California is Missing Out on Transforming the State

fracking oil gasHardline energy policies against fossil fuel exploration and production (E&P) originating from Sacramento are causing California citizens and taxpayers to miss the boom coming from United States (US) shale production taking place in Texas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Colorado that has forced OPEC to raise crude supply forecasts for 2018. California could use this economic growth from shale E&P since our GDP growth rate has slipped to 35th in the nation.

Moreover, Los Angeles now ranks as having the worst traffic congestion in the world, California is possibly in another drought according to the New York Times, and The Stanford Pension Institute says, “that CalPERS has a $1.4 trillion unfunded liability.” These could be some of the reasons why more people are migrating out of California – even beautiful San Francisco isn’t immune to net migration – and regulations are also making it tougher to grow the economy, hire workers and bring tax relief to the middle class.

But there is hope for California that energy E&P could pave the way to relieve many of these problems along with upgrading our outdated infrastructure, older schools, and overreliance on wealthy taxpayers to fund a majority of the state budget.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United States (US) will surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia with record oil production topping over 10 million barrels a day (mbp) while approaching 11mbp faster than analysts expected. This type of energy production hasn’t been seen since the Nixon administration. Daniel Yergin, economic historian and author of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Powerstates:

“This is a 180-degree turn for the United States and the impacts are being felt around the world. This not only contributes to U.S. energy security but also contributes to world energy security by bringing new supplies to the world.”

Shockingly, the US Census Bureau in early February reported that the US exported roughly 700,000 barrels of light domestic crude in December 2017 to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The EIA iterated the significance by pointing out the UAE is the fourth-largest OPEC producer and first time importer of US oil. The US net oil imports now hover near 3 mbp, whereas in 2006 the US imported over 12 mbp.

The EIA reports that by 2022 the US “will become a net petroleum exporter from rising crude exports and overseas sales of refined petroleum products such as gasoline. This new reality has the Energy Information Administration (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2018 confident that America will be the world’s leader in oil and natural gas E&P by the end of this year.

For California, the untapped, unexplored Monterrey Shale and Pacific Ocean could hold trillions in new revenues and economic activity. The question is will voters and elected officials understand the significance of wise, regulated energy exploration in one of the largest shale plays and ocean reserves in the world? If Texas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania can figure out reasonable E&P then California’s technological giants based in Silicon Valley and universities like Cal-Tech can certainly come up with best practices to ensure environmental safety while growing California’s economy.

Many critics like the Post Carbon Institute’s new report, “Shale Reality Check,” question the sustainability, long-term production prospects and viability of US shale. But are critics like the Post Carbon Institute missing an opportunity to diminish the force of the modern petro-state led by OPEC that in the past has crippled California’s economy and caused our Marines based in Camp Pendleton to be deployed overseas to fight in their never-ending, expensive wars?

For decades American, western and Asian diplomats have tiptoed around Middle Easter nations – particularly, Saudi Arabia – since they needed vital oil and natural gas for continued economic growth. But the US no longer needs as much Middle Eastern oil. This will make it tougher for OPEC to agree on production guidelines that raise prices at the pump while limiting Russia’s foreign policy that relies on the weaponization of state-run oil giants to fund their geopolitical adventures.

In late 2014 it seemed America’s oil independence was a pipedream and the Saudi’s would force America into renewable energy when they targeted shale drillers for elimination by flooding world markets with new supply. Throughout this Saudi-led war on US shale, bankruptcies overtook the Texas Permian Basin and Bakken Formation in North Dakota; production also fell in the US from 9.6 mbp to 8.5 mbp. Shale companies though never declared defeat; instead, they slashed costs, employed automation and adopted cutting edge technology (robotics, sensors, smart phones) to keep drilling. There is no reason why California can’t be the leader in these technologies, E&P and oilfield services.

West Texas intermediate crude is now in the 60s and the US is supplying China and India while causing the Saudis to now try and invest in US shale properties. Taking aim at Russia – a California priority after the 2016 elections – is taking place since the US is now a major exporter of natural gas and can “undercut Russian energy dominance over Eastern Europe.” The US is now able to withstand political turmoil in Venezuela, Libya and Nigeria – all major OPEC suppliers – when historically supply disruptions would have risked global growth. California now doesn’t have to concern itself as much with unstable countries and regions as we have for decades.

Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and former Obama administration energy official speaks about this new geopolitical reality:

“For the last 40 years, since the Arab oil embargo, we’ve had a mindset of energy scarcity, but as a result of the shale revolution, the U.S. has emerged as an energy superpower.”

This new reality also means China, Japan and Southeast Asia have become more dependent on the US and potentially California than on the Middle East. The US and California can now argue the global order they have ensured should become a shared burden financially and militarily.

These are good problems for California to have, and when energy independence was only a dream in the 70s over the Arab oil embargo now fossil fuel superiority can bring California benefits for everyone in our state and the US. Energy accomplishments that bring economic freedom should be celebrated; and the geopolitical advantages that America and now California enjoy from shale drillers reshaping global energy markets could bring us decades of prosperity if only we will take advantage of them.

 is an independent public policy consultant focusing on the geopolitical implications of energy based in Los Angeles, California.

This article was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

Steve Bannon Is Worse Than the #NeverTrump Republicans

Steve BannonDespite having over 91% of all mainstream news stories negative against President Trump, he still has accomplished cutting corporate and individual taxes, repealing the Obamacare individual mandate, appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, added a record number of conservative judges to the circuit courts, rid the booming economy and stock market of unnecessary regulations, destroyed ISIS and approved energy exploration and transformative pipeline projects in states like North Dakota; according to Byron York of the Washington Examiner. Additionally, eleven Obama legacy items have been repealed.

Enter Steve Bannon and his “dubiously sourced,” gossip-laden new book that trashes Trump, but now he’s “apologizing” for what he said. Unfortunately he’s doing that awful Republican trait of eating our own. He broke Reagan’s 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican.” And for that Bannon is now worse than the #NeverTrump Republicans while becoming “his own worst enemy.”

Seemingly, liberal icon George Clooney was prescient when he trashed Bannon, and certainly Bannon’s usefulness came to a conclusion when he lost Alabama by endorsing Judge Roy Moore. What he should be doing now is showing penance for his stupidity.

Certainly the California Republican Party (CRP) doesn’t need this type of press or derisive confusion that now emanates from the Bannon brand of Breitbart-Republicanism. The maddening part is Andrew Breitbart would more than likely applaud Trump who actually fights back and doesn’t roll over the way the Bush’s, Romney and McCain Republican-types have for decades.

For all Bannon’s bluster he seems to have forgotten what happens when Democrats have absolute control of a state (California). More about California’s woes in ensuing paragraphs, because there are different choices when it comes to both imperfect parties. The adage, “the enemy of the good is the perfect,” is true. However, Bannon took it to mean let’s blow up the Republican Party without consideration of what that means. The national Republican Party and CRP have their problems, but anyone who thinks Democrats or independents are the solution doesn’t understand what it means to have a viable society.

The days of my father’s Democratic Party that included FDR, Truman, JFK, and Pat Brown is over, replaced by a no-growth, regulation-heavy, environmentally beholden anything goes “cultural leviathan,” that did nothing to deter Iran, Russia, China and North Korea while shunning traditional allies.

The contrast between Trump and the Obama-inspired Democrats couldn’t be more different and this is where Bannon tragically fails. The numerous policy and philosophical differences between Trump and Obama, including the horrible divide between Trump and Democratic California is only growing. Exemplified by California legalizing marijuana, which has been a disaster for Colorado.

View the differences – big and small – Trump is more press accessible than Obama ever was and allows his Cabinet officers to do their job that wasn’t previously the case. His Russian policies are tougher and more effective than the #NeverTrumpers or Bannon ever realized. Trump would never vote for Bernie Sanders – but that’s exactly what took place in the last election when President George H.W. Bush bragged about voting for Hillary Clinton over Trump.

