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Friday, November 23, 2012

Ken Burns Dust Bowl politics

Perhaps the most slanted thing about Ken Burns’ PBS special, “Dust Bowl”, is the politics.  The video has a lot of fascinating stories about survivors of the Dust Bowl complete with old photos and footage.  FDR is a hero of unassailable credits.  But then, one wonders, how did he lose the farmer portion of the Democrat coalition and make NW Oklahoma solidly Republican?  Farmers had voted Democrat since Andrew Jackson.  Part of the answer is found in excerpts from the documentary.  Washington got involved in some incredibly elitist and insulting politics with the dust bowl farmers.  Then, as today, there were a group of environmentalists who thought the entire Great Plains should be depopulated and turned into a national grassland.  Perhaps their greatest contribution was in having the federal government buy out some absentee farmers and return their lands to grass.  But under the Dept. of Agriculture they produced a number of propagandistic films accusing farmers of the failure and advocating collectivism as in the Soviet Union.  Secondly, in order to reduce the surplus of livestock that was depressing prices, emaciated cattle were bought and killed and buried with bulldozers.  The ranchers were chagrinned the way a consultant would be if the company who had hired him, paid him well, then dumped the fruit of his labors and in his report into the trash.  Next FDR fashioned himself a naturalist and proposed several utterly idiotic schemes to fix the West, despite the restraint of his advisors.  One was the ill-fated Shelterbelt Program.  The concept was to plant a 100-mile wide forest through the center of the Great Plains from Dakotas to Texas.  98% of the seedling trees died the first year. In 1935, as a pork barrel program, US 83 highway, was built from Minot, ND  to Childress, TX, going through no town of more than 15,000.  It became jokingly known as the Highway to Nowhere.  It was roundly joked about and became the subject of 3 Country and Western songs. Of all the alphabet soup New Deal programs, the Soil Conservation Program was one of the few that was sound.  Here, a local county-wide district was established and run by farmers on a board.  The district was empowered to buy land-altering equipment that could be borrowed by farmers to correct erosion.  Yet the government experts who advised the farmers were often political hacks and former politicians who knew little about conservation. It was the farmers who made the program work.

Hence when Burns’ “Dust Bowl” shows FDR making a trip to Amarillo to survey the damage in 1936 it was a forced political move to shore up support.  Desperate farmers took help from the government but when the drought broke, became very disgusted with Washington.  The  AAA was the farm program.  It paid farmers to idle land.  Southern landowners took the money and told sharecroppers they weren’t needed any longer. That led to widespread unemployment in the Deep South.  Mississippi had 52% unemployment and Alabama was nearly as high.  These were the pitiful poor who often made their way to the California Great Valley to work as migrant laborers.  Very, very few came from Oklahoma which had 22% unemployment compared to a national average of 25% in 1934.  Yet an opportunistic author, John Steinbeck, wrote a tear-jerker tale of how a broke Oklahoma family went to California only to be mistreated.  Burns slyly inserts a statement about how only 16,000 Oklahomans went to the Valley, but then continues-on about how these “Okies” were abused--as if to disregard his own statistic.  (Californians called the impoverished southerners Okies because they already knew the oil field workers from Oklahoma who had similar accents.) Burns then follows his anecdotal stories of two families who went to LA and San Francisco respectively as if to make the Oklahoma-California fabrication true. What was the truth?  Farmers hung tough during the dust bowl and many managed to eke out a living. Meade County, Kansas (Liberal) actually gained 2% population from the 1930 to 1940 census.

In the end, all the old-timers in “Dust Bowl” tell their stories and express deep misgivings about farming and this new irrigation that is taking place in the Southern Plains.  None were practicing farmers.  All are Democrats to the hilt.  Another dust bowl is surely in our future, they worry.  The drought of the 50’s showed that we learned absolutely nothing.  And so it is as if you were to ask the 1/3 of settlers who failed and returned to the East in the 19th century, “How was the West Won?” It probably would be only a half-truth.

