I attended the one-night-only showing of the new movie "Climate Hustle" last evening. I must confess it was disappointing. I had hoped for a large crowd and that they would be exposed to the overwhelming scientific evidence that this "catastrophic anthropogenic (man-made) global warming" (CAGW) was a fraud, a great pseudoscientific hoax. Instead I got sort of a Sesame-Street, short-attention-span flurry of images followed by several rounds of talking-head discussion. The arguments in favor boil down to three rather questionably useful precepts: 1) a trend will continue until it changes, 2) correlation is proof of causation, and 3) that we can reliably predict the future AND we can change it (mostly by wishing it so). All of these, quite reasonably, were shown by simple logic and observed data to be false. There was enough real science to completely disprove the CAGW theory, but mostly the message was that this is a religious and political movement with ZERO scientific evidence in support of it. I guess "hustle" was the correct title, but didn't we already know that?
No, I'm not talking about the old Hymn. I'm talking about the current silly season of GOP endorsing conventions. Everywhere you turn you see Party activists asking, or even demanding, that candidates "abide by the endorsement" (rather than run in a primary), as if issue positions and electability were not important. And you see candidates either promising it and criticizing those who promise not, waffling on the subject, or honestly saying they are going to the primary. That last seems to really matter most to the delegates, and they often push to forcing such a pledge on every candidate. Really, that is backwards.
What it amounts to is an attempt to make the endorsement have value, by fiat, when what we should be doing is making the endorsement have REAL value! That is, the endorsement should carry with it financial support, volunteer hours, publicity and media exposure, and vigorous support. This means that 100%-- every single one— of the delegates must go out and somehow convince, literally, 1000 general election voters that their endorsed candidate is the best one! Endorsement, in short, should almost guarantee victory in November. That is the only value endorsement can have.
But that is not what actually happens. When the 60% of votes required to gain endorsement is reached, those 60% essentially say, "Well, I got him the endorsement, so I'm done." And the 40% that wanted somebody else essentially say, "He's not my guy, so I'm done." Therefore, almost 100% of the delegates, instead of doing everything they can and must do to win the election, go home and open a bag of Cheetos. Such an endorsement has almost no value and it's our fault. Maybe WE are the ones that need to take responsibility for and abide by the endorsement?
So, Donald Trump is running all over complaining about how Colorado Republicans "cheated" him of victory, "denied people a vote," or that the system was "rigged" against him. Balderdash. As usual, the Powerline guys are right on, with a historic cartoon labeled, "Colorado 1912: Caucus system adopted to screw Trump out of delegates."
I hope people catch on that Trump is simply a whining loser who won't even take the time to learn the rules of the game, let alone play fairly within them. It should be most obvious to Minnesotans, who have the same system as Colorado. We (and they) have always had a caucus and convention system to eventually choose delegates to the National Convention, where delegates vote their choice for the Presidential nominee of the Party. Nobody is "denied a vote" because caucuses have always been open to everybody, it's just that most people do not make the "effort" of a few hours every two years, and the world belongs to those who show up.
Both Minnesota and Colorado have, for the last several cycles, added a "Presidential straw poll" feature to their caucuses. It increased turnout and garnered us some small bit of attention from the Presidential campaigns. Last year, however, the Republican National Committee, in its role of controlling the Presidential primary calendar (Iowa first, New Hampshire second, etc) ruled that states had two choices: Have their caucus at their assigned time in the calendar (both MN and CO were March 1) WITHOUT a straw poll, or have it at the same time and make the straw poll "binding" on National Delegates, essentially turning the straw poll into a primary. Colorado wisely chose the former, continuing as they always have but without the straw poll. Minnesota chose the latter and, indeed, more people—almost double—turned out to vote, overwhelming the caucus facilities and facilitators, but that is ALL they did. They didn't stay and actually become involved in the Party or in choosing state and local candidates or discussing platform issues. Not only that, but Marco Rubio won the State, his only state win, and Donald Trump still came in third! Why isn't Trump complaining about US? A little attention from his campaign might be nice, since surely we did something wrong if he didn't win. :-/
The Black Lives Matter movement harbors no shame about breaking the law. In fact, illegality has proven key to their strategy. Days in advance of a planned action, they have announced their intention to trespass on private property or disrupt public infrastructure. They have declared their purpose to "shut down" targeted venues. Consider the audacity of that. They have announced that they are going to violate people's rights and commit crimes. When law enforcement agencies have responded to restore peace, Black Lives Matter has defied lawful orders, invited arrest, and taken pride in the harm they have inflicted. They brag about having "shut down" businesses, freeways, airports, and other venues, disrupting commerce, impeding travel, and incurring great expense for municipalities.
One Republican legislator in Minnesota has said enough is enough. State Representative Nick Zerwas has authored a bill that would enable government entities to bring civil action against individuals convicted of unlawful assembly. Restitution could be sought to cover law enforcement expenses related to the convict's disruption.
Let's get post-apocalyptic for a moment, shall we? Let's pretend that the Republican Party has become all but irrelevant, that the Democrats have swept the election in November, and that we're reconstructing the conservative movement from scratch. It's a mental exercise that may have practical value. Both supporters and detractors of Republican front-runner Donald Trump have noted that the party seems poised to tear itself apart. The schism reflects a deeper divide among the political Right. It seems clear that we're not all going to come away from this thing as friends united in common purpose. So how do we begin to heal and lay the groundwork for a resurgent conservative movement in the future?
