Raucous Caucus – Cass County

Last Saturday was the local GOP caucus for Missouri. There was at least one caucus in each county; more than one caucus in some of the more heavily populated counties. Cass County has one of the larger delegations to the District Caucus later this month and to the state convention next month.

The lessons of this last weekend is: Do your homework and be prepared. In the end it was apparent across the state that the Cruziers did their homework and were prepared. The Followers of the Narcissist and others didn’t and weren’t.

I attended the last local caucus and was a delegate to the District Caucus and to the GOP State Convention in 2012. I reported on these experiences. This year, the caucuses (or is it caucii?) were more well behaved than in 2012.

The 2016 caucus was different than the one in 2012 due to a few but important rule changes. This year the slates presented to the caucii for the District Caucii and State Convention had to submitted in writing and must have been previously vetted, i.e., the people named on the slate must be known as “good Republicans” and have agreed to be a delegate.

One complication was that this year the MO State Central Committee allowed people to pre-register on the state website and people could click a check-box when registering. People wondered if that information had been relayed to the county central committees. It had, said Cass County Caucus Chairman Bill Kartsonis.

The Caucus began with the Pledge of Alliance and a Prayer. The Caucus Chairman and Secretary were elected. When it came time to present slates, one was submitted according to the rules. No other slates were ready for submission.

That’s when the caucus became raucous.

A vocal minority, and it was a distinct minority, raised questions and objections. They had NOT done their homework. Apparently they had assumed the rules for the 2016 caucus were the same as those in 2012. They complained the rules had not been made public! The disrupters continued with objections. It was apparent they weren’t interested in having their questions answered.

The rules had been made publics, at least a couple of months previously. I first read the rules from the MO GOP website as far back as February, if I remember the date correctly. The call to caucus had been made public for at least a month and more, weeks prior to the MO presidential primary in March, and links to the rules were disseminated via social networks and on a number of state GOP websites. The protesters’ lack of internet Google-fu was not the fault of, nor an issue for the GOP leadership.

In short, there were unprepared. They had no slate. Could not create a slate that did not includes names stolen from the first slate. The Rules stated that a name could only be submitted once. Names from one slate could not be included in an opposing slate.

Instead, the disrupters attempted to have the caucus modify the other state—not theirs since they didn’t have one but the slate created by local GOP activists called the Unity Slate. The disrupters wanted to remove some vetted names and to replace them with others, some of whom were not present nor vetted.

It reminded me of the Soros funded, Bernie Sanders followers who have disrupted rallies by Trump and Cruz. I call it attempted sabotage.

In the end, their attempts didn’t work. The sole slate that was submitted (full disclosure, my name and that of my wife were on both the Unity District and State slates) was voted upon and approved.

One strange thing I noted and I wondered if the reporter who was present observed the same, the names Cruz, Kasich, and Trump were never uttered by anyone during the entire caucus. In fact I only saw one of the three names appear. One woman wore a Trump t-shirt.

Compared to 2012, the Cass County 2016 caucus was a cake-walk. It happened because those who prepared the sole submitted slate read the rules, made preparations and were ready for the caucus. The others, who was led by a reportedly Ron Paul, libertarian activist, did not. Strangely, she did have some changes to be submitted to the state GOP platform. A few were approved. Why hadn’t she taken the same care to create and present a slate to the caucus? Perhaps that wasn’t her intent? Perhaps her intent was solely to be disruptive and attempt to have no slate submitted at all? Regardless of her intentions, she failed.

Planning and preparedness versus no planning and ignorance. That scenario is being played out across the country. In Colorado, the Cruz organization did their homework, were prepared, and walked off with all, or at least the large majority, of the Colorado delegates. That happened in Kansas, Maine, Wyoming, North Dakota and Wisconsin, plus some others, too. The Cruz organization is prepared. The Trump…whatever he calls his unorganized mob, isn’t.

The Followers of the Narcissist call those state wins made through planning and preparedness, corruption. They claim the delegates were stolen. The Follwers, like Trump, assume the country will blindly lead a bombastic, egotistical con man, and no planning nor preparation should be necessary.

It is significant that Trump has lost the last seven primaries/state caucus. Poor or no planning will never win over a well organized campaign. That is true in Missouri as well when the Followers of the Narcissist lost in a St Louis area caucus against a prepared and planned campaign by the Cruz organization.

Contrary to popular belief, these county caucus meetings select no delegates to the national GOP convention. They only select delegates to the District caucus and to the state convention. Three GOP national delegates will be selected in each congressional district. The remainder will be selected during the GOP state convention next month.

The Missouri Caucus process isn’t over. Just the first of three steps have been taken.