Ken Burns burns the Dust Bowl

 In the PBS special “Dust Bowl” Ken Burns impresses with his anecdotes and photos, but leaves out so much explanation that we are left wondering how the dust occurred and what the lessons were.  According to the narrative, farmer greed and climate change were the culprits.   Billed as 'one of the Worst Man-made Disasters' the continual insinuation is that the prairies should have never been plowed, and that climate could once again ruin us.  Nice political correctness, but poor facts.

I taught a class about the Dust Bowl for NOC and North Central OK Historic Assoc. a dozen years ago.  Here are some facts that are quite relevant as we go into our third year of drought here in Oklahoma.  Summer-Fall plowing is a time-honored technique farmers use to mellow a seedbed and this was a major fault of the 1930’s dust.  It simply works too well here.  Daily winter freezing and thawing yields a fine dustbed by spring. If it’s too dry for the wheat to grow, the land lies barren and windswept.  Windspeeds in the Great Plains are the highest in N. America.  18 inch annual rainfall, normal for the panhandle, dropped by half in 1931-1938 for reasons that are still under debate.  We know the area is subject to droughts.  All over western Oklahoma and other states are ancient stabilized dune fields of small hummocky hills and no apparent drainage system.  The closest one to Ponca City is between Tonkawa and LaMont on the north side of US 60.  The soils west of Guthrie/Ponca City/Wichita are alkali because the dry climate doesn’t leach organic matter and minerals  much.  This makes a delightfully rich grassland.   But it is also makes a “friable” soil.  Pick up a clod, squeeze, and it turns to dust easily.  The soils of Western Kansas and SW Nebraska are some of the richest in the world, in places with over 30 feet of topsoil—blown-in naturally from the north as the last glaciers retreated.

Why does soil blow?  Soil particles first begin a hopping, fracturing regime called saltation which is enhanced by flat barren dirt.  Saltation creates particles so small they can go airborne. Burns did make a good point about a few speculative farmers who didn’t live on the land, but had the acreage plowed.  These “suitcase farmers” abandoned their lands during the Dust Bowl adding to the problem.  There were others who realized how to fix the farming practices, but  having neighbors who were clueless, they were powerless to stop the havoc.  Contour strip farming was the first attempt to control the dust and it helps a bit.  Emergency contour tillage works temporarily.  In the 40’s the better practice of fallowing became widespread. Land is left in stubble with minimum tillage to control weeds for a year.  This augments soil moisture and stops the blowing. Today, no-till agriculture is practiced.  And with irrigation the Great Plains has become a new world.

 Yet we know that prolonged droughts are likely, where desert threshold rainfall is less than 15”.  Even with modern farming practices, a 20-year drought would lead to a lot of blowing dirt.  We saw it blow one wild windy day in October this year aided by construction west of Blackwell.  But the likelihood of another Dust Bowl is not large. So then what was the dust bowl--man-made disaster, or yet another example of how learning leads to success?  I’d prefer the latter. "Manmade Disaster" is like blaming the first guy who tried to catch petroleum from a seep with a blanket for the oil spills.  Learn how to drill a well!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Obamacare can't function--exchanges

            A healthcare exchange is a place where people go to find a policy.  It’s like going to a row of car dealers to see what’s available.  But under Obamacare there is only one policy, the one the government defines, a one-size-fits-all.  So it’s like all the care dealers selling the same vehicle outfitted with the same options (so they are really not options).  But if all sell the same thing, you ask, why would companies even be interested in selling insurance?  How could they make more profit?  How could they best the competition?  Answer: by selling only to the best risks.  But if they have to charge the same to everyone and cannot refuse anyone, how would they do that?  Perhaps by offering certain privileges.  So imagine one company says, “Overnight claims service and free flowers in your hospital room for those who belong to our Fitness Club.” Fitness Club might be open to those who are under 40, don’t smoke, have a healthy weight.  Thus you target the young and fit who have few claims. “And if you don’t belong to our Fitness Club, you can still process claims via our usual 800-number with 45 minute wait times and fill out our easy-to-use 14-page questionnaire for each doctor visit.” There.  The others won’t apply for your coverage.

