The Constitutional Work–Around for Term Limits

I’ve always wondered why the National Education Association (NEA) and the country club conservatives in the Republican House and Senate leadership aren’t allies, instead of enemies. Both organizations use the same tired talking points to defend inert members from the forces of accountability.

When education reformers urge legislative bodies to adopt merit pay for teachers and thereby reward the best teachers with the most money, the NEA counters that experience is crucial and paying teachers according to seniority rewards that excellent system.

Bill Schorr, San Clemente, CA

In the same fashion, when congressional reformers urge House and Senate leadership to adopt an amendment adding term limits to the Constitution, leadership rejects the proposal out of hand, claiming seniority is crucial to keeping Congress the paragon of competence it is today.

It’s no accident that education, Congress and penal institutions all grant more privileges based solely on how much time you’ve served.

Cong. Francis Rooney (R–Doomed) wants to remove Congress from that list. Rooney has formulated a brilliant method of implementing term limits that does not require an amendment to the Constitution. Rooney’s Thomas Jefferson Public Service Act would place no limits on how long a member could warm a seat in Congress — that requires an amendment — instead Rooney would reduce a member’s paycheck to $1 per year after they served six terms in the House or two terms in the Senate.

My wife is skeptical. She believes after 12 years our ‘public servants’ have already made themselves millionaires, so the $173,999.00 pay cut won’t bother them. She is not alone.

FedSmith.com downplays Rooney’s bill, too, “…most Congressmen make a career out of remaining in Congress (often moving on to the Senate). Many become millionaires within a few years after their election and, of course, they also receive a pension under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS).”

What both overlook is the loss of status if Rooney’s bill passes.

When Newt Gingrich was running the show, Republicans imposed term limits on committee chairmen. In the House and Senate, Republicans are limited to six years as the jefe of any committee.

At the end of their term as chairman these members must surrender the gavel, without any reduction in salary or benefits. Many retiring chairmen look upon that gavel as the closest thing to Thor’s Hammer they will ever wield. Giving it up is such a personal Ragnarök that they retire from Congress rather than revert to being hammerless rank–and–file member regardless of their salary.

I’m thinking not getting an envelope on payday would have the same effect. It’s one thing to talk about being a ‘public servant.’ Becoming one and working for free is something entirely different.

I’m willing to grasp at Rooney’s straw if there’s even a slim chance of success.

Rooney is so serious he’s prepared to become very unpopular with his colleagues. In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Rooney correctly termed arguments against term limits legislation as “elitist paternalism.” He already has seven co–sponsors for his bill and he intends to put the heat on nominal term limits supporters.

“There are 90 co–sponsors on term limit by [constitutional] amendment bills and there’s something called the ‘Term Limit Caucus.’ Let’s see what they want to do,” Rooney explained. This is where Rooney drops off Christmas card lists.

Co–sponsoring a term limits constitutional amendment is exactly like promising to repeal Obamacare. It’s showy and consequence–free.

The chance of the amendment coming up for a vote is exactly the same as the chance of Donald Trump being named Man of the Year by La Raza. If the unthinkable happens — see Obamacare vote — and term limits comes to the floor, co–sponsors will cheerfully betray their voters just as Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins did.

Rooney’s bill will put these poseurs on the spot. There are 26 members of the Term Limits Caucus, yet only two are co–sponsoring his bill. Rooney should have 31 co–sponsors and that’s before he goes after the amendment popinjays.

Baier went to Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell for a comment on Rooney’s bill. In a voice dripping with disdain, McConnell gargled, “I would say we have term limits now, they’re called elections, and it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.”

True and the current system has given us McConnell as an example of what term limits would prevent.

Rooney’s only misstep so far came in his announcement. He quoted former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R–Great American) who said Americans “are frustrated with the federal government.” True again. But Coburn is no longer in the Senate, because he imposed term limits on himself.

I fear the time–servers Rooney is trying to persuade will hear that name and ask themselves, “yeah, and when was the last time Coburn was on TV?”

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More Evangelicals Selling Their Soul to Support a Loser

It’s sad to say another Christian group has decided to maintain access to DC power rather than tell the truth regarding the shortcomings of a prominent politician. Maybe it’s the ego rush when calls are returned. Or maybe it’s the meetings in off–limits–to–the–public Capitol hideaways that persuades these organizations to publically support a man who’s repeatedly failed to live up to expectations.