One interesting bit of information was announced early in the caucus. The Missouri Primary conducted last month still hasn’t been verified by the Missouri Secretary of State. At the last count, only 1200 votes separated Cruz from Trump. The delay is due to the arrival of overseas votes who have yet to be counted. If either Cruz or Trump had acquired 50% + 1 vote, the caucus would have been moot. All the delegates would have gone to the winner. However since neither acquired that 50% + 1 votes across the state, the delegates will be assigned proportionally via the three-tier caucus process—and there the preparedness and the Cruz organization will be significant.

To quote Yogi Berra, “It aint’t over ’til it’s over!”



The third party controversy has risen again. With the continuing slander by Trump against Cruz. Trump’s attack against Heidi Cruz. Would any of the ‘Pub candidates vow to support the party’s nominee. Trump said this week to a reporter if he would keep his promise not to run as a third-party candidate, he said no if he, in Trump’s opinion, was treated unfairly. Similrly, when asked whether they would support a Trump candidacy, Cruz and Kasich refused to answer. Trump has always threatened to run third party if the GOP didn’t roll over for him. It is easy to look forward and see if Trump, or Cruz for that matter, would run as a third party candidate.

The conventional wisdom is that it would be a repeat of Ross Perot’s run in the ’92 election. The Perot voters drew enough votes from the GOP to give Clinton the election.

With all the attention being given to Trump, Cruz and Kasich over a third-party run, the media is ignoring what is happening with the communist, uhh, democrat side of the slate. Bernie the Marxist, who has never held a job outside of government, is running neck-and-neck against Hillary in the vote count.

The DNC establishment rules gives the party the final choice on who will be their national candidate. Their establishment has decided that it is Hillary’s turn to run. They ignore the possibility that Hillary may be indicted before election day next Fall.

The deal between Obama and the Clintons appears to have ended.  Bill, in a speaking engagement this last week, said the last eight years were the worst in US history.  Chelsea, in a rally scantily attended, made similar remarks. In her speech, Chelsea attacked Obamacare and its rising costs.

No one has ever accused Obama of having a thick skin. These attacks by the Clinton will not go unnoticed. Nor will Obama let them slide by. Retribution, in some form, will be coming. It could be that Obama’s Justice Department will unlock the chains from the FBI and an indictment may be coming, sooner, rather than later.

The DNC has decided that Bernie will not be their candidate. One example occurred this week when the local dem establishment forgot to put Bernie’s name on the DC ballot.

The DNC has total control of the democrat convention. Their party delegates—those selected directly by the party rather than those selected through the primary/caucus method, give Hillary the DNC control of the convention. These party-controlled delegates are more than enough to control the outcome of the democrat convention.

Given that situation, is it not unlikely that Bernie may split from the dems and run as a socialist candidate? He certainly has the following and his Brownshirts could easily change their focus from Trump to Hillary.

The following scenario is, therefore, possible. Trump, amid the growing support for Cruz, decides to run as an independent. Bernie, realizing he cannot win the dem convention, splits and runs as a Marxist of some label.

Who would win?

Good question. Trump wouldn’t. A significant portion of his followers are democrats. Would they remain? Don’t think so.

Would Hillary win? With the loss of the communists socialists within the party, she would definitely be in the minority.

Could Bernie pull it off? Does Bernie have sufficient numbers of college-age idiots who are looking desperately for a bailout of their college loans? Unlikely.

That leaves Cruz. He is gaining on Trump in the polls and endorsements. Jeb has, reluctantly, endorsed Cruz. So has Mike Lee, Cruz’ Senate colleague and and long-time supporter, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, plus other big-name endorsements. Can the remaining GOP and conservatives form a coalition to win the election? Don’t know.

In the end, it could quite possibly be a civics lesson on the institution and purpose of the Electoral College.  The College Electors could be the deciding factor in an election as pivotal and controversial as that of 1860. And…the end of the US two-party system.

The FIX is in

The fix is in and I’m not talking about Hillary’s garnering most of the New Hampshire delegates while only winning a third of the votes. No, I’m talking about the GOP establishment fix for Rubio. 

I’ve been watching the GOP manipulate the GOP Presidential race for a while. My first inkling was last summer when I received emails asking me to support Jeb Bush for Prez. It gave all the usual reasons—only he could beat Hillary, only he could get the “independent” vote, only he could get the Hispanic vote, only he could, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The emails were from different groups, PACs mostly, but all originating from a common internet address, one that I finally traced back to the RNC.

When Bush tanked, I started getting emails supporting Rubio. Again supposedly from different sources but again from the same internet address—the same address that was used for Jeb emails.

There has been other signs of the RNC selection of Rubio. For instance the despicable spectacle of the South Carolina debate where Reince Priebus packed the audience with establishment activists to boo everyone except Rubio.

Another sign is various establishment officials, such as Sam Brownback announcing their support for Rubio, who need the establishment to remain in office or owe the establishment for their last election.