Trump’s economy is booming compared to Obama’s with labor growth and consumer confidence both at seventeen-year highs. African-American unemployment rate is at record lows and something Republicans and the CRP should pounce on in this next election cycle. What does Bannon and the #NeverTrumpers have to say about those figures that affect all Americans? Moreover, Obama governed based on division of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and curtailing religious freedom, growing the administrative state and stretching the limits of the constitution. Whereas, Trump believes in America exceptionalism and a regime based on the actual constitution – not a living constitution.

I’d posit that Obama governed all facets of America the way James Burnham in Suicide of the West wrote about modern liberalism:

“Liberalism permits Western Civilization to be reconciled to dissolution. The Principle function of modern liberalism is to facilitate the suicide of Western Civilization.”

When Bannon ran Breitbart he understood this truth about Democrats and Obama, but Bannon along with the #NeverTrumpers, have lost the existential battle Republicans and decent Californians are engaged in against the Democratic Party. It’s a struggle where the very lives of our babies depend on us beating the hegemonic totalitarianism that are today’s viciously vapid Democrats.

The biggest difference that affects the entire world is the differences in foreign policy. Syria is a disaster for a generation, China is on the march in the South China Sea, North Korea is a nuclear menace, Russia annexed Crimea, the Arab Spring has left the Middle East in shambles; and now Iran is a bigger threat than all the above problems combined based on their capabilities and the awful, Hezbollah-enabled, falsified, Iran nuclear deal. Protests – though well intentioned – aren’t changing the totalitarian, theocratic Iranian regime. Only an armed-to-the-teeth American military will deter the Ayatollah, IRGC, and Quds Force.

All of this happened under Obama and embraced by California Democrats. What does Bannon have to say about this? Nothing, because it’s easier to criticize Trump and make a bigger name for yourself than assist the President in dealing with problems that we haven’t seen since World War II.

Does Bannon realize that either Trump or his deregulatory experts (Scott Gottlieb, Scott Pruitt, Ajit Pai, Ryan Zinke, Betsey DeVos, Elain Chao, Neomi Rao) succeed over the #NeverTrump chattering class of (Max Boot, Michael Gerson, Jennifer Rubin, Bret Stephens, The Weekly Standard and National Review, etc.) because if Trump fails then the United States and California will fail. The rosy delusion printed recently by the Los Angeles Times doesn’t exist and won’t exist in the future unless men like Bannon and the #NeverTrumpers support Trump’s policy views.

If Bannon wants a place to fight then choose California and assist the CRP restore the home of Reagan. Just one of our pensions (CalPERS) has a $153 billion unfunded liability while our economy has slowed because of state worker pensions. According to the Social Science Research Council, California suffers the worst income inequality in the nation, the third worst economic environment for middle class families and over one-third of California’s population is at or near poverty. Tech-driven growth is nearing completion since the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revealed California’s GDP was 35th in the U.S. And The San Jose Mercury News reported the Bay Area lost 4,700 jobs – and 1,000 from the tech sector – because of a lack of affordable housing.

Our schools are in disarray, the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t addressing the issues killing black men and women, infrastructure needs over $800 billion in improvements and we still haven’t built any dams, reservoirs or canals to capture rainwater from the previous drought. Joel Kotkin calls it, “the what, me worry?” state of California. The CRP, Republican candidates and citizens being crushed by the California Democratic environmental-jihadists and tech oligarchy could use Steve Bannon’s help. But that is real work and change of this sort is a slow-motion effort to undo the “social opprobrium” that Trump and Republicans have with California voters.

Bannon has given fresh ammunition to the ilk trying to remove the duly elected president since the night he won. Proclaiming virtue is for CNN; Bannon should be learning how to bring manufacturing, single-family homes and blue-collar jobs back to California. Faulting Trump and putting the CRP on the defensive is inexcusable and time for Bannon to leave the political stage into the dustbin of history.

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.

It’s Time for the California Republican Party to Fight

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

The Democratic Party and the city of San Francisco are officially dead. The acquittal of illegal alien, Jose Garcia Zarate, who shot Kate Steinle on the San Francisco pier in cold blood, has now officially killed the party of the common man and woman. A jury of her peers found him not guilty and this was a crystallizing moment to understand there is a clear choice – of life and death – between a Republican and a Democrat. Whereas Democratic San Francisco protected Mr. Zarate, the Republican Justice Department issued an arrest warrant. This isn’t about “sanctuary cities,” or stricter immigration reform, this is about protecting American citizens versus Democrats – the party of the left – who seemingly only lust for power and control reminiscent of Marx, Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin. The days of Scoop Jackson, FDR, Truman and Kennedy died in that San Francisco courtroom when the drug dealing, six-time-deported, zero-skilled, Mr. Zarate was acquitted.

It’s time for the Republican Party to stop wasting their majority in Congress and the CRP to stand up and fight, because you’ll never hear illegal immigrant advocates shed a tear for Ms. Steinle who collapsed and died in her father’s arms. Those are the Democrats who run California that decided it wasn’t a problem for her to die this way.

However, men like Republican consultant, Mike Madrid, who is now helping Antonio Villaragoisa’s gubernatorial campaign are also the problem. If he wants to cash a liberal Democrat’s checks then go become one, because he’s in the same class as McCain, Romney, et al who still believe that Democrats are just like us; but don’t have the ability or temerity to understand what ordinary people are up against anymore. We don’t have the option to opt out of the very laws that are supposedly passed on our behalf. And the Democratic supermajority in the legislature isn’t doing anything to protect staffers and female lawmakers from sexual harassment; Minority Leader Pelosi has now been accused of protecting sexual predators for decades.

Here is what Democratic policies that have run California and most major cities across America into the ground wrought on the citizenry’s backs for generations. San Francisco and other Democratic progressive cities have the “worst housing inequality in the nation,” according to Wendell Cox. Meaning, there are less homes to purchase at higher prices, which obliterates individual and family incomes while stagnating the economy of those cities. San Francisco Unified School District is becoming a real-estate investor to alleviate housing shortages by spending $44 million to develop the Francis Scott Key annex for teachers who can’t afford San Francisco homes or rental units.

Joel Fox has debunked Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez’s solution for the growing California homeless problem: taxing homeowners’ equity. Fox has detailed how taxing homes won’t solve the problem, possibly make it worse, and that Los Angeles now has the worst homeless problem in the U.S. The problem is so severe the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved in August a program to pay L.A. County homeowners up to $75,000 to house homeless people on their properties.

Natural gas is the most effective, clean, scalable, abundant and job-creating energy available. However, California is moving from this form of energy into unstable, unreliable and intermittent renewable energy, causing California to have the highest energy costs in the U.S. And California’s energy policies are killing fossil fuel investments and driving jobs out of the state according to the Frasier Institute. Moreover, AB 32, the global warming law isn’t causing emissions to dip, instead it’s the weather, but the environmental leaders in the Democratic Party, led by Tom Steyer, would never acknowledge this fact.

Our public schools – not all of them – but the majority are “unaccountable” and failing while the legislature wants higher taxes for “better schools.” No public official or school board has ever definitively defined what constitutes a “better school.” Unfortunately, the California School Dashboard revealed:

“Fifty percent of California schoolchildren can’t read at grade level, and for African American (AA) children, almost seventy percent failed to read at grade level.”

The CRP should make this the number one issue aggressively going after AA families and voters by showing the Democratic and teacher union-led California schools are failing you, your families and your children. If Democrats lose a sizable bloc of AA voters, they lose California, and eventually they lose the country.

As President Clinton’s first presidential campaign famously stated, “It’s the economy, stupid,” which propelled Clinton to the presidency. This issue still resonate, particularly when California’s economy is ranked 35th in the nation. Chris Reed writes, “California job creating incentives fall short – again,” and Dan Walters in CalMatters exposes disturbing budgetary facts facts that Mac Taylor, the Legislatures’ top advisor disclosed in November:

“Governor Brown, lawmakers and voters have made the state’s longer-term situation potentially even worse since off-budget debts, especially for pensions and health care for retired state workers have increased.”

