Beware the ‘Conservative’ Who Grows in Office

The maddening problem facing conservatives fighting the growth of Big Government is that much of the growth is fertilized by former conservatives who start growing first. The phenomena is most evident in benighted lands that don’t impose term limits and have legislative bodies that meet year around.

And just as a cancerous growth is no respecter of persons, politician growth isn’t limited to the federal government.

State Sen. Bill Stanley (R–Clueless) busy growing in office.

Symptoms are evident on the state and local level. In Virginia we have a politician who initially ran for office as a small–government, conservative and unfortunately failed to resist temptation to meddle and build a ‘legacy’ the longer he stayed in the capital.

Bill Stanley promised to “fight to reduce state spending and the size of state government” in his first race for the Virginia Senate. Two crucial promises that work in tandem. Without increased spending, government can’t grow and expand its interference. Cutting spending also cuts the size of government since the Commonwealth must balance its budget.

Stanley’s first legislative session was promising, considering he’s a defense lawyer. He introduced a bill that would require local courts to try repeat juvenile violent offenders as adults. Choosing the right health insurance policy may be so daunting that it takes 26 years to prepare for the decision, but choosing between right and wrong is binary and consequences should apply at a much earlier age.

Six years later it appears Stanley’s fallen under the influence of Social Justice Warriors. He’s gone from tough–on–crime to touchy–feely.

He’s introduced a bill that would forbid local school districts from suspending any student in preschool through the third grade.

I wanted to ask the senator a number of questions regarding this state government expansion into the affairs of local school boards, but eight days wasn’t long enough to work me into the schedule. I did speak with a staffer and as far as he knew there is no epidemic of pint–sized suspensions in the district.

It might have been useful for Stanley to interview a few teachers before he began meddling. My daughter is and teacher’s classroom discipline experiences are instructive. For example, there is the third–grade boy who made an obscene gesture as he exited the bus and entered school. This violation was reported and when the vice principal asked him about it, the boy struck the principal.

That earned him his third suspension for this year. One might be tempted to say that three suspensions prove suspensions don’t work. It’s time to try the gentle Stanley Rule, which would force elementary schools to create an alternative, in–school behavior program.

That ignores the immediate benefit of a suspension: It gives his teacher a break.

When not taking a swing at administrators, this child routinely shouts in class disrupting the room and destroying the learning environment. He bullies other children and exhibits disrespectful behavior that other, easily–led boys imitate.

The prospect of his moving into fourth grade is so foreboding that more than one fourth grade teacher has applied for a transfer to another school.

Taking away suspensions removes the only leverage administrators have these days. (Historical note: When I was in elementary school, discipline problems were solved with a paddle. That’s why there were routinely 35 students in a class. Today, teachers ask for UN Peacekeepers when they have more than 25.)

Suspending this kid doesn’t bother him bit, but it bothers the parents a great deal. It means stay home from work, arrange short–term daycare or dial 1–800–Im–Ur–Jailer. Enough suspensions and parents may finally become engaged and discipline their delinquent. Stanley’s meddling means the punishment is inflicted on the children in the delinquent darling’s classroom who obey the rules and are trying to learn. An impossibility because the teacher’s time and attention is spent trying to deal with Rosemary’s Baby.

Stanley’s staffer contends the outbursts “mean there are other issues going on at home.” Exactly. And a conservative response, that respected the rights of well–behaved children, would have directed school administrators to make a referral to the dreaded Child Protective Services after the second suspension.

Classroom decorum is preserved and conditions in the home are investigated without disrupting the school or creating in–house discipline programs that siphon more money away from the education of the kids who aren’t a constant problem.

Conservative legislation seeks to serve the law–abiding, rule–following majority without imposing new burdens or taking away their ability to act independently.

Stanley’s bill fails that simple test. It’s legislation in search of a problem. It also may put him in search of a new job when the parents of kids who follow the rules learn what he’s done to their child’s classroom.

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Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Shutdown?

