I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Friday, December 31, 2010

Ohio Man Blames Ozzy For DUI

CLEVELAND (AP) — A suspected drunken driver who blames his arrest on Ozzy Osbourne and his music is awaiting arraignment in Ohio.

Thirty-three-year-old William Liston of Aurora was arrested Christmas Eve in suburban Cleveland. According to WJW-TV, he told officers, "Ozzy Osbourne and his music made me do it." Liston is to appear in court Tuesday on a charge of operating a vehicle while impaired.

Read the rest of the story here.

2010 In Review, 2011 Coming Down Tracks

2010 was an amazing year politically, culturally and emotionally for many Oklahomans.  There can be no question that multitudes were scratching their heads throughout the year, wondering just what in the heck had happened.

Here is a look back at some of the stories that caught my attention and will continue to garner attention in 2011:

Republican Sweep:  2010 brought a Republican sweep in the House, the Senate and statewide offices.  The defeat of even Senator Jay Paul Gumm in what is arguably one of the most Democratic Districts in Oklahoma shocked and surprised everyone.  A dentist is now the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Republicans own the Corporation Commission.  Oklahoma has its first woman governor - a female governor.  In 2011, the Republicans will have an opportunity to fulfill their promises or in 2012, there will be another shift in power. 

District Attorney Prater
Ersland Case:  The Jerome Ersland case has polarized Republicans and Democrats alike.  For 2nd Amendment champions, there is division as well.  Ersland drew down and dropped a bad guy, but then went back and reloaded.  This is a case that will make or break the popular District Attorney, David Prater. 

Randy Terrill, Debe Leftwich:  Another high profile case that has drawn and will continue to make headlines is the charges of corruption and bribery of two elected officials.  The defendants have made it clear that they believe District Attorney David Prater is on a political "witch hunt," and Prater believes very strongly that this is not only a case of bribery, but underscores the need for strong responses to what the public perceives to be corruption. 

State Question 744:  Shot down in flames to the point of mandate, the people of Oklahoma are sickened by the condition of our education delivery mechanism and wholesale changes will be made in 2011 as a result.  Much like the gasoline tax the Attorney General's spokesbabe pushed a few years ago that failed, this state question will be the catalyst for positive change.

MAPS3:  The Tea Party opposed MAPS3, the establishment and Chamber of Commerce supported it and the tax increase (continuation) passed.  Rumor has it that an independent taxpayer watchdog group is paying attention and will be creating a fuss as to how the revenues are spent.


Camp Counselor to Congress:  Oklahoma is the reddest of red states and the 2010 Republican sweep set the standard for other states to follow.  Our disgust with the status quo reached epic proportions to the point where we sent a man with no private sector experience whatsoever, but was a camp counselor at a Christian summer camp.  Fascinating.

2011 is already shaping up to be a spectacular year for reform and revelations about more and more of our elected officials who have been playing fast and loose with the truth.  The Terrill/Leftwich investigation will more than likely blossom to uncover other issues with other legislators. 

It's going to be a lot of fun, kids.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

Some years ago, I wrote a polemic or two dealing with the deplorable acts of some televangelists and in a few cases, saw religious broadcasters actually remove individuals from the airwaves.  There was one pseudo-televangelist that was particularly troublesome (Bob Larson) because his theological construct was exceptionally dangerous.  His theory was that Christians could be possessed by demons. 

Lady Justice Not Blind
In the midst of the doctrinal debate, I became friends with a staunch agnostic who absolutely hated Bob Larson.  He had been after Larson for years and really made no headway, but his hatred for the man simply burned deeper than anything I have experienced until recently.  This friend would get enormously frustrated with the process of working within the wonderful world of evangelical broadcasting and he used to say to me all the time, "justice delayed is justice denied." 

I used to disagree with the man but I think he may have been on to something.  Today, the airwaves are littered with numerous televangelists whose doctrines of greed have become the norm rather than the exception.  Politics is much the same way as well, isn't it?  Year after year we experience corruption, cronyism, broken promises...and every election cycle, we drink deep.

Conventional Christian wisdom dictates that we are to "wait upon the Lord," to be patient, kind and loving in our endeavors - even in the face of liars and the most depraved of humankind.  My agnostic friend disagreed.  He believed that immediate action was required to achieve that which he called "justice."  Christians understand that in order to receive "justice" it is to be meted out equally and that isn't something those who have a grasp of Romans 3 truly desire.  But there are times that try the very fabric of your being.  Times and circumstances that cause every molecule in one's existence to shudder, to demand "justice" of some sort.

We know, and history has proven, that money and privilege can buy influence.  O.J. Simpson was found "not guilty" by a jury of his peers even in the face of reality.  Regardless of the evidence, regardless of the testimony, he was found "not guilty."  Contrast that with the case of Jeffrey Todd Pierce.  A man without influence, and he certainly had no friends in the prosecutor's office, who was found guilty of a crime he did not commit  and it took 15 years of agony in prison to actually PROVE his innocence.  Think about that for a moment:  He had to PROVE his innocence. 

Law enforcement officers bust their chops and put their lives on the line every single day to keep us safe and to keep the roads safe only to have their reports called "hearsay" by an attorney who sleeps under the blanket of freedom and protection others provide.  It's the world in which we live and try as we might, our efforts are much like the author of Ecclesiastes states:  "Chasing after the wind."  Law enforcement busts them, the system puts the influential back out on the streets with impunity and then the system scratches its collective head and wonders why so many take the law into their own hands and mete out their own brand of justice.

