I’m Dated

For years, I’ve had a standard response when asked my name. I’m known by my middle name.  All my official documentation, however, starts with my first name followed by my middle initial.  Why?  My first name is the same as my father’s.  There are many, many people in the world in the same situation.

No big deal.

My first and last names are the same as a famous, or so I thought, golfer. My response when asked why I’m known by my middle name is, “Well, there are too many Tom Watsons running around.” That is usually followed by a short pause and then a chuckle.

I started using this response some years, well, decades ago, when I bought some gasoline using my credit card.  That card just contained my first and last names.  When he looked at my card, the attendant started asking me questions about the Master’s Golf tournament.  He thought I was the golfer ignoring the fact that we look nothing alike.  I’m much bigger than Tom the Golfer.

No longer.  Last week I started physical therapy to help relieve pain from tendinitis in my knee and shoulder. My PT is a thirty-something woman.  She reads my chart and calls me, “Thomas.” I respond with my standard response.

**Blink, blink **

No reaction. We continue with the session.  The next session we run through some exercises and she tells me she didn’t understand my name response the previous session until she mentioned it to her husband. She and her husband are outdoors people—hiking, sky-diving but apparently, no golfing.

We continue with the session until it’s time for some ultra-sound treatments. An early twenty-something woman arrives with the equipment, reads my chart and calls me, “Thomas.”  I reply with my standard response.

**Blink, blink**

“Who?” she asks.

“You know, Tom Watson…the golfer,” I reply.

“Never heard of him.”

Sigh…

Yup. I’m dated.

Friday Follies for April 27, 2012

It’s Friiiiday!  So says a quip on a local radio show.  And, as usual, I’m scrambling around looking for a topic.  When I fail, I punt.  The result?  The return of the Follies.
***
I went to a ‘Pub Lincoln Days dinner last night in a neighboring county.  A staffer for one of our state candidates needed some help. I had missed the big state Lincoln Day event earlier this year and frankly, I was curious. I also got a free dinner catered by the local ladies.  That county is famous for the quality of their catering. They deserve their reputation.
I’ll make sure to remind Mrs. Crucis when our county’s dinner comes around next month.
***
When is a crime not a crime?  When it perpetrated by a democrat.  Case in point.  It is illegal to campaign using taxpayer funds.  All campaign costs must be paid by the candidate or his campaign fund.
Obama has been stumping all across the country this week at colleges.  He claims it’s for governmental purposes.&nbs,ip; What -.he says at those stops, however, proves that claim to be a lie.  Every one is a campaign speech and even his sycophant media followers are now agreeing. John Boehner has made a formal complaint to have these trips investigated.  The WH made the usual excuse…”Bush did it too!”
***
The Eco-Wachos are on the loose again—with tacit WH approval.  The target is the largest copper deposit in the US and perhaps the world, the Pebble Mine deposit.
April 26, 2012 — 3:38 PM
Last week, as four major environmental groups in Washington were endorsing President Obama’s re-election, eco-bosses from the Natural Resources Defense Council flew a planeload of anti-industry activists halfway around the world to London.
NRDC, the New York City-based green giant ($232.3 million assets in 2010), sent its minions abroad in hopes of destroying America’s best strategic mineral reserve, one of the largest known ore bodies of copper on the planet: Alaska’s Pebble Mine deposit.
The Pebble Partnership (between Anglo American and Northern Dynasty Minerals) has invested more than $400 million to make Pebble — still in the pre-permit stage — the most environmentally friendly mine in history. The Partnership will spend several billion dollars and create about 2,000 jobs for mine construction, plus a thousand skilled mining jobs over the life of the mine. No plan has yet been released, which gives the opposition a free hand at make-believe, fear-mongering descriptions of what to expect.
Now, these groups have come together to demand the Environmental Protection Agency expand its reach under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to deny permits for Pebble before any permit has been applied for. This unprecedented power grab from the EPA would eliminate local and state authorities from having any say in the permitting process and gut the process established under the National Environmental Policy Act — passed by the environmentalists themselves. It would chill future investments not just in mining projects but also in the estimated $200 billion yearly investments in projects relying on 404(c) permits.
Alaska’s attorney general sent a strongly worded letter last month questioning the EPA’s legal authority to pre-emptively deny a permit on state land designated for mining, but the agency is nonetheless moving forward with a broad watershed assessment of the area — a study the state argues the EPA has no authority to conduct. It will be released in coming weeks and is being heralded by Big Green as a precursor to the EPA issuing a blanket permit denial. This unprecedented action would give environmentalist activists a new tool that enables them to kill almost any project anywhere.

