Calandra Vargas: Courage and Constitutionality

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   There’s a revolving door in Washington. One elected officeholder’s go in, yet come out with legislative agendas still stored in memory on hardware inside their rolling laptop bags. Voided campaign promises and buckled leadership, they’re better known as the Republican Congressional majority that swept the 2014 Midterms; an election that was supposed to mean something.

   Republican candidate for Congress in Colorado’s 5th District, Calandra Vargas doesn’t settle for, or accept political party dysfunction.

   The crispness in Vargas’s message is knowing the landscape she’ll represent, an aggregate understanding of Conservative values, and true belief it is her duty to serve. That taking the best of Colorado to DC is more than a job, but a calling to pass along the working values and community spirit that define who she is and where she’s from. “My constituents will expect me to vote according to the policy priorities and values of our district [military, business, agriculture]. My constituents will also expect me to be an outspoken leader, to build a team with like-minded conservatives in DC, and to work hard to be an effective legislator.”

   An advocate in redefining the brand, Vargas is also committed to helping other Republicans get elected. On the national level, she strongly believes the GOP has to “articulate our values in a way that restores trust with voters and encourages more participation.”

   “Our current Republican Party is mostly composed of an older demographic that has never had to face the challenges that our generation has,” Vargas says, “and so they may not feel a need to or know how to reach out to younger Americans. Social attitudes will always shift; Republicans can use that to their advantage or they can refuse to adapt and miss opportunities that the Left will certainly capitalize on.”

   Reaching out in the public arena, Vargas believes women being prepared to fight for Conservative principles and providing them the tools needed in leadership roles in government is intrinsic, “The Left is going hard after the women’s vote and are succeeding because the Republicans have not had the foresight or political will to stand behind strong women.”

   As the media distorts reality and purposely downplays each Hillary Clinton impropriety, Vargas acknowledges that younger Americans may not have the knowledge to see through a woman like Clinton, yet they want to support equal rights and the first woman President so they will vote for her, adding, “what if there were more representatives like me who aren’t afraid to confront liberal women and give a different option to voters about views on women’s issues.”IMG_1945

   A 2014 Pew Institute Survey listed only 30% of millennials champion Republican values. Vargas believes she’s a voice that will help millennials distinguish not only where they stand politically, but their curiosity in answering serious questions like ‘what is the proper role of government?’

   Colorado politics is an intricate weave of ideological and sociological diversity. In a state with an image of being rural, one of the hardest sells to alliance-building was hot button topic, Colorado Amendment 64; the legalization of marijuana in January 2014 and the fallout/fall-in since.

    “Marijuana is a huge and complicated issue that Republicans cannot ignore or think that by being against marijuana that it will suddenly become illegal again,” Vargas says, “the majority of Colorado voters approve of marijuana, especially medical, and we need to pursue a realistic path forward from a regulatory point of view.”

   Her June 28th primary opponent Doug Lamborn, characterizes the kind of career politician Vargas vows never to become, an elected representative not only prone to pandering but possessing the kind of political gaffes that would make even Joe Biden proud. Lamborn, always a big PAC money recipient, has the notorious distinction of having once paid himself the interest from a campaign account.

   Vargas has strong views on America’s veterans, allocating more resources to their physical and mental rehabilitation. She is critical of Lamborn’s recent vote not allowing veterans access to medical marijuana. “Lamborn missed a huge leadership opportunity,” she said, “by voting down access to medical marijuana added insult to injury. Vets continue to be underserved or prescribed medications that are not sufficient for their well being.”

   “He [Lamborn] has the arrogance and ignorance to tell a doctor and his patient what kind of medicine they can or cannot use. He should have allowed access and required the VA to help set professional standards for the use and distribution of medical marijuana. I know several people with severe illness that benefit from medical marijuana; they are not pot-heads, they are ordinary people that want to find relief and healing and should be allowed to do so.”

   The horrific open slaughter at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, another bloody reminder of whether social networking caused, or was a lone wolf assault on America’s freedom, shows radical Islamic terrorism remains uncontained. Barack Obama is reticent to disparage the killer’s nationality. Instead he goes to war with proponents of the 2nd Amendment, turning the tragedy into another unsalable rant over gun control and his denial of the problem into talking points against Donald Trump and Republicans. Vargas states that “Obama doesn’t believe Islam is a problem, therefore refuses to fight Islamism that is happening on American soil.”