To Brown’s credit he is now attempting to rectify the pension issue while defying his Democratic base in the process. Brown realizes cities like Los Angeles have underfunded pension liabilities totaling over $9 billion, and other California cities hold hundreds of billions in pension debt that will cut government services and raise taxes – otherwise bankruptcy is a strong possibility. Even once-thriving Ventura County is now losing jobs while government employment rises. The pension and job loss issues are where the CRP can gain crucial votes in deep blue California.

There are a myriad of other issues that Democrats are pushing that will hurt most Californians from the economic devastation the high-speed rail in the Central Valley will bring to having the highest taxes, worst roads, and over a trillion dollars needed for infrastructure improvements and construction. Additionally, California is ranked at the bottom or near bottom in business-friendly policies and the Democrats answers is to make suing President Trump, “a team sport.”

At one time Pat Brown, who built water systems, world-class highways and the best universities in the world, exemplified the Democratic Party. That isn’t the case anymore; instead a gentrified class of technology billionaires, climate enthusiasts and entertainment executives litter the Democratic Party; while Democratic-supporting unions ask for more tax payer dollars with less to show for their gains. California has real problems and if the CRP doesn’t stand up and support candidates who understand these issues and fight for them in the upcoming mid-term elections than they are doomed to irrelevancy that will spread across the U.S.

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.

The Trump Dossier’s Implications for California

donald-trump-2Lost in the most important foreign policy trip of Trump’s Presidency and escalating Saudi-Iran war cries are the revelations about President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the dark deeds both partook in to discredit and deceive the American people and Donald Trump. Meanwhile, California focuses on the sexuality of the Palm Springs City Council, instead of electing officials who can deal with CalPERS’ $1.4 trillion in unfunded liabilities and CalSTRS’ $200 billion of obligations in the red.

California’s Trump-hatred has made our Democratic supermajority state obsessed with a dossier and Russian collusion. We should be fixated on what Trump is getting from President Xi of China over Kim Jong-un’s nuclear arsenal that is now able to annihilate California. It will be difficult for Trump to receive any concessions on North Korea on the Asian trip while the American media led by California and its electorate bent on Trump’s destruction by focusing on the Russian red herring.

Here’s what we know about Clinton and Obama’s actions undermining Trump’s ability to take on real threats to California. With Obama, he used intelligence agencies (CIA, NSA, DNI) and the FBI as a political handgun to neutralize opponents throughout his Presidency. Intelligence agencies were weaponized against Democrats and Republicans in Congress and then candidate-Trump. This is chilling for California, because Obama’s actions are worse than anything Nixon did during Watergate. According to The Weekly Standard’s Stephen F. Hayes who wrote an in-depth article titled, “The Big Reveal: The Story of How 470,000 Documents from Osama Bin Laden’s Compound Finally Got Into the Open,” reveals a number of treasonous actions taken by Obama.

Less than 24 hours before Trump was sworn in the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper released 49 documents that he said, “Closed the Book on bin Laden: Intelligence Community Releases Final Abbottabad Documents.” These 49 documents were only 571 out of 470,000; but why when more should’ve been released? A military intelligence briefing to reporters on May 7, 2011 at the Pentagon disclosed, “As a result of the raid, we’ve acquired the single largest collection of terrorist materials ever.” Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security advisor said, “we could fill a small college library,” with the amount of terror documents and sources from Bin Laden. Hand picked documents (one showed deep tied between al Qaeda and the Taliban) though were given to the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point to confirm that al-Qaida was defeated and Obama’s path to reelection in 2012 was secure. This means Obama misled the country, Congress and the P5+1 partners negotiating nuclear stoppage with Iran to ensure his administration’s narrative about defeating al-Qaida and the Taliban when it wasn’t true.

The worse part is the Iran / al-Qaida deep affinity and connections to each other. Now that these documents are being examined it’s come to light that Bin Laden considered Iran as “the main artery” for al-Qaida, which led the Treasury Department to designate Iran a terror-sponsoring-entity while causing U.S. intelligence analysts to undo the assumption that Shiite radicals in Iran would never back their Sunni counterparts. Obama and his leading national security officials either lied, covered up or looked the other way so their President could have his signature foreign policy achievement – negotiated peace with Iran – used for posterity to validate Obama’s legacy.

In a 2011 interview, David S. Cohen, a senior Treasury Department official who became deputy director of the CIA said:

“There is an agreement between the Iranian government and al-Qaida to allow this network to operate. There is no dispute in the intelligence community on this. Iran was providing a core pipeline of support that included safe haven for al-Qaida members and the facilitation of travel and the flow of money and weapons.”

What this means for California is we are on our own politically and possibly for our national security if a devastating nuclear attack takes places in the near future. If California voter overwhelmingly supported Obama throughout his first election, re-election and Presidency then Trump’s tax plans will go after our high deductible state, local and property taxes as political revenge. Obama can lie, cheat and steal and he’s loved by California, but the ever-evil Trump should be vilified for locker room talk and deep affinity for Christians, conservatives and his America-first agenda.

In the world of realpolitik, international geopolitics and nuclear jockeying Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Russia, China, the U.S., et al., false nuclear deals and backing the Iranians over the Israelis and Sunni allies showed the Russians, Chinese and North Koreans that America was shirking her post-World War II responsibilities under Obama’s leadership. California doesn’t realize that we have a target on our back from being the world’s fifth-largest economy because of Obama’s actions written in Robert G. Kaufman’s book “Dangerous Doctrine: How Obama’s Grand Strategy Weakened America.” Our beautiful coasts, stunning weather and world class technology and educational firms won’t save us from the Iranians, Chinese and Russians who would love to crush us according to Angelo Codevilla’s book, “The Character of Nations.” Argue your hatred for Trump all you want, but first acknowledge Obama’s sin and shortcomings that have put California in a vulnerable, precarious position.

Clinton’s actions revealed by the Washington Post are directly undermining the U.S. presidency. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded a dossier on then candidate-Trump that wasn’t true, taken actions that could be construed as treason, tangled former FBI Director Mueller in a web-of-deceit causing questions to be raised on investigating the investigator. Clinton also used intelligence agencies and the FBI to her campaign’s false-benefit.

Clinton has a history of obfuscations but her undignified, feigned outrage about the dossier put together by the malignant firm, Fusion GPS and losing to Trump reads like a bad Tom Clancy novel. To make matters worse Buzzfeed published a batch of lies back in January that Clinton never disassociated from. What the Washington Post correctly reported was that the dossier had unproven claims about Trump; and the DNC and Clinton’s campaign paid for a Democratic law firm, Perkins, Coie to finance “salacious and unverified,” (James Comey’s words) evidence taken from a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele to write these falsehoods.

The worse part is Clinton’s still upset the media didn’t print lies to swing the election her way despite shaky allegations. Congressman Adam Schiff goes along with this nonsense while never considering the geopolitical realities described above. Discredit the president; national security and California’s safety if it means Democrats win the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey. That seems to be California’s unenlightened mantra.

What Clinton, Obama and #NeverTrumpers would ever acknowledge are these facts about the dossier, Trump and the entire hacking narrative. In a barely reported story, a group of former intelligence veterans called VIPs sent President Trump on July 24th a memo on the subject of the Russian hack and how insiders leaked it with access to DNC computers and databases. William Binney who designed the National Security Agency’s signal intelligence center debunked the entire Russian-collusion-hacking affair. Their (the VIPs led by Binney) executive summary to Trump concluded:

“On July 5, 2016 forensic studies revealed the data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer, and then doctored to incriminate Russia. An insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device and that ‘telltale signs’ implicating Russia were then inserted. The speed of copied data after the independent forensic investigations shows the speed exceeded an internet capability for a remote hack.”

Mueller or congressional Republicans are investigating none of this. If the #NeverTrumpers have reached this level of vitriol towards Trump and it seems they have witnessed in a recent article by Anne Applebaum for the Washington Post that implies Trump’s America First movement mirrors the 100-year Bolshevik revolution and 100 million-plus people murdered by communist regimes since their Bolshevik beginnings. If Applebaum and others believe this then why not pin Russia on Trump instead of investigating Clinton and Obama.

