Why Voters Like Trump in Spite of His Failures

Donald Trump is remarkably cheerful for a man sitting in the smoking ruins of his presidency. He promised to get tough with China and end our trade imbalance. This week the Department of Commerce reports our trade deficit is $621 billion, much higher than the level that existed during the Obama administration.

Trump’s second summit with North Korean nuclear maven Kim Jong–un was less successful than the first inconclusive gab–fest.

Worst of all, after frittering away two years when Republicans controlled the Senate and the House, Trump’s promise to build a wall and end illegal immigration is in shambles. Illegals currently pour across the border at a rate that will more than triple that of the Obama regime. Trump’s call for a “Deportation Force” may have vanished beneath the swamp, but he’s building a “Space Force” that will apprehend any illegals who achieve low earth orbit.

The budget bill he signed after shutting down the government is worse than the bill be refused to sign before the shutdown. Trump’s ‘victory’ bill has a tiny $1.3 billion dollars for his wall and that pittance is limited to constructing 55 miles of “bollard fencing”. That will make it harder for gas–guzzling SUVs to cross the border, but won’t stop any of the zapato traffic.

Trump hasn’t even managed to scrounge up a ballpoint pen to sign the executive order banning anchor babies he promised way back in November of 2018.

Administration apologists claim Trump’s judicial appointments, the tax cut and regulatory reform are more than enough reason to re–elect him, but that’s like praising a super hero for simply owning a cape.

Any of the 2016 GOP presidential aspirants would have done the same and that includes chronic fatigue sufferer Jeb Bush.

What separated Trump from the rest was his hardline stance on illegal immigration. One might make a case that the tipping point for immigration occurred when businesses began ordering callers to “Press 1 for English”, but Trump promised to reverse the tide.

His repeated immigration failures will make it very hard for this ‘Deplorable’ to vote for him in 2020, but I may prove to be the exception.

Trump may win in spite of his repeated failures.

A politician who doesn’t have a genuine personal connection with his voting base lives or dies politically according to his performance in office. Bush the Elder and Nixon before him are prime examples. Trump has that invaluable personal connection and it supersedes his lack of accomplishment on his signature issue.

The iconic image of his recent speech at CPAC proves my point. After a brief introduction Trump enters from stage right and before he walks to the podium he turns and embraces the Stars and Stripes.

The picture went worldwide in an instant. It will be the mental image most voters retain from his endless two plus hours speech. You look at him holding Old Glory and you know and he knows that he’s mugging. But it’s inspired, patriotic mugging.

No media consultant or speech preparation expert suggested he do it. The gesture was a spur–of–the–moment impulse that instantly connected with every member of his base and resonated with anyone who still loves the USA.

Can you imagine any Democrat doing likewise? That party has an almost biblical view of the flag. As the hymn ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ says in another context, the left views our flag as “the emblem of suffering and shame.”

Hillary might have grabbed a flagpole to keep from falling down, but not out of any affection for the flag or what it represents.

Trumps gesture bonds with the average patriotic American. Beato, the Texas flavor of the month, thinks being quirky equals a personal connection with the electorate. Skateboarding into an appearance or livestreaming your colonoscopy may appeal to immature trend surfers in the media, but it’s not presidential. And it’s not lasting.

Spontaneous patriotic symbolism is not something one associates with the humorless apparatchiks that compose the Democrat presidential field.

Trump is impulsive, funny and he loves our country. The combination may be enough to earn him four more years.

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What Nixon and Trump Have in Common

It’s hard to believe Richard Nixon, the consummate, disciplined insider, and Donald Trump, the shambolic, impulsive outsider, have anything in common, but it’s true. Both men shared the belief that winning a national election should convey political power.

Acting on the belief a national majority gave him a popular mandate to make changes in Washington cost Nixon his presidency. Just mentioning draining the swamp in passing is in the process of costing Trump his.

Nixon’s “third–rate burglary” in the Watergate complex provided the bureaucracy and its allies in the Democrat Congress the pretext to drive him from office.

Forty–three years later the administrative state had grown so powerful that it required no cooperation from Trump to supply a crime. His investigation is based on speculation and conjecture supplied by political enemies and it began shortly after the swearing in ceremony.

Both investigations are designed to nullify an election by using the power of the administrative state to taint and drive from office a president who wants to change the way Washington operates.

As Henry Kissinger wrote, “Nixon provoked a revolution…For reasons unrelated to the issues and unforeseeable by the people who voted for what Nixon represented, this choice was now being annulled.”

As in usual in these matters, Alexis de Tocqueville — the crystal ball of the 19thCentury — warned of the danger of the administrative state. He wrote that centralized administration is what despotism will look like in democratic times.

