Friday, August 31, 2012

Conservative Candidates Who Need Your Support (#INSen #OHSen #CTSen #MDSen)

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection recommended donating to Mia Love (running for Congress in Utah), Dan Bongino (running for US Senate in Maryland), and Barry Hinckley (running for US Senate in Rhode Island). I took his advice; however, I chose a different slate of conservatives to support. I chose the four candidates running for US Senate pictured above. From the left, they are: Richard Mourdock, Josh Mandel, Linda McMahon, and Dan Bongino.

I've covered Richard Mourdock extensively on this blog. Rasmussen has him in a statistical tie with liberal Democrat Joe Donnelly in Indiana's US Senate race.

Josh Mandel is running against incumbent leftist Sherrod Brown in Ohio. Rasmussen's latest poll has them tied at 44.

Linda McMahon is running against liberal Democrat Chris Murphy in Connecticut. Rasmussen has them in a statistical tie, McMahon 49 to Murphy 46.

Dan Bongino is running against liberal Democrat Ben Cardin. Rasmussen hasn't polled the race. In 2006, a Democrat year, Cardin beat Michael Steele by ten points. Bongino obviously has an uphill battle, so he needs your support. Here's a great video he released earlier this week:

Other candidates to consider donating to:
  • Ted Cruz: Rock-solid Tea Party conservative running in the Lone Star State.
  • Todd Akin: The premiere anti-establishment candidate running here in the Show Me State.
  • Scott Brown: Better than the alternative up there in the Bay State.
  • Denny Rehberg: In a close race against liberal Jon Tester in Big Sky Country.
  • George Allen: Is in a close race against liberal Tim Kaine in the Old Dominion.

#MOSen: Karl Rove Jokes about Murdering Todd Akin

Todd Akin

Politico: Report: Karl Rove jokes about Todd Akin’s murder:
In a closed-door fundraiser at the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove reportedly joked about the murder of Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin. 
“We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!” joked Rove, according to a Businessweek report of the fundraiser.
This is appalling. It also underscores the fact that the Republican establishment loathes Todd Akin.

Update: Politico is reporting that Rove apologized:
Karl Rove phoned Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin to apologize for having joked about killing the Republican congressman, an Akin spokesman confirmed to POLITICO.

Akin adviser Rick Tyler said Rove spoke with Akin Friday about his remarks, and that the Akin camp believes it would be appropriate for Rove to make a public apology as well.

"I'm assuming that Karl will make a public apology," Tyler said.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

#MOSen: Akin Bounces Back in Latest Poll and Releases New Ad

The Hill: Akin leads McCaskill in Family Research Council-commissioned poll:
A new poll commissioned by conservative advocacy group Family Research Council offers embattled Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) quantitative support for him to stay in the race, as it shows him slightly ahead of incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.
The new numbers are a stark shift from two polls released last week, both of which showed him far behind McCaskill, in one case by double digits. But the new poll gives him a three-percentage-point lead over McCaskill, with 45 percent support to her 42 percent.
Politico reports that Akin has bought time for his new ad contrasting his 'Six-second mistake' with McCaskill's 'six-year record'.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Video: Condoleezza Rice speaks at the Republican National Convention

Politico: Condoleezza Rice wows the crowd:
The biggest applause line was when Rice talked about her own impossible transition from a young black girl in Birmingham to Secretary of State. From the prepared remarks (from which she frequently deviated):
And on a personal note– a little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham – the most segregated big city in America - her parents can’t take her to a movie theater or a restaurant – but they make her believe that even though she can’t have a hamburger at the Woolworth’s lunch counter – she can be President of the United States and she becomes the Secretary of State.

Yes, America has a way of making the impossible seem inevitable in retrospect. But of course it has never been inevitable – it has taken leadership, courage and an unwavering faith in our values.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have the experience and the integrity and the vision to lead us – they know who we are, what we want to be and what we offer the world.

That is why this is a moment – an election – of consequence. Because it just has to be – that the most compassionate and freest country on the face of the earth – will continue to be the most powerful!
The full transcript of Condoleezza Rice's speech is available at FoxNews.

