November 17, 2019
  • 8:47 am John Zaring | The Rational Center: Why Trump Will Lose in a Historic Landslide!
  • 5:25 pm
  • 10:10 am From the Publisher: A Quick Anniversary Update
  • 10:30 am Coast Guard veteran Eric Ohlsen to challenge Assemblymember Tom Lackey
  • 11:00 am Black ‘N Blue fights to break The SCV Curse

When Newt Gingrich was guiding the ‘Republican Revolution’ to victory a few decades ago, he famously said, “Our job is to divide the country in half, and hope that our half is the biggest.”

When Donald Trump rode down the escalator in Trump Tower and launched his own Culture War – by focusing on immigration and race – his goal was to reactivate and animate Gingrich’s “half,” and boy did he. He won, and he won mostly by stigmatizing the “others” among us and menacing all who would dare cross him.

Some Americans have been so excited by arguably the only true accomplishment of the Trump era – the ongoing conservative reset of the Supreme Court and federal judiciary – that they’ve been willing to look the other way as Trump fuels white nationalism, breaks one norm after another, flat out lies about his political opponents and his own policies, injects poison into our discourse and attacks the mainstream media on the daily, all of which has contributed to dividing our nation in ways not seen since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

What is unquestionable, sadly, is that the culture of the moment has been corrupted and coarsened. One of the things we know is that the presidency has not changed Donald Trump; he hasn’t grown into the job. What we don’t yet know, is if Donald Trump has permanently changed the presidency.

The question now is what are we going to do about it?

Since Sen. John McCain’s death, we’ve seen very few profiles in courage among Republicans in Congress. Their inaction defeats the founders’ vision for Congress to serve as a check and balance on the executive branch. And in those rare times when someone lodges an actual complaint – Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), I’m looking at you – it’s done with half-hearted hand-wringing and mealy-mouthed words of disappointment usually followed by party-line votes.

President Trump has learned that our local Congressman, Steve Knight of Palmdale, is one vote that he can always rely upon. In fact, Knight’s record reveals that he’s been there for the president 99 percent of the time. Here are just a few of his most notable votes …

Rep. Knight voted nine times to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as it is better known. Nine times he tried to take away your right to coverage, and last year he voted in favor of Trump’s health care overhaul, despite Congressional Budget Office predictions it would knock some twenty million Americans off their medical coverage entirely while ending protections for the 54 million of us burdened with preexisting conditions.

We’ll come back to preexisting conditions in a minute …

First, we need to highlight Knight’s vote for Trump’s tax cuts, the unfunded GOP plan that (so far) has added nearly nine BILLION dollars to the national debt. I guess Knight felt that Trump and his billionaire pals deserved an extra yacht or private jet, because a year later it’s clear that the middle class hasn’t been helped.

In fact, if you live here in Awesometown, its quite likely that you’re one out of every two of us that used to deduct your state and local taxes from what you owe the IRS but now can’t, thanks to Knight’s vote. Yes Santa Clarita, your federal taxes are headed up, up and away and Rep. Knight has yet to explain why he refused to join California’s House Republican delegation in joining their Democratic to protect their constituents.

Steve Knight wasn’t thinking about us when he said “aye” – he was thinking of his billionaire donors.

Those aren’t Rep. Knight’s only positions that the majority of his constituents don’t support. For example, he’s against equal pay for equal work, wants to restrict a woman’s right to choose, and thinks social security was and is “a bad idea”. He also proudly trumpets his A rating from the NRA, and even after eleven Jews were slaughtered in Pittsburgh on Saturday by yet another angry, middle-aged white guy with an assault rifle, Knight tweeted out “prayers” for the victims but has yet to condemn the anti-Semitic rage at the heart of this heinous act.

I suspect he doesn’t want to upset his own local basket of AR-15 loving deplorables.

Knight’s gone negative because he can’t run on his record. He and his Super PAC surrogates are spending many millions to paint Democratic challenger Katie Hill as a “radical” socialist who wants to take away everyone’s guns, open the borders and raise your taxes to astronomical levels.

Folks, she’s not for any of those things.

Knight openly infers that Katie is unqualified and too young – no wait, “immature” – to serve in Congress, despite her impressive rise to lead California’s largest homeless services organization – with its fifty million dollar operating budget – by her late 20s, or how in 2016 her leadership helped pass Measure H – which generates ongoing funding to combat homelessness within Los Angeles County –with a supermajority.

Katie is one of us, a local gal raised in Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley by a Republican cop and a registered nurse. She lives in Agua Dulce with her husband Kenny, and has shown herself to be a savvy problem-solver who will take a get-it-done approach to Congress. She’s also committed to keeping a robust schedule of regular public town hall meetings, something Knight – who routinely locks out shocked constituents from his local offices – hasn’t done for many, many months.