During his second term Nixon planned to confront the permanent bureaucracy. In a November radio address he said, “If this kind of [bureaucratic] growth were projected indefinitely in the future, the result would be catastrophic. We would have an America top heavy with bureaucratic meddling, weighted down by big government, suffocated by taxes, robbed of its soul.”

Trump in his scattershot manner has spoken of eliminating entire cabinet agencies and moving the surviving headquarters out of Washington. That sentiment was one reason Marini had confidence in Trump, “his perspective was that of a citizen’s and a common–sense view of what politics should be.”

Both faced daunting obstacles. Nixon had a Congress controlled entirely by the Democrat Party. Trump had what Nixon earlier termed a “timid [Republican] party” controlled by Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell. And both presidents were “resisted by the combined and determined inertia of Congress and the bureaucracy.”

Marini writes, “Although Woodward and Bernstein were lauded as investigative reporters they served merely as a conduit by which the bureaucracy [the FBI and other leakers] could undermine the authority of an elected officeholder.”

Disgraced FBI agent Andrew McCabe and his cabal of administrative state functionaries demonstrated contempt for the democratic process and “the instinct for self–preservation at all costs” when they began spying on Trump before the election and concocted “Russia Collusion” after.

All without a single pang of conscience, because the administrative state is convinced of its own rectitude.

The confrontation that drove Nixon from office and is paralyzing Trump is essentially a test of the consent of the governed. Our nation was founded on that principle. An unaccountable, unelected administrative state that makes its own law flies in the face of consent of the governed, because the governed have no way to challenge the bureaucracy.

Marini observes “Congress has stopped legislating and started delegating.” Congress is an “oversight body” given to theatrical displays instead of demanding accountability from the administrative state.

The only national referendum where voters have a say on the direction of the federal government is the presidential election. Michael Anton said at the event the people who elected Nixon and Trump “have a sentimental attachment to the Constitution” that swamp residents find quaint. Marini concurs and adds, “the people that elected Trump think elections should make a difference.”

It’s the administrative state’s central mission to prove those voters wrong. Currently, the bureaucrats are winning.

Howard Schultz Could Use a Little Caffeine

Howard Stern has the same likelihood of being elected president in 2020 as Howard Schultz, but the Stern campaign would be much more interesting. And Stern already has nationwide name identification that ‘Starbucks’ Schultz lacks.

Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer, NC

Outside the business pages, the only major coverage Schultz has received in the recent past has been negative. Howard’s news coverage includes the hilarious ‘Race Together’ effort where Starbucks’ baristas were instructed to grill customers about America’s ‘systemic race problems’, while America’s first black president observed from the Oval Office.

Followed by his decision to have Starbucks become a concessionaire for the homeless by opening restrooms to everyone after a former Philadelphia store manager called the cops on two black non–customers.

Both indicate Howard doesn’t function well in the spotlight.

Then there is the personality deficit. Schultz may be the life of the party in private but in public he exhibits a combination of earnestness and tentativeness that reminds one of Jimmy Carter. Only Howard has a lackey carrying his bags.

After Schultz announced he was considering a run the left immediately attacked him. He was found guilty of giving the race to Trump if he ran as an independent. A conclusion I’m not sure is correct.

Previously Howard’s political home was identical to pre–president Trump. His decision to vote and contribute to Democrats is probably similar. It’s the party all the cool people in their social circle favor. Plus, Schultz is one of those snobs who judges a city’s sophistication by whether or not one can buy a copy of the Sunday New York Times.

Schultz is fluent in the liturgy of the Church of Diversity. He supports “choice” and all its attendant evils. He is proud of the fact same–sex marriage is part of Starbucks’ “corporate DNA.” But don’t interpret “same–sex” to mean it applies to individuals. Employees can shift sexes with the seasons and the company health insurance will cover the surgery.

Mr. Coffee believes in Global Warming, supports “sustainability”, is an enthusiastic supporter of coddling the homeless and says Viva la amnesty for illegals.

Even with social policies supported by our elite overlords, Schultz knows he doesn’t stand a chance in a Democrat presidential primary because he embraces some issues that adults support.

He’s concerned about the growing national debt. During an interview on “Morning Joe” (no pun intended) he insulted two bird brains with one comment when he said Sen. Fauxcahontas’ net worth confiscation plan will lead to socialism.

Cost is one of the reasons he’s against Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D–Inquisition) “Medicare for All” giveaway and that goes double for free college tuition. Schultz fears the assorted leftist pie–in–the–sky programs will add $40 trillion in debt, at a time Democrats are now the cost–is–no–object party.

Howard even had the temerity to claim the federal government needs to be “interrupted” because it isn’t working. When any leftist knows the government runs like clockwork. It employs hundreds of thousands of reliable Democrat voters who — when they aren’t resisting President Trump — always vote to expand government. Add to that the fact Schultz is a rich white guy who is not afraid to say the American Dream worked for him and the result isn’t a presidential candidate; it’s a candidate for the Ocasio–Cortez Re–Education Camp.

