…and all the news that happened over the weekend is…or isn’t, being reported.
In case you haven’t heard, there was a First Amendment event in Garland, TX, over the weekend. A couple of RIFs decided to crash the event with gunfire and a carbomb. The event was an art show. Nice liberal ring to that event, wasn’t it? It was a collection of cartoons about mohammad.
The RIFs drove up, fired one shot that lightly wounded a security guard, and fifteen seconds later, according to some commentators, they were DRT. It seems that some heavily armed police was on site. Just waiting for trouble.
I guess it’s open season for RIFs in Texas. Perhaps those heavily armed police were trolling for terrorists? Whichever, it worked.
Ferguson, MO, is and has been in deep financial trouble. They can, however, afford to hire a $1330 an hour lawyer to defend the city against the upcoming DOJ lawsuit.
FERGUSON • In the days following a Department of Justice report accusing Ferguson’s police and municipal court of widespread abuses, the city made a series of conciliatory moves. Three employees involved in racist emails were forced out. The city manager stepped down. So did the police chief and municipal judge.
Less than a month later, on March 27, a City Council that’s been grappling with declining revenues voted unanimously in a closed meeting to hire one of the nation’s most distinguished and highest-paid trial lawyers to navigate what could be a prolonged and expensive reform process.
The eastern GOP establishment is firmly back in power in Jeff City. Liberal ‘pubs filed a bill to increase the state’s gas tax another 10¢ a gallon. The bill passed in the senate along philosophical and geographic lines. The dems and the eastern GOP senators voted for it guided by GOP Senators Ron Richard and Tom Dempsey.
With the selection of John Hancock to the GOP State Central Committee, there is not a single ‘pub from the western side of Missouri in the party’s leadership. The bad old days of GOP crony politics has returned to the detriment of rest of the state. That the GOP would allow a tax increase is one sign of the return of GOP collusion with democrats that we had hoped would never return to Jeff City.
I didn’t watch Obama last night. I wasn’t interested in listening to his pontifications and lies. Listening to the top-of-the-hour news this morning, I was vindicated in skipping Obama’s brag fest.
Instead, I went to a small meeting to listen to a friend who is a political activist and heads a state-wide organization. I’d rather listen to him than Obama.
I’ve heard my friend speak before. He’s always been knowledgeable and has numerous inside contacts in Jeff City. He original topic was the upcoming legislative session in Jefferson City. I was particularly interested in HB 188, a bill designed to attack grassroots organizations, like the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, by forcing them to disclose their membership lists and donors.
That was his intent. And…he did cover a few of the items coming forth in Jeff City. We were a small group last night. Many of the usual members didn’t come. Some are snowbirds and were out-of-state in more warmer climes. When questions started from the floor how we, as individuals, could be more effective lobbying in Jeff City, his planned talk went out the window.
In retrospect, the diversion was good. He explained the legislative process that many did not understand. How opinions of legislators can be changed. He cited the successful veto-override effort for SB 523 in the last session. We discussed various techniques how individuals can influence legislators…and how some tactics, yelling at staffers over the phone, can back-fire.
The discussion spread far and wide and as I listened I began to hear an underlying concept, something I’d heard from others outside Missouri…the federal government is becoming irrelevant. Every new tyranny from Washington has an opposite and equal reaction within the states. The result of the reaction is more ‘nullification’ bills being filed in state legislatures. More states joining the Convention of States movement. More states resisting, and in many cases, succeeding, edicts being issued from Washington.
Prior to the Civil War, an individual’s primary loyalty was to his state. After that war, a person’s loyalty, supported strongly by the triumphant North, was to the country as a whole and to the central government. That viewpoint has continued until Obama was elected. (For some, it was earlier but I’ll not argue the point.)
What I am hearing from many across the country is a return to the primacy of state loyalty. The growing view that it must now be the states who defend their citizens from the tyrannical acts of the central government. It matters not the issue, be it education and common core, the EPA and water-rights, Obamacare and the forced expansion of medicaid, or the failure to secure our borders. Here, there, people’s loyalties are shifting and I don’t yet think the liberals have noticed. Yet.
