DEMOCRATS AND THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT ALLY TO CRUSH CONSERVATIVES: Part One of a Three Part Series

By Lee Cary

Series Abstract: Karl Rove’s targeting of Michigan Congressman Justin Amash as “the most liberal Republican” in Congress signals the GOP Establishment’s plan to cull out the most conservative Republican office-holders from the GOP herd. The bipartisan nature of that effort is illustrated in the Democrat funding behind the (Republican) Main Street led by former nine-term Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette.  

 

Part I: The GOP Establishment targets Tea Party candidates for defeat

The tension between the conservative and moderate wings of the Republican Party that began soon after the 2010 midterm elections has now escalated to open political warfare.

In the run-up to the 2012 elections, the conflict was largely clandestine, with the exception of the dust-ups surrounding a few Republican Senatorial candidates, including Todd Akin of Missouri and Christine O’Donnell of Delaware.  

But, in 2012, other largely unreported scraps between the GOP Establishment and Tea Party-friendly candidates happened at the county, state and national levels of the Republican Party apparatus. A Tea Party website prominent in Texas documented several of those engagements in Michigan, Texas, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and in Western and Eastern states.

Now, as the 2014 midterm elections approach, the tension between the dueling wings of the GOP has advanced into open political warfare, in large part thanks to Karl Rove.

Back in August 2012, we asked here: “Who appointed Bush’s Architect the GOP Gatekeeper?” We can now answer that question: Significant business interests that push their candidate preferences with political donations, often to Political Action Committees (PACs) and Super PACs, coupled with the lobbying efforts of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Along those battle lines, The Hill reported on November 10, 2013 that, “Business leaders [referring to seven persons in Grand Rapids, MI] are plotting to take down Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) as part of a broader effort to punish lawmakers over the government shutdown.”

In reality, though, the issue isn’t the government shutdown. It’s about national governing ideology and raw political power.

The video clip below is from the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival last June where Rove targeted Michigan (3rd Dis.) Republican Congressman Justin Amash for defeat in 2014. Four months later, in mid-October 2013, a GOP Establishment-backed candidate surfaced to challenge Amash.

Rove Transcript: “National Journal put out its ratings of the most liberal-to-conservative Republican: The most liberal Republican is Justin Amash of Michigan. Far more liberal than any other Republican.  And why? Because he is a one-hundred present purist Libertarian.  And if it’s not entirely perfect, I’m voting with Nancy Pelosi, which is how he gets up with all these liberal ratings. I vote ‘No’ because unless my side has something that’s completely one-hundred percent perfect, I’m voting with the bad guys.”

So, according to Rove, Amash is an oxymoron – a liberal libertarian. Like a jumbo shrimp.

Rove’s comment aligns with the opinion expressed by GOP 2008 Presidential Candidate John McCain on the floor of the U.S. Senate when, in July 2011, he called fellow Republicans opposed to raising the debt level “tea party hobbits.”  The idea that voters would approve a government shutdown over an increase in the debt level is, McCain said, “the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees.”

A March 2013 Huffington Post article stated that when a reporter asked McCain whether Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Rep. Justin Amash are a “…positive force in the GOP, McCain paused for a full six seconds. Then he responded, ‘They were elected, nobody believes that there was a corrupt election, [or] anything else,’ McCain said. ‘But I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on the right and left that get the media megaphone. I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans. They’re not.’”

In more genteel language, 2012 GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made the same point in a January 28, 2014 interview with Neil Cavuto on FOX News; namely, that the conservative wing of the Republican Party does not reflect the majority of the Republican Party. 

Romney: We got some terrific people, in my view, who are lining up to potentially look at 2016. I mean, you know, Paul Ryan will always be first and foremost in my mind given an extraordinary campaign that we worked on together, and his leadership in Washington. But Jeb Bush may get in. Mike Huckabee might come back. Scott Walker in Wisconsin could run. John Kasich in Ohio…

Cavuto: But Paul Ryan is your guy if he were to run.

Romney: Well, I’m not going to choose favorites. I don’t intend at this point to endorse anybody in the campaign until the primary’s over. But I start by mentioning Paul Ryan because we’re very close friends…

Cavuto: Sure, sure, as your running mate, but you didn’t mention Rand Paul and you didn’t mention Ted Cruz.

Romney: Well, you know, they represent different parts of the party.  I mean to give them a chance to express their views. But I think we are going to be best if we can unify behind a leader of the party who represents as broad a portion of the party as possible.

That’s an interesting analysis from a candidate whose campaign convinced several million Republican conservatives to not vote in 2012.

As the GOP Establishment prepares to transition from hindering Tea Party-backed candidates to actively supporting moderate candidates chosen to replace conservative incumbents, the outlets for campaign funding may be moving, too.     