This weekend the United States Treasury will bump up against the “debt ceiling.” This debt ceiling is to the government like the credit card limit is to your dreams of really furnishing your man cave.

When your credit card is maxed out it’s no use going to The Big Screen Store to buy the new 90” TV for the Super Bowl. Your card will be declined shortly after its swiped. For the feds reaching the debt limit means the Chinese will get some temporary relief from Uncle Sam putting the bite on them for another series of loans.

There the similarity ends. You can’t borrow additional money until you either pay down your credit card debt or the postman delivers another credit card application that’s “reserved just for you!” Congress can start borrowing again just as soon as both houses pass a bill that increases the debt limit without any provision for debt payment. For politicians, operators are always standing by.

If the debt limit increase isn’t passed by this weekend the government enters “shutdown” mode and Trump will have to buy a burner phone to get back on Twitter. Or so the Opposition Media would have us believe.

The facts are these shutdowns were non–events until recently. Over the years there have been a number of shutdowns and the republic was none the worse for wear. Normal people went about their normal business, while the political class had a nervous breakdown.

The last time the government ground to a halt in 2013, Obama was in the White House and racial peace reigned throughout the land. Then the sinister Ted Cruz filibustered the debt increase and the feds were without funding for a harrowing 16 days. During that fortnight plus two Mexico annexed a defenseless Texas, the Bundy Gang seized much of the public land in Southern Nevada and rioting middle income taxpayers burned down Obamacare enrollment offices to protest skyrocketing insurance premiums.

You don’t recall that? That’s because it’s Fake News. Nothing much happened. It was so quiet the Obama administration decided to punish taxpayers by closing the Mall, national parks and other facilities that didn’t require closing. The goal was twofold: Generate hysterical shutdown news coverage and mobilize the dependent class to call a politician.

The truth is bumping up against the debt limit doesn’t shut off the money spigot. The feds are collecting tax money every day. Just before the Great Cruz Control Experiment the Washington Post published an interactive page where readers could take the $172.4 billion available even after the shutdown and decide who gets paid and who doesn’t.

I took the money and paid all the essentials: Social Security; T–bill debt service; Medicare; Medicaid; federal salaries and benefits; unemployment insurance; food stamps & TANF; military pay; Veteran’s Affairs and even that seat of Deep State Resistance — the Dept. of Justice.

There was no default. I even had $700 million left over for the odd drone strike or Congressional sexual harassment settlement. That’s why you won’t see that mistake in the Post again. The facts undercut all the shutdown predictions of doom.

Republicans took the blame for the Cruz Control, but suffered no lasting ill effects. In this season’s shutdown follies one would think that even the Slinky–spined Republican leadership in the House and Senate could win a confrontation with Democrats.

The difference between the two sides is stark.

On one hand the GOP is trying to keep the government up and running under the sure hand of legislative ‘mastermind’ and Curator of the Senate, Mitch McConnell. On the other, leftist Democrats are threatening to hold taxpayers hostage by shutting down the government. They believe rewarding illegal alien lawbreakers is more important than serving the citizens that elected them.

RINOs and herd–followers in the Swamp have trouble pointing out this obvious contrast because they can hardly wait to surrender to Democrat demands for a DACA amnesty. It’s just taking longer to negotiate terms than they expected.

The fact Trump won the presidency on a promise to “end DACA,” build the wall and deport illegals has escaped the notice of these serial appeasers. What citizens believe is only important until the polls close.

In all the OpMedia buildup to the potential shutdown, I have yet to read of any Democrats fearing they will be blamed for the shutdown. Like General Grant on the second day of a battle, they would have to more pretty fast to get ahead of the GOP jellyfish caucus who is already trying on their hair shirts.

Republican ‘leaders’ and their enablers are always willing to resort to preemptive surrender before the battle is joined. To win one must fight and their heart just isn’t in it. They always have an exit strategy for everything but leaving office.

