With respect to Veteran’s Day

Here are two pointed memes thanks to TN, a veteran retired from the military, a third from him to which we append commentary followed by a pic of the only Republican presidential nomination candidate to wear the uniform.  We add still another one of a family member.  

Our thanks to all veterans and a pledge in compliance with the themes embedded in the memes to continue our work to oppose those who would destroy our country with egregious policies.

















First of all a President really does not have to check his watch, all time revolves around them, but when one does it a veterans memorial occasion at a solemn time, well that is atrocious.











Ron DeSantis was a Yale and then Harvard Law graduate who could have immediately benefited from a lucrative career. He joined the Navy using his acquired skills in service to the country. Our leading candidate after college was more interested in anything but.




My next oldest brother cutting the cake (oldest and youngest Marines present) appropriately at a tavern ceremony local to him, commemorating the birthday of the Marine Corps — Tun Tavern Philadelphia, Nov. 10, 1775   https://www.military.com/history/what-happened-original-tun-tavern-birthplace-of-marine-corps.html




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Besides voting here, say a prayer for Ohio

Issue #1 which is on the ballot in Ohio is a pro-abortion attempt to legalize elective destruction of unborn members of the human family through the entire nine months of  pregnancy.  The proposal  is effectively unbound as it includes elastic language that would allow the abortionist to say that the abortion they perpetrate even after viability outside the womb, a medically elastic concept as well, is for the woman’s health.  What abortionist would not say that they think all pregnancies  are a threat to the mother’s well being, they make quick money leading women to believe babies are trash.

The wording would eliminate informed consent safeguards prior to an abortion and it would do away with parental consent or even notification  prior to an abortion on a minor. It would probably require that state taxpayer funds be used because the state funds other surgeries and pharmaceuticals, a warped “equity”.

You can read more about the ballot issue here.  It is too late other than to pray  that the people of Ohio are moved by God’s word — For You created my innermost parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139

Related reading: At Stake on Tuesday: Upending the Ohio State Constitution With Issue 1.

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2023 Municipal and School District Elections in Scott County

2023 Municipal and school district elections in Scott County

The worst politicians are elected by good people who do not vote

Party affiliation information is about the only consistent add-on we can transmit this election and that is thanks to some look-ups after a request to the Scott County Republican Party (SCRP).  See our rendering below. However they have not posted anything on their website at this writing. They do invite emails with any questions. We will have more comments on this phenomenon regarding so-called non-partisan elections in a later post.

We offer anecdotes about select races. Any reflections readers might supply about the candidates in the comment section are welcome.

The Quad City Times and KWQC have done a number of articles or interviews on these races. Typically they are largely just transmittals of indistinct or vague talking points. However in some cases you can exercise some code reading to garner some distinctions. We would recommend such research although party affiliation should be a key factor. Readers can go to those sites and search topic such as “Davenport School Board Election’ or the names you are particularly interested in.

In many cases the local races are unopposed. The information we have from Scott Republican HQ did not include those. We hoped to be able to transmit as it may indicate whether that person deserves your affirmation, opposed or not. Again, if readers have any anecdotal information or recommendations it is an open forum in the comment section.

Party affiliation is a fair proxy although we realize it is not definitive only nominal especially as regards some Republicans. Such is true perhaps more so at these “non-partisan” local levels as party primaries tend to weed out or at least identify the wheat and the chaff.

However party affiliation does offer a generally effective presumption of superiority over Democrats — in other words no Democrat deserves our vote but some Republicans definitely need to be primaried. It is also true that local races can attract so-called traditional or nominal Democrats that may have a looser connection to the actual rotten nature of that party under its current control. Nevertheless their poor judgement or obliviousness is an issue.

Candidate contact information can be found at: https://www.scottcountyiowa.gov/auditor/candidates/filed-papers?folder=auditor-papers/20231107_City_School_Election/Davenport

So here is what we have:

Not all community races are listed. Not all ward/ city council seats are up for election due to staggered terms.  Candidates with Republican registrations according to a recent look-up are listed first. As for unknown registrations and to flesh out any of this we recommend readers go to the candidate information listing at the Scott County Recorder website and using that contact information contact the candidate for information regarding their policy views.

Bettendorf CSD – School Board At Large – Vote for no more than 4

Registered Republicans: Paul Castro, Kevin Freking, Patrick Larkin (R), Ryan McGivern

No party affiliation: Rebecca Eastman

Registered Democrats: Erin Bannerman, Joanna Doerder, Mindy Smith-Pace

City of Bettendorf – Mayor

Bob Gallagher (R) – unopposed

City of Bettendorf – Council At Large

Frank Baden – unopposed

City of Bettendorf  – Council Ward 1

Jerry Sechser – unopposed

City of Bettendorf – Council Ward 3. Vote for 1

Republican registration: Andrew Sichling

Democrat registration: Gregory Jager

City of Bettendorf – Council Ward 5 Vote for 1

Nick Palczynski –  unopposed

City of Blue Grass Council – Vote for 3

Republican registration: Timothy J Brandenburg

Unknown registration (call and find out) : Robert W Blok, Schuyler Dean Bowman Jr