As the papers and pundits will note today, Wednesday, March 2, turnout for the caucuses last evening was the highest ever. Our experience confirms that Minnesotans are very concerned about the state of our nation. Republican participation was the highest ever.
My precinct had 70 attendees, slightly more than half were new. I was the convener and my husband was secretary. People were incredibly patient. When you take a classroom designed for 30 and put 70 people in it, there could be opportunity for frustration. There was none. With volunteers checking in people and signing up new people, handling volunteer sheets, etc. things progressed smoothly. We took care of the legal requirements, held the presidential straw poll and elected delegates to the next level. Our 12 delegates plus three alternates included newcomers - welcome!
It is said that every man's dream is to have a three-way, but the current Republican Presidential contest looks a lot more like a nightmare, with too many of the possible combinations leading to an unpleasant outcome. First, of course, you have the much-ballyhooed competition between Donald Trump and the not-Trumps, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Because of "the Donald's" long history of saying and doing things NOT conservative, this is perhaps the most important and worrisome combination.
But you also have the anti-establishment – Trump and Cruz – vs. (unfairly or not) establishment darling Rubio. This could also be called the Angry vs. the Docile, again perhaps unfair, but "The Young and the Restless" was already taken for a different soap opera and besides, that would better apply to Cruz and Rubio against the more elderly Trump. Lastly, you have the Leader vs. the Dealmakers, which is Cruz against Trump and Rubio. Never mind that Trump claims he will make "such good deals you won't believe it," they are still deals, and Rubio still believes he can work with Democrats. Now whether Cruz can deliver on his clear policy objectives without making deals and compromises, even assuming Republicans maintain control of Congress, isn't an unreasonable question. I know how I would vote, but unfortunately I don't get to vote for everybody else. There is such a thing as too many in a three-way.
As a people, we seem largely incapable of allowing each other to live according to our individually chosen values. When Jim Crow laws dictated segregation in the last century, it wasn't enough to merely repeal those laws. We had to err in the other direction. We had to dictate integration. From that era rose the modern concept of "public accommodation," an insidious claim against the property and association rights of others.
When you open a business, the theory goes, you yield your authority over the venue where it is housed. You must, under the force of law, do business with people you may not want to do business with, and on terms that you may not agree to. Why? Because discrimination is bad.
But is it? Discrimination is choice. That's it. When you choose between this thing and that, you discriminate. When you choose where to live, who to love, how to earn a living, what to believe, you discriminate against the alternatives. How is that bad? More to the point, what right does anyone else have to tell you what choices you should make?
No, I am not going to talk about those crowds that attend Trump's rallies or vote for him in "winning" numbers in the primary process. I don't feel the need to psychoanalyze them as some sort of fool, groupie, racist or revolutionary. I think they have a righteous anger against the tyranny of political correctness, the corruption of our news media and of our government, and against the "stupidity" of the current administration's outrages and the Republican fecklessness at curbing it. Leave them be; they have the right message but a poor messenger.
The supporters I am talking about are those who are angry just because they are ALWAYS angry at anyone who dares to speak the truth and makes no apologies for it. These are the PC Nazis and their tactics are straight out of the Leftist playbook. They riot, they shout down, they intimidate, they spout lies at every opportunity, and the media gives them extensive coverage and a head-pat. With every riot, though, sympathy and support for Trump goes UP. And in this odd campaign, the would-be powers that be in the GOP have the same problem. Every time some GOP "establishment" type makes some statement about "stopping Trump" or talking about what a problem he is, THAT adds to Trump's appeal as an "anti-establishment" candidate. A man can be known by the enemies he makes, perhaps even better than by his friends. If the GOP really wanted to stop Trump, they should shut up about him. Getting on the same side as the leftist rioters isn't a winning strategy; it just makes Trump stronger.
ST PAUL—Conservatives have been fighting a rearguard action when it comes to shaping energy policy in Minnesota, and a group of prominent conservatives are aiming to change that.
They have formed a group called “The Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum” (MnCEF), aiming to reshape the politics and policy thinking of conservatives on clean energy.
The leadership of the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum has released a “Statement of Principles” that outlines their approach to developing energy policy. It promotes an “all of the above” approach to energy production, encouraging the development of renewable energy while shunning punitive policies aimed at legacy energy production. The goal is to help conservatives shape the emerging energy economy along pro-consumer and free market lines.
Approximately a year ago I had the incredible opportunity to be present at a Federalist Society luncheon in Phoenix, with keynote speaker, Justice Scalia. Included was a pre-luncheon book signing with with him. A chance to meet and share a word or two with a true Constitutionalist - who could refuse?
For some reason books were not moving as quickly as the line moved. Justice Scalia was looking for a book when I reached the "signing spot." I commented to him, "Thank you for keeping your finger in the dike."
He hadn't heard me completely so he turned to look directly at me and asked, "What did you say?"
"Justice, thank you for keeping your finger in the dike."
WIthout missing a beat, he spread both of his hands, extended all 10 fingers, each in a slight curve and replied, "All 10 fingers are in the dike." (see photo at end. Source)