Other countries, in some ways, have a better grasp on these types of issues than we Americans.  For example, in Europe, if a televangelist makes an outrageous claim, they must prove their claim or be booted off the airwaves.  It's basic "proof in advertising" that somehow eludes us. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Guest Editorial: It’s Time for the Negative Income Tax

Craig Dawkins
It’s Time for the Negative Income Tax
By Craig Dawkins

December 25, 2010

The late, great economist Milton Friedman developed a revolutionary concept in social welfare and income taxation in his 1962 book “Capitalism and Freedom.” He called it the negative income tax (NIT).  Properly written into law, the NIT would totally reform every social welfare program in America while, at the same time, reforming the federal income tax system.

Here’s how the NIT works. Every citizen over the age of 18 would receive a fixed amount from the federal government every year. (I know what you’re thinking but just wait and read on.) The tax rate on income would tax incomes at a flat rate, say 25%. The NIT would have no effect on Social Security or Medicare. At this point you are still scrunching your nose. Continue please.

Under my NIT example of a 25% tax rate, a person who earns $40,000 would owe $10,000 in taxes. But if they get a NIT of $10,000, they would have net taxes of ZERO. Only those earning more than $40,000 would actually have to pay taxes under my example. Without getting bogged down, that’s the quick and dirty on how it works. The tax rate and NIT assumptions could be modified to suit different priorities. Now for the good stuff.

 The U.S. has never needed fiscal reform and austerity measures more than today. A negative income tax would eliminate most every federal  social welfare program. It would just shut them down. With the NIT, they are needed no more. With one fell swoop, the NIT eliminates a bunch of state and federal bureaucrats. A massive reduction in the government workforce would ensue.

Social problems like homelessness, hunger, and the concern of illegal aliens acquiring social services would come to an end. If all tax loopholes were closed and a flat income tax rate adopted, government revenues would increase while net tax rates would decline for most Americans. Incentives for work would increase significantly as people would keep a historically large portion of their incomes. And people who have become dependent on government for everything they need can learn to be responsible for their own needs with the financial resources made available by the NIT.

Freedom would be enhanced as the NIT system would completely disempower the nanny-state. Big government do-gooders who seek to regulate the food we eat, the liquids we drink, the smoke we ingest, the sugar and salt content we intake, would be left frustrated and banished. People would be free to consume what they wish to consume, including hand guns.  The personal liberty robbing government agencies would be closed forever. That would be a huge step in the right direction.
  
But this prospect offers little for most liberals/progressives who hate the idea that people would be given resources that don’t restrict personal freedoms. They believe government knows best.  Liberals want to social engineer society by offering targeted tax reductions to manipulate how people use and invest their financial resources. And they want and need that large, bloated federal bureaucracy to power their agenda.

The NIT agitates many conservatives who, like liberals, also want to control the freedoms of Americans through the social welfare model. They like the idea of telling welfare recipients that they can’t use their aid on slot machines, alcohol, or cigarettes. Many conservatives also believe government knows best. They, just like liberals, are misguided. Some are bothered because they don’t want an income tax at all and advocate a repeal of the 16th Amendment. That horse left the barn almost 100 years ago.

The NIT would be a compromise system. Since the principle problem of the poor is the lack of money, the NIT solves that problem. It also shuts down ever growing bureaucratic agencies which use our tax dollars to lobby Congress for more and more money. The NIT also nicely deals with the immigration problem in that only legal residents would receive the NIT. If immigrants come, they come to work. No welfare. No aid. No màs! If combined with a flat income tax, the NIT would empower liberty, not perfectly, but it would greatly improve the status quo. 
 
Craig Dawkins is a professor of economics and finance, a policy analyst and activist for a freer society. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Live "A Christmas Carol" From WKY Days

It was an attempt of the "old school" radio days.  A live presentation of A Christmas Carol and it was fun, but intensely difficult.  Shawn Carey and I worked our rears off editing the script to make it "radio-friendly," we worked on all the music, the sound effects and frankly, we pulled it off.

It's long, over an hour and a half, but fun nonetheless.

Some of the characters:
Narrator:  Kelly Ogle
Scrooge:  Ron Black
Ghost of Christmas Past:  Dax Davis
Scrooge's Nephew:  Keith Gaddie
Gentleman of Charity:  Bud Elder
Young Scrooge, Bob Cratchit:  Josh Butler
Belle, Others:  Shawn Carey
Ghost of Christmas Present:  Brad Copeland

Others were involved, just can't remember all the names.  It was a spectacular event.  Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brady Campaign Fail

Found a picture of this sign.  Appears as though the Brady Bunch thought it work work AGAINST gun ownership.  Failure of historic proportions.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Higher Ed Gearing Up For Gun Battle

Late last evening, I received an email from a legislator who has been a very active supporter of 2nd Amendment rights.  His email included a forwarded email from a constituent who happens to work for one of our institutions of higher learning and it included a web link to a "poll" about campus concealed carry. 

It came from the OSU-OKC campus.  Pistol Pete would hang his head in shame...

As we have learned in the past from the Oklahoman and other anti-gun entities, they are amazingly adept at subtlety and changing the discussion in such a manner as to fool even some of the brightest.  And they have geared this poll to accomplish an established outcome. They are propagandists and they know it.  They ignore the statistics about campus rapes, they enable their ball players to get away with some of the most horrendous behaviors known to mankind, but they believe that the founding fathers of this country and the states that ratified the constitution were not "enlightened" enough to understand that the right to self-defense should include their campuses.