City of Blue Grass Mayor Vote for 1

Bradley Schutte – unopposed

City of Buffalo – Mayor – vote for 1

Unknown registration – call and find out) Sally A Rodriguez, Dave Stickrod, Tony Follis

City of Buffalo Council – Vote for 2 

Registered Republicans (2019 look-up) Ted Teel,  Joe Buffington

Unkown registration – (call and find out) Brian Briggs, Trent Adams, Art Bartleson, Dusty Chaplin, Sean Roman

City of Buffalo – Council (to fill a vacancy) vote for 1 

Unknown registration — call and find out: Rachel Teel-Vanderpool, Jesse Leonard

City of Davenport – Mayor – Vote for 1 

Registered Democrats: Mike Matson, Ken Croken

Both claim competence (surprise0 and that they will make the city run smooth or something.  Yet Davenport has a weak mayoral system with the mayor only voting in the case of a tie on the council. Administrative duties are delegated with inordinate power in our judgement vested in the bureaucracy. City street construction is an atrocity of delays inflicted on motorists. The recent scandal involving city inspections remains a huge potential liability cost to the city.  Shutting down the city due to BLM protestors was a capitulation to thugs.

The city council is mostly responsible and a majority is Democrat in registration which indicates a predictable policy affinity and or competence on a variety of matters including correctives.  Supposed budget surpluses are the result of state and county policies, largely Republican,  limiting municipal excesses  while creating a more favorable climate for business and industry.  Illinois flight, (Democrat run), is also a factor. Matson is no effective champion of anything and a lot of problems exist on his watch.   What uber liberal hack Croken would champion is  not a happy thought. Hold your nose, use your best judgement. While not an endorsement of Matson , Croken is likely to be an aggressive liberal based on who supports him, gives to him and who he has supported.

City of Davenport – At-Large- Vote for no more than 2

Republican registration: Kyle Gripp. — We suggest a bullet vote for him only

Democrat registration: Jazmin Newton, La Canna L Dixon

City of Davenport – First Ward

Rick Dunn – unopposed

City of Davenport – Second Ward – Vote for 1

Republican registration – Tim Dunn

Democrat registration – Judith Lee

City of Davenport – Third Ward – Vote for 1

Democrat registration – Paul Vasquez, Marion Meginnes

City of Davenport – Fourth  Ward – Vote for 1

Democrat registration – Jade Burkholder

No party affiliation: Robby Ortiz (hard Dem orientation)

City of Davenport – Fifth  Ward – Vote for 1

Tim Kelly unopposed (call and find out)

City of Davenport – Sixth Ward – Vote for 1

Republican registration (2019) Ben Jobgen – unopposed

City of Davenport – Seventh Ward

Republican registration Scott Ryder

Democrat registration: Mhisho Lynch

City of Davenport – Eighth Ward – Vote for 1

Republican registration: Paul J Reinartz Jr

Unknown registration: James  Woods

Davenport CSD – School Board At Large – Vote for 4 (bullet voting can be advisable)

Republican registration – Kent Paustian, Andrew Kaufman

Democrat registration –  Daniel Gosa, Karen Kline-Jerome, Connie King, Linda Hayes

No party affiliation – Karen Kline-Jerome, has voted in Democrat primaries

Davenport CSD – School Board At Large (to fill a vacancy) – Vote for 1

W Kent Barnds – unopposed

North Scott CSD – School Board At Large – Vote for no more than 4

Republican registration – Joni Dittmer, John Maxwell, Carrie Keppy, Stephanie Eckhardt

No party affiliation – Molly Bergfeld –  has voted in Democrat primaries

Pleasant Valley CSD – various districts –  vote for one in each respective district for your particular ballot

Republican registration – Amy E McCabe, Peter E. Olsen, F Danny Amaya

Democrat registration – Nikhil Wagle

No party registration- Adrienne Wheeler (has voted in republican primary), Jameson Smith, — Molly Brockman (has voted in Democrat primaries)

Regarding the cities or school districts of Bennet, Cal-Wheat, Dixon, Donahue, Durant, Eldridge, LeClaire (see special note) Long Grove, Maysville, McCausland, New Liberty, Panorama Park, Princeton, Riverdale, Walcott, Eastern Iowa Community College District (EICC) we encourage you to visit the Scott County Auditor website –  go to the candidate information listing and using that contact information contact the candidate for information regarding their policy views.


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We have a Speaker, God save this Speaker

The Gang of 7 may have saved the Republican party

Mike Johnson of Louisiana has been voted in as Speaker of the House after about three weeks of the House being able to do very little (read that carefully).  As Goetz the leader of the “Gang of 7”  who deposed McCarthy after his broken promises said, (paraphrasing) ~~ the few actual legislative days missed would often taken up naming post offices.

