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Here Come the DINOs

How do you define a RINO? Definitions vary, but tend to go something like this: A Republican In Name Only is a member of the uniparty establishment. This means that politician is part of a ruling elite that is betraying the interests of Americans in almost every important area of policy. RINOs are compliant with the entire rhetorical message of progressive Democrats, from the reality of “systemic racism” to the “climate emergency.” They offer nothing unique or useful in the way of solutions to real problems, but merely go along with the Democratic policy agenda.

The entire value proposition of RINOs, if you want to call it that, is that somehow they’re able to moderate the worst excesses of the Democrats. So what? At their best, they just delay the agenda of what is possibly the most corrupt concentration of anti-American oligarchs and government careerists in American history. RINOs are worthless, not merely for their cowardice masquerading as moderation, but for their utter lack of alternative solutions.

DINOs, on the other hand, are something completely different. And the emerging breed of Democrats In Name Only coming out of California are something extraordinary. The policies these DINOs are promoting are stimulated by California’s status as a fully realized one-party progressive state. They see a dismal reality—unreliable energy, water rationing, traffic gridlock, unaffordable housing, out-of-control homelessness, rampant and unpunished crime, burning forests, and an increasingly worthless system of public education—and all of it is a consequence of progressive politics. They’ve realized that […] Read More

What Does the Republican Party Stand For?

For two fleeting years after Trump was elected president, the GOP controlled the White House and both houses of the U.S. Congress. This level of one party control for the GOP was almost without precedent. Apart from 2003-2007 – the 2nd half of GW Bush’s first term in office and the 1st half of his second term – you have to go back all the way to 1953, the 1st half of Dwight Eisenhower’s first term as president to find a GOP president and a GOP controlled U.S. Congress.

What the GOP did with those two years was uninspiring, and once the Democrats took over the House in January 2019, the opportunity was lost. The issues haven’t gone away. It’s been barely more than two years since the GOP lost their golden opportunity. GOP voters are disheartened by what is now obviously a rigged bureaucracy, a rigged media, and mountains of evidence of rigged elections. And the pandemic has overshadowed everything. But the core issues remain.

So what does the Republican party stand for?

On March 20 GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted the following: “The Republican Party stands for reopening our schools, reopening our businesses, and protecting the border!”

Notwithstanding the fact that reopening schools and businesses is an overdue objective fraught with long-term threats to freedoms we’d previously taken for granted, schools and businesses will reopen. So what else does the GOP stand for?

“Protecting the border.”

That is the one enduring plank upon which Ronna McDaniel, and […] Read More

Newsom Can’t Hide Behind Pandemic

In his 2021 State of the State Address, Governor Newsom’s focus, to the exclusion of nearly everything else, was to defend his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A quick review of the 3,634 word transcript indicates only 20 percent of his remarks had to do with anything else. It’s understandable that Newsom would focus on the pandemic. Regardless of how it might have been handled better, it is a historic disaster. But Newsom’s failures as a governor, and by extension the failures of California’s ruling Democrats, preceded the pandemic and cannot be overlooked because of it.

Newsom and his fellow Democrats are doing everything they can to destroy California. The inherent vitality that Newsom boasts about is in spite of him and his party, not because of it. Non-pandemic topics that Newsom spoke about, briefly, included infrastructure, economic policy, education, housing, homeless, and forestry. These are indeed the big issues, and on every one of them Newsom and his party are doing everything wrong.

Here are some of the ways Newsom – or the governor who replaces him – could earn some credibility and do some good.

With respect to infrastructure, Newsom can apologize to residents of the San Joaquin Valley for the “bullet train” fiasco, and cancel the project. He can then pledge to do everything in his power to create useful jobs down there with infrastructure projects that matter: Repair the Friant-Kern Canal. Resurface and add lanes to Highway 99 and Interstate 5. Build the Temperance Flat […] Read More

Los Angeles Times Discredits Itself With Biased “Investigation” Into Newsom Recall Effort

Whether or not Gavin Newsom’s performance as governor has sunk to a level that justifies a recall campaign is a legitimate topic for debate. But rather than engage in serious analysis, where Newsom’s actions can be considered objectively and various perspectives can be shared, California’s newspaper of record, the Los Angeles Times, has produced a hit piece.