The single question poll has five choices:
Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither Agree or Disagree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

The question:
I would be in support of legislative efforts to legalize the ability for anyone (sic) carry guns on campuses across the state.

[Note:  Even higher ed propagandists in this case ignore proper grammar.]
This is one of the most intellectually dishonest poll questions I have ever seen - and remember, the goal of this is to arm the regents for higher ed with statistics from faculty when the legislation comes up.  How do I know this?  I have a copy of the email sent originally:
Dear Faculty,

The following is a short survey about legislation for weapons on campus. I understand we discussed this a while back when it was in legislation.

We have been asked to report our actual numbers to the Regents. If this bill becomes active again they would like to already have our response on hand.

Thank you for taking the time to respond, it is an important issue.

Please have this completed by Dec. 10th.


Now, back to the question on the poll:
1.  It would never be legal for "anyone" to carry on campus.  To purchase a handgun, federal law requires the individual to be 21 years of age.
2.  The premise of the question ignores the fact that it is a constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Joseph Goebbels
This will be one hell of a battle and much like the State Chamber (Fred "Video Fail" Morgan) and the Oklahoman have busted their collective humps to sway the newly elected Republican majorities to become increasingly moderate on constitutional issues, the higher education lobby will be working just as hard to change the debate, to misdirect and to clearly misinform about the issue of campus concealed carry.

To me, it seems as though the powers in higher education want our daughters to be raped and left defenseless.  Education in one form or another takes up almost half of our state expenditures.  It's time we bleed them dry until they allow men and women of legal age to exercise their right to keep and bear arms and protect themselves from the thugs who now know that our college campuses are free range areas for bad, bad people.

We're going to war on this one and the higher ed propaganda machine is well funded - much like the Nazi propagandists.  The difference, however, is that we're patriots who are willing to do just about whatever necessary to allow our fellow citizens the right our founding fathers intended for them.  And yes, even on college campuses.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wesselhoft Responds To Oklahoman Editorial

The “Ideologue Caucus”

The Oklahoman (editorial, December 13, 2010) has bestowed another derisive name to the strong conservatives or Tea Party Conservatives in the Legislature. The state’s once conservative newspaper calls us the “Ideologue Caucus.” Conservatives, I believe we should accept the title.

According to Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, an Ideologue is (1.) “A Theorist, Dreamer, or Visionary,” and (2.) “an Ideologist.” An ideologist is (1.) “A specialist in the science of ideas: a student of the origin and nature of ideas,” or (2.) “an advocate or adherent of a particular system or doctrine (truth) of ideology.”

I like our new title. Yes, we are advocates of a particular system of ideology. It is called the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. We champion First, Second and Tenth Amendments among others. The Oklahoman could have called us the “Constitutional Caucus.”

And there is one more word from Webster that I would like to point out to the Oklahoman; it is the word—“Ideophobia,” meaning “fear or distrust of ideas or reason.” Could the Oklahoman be ideophobic?” Jus’sayin’…

Rep. Paul Wesselhöft

Terrill Comments on Today’s Oklahoman Editorial

Following the Bartlesville retreat, it is clear there is no disagreement between the Governor, the Speaker, or the House Republican caucus regarding the agenda for the upcoming legislative session.  We have all publicly acknowledged that economic and fiscal issues will be emphasized, but not at the expense of the conservative cultural, ideological, and social issues we campaigned on.

Everyone must recognize there are people at The Oklahoman and the Chamber of Commerce who don’t approve of this decision or approach.  They are pushing for an increased supply of cheap illegal-alien slave labor, are embarrassed by the socially conservative nature of our state, and want corporate welfare rather than free-market oriented reform.  Therefore they are cynically and transparently trying to create wedges inside our party with the hope of blocking legislation they don’t approve of.

But the reality is that, at least with regard to this matter, there is no longer any division in the caucus. The conservative agenda will move forward despite the petulant whining of the editorial staff of The Oklahoman, and despite the protests of the Brahmins that rule the Chamber - and that agenda will include the various measures promised during the campaigns, including tougher anti-illegal immigration bills, advancing Second Amendment rights, and strong conservative social legislation.

Obamacare Struck Down

From the AP:

RICHMOND, Va. – A federal judge in Virginia has declared the Obama administration's health care reform law unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson is the first judge to rule against the law, which has been upheld by two others in Virginia and Michigan.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed the lawsuit challenging the law's requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

He argues the federal government doesn't have the constitutional authority to impose the requirement.


Read the rest of the story here.

Wesselhoft: Federal Hate Crimes Law Defeated in Oklahoma, a Victory for the 1st & 10th Amendment!

By Rep. Paul Wesselhöft

The ACLU and Gov. Henry failed to realize that the federal hate crimes law was defeated in Oklahoma and his veto was not needed.  They think the bill was killed; it is alive and the law of the state! A victory for the First and Tenth Amendment!

Shamefully, this federal bill was a part of the U.S. appropriation bill to fund our military. It was passed because the U.S. Congress wanted to fund our military in the time of war. They had little choice.

HB 2572 protects Oklahoma clergy (pastors, priests, rabbis and imams) from charges of alleged hate speech. In federal law, “hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group.”

Oklahoma’s HB 2572 frees the clergy to admonish their parishioners on any number of moral issues addressed in their scriptures or “sacred” writings.