Critics of the 7 said they stepped on a rake. Turns out it was a handy tool grab to get some things cleaned up

The handful of extraordinary RINOs (as compared to the many dozens of louts and rank-and-file Republican weasels including Iowa’s delegation) who complained the loudest about how bad deposing McCarthy made the body look (with absolutely no self awareness) all while they drug out the process of replacement, got their pound of flesh by not approving earlier consensus replacements emanating from the caucus.  But it appears that pound did not come from the “gang of 7” — rather they ripped it from their own sensitive hides as now they have perhaps a more culturally conservative Speaker than we otherwise could anticipate. The Gang of 7 may have saved conservatism in the Republican party.*

Read about Speaker Mike Johnson here: Five Quick Things: Has Mike Johnson Broken the Left Already?    They may well be the GOAT and not in the old usage of the term.

Some days ago, prior to Johnson’s selection, we responded to an article decrying the gang of 7 as having no plan and stepping on a rake.  It seems now the rake is a harvester that has been brought to hand.

House Republicans and a Field of Rakes

We responded at the time, (verb tense changed here):

The degree of anxiety by some over not having a Speaker is overwrought at this stage. One wonders: are they fearful some line might be crossed? What is the line that is in danger of being breached? It must be invisible as they express no concern that McCarthy was capable of and did compromise us to fiscal oblivion, broke promises, manipulated key matters in secret.

There is derision expressed at the 7 because “what is their plan . . . they had no plan”. Well apparently the plan of the critics of the 7 was passivity or support of McCarthy’s business as usual and secret, unexplained and unjustified deals. Their plan was McCarthy’s plan that they were not even in on.

Twenty-five years of continuing (irresponsible) resolutions is enough. Here is a plan — you break your word to someone without justification and the consequences we promised happen.

The result of the 7’s action (perhaps the plan) was to hopefully mature-up the caucus and force the rise of an actual not business as usual leader and to draft him or her. No doubt they had alternatives in mind but Identifying one at the outset would make it look like a coup which would risk comity, while enforcing an agreement among mature people should not and any Republican could offer themselves.

The 7 did not offer one of their own and even offered to resign from the caucus as a group in favor of a genuine conservative (Jordan) so that the pearl clutchers might not get the vapors in their presence, catch their breath and do the right thing for the Party and the country.

We can agree that someone needs to be in charge but as a change agent and McCarthy was not that.

We do not think for one moment that the RINO element and Iowa’s delegation was holding out for someone like Johnson.  They wanted McCarthy back or someone more like him.

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The Weasel Congress

The imbroglio within the Republican House caucus over the selection of a Speaker to replace the ousted McCarthy has generated a lot of disgust within and without over the fact he was deposed and concern about the operation of government in the mean time — regrettably more intense than generated by the operation of government under McCarthy. He was pretty much business as usual as far as our ongoing spending debacle.  McCarthy made commitments to members whose support he needed. He reneged, slow walked, whatever and was called to task after due patience. If he had shown more commitment he would still be Speaker.  The link below focused on the animosity within the Republican caucus engendered a lot of discussion at Townhall where it appeared.   We partook as set forth below the link.

Will This Trick Help House Republicans Finally Pick a Speaker?

(comment submitted by yours truly)

The larger embarrassment for the Republican caucus is not the current indecision over the speaker (a potentially defining process for the good) it is the ongoing perfidy by so many to promises of fiscal sanity in favor of logrolling which has been protected by McCarthy.

Many of those chagrinned, nay, outraged over McCarthy being deposed (over promises not kept), do not keep a promise a New York minute past the election. They apparently cannot relate to the concept of keeping a public commitment perhaps risking their own private commitments to business as usual. Even promises to the caucus are for rubes, the game being to get on board with the powers that be and keep them and yourself in power with accompanying emoluments and sinecures of course.

Too many who claim the gang of eight engaged in an irresponsible stunt — never mind that the eight actually kept a promise in response to McCarthy obviating, obfuscating his commitments to them and the better angels of the caucus, — engage in the the actual irresponsible stunt of making promises they have no intention of keeping. Their stunt is the ongoing game of promises to the rubes while protecting the logrolling.

The real clown show is what so many promise back home but do not support in Washington. The greater disgrace is that the Republicans are the majority in the House but have been weakly lead (Schumer has just as dicy a majority) and have not effectively used their constitutional status to control spending, and consequent policy, even with key issues in their platform that ought to cause capitulation by Democrats: The invasion at the border at this time in particular, but parental rights, cultural deterioration and more.

The head weasel in the weasel circus calculated he could get away with promises to the 8 and then weasel around them once in power and be the weasel too big to actually challenge. It is a weasel trick that usually works, even with so many weasels part of the group a.k.a. a “sneak,” a “boogle,” a “bark”, a “confusion.” or most aptly a “congress”.

Now weasels are territorial and only suffer “leadership” as they perceive convenient, and as long as they can enjoy the limelight of their ring in the circus. Which means keep the government largess flowing.

Hopefully not this time but it is shaping up such that it may still work for the weasel system even if with a McCarthy understudy. (And to think I actually thought McCarthy might become a loyal pet).
The real rediculousnees is McCarthy actually expecting support from some Democrats (rival weasel gang) to protect his leadership (crumb distribution).

Sure the above is a harsh analogy but no less so than that visited on the gang of eight by many of those sincere congressman intent on doing the peoples business (as usual).