Many establishment Republicans – Bush 41 confirmed this – voted for Clinton over Trump. If former presidents, defeated politicians, intelligence lackeys from Obama’s administration and media pundits who only vote Democrat keep this up then Trump will allow California to flounder. We are the leader in the highest taxes, worse infrastructure, poorest schools, highest inequality and abysmal business environment over the other 49 states.

This type of California Republican – from the Hoover Institute to Orange County enclaves blame Trump and won’t heavily investigate Obama or Clinton – when in actuality they should look themselves in the mirror and ask why they allowed California to go from solid Republican to solid socialist via the Democratic Party. If real investigations don’t happen to Obama, Clinton and I’d add #NeverTrumpers undermining Trump then don’t be surprised when our nation and beloved state is attacked. Our enemies are watching and grinning at our self-inflicted, nihilistic turn taking place and California should be chilled. But we aren’t and whether its our inept churches, hipster millennials or entitled baby boomers there is a reckoning that is coming our way unless we change direction and begin to support Trump whether we like it or not.

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.

Will Iceland’s Shameful Abortion Laws Rise in California?

 

A sign is pictured at the entrance to a Planned Parenthood building in New York August 31, 2015. Picture taken August 31, 2015. To match Insight USA-PLANNEDPARENTHOOD/ REUTERS/Lucas Jackson - RTX1RKFVIceland is killing babies in the womb who have Down syndrome for no other reason than they are considered an inconvenience to their parents and socialist government.

Abortion, except when the woman’s life is in danger, is murder plain and simple, and there are many doctors and clinics complicit in this butchering in the same manner the Nazi’s burned Jews across Europe over seventy years ago. This isn’t a religious screed as I’ve written about the implications of abortion and the causes of declining birth rates since abortion’s enactment, here and here. This is about defending unborn children in Iceland and ultimately California.

Furthermore, vulnerable women in the United States are dying in these supposed women’s clinics as well for no reason at all other than they had an abortion. Atrociously vile Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, has quotes that the defend abortion actions that Iceland is taking and she advocated for eugenics, killing babies through abortion, advocating for the KKK and racial purification by eliminating all black men, women, children and unborn babies.

California communities, churches, synagogues and parishes that continue voting for Democrats and Republicans who defend abortion have to answer for their complicit quiet on this issue; meanwhile they are supposedly upset over white nationalists and leftist Antifa thugs fighting a pretend racial skirmish in nowhere Virginia, USA.

60 million babies have been killed in the U.S. since abortion was legalized so spare me your faux outrage over some idiot giving a Nazi salute to another violent, Antifa idiot who was paid to be there by George Soros linked groups.

Anecdotally drive through a predominant minority community (African-American in particular) and notice how many Planned Parenthood abortion clinics they have; it’s for a reason – to kill innocent, beautiful black and brown babies and fetuses for profit. And California Democrats overwhelmingly defend these actions; Senator Kamala Harris specifically has chosen political power over defending her ancestors, family and constituents.

Iceland is committing genocide by claiming they are “eradicating Down Syndrome babies,” when in actuality they are using prenatal screening to then abort the affected fetuses; and CBS is duplicitous in how they reported the case of Iceland supposedly “solving Down’s syndrome,” when the report said:

“The number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.”

Any person who touched the Iceland report at CBS (they have locations in Studio City and Los Angeles, CA) should at the very least be fired and next be prosecuted for aiding and abetting the killing of defenseless, unarmed human beings. It’s depraved evil what Iceland and CBS are doing and have done. The world hunted those beasts down in World War II who slaughtered innocents for their own personal gain. Children in the womb are the most vulnerable people on the planet – they literally have zero defenses against the knives, hoses and vacuums at the abortion worker’s arsenal to kill.

The people and leaders of Ireland and anyone who advocates for slaughtering innocent babies, because they have Down syndrome, should be treated as depraved criminals. Puppies are treated better than abortion-targeted children. PETA would never stand for animals being killed this way if they had a deformity that inconvenienced their owner. That is exactly what Iceland is doing, but more importantly, people with Down syndrome have a voice, conscious and dignity.

Moreover, CBS television in California attempts to backpedal or at least cover their tracks when they stated in the report: “Many people born with Down syndrome can live full, healthy lives, with an average lifespan of around 60 years.”

Actually in 2011 the American Journal of Medical Genetics found in its research and studies:

“That 99% of individuals with Down syndrome report being happy, 94% of their siblings express pride in their brother or sister with Down syndrome, and just 4% of parents.”

Larger countries are also practicing abortion-eugenics on Down syndrome screened unborn children in high percentages like Denmark (98%), France (77%) and disgustedly the United States at 67%. But its really a simple reason this is happening: The diagnosed child in utero with Down syndrome is being killed – and not over a medical condition.

California elected officials including abortion in their official party platform have also voted for children being labeled an undue burden to their parents, society and in Iceland medical professionals have said, “It will be better for them (the Down syndrome fetus).” But when that human being is being sucked out by a vacuum while screaming and fighting for their life and then discarded like a piece of trash, how is that good for them?

Why not stretch that argument to an older person who no longer pays taxes or any of the millions not in the U.S. workforce at this time? Let’s discard them as well. They can’t pay taxes so what use are they or others if a person is simply an economic unit for my happiness.

In a horrifying moment of candor, Icelandic geneticist, Kari Stefansson admitted, “it wasn’t for medical reasons to kill fetuses, but rather it’s due to heavy-handed genetic counseling, or pressure by authority figures to abort.”

Another pregnancy counselor in Iceland also stated:

“We don’t look at abortion as murder. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication, preventing suffering for the child and for the family.”

So what California elected officials, the voters who put them in office and Republicans who support abortion are saying is trust us we know what’s best for the slaughtered child. If we crush their heads, break their limbs and suck out their brains using vacuums (and all this happens during abortions) then it’s for their own good and yours as well.

This behavior was how the Nazis justified killing Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, Christians, Catholics, intellectuals, and any other group that didn’t conform to their Darwinian-Nietzschian worldview at the barrel of a gun. The first people the Nazis killed were those with disabilities.

This is using medical technology available through prenatal screening to enact eugenics at a state and worldwide level not seen since World War II. These children are being exterminated and these societies will fail. Historically fallen regimes from the Aztecs to the Romans and Greeks up to Imperial Japan all disintegrated because they didn’t value defenseless life.

If California, the U.S. and Europe don’t wake up to this remorseless holocaust then we have no hope. Forget bashing Donald Trump and bring fire and brimstone to marches, rallies and occupy movements to children unlucky enough to have parents who can afford a prenatal screening. It’s time to act and time for hard questions to be asked about what kind of society we want for California, the U.S. and the world.

The Republican Party Legislative Incompetence

Let me preface this piece by stating no party better encapsulate the values and policies – unfortunately not today’s actions – that have made America the greatest nation in the history of mankind than today’s Republican Party. It was my great honor to be elected to the recent California Republican Party Presidential Platform Committee in 2014 and I was stunned by what came out of the committee – a document that was about economic growth, limited government, families, protecting the unborn, religious freedom and overall prosperity in all facets of life for all Americans and immigrants – legal or otherwise.

Chad MayesThe party of Lincoln and Reagan, the party that fought against slavery, the KKK, and overwhelmingly voted for the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act is at a crossroads … and it has nothing to do with President Donald Trump. The party has lost its way – the national party and more importantly the California Republican Party – epitomized by Republican Assembly Leader Chad Mayes who just supported huge tax increases while never thinking about the awful fiscal outlook for California. Moreover, Minority Leader Hayes has a complete lack of understanding for how California and the United States thrive in our dangerous, geopolitical world.