Alleged “hate speech” would apply only if there was evidence that the clergyperson was “connected to the direct conduct of planning, conspiring, or committing an act of violence as prescribed by law.”

This law may very well be the most important one that I have authored. Our Constitution’s First Amendment proclaims that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…”  Our Founding Fathers and new nation especially respected and protected the freedom of speech from her esteemed pulpits.

Oklahoma has a means to resist bad federal law. Amendment X reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution…are reserved to the States…”

The ACLU’s State 2010 Legislative scorecard published the following:

“The history of SB 1965 is riddled with irregularity. Originally filed as SB 2165, the legislation was Sen. Steven Russell’s attempt to effectively opt out of federal hate crimes legislation. The bill released Oklahoma law enforcement from their duty to cooperate with federal law enforcement in hate crimes investigations.  SB 2165 was not heard in the Senate Judiciary committee and was, as of February 19, 2010, deemed dead pursuant to the rules.  Russell, however, refused to accept defeat, hijacking an unrelated bill (SB 1965) to pursue his own, hare-inspired agenda.  This bill was not heard in the House of Representatives, as Rep. Mike Shelton accepted authorship of the bill in hopes of ending Russell’s assault on Oklahoma’s minority populations.”

And now for the rest of the story, Sen. Russell and I included the same negating language into my revised Funeral Protection Act (HB 2572); it passed overwhelmingly! The law of Oklahoma reads that clergy hate speech, if deemed hate speech,  must be “connected to the direct conduct of planning, conspiring, or committing an act of violence as prescribed by law.”

All Oklahoma ministers are protected (now by state law) from hate crimes. They can freely proclaim their messages from the pulpits. I am proud to be the primary author of the law that killed the federal Hate Crimes Law in Oklahoma. I thank Sen. Russell because he “refused to accept defeat.”

Again, a victory for the First and Tenth Amendment!

Oklahoman Taunts Governor-elect Fallin

In keeping with the Oklahoman's tradition of opposing legislation that supports and upholds the constitution that transcends their most-favored 1st Amendment, the Oklahoman taunts Governor-elect Mary Fallin today in a shocking and what should be a very controversial editorial piece located here.

From the article:
Fallin, a Republican, and legislative leaders in both parties, used a forum Wednesday to carol allegiance to a growth and jobs creation agenda. “We need to take advantage of the national attention we are receiving right now and move the ball forward when it comes to job opportunities for Oklahomans,” House Speaker-elect Kris Steele said at an annual State Chamber gathering.
But not all of that “national attention” is positive, partly because of the ideologue caucus — particularly its authorship of the Sharia law measure and its vow to adopt an illegal immigration law tougher than the one that's gotten Arizona so much “national attention.”
The State Chamber opposed a previous immigration bill that originated with a member of the ideologue caucus. The heads of chambers of commerce in Tulsa and Oklahoma City warn that negative publicity about the state hurts business recruitment.
Mary Fallin has assured the Republican legislature as a whole that she would support tough illegal immigration legislation and campaigned hard (video compilation to come later this week) on the issue of tough illegal immigration laws.

But again, the Oklahoman fails to realize that job creation is not the job of the government.   The government cannot create private sector jobs - the private sector does.  Except, of course, for the Oklahoman.  The Oklahoman has lost a number of jobs themselves because of the economy and the fact that editorials such as the one mentioned here has turned people off from subscribing to the paper.  But I digress.

The State Chamber has opposed not only a previous illegal immigration law, but has also not supported our 2nd Amendment rights by filing a lawsuit (and they say they are against frivolous lawsuits) against the State of Oklahoma because the legislature passed, and the previous governor signed, a law that allowed law-abiding citizens the right to keep unloaded firearms in their vehicles.  You may remember a few years back when Weyerhauser fired some employees for having hunting rifles in their vehicles...

Anyone reading this propaganda piece authored by the Oklahoman editorial staff can see that this is a challenge, taunting Governor-elect Fallin to go back on her word to support tough, constitutional illegal immigration laws.  And they are doing the same to Speaker-elect Steele who has also agreed at the most recent House Caucus meeting that constitutional issues will be dealt with this session.

I would encourage you to contact Governor-elect Fallin and Speaker-elect Steele and tell them that you support their desire to support the constitution.  Tell them not to fear the Oklahoman and their liberal, open borders ideology.  The Oklahoman believes in job-creation, but like the Obama administration, believes that government can create jobs, apparently. 

Fallin's Number:  405-521-4317
Steele's Number:  405-557-7345

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Creating Jobs, Rhetoric

Right now, elected officials are focused on the goal of job creation in Oklahoma and the same can be said for elected officials in all 50 states.  Job creation is always part of campaign rhetoric, but rarely are there statements about what kind of jobs candidates desire to create.  And state-by-state, campaigns promised to create jobs but you have to ask yourself whether or not it was/is a legitimate promise or if it is just more rhetoric.

By way of illustration, when someone expresses their desire to "go on vacation," it is always followed up with the question, "Where?" Therefore, it is perfectly logical and right for us to ask our elected officials and candidates for public office, "What kind of jobs?"

Mayor Mick Cornet boasted of job creation and the jobs created were largely service industry jobs and call center jobs.  When Bass Pro Shops came to town, they did in fact hire from within the city populace but the vast majority of those jobs were not exactly high-paying jobs but rather were customer service positions paying marginally above minimum wage.  The high paying jobs were given to individuals within the Bass Pro Shops management structure who were willing to relocate to Oklahoma City from other markets.