In that regard the personally directed sarcasm intended in the letter from the Honorable Mr. McClintock of California to the 7 is deserving of scorn in response.

McClintock “sarcs” the virtue of the seven who offered to remove themselves from the caucus organizing body if the body were to come together and support Jordan (a potentially effective principled Speaker). Now I happen to think it was magnaomous effort to remove personal animosity from the matter. But not McClintock who is a conservative but a prickly sort.

McClintock is a former member of the Freedom Caucus who called for special prosecutor Robert Mueller to investigate President Donald Trump. And, according to a Wikipedia entry with links, “McClintock was the sole House Republican to cosponsor the Ending Qualified Immunity Act, which was proposed in response to the murder (sic) of George Floyd and resultant widespread protests. The act was introduced by Justin Amash and Ayanna Pressley and cosponsored by 62 House Democrats in addition to McClintock.”

Observing in kind, it was a nice bouquet to the men in blue who battle in the streets.

As others have observed, we have put up with progressives and centrists long enough who are enabled by business as usual Speakers because they have been business as usual Speakers. McCarthy was essentially that making behind the scenes deals. And how sincere is a McClintock as to spending retraint when he is all for empowering business as usual manipulators that continue the funding of Obamacare and all that is wrapped up in omnibus bills that business as usual Speakers allow in violation of their promises to fellow House mambers? Where is the scencerity again?

To use the rhetoric of the detractors of the gang of 7 the real process crime is the continued ritual garroting of the country with debt and woeful policies by continuing resolutions, with Biden bringing out the piano wire and which McCarthy and McClintock  do not stop if not facilitate.

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Davenport Municipal Primary Election TODAY

The City of Davenport municipal primary Election is this Tuesday October 10th. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.  Voting is at your regular precinct voting place meaning there will not be a consolidation of voting locations.

Aldermanic positions where not more than two candidates announced, do not have primaries. For those that do, you vote for one, your best choice among the group running.  The two highest vote getters will be the contestants on the General Election ballot.  That election will be held November 7.  We intend to post party affiliations for all the races in Scott County relevant to the general Election at a later date.

Below are the names of the candidates running in the primary for Davenport municipal positions.  Their party affiliations are shown in parenthesis courtesy of JM.

(R)- Republican (D) Democrat  (O) no current party affiliation that is ballot eligible.

There is a regrettable dearth of Republicans in the primary and we note (not shown) already positioned for the general election. We recommend voting (R), when there is one, and when there is more than one, the links bellow might help you decide mayoral and aldermanic positions.



There is no identified Republican running in the mayoral primary.We note that some of the alderman candidates give more cogent responses to the KWQC  questionnaire than the mayoral candidates although most are trite or gobbledygook.

As to mayoral candidate and incumbent Mike Matson, he cannot claim to want the position again in order to claim the power to do good things and not avoid responsibility for what happened on his watch. Supposedly there is a budget surplus, great, but perhaps soon to be exhausted in legal awards stemming from any city responsibility for improper inspections facilitating injury and deaths in a building collapse in May.

And city residents and businesses are suffering from unconscionable slowness and disruption due to poorly planned street repair. The 53rd Street project is a showcase of  that.  Don’t start a project with all its disruptions until all the necessary components are well assured. And by the way, treat such a major thoroughfare as a rush project  —  if there is a rain day during the week – work Saturday. Issue contracts to companies willing to work.

Ken Croken offers nothing but bringing his blowhard personna to the city since no-one listens to him at the statehouse, even in his own caucus, which is why he already wants to leave. He is a doctrinaire liberal jerk,  He is Matson but with more vocabulary.

Yvonne Collins, thanks for your interest but you are a D (try reevaluating that) and also try alderman first. The same could be said for Westmoreland but at least he is not claiming to be a D.

Westmoreland has a background in car sales. By gosh it has come to that. Three clueless D’s with some bad to evil instincts as such vs  the car salesman who is registered not as a D, may be a Dem in essence, but shy of admitting it. But that is worst case.  The others are worst case. I think I will go with him and his possible modicum of discretion given the known qualities of  D’s.  And I just cannot vote D.

City of Davenport
(Vote for no more than one)

Ken Croken (D)

Mike Matson (D)

Yvonne M Collins (D)

Brandon Westmoreland (O)

City of Davenport
2nd Ward Alderman
(Vote for no more than one)

Judith Lee (D)

John Paustian (R)

Tim Dunn (R)

City of Davenport
3rd Ward Alderman
(Vote for no more than one)

Paul T Vasquez (D)

Don Hesseltine (R)

Todd Allen Pirck (D)

Marion Meginnis  (D)

DeWayne L Simons. (R)

City of Davenport
4th Ward Alderman
(Vote for no more than one)

Jade Burkholder. (D)

Robby Ortiz. (O) but hard Dem

Caleb Arthur Shelbourn. (R)

City of Davenport
7th Ward Alderman
(Vote for no more than one)

William Pamperin.  (O)

Mhisho Lynch. (D)

Scott Ryder. (R)

Derek Cornette. (R)

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Goetz explains his action

Who thinks we are not better off with Jordan or Scalise as Speaker?