The best way to describe the disarray of the national Republican Party that bleeds down to the CPR is a recent comment by Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey. He had a candid response at a Town Hall when local ABC27 News Anchor Dennis Owens asked about the Republican struggles with the failed repeal of Obamacare and overall health care reform. Senator Toomey said:

“Look, I didn’t expect Donald Trump to win, I think most of my colleagues didn’t, so we didn’t expect to be in this situation.”

After seven years of railing against President Obama and the Democratic Party, the Republican Party had nothing to show for the over 60 times they voted in Congress to repeal or replace Obamacare led by the ineptitude of Senator John McCain. People voted for a repeal of Obama’s health care law, tax and regulation cuts to bolster the economy, American trade interests being at the forefront of economic treaties, defunding Planned Parenthood, enforcement of our borders and laws along with a more robust deterrent in our foreign policy. Instead the American voter received John McCain’s cowardly health care vote and the other Republicans who voted with him. They voted to be thought of favorably at D.C. cocktail parties and on Morning Joe than what’s best for their constituents and America.

The American public and California voter was also told that Secretary of Health and Human Services, and leading Obamacare critic when he was in Congress, Tom Price had a plan of action ready to repeal and replace President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. Thus far Secretary Price has been silent on Capital Hill, and neither Secretary Price, nor the Republican leadership (led by Californian Kevin McCarthy), or critics of the current Republican health care overhaul have any answers on how to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

What should concern any Republican or independent is California Senator Kamala Harris becoming President Harris, because of Republican malfeasance on health care reform. Republicans bemoan they aren’t being given a fair chance and fake news is difficult to overcome while searching for health care solutions. Those sentiments are why we will lose, and lose big if we don’t get our act together immediately. Either stand up and fight for Republican values or else.

If Congressional Republicans, particularly California Congressional Republicans need assistance (and they do!) then listen to shows like Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt or Dennis Prager who consistently interview health experts of all political stripes with answers and solutions to these problems; or contact the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation or RAND for detailed legislation that can be immediately voted upon.

However, if those are to far right then click on the Brookings Institute website for various plans and solutions to Obamacare – even the ultra-left leaning publication The Atlantic has answers.

Additionally it has been over seven years, and now a Republican majority of not anticipating for someone like Donald Trump to win doesn’t have an idea of what legislatively comes next. It’s mind-numbingly incompetent, and why Democrats will take back the House and Senate if something substantial isn’t put in place on how to govern before the year is over. Where are Darrel Issa, Kevin McCarthy and the dwindling California Congressional delegation? If Secretary Clinton were President Clinton does anyone believe she wouldn’t be pushing her Godless, radical agenda down America and California’s throats at this time? Not hardly.

The Democratic Party is no longer the party of the workingman or women or middle class, but is only about the top 1% in technology, entertainment, media and universities. Democrats are now about appeasing all sorts of anarchists and radical Islamists along with economic and energy policies that will deeply hurt America. The Party of Governor Pat Brown, and Presidents FDR, Truman and Kennedy is finished – the Scoop Jackson wing of the party is also dead. In finality, the Democratic Party’s policy ideas will kill America and a world in desperate need of California and American leadership.

According to the new, controversial, best-selling book The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglas Murray, Europe is committing national suicide implementing the same polices as U.S. Democrats want ad nauseum to occur immediately in America. Yet Republicans like John McCain and the editors and contributors at The National Review and The Weekly Standard should learn that Donald Trump is not the enemy. It’s the social, economic, education, energy, and national security policies of the Democratic Party led by Chuck Schumer, Jerry Brown, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders that should be fought against with World War II-like vigor.

Outside of confirming Neil Gorsuch – using a Democratic legislative trick – Republicans also haven’t rid the world of the disastrous Iranian Nuclear Deal that hasn’t worked, housing is now depressed because of Democrat polices from the previous administration, and China is a continued menace; but somehow Republican leaders believe passing higher taxes on Democratic-controlled states is tax reform. Moreover, North Korea has missiles that can obliterate this state.

But Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel, Darrel Issa and the rest of the Republican-controlled Congress seemingly can’t put together a plateful of legislative pancakes without choking them all over California and the American public. Democrats seem to never have that problem.

What Trump proved and Republicans aren’t grasping are Democrat-controlled states and California can be won with a pro-growth, pro-jobs, and pro-American message. Trump won states that haven’t been won in a generation with that message. The solution is to find real candidates for state and federal positions who can articulately convey the message of growth, putting American interests first, and watch the bluest state of all – California turn back to its pro-growth, pro-prosperity roots – that made it a beacon of light for the post World War II generation.

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.

What Will It Take For California Voters To Change Their Minds?

VotingIn Malcolm Gladwell’s famous book, “The Tipping Point,” his central thesis is how events collate together to form a “tipping point,” that changes individuals, companies, governments and society. Has California reached a tipping point? Seemingly it has. Then why do voters keep electing the same Democrats, and allow the Republican Party to fade away into oblivion?

Moreover, apathetic voters don’t care that the Democratic governor and Legislature say one thing, and do something completely opposite as long as the hot causes are in line with the media and Democratic Party’s narrative of gay marriage, abortion and global warming. Those three shibboleths of California public policy have overtaken the central tenets of state government: infrastructure, public safety and education – since all three are in shambles or disarray at best.

For Democratic voters, independents who lean conservative, but never hear an organized message, along with Republican voters who still long for Reagan, here are issues to consider along with our downward trajectory. Your apathy and unrealistic expectations are taking California to a brutal tipping point that could easily mirror the disaster being ignored by the mainstream media (LA Times, NY Times, ABC, CBS, NBC) about Venezuela since it doesn’t fit their false narrative that socialism espoused by Bernie Sanders should be emulated.

The next number of paragraphs will begin showing the current path for California this year and decades ahead. It is sobering to envision what California will look like for our children if changes in voting patterns and the domination of the Democratic Party aren’t broken.

Gov. Brown and the Democratic supermajority Legislature raised taxes again, and openly misappropriated the funds giving middle-class families and businesses additional reasons to flee the state. If these two trends push forward in the future and the CRP does nothing about this with candidates who can explain what’s taking place in California – versus not supporting a Republican President during election seasons – then the CRP will be relegated to the dustbin of history. Translated, California will remain having the worst environment in the nation for job creation and business friendliness.

Unfortunately, Democrats are now job killers and only believe in the above-mentioned public policy shibboleths along with hating Trump. The days of Gov. Brown’s father, FDR, Truman, JFK and Scoop Jackson are over – Democrats who believed in strong defense, single-family homes, infrastructure, education and two-parent families as the backbone of stable, thriving societies. Imagine a California Democrat who didn’t back abortion-on-demand, gay marriage and global warming and was pro-life instead, questioned the sanctity of marriage and was against global warming – even doubted the veracity of the environmental movements claims? That person wouldn’t win a City Council race against a dead person in San Francisco.

Pensions as currently configured are 100% unsustainable, no matter what the stock market achieves in the near future using historical rates of return. Democrats and Republicans who don’t make a case for pension reform will bankrupt California, and don’t expect Trump or Pence to rescue us. Even Sacramento has ominous pension problems. Hundreds of billions, even trillions are owed, yet voters are only concerned about the three shibboleths?

Unions now run California’s education standards, and three new bills (AB450, AB1209 and SB63) would further influence the destruction of our economy and labor practices all in the name of being progressive Democrats. Yet voters keep voting for these measures and legislators, instead of sensible, business-friendly, moderate Republicans like David Hadley (though I disagreed with him about not supporting Trump during the Presidential election).

Social issues that have nothing to do with California’s upward trajectory are en vogue by Democratic legislators and their supporters: a former teacher at Diablo Valley College was arrested for attacking a Trump supporter with a bike lock at the Berkeley protests and AB1576 would tax items and their price equivalent based on gender for businesses who don’t price items exactly the same throughout California. Litigation for consumers and businesses will skyrocket costs.

Republicans who only want to be moderates and worry about taxes, business growth and strong defense should understand that gender, class and race are additional shibboleths added onto the social diagram of how Democrats beat Republicans in this state. The days of not articulating reasonable social policies are now over since President Obama introduced all three into public policy and the national media to win elections and fragment the United States.

