Keep focused on the Objective

The time limit has passed.  Supposedly, the option for Akin to resign as the ‘Pub Senate candidate passed yesterday at 5PM CDT.  From what I understand, it will now take a court order to remove him as a candidate. 

There are no good options now but let’s take a look at some of those proposed solutions.

  1. Have Sarah Steelman or John Brunner run for the Senate as write-in candidates.  Unfortunately, they are prohibited by law from running, as write-ins, for an office when they’ve lost the primary for that same office.
    ”write-in candidate” is a person

    whose name is not printed on the ballot (see 115.453(4,5,6) RSMo); and who has filed a declaration of intent  to be a write-in candidate for election to office with the proper election authority prior to 5:00 p.m. on the second Friday immediately preceding the election day. It is not necessary to file a declaration of intent if there are no candidates on the ballot for that office. (see 115.453 (4) RSMo) 

    Frequently asked questions on write-in candidatesCan a write-in candidate be on a primary election ballot? No. (Section 115.453 (5) RSMo)


    If a candidate runs in a primary election and loses, can the person run in the general election for the same  office?
     No.  If a candidate files for nomination to an office and is not nominated at a primary election, that candidate cannot file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for the same office at the general election. (Section 115.453(4) RSMo)
     

    Are write-in candidates posted at the polling place? No. The election authority shall furnish a list to the election judges and counting teams prior to Election Day of all write-in candidates who have filed a declaration of intent. (Section 115.453(4) RSMo)Are write-in votes counted for every name that is written in?

      No. If a candidate is on the ballot for an office, write-in votes are counted only for the candidates who have filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate with the proper election authority.  (Section 115.453(4), first sentence) If no candidate is on the ballot for an office, it is not required to file a declaration of intent and votes are counted for every name properly written in. (Section 115.453(4) RSMo, last sentence.I am not a lawyer, but running as a 3rd-party candidate could fall under this prohibition as well.  Sarah Palin today suggested that Sarah Steelman run as a 3rd-party candidate.  Sorry Sarah P, that is not a good idea, nor, if the above statutes are applicable, a legal option.

  2. Shift support to another current candidate such as the one from the Libertarian party.Who?

    That says it all. I don’t know who’s running as the Libertarian candidate. I doubt many do since the Libertarians usually are only pull single-digit percentages in the state elections. (I had to look him up. It’s John Dine (L) who is the Libertarian candidate for the US Senate.)

  3. Remove Akin via a court order and the ‘Pub state Central Committee selects a replacement.  Wow! That would really resolve things.  The pro-Akin supporters against the non-Akin supporters. That would guarantee a split party and likely would hand the election to Claire McCaskill.

None of the options above are really viable. Each of those options would split the votes of the Party and McCaskill wins.  THAT IS WHAT THE DEMS WANT!

Let’s not forget the Objective of this exercise, this election.

Remove Claire McCaskill from office and replace her with a conservative Senator. 

I didn’t vote for Akin in the primary. He won without my vote. It’s the fact. Akin won the primary legally.

So. Sarah Palin, as much as I like you, butt out! 

John Dine: find your own supporters. Don’t plan on poaching from the ‘Pubs. 

‘Pubs: Man up. It’s time to pull up your big-boy pants and get on with life. For better or worse, the party has a candidate for Senate and it’s Todd Akin. He didn’t quit. Your hissy-fits didn’t work. Now recognize the reality and rally behind Akin and let’s win! Claire McCaskill must go!

Since Crossroads and the RNC cut funds to Akin, let’s make up the difference.  Any lessening of support will hand the election to McCaskill.

Let’s never forget the Objective: Claire McCaskill must be removed from the Senate and replaced with a conservative Senator.

Valid polls or manipulated polls?

I did not intend to enter the Akin mess. The dems love it and think it will save McCaskill’s senate seat.  The ‘Pubs are mostly running in circles, screaming and shouting with incoherence. And the people of Missouri…still like Akin? That is what one poll seems to say.

By Alexandra Jaffe – 08/21/12 06:55 AM ET

Two new polls suggest Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is still competitive in his race for Missouri’s Senate seat despite the firestorm over his controversial comments on rape.

A poll released by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) late Monday still gives Akin a single-percentage-point lead over incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), the same lead he posted in a PPP poll from late May.

A Survey USA poll, however, finds that a majority of Missourians believe he misspoke and want him to drop out, but that Akin still has support among Republicans in the red-trending state.Akin tops McCaskill by 44 percent to 43 in the PPP survey, nearly identical to their May poll where he led by 45 percent to 44, but the edge is within the survey’s 4-point margin of error.

