Friday, September 30, 2011

Godspeed Robin Carnahan!

Jake Wagman reports that Robin Carnahan (D-MO) will not seek re-election as Missouri's Secretary of State (SoS) in 2012. Carnahan has done little if any fund raising for the 2012 election so this is not a tremendous surprise. She was elected to the SoS position in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. Her 2008 re-election set a record for the most votes cast for a candidate in an election in Missouri (1,749,152).

In 2010 she was the Democrat nominee to face Roy Blunt (R-MO) for the US Senate seat vacated by Kit Bond (R-MO). She lost by almost a 15% margin. Her vote total in 2010 (785,719) was nearly a million less than what she had received in 2008.

I think state-wide runs in 2008 and 2010 as well as the drubbing at the ballot box sparked a bit of introspection that led to Carnahan's decision to bow out. A third state-wide run in the span of five years was just too much. For the record, I believe, Patrick Tuohey of the Missouri Record was the first to suggest that she wouldn't run in 2012.

I'm always encouraged to see career politicians like Robin Carnahan change jobs. I hope she is successful enough in the private sector that future dalliances with elected office will be unappealing to her.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Patrick Brennan for MO House of Representatives

Patrick Brennan (R) is running in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Jake Zimmerman (D). While the district leans left, Brennan has two things going for him. First, there will be lower turnout because this is a special election, so he has to activate the conservative base to win. Second, two democrats are running so the liberal vote will be split creating an advantage for Brennan.
The election will be held November 8th.

Eurozone: Your Market Will Crash

From the YouTube Description:


In a scary and painfully frank interview a freaked out BBC interviewer is visibly shaken when market trader Alessio Rastani predicts that the "Market is Toast." Apparently there is nothing Euro governments can do.

Yemeni Political Activists Visit St. Louis

I was one of several bloggers and new media "experts" who met with a group of Yemeni journalists, bloggers, and activists in downtown St. Louis. Jim Hoft the Gateway Pundit, Ben Evans of the St. Louis Tea Party, and Brian Hook of the Missouri Journal were also there. The meeting was sponsored by the World Affairs Council and focused on the use of social media and blogging. With Yemen going through a great deal of turmoil, current events provided the context for our discussion about new media tools like facebook, twitter, Blogger/Blogspot, flickr, and YouTube.

News from Yemen was covered in the Financial Times today:
[Yemen's President Ali Abdullah] Saleh has survived at the helm of the Arab world’s most impoverished country for more than 30 years. Since an uprising erupted in Yemen in February as part of the wave of revolts sweeping the Arab world, he has repeatedly expressed support for a transfer of power proposed by Yemen’s Gulf neighbours while managing to scuttle the initiative at every turn.
During our discussion with the Yemenis today, one of them remarked that they have a saying: "whatever the president says, he does the opposite." That certainly seems to be the case with respect to the democratic reforms that activists and neighboring countries have advocated for.

Those activists have paid a heavy price for their protests. As this thirty second video illustrates, they sometimes come under automatic weapon fire (background story in Arabic). As I reported back in March, the Yemeni government has used gas on massed protesters.

The use of poison gas came up in our discussion today. I mentioned my belief that Iran was the source of a nerve agent used in Sana'a in March; however, the Yemenis rejected that idea. They pointed out that weapons including spent gas canisters were stamped "made in the USA". Truth is always the first casualty of war.

My original analysis was based on what I had seen on twitter and Internet news sources. At the time of the attack, someone tweeted that "one of the bottles of gases used in the attack on Tagheer square in #Sanaa is CN gas." Australia's Sky News reported the use of nerve gas and a Big Peace article reported on the symptoms of an alleged Iranian tear gas:
The Islamic regime in IRAN is using a new “tear gas” that renders those exposed into a state of semi paralysis and violent sickness. We want to reach out to chemical engineers of the world to help us identify the gas and how to defuse it? 
Symptoms include:
  • Severe nausea and vomiting (in some cases blood),
  • Semi paralysis,
  • Blurry vision.
The Wikipedia entry for CN gas notes:
...this compound irritates the mucous membranes (oral, nasal, conjunctival and tracheobronchial). Sometimes it can give rise to more generalized reactions such as syncope, temporary loss of balance and orientation. More rarely, cutaneous irritating outbreaks have been observed and allergic contact permanent dermatitis
At high concentrations CN has caused corneal epithelial damage and chemosis. It has also accounted for at least five deaths, which have resulted from pulmonary injury and/or asphyxia."
So there you have it: nausea, semi paralysis (syncope), and eye damage from CN gas quite possibly sold to the Yemeni dictator by the the United States. A safer tear gas (CS gas) has been available since at least World War II.

