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, June 27, 2021

July 4th History Quiz


For those in the readership who took the Independence Day quiz two years ago & wanted a chance to atone, I found the subject quiz that offers another chance @ about the same level of difficulty.  So I hope you brushed up in the meantime.

Like the quiz two July 4ths ago this one will also provide an explanation of the correct answer after every question so this is not just a quiz but an excellent refresher.  It is also a lot of fun & can serve as a topic of discussion during Independence Day celebrations in your backyard. 

I do however recommend keeping track of the number of right & wrong answers yourself because the website totalizer @ the end of the quiz has given wrong overall scores on some computers - mostly low scores.

Please feel free to take the quiz with any child or grandchild.  I'm interested to see how each of you do.

  Bonus - who are these people?  

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The January 6 Commission Vote Shows Republican Infighting Makes It Hard For GOP To Win The 2022 Midterms

"We are going to pursue this one way or the other."  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer - Democrat, Maryland - speaking about Pelosi's intention to form a commission, with or without Republican participation, to investigate the January 6 assault on the Capitol after Trump called thousands of his supporters to Washington, on that day, specifically to stop Vice President Pence's constitutional function, as President of the Senate, to ratify Biden's Electoral College victory.

Trump tweet of December 19, 2020 - "Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!" 

Midterm elections have historically been referendums on the sitting president's performance of his first two years in office of a term & these elections have not gone well for the sitting president.  Since World War II the sitting president's party has lost an average of 26 House seats & an average of 4 Senate seats in the midterms thereby setting up a real opportunity for Republicans, in the 2022 midterms, to stop Biden's assault on the country.

Republicans are also favored in the 2022 midterms because of the redrawing of district boundaries from the decennial process resulting from the 2020 census. 

Of course Republicans are doing everything they can leading up to the 2022 midterms to not take advantage of the above historical midterm election statistics & trends that would normally give them a big edge to regain control of Congress thereby providing a check on Biden.  But many Republicans remain divided, continuing to foolishly fight the last war about the 2020 presidential election that has been over since @ least January 20, 2021 when Biden took the oath of office for the presidency & moved into the White House that Trump had vacated - a puzzling move by Trump if he thought he had won.

The latest point of Republican division centers on Pelosi's plan to politically milk the January 6 assault on the Capitol for all its worth by forming a commision to study the event as described above by her right hand man Steny Hoyer.  Many Republicans want to stick with @ least an outward show of allegiance for Trump & the rest can't stand him.  I mean both Republican elected representatives & voters.

The above graphic of the House vote on May 19 regarding the commision shows that 35 Republicans voted with Pelosi to form the commision that will keep the matter alive all through 2021 & issue a report @ the end of the year just in time for 2022, an election year.  All the while Trump will stir the pot shooting out missiles defending himself & blackballing anyone who sides against him thereby losing focus on Biden's destructive plans for America.  What a missed opportunity - a distraction that plays right into the Democrats hands.

Now these 35 House Republicans are getting blasted all over conservative media but you have to believe they voted in what they thought was their best interest meaning they represented the opinion of the majority of people in their districts (i.e., people who would not vote for Trump or his supporters again).  To not believe this is to not understand the survival instincts of politicians.

This post is not about reliving the 2020 presidential election.  Or about Trump's claims & actions since the early morning hours of November 4 when I heard him say "Frankly, we did win," without following up by ever presenting one scintilla of evidence in dozens of court cases.  Or about whether you believe or deny that Trump called his supporters to Washington on January 6, in a last gasp attempt, specifically to stop Vice President Pence from fulfilling his constitutional function, as President of the Senate, to ratify Biden's Electoral College victory.

This post is intended to show the division in the Republican party that is centered around Trump - a larger than life figure who continues to make everything all about himself instead of the country's future, but nevertheless one that is killing any chance for Republicans to take back Congress in 2022 from the most openly anti-American administration in the country's history.  Failure of Republicans to take back @ least one chamber of Congress in the 2022 midterms means that the Biden administration keeps rolling over America.

The point is that every day that Republicans talk about Trump & whether or not the 2020 presidential election was stolen is a lost opportunity to decry Biden's anti-American agenda where Biden is obsessed with undoing any policy that Trump put in place.  

Trump talks powerfully but since 2016, under his leadership, Republicans lost the House in 2018 & the Senate & Presidency in 2020 & more pathetically the two Georgia Senate seats on January 5 when the stakes were precisely known - namely, retaining Republican control of the Senate if only one of the two Georgia Republican candidates had won.  None of the Biden anti-American assault could have happened if Trump would have campaigned for Loeffler & Perdue instead of whining about his presidential loss during campaign stops in Georgia supposedly on their behalf.  And Republicans are continuing & perpetuating this mistake, as if they can't learn, & Trump does not help by threatening any incumbent or challenger who does not show loyalty to him.

