Red Robin: Faulty Family Fare

I took the family to the local Red Robin restaurant yesterday for dinner. It is the first time in over a year that we have visited them. The experience was unsatisfactory.

We waited twenty minutes for a table—which is not that unusual—even when several tables were not in use. Our waitress was not very good. We never did get napkins or silverware brought to our table—even after food was served. I had to get up and walk over to the food prep area and get them from another employee. Later I had to go back to get mustard for the wife. The food was noticeable smaller portions than it used to be and was not prepared the same way. No attempt was made to garnish the plates or show pride in the food. Also, the “bottomless French fries” weren’t very bottomless when they never brought them out right away and kept the basket full. (Our teenager eats French fries by the handful.) Our $55 outing (for four) was disappointing. Pizza would have been cheaper.

CNN’s Don Lemon Believes Millennium Movie Plot Happened

Holy Netflix Batman!!

Here’s proof CNN is crazier than MSNBC

Millennium is a movie released in 1989.

Here is the plot synopsis: An NTSB investigator seeking the cause of an airline disaster meets a warrior woman from 1000 years in the future.
Yeah, future babe travel thru a wormhole and steals bodies off a doomed commercial jetliner to save the human race in her time.

Tonight I found this story.

CNN’s Don Lemon: ‘Is It Preposterous’ to Think a Black Hole Caused Flight 370 to Go Missing?

CNN’s Don Lemon has been entertaining all sorts of theories about the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, including the chance something “supernatural” happened, but on Wednesday night, he actually asked panelists about the possibility a black hole was involved.

Lemon brought this up along with other “conspiracy theories” people have been floating on Twitter, including people noting the eerie parallels to Lost and The Twilight Zone, and wondered, “is it preposterous” to consider a black hole as a possibility?

Mary Schiavo, a former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said, “A small black hole would suck in our entire universe, so we know it’s not that.”

Here’s another theory I’ll just throw out there: what about the plane entered a wormhole into another dimension? I don’t know if that’s how the science works, though.


Who Took the Gun to the Lego Movie?

I went to the local theater on Monday to take the boys to the Lego Movie. We were meeting another party there so I bought tickets for all of us. I left the teenager to meet his friends out front while little brother and I went inside to save some seats. (It was clear the early show was filling quickly since it was the President’s Day holiday.)

After securing seats, I called the teenager and told him what great seats we had taken. He then informed me that his friends were on the way with an extra person. He told me he had already tried to get an extra ticket but the show was now sold out. Much to my disappointment, this was a package deal and we all needed to sit together in the same showing; since that was no longer possible, I reluctantly left the theater and proceeded to get a refund for the show.

As my younger son and I stood in line to get the refund, I noticed the kids in front of me pick something up that was on the ground, play with it for a few seconds and then drop it again. I looked at the object on the ground in disbelief. I asked my son to pick it up. I then asked him if it was metal. He replied I think so. I then took it from his hand. It was a large bullet for a powerful pistol. (I later learned that it was likely a 38 Special round.) It was about the diameter of my pinkie finger and the casing was about an inch and ¾ long. The bullet was a concave shape.

After completing my refund, I took the bullet and gave it to a security guy at the theater and then we left.

I believe in the Second Amendment—more even than many Conservatives—but no responsible citizen would be dropping live ammo on the ground for small children to play with. I don’t think the owner of that bullet is responsible enough to be “packin’ heat” in public.

CRA Board Dishes Out Blarney to Tom McClintock

The governing Board of the California Republican Assembly met on Saturday just because it was tradition to have a Board meeting concurrent with the convention of the California Republican Party. The tradition—which traces itself to the heyday of Barbara Alby—used to be for the purpose of plotting voting strategy for the Sunday morning General Session of CRP. Now however, CRA has too few troops to command at the CRP gathering and nothing of significance is allowed to get to the floor for a vote (since CRP is a top-down group run by its Board); thus holding this meeting just two weeks after the CRA Annual Convention had no real purpose.

On Saturday, just to fill time, a few candidates were allowed to speak to the CRA Board and a few more were hastily endorsed with no serious vetting. In between a few committee reports and assignments were dealt with—nothing that couldn’t be done by conference call or a few emails. Then, after over an hour of nonsense, the big event—Congressional District 4 finally was brought before the body.

In the agenda, it was listed as “Resolutions.” A resolution was introduced to thank Tom McClintock for voting right. Chairman John Briscoe felt this was reasonable and assured us that he had talked to Tom McClintock on three occasions about the CD-4 situation. Even though this resolution was clearly a slap at the CRA chapters within the McClintock district, it was passed overwhelmingly by the Board.

Then the CD-4 endorsement vote was brought up. The thinking seemed to be like this…”we papered over the mistake made by the local endorsing convention for slighting the Congressman by passing our resolution, and we didn’t actually undercut the local groups because we stopped short of using the words “support” or “endorse” in the resolution, and now we need to put this mess behind us.” Any effort to call a second endorsing convention in this race was killed. Several reasons were given but the one that mattered was the likelihood that a second endorsing convention would also yield no endorsement, thus bringing further disgrace on the CRA.