#OHSen: Josh Mandel Condemns the Bank Bailout

Politico: Josh Mandel ad moves to anti-bailout message:
Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel is denouncing the federal bailout of the financial sector in a new ad, elevating the issue as he heads into the fall sprint of his campaign against Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.
You can support Mandel's campaign against liberal Democrat Sherrod Brown by donating to his campaign.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#MOSen: Crossroads Out. Akin gets Assist from Susan B. Anthony List

No surprise from Politico: Crossroads rolls back Missouri TV buy:
American Crossroads pledged last week not to spend money in the Missouri Senate race as long as Todd Akin is the GOP candidate, and now they're starting to make good on the promise. 
Crossroads canceled about $700,000 in reservations between Sept. 11 and Sept. 17, according to two sources tracking the 2012 air war.
Todd Akin is getting an assist from the Susan B. Anthony List with an ad that features an abortion survivor and criticism of Barack Obama's votes as an Illinois State Senator in support of infanticide:

Politico reports:
The conservative Susan B. Anthony List is poised to embark on a TV ad campaign challenging Barack Obama’s record on abortion, an official with the group tells POLITICO. 
The initial ad is a $150,000 buy in Missouri, and shows a woman – Melissa Ohden – speaking to the camera about having been born alive in spite of an abortion procedure.
And Todd Akin isn't sitting still either. The Akin campaign has queued up their "Case Against Claire" ad:

Politico: Akin tries to refocus on McCaskill:
Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin is seeking to go back on offense against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, preparing a campaign video that attacks her record on a range of issues including health care and abortion. 
The video, which was shared early with POLITICO, opens with a clip of Mike Huckabee — Akin's highest-profile defender at this point — saying that the core of the 2012 race is "not what [Akin] said. It's what Claire McCaskill did."

Video: Utah Republican Mia Love at the RNC

From the YouTube description:
Mayor Mia Love of Saratoga Springs, Utah addresses the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Love is running for Congress in Utah's 4th Congressional District.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Carlos May on Building Post-Primary Unity

Republican Carlos May is running for the US House of Representatives in Indiana's 7th Congressional District. That's the seat currently held by Democrat Andre Carson. I had the opportunity to interview May at the end of July. In this segment, May talks about the crowded GOP primary field and what he's done to win the support of the party.

#MOSen: Ann Wagner Strikes the Right Tone

Ann WagnerAnn Wagner's statement about Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" gaffe strikes the perfect tone:
As a staunch defender of the unborn I believe life begins at conception. Todd Akin's comments about rape were wrong and indefensible. Todd has apologized and understands he was wrong in what he said.  It is now up to Missouri voters to decide whether they accept his apology. Our country is at a crossroads and we are facing serious issues brought on by the overreach of government in our lives, out-of-control spending and debt, and an environment that does not promote job creation and economic prosperity. I have been running for Congress in Missouri's 2nd District for 16 months and will continue to work hard to earn the trust and confidence of every voter.
She articulates the widely held conservative view that "life begins at conception." Then she condemns Akin's comments and acknowledges his apology. She sees that from here on out, the decision of US Senator from Missouri rests with Show Me state voters. From there she shifts to the pocketbook issues that will drive this election.

#MOSen: Todd Akin--In for the Win

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), the Republican nominee for US Senate from Missouri, held a press conference Friday afternoon to reaffirm his commitment to winning his bid to unseat liberal Democrat Claire McCaskill. Akin took five questions from the gathered reporters.

Friday, August 24, 2012

#MOSen: FBI Investigating Threats against Todd Akin

Todd Akin
Todd Akin (Photo credit: dsm012)
Firstpost: FBI probes ‘rape threats’ to Akin and family:
“I can verify that the Capitol Police and the FBI are working together to investigate threats made against Congressman Akin, his staff and family,” Steve Taylor, Akin’s district director and spokesman, told Reuters by telephone. 
“There have been threats of rape of staff, (of) the congressman’s family and the congressman himself, and suggestions that people should die,” he said.
I've seen a couple of horrendous comments on my YouTube channel as well. The following two were left on my video of Todd Akin's press conference where he announced his candidacy for US Senate:

I'm sure that YouTube comments are not at the same level as what the FBI and Capitol Police are investigating, but they are a measure of the hatred that's been directed at Akin. This gets to the point of my last post. In that post I argued that we need to re-frame the abortion debate to ground it in broadly held American principals.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Re-Framing Abortion: The Perpetual Political War

I hate talking about abortion. Everyone's view is carved in stone and has been for decades. Both sides get fired up at the slightest provocation and, sadly, there's never any political progress on the issue.