Trump's two highest profile lawyers, Rudy & Sid, are feeling the price of their loyalty to Trump in that the court cases they presented, in many instances were so weak, including ones in front of Trump appointed judges, that courts are now considering whether or not some of the legal challenges were frivolous or improper & if Rudy & Sid should be reprimanded, suspended, or disbarred. Sid stated in her motion to dismiss the argument against her - “Reasonable people understand that the ‘language of the political arena, like the language used in labor disputes … is often vituperative, abusive and inexact.  It is likewise a ‘well recognized principle that political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole."'  Why didn't Sid tell this to the American public last winter when she was a regular nightly guest on Lou Dobbs FBN TV program?

An April 17-20 NBC poll of 1,000 adults found that Trump's approval among all adults is 32% favorable & 55% unfavorable.  Sean Hannity famously bragged shortly after the 2020 presidential election that 93% of Trump voters in 2020 would vote for Trump again meaning that 5.2 million less people would vote for him in 2024 then did in 2020.  The lesson that needs to be relearned is that Trump brings out more anti-Trumpers than supporters thereby proving once again that we are outnumbered.

Below is the list of the 35 House Republicans who voted in favor of forming the January 6 commision.  Note, Cheney, Katko, Upton, Rice, Kinzinger, Valadao, Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, Gonzalez, & Meijer are the ten on the list below who voted to impeach Trump last winter.  Daniel Webster of Florida was the lone Republican not to vote regarding the January 6 commission matter.

Many of the 175 House Republicans who voted not to form the January 6 commision hope to draw on Trump's popularity with the base that came to his rallies, without having to confront Trump's continued unproven claims about a stolen election.  These people do not know Trump very well because he will never admit that he lost to the stumbling Biden, or anyone else, thereby creating a never ending confrontation that the vast majority of the electorate grows more tired of everyday.

On May 29 the Senate blocked the House approved January 6 commision from going forward as a bipartisan independent effort by voting 54 in favor to 35 against - thanks to the filibuster rule the measure failed because it took 60 votes in favor for the bill to advance.

Six Republican senators joined 48 Democrat senators to form the group of 54 - Cassidy of Louisiana, Collins of Maine, Murkowski of Alaska, Portman of Ohio, Romney of Utah, & Sasse of Nebraska.  But as always the devil is in the details.  There were 11 senators (nine Republicans) who did not vote thereby indicating a bigger divide in Republicans than is immediately obvious by just looking @ the number of yeas & nays.

Democrat Senators Murray of Washington & Sinema of Arizona said they would have voted yes if present as did Republican Toomey of Pennsylvania thereby bringing the vote to 57 in favor of the commission - very close to the 60 votes needed for passage.  Coupling this with eight other Republican senators not voting is a powerful demonstration of dissenters in the Republican ranks against Trump.

The 35 GOP defections in the House, coupled with 30% of Republicans in the Senate not being supportive of Trump in the commision vote, showcases a significant break with Republican leadership in Congress & Trump, both of whom had urged members to vote against the legislation.  

The list of all 11 senators not voting, from the Senate website:

So much is up in the air with Biden being so weak & Republicans still reeling from Trump's divisive personality.  But what we do know with 100% certainty is that, with or without the commission, the Democrats will present the worst case possible of the January 6 events & their presentation could very well be dispositive to enough voters that Republicans lose the 2022 midterm & 2024 presidential elections.

It will be a neat trick if Republicans can regroup in the next 17 months in time to win the midterms while minimizing or eliminating Trump's influence on the party yet following his policies on border control, low taxes, deregulation, record low unemployment in almost every category, good paying jobs, judges who decide cases based on the Constitution & the rule of law, support of our ally Israel, & not being pushed around by China, Russia, or Iran.  

The problem is that Republicans can't win with Trump & can't win without him - i.e., can't win - as it stands now, so they need to develop a clear concise inspirational message to unwind this conundrum.  

The 2024 presidential election does not have to be Biden v. Trump, Harris v. Trump, or anyone else against Trump.  Republicans need to find another candidate who can return America to excellence - please let me know your own suggestions.

But the job gets easier for Republicans the more they focus on Biden's anti-American plans, policies, & ideas purposely designed to transform America (i.e., destroy the American way of life) - incentivizing tens of thousands of people from Central America, all wearing Biden T-shirts, to come to our southwest border to pursue admission to the U.S. to take advantage of the 126 welfare programs identified by the Cato Institute; supporting the establishment of sanctuary cities & states that protect illegal immigrants from law enforcement; defunding the police; abolishing the police; abolishing ICE; & pushing for the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) that would re-empower unions by nullifying the states' "right to work laws" in all 27 states that have such laws.