A December 23, 2013 New York Times article entitled “Upstart Groups Challenge Rove for G.O.P. Cash” stated:

“A quiet but intense struggle over money and influence is roiling the Republican Party just as the 2014 election season is getting underway. At least a dozen ‘super PACs’ are setting up to back individual Republican candidates for the United States Senate, challenging the strategic and financial dominance that Karl Rove and the group he co-founded, American Crossroads, have enjoyed ever since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 cleared the way for unlimited independent spending.”

The fund-raising engine that was Rove’s American Crossroads super-PAC may be sputtering. In the 2012 election cycle it raised $ 117,474,408.  To date, that number for the 2014 cycle is $ 3,647,549.  As the New York Times article implies, that could reflect a move away from Rove’s enterprise. On the other hand, it may be a dispersed reallocation toward pre-selected races. In other words, a shift in funding strategy designed to yield better results. 

One new super-PAC, Defending Main Street, is committed to attacking Tea Party-backed candidates, regardless of whether they’re incumbents or challengers running against GOP Establishment incumbents. The Defending Main Street super-PAC and the Main Street Advocacy Fund are derivatives of the non-profit Main Street Partnership – formerly named the Republican Main Street Partnership.

Its leader, former nine-term Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette, has singled out Amash and another conservative Michigan Congressman for defeat in November.

LaTourette is also President of the lobbying firm McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies, a wholly owned subsidiary of McDonald Hopkins LLC, “a business advisory and advocacy law firm.”

 

LaTourette and the Main Street Partnership will be the focus of Part II: A New York TimesTop General” in the GOP Establishment’s War on conservative extremists

Doug Ross @ Journal

Are You Ready Series: Rolling Blackouts and Power Outages

This article has been contributed by Tess Pennington and is part of the Are You Ready? series, which examines and provides preparedness solutions for a variety of natural and man-made disaster scenarios including pandemic, nuclear emergencies, and mass evacuations. Tess is also the author of the popular Prepper’s Cookbook.

The U.S. power grid, as it exists today, is dying a slow and miserable death. Experts in the private and public sector are also concerned about the weakness of the grid and suggest we are one major catastrophic event away from a complete meltdown in America.

Historical Cases

The largest blackout that occurred in U.S. history was on August 14, 2003, leaving over 50 million people without power in the Northeast, Midwest and parts of Canada. The blackout’s primary cause was a software bug in the alarm system at a control room of the FirstEnergy Corporation in Ohio. Operators were unaware of the need to re-distribute power after overloaded transmission lines hit unpruned foliage. What would have been a manageable local blackout cascaded into widespread distress on the electric grid.

In 2012, the San Diego Gas & Electric Company shut down, affecting power in Southern California and Arizona. The blackout affected 1.4 million homes and 5 to 6 million people. Flights out of San Diego International Airport were suspended. There were people trapped in elevators, cell phones and land lines went dead making it impossible to call for help. Moreover, gas stations were shut down.

Most recently, the Polar Vortex is threatening rolling blackouts as well due to the heightened demand from utility companies. Operators of the electric grid have urged consumers to conserve power to help overcome a potentially devastating combination of record demand and unexpected supply disruptions, both caused by the extreme cold enveloping much of the country. If voluntary conservation is not followed, then rolling blackouts will occur.

This outdated and aged infrastructure has been in need of a major update for decades; however, instead of investing in a new, more efficient power grid that utilizes renewable power sources (such as solar and wind), regulators instead chose to patch it up to make it work for the time being. This “duct taped” approach is no match for the constant power stream needed to keep population dense areas functioning or for the extreme weather we have experienced over the last decade.

Image via NPR

Our grid is long overdue for investment and upgrades. Begun in the early 1900’s when the power system consisted of large, isolated power plants, our current grid is ill-equipped to serve smaller, innovative solar or wind facilities. The majority of the existing system was built more than 30 years ago and has only received incremental investment since. Today, 70 percent of the lines and large power transformers are more than 25 years old, and we don’t have enough of them in areas of the country with the best new energy resources. (Source)

There is No Official U.S. Power Grid

To begin, our grid is really three interconnected grids: the eastern, western and Texas interconnection, that are each independently owned and operated by different power plants and transmission lines. This privatization can only lead to further issues down the line. In this article, the author writes, “Similarly, while many countries have privatized the distribution sector and introduced some competition between retailers, retail tariffs and other matters such as safety, reliability and customer service have remained under regulatory oversight specific to the electricity industry. (Source)

National Power Grid

How Rolling Blackouts Affect Us

A “rolling blackout” typically occurs due to a weather-related event. However, there are other issues at play that can cause these blackouts to occur. Faulty software, and manmade disasters (i.e., cyber attacks, EMPs) can also cause the grid to go down for a given period of time, as seen in 2003′s grid debacle. This puts stress of the other electrical grids who then compensate for the loss of energy to that existing grid. When these events take place, there is an overwhelming increase of power in homes and commerce to either generate heat, air conditioning or electricity. When this need overwhelms the grid, the utility company intentionally “shuts off the power to an area in order to reduce the load on an electricity generation and grid. The utility company turns it back on, and then shuts the power off in a different area, with outages in any given area typically lasting 60 to 90 minutes, according to the California Energy Commission. This is a last resort measure of utility companies to avoid an even worse situation — a total power blackout.