It seems Knight prefers to frolic in Hawaii with the deep pocketed pharmaceutical lobbyists who fund his campaign and then goes back to DC and votes to take away your health care.

Which brings us back to the topic of preexisting conditions …

Like his benefactor Trump, Knight is lying to you by trumpeting (pun intended!) H.R. 6898, a bill he introduced with a wink and a nod on September 26 – just days before Congress shut down for the campaign season – that would indeed, if passed, require insurance companies to insure people with preexisting conditions. Except, Knight knows his bill will never pass. In fact, with Congress out of town, he knows it won’t even make it to committee, let alone to a floor vote. Once the midterms are over it will quietly be tabled. And if you read closely enough, he essentially says as much in his own press release: “The bill has been introduced, and may now be referred to a committee in the House of Representatives.”

May now be? Um, no, don’t believe Knight’s lie, folks. It will never pass, and he doesn’t want it to.

On Tuesday, ‘We, the People’ get our second opportunity to reject Steve Knight and send his challenger Katie Hill to Congress. If Democrats vote, Democrats win, so let’s get it done this time.

While you’re at it, send Newhall School Board trustee Christy Smith to Sacramento too, in place of Dante Acosta, the number one biggest spender – out of literally everyone! – in the California Assembly. Readers from the City of Santa Clarita, you can put three commonsense Democrats – Diane Trautman, Brett Haddock and Logan Smith – on City Council.

On Tuesday, let’s make the better half of our community the bigger half, Newt Gingrich be damned.

VOTE!

 

The Santa Clarita Valley Proclaimer’s opinion section does not represent the official opinions of Radio Free Santa Clarita, its board and its supporters.

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Summary
John Zaring | The Rational Center: The Better Half
Article Name
John Zaring | The Rational Center: The Better Half
Description
Columnist John Zaring again pleads with local Democrats to vote on Nov. 6.
Author
Publisher Name
The Santa Clarita Valley Proclaimer
John Zaring

John Zaring has lived with his family in the Santa Clarita Valley since 2000. He describes his politics as center-left, as in “the rational center,” and while initially a college Republican, has been a Democrat since 1992. The LA County Democratic Party named him the 37th Assembly District Democrat of the Year in 2010.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. pcomey Posted on October 31, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Great post! Note that Katie Hill never lived in the Antelope Valley. Agua Dulce is in the SCV.

    Another point against Knight is that he voted to support the dangerous bill that would allow people with concealed carry licenses in any state carry nationwide, including California. This means people who got licenses in states with low or no requirements could carry concealed weapons in California.

  2. John Zaring Posted on October 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I could have it wrong, but I believe she lived in the AV for a time in her youth. She currently lives in Agua Dulce.

    That said, yes, Knight favors reciprocity for concealed carry, which runs counter to what the majority of Americans and his constituents want (according to polling).

    Thanks for reading!

  3. John Q Public Posted on November 1, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Clearly you’ve never run a business Or understand simple economics.

    Tax cuts are like revenue into the business….Government receipts of tax dollars have gone up ( example: Q3 2017 – $94B from $92.3B in Q3 2016 – up 2%)

    A deficit or debt occurs because spending has out run revenue.

    It’s a pretty simple concept but I’m not sure you understand it because you indicate that the debt increased because of the tax cuts. They are independent of each other.

    Nice try.

    Also, you can save the response that Trump is spending us into oblivion when the last president increase the national debt by $8.5 Trillion.

    Trump is already indicated he wants to start cut spending which is the responsible thing to do. Vs. act irresponsibly like the Democrats and spend on entitlement programs with no end in sight Or raise taxes to try to get us to prosperity. It has never worked and it never will.

  4. John Zaring Posted on November 1, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Hey John Q — whoever you are, hiding behind this silly nom de pluer — I’ve actually run my own business since 1992, and before that, ran someone else’s company quite successfully for several years, and before that, managed a team for yet another business.

    To quote you, “Nice try!”

    The last president was handed a shit show by W., and yet he saved our collective asses. To ignore that reality is not only disingenuous, it is dishonest. While Obama was leading America out of the darkness, I was saving my company from the Bush Apocalypse — and trust me, it wasn’t easy. Our company fell from twenty-three employees to three before everything stabilized and we started rebuilding. Now we are stronger than ever, but the instability Trump instills is now threatening our continued success. He’s a mess and he’s making it HARDER for small business owners, not easier.

    In my view, this president is a living, breathing personal dumpster fire. It is clear you don’t agree, and that’s your right. I believe government has a responsibility to help the most vulnerable among us, because when Democracy thrives when everybody is lifted. That’s why I’m a Democrat. And if helping my fellow American get a hand up costs me a little more in my taxes, so be it. In the end, we ALL benefit when everyone is doing well.

