Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Republican Party Should Look To Chris Christie In 2016

Although the mid-term congressional elections are very much in the news these days, I am heartened by the fact that Governor Chris Christie  (R-NJ) has been making some news these days.  Despite democratic efforts to bury him in so-called “Bridgegate,” he has not only survived this clumsy attempt to discredit him but is prospering politically.  As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, he has been touring the country and shoring up Republican political races where ever possible.

Almost a year ago I wrote an article about  Governor Christie’s electability using the acronym “scale.”   I still like Christie.  He is a blunt talking but tough minded decision maker, a strong contrast to what we currently have in the White House.  This blog has been republished today.

Arnold G. Regardie.

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Chris Christie Tips the Scale (No Pun Intended) In His Favor

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Republican Governor Chris Christie’s recent overwhelming victory as Governor in New Jersey, one of the bluest of blue states, is a truly welcome event to behold. In trouncing his democratic challenger Barbara Buono by some thirty-odd points, Christie proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes.

With apologies for any unintended reference to Christie’s weight as an issue (it shouldn’t be), it appears to me that Christie tips the scale in his favor. That is, using the word SCALE as an acronym, he should be chosen as the Republican presidential candidate for 2016. Here’s how it breaks down:
S – strength
C – credibility
A – accomplishments
L – leadership
E – electability

Christie scores points in each category. He has a strong personality and is credible. His accomplishments as governor of New Jersey are manifold. By reaching out across the aisles to…

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On The Resignation of Eric Holder: Long Overdue; A Jaded World Series

Eric Holder is finally leaving the post of U.S. Attorney General.  It may sound a bit harsh to say good riddance, but undoubtedly his departure  is  long overdue.  He has been in effect nothing more than an apologist for an incompetent Obama presidency and clearly a partisan idealogue.  Appointed in 2009, he was the first African American to hold that office.

Some media sources have championed his tenure for taking a stand on civil rights but in my opinion he’s been nothing more than weak and ineffective.   I see his original appointment as cronyism, only a gesture of friendship by Obama and not because he was the best choice available.  In his goodbye speech, Holder remarked that beyond having a strong relationship with Obama, “I am proud to call you a friend.”  Not surprisingly, Obama has supported him, saying  “He’s done a superb job.”   A White House spokesperson added that “Holder’s accomplishments have established a historic legacy of civil rights enforcement and restoring fairness to the criminal justice system.”

Well, let’s see.

As previously reported by Fox News, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Chairman of the House Oversight and Government reform Committee, said that “Eric Holder is the most divisive attorney general in modern history.”   Issa continued, “By needlessly injecting politics into law enforcement, Attorney General  Holder’s legacy has eroded more confidence in our legal system than any attorney general before him.”  That sums it up nicely.

There are many, many Holder shortcomings (to put it politely, failures to act would be more accurate) which could have easily justified Obama’s jettisoning him much earlier.   The failure to act in the national interest in pursuing the IRS targeting scandal, where the agency targeted certain interests for “special treatment”, is only one glaring example.   Allowing IRS official Lois Lerner to escape prosecution for destroying evidence of her involvement in this scandal or at least conducting an investigation into the matter is inexcusable.  To this day there was been no action by the Justice Department concerning her conduct, which can only be ascribed to Holder’s longstanding friendship with Obama.  And Lerner remains retired, enjoying her government pension paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The botched operation known as “Fast and Furious,” was another scandal .  This was a probe into gun-running  along the Southwest border.  It featured a Holder confrontation with Congress over the Justice Department’s  failure to turn over of records of the operation.  It  resulted in Holder’s being held in contempt of Congress, the only sitting Cabinet member to have been held  in contempt.  In this matter, the government allowed Mexican drug gangs to walk away with high powered weapons.  Key documents and witnesses were withheld from Congress, resulting in the contempt charge.  This is quite a legacy.

Holder also clashed with Congress over other issues, including his department’s civilian prosecution of terror cases and surveillance of media outlets.  His appearances before Congress were often combative.  It has also been reported that during the contempt fight, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was quoted as saying that “Holder’s arrogance knows no bounds.”

Often outspoken in public remarks, in 2010 he  referred to America as a “nation of cowards,” in regard to matters of race.

Obama has deferred naming a replacement until after the mid-term elections.