Trump should keep his butt and mouth (sarcastic people would insert “you are being redundant” here)  out of the matter.

The howls from the usual suspects including  elements of the conservative commentariat are pathetic

Rumble video of Goetz explaining the situation set forth below.    

Congressman Goetz of Florida led the effort of a small group of House conservatives to vacate the chair ousting McCarthy as Speaker of the House.  They comprised a swing group for the particular effort, who Democrats aligned with for reasons of their own distrust of McCarthy and or mischievous reasons.

The same conservative group due to similar dynamics was able to prevent McCarthy from being Speaker until he agreed to certain important concessions about the conduct of congress especially as regards spending bills and certain other policy matters. McCarthy recently blatantly violated terms agreed to as regards continuing resolution appropriations bills. The small group held together to call him to task.

McCarthy initially thought he had a deal with the devil Pelosi. He didn’t.  All voting Dems joined with the small group of Republicans to vote to vacate the chair and McCarthy was out. Goetz appearing on the Joe Pags Show gives further insight to the first ever successful action. So far armageddon has not occurred.

Why he did it


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The bandaid has been yanked – McCarthy is out as speaker – boil of business as usual exposed

  • Air allows the wound to heal quicker
  • Disregard the howls, the Republican wimps will get over it, soon to get back to their convenient version of “the people’s business”. 
  • It was not just one incident however one revelation ironically exposed by a   McCarthy supporter, shows McCarthy was a sniveling clinger – for the good of the country of course.

We can admit to some trepidation over the move to ‘vacate the chair’.  We feared it was a distraction without a lot of upside given the replacement might not be any more resolute on fighting Democrats.  That was our cynicism. And we accepted that McCarthy had a tough job given that the party split is so close ( but perhaps no harder than Schumer’s job over on the Senate). It appears now that McCarthy was even more cynical, having secretly bargained with Pelosi for her support, and then thinking he could trust her, to issue his “bring it” response to Goetz. If McCarthy had been successful it probably would have made the Goetz group’s threats discountable and put McCarthy beholden to Pelosi.

So the yank and fallout has exposed several things that are important for Republican health. These include that pretty much the same few Republicans, led by Goetz, who essentially put McCarthy in office (the deciding block) based on his commitments to them were serious, and McCarthy was not.

McCarthy went ahead and operated in the image of Speaker-as-conniver. Ultimately feeling that he was established enough to tell Goetz et al to kiss off.  But a report we first saw at RedState, after the ouster vote, indicating that Pelosi had special treatment – a convenient office given to her by McCarthy for her support on sustaining his speakership,  had been yanked by the interim Speaker (a McCarthy ally) when she joined with all the other Democrats and Goetz’s group to vacate the Speaker’s chair.  (Without that special office look for Pelosi to reconsider staying ion the House).

Commenters to that report bring the implications home:


8 hours ago edited

I had zero clue McCarthy had a deal going with Pelosi. But it explains why 24 hours ago he was strutting around challenging Gaetz to bring it on.

Well the worm turned pretty quickly there and I am going to have to reassess my understanding of the whole situation.

Seems perhaps that McCarthy was lying down in bed with snakes after all and making behind the scenes deals and those snakes just bit him on the @ss?

I understand compromise is an important part of politics. I also understand that selling out what you promised to your voters is unacceptable.

Notice McCarthy’s values that maintaining “governance” is more important than voter sentiment to cut spending.

That explains EVERYTHING. (I’ve heard most R politicians say the same thing. Quietly….)



5 hours ago edited

And there it is. I was ambivalent towards McCarthy getting removed until I read this
“According to McCarthy, as part of the passage of the recent 45-day clean continuing resolution, Pelosi had promised to not support Gaetz if a motion to vacate was filed.”

And that is all the proof I needed that he needed to go. This shows a clear lack of leadership and an understanding of were we are at right now. Yup removing him now was the right thing to do. He was a rube.

Well said by commenters at RedState

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Who is Trump thinking about as a 2024 VP running mate?

Do not read inevitability of Trump into this, half the Republican Party is still unconvinced of Trump for the nomination and we support DeSantis.  This is a mere exercise in Trumpology.

Trump should ask himself: Are there no “suburban women” in red states, or in red counties in blue states? Don’t they vote for Republicans? If pro-life “anti-choice” Republicans are so bad how do they get any votes from ‘suburban women’  impliedly the code word for Republican-voters-if-only-it-were-not-for-the-abortion-issue?

We also wonder, what is the key criterion now for Trump in deciding on a VP  – is it perhaps having never said “Trump lost” even though Trump has said as much?  If that is the case it leaves out all of the debate participants of late. And now, whether or not that is the reason, it has been “confirmed” by Trump’s campaign that they can pound sand.

One thing we recommend to Trump, his VP pick needs to be a strong articulate pro-lifer, announced prior to the nomination process to allay concerns about him in the primary given his, surprise, inarticulate ways on the right to life (that and other issues).

Trump Crosses 7 Prominent Names Off His VP List .   