I find it disturbing that the CRA Board was so willing to undercut the decision of local chapters and still proclaim itself a grassroots organization. The four chapters involved were treated dismissively. Worst of all, a congressman that has done nothing to build the party in or around his district, comes away from the whole thing as untouchable. Power triumphs over principle once again.

Missing 777 Mystery

While it sounds like something from a Tom Clancy novel, Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a fully loaded Boeing 777 has been missing for about a week.
It is clear by now that it left the designated flight path.
No ransom claims have been issued.
No debris has been found.
No black boxes or transponders have broadcasted.

So what happened?

I think the passengers and crew are likely dead. But what of the aircraft itself? Is someone weaponizing it? I think the proper identification of the hijackers is crucial to identifying likely targets. What happens next could make 9/11 look like a picnic.

Is my idea a conspiracy or just a caution? I think we will know soon.

Tom Hudson: Buyer’s Remorse Over CD-4

Tom Hudson has “buyer’s remorse” (or a bad case of jelly spine) after the local endorsing convention that he helped organize failed to deliver an endorsement for Tom McClintock. The endorsing convention was held in conjunction with the annual convention of the California Republican Assembly in Buena Park.

The organizers of the Buena Park convention were the Placer County Republican Assembly. Yeah, I know Placer County is at least 350 miles away from the convention site but I’m just the messenger. Anyway, the Placer folks (including Hudson) wanted as many local endorsing conventions held at the convention as they could schedule. These votes were scheduled on the morning of Saturday March 1st; the first full day of the annual convention.

Some people like me went ballistic and said they wanted local endorsing conventions held in or near the district. Those that felt like me argued that candidates, delegates, rank & file CRA members and the public should be invited. It was a way to endorse candidates in an open and transparent process. In addition, the filing period was still open at the time the annual convention was held.

Lastly, the club I belong to had not voted to select any delegates for an endorsing convention—only delegates for the statewide convention. We planned to select endorsing convention delegates at the first meeting after the convention (which we did.) Traditionally, delegates to the annual convention have a large economic cost to attend while endorsing delegates can carpool to the event since it is held closer to home. In addition, the announcement for the endorsing conventions in Buena Park also said that participants had to pay the registration fee of $40 in order to vote. I also protested this as being a “pole tax”.

I went so far as to tell the folks from Placer that neither I nor any people from my club would participate in an endorsement vote for any contested election in an area where we had jurisdiction. Buena Park was simply too far and too soon to hold such a vote.

Those that protested were able to pull endorsements in their area off of the endorsement schedule. Most races in Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties were removed within days of the February 14th call for endorsement conventions.

Hudson gave his full throated support for endorsement votes at the Buena Park convention. I know he was aware of concerns raised by people like me. Then at the Buena Park convention, he was present at many of the endorsement votes that were held on Saturday morning. Before, during and for the rest of the convention, Hudson was OK with the process and its results; then on Monday—his first day back to his job with the State—he has a change of heart.!?

Clearly someone contacted him and pressured him for reconsideration. Hudson decided that what’s in the past—that he agreed with at the time—was suddenly invalid and he had called for a new endorsing convention to redo the vote. This call was revoked by CRA President John Briscoe.

So on March 11th, Hudson sent an email blast to the CRA Board. To me this was the key sentence:

It is my position that there has not been a valid CRA local endorsing convention in the Fourth Congressional District and we need to hold one right away so that we can endorse Tom McClintock for Congress.

Please note, he does not say this is now a contested race and I think we should take another look at CD-4 but he says the purpose is “so we can endorse Tom McClintock.” Why? Both Republicans in the race are conservative.

Hudson is the parliamentarian of the CRA Board and he often uses this position to obfuscate issues with voluminous amounts of nonsense that sound good at the time but upon further analysis are distorts or outright fabrications to get him to the outcome that he desires.

Besides the famous incident that I chronicled on this blog with him and the Yolo County Republican Assembly many years ago, the most recent example was ironically on the last day of the Buena Park convention. Hudson argued for a good ten minutes that local RA chapters were not required to maintain minutes of their meetings. He stated this was not required under the CRA’s Statewide Bylaws or under Robert’s Rules of Order. OK so why is Secretary a required officer?

After insulting our intelligence at the CRA meeting with that whopper, he has the stones to claim the Buena Park endorsement isn’t valid because he didn’t have minutes from that endorsing convention!

Talk about talking out of both sides!!

This might become a major focus of the CRA Board meeting on Saturday in Burlingame. What a colossal waste of time if that happens. Tom, your side (whatever that is) lost, get over it and move on.

I have more I could say about this but I will keep my powder dry…for now.

