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 19, 2022

Fresh Faces Needed In 2024 For The Good Of The Country

"There's a significant amount of our base that is happy with an off-ramp from the Trump train."  Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson speaking @ a meeting with WSJ reporters on May 31.

"As Ronald Reagan understood, successful politics really is about addition & multiplication.  We have been doing far too much subtracting & dividing."  Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaking @ the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California as part of a speakers series on the GOP's future following its loss of the White House, Senate, & House during Trump's tenure in office.


A WSJ poll in March found 85% of Republicans viewed Trump favorably.  Hutchinson & Hogan, in the above quotes, were addressing the 15% who don't, plus those who would not like to see Trump run again, & those who are sorry he has endorsed so many primary candidates in the midterms.

Trump has endorsed over 300 primary candidates including those in primaries yet to be run.  Some of these endorsements have helped candidates but also some races have shown there are limits to a Trump endorsement.

Conservative commentators on TV do the disservice of overstating Trump's influence.  For instance earlier this spring it was reported that Trump went 22 for 22 one particular primary night.  What wasn't reported was that in 19 of the 22 contests Trump's endorsees were running unopposed.

Some of Trump's endorsements include Rand Paul, & the following congressmen who all won their primaries with 100% of the vote:  John Joyce, Russ Fulcher, Dan Bishop, Mike Kelly, Guy Reschenthaler, & Scott Perry.  These types of endorsements pad Trump's overall record.  Another trick is to endorse late when the winner is pretty well known like Doug Mastriano running for PA governor.

Karl Rove has developed what he calls his 30-70 Rule - namely that in contested primaries a significant percent of the time Trump's endorsed candidate, whether winning or losing, receives between a quarter & a third of the vote, meaning that such candidates have about 70% of the electorate not supporting them.

J.D. Vance won the Ohio Senate primary with 32% of the vote.  Mehmet Oz won the Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary with 31%.  Bo Hines won NC 13th CD with 32%.  Madison Cawthorn lost the NC 11th CD with 32%.  Janice McGeachin lost the ID gubernatorial race with 32%.  Charles Herbster lost the NE gubernatorial race with 29%.

And in the Georgia races that Trump took personally his endorsees lost big:

David Perdue lost with 22% of the vote to Brian Kemp in the gubernatorial race.  Jody Hice lost with 33% to Brad Raffensperger in the Secretary of State race.  John Gordon lost with 26% to Chris Carr in the State Attorney General race.  Patrick Witt lost with 17% to John King in the state Insurance Commissioner's race.  

Perdue, Hice, & Gordon focused their campaigns on discussing the 2020 presidential election while the three victors, & Witt, focused on more current issues of concern.

Voters will learn another important point about Trump's motivation in his primary endorsements - namely, does he back Republicans he did not support in the primaries who won, against a Democrat opponent in the general election in November.  There is no bigger example than the Georgia gubernatorial race in which incumbent Brian Kemp now has a rematch with Stacey Abrams.  Kemp beat Stacey in 2018 by 54,723 votes, out of just under 4 million votes cast, 50.2% to 48.8%.  Lightning will have struck twice in Georgia if Trump does not get behind Kemp like he failed to do with the two Georgia Senate runoff candidates in January 2021 that cost the GOP control of the Senate thereby bringing on all the misery that Biden has inflicted on the country.  Trump's failure to back Kemp would be a loss for Georgia & the republic. 

Along with Brian Kemp & Brad Raffensperger, Trump's ire has focused on Liz Cheney from Wyoming.  We'll have to wait & see how her primary turns out on August 16.

Trump's endorsement of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is a confusing one when you consider Trump's dislike for Cheney, who is Vice -Chairwoman of the House January 6 Select Committee investigating the riots of January 6 @ the Capitol.  After denying it, McCarthy is heard on audiotape blaming Trump for the attack on the Capitol & saying that he was going to ask Trump to resign, which he never did that we know of.  Who was McCarthy talking to on the audiotape?  Liz Cheney (among others).

