Friday, September 27, 2019

Impeachment II - The Constitutional Perils

On Impeachment – The Constitutional Perils Doing impeachment is going nuclear. The Democrats are playing with fire – Constitutional fire. The Democrats wanted to impeach President Trump the second it was clear Secretary Hillary Clinton lost. Impeach, Indict, Investigate became their mantra, in whatever order. Forget the facts; full impeachment ahead. Committee Chair Adam Schiff gave a bogus rendition full of lies of President Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian leader. He called it a parody. Representative Schiff has been doing his best imitation of Senator Joe McCarthy for the past three years. No claim, no matter how implausible, will do. The media will give it substance. Proof would be needed in a normal world, observing due process. Former Ohio Governor John Kasich is not a fan of President Trump. He said you can’t impeach over a phone call. There are not normal times for the Democrats. They are still in the first and second stages of grief management: Denial and Anger. Speaker Pelosi announced the initiation of an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. That’s old news; they’ve been doing it from the beginning, even before inauguration. Their reckless power grab is a threat to the long term stability of our republic. Due process, indeed the Constitution, has been tossed aside in the past three years – Trump, Kavanaugh, anything to destroy them for political purposes. They fail to learn the lesson of Harry Reid. His Senate majority tossed aside the long standing Senate filibuster rules to install President Obama’s judicial picks to stack the federal district and appellate courts with liberal judges to preserve President Obama’s legacy. What goes around, comes around. The Republican Senate tossed the filibuster rules for Supreme Court nominees. Hence, Judge Kavanaugh is now Justice Kavanaugh after the most divisive Senate confirmation process in history. They are risking the democracy. Impeachment for political reasons is dangerous What goes around will come around The Clinton impeachment was payback for Nixon Someday the Republicans in Congress will try to toss a Democratic president, using this “impeachment’ as precedence. It’s all political. The Democrats have spent almost three years looking for a basis, no matter how slender, to impeach President Trump. They have wanted to impeach President almost from the minute he defeated Hillary Clinton. Congressman Al Green (D. Tex.) said right after President Trump’s election: “If we don’t impeach this president, he will be reelected.” Georgetown Professor Neal K. Kaytal, former acting solicitor general under President Obama, penned an op-ed in today’s New York Times. His tenet is that “Impeachment Needs No Crime,” even though Article II, §4 provides for impeachment for “treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Those are the specified grounds for impeachment. No other grounds exist. Professor Kaytal’s right in that while the Constitution requires a crime, impeachment is in fact a political act. Representative Nadler has been on a mission to impeach President Trump. They’ve spent three years looking for something, anything to pin impeachment on President Trump. They spent two years on the bogus Russian conspiracy cabal. They tried obstruction. Both failed with the Mueller report. If Robert Mueller’s handpicked partisans couldn’t nail President Trump, then Congress will not. They relied on Robert Mueller’s testimony, but he was a dud. Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels were good for a while. Now it’s a whistleblower and coverup. In the face of transparency, which was lacking in the Obama Administration. Always looking for something, anything, even if fabricated. Damn the facts, full impeachment ahead! Joe Biden said it best. He prefers the truth over facts! Representative Rashid Tlaib eloquently said a few hours after sworn into Congress: “We’re going to impeach this mother fucker.” She said it in front of her young son. The Representative is now selling “Impeach the MF” t-shirts for $29 for her reelection campaign. Damn the facts, full impeachment ahead! Damn the Constitution: full impeachment ahead! This country exists on the Rule of Law, reflected in the Constitution. The Constitutional values ensure the end does not justify the means. The Constitution provides the process for electing the President and process and grounds for removing the President. The Democrats want to overturn the election, without any proof of treason, bribery, high crimes or misdemeanors, by political chicanery. They wish to overturn the vote which elected President Trump. They can’t believe their perfect candidate, their anointed candidate, the perfectly flawed Hillary Clinton could lose to Donald Trump. They believe he must have had outside help, such as the Russians to win. The Democrats keep underestimating Donald Trump. They want to commit political, presidential regicide. It will mark the end of the republic. Mob rule will rule – a mob of partisan Democrats. The means justify the end for these Democrats. The end is the removal from office of President Trump, irrespective of the Constitution and the public which elected him. Impeachment without a crime on a purely partisan basis trashes the Constitution. The rights of all are at risk. Rights do not exist without adherence to the Constitution. Many liberals support the concept of a living constitution that can change judicially with the times. These Democrats want to ignore the Constitution. Speaker Pelosi has a problem. The story is that she’s not in favor of impeachment. She understands the politics. The reality is that she may not have a choice. 220 of her Democratic colleagues are publicly committed to an impeachment inquiry. They are committed to impeachment. The pressure will become a tsunami – for Democrats.

