Saturday, March 31, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Death March During GOP Presidential Caucus in Jefferson County

Bob McCarty was pretty disgusted with the Republican caucus in St. Charles county. That caucus ended abruptly when police were called and has since been rescheduled for April 10th. Bob has written extensively about what he dubbed the "St. Patrick's Day Massacre":
The Republican caucus in Jefferson County had its own share of irregularities; however, unlike the relatively quick demise of the St. Charles caucus, the caucus in Jefferson County ran until around 7PM. By that time less than half of the original 424 participants had soldiered through the day-long death march. Jake Wagman of the St. Louis Post Dispatch noted that voting for the delegates did not start until 6:30PM. The reason that the caucus took as long as it did was because one faction squandered the time of the other participants through the use of dilatory tactics with the strategic objective of attriting support for the other factions.

With a scheduled start time of 10AM, that means that participants who didn't leave early were at Hillsboro Intermediate School for over nine hours. In fact, as Travis Forrest explains in the video below, some people arrived as early as 7AM:

Travis also explains that he and others that arrived early tried to enter the building by the back door. Several volunteers were allowed in; however, Travis and another couple were told to enter through the front door after 8AM.

Videographer Brian Mueller also shot video of the "volunteers" gathering inside the school.

The strategy this year for Missouri's caucus system, basically, require coordination among political factions prior to the start of the caucus. To maximize your faction's influence in the caucus you need to have the support of 50% + 1 votes. If your faction controls 50% + 1, then it is relatively easy to guarantee that all delegates elected at that caucus support your candidate. In the 2012 Missouri caucus, there were three viable factions: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum with a few Newt Gingrich supporters as well.

Each Missouri caucus is run according to Robert's Rules of Order (at right). Participants familiar with parliamentary process can maneuver the caucus to their favor.

There's nothing wrong with collaborating between factions and leveraging your knowledge of Robert's Rules. Ultimately, that's the whole strategy. However, denying access to the building, much like dilatory tactics, is a way of unfairly giving your faction a strategic advantage in the caucus. At the Jefferson County caucus this meant that the people left standing at the front door had trouble finding outlets for their computers.

The chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Central Committee even tried to prevent a printer from being brought into the caucus despite the fact that she herself had brought one. Ultimately, the printer made it in and was setup underneath a chair because there wasn't a better place to put it that also had access to a power outlet.

All of this points to a strategy of discomforting some participants while prolonging that discomfort until the electoral outcome could be manipulated to the favor of one faction. That's not how a caucus is suppose to be run.

More to come...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Video: Punk Economics on Say's Law

While Say's Law is never mentioned in the video above, it is at the heart of the argument that "punk economist" David McWilliams makes. Wikipedia has this formulation of Say's Law:
It is worthwhile to remark that a product is no sooner created than it, from that instant, affords a market for other products to the full extent of its own value. When the producer has put the finishing hand to his product, he is most anxious to sell it immediately, lest its value should diminish in his hands. Nor is he less anxious to dispose of the money he may get for it; for the value of money is also perishable. But the only way of getting rid of money is in the purchase of some product or other. Thus the mere circumstance of creation of one product immediately opens a vent for other products. (J. B. Say, 1803: pp.138–9)
In other words, money is just another product in the market place. Like any other product in the market place, the value of money is inversely proportional to its quantity. That is, it's value decreases as more money is created just as the value (price) of any good falls when its quantity rises at a rate that exceeds the rate at which other goods are produced. If that's confusing, just watch the video.

Jay Nixon's Pay to Play Patronage Scheme

Gateway Pundit: Awful!… Democrook Governor Jay Nixon Awards $1.1 Billion Contract to HMO After They Contribute $66,500 to His Campaign:
Missouri Democrat Governor Jay Nixon awarded a $1.1 billion contract to a subsidiary of Centene after the company gave $66,500 to his reelection campaign.
The original story comes from Political Mommentary which goes on to note:
Molina Healthcare of Missouri has asked Nixon’s Office of Administration to reconsider its decision. More than 80,000 Missourians are currently enrolled in Molina’s healthcare plan with 13,000 providers  and 25,000 locations established over 16 years of work in Missouri. Centene will replace the company in providing these services without an existing network.
Now, the board of directors for Molina Healthcare of Missouri includes one Ronna Romney. Ronna is the ex-wife of George Romney--presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's brother. She penned a heart-felt defense of Mitt's pro-life bona fides, so it's safe to say that she supports Republican policies as well as Mitt Romney for president. Jay Nixon's $1.1 billion award to Centene serves two purposes. First, it's tax-payer subsidized patronage to one of his donors, and, second, he is stiffing the incumbent provider, Molina Healthcare, in part because of their ties to the Republican party.