In McCarthy, Trump sees a future Speaker of the House that he wants to be allied with.

McCarthy has a Liberty Score of F @ 44% & Trump feels he is "an outstanding Representative" & "a strong & fearless Leader."  Of course McCarthy is anything but & some of the most loyal members of Trump's base, like John Cardillo, are growing more & more dissatisfied with some endorsements like Oz & McCarthy.

Contrast Trump's endorsement of McCarthy with his criticism of Congressman Chip Roy of Texas - Liberty Score A @ 100%.  Chip originally supported contesting the 2020 presidential election (as did I) but as the weeks rolled by his repeated calls to Mark Meadows for evidence of election fraud were unanswered & finally Chip voted against overturning the presidential election.  Trump then turned on Chip & said he "has not done a great job, & will probably be successfully primaried." Chip won his primary against three opponents with 83.2% of the vote.  There is no elected representative finer than Chip Roy.

The above examples show that Trump can positively influence some races but the bigger story is that he is divisive & could cause major harm in many races this fall like both the Georgia gubernatorial & Senate races (Herschel Walker versus incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock).  Whether it is people in Trump's base not supporting a candidate who irritated Trump somewhere along the never-proven-election fraud trail or a Liz Cheney supporter who refuses to back a candidate that Trump endorsed, the division could result in two more terrible years of Biden being unchecked by Congress.

Biden won the presidency in 2020 with 306 electoral votes to 232 for Trump - virtually the opposite of Trump's electoral college win over Hillary Clinton in 2016 - 304 to 227.

Biden received 81,284,778 votes nationally compared to Trump's 74,224,501.  If you subtract the popular vote totals in California & New York Biden was still ahead in the total from the other 48 states by 36,327 votes.  In 2016, the same analysis showed Trump winning the other 48 states by over 3 million votes so there was definitely a stronger anti-Trump movement this time in the other 48 states.

The majority of people who voted for Biden could not stand Trump, in fact they loathed him, & just as importantly they were more interested in security than liberty, never understanding or caring that it is liberty that provides security.  They just ignorantly knew they wanted the security that they thought socialism provided.

These people knew that voting for Democrats meant they were taking a chance on politicians, who to one degree or another, had supported defunding the police, had agreed with establishing sanctuary cities & states that protect illegal immigrants from federal law enforcement, & had turned a blind eye to the night after night burning, looting, & destruction of innocent residencies & businesses in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, & Kenosha by Antifa & Black Lives Matter thugs.  There was no condemnation by the hostile anti-American media or any Democrat candidate, including Biden, for these violent acts so voting for a Democrat ticket was @ a minimum tacit approval of the aforementioned violent acts.

I looked @ election results to find out the relative strength of both Biden & Trump as the person @ the top of the ticket in 2020.  A strong presidential candidate will bring out supporters who then vote for his party's candidates for other offices riding the coattails of the person @ the top of the ticket to victory.

Biden had very strong coattails.  

In California CD-12 Biden got 86.1% (337,517 votes out of 392,046 votes cast for president) & Pelosi got 77.6% (281,776 votes out of 362,950 votes cast for congressional candidates).  Biden got 55,741 more votes than Pelosi in her own district - a strong performance.  Biden similarly outperformed AOC (73.3% to 71.6%) & Ilhan Omar (80.3% to 64.3%).

Trump's coattails were weaker & even non-existent in most congressional districts in the three states that provided Biden's electoral college victory.

In the opposite of what you'd expect from a strong presidential candidate Trump received fewer votes than every winning congressional Republican candidate in Wisconsin & all of them in Georgia except for Marjorie Taylor Greene.  The results were more mixed in Arizona but still weak.

For instance, in Wisconsin CD-1 Trump received 53.9% (220,668 votes out of 409,363 cast for president) & Bryan Steil received 59.3% (238,271 votes out of 401,754 votes cast for congressional candidates).  Congressman Steil received 17,603 more votes than Trump in CD-1 & yet there were 7,609 more votes cast for president in the district, meaning there was an underperformance for Trump.