Schultz’ positions mean he is neither fish nor fowl. Instead he appears to be a Libertarian. Libertarianism is a hybrid political philosophy based on a faulty premise. The Libertarian contends it’s possible to build a fiscally sound and individually responsible society on a foundation of capitalists, drug users and sexual reprobates.

Libertarians support all the social pathologies currently facilitating our cultural decline. Their policy on drug use, abortion, alternate lifestyles, immigration and amnesty is let it all hang out — just keep your cotton pickin’ hands off my money.

Libertarians believe that it’s possible to have a country where the personal lives of its citizens are a riot of dissolution, yet somehow their fiscal life is supposed to be positively Swiss in its probity.

Unfortunately, in actual practice just as the personal becomes the political; the personal also undermines the fiscal, which is why Libertarianism can never succeed.

It’s true the Schultz combination of social libertinism and fiscal caution (a relative term with leftists) may attract swing Democrats that reluctantly voted for Hillary because they were appalled by Trump. But Schultz will also attract Never–Trumpers and reluctant Trump supporters suffering from voter’s remorse.

That combination of nominally GOP voters, along with disillusioned Trumpistas who stay home, could be enough to guarantee whatever Commissar gets the Democrat nodwill be our next president.

Another Crop of Illegals Moves North

The savage response of the Trump administration to last November’s illegal alien caravan was such an object lesson for potential lawbreakers that the newest Illegal Alien Reunion Tour making its way through Mexico is 30 percent larger.

AFP estimated the 2018 horde totaled 7,000 potential recipients of Uncle Sam’s largesse. Jeff Bezo’s WoePost reports that the latest herd may number over 10,000.

Another Trump crackdown on illegals like that and we can just deed Texas over to the good folks in Honduras.

Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch, OH

It’s ironic that Uncle Sam’s illegal alien problems were initially caused by migrant workers moving north to help with the harvest of tomatoes and cantaloupes. Now our high–profile illegal immigration problems are caused by migrant social workers moving south to harvest the next caravan of so–called ‘asylum seekers’.

And don’t be misled by the Opposition Media. Illegals, unaccompanied minors and ‘asylum seekers’ are a cash crop much more valuable than the tomatoes that are supposed to rot in the field if our borders aren’t kept open.

Non–profit organizations, lawyers, federal employees and other components of the illegal–industrial complex are paid millions to service the needs of people who don’t deserve to be in the US in the first place. Salaries for all the compassionate do-gooders–at–our–expense, housing for illegals, transportation for illegals, food for the illegals; after a while it all adds up.

It’s a perverse incentive for continued lawbreaking when a captured illegal is allowed to stay in the US while his case adds to the constipation clogging immigration courts. Particularly since GETTING INTO THE US was his goal all along.

It’s like letting the LA Rams commit a flagrant interference penalty against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC championship game and letting the Rams go to the Superbowl while the Goodell brain trust dithers over what to do about it.

You can see why the Trump decision to release ‘asylum seekers’ and others into Mexico, instead of the US, was so controversial. It’s fine for a migrant social worker to go caravan harvesting down south, but the compassion complex that processes the crop doesn’t want to do so on the wrong side of the border.

Trump’s sensible decision prompted 2020 leftist presidential aspirant Julian Castro to make a suggestion with which I partially agreed. Castro told “Face the Nation” he wants to put ankle monitors on illegals. That way “you’re able to monitor where people are in the country.”

As long as the country where they’re waiting is Mexico, I could care less about their precise location. I want monitors acting more like the buzzers at Fuddruckers one gets while awaiting an order. Once it starts buzzing you pick up your burger. When the illegal’s buzzes he reports to court. In the meantime, he’s off the taxpayer’s dime.

Unfortunately, none of this will be done and Trump won’t get our wall. The federal government has no interest in solving illegal immigration. When Democrats say they support border security, they’re lying. And when the Republican leadership says they support border security, they’re lying, too.

Seven of the 9/11 hijackers either overstayed their visas or made fraudulent visa applications. The death of 2,980 Americans wasn’t enough to motivate Congress to solve the visa overstay problem.

It would be simple to require visitors from nations with a significant number of visa overstays to post a bond. Hasn’t happened. Requiring DHS to match entry and exit records would give an accurate overstay count. Hasn’t happened. Almost 3,000 dead isn’t enough motivation.

It’s the same with illegal alien crime. The deaths, rapes, robberies and assaults aren’t in one fell swoop, like 9/11, but are a steady flow that Congress also ignores. Co–conspirators say illegals are no more likely to commit a crime than citizens. That’s another lie.