Written by Anita Chabria and Paige St. John, an opening paragraph offers the following premise: “A Times investigation found that recall campaign leaders, seeking to capitalize on the darkening public mood, allied with radical and extreme elements early on to help collect signatures. Those included groups promoting distrust of government, science and medicine; peddlers of QAnon doomsday conspiracies; ‘patriots’ readying for battle and one organization allied with the far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys.”

If the recall effort succeeds is qualifying for the ballot, and it probably will, expect this sort of reporting to characterize the opposition. But it is a one-sided attempt to delegitimize expressions of genuine and broad based opposition to Newsom’s actions as governor. For such distorted material to emanate from Newsom’s political supporters in a campaign to defend him, or in an opinion column, is to be expected. But for it to take the form of a supposedly objective analysis by investigative journalists is a sham.

If the Los Angeles Times wants to function as a messaging operation for the Democratic Party, that’s their prerogative, but the investigative piece they’ve published is profoundly misleading. The article is designed […] Read More

Orange County Classical Academy Excels Despite COVID

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck hard back in April 2020, California’s teachers’ unions went into overdrive. The United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) released a lengthy document outlining what they believed to be “Safe and Equitable Conditions for Starting LAUSD in 2020-21.”

In a report published by the California Policy Center that same month, Larry Sand explained the deal struck between the school district and the UTLA:

“The deal engineered by UTLA boss Alex Caputo-Pearl requires teachers to provide instruction and student support for just four hours per day and also to ‘host three office hours for students’ every week. So instead of a 40-hour work week, teachers in L.A. only have to be available for 23 hours. Additionally, teachers can create their own work schedules ‘and not be required to teach classes using live video conferencing platforms.’”

The consequences of deals like this on the lives of California’s public school students, especially those in low income communities, has been disastrous. But there is an alternative.

The Orange County Classical Academy (OCCA), a new charter school that was approved to operate in a 4-3 vote by the board of the Orange County Unified School District back in January, opened its doors this fall to 360 elementary school students. As described in a report published by the California Policy Center in July, it was evident that this school was going to be no ordinary charter school. But how have things progressed, now that the […] Read More

Blueprint for a Multi-Ethnic Anti-Socialist Movement

Even President Trump’s opponents will likely agree that he possesses the stamina of someone 10-20 years younger. But at age 74, the movement Trump started is going to need new leaders to emerge within the next few years, not decades.

On the other hand, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, at age 31, is just getting started. According to Malcolm Flex, a Twitter celebrity and political prognosticator, AOC is just biding her time in Congress. As he puts it, “when it comes to branding, nobody can hold a candle to AOC.” Who, in AOC’s age group, will step up to challenge her?

What AOC represents, to state the obvious, is the socialist wing of the Democratic party. These socialists are the ascendant future of that party, backed up by militant Antifa brigades in every city in America, along with donors large and small, ready to support her next move, and the one after that, and the one after that. Rather than attempting to count and classify angels on the head of an ideological pin, let’s merely describe as “anti-socialist” the leaders, and the coalition, that must form to oppose AOC.

Malcolm Flex, a 27 year old former football player with the University of Alabama, and self-described “athlete, scientist, and dad,” is a recent addition to a robust and growing brigade of right-leaning producers of online video commentary. Formerly libertarian, currently Republican, Flex recently posted a video that is a must-watch for any anti-socialist politician, strategist, and influencer in America.

His […] Read More

The Regulatory Taking of Venice Beach

With great crisis comes great opportunity…

On April 18 LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin held a telephone town hall to discuss public health issues. His district includes Venice Beach, which has a high number of homeless still living on the streets and it was brought up that this is a major health concern. Towards the end of the call Bonin said that he believed that the City would have an opportunity to house the homeless. He said that he will be proposing they use some of the federal stimulus money to buy up distressed hotels and properties to put the homeless in. He said that is the best option because these properties will be in foreclosure and available at below market prices.