The new PPP survey was taken between 6 and 9 p.m. Central Time on Monday — after Akin’s comments had been widely publicized and he had been asked by senior Republicans to drop out of the race.

His persistent lead — even as 75 percent of voters and over two-thirds of Republicans in the PPP poll say his comments were inappropriate — is likely due to McCaskill’s persistent unpopularity in the state. A majority, 53 percent, of Missourians disapprove of the senator, and the same percentage of independent Missourians disapprove of her as well, indicating she’ll have an uphill battle to sway voters to back her in the general election.

Still, Akin has a pretty lukewarm rating with Missourians, too, with a full 58 percent rating him unfavorably. Even those who voted for then-GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in 2008 are largely split over Akin, with 40 percent saying they view him favorably and 39 percent saying they view him unfavorably.

On the other hand, The National Review Online has a contrary piece. They believe the poll above is blowing smoke because it was weighted to favor GOP over dems by a 9 point spread. The NRO postulates the numbers may have been purposely fudged to help keep Akin in the race.

Our friend Jim Geraghty over at NRO has put on the green eye shades this morning to take a look at the poll numbers in the Todd Akin Senate race.

Over at HuffPo and AOL they are hyping a poll purporting to show that even after Akin’s rape comments he’s doing just dandy in the polls — tied with McCaskill.

Hmmmm.

Jim took a look and discovered that the number of GOP’s versus Dems was…9 points!  Which is to say, the suspicion is that the poll is deliberately weighted to produce a pro-Akin result….so that Akin will stay in the race. Jim also sweetly points out that Public Policy Polling is a Democrat-leaning polling outfit and asks:

“Anyone suspect that the Democrat polling firm might be trying to get the result they want, to ensure Akin stays in, so that he can get pummeled in November?”

I didn’t vote for Akin. But he did win the primary.  If Akin had been a democrat running for the the senate, the dems would have closed ranks behind Akin regardless of his statement. ‘Pubs however, will throw a candidate under the bus at the least provocation. For the establishment ‘Pubs, politics beats principal every time.

There oughta be a law!

Perhaps today’s blog title should be viewed as a question. Why should there be a law?  When I was growing up, our neighbor down the road had a standard statement whenever he was frustrated. “There oughta be a law!”

Be it a matter of taxes, the cost of cattle feed or when he just ran a bad weld on a seam, he said the same thing.  Repetition, of course, diminished the impact. I heard many say the same in the face of life’s adversity. In fact, I think there is (was?) a comic strip with that name. Whatever the reason, people seem to want government to resolve these situations.

Or, do we?

John Stossel wrote a commentary that appeared on Rasmussen’s website titled appropriately, “There ought Not to be a law.” Stossel takes the inverse view of this common statement and explains why more laws are not solutions to our woes. Sometimes the best solution, be it a new law or bailing out mega-corporations, is to do nothing.

 

There Ought Not to Be a Law

 

A Commentary by John Stossel

I’m a libertarian in part because I see a false choice offered by the political left and right: government control of the economy — or government control of our personal lives.

People on both sides think of themselves as freedom lovers. The left thinks government can lessen income inequality. The right thinks government can make Americans more virtuous. I say we’re best off if neither side attempts to advance its agenda via government.

Let both argue about things like drug use and poverty, but let no one be coerced by government unless he steals or attacks someone. Beyond the small amount needed to fund a highly limited government, let no one forcibly take other people’s money. When in doubt, leave it out — or rather, leave it to the market and other voluntary institutions.

But this is not how most people think. Most people see a world full of problems that can be solved by laws. They assume it’s just the laziness, stupidity or indifference of politicians that keeps them from solving our problems. But government is force — and inefficient.

That’s why it’s better if government didn’t try to address most of life’s problems.

People tend to believe that “government can!” When problems arise, they say, “There ought to be a law!”

 

The tea party gave me hope, but I was fooled again. Within months, the new “fiscally conservative” Republicans voted to preserve farm subsidies, vowed to “protect” Medicare and cringed when Romney’s future veep choice, Rep. Paul Ryan, proposed his mild deficit plan.

 

It is unfortunate that the United States, founded partly on libertarian principles, cannot admit that government has gotten too big. East Asian countries embraced markets and flourished. Sweden and Germany liberalized their labor markets and saw their economies improve.