As to the Mar-a-Lago course leader board, we note that many have said that this or that candidate for the Republican nomination for president is really running to be Trump’s pick for VP, auditioning as it were.  We have engaged in a bit of that here as well.  We have noted that Vivek Ramaswamy had seemed to be very gentle in any criticisms of Trump earlier on. Same for Tim Scott. But alas the official campaign report is that, so to speak, their apprentice auditions have been cancelled (link above). Look for Ramaswamy to be, shall we say, more critical of Trump unless of course he is angling for  Secretary of This or That. Gone are a group, with a couple of negative exceptions, as pro-life as Trump, including Ramaswamy and more articulate than the leading candidate.

It will likely be a woman

So with all of the Republicans who honor Republican rules out of the picture, either for saying the anathema “Trump lost” or perhaps most telling, pleading support to the nominee of the party, (an oblique sign of disloyalty to Trump) . . .  what about Kari Lake?

It is hard for fans of hers to know what campaign to send the checks to. Conservatives were importuned to cover costs for her challenge to the Arizona gubernatorial results. We may have even kicked in a few bucks for that. But more recently we are told she is running for the Senate.  And yet she seems not willing to put a stop to rumors of being Trump’s VP pick.  So what happened to her legal challenge — is it over/over? No more appeals?  She should level with people if she has given up on the governor thing.  Does she want to be Governor, Senator or VP?

As articulate as Lake is, precise diction with stiletto heels and word choices, she really hasn’t paid her dues to the party apparat or the body politic.  People thought Sarah Palin was a superficial pick, she was not, and neither would Kari Lake be, given her abilities on the stump.  But a jump from Phoenix area newscaster to unelected Arizona politician to VP candidate in about two years is not much of a concern for Trump we guess.  She is over-the-top fan girl in some ways but she has more experience than Ramaswamy who is out anyway, being male and all.  It is always delicious to see the media discount Lake as it impliedly denigrates their own. The only way the dominant liberal media can deal with her is to ignore her, which they will. So inspite of her ABILITY to skewer the media it only gets out at rally’s of people who are going to vote for Trump anyway.

Trump lawyer leaving courthouse. Seriously folks it was not an audition for The Apprentice

We can probably scratch Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds off the list also. Although she is plenty attractive, a pretty consistent plus for Trump when he picks his coterie, including his lawyers we note, Reynolds may have done the unpardonable:

Governor Reynolds was forthright in admonishing Trump, telling him that protecting unborn babies at any stage is not a terrible idea. You don’t dis The Donald. He is not in the mood. She seems to have disregarded the memo or something and while  abiding by the Republican Party of Iowa admonition for leaders not to endorse lest they taint the independence of the Iowa Caucuses. The rule does not apply to defending against considered judgement of the Republican led legislature when Trump pops off about sensitive matters.

Trump’s clumsiness with the issue of abortion is the result of the superficiality of his political analysis. He thinks the abortion issue is his woman problem. But Trump’s problem with “suburban women”, young or old, is not issues per se, it is him, his countenance and life history. Instead of shaving that, he thinks he can get by by shaving issues.

Even though Democrat leaning women are misinformed, ignorant, hypocritical and superficial, they are what they are.  They are likely going to vote Democrat, abortion is just agitprop. Voting Democrat is the perceived gravy train. Trump is going to get hardly any more of them no matter what he does.  He might think he dampers hostility by tossing some babies out of the boat, but only at the expense of  tempering enthusiasm from pro-family women on the edge due to the other aspects of his “women problem”.  Democrats are going to focus on turning “their” women out and Trump cannot affect that much, Trump being Trump.

Trump should ask himself: Are there no “suburban women” in red states, red counties in Blue states anywhere? Don’t they vote for Republicans? If pro-life “anti-choice” Republicans are so bad how do they get any votes!

Take Iowa for example, for decades it was a purple state — a split US Senate, intermittent Democrat governor, mixed House delegations, a state legislature split, a horrible Supreme Court, a liberal AG entrenched for decades, the everyday media dominated by the liberal Des Moines Register and Lee Enterprises group, a public educational system considered tops decades ago descended to one that is barely average among a declining average.

But yet in 2022, POST DOBBS,  one (aged male) US Senator up for reelection, the entire House delegation, most of the state legislature, a governor who by the way promoted and signed “6-week” heartbeat legislation, were all reelected —  indeed the pro-life GOP advanced its standing, a virtual clean sweep. In some ways most significantly the AG office is now held by a pro-life proponent having defeated the incumbent.  Only one “statewide”office is held by a Democrat – the Auditor of State position.

Abortion was practically the only issue the Democrats talked about in their campaigns in Iowa in 2022. It was featured in practically every communication they spewed. And yet the pro-life GOP advanced its standing. Pro-abortion already leaning Democrat suburban women and young, often welfare dependent women are going to vote Democrat, big surprise. It was not enough. Continue to defend the culture and the GOP will win.

People are longing for something and it is not abortion on demand, transgender insanity, open borders, cashless bail and deferred sentencing, runaway inflation, . . .try those on suburban women indeed all women whatever their zip code along with protecting life rather than running fearful that abortion on demand is the sine qua non for women votes. Trump shouldn’t bargain some girl babies out trying to entice older women.