John R. Lott, Jr. analyzed the illegal crime data and the numbers are shocking. Lott found, “Compared to American citizens, illegal aliens are more than twice as likely to be convicted for armed robbery, child molestation, and for sexual assault…nearly three times as likely to be convicted of murder and manslaughter …more than four times as likely to be convicted of a drive-by shooting, and for extortion …[and] more than five times as likely to be convicted of kidnapping.”

His conclusion, “If illegal aliens committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries.”

That’s why we need the wall, accelerated deportations, mandatory E–Verify for jobs, an end to anchor babies and a tax on remittances. Maybe you should ask your Member of Congress why citizens don’t have any of those protections. Are they representing citizens or Latin America?

Virginia Democrats Play Last Man Standing

Note to White People: Whenever an interview or news conference contains the phrase: “I am not a racist” you’ve already lost the argument.

The latest individual of the Caucasian persuasion to make this forthright declaration of stupidity is actor Liam Neeson. It was an attempt to defuse an earlier admission that he was once intent on attacking a random black person after a friend had been raped.

Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch, OH

Virginia Gov. Ralph ‘Moonwalk’ Northam was no doubt following Neeson’s career suicide closely in hopes that this latest racial faux pas would overshadow his problem. Namely that Northam had not pursued a random black person, but instead had portrayed a random black person in a yearbook photo from the ’80s.

Northam — one of those rare individuals who when confronted with career conflagration goes to the store for more lighter fluid —decided to hold a news conference and get everything out in the open.

Crisis consultants advise clients that if they can change the subject it is sometimes possible to survive. What they don’t advise is changing the subject by introducing an entirely new crisis.

In front of a sea of reporters, Northam denied he was in the yearbook photo, but volunteered that he’d donned blackface in the ‘80s to portray Michael Jackson in a “Moonwalk contest”. The only way the event could have been more damaging was if Ralph had entered wearing a sequined glove or claimed some of his best friends were black.

He proved once again that Northam is so culturally tone deaf he didn’t recognize that admitting to dressing like a pedophile might be an additional problem. While Northam’s political judgment is so bad he was only saved from demonstrating his version of the moonwalk by Mrs. Northam’s horrified intervention.

Northam’s prospects for finishing his term were bleak. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is black and it would have created an elegant symmetry for a disgraced white man — guilty of a race crime — to resign in favor of a young, virile black man.

Only now it seems that Fairfax may be a tad too virile.

A California college professor accuses Fairfax of sexually assaulting her at the 2004 DNC national convention. Something about this charge reminds me of, what was it? OH, YES! Now I remember, the guilty–until–proven–innocent attack on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Vanessa Tyson’s sexual assault account is much different from Christine Ford’s. She knows the exact date, she knows the exact location, friends confirm she told them immediately after it happened and Tyson is a Democrat who has nothing to gain from going public.

This means Fairfax should be toast, but in fact he’s only feeling a little heat.

The National Organization of Women called for Fairfax’ resignation, but none of the Democrats who were so eager for Kavanaugh to withdraw have said a word about Fairfax and his much more credible sexual assault accusation.

The remarkable silence and absence of the usual blame game reminds you of the time when Democrats were either wearing white Klan robes or sporting blackface. Their contention then was when it came to sex, black folks just couldn’t help themselves.

But even if Northam and Fairfax are gone the AG is a Democrat so the seat stays in leftist hands, even if Mark Herring is unfortunately white. Then Herring admitted this week that he also did a temporary makeover and wore blackface during the ‘80s.

Maybe Herring was trying to flood the zone. If every amateur Democrat minstrel show wannabe confessed in the same week, there might be too many of them for any one miscreant to be targeted. Herring could escape the blackface blackball in spite of the fact last week he demanded Northam resign for the same offense.

What amazes me is the left’s enthusiasm for blackface. I grew up among rednecks in West Texas and the only blackface I ever saw was in really old movies. By the ‘70s even we had figured out a visit to the Shinola spa was a bad idea.

As this is written the trio is still clinging to office. When I saw a Washington Post headline that read: “Despite protests and isolation strongmen can cling to power” I thought it was a story about Richmond’s Democrat bitter–enders.

Northam appears to be taking the Gaddafi option. Social Justice Warriors will have to flush him out a culvert before Northam will surrender the governor’s office. Even if he leaves, the chances of the groper or the remaining goober resigning are slim.

That’s because next in the line is Speaker Kirk Cox who is both white and a Republican. We’ve learned when the left is presented with a choice between living up to its moral exhibitionism or retaining power, somehow power always seems to win.

Why Electing Leftists Is Bad for the Birth Rate

Virginia’s unborn are discovering what can happen when leftists take over state government. Although Democrat’s ‘compassion’ for illegals and murderers knows no bounds, the defenseless unborn take it on the chin.