Trump received 63,547 fewer votes in Wisconsin than the five winning Republican congressmen combined.  Trump lost Wisconsin by 20,682.  Had he kept up with the winning Republican congressmen's vote tallies Trump would have won Wisconsin by 42,865 votes.  There are similar underperformances in Georgia & Arizona.

Click here to see my detailed tabulation for all three of these states in a Table entitled Presidential & House Vote Count By Congressional District - 2020.

For die hard Trump supporters who think he can win in 2024 if he runs, I'd like to see a state by state analysis to see how he reaches 270 electoral votes, especially considering the above analysis of votes by congressional districts.  Peggy Noonan wrote "He lost in 2020 by seven million votes with a growing economy & no inflation - & that was before the events of 1/6."

Starting in July 2020 Trump set the stage for his post-election claims of fraud & court appeals when @ one of his signature rallies he presented an out of character scenario in which he raised the possibility of him losing the election - he gave the excuse of losing because of voter fraud.  I remember, watching live, thinking to myself, if he knows all of these details of potential fraud why doesn't he do something about it now - months before the election?  This way he could win.

But one poll after another had continuously & repeatedly shown Biden winning the presidency by large margins.  I believe Trump's internal polling showed him losing also, especially in the important swing states that he had won in 2016 by very narrow margins.  It makes sense that Kellyanne Conway not only told him that he lost after the election, as she wrote in her recent book, but most likely also told him that he was going to lose before she left the White House in August 2020 - why else would the only woman who had successfully guided a presidential campaign to victory resign shortly before her chance @ a second victory.  One way or the other Trump turned on Kellyanne also.

Candidates' internal polling is the best.  Pat Caddell famously told Jimmy Carter the night before the election in 1980 that he was not going to win & Carter wept.  More recently Hillary Clinton called off a fireworks display over the Hudson river the day before the 2016 election when Trump admitted "I surprised them."  Accordingly, if Trump's internal polling led by someone of Kellyanne's caliber tells him he cannot win in 2024 we will not run.

The 2016 presidential election was extremely close with Trump exceeding the needed 270 electoral votes by winning Pennsylvania, Michigan, & Wisconsin by a combined total of 77,736 votes thereby setting up the potential for a Biden win in 2020.

But the 2020 presidential election was even closer with Biden exceeding the needed 270 electoral votes by winning Arizona, Georgia, & Wisconsin by a combined total of 42,918 votes.

The results of the last two presidential races were about as even as you can get so 2024 candidates all get a good start.  We need fresh faces for the good of the country.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Forecasting Red Wave In Midterms Is Ripe For Disappointment Sooner Or Later

After reporting on one pitiful Biden anti American policy after another, just about every conservative TV commentator I watch has become giddy forecasting the red wave that they are sure is coming after the November midterms.  Some even correct their cohost calling the red wave a red tsunami. 

Republicans are counting on the historical fact that almost always the President's party loses congressional seats in midterm elections.  Since 1900 only three presidents have seen their party gain House seats in their first midterm election - TR in 1902, FDR in 1934, & GW Bush in 2002.  And of course James Monroe, our best president, not only gained House seats for his party in both of his presidential terms but also did not lose a Senate seat during his entire administration which is something that no other president ever achieved.

The forecast red tsunami in the Senate is on shakier ground in that Republicans are defending 20 Class III Senate seats in 2022 & Democrats are defending 14.

Now I shudder every time I hear such glowing forecasts & early last month I was vividly reminded why when I started to receive messages, including from people in this readership, about Dinesh D'souza's new documentary entitled 2000 Mules that claimed that 2,000 people (i.e., the mules) were part of a plan to stuff fraudulent ballots in drop boxes in key counties in five swing states that changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

In making the documentary Dinesh worked with the conservative Texas-based vote-monitoring organization True the Vote founded by Catherine Engelbrecht, whose stated objective is stopping voter fraud.  The thesis of the film is based on using the location ping system that cell phones generate to observe & analyze the activity around ballot drop boxes of carefully selected counties of five swing states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, & Georgia) that figured in the final outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Yahoo-Finance reported - "Dinesh D'Souza's new movie "2000 Mules," which launched on Saturday, May 7, 2022, grossed more than one million dollars in less than twelve hours on the video streaming platform Rumble and its subscription-based platform."  And it didn't take long thereafter for fact checkers like The Dispatch to write that "the movie, however, is riddled with errors & previously debunked claims of voter fraud, & it's based on a faulty premise."