I’m of two minds on this paradigm shift. I was born, as was my wife, in Illinois. I have relatives who live in the oppressive state, still. But, I’m glad my wife and I left over forty-five years ago. Missouri is now my state, my home, and I’m proud of it and our ‘Pub controlled legislature.But I’m still loyal to the nation as a whole—not the FedGov, but to the United States. I once swore an oath to defend the nation and the Constitution. I’ve not recanted that oath. But the Constitution no longer rules the federal government. Loyalty to the Constitution is not loyalty to the FedGov.
Note above, I said ‘Pub controlled state legislature, not conservative controlled. Not all of the ‘Pubs in Jefferson City are conservatives. It’s a work-in-progress to change them to conservatives…or replace them with conservatives.
I’m sure the libs will call those who have shifted their primary loyalty to their states racists, fascists, Nazis, the usual liberal diatribe. They overlook one central fact: conservatives can live quite well without the federal government in their lives. The liberals and social parasites, cannot. That, perhaps, may be the real divide within this nation.
Somedays it is hard to write a post. The difficulty is caused by a number of reasons, repetitive news cycles, ignorance of the MSM and in many areas the ignorance and apathy of the public. At other times, a lack of motivation or time conflicts conspire to push me to not post.
The bartender must be an astoundingly poor planner. He had opportunities to shuffle off Boehner’s mortal coil for five years…but he just couldn’t get his act together.
When I read the article, it triggered my disbelief tripwire. After a facing mutiny in the GOP ranks, Boehner and the FBI reveal this incompetent. It just seems to be a misdirection ploy to get some positive media for Boehner. I wonder how many American have trouble with this news item?
From the PoliticMO Newsletter for January 14, 2015.
GUNS — ‘Gun groups vow to fight Missouri lawmaker’s bill taxing guns to pay for police body cameras,’ Raw Story: “A Missouri state legislator has drawn criticism from gun enthusiasts for introducing bills that would pay for body cameras for police officers through a tax increase on firearm and ammunition sales… House Bills 75 and 76, which were introduced by state Rep. Brandon Ellington (D), would implement a 1 percent tax raise on gun sales, with the money going to the “Peace Officer Handgun and Ammunition Sales Tax Fund,” to be used to buy the cameras. Officers would then be required to wear the cameras during any interaction with the public, and keep the footage in their records for at least 30 days. Undercover officers and detectives would be exempt from wearing the cameras. …
“The National Rifle Association (NRA) has already come out against Ellington’s proposal. ‘Forcing law-abiding Missourians to pay an additional tax on firearm and ammunition purchases is unmerited. Gun owners and purchasers should not be responsible for funding these projects,’ the group said in a release. ‘The NRA will continue to fight against such misguided encroachments on those who exercise their Second Amendment rights.’” — PoliticMO Newsletter, Jan 14, 2015
We continually hit with taxes and more taxes. A new tax to one thing or another, another hand in our pocket stealing our money under the guise of law. Every tax has some benefit, we’re told. I just don’t believe it. We don’t need a new tax to fund body cameras now, especially one that taxes guns and ammunition.
The rank and file of our military do not like Obama. Who’da thunk it?
The force is changing — often reluctantly — alongside the civilian society it serves
In his first term, President Obama oversaw repeal of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Then he broke with one of the military’s most deeply rooted traditions and vowed to lift the ban on women serving in combat.
And the commander in chief has aggressively sought to change military culture by cracking down on sexual assault and sexual harassment, problems that for years were underreported or overlooked.
Obama is an unpopular president in the eyes of the men and women in uniform. Yet his two-term administration is etching a deep imprint on the culture inside the armed forces. As commander in chief, he will leave behind a legacy that will shape the Pentagon’s personnel policies and the social customs of rank-and-file troops for decades to come.
Go visit the Military Times and read the complete article. It confirms the opinions of many now serving and some fears as well.
The elections are over. The ‘Pubs have won and many of the new ‘Pubs at the state, local and federal level are new conservatives who subscribe to the same values as that of the various Tea Party groups.