This wouldn’t have happened if Trump had lost to Hillary. After the president threatened to drain their habitat, Swamp creatures in the Old Dominion united to elect leftists. If bears responded to the potential loss of habitat like Swampists did, park rangers would be forced to issue AR–15s to Yellowstone visitors.

Seventy–one percent of Hillary’s voters turned out in Virginia’s 2017 off–year election. Republicans in the House of Delegates lost an unprecedented 14 seats and 11 were incumbents. All but one of the flipped seats were either in the suburbs of Washington, DC; the government installation–heavy Norfolk area, government–centric Richmond and isolated Communist cells in the university towns of Lynchburg, Roanoke and Blacksburg.

It was a winning combination of Big Government and Big Dependency. Swampists didn’t so much vote their pocketbooks as they voted to keep draining yours. But that’s not all Democrats are siphoning. Turns out leftists also want to drain amniotic fluid.

Del. Kathy Tran, one of Virginia’s newly emboldened Swamp legislators, is a fanatic regarding Democrats’ bedrock issues: Amnesty, Abortion and Alternative Lifestyles. She introduced an abortion bill that would allow the unborn to be executed right up until the moment of birth. And Tran isn’t about to go all Talmudic concerning reasons either. Abortion–up–until–birth would be legal to save the life of the mother or the lifestyle of the mother.

Tran would also dispense with bothersome second and third opinions on baby termination. Currently, Virginia requires three doctors to certify the need for a third–trimester abortion. Tran cuts it down to one.

The doctor currently occupying the governor’s seat, Ralph Northam — another Swamp wave–rider — has an interpretation of Tran’s bill that virtually guarantees him a lucrative post–political career as the doctor to call when a woman chooses death.

Northam claims Tran’s bill would allow pesky babies, who somehow escape the abortionist and make it into the delivery room, to be killed AFTER birth.

During a radio interview on WTOP Reassuring Ralph explained, “…if a mother is in labor, …the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

From his perch atop Mt. Morality, Northam was taken aback by the reaction to the “if” in his statement. He asserted criticism of his view was “shameful and disgusting” and “really blown out of proportion.”

He has a point. Northam was merely suggesting everyone in the delivery room — with the exception of the infant — would form a mini–Death Panel to decide the child’s fate. It’s not like Northam was telling the abortionist to stab the baby with a pair of scissors. The governor is advocating a process — which makes the fatal outcome all nice and tidy.

When that failed to pacify dangerous advocates of letting the unborn life, Northam fell back on abortion mill clichés: “[men] shouldn’t be telling a woman what she should or shouldn’t be doing with her body.” What this talking–point spouting fool can’t seem to grasp is pro–life supporters don’t care what the woman does with her body — life advocates care about what she wants to do with baby’s body.

Back in the legislature, the storm caused by the bill produced much hunkering down. Tran erased her Facebook and Twitter accounts making her online presence as empty as her moral judgment. Richmond.com discovered the co–sponsor of the bill, Del. Dawn Adams, another Swamp winner, sent a contrite statement to her constituents saying she hadn’t read the bill before agreeing to sponsor it.

That begs the issue. The real question is what kind of person sees an abortion bill favoring the mindset of convenience and death and thinks “where do I sign up for that!”?

The Great Unifier once said elections have consequences and for the unborn the consequences can be fatal. Tran’s unborn execution bill was killed by the legislature for this session, but Republican control of the legislative branch is hanging by an umbilical cord.

Apologists for abortion mills contend Republicans are no different from the left. When the GOP wins its legislators do what Republicans want just like Democrats do what the left wants. Still, I’m hopeful this November when the choice is between a party that can’t help cutting taxes and a party that can’t help cutting the cord of life, independent voters will opt to take the tax cut.

Why Term Limits Lost and Ranked Choice Voting Will Succeed

There have been two major attempts to change the calculus of elections and officeholders since the ‘90s. One is a top-down ‘reform’ that’s currently being imposed on voters a jurisdiction at a time. The other was a bottom–up effort imposed on the politicians. The fate of the two is very instructive.

Bill Schorr, San Clemente, CA

The top-down innovation is ranked–choice voting and the midterm congressional elections in Maine were the first federal contests to be decided by ranked choice.

Ranked choice works this way. In every race with more than two candidates, voters rank the contestants in order of preference like judges at a wet t–shirt contest.

In a multi–candidate field, if no one receives a majority, then all last–place finisher ballots are thrown out and those voter’s second choice becomes their new vote. If no one gets a majority then, the last place finisher’s votes continue to be tossed and second choices used until someone gets a majority or Trump declares martial law.

Boosters of ranked choice voting promote the change with feel–good promises that are mostly immune to verification. As the League of Women Voters demonstrates. According to that hen party ranked choice “promotes majority support…discourages negative campaigning…provides more choice…minimizes strategic voting…[and] saves money”.