            Healthcare exchanges, oddly enough can only be set up by the states.  Many think that when Obamacare was written it intended to demand exchanges—set up by feds if the states didn’t.  But some wording was inadvertently left out and the feds cannot do it, unless Congress passes a law to allow HHS to do this.  What happens if your state does set up an exchange?  Then HHS can administer a bunch of rules about how the exchange does policies (see above).  They can raise income threshold that gives people Medicaid to about double the number of people on “welfare medicine”.  But states pay half of Medicaid.  OK pays $1billion a year--1/6 of the state budget.  To raise another $1 billion would require that the state raised income tax about 50% or sales tax by 20%.  So a lot of state governors are saying they won’t set up an exchange for HHS’s pleasure. OK is in the forefront of this battle.  We sued Uncle Sam for trying to mandate we double Medicaid, and thereby telling the state how to run tax policy.  But if a state doesn’t set up an exchange they forfeit Medicaid, which is the federal $1billion in OK.  Then what?  The state has to pony up the full cost of  welfare medicine.  Would that raise OK income taxes by 50%?  Probably not that much because OK could then, free of federal regulations, institute ways to save money.  Medicaid fraud is a whopping 20% of cost.  The state could go paperless and make far faster checks on fraudulent claims.  The use of more PA’s and clinics could reduce costs and free docs from having to see these poor patients.  It might even improve care.  But look for a jump in tax revenue needed if the state has to fund it entirely.

            Could the feds simply fix Obamacare to allow HHS to set up exchanges?  Yes, but Congress is divided.  If the R’s in the House have enough backbone to say NO, then the program must continue as it is written.  Could HHS simply deem itself as logically having to set up state exchanges for reticent states?  Obama would try this, I believe.  O’care already gives HHS broad powers to make things up as it goes along.  If they try to do this, it is here that I would pray that our Congress would put its foot down and impeach the President for trying to make a government of men, not laws.  For a free people should be governed by Law and not by the whims of man.  This was a constant theme of our founders and one of the boldface reasons for our Declaration of Independence.  To be governed by the whims of bureaucrats given a free hand to legislate is to be subject to the ever-changing capriciousness of those in power. This is tyranny at its worst.  In such a society, nothing is dependable.  No rights are secure.  The Law is supposed to be designed to provide certainty about how things will be handled.  No certainty implies no “freedom to act” as the writers of the Federalist Papers noted.  “No man will contend that a nation can be free that is not governed by fixed laws.”—John Adams.  “Where there is no law, there is no freedom.”—John Locke.  And concerning the complexity of Obamacare, so complex that we still haven’t figured it out yet, “if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood…that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow…how can men be free?”—Madison, Federalist #62. 

            If we can’t impeach for things like this, when and for what reason can we impeach?  This ain’t a Clinton sex scandal.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Corrupt or what?

             Listen to the Dems on MSNBC and they say there is very little, if any vote fraud.  That’s because few cases are ever prosecuted.  I’m sure it is hard to convict.  But if that is so how did we get the results of 2012?  In one county in Florida where Allen West was running for re-election, there were 20 something precincts and the worst turnout was 113% and the best was 158%.  How do you get more votes than registered voters? Something’s  crooked or messed up.  254,000 votes cast with 175,000 voters in St. Lucie County Florida. West lost by 2400 votes.

            Experts I have read say that one out of six people moves each year and less than half get their voting registrations changed.  So there you have about 8% of the electorate. Add another 4% who are sick and couldn’t vote. Another 3% become institutionalized. How many had family problems or were out of town on business or just forgot?  They say that if more than 75% turn out it is highly suspicious because, life being what it is, it just won’t happen.  Somebody is cooking the books in Florida way beyond even this.  And they can’t even make it look real at under 100%.  