If the above Biden policy preferences aren't anti-America enough for you add - encouraging the continuation of federal supplements to state unemployment benefits (i.e., unnecessary stimulus non-work programs that adversely affect peoples' desire to work & ultimately their ability to work @ all) while there is a continuing labor shortage evidenced by the 9.3 million record number of job openings - see latest Labor Department JOLTS report dated April 30 where employers were able to fill only 1 in every 14 new positions in April - that is hurting the economy & small businesses; 
stopping the construction of the border wall where sections could easily be completed with a minimal of effort & contractors are being paid whether they finish their work or not; reversing Trump's corporate income tax cuts - such reversal, when coupled with Biden's planned increase in the capital gains tax rate, will give the U.S. the highest overall federal tax burden on corporate income in the 37 nation OECD @ 59.3%; signing a presidential memorandum that reversed restrictions on abortion access, both foreign & domestic, thereby allowing American tax dollars to be used for abortion businesses & promoters overseas; & outlining a comprehensive immigration plan (amnesty) that will put 11 million immigrants in the U.S., who don't have legal status, on a faster path to citizenship than those standing in line legally today.  

And then there's - halting the deportation of illegal aliens including felons with final orders of removal in direct vioaltion of Biden's oath to enforce the immigration laws of the U.S.; flying or busing migrants, a significant percentage of whom have not been tested for Covid-19, to states all over the country thereby making "every state a border state;" requiring that biological boys (i.e., transgender females) who self identify as girls be allowed to compete on girls' sports teams whether they had sex reassignment surgery or not, thereby ending the competitive sports dreams of many young women; jawboning the Fed to keep interest rates @ zero, meaning savers like seniors are paying for much of any growth in the economy; & a tremendous lurching to the socialist left steeped in Green New Deal incentives & policies aimed @ making America weak by encouraging  government dependence instead of the liberty that produces wealth & value. 

Add in Biden's $6 trillion spend, tax, & borrow proposals that are intended to make Democrats look good to voters between now & the 2022 midterms. This type of deception is the basis of the Death Of Democracy throughout history where the citizenry falsely believes they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury without a care in the world as to who is producing the wealth & value that keeps this utopia going.  Biden is counting on his Santa Claus spending increases paying off in the 2022 midterms without the majority of voters ever wondering where the money came from thereby creating an opportunity for Republicans to teach a lesson in basic economics - if anyone wants to learn it. 

And in one early action intended to turn America on its head, Trump's executive order that banned critical race theory-based training programs in the federal government was rescinded by Biden within hours of his taking office.  I don't know one person who favors this anti-American action that is intended to make life worse for everyone in a lower middle class household up to the ultra rich - namely, all of us.  The states have taken to fighting this in their own way with six of them, so far, restricting the teaching of CRT in public schools. 

The above list provides all the ammunition Republicans need to return to office in 2022, without mentioning Trump, unless the American people want Biden's socialist policies that include up to $4,000 per month federal government paid family & medical leave, free universal preschool, & two years of free community college.  These Biden benefits become part of permanent universal new middle class entitlements, as opposed to being part of a temporary social safety net only for people in need, that are not linked to any work requirement such as other permanent middle class entitlement programs like Social Security & Medicare.

America was not founded on a social safety net but rather on liberty & creating wealth & value.  All of our prosperity since our founding in 1776 comes from these principles.

When was the last time you heard a Democrat talk about liberty or creating wealth & value?  I can't remember it ever.

Biden's real agenda was revealed in way less than his first 100 days in office.  Although I can't recall him personally ever saying so during the campaign, Biden was always portrayed as a moderate, especially when compared to AOC, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, & most pointedly Kamala Harris - despite his 47 years in Washington when he was anything but moderate.  In fact, @ this point in his life Biden is quite malleable & his first 100 days in office looks like AOC or Bernie won the presidential election.

Republicans make a bad mistake clinging to Trump's fallacious claims about the 2020 presidential election being stolen while seemingly forgetting, or @ least never mentioning, that his calling for protests on January 6, peaceful or otherwise, to stop Pence from certifying the Electoral College vote was an egregious affront to the Constitution by a sitting president that should not be tolerated by any supporter of the American Republic. 

Countering the above list of Democrat, Biden administration, anti-American points with the above list of Trump principled points provides a much better focus for winning the 2022 midterms.  If Democrats prevail in the 2022 midterms we will fall further, with no resistance, down the Democrat socialistic slide of government dependence, mediocrity, & misery.  

If Republicans can make a clear, concise, & educational presentation exposing the damage, harm, & worthlessness of the above Democrat points while offering viable alternatives to them, in race after midterm race, we will have a good indication from the margins, how soon America will succumb.