Tom McClintock Snubbed By CRA

Another piece of news out of the CRA convention was that Congressman Tom McClintock was denied an endorsement for re-election.

McClintock has a reputation for being an arch-conservative but he seems to never find time in his busy schedule to help anyone else in his Party get elected. Just ask Dan Lungren, Peter Tateishi, Jack Sieglock, and any other Republicans that have run in and around his district in recent years. Even when his chief of staff decides to run for office, McClintock can offer only symbolic support.

Furthermore, I have been told that his representative in the Placer County Republican Party (Central Committee) is pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage—truly a reflection of his publicly stated views and values…NOT.

McClintock may be many things but the word “leader” is not one that he deserves. The people that he tends to surround himself with are reportedly difficult and do not always share conservative values. He also doesn’t play nicely with conservatives that live in his district. (During most of his time in office, McClintock has lived outside his district in Elk Grove.)

As a result of his “army of one” attitude and hostility toward conservatives, Placer CRA denied him the endorsement. Reportedly after the filing period closes, they will endorse him then since he will be the only Republican on the ballot.

Tom can give a good speech but he has little to show for his years of service. Like many, he is living off a reputation that he ceased to deserve many years ago. He is on the same path as Dan Lungren except he is not in a competitive district so he will be in Congress as long as he likes. I wish he would either lead or get out of the way.

Ling Ling Chang Stumbles on Life Issue

Over the week-end, I spent time at the annual convention of the California Republican Assembly.

The good news is that the convention was at Knott’s Berry Farm. The bad news is the park was closed due to weather. My family elected to “pay the mouse tax” as the Sith Lord calls a pilgrimage to Disney. My wife and two of the kids went to Downtown Disney to see The Lego Movie, eat lunch and shop. Meanwhile, daddy took a test for his on line accounting class and then went to the Saturday session of the convention.

Sunday saw my wife and kids get an early start and go to church while daddy attended the business meeting. Following this meeting was the first meeting of the newly elected Board. It is during the Board meeting that I saw something that was unusual and remarkable. I saw a candidate go from first to worst because of their position on abortion.

Under the CRA Bylaws, if there is no active club in a district—be it Assembly, Senate or Congressional—any endorsement in that race must be done by the State Board. One such race was the 55th Assembly District. In the race, three Republicans are actively campaigning: Ling Ling Chang, Phillip Chen and Steve Tye. Ling Ling had been working the group all week-end and even had a chance to speak during the Saturday Luncheon. Going into the endorsement proceedings she was the favorite. Phillip Chen was a distant second and the only question was could he get enough votes to prevent Ling Ling from receiving the require 2/3 vote needed for endorsement. Nobody had even heard of Steve Tye and I was surprised that he too was in the room.

Prior to the endorsement discussion I had met both Ling Ling and her husband. Both seemed like nice folks and I was planning to vote for her.

As the endorsement for AD 55 began, CRA President, John Briscoe started by introducing the man who was in charge of candidate surveys. Instead of going over all the questions, he said he would only go over the questions where the three candidates differed. Of these questions, the most glaring deficiency was that Ling Ling had left several life questions blank. This was a big yellow flag for the Board.

It was decided that candidates would go in alphabetical order (by last name) so Ling Ling was the first to address the group. She started by saying she was glad she was able to address the group and mentioned the prayer breakfast. After a few more comments, she then got to the blank questions on abortion. She stated that she was supportive of abortion for “the Reagan exceptions and the first few months”. Translation, she was for abortion in cases of rape, incest, life of the mother and during the first trimester. Then she was asked if she supported keeping the pro-life plank in the state party platform. Instead of saying yes, she said she would “support whatever the party wanted.”

First, I appreciate her honestly in answering the questions; but given her views why even try for our endorsement?

Phillip Chen then came up and said he was 100 percent prolife. He rolled-out his credentials that he was an evangelical Christian and loved God, country and family. Chen was then followed by Steve Tye who conducted himself well also.

After clarifying that No Endorsement would also be an allowable vote, the first of three ballots was conducted. On the first ballot, Ling Ling Chang got five votes, Tye got six, and Chen got about half. Many also voted not to endorse. As the person with the least number of votes, Ling Ling was then dropped from further consideration. Just like that, the perceived front runner was finished.

On the second ballot, Chen got 28, and the rest were divided between Tye and No Endorsement. On the third ballot, Chen got 29 votes because I changed from No Endorsement to Chen. This gave Phillip Chen the bare minimum needed for the CRA endorsement.

I was startled that my switch changed the proceedings from a deadlock to victory for Chen.

I did feel bad for Ling Ling. I felt she was just tone deaf to some issues that make conservatives passionate. (This opinion is due to the wording of a few other questions she answered in the candidate survey.) I am not saying that she had to agree with us or lie to get our endorsement, but she needed a more affirmative and confident answer. It could be that the issue hit too close to home and she did not want to speak about it publicly. If that’s the case, she needs our prayers.