Their support would make perfect sense if I was referring to Donald Trump. His personal failings are legion, but he’s delivered. I’m talking about the Evangelical embrace of Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell. His personal life lacks ‘hos and handsy–ness, but his public life is steaming pile of defeat and insincere promises.

Christopher Weyant, The Boston Globe

McConnell’s failures are manifest in the Family Research Council’s scorecard on the 115th Congress. FRC tries manfully to make a silk purse out of McConnell’s ear, but the task is impossible. Once you get past the hyperbolic lead, “A record number — 245 Members of Congress — scored a perfect 100 percent…last year.” One realizes most of the votes counted for nothing.

If FRC rated on legislative effectiveness the scores would max out at 25 percent.

The House passed eight laws and one resolution used for scorecard evaluation. Four of those bills failed in the Senate. McConnell’s ‘accomplishments’ were so paltry, FRC had to use the routine confirmation of appointees for most of the scorecard.

That’s the legislative equivalent of giving participation trophies at the end of ballerina ball season.

Separating what the House passed from what the Senate failed to pass shows just how much damage McConnell single–handedly does to the conservative cause.

This political mastermind is responsible for the defeat of bills designed to stop funding Planned Parenthood and forcing Christian organizations to provide contraception coverage that conflicts with their Christian belief. McConnell is responsible for the defeat of the clean Obamacare repeal and it’s ‘skinny’ brother. And just this week McConnell passively watched the Pain–Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’s defeat even though it had a majority of 51 votes.

Yet there is zero criticism of McConnell’s serial failures! Instead FRC blandly refers to defeats requiring 60 votes without explaining why a simple majority of 51 isn’t enough.

This self–imposed 60–vote requirement is an internal Senate rule that only dates back to 1975. Before if a bill was scheduled to come to the floor and a senator or party opposed the measure, they had to conduct a genuine filibuster. This meant the senator had to hold the floor, blocking consideration of any other legislation or Senate business.

Senators read aloud, told stories or simply listened to the music of their own voice during their time at the podium. The filibuster was an around–the–clock affair and sympathetic senators had to continue the delaying drone by volunteering to take a shift. This took a physical toll and many filibusters ended because the opposition simply ran out of gas.

The other way to conclude a filibuster was a cloture vote to end debate. That’s what requires 60 votes.

Today if the minority party wants to filibuster a bill it simply informs McConnell and he considers the bill blocked until 60 votes materialize to bring it to the floor. McConnell could revert to the pre–1975 filibuster this week if he wished. Changing the rule only requires a majority and he has 51 votes.

Democrats would be forced to go public with their obstructionism. Voters would see which party is blocking the function of government and I don’t think Schumer could stand the heat.

But this small–minded, political coward won’t make the change. McConnell is a double–minded man who in his heart doesn’t believe in the conservative principles he claims to support. McConnell is a defeatist who fears success. That’s why he told AP “Republicans will welcome the [post 1975] filibuster when they return to the minority.” And he’s just the man to lead them there.

The thought that Republicans could pass conservative legislation that rolls back at least some of leftism’s excesses and puts the onus on Democrats to repeal those bills never enters McConnell’s mind. He just keeps the furniture dusted until his inevitable Democrat take over.

McConnell’s wasted an entire year in which Republicans controlled the presidency, House and Senate. It may well be one half of the time during the Trump administration when the GOP controlled all three branches.

An accurate FRC scorecard would give every GOP senator a zero rating, because their votes keep McConnell Majority Leader.

McConnell is a weakling who will never change Senate rules unless he’s pushed and pushed hard. It’s time conservative and Christian organizations told the truth about the man who is single–handedly blocking the agenda of the people who sent Republicans to Washington.

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.”

Virginia Election Determined by Angry Swamp Creatures

The Virginia off–year election for governor demonstrates what would have happened last year if the Constitution didn’t require an Electoral College.

Crony Conservative Ed Gillespie carried 82 counties compared to Democrat Ralph Northam’s 13. The 69–county advantage didn’t mean squat though. All that counted was Northam’s 230,853 vote margin that put him in the governor’s mansion.