            In Cleveland there were 59 precincts or districts where Obama got 100% of the vote.  Not one vote for Romney. In Phillie there were 100 precincts that voted over 99% for Obama.  Experts claim that about 1% of all ballots are mis-marked, that is, they get marked mistakenly for the wrong guy because someone didn’t catch it or catch onto voting. (This is why even Stalin got only 98%)  Hence a 100% tally is very suspicious.  But I guess this is from the inner city where the voters are so highly intelligent, never disagree and painstakingly careful that no Romney vote was registered.  I remember looking over Oklahoma’s precinct votes in inner city Tulsa and Oklahoma City.  Nowhere was a precinct that was 99%. There were just a couple that were extremely monolithic.   I think the biggest Obama margin was 1100 to 15—still a point and a half less than 100%.

            In Ohio there were 31 counties with 90% turnout and 2 with over 100%.  You know, if I lived in a place like this, I would band together and march on the state capitol demanding explanations.  If none were forthcoming and no ironclad solutions enacted, our group needs to state loudly to the media that the citizenry, being unable to depend on fair elections, need to arm themselves forthwith and form militias.  Are there any TEA parties listening?
And how come these cases always favor Democrats?  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Some Radical Republican Ideas

I have been reading a lot about the election and how it turned out.  There are many good explanations for why Romney and R Senators lost.  Romney polled high among independents but 3 million fewer R’s voted this time around, a clear indication that the base wasn’t turned on despite the realization that Obama would kill our future.  Lesson: Next time we need to find a true conservative who distills his message with passion for the conservative view.  Minorities scored the highest proportion of voters they have ever achieved and they didn’t vote for Romney.  Among the prescriptions is more appeal to minorities or fielding a candidate that didn’t get labeled an evil white Wall Street plutocrat.  Third point is that there was unbelievable fraud.  100 precincts in Cleveland went to Obama by 99% or more.  59 in Philadelphia went 100% Obama.  Now considering that experts think that about 1% of all votes cast are miscast—the voter intends to vote opposite what they actually mark—having such astounding lopsidedness smacks of fraud.  And then there is the flap about how one whole county in FL had every precinct tallying more votes than there were registered voters.  One precinct had 158% turnout.  Meanwhile the Democrats are congratulating themselves that R’s must have insulted all the minority people with voter ID laws. (This was the constant MSNBC rant pre-election)  I’ll let the pundits yak about all this for awhile.  There are 4 years before we get a shot at change again.

But here are some thoughts on strategies that could make a real difference.

#1 Pick your fight.  The pundits are neglecting one obvious fact.  In years where the public sees deep problems, they want solutions and answers, not personalities (an Issues campaign).  That was what was happening in 2010.  The debt issue was enormous and it played against the D’s.  But in other times when things seem to be going well, people take things for granted and want bipartisanship and moderation (a Personality campaign).  Remember Ike and the 50’s?  In 2012, it probably seemed to many R’s that it would be a replay of 2010.  But Obama cooked the unemployment books, got a midsummer upturn in the economy—the #1 issue of the campaign.  Meanwhile they were playing the “image” game demonizing Romney.  It turned into an image campaign and Obama won. A lot of non-political people knew the economy wasn’t so good but they didn’t blame Barry and besides the Gov’t will take care of everyone.  There was no desperate need for issues to be answered.

#2 It’s the vision thing, stupid Romney attacked BO’s policies as not working.  What he didn’t do was to stand like a prophet explaining in layman’s language what is going to befall USA if we keep spending.  To that point, what R’s can do the next few years is to be warning of the debt crisis to come, the stagflation, and the demise of SS and Medicare benefits for the middle class.  In other words, wait for the day when these issues will be hot stuff.  As when Churchill railed against the Nazis while Britain signed the Kellogg pact.