It became apparent that Nixon’s refusal to release funds was a political ploy when, after the election, he released some of the funds he had withheld. Nixon continues to use the excuse of insufficient revenues. However, Nixon’s projections conflicts with the projections made by the legislature as part of their due-diligence when they created the budget. Missouri’s revenues continually reach higher levels that Nixon’s projections. I would suggest Nixon fire his economic advisers and hire the ones used by the legislature.
Getting back to today’s topic, the ‘Pubs have won. Now what?
That is a good question. All too many think change can be made immediately, overnight. Well, that isn’t going to happen. Missouri is much more likely to enact more change than the ‘Pubs in Washington. The Missouri ‘Pubs have veto-proof majorities in both houses of the legislature. In Washington, only the House has a veto-proof majority. The Senate ‘Pubs only have a simple majority.
The bare truth is the the ‘Pub majority in Congress cannot override Obama’s veto. They can cut short Obama’s political appointments. Thanks to Harry Reid’s use of the Nuclear Option, the ‘Pubs don’t require a 60-vote majority for passage. (There is a push by the dems and some RINOs to reinstate that Nuclear Option. There is also a ground-swell of opposition to maintain Reid’s change. What was good for the dems should now be good for the ‘Pubs.)
Regardless, immediate change won’t happen. Obamacare won’t be repealed. Obama will veto any bill to repeal it and there aren’t enough votes to override Obama’s veto.
Mitch McConnell has already surrendered Congress’ primary weapon, the power of the purse. In an interview after Tuesday’s election, he was asked by a lib reporter if the ‘Pubs were going to shut down the government again. Instead of saying the Congress was going to send Obama a budget, the first in six years, if Obama vetos that budget, it would be him, not the ‘Pubs who would be shutting down the government. Instead, McConnell said he would cave in to Obama and the dems. If McConnell won’t use the power of the purse to carve off chunks of Obamacare, he concedes power to the liberals. The power of the purse is the only real power Congress has over the Executive…and Judicial branches.
So, what can be done? The voters won’t have any leverage now until 2016 and the RNC fought hard against their base to maintain their control of the party in this last election.
The first thing is to nominate a conservative for President, like Ted Cruz, and get him elected as President—WHILE MAINTAINING THE ‘PUB MAJORITY IN CONGRESS. Then, like Obama’s first two years in office, the ‘Pubs can pass and/or repeal bills and have a President in office who will sign them. Remember, it was a democrat controlled Congress and a democrat President that passed Obamacare, Dodd-Franks, and expanded the regulatory reach of government agencies. It will take the same degree of control to reverse those acts.
We need to take control of Washington and keep that control while removing the built-up tyranny of federal agencies and federal judgeships across the country. We see every day acts of lawfare by liberals using federal judges to make changes the libs cannot make by legislative action. It is those judges who must be removed, one by one, to reverse the liberal corruption of our nation and culture.
As I said once before, “Rot begins at the head, recovery begins from the bottom.” With control of the state legislatures, we can make change via a Convention of States, if necessary, that will curtail progressivism and socialism before they become fatal. That is a last resort. In the mean time, let’s make all the change we can with the political power we have. If that means McConnell must go as Senate Majority Leader, let’s make it so.
…is an old phrase made famous in the ’60s and ’70s. The concept was valid. However, the implementation left a lot to be desired. The phrase came to me today as I read an article in the American Thinker. Most of the nation is watching the candidates for federal office. But there are hundreds of other candidates running for local, county and state offices as well and the prognosis for THEM is more telling on the sensibilities of the country. The outlook for the dems is potentially worse than anyone thought.
Center for Politics Projected Map of the 2014 general election
One clarification. When the article below speaks of chambers, it counts the state Houses and state Senates separately. One state, Nebraska, has a single-chamber legislature. Nebraska is also, by state law, non-partisan. That leaves 98 partisan legislative chambers.
Most of the midterm attention seems to be on control of the United States Senate, with some attention on key gubernatorial races like Florida and Wisconsin, and with a smidgen of notion to the size of the Republican House majority after 2014. Most pundits see Republicans padding that current majority by some seats.