Now, in discounting the documentary I didn't get into any of the weeds regarding cell phone pings & the like - I began by just looking @ the general picture.  In May, 2018 Trump pardoned Dinesh for a felony conviction for making illegal campaign contributions - so for starters Dinesh owed Trump one.  And Dinesh knew he had a willing audience of Trump supporters & he could use the money after being in prison.  Also, Dinesh had presented videos out of context before to make deceptive points - like Biden & the Pledge of Allegiance when he was not really reciting the Pledge.  (We have enough real gaffes by Biden without making them up.)

But then I wondered how the conspirators knew which five states to concentrate on & how many stuffings of the drop boxes it would take to pull the voter fraud off.  For instance, the conspirators wasted their efforts in MI because Biden got 43,000 more votes than Hillary did in 2016 just from the counties where the University of Michigan & Michigan State are located - this figure alone is more than four times what Trump won Michigan by in 2016.  Also, why leave the Senate 52 to 48 with a Republican majority on the November election day?  And as I have told many people for over a year, if the Republicans were so inept to let this happen to them & the Democrats were so crafty to pull the fraud off the Republicans deserved to lose.  

Finally, Dinesh's timing is awful, releasing the documentary 18 months after the presidential election serves no practical purpose @ a time when more & more people are fatigued by Trump's constant drumbeat of election fraud without ever producing one piece of evidence that stood up even in courts with Trump appointed judges.  

For instance click here to listen to the recording of the January 2, 2021 telephone call between Trump & GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger where Trump said "I won this election by hundreds of thousands of votes.  There's no way I lost Georgia.  There's no way.  We won by hundreds of thousands of votes," while reciting smaller numbers of allegedly contested votes (providing no sources) before stating "All I want to do is this, I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the election. . ." 

Brad calmly told Trump "Well, Mr. President, the challenge you have is the data you have is wrong," & Georgia General Council Ryan Germany told Trump "What we're seeing is not @ all what you are describing."  Brad replied in part to a specific claim ". . . it's extremely unfortunate that Rudy Giuliani or his people, they sliced & diced that video & took it out of context.  So the next day we brought in WSB-TV & we let them . . . see the full run of tape.  I mean, what you'll see, the events that transpired are nowhere near what was projected by" - Brad was cut off by Trump but it is safe to say Brad was about to say "Rudy" based on his preceding remarks.

The above listed telephone recording is part of the evidence that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is using in her criminal investigation of Trump's efforts to influence the Georgia election results in the 2020 presidential election.

Far too many Republicans are still happy to discuss the November 2020 presidential election while the Democrats are busy working on issues to convince voters to vote Democrat in the midterms.

Biden is considering forgiving up to $10,000 of student loans for borrowers with incomes below $125,000 per year - a mere token gesture for AOC, Bernie, Warren, & Schumer who want every dime of federal student loans forgiven but would consider $50,000 as a good starting point of discussion.  Forgiving $50,000 of federal student loan debt per borrower would eliminate the entire student loan debt of 36 million people - a powerful & tempting argument for Democrats trying to buy votes from students & their parents.  But it does come with some negatives & Democrats will sort them out & make a play closer to the midterms.

The point is while some Republicans were thrilled that Dinesh released a documentary with air tight proof, to them, that Trump had the election stolen from him Democrats were coming up with a student loan forgiveness plan that could affect millions of voters in the midterms.  Borrowers had already been warming to the idea because payments & interest accrual have been suspended for borrowers with federal student loans since March 13, 2020, @ the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The leak last month of a Supreme Court draft opinion dated February 10, 2022 indicated that the high court could overturn the hideous Roe v. Wade decision by the end of the month.  This issue will bring every Democrat & then some out to vote.

