About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Midterm Election Analysis - 2018

Although Democrats & Republicans each control one chamber of Congress starting in 2019 the mid-term election was no split decision to me – it was a big loss no matter how many conservative TV commentators say it was not a blue wave – whatever it was we lost.  I can't take solace losing control of the House. 
After the presidential election of 2016 Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress & the Presidency – we may never have that opportunity again in our lifetimes.  With the House gone, @ a 39 seat thumping, we lost the political correctness issue – anchor babies & sanctuary cities are here to stay, & building the border wall is going nowhere unless the lame duck Congress comes through.
In addition to losing the House, Republicans lost more than 300 state legislative seats nationwide & seven governorships including the three states that generally are considered the three that put Trump over the top in 2016 – Wisconsin, Michigan, & Pennsylvania.  The Michigan & Pennsylvania races were blowouts while Scott Walker lost by 30,000 votes out of 2.6 million cast in Wisconsin.  This was a Midwest blue wave.
Most important - the quality people that were defeated is staggering.  Dave Brat is the very best & he lost in an R+6 district after achieving a 97% Conservative Review Liberty Score over his four years in office - they were not looking for liberty or the Constitution in VA 7.  Katie Arrington lost in SC 1 (after a primary win defeating Mark Sanford - liberty score of 93% - who I supported for president several years ago).  Pete Sessions (TX), Dana Rohrabacher (CA), Claudia Tenney (NY), & John Faso (NY) are all people who could have continued to help the country move forward in one way or another – but they lost.  Mia Love (UT) was a supposed rising star in the GOP but she lost two of the four elections she participated in since 2012. 
Gubernatorial candidates: John Cox got swamped in California & Kris Kobach (KS) & Bob Stefanowski (CT) each lost by several points.  What a terrible shame.
Then there were the ones who just squeaked by: Ted Cruz (TX), Rick Scott (FL), Ron DeSantis (FL), Brian Kemp (GA), & Rob Woodall (GA).  Ted, Rick, Ron, & Brian ran against the biggest nothings imaginable (for instance Rick Scott's Senate opponent, Bill Nelson, has a liberty score of zero) & barely won - these should have been blowouts not squeakers.
I can't remember when Orange County, California was not a Republican stronghold – now all seven of the county's seats are held by Democrats who have a 45 to 8 advantage over Republicans overall in the state.  Of the 39 House seats Republicans lost nationwide in 2018 six were lost in California & four in NJ.  To illustrate the electoral enormity of California please understand that there are more registered voters in California than there are residents of 46 of the other 49 states & 41 states don't have 14 members of Congress – the current number of GOP congressmen in California.
After Orange County's wipe out the next biggest blow was Harris County, Texas which includes Houston – it is the third most populous county in the U.S. with 4.6 million people.  Ted Cruz won the statewide Senate race 50.9% to 48.3% over supposed rising star Robert Francis O'Rourke who prefers his self proclaimed Hispanic shortened name Beto (short for Berto).  Even though Beto did not win his Senate race he came close enough & had long coattails in the big population areas & Harris County exemplified this in that nearly every Republican in the county lost – including 59 judges & the top County Executive who was defeated by a 27 year old woman who had never attended a Harris County Commissioners Court meeting – which she will now oversee.  Turnout was 75% higher in Harris County this year than in the 2014 midterm election.
Speaking of NJ, voters would not give marine veteran & business executive Bob Hugin a chance against incumbent Bob Menendez in the Senate race.  Menendez had been indicted on federal corruption charges for alleged favors he gave to Ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen & gifts he received from Melgen.  Menendez's trial ended in a hung jury & a mistrial.  Melgen is now serving a 17 year sentence in jail for stealing $73 million from Medicare.  Hugin lost by over 300,000 votes 54% to 43%.
Now the Senate was ripe in 2018 for Republicans to make major gains due to a very favorable electoral map in that there were 35 seats up for reelection of which 26 were held by Democrats, 10 of which had to defend seats in Trump-friendly states that he won in 2016.  Nevada was the only state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 that had a Republican incumbent senator running for reelection.
This great political advantage in a midterm election was squandered.  After all the dust has nearly settled Republicans added one Senate seat to their column with one special election in Mississippi to be decided Tuesday.  At most, Republicans will have a 53 to 47 advantage in the Senate.  This is extremely disappointing when you consider the advantage was 54 to 46 after the 2014 midterm election. 
This electoral phenomenon will reverse in 2020 in that there will be twenty Republicans standing for reelection compared to eleven Democrats.  In 2022 there will be twenty two Republicans standing for reelection & only twelve Democrats.
The results of some Senate races were known, or highly suspected, by the political class several days before the midterms in that Trump did not return to Arizona or Nevada for MAGA rallies where both Republican candidates lost.
All tolled it was a wipeout in every state except for some of the ones Trump carried handily in 2016 & a few close ones like Florida where Rick Scott won by 0.12% out of over 8 million votes cast after a hand recount of under & over votes.  Voter turnout was up 12.6 percentage points over the 2014 midterm levels with early voting doubling since 2014.  Almost 116 million people voted in the 2018 midterm elections – the first ever topping of the 100 million mark in a midterm & the largest turnout in terms of the share of the eligible population since 1914.  See graphic below.
It is not a confidence booster to count on continuously winning close elections because electorates change.  For instance, Florida voters passed an amendment on November 6 to restore voting rights to 1.5 million convicted felons who served their sentences & finished probation & parole – does not apply to felons convicted of murder or sex crimes.
Trump won Florida in 2016 by 112,911 votes, Ron DeSantis won the governor's race by 33,683 votes, & Rick Scott won the Senate race by 10,033 votes so making 1.5 million felons eligible to vote will have an enormous effect on both national & Florida state election results going forward.
But it is the Republican secret ballot election in the House for their new minority leader that is the strongest indication that things will not get better any time soon.  The current Republican leadership team of Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, & Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all have identical Congressional Review Liberty Scores of 36% - all three leaders of the Republican Party are graded F.  McCarthy, hand picked by Ryan as his successor, defeated House Freedom Caucus Co-Founder Jim Jordan 159 to 43.  Jordan has a liberty score of 98% & 80% of the Republican caucus wanted no part of his type of leadership.
So the Republicans learned nothing from this pitiful midterm performance – 4 out of every 5 Republicans voted to continue with the leadership that watched as their House majority was wiped out.  It makes you wonder if they want to get back in power – it is easier to just wallow around in the minority complaining about this or that issue.
Add the Democrats in & Jordan has the backing of only 10% of House members – this is the minority we are in.  It is very disheartening to see this clearly just how feckless 90% of our elected representatives are.
I used the word "we" several times in this post & I certainly did not mean Republican politicians because we see that 80% of them are not worth voting for.  The "we" I was referring to were the people my dear friend & colleague in liberty, Lawson Bader, wrote to me about on Thanksgiving day – those "across the country connected in a kinship of shared commitment to the guiding principles of America's founding."