Pay As You Go Amnesty

The current controversy involving granting amnesty to approximately 800,000 Delayed Accountability for Contemptuous Aliens (DACA) is nowhere near the end of demands to appease mass lawbreakers.

The people who naïvely think that after the DACA surge is legalized the country can get back to normal are the real dreamers. Unchaining those demonstrators from the furniture in Congressional offices and TV studios only makes room for the next shift of disgruntled illegals to take their place.

The DACA surrender is just the beginning.

The cultural Marxists in charge of the media, academia, commerce and government are, for the most part, convinced blanket amnesty for illegals is the way to go and the sooner the better. It’s those pesky and unenlightened citizens who’re the problem. Telling the truth, that amnesty for illegals rewards lawbreaking and creates incentives for following waves of illegals expecting the same give–away, produces a negative response.

(The term ‘immigration reform’ is also misleading. There is nothing wrong — excepting the anchor baby interpretation and Ted ‘The Liar of the Senate’ Kennedy’s chain migration law — with our current immigration statutes. What’s missing is enforcement. Real ‘immigration reform’ would be vigorous enforcement of the laws we have now.)

That’s why descriptions of the problem use touchy–feely, focus–group language to hide the facts.

Which brings us to another ‘reform’ proposal. The Immigrant Tax Inquiry Group has a Five + Five plan that is supposed to “Enable Unauthorized Immigrants to Generate More Tax Revenue.”

Any ‘reform’ that relies on misleading adjectives makes me suspicious. What’s an “unauthorized immigrant”? Is it someone who innocently wandered into an area that’s off limits, like the employee breakroom at Costco? Or is it someone who intentionally crossed the border into a nation where he had no right to be?

And why would immigrants need a Tax Inquiry Group in the first place? Legal immigrants are covered by the same tax laws as the rest of us.

The questions answer themselves. So, misleading adjectives aside, how does the program work? Does Five + Five = immigration pacification?

The program is a pay–as–you–go amnesty described as a tax that’s split equally between employee and employer. The attraction for Juan is he doesn’t have to flee routine traffic stops anymore. The attraction for his employer is Juan is paying half the tax.

And there, I suspect, is the real motive for Five + Five and the reason ITIG doesn’t list its donors. It’s a ‘guest worker’ program that outsources the cost to taxpayers and while the benefits go to the employers.

ITIG was unintentionally candid, “The small tax is reasonable, as employers have traditionally paid unauthorized workers 25 percent less than others, and these workers do jobs others are unwilling to do. The employer still receives a 20 percent wage advantage over other legal workers, including those whose country of origin is the U.S.”

For the first time in history serfs pay for the privilege of bringing their wage scale north! Employers do even better. They can now legally discriminate against citizens in favor of cheap foreign workers. It’s a win–win, unless you’re a citizen who would be willing to do US jobs for US wages.

After agreeing to pay the tax the illegal is granted a REALcard. This lets Juan be a member of Uncle Sam’s Club. He can work in the US legally, qualify for Medicaid, take English language classes, enjoy “continuing education,” apply for a visa, apply for a driver’s license and “other benefits.” And just like a Sam’s Club card, the whole family can share his membership for one low price!

The REALcard is good for ten years or until Democrats take control of Congress and grant mass amnesty to these “second–class citizens.”

ITIG claims the program will generate $210 billion in new tax revenue over ten years, but I have my doubts. Let’s say Juan is making $40,000 a year and has two anchor babies. Five percent of the gross is $2,000, but that is much less than the $5,616 he qualifies for when he can legally claim the Child Tax Credit.

And that’s just one of many questions the plan generates that unfortunately will remain unanswered. After initially insisting I interview ITIG Founder Mark Jason, the interview was canceled after it became evident I wasn’t an open borders cheerleader.

Possibly Jason thinks Five + Five is an equitable solution that is fair to everyone. I don’t. Rewarding lawbreakers only encourages other lawbreakers. The fact illegals haven’t been caught doesn’t give them a claim on our compassion. As far as I’m concerned, a sincerely held believe that in the end is bad for the country is no improvement over an outright malign belief that actively seeks do to harm to the country.