Even when the Whitehouse and both houses of Congress are controlled by the same party, there is practically no movement on abortion. George W. Bush had a Republican House and Senate for four years. Obama had a Democrat House and Senate for two years. Movement on the abortion issue: zippo.

There have been battles along the way--a partial-birth abortion ban that was overturned, supreme court appointments, whether government health plans should cover the morning after pill, etc. Those partisan battles are the point of this political debate, because: we've always been at war with Eastasia!

Abortion is a perpetual political war that gnaws at our polity by inflaming equal and opposite responses from Republicans and Democrats. A war where we learn to hate the "other" so we don't notice the kleptocrats looting the treasury.

Welcome to my dystopian view of the American two party system.

Because this particular debate is fraught with vitriol, I believe we need to re-frame abortion around principals that both pro-life and pro-choice advocates have in common. In arguing for or against any policy, we should refer to our shared history, tradition, and the writings of our founders and other great Americans.

America is a pluralistic society rooted in the separation of church and state. While religious arguments may sway one's view on any number of issues, they are unconvincing in this secular theater. Civility in our pluralistic society requires that we respect each other's beliefs even when we do not agree with them; therefore, appeals to religious tenants and traditions contribute to the rancor of the debate.

While America's founding was influenced by Judeo-Christian thought, those beliefs were circumscribed by our founders in the 1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." To find an American creed--a belief that is widely shared among Americans--I think we must limit ourselves to America's founding documents and omit references to God to have the widest secular appeal.

Our public policy discussion about abortion should be based on this phrase from the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all... are created equal..." That simple phrase establishes these tenants of our shared American creed:
  1. Our equality begins when we are "created"
  2. Our equality at creation is self-evident
  3. Collectively we agree to this truth
This framing of the policy discussion does not resolve the abortion debate because of the ambiguity surrounding the concept of "creation". Certainly, many pro-lifers will argue that creation is conception and many pro-choicers will argue that creation is not instantaneous, but rather the entire process of pregnancy culminating in birth.

I'm not trying to settle this debate, rather I would like to see thoughtful discourse on the issue. This re-framing establishes premises that all Americans can accept. This will not bring our perpetual political war over this issue to an end, but it will create a common foundation for discourse--a sort of Geneva Conventions for the war. And that, I think, will remind each side of the basic humanity of those with whom they disagree and hopefully foster some civility.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#MOSen: Ann Wagner Struggles to Kill Todd Akin's Campaign

Ann Wagner
Ann Wagner
The palace intrigue of Missouri Republican politics is something to behold.

Monday night I saw the twitter handle @AnnWagnerSenate and was appalled. In my post late last night I mentioned that Ann Wagner's name had been floated as a replacement for Todd Akin, but dismissed the possibility. Then I saw Bill Hennessy's latest and couldn't sleep:
If Representative Akin steps aside, here’s the best possible outcome I can envision:
  • The Missouri Republican central committee asks Ambassador Ann Wagner to step into the vacated US Senate candidacy. I believe Ann is Missouri’s best chance—America’s best chance—of regaining the Senate. If Ann chooses to make the jump, she will leave a race in which she is all but certain to win, to take on the biggest challenge of her life. She will need all of our support, and she will have all of mine.
I agree with Bill on many things and I look to him for political discernment, but I strongly disagree with him about Wagner being the best option. Let's remember that the genesis of this whole discussion is the fact that Todd Akin alienated women voters with his inexcusable remarks about "legitimate rape". Only the knuckle draggers that run the Missouri Republican Party would decided  to spruce up their appeal to women voters by:
  1. Pandering to them with a woman candidate
  2. Choosing a younger woman (Ann Wagner) over older, more qualified women (JoAnn Emerson and Vicky Hartzler)
  3. Choose someone that's never been elected to public office (Wagner--unlike Emerson and Hartzler who both serve in the US House) to run for US Senate
And then it all clicked: Ann Wagner is orchestrating the assassination of Todd Akin's campaign.