Dell Computers was another example.  Gorgeous facility along the river, the jobs at Dell Computers were call center jobs.  While it served to be a feather in the cap of campaign coordinators, the aggregate result wasn't what was promised.

To be intellectually honest about job creation, there must include the realization that across the country, the economy is ailing.  Inflation is rising, the cost of goods is increasing due to commodities pricing on the NYMEX and elected officials are lean on real dialog about these problems but are big on rhetoric.  At recent Chamber of Commerce back-patting sessions, the cheerleading about creating jobs and an environment that is positive for new jobs in Oklahoma reached epic proportions and lacked only the pom-poms.  Well, the pom-poms and reality, of course.

If companies in Texas, Colorado, Washington and other states are struggling under this economic down-turn, what could Oklahoma reasonably do to entice them to relocate here?  Honestly?  Not much.  Large corporations are fearful of Obamacare and federal regulation that is a hindrance to growth so, for elected officials and Chamber officials to say that we can accomplish that which no other state in the Union has been able to is intellectually dishonest at best.  But, we can literally pave the way for business as the economy begins to pick up again.

We could work on our disastrous infrastructure.  Roads and bridges in Oklahoma are horrendous and it is pathetic that we have hired the same people who have proven to be failures in the past.  That, my friends, does not show companies that we're serious about business and job creation when we continue to tap empty resources of our failed past.

We could certainly work on education delivery systems.  If we think for a moment that our educational system doesn't need reform, we're insane.  If you're the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and you see that our education system in Oklahoma has over 450 school districts and those administrators are morbidly overpaid, what would make them think that our efficacy in the classroom is anything short of failing?  Spending more money on education isn't the answer, but a better use of existing resources is part of the answer.

And then there's the issue of illegal immigration.  Illegal immigration costs Oklahoma taxpayers an estimated $300 million per year but the Chamber would have us believe that while immigration is a constitutional issue, it is merely "social" in nature.  Do you want the truth?  The truth of the matter is that the largest companies in Oklahoma who spend the most money with the Chamber have subcontractors who do, in fact, hire illegals therefore the pressure on the Chamber and the mainstream media is epic to ensure that illegal immigration is marginalized whenever and wherever possible. 

So, are we talking about real job creation or are we talking about rhetoric?  The Obama administration boasted of job creation but at the end of the day, it was mostly government jobs that were created and they were short-term.  Much like the wind industry boasting of job creation in small communities, those jobs are few and exceedingly short term.  Once the wind turbines are built, they dramatically reduce the number of jobs in said communities. 

The people we elected this last cycle are heavy on "job creation" rhetoric - but we must hold them accountable and keep an eye out for what kinds of jobs are created and whether or not they are simply playing a shell game with us, changing the terms of the debate in midstream.  When we see them fulfilling their campaign promises on the 2nd Amendment, on the problem with illegal immigration, then and only then can we take them seriously.  We don't need more window dressing.  We need real reform.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Something Different: Crazy Deer Cam

I've been to Louisiana and to be honest with you, I wasn't impressed.  As a matter of fact, New Orleans was a crazy, wacky city with all kinds of weirdness permeating the fabric of its very existence.  Couple that with the fact that there is some even wackier stuff out in the woods, Louisiana tops the list of places to hunt wherein you bring heavy ammo.

This photograph and subsequent story is absolutely bizarre, taking the state of Louisiana to new levels.


Read the story here, and watch the video.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Doak Hires

Here is a list of rumored new-hires by the Insurance Commissioner-elect John Doak:

Mike Thompson
Mike Thompson as Legislative Liaison.  Mike was a former State House Representative and Congressional candidate.

Randy Brogdon as Deputy Commissioner for Fraud and Consumer Affairs.  Randy was a State Senator and constitutional conservative candidate for governor.

Owen Laughlin as General Counsel.  Owen was a State Senator and candidate for State Treasurer.

Denise Engle as Deputy Commissioner for Worker's Compensation.  Denise is the wife of Doak's campaign guru, Richard Engle. 

More to follow...

Video From House Caucus Protest

Here's a slide show, video from the House Caucus protest this week.  And yes, it worked.


Sears To "Look At" School Bond Supermajority

Thanks to the Oklahoman editorial board for giving taxpayers a "heads up" on an issue that will more than likely be facing the legislature sooner rather than later.  In an editorial piece chiding the efficacy of the 60% supermajority required to pass school bond issues, they spoke with Representative Earl Sears whose daughter (Hollye Hunt) is a lobbyist for higher education and he himself heads up the education budget subcommittee.


Note:  The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education call Hollye Hunt an "Assistant Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations" so they don't have to register with the Ethics Commission as a "lobbyist."  But I still say she is a lobbyist who has worked for Mary Fallin and Tom Cole.

This quote from the editorial speaks volumes:
Even though voters across the state routinely pass bond issues, the supermajority mandate has been a stumbling block for many bond issues that received 50 percent approval but failed to get the extra 10 percent.
School bond issues are important and it is agreed that funding education is important.  However, until there is a reduction of the number of school administrators/superintendents, the supermajority requirement should stand.  And God help Sears if he thinks that We The People aren't watching. We're not buying it and thanks to the Oklahoman for the warning that this will be coming down the legislative pike.

And don't forget...Sears himself as principal for Bartlesville Middle School for 22 years.  Wonder if he supports the OEA...more about that later though.