#3 Turn the tables on racism.  The constant harange of the Democrats is that white R’s are racists.  There has developed an entire industry in threatening minority D’s that the evil whites of the Republican party are out to get them. Meanwhile, most whites dearly wish the whole subject would go away.  Indeed my boomer generation vowed, during the civil rights movement not to be like our elders and say prejudiced stuff about people of minority descent.  Now, with an increasingly mixed-race populance a lot of people are asking why we can’t just get over all the racism charges.  After all, sociological studies consistently find that less than 3% of people have more than moderate racist views. Take advantage by Accusing the Dems of being the racism-against-whites Party.

#4 Give-in only on a few things.  Obama wants the rich to pay more.  Give it to him, but don’t give an inch on capital gains or death tax increases with the explanation that these are anti-business (and we have so many people out of work, etc.)  Best strategy of all is to refuse to make changes in Obamacare.  Make it function absolutely as it is written. No fixes.  Truth is, the program cannot function and it will make the public angry and ultimately it will implode.  Hang it around the necks of the D’s by insisting on Repeal Not Repair.  Obamacare will cause doc shortages, close hospitals (1 in 7 according to CBO), make insurance costs go astronomical (people will wait until they are sick to get insurance.  Meanwhile the ‘pool’ of insured people will all be sick and premium costs of $25,000 a year may occur (Heritage Foundation)) and will drive employers to part-time labor.

#5Change the Primaries Can someone explain to me why R’s let two Dem-leaning states, one in the north and another in New England plus a bunch of New York City TV commentators half-select our Presidential candidate?  Why not reverse this bias by letting the 5 (or 10) most loyal R-voting states have an activist at-large caucus prior to any primary.  Let the county activists who participated in the last election have caucuses at each county meeting and give that state a significant number of extra delegates. Then we start the primary season with the loyalists having spoken, not some danged New England state that lets Canadians and crossover Democrats vote in their primary.

#6 Listen to Cruz/Rubio/Martinez and come up with a new Conservative immigration initiative.  This happens as the Dems come forward in Congress next year and the R’s better have an alternative with 1. Appeal to our base and 2. Appeal to Hispanics.  Here’s the idea I like: Border sealed first. Path to citizenship for illegals which asks for about 20 years of service to USA which will only start once the border has been sealed.  We need to assure Hispanics but honor legality.  A funny little secret the TV guys won’t tell  us is that Hispanics are divided over the border issue (why else are so many border agents Hispanic?).  Yet all the jingoism of Republicans has been embarrassing to this dad of a Mex foster kid.  {“speak English!”—cripes everyone tries to learn it or you go nowhere. “self-deportation”—Mitt, who are you kidding? } And the other unspoken fact is that half of Hispanics get conservative after they have been here 20 years. They won't be Dem fools by that time.

#7 Better Candidates  This time around, we had a field of poor candidates.  Evidently Romney was the only one who could raise a lot of loot and he used the strategy of letting his attack dog PACs do his dirty work on other R's while never confronting himself.  Didn’t work in the general, where B. Hussein had  more money and PACs.  But the alternatives to Mitt were rather sad.  Santorum?  You have to be kidding me. Did he make C’s in school? We need to find the Jindals, Rubios, Palins, Christies,etc. this time who can really speak to our voters and turn them on.  And a conservative for a change.  Beyond this, why did a rape-speculating knothead in Missouri get the Republican Senate nod when he could only get a small plurality of votes.  He couldn’t even beat Macaskill.  We had the saddest field of Senate candidates in party history.

Lawsuits from the gays

I keep getting forwarded emails about how this group or that is going to sue the rest of us over discrimination.  The latest has been how gays will sue everyone from the wedding photographer who refuses to do their event to the Catholic Church for having doctrine against gay marriage.  While the latter may happen—but I doubt it; the RC has a lot of resources to fight back, will fight to the death over this, and perfect First Amendment rights to their faith—I can tell you how to handle the former.