Rolling blackouts go beyond sitting in the dark at home waiting for the power to come back on. They affect our commerce, our transportation systems and our overall infrastructure. Electric equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs), credit card processing units and elevators may not work during the power outage. Traffic signals will be down thus causing traffic delays.

What About Renewable Energy?

Although renewable energy such as solar and wind play a part in adding to the grid, the U.S. grid is so old and outdated it can’t handle the influx of wind power and other intermittent renewable resources.

There is an even more pressing problem, according to this article in the New York Times: the grid isn’t big enough. The wind tends to blow strongest in places, such as North and South Dakota, that are far from where people live and use electricity. And no one wants to spend the millions of dollars it would take to put in a new transmission line (not to mention the legal headache of getting all those rights of way). (Source)

Prepare for the Problem

As long as the power grid remains in its current state, we must open our eyes to the reality that rolling blackouts will continue to be a regular part of dealing with disasters. Like all disaster preparedness, there are ways to insulate yourself and prepare your homes and family for the reality of this inconvenient truth.

  1. Follow energy conservation measures to keep the use of electricity as low as possible, which can help power companies avoid imposing rolling blackouts.
  2. Look into alternative power sources to supply your home with power.
  3. Have ways to prepare food off the grid.
  4. Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
  5. Be aware that most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.
  6. Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it.
  7. Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home, in case the garage door will not open.
  8. Have money on hand in case stores are not processing credit cards.
Further, take steps to prepare your home and yourself for different events that may cause rolling blackouts.

In the Home

  • Learn out to protect your food supply when the power is out. To be proactive, begin using perishable foods in the freezer and refrigerator to minimize food spoilage. Also, to keep items as cool as possible during rolling black, limit the amount of times the refrigerator or freezer door is opened. If you are concerned that the meat may spoil, preserve it beforehand, by either the canning method or the dehydration method.
  • Freeze soda bottles filled with water and when the rolling blackouts occur, place the frozen soda bottles in the refrigerator to maintain the optimum temperature.
  • Stay indoors and try and keep your body temperature as normal as possible.
  • Close window blinds and curtains to keep the heat out.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep your food as fresh as possible.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment (like air conditioners) or electronics in use when the power went out. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can damage computers as well as motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer or furnace.
  • Do not connect a generator to a home’s electrical system. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to run directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
  • Leave on one light so that you’ll know when your power returns.
  • Use the phone for emergencies only. Listen to a portable radio for the latest information.
Maintain Your Core Body Temperature
  • Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. Click here for tips on how to stay cool during rolling blackouts. If the power is off for long periods of time, consider getting out of the house. Go to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
  • Provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your pets.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion.

The grid’s aging infrastructure, combined with a rise in domestic electricity consumption and extreme weather issues has forced experts to critically examine the status and health of the nation’s electrical systems. Rolling blackouts will no longer be a phenomenon, but a regular occurrence. Thus taking us into third world country living conditions. Welcome to the new America.

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Prepper's Cookbook

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years. Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com. You can also visit Tess’ Facebook page.

If you enjoyed this article and found it of value, please consider casting a vote for Ready Nutrition as a Top Prepper web site.


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt To Plate (The Wild Food Adventure Series, Book 1)

Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt To Plate (The Wild Food Adventure Series, Book 1)

Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt To Plate (The Wild Food Adventure Series, Book 1)

“Wild spinach about 7 feet tall and fully mature. Well-fed wild spinach is well-branched and produces a huge quantity of seeds when mature. The leaves are still edible at this stage but are reduced in quality, taking on a somewhat off-flavor. According to research on other mature plants, the leaves on these older plants retain most of their nutrients and phytochemicals as long as they are still green.” (Left: The author stands in for perspective, 2006.) Imagine what you could do with eighteen delicious new greens in your dining arsenal including purslane, chickweed, curly dock, wild spinach, sorrel, and wild mustard. John Kallas makes it fun and easy to learn about foods you’ve unknowingly passed by all your life. Through gorgeous photographs, playful, but authoritative text, and ground-breaking design he gives you the knowledge and confidence to finally begin eating and enjoying edible wild plants. Edible Wild Plants divides plants into four flavor categories — foundation, tart

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