Speaker-elect Steele and his hand-picked appointees to "reform education" have been put on notice.  We're watching very closely and we're simply not going to accept anything less than excellence and fiscal accountability for education.  They lied about the lottery.  They lied about the so-called benefits of SQ744 and they are lying when it comes to the efficacy of the required supermajority.

The reason we have a 60% supermajority is because education funding is so pervasive.  We need to keep the supermajority.   Period. 

Contact your House Representative here and let it be known that until the administrative bloating is cured, don't even THINK about changing the supermajority.

Conservative Values Win At House Caucus

Photo courtesy of Don Spencer
There was much chastisement and gnashing of teeth when the word got out conservatives wanted to let the Speaker-elect know that he and his leadership team would be held accountable this legislative session.  While Kris Steele may have wanted to blame the Oklahoman for manufacturing controversy, the reality is that he himself is/was to blame for the blinding spotlight of accountability shined upon his forehead. 


Insiders say that the legislative agenda will be announced sometime today but here is a sneak peek at what we can expect from House Republican leadership:

*No Tax Increases
*Advancement In Second Amendment Rights (probably open-carry legislation)
*Meaningful Illegal Immigration Reform
*Defense of Home Schooling Rights
*Support of State's Rights (10th Amendment)
*Promotion of Judeo-Christian Values

In the establishment of said agenda, there was some controversy. 
1.  Representative Randy Terrill wanted to include a pledge in the agenda to ban any tax increases.  Speaker-elect Steele allegedly argued against it, Terrill won.
2.  Representative Terrill wanted to include the phrase, "Promote traditional Judeo-Christian values" in the agenda.  Shockingly, Speaker-elect Steele personally argued to strike the words "Judeo-Christian" from the plank.  Steele, Hickman and the rest of the leadership team voted to take the words out of the agenda, no doubt trying to appease the Chamber crowd who wined and dined them previously.  The fight ensued, seeing even the moderate Ann Coody becoming upset and Sally Kern was not to happy either.  At the end, the caucus voted with Randy Terrill. 

The Speaker-elect decided to openly argue against many of the measures, which isn't that surprising to those of us who know Steele and where he's coming from. 

The protest worked.  Despite less than 100 people showing up to brave the cold, the message was communicated, received and the House leadership knows that they will be held accountable.  If the meeting were held in Oklahoma City on a weekend, the numbers would have been substantially higher and they know this.

More to follow...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards Passes

Elizabeth Edwards has died as a result of her ongoing battle with breast cancer.  Elizabeth Edwards, 61, was always an enigmatic personality, a woman who had a way of calming even the most thundering of hoards attacking her husband or her politics.

Cancer has taken far too many of our best and brightest, the hope is that the Father has something else in mind in the heavenlies for Elizabeth.

Politics aside, she was an admirable woman and will be missed by many.  Thoughts and prayers go out to her family and those closest to her as they struggle with this tragic loss.

RIP, Ms. Edwards.

Fallin Taps Tulsa Chamber

Governor-elect Mary Fallin Announces Wendy Taylor Gregory Will Lead Tulsa Office

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor-elect Mary Fallin today announced that Wendy Taylor Gregory will serve as director of the Tulsa office of the Governor of Oklahoma. Gregory, who most recently worked at the Tulsa Metro Chamber, will be responsible for the operations of the Tulsa office as well as represent Fallin at events in Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma.

“It’s important to me to stay connected to Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma as we work together to get our state back on track. Working together, we’ll be able to keep our momentum growing and that’s why I’m appointing a full-time office and staff to accomplish this goal,” Fallin said. “I know Wendy is deeply committed to the future of Tulsa and all of Oklahoma and I’m glad to have her on our team. Wendy will be a welcome addition as we work together to move our state forward.”

Gregory, a graduate of the University of Tulsa, has extensive work in public policy and government affairs. Most recently, she served as program manager at the Tulsa Metro Chamber where she helped craft the chamber’s legislative agenda. Previously, Gregory served as legislative director to Congressman John Sullivan, advising him on policy matters and managing the legislative staff in Washington, D.C. She also served as an aide to the Tulsa City Council, where she researched policy issues and assisted with constituent services.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work for Governor-elect Fallin in her Tulsa office. I know the governor-elect is committed to bringing more jobs and opportunities to Tulsa, northeast Oklahoma and the rest of our state and I’m ready to help her make that happen,” Gregory said.

Gregory will not start her official duties until January 10, at which time Fallin will be sworn in as the first female and the 27th governor of Oklahoma.

###


Alex Weintz
Office of Governor-Elect Mary Fallin
405-535-7317 mobile
Alex.Weintz@govelect.ok.gov

Government Work, Building Pensions

Term-limits are one thing, but there is a run on ex-legislators who are getting new jobs in Oklahoma government and the Oklahoman has a great commentary about it.  While the Oklahoman is still treading water for intellectual and journalistic credibility in my not-so-humble opinion, there are a handful of reporters and journalists over at the dark down who seem to "get it."  This story may be one of the exceptions to the rule.

In the opinion piece today, the article states:
Forced to leave the Legislature this year, state Rep. John Wright, R-Broken Arrow, has taken a job in the Tulsa County assessor's office, trading up his $38,400 legislative salary for $72,000 in the county job. Earlier this fall, outgoing House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, took a job in the Tulsa mayor's office at a salary of $100,000 a year.
But the most telling comment in the article is as follows:
This political re-careering will get even more intense eight years from now, when a new term-limit law for statewide officials will force incumbents out of office after just two terms.
With some of Oklahoma's wacky pension laws, state employees (read: elected officials) can work quite the deal for their pensions by working in the legislature, then moving over to a county or city job.  For example, some of the individuals listed in the article will have "time served" in the legislature applied to their retirement calculations, making for some hefty retirement income.