      For better or worse, I have a good deal of experience in rental applications and coming face to face with litigious people who want to rent and believe, like street lawyers, that it is first come first serve. I’ve also been deluged by job applicants who demand, in an entitlement sense, that I hire them.  Here’s the answer.  You cannot discriminate on 8 specific subjects—race, creed, gender,age, etc. These are established by courts.  And gayness may be added to this with marriage or specific state statutes that are in place.  But you certainly can discriminate against anything else. Perceived inability to pay the bill would be one case.  “I just didn’t like his interview” is perfectly fine to nix an applicant.  And in the case of people who project entitlement and lawsuits, I usually said ‘no thanks.’  The bottom line is that a business can choose to not do business on practically any grounds except the sacred 8 grounds.  I suppose this would allow people to discriminate against certain groups (by making up an alternate excuse)though I never did this.  To me it was just super-important to know how to avoid a lawsuit. 

      I have run into a lot of middle managers who are on Church or Chamber or Government committees who don’t understand this.  They are extremely fearful of anyone who belongs to one of the 8 groups of significance.  I suppose this comes from a lot of company fearmongering in their training.  Look, you don’t have to hire someone who has African ancestry just because they appear on your doorstep.  Look at their skills the same way you’d do anyone else.  But what seems to overwhelm these committees is when someone brings up some nonsense about how,say, she’s pregnant.  Then some supervisor from ABC company starts dire warnings about how you dare not discriminate against this (true) and the groupthink of the committee seems to boil down to “well then we have to hire her.”  An independent businessman would say, “Well, can she lift the 100 lb. sacks of feed?”

      So then will the gays sue everyone in the wedding business?  Not if they do their business right.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The coming disaster for your savings

Obama says he will pursue an agreement with Congress that  is similar to the way he campaigned—tax only the upper 2% who make over $250K.  Yeah, but he also wants to raise the rates on dividends and capital gains from 15% to 39.6 as regular taxes.  Since Most small businesses or farmers sell out only once and often make all those cap gains which are often over $250,000, this will radically curb selling of businesses.  But while everyone concentrates on tax policy and the fiscal cliff, let me point something out.

      It will only raise a small amount of money.  $50-100 billion over against 1.3 Trillion in deficits.  So if the Dems don’t agree to massive spending cuts, we are doomed to many years of extraordinary deficits.  This means inflation to come.  If you have more national debt than nat. income, the international markets soon ask, “Will we get all our money back?” and demand much higher interest for continued borrowing.  The only way a government can honor their debt is to turn on the printing presses and print more money.  The economists I follow predict this occurs 5-15 years out from the spending spree.  That is, the spending during Vietnam War era, 1967-1972 drove inflation from 1973-1982. The debt crisis usually brings on recession/poor growth so we have “stagflation” as a result.

      So you have a little nest egg.  How do you protect it?  During stagflation you need hard assets—gold, real estate, timber, natural resources—and aggressive pro-growth stocks.  The inflation makes debt smaller by the year, so growth-oriented companies can benefit provided they can make enough cash flow during the tough economic times.  Here’s the killer.  This will likely occur sometime after 2015, unless we reach a debt crisis like Greece in the next couple years.  While this could happen, we hope and pray that the Republican House can hold back the dam on Dem deficits enough that it doesn’t develop into Greece and Spain (25% unemployment, riots in streets, 38% interest).

      Your financial planner will likely suggest an aggressive growth stock  strategy attempting to weather inflation.  Trouble is, there will be so many boomers retiring and thinking they need to be conservative in order not to risk what they have.  And then comes the real killer, Frankendodd.

