benefits” to explain how to find the truth. Applied to the current border situation there is only one answer, and it isn’t the American people or our Republic. There are no coincidences in politics.

Seriously, Why be a Republican?

In the February 2014 edition of newsletter of the Southern California Republican Women and Men, I wrote a message entitled 'Why Be a Republican?' It is a theme that comes up again and again as I make the rounds of various conservative groups, Tea Party organizations, party central committees, Liberty Caucuses, Republican Women Federated clubs and informal and unaffiliated social encounters. Almost everyone acknowledges that the status quo with Leftist Democrats dominating City Hall, Sacramento, and Washington D.C. (including our corrupt and unaccountable administrative agencies) is a disaster, yet there is a remarkable lack of unity around the alternative.
"I'm not a Republican, I'm a Conservative", "I'm not a Republican, I'm a Constitutionalist", "Those Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats", I hear every day. And we can all point to one or more failings of the official party at the county, state or national level as well as those of individual prominent Republican politicians. Anyone want to re-elect the Governator to save the planet again?
(Incidentally, Dawn Wildman, a prominent California Tea Party leader, recently pointed out at a meeting of the San Fernando Valley Patriots that the term 'Constitutional Conservative Republican' would have been considered redundant not too long ago. 'Republican' ought to mean implicitly and unambiguously, constitutional conservative. But I digress.)
This disappointment and disaffection is understandable. But it does not excuse honorable citizens from getting involved and seeking ways to find common cause with people with similar if not identical concerns and viewpoints. 'Republican' is not some eternal, fixed, abstract, self-animating entity that exists and acts unconnected to the people who volunteer their time, talent and treasure to make it work. 'Republican' is simply the common center of all of the diverse individuals and groups that stand in opposition to the political Left in America today.
If you are not a Democrat; if you believe in low taxes, light regulation, private property rights and Constitutional separation of powers; if you don't believe in the redistribution of wealth or the concentration of government power over our personal lives; if you don't believe that courts should legislate sweeping social policies; if you believe that America is exceptional in the world and in history and that the good of the world requires America to project confident leadership, including military power; if you believe in Liberty without privilege or prejudice with regard to race, ethnicity or birth; if you think that scientific inquiry should be free of political coercion and blackmailing, and that the debate on something as complex as the earth's climate over the course of decades can never be pre-emptively declared to be 'over'; if you believe that America is a Judeo-Christian nation; if you believe that the free market, capitalism, personal responsibility and economic growth are the best means of coping with the challenges of poverty, inequality and environmental stewardship; if you believe that life begins at conception; if you are not a disingenuous socialist, Progressive or Keynesian; if you agree with the majority of the above -- then you are a Republican.
Acknowledging that you are a Republican leads to understanding that the party of that name depends on your involvement and participation to make it more aligned with your particular concerns, values, issues and principles.
At SCRW&M, we strive to keep you informed, entertained, educated and engaged. But this is only the beginning. Your Assembly district central committee needs you. Republican candidates for office need volunteers to walk precincts and make phone calls. We will succeed in pulling our society back from the cliff that the liberals and progressives are driving us over precisely in proportion to our own engagement. And remember, whatever your opinion or even disappointment may be with "those"Republicans, realize that in the end there is no "them"; there is only us, right here, me and YOU. That's how it works.