I assumed that Gillespie’s loss was due to his tepid embrace of President Trump’s populism and a generally uninspiring campaign. Gillespie’s issues may have been a hit with focus groups, but in the real world the campaign landed with a thud.

Gillespie is as much a conservative as Elizabeth Warren is a Comanche. Jeb Bush may have been low energy, but Ed Gillespie was low emotion. When a candidate speaks conservatism as a second language it’s tough to be fluent discussing issues important to the base.

Unfortunately, the numbers don’t support my case for conservatives and Trumpistas rejecting our lobbyist–in–waiting. It’s hard to evaluate intensity since Virginia doesn’t register voters by party. And you can’t compare the 2013 primary to the 2017 primary because in 2013 Republicans held a convention.

Since the big issue for Democrats and the OpMedia was the so–called Trump effect, it makes sense to examine counties carried by the president. It appears many Virginia conservatives were more tolerant of Establishment Ed and his amnesty background than I was.

Ballotpedia identified five counties in Virginia it terms “pivot counties” because they voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016. These counties should be the home of swing voters and the type of voter Gillespie would have to hold to win. During the GOP primary the ineffectual but bombastic Corey Stewart won only two of the five counties, indicating swing voters found Enervating Ed an acceptable candidate.

In the general election Gillespie again carried all five of the “pivot counties.” In three his margin was less than Trump’s, but in the other two his margin exceeded Trump’s. Analyst Jim Crumley contends it was Gillespie’s failure to turn out the Trump vote that cost him the election. I disagree. Gillespie got 66 percent of the Trump voters to go to the polls in an off–year election, which is very good when you consider overall voter turnout was only 47 percent.

What beat Gillespie was the remarkable 71 percent of the Hillary voters that Democrats turned out. Then if Gillespie’s loss wasn’t due to conservative turnoff, what was the cause? Simple, this election was the revenge of the swamp creatures. Republicans in the House of Delegates lost a shocking 14 seats and a stunning 11 of those losers were incumbents.

Looking at a color–coded map of the state by legislative district makes my case. 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.

A combination of Big Government and Big Dependency helped the swamp break through the levee and inundate neighboring House of Delegates’ districts. Government pounded the governed.

And who can blame them? Trump has targeted Big Government from his first days in office. It’s a public–spirited swamp creature indeed who would vote for the party of the man who claims to be draining their habitat.

In February of last year — at the time I was on Cruz Control — I wrote a column about the best reason I’d seen so far to vote for Trump. A GovExec.com poll claimed that up to 25 percent of the federal workforce would consider quitting if Trump were elected.

It proved to be just another Big Government lie, but the survey was a useful indicator of attitude. The federal workforce and its various hangers on that include contractors, NGOs, lobbyists, handout seekers and crony capitalists see an unprecedented threat to their livelihood if Trump is successful. That fear and OpMedia–fed loathing led to an unprecedented negative, straight–ticket vote against Republicans.

They didn’t so much vote their pocketbooks as they voted to keep draining yours.

The question for Democrats is can they replicate this success in the 2018 mid–term elections? I’m doubtful. Metro can only export so many federal workers and camp followers to the surrounding DC suburbs. And it’s a cinch Trump isn’t planning to go on a nationwide federal hiring frenzy so he can send more Democrats to the polls.

That doesn’t mean Democrats won’t win by other means. If the Republican Keystone Kongress — the Gang That Couldn’t Govern Straight — doesn’t pass meaningful tax reform or repeal Obamacare; but does pass amnesty for DACA invaders, I predict a wipeout.

One in which I will gladly participate.

Discovery of Trumpophobia Would Help Deplorables

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This was a singularly unpopular column. Only one of the subscribing news outlets of the Cagle Syndicate chose to run it. See if you can guess why.)

The last couple of weeks have been so stressful for Trump voters that conversion to Islam is looking increasingly attractive as a means of avoiding media scrutiny.

The fact is both Trumpistas and the Umma bear a certain similarity. Trump voters and Moslems both adhere to the instruction of man whose example, in at least some instances, is wildly out of sync with contemporary mores — even if specifics differ.

