Encore of Revival: America, November 12, 2018

This was an astonishing victory for Republicans for any year, especially a controlling party midterm. Senate Republicans have rarely held this many seats since the FDR days except Reagan and W Bush. Losses in the House were among the lowest losses for a controlling party midterm. By gaining seats in the Senate, Republicans are winning the long game. We are headed for a possible supermajority by the end of Trump’s second term. In the next two years, House Democrats will have just enough power to be irritating, but not enough to make any difference, other than helping Trump get re-elected in 2020.

Democrats are darned if they do and darned if they don’t. Trump’s appointees can be approved faster and impeachment in the House would die in the Senate. Opposition party power is good for presidential elections. Trump’s best course of action would be to deliver the strongest Conservative proposals so Democrats can go on record as obstructionists. The best course of action for Democrats would be to talk and vote like Republicans, which has always been historically favorable, proven with Democratic Rahm Emanuel -led “blue dog” victory in 2006.

Results are still being counted. At last count, Democrats gained 30 seats in the House and had control of the House by 7. Most of those states had Democratic Senate and gubernatorial victories. In this victory for Democrats, nothing seems out of the ordinary. The election results appear to be real and fair; Democrats won the House fair and square.

The question of some after-election counting and recounting, however, seems sketchy. The Arizona Senate race looks like a lost cause for the Republican candidate. Arguably from Senate voting records, the Arizona seat up for grabs was not gained by Democrats except in name only. That Senate seat will be up the election Trump leaves office. But, that’s a different story from a cluster of recount fiascos in Florida and Georgia, where recounting is a matter of procedure, not questionable results. The losers in those elections are pushing in hopes that close results can easily be tipped. If recounts were to change those results, that would open bigger questions, bigger objections, and bigger investigations. So far, the number of ballots in question would not change the results; miscounts would.

Even with the ground Republicans took, Democrats outspent Republicans by roughly $300M. Ironically, Democrats campaign on a platform of opposing big money and suspect business man Trump of trying to buy the presidency. The spending was bad optics for them.

Trump’s proved helpful on the campaign trail. Many Republicans who pushed him away lost. Senate Republicans defeated incumbents in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota. Senate Republicans also held vacant seats in Tennessee and Utah. 26 Republicans retired, more than any midterm year since 1974, the greatest retirements being 27 in 2008.

FDR holds both the greatest midterm gain and midterm loss since his time as president. After FDR, the greatest midterm loss was Obama’s first midterm. The greatest midterm gain in the Senate was Trump, the second-greatest being JFK with +3. This was a favorable midterm year for Republicans. But, already you read that right here at Pacific Daily Times before the election. So, while Republicans had a historic election, Pacific Daily Times has set a new standard for accuracy in the media.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 11, 2017

Little to nothing new happened this week. The supposed Democratic attempt to fry Moore by frying Franken only fried Franken. Franken’s seat is secure for Democrats; Moore’s seat would be up for party grabs in Alabama. The theory goes that the Democratic party viewed Franken as expendable since a Democrat would likely replace him, but Moore, a Republican, would be replaced by a Democrat, thus the Democrats would gain a seat in the Senate. By accusing and frying Franken of the same kind of sex scandal as Moore, it seemed to be non-hypocritical for Democrats to expect that Moore step down.

That’s the theory anyway as to why so many Democrat-leaning voices went after Franken.

Theory or no, it didn’t happen. The Clinton years cemented the unofficial Democratic position that “sex and morals” don’t affect politicians—that a man can cheat on his wife and remain loyal to his country. Republicans are the party of “morality police”, in a sense. Once a sinner proves he is a sinner, it’s time to hang a “scarlet letter ‘A'” around his neck and burn him at the stake. But, especially with the public being tired from having to remove Kevin Spacey from their “favorites” lists, the Republican voters don’t want anymore. “A Republican proves to be a sinner in need of forgiveness” no longer means that “moralless Democrats need to gain power” in the minds of Republican voters. The press “pooped in its diapers” over scandals one too many times and the Religious Right just doesn’t care anymore. The “scandal trump card” is no longer part of the rules as of this political season.

With the Alabama special election coming up tomorrow, and a tax bill about to get through Congress, headlines may finally change a little from what they have been for the past month. Thanks to the continued distraction provided by Mueller’s ongoing and seemingly directionless investigation of Russianewsgategate, the White House is moving forward and may start creating new headlines soon. Not having to write the same story week after week will come as a relief to some writers, but a disappointing alarm to get off the couch for the mainstream.

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Encore of Revival: America, May 8, 2017

Police departments are ceasing patrol due to unpopularity with the people, according to an FBI report. France, like Canada and the US 12 years ago, also has new, young president. The new president, Emanuel Macron, who won by more than 65%, ran on a campaign of cutting spending, loosening France’s ever-so-strict labor laws, and protecting the self-employed. Regardless of what you think you know of Le Pen, who lost, French politics aren’t what they seem. The same can be said of the new politics on Capital Hill.

Trump’s budget deal is complex. It angered people, he knew it would, he wanted it to. But, the backlash will also be complex. His two-part Tweet tells it all.