There's obviously an imbalance of power between the protesters and government forces, yet in a carefully worded condemnation last week, the Obama administration resorted to equivocation when it "called upon all parties to exercise restraint." The Yemenis that we met with pointed out the lopsided nature of this call for restraint since they had exercised restraint themselves. Many Yemenis have guns; however, they did not bring them to the protests.

The unrest back home obviously weighs on our visitors. One of them said that they will be called US agents when they return. They worry about their country and their fellow citizens as well fearing that assassinations and political killings will continue for sometime.

We asked them if there were national leaders for their revolution. They described a movement of many different groups that occupy the complete spectrum of political thought in Yemen, but share the same overpowering vision of riding the country of its dictator. Because of that, no one leader has emerged.

Much more from Jim Hoft at the first link below.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Video: Some Practical Lessons in Budget Reform

The Mercatus Institute: Practical Lessons in Budget Reform:
The United States is not the first nation to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, nor is it the first to face devastating economic and fiscal consequences because of it.
The good news is we're not flying blind. Economists' exhaustive research of other nations' experiences provides a wealth of insight on the most effective way to deal with unsustainable debt. There is also much to be learned from our own past attempts—successful or not—to meaningfully reform the budget.
At an hour and seven minutes, the video above is pretty long, some really good information in it.

Michael Kazin Contrasts Old Left Activists and the Tea Party Whatever Happened to the American Left?

The Tea Party is thus just the latest version of a movement that has been evolving for over half a century, longer than any comparable effort on the liberal or radical left.

Read the whole thing. It's quite good and Tea Partiers should take note of the importance of institutions to hone and pass on their conservative values.

Jay Nixon's Central Plans Unravel in Moberly Missouri

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Chinese sweetener deal turns sour in Moberly:
By now, the SweetO plant on the edge of town was supposed to be up and running. It was supposed to be pumping out high-grade artificial sweetener by the truckload, paying nearly 200 people making $17.50 an hour, and serving as Exhibit A of how foreign — Chinese — investment could bring new life deep into the Missouri heartland.
Instead, the half-built plant sits idle, and the city could be on the hook for $39 million of the company's bad debt.
The collapse of the Mamtek deal has created problems in Jefferson City for politicians who supported this boondoggle. Chief among them is Missouri's Governor: Jay Nixon. The governor's official website touts the Mamtek deal and the 600 jobs it was suppose to create in the struggling town of Moberly. The announcement a year ago also includes this now ironic quote from Jay Nixon:
"At a time when too many American companies are shuttering their plants and moving jobs overseas, we are thrilled to have a global company creating hundreds of good manufacturing jobs right here in Missouri," Gov. Nixon said.  "These jobs will be a significant boost to Missouri's economy and our manufacturing sector, and they're another positive sign that our economy is beginning to move forward.  I am pleased that my administration was able to provide a competitive package of strategic economic incentives to help bring these jobs to Missouri."
Obviously, the absence of those jobs combined with an additional $39 million of debt will sadly extend the economic woes of Moberly. Missouri's state-level leadership needs to re-evaluate their economic principals, because they are making the same mistakes that cargo cult Keynesians at the Federal level are making. They are committing the fatal conceit which Hayek illuminated in this quote: "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."
“Substantial concerns have arisen regarding the entity known as Mamtek International Ltd. and its proposed construction and operation of a manufacturing facility in Missouri,” Koster said. “The Attorney General’s Office is assisting Prosecuting Attorney Mike Fusselman and the Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in reviewing this matter to determine whether any violations of Missouri civil or criminal laws have occurred. Our review of this matter will begin immediately.”
And Mamtek may have other casualties. The Source casts doubt on the pending Aerotropolis legislation in Jefferson City could be one victim:
...Nixon’s administration screwed the pooch so poorly with this China deal, can we really trust that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the China Hub project in St. Louis?
The stress of these deals is weighing on Nixon too. He appeared to lose it when talking with reporters last week:
Adding to Gov. Nixon's headaches is this report from the Columbia Tribune that Mamtek was suppose to entice Chinese investors to apply for a special EB-5 visa:
Mamtek US Inc. highlighted a little-known U.S. visa program as an added enticement to lure Chinese investors for the failed effort to build a taxpayer-subsidized artificial sweetener factory in Moberly.
On a Chinese-language investor website, Mamtek sought 15 people willing to put $500,000 each into the project. In return, investors would receive an EB-5 visa from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, good for bringing themselves and their entire immediate family — up to three generations — to the United States.
I think the US (and Missouri) should provide incentives for international entrepreneurs with proven records of success to come to this country. That's one realization of the American dream. The problem with Mamtek, is that it looks a bit too much like it was nothing, but a front for the Mamtek Regional Center. The Mamtek Regional Center is listed on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website as Missouri's only "Immigrant Investor Regional Center" (here's a screen grab):

Sunday, September 25, 2011

UPSET: Herman Cain wins GOP Straw Poll!


ORLANDO — Former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain won the Presidency 5 straw poll here Saturday, delivering a blow to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s frontrunner status and a victory for a candidate who has struggled to transform his grassroots popularity into strong showings in national polls.
He received 37 percent of the more than 2,600 votes cast.
Congratulations to one of the Tea Party favorites in the crowded GOP field. Herman Cain would make a great president and this is the sort of boost that his campaign needs as Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and even Chris Christie are sucking all the air out of the room. Cain's straw poll victory also debunks Morgan Freeman's absurd accusation that the Tea Party is motivated by racism toward President Obama.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cartoon: #Aerotropolis and the Spirit of Beijing

The cartoon above, Spirit of St. Louis Beijing, is from the Missouri Record.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Phil Christofanelli on Organizing Young Conservatives and Communist Propaganda at UMSL/UMKC

In the thirty minute video above, Phil Christofanelli who outed the Communist indoctrination occurring within the University of Missouri system, begins by talking about engaging young conservatives in politics. He talks about his experience in the UMSL/UMKC Labor Studies course beginning around the 16 minute mark, and finishes up with questions and answers starting at 22 minutes. After the semester of indoctrination, Christofanelli requested the emails of administrators via a sunshine request. Those emails remain an example of the thuggery that academia is willing to resort to in order to maintain its fiefdom.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Steven Tilley Owes his Friend T.D. El-Amin Another Dinner

Talibdin "T.D." El-Amin (D), a former state representative from St. Louis, left office in 2009 to serve eighteen months in prison for a $2,100 bribe. He completed that sentence this past April.

Earlier this week, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported on El-Amin's record setting fine for ethics violations: Former State Rep. El-Amin fined a record $527,000 by Ethics Commission:
St. Louis Democrat Talibdin "T.D." El-Amin, who left the state House in 2009 after pleading guilty to soliciting a $2,100 bribe, controlled a web of campaign committees before he went to prison.
From those committees, according to the state Ethics Commission, El-Amin:
  • Issued thousands of dollars in payments to himself
  • Authorized repeated cash withdrawals, which are not allowed under state campaign law
  • Paid thousands of dollars to family members, including his brother, mother and wife
  • Did not report several questionable campaign payments, including expenses at a casino, massage parlor and luxury hotels.
Reached on Tuesday, El-Amin, 40, described the Ethics penalty as an "administrative charge."
"I don't really have a comment," El-Amin said. "Write what you feel like you need to write"
Ouch. Clearly, El-Amin is down on his luck and needs to be cheered up. Speaker of the Missouri House, Steven Tilley, should make good on his friendship with El-Amin by taking him out to dinner again. Heck, get the old gang together--invite Rep. Jamilah Nasheed and Rep. Carter too--enjoy a night on the town. I mean, that's what friends do, right?

Don't Expect China to Bailout Europe

Just last week the Financial Times was reporting: Italy turns to China for help in debt crisis:

Italy’s centre-right government is turning to cash-rich China in the hope that Beijing will help rescue it from financial crisis by making “significant” purchases of Italian bonds and investments in strategic companies.
Yesterday, Reuters reported: S&P cuts Italy ratings one notch, outlook negative:
Sept 20 (Reuters) - Standard and Poor's downgraded its unsolicited ratings on Italy by one notch to A/A-1 and kept its outlook on negative, a major surprise that threatens to add to concerns of contagion in the debt-stressed euro zone.
It seems odd to me that Third World China would be bailing out First World Italy, but if they were close to a deal, the ratings cut on Italy gives China an excuse to walk away.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

President Obama Plans to Talk Like a Pirate

NYT: Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires:

WASHINGTON - President Obama on Monday will call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials.

You just can't make this stuff up. On Monday, President Obama is going to introduce a new tax on millionaires. Monday happens to be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so Obama will mark this informal holiday by introducing some more federal piracy in the form of higher taxes on high income earners. In short, he'll talk like a pirate. Sure, it's a targeted bit of piracy--targeted at those most able to pay--but the date chosen for the roll-out adds a bit of irony that could easily have been avoided for his latest populist proscription. It's yet another facepalm moment for the most inept administration in living memory.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Photos from the After Party

The St. Louis Tea Party held our inaugural "After Party" Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza in Clayton, MO. Over a hundred people attended the event which introduced the Tea Party's new initiative to transform itself so that it can drive political change through direct, local action. Going forward, there will be monthly meetings to inform and educate After Partiers about current issues, political activism, and (to the degree it's required) technology.

St. Louis Tea Party co-founder Bill Hennessy has blogged extensively about the vision for the After Party:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gov. Jay Nixon Runs on Obamacare in 2012

In a surprise move, Governor Jay Nixon has decided to base his 2012 campaign for re-election on the single most unpopular piece of legislation to come out of President Obama's administration and the Pelosi-Reid Congress: Obamacare. That legislation cost Democrats the House in 2010 and was a factor in the recent victory of Republican Bob Turner who won liberal Anthony Weiner's New York Congressional seat in a special election earlier this week. Nixon, who has generally been a centrist governor, has decided to may outsource Missouri's healthcare sovereignty to Washington, DC. In exchange for this sell-out, the Federal government will return $21 million to the Show Me State. Could someone please explain why our money has to go to DC before being returned to us as a grant?

Earlier today, Nixon signed the executive order below creating "healthcare exchanges." Governor Nixon is considering an executive order that would create "healthcare exchanges." This effectively ended a committee hearing that was underway in Jefferson City to consider those exchanges. State Senators Jim Lembke and Rob Schaaf stormed out of the hearing disgusted with the executive overreach of Governor Nixon. In 2010, Missourians overwhelming passed Prop C which rejects federal intrusion into healthcare.

Update: I clarified with my source in Jefferson City and revised the copy above. Nixon has not yet signed the order.


Jay Nixon Executive Order for Health Care Exchanges

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Senator Claire McCaskill's "Damn Plane" Gets Billboards

The independent GOP group American Crossroads put up two billboard ads this week, slamming Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri for a private jet scandal earlier this year.
Posted outside airports in St. Louis and Springfield, the signs read: "Sky-high airfares got you down? Senator Claire McCaskill: Flies in her own jet – and you pay for it!"
McCaskill used to be Missouri's Auditor, so there's a bit of irony about the plane. Several months ago, the Riverfront Times reported that the plane had been listed for sale on Craigslist. The ad was presumably placed by an opposition political operative bogus.

Another Electoral Lose for The Won


Ynetnews: Obama's Israel policy seen as factor that cost him House seat:

The Republicans have scored an upset victory in a House race that started as a contest to replace New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was forced to step down following a sex-texting scandal, but became a referendum on US President Barack Obama's policies.

Will anything staunch the electoral loses of President Barack "I Won" Obama?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Will #Aerotropolis Let Us Outsource Our Children to Overseas Nannies?

The Onion: Many U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas:

Due to rising domestic wages, many American parents are saving money by using unregulated overseas workers.

If proponents of the aerotropolis legislation pending in Jefferson City had argued that Missouri parents could outsource their child rearing responsibilities to a better qualified Chinese "Tiger Mother", legislative victory might actually be assured. However, they have instead argued that the airplanes used to bring cutting edge electronics to St. Louis would return to the People's Republic with beef cattle. The St. Louis to Shenzhen beef trade has always been, well, a red herring. As the Show Me Institute has documented, beef is ineligible for export to China, so those winged cattle-cars will have to steer clear of the Middle Kingdom.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Case for #Aerotropolis is NOT a Case for New Warehouses


There are 18 million square feet of available warehouse space near Lambert-St. Louis airport; therefore, there is no reason for $300 million in tax credits for warehouses. This is not an indictment of trade with China, but rather the crony capitalism that would finance unneeded warehouses.

The graph above is from CARPE DIEM: A Tariff-Reduction Plan for American Jobs (via CafeHayek):

The same demographics that have created growing foreign markets also mean there are more foreign suppliers of raw materials, industrial inputs, and other intermediate goods used by U.S. producers in their own production processes. Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol collected $30 billion in duties on $2 trillion of imports, 55% of which were ingredients for U.S. production—such as chemicals, minerals and machine parts. Purchases of imported inputs accounted for more than $1 trillion of U.S. production costs, a price tag that was roughly $15 billion higher than it might have been without U.S. import duties.

In short, nearly 60% of American imports drive American businesses. Capital Goods are the tools of production and Industrial Supplies are the inputs that are transformed into finished American-made products. International trade helps fuel the engine of American industry.

There are still 18 million feet of available warehouse space near Lambert-St. Louis airport. The $300 million in tax credits is still a give away to campaign donors like Paul McKee.

Van Jones Wants to Pop the Tea Party "Bubble". Is he Ready for the After Party?

The video above is from Naked Emperor News. Van Jones's goal may be to pop the Tea Party bubble, but his tactics probably wont appeal to the mainstream. When Van Jones visited Washington University in St. Louis last November, he couldn't handle an interview with Adam Sharp. He calls out the police at about 5:10 in this video:

The St. Louis Tea Party has recognized that it's time for change. We saw the success of the Tea Party movement at the ballot box success during the 2010 mid-term election, but now we need to transform into something new to meet the changing political realities. That is one of the motivations behind the After Party which will seek to engage Tea Party activists in the retail politics of their own neighborhood. The first meeting of the After Party will be this Thursday evening in Clayton (RSVP). St. Louis Tea Party co-founder Bill Hennessy has written extensively about the After Party:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Video: Sherman T. Parker Banquet featuring Star Parker

The Sherman T. Parker banquet was part of the first conference. is a social network of African American conservatives and moderates. The banquet was held in honor of former state Rep. Sherman Parker who died suddenly in 2008 at the age of 37.

The keynote speaker was internationally syndicated columnist Star Parker. Other speakers at the banquet included Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, former ambassador Ann Wagner, former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman, congressional candidate Ed Martin, co-founders of Chris Arps and Stephanie Rubach, Martin Baker who announced his candidacy for Missouri's first congressional district, and chairman of the St. Charles Republican Central Committee Eugene Dokes.

There are eight videos in the playlist above. Here's the featured speaker in each video with direct links to the YouTube (please like and/or favorite the ones that you, well, like and favor):
The video of Star Parker is almost an hour long. Make sure you watch the whole thing. She speaks both powerfully and eloquently about the issues confronting black Americans and she speaks from experience.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Zombie Army of Progressive Propagandists

Image from Talk to me Johnnie
If you're still reading a local paper, you might want to discount the leftie letters to the editor. Be on the lookout for a flurry of faux letters from a zombie army of progressive propagandists. From 24thState: Disciplined McCaskill Staffer Bob Burns Leading Another Charge To Smear Tea Party As Violent Thugs And Terrorists:
...the Progressive Left, doing the bidding of Claire McCaskill, has decided to poison the well of public opinion with propaganda. Unable to muster actual passion from the community, the Left has decided to use violent imagery from fake letter writing campaigns to sway newspaper readers.
  • GOP are “thugs” working for the wealthy; “enforcers” for the mega-rich, lots of mafia comparisons are possible.
  • GOP as terrorists; hostage metaphors are good since they are already prevalent; we should always reinforce the image.
  • The Republican downgrade or Tea Party downgrade.
  • GOP as tricksters – Tea Party dupes is a related image.
Bob Burns, a former McCaskill staffer who apparently lost his job for calling Tea Partiers "brownshirts", is involved with the leadership of MOPAG. McCaskill deserves credit for speedily dealing with Burns that first time, but she should also condemn this new, orchestrated propaganda because it's feeding the violent messaging within the union left as well as her own party.