If President Obama allows his EPA to make this brazen power grab, it will have devastating effects on the American economy. It will also tell us a lot about who’s really running the country.

Really, that last paragraph is redundant. We know who’s running the country—liberals with their hands in our pockets.
***
Bullies, Unions and Teachers.  It’s an old story. Education is all in arms about bullying in school.  The reality is that teacher’s unions are bullying their members to insure they toe the party, uh…., the union line.
April 26, 2012 — 8:00 PM
Earlier this month, the presidents of America’s two largest teachers unions co-hosted a screening of the new documentary “Bully.” The movie, of course, aims to combat bullying of schoolchildren.
But even as they publicly eschew bullying, these unions and their locals across the nation bully teachers and competing organizations to maintain membership and power. I have published a new report on the details of this ugly trend in School Reform News.
In February, a Utah teacher named Cole Kelly testified in favor of a bill that would penalize school districts for not granting all teacher organizations — not just unions, but also other professional organizations — equal access to teachers. A week later, he was released from his position as athletic director, which for school districts is tantamount to firing. His principal admitted she approved of his job performance but had released him because of pressure.
Subsequently, other teachers texted Kelly to say they agreed with him but were afraid of being fired if they spoke out or left their union. He is contesting his release.
At a new teacher orientation in Jacksonville, Fla., a union representative heard a presentation by a nonunion group. She walked onto the stage before 600 teachers, accused the presenter of being “a desperate former teacher” and stalked about the room ripping up the competition’s fliers, said Tim Farmer, membership director for the Professional Association of Colorado Educators.
These are not isolated incidents. Teachers unions engage in repeated, unashamed aggression against dissenting teachers and competitor organizations. In regular legislation-tracking for School Reform News, I have uncovered many examples of such behavior across the country. Some are as outrageous as the ones above, while others are mere annoyances. They all, however, represent a consistent effort to intimidate teachers and suppress ideas that might threaten their agenda.
“This is everywhere,” said Alexandra Schroeck, communications director for the American Association of Educators, the largest nonunion teachers association. AAE offers teachers liability insurance, professional development grants and legal representation in employment disputes, but it does not engage in collective bargaining or political activism. Its fees are approximately $15 per month, whereas union dues are often $50 per month or more. Like other nonunion teachers organizations, such as Educators4Excellence in New York and the California Teacher Empowerment Network, AAE has been growing, but it constantly runs up against unethical and sometimes illegal union-influenced resistance.
The above is only a portion of the examples given in the complete article. I urge you to read it completely and understand that unions do not exist to help their members. They exist to maintain their corporate power.  The only difference between unions and the mob is that unions have the government backing them. A government who abets unions in their quasi-legal tactics.
My mother was a teacher for over forty years. She began teaching in the Illinois Ozarks in a one room school and taught all eight grades.  She was 18 and some of her students were only a few years younger than her.  She road a horse to and from school and carried a .45 caliber revolver—a revolver she needed on occasion.
My father was a school board member for our country elementary school district and the President of that board in his last term. My sister began teaching as a circuit music teacher while she was still in college and after graduating taught government and history in a number of secondary schools including her local junior college.  For awhile, she was also the president of her local AFT (American Federation of Teachers) chapter—at a time when teacher’s unions really wanted to improve education instead of becoming more interested in political power and money-grabing.