“I intend on putting in another proposal in the next week or two that asks the city to look at the federal bailout or stimulus funds we’ll be getting as a result of this crisis…and using some of that to either buy hotels that go belly up or to buy the distressed properties that are absolutely going to be on the market at cheaper prices after this crisis is over. And use that as homeless and affordable housing. It’s going to be a hell of a lot cheaper to purchase stuff that is already there and move people in there than if we start from scratch. A lot of good stuff is being done.” – Mike Bonin, LA City Council member, 11th District, remarks […] Read More

Time for California’s Unions to Get Serious About Pension Reform

There was a time, long long ago, when California’s pension systems were responsibly managed. They made conservative investments, they paid modest but fair benefits to retirees, and they didn’t place an unreasonable financial burden on taxpayers. But a series of decisions and circumstances over the past thirty years put these pension systems on a collision course with financial disaster. And like hybrid war, or creeping fascism, or a progressive, initially asymptomatic disease, it is impossible to say exactly when these pension systems crossed the line from health to sickness.

An excellent history of how California’s public employee pension systems moved inexorably towards the predicament they’re now in can be found in a City Journal article entitled “The Pension Fund That Ate California.” Written in 2013, when California’s pension systems were still coping with the impact of the Great Recession, author Steven Malanga identifies key milestones: The power of public sector unions that began to make itself felt starting in the late 1960s. The pension benefit enhancements that began in the 1970s. The growing power of the union representatives on the pension fund boards. Prop. 21, passed in 1984, which allowed the pension systems to invest in riskier asset classes.

The biggest milestone on the road to sickness, however, began in 1999, as Malanga writes, “when union-backed Gray Davis became governor and union-backed Phil Angelides became state treasurer, and the CalPERS board was wearing a union label.” The state legislation that followed, mimicked by local measures across California, dramatically increased […] Read More

A Slate of Citizen Initiatives to Transform California Overnight

AUDIO: Using citizen ballot measures to bypass a legislature controlled by special interests; what initiatives to propose, how to get the signatures, and how to communicate their value to all of California’s voters – 23 minutes (in two segments) on Conservative Commanders Radio – Edward Ring with Rick Trader and Sharon Angle.

https://civicfinance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-07-01-Edward-Ring-on-Conservative-Commanders-23-minutes.mp3

 

Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.

edwardring.com

Defining American Nationalism

The Make America Great movement confronts hostility from nearly every establishment sector in American life; legacy media, social media, academia, entertainment, big corporations, big labor, big government, all Democrats, and a sizable percentage of the Republican elites.

Decrying the movement as “nationalism,” the establishment offers endless cautionary comparisons to nationalistic movements in history, condemning nationalism as tribal, racist, reactionary, hateful. The response to this relentless condemnation is an understandable belligerence, manifested all the way from Presidential tweets to Tea Party Facebook pages.

Belligerence is a justifiable reaction. The establishment has imposed a double standard that should infuriate any member of MAGA. Imagine if black-clad flash mobs of “nationalists” took over the streets of Portland, while police did nothing? Substitute hundreds of Antifa thugs and their sympathizers for nationalists, and that’s life in Portland today. Why isn’t that, and topics like that, the top story on ABC nightly “news,” night after night, forever?

The reason may be as simple as this: The Left invariably speaks with moral authority, whether they deserve it or not. The Left has managed to rhetorically out punch the MAGA movement because they’ve been able to associate MAGA with hate. In response, MAGA complains bitterly, instead of focusing on the optimistic, positive, inclusive, practical, solutions-oriented, wondrous hopeful future it imagines for America and the world. Until that alternative is presented, relentlessly, with enthusiasm and attention to detail, the establishment will continue to condone if not actively support the American Left. They will do this despite the contradictions […] Read More