Skipping to baseball, I can’t get excited about this World Series.  Two also-rans (so-called “wild cards”) are playing each other, the Kansas City Royals and San Fransisco Giants.  Ho hum.  Snzzz.  It used to be that the Series featured the two best teams in baseball, one from each league.  This series has two second place teams playing each other.  The Royals finished two games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central Division and and the Giants finished six games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National Ledague West.  What a bore.  I guess opening the playoffs up to wild card teams increases the pot for Major League Baseball and the teams, but this year it results in a disappointing Series.  Maybe some kind of second place trophy would be appropriate for wild cards, but not the World Series.

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Butchery In The Middle East – An Intelligence Failure? Or Sheer Incompetence.

Lessee now. Purported President Barrack Obama took office in the beginning of 2009.  That was some six years ago. As secretary of state, his top advisor on foreign policy,  he appointed an unqualified woman with no experience whatsoever in the position – or any in any other position in government for that matter, our own Hillary Clinton.  Since Obama himself was a neophyte in foreign policy, to put it mildly, as well as in everything else touching on governmental matters, one would have thought he would select someone for this all important post who was well qualified.  Think again.  Here’s the rub.  An experienced foreign policy appointee may well likely have foreseen the rise of the Islamic State and would have better prepared us, and the rest of the free world for its advent.

So here we are, stuck with Obama’s incompetence, watching butchery being performed online virtually on a daily basis.  And Obama says there has been an intelligence failure?  Well such a statement coming from the liar, er, commander in chief is not surprising.  Has this guy ever taken the blame for any of the scandals plaguing his administration?  Its a rhetorical question.  The answer is obvious.  Yet he has the effrontery to tell Fox News Bill O’Reilly, last Super Bowl Sunday,  that there is not even a smigen of corruption surrounding the IRS scandal.  So much for truth in government.

The Islamic State has been a growing threat for a long time.  But what about the role of the foreign policy advisor, the purported expert in foreign affairs, who has been a true sister of silence in forecasting trouble. With no experience in foreign affairs, never wrote, taught, lectured, nothing on foreign affairs, Hillary is the epitome of the worst political appointment any president can make.  Four Americans died on her watch. Yet, she apparently considers herself to be the next coming of Margaret Thatcher and is therefore well qualified to be president. This is a manifestly false state of mind.  She is no Margaret Thatcher.  Her utterances to the public that her “experience” qualifies her to be president are part of the fraud she is perpetrating on the public.  Wake up America!  The truth is that this woman is eminently unqualified for any public office and is  dangerous for the country.  Her incompetence is there for anyone wanting to see it.  The election of an unqualified and incompetent politician is a mistake the country cannot afford to have repeated.

So far as any lack of intelligence is concerned, blaming the rise of Isis on a lack of intelligence would be a laughable statement were it not for the deadly consequences of the lack.  But the intelligence gap is within the president himself and not in any gap in the gathering of information.  Perhaps Obama is a smart politician.  Give him some credit for getting elected (his promises weren’t known to be false when he was running, however).    But the credit stops there; there is no intelligence  when  it comes to having insight into foreign policy, not to mention judgement and understanding.  Maybe in this vein, intelligence should be equated with experience and common sense.  Once again its a question of a president who refuses to take the blame for his own personal shortcomings.

Inextricably tied in with the Middle East butchery is the failure by Obama to listen to advisors such as former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who urged him to leave a U.S. security force in Iraq in 2011 instead of a complete pullout.  Obama, dead set on a complete withdrawal from Iraq, refused to listen, thereby putting politics over the national interest.  The absence of U.S. forces created a vacuum, filled by sectarian chaos leading to the present state of affairs.

So, the so-called intelligence failure is more Obama mishmash.  Its hogwash.  What started out as the “JV team” some months ago is now the “network of death.”  The lack of original perception into the unfolding events in the Middle East is a tribute to Obama’s lack of experience, his incompetence.  He is in over his head.  When will the country ever learn?  Its the price we pay  for living in a democracy, a free country.  Anybody can run for president and if the country likes the message and the politician, qualified or not, experienced or not,  he can get elected.

But something more than experience as a community organizer and an apparently reliable golf swing is needed for the presidency.  Real nuts and bolts experience in confronting and handling problems, in making tough decisions, and in the demonstration of strong leadership qualities is needed.  The country deserves it.  The country, indeed the world, needs it.  A repeat of the  present inexperience and  incompetency in Washington is out of the question.  Hillary are you listening?