I’ve been an insider of education since birth. I’ve seen the full transition of teacher unions from the original professional organizations to parasitical cancers that is killing the teaching profession.  It is time to remove unions from the profession.  Then, and only then, will schools really educate their students instead of just passing them through a process that fails them.
I wonder just how many “graduates” of the KC school district, after twelve years, remain functionally illiterate? I’ll bet you’d be surprised at the answer. You shouldn’t be surprised when an external agency is needed to teach reading to those who have failed.
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Here something to finish off your week.  From Glenn McCoy…
Joe Junior

Old Tales

It’s a sure sign of getting older when little things trigger a memory from prior decades.  Case in point.  Our washer croaked earlier this week.  Instead of the usual hum and swish, it started making a loud grinding noise and some oil appeared from underneath.  My non-professional diagnosis—transmission failure with chipped gears.
The washer was about ten years old. We bought it from a lady who moved into an apartment that already had appliances and for the last couple of years, it worked well.  

Until now.

During our research for a replacement, I remembered the first washer/dryer combo we bought waaaay back in the 1970s (a Kenmore of course) lasted around fifteen years. The dryer a few years longer.  The next one lasted about ten. There were others, including the working one we gave away when we bought this last one. Each generation of washers seemed to last a shorter time.

Top Loading
Washing Machine
My wife bought a new one this week and it should be delivered next week.  It has as few bells and whistles as possible—no complicated computer, minimum “energy savings” features that we could find—and it was the cheapest.

I was reminded of the old engineering maxim—the more complicated a device or system, the more that can and will go wrong.  From the reviews of the current washers, none, except one, had a “favorable recommendation” percentage higher the 45%.  The more complicated, the more “efficient”, the less favorable the review.  Many of the cited failures could be contributed to operator error.  Obviously, the designers have never heard of user testing, or if they had, ignored the results.  There is a truism in engineering: if your untrained users can’t operate your device, it won’t sell and and those who do buy will complain.  Maybe that was why all those high-efficiency, state-of-the-art appliances were all on sale.

The one exception mentioned above was the one my wife bought.  It had a high “recommendation” rating in the 80% range.  It was also the cheapest and least complicated machine in the store.  I would bet if you checked it’s sales rating, it would also be the best seller.

Rule to remember: Technology will not increase sales if your average user can’t understand or operate the device without help beyond reading the manual.

Until the new washer is delivered, my wife is visiting the local laundromat.  That was a shock too!

I effectively moved away from home when I entered college at age seventeen.  I did my own laundry.  

It cost me $0.95. A quarter each for two machines, one for whites, one for non-whites. Detergent cost a quarter out of a vending machine.  The little box was divided in half to allow equal applications for two washers.  A dryer cycle cost a dime. I used two consecutive cycles. Most of my clothes were iron-free as they were known at the time.

When my wife returned with a pile of damp clothes from her first trip to the laundromat, I asked her how much it cost.  “Four-fifty for three loads,” she replied.  She brought the clothes home to be dried in our still-working dryer.

You just don’t realize the change in cost for inflation until it slaps you in the face.  Two washer loads, at a quarter each, plus two dryer cycles cost $0.95 forty years ago. Three wash-only loads today cost four and a half bucks—six times as much per washer load!

I view this not as an example of inflation. I view this as an example of deflation of the value of our currency.  Using the value of a dollar forty years ago, today’s dollar now has one-sixth the value or $0.12.  A dime and two pennies.

And, as long as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke keeps the presses running, that value of the dollar will continue to slide.  In another forty years, if inflation does not increase, it will cost around $30 to pay for three loads of laundry.  Unfortunately, inflation cannot be expected to increase arithmetically.  As long as the idiots in Washington have access to printing presses, inflation will increase.  More likely geometrically. 

Ninety-five cents for a trip to the laundromat forty years ago.  Four Dollars-fifty cents today. thirty dollars forty years from now—if we’re lucky.                                

Gone Viral

I posted the video below on my FB page a few days ago. Within minutes, I saw it appearing on others. It wasn’t a share from mine. A number of folks must have found it at the same time.

Now this video has hit the big time—it’s the headliner on Drudge.