      Dodd-Frank  Financial Reform Act is basically 273 laws put together in an attempt to nationalize the banking and finance system.  Among the provisions are some which demand “fiduciary responsibility”.  That is, your broker is liable for lawsuit if you lose money. He has a fiduciary responsibility to protect your money and it puts him in an impossible position.  Advise you to invest aggressively which risks loses and lawsuits or conservatively and inflation eats your lunch.  Moreover, what does a broker do with some stubborn client who goes online and trades into Facebook or some other loser?  The broker’s fiduciary duty still leaves him responsible for the client’s bad behavior.  The result of all this is that brokers will soon pressure clients to hand over all trading responsibility in a contract to the brokerage firm.  That way the firm can carefully invest.  Bottom line, you lose your control over your assets or you invest on your own.

      And if that weren’t a mess in itself, consider this.  The solution of Mussolini and the fascists was for the government to own/control certain vital industries.  Health care, transportation,education but most of all, finances and banking were at the top of the list.  Hitler was a part-Jewish German who repudiated his Jewishness in attempt to prove himself a “good German”. When he saw Mussolini’s dream of taking over banks, it was a perfect match for Germany’s blame of how they lost the Armistice and were forced into a terrible surrender, Jews were 90% of Germany’s bankers, and Hitler wanted revenge on the Jews.  Mussolini practiced a politics he called fascism based on ‘group’ (Italian,”fasci”) appeal.  That is you line up certain groups, like blacks, unions, Hispanics, etc. to form a majority and seize control of the government.  So what are the Dems doing today?  “Walks like a duck, talks like a duck, must be a ______.”  I leave that to the reader.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What's next?

Now what?  Will we have another 4  years of no-budgets from the Senate while annual auto-increases of 8% take place?  A fiscal cliff?  Or something else?  Here are a few questions I would pose to my Dem friends.

1.     Will churches be forced to hire atheists as ministers?   Last spring the Obama administration tried to force a Lutheran school to retain a doctrinally wayward “called” teacher.  The Supreme Court struck down the Administration 9-0 but the Administration has never relinquished their multicultural demand for all-comers hiring practices.  Now they are trying to force Catholics to fund birth control.  So will churches be forced to hire a Muslim?

2.     What will we do when China takes Taiwan and demands Philippines?  Obama has gutted the military. We have half the fighters, 2/3 the bombers and less than half as many airplanes and ships as 4 years ago. China has doubled their military.  Will we just say, Okay?

3.     If another 9/11 happens, will we just tolerate it? Wait!  We did have another 9/11 in Benghazi and we just blamed it on a movie.  We’ve mainstreamed the radical Muslim agenda, using the Justice Department to defend Sharia, bleached “jihad” from counterterrorism training of law enforcement, and called the Ft. Hood shooting “workplace violence”.  So what do we do when another explosion happens in a city?

4.     What do we do when Iran or its henchmen attack Israel? This is their sworn ideology. Will we return nuclear fire?

5.     What you do when the price of fuel doubles? Will we be allowed to drill? Permits on federal lands are down 88% despite an industry eager to drill. 97% of federal lands/seas are off limits now. EPA  says fracking will poison drinking water despite no case of this ever happening. And Keystone Pipeline isn[‘t allowed.  Meanwhile world demand for petroleum rises 10% annually. EPA regulations are estimated (by CBO!) to kill 1.4 million coal industry jobs by 2020 causing electric rates to rise by 23%.

6.     What will you do when Government Motors goes broke?  GM wasn’t allowed, in re-organization bankruptcy, to cut wages or union perks.  The UAW was handed the federal government’s ownership interest they illegally stole from bondholders.  How will the union, as the new owners, resist their own demands for pay raises? Meanwhile GM’s market share has fallen to new lows and their cars are being panned by the auto press which test drives them.

7.     What will you do when the international bond market demands more interest?  When national debt exceeds national income, we are in trouble.  The lenders in the international bond market ask if they will get paid back in full. If you still want to borrow more money, you’ll have to pay them more interest.  If interest goes up and they devalue our dollar, a recession happens.  Jobs are lost.  But it’s not a normal recession because the only way a government can reduce their debt is by inflating the currency.  You get stagflation—a depression economy but with prices rising all the time. What will you do when China demands their money back or Alaska?