While Gov. Brown and the Democratic-controlled legislature obsess over nothing, Joel Kotkin states:

“In the coming years, California’s claim of being the economic exemplar of the country may be further undermined by legislative overreach. The statewide rise in the minimum wage will hit the lower-wage sector, particularly outside the coastal enclaves. Various plans to boost the welfare state, such as a single-payer health care system (costs $400 billion annually) that includes the undocumented, and a host of union-driven initiatives, seem certain to drive up costs and impose an ever-heavier tax burden on the state’s struggling middle class. Perhaps most threatening, over time, may be a host of new environmental laws which will impose enormous burdens on affordable housing, energy prices and industrial growth.”

This warning is coming from a self-described, “Truman Democrat,” and not a Tea Party Republican or Trump supporter. Somehow, Los Angeles believes receiving an Olympic bid in 2024 or 2028 will alleviate these concerns, without considering what prior cities have done with billion dollar stadiums in bankruptcy, disrepair and out-of-use? What our society should care about and attempt to alleviate before the Olympics being awarded is dropping the homeless rate in Los Angeles – which surged 23% according to the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count.

San Francisco has taken the illegal-immigrant debate to a new level. Mayor Ed Lee stated in his 2017 State of the City address, “We are a sanctuary city, now, tomorrow, forever,” without understanding the implications of H.R. 2431 that punishes sanctuary cities by withholding federal monies. In 2016 San Francisco received $509,260,129 in federal grants and direct payments. And Democrats who control all levers of state government want to burden businesses with immigration policy, which will only drive more of them out of the state.

California isn’t in a shots-fired civil war, but we are dangerously close to moving in that direction when the mayor of California’s most prominent city so openly defies the federal government. The Civil War decided that federal laws supersede state laws whether we like it or not.

State, county and local monies for mobility are allocated towards public transportation that the public either doesn’t want or use commiserate to cost, or the cost-to-benefit ratio is negative when you consider as an example, the miniscule affect on traffic that bike sharing produces. Meaning, billions are wasted on transportation projects that don’t improve pedestrian safety or traffic mobility. Whereas a better use would be the construction of quality-of-life infrastructure: schools, roads, highways, sidewalks, bridges and water systems.

The biggest killers to California are environmental issues that strictly pertain to global warming as fact and the regulations that will kill this state. As an example, President Obama’s last year in office, he produced regulations that totaled $2 trillion according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The Clean Power Plan was just one type of environmental regulation that California wholeheartedly embraced along with the Paris Climate Agreement without understanding the costs or zero affect either would have on cleaner air, efficient use of environmental resources or how China and India would negate any gains by California adhering to these onerous regulations and agreements since both are still building coal-fired power plants.

Moreover, renewable energy and electric vehicles (EVs) don’t currently work now or in the near future as envisioned by Gov. Brown and State Senator Kevin de Leon. Both (EVs and renewables) have vast unanswered questions and technologies that need to be solved before either is scalable the way fossil fuels and the combustible engine is at this time. Since all environmental strategy and policy is based on man-made global warming in California through the Democratic-controlled Legislature then the questions raised here need to be answered before moving forward with global warming-centric political hysteria. That’s not how good policy is made, or to truly answer the questions about the climate changing and what that means for California, the U.S., industrialized nations and the developing world.

As a former Republican State Assembly nominee (43rd State District) I call on the CRP to begin soberly asking why they can’t win elections anymore? Particularly, Los Angeles County (as goes L.A. County so goes this state) when candidates like Pete Peterson should’ve been embraced, his campaign funded by the party, and should currently occupy a top CRP leadership position while gearing up to either run for Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Secretary of State again. Imagine if now, Dean Peterson (Pete is the Dean of Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy where I am a December 2015 graduate) were Secretary of State?

Dean Peterson ran on a platform of transparency, efficiency and effectiveness for the office, instead of the politicized entity it currently is that knowingly has illegal immigrants on its voter rolls. Anyone who believes there aren’t differences in a Democrat or Republican begin trying to clean up voter rolls, and the mess that brings up to find out the differences. Dean Peterson would’ve have accomplished that task, or at least wouldn’t have added to the disaster. The CRP and national party should embrace him and others vibrant candidates like him as well.

California has gotten lucky economically through Silicon Valley exploding, Los Angeles exploding home prices and the popular presidency of Barack Obama protected by and prodded forward by the media. A narrative not unlike Pravda during the Soviet Union’s days, but still we have the highest poverty rates, welfare usage, income inequality and fleeing of citizens over the other 49 U.S. states. We’ve created a system that is no longer sustainable in the long-run and unless voters change their minds, character or sources of voting information then the words of Samuel Johnson, in Oliver Goldsmith’s The Traveller, will come true: “How small, of all that human hearts endure, That part that laws or kings can cause or cure.”

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.

California Is Headed Into a Very Dark Pit

california-flagAs California still continues thumbing their nose at the brute, non-global-warming believing Donald Trump, we the people may need him now more than ever. After eight years of doing away with 70 years of post World War II deterrence, realpolitik, balancing hostile nations and leading the world, supposedly California voters thought it was more prudent “to lead from behind.” And now the price to restore global deterrence that will protect California is being paid.

These actions, where elections have consequences, now find California in the cross hairs of North Korean nuclear missiles. Global warming, human rights (whether gay rights or religious freedom) and despising Donald Trump/Republicans won’t take precedent when the threat ignored by “strategic patience” takes aim at Los Angeles and San Francisco for nuclear annihilation. Eight years of hand wringing and indecisive rhetoric has produced North Korea, Iranian, Chinese and Russian belligerence. Each of these war-seeking nations will strike California (the heart of the U.S. economy) if and when they are given the chance.

None of these issues are crossing the California Legislature or Gov. Brown’s collective minds at this time. If that’s the case then what is the state of the state? We’re on our way to passing the largest transportation tax in the history of California, according to State Senator John Moorlach, that will do nothing to alleviate the current transportation issues, address concerns about former transportation taxes that were appropriated elsewhere or address Cal Trans union-led inefficiencies, instead of accounted for transparency. Additionally, CalSTRS continues missing investment return rates, and the unfunded liability will drain state, city and county finances in only a few years. Other California pensions aren’t doing much better, and these workers who were promised one thing will more than likely never see there money in the coming decades.

Something will have to give – pensions to public employee unions. The promise was, we (the Democratic controlled state), will promise you hundreds of billions of taxpayer money, if only you keep electing us without ever actually asking how that plays out in the real world of diminished returns, an aging society and an already overtaxed electorate. California is also trillions in debt along with almost a trillion dollars of infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams, canals) work that needs to be done immediately.

Through this maelstrom, Gov. Brown is leading in polls to replace Senator Feinstein if she retires and the California Legislature has solid approval ratings. Yet crime soars in all major California cities after the passage of anti-cop, anti-incarceration propositions (47 and 57) and AB109. Democratic voters, moreover, allow the governor to reign over a “green clergy or green clerisy state,” says Joel Kotkin, to the detriment of the very constituents he claims to help with his anti-carbon, non-negotiable environmental policies.

Now cities such as Hermosa Beach want to be carbon-free without ever asking the economic, long-term, scalable viability of renewable energy to replace coal or gas-fired power plants. With the difficulties imposed by environmental mandates, (which do nothing to offset coal-fired carbon use by countries such as Germany, the U.K., China, India, most of Asia and Africa), the U.S. Census Bureau now reports housing permits and construction have slowed in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles, where I am based, continues to pass higher taxes while flouting federal immigration law. When does the madness stop? Or does it ever, particularly if Prop. 13 is overturned and state revenue would soar. That is an ever-looming possibility to solve budgetary gaps, but California continues voting for Democrats who govern this way.