There is another level to the 2014 midterm that passes almost completely under the political radar: control of state legislatures. Twenty years ago, in the 1994 midterms, Republicans made dramatic gains in state legislatures – a vital part of our constitutional system, which had been utterly dominated by Democrats for a century.
How weak had Republicans been in state legislatures?
Consider these data. After the 1980 Reagan landslide, Democrats held 74 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers. After the 1984 Reagan landslide, in which Democrats carried only one state, Democrats held 67 out of the 98 chambers. After George H. Bush beat Dukakis in 1988, Democrats held 72 out of 98 chambers. Even when Republicans were winning the White House easily, Democrats held overwhelming strength in state legislatures.
This really changed when Newt Gingrich nationalized the midterm election with his Contract With America, which swept Republicans into secondary statewide elective offices, like lieutenant governor and state attorney general, as well as state legislative seats. After the 1994 midterms, Republicans held 46 of the 98 state legislative chambers; they held the same number after Clinton was re-elected in 1996. This strength actually grew after the 1998 midterms, when Republicans were losing House seats, and grew again after the 2000 presidential election.
That was a tipping point. Democrats had long, and rather boastfully, gerrymandered congressional districts so that the number of Democrats in the House was significantly larger than the number of votes Democrat candidates in House races received. In the reapportionment and redistricting after the 2000 census, Republicans, for the first time in a century, could stop Democrat gerrymandering and, in fact, gerrymander themselves.
Just as importantly, Republicans could now stop Democrat gerrymandering of state legislative districts and could, in fact, draw the district lines in state legislatures to maximize the number of seats Republicans would win. This strategy proved so resilient that even after the 2008 election – after two straight elections of big Democrat gains – Democrats held only 62 of the state legislative chambers, five fewer than they held after the 1984 Reagan landslide.
Hidden in the congressional gains of the 2010 Republican landslide, the GOP controlled 59 state legislative chambers, far more than at any time in modern history, and as a direct consequence of that, Republican governors like Scott Walker were able to push through laws to limit public employee unions, reduce voter fraud, and protect the sanctity of life, among other conservative reforms.
Because 2010, like 2000, was the election to choose state legislatures who would draw congressional and state legislative districts for the next decade, this Republican midterm gain was particularly important. So even when Obama was re-elected in 2012, the congressional seats that had been drawn after the census largely by Republican state legislators elected a comfortable (albeit smaller) House Republican majority, and the state legislative districts drawn largely by Republicans gave the GOP 56 of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers – a slight drop, but far more than Republicans had ever held in the heyday of Reagan or Eisenhower, both of whom won two landslide presidential elections.
After the 2014 midterm, which looks increasingly like a Republican wave election that will bring victory to Republicans in state elections as well as Senate and House elections, that 56 state legislative chambers could grow – perhaps a lot. The Democrat majority makes for just one vote in the Colorado Senate, Iowa Senate, Nevada Senate, and Washington Senate. In other chambers, the Democrat majority could easily be swept away by a modest Republican tide: Colorado House, Maine Senate, Minnesota House, Minnesota Senate, Nevada House, New Mexico Senate, New Mexico House, New York Senate, Oregon House, Oregon Senate, Washington House, and West Virginia House.
Depending upon the outcome of gubernatorial races, this could put Republicans in a position to actually control state government in sates like Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Iowa. These legislatures could pass and Republican governors sign new laws that rein in the political levies of public employee unions or create new and more effective ways to investigate and prosecute voter fraud.
No one is going to be talking about state legislative races on the Tuesday evening of this midterm, but the impact on politics and policies could be huge.
In the end, all these acts by government are suppression of ‘unalienable’ and constitutional rights by leftist controlled governments. That is why gaining control of local and state governments is so important. Political rot starts at the top. Political recovery begins at the bottom.
I’m not sure if it was the busy weekend or perhaps I’ve become a bit jaded and skeptical. I, and others from western Missouri, met with others from the eastern and central Missouri to discuss the upcoming Missouri Legislative session. It was an interesting session. One attendee was a Jeff City lobbyist who gave us insight into the political machinations in the state Capitol.