What racism?

The MSM are saying that Romney lost because R’s hate Hispanics.  If only they espoused the Dream Act, they’d get votes.  And in general “non-white” people don’t trust R’s because they are racist. Well, they need to come to Oklahoma.  The state is 8.9% self-identified Hispanic, 8.6% Indian, 7.4% African ancestry, 1.7% Asian for a total of 26.6%--about the same as the national average.  But then consider that 32% of Oklahomans are part Indian, so the total minority population is over 50%. 

      And how do the R’s do?  Well, Mullin won the 2nd District Congress with 57% so that makes our Congressional delegation of 5 congressmen and 2 senators all Republican.  Governor’s an R as well as all 8 state-wide commissioners. (OK was born under Populism and has many agencies that are independent rather than cabinet offices of the governor.) And the House is 72-29 Republican and the Senate is 36-12 R’s.  All this comes in a state that was 3.5 registered Dems to every Republican in 1976.  House Speaker TW Shannon is half Afro and half Indian.  My candidate, Steve Vaughan ( R ) won re-election with a 60% margin despite getting half of Osage county in redistricting.  Pawhuska is the county seat and has 2.5 registered Democrats for every R.  He even carried that precinct 547 to 533. My favorite incident of the campaign were when we were stopped for lunch at the Deli counter in the grocery store and two Indian ladies came rushing up.  “The tribe says we have to vote straight party Democrat.  They said it in a meeting last night.”  Steve laughed and said, “This is America.  Vote how you want to.  Nobody sees your ballot.”

      If R’s can’t win minorities, how do they clean house in OK?  Well, for one thing, they have intermarried to an extent that the rest of the country will do in about 30 years.  Family means a lot more than what Fasci you belong to. (Fasci, Italian, group, bundle, union)  Labeling people as “white”/ “black”/”red” constitutes what is racist.  All human beings are some shade of brown.  Can’t we just get over this?  Secondly, Okies are a proud bunch of self-reliant people.  When polls of Hispanics and others show they vote Democrat, they vote that way not because of the Dream Act , but they like the idea of government goodies.  Thirdly, Okies are true to their faith.  This is the Bible belt where we believe that a relationship with God trumps the government goodies. 

      And so Steve was talking about Roe vs. Wade.  He noted that neither you nor I will be able to overturn that decision.  He’s not running for the Supreme Court.  But his deeply felt conviction is that life begins at conception.  Only a sneering agnostic would turn up his nose at another’s faith.  When he speaks of the right of property owners, it is with a conviction of the dignity and respect of anyone who has ownership.  And when he talks of education, he talks about how our schools have to be accountable and graded so that local citizens can work to improve them. 

      It may be that this ownership and belonging to a community and family is unique to Oklahomans but I doubt it.  If R’s want to win, they need to stay with core principals and be trustworthy in honoring what they believe.  Those things go hand in hand with being fiscally and socially conservative.   And there are a lot of Americans who are the same way—nearly twice as many conservatives as liberals.

      So when we look back at what Mitt didn’t do, I would say that he wasn’t passionate and heartfelt about his conservatism.  He attacked Obama relentlessly, but didn’t extend his conservative world view to show the disaster that awaits USA if we continue down our present path.  R’s weren’t motivated and 3 million fewer showed up at the polls than did even for McCain. Mitt should have consulted Inhofe who has steadfastly argued against global warming for years, or Coburn who is doing the same about the debt.   Mitt finally did talk about his vision and that was good.  But he won in the primaries by being cautious while having surrogate organizations demolish his competition with character assassination—and in the general election he didn’t have that 5:1 money advantage over Obama.  Obama turned the tables and smeared Mitt, Chicago-style.   In the end, Romney’s candidacy fizzled out and the base checked out.  Next time we need a passionate, determined Conservative.  Seems like the guy we elected in 1980 was such.