This is a must-read for those of you desirous of government accountability.

And congrats to Benge for his $100k/year job in Tulsa.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Terrill and Christian Comment On Protests

From Representative Terrill:
It's a bit shameful that grass-roots supporters are forced to protest our caucus to get the House leadership to do the right thing.  But let's be clear, it's only because of this protest that illegal immigration reform or gun rights bills even have a shot at getting heard.

We conservatives never asked for an "inordinate" amount of time for our agenda, nor did we suggest that jobs shouldn't be our first priority.  But in the face of a leadership that agreed with the Chamber of Commerce's specious argument that "socially conservative legislation" was bad for job growth, and that wanted to pass NO "socially conservative legislation", we demanded that a few of the several hundred bills we hear this session be conservative oriented.  After all, that is what we promised our constituents on the door step, and if we have time to hear bills that would ban smoking in private businesses, then surely we have time to hear bills on illegal immigration and gun rights.

Governor-elect Fallin's speech tonight made it plain that "she gets it", and is committed to governing like we campaigned.  Tomorrow we will see if the House agenda for the coming session makes clear, specific and unambiguous commitments to hear the legislation we Republicans ran on.  If so, the grass-roots folks who came out here to protest deserve all the credit.


From Representative Christian:
As House Republicans shared cheese and wine with their close friends from big business and the Chamber of Commerce, grass-root Republicans were shut out of the building and protesting in the cold winter air for the Republican Party to govern with the same agenda it campaigned on.

I was struck by what a perfect metaphor that was for Speaker-elect Steele’s leadership of the House of Representatives.

I hope someday we can have a Speaker that will bring the grass-roots people inside every now and then, and maybe just once let the Chamber stay out on the street.

Representative Mike Christian

What Is The Fight Really About?

A few years ago, my son Mason and I had a confrontation regarding video games and where in the continuum of priorities they should fall.  The discussion went something like this:

Me:  Son, I told you three times that you needed to put the video game away and clean your room.  Now, you've lost your Playstation privileges for the rest of the day.
Mason:  Dad, why do you hate video games so much?

Me:  Mason this isn't about video games and my like or dislike therein.  It's about you not doing what you have been told and holding you accountable for what you said to me you WOULD do.
Mason:  Got it.

The discussion surrounding Speaker-elect Steele and other statewide elected Republican officials as well as many in the House has shifted and bounced around quite a bit and thanks to the Oklahoman, the terms of discussion have even been changed in a very subtle way.  Reading one of my favorite blogs out there, OkiePundit, I saw that they too have taken issue with the Oklahoman quite aggressively and their points are made succinctly and in a way that is entertaining, fun and educational.  They also briefly addressed the issue of Steele and some of the issues facing him as Speaker-elect.

Unfortunately, the issues with Steele aren't spurred on by the "extreme religious agenda" but rather the fact that Republican leadership in the last election cycle campaigned hard on things like Arizona-plus immigration reform.  They also campaigned on job creation - which according to Fred Morgan and the Chamber crowd, not addressing Arizona-plus immigration reform.  They don't want it, they don't care for it and the folks who financially support the chambers of commerce generally don't like it either.

The fight, as far as I am concerned, is really about holding accountable my brothers and sisters in the Republican Party who campaigned on constitutionally conservative issues that can and will positively impact the business environment.  Think about it:  Oklahoma's fastest growing industry is state government itself.   Under Republican leadership in the House, we grew state government by over 18%.  Yet, we have done very little to work on one of the most important aspects to job creation in Oklahoma - infrastructure.

The Republican leadership in the House, the Senate and the Governor-elect's office should be able to multi-task, have the ability to handle both what they perceive to be "job creation" legislation as well as the constitutional talking points they campaigned on - such as the 2nd Amendment rights and illegal immigration reform. 

This week, I'll be posting a video compilation of ads run by Republicans who campaigned on immigration reform and the 2nd Amendment.

That, my friends, is what this fight is all about.

Monday Morning Meadows

From Charlie Meadows' email (nothing redacted):

The timeline, Thanksgiving day the upsetting article appears in the Oklahoman, later that day Representative Terrill issued a press release calling on Spaker-elect Kris Steele to issue a statement clarifying and repudiating certain aspects of the article. On Tuesday the 30th I sent out the weekly OCPAC e-mail announcing that the Oklahoman had not printed Terrill’s press release, so I published it. The next day the Oklahoman did an article which included an interview with Representative Terrill. This past Wednesday, Representative Steele issued a response to clarify his positions, but still left many concerned about certain issues. Steele’s response was published yesterday, in Sunday’s Oklahoman as a point of view.

First, let me say the tone of the response was good, it even had some well thought out verbiage regarding the economy. As an example he said: “I believe our agenda must take a balanced approach that focuses on conservative solutions to fiscal and social policy.” Well stated in my opinion. He went on to say: “ Because the national recession has left many jobless and created a $600 million state shortfall, it is clear we must enact sensible reforms that ALLOW (emphasis mine) Oklahomans to reach their economic potential and grow our state economy.” Steele continued, “My hope is to ESTABLISH AN ENVIRONMENT (emphasis mine) in Oklahoma that is conducive to job growth, job creation and job enhancement. That focus must include lawsuit reform, workers’ compensation reform, restructuring of the tax code and similar policies.”