Impeachment I

Are the Democrats Trying to Impeach President Trump, Dump Joe Biden, or Both? Someone, a supporter of a democratic candidate for President, who had no first hand information of a Presidential telephone call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, acted as a whistle blower complaining of President Trump. He wasn’t there, and hadn’t even seen a transcript of the call. (Transcripts are all that all available of these calls since the Administration stopped taping them after he end of the Nixon Administration.) We don’t yet know who the whistle blower is. We now know the actual words in the phone call. We now know the allegations in the nine page faux whistle blower’s letter do not line up with the transcript of the actual call. Both President Trump and the Ukrainian government deny any pressure occurred. Witnesses were on the calls and a transcript made of the call. Apparently the Ukraine President was unaware the funds were held up until sometime after the phone conversation. Yet the Democrats are immediately yelling “Impeach, Impeach, Impeach.” Representative Adam Schiff is acting more sanctimonious than usual in excoriating the President. The latest allegations against the President may merit impeachment: “If the President is essentially withholding military aid and at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader into doing something illicit … then that may be the only remedy that is coequal to the evil that that conduct represents.” Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu stated all of Representative Schiff’s claims are “pure unadulterated lies.” The Democrats are so desperate to impeach President Trump that they are relying on a faux, partisan whistle blower who was not present during the conversation and did not see the transcript of the phone call. They are relying upon a non-whistle blowing whistle blower whose letter was written by partisan anti-Trump lawyers. That’s the Hail Mary of Hail Marys. The Fusion GPS Russian Dossier at least had a scintilla of veracity with the Obama security officials (Brennen, Clapper and Comey) vouching for it. The nine page letter is a refined version of the false stories about Judge Kavanaugh. Note that John Brennen and James Clapper have become highly reticent. They’re worry about the “I” word, indictment, for their misconduct. Here’s what we think we know - the allegation: President Trump threatened to withhold assistance to Ukraine unless the country initiated an investigation of Vice President Biden and his son Hunter. In other words the President was enlisting a foreign government into domestic politics for personal reasons. President Obama sent political operatives to Israel three years ago in a failed attempt to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Clinton Campaign paid GPS and a British operative with Russian connections for the Russian Dossier to defeat Donald Trump. Here’s what we know: Vice President Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine unless Viktor Shokin, a prosecutor, was fired. The prosecutor was investigating corruption. Hunter Biden, the VP’s son, received a sweetheart deal in an appointment to the Board of Directors of Burisma, a natural gas company. Hunter was earning up to $50,000 a month from Burisma, which was being investigated for corruption by both the Ukrainian and United States governments. Hunter’s father, Vice President Joe Biden, was President Obama’s special contact with the Ukraine government. Hunter’s business later got a $3 billion sweetheart contract from China. He was unqualified for either the Ukraine or China relationships, both obtained because his father was Vice President. Hunter was kicked out of the Navy in February 2014 after testing positive for cocaine. He had earlier left a crack pipe in a damaged rental car. We know because the Joe Biden bragged about it on January 23, 2019 before the Council on Foreign relations: “If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.” It’s on tape. The media and VP Biden are ignoring it or explaining the tape away, which brings us to Groucher Marx’s famous line in Duck Soup: “Who ya gonna believe me or your own eyes?” We know because the New York Times on May 1, 2019 printed a front page article “Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies.” If the Democrats really try to impeach President Trump on the Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden will also fall. Either they want President Trump out – or both. The more they push the impeachment case over upcoming months, the more Vice President Joe Biden will be scrutinized in the news. It’s not the news he needs or wants, as he drops in the polls. Why the rush to impeach? 1)Pressure from the left wing Twitters. 2) The recently elected Democrats from Congressional districts won by President Trump are scared of primary challengers. 3) Impeachment is their best chance to remove President Trump. 4) They’re desperate to divert attention from the upcoming Justice Department reports, and possible indictments of the Comey-McCabe-Stryock-Brennen-Clapper cabal to remove President Trump. They are projecting their own corruption (Biden) and Trump and perhaps trying to deflect attention from the indirect bribery of politicians through relatives, such as children. 