It certainly appears that Jimmy Hoffa got the memo from Burns. While introducing President Obama, Hoffa told "workers to "take these son-of-a-bitches out" as he warmed up a crowd Monday in Detroit ahead of President Obama's Labor Day speech" (as reported by Fox).

And it appears that Vice President Joe Biden got the Burns's memo, too. While speaking to the AFL-CIO, Biden declared: "you are the only folks keeping the barbarians from the gates."

McCaskill has done well talking to the middle of the political spectrum, but will she walk the talk? It remains to be seen if she will reject MOPAG, Hoffa, and their hateful rhetoric.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy No Labor Day!

It's always been ironic that Labor Day is marked by not working. That irony is heightened when the jobs report for the prior month comes out the Friday before Labor Day and indicates that zero jobs were created:
The U.S. economy slammed into a wall in August, failing to add any jobs for the first time in nearly a year and ratcheting up pressure on President Barack Obama to find a way to kick-start the sputtering recovery.
What's even more striking is the last time there was neither a net gain or loss of jobs was the last year of World War II, 1945.

There was a little bit of positive news in last Friday's Employment Situation Report. The labor participation rate and employment-population ratio did not decline. Of course, that's more than offset by the fudge factor of 87k jobs that brought the August numbers up to zero.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's a Good Thing the FDIC Protects Us from Bank Failures! U.S. Said to Be Ready to Sue Banks Over Mortgages:

The federal agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set to file suits against more than a dozen big banks, accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities they assembled and sold at the height of the housing bubble, and seeking billions of dollars in compensation.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency suits, which are expected to be filed in the coming days in federal court, are aimed at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, among others, according to three individuals briefed on the matter.
Fannie and Freddie lost more than $30 billion, in part as a result of the deals, losses that were borne mostly by taxpayers.

Thankfully, if any of those banks are rendered insolvent by the actions of our federal government, that self-same federal government will be there to reimburse each depositor up to $250k!

Perhaps now it's a little more apparent that the FDIC fosters moral hazard, because, really, why should the big banks care about ponying up $30 billion dollars if their depositors are in the end made whole (up to $250k)? That's not to say that depositors shouldn't be insured, but that the federal government shouldn't be providing that insurance. If we want deposits to be insured without the cost of moral hazard, then deposit insurance cannot be an essentially free government give away. Depositors should acquire and pay for deposit insurance just as they do other forms of insurance. This gives depositors an incentive to consider the soundness of the bank where they wish to deposit their money and provides another check against reckless banking practices. What we have today is the taxpayer backstopping depositor risk.

Tea Partiers Assaulted at Claire McCaskill Event

The picture to the left is of Senator Claire McCaskill's field representative Brendan Fahey. Fahey is listening to comments from constituents at Claire McCaskill's Kitchen Table Talk event held at St. Louis County Public Library on 31 Aug 2011.

The picture was taken by JD Wilson shortly before he was assaulted.

Fellow St. Louis Tea Party Coalition blogger Cry Liberty has the details:
What happened next happened so fast, I hardly had time to react. I man jumped from his seat and got in between John and myself and began pushing him out of the room as he kept yelling “Get the hell out!” I told this man to get his hands off of John, to which he responded “He’s pushing me!”

Another, larger man, joined in, opened the door and was trying to pull John out. This man also pulled out his cellphone and started shoving it in John’s face. John was now being assaulted by two men.

At this point a third man entered the scene and tried to break up the situation, but the weight of four men pushing against my small frame was pinning me against the wall. I had nowhere to go.

Finally, the second man went for John’s camera and in a final push, knocked John into me and I was then slammed into the wall, hitting my head and shoulder, and somehow had two men standing on my legs.
Well, Claire McCaskill (D-MO), you can expect more video cameras and voice recorders at future public events.