What California has become, moreover, is a paradox of dysfunctional Republicans and Democrats who aren’t the kind of Democrats our parents grew up under – Pat Brown, FDR, Truman and Kennedy – men who cared about middle class prosperity and jobs, instead of billionaire Tom Steyer’s environmental edicts. Which is ironic, since he made billions off fossil fuels. We also lead the nation in illegal immigration, increasing welfare recipients, decreased incarceration causing skyrocketing crime rates and a overregulated middle class that is fleeing the state. But this is good for Democrats since the arriving poor take their place hoping for generous entitlements, service jobs or some type of government employment that benefits the California Democratic Party. It’s a perfect storm of how California is headed into a very dark pit of titanic proportions.

According to a Social Science Research Council report California has the most un-equitable levels of income, education levels and standards of living between coastal and inland communities. But as Joel Kotkin states: “Our emerging republic of climate” will only exacerbate these problems while tech, entertainment and media companies keep headquarters in California, but the real work is done in Texas, Nevada, North Carolina and other low cost, low tax states. California, however, was once the heart of the American dream, but the Democratic Party and apathetic, longing-for-Reagan-Republicans have killed that dream until voters change their patterns.

California losing its manufacturing base, aerospace and military industries is analogous to the U.S. losing deterrence; seeking to recapture that lost spirit is among the most dangerous moments when great powers lose their way. California and the U.S. will find this out at their peril whether this year or in the near future – but we will find out.

Allowing the North Koreans to develop an ICBM or signing a nuclear agreement with the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism – Iran – or letting the Chinese militarize the $5 trillion a year South China Sea while backing down to Assad continuing to gas his population are the same as California wholeheartedly believing in climate change/global warming without ever asking the consequences of your actions? California and the U.S. are on a sure-fire path to war – militarily and economically – because what was once normal (deterrence and middle class prosperity) have been replaced by fashionable, progressive policies. The false canard of sloganeering has taken over from that passé, dullard way of studying how economies grow, jobs are created and families being at the epicenter of public policy is no longer in vogue.

I implore California voters to begin asking themselves, their families and friends why they keep voting for the same public officials while expecting different results. Further, President Donald Trump doesn’t need us – and would beat Hillary Clinton again if the election was held today – so the Legislature and Gov. Brown should make nice immediately. One strategically placed nuke flips California’s massive electoral college votes to the next Republican running for president. That’s not made up scenarios, but realpolitik at its scariest. So stop the nonsense and imprudent hatred of the president. Our lives and state may depend upon it, quicker than we want to believe.

While elite, California enclaves decry high crime rates, they voted for the very people who put in place the propositions that treat criminals the way a parent treats a child who takes an extra piece of candy. Deterrence works – for societal criminals, murderous, nation-state tyrants and for California policymakers – but for now, sticking our heads in the sands and hoping for the best while Senator Kevin de Leon and Gov. Brown shove climate change legislation down our economic throats won’t stop North Korea or the downfall of California.

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.

The #NeverTrump Crowd Owes President Donald Trump An Apology

donald-trump-3Before launching into this piece I know wonderful conservatives who are part of the #NeverTrump ideologues. I also have close, personal friends – even mentors – who are still part of this movement; but now for the good of the country, California and professional reputations I implore all of you to let prudence be your guide. Stop your continued misguided, ridiculous and frankly embarrassing behavior and admit he is a great, conservative president who actually stands up and fights for what is best for the United States and California.

Let’s review what President Trump accomplished in one week. He got Judge (now Associate Justice) Neil Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court, and according to Senator Tom Cotton (a former member of the 101st Airborne, served in Iraq and Afghanistan), “Restored America’s credibility in the world,” after striking Syria over their chemical weapons attack. Senator Cotton further remarks:

“It’s also telling that the strikes in Syria occurred while President Trump dined with President Xi Jingping of China since the president has repeatedly expressed his concerned about North Korea and expects China to restrain Pyongyang.”

No fan of President Trump, Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, echoed the same sentiments as Sen. Cotton, that Trump understands the rough and tumble world of international diplomacy. He one-upped President Xi by making him wait an hour for his arrival at their recent summit the same way Ronald Reagan first greeted Gorbachev on a cold winter day wearing only a suit while Gorbachev was bundled in a heavy top coat and scarf. Trump understands what Obama didn’t, and the Chinese have begun changing their behavior after the summit, when it was reported by Reuters that China is turning back North Korean coal (North Korea’s main export) from their docks.

“But wait,” the #NeverTrump crowd will say, “Donald Trump is an ally of Putin and aligned himself with his crude behavior against American interests by wanting normalized relations with Russia.”

Sen. Cotton takes issue with that line of reasoning from the #NeverTrump crowd when he further stated in an op-ed for the New York Times (not the biggest President Trump fans by the way):

“Russia’s geopolitical standing has taken a severe blow. Mr. Putin was powerless to protect his client in Damascus. Moscow now faces a Hobson’s choice of empty words of condemnation or escalation on behalf of a global pariah, which risks further American action. After years of Russian aggression being met by empty American words, now Mr. Putin finds his credibility at stake.”

Or, as my former graduate school professor Victor Davis Hanson recently opined about “redline threats” in a brilliant article titled, “Ancient Laws, Modern Wars,” when smaller nations (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran) believe deterrence is nothing more than hollow words – which the former administration gave the U.S. and the world – then wars such as World War I are the outcome. Words need forcible actions and this president and his secretary of state are proving that on a daily basis.

Even a former high-ranking Obama administration official despaired over the moral depravity and ineptitude of her former colleagues and boss who knew chemical weapons were still in Syria, lied about it anyway, and did nothing to stop this latest chemical attack – except having the Treasury Department:

“Quietly introduce last minute treasury sanctions against Syrian officials involved in chemical warfare. Assad in particular.”

In other words, President Obama’s administration, led by former Secretary of State John Kerry (Kerry said, “100 percent of chemical weapons are out of Syria”), knew Putin and Russia had done nothing about Assad’s chemical weapons, continued the myth, or are such gross incompetents they had no idea that Putin’s government didn’t keep their promises to remove Assad’s chemical weapons.

That would mean the 16 U.S. government intelligence agencies, “that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities considered necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and the nationals security of the United States,” never spoke with, wrote a memo of, or even had an underling relay that information (chemical weapons still exist in Syria) to President Obama, his national security team (led by Susan Rice), or former Secretary Kerry.

But the Republican purists and #NeverTrump crowd will still argue and debate President Trump’s merit as a leader, policymaker and how he isn’t presidential enough for their liking. As Dennis Prager articulates in a recent column: “Purists Kill Whatever They Believe In,” whether health care reform (Obamacare is still law costing hundreds of billions in taxes, wages and premiums), no hope of tax reform (also costing hundreds of billions), or not having the ability, reasonable level of competency and skill to actually govern, which purist Republican are demonstrating right now in California and the U.S. Congress.

Why wouldn’t he go to Twitter to bash his own party and the press? Given the above example does any reasonable person believe he will receive fair coverage by the press and his own party at this time?

Ironically, his tweets of Sweden being overrun by terrorist-immigrants and President Obama spying on him have more truth than falsehoods to them. Read Eli Lake’s piece in Bloomberg on Obama officials spying on Trump transition team members where NSA Susan Rice was behind breaking the law and high-ranking national security officials (Deputy Defense Secretary Evelyn Farkas) admitted to spying on the incoming administration along with high-ranking officials from the National Security Council, Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA.

But Trump is a buffoon and un-presidential, correct? Now the Swedish Prime Minster has said, “His country will never go back to the days of mass immigration,” after the failed asylum seeker (who launched the recent Swedish terrorist attack) was let in Sweden without being vetted. The #NeverTrump crowd and Republican purists owe President Trump their deepest gratitude for their safety, because he doesn’t seem so wrong after all – now does he? And whom do you trust – the eloquent, former law school professor or the rough and tumble real estate developer?

Yet Republican policymakers are still blaming President Obama while not working with Trump for their inability to pass any of the above changes. This was confirmed by Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Ok.) to Politico when he said, “Clearly President Obama gave us a common focus. Now that he’s gone, we have to govern.”