5) Never Trumpers and Trump Derangement Syndrome It’s a nothing burger as the media abets them in making a mountain out of a molehill Gertrude Stein once said “there is no there, there.” Don’t let facts get in the way of impeachment. Every first year student knows a complaint is just a series of unverified allegations – not the facts. Yet, this Democratic House of Representatives is quick to believe an anti-Trump/Kavanaugh accuser – ready, fire, aim. They’ve done it continuously with President Trump. They tried it again a few weeks ago with new unverified accusations against Justice Kavanaugh. Even the purported victim denied any memory of it and no witnesses couch vouch it occurred. The allegation was made by Max Stier, a lawyer who represented President Clinton in his impeachment proceedings, but the Democrats rushed to impeach – for a couple of days. Dems are trigger happy on impeachment. They’re salivating, hyperventilating, and hallucinating Here’s another incredible allegation about President Trump: He asked a foreign leader for a favor - twice. Every politician incessantly asks for favors. Speaker Pelosi accused the President of abusing his power. Every Congress thinks the President is abusing his power, which most do, but then again so do most legislators.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The UAW-GM Strike is for the Future - the Future of Detroit

GM and the UAW are battling for the future not only of GM, the UAW, and Detroit, but also the American automobile industry. Detroit is facing an experiential crisis today and foresees a second one in the near future. UAW workers want job security, an increasing share of GM’s profits, wage increases, end of the three tier wage structure, and reopening of the Lordstown assembly plant and continuous of Hamtramck. That is the past – not the future. Detroit’s existential crisis is that Americans have reduced their purchase of sedans, Detroit’s traditional car markets. Sedan sales are down to 30% of the car market with pickups and SUVs’ 70%. “Made in Detroit” sedans, except for Mustangs, chargers/Challengers, Camaros and Corvettes, do not sell in Southern California. Americans are still buying sedans from Japan and Korea and their luxury sedans from Germany and Japan. A combination of high prices and poor quality has driven Detroit out of the sedan market. GM’s roughly $10 billion in profits, as well as those of Ford and Fiat Chrysler, is from pickups and SUVs. Therein is the upcoming existential crisis. Gas prices shoot up; gas guzzling SUV and pickup sales dive. It was $5/gallon gas a decade ago. Detroit collapsed. Chrysler and GM entered bankruptcy. Ford mortgaged everything. Detroit is scared of $6 gas. The collapse of the American sedan market has resulted with excess capacity of 1 million vehicles for GM. Assembly plants have to close. That is the reality for GM and the UAW. The market controls. GM’s workers are living in the past. They talk of the givebacks and concessions they made a decade ago. They had no choice. GM was bankrupt. Let us travel back in time to the two month 1970 UAW-GM strike, which the union won. Both GM and the UAW were at the height of their power. General Motors was by far both the largest and most profitable company in the world. It controlled 60% of the total automobile market, but that figure is deceptive. Cadillac owned the luxury car market. It was the (gold) standard of the industry. The Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac divisions dominated the mid-size market, while Chevrolet was the largest seller in the volume class. GMAC produced a full range of trucks, from pickups to big-rigs. GM dominated the motor coach business. GMAC was a money gusher for GM. Frigidaire was a major appliance manufacturer. The Electro-Motive division produced ¾ of the nation’s diesel locomotives. Terex manufactured construction and mining equipment. 500,000 UAW workers went on strike. GM caved because they could afford to. They didn’t have to worry about competition. They had the capital to survive any recession. The UAW was peaking with 1.5 million members. The Detroit automobile industry was roughly 100% unionized. Then came the two Arab oil embargoes of the 1970’s. Gas jumped from $3-4/barrel up to $50/barrel. Many Americans wanted economical cars with good gas mileage. Detroit offered big boats. Toyota with the small, seemingly always blue, Corona and Honda’s Civic caught on: inexpensive, high quality, and high gas mileage. Detroit offered big boats. GM’s leaders made the decision to cut by commoditizing its cars. GM devalued the individuality of its brands, such that they lacked identity. A Buick became a Chevrolet, an Oldsmobile and a Pontiac, and even sometimes a Cadillac. Take the Chevy Trailblazer, give it $2,000 in accouterments and voila, you have a Cadillac Escalade. Even GMC vehicles come off the Chevy assembly line, also with some accouterments. Detroit, especially GM, had trouble designing and building small cars; Corvair and Pinto became