This video didn’t have much impact when it was just floating around the ‘net.  When it’s the headliner for Drudge…well now it has a massive impact.  I wonder what the dems think of it, hummm?
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The item below appeared in my inbox this morning.  If I remember correctly, submitting a budget is a requirement of law.  Nothing will happen with Holder as the AG. But…when the ‘Pubs take the White House next fall, one of the first items to be investigated are the criminal acts of Harry Reid and any other congressmen who have broken federal law as an act of omission.

April 29 marks the third year in which the U.S. Senate has not passed a budget — a staggering dereliction of duty, particularly given the country’s near-$16 trillion debt. But that’s not the Senate’s only blockbuster failure under the leadership of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). From spending to jobs to energy policy, the Senate has totally dropped the ball, leaving one to wonder, “What’s the Senate thinking?”

But it’s not just a matter of a simple failure or benign neglect, like forgetting to take out the trash. The way some in the Senate are behaving is equivalent to buying a dog but then deliberately choosing not to feed it. These men and women sought elective office, won a seat in the Senate and now have the power to take action to confront America’s problems. But under the leadership of Majority Leader Reid, they’re making the choice not to do so.

When it comes to the Senate’s failure to pass a budget, the facts are bleak. From 2012 to 2022, federal spending per household is projected to rise to $34,602 — a 15 percent increase. Without entitlement reform, that spending is swelling to a crippling level, exceeding 40 percent of the economy by 2050. Despite all this, the Senate is sitting on its hands and not pursuing the significant reforms that are necessary — and opting not to pass a budget for three years is emblematic of their reckless inaction.

Last week, in fact, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), whose primary responsibility is to marshal bipartisan support of a budget resolution, declined to take on the task, remarking that it would be too difficult in an election year. Last year was not an election year, and they didn’t bother to do it then, either.

I think this should come under the label: Malfeasance in Office.

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The Arizona Immigration Law will go before the Supreme Court today. The Court will hear arguments on whether the feds can block a state law that mirrors federal law.

The Senate dems must believe the SCOTUS will uphold Arizona.  Why? Because they are already scheming how to get around the Court’s verdict.

Democrats to intercept Supreme Court ruling on immigration

Schumer says law doesn’t belong to 50 different states

The Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday over Arizona’s immigration-crackdown law, but Democrats are already preparing for a potential loss by saying they’ll try to pass legislation stripping states of the power to enact their own immigration rules.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said his legislation would establish federal primacy in immigration by blocking states from taking any action. That would not only preclude state law enforcement efforts like the Arizona model now before the court, but also would overturn a Supreme Court ruling last year that upheld a different Arizona law requiring businesses to verify their workers’ legal status.

“I believe it is simply too damaging to our economy and too dangerous to our democracy to have 50 states doing 50 different things with regard to immigration policy,” said Mr. Schumer, chairman of the SenateJudiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee, as he convened a hearing on Arizona’s crackdown law, known as S.B. 1070.

Under that law, which Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed in 2010, police are required to check the legal status of those who they reasonably suspect are in the country illegally. The law also requires legal immigrants to carry their papers with them at all times when in the state.

The Obama administration has sued to block the law, arguing that it interferes with the federal government’s right to set immigration policy.

If I understand the feds logic, it the feds won’t enforce the law, the state can’t either—even when that state law is the same as federal law.

Senator Schummer evidently believes he can overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling—by an act of Congress that the Supreme Court will probably end up reviewing—and will likely overthrow like the Court did when it upheld Arizona’s 2007 law to require employers to use the Fed’s E-Verify system. A system employers were also required to use by federal law.

Makes perfect sense…if you’re a democrat.

Liberals War on the Constitution

Nancy Pelosi won’t let an opportunity to weaken the Constitution pass.  What opportunity?  Why it’s the People’s Rights Amendment that she and congressional democrats are pushing.

The phrase “stunning development” is used far too often in our politics, but here is an item that can be described in no other way: Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats, frustrated by the fact that the Bill of Rights interferes with their desire to muzzle their political opponents, have proposed to repeal the First Amendment.