To be sure, Akin precipitated this, but, ever the opportunist, Wagner didn't miss a beat. As the former head of the Missouri Republican Party, she's leveraging her contacts across the state and the nation to put pressure on Akin to withdraw so she can run for US Senate. How gauche!

A year and half ago, on January 20th, 2011, Ann Wagner conceded her bid to become RNC Chairman after several rounds of balloting. In the following round, Reince Priebus won. Ann's concession led to Priebus's victory, so it comes as little surprise that yesterday Priebus called for Akin to abandon his Senate bid.

During Roy Blunt's 2010 run for the US Senate, Ann Wagner served as his campaign chairman. Blunt is now in the leadership in the United States Senate which puts him in a position to ask the National Republican Senatorial Committee to cut their funding to Todd Akin's campaign. Did he do so? Is Wagner using other proxies to try to drive Akin from the US Senate race? CrossroadsGPS has cut their funding, too.

If you need one more reason why Ann Wagner is unqualified for the Republican nomination for US Senate from Missouri, it's the blood on her hands from trying to kill the campaign that currently occupies that position.

I do think there's a strong case to be made to replace Akin with someone like Brad Lager. Nonetheless, the decision to abandon his US Senate bid rests solely with Todd Akin. That's a difficult decision. Pray that God grants him wisdom.

#MOSen: Brad Lager Should Replace Todd Akin for US Senate

Brad Lager
Brad Lager
By now you've probably heard about Todd Akin's (R-MO) embarrassing gaffe on the Jaco Report over the weekend. Here's what Akin said:
It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
A lot has been written about Akin's inexcusable turn of phrase: "legitimate rape." To his credit, Akin's apologized for that; however, his problems go much deeper than that phrase. There are two fundamental problems facing Akin right now. First, he apparently does not understand the science of human reproduction and, second, while he won the three-way primary, 64% of Republican primary voters didn't vote for him.

My policy preferences on abortion are pretty close to Todd Akin's. Because I believe that embryos are not part of their mother, but rather created human beings, I do not support policy carve outs to allow abortion for rape and incest. That said, I do not understand where Akin's comment about the female body shutting down comes from. If you're a conservative and can show me an article in Cell, Science, or Nature--the top three biology journals--that supports that, then maybe I'll reconsider. Until that time, Akin's view about human reproduction appears to me to be faux-scientific babbling. If you're a leftist or even a moderate, Akin might come off as peddling a faux-scientific myth to advance or justify his Christian policy preferences. This horribly undermines his credibility which should be based on facts and truth.

Akin's other problem is that nearly two-thirds of Missouri's Republican primary voters did not vote for him (I voted for Hector Maldonado). That means, that at every Akin misstep conservatives will swarm since his backing is weak.

Akin has until 5PM Tuesday (8/21) to decide whether or not he will end his bid for US Senate. That along with Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Charles Krauthammer, the RNC Chairman, his own advisers, and possibly even Mitt Romney calling for him to get out has created some urgency. That urgency has led to speculation about candidates to replace him.

The list of names to replace Akin is long; however, I will only focus on a few. First, some ground rules. Akin could very well stay in the race. He's said that he'll do so and it is his decision to make. I do not think that any of the candidates that Akin beat for the Missouri Republican nomination for US Senate are good alternatives. I think a replacement needs both party backing and grassroots support. Even though I live in St. Louis, the fact that the Republican ticket in Missouri is basically a who's who of St. Louis Republicans is a problem for me. I think a party ticket should better represent the state.