infamous. Chevy II, Chevette, Citation and Vega did not help GM’s image. Detroit could not compete on cost or quality – not even today. GM entered a gradual decline from 60% of the market to 17% today. Assembly plant after assembly plant was closed. Hundreds of thousands of workers lost their jobs – blue collar and white collar. Electro-Motive, Frigidaire, GM, motor coaches, Terex gone. GMAC – gone! Oldsmobile – Gone! Pontiac – Gone! Saab – Gone! Saturn – gone! Europe (Opel, Bedford and Vauxhall) – gone! GMAC – down to pickups and SUVs. Buick hanging by a thread with sales of 100,000 and few cars in the pipeline! Buick dealers survive by selling GMC trucks. Cadillac – down to fifth in luxury car sales! Buick and Cadillac survive only because of popularity in China. GM steadily declining from 60% of the market in 1970 to today’s 17%. $11.8 billion in profits can collapse overnight. GM knows it. 2009 – General Motors and Chrysler bankrupt. Detroit is a cycle of riches to rags to riches to rags. How soon the workers forget! The UAW workers want to share in GM’s largess. They received $8,000 each in profit sharing from GM last year. Ford and GM are both spending about $1 billion annually on health expenses. The UAW workers pay 3% of the premiums. UAW membership down to 430,000 members. 49,000 on strike – not 500,000!. The union lost 35,000 members last year. The United Auto Workers is in an existential crisis. Membership diving! Leaders in a corruption scandal! Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin are now Right to Work states with workers free to leave the union. Ford and GM are going electric, which means fewer parts in cars and fewer workers. Failure means failure for the UAW, an increasing shadow of its former self - sadly. Globalization has been destructive of America’s heartland. The industrial heartland, centered around Detroit, has hemorrhaged jobs. GM’s 5 decades of insipid leadership hasn’t helped. The workers have paid, and continuing to pay, the price for a half century of globalization and bad decisions. The United Auto Workers at its peak built much of the middle class of the Midwest. GM is building for the future. The UAW is living in the past.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Banned in Frisco: Civics Lessons in San Francisco

Once upon a time, in an era far, far away, you couldn’t call San Francisco “Frisco” in good company. That’s the least of San Francisco’s problems today. Now there is a new list of banned in Frisco: Plastic straws Tropical fish The sale of new fur pieces Plastic water bottles at SFO (owned by San Francisco). Plastic and paper bags, unless made as reusables. Styrofoam containers Packing peanuts Workplace cafeterias Happy Meals with toys. Burger King and MacDonald's now charge a dime extra for the toys E-cigarettes (Juul is based in San Francisco – at least for now) Outdoor smoking almost everywhere. Chocolate milk in schools - why limit it just to schools if it’s so bad? City funded travel by municipal employees to states that restrict abortions. Facial recognition by local law enforcement (excludes federal law enforcement) Library fines for overdue books (Am I off the hook for a Folger Shakespeare copy I left on a Muni bus in 1963-4?) Riding bicycles on the sidewalk over the age of 13. Pet sales Declawing cats Washing a car with non-recycled water Handgun possessions for private use (so much for self defense) Upholstered furniture containing fire retardant chemicals. Sitting or lying in sidewalks – someone forgot to tell the homeless Unsolicited delivery of Yellow Pages phone books Electric scooters – so popular elsewhere in America Free Speech No longer does San Francisco have “convicted felons;” They are now “justice-involved individuals.” “Juvenile delinquents” are now "Young people impacted by the juvenile justice system.” “Drug addicts” have become “people with a history of substance abuse.” George Orwell would be proud of Frisco’s NewSpeak. Actual restrictions on speech. Advertisements for guns or violence. The greatest free speech, First Amendment problem is deciding the NRA is a domestic terrorist organization. The NRA has never bombed or shot up a church, school, synagogue, or office. It simply advocates for the rights of gun owners. It uses its First Amendment rights of Free Speech to support the Second Amendments rights of gun owners. That is constitutionally protected speech. What’s encouraged in San Francisco? Public defecation by the homeless. Drug usage with San Francisco providing free needles. Car smashing, although the city and federal governments provide warnings your cars may be broken into (About 5 dozen cars daily are broken into). The city and police don’t care. Shoplifting – reduced fines Bike lanes. We had to take a class in Civics in high school in San Francisco. The City by the Bay is now totally woke.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Senator Bernie Sanders and the Bankruptcy of His Socialistic Green New Deal