[Note on “Moslem.” Muslim is an Arabic word. I’m not an Arab so I use the English term Moslem. Do we call the Germans the Deutschen? Are the Hindus the Hindoos? Of course not. Enforcing Muslim instead of the perfectly good Moslem is another example of the cultural coddling extended to Islam that is found nowhere else and is the basis of this column.]

Take women for instance. Both had multiple wives, Mohammed simultaneously and Trump consecutively. In parts of the Islamic world the attraction of women is viewed as so powerful they are hidden in gunnysacks. Trump is in agreement, but he paraded women in bikinis down a runway.

Trump speculated regarding the results of groping women, while Islamic scholars have rules for beating women. Islam is plagued by female honor killings, while Trump’s tweets claim some females are dishonorable. And both groups must contend with fallout from the more zealous adherents.

In the Moslem case it’s jihadis and in the Deplorables case it’s Trump.

Yet the aftermath after major Religion of Peace incident is the complete opposite of the recriminations that ensue after a major Trump incident.

In Barcelona jihadis attacked a crowd of pedestrians with a rented van. The resulting toll was 15 dead and 120 wounded. This attack was actually the second of three that began with the explosion of a bomb manufacturing operation and ended with another vehicle attack that saw five jihadis shot dead.

In Charlottesville, VA there was only one event, a Nazi and bigots protest in favor of retaining statues of Civil War heroes who also happened to be slave owners. Counter protesters appeared on the scene and in the resulting violence a woman that was part of the mob protesting the protesters was killed by one of the bigots.

In Spain, even before the last jihadi was caught, the media herd feared a potential outbreak of “Islamophobia.” Yahoo News warned, “Muslims Fear Anti–Islam backlash in Tolerant Barcelona.” While area hospitals were still treating victims in critical condition, one Moslem woman griped, “In the end Muslims are the main victims, for the deaths as well as for the social pressure.”

And the media doesn’t contact a single one of the real victims for a word in response.

Here in the US not only is there no concern regarding an outbreak of Trumpophobia after an incident, the Opposition Media is handing out infected blankets.

It didn’t help that Trumps thumbs are no more articulate than his lips. A tweet that was supposed to condemn ALL the violence in Charlottesville doesn’t measure up to the OpMedia’s content standards. Trump is therefore accused of giving aid and comfort to Nazis and bigots.

Trump wasn’t even part of the Charlottesville march, but the OpMedia contends he bears responsibility because the bigots were white and presumably some were Trump voters.

Naturally this means all Trump supporters are equally guilty.

Corporate CEOs on Trump advisory boards smell the tar bubbling and they begin to resign in a huff. A pastor on a religious advisory board can’t stand to associate with a man who tweets so poorly and he resigns.

The trickle–down opprobrium continues.

There’s a rally in Boston a few days later and one of the signs reads, “White Silence Is Violence.” What are the chances of ever seeing a sign that reads, “Moslem Silence Is Violence”?

Lest someone get the idea there is a nexus between terrorism and Islam, the Washington Post assures readers there is no fallout in Barcelona businesses run by Moslems. A computer storeowner is immune to bombing backlash, as is a nearby grocery store owner. I’m sure customers would be happy to step over the debris to shop if it meant staving off an outbreak of the dreaded Islamophobia.

Meanwhile here in the US the CEO of Camping World has told customers who agree with Trump to shop somewhere else. The guilt by association even extends to pre–Charlottesville bumper stickers. A week ago my wife made the mistake of driving down the road in Virginia with a Trump/Pence sticker on her car.

A tolerant advocate of peace and love began honking at her and making obscene gestures before she cut my wife off.

While Spain is avoiding “a post attack culture war” the opposition media and the commentariat here appear to be doing their best to fan the flames. Trump voters who own a business should be bankrupted. Trump voters who own a checkbook should shop elsewhere. Trump voters who attend college should take a vow of silence.

I suppose the only hope for relief is for Trumpistas to convince the OpMedia there are “moderate Trump voters” worth cultivating. It worked for the mullahs in Iran, maybe it will work here.

“Gde myaso?” Russian for Where’s the Beef?

Political campaigns are full of liars and fabulists. From the candidate who promises to repeal Obamacare root–and–branch, to the volunteer who lies about how many doors he knocked, campaigns attract people who are, as Mark Twain observed, “Economical with the truth.”