Congressman Lucas and his ilk should be voted out of office. Either govern or at least support the president, because members like Congressman Lucas and California State Republican Senator Anthony Cannella are killing the Republican Party while making the case for the continuation of leftism perpetuated by the Democratic Party.

Using the reasoning that the enemy of the good is the perfect, here are a few questions for the #NeverTrump crowd: Who else was going to beat Secretary Clinton? I voted for Cruz and supported Rubio wholeheartedly until he dropped out of the race, but if it weren’t for Trump in Florida, Rubio loses, to the detriment of Florida and the country. Were Drs. Thomas Sowell and Victor Davis Hanson wrong for supporting Trump? Are they stupid, unwise, without domestic or international knowledge or simply non-prudent bumpkins? Not hardly.

Final question for The National Review and The Weekly Standard folks and California policymakers who didn’t support Trump, and still lost: After your high-priced and overpaid columns, speeches, lectures, luncheons, dinners, conferences, radio and television appearance along with week long cruises around the world, where you are all speak and no action, what would you have done if Hillary Clinton had won and the Democrats were in control?

Because for 99.9 percent of the world under assault from the U.S. and California Democratic Party over social issues (abortion, gay marriage – support it or else – transgender rights – also support it or else, and global warming – unfortunately, support it or else) not to mention the disaster that is taking place around the world echoed by Victor Davis Hanson and for California, written extensively by Joel Kotkin over its forthcoming financial and societal meltdown there are few options over our intrusive, leviathan government. What are your answers? As opposed to we hate Trump’s tweets and he isn’t Reagan?

Trump is confronting Russia, China, North Korea and Iran the way Reagan confronted Russia. Secretary Tillerson is exactly what is needed to deal with those four bastard countries. The day of niceties red-reset buttons with Russia are over.

Here’s what today’s Democrats are giving us: Higher taxes, horrible racist, crime-infested cities, poor infrastructure, failing universities and public education, higher taxes, global warming policies costing trillions and most Republicans go right along with it like lambs to the slaughter. Is it any wonder the country elected Trump? Paradoxically, these same Republicans and the #NeverTrump crowd still haven’t repealed Obamacare, cut taxes or begun rebuilding the military – it’s been Trump – and it’s why you owe him an apology. Begin working with him, and start preparing for the foreign policy disaster that is coming our way when California implodes and China/North Korea, Russia or Iran attacks us.

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.

The Disaster of Believing in 100% Renewable Energy

Solar panelsSenate Bill 584, the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program, introduced by state Senator Kevin de Leon, would reformulate the calculations for how much energy California would receive from renewables while eliminating fossil fuels. Senator de Leon wants to amend Section 399.11 of the Public Utilities Code relating to energy that currently states by December 31, 2030, California would have retail sales of renewable energy at 50 percent. Under the senator’s bill, California would have 100 percent of energy only from renewables. Currently, the U.S. receives around 10-13 percent from renewables, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and sees that figure only reaching 21-26 percent by 2050.

With California it’s more severe than in other parts of the country for how much renewable energy is required for consumers and business, because the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program already states:

“The Public Utilities Commission to establish a renewables portfolio standard requiring all retail sellers, as defined, so that the total kilowatt hours of those products sold to their retail end-use customers achieves benchmarks of 25 percent, 33 percent, 45 percent, and 50 percent.”

California already has some of the highest electricity rates in the country, and passing this bill would only exacerbate the problem while sending more companies and jobs to other states or overseas. There is a direct correlation between higher business costs (electricity being a large cost) and business relocation. Why is Senator de Leon risking this happening by upping the cost of electricity when even the EIA says a large, fully-developed economy – that is California – will have a difficult time thriving and keeping middle class families and workers with skyrocketing energy costs? Not to mention we owe trillions in outstanding debts.

Believing renewable energy is scalable, and not downtrodden when intermittent weather occurs, while having excess energy storage issues follows the same misguided policies guiding electrical vehicles. Where even with generous tax credits and beautiful vehicles built by Tesla and all major car manufacturers has still only allowed EVs to capture roughly 1 percent of worldwide car sales.

But there are even bigger problems with renewables, and this bill that need to be ascertained by Senator De Leon, Governor Brown and other advocates for turning California into a 100 percent renewable energy state. Internationally, we are seeing that countries that attempt to do away with fossil fuel realize they can’t. A great example is the U.K., which in 2016 saw oil production gains for the second straight year. Not coincidentally the U.K. also saw the best economic growth in the world per these gains in 2016. There is direct causation between oil, natural gas, and coal production linked with economic prosperity for all sectors of society.

The facts about renewables are the issues that need to be overcome before proceeding forward with SB584. According to the BP 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy – the most popular forms of renewable energy – wind and solar accounted for less than 2 percent of world energy consumption. The U.S. electrical grid will have to be completely updated and overhauled, costly trillions of dollars, because The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the U.S. grid a D+ grade in every category of electrical use. Without a state-of-the-art grid that can handle spikes and fluctuations in energy that renewables create and cause (particularly wind and solar) then California will have blackouts and expenses worse than previously experienced in the early 2000s.

During the recent rain and snowstorms that were unprecedented that is when some of the biggest energy needs occur that renewables can’t handle. Natural gas is a flexible fuel, along with coal and oil (WTI & Brent), but all forms of renewables need a fossil fuel backing them up. In other words what SB584 doesn’t address is reliability and the costs to the grid compared to fossil fuels. Beijing, China recently switched from coal to just coal-based electricity and saw costs rise 100 percent from $200 a month to $300 a month. Renewables will be more expensive than what Beijing experienced.

Moreover, Senator de Leon and legislators agreeing with SB584 need to make sure they are using the correct calculations for Energy Return on Energy Invested or at least consider the overall levelized costs. Boundary issues are relevant to wind and solar but more accurate analysis needs to use “point of use,” because wind and solar need massive changes as described above for them to work on a scalable, statewide basis. Many publications touting renewables don’t calculate this properly, and in some cases could be less than 1:1 energy-to-energy ratio.

Storage isn’t discussed enough either. If you want heat in the winter and cool air in the summer then somehow wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric have to be stored. For now small amounts can be stored, but for extreme weather, even overbuilding solar farms and wind turbines doesn’t solve the intermittent weather and storage problems that would be caused by SB584.

Some countries such as Sweden, Norway, Finland and Switzerland have large shares of their electricity from all types of energy mixes, but even that is deceiving. The BP Statistical Review confirms these four countries have high proportions of their energy from multiple sources, but each country has low populations and significant hydroelectric supply. Currently, as an example, the Oroville Dam is old, decaying and giving away to torrential rains; therefore, would the legislature be willing to appropriate billions towards new dams and maintenance of old ones to up California’s percentage of hydroelectric? So far the answer seems to be no for environmental reasons. The EIA (source: Gail Tverberg, OurFiniteWorld.com) has also confirmed that hydroelectricity deals with the problems of intermittency, reliability, scalability and storage – the same as all other renewables.

What California needs to decide in their quest for a 100 percent renewable energy portfolio are how much consumers are willing to pay in their quest for energy parity? Californians can only purchase what wage growth predicates, and if the cost of a commodity increases (energy) then wages, though rising, aren’t keeping up with the cost of living or doing business. Peak energy is a myth, and there is more oil and gas than the world can fathom. Thus energy demand comes not from a lack of supply but from a lack of affordability, seen from the Beijing example.

Rising costs don’t translate necessarily into a more prosperous society. What SB584 doesn’t take into account are what happens to fossil fuel companies that still have to pay interest on loans, continuing retirement benefits for workers and pipelines that have to operate for 365 days a year. The question isn’t renewables versus fossil fuels or vice versa, but the question is whether California is willing to pay for two systems of electricity. There’s the rub, and more than likely, unless you can afford higher electricity costs, the state will see more businesses and middle class families along with their taxes, leave the state.

Todd Royal is an independent public policy consultant focusing on the geopolitical implications of energy based in Los Angeles, California.

This piece was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily