Ron Paul: al-Qaeda’s unintentional stooge?

I could not believe my ears when Ron Paul, during the last Presidential debate, gave justification to Osama bin Laden’s 9/11 terror killings on American soil. Paul’s strange comment was breathtaking to me, coming just four days before the 10th anniversary of the infamous incidents that took the lives of over 3,000 innocent U. S. citizens. It was insensitive and lacking compassion for the tens of thousands more of service veterans, protecting our freedoms, who have been casualties in the resulting War on Terror.

I can understand the libertarian position of non-intervention espoused by Paul. As a child of an emigrant of the Russian civil war, I disagree with it. I understand international communism to be a menace to freedom everywhere. Just like radical Islam. But I do not understand, or accept, giving justification to terror killings. That is not libertarianism. It is instead boarder-line lunacy.
The Constitution requires a President, under Article II, to be the “commander in chief” of all U.S. armed forces and to commission all military officers. The purpose of the clause is to place supreme authority in one person in government to protect the rest of us from serious foreign threats. But Paul’s debate performances are proving he is not up to that task. Paul’s concept of reality is far afield and divorced from the consensual reality shared by hundreds of millions of Western Europeans and Americans. Non-intervention can surely be an acceptable policy, as evidenced by the foreign policies of states like Sweden and Switzerland, which did business with tyrants in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia simultaneously. In those cases the neutrality was disingenuous but self-serving. But apologizing for the tyrants was not part of their non-intervention, and this is where Ron Paul flunks the statesmanship test.
I guess Paul’s crossing-the-line of reason should be expected. After all, this is the only presidential candidate who agrees with efforts of Islamists to build a Grand Mosque near the site of the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City where over 2,300 people were killed by radical Islamists. Paul’s published justification there isn’t some heady reference to the guarantee of “freedom of religion” in the Constitution, rather, it’s, “well, we shouldn’t blame Christianity for Timothy McVeigh’s terror bombing in Oklahoma City, so why deny Islam it’s Mosque at ground zero”? A false logic once again insensitive to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. And a flawed logic equal to Paul’s thinking in voting against giving Ronald Reagan a medal for his achievement in winning the Cold War.

I surely don’t think Ron Paul actually intends to be supportive of al-Qaeda terror. But his words surely are supportive in explaining away their terrorism. Some might even see it as giving “aid and comfort” to the actions of a true enemy of freedom. However, if we could be a “fly on the wall” in that remote cave deep in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan where the grizzly top council of al-Qaeda’s leadership might be meeting to discuss the U.S. Presidential race, I am certain the candidate they would like the most would be Ron Paul.

Maxine Waters is Right: Obama’s Jobs Plan Stinks

Ultra-liberal California Congresswoman Maxine Waters is on the wrong side of almost every issue except one: Obama’s jobs plan just stinks.

     Of California’s 12.1 percent unemployed, not many of them are teachers.  Teachers here, thanks to their powerful public employee union, are doing pretty good, pulling down well above average wages and excessive pension rights that taxpayers really cannot afford, which contribute mightily to our state government’s perpetual debt crisis, itself a huge drag on the economy in general.  Yet of the unemployed in California, almost 35% are young people in the recent high school graduate age category who are without work. Of those, about half of young black males are unemployed in California – three years into Barrack Obama’s presidency.  Over 21% of black Californians in general are unemployed. Where is their hope in Obama’s plan for a job?  Well, they have very little hope under Obama.
     The Obama national jobs plan outlined this week is pretty simple: hire more teachers.  But of course unemployed young black men in California don’t have the college education to qualify for the necessary teaching credential.  Oh, and Obama’s plan calls for continuing to pour more concrete in government road projects.  However, unemployed young black men, being new to the workforce, don’t have the skills to get admitted into the construction trade unions that might benefit from more stimulus spending on road construction, let alone the seniority in the union to actually get hired to work on a project.  Obama’s plan for small business is to offer more loan programs through the Small Business Administration.  However, what small businesses need is tax relief incentives to do more hiring, not bureaucratic loan programs that take weeks to apply for and complete the application forms and even then are impossible to meet the qualification regulations.  Not much hope there for any employment boost, including for black and Hispanic youth, where the unemployment problem is worst.
    It is this dirth of a real jobs program that has prompted California Congresswoman Maxine Waters to call out Obama and say, “treat blacks like they were from Iowa!”, meaning, give them the same special attention that the presidential candidates are giving to the citizens of America’s earliest presidential primary state.  Record unemployment levels in California call for attention to the unemployed across the board, not just black unemployed, but there is no denying that among black and Hispanic youth the problem is most acute.  Waters and Obama’s problem, along with many leaders in the minority communities, is their lack of willingness to embrace new, targeted solutions in the minority communities, such as the “enterprise zones” called for by famous economist Dr. Arthur Laffer, which would eliminate job killing Federal and state regulations in designated urban areas to draw capital investment and new job growth.  But more than one black economic writer has blasted the idea as “ghettoizing” and leading to creation of “sweatshops” instead of new jobs.   Union rhetoric.  So the stasis of ideas simply leads to new extensions of Federal and state unemployment compensation, leading to even more government debt, and undoubtedly sets a stage for more youth crime, leading to a host of other undesirable outcomes for the people affected, and for taxpayers.
     Reaction on Capitol Hill to Obama’s new jobs plan has been to see it for what it is: just more politics.  Obama is simply pandering to his public employee union supporters and giving himself an excuse on his dismal jobs performance when the Republican House of Representatives ultimately decides most of the plan is worthless.  Regardless, even people who should be Obama’s core supporters, like California’s Maxine Waters, can see that his economic policies are not “creating jobs”.   And the deeper analysis is that Obama’s policies are destroying wealth, and without wealth, there can be no money in the private sector to hire anybody, let alone youth unemployed.

Ed Rollins pull-back means Bachmann is done

We’ve known Californian Ed Rollins since his days as the Assembly Republican Caucus’ top consultant. He worked in the White House, helped Ronald Reagan win re-election in 1984, worked for the Huffingtons (famously chronicled in his book) and Christine Todd Whitman, really went against convention with Ross Perot in 1988, helped lots of Senate candidates, moved to New York City, got hooked up with Huckabee in 2008, and was pulled into the Bachmann campaign by younger devotees this year.

Rollins really wanted Huckabee to run for President but that candidate wisely figured he had no real chance. So the team of consultants Rollins put together to monetize this presidential election jumped to Bachmann, a real long shot. Then the Iowa straw-poll debate happened, where Bachman reportedly “scratched Tim Palenty’s eyes out” and won the straw poll. For a brief period Bachmann shot ahead in the polls and was looking good.
But Rick Perry’s entrance into the Republican presidential race within days of the Iowa straw poll changed everything, including the polls. Bachmann has tanked across America in polls since Perry became a candidate, as Perry has grabbed almost all Bachmann’s voters. Bachmann’s tanking means it is harder to raise the funds needed to pay Rollins and his team the high salaries they think they deserve, and to do the advertising they urge. That is what animates Rollins’ pull-back as manager of Bachmann’s race, health notwithstanding, and look for some of Bachmann’s team, already en route to Texas, to join Perry’s campaign.
Bachmann is an appealing personality at a Tea Party Rally but she would not be desirable as a Vice Presidential candidate to whoever wins the GOP nomination. Like Ron Paul, as just a Member of Congress, she does not have a history of winning statewide elections, or a strong regional appeal that would bring a better chance of influencing significant electoral votes to the Republican ticket. Focus groups indicate some Republican woman voters are turned off by Bachmann’s references during the Ames debate to having “24” foster children. Bachmann is a true believer, but, for the record, we think Bachmann is done as a serious national candidate.

Bill violates U.S. & State right to free speech: passes Assembly 65-12.

SB 488 is a bill by State Senator Lou Correa (D – Orange County), that imposes further regulations on election mailings, namely slate mail. While I am personally involved in producing some slates, I had nothing to do with prompting the lawyer who wrote the impartial analysis of the bill for the State Assembly, which opens with: “This measure could be interpreted to violate the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution’s right to free speech.” With that, the California Assembly yesterday overwhelmingly passed the bill by a 65-12 vote, thus giving great satisfaction to the public employee union promoting this unconstitutional bill. The Legislators decided that they would rather pass an unconstitutional law than get a public employee union to campaign against them. I wonder if they ever considerated that the free speech lobby was also watching their votes? The Correa bill, if it passes the State Senate and if the Governor signs it, will be successfully challenged in Federal Court, at great legal expense to the California general fund, as so many other sinister anti-First Amendment bills have fallen. What a waste of money, and integrity.

Here is a link to the bill

Connie Conway, an unsung hero

California Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway has done a fantastic job of holding her caucus together this session on key votes on taxes and spending.  In particular, she deserves great credit for warding off the relentless pressure of special interests and public employee unions to urge and split-off individual Republican legislators to cave in to higher taxes, more giveaway programs and unchecked spending, all of which contribute to higher unemployment and more sour economic times in our Golden State.  In the recent budget battles, Conway’s strength as Leader and her Republican colleagues helped avoid a $58 billion tax increase being pushed by the special interests.  For that alone, Conway and her fellow Assembly Republicans all deserve a “Golden Star” for a job well-done.

Assemblymember Conway represents the 34th Assembly District, which takes in many parts of California’s Central Valley and High Desert areas.  Prior to serving in the Assembly, Conway served as a Tulare County Supervisor from 2000 until 2008. Conway currently serves on the State Board of Directors for California Women Lead, a women’s nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.  She is a practical, common sense, committed conservative.

Unfortunately, being the Assembly Republican Leader at times like these must be very much like trying to “herd cats.”  Our friend over at FlashReport, Jon Fleischman, has done a great job of helping to keep the public spotlight on Republican members that the liberals target to pick off on key votes for tax and spending bills.  That “shining light” helps Conway to keep her caucus actually voting “Republican.”  Nevertheless, there are hundreds and hundreds of bills that must be reviewed in the various committees of the State Senate and Assembly during the Legislative process, and it is in these many dark rooms where back-bone is especially required of Republicans to defend our constitution.  It is also in these committee rooms where a bill can be made, or broken, by principled review and action.  Yet sometimes even those Republican legislators who profess themselves to be the most conservative, will “leave the reservation” to try to gain “brownie points” for re-election from a public employee union or liberal think-tank by casting a stray vote in favor of an unconstitutional regulation or new spending program.  These sad situations are occurring right now as the Legislature finishes its summer business, and they happen when the odd-ball Republican legislator thinks no one is watching, or that there will be no consequence for what they think might be an over-looked committee vote.

The best legislator is the principled one, liberal or conservative, that votes his or her true conviction and that doesn’t play games with the legislative process for what they think is election gain.  Conway certainly has many of these types of members in her caucus.  Publications like ours and others are doing the watching and we can chose to highlight those odd-ball members who betray their party’s principles behind closed doors. But we are so glad that Connie Conway is not one of those types; and because of that California is all the better with her as the Republican Leader.

CA “Misery Index” tops Jimmy Carter era

The “Misery Index” economic indicator that Jimmy Carter used to defeat Gerald Ford for the Presidency was at an all-time high of 13.57% in the summer of 1976.  But it’s 14.68% now in California, and rising.  While Carter successfully campaigned that “no man responsible for giving a country a misery index that high had a right to even ask to be President,” thereby targeting a weak Republican president instead of the policies of the entrenched 40-year long Democrat controlled Congress of the era, perhaps Democrats here in California will also get away with their terrible performance on the economy by blaming someone else.

That’s because the main stream media doesn’t seem very interested in holding Democrats to task for California’s (or America’s) economic woes, even given the Democrats almost perpetual control of our State Legislature, a Democratic Governor, a Democratic President, and a Congress only one-half, and narrowly at that, controlled by Republicans.  And public opinion is still pretty good for Governor Jerry Brown, at 48% positive.  Yet the MSM seems full of stories about George W. Bush-era failings as the root of all economic evils in America, and can’t seem to write much anything about the utter failure of Obama-era spending programs, or California’s dysfunctional big spending Legislative Democrats.  While Obama hands out the shovelware, and our State Legislature debates variations of shear constitutional lunacy, our financial markets are blowing up at the seams.  Piers Morgan devotes hours on CNN to talk about a defeated Delaware 2010 GOP U.S. Senate candidate’s position on gay marriage.  It all reminds one of that story about Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned down.  Is anybody in a responsible position anywhere paying attention to our economy???

The “Misery Index” is a combination of the inflation rate and the unemployment rate.  It was invented by an economist named Arthur Okun.  The truth is, during Gerald Ford’s presidency the misery index actually went down.  And the average misery index for all Jimmy Carter’s ineffectual four years as President really ended higher, at 16.26%, than it was the year he was elected.

Last week California’s unemployment rate was pegged at 12%, well over the national average. The Los Angeles Times explained away the higher rate in California as a continuing result of the higher exposure here to problems in real estate markets.  The articles said nothing about the poor performance of all the Democrats job growth programs here.

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor statistics, the inflation rate in California was 2.68% in March 2011 and is acknowledged to be rising, to as high as 3% by year-end.  So a 14.68% misery index probably understates the problem in California.

Our statewide blowout of Republican candidates in the last election was a hard pill to swallow for some of us.  But really, now there is no one else left to blame in Sacramento for the long term failure of state economic policies but the Democrats.  Will our media ever tell that story?  More importantly, will a public used to hearing about how Republicans are to blame for all of our problems, start waking up?


Ron Paul ties “refused to answer” in California

A new poll in California makes it clear that Ron Paul didn’t get much of a lift from the Iowa straw poll here.  Paul has just 4.8% of Republicans supporting him, which is equal to the number of people who refused to respond to the pollster’s callers questions.

You can access the poll results here:,-Perry-in-Second-Place.  Taken August 17, Romney leads among California Republicans with 22.2%; “firm unsure” follows with 21.2%; Texas Governor Rick Perry, who had hardly entered the race, is already at 15%; undeclared Sarah Palin is at 10.2%; and the rest follow.

It is still early in the process and California’s primary is so late, in June, that few veteran political observers feel the state will carry much weight in the Republican nomination.  Still, California represents a huge cache of delegate strength, a total of 172 out of 2422 at the 2012 Republican national convention.  Delegates are allotted on a mix of who wins in each Congressional district and statewide.

Chris Christie should inspire Jerry Brown

It looks like the new Governor of the generally Democratic state of New Jersey is doing a heck of a lot better than the sort of new Governor of what has become an always Democratic state of California, and even President Obama, and while Obama is now officially “hopeless,” perhaps Jerry Brown can learn at least a few things from New Jersey Governor Chris Cristie.

While Obama and Jerry Brown are still slap-happy talking new taxes as a fix for our ailing economy, Christie has gone in the opposite (and correct) direction, by building up tax incentive programs aimed at keeping and growing new business in New Jersey.  That means broader employment opportunities, and more business profits in the tax base.  According to one report, through July, New Jersey companies had received $41.1 million in new tax breaks for keeping 6,000 jobs in the state.  That is a big bump against the national and California trends of simply losing more and more jobs each month.  In the same period a year ago, New Jersey had lost 1,400 jobs.  Christie has relentlessly focused on economic issues in the Garden State and has not been afraid to take on public employee unions in the drive to rein in and reform out-of-control public pension mandates.  So far, he has been winning the battle.

No wonder a Monmouth University/NJ last week determined Christie’s approval rating was a 50% with register votes, in comparison to Brown’s 48% in California and Obama’s eye-poppingly low 20% national approval rating, according to Rasmussen.

Christie has not been a “shoot-from-the-hip” critic of Obama, but his style is straightforward nonetheless.  He was not reluctant to call out the President for his failure to put a plan in writing during the national debt-reduction crisis earlier this month.  At the time, Christie said that when he proposed forcing some government workers in New Jersey to pay more for their own benefits, he put the plan in writing so the public could assess it and the debate could be transparent.  In contrast, Obama’s debt ideas were always “back room” chatter and were one of the biggest reasons the negotiations were drawn out to the last minute, helping to disrupt financial markets and causing a lot of grief to a lot of people whose stock based 401K plans sank as a result.  Obama did not want the public to really know what his plan was; Christie put it on paper.

Governor Christie’s policies deserve more than a passing glance from Jerry Brown in getting California back on track, where our companies are fleeing to states like Texas, and the state unemployment rate has reached 11.8%, well above the national average, and New Jersey’s 9.5% rate.  It might be an inspiration to some to know that Christie is achieving his results with a Democrat dominated state legislature and no statewide initiative law.

Governor Christie has made it very clear that he is not a GOP candidate for President in this election.  Nevertheless, this law-and-order former Federal prosecutor is making a national name for himself in building out an economic recovery in New Jersey based on tax relief and belt-tightening by government, something many of us think we could use right here in California.

Ron Paul’s Berlin Wall Problem

Ronald Reagan told the Communists to “tear down” the Berlin Wall.  Ron Paul’s vision is, “oh that’s O.K., you can leave it up.”  This is the fundamental difference between Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul, and when a reporter finally asks Paul the “Berlin Wall” question, his nascent campaign for the Republican nomination for President will appropriately crumble.

Yesterday, August 13, Congressman Ron Paul, a former Republican defector who ran for President on the Libertarian Party platform in 1988 and won less than half of 1% of the vote in 46 states nationwide, came in a strong second place in the Iowa straw poll.  According to John Gizzi of Human Events, who was on the ground, and as evidenced by the earlier nationally televised debate of Republican candidates, Paul did so by repeatedly urging what the main stream media is calling “non-intervention” in foreign affairs.  “Bring the troops home” he yelled in Ames, Iowa, complaining about what some deeper-thinking Republicans refer to as the “cost of freedom” in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Paul screamed that the cost was just too much for the United States budget and economy to bear.  Even Democrat Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who is a socialist, not a Republican straw poll voter, agreed with Paul’s views.

There is no question that Paul just bubbles with crank viewpoints.  After losing a race for U.S. Senate in Texas to Phil Gramm in 1984, he bolted the GOP and ran for president in 1988 on a platform that called for abolition of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, according to published accounts.  Those abolitional topics have not been as evident in Paul’s more current campaign speeches this election year, which are more focused on abolishing the Federal Reserve Board, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.  (I personally admit I have thought about abolishing the Bank of America when the teller lines get too long. though not all of the FBI, CIA, IMF, and so on.)  But ubiquitous of his viewpoints since his early days in the 1970s as a Congressman, has been his view that U.S. troops should not be stationed overseas no matter what.  And in the case of the Cold War and Berlin, those views simply do not square with a “freedom philosophy.”

While voters in Iowa were casting their ballots in the straw poll, thousands of miles away in Central Europe, freedom loving people in Germany were observing a minute of silence in memory of 125 dead people.  Why?  Well, that same day was coincidentally the 50th anniversary of that sad time in 1961 when troops of a communist dictatorship, the former German Democratic Republic, began construction of a massive reinforced concrete and barbed wire structure that divided the city of Berlin and defined the Cold War.  The 125 who were mourned were East Germans who were killed by machine gun fire by their own government trying to cross over that Wall and flee tyranny in the East for freedom in the West.

Ronald Reagan had a philosophy about Communism.  He opposed it.  And in June of 1987 he stood below the Brandenburg Gate on the free, west side of Berlin and declared to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, “tear down this wall.”  Reagan’s statement was the expression of a life long commitment to the cause of individual liberty.  It was a salvo in the “war of ideas” against the Communist dictatorships who opposed individual liberties and inspired hope in countless millions in the East, in Poland and other countries just brimming for freedom.  But it was a statement also backed up by a strong foreign and defense policy that committed, according to the Heritage Foundation, over 250,000 U.S. troops every year in Germany and Berlin, and important spending on a ballistic missile and nuclear defense strategy that Communism could not compete with.  With Reagan’s statement at the Berlin Wall, backed by his policies as President, the Cold War was essentially won.  By November of 1989, East German residents started tearing down the Wall undeterred by their own broken-down government.  And now pieces of the Wall can be found not only in Berlin, but in places like the Monaco train station, at Reagan’s former ranch in Santa Barbara county, and at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley; all symbolic remembrances of how freedom was threatened by tyranny; and that freedom won out in the end.

So the question is, what was Ron Paul’s view of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy regarding the Berlin Wall?