Gateway Pundit and others have thrown Ann Wagner's name into the ring. I was looking forward to ignoring her race in MO-02.... I guess because she's running for Congress they think she can step up to run for Senate, but if that's the case, then why not tap Vicky Hartzler? Unlike Wagner, Hartzler's actually been elected to public office so she's better prepared for a race on the national stage. The real risk in advancing a woman--especially one as unqualified as Ann Wagner--is that it will be seen as pandering to women. The national press will rightly criticize the Missouri GOP for choosing a candidate to fill a gender quota, though I do not think that criticism works in Hartzler's case because of her Congressional experience.

Unfortunately, the Missouri Republican party does not have many women with the state-wide name recognition and the electoral experience to run for US Senate. There are some great women in the General Assembly who will hopefully change that in the coming years, leaders like: Luann Ridgeway, Jane Cunningham, Cloria Brown, Marsha Haefner, Melissa Leach, and several others who's names escape me at the moment. With the electoral drought for Republicans at the top of the ticket for the past few cycles, only Sarah Steelman had that potential in this cycle and she's effectively been eliminated finishing third behind Akin and Brunner.

And electoral success is important. The United States was founded on the idea that those in power derive their authority from those they govern. With that in mind, I think Brad Lager, who hails from Northwest Missouri, is the best replacement for Todd Akin. Lager lost a close race against Peter Kinder for the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor, but in that lose, Lager garnered more votes than any of the Republican candidates for US Senate. The fact that he garnered more Republican votes than any other Republican candidate on August 7th who did not win their election gives him a sort of electoral legitimacy that others lack. If Todd Akin steps down, then, in my opinion, that statewide vote total puts businessman Brad Lager next in line and provides him with a kind of grassroots legitimacy.

Party backing is something that Lager will mostly have to arrange on his own. To some extent his experience in the Missouri Senate and his race against Kinder garnered him a base within the party, but I'm not sure if that is sufficient. Kinder, as the de facto head of the Missouri Republican party, could express support for Lager as a replacement to Akin. The fact that Lager waged a scorched earth campaign against Peter Kinder makes that personally hard for Kinder to do, but it also heightens the political rewards because it symbolizes the coming together of two factions within the party to make common cause against a greater foe: Democrats.

Lager represents a fresh start for Missouri Republicans eager to unseat Claire McCaskill. He doesn't live in the St. Louis area like so many other candidates on the Republican slate. He has something of a grassroots base as well as establishment support. He's a businessman who's started multiple companies and he's a legislator with a track record as a fiscal hawk. He's earned an A+ rating from the NRA. But ultimately, he's a compromise candidate.

When I first started hearing that Akin might step down, my initial response was to tweet my support for Hector Maldonado. Later I thought about drafting 2010 Tea party favorite Chuck Purgason for the job. I've seen the establishment names out there, too. Former Senator Jim Talent would be ok, but he's already declined. His wife, Brenda Talent, would be an interesting choice, but I think I'm the only one who thinks that. Matt Blunt would be a stretch because his dad's already a senator. Ann Wagner is a non-starter for me as is Kit Bond. And none of them has the legitimacy of a recent, closely-fought statewide election like Brad Lager does. A nod from Peter Kinder in support of Lager represents an opportunity to bandage the wounds the party suffered during the primary much as Indiana's elder statesman Dick Lugar recently salved the wounds of his primary loss to Richard Mourdock. It's time to set aside the factions and compromise on a unity candidate: Brad Lager.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Video: Republican Victory Bus Tour Stop in St. Louis

Thanks to Bob Keough for shooting this video last weekend at the Victory Fieldhouse.

#INSen: Richard Mourdock Explains the Unusual Spelling of His Name

At the end of July, I interviewed Republican candidate for the US Senate from Indiana Richard Moudock. In this segment, Mourdock explains the unusual spelling of his name and the connection that spelling has to the American Civil War.

Mourdock is tied in the latest polls with liberal Democrat Joe Donnelly. Donnelly has secured some key backers from among the ranks of disaffected Dick Lugar (R-IN) supporters. For example, the Chairman of Emmis Communications, Jeff Smulyan, recently co-hosted a fundraiser for the liberal Donnelly. To combat that push, conservatives have to donate to Richard Mourdock (as I did yesterday). Please donate what you can: $100, $50, $25, or even just $5 helps.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Jobs: The Reason to Vote for Dave Spence

h/t: Instapundit
The image above captures the ineptness of the Obama administration perfectly. It also frames the top issue of the 2012 election cycle--it's the jobs, stupid--and the news on that front continues to grow worse for Democrats. The jobs data is so bad that it may well swamp down ballot candidates like liberal Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D-MO).