Copyright©Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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If You’re Looking For Tranquility…Try The Carson Valley, Nevada

We just returned from a long weekend trip to Carson City, Nevada.  Apparently named for the intrepid  Old West trailblazer, Kit Carson, it’s located just on the other side of the Sierra Nevada mountains from Lake Tahoe, California, and about 3o miles south of Reno.   With snow capped mountains from the recent rain,  it was very, very picturesque.  At night the glow from the lights at Lake Tahoe ski resort Heavenly Valley were visible.  Carson Valley is very quiet.  Maybe the area is America’s best kept secret.   Some old friends we’ve known since we moved to California in 1963, Marge and Rich, invited us to join them up there this past weekend.  Under lowering skies all weekend, we drove the length and breath of the Valley.  The main attraction was the 94th annual Candy Dance festival.  More about that later.  Reno by the way, according to my friend, has grown quite a bit over the years.  When he lived there many, many years ago the population was about 30,000.  Now it boasts a population of over 1 million in the greater Reno area.

After landing in Sacramento, our friends met us and we drove east on I-80 over the Sierra Nevada mountains.  It was a very scenic drive, especially since I was not the one driving.  At the top was a welcome stop near the Donner pass.  A boulder with a plaque commemorating the ill-fated Donner party, a group of emigrants trying to cross into California,  many of whom perished from starvation and cold during the winter of 1846-1847, was plainly visible.

Back in the days of the Old West, the government operated a mint in Carson City, from 1878 to 1893.   Carson City Morgan silver dollars are beautiful coins and are among the most sought after by coin collectors.  These silver dollars were designed by George T. Morgan and are still popular today because of their attractive design.  According to Yeoman’s “United States Coins,” 63rd edition, Morgan was formerly a pupil of William Wyon’s in the royal Mint in London.  His initial M can be found on the coin.  Many can be bought at a reasonable price; others are quite expensive.  For example, the 1879 coin is priced over $7800, depending on its grade. The old mint has long since been  shuttered and is now a museum.  I didn’t make it there this trip but it’s high on my list for next time.

Our friends’ son lives in Minden, Nevada, which is right next to Carson City.  He and his wife have a lovely home on a two- acre spread which they bought about two years ago after he retired.  The entire spread sits atop a small hill which overlooks the entire Carson Valley area.  The site enjoys a beautiful view of the mountains to the West, and no noise.  Grazing cattle are visible throughout  the Valley.   Mountain lions are known to come down out of the mountains to harass the cattle ranchers.  Jack rabbits and coyotes abound.  They are a very hospitable couple and spent considerable time helping us find our way around, not to mention having us to dinner twice.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t know if I want to live in the Carson Valley.  I’m strictly a big city guy.  But those that do enjoy a very low key life style.  And if that’s what you want, this may be the place.  Also, there is no state income tax here.  So I’m sure many of the area’s residents are ex-Californians looking for a less expensive way to enjoy life.

The 94th annual Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire was the big event which lured us up there.  But alas! It rained and cut our enjoyment of the festival short.  Spread over several acres, it was located in the small town of Genoa at the base of the mountains just west of Carson City.    Originating in 1919, it was a two-day event from September 27-September 28 and now comprises over 300 vendors.  My wife managed to buy a couple of trinkets and some of the famous English toffee before we were forced to leave by the weather.  With help from the weatherman, we could have stayed considerably longer.

The area also boasts fine eating.  We dined at The Mindin Food Company before attending a play across the street.  While the food was excellent,  the setting was unusual, somewhat reminiscent of an office building.  We also tried Saletti’s, an Italian restaurant, and also excellent.  My friend Rich is a die hard spaghetti lover but here he ordered fish!  He deserved to be chided mercilessly for this omission.  I’ll bring it up next time we get together.  The menu also featured oyster shooters. These were  Blue Point oysters (outstanding oysters, small and succulent) each one served in a shot glass with a splash of vodka, a dash of hot sauce, and a topping of horseradish.  If you enjoy oysters, you must try one of these.

It’s safe to say that  a return trip to the Carson Valley in the near future, and to take in more of the Candy Dance Faire, is definitely on our radar. Next time though we’ll fly into Reno.  Sacramento has a great airport, clean, quiet,  and relatively uncrowded.  But its a three hour drive to Carson City, over the mountains.  Rich drove us back to the airport at mach 1.5, maybe 2.0 (or so it seemed), to make sure we made our flight.  Next time we’ll avoid that adventure.

Copyright© 2014.  Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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