While we were meeting, conservative pols and other grassroots activists met in Jeff City, ostensibly discussing the same upcoming legislative session as were we in Columbia. I suspect that somewhere in each conversation, the subject of how to control the “must have it all now” group that alienates legislators was a common topic. If you look upon the conservative legislation passed in the last twenty years, you will find we have made significant progress. However, we must recognize that we could lose it all if we can’t keep legislators on our side.
So I come down to my office this morning, scan the state, local and national news, and find…nothing that excites me. I still remember the discussions of the weekend that reinforced my confidence in a conservative legislature. I also remember hearing about activists who, while ostensibly defending their ‘rights’, endanger all we’ve gained.
I look at 2015 and I’m not overjoyed. We will have some degree of success and equal, or perhaps greater, loss. I remember an old adage I once read, “I can protect myself from my enemies, but Heaven help me to protect me from my friends.”
The Missouri Legislature passed HB 1490 that required the state of Missouri to create new educational standards. The purpose, while not explicitly stated, was to block the spread of Common Core in Missouri. The first of the meetings of the committee began this week. Attendees were surprised to find the meeting co-opted by the Missouri Department of Education. The Department of Education was purposely not invited to host the meetings by the Legislature. That didn’t stop Governor Jay Nixon from interfering.
Last Friday, I received confirmation from the Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives office that I was picked to be a participant on a work group established by HB 1490. This allows for groups of parents and educators to work together to develop standards for our schools. The language of HB 1490 is as follows, as related to the makeup of these work groups:
3. Work group members shall be selected in the following manner: (1) Two parents of children currently enrolled in grades kindergarten through twelve shall be selected by the president pro tempore of the senate; (2) Two parents of children currently enrolled in grades kindergarten through twelve shall be selected by the speaker of the house of representatives; (3) One education professional selected by the state board of education from names submitted to it by the professional teachers’ organizations of the state; (4) One education professional selected by a statewide association of Missouri school boards; (5) One education professional selected by the state board of education from names submitted to it by a statewide coalition of school administrators; (6) Two education professionals selected by the president pro tempore of the senate in addition to the members selected under subdivision (1) of this subsection; (7) Two education professionals selected by the speaker of the house of representatives in addition to the members selected under subdivision (2) of this subsection; (8) One education professional selected by the governor; (9) One education professional selected by the lieutenant governor; (10) One education professional selected by the commissioner of higher education; (11) One education professional selected by the state board of education from names submitted to it by nationally-recognized career and technical education student organizations operating in Missouri; and (12) One education professional selected by the state board of education from names submitted to it by the heads of state-approved baccalaureate-level teacher preparation programs located in Missouri.
This would be a total of 16 members for each of the designated work groups. Notice that nowhere in this language will you find a role for DESE or their designees.
When I arrived at the Capital this morning, I was energized to be a part of the process that would determine the future of our children’s education, while preserving the local control of our school districts set forth in our state Constitution. As a parent in one of the state’s smallest school districts, the opportunity to work with parents and educators to define our State’s path in education is an honor. The responsibility of being appointed to these work groups is one that I definitely felt as I walked through the halls of our State Capital.
As I told the fellow members of our work group (History and Government, K-5), this is the single most important thing I have ever done in my life. I felt a swell of pride when I made that statement, along with a rush of emotion.
It is a responsibility not just to my children, but to all children, and parents, in the state of Missouri.
When I made my way to the Truman Building to meet the members of our work group, I was ready to get about this serious work. Upon arriving, I found myself faced with a reality that was the anti-thesis of what I was expecting and completely contrary to the language in HB 1490.
I walked in to find a small group of people, considerably less than the full 16 member panel clearly defined in HB 1490. Only ten members of our group were assembled. This was the first disappointment of the day.