    And to quote Bill Murray in Stripes, “That’s a fact Jack!”

  5. John Q Public Posted on November 2, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Hey John – John Q here….See below.

    Hey John Q — whoever you are, hiding behind this silly nom de pluer — I’ve actually run my own business since 1992, and before that, ran someone else’s company quite successfully for several years, and before that, managed a team for yet another business.
    ** “quite successfully” I am not sure of this….if you say so….
    ** You missed the point on tax revenue vs. spending. You know you are wrong – but let’s move on.

    The last president was handed a shit show by W., and yet he saved our collective asses. To ignore that reality is not only disingenuous, it is dishonest.
    ** Because you tend not to understand economics or history I have included a link below. The implosion of the economy was largely due to the housing bubble. Started by…..wait for it….Bill Clinton and his belief that everyone deserved a home even if they could not afford it. Read about Henry Cisneros HUD Director. To NOT understand how it all came to a bubble would be “not only disingenuous, it is dishonest”
    Clinton & Bush both had a hand in the failure. Bailing out the banks had to be done and would have been done by whoever was in office. BO did not ride in on a horse to “save the day”.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/business/19cisneros.html

    While Obama was leading America out of the darkness,
    ** “Nice Try”, Your opinion. No Facts.
    ** He was building up the darkness by doing an apology tour around the world and telling every American cops are bad….Like your comments just my opinion on his behaviors/actions.

    I was saving my company from the Bush Apocalypse — and trust me, it wasn’t easy.
    **Like most people that will not take responsibility for their failure you blame Bush. Was Bush working in the office?….Delivering your product or not delivering your product? selling or not selling? See if Bush were responsible for your success or failure this would be a Socialist country where the government “owns the means of production”. You own your production or your companies production. Your company = your success or your failure. Simple…Almost like a “fact Jack”. If it was saved, or not, only you know the truth.

    Our (I thought it was yours? Who was the Our?) company fell from twenty-three employees to three before everything stabilized and we started rebuilding.
    Now we are stronger than ever, but the instability Trump instills is now threatening our continued success.
    ** See above. It’s called Personal Responsibility.

    He’s a mess and he’s making it HARDER for small business owners, not easier.
    ** I would love to see some facts on this opinion.
    ** Seems the Chamber of Commerce (traditionally left leaning) thinks differently “The United States Chamber of Commerce officially thanked President Trump and his policies for igniting a stunning recovery; praising the administration for slashing regulations and passing tax cuts that are helping millions of Americans.”

    In my view, this president is a living, breathing personal dumpster fire.
    ** Trump hurts your feelings and you can’t handle it because the metrics and numbers are all moving in the right direction (See below).
    All of this movement forward in spite of Mika, Morning Joe, CNN, MSNBC and Al Sharpton making reckless comparisons to Hitler. America is onto these idiots in the mainstream media – we all know they read Rules for Radicals and are working off of that sheet music. I would call these reckless comparisons “not only disingenuous, it is dishonest”. If you studied World History, and have any respect for it, you will have to agree that these are baseless and reckless. Last time I check Trump has not tried to wipe out and entire race. Enforcing immigration laws is part of the job of executive branch.

    It is clear you don’t agree, and that’s your right. I believe government has a responsibility to help the most vulnerable among us, because when Democracy thrives when everybody is lifted (you are the king of the bumper sticker sayings- well done).
    ** Trump has 2 million more people off of food stamps.
    ** According to CNBC (really left leaning) there were over 7.1 million positions available in the United States at the end of August; smashing the previous record of 6.2 million just a month prior.
    ** The number of employed Black Americans hit a record high of 19,087,000 last month, and a record 72,530,000 women 16 and older were counted as employed.
    ** The unemployment rate for Hispanic-Americans plunged to a record-setting low in July; plummeting to just 4.5%
    Seems like everyone is being lifted to me? Democracy must be thriving according to you? Are you sure you are not a Trump fan?

    That’s why I’m a Democrat.
    ** So your title as a Centrist makes you a liar?

    And if helping my fellow American get a hand up costs me a little more in my taxes, so be it. In the end, we ALL benefit when everyone is doing well (bumper sticker alert!!!)
    ** Since lowering taxes is bad, and you have more money in your hands, click this link for voluntary tax payments and pay more. You won’t. To quote you: “That’s a fact Jack!”
    https://directpay.irs.gov/directpay/payment?execution=e1s1

  6. John Q Public Posted on November 5, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/press/rep/releases/senate-judiciary-committee-releases-summary-of-investigation-from-supreme-court-confirmation

    Since comments are closed on John Zaring’s other piece about Kavanaugh. John Zaring – wrong again!

    – JQP

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