That's how centrally planned crony capitalism works.

Update: Thanks to Gateway Pundit for the link!

Update 2: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the Instalanche!
Thanks to my research team for the tip on this story.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reason TV's Wrap-up of the Obamacare Arguments at the Supreme Court

From the YouTube description:
"If I was in the Obama administration, I would not be comfortable with how the last three days went." 
Reason's Damon Root was in attendance for the third and final day of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which focused primarily on the issue of severability, which brings into question whether the individual mandate be excised from the law, or if the law in its totality must be struck down.
Reason has also assembled a playlist of their recent videos about the case now pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Financial Sabotage: How BATS was Brought Down

Yahoo! News: BATS Global Markets: The 'spectacularly botched' IPO:
Friday was supposed to be a coming-out party for BATS Global Markets, the flashy new stock exchange that recently became the country's third-largest trading platform behind the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq. BATS was scheduled to launch a lucrative IPO that would cement its status as one of the market's big boys. One computer glitch later, BATS' share price plummeted to a few pennies, and the company's IPO lay in ruins.
BATS (Better Alternative Trading System) Global Markets is based in Lenexa, KS, with offices in New York and London. Unlike their old-school competitors who still use trade floors, BATS executes all trades electronically.

Last Friday, BATS learned the limitations of a lightning-fast, highly-integrated computerized stock market. While the Yahoo! News story linked above places the blame on a "computer glitch" the truth may be that BATS was sabotaged by one of their competitors.

zerohedge: SkyNet Wars: How A Nasdaq Algo Destroyed BATS:
What happened is that a malicious, 100% intentional Nasdaq algorithm purposefully brought BATS stock to a price of 0.00 within 900 millisecond of the company's break for trading! This is open SkyNet warfare. 

The fact that the BATS exchange itself halted just prior to break only facilitated this (and could potentially be a case of malicious sabotage). But one thing is clear - as the data below shows, there is no doubt that an Intermarket Sweep Order originating on the Nasdaq exchange was unleashed to make a mockery out of BATS. It succeeded, and in doing so may have destroyed not only BATS chances for going public, but ultimately ruined the firm's credibility. Who would stand to gain from this? Why exchanges such as Nasdaq and NYSE of course, which already are scrambling for revenue, and in the aftermath of the failed Deutsche Boerse merger, it means that any dirty trick in the book to extend and pretend is now fair game. Such as the algo that crashed BATS.
To understand how a rogue trading algorithm destroyed the BATS IPO in less than one second, you first have to understand that an equity's price is driven in part by bids to buy/sell that equity and the incredibly fast withdrawal of those bids. That's what's illustrated in the graph above. Both the blue and pink lines illustrate how the price of BATS was walked off a cliff in nine tenths of a second. The blue line is on a logarithmic scale making the pattern a little easier to see. The data behind that chart is in the excel spreadsheet below.

From the graph above it looks like every 25ms or so the NASDAQ initiated algorithm would cancel its pending bids for BATS and issue another bevy of bids at a lower price. Because the market maker is a computer which thinks that their's significant demand for the equity at one price it, apparently, is easily enticed to think that that demand has simply moved to a lower price. At that point the equity's quote price falls and the process of ratcheting the price down further repeats.

The use of many simultaneous trades is sometimes called HFT (High-Frequency Trading).