Steve Bannon’s Spontaneous Combustion

It’s been said that death was a good career move for Elvis, it remains to be seen if Steve Bannon’s Watch–Me–Burn–Down–My–Career Tour will be equally favorable for his future prospects. The coverage of his quotes and leaks in Michael Wolff’s new book ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House’ has been nothing short of incendiary.

So far this week Bannon has alienated President Trump, driven away his largest financial backer and made himself look delusional by thinking he could successfully run for president. He now joins another Breitbart.com alumnus, Milo Yiannopoulos, in the firm of Persona Non Grata and Partners.

Right now, the only way Bannon could possibly make the situation worse would be for him to start dating Kathy Griffin or ask to borrow her Trump head.

I’ve been reading coverage of the book excerpts and making lists. I started with the list of people who thought Trump would lose the election and then moved on to the list of people who hold Trump in contempt. There is plenty of overlap, but the name that’s surprising is Trump’s!

Trump is on the roster of people who thought he wouldn’t win the election. That goes a long way toward explaining why he broke his first promise to his voters and didn’t self–fund the campaign. Trump doesn’t back losers. According to Wolff, his goal was to become even more famous and then cash in on his increased notoriety after the election and make Trump enterprises even bigger.

No wonder his campaign was composed of a thin veneer of consultants on top and large numbers of enthusiastic rally attendees at the bottom, with mostly nothing in between. Trump was happy with the adulation of the masses, the attention of the media and the consternation of the entrenched political class.

Trump was liberated by his low expectations.

What the Opposition Media overlooks is the narrative of no expectation for victory completely undermines the ‘colluded with Russia to win’ fantasy. If a steely–eyed Trump was telling his meager staff to win at all costs, well it’s Putin on line #1. But if the campaign was a lark, an ego trip and a roadshow then it makes no sense for Trump to be looking to Moscow for help in beating Crooked Hillary.

The motive for collusion vanishes. Trump’s references to Russia and email were laugh lines at rallies and debates that grim, humorless, Trump–hating reporters purposely choose to take literally. Trump in the book was on a fun–filled romp — insulting other Republicans, attacking Hillary and generating unprecedented news coverage — that was going to conclude on election night.

He would have one last rally that night, claim Hillary stole the election and then start exploiting his new–found fame. Much of the staff planned on doing the same thing. According to the book, “The candidate and his top lieutenants believed they could get all the benefits of almost becoming president without having to change their behavior or their worldview one whit.”

A vote margin of under 10 points for a candidate with Trump’s negatives, would be impressive and help build the client list.

Colluding with Russia on the other hand would have been work. Serious business like that requires planning and long–term strategy, which were not a characteristic of the Trump campaign.

And that leads me to the tragedy of the book and the campaign.

A candidate who didn’t think he would win, won a stunning victory because he ran on issues that resonated with Americans who were tired of being told their beliefs were hateful or backward. These citizens were sick of being treated with thinly–veiled contempt by political, academic and corporate elites who intended to change the US whether they liked it or not.

These voters stayed with Trump through thick and thin and delivered an Electoral College victory. If Trump had been a candidate who left discussions of female anatomy exploration to experts like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer, there’s an excellent chance he could have won the popular vote, too.

Reestablishing the rule of law, protecting borders, putting America First, protecting the unborn and rolling back the cultural depredations of the left are important issues and Trump’s victory may be the last chance conservatives will have. If his feckless approach to governing doesn’t deliver on his promises or Trump is forced out of office, no foreseeable Republican presidential candidate will embrace those issues.

It will be one complacent, country club Republican after another. A failed state of affairs that will make Trump’s outraged response to Bannon’s comments become poignant. Trump said his “historic victory…was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country.”

A failed presidency or one that betrays his promises will guarantee they remain “forgotten.”