So where does that leave Trump as to early picks for VP given recent developments. We doubt it will be a congressman but it could happen and likely a woman if he does pick one. Given the tendency to superficiality from the Donald (a concept with no small political cashe) our deflated dollar bill bet today is on South Dakota Governor Kristie Noem, who coincidently is not a superficial pick anyway, but our bet is subject to change tomorrow if Noem says something Trump does not like.

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The Only-Trump cult — Are there really 5 million naive, obtuse or unbalanced people who are not Democrats?

A Fox poll from two weeks ago supposedly suggests there are five million voters who will only vote for Trump in the general, whether or not he is the Republican nominee, no other candidate need apply, practical politics be damned.  

Some of them toss around the shibboleth “RINO” with little self awareness (not unlike The Donald).

Ironically, Donald Trump who uses and encourages the epithet,  violates Republican norms by refusing to debate other candidates or to pledge support for the Republican nominee should he not make the cut.  His apparent attitude is if he does not get the nomination, the party be damned.  So the term RINO should not apply only to liberals. It is our view it also applies to the detached (if ever connected ) “Only-Trump”  “Republicans”.

They call themselves Republicans in order to be able to vote in the Republican primary and further their candidate.  Their candidate, while coveting the Republican ballot placement and the good will of the half of the party who may not be enamored with him as their first choice, refuses to say he will support the duly elected nominee of that party. A party by the way who’s Chairman Trump essentially placed.

How is refusing to support the nominee of the Republican Party not the key operating trait of a RINO?

Regarding the Fox presidential preference poll of a couple of weeks ago:

Gary Bauer, writing at Campaign for Working Families on September 15th * certainly does not call Only-Trump voters a cult (that is our provocative word choice because we believe when push comes to shove it is much smaller than suggested). Instead he credulously refers to the figure derived from a recent Fox News poll that 5 million voters will only vote for Trump. Even though we think it is a fraction of that, by not definitively putting an end to such reverberations, Trump is playing a disgraceful dangerous unpatriotic power ploy. The tone or implication from Bauer by not being critical of the attitude leaves open the interpretation that maybe Republicans better do what the Only-Trump people say or risk electoral disaster.

We see the “only Trump” threat all the time in comment sections of various conservative publications we read. Often even stated as such, the attitude from them seems to be that if Trump does not win the nomination the process must be corrupt or the Republican party is made up of a bunch of liberals and deep state operatives.

We are not suggesting that is Bauer’s position.  But we do not believe despite our own desperation to defeat Democrats it is necessary to raise our hands in subservience to threats. Rather it is incumbent on seasoned observers to point out that:  pursuit of the perceived perfect can be the enemy of the good.  That sitting out the presidential election or as a matter of practical politics, writing in a candidate enables Democrats and all the evil they propose. That the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils is to be shunned because it is “still voting for evil”  — is a ridiculous juxtaposition because no candidate is perfect and we are all fallen.

Our view is that insisting on voting in Republican primaries but with no intention of supporting the nominee other than your own favorite, — such a group could be termed either brigands or idiots, but RINO’s still has application. They are either “my way or the highwaymen” or they have little intellectual balance.

We realize full well that Republican Party processes can be corrupted by power brokers and there are prominent members who should be shamed, punished, and given ultimatums for not following the GOP platform in fundamental areas. But a fundamental rule to protect the furtherance of the party at the national level, the one that sustains its claim to be inclusive of the grassroots, the acknowledgement that the membership has spoken, something a priori,  is the rule that the prospective nominees agree to support the results of the legitimate  nomination process and the candidate it produces. Otherwise the honest thing to do is start your own party with your own rules.

Trump’s refusal to play by the GOP rules is, as he so often mouths about others, a disgrace. Now he and his Only Trump supporters have every right to create their own political party and pursue getting on the ballot in all the states  (but of course it is already too late and Trump knows that). Since they are so Trump centric they can call themselves Trumpeters or perhaps POT (Party of Trump), because they are sure that’s the way the country is going.

No need to have party rules. Trump will write the platform, changeable or ignorable at his whim of course, but to which POT members will pledge undying support, because Orange Man Good. And rules schmooles, there won’t even be guidelines, only the days profundities from his excellency.

Responding to the charge by Only Trumpers that the likes of George Bush proves that some Republicans do not deserve support

There is a formulation by Only Trumpers to excuse his refusal to pledge support to the nominee (other than Him of course) to the effect that the Bush administration proved that Republicans can be just as bad, just as evil, crooked, big-government liars as Democrats and therefore Republicans nominees deserve no deference.  It is an obtuse opinion.

For example GW Bush was not perfect on judicial appointments but neither was Trump. But had a Gore or a Heinz-Kerry been in office we would have had a federal judiciary replete with liberals in entrenched positions. Bush nominated Alito and Roberts. The latter had a pretty good resume, was generally applauded by conservatives but has been a huge disappointment — but who really knew it would go that way? Alito has been excellent.