At The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru notes the correlation between states with Democrat governors and higher unemployment:
It turns out that the population-weighted average unemployment rate in states with Republican governors is 7.6 percent. The number for states with Democratic governors is [sic] 8.8. In other words, blue America (defined in terms of governors) has a higher unemployment rate than red America. Make of that what you will.
Yesterday, Brian Hook of Missouri Journal reported that the Show Me State was fifth in the nation for weekly jobloss claims: "Only four other states had a larger increase than Missouri in weekly unemployment claims."

Today, Hook crunched the numbers for the states in the region and discovered that employment in Missouri lags every bordering state:
The labor force in Missouri dropped by more workers in a year than in any neighboring state. 
Between last year in July and last month, the civilian labor force across the state dropped by 41,000 jobs, according to new data released on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The largest losses among the eight states bordering Missouri came in Tennessee which lost 19,600 jobs--less than half of the 41,000 recently unemployed in Missouri.

In November, voters will decide whether they want to continue the abysmal jobs performance that has prevailed under Governor Jay Nixon or whether they want a businessman and entrepreneur to take the reigns of Missouri government and put the Show Me State back to work. Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence has recent, relevant experience creating jobs in the private sector. Nixon hasn't worked in the private sector in twenty years. The choice seems obvious.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

In the Fight: Episode 65

The Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System produced Episode 65 of In The Fight. Here's their description of this half-hour show:
On this episode, Afghan forces take the lead in Operation Southern Strike II, Coalition forces relinquish their bases as they draw down throughout Afghanistan, U.S. and Afghan Soldiers pave the way to a bright future, Soldiers travel seventy-five miles in seven days to deliver aid, and we revisit a battle between U.S. forces and the Taliban.

Vice President Paul Ryan

The screenshot above from Drudge links to an AP story about Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney having selected Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate. An official announcement is scheduled for Saturday morning at 9AM EST in Virginia. If this is a bit of campaign misdirection, we'll know soon enough.

Update: The selection of Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate was confirmed this morning. They are "America's Comeback Team." Today is the 1200th day that America has operated without a budget. President Obama's budget proposal this year was defeated 414-0 in the House of Representatives and 99-0 in the Senate. Selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate is a clear signal from Romney that he will focus on getting America's fiscal house in order first and foremost.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tea Party on Safari: The Hunt for American RINO

Greg Fettig and Monica Boyer are the heroes of the coalition of Indiana Tea Parties that defeated Dick Lugar (R-IN). Under the united banner of Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate, Fettig and Boyer led the grassroots effort that saw Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock win the Republican nomination for US Senate this past May. Their role was pivotal because it enticed other people and organizations to help Richard Moudock's campaign.

From my observation of  Indiana's Republican primary for US Senate, I believe that the strategy to get a conservative candidate elected boils down to three steps. These three steps are driven by the candidate:

  1. Get the backing of the party
  2. Get the backing of the grassroots
  3. Get the backing of well funded PACs (FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, etc.)

Richard Mourdock accomplished step 1 when he announced his candidacy in February of 2011. Over 70% of Indiana's Republican county chairmen endorsed Mourdock's bid for US Senate when he announced. Winning the support of the grassroots is step 2 and Fettig's book--Tea Party on Safari--details what happened in Indiana. It's a messy, almost ungovernable process fraught with treachery and ankle-biting time wasters. If the grassroots can coalesce around a particular candidate, then the money to push that candidate across the finish line should be available from PACs--step 3. In Mourdock's case, steps 1 and 2 effectively cleared the field so that the race was always Lugar v Mourdock. Lugar couldn't ignore the competition as Roy Blunt did in Missouri when he ran for Senate in 2010.

With those steps in mind, here are my observations about a couple of the primary races decided this past Tuesday here in Missouri.