Senator Bernie Sanders and his acolytes are confirmed democratic socialists. What is their vision of democratic socialism, which history tells us is an oxymoron? Senator Sanders in a 2015 speech described his socialism: “I don’t believe the government should take over the corner store down the street or own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a decent standard of living and that their incomes should go up, not down, I do believe in private companies that thrive and invest and grow in America, companies that create jobs here, rather than companies that are shutting down in America and increasing their profits by exploiting low-wage labor overseas.” The Senator has proposed a green energy plan that he thinks would convert America to energy efficiency and sustainability, but would cripple capitalism, bankrupt the nation, and replace “democratic” with coercion along the way. He looked to the Tennessee Valley Authority of the New Deal as his model. The TVA was created to bring electricity to the rural masses in the Tennessee Valley, and much of Appalachia. The TVA serves parts of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The TVA output would be hydroelectricity, flood control, Navigation control, fertilizer production, agriculture, and overall economic development. The Senator, who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, is living in a dreamworld of nostalgia for a TVA and world that never existed. TVA has been an environmental disaster with tremendous environmental contamination and pollution. The TVA dammed up the Tennessee Valley, ran out of sites, and then turned to fossil fuels and nuclear. Nuclear generates about 40% of TVA’s electricity. Bernie wants to end nuclear generation. Coal produces 20% of TVA’s energy and natural gas 10%. Bernie wants to terminate fossil fuel production. Way to go Bernie! He wants to eliminate 70% of TVA’s generating capacity. As usual. Bernie’s idealistic ignorance shows. He lives in a dream world. Good by to gas engines. So much for jet airplanes. Say goodbye to Hawaii. Airplane jet engines could run on biofuels, which are carbon fuels that haven’t yet become fossils. He wants all power by renewable sources. Nuclear, which generates 19% of America’s electricity, is not a renewable. Say goodbye to nuclear. 100% renewables by 2030. Renewables are great, except when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Solar eats up land. Windmills need steel and cement, both dependent on coal in their manufacture. Hybrids and electric cars need electricity to run. Neither solar nor wind can supply it. Complete decarbonization by 2050. He proposes to nationalize the renewable energy system, which means the production of electricity nationally – without nuclear, hydro, or fossil fuels. What do you do with the carbon dioxide exhaled by 7 billion people on Planet Earth? His solution is abortion in the Third World – aborting blown, black, and yellow babies. We call that genocide. Not many places are left in America for major hydroelectricity production, unless he plans to dam the Grand Canyon. He also said fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused. This is the act of third world dictators and communist societies. Venezuela’s Humberto Madero jailed oil execs and replaced managers with hacks. Venezuela is a living socialist tragedy. Bernie doesn’t see it. He’s blind to reality. He says the Soviet Union and Venezuela are not examples of failed socialism because they are not socialistic, but dictatorial. He wants to jail the executives who have brought cheap, legal energy to America. He proposed a federal takeover of “the whole thing.” “You can’t nibble around the edges.” All in for nationalizing America’s energy production. But not fracking, which has given America energy independence. But not offshore drilling, which is a reliable source of oil. Of course, he wants to eliminate fossil fuels, so it doesn’t matter. He claims his plan would produce 20 million jobs. The reality is that we would be living on rationed electricity. That doesn’t work on hot humid days or freezing cold nights. He claims his plan would create 20 million union jobs. His plan would lay off tens of thousands of highly paid unionized coal miners, oil and gas workers. He would convert them to solar installers. He will pay for his pie in the sky Green New Deal by large taxes on corporate polluters and fossil fuel polluters. He promised five years of salaries and benefits to laid off fossil fuel workers. That’s guaranteed to increase the opioid crisis in Appalachia. His estimated Green New Deal cost is $16 trillion dollar, which he claims will pay for itself within 15 years.s. The current federal budget is $4 trillion. China produces twice the CO2 emissions of the United States. Not a peep from the democratic socialists of cutting back China’s rising CO2 emissions. U.S. emissions have been dropping and now back to the levels of two decades ago. The world’s are rising while ours are dropping. Destroying our economy will not solve the problems of climate warming. His Green Energy Plan defies his statement of what socialism means to him. He’s as naive as the Bolsheviks who seized power a century ago on October 24-25, 1919. The laws of economics and physics would send America back to the Dark Ages if he succeeds. He won’t and we won’t.