That is precisely what the so-called People’s Rights Amendment would do. If this amendment were to be enacted, the cardinal rights protected by the First Amendment — free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances — would be redefined and reduced to the point of unrecognizability. The amendment would hold that the rights protected by the Constitution are enjoyed only by individuals acting individually; individuals acting in collaboration with others would be stripped of those rights. — Boston Herald.

What triggered this anti-constitution action by the democrats?  Their loss in the Citizens United v. FEC suit before the US Supreme Court.

Business Nancy Pelosi Wants to Change First Amendment to Allow Regulation of Corporate Speech

The Democratic party’s temper tantrum over Citizens United v. FEC has ratcheted up to a new level – now, instead of arguing that the ruling is wrong and the constitution doesn’t protect corporate speech, they’re arguing that the first amendment does protect corporate speech, so they’re going to change it! At least this time, they’re following the process prescribed by the Founders. The problem is, if you listen to Pelosi‘s explanation for why they’re doing it, it’s a bit…strange:
The bill in question is called the “Peoples’ Rights Amendment,” and its goal is to explicitly allow Congress to regulate corporate speech however it wants:

The effects of this amendment would effectively eliminate Free Speech.

Rep. Donna Edwards, a Maryland Democrat, nonchalantly concluded that the amendment would of course strip even political campaigns of the First Amendment rights: “All of the speech which, whether it’s corporations of campaign committees and others engage in, would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress.” The entire point of having a Bill of Rights is that there are some things Congress may not do. “Congress shall make no law” is a phrase that Democrats cannot abide, apparently. — Boston Herald. 

But this act would have an even further reach.  It would effectively eliminate the free press, if there is such a thing anymore, as well.

The so-called People’s Rights Amendment would have some strange consequences: Newspapers, television networks, magazines and online journalism operations typically are incorporated. So are political parties and campaign committees, to say nothing of nonprofits, business associations and the like. Under the People’s Rights Amendment, Thomas Friedman would still enjoy putative First Amendment protection, but it would not do him much good inasmuch as The New York Times [NYT] Co., being a corporation, would no longer be protected by the First Amendment. — Boston Herald.

Attacks against the Constitution also start at the state level, too.  One such attack is the so-called, “Direct Election of the President/Vice President.  That movement wants to eliminate the Electoral College.

JEFFERSON CITY, February 2012 — The National Popular Vote bill (HB 1719) was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives by a bipartisan group including House Speaker Steve Tilley (R), Minority Leader Mike Talboy (D), House Elections Chair Tony Dugger (R), as well as Representatives Pat Conway (D), Stephen Webber (D), Clem Smith (D), Dave Hinson (R), and Sue Entlicher (R).

In April 2011, the National Popular Vote bill (HB 974) was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives by a bipartisan group of five Republican and five Democrats, including House Speaker Steve Tilley (R), Minority Leader Mike Talboy (D), Assistant Minority Floor Leader Tishaura Jones (D), Minority Caucus Secretary Sarah Lampe (D) and House Elections Chair Tony Dugger (R) as well as Representatives Pat Conway (D), Dave Hinson (R), Lincoln Hough (R), Todd L. Richardson (R), and Stephen Webber (D).  — National Popular Vote.

This movement would effectively eliminate one of the last bastions of State’s Rights—the ability, as a state bloc, to elect the President and Vice-President.  The result would be the elimination of the balance of power between the larger, more populous states and the smaller or less populous states.  There is a reason, besides the poor travel conditions in the late 18th Century, for the creation and power of the Electoral College.
I am ashamed that some so-called conservative state representatives actually signed this state bill.  The 10th Amendment was been marginalized since the Civil War.  This “popular election” tactic is another attack, not directly against the 10th Amendment, but at another provision of State’s Rights.  The states have already lost a major facet with the 17th Amendment that created the direct election of US Senators.  Let’s not repeat that error with eliminating the Electoral College.

Remember, if it weren’t for the Electoral College, Al Gore would have won the 2000 Presidential election.  He had a small popular vote margin but he didn’t have the Electoral votes to win.

History: it’s not for dummies.  Learn it or rue it.