And after 19 children & two teachers in Uvalde, Texas were shot to death by a madman the Democrats have new material in their never ending gun-control arguments.  A CBS poll last month showed 54% of Americans want stricter laws covering the sale of guns, while 46% want to keep gun laws as is or make them looser.

But topping it off will be the January 6 Committee report that will fill the airwaves in the weeks before the midterms with photos, quotations, & more detail than any of us could imagine targeted to remind Independent leaning women in the suburbs, who voted against Trump in droves in 2020, of just why they voted that way.  And of course Republicans handed this to Democrats on a silver platter that the media will find irresistible.

Now the purpose of this post is not to debate student loan forgiveness, the possible repeal of Roe, gun-control laws, or the legitimacy of the January 6 Committee.  The point is the Democrats should not be taken lightly & will use these four issues to increase their turnout while trying to change the subject from their 16 month despicable assault on America that reversed every policy that was working under the Trump administration.  Biden assumed the presidency on January 20, 2021 to find, in Mike Huckabee's words, "the most secure southwest border in history, a strong recovering economy, energy independence, a vaccine for Covid-19, a return to manufacturing, an uptick in wages for the working class, a stronger NATO & military, & protection for unborn babies."

Since becoming President, Biden's pitiful record includes 1) trying to destroy the oil & gas industry, in a play to promote AOC's Green New Deal, that has resulted in the highest gasoline prices ever, 2) flooding the country with deficit spending that has produced the highest inflation in 40 years with only Manchin stopping even more spending under the Build Back Better plan that provides benefits that become part of permanent universal new middle class entitlements & ample funding to get AOC's Green New Deal started before it overwhelms everything, 3) incentivizing tens of thousands of the poorest, lowest skilled, least educated people from Central America, all originally wearing Biden T-shirts (with virtually none of them even knowing who he was), 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 - & to vote Democrat out of appreciation for being allowed entry into the country, 4)  abandoning Afghanistan with a humiliating withdrawal plan that was exactly backwards -  implementing it during the summer fighting season, closing Bagram Air Base with our troops stealthily leaving the base in the middle of the night without telling the new Afghan commander, relying on the Taliban for security that resulted in the deaths of ten Marines, two Army soldiers, & one Navy corpsman, & worst of all evacuating civilians last, 5) condeming & criticizing police instead of those committing rampant crime on our streets while not calling out the breakdown of the family structure in the crime ridden zones where the high percentage of out of wedlock pregnancies & the large number of children who can not identify their fathers are the points that really matter, 6) tricking people into believing we have top notch government schools when many graduates can barely read @ a fourth grade level while the hateful teachings of Critical Race Theory (CRT) & Black Lives Matter (BLM) coupled with the historical inaccuracies & deliberate lies of The 1619 Project are pushed to indoctrinate not only students from 4 to 23 but also people in businesses & even the military, & 7) nominating unqualified people to high poitions such as Saule Omarova, educated @ Moscow State University on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship, to oversee banks in her position as head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Sarah Bloom Raskin, a Green New Dealer, to be the Fed's top bankiing cop more interested in climate change than the proper allocation of capital to grow the economy,  Lisa Cook, the first Black women to sit on the Fed's board, whose academic studies focused on policies that promote opportunity for racial minorities & women rather than macroeconomics & monetary policy, & Ketanji Brown Jackson to Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, whose hearings exposed her as having a liberal judicial philosophy & record that is sympathetic to terrorists & to being soft on crime with special leniency towards child pornography offenders.

The above paragraph describes a detestable record that clearly shows Biden needs to be checked in the second half of his presidency before he can do more damage.  This can be accomplished, for the most part, by voting in Republican majorities in the House & Senate, but bragging about a red wave is not helpful & can easily backfire.  And we have found that RINOs are not the answer.  Just ask yourself - did you vote for Mitt Romney for President in 2012?