In the governor's race, Bill Randles had overwhelming support from the grassroots, but he never really had the backing of the party. As a result, his campaign never attracted the money it needed to boost Randles name recognition with radio and television ads. Fred Sauer's entrance into the race split the vote ensuring that Dave Spence would win and that neither Randles or Sauer had a serious chance in the primary.

The Republican primary for US Senate in Missouri was fascinating to watch. None of the candidates really had the backing of the party, though I think Akin probably scored better on that than either Steelman or Brunner. Steelman is a bit of a pariah among some Republicans who blame her for damaging Kenny Holshof in the 2008 Republican primary for Governor resulting in his defeat later that year. Akin had much better grassroots support than either of his competitors. Steelman was able to win some key endorsements including Sarah Palin; however, they didn't translate into the sort of primary spending she needed to pull out a win.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

President Obama Wants to Duplicate the Automaker Bailouts

“I said, I believe in American workers, I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back,” he said. “Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.
Shortly after reading that, I saw this video:

The video above explains why "pro-business" policies like bailouts, subsidies, and monopolies hurt free markets. Fundamentally, government policies which burden the general welfare to benefit a particular welfare undermine free market capitalism. Here's the YouTube description for the "Is Capitalism 'Pro-Business'" video above:
In this video, Professor Steve Horwitz advocates for free market economic policy. He refutes the often recited claim that "What is good for General Motors is good for America" by explaining that pro-business legislation encourages behavior that is not beneficial to society or the business itself. He suggests that, in a free market, factors such as profit and competition encourage behavior that ultimately benefits society. Professor Horwitz illustrates that pro-business legislation restricts progress and therefore caters to the interests of industry rather than to consumers, whereas "supporters of free markets are ultimately pro-human and pro-people because it is through markets that we get the most innovation and we get the most goods and the cheapest prices."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Claire McCaskill: Proud to be Your Politician!

Congratulations to Todd Akin (R-MO) for winning the Republican primary for US Senate from Missouri and for distinguishing himself as a "Public Figure"!

The picture to the right includes screen captures of both Todd Akin and Claire McCaskill's Facebook pages. While Akin has identified himself as a "Public Figure", Claire McCaskill has tipped her hand as just another business as usual "Politician".

Monday, August 6, 2012

Photos: Brad Lager Meets Press in Kirkwood

Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Brad Lager, stopped by McArthur's Bakery's Kirkwood store today to speak with the press and public. Lager will face incumbent Peter Kinder in tomorrow's Republican primary.

Sikhs: They Enshrined Self-Defense in Their Religion

Kirpan (photo: Hari Singh)
The tragedy at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin over the weekend that left six innocent people and the shooter dead was an opportunity for the media to educate Americans about Sikhism. They've failed to do so. This is the second time in two days that I've read this background paragraph about Sikhism. It's appalling in what it omits:
Sikhism is a monotheistic faith founded more than 500 years ago in South Asia. It has roughly 27 million followers worldwide. Observant Sikhs do not cut their hair; male followers often cover their heads with turbans — which are considered sacred — and refrain from shaving their beards. There are roughly 500,000 Sikhs in the U.S., according to estimates. The majority worldwide live in India.
Baptized Sikhs are expected to wear five things at all times. These are commonly called the five Kakars and include: Kesh (uncut hair which is usually wrapped in a turban), Kangha (a comb often worn under their turban), Kachera (cotton underwear symbolic of the Sikh's commitment to sexual purity), Kara (an iron bracelet), and Kirpan (a curved sword). Sikhism is a warrior religion. As Wikipedia notes [emphasis added]:
Sikhs embody the qualities of a "Sant-Sipahie"—a saint-soldier. One must have control over one's internal vices and be able to be constantly immersed in virtues clarified in the Guru Granth Sahib. A Sikh must also have the courage to defend the rights of all who are wrongfully oppressed or persecuted irrespective of their colour, caste or creed.
On March 30, 1699, the Tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, founded Khalsa which enshrined not just self-defense as a religious tenant, but also eliminated the caste system and established gender equality for Sikhs. Gobind Singh was a civil rights pioneer as his words on that day make plainly clear:
From now on, you have become casteless. No ritual, either Hindu or Muslim, will you perform nor will you believe in superstition of any kind, but only in one God who is the master and protector of all, the only creator and destroyer. In your new order, the lowest will rank with the highest and each will be to the other a bhai (brother). No pilgrimages for you any more, nor austerities but the pure life of the household, which you should be ready to sacrifice at the call of Dharma. Women shall be equal of men in every way. No purdah (veil) for them anymore, nor the burning alive of a widow on the pyre of her spouse (sati). He who kills his daughter, the Khalsa shall not deal with him.
Mourn the Sikhs who lost their lives in Wisconsin this past weekend and pray that their brethren will recommit themselves to their core beliefs, so that they will not learn again that when seconds count, the police are just minutes away.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Video: Hector Maldonado on keeping America Strong