Recap: MO 4th Congressional District 2012 Caucus

This last Saturday, April 21st, Missouri held their 2nd level caucuses to actually select delegates to the Republican Convention this summer.  MO has eight districts with eight separate caucuses being held across the state.

Results by Congressional District (Unofficial)
Congressional District 1                        Congressional District 5
Delegates                                                         Delegates 
Heather Coil (Paul)                                        Mark Anthony Jones (Paul)
Connie Eller (Santorum)                              Ralph Munyan (Paul)
Tom Schweich (Romney)                             Paul Trask (Paul)
                                                                               
Elector                                                             Elector
David Stokes                                                  Stanley Cox
Congressional District 2                       Congressional District 6 
Delegates                                                         Delegates 
Allen Icet (Santorum)                                   Jim Willis (Romney)  
Phyllis Schlafly (Santorum)                          Jim Rooney (Gingrich) 
Jim Talent (Romney)                                    Matt Johnson (Santorum) 
Elector                                                             Elector
John Judd                                                      Matt Gerstner
Congressional District 3                       Congressional District 7 
Delegates                                                        Delegates 
Cody Baker (Romney)                                 Gordon Kinne (Romney)
Scott Dieckhaus (Romney)                          John Putnam (Santorum)
Mitch Hubbard (Santorum)                        Patsy Wilcox (Santorum)
Elector                                                             Elector
Penny Quigg                                                  Layne Morrill

Congressional District 4                      Congressional District 8

Delegates                                                       Delegates
Carla Young (Romney)                               Scott R Clark (Romney)
* Bill Kartsonis (Romney)                           Jason Smith (Romney)
Mary Ellen Snider (Romney)                     David Courtway (Romney)
(* = Caucus Delegate from Cass County)
Elector                                                            Elector
Stanley Cox                                                   Bob Green

“A total of 12 delegates were bound to Mitt Romney, 7 delegates were bound to Rick Santorum, 4 delegates were bound to Ron Paul, and 1 delegate was bound to Newt Gingrich.” — MO GOP.

Each congressional district selected three Delegates, three Alternate Delegates and one Elector.

Twenty-five additional delegates will be bound at the State Convention in June. The State Chairman, National Committeeman, and National Committeewoman will also serve as delegates. In total, Missouri has 52 national delegates. MO GOP

Mrs. Crucis and I, retired and unused to rising early, drove to Sedalia, MO, the site of the 4th District’s caucus, Friday afternoon.  We weren’t sure if we would be delegates or not until after we returned from the NRA convention and found letters from the state and district GOP committees confirming our selection.

The Cass County delegate slate had been protested. I wrote about the Cass County Caucus last month. While we were traveling to St. Louis for the NRA convention, a hearing was being held by the 4th District’s Credentialing Committee.

When the Cass County Caucus was over, the county delegate slate was short a significant number of delegates and alternate delegates.  According to the state rules, a complete slate had to be presented to the District or Cass County would lose votes. The Cass County Caucus Chairman filled the empty slots proportionally with names provided by the Romney, Paul and Gingrich group leaders.

At least two protests were lodged.  One due to the caucus meeting site being moved from the smaller Justice Center to the Harrisonville High School days before the actual caucus date. The second protest was about the Chairman filling in the empty slots in order to present a complete slate to the District and State Caucuses. (According to the rules adopted by the Cass County Caucus, the Chairman had that option in order to present a complete slate of delegates to the State and District Credentialing Committees. After the hearing, the Credentialing Committee dismissed all protests and the Cass slate was accepted as submitted with the empty slots filled by the Chairman.

As it turned out, Cass County with 43 delegates was the second largest delegation after Boone County with 52 delegates.  The number of Cass delegates turned out to be potentially crucial later in the District caucus.

After we passed through registration and credentialing, Mrs. Crucis and I found the area reserved for Cass County and sat in the front row.  I wanted to get as good a view of the proceedings as I could. I have a hearing problem that makes it difficult for me to hear when there is a lot of background noise or conversation.