What they don’t tell you is many elections are going to be decided by voters who are the worst at judging candidates and the issues that make them electable. The second–place votes of people whose candidate finished dead last are going to be used to determine a winner. That alone will put a spring in the step of Lyndon LaRouche and Deez Nuts voters.

What should disqualify ranked–choice voting from being used is not relying upon the whims of the incompetent to choose the winner. The big problem with the system is it’s unconstitutional.

By comparison, term limits was a bottom–up movement that swept the nation. Twenty–three states imposed term limits on politicians by 1995, compared to ranked choice voting’s tiny foothold in Maine and a handful of cities.

As long as opponents of an entrenched professional political class confined themselves to limiting officeholders in state and local jurisdictions they were initially successful. It was only when voters applied term limits to federal candidates that problems began.

Barnacle–like congressional incumbents knew they could never persuade voters to repeal term limits, so they enlisted the help of our politicians in black robes who really rule the country.

In U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, the leftist majority on the Supreme Court ruled term limits unconstitutional because they allegedly violated Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution by adding additional qualifications to who was eligible to run. Term limits did no such thing. Legislation that limits duration of service does not change the qualifications for service.

The Constitution is silent as to how many times a congressional candidate may run and how long he can hold office. In his Thornton decision dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “Nothing in the Constitution deprives the people of each State of the power to prescribe eligibility requirements for the candidates who seek to represent them in Congress. The Constitution is simply silent on this question. And where the Constitution is silent, it raises no bar to action by the States or the people.”

The 10th Amendment also supports Justice Thomas: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Which exactly describes a statewide referendum limiting terms in office.

Compare the court’s opinion of term limits with the obvious unconstitutionality of ranked choice voting. In Reynolds v. Sims, decided in 1964, the Supremes established the principle of one man, one vote.

Ranked choice voting violates this principle because the voters who supported the losing candidate have their votes counted twice. First for the loser and then for their second choice. The voters who had enough sense to vote for a viable candidate in the first place only have their votes counted once. It’s electoral affirmative action for the politically impaired.

The loser of the Maine race intends to challenge the result in court, but I’m not optimistic. For some reason, his lawyers ignore the obvious one man, one vote problem and instead focus on irrelevancies.

It will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court accepts the case and if it does, how the court will decide. Ranked choice is supported by all the best people and the Opposition Media. Plus, it’s used in foreign countries! Term limits had the disadvantage of only being supported by majorities of average voters in their respective states and we know how that turned out.

That Long Winter at Valley Shutdown

The long winter at Valley Shutdown is evidently growing more dire for federal employees. They have now missed their FIRST paycheck. Repercussions from this disaster extend all the way into Latin America. My son was browsing the Facebook page for the Swamp suburb where we live. He came across a female federal employee who was distraught because the furlough had forced her to lay off the housekeeper.

Gary McCoy, Shiloh, IL

Other page members were discussing whether to organize a donation drive to supply homebound feds with gift cards for gas and groceries. It was certainly a touching message thread. It resembled an effort by restaurant kitchen staff to take up a collection for the health inspector.

Before you donate your tax refund to the Shutdown Privation Fund, I’d like to inject a note of reality. Homes in the neighborhood where the maid–less woman currently cries bitter tears have an average price of $345,000, according to Redfin. And those dwellings aren’t located on the water.

The average federal salary, according to OPM, is $81,578 while the median wage is $76,131. Neither numbers include federal benefits totaling upwards of $41,791 per civilian worker. The CBO found that regardless of education, federal wages and benefits far exceed those of the private sector where wages average $44,000 and benefits average $10,589.

Never was so much paid to so few by so many.

The local WoePost, excuse me, Washington Post has been extensively covering suffering in Valley Shutdown. On January 10th, there were so many federal sob–stories the topic almost pushed cloyingly coverage of illegal aliens off the front page. I counted a total of nine in section A alone.

My favorite was a front–page story of Dickensonian hardship headlined: “Government shutdown creates a January slowdown for businesses trying to adapt.” At Swann House “a cozy bed-and-breakfast in a fin de siècle mansion a few blocks from Dupont Circle, …impeccably decorated rooms are languishing in shutdown mode.”

No one to light the in–room fireplaces or tickle the ivories in the sitting room. Tugging at our heartstrings the reporter adds, “businesses are suffering as pieces of those paychecks stop trickling down to them.”

I hate to be the one who rains on Little Nell’s parade, but my question is what the heck are government employees doing staying at Swann House in the first place? Rooms there range from a low of $299 in the “Parisienne Suite” to $319 for the “Regent.” And that’s before DC’s gouge–the–tourist hotel and sales tax. When you add that the per night rate is $343 to $366.

Compare those rates with a hotel about a block away where rooms are $169 before tax. And lest you think well ‘who wants to dodge dookie and derelicts on the way in the lobby’, US News & World Report rates the Kimpton Carlyle the “Best Hotel in Washington DC.”