But for Bush, Trump would not have had Kavanaugh or Gorsuch to credibly choose from in replenishing SCOTUS as Bush nominated both to Appeals Courts.  Neither has been perfect in my judgement, Bush’s Alito closer to the loadstar for SCOTUS.

Bush was a bid spender, guns and butter, so was Trump increasing deficits and signing a debt ceiling increase. But Bush had a war to fight. Regarding that, one can properly fault the conduct of the war under Bush as to definable mission, but 1) we were faced with a growing Muslim jihadist movement of serious import poised to hold hostage critical energy needs of the world — and 2) a creepy dictator in the person of megalomaniac mass-murderer Saddam Hussein who refused to abide by the conditions of the armistice he agreed to, thus frustrating the critical need for absolute confidence he was not developing or hiding WMDs (which he had used). By the way he was in violation of the armistice not only preventing inspections but he WAS maintaining and secreting WMD precursors and weaponry however old.

A useless argument is how effective or extensive Saddam’s program was because we could not have known with adequate certainty without the inspections. Given the volatility of the region it was justified to roll through and assure the world that the maniacal creep who signed the armistice abided by it. 

As to Afghanistan we were after the perps who attacked our country who were given or otherwise getting sanctuary in that country. When faced with bloodthirsty creeps, secular or religious, threatening your country or our allies with which we have treaties, you do something. That was true of the Vietnam war when an ally is faced with godless communist takeover.

The alternative to the Bush years — Gore and Kerry — was and is horrible to contemplate.

Environmental and public health wackos, seriously out to depopulate the planet, would have been more entrenched.  The scale of their policies would have been worse beyond any credible accusation about Bush. Bush at least pursued energy independence so that the hegemony of radical Muslims over peaceful Muslim nations would be less a threat.

Bush signed pro-life legislation and did a lot with executive orders to protect life and culture none of which would have happened with Gore or Kerry or any Democrat. Trump similarly did a lot with EOs as well. But one wonders who they prefer issuing EOs (other than Trump) — Gore or Kerry? Do they really believe theirs would be equally bad or equally good?  Most Republicans judged they would be far worse. But not Only Trump people.

Bush pushed and achieved tax cuts, reduced capital gains rates and deregulated government (not enough) — and none of that would have happened under a Democrat. Bush tried Social Security reform and while a so-called compasionate conservative (all conservatives are but it does not equate with big-spending welfare state) he did inculcate some welfare reforms, again none of which would have happened under a Democrat, no doubt the other way around.

Bush layed the groundwork for energy independence, he was an oilman for crying out-loud. The lamp for new development and techniques (fracking) was lit by him. His policies  were subverted by Dems (which vociferous Only Trump people are somehow indifferent to because non-Trump presidents are just as bad as Dems or something. Those energy programs were ripe for exploiting under Trump, which to his credit he did, but it would not have been as timely without the groundwork laid by Bush.

The Patriot Act was overwrought legislation, inadequately protective of civil liberties. It hugely enabled the deep state. Charitably, it was well intentioned.

Project Warped Speed was well intentioned by Trump but three years into his presidency, Mr. Personnel Chief,  the hammer on The Apprentice, put in charge or kept in charge a deep state public health apparat that gave us a novel gene altering non-vaccine which, distributed with Trump’s blessing, was more effective immunizing Big Pharma from liability than people. The iatrogenic effects are way beyond any vaccine ever foisted on the public and that it done with Trump’s encouragement albeit later weaponized with mandates by who — oh yes those Democrats who are no worse than Republicans in POT calculus. Yes we will trump their criticism of the Bush Patriot Act with Trump’s project Warped Speed for the avoidable harm rendered.

After especially Obama but also Carter, Bush is the worst, manipulative in his own way, wrong-headed hurtful to Republican interests past President we have seen. I do not want him back. But there is an order of ranking there that POT people equivocate on. But saying Bush policies were as bad as Dems is incredible.

The primary being what it is, now is the best time to evaluate who would not have the side-tracking drama, not be prone to stepping on his appendage with comments against interests, would not flail about, presenting an aura of revenge seeker, and have the demonstrated discipline to be the best President going forward.

Trump overall was not a very good administrator and invited avoidable drama with his demeanor. Nor was Trump an articulate defender of his policies. DeSantis has laid out policies as good, better thought out, every bit as fundamental. He can defend them better, and has better judgement about key people.

We favor DeSantis because he is a better tactical and strategic thinker with better appeal to no-party women due to his military service, his young photogenic family, his superior performance as an administrator, and his superior ability to articulate and defend them. Trump is inferior as to those markers and won’t be as productive as DeSantis because he tends to flail and has signaled vendetta (even when it is appropriate it is not politic to taint your entire approach).

However if Trump obtains the nomination he covets while dissing Republicans, he will have my vote even though his refusal to offer the same to another candidate, judged superior by the people Trump courts, properly disqualifies him in the primary. Trump’s refusal to pledge to support a nominee of the party other than himself establishes him as a RINO.

We will support the nominee of the Republican Party because Democrats are that dangerous even if Only Trump people think there is no difference in the two parties or how their candidates operate.

*Bauer’s commentary was also entirely too credulous over other results in the Fox poll which we will address in our next post.

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