 

But we keep passing new rules.

 

The enemy here is human intuition. Amid the dazzling bounty of the marketplace, it’s easy to take the benefits of markets for granted. I can go to a foreign country and stick a piece of plastic in the wall, and cash will come out. I can give that same piece of plastic to a stranger who doesn’t even speak my language — and he’ll rent me a car for a week. When I get home, Visa or MasterCard will send me the accounting — correct to the penny. We take such things for granted.

 

Government, by contrast, can’t even count votes accurately.

 

Yet whenever there are problems, people turn to government. Despite the central planners’ long record of failure, few of us like to think that the government which sits atop us, taking credit for everything, could really be all that rotten. 

 

The great 20th-century libertarian H.L. Mencken lamented, “A government at bottom is nothing more than a group of men, and as a practical matter most of them are inferior men. … Yet these nonentities, by the intellectual laziness of men in general … are generally obeyed as a matter of duty (and) assumed to have a kind of wisdom that is superior to ordinary wisdom.”

 

There is nothing government can do that we cannot do better as free individuals — and as groups of individuals working freely together.

 

Without big government, our possibilities are limitless.

I like Strossel’s writing. I invite you to follow the link and read the entire article. I don’t agree with everything he writes but I do agree most of the time.

His last sentence is intriguing. “Without big government, our possibilities are limitless.” NASA, surprisingly, is taking a step in this direction, albeit a small step.  NASA is privatizing our ground-to-orbit launch systems.  There have been a number of successes, small ones given the size of NASA’s current budget. It is an opportunity for a company or consortium, if they take the risk.

Limited government, limited regulation, will free innovation and growth.  That is what we need for the 21st Century or we will go the way of the Roman Empire, fragmented and powerless.

RTW

RTW—three letters that strikes terror in the hearts of liberals, democrats and unions. 

There have been a number of initiatives in Missouri to pass RTW or Right To Work to spell out the acronym.  Steve Tilley, who just resigned from the Missouri House, effectively blocked a vote on RTW saying, “It’s a waste of legislative time.”

This coming legislative session may be the time to reintroduce RTW.  A number of ‘Pub pols, including Tilley, aren’t coming back to Jeff City. Some were term limited like Tilley, others decided not to run, and still others lost in the primary.  Regardless of the reason, the number of ‘Pub RTW backers in the Missouri legislature is growing.

The real question is what is RTW and why is it good for Missouri.  The basic reason is that RTW is good for the economy and helps increase job growth.  It’s all about money.

Basically, RTW is the concept of freedom of employment without constraints or restrictions—like a union.  Unions on the other hand are against RTW because it reduces their power and their income via union dues and supplemental payments extracted from employers.

Depending upon the state—states without right-to-Work, some employees may not be required to join the union but they are still required to pay dues to the union.  What a racket—for the unions.  In other states, where a union exists, it’s join the union or no job. Think of it as being drafted into an organization that steals your money and does little or nothing in return.

The unions claim that they prevent employers from employer abuses. The truth of the matter is that unions preserve the jobs of the lazy, the incompetent at the expense of those who are productive.  Eventually, the union work force is filled with those they’ve saved—the lazy, the incompetent and others who wouldn’t be able to retain a job without the union.  The law of the lowest denominator. And before you criticize me, I grew up in a union household (UMWA) and have been a union member in the past (Teamsters.) I’ve seen with my own eyes the abuses and in some cases the outright extortion of unions.

Right to Work was allowed by the Taft Hartley Act in 1947, over Truman’s veto, that reigned in the power of the National Labor Relations Board.  Prior to Taft-Hartley, unions could, and did, close employment to only union members. Taft-Hartley gave the states the option to outlaw such tactics and to date, 23 states have done so.

The Taft–Hartley Act

Prior to the passage of the Taft–Hartley Act by Congress over President Harry S. Truman‘s veto in 1947, unions and employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act could lawfully agree to a closed shop, in which employees at unionized workplaces must be members of the union as a condition of employment. Under the law in effect before the Taft-Hartley amendments, an employee who ceased being a member of the union for whatever reason, from failure to pay dues to expulsion from the union as an internal disciplinary punishment, could also be fired even if the employee did not violate any of the employer’s rules.

The Taft–Hartley Act outlawed the closed shop. The union shop rule, which required all new employees to join the union after a minimum period after their hire, is also illegal.[1] As such, it is illegal for any employer to force an employee to join a union.