I was greeted by a ‘facilitator’ when I entered the conference room. This person had assumed the role of leadership over our work group and was flanked by two other representatives from the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary education. I was puzzled. DESE, according to HB 1490, was not supposed to be a participant in these work sessions. While they are open to the public (and I encourage anyone who can attend to do so), DESE is not supposed to have a role in these groups. The state legislature went to great lengths to determine who is supposed to participate in these sessions. They did not list DESE in the language above, defining the makeup of these groups.
I didn’t say anything at first. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was witnessing. Soon after I took my seat, it became abundantly clear.
I was witnessing the same assumption of authority by DESE that has become the standard in schools across Missouri. DESE’s ‘facilitator’ was lying in wait to execute a coup of the process set forth by HB 1490, perched behind her Power Point presentation like a Black Widow ready to devour any hapless fly who dissented from DESE’s darling, the Common Core Standards.
The column continues. The DESE packed the room and then used those non-workgroup attendees to ram-rod the meeting to conform to the goals set by the DESE, not the work-group members. Other reports about the session mirror the comments above.
By SUMMER BALLENTINE and DAVID A. LIEB, September 22, 2014
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — An effort to rewrite Missouri’s educational standards got off to a tense and sometimes confrontational start Monday as parents and educators opposed to the Common Core guidelines clashed with those reluctant to ditch them.
Under a new Missouri law, eight task forces each comprised of more than a dozen appointees are supposed to recommend new learning benchmarks for public school students to replace the national Common Core guidelines by the 2016-2017 school year.
But not all of the appointees had been named in time for Monday’s initial meetings. Those who were present first argued about whether to actually meet, then about whether officials from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education should be present, who should take notes, and whether the public should be allowed to watch their work.
More than an hour into its meeting, one task force decided to shut off an education department video camera that had been recording its proceedings.
After resolving issues about how to meet, task force members sparred over the merits of the Common Core standards, which were developed by a national organization of state school officers and the National Governors Association. They are used to gauge students’ progress from grade-to-grade and create consistency between states. But opponents say they were adopted without enough local input.
Missouri is among 45 states to have adopted the Common Core standards but is one of several now backing away from them. Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina also have taken steps to rewrite their standards, North Carolina is reviewing its guidelines and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has suspended his state’s testing contracts in an attempt to halt Common Core standards.
Missouri’s attempt to forge new standards got off to such a shaky start Monday that some wondered whether it ultimately could succeed.
“If they can’t come to a consensus, what do you do at that point?” said Sarah Potter, spokeswoman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. “We’re not really sure.”
There was a clear divide among task force members between Common Core opponents appointed by Republican legislative leaders and supporters of the standards appointed by public education officials.
Before the official meetings began, about two dozen appointees of Republican legislative leaders met in the House chamber for a strategy session. Among those addressing the group was Mary Byrne, co-founder of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core, who asserted that the standards violate state law.
In some meetings, members at times spoke over each other. While some pushed to fully abandon Common Core, others sought more of a revision of the standards.
“I get told every day by parents, ‘We’re sitting at the table for hours with tears in our eyes,'” trying to do homework under the Common Core standards, said Brad Noel, of Jackson, a parent representative appointed by House Speaker Tim Jones to the elementary math task force. “A lot of it is, in my opinion, not appropriate.”
But “how do we know Common Core is not going to work? We’re barely into it,” said Ann McCoy, coordinator of the mathematics education program at the University of Central Missouri, appointed by the higher education commissioner. “It’s frustrating to me as an educator to change and change and change.”
James Shuls, a Jones appointee who is an associate professor in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, argued that the state doesn’t need detailed standards and should instead adopt minimal requirements, leaving the rest to local districts.
The task forces are to make recommendations by October 2015 to the State Board of Education, which then must gather additional public comment.
The motivation of DESE to sabotage these meetings is their determination to retain central control over the state’s education and education policy. Loose requirements that allow local school boards to determine what is best for their schools lessens the need of state oversight—and calls in question why Missouri needs such a large Education Department…or even if we need a state Department of Education at all. When their rice-bowl is threatened, it is not surprising DESE has acted the why they have. Why, if something isn’t done, these bureaucrats could find themselves out of a job!