I’ve also received some emails from Missourians asking me to support Rubio while claiming Cruz is unelectable, citing a number of reasons starting with the false claim of Cruz not be eligible, through all the lies spewed by Trump.

I remember how the Missouri establishment rammed Romney through the 2012 Caucus. I was a Newt support in that caucus. In the end, I was duped into voting for Romney by a friend who later apologized to me for doing so. He was a Romney campaign worker who later regretted supporting Romney.

Cruz seems to have strong support in Western Missouri. Eastern Missouri, however, is the establishment stronghold and Eastern Missouri is pushing Rubio. The southern portion of the state appears to be following the Narcissist.

Missouri’s caucus timing will be after Super Tuesday. It’s possible the overall decision will have already been made and once again Missouri’s caucus will be a futile effort that results in nothing meaningful.

I understand why the Missouri GOP prefers the caucus. It is supposedly to prevent sabotage by libs and third parties. I’m unsure if those fears are valid. I suspect not. If they were valid, why not have the GOP controlled legislature change state law and require registering by party. Then, in a primary, you could only vote for your party’s slate.

No, that would make too much sense. The real reason why the Missouri GOP still has a caucus is control—control by the state establishment to block interlopers—like Cruz.

Yes, the fix is in. In Kansas and Missouri, the fix is in for the establishment candidate, Marco Rubio, the country be damned. Illegal immigration and open borders will be safe.


Over the last year I’ve been a bit…lax about maintaining my blog.  I rectified that, somewhat, today. It was time to check my side-bar links. I number of the blog sites hadn’t been updated in a year.

One, Frank James’ site, I had kept for nostalgia. I respected Frank greatly and had met him a number of times, the last being at the NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis. Frank had a stroke a few months later and passed last year of complications from that stroke. I read his last few entries before deleting his site from the side-bar. It was time to move on.

Like everything, time moves on. I’ve revitalized my ham radio hobby. Reading Roberta’s blog is a joy. I’ve added a boat-anchor to my collection, too, a 1950s Hallicrafters SX-101a receiver. Someday I’ll add a tube- based transmitter and join the folks reviving AM on 3.885MHz.

Maybe, as the election season proceeds, I’ll return here for more posting.


Rubio takes a beating in the NH debate.

Tomorrow is the day in New Hampshire. The Trumpster is ‘supposed’ to win for the ‘pubs and Hillary for the dems. The establishments of both parties has ordained that result.

It worked for the dems in Iowa even if they had to fudge the books—again. It seems strange to me that the precinct who had a single dem attendee and who voted for the ‘crazy old man,’ went to Hillary. It’s also strange and beyond the realm of probability that Hillary won all six coin tosses in Iowa.

But Iowa is over. Lawyers in New Hampshire have proclaimed all will be legal and aboveboard in New Hampshire. We’ll have to wait and see.

In last Saturday’s pre-election debate, the Trumpster did not fare well. Neither did Rubio. Jeb took on Trump pounding the Trumpster over his support of Eminent Domain. Trump complained he never took anyone’s property. He was right in a way. He took a woman to court in New Jersey in the ’90s to seize her property for a parking lot next to one of his casinos. He lost! It’s true he didn’t take anyone’s property in New Jersey using Eminent Domain but he sure tried.

Rubio took a licking from Christie, too, and rightfully so. When you use the same tactic over and over again, sooner or later you opposition will notice and lay a trap for you. That’s what happened to Rubio. When you watch the video, it’s comical. Rubio stood there like a performer at amateur night at the local comedy house and Christie proceeded to chip large chucks off his stock performance. Polls following the debate have Rubio a number of points lower.

Curz and Carson fared well mainly because they were ignored by the moderators. Neither was given much opportunity to speak—Carson because he is now viewed by the MSM as losing and Cruz because whenever the MSM attack him, they come up the loser looking ridiculous.

I am no prognosticator. I cannot tell you how Cruz and the others will do in New Hampshire. I do expect Cruz to maintain his rising power.

Trump, in my opinion, is losing ground. His vitriol has hurt his campaign efforts. He vilified Cruz running up to Iowa and after. Then, he says Cruz is a nice guy—days after he called Cruz a nasty guy. Trump’s vitriol has recoiled on himself and has hurt Trump more than it does others and some of Trump’s supporters are dropping by the wayside. (Comparing Trump with Obama is another posting…or maybe not. There’s not all that much difference. Both are narcissists whose primary interest is themselves.)

Cruz picked up some Rand Paul supporters, more importantly, some Rand Paul financial supporters. Rand Paul hasn’t endorsed Cruz but many of his former supporters have. That helps Cruz and doesn’t help Trump nor Rubio.

Missouri will have its primary next month, March 15th. The Missouri pubbies will have their Presidential Caucus on April 9th. The GOP chose the caucus to limit, to a certain degree, infiltration by dems and third party followers. They also use the caucus to give the state GOP establishment more control over the process and the result.