This hand–wringing coverage of employees who make more than the people who pay them and stay at tony hotels taxpayers can’t afford only proves how out–of–touch the Opposition Media and government ‘Resistance’ workers really are.

I’m waiting to read of the belt–tightening at Dean & DeLuca as truffle sales wither.

Reporters are so eager to cast blame on President Trump that industries formerly regarded as pariahs are now objects of sympathy. For example: “Government shutdown starting to burn aerospace and defense firms.”

Another amusing account was headlined: “Trump is right. Unpaid federal workers are making ‘adjustments’ — soliciting money from strangers and taking out loans.” People solicit money from strangers all the time in DC, usually at gunpoint. The idea that a total stranger could approach you and say, “I’m from the government and I need your help” is almost too rich.

Other coverage itemizes additional Shutdown havoc. The NTSB is forced to prioritize investigations, which sounds to me like a positive development. Since the weather isn’t stopping the Weather Service is still issuing forecasts, only now they worry federal workers won’t have enough money to clear grocery aisles of milk and toilet paper when warned of an impending snowflake.

The WoePost has also been trying to convince readers that food banks are full of GS–13s stocking up on pinto beans, but I’m not buying it.

Left out is the fact that when the feds return to what is generously called ‘work’ they’ll get back every last dime of the paychecks they missed. Ask a construction worker or union member who is laid off if that happens in their industry.

There’s a lesson in this for taxpayers. Not being able to survive missing a single paycheck — on a salary far better than that earned by taxpayers paying their wages — explains all you need to know about the people in charge of federal government financial planning.

Hospitals Guard Prices Like the CIA Guards Secrets

Way back in 2017, before we were on the Road to Nuremberg With Donald Trump, the Washington Post was outraged that hospitals were trying to make a profit. Like most stories involving reporters, economics and healthcare it was both wildly inaccurate and agenda–driven.

Adam Zyglis The Buffalo News NY

The story’s one useful service was it introduced the public to the slightly ominous term “Chargemaster.” At first glance, the term “Chargemaster” might be mistaken for the cause of the so–called epidemic of “mass incarceration.” A fiendish device district attorneys use to jail minorities captured during the government’s regular sweeps in low–income areas.

Even for those who haven’t been to jail, the term has unsavory associations bringing to mind arrogant, price–gouging, monopolies who look upon customers as rubes to be exploited. (Ticketmaster, come on down!)

In reality, the “Chargemaster” has more to do with pricing than policing. Theoretically, it’s a complete listing of all the services and procedures a hospital provides patients, followed by the cost for each item.

What the consumer doesn’t know is the price listed after any procedure is as hyperbolic as an entree description on a Trump restaurant menu. The cost paid by Medicare or a health insurance company often bears little relation to what’s listed on the Chargemaster. Just as the window sticker on a new car is only a starting place in the negotiation.

The US healthcare market is currently designed to guarantee high prices, encourage waste and discourage price shopping. That’s because consumers can get a binding estimate on building a house, but they can’t get any kind of estimate on removing a gall bladder. Requiring hospitals to post the Chargemaster on the web is supposed to give consumers this vital information, but in truth all it will give most of them is a headache.

I predict it will be easier to read the privacy agreement for Facebook victims than it is to comprehend the Chargemaster. If it were up to hospital administrators consumers wouldn’t even be able to find out what it cost to park until they tried to exit the lot. Instead of a simple procedure equals cost equation, the consumer will no doubt have to assemble the procedure himself, which is just how the hospitals want to keep it.

Maryland made a tentative effort to lift the cost veil. The Maryland Health Care Commission has a website with the inane name of “Wear the Cost,” which sounds like the surgery bill will be tattooed on your backside. Instead, it compares turnkey prices for common procedures affecting patients who are either women, old or both.

Consumers who fit within that medical straightjacket can finally see what hip replacement, knee replacement, hysterectomy and vaginal delivery prices are at 21 different hospitals. Unfortunately, hospital patients, like whiskey drinkers, tend to associate high cost with high quality. That’s not necessarily true as the medical complication and readmission rates for the procedures at various hospitals demonstrates.

Patients can have high–quality care for lower cost if they will only do their research among these limited options.

The feds need to build on the Chargemaster unveiling by demanding all hospitals that accept federal money post binding prices on the web for the 25 most common surgical procedures; the 25 most common outpatient procedures and the 25 most common tests. The listed, turnkey charges must also match the best price offered insurance companies.

That’s half the battle. The other half is getting the consumer to act on the information. In Maryland Sinai Hospital charges $32,500 for a knee replacement, while UMD Medical Center at Easton charges over one–third less at $22,700, with fewer readmissions. If the patient has a $3,000 deductible and the co–pay is 10 percent, many would still choose the more expensive Sinai because it wipes out their deductible and all the rest that year’s healthcare is ‘free’!