Trump could have used the budget reconciliation rule to pass a budget bill or to repeal Obamacare, which suspends the 60-vote rule over matters of Constitution and budget. Democrats used it to pass Obamacare, which seemed to be misuse of the rule; Republicans didn’t use it to repeal Obamacare. He could have suspended the 60 vote rule, but he didn’t and he hasn’t. He won’t because he wants the 60 vote rule removed—a rule which, more or less, allows “auto filibuster”, so opponents can keep needless discussion going to stop a law from being voted on, without actually having to attend any meetings. It’s a silly rule in the Senate. It’s a relatively new rule in the Senate. The House has no such rule. Thankfully, families and business also don’t have such rules. Trump is playing smart. The best solution to bad rules and laws: rigorous enforcement. He wants his supporters to support efforts to eliminate the 60-vote rule so that, as in the House, a law only needs a simple majority to be passed.

There is still no wall. Obamacare isn’t gone. Some Trump supporters are angry—though, keep watching: They’ll cool off around election time when they see what pops over the horizon.

One very important thing happened: military. China, Korea, and the Middle East are heating up. China is making huge strides with constructing its first aircraft carrier. We needed that military cleanup from eight years of rust. Otherwise it would be the North Koreans vs ISIS jihadists fighting over who gets to keep your women, brainwash your children, and kill the rest of your family—no matter what country you live in. Like it or not, evil or good or somewhere in the vast in-between, the decaying US military is all that keeps people who don’t apologize away from the shores of the people who do. This budget kept that military going.

Yes, it did make other milestones. It was a first: A new president actually influenced the current year’s budget—because we were over-budget from eight years before. Yes, the bill boosted military spending without having to boost non-related programs. And, yes, Trump will be in a better position to threaten with a shutdown later, since the military is finally operational again.

But, the people won’t have it. Trump was supposed to drain the swamp. Where’s the wall? Why is the US spending over $1B on non-citizens in our prisons? Why not fix Obamacare with the same rout that it was created? The people want results now. They will come back to support Trump in 2018 and 2020, but only briefly; and in between, they will get thirsty for a third party. Perhaps that was also part of Trump’s plan in the first place. Let’s be frank; the Republican party likes Trump and his base about as much as Britain liked General George Washington and the American colonies.

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Encore of Revival: America, April 10, 2017

Senate Democrats are now making noises about 60-vote cloture being removed for legislation. The cloture rule was removed 55-45 for Supreme Court nominees. Why Democrats have brought up the discussion for removing the cloture rule altogether remains a mystery, unless they expect to use fear as a preventative tactic in 2018. However, once an idea is introduced, even if by fear, the idea is up for valid discussion. Had Democrats hoped to retain cloture for legislation, they should have allowed Republicans to bring it up first. Now, elimination of the cloture rule altogether is inevitable.

The White House is in somewhat of a shakeup. Chief “Strategerist” Steve Bannon is getting shuffled, but no reasons seem to be valid. We may not find out the real reasons for at least two years, once the presses cool off, the stakes aren’t as high, and people aren’t so tight-lipped about inside baseball.

Trump ordered a 59-Tomahawk cruise missile strike on Syria after 80 were killed with nerve gas. The missiles targeted what was thought to be the base for the gas attack. Russia is also on the scene. The nerve gas was banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Putin responded with his usual worldview of nationalist, socialist victimhood. Whatever he and his crew resort to is necessary because of what the West took from them in the zero sum game. Putin is a true Hitler—gentle and endearing as a teddy bear who never raises his voice before his audience, compassionate, polite, never rude, never tough to critique directly, only strong to march behind, and everything he does is excused by what “they did to us”.

Syria’s use of banned chemical weapons could have been a ploy all along, by the Russians and their allies, to draw Trump’s action to justify escalation. Though it may have been bait from the Russian’s view, it might have been brilliant for Trump to tell the world that the US isn’t pantie-whipped anymore and to draw Russia’s attention to the Middle East while the USS Carl Vinson carrier group goes to North Korea.

Nearly 100k jobs were created in March alone, over 200k in February. An accurate presidential poll—Investor’s Business Daily—ranked Trump at 34% approval. Since Trump took office, Americans have only seen two results: a boom in jobs and an onslaught from the news industry. The people haven’t heard much from Trump directly because he is too busy keeping promises, no matter how politically controversial those promises are.

With good and bad news, people’s political opinions haven’t changed; they have only strengthened. And, that strengthening is just now getting started.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 13, 2017

Upheaval continues to take from in both protests and weather. Houston immigrants are in near panic and, now, the Oroville Dam in California is in trouble and 188k people are evacuating.

Trump’s executive actions have a long history of basis, including Congress having given the president indefinite power concerning national security, Presidents Lincoln and Jackson having arrested dissident judges—more extreme than anything Trump has done so far. Trump is complying with the rulings of the courts, even though he presses on.

The Senate has the “Constitutional Option”, often called the “Nuclear Option”, where the president of the Senate, the Vice President, can call the Senate to vote without the Senate’s consent where “matters of the Constitution” are concerned. This means that the standing majority of Senators will be able to approve judges. Problems of Senate rules have come up, seemingly that the Senate has made rules that tie its own hands. That itself is a Constitutional question: Can the Senate write its own rules making itself unable to function?

In the end, all objection and opposition to Trump will make the Republican case stronger, including the protests from dissident constituents in Republican Congressional districts. Even if Trump did not have the majority support of the country, the Republicans in the House and Senate do. It seems clear that the minority is loud and the silent majority is busy at work, having finished their project in November. Still, dissidents have the evidence they need to encourage themselves to carry on. Difficult times remain ahead. Read More