A similar arrangement to the union shop is the agency shop, under which employees must pay the equivalent of union dues, but need not formally join such union.

Section 14(b) of the Taft–Hartley Act goes further and authorizes individual states (but not local governments, such as cities or counties) to outlaw the union shop and agency shop for employees working in their jurisdictions. Under the open shop rule, an employee cannot be compelled to join or pay the equivalent of dues to a union, nor can the employee be fired if he joins the union. In other words, the employee has the right to work, regardless of whether or not he is a member or financial contributor to such a union.

We’ve all seen the effects of the union shop—GM, Chrysler, heavy manufacturing, mining. All those industries are failing.  In the case of GM, now popularly known as Government Motors, it is being propped up only by grants from the FedGov. Obama forced the sale of Chrysler to Fiat. Only Ford refused government money and is climbing out of its financial crises—there’s a lesson there for those who would learn it.

There is more proof at the state level that outlawing the closed shop works to increase employment and strengthen the economy.  I wrote about it some months ago in a blog post titled, “‘Missouri Drops in “Business Friendly State’ Poll.”

While the poll in that post is about business friendly states, those same states are also the ones with the best employment rates and economies in the nation.  The top twenty states in that poll have Right-to-Work.  If you examine the poll, those states with the strongest union presence and no RTW are at the bottom of the list. They are also the same states with the worse economies, highest unemployment and highest state debt.

This is another lesson supporting Right-to-Work if our state Representatives and Senators heed it. In the last primary, I voted for those candidates who supported RTW. I want them to validate my faith in them.

Right-to-Work. It’s time for Missouri to emerge from the unions’ socialists paradise.

Democrat declares he will not uphold the law

Yep, the democrats are upholding their reputation of lawlessness. After a Pennsylvania Appellate Judge refused an injunction against the state’s Voter ID law, a Philadelphia suburb democrat official says he will not enforce it.

A Democratic election official in Pennsylvania says he won’t enforce a new voter ID law, ahead of a state court ruling and Justice Department findings on the issue.

Delaware County elections inspector Christopher L. Broach told The Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday he would not ask voters to show photo identification at polls in November.

“To ask me to enforce something that violates civil rights is ludicrous and absolutely something I  am not willing to do,” Broach, an Internet technology consultant, told the newspaper.

He also said the law, signed this spring by GOP Gov. Tom Corbett, was a “wholly unethical decision that violates civil rights for the sake of Mitt Romney.” — Foxnews

The democrat tactic appears to be: tie the law up in court; refuse to enforce it until the election is past.  It’s what we’ve come to expect from democrats: lawlessness, corruption, and fraud.

Like Missouri, Kansas had a primary last week,  Kansas also has a Voter ID law.  Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State was asked if there was any problems with the new law.  “No,” he replied,  “There were some who arrived without ID and went home to retrieve the needed documentation.” There was only one person who arrived and said they had no ID according to Kobach. They were turned away.  Kobach didn’t say whether that individual was registered. One instance across the state. That’d be much less than one percent of the voters. Probably less than one tenth of a percent. It appears that acquiring the necessary photo ID isn’t all that big a deal!

It seems that voting is the only task that democrats believe doesn’t need a photo ID.  All other public transactions, tasks required for daily living, requires some form of ID. Photo ID at that.  The one significant duty of a citizen does not, accord to the democrats.  I would submit that is prima facie evidence of conspiracy of vote fraud.

Will the ‘Pubs in Philadelphia take this official to task? Work to have him removed from office?  Somehow, I doubt.  Philadelphia is not known as a hot-bed of conservatism. More the opposite.  What the ‘Pubs should do is insure there are poll judges and assistants at every polling station ready to document every instance of fraud and have legal help on hand to take immediate action.

Remember ACORN? Philadelphia was one of their strong-holds. They still exist. It’s up to us to insure that the inevitable democrat fraud is kept to a minimum.

Going home

The Chinese are picking up their marbles and going home.  A few years ago, Chinese companies ran to the US and entered the US market and exchanges. Now, just a few years later, they are leaving and going home. There are a number of reasons why, but US regulation and required regular documentation are factors.

China was once a communist state. Now it has evolved into a nation based on state capitalism.  In past times it would be called fascism—another form of state capitalism.

Yahoo Financial News has the story.

Chinese companies pull out of US stock markets

Chinese firms leave US stock markets amid complaints about price, accounting scrutiny

By Joe Mcdonald, AP Business Writer | Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — Just a few years after Chinese companies lined up to sell shares on Wall Street, a growing number are reversing course and pulling out of U.S. exchanges.