One of the first orders of business was to seat the delegates. When noses were counted, it was discovered a significant number of Cass delegates failed to show.  Of those delegates present, five were from the Romney camp, four from Gingrich, eleven alternates from the Ron Paul group but only fourteen out of thirty-eight of the Santorum Cass County delegates were present. Because the seats had to be filled or we’d lose votes, the empty seats were filled by the alternates.  In the end, we had enough to fill all our allocated spaces with a few alternates left over to fill-in if and as needed. The seats could not be empty except at recesses.  If someone needed a nature break, an alternate subbed while the delegate was gone.

The caucus went quickly until the Rules Chairman presented the proposed rules.  Immediately, the Boone County delegation (all Ron Paul supporters) moved to amend the rules. They proposed at least three changes. One was declared inappropriate not being within the realm of the District authority and another was later withdrawn.  The primary motion was to delete the use of slates and instead nominate each national delegate and elector individually. Each candidate would be given an up-down vote until a slate of three delegates, thee alternates and one elector was selected. The motion was a complex scheme that would give the larger counties (Boone and Cass) more voting power than the smaller counties (some with only two delegates to the caucus.) The motion was voted down but not by a large margin.

Next was the presentation of the slates.  Two slates had already been prepared—one a Unity slate of Romney delegates and another for Santorum.  One Cass County delegate, Bill Kartsonis, was a member of the Unity delegation slate. 

After the rules discussion, a group from a number of smaller counties presented a “Mixed” slate containing one delegate and alternate each for Romney, Santorum and Paul.  The Boone County group presented a “True Republican” slate of Paul delegates.

The Nominating Committee “vetted” each candidate.  The rules stated that all national delegate candidates and the electors, must be credentialed.  As the names of each delegate from each slate was read, they rose and spoke their name and county thus eliminating any doubt who would be our delegates.

This was the same procedure that was attempted at our Cass County caucus last month.  The winning Santorum leadership refused to have their delegates stand to be recognized.  I still don’t understand that reasoning.  Being recognized before their caucus peers should have been an honor and may have imposed a sense commitment to the delegates.

Perhaps if that sense of commitment had been imposed, more of the Santorum delegates would have appeared at the District caucus. Instead, only 1/3 of the Cass County Santorum delegates actually made the trip to Sedalia.

The voting began.  I don’t remember the exact count but the rules required the winning slate receive a majority of the votes, 50%+1 vote.  In the first round, no slate had a majority.  The Unity slate had the largest number of votes followed by the Ron Paul slate with the Santorum slate in third.  The “Mixed” slate was a distant fourth.

Per the rules, the slate with the least votes was dropped and voting began anew.  Here is the important fact of Cass filling all its seats.  Cass County was the second largest delegation present. The vote differences between the top three slates weren’t far apart. As I remember, if all the Cass Santorum delegates had been present, it could have been sufficient to bounce the Ron Paul slate from second to third putting the Santorum slate in second place. Or, had the Santorum delegates aligned with the Boone County contingent, they would have had enough votes to make the Ron Paul slate the winner over the Unity/Romney slate.

It was also possible that the Santorum slate might have won.  Many of the Santorum supporters, including many from the Cass County, switched to the Unity slate.  A number stated they felt “abandoned” by Santorum’s suspension of his campaign and questioned whether he was still a candidate.  If there had been more Santorum supporters present, perhaps they could have been in the majority and the district would be sending Santorum delegates to Tampa instead of Romney delegates. The difference between the winning Unity slate and the slate with the next highest votes was half of the number of missing Cass Santorum delegates.


All that is speculation of course.  The absent Cass Santorum delegates did not appear. The Unity slate won a clear majority on the second ballot.

I congratulated Bill Kartsonis on his selection as a delegate to Tampa. He was the only Santorum leader from Cass County to be present.  He was also the only Cass County Santorum leader to represent their side at the protest hearing before the Credentialing Committee.  He didn’t win his case but he had the fortitude to stand up for his convictions.  


Kudos to you, Bill. You deserve them and congratulations for being one of our delegates at the Republican National Convention. I know you’ll do us proud.