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   On America, Obama and the Democrat message the last eight years, Vargas believes the reset button has to be hit in DC, and in the political process, “Americans have to get involved and raise the standard for every aspect of politics and civil society, including what they believe about right and wrong and the role of government. We are in a culture war because people have very different ideas about right and wrong. Clearly, beliefs have consequences when they are communicated or forced through public policy, as we have seen under Obama.”

   Vargas understands Obama’s affinity to garner public support for him breaking the law, manufacturing a real or nonexistent crisis, targeting grassroots organizations among others in creating an enemy that doesn’t exist. On the beginning of life, Vargas, a deeply-rooted Christian says, “The Democratic Party as a whole shrouds murder of the unborn in the name of ‘women’s rights’ and believes that people who do not submit to their platform should be targeted by the IRS, sued for discrimination, or bullied into compromise. Ultimately it comes down to worldview, what you believe about truth, about God, about the identity of a human being and an individual’s relationship with others.”

   The One Hundred Fifteenth Congress Vargas plans being a member of has to step it up she says,“Congress is responsible to advocate for the virtues that make liberty the bedrock for societal prosperity and peace.”

   Actively promoting principles that make policies effective and serve the interests of the people within the boundaries of Constitutional values are paramount to Vargas. Cherishing morals, decency, hard work and personal responsibility are equally as important. “We cannot demand justice from our government if we do not have just laws nor can we overcome corruption if we do not hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

   Vargas’s long term plans include someday running a working ranch animal shelter “where people and animals can come to find a second chance, to heal, and enjoy life. That is my American dream, to keep waking up in a beautiful place, working outside, surrounded by those I love, even if they have four legs.”

   Until then, with a principled dynamism not found in her opponent, the focused-on-solutions approach of Calandra Vargas will be a much needed Conservative voice embodying Colorado in Washington, and with it, restoring America’s constitutionality.

A Nice Little Snow Globe

alaska snow globe 3   There are two things that irk native Alaskans; the summer mosquito, and pesky environmental cartels who tout centralized management, aka Washington DC, and constrained vision in determining how best to suck the life blood out of our state’s solvency.

While the preceding entities are hard to tell apart, there is only one Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; over 30,000 square miles of primordial majesty, but in whose crude oil substratum lies Alaska’s commercial and industrial subsistence.

It’s been twelve-thousand years since the use of flint rather than metal for energy generation, but Barack Obama’s plodding Interior Department recently mandated ANWR remain undeveloped to petroleum exploration and recovery. A modern-day decree from an administration who previously knew ANWR to be the first name of the former Egyptian leader. Different spelling, same lack of vision.

With a Democrat majority gone, and knowing there was no stopping Keystone XL’s passage in the Senate, Defenders of Wildlife and The Sierra Club clawed and mauled their way for a donor dollar return on Obama campaign contributions. Their frenetic lobbying in turn offset billions of future barrels of ANWR oil from the reach of energy companies.

As skilled as this administration is at percolating America rife with discord, Alaskans are mindfully aware that issuing further restrictions on the state’s oil and gas industry, including the coastal plain in the state’s northeast corner, which taps into 90% of the states revenue, is one big bad idea. One that Senator Lisa Murkowski, Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair labeled “a one, two, three, kick to the gut of Alaska’s economy.”

Obama slightly backtracked after the ANWR decision, infuriating ivory dome environmentalists by announcing a pervasive five-year project of oil and gas drilling off a southeast stretch of the Atlantic seaboard extending along the Gulf of Mexico. Apples-to-orange logistics though, are no comfort in nullifying Alaska’s petroleum exploration, where sundry employment prospects are not readily found as those in the Eastern United States.

With zero chance of Congress approving closing off ANWR, Republican Senator and former Alaskan State Department of Natural Resources commissioner, Dan Sullivan fears the worst, labeling it “a classic Obama tactic,” in the same vein as unconstitutional illegal amnesty. Sullivan, only a month on the job in DC said, Obama uses “executive action to do what no Congress would do.”

Which make Sullivan’s words so resounding, for it isn’t solely an Alaskan issue, but a national one. Few outside the state will ever know or appreciate the solitude of a place like ANWR, but everyone benefits from Alaskan crude oil production. Royalties and taxes from that industry fund the state’s public health care system, while also providing Alaskans jobs as ship captains, oil field and fishery workers. Those monies have translated into a vital education tool in academic curriculums, where information gathering field trips provide a broader understanding and observation of the landscape.

musk oxen

Inuit residents, who for generations have inhabited regions bordering the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, thriving on local fish, wildlife, cultivating the native flora and fauna, have seen their communities prosper with the discovery of oil and the inflow of oil-related money. As profits from Prudhoe Bay production wane and TAPS operating at less than 25% of rated capacity, the benefits accrued them—as well as all Alaskan citizens through the royalty and taxes placed in Alaska’s Permanent Fund, are receding. Oil production is in fact why Alaska is the only state without a personal income or sales tax.

As America sees a significant drop in gas prices and domestic oil production, it shouldn’t be seen as an omen for the future. Obama’s move was merely short-sided incrementalism and pandering to the panic-button left, who gloss over the benefits of smaller sized footprints left by directional drilling. But perhaps more damning than their placards and protestations, is the left’s willful blindness to the strict regulations, care for the land, native subsistence and protections already in place in the state for all 45 species of animals inhabiting ANWR. Not to mention the painstaking care to ensure birthing and calving junctures, as well as monitoring that whale migration seasons remain uninterrupted.

As Murkowski said, the administration “has taken a look at Alaska and decided it’s a nice little snow globe up there, and we’re going to keep it that way.”

I have to wonder if Obama knows the earth isn’t flat. Or, the Viennese snow globe presented his daughter Malia from the original Perzy manufacturers of Austria, was made from liquid petroleum gas.

Behind in the Count: Obama at Cooperstown



obama-whats with the overhand girlie toss

Baseball, apple pie, hot dogs; all hallmarks of an anticipated summer were disunited with Barack Obama in historic Cooperstown last week, touting tourism as a negligible channel to economic growth.

Cooperstown, celebrating the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 75th Anniversary was an equivocal choice for Obama’s wild pitch on the need to reduce airport wait times for foreign visitors. For the event to hold some congruity, Obama signed a memorandum giving Homeland Security and commerce secretaries four months to devise a plan to streamline the entry process.

With Memorial Day approaching, Obama gave precedence to easing vacationers’ discomforts over the neglect and failed healthcare of America’s veterans who, as he stated, “Once we know the facts and, if the results are correct,” I assure you if there is misconduct, it will be punished.”

If the results are correct?

Until then, tourism, if only seasonally, means more jobs and more Chinese and Brazilians visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, Six Flags St. Louis, or bobbing for Jonagolds at the National Apple Festival in Arendtsville, PA.

Someone on CNN should tell Obama that specialized Apps address unpredictable delays at America’s airports. Airlines also post expected security hold times per destination venue on their websites.

The last time Obama promoted revenue creation was earlier this month at the Tappen Zee Bridge in Tarrytown, NY. Unless Congress appropriate more transportation dollars into the Highway Trust Fund by summer’s end, he warned, 700,000 jobs could be lost.

The Commerce Department predicts a 3.5% bump in incoming travelers this year. So missing from Obama’s palpable diatribe are those shovel-ready jobs promised in 2009. What became of the $50 billion in stimulus earmarked to repair America’s infrastructure?

Obama’s read on subject matter would be heightened by understanding that the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program was precisely designed to incentivize state and local governments to undertake road, bridge and rail repair without federal intercession. Chuck Hagel even co-proposed the initial formation of that body during the GWB era.

State autonomy is extrinsic to Obama, whose hyperbolic appearances are imbued with federal government having America’s best interests at heart. Even when they’re listening to private conversations or reading our emails.

It’s unlikely Obama’s final years in office will acknowledge that a thriving private sector has the power to market pricing for transportation usage and flexibility to do their own bidding.

Instead of ranting about Joe Garagiola receiving the Hall’s Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, or how during World War II, major, minor and Negro League uniform jerseys bore a special patriotic patch in the shape of a shield, Obama’s Cooperstown preamble concerned airport terminals hastening the arrival process for international sightseers.

And, given New York’s 8th highest individual income tax rate of 8.82%, Obama lauded fellow attendee Andrew Cuomo, whose 2014 tourism summit recently spent $45 billion to elevate the state’s travel industry.

 Many agree America is already overrun with interlopers; ones that blithely cross the open border from Mexico, receiving better health care than many forced off their plans, or with now significantly devalued coverage.

Now, here’s a novel idea.

Obama’s next rallying cry to promote tourism should be held at the footbridge over the Rio Grande in Acala, TX, connecting the U.S. and Mexico. Surely that structure is in serious need of repair.

Acala, Texas border bridge

Acala, Texas border bridge


Crossing the Broken Blue Line

Photo1 UseI have no doubt Michael Smithey is a diligent, conscientious police officer; one his boss, Chief Sam Hargadine is proud to have on the Iowa City force.

It’s Smithey’s revelation of personal bias that’s troubling when laid bare on the streets he patrols.

At first glance, Smithey appears rational as a negotiator, which in the line of duty, doesn’t allow for many character flaws. The human side of the man or woman in blue is often glossed over in favor of exaggerated stereotypes Americans have of law officers. The bar of professionalism is set high with the job, where convincing the citizenry of that rectitude can be just as taxing as catching the bad guys.

Imprudence would assume chinks in the mental armor of law enforcement don’t exist. The public has seen time and time again brutality occurs when raw emotion is put to the test. Smithey’s breach was nowhere as cataclysmic, yet speaks volumes as it was directed toward the wronged party making the 911 call he responded to on August 21st.

Holman Photo 1There on Highway 1/Riverside Drive, Chinese exchange student John Man Chun Ma led Dan Holman on a foot chase after Ma assaulted Holman’s wife Donna several minutes earlier. The object of Ma’s ire was a notably graphic anti-abortion placard Ms. Holman was holding while protesting outside an Iowa City Planned Parenthood office.

Dan Holman filmed his encounter with Ma and Smithey’s near flawless handling of the situation, until Holman pressed him for the reason why Ma did it. From that point Smithey placatingly told Holman, “You know why he (Ma) did it, ok?”

As Holman persisted, Smithey moved him out of earshot of Ma,  saying, “Look, you and I both know why he did it. He doesn’t like the sign, I personally don’t like the sign, it doesn’t matter though.”

Smithey’s leak of individual tilt wasn’t made clear in saying he met Holman ten years earlier; an encounter Smithey’s harbored ever since.

If Ma felt affronted by Donna Holman’s sign, so too was Smithey in choosing not to obviate his non-conservative and pro-choice beliefs on abortion.

According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Section 5, Conduct Toward the Public, subsection a) Officers shall conduct themselves toward the public in a civil and professional manner that connotes a service orientation and that will foster public respect and cooperation.

Holman Photo 4 ArrestLaw enforcement’s  presence at a disturbance connotes leverage, but citing individual opinion, as in Smithey’s case, reeks of conduct unbecoming. Yet Smithey wasn’t finished, contorting his words in telling Holman that Ma was “extremely offended by the sign and unfortunately that’s the reaction that I think, look, you’re looking to provoke an extreme reaction with that.”

Unless stirring a contentious pot is integrated into preparation, or lack thereof, the ICPD imparts in managing notably peaceful protests by Tea Party and Libertarian groups, Smithey either misinterpreted, never studied, or failed to adhere to the US Constitution, where the 1st Amendment clearly defines what the Holmans were doing that day.

It would be easy to excuse Smithey as just another officer of the law with an inferiority complex compensating with a badge and a sidearm, or simply a first responder who acted in a manner that was shameful if witnessed and recorded.

Police officers are not separate, autonomous entities. They communicate with one another. Iowa City isn’t much different from Memphis, Spokane, or Hartford. Survival on the streets depends on that interaction, and is reflected in the way they relate to special interest groups and pro-life advocates like the Holmans.

By the time he told Holman he could “separate his politics from his job,” Smithey was already non-relevant.

Maybe Hargadine should recommend Smithey bone up on conducting himself in ways that unnecessarily delay the performance of his duty. That, and not casting his line in shark-infested waters, although that might also be missing from the ICPD’s training manual chapter on Civil Rights.

Stuart Smalley & Chuck U. Schumer Run Into and Away from Jason Mattera

Scars and Stripes: The Boston Bombing Unfurled

tsarnaev boat

Boston has always maintained a sense of autonomy. Annexed by America’s epic battles for self-governance, the city remains an industriousness co-mingling of old and new world identity.

Gem of the sea Irish pride still pervades Southie, while Dorchester, as distant from rice fields wide enough for a flock of storks to spread their wings across, is home to a new generation of Vietnamese émigrés.

On a day commemorating battles fought and lives lost in Lexington and Concord, two immigrant brothers clashed not only with time immemorial, but those now forging out a better life than the one they knew.

The interloping seconds of the Boston Marathon bombings was the fifth terrorist attack on American soil under Barack Obama’s watch; one in which domestic terror ranks below the assault on protectorate laws such as the 2nd Amendment.

For one day, Boston’s urbane, spirited way of life was in lockdown, the FBI combing Watertown searching for the escaped Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

As Blackhawk helicopters circled the boroughs, Fox News reported the older Tsarnaev, Tamerlan, already on a terror watch list, and killed in a firefight with law enforcement the night before, had traveled between the United States and the Russian Republic of Dagestan in 2011; a trip Janet Napolitano indifferently referred to as a “ping,” given he was able to evade the Feds upon re-entering the U.S.

The brothers Tsarnaev inculcating doctrine was facilitated at Boston’s Islamic Society Mosque, a haven of anti-American figureheads and rhetoric. Napolitano’s furtive “ping” and Obama’s refusal to reference radical Islam’s war on America has, as the Mosque, empowered those covert enemies of freedom within our borders.

The design of the Tsarnaev attack, Nidal Hasan’s heinous, religious rampage at Fort Hood in what the Defense Department ludicrously labels “workplace violence,” and three other centralized assaults are being manipulated in federal courts as the Obama administration efforts to multi-sensitize and battle the unsavory stereotypes of Muslim attackers.

While Obama bemoans America to “not jump to conclusions until we have all the facts,” those State Department specifics, perpetual distortions and cover-ups only become unraveled during congressional oversight hearings. The slaughter of 4 Americans in Benghazi is evidence to that.

With an ineffectual, apologetic president whose says the U.S. is no longer a Christian nation and “we must educate ourselves more effectively on Islam,” an apathetic secretary of Homeland Security and attorney general whose spent the last 16 years defending terrorists, it was the yeoman work of Boston regional law enforcement capturing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a suburban backyard.

The famous Massachusettsan John Quincy Adams once said, “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Little could he have known then, that given the chance, they seamlessly come to America to do the same.

Because they can.

The Last Word on Dithering

Early into his presidency, the Beltway buzzword describing Barack Obama’s protocol of protracted reaction was dithering. Dick Cheney went one better, terming it waffling as Obama’s dawdling response to the role of American troops in Afghanistan facing an emboldened enemy.

In Obama’s Keystone XL Dithering, US News and World Report columnist Mort Zuckerman wrote of the economic cost of non-implementing a transformative link to American energy independence.

Obama’s most damaging, if not intentional delay came during the two-years Democrats controlled both Houses. With the economy in free-fall,  Obama and the more hell-bent Nancy Pelosi, ramrodded, without one Republican vote, his paradigmatically-flawed signature healthcare program into law.

Obama and the State Department’s inaction and cover-up at the onset of  the senseless slaughter of  US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, are as British investigative writer James Boys points out in Two Weeks to a Presidency, [Obama’s] “dithering over the Benghazi tragedy has done little to inspire confidence. His inability to present a comprehensive strategy for the next four years, in over four hours of debates, is equally troubling.”

Dithering has been more aptly replaced by a more conventional description of how Obama thinks, acts, or chooses not to act; leading from behind. In Richard Miniter’s book of  the same name, a young, feral, impressionistic Obama is described as adopting the reactionary ascriptions of his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. As president, Obama’s indecision and moodiness rely on the success or failures of female supporting players Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Valerie Jarrett.

While targeted phraseology promulgate the man and his failings, a second Obama term will further embolden a more disturbing, self-opportunistic pattern this president has already acted on; habitually skirting Congress to implement changes where he believes cooperation is lacking.

In bypassing formal legislation, Obama’s liberal agenda is predominant, witnessed in his executive fiat on welfare-to-work requirements; landmark legislation for its bipartisan efforts in 1996 under Bill Clinton.

The problem a Romney administration faces in rejuvenating the workforce stem from the hangers-on to Obama’s predilection that entitlement exists in being laconic, resentful and rooted in indignation; that welfare no longer represents failure, but failure to go out looking for or preparing for work is rewarded as a condition to receive aid.

Unable to bridge the separation of powers or reach across the aisle, Obama used authoritative action to personally overhaul the Dream Act. As Republicans consolidate their power in Congress after November 6th, an Obama replay would be more of the same, doing whatever it takes to get his way.

Resolute action is not in Obama’s repertoire. Little his defenders say about the number of times he was swift to act are pretentious. His self-proclaimed achievement of hanging Osama bin Laden’s head above his mantle was over 12 months in the making, and impossible without interrogatory information he chastised his predecessor’s tactics to attain.

One possible way for Obama to win reelection is for great numbers of voters to remain ignorant of the true natures of both party candidates on Election Day.

If enough of the nation’s electorate grasp a moderateunderstanding of the differences between these men, Americans will choose someone who acts fast and purposeful on his directives. It will usher in a new era of economic prosperity and resolve, because Mitt Romney is a man who will not dither. There’s simply no time.



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