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thanksgiving Proclamation In The Year Of Independence Of The United States Of America The One Hundred & Eighty-Eighth

click on photo to enlarge
Below is JFK's Thanksgiving Day, 1963 Proclamation 3560 issued on November 4, 1963 thereby proclaiming Thursday November 28 as Thanksgiving Day.  On November 23, 1963 LBJ issued Proclamation 3561 entitled National Day Of Mourning declaring Monday November 25, the day of the funeral service of President Kennedy, to be a national day of mourning throughout the United States. 
November 22, our day of Thanksgiving 2018, was the date in 1963 that President Kennedy was assassinated.
Click on proclamation to enlarge. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Patriotic Air Show

  click on photo to enlarge
Click here to enjoy the video sent by a frequent contributor to RTE that shows the 49 airplane flyover @ Arrowhead Stadium in KC during a football game after the federal government put a hold on such flyovers by the Air Force as a result of the sequester spending cut law in the early 2010s.
Forty nine patriotic pilots from all over the country volunteered to perform during the game to bring attention to & raise money for breast cancer research.  Watch for the pink smoke from their planes.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Mike Huckabee On The Importance Of Voting

Last week I asked a very dear friend, who lives in another state, for whom she planned to vote for senator & governor.  Since she is a member of a household that subscribes to RTE I was surprised to hear that she was not voting – because she does not know enough about the candidates.  We discussed this & I agreed saying that I too do not vote if I don't know enough about the candidates whether they are running for political office or a position in a professional society. 
My friend recently moved & built a new home so she was satisfied the political climate in her new state was one that she wanted to spend the next part of her life in.  I pointed out that that could dramatically change & volunteered to send her an advance copy of the text below that @ the time constituted the post I had intended to present tonight.
My friend responded the next day – "Hi Doug - Thanks for the link to Huckabee's video.  It's very good.  This makes me want to study the candidates & go vote."
For anyone who finds themselves in the circumstance described above the following message is written with you in mind.
Click here to hear Mike Huckabee explain the importance of voting - namely, people who don't vote must take whatever is given to them by people who do.  Mike makes his point by providing vivid examples that teenagers would be interested in but it does not take much imagination for my friend mentioned above to find one of the candidates in her new state, if he is successful, establishing an income tax, raising property taxes & sales taxes, forming sanctuary cities if not declaring the entire state a sanctuary state, & in general welcoming illegal aliens to her neighborhood.
In brief, Mike's presentation is especially important for people who think politics has nothing to do with them.
Governor Huckabee does not mean for everyone to just go out & vote without direction or planning so they can say they voted.  He means that every citizen who has the privilege to vote makes it their business to learn the fundamentals about our government & Constitution & then knows the vital & important positions of the candidates from which they are to choose.