This week, Focus Media Holding Ltd., announced its chairman and private equity firms want to buy back its U.S.-traded shares and take the Shanghai-based advertising company private. The deal would value Focus Media at $3.5 billion, according to financial information firm Dealogic.

Smaller companies also are withdrawing from U.S. exchanges. In a sign of official encouragement, a Chinese business magazine said a state bank has provided $1 billion in loans to help companies with listings abroad move them to domestic exchanges.

The withdrawals follow accusations of improper accounting by some companies and a deadlock between Beijing and Washington over whether U.S. regulators can oversee their China-based auditors.

Some Chinese companies say they are pulling out of U.S. markets because a low share price fails to reflect the strength of their business. Withdrawing also eliminates the cost of complying with American financial reporting rules.

Focus Media “has been seriously undervalued on U.S. stock markets” and being taken private will help to promote its “long-term strategic development,” said a company spokeswoman, Lu Jing.

U.S.-traded Chinese companies faced scrutiny after auditors for several quit and others were accused of accounting irregularities. Concerns about company finances have caused share prices to tumble, costing investors several billion dollars.

“Probably all these companies have some questionable accounting, so they may prefer to move out of the U.S., not to come under too much scrutiny,” said Marc Faber, managing director of Hong Kong fund management company Marc Faber Ltd.

Some analysts compare the current Chinese companies with the Robber Barons of the 19th Century like Carnegie, Astor, Rockefeller, Gould, Morgan and many others. The Chinese, as far as treatment of their employees, are still in the 19th Century. That cheap labor enables them to compete.

How long they will last is another question and there are already rumbles that the Chinese workers are about to turn and demand the same treatment as other workers around the work.  It would be ironic that for a formerly communist nation to be beset with strikes and the formation of non-state unions.

Perhaps we should abolish unions here in the US and send them to China.  That’d stop Chinese progress for another hundred years.

What! Me read a book?

I’m a member of a private e-mail group containing over a hundred members. As with any group some are very active, some less so and others just lurk in the background.  For the most part the members are retired or nearing retirement. We’re mostly men but we do have a number of ladies who are active. The members are scattered across the country and we even have a few residing outside the US.

We’re a divergent lot but we all seem to have one common denominator—we read.  We read a lot. We read everything, fiction and non-fiction. I like science fiction and mysteries. Some members like westerns, some like thrillers and adventure fiction and others read history and historical fiction. We even have a number of preppers who read survival books, and those about restoring skills no longer popular like canning with mason jars. We’ve even created a lending library with contributions from our members.

Like I said, we read and reading is a frequent topic of conversation on the list.  A common complaint is that all too many people, the list members excepted, are not readers. I’ve met some folks who proudly state then haven’t read a book since leaving high school. “Why read,” they say, “when I can watch the movie on TV?” as if movies or TV programs were all that existed in the world.

My opinion, echoed by others, is that reading for enjoyment or for self-betterment, is a cultural thing…a familial cultural imperative. People who are readers usually had parents and/or siblings who were also readers. 

My family is an example.  My mother was an elementary teacher who started teaching at age 18.  My father was a coal miner who starting working in the mines at age 14.  My Father was both proud and embarrassed that he only reached the 8th grade. Both of my parents were avid readers. 

When I was small, before I entered the 1st grade, my parents had a small home library.  Many were Readers Digest condensed books. Some were bound issues of classics from Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and James Fenimore Cooper. My father liked Westerns and Mysteries. He had stacks of paperbacks by Mickey Spillane, Dashell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Zane Grey. 

My wife and I are readers as well. I like fiction, she likes non-fiction. My library covers our family room, hers fills two walls of her office and she has more stashed around the house. Our daughter and her husband are readers as well and the cultural imperative has been passed down to our grandkids.

Reading is a core survival skill. In today’s world, those who succeed will also have a high reading proficiency. Those who lack this skill will have great difficulty in life.  Our current schools are not helping to correct this situation. According to an article I found recently, the functional illiteracy rate of Kansas City high school graduates was in excess of 22%. One hundred years ago the US illiteracy rate was less than half that percentage.

The bare truth of this world is: if you wish to succeed, you must first be able to read, read well and read daily to keep abreast of the events of the world, to continue your education, to improve your marketable skills and to gain the knowledge to survive.

What was the last book you read and when? Are you passing this cultural imperative to your children? If you want them to succeed, have them read.