Ron Paul may never get asked that question on a national T.V. network, because the liberals who dominate the media are beginning to define him as the “Republican with new ideas” who is “exciting young people”.  They know what they are doing by propping him up: they are trivializing the debate about who the Republican party’s next standard bearer should be, and after the Ames straw poll, things are getting dangerous!

If a reporter ever really does ask Paul the question, Paul’s likely response will be to avoid the question and to trot out a quote attributed to Ronald Reagan praising him, and a bill he introduced in Congress in 2001 to “give every veteran of the Cold War a medal.”  But these wily responses are without substance.  Paul’s Reagan quote is little more than press release verbiage Reagan generously handed-out to just about every incumbent Republican member of Congress facing a tough re-election.  Paul didn’t deserve it.  There is little question that Ron Paul was a vociferous opponent of Reagan’s foreign and defense policies during the 1980s, a policy which literally demolished Communism in Europe and brought millions and millions of people into freedom; freedom that would never have been achieved under Ron Paul’s naive “non-interventionist” views.  If Ron Paul was President instead of Ronald Reagan, have no doubt that America would have lost the Cold War, and countless more would live in tyranny to this day than in freedom.  And the Berlin Wall would still be there.

Ron Paul’s Berlin Wall problem exemplifies the difference not only between Ronald Reagan and himself, but the essential difference between radical libertarianism and true conservatism.  I cannot account for what those 4,000 people were really thinking in Ames when they cast their straw vote ballots.  But I know that the threat of Islamic militants as epitomized by the events of September 11 remain a terrible threat to our way of life in America, and that these threats are in some ways even more directly pointed at U.S. citizens, than in the Cold War.  The response to these threats is not to bring troops home from Afghanistan.  The fix for our economy is not to stop spending money on steps that protect our nation from terrorist attacks.  And surely, the answer to such important questions is not in electing Ron Paul our next president.


Will debt crisis bust Obama’s California ATM?

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Thursday night’s Republican Presidential debate in Iowa appropriately started out with questions about one of the biggest political events of the year: the downgrading of our nation’s credit rating for the first time in history. While all the GOP candidates snapped at that “red meat,” and blamed liberal policies, the guy who as President presided over this great fiscal embarrassment, Barack Obama, probably sat in his home office in the White House mulling over his press conference on the same day, where he blamed conservatives in the GOP for the downgrade instead.
The national debt downgrade last week was bracketed by topsy-turvey financial markets. This week, billions have been lost by average investors’ retirement plans while billions were made by opportunistic professional traders on the drastic, day-by-day swings in the stock market. Respected economists are making dire predictions that the United States will sink into a second recession, that the real estate market will not recover for years, that unemployment will rise perhaps above 10%.
So all that said, as our economy is demolished, is California just going to continue to be Barack Obama’s campaign’s Automated Teller Machine?
Late last April, Obama made a two-day, six stop tour of our Golden State that purportedly raised him $7 million for his 2012 re-election campaign. Liberal political analyst Sherri Bebitch Jeffe said that California had become “Obama’s ATM”, regardless of sinking polls outside California.
That was then.
Since April, and after the Administration’s deserved “high” for getting bin Laden, a national economy that was already in the tank has come terribly close to completely imploading. Politicians in Washington hardly were able to cobble a last minute plan together to deal with our country’s terrible spending problem, as Obama pestered them, pushing more taxes on them, and on a sick economy, as a road to economic recovery. It is a miracle they got a compromise that didn’t include Obama’s new taxes – yet. His debt plan is the moral equivalent of “bleeding” as a remedy for anemia.
I wonder how much money those big donors to Obama in California have lost in the last few days with him as President. What good is an invitation to a White House dinner if your corporate jet is in receivership?
I also wonder whether the majority of the 9.4% of unemployed people in our state, whom research shows were Obama voters in 2008, will be showing up again at the polls in 2012 for him with the same enthusiasm, assuming they still have cars, auto insurance and gas money to get to the voting booths.
Jeffe predicts that Obama will still win California, no matter. It will be a sad statement of self-deprecation of Cailfornians if that happens. But I’ll bet Obama won’t raise $7 million from rich liberals the next time he comes here, because even rich liberals lose money on the stock market.