Republican candidate for US Senate Hector Maldonado talks about the importance of keeping America strong by defending her against all enemies--foreign and domestic. At one point in the video above, Maldonado mentions a video on his campaign website in which he asked Senator Claire McCaskill what President Obama meant when he talked about the "fundamental transformation of America". Maldonado will face Todd Akin, Sarah Steelman, and John Brunner in Tuesday's Republican primary election.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The NRA's Simple Message: Defend Freedom, Defeat Obama

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has opened a field office in St. Charles, MO. There will be an NRA-ILA staff person based in that office with the goal of coordinating volunteer activities through the general election on November 6th.

Video: Hector Maldonado on Jobs and the Economy

Republican candidate for US Senate Hector Maldonado talks about jobs and the economy in the video above. Maldonado will face Todd Akin, Sarah Steelman, and John Brunner in Tuesday's Republican primary  election.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Video: Jo Ann Emerson Thanks Obama for Obamacare

From the YouTube description:
16 Year Entrenched Incumbent Jo Ann Emerson has one of the worst Conservative Voting Records in the House. In addition to her support of Free Trade Deals, Voting For Every Bailout she admits here in this clip that a National Health Care Plan is something she's wanted her whole 13 years (now 16) in the House.
Mrs. Emerson States Clearly here that "....we all need to Give a little" when it comes to getting something passed on Health Care.

Is this the Person you Trust to Fight ObamaCare for you?

There is a choice Missouri but you have to vote in the Primary Election on

August 7th 2012

Visit Bob Parkers Website and see where he Stands on the Issues. Bob will take the Conservative Fight to Washington DC.

Do Your Own Research and Vote Your Conscience on August 8th
Emerson has the lowest HeritageAction score of any Missouri Republican and falls on the Democrat side of 50% mark with her embarrassing 46%. If you're a Republican in Missouri's 8th CD, Bob Parker needs your vote next Tuesday.

Video: Richard Mourdock on the Big Issue: The Future

At the end of July, I interviewed Republican candidate for the US Senate from Indiana Richard Moudock. In this segment, Mourdock talks about the big issue of our time: the Future. He makes the point that he is an optimist by nature and therefore believes that we will get through this economically difficult time with the help of strong conservative leadership.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Video: The Test of Fire for the 2012 Election

From the YouTube description:
Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire? Some things are more important than high gas prices or a faltering economy. They are life, marriage and freedom. Produced by:

Video: Dr. Randy Jotte vs Ann Wagner in #MO2

Republican Dr. Randy Jotte is running in Missouri's 2nd Congressional District for the US House of Representatives against establishment candidate Ann Wagner.

Hector Maldonado wins

Hector Maldonado
Last night I received the following results for a Vernon County Straw Poll conducted this past Tuesday. Obviously, it's a small sample size; nonetheless, it's impressive that Hector Maldonado bested the three amigos: Todd Akin, Sarah Steelman, and John Brunner:
Sent: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 4:54 PM
Subject: RE: Straw Poll results from Vernon County Candidate Forum

Here are results from the straw poll conducted on Tuesday July 31st.

US Senate
Claire McCaskill – 4
Todd Akin – 8
Sarah Steelman – 2
John Brunner – 5
Mark Memoly – none
Mark Patrick Lodes – none
Robert Poole – none
Hector Maldonado – 9
Jonathan Dine – none