The caucus method allowed the establishment to select Romney in 2012. I speculate they will line up behind Rubio, the new establishment darling, this year. It’ll be a tough job. Cruz has a lot of supporters in the western half of Missouri.

If you are a ‘pub, it is important for you to vote in the primary AND to attend the caucus. Check your local GOP central committee for the caucus locations in your county.

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve at the Farm

Growing up on the farm, we had a few traditions—mostly imported, that we upheld. New Years was a family holiday. Kith ‘n kin visited on Thanksgiving and Christmas. New Years, however, was just Mom, Dad, me and later Grandma.

The farm was located in the middle of coal country in southern Illinois. The population was mostly Scots/Irish/English who brought mining skills learned in the coal mines of England and Wales. During the Union/Mine Owner wars of the early 20th century, many East Europeans were brought in as strike breakers. After the strikes were resolved, the East Europeans—Poles, Hungarians and various Russians, became good union members and added their traditions to those of their predecessors. However, their new traditions were mostly religious holidays than of New Years.

http://www.viewsofthepast.com/photos/hunt/h-camp-017.jpgOne tradition that became almost universal was the tradition of the gift of coal. The tradition came from Wales, northern England and Scotland. The tradition was that the home would have good luck if the first person to cross the threshold in the new year was a dark haired Englishman, Welshman, Scot, Irish (add other nationality here) wishing everyone within Happy New Year and bringing a gift of a bucket of coal to warm the hearth. My Dad fit that job description and since I was the next oldest (only) male in the house, I assisted with the tradition.

Come New Years Eve around 11PM, earlier in some locales, the men of the house would leave with a bucket of coal, their shotgun, and, for those who imbibed, a bottle or mason jar of holiday cheer. In town, they would usually head for the closest bar or other gathering place and wait for the mine whistle to blow the arrival of midnight.

At the farm, we had three close neighbors; John Davis, our neighbor just across the road from the farm, Sy Malone, a friend of Dad’s who had a small farm a quarter-mile to our west, and Ken Shoemaker who lived a couple of hundred yards to the east. All were coal miners or had been. Ken Shoemaker was also a bus driver for the High School. John Davis’ place was the most central of us and he had a heated barn for his heifers. That was our gathering place.

Ken and Sy usually arrived early bringing some ‘shine that Sy made in the woods in back of his house. John would join next. By the time Dad and I arrived, they were sitting around a kerosene heater and usually well lubricated. The men talked and drank. Dad sipped tea from a thermos he had brought. I listened. I heard quite a bit of gossip, bragging and stories while waiting in that barn.

Remembering those times, I’m amazed that with all the drinking that occurred, there was never a firearm accident. I think folks were more used to guns and how to handle them. Many were WW2 veterans such as Ken and Sy Malone. John Davis supplemented his mine income by trapping pelts and as an occasional commercial meat hunter. Dad was a long-time hunter as well. They were experienced folks who acquired gun-handling habits that just weren’t broken even when one has consumed large amounts of alcohol.

In coal country, the time standard was the mine whistle. The whistle blew at shift change each day, at noon, and on New Years Eve, at midnight. The closest mine to the farm was about five miles away. That mine, Orient #2, was on the north edge of West Frankfort. Dad, John and Sy worked there. Ken worked occasionally at Orient #3.

When midnight neared, everyone loaded their shotguns—usually with #6 or #7 1/2 shot, and went outside to listen for the whistle. At the stroke of midnight, delayed only by distance, we heard the mine whistles; Orient #2 to the south, followed by Old Ben #9 to the south-east. Another whistle arrived from the west, followed slightly late by Orient #3 from the north. The men raised their shotguns and in turn fired three times into the air. Nine shots in all.

As the sound of their shots faded away, I could hear the patter of falling shot and the echoes of other shotguns rolling in from surrounding points. In the far distance, I could hear the Sheriff let loose with his Thompson sub-machine gun…a weapon confiscated from Charlie Birger decades before. Charlie Birger was tried for murder and hanged—the last public hanging in Illinois.

As the gunfire died away, each man picked up his bucket of coal, his shotgun and began the trek home to be the first dark-headed man to cross the home’s threshold. In lieu of hair, John Davis wore a dark hat.

It was a short walk for Dad and me, just across the road and up the drive. Dad walked up to our front door and knocked. Mom would answer and Dad would exclaim, “Happy New Year!” and we’d go inside to the warmth. Mom would have coffee or more tea for Dad, a glass of milk for me and either cake, sweet rolls or home-made doughnuts depending on what she and Grandma had made that day.

New Years was a family celebration, but New Years Eve was one for males. A celebration in the cold or in a warm barn. A gathering of men, boys, talk, drink and memories. The communal celebration of the coming year.

Merry Christmas!


And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…Luke, 2:1 KJV