Nanex has more about this problem in an article titled: HFT is Insatiable - its Hidden Costs:
We have spent the last 24 years working with real-time market data on a tick-by-tick basis. We monitor our commercial datafeed in real-time to stay on top of market changes or issues. This past year, we have spent considerable time and effort studying the relentless growth of equity quotes. Based on our findings, virtually all of the additional quotes contribute zero or negative economic value to stock pricing, because they are either way outside the market or end up expiring before any investor or trader could possibly act on them. Furthermore, we can't find any self-limiting mechanism in place that will ever put a stop to this unnecessary and expensive growth of misinformation. The only thing that prevents a sudden explosion in quote traffic is the capacity limitation set by SIAC which runs the Consolidated Quote System (CQS) for the exchanges.
Nanex has also has "a proposal for improving the market for everyone" which opens with this executive summary
In 2011, exchange fees for CQS were approximately $500 million. Per Reg NMS, exchange fees are apportioned to each exchange depending on how often an exchange's quote is at the NBBO. Reg NMS also describes quotes that change more than once per second as flickering quotes. Per Reg NMS, flickering quotes are ineligible to set the NBBO, and exchanges are free to ignore them for the purpose of trade-through protection. We believe that by formally recognizing flickering quotes for what they are, most of the latency games will disappear. 
Therefore we propose to:
  • Set the quote condition for flickering quotes to a new condition called Immediate. Traders that want to enter a quote that can be canceled in less than 1 second, simply need to indicate this by marking the quote with the Immediate condition.
  • Require regular and auto-exec quotes to remain active (and not canceled) until executed or 1 second elapses. These quotes remain eligible to set the NBBO.
  • Require the time stamp field in all quote messages to be set to the time the quote was created at each exchange, instead of when it is transmitted by the network processors (SIP). This will allow all downstream users to accurately compute the age of each quote.
These simple changes will provide an incentive for exchanges to attract liquidity providers who are willing to leave their quote in the system for at least one second, because only those quotes are eligible to set the NBBO which determines the percentage of exchange fee revenue. Also, this proposal will give higher visibility to orders from investors who truly wish to buy or sell a stock. And finally, the changes to the time stamp will allow all participants to determine the age of each quote, and therefore any delays in the system.
That seems like a reasonable first step because, as it stands right now, the stock market really isn't a safe place to be if some rogue trader with an algorithm can flash crash a stock in less than a second.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dick Lugar's Marxist Ties and President Obama's Open Mic

The news of President Obama's open mic conversation with Dmitry Medvedev spread quickly on the Internet. Here's the key exchange between the two leaders:
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space. 
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you… 
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility. 
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
As zerohedge reported Monday night: "it was only a matter of time before the more conservative republican elements went beyond the simply rhetorical and asked some pointed questions, such as this from Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces..." Turner has sent the following letter to the President calling him to account:

Conservatives are obviously outraged by what appears to be President Obama tipping his hand to Medvedev and the Russian Federation; however, it is important to remember that it's left-leaning Republicans in the US Senate, like Indiana's Dick Lugar (R-IN), that often compromise America's strategic position in the world through reckless foreign policy.

Trevor Loudon of the New Zeal blog recently recounted how Dick Lugar did exactly that with the New START treaty:
Leftist journalist and member of the infamous JournoList, Spencer Ackerman wrote in The Washington Independent:
In the spirit of self-criticism, something that I see my New START coverage has taken for granted is the support of Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the leading arms-control baron on the Republican side in the Senate… 
Lugar is firmly behind the Obama administration’s new treaty to reduce the U.S.-Russian nuclear stockpile and the deployed systems that can deliver those deadly payloads. So if you assume every Democratic senator will vote for the treaty when it comes up for ratification, Lugar’s vote brings the count to 60. The question is whether Lugar’s vote can bring along seven other Republicans.
In the end, Lugar convinced more than enough Republicans to vote for a treaty that was enthusiastically backed by the Democrats, Russians, Socialist International and the Communist Party USA.
Obama crafts backroom deals that undermine America's foreign policy while relying on his favorite Republican Senator to whip the votes he needs to cross the two-thirds threshold required to pass a treaty out of the Senate. Dick Lugar's appalling record of weakening America's nuclear deterrent is one reason that hawk Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum endorsed Lugar's GOP primary opponent, Richard Mourdock.

As I recounted this past January, Dick Lugar is a Wilsonian internationalist funded by George Soros; however, I was surprised to learn that Lugar's leftist roots dig even deeper than a thousand dollar donation from Soros. The New Zeal blog post linked above recounts Lugar's ties a Marxist led "peace" PAC, the Council for a Livable World. Trevor Loudon describes CLW:
Founded in 1962 by Manhattan Project nuclear scientist, leftist and reported Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, and led by long time Socialist Party USA/Democratic Socialists of America affiliate Jerome Grossman and more lately senior Democrat Congressman turned D.S.A. member David Bonior. Council for a Livable World is the US’ leading pro-disarmament lobby group/PAC.
The CLW has funded hundreds of US Senators and Congressmen in its history, almost all Democrats. In recent years, Lugar has been the only Republican to receive C.L.W. largess.
The Council for a Livable World has a strategy for financing candidates with the intent of subverting those candidates once they've held office for several years:
C.L.W.’s long time CEO, Jerome Grossman, claims that by funding Senators at the beginning of their careers, the C.L.W. was able to influence them later when needed. 
Now Council for a Livable World is playing the money game… We try to find obscure people who would make good Senators or Representatives and early on try to give them the initial funding. Now we can’t compete with the big money. We only raise a million and a half each election cycle. But that’s a million and a half that has no cost to them. Because we get in early, and because it’s tied to issues, seems to have some kind of an effect. Then if we elect somebody they’re eternally grateful. Then we go and we are able to get a hearing.
Loudon closes with this rhetorical question:
Given C.L.W.’s far left and even pro-Moscow connections, should the GOP even consider running an ally of the anti-American far left, like “Dangerous Dick’ Lugar?
The alternative to Dick Lugar is a strong America. For that reason, it's time for Richard Mourdock.

Update: Thanks to Smitty at the OtherMcCain for the link!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Video: St. Louis City Republican Caucus

This is the entire St. Louis city Republican caucus of 2012 held at Forest Park Community College on 24 March. This is shot with the camera facing toward the "podium" where the principal speakers were located. I have also posted a comparable video of the caucus shot with a camera facing the crowd.

There were 291 Republicans who participated in the St. Louis city Republican caucus. The Ron Paul slate won with 157 (or 158) votes--it's a little unclear in the video. Regardless, they won all of the delegates from St. Louis city.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Video: Sharon Barnes on the St. Louis City GOP Caucus

Sharon Barnes, chair of the St. Louis city central committee, served as the temporary chairman of the St. Louis city Republican caucus earlier today. She was nominated to serve as the caucus's chairman, but lost to John Payne. I spoke with Sharon afterwards to get her opinion about how the caucus went.

There were 291 people who participated in the caucus. The Ron Paul slate won with 157 (or 158) votes. I had been told that that slate included Romney delegates too; however, I believe I was misinformed.

Here's my live twitter coverage from earlier today:
Photos and full video coverage to follow!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cartoon: Dick Lugar's Wake-up Call

Senator Lugar's Wake-up Call
In addition to the endorsement yesterday that Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) surely did not want from retired Republican turned Democrat Arlen Specter (Turncoat-PA), Indiana's senior senator has been struggling with a few other issues. Because he doesn't actually live in the state he represents, he has to stay in hotels when he travels back to Indiana. Apparently, some of his trips back to Indiana were for campaign purposes and should not have been billed to the tax payer.

While Lugar is bemoaning his most recent endorsement, his opponent in the GOP primary, Richard Moudock, has added two significant endorsements recently. Earlier this month, the National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed Mourdock and earlier this week the Indiana Right to Life Political Action Committee also endorsed Mourdock. But the real muscle is being provided by the Club for Growth which may spend as much as $1.8 million to help Mourdock win the GOP primary.

Update: Thanks to Smitty at the OtherMcCain for the link!

MOGOP calls new St Charles County Caucus

I just received the following press release from the Missouri GOP announcing that a new caucus will be held in St. Charles county, Missouri:
March 23, 2012
Contact Jonathon Prouty
MOGOP calls new St Charles County Caucus 
MOGOP Chair: Caucus will be held in “fair, honest, and transparent manner” 
JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Republican Party announced today that it is calling a St. Charles County Caucus after an earlier attempt ended amidst controversy last Saturday. “Since Saturday, we have reviewed our options to determine the best way to move forward while ensuring that the voice of St Charles has been heard. We have concluded that the only proper remedy for this situation is to schedule a new St Charles County Caucus,” said David Cole, Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. “I want to make it clear to the people of St Charles County that we will conduct this caucus in a fair, honest, and transparent manner.” By all accounts, the St Charles County volunteers were outstanding and registration was very organized, but unfortunately, last Saturday’s meeting didn’t get to a point where delegates were chosen. In light of this, the State Party has the authority to call a new caucus, and we have chosen to do just that. The St. Charles County Caucus will be held at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at the St Charles County Convention Center. David Cole, Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, will serve as the temporary chairman for this caucus, and the MOGOP general counsel will serve as the parliamentarian. Recording devices will be permitted. As with any other caucus, it will be open to any registered voter in St Charles County who is willing to declare that he or she is a Republican. “As we have made clear over the past week, we are committed to ensuring that the voice of St Charles County is fully represented throughout the process—all the way to the national convention,” said Cole.
# # #

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Arlen Specter endorses Dick Lugar

Moderates everywhere will rejoice with the news that Republican turned Democrat "Snarlin'" Arlen Specter has announced his support for fellow linguine-spined politician Dick Lugar. I don't think the Richard Mourdock campaign pursued this particular endorsement. In fact, I think they're happy to cede this one to their opponent.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Dangers of Too Much Debt

Learn Liberty: What Are the Dangers of Too Much Debt?:
The United States currently pays 3 percent interest on the government debt. Economics professor Antony Davies shows that this year the U.S. government owes $440 billion in interest alone. This is three times the annual operating expenses of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Photos: Reservoir Park Spray Painted by Occupy Protesters

After fifteen arrests last week, Occupy St. Louis returned to St. Louis's Compton Hill Reservoir Park with spray paint. They spray painted public buildings and monuments with profanities and slogans.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Polls: Richard Mourdock closing on Dick Lugar

Politico: Two polls: Mourdock within 6 of Lugar:
Richard Mourdock has closed within single digits of Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana GOP Senate primary race, according to a pair of polls commissioned by groups seeking to oust the six-term incumbent. 
Both polls -- one paid for by Citizens United, the other by Rep. Joe Donnelly's campaign -- produced the same result: Lugar ahead by just 6 points, 45 percent to 39 percent.
In light of the recent news that Dick Lugar supported a 1993 effort to implement an individual healthcare mandate, I expect Lugar's poll numbers to erode further.

Video: Ed Martin's Campaign Open House

Ed Martin, Cole McNary, John Brunner, representatives from the Todd Akin and Sarah Steelman campaigns, Dave Spence, Shane Schoeller, Ann Wagner, Jim Lembke, Dwight Scharnhorst, Rick Stream, and Lloyd Smith all spoke at the new west county campaign office that Ed Martin opened this past weekend. Thanks to Bob Keough for shooting the video above.

I posted pictures from Ed Martin's open house Sunday evening.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Rodger Cook Video Roundup

This is a collection of short videos of Rodger Cook, a GOP candidate running in Illinois's 12th Congressional District. In each video, Rodger explains a little bit about himself, his experience, or one of his policy positions. Watch them all above or follow one of the links below:
  1. Rodger Cook will defend your 2nd Amendment gun rights
  2. Rodger Cook takes a stand for Illinois's 12 Congressional District
  3. Rodger Cook on transparency in government
  4. Rodger Cook talks about taxes
  5. Rodger Cook on jobs and taxes
  6. Rodger Cook on fiscal responsibility and budgets
  7. Rodger Cook delivers on his promises
  8. Rodger Cook on the importance of national security
  9. Rodger Cook on healthcare and regulation
  10. Rodger Cook is NOT a career politician
  11. Rodger Cook has deep roots in Illinoi's 12 Congressional District
  12. Introducing Rodger Cook

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ed Martin Campaign Open House

Ed Martin, a GOP candidate to be Missouri's next Attorney General, held an open house at his campaign office in west St. Louis county. Most of the photos above were taken Wes Bradley. Thanks Wes!

Phyllis Schlafly endorses Rodger Cook

Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum, endorsed Rodger Cook in his GOP primary against Jason Plummer in Illinois's 12th Congressional District. Cook was also recently endorsed by Bill Hennessy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rodger Cook Responds to Jason Plummer's Attack on his Police Record

Republican Rodger Cook responded to Jason Plummer's attack on Cook's service as a homicide detective. The video above is an audio recording of Cook's conference call with the press from Friday, March 16th. Cook also circulated the following press release:
Plummer sinks even lower
Says he wants to talk about the issues, then attacks Cook’s record as a police officer

March 16, 2012

BELLEVILLE, IL…The increasingly desperate Plummer campaign dug even deeper into its bag of deceit and directly attacked the integrity of Rodger Cook’s record as a decorated police officer.

“Jason Plummer should be ashamed of exploiting the murder of a woman 20 years ago for a last minute cheap shot against a decorated police officer,” said Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (ILFOP) Trustee Mark Krampf, who served over 10 years with Cook an officer in the Belleville Police Department. “Rodger Cook was an outstanding cop and this kid has no right to attack his very distinguished record.”

The ILFOP endorsed Rodger a couple weeks ago, and his record speaks for itself. Cook was twice named police officer of the year, received 12 official commendations and served on the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis, specializing in homicide investigations.

“I’m proud of my service as a police officer,” said Cook, who has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police. “Jason clearly lacks the experience and the judgment to understand how hard those officers who serve our community work.”

Plummer dug up a case from nearly 25 years ago about a woman who was brutally murdered in an East Alton motel. Cook worked tirelessly to find and charge a suspect. The evidence was overwhelming that the suspect committed the crime, but prosecutors failed to win a conviction.

Madison County’s former top prosecutor and former judge Don Weber weighed in on the issue of the prosecutors on the case. 
“In some cases there simply is not enough evidence to convince all 12 jurors beyond a reasonable doubt. A Not Guilty verdict does not mean the defendant is innocent. It simply means the evidence was insufficient in the jurors' minds to convince them beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Weber. "John Rekowski, and his sidekick, Ron Slemer, are two of the most unreliable sources for opinion on a matter effecting law enforcement imaginable. Rekowski has been a consistently left-wing, ACLU-type political activist on criminal law matters. Rekowski is an outspoken critic of the death penalty while advocating ultra-liberal ideas like sequential line- up laws that help criminals avoid being caught.”

Cook said he expected Plummer to go on the attack after it was learned that Plummer has been embellishing the endorsements of a number of conservative organizations, “But I really didn’t think he’d go this low. All I can think about is that victim’s family,” said Cook. “Has he no shame?”

Just before Plummer e-mailed the smear piece, he told reporters “These are serious times that demand serious people discussing serious answers to our problems.”


Paid for by Citizens for Cook
707 N. State St.
Freeburg, IL 62243

Friday, March 16, 2012

Robosigning Whistleblower

zerohedge: Terminated CBO Whistleblower Shares Her Full Story With Zero Hedge, Exposes Deep Conflicts At "Impartial" Budget Office:
...former CBO worker, Lan T. Pham, who, as the WSJ described in early February, "alleges she was terminated [by the CBO] after 2½ months for sharing pessimistic outlooks for the banking and housing sectors in 2010" and who "alleges supervisors stifled opinions that contradicted economic fixes endorsed by some on Wall Street, including research from a Morgan Stanley economist who served as a CBO adviser. As part of the review, Sen. Grassley's staff is examining whether Wall Street firms or others exert influence that compromises the office's independence." As we observed in February, "what is most troubling is if indeed the CBO is nothing but merely another front for Wall Street to work its propaganda magic on the administration...."
Now that would be the pinnacle of regulatory capture.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rodger Cook on Jason Plummer's alleged defamation of Family PAC

Rodger Cook, GOP candidate in IL-12, held a press conference yesterday about his opponent, Jason Plummer's, remarks at a debate last weekend. Plummer accused Illinois's Family PAC of trading endorsements for donations. Family PAC denies this charge and has implied that it will pursue legal action against Plummer.

Rodger Cook has been endorsed by Family PAC in IL-12. He held the press conference Wednesday to highlight the wild accusations that have been typical of Jason Plummer's campaign.

Obama to Tap Political Petroleum Reserve

Reuters: Exclusive: U.S., UK set to agree emergency oil stocks release:
Britain has decided to cooperate with the United States on a release of strategic oil stocks that is expected within months, two British sources said, in a bid to prevent fuel prices choking economic growth in a U.S. election year.
I don't see any point in continuing to call it the "Strategic" Petroleum Reserve when it's sole purpose for decades now has been political.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Video: Mitt Romney in St. Louis

Former Massachusetts Governor and GOP Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, visited St. Louis this past Tuesday. His comments to the crowd begin at the 6:20 mark in the video above.

Video: Dick Lugar has Changed

Mourdock Campaign to Air “Changes” TV, Radio Ad Statewide:
INDIANAPOLIS (March 14, 2012) – Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, U.S. Senate Candidate in the Republican Primary on May 8th against six-term incumbent Dick Lugar, will begin airing “Changes” on statewide TV and radio today. 
The ad makes the point that the Dick Lugar who permanently moved to Washington, DC, in the 1970s is not the same Dick Lugar who is currently seeking a seventh term in the U.S. Senate. 
“Over the past three decades, Lugar has become increasingly out of touch with Hoosier Republicans and the conservative values we embrace,” stated Treasurer Mourdock."

Youth Unemployment Soars in Greece, Spain

zerohedge: Europe's Scariest Chart Just Got Scarier:
The last time we plotted European youth unemployment in what was dubbed "Europe's scariest chart" we were surprised to discover that when it comes to "Arab Spring inspiring" youth unemployment, Spain was actually worse off than even (now officially broke) Greece, whose young adult unemployment at the time was only just better compared to that... of the United States. Luckily, following the latest economic (yes, we laughed too) update from Greece, it is safe to say that things are back to normal, as Greek youth unemployment is officially the second one in Europe after Spain to surpass 50%. In other words, Europe's scariest chart just got even scarier.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jason Plummer Attacks the Family PAC

St. Louis Post Dispatch: Conservative group demands apology over `endorsements-for-cash' allegation:
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • The head of a leading conservative issues group is demanding a public apology from Illinois Republican congressional candidate Jason Plummer by noon Wednesday, over Plummer’s allegation that the group gives endorsements for cash.
Paul Caprio, head of FamilyPAC, an Illinois-based issues group, is implying he will sue if he doesn’t get the apology by the Wednesday deadline. “If (Plummer) does not make a full public apology, I have instructed my attorney to take appropriate action,” Caprio told the Post-Dispatch today.
Plummer has now resorted to wild attacks against one of the most conservative, grassroots groups in Illinois: Family PAC. Primary voters in Illinois's 12th Congressional District should note the rash invective that is Plummer's stock and trade. This sort of arrogance may also be why Jason Plummer has refused to release his income tax filings.

There's a conservative with a proven track record running in IL-12: Rodger Cook. Please vote for him next Tuesday.

Another Laugh at Russ Carnahan's Expense

Washington Examiner: CBO: Obamacare to cost $1.76 trillion over 10 yrs:
President Obama's national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law.
That reminds me of Russ Carnahan's promise to Missourian's back in the Summer of 2009:

It was funny when he made that promise based on the CBO's numbers back then and it's funny now that it's broken based on the CBO's numbers today. What an incompetent fool.

Towards the end of the video above, Kevin Jackson of the Black Sphere shouts out: "If it's so good, why doesn't Congress have to be on it."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Photos: Jefferson County Lincoln Days

Thanks to Wes Bradley for sending these photos from Saturday's Lincoln Days in Jefferson County.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Video: Economic Freedom is Helping Joplin Rebuild Rebuilding Joplin:
Daniel J. Smith, economics professor at Troy University, studied the rebuilding of Joplin, Missouri in the months following the tornado. Watch as Professor Smith discusses how economic freedom can help areas recover from natural disasters.
“I think one of the key factors in the recovery process in Joplin, from the tornado, is that the government officials allowed the community to start rebuilding itself. I think Joplin is a great example of the power of people—free people—coming together and both using profit motive, in the businesses, using religious reasons for faith-based organizations, and just concern for your fellow man, in the community-based organizations, to rebuild a disaster stricken community.” – Daniel J. Smith

Video: Claire McCaskill Dependably Sides with President Obama

From the Crossroads GPS press release:
“From slashing Medicare to advocating for middle class tax hikes, Claire McCaskill dependably sides with President Obama to vote against what is best for Missouri,” said Nate Hodson, Crossroads GPS Director of State and Regional Media Relations.  “Missourians should tell Claire McCaskill to stop voting in Washington differently than she talks when home.”

Thursday, March 8, 2012

NRA Endorses Richard Mourdock

The Hill: NRA endorses Lugar opponent, blasts senator's 'contempt' for gun owners
The National Rifle Association officially endorsed Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) over Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) Wednesday morning, blasting Lugar for his "seeming contempt for gun owners in Indiana." 
The endorsement, first reported by The Hill, is a body blow to the longtime senator's hopes of surviving a tough primary against Mourdock, who has Tea Party support. 
Mourdock sent out a press release about the endorsement yesterday.