Smart insurance companies would give the patient an incentive to be a smart shopper by sharing the savings. Instead of pocketing the $9,800 saved by paying for the knee replacement at UMD Easton, the insurance company could share by applying ten percent of the savings to the patient’s deductible for that year.

The patient would pay ten percent of the procedure ($2,270) and the insurance company would apply ten percent of the savings ($980) and their deductible for the year would be satisfied. To ensure this wasn’t a one–time–only cost–conscious decision by the consumer, the insurer could continue to apply ten percent of procedure savings to future deductibles. This is good for the company because it reduces customer churn by giving the patient a reason not to change policies and the customer saves money on future deductibles.

That’s an ideal situation. What we have is Confusionmaster and that’s probably where the feds will call it quits.

Bipartisanship Is Another Word for Ignoring the Base

Here’s how the Opposition Media’s beloved “bipartisan cooperation” works among the residents of Incumbentstan here in Washington, DC. Republicans join leftists to proudly pass a “prison reform” bill that is of absolutely no importance to the conservative base that keeps Washington country club conservatives in office.

But all passage of “prison reform” really proves is Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell and retiring Boy Ryan are more than willing to quickly pass a bill that speeds the process of putting illegals in prison back out on the street; but they won’t spend a dime to prevent illegals currently out of the country from finding a way back in.

Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch, OH

In fact, McConnell is having trouble keeping his utter disdain for the base that elects him in check. His latest disingenuous move is a continuing spending resolution that pushes wall funding into February when Nancy Pelosi will be running the House.

Building the wall, deporting illegals and citizen–first immigration reform were the issues that elected President Trump. That should have been the primary focus of his administration from the beginning.

Trump did face a unique situation. First, he didn’t expect to win, which is something he and Hillary had in common. He had to scramble to staff his administration. It was chaos. The only difference between the product of Trump’s HR department and Uber’s was Trumps staffers didn’t assault women. Oh, wait. Well at least not as many as Uber drivers.

He was closest advisors were Democrats, daughter Ivanka and son–in–law Jared. Neither of whom would have voted for any other Republican candidate running on Dad’s issues. Staff slots went to closet Never–Trumpers who opposed his immigration plans and careerists dragging their feet because they were afraid Trump’s policies would kill future job prospects with housebroken conservatives and big donors after they left the administration.

I also suspect Trump was naïve. He probably assumed after he achieved an unprecedented upset what passes for Republican leadership would be eager to fall in line behind policies that obviously resonated with the electorate. The bumptious outsider and the wily insiders would pass important legislation while the opposition was stunned and before the investigations began.

Trump should have realized it was him against the world when prissy McConnell contemptuously dismissed Trump’s first budget with a wave of his dainty hand.

Trump should’ve started publically making the case for his signature legislation then and there. It should have contained all funding for the wall; nationwide, retroactive EVerify for all jobs; criminal sanctions for employers who hire illegals and a tax on over–the–border remittances to fund a stepped–up program of deportations.

First step would’ve been passage in the House, followed by internment in the Senate. But Trump could’ve been patient. Then when the next spending bill came up he could inform McConnell that he won’t sign any budget bill unless his immigration reform is passed.

Curator McConnell’s dirty secret is it doesn’t really take 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate. And he doesn’t need any Democrats either. All the Curator must do is return to the filibuster rules that were in effect until 1975. Then a simple majority is enough.

Yes, there would’ve been wailing and gnashing of teeth, but so what? It would have been worth the turmoil and potential loss of the House in the 2018 mid–terms to get that bill passed. Now we’ve lost the House and have nothing to show for it.

Instead Trump did nothing. He tweeted while the border burned. Last week he said he would embrace a Trump Shutdown if he didn’t get just the wall. Earlier this week he said he’d sign the spending bill without the wall. As this is written, Trump says he’s not going to sign the bill.

So, who knows? My bet is Trump will botch his last chance for a wall.

Illegal immigration matters to some of us. My wife’s best friend was killed by a drunk driving illegal. After we moved to Virginia another drunk driving illegal killed a friend we made here. My daughter has had two cars totaled by illegals. I was rear–ended by an anchor baby. (By the way, where is Trump’s executive order ending the anchor baby scam?) We certainly aren’t alone in this. We’re just ignored.

We read that when Ivanka gets teary–eyed, her father often responds forcefully. I’m hoping in the next few days one of the First Daughter’s friends will have a bad experience with an illegal. Maybe he’ll take that parking spot at the mall the friend was waiting for or he’ll prune the wrong tree. Something that really engages upper Manhattan emotions.

If only Ivanka chokes up again, maybe her father will stop choking on the wall.