The recent $40 billion aid to Ukraine bill shows the weak-kneed representatives we have elected.  Only eleven senators & 57 congressmen voted against the package - not because they were against helping Ukraine but because there was no responsible financial alternative offered by their fellow representatives such as taxing every taxpayer $500 or cutting some other program or taking it from already authorized funds.  Only 68 (12.7%) of our 535 elected representatives thought this way.  You can find all of the Senate votes here & all of the House votes here.

I summarize the nay voters below:  

Senate - Marsha Blackburn, John Boozman, Mike Braun, Mike Crapo, Bill Hagerty, Josh Hawley, Mike Lee, Cynthia Lummins, Roger Marshal, Rand Paul, & Tommy Tuberville.

House - Jodey Arrington, Brian Babin, Jim Banks, Andy Biggs, Gus Bilirakis, Dan Bishop, Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Cat Cammack, Madison Cawthorn, Michael Cloud, Andrew Clyde, James Comer, Warren Davidson, Scott DesJarlais, Byron Donalds, Jeff Duncan, Ron Estes, Ron Fulcher, Matt Gaetz, Bob Gibbs, Louie Goumert, Bob Good, Paul Gosar, Garret Graves, Marjorie Taylor Green, Diana Harshbarger, Vicky Hartzel, Kevin Hern, Yvette Herrell, Jody Hice, Clay Higgins, Bill Huizenga, Ronny Jackson, Mike Johnson, Jim Jordan, Debbie Lesko, Billy Long, Tracey Mann, Thomas Massie, Brian Mast, Mary Miller, Barry Moore, Troy Nehls, Ralph Norman, Scott Perry, John Rose, Matthew Rosendale, Chip Roy, Pete Sessions, Greg Steube, Tom Tiffany, Jeff Van Drew, Beth Van Duyne, Bruce Westerman, & Roger Williams.

Please note that members of the Republican leadership are not on either list.  And there is a good reason.  The Liberty Scores of every member of congressional leadership of both parties is graded "F" ranging from 2% to 56%.  A Liberty Score is a tabulation that concentrates on fidelity to the Constitution that shows the actual voting record of each member of Congress, summarized below for the leadership of both parties.  

Republican: McConnell F @ 44%, Thune F @ 47%, McCarthy F @ 54%, Scalise F @ 56%, & Stefanic F @ 44%, 
Democrat: Schumer F @ 2%, Durbin F @ 2%, Hoyer F @ 8%, & Pelosi F @ 7%

As you can see Republican scores are higher than Democrats', but still @ a failing grade, for every member of the leadership.  And that is what we get when we elect these types of people.  Liberty Scores help separate rhetoric from reality.  Whenever I see a politician on TV that I am unfamiliar with I check their Liberty Score & that flushes out the fakers instantly.

Click here to find the Liberty Score of all Members of Congress.  (Please note that not everyone on the above Senate & House lists are graded highly.  Some Members just get religion @ times over certain issues.  For instance, there is no more staunch supporter of the Senate filibuster rule than Kyrsten Sinema - who is graded F @ 5%.  Counting on Sinema & Manchin - F @ 18% - to block Biden's programs clearly shows the fragility of the Republic.)

Compare the above seven points regarding Biden's record with what is needed in Republican leadership from special people that have Liberty Scores of "A" - people who speak of & demonstrate through their voting records & actions the ability to lead a strong party like Ed Butkera recently wrote in the WSJ - a "party of lower taxes; a strong national defense; a strong border; free, not limited, speech; freedom to practice your religion; getting criminals, not guns, off the streets; insuring that parents can imbue their values & not those of some educator to their children; & the sanctity of unborn life."

What we have are leaders, & in turn a very great majority of the rank & file Republican members, who can only support these points some of the time.  Accordingly, forecasting a red wave in the midterms with such people on the ballots is ripe for disappointment sooner or later.

Click here to hear Mike Huckabee provide his list of what to stand for in such a way that reminds us how much his leadership is sorely missed.