Friday Follies for April 20, 2012

The Friday Follies is a semi-regular feature at the Court—especially when I don’t have a singular topic, or…when I’m a bit rushed.  I skated yesterday with Mrs. Crucis’ post. Yeah, instead of working, I…, well let’s say I didn’t do anything productive. I futzed all day until it was time to leave for my eldest Grandson’s twelfth birthday.

Today’s topics: Free Speech, Freddie Mae/Freddie Mac, and the Constitution.

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Ted Nugent’s remarks at the NRA Annual Meeting last weekend has the liberals all in a tizzy.  Outrageous, they proclaim while ignoring remarks from liberal politicians.

After Nugent’s remarks hit the wires, the liberals and their dem surrogates screamed!  He threatened us!  What BS.  The Secret Service called Nugent in for a few questions and found nothing objectionable.  It was just another liberal ploy to limit OUR free speech.

But what is almost as bad, maybe worse, are the remarks of some NRA members.  They feel that Nugent’s remarks are going to offend liberals or independent fence-sitters. Sebastian and Dave Workman asked the question whether NRA members thought Nugent’s remarks was helpful or harmful.  They received comments from both sides, but in my opinion the tilt was decisively favorable to Nugent.

To my opinion, those who had negative views on Nugent are the NRA’s equivalent of RINOs in the Republican party.

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The Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell has an interesting question today, “What would happen if Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac went away?”

So what would happen if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were phased out? Would the absence of their ability to offer lower interest loans and smaller down payments impact the cost of homes in America? Anaraki’s analysis shows that it would not. In fact, interest rates and changes in down payment requirements have little influence on housing prices. Instead, fundamentals–such as household assets, personal income, the S&P Index, and the effective tax rate–play substantial roles in shaping home prices. As such, she advises, it’s time for Washington to get out of the business altogether:

The federal government should avoid offering any subsidy in the form of lower interest rates or lower down payments because it adversely affects both the housing market and the economy over the long term. Although such a policy may boost the demand side in the short term, it risks inflating another housing bubble in the medium or long term.


Eliminating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in fact, will help more Americans afford homeownership. Since these institutions increase demand — thereby increasing home prices — it becomes increasingly difficult for lower-income Americans to afford to purchase homes without subsidized interest rates. If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are eliminated, interest rates may slightly go up initially, but Anaraki finds that “higher interest rates will lead to lower median home prices, which in turn will increase the ability of low-income groups to purchase a house.” What’s more, competition among housing lenders would increase, leading to lower interest rates in the medium to long term.

The answer would be—nothing too harmful.  Yes, it would be more difficult to buy a home. But those who do would be more able to actually pay for the home instead of having the FedGov subsidize the loan.  When the FedGov gets involved, the buyers lose any incentive to…actively be a homeowner. Instead, the home morphs into just another piece of federal housing.

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On the Morning Bell’s side-bar is this item. An on-line analysis of the Constitution—line by line.

How well do you think you know the Constitution? If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about it, now is your chance. Heritage just launched ConstitutionOnline — a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of every single clause in the Constitution. 

Government and the Constitution isn’t taught in most (all?) secondary schools anymore.  When I met Dave Workman at the Second Amendment Foundation booth at the NRA Annual Meeting last week, he was talking to a gentleman about the proposed UN treaty to limit personal ownership of firearms.

This adult man, in his forties I’d guess by his appearance, didn’t know that the Senate was responsible for ratifying international treaties.  Nor did he know that it required a 2/3rds vote of the Senate—a level of difficulty purposely inserted in the Constitution to insure that treaties weren’t approved frivolously. This individual thought Obama could approve the treaty by fiat. Dave Workman and I were both surprised by the ignorance of this apparently well educated man.

It’s time we urged…no, require our educators to return to teaching government and the Constitution.  When I graduated from High School, in Illinois in the 1960s, I was required by the State of Illinois to pass a test on the Illinois and the US Constitutions as a requirement for receiving a diploma.  We now have graduation requirements for public service. Why can we not have a similar requirement to learn and understand our state and federal constitutions?  It seems to me that such a requirement would be more beneficial to the student that working the soup line at the local homeless shelter.