I know because I spent almost 40 years working in elections all over the US and in a handful of islands.

Think of all the disfunction and outrage you’ve ever endured in any organization where you’ve worked. Then condense the burned microwave popcorn in the break room, the idea–stealing colleague, the boss who doesn’t give the promised raise, the boasting braggart and the job description that changes monthly into a timeframe of only a few months.

That’s a political campaign.

The people outside the campaign who want to “help” are often no better. The relative that meddles, the donor with advice on campaign commercials and the family friend who has negative information that’s going to “blow the opponent out of the water.”

The Trump campaign had to deal with all these annoyance on the largest scale possible.

This brings us to Donald Trump, Jr. He’s a businessman with zero political experience. On June 3, 2016 he gets an email from a music publicist, who tells him a Russian singer says his dad met with the “Crown prosecutor of Russia,” who in turn said he had documents related to Hillary’s Russian dealings that would incriminate her.

The only difference between this and typical campaign fantasy mongering is the information wasn’t for sale.

Media hindsight is currently spinning this third–hand account of potential Russian government “help” as the latest confirmation of the Axis of Internet hacking conspiracy. What this “evidence” really proves is the Russia collusion scandal is the leftist equivalent of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy.

Neither the timeline nor the result stand up to objective scrutiny.

When Donald, Jr. received the initial email Trump wasn’t even the nominee. Instead he was the presumed nominee — although John Kasich had recently stopped taking his medicine and was attempting to organize other bitter–enders in an effort to seize the GOP convention.

Those of you who are counting may list this as the first attempted coup against Trump.

If you are as credulous as the Opposition Media it makes perfect sense the Russian security service, the FSB, would use a music publicist sending an unencrypted email as part of a nefarious plot to derail Our First Female President.

The situation was significantly different from Junior’s viewpoint. The message refers to a so–called “Crown prosecutor of Russia.” But it may as well have been the “Clown prosecutor of Russia.” The office is as imaginary as the documentation.

Google the phrase and you get 40,800 results that refer to the news stories about the email.

For Trump the primary motivation for the meeting isn’t a sit–down with some shadowy Russian. Donald, Jr. is maintaining a business relationship. The singer’s dad is a Russian big-shot Trump, Inc. has done business with in the past. The rule of thumb for operating in an oligarchy is: Keep the Oligarchs Happy! A meeting with a potential crackpot is a small price to pay to stay in the Russian market.

If the Russian “agent” does have information, so much the better. One thing his motivation couldn’t have been was joining some Russian conspiracy to steal the election. That’s because the alleged Russian DNC hack wasn’t announced until AFTER junior’s meeting.

The Russian scandal that had been in the news was in connection with Hillary’s ties to the infamous Uranium One deal.

As reported in the New York Times more than a year earlier, Sec. of State Hillary approved a deal where Russians acquired a majority stake in a Uranium One, giving Putin control of one–fifth of the uranium production capacity in the US.

That’s considerably more significant that gaining control of the Georgia voters rolls.

Uranium One was so grateful for Hillary’s generosity the chairman gave the Clinton Crime Foundation a total of $2.35 million. Hillary was still a government employee and couldn’t take a speaking fee, but Bill cashed a $500,000 check from a Moscow bank directly tied into the Russian government.

That is a genuine Russian scandal that actually happened.

Meanwhile Trump, Jr.’s meeting went like most of these negative hype–fests do. Rosa Klebb walked into the meeting, excuse me Natalia Veselnitskaya, and all she wanted to talk about was Russian sanctions, not Hillary shenanigans.

There was no Russian help. No Russian collusion. No beef at all.

The meeting was such a waste of time Jared Kushner walked out halfway through and resumed living a normal life. I would recommend obsessed members of the Opposition Media discard their tinfoil hats and do the same.

Bystander Named Trump Blamed for Crash

Donald Trump is minding the people’s business in the Oval Office when he hears a commotion outside. He looks up and to his horror sees that the Resistance fence–jumper scheduled for Wednesday has gored himself on a spike and fallen on the White House lawn.

Trump grabs the nearest intelligence briefing and rushes outside in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately the briefing book is so thin — the Deep State only trusts the opposition media with real secrets these days — that it has almost no absorptive power and the jumper bleeds out.

Is it Trump’s fault the Resistance jumper wasn’t wearing a p***y hat, which is great for absorbing blood? Or is it Trump’s fault the jumper’s tire sandals slipped and caused him to fall on the spike?

Of course not, so how is it Trump’s fault that House Speaker Paul RINO’s Obamacare Lite bill is still impaled on the fence outside the House?

Trump has proven he’s not exactly a demon on details, but Ryan’s small–ball bill didn’t bother to include the one Obamacare reform Trump promised on the campaign trail: Removing “the lines around the states,” which the rest of us refer to as the ability to sell health insurance policies across state lines.

That particular reform was coming on the promised “third prong,” which was supposed to arrive sometime in the indefinite future and contain “moderate Moslems,” a “deportation force” and a Mexican check for the wall.

As you know this version of “Obamacare reform” didn’t pass the House and in fact didn’t come up for a vote. I think there may be a silver lining to the legislative cloud. To learn what it is, please click the Newsmax link below for the rest of the column:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/trump-obamacare-lite-paul-ryan/2017/03/29/id/781380/

Trump Looks for Love in All the Wrong Places

If President Trump is disappointed by the outcome of his dalliance with Amanda Knox, wait until he gets a load of what passes for reciprocity from Rep. Hal Rodgers.

This clown caucus is the last place Trump should go to for support.

Amanda Knox is the student that was accused of a particularly gruesome murder in Italy, where she was attending school. Most of us would gravitate toward OJ or Robert Durst if we were going to advocate for someone accused of a messy murder, but maybe Trump thought he already had senior offenders in the bag.

Trump picked the hot coed and tweeted during her appeal trial, “Everyone should boycott Italy if Amanda Knox is not freed – she is totally innocent.”

Fortunately for the Italian tourism board, Knox was found innocent and returned to the US, where she proceeded to display a politician’s gratitude. The Independent reports the accused murderer endorsed the enthusiastic abortion supporter, Hillary Clinton, instead of her Twitter buddy, Trump.

In a column Knox wrote for the West Seattle Herald she observed, “If Obama’s song was a rousing anthem, Clinton’s is a subtle symphony. And Trump, a broken trumpet. [Clinton’s] impending victory represents the triumph of nuance and poise over prejudice and childishness.”

I won’t go out on a limb and contend Trump’s elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts in his proposed budget was to make sure Amanda never received a “writer in residence” grant, but it is an intriguing thought.

Now Trump is looking for love in all the wrong places. I know Trump is new at this, but it’s time to focus. Reaching out to RINOs and Democrats in the White House means asking Ivanka to pass the salt. Doing so in Congress can have serious repercussions with Trump’s base.

How serious? To learn that you’ll have to click on the link below and read the rest of my column at Newsmax.com:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/trump-freedom-caucus-rep-hal-rodgers/2017/04/19/id/785266/

 

It’s Not the Heat; It’s the Sensitivity in Global Warming

The Heartland Institute’s 12th International Conference on Climate Change was nothing like I expected. When joining a group described in pejorative terms as “deniers,” one would expect to see furtive movements and disreputable haircuts, yet the crowd displayed good humor and a welcoming attitude.

Even the dour Washington Post, which sees potentially fatal darkness around every corner, described the event as “buoyant,” which will come in handy if the seas continue to rise on Al Gore’s Titanic–like timeline.

Spending time with climate realists shows an informed observer that what he should be looking for is not spectacular climate disasters visible just prior to his agonizing death. Trying to spot herds of tornados tossing Oklahoma into the Gulf of Mexico or perpetual heat waves leaving spontaneous combustion in their wake is simply a waste of time.

The momentous events that drive leftist climate policy aren’t something as mundane as the weather. What really counts are small adjustments to computer programs. Or as Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, puts it, “He who controls the parameters controls the climate.” Or at least climate policy and how it affects the taxpaying public.

It’s why control–freak leftists are so passionate about the climate. Minute adjustments to confidential computer models produce dramatic disaster scenarios that can only be prevented by massive government control and intervention.

Earlier that morning Kevin Dayaratna, senior statistician and research programmer at the Center for Data Analysis, gave an example of parameter control. The EPA has determined the social cost of carbon is $36 a ton. This figure purports to represent the sum of the net damage across the world of adding another ton of carbon to the atmosphere.

An accurate cost “improves the efficiency of policy” and “putting a price on carbon is the only regulation needed.” But the key word is accurate and takes us back to Michael’s “parameters.”

The EPA price for carbon has been more volatile than Reince Priebus futures under Donald Trump. The cost started out at $21/ton, then jumped to $24 and has now peaked (until the next Democrat takes the White House) at $36/ton.

The price kept jumping not because the damage increased, but because the number was “a political decision.” According to Dayaratna, “The goal was a high price not justified by science.” To get their number EPA bureaucrats cooked the books and based the cost finding on “worst case scenarios” and a world that embraced “zero (carbon) mitigation.”

The EPA’s future featured self–driving Ubers powered by burning wood and a White House heated by dirty coal. The EPA couldn’t even be trusted to follow guidelines for discount rate set by Obama’s Office of Management and Budget. OMB recommended a 7 percent discount rate, but EPA’s calculations used 2.5, 3 and 5 percent, finally setting on the figure that resulted in the highest carbon cost per ton.

Dayaratna’s cost with little adaptation on the part of the government is $18/ton and with extensive adaptation $4/ton.

The difference between the figures is the difference between maintaining your first–world lifestyle or fleeing to Honduras as an economic refugee after the EPA makes modernity unaffordable.

Obama’s lasting legacy is embedded leftist regulations. Even if Donald Trump issues executive orders overturning the EPA’s economy–killing regulation, they won’t take effect because green fanatics will file suit to stop implementation. Their argument will be Trump can’t overturn any of the EPA’s carbon regulations because the EPA has determined carbon is a pollutant. Reversing the “endangerment finding” is the only way to prevent this stalling tactic.

A reversal is only possible if the administration can prove the “endangerment finding” was based on faulty science.

Michaels explains, “The endangerment finding was based on computer models [showing carbon causes warming] and nothing else. If these models are demonstrably failing, the endangerment finding can get thrown out.”

Michaels compared an average based on 102 temperature models with the actual temperature at various altitudes in the atmosphere based over a number of years. The distance between the temperatures predicted by the models and the measured temperature looked like the gap between a husband’s opinion on the acceptable price for a sports car and that of his wife.

“Climate scientists” can’t admit the sensitivity in their models is wrong because then “you admit you’re wrong.” So they continue to use models calibrated to reflect 20th century climate exactly, but break down completely after the turn of the century.

The scientific solution is to change the carbon = pollutant hypothesis since observation doesn’t support it, but “climate science” isn’t science. It’s religion. Which is why the economy’s only hope rests on a carbon atheist in the Oval Office.

Russell Moore: A Baptist Shepherd Who Doesn’t Care Much for His Sheep

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, may not have to suffer deplorables gladly for too much longer. This week he met with the head of the SBC’s executive committee to discuss his estrangement from the 81 percent of Evangelicals who voted for President Trump.

Moore survived the meeting, but I wouldn’t advise asking for money to redecorate his office next year.

To his credit Moore is a staunch defender of marriage, the unborn and the Bible’s instruction on homosexuality, but his grasp of other culturally relevant theology is spotty at best. When Moore discusses illegal aliens, race and politics it sounds like New York Times Revised Version.

Moore is so out of step on those topics I’m surprised he wasn’t invited to be a speaker at the Herd of Heretics conference sponsored by the Virginia Baptist General Assembly, details here.

Moore could probably finesse those issues if he wasn’t such a Pharisee concerning Trump. He was and is a loud and incessant Never Trumper. As former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee observed, he’s “utterly stunned that Russell Moore is being paid by Southern Baptists to insult them.”

Moore cast a write–in ballot for president, observing, “If you lose an election you can live to fight another day and move on, but if you lose an election while giving up your very soul then you have really lost it all, and so I think the stakes are really high.”

Moore can enable the victory of a candidate who believes the unborn have no rights without getting so much as a smudge on his angelic robes, but voting for Trump means your soul is powering the HVAC in Trump Tower.

To learn more about Rev. Moore the White Guilt pastor and the response of Deplorable Baptists to his hectoring you’ll have to click on the link below and finish reading at Newsmax.com.

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/baptist-evangelical-sbc/2017/03/14/id/778689/