Those 3 paragraphs are excellent if he really understands what he said as well as what he didn’t say and if he really means what he said. Note, he didn’t use the words “economic development”, as anytime a government official at any level uses those words, it convey a message that it is the GOVERNMENT’S responsibility to develop the economy. If that is your philosophy, then you believe in fascist (government doesn’t own, but controls the means of production of goods and services) capitalism or the words economic development may also stand for socialist (government owning and controlling the means of production of goods and services) capitalism.

In either of those two systems, government will pick the winners and those who get the special privileges or opportunities. In socialist capitalism, the government will actually own and operate businesses, thus competing against private entities who will always be at a disadvantage in that competition.

When Representative Steele uses words like “allow” and “establish an environment”, those words are as strong as it gets when it comes to private or free market capitalism. In a free market economy, government will keep regulations at a bare minimum and businesses will NOT be taxed. Businesses consider taxes to be overhead and thus increase the price of their goods and services to cover that overhead and thus the consumer always pays for business taxes through higher prices for those goods or services. Politicians love that, because as they tax businesses, the consumer isn’t cognizant of the amount of taxes imbedded in the price of a product or service and thus some of the real cost of government is hidden from the citizens.

In a real free market economy, if consumers aren’t willing to purchase certain products or support certain services, then they go away. On the other hand, sharp businessmen may figure out a way to convince enough in the marketplace to buy or hire products or services to pay all overhead and have some left over for themselves which is called profit. Free market economies always see the best and brightest business rise to the top. In central planned economies, it may be more likely that the well connected rise to the top and not necessarily the best business man delivering the best product or service at the most reasonable price.

Another positive statement in his response was: “We must defend our constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms, defend against federal government overreach, and guard against those who intentionally break the law and pose a threat to public safety.” An additional strong statement was: “Although some may not realize it, being polite and civil is not the same thing as being weak.” I fully agree.

However, there were some things he said, which I have a hard time reconciling with his actions. First off he stated: “In addition, we must reform education so Oklahoma children from all corners of the state can excel in college and thrive in the work force after they graduate.” With the election of Janet Barresi and the effort of school choice advocates, the conditions better exist today than ever before for some badly needed school reforms.

However, Speaker-elect Steele appointed Ann Coody (R-Lawton) Chairman of Common Education committee and Jabar Shumate (D-Tulsa) as Vice- Chair. While Shumate is a liberal Democrat, when it comes to education he is very reform minded. He understands that perhaps one of the best ways out of the hood is a good education and that school choice is one of the best hopes to allow children to escape the teacher union controlled drop out factories in the inner city schools.

On the other hand, while Representative Coody is a nice person, she is a retired educator of 39 years and in my opinion is so engrained into the system as to be an impediment to real reform. I made this clear to Steele a year an a half ago and he either forgot, disagrees or has a different opinion. It will be interesting to see just how much real education reform we can get past Coody in the powerful position in which Steele has placed her.

Steele said we must defend our constitutional rights to bear arms, but then chose Dan Sullivan (R-Tulsa) to sit in the all powerful floor leader’s position. As we live today, our rights to bear arms are greatly infringed. During the session earlier this year, Sullivan was a huge impediment toward “restoring” those rights. In addition Sue Tibbs (R-Tulsa) was also a big problem earlier this year and now Steele has appointed Tibbs to be Chairman of the powerful Public Safety committee, the committee in which all second amendment issues will most likely survive or fail.

And while Steele tried to diminish conservative’s and Christian’s concerns by proclaiming he is pro-life, he failed to mention several serious problems such as where he stands on the invasion of illegal aliens, the growing threats from the expansion of Sharia Law and the advancing agenda of the homosexual community. The abortion issue is vital and we as Christians must never go to sleep or turn our backs on this issue. However, God has a perspective on all issues and we need to pay more attention to these other issues than we have in the past.

On Wednesday, December 1st the Oklahoman had a front page article on the Business section titled: “Oklahoma ready for a fight”. Oh really, has legislative leadership and the Oklahoma business community finally grown a spine and are they truly over their cowardice? The article is about new regulations the TYRANTS at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are about to impose on Oklahoma’s 6 coal fired power plants. Supposedly to clean up a problem which basically doesn’t exist or if it does, it wouldn’t be caused by our power plants, but rather those in Texas.

In the article, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director Steve Thompson said officials are not optimistic the U.S. EPA will approve the state’s plan to reduce emissions that affect visibility in federal wildlife areas. If the EPA slaps these excessive new regulations on the State of Oklahoma it will mean a huge increase in electric utility rates for consumers and our businesses alike. It will really hinder having an environment for a vibrant economy. These “fighters” are hoping newly elected AG Scott Pruitt will be willing to go into the courts on behalf of Oklahoma.

I hope Pruitt will take the feds on and believe he will. However, during this year’s legislative session, Representative Sally Kern (R- OKC & Bethany) authored a bill to allow Oklahoma citizens to amend our constitution to establish the Oklahoma DEQ and the Corporation Commission to be have the final say on all environmental issues. House leadership (of which Steele was a part) wouldn’t stand behind Sally during this year’s session and Thompson was against the measure along with some of Oklahoma’s major corporations.

The reason? Sally was told that since the Obama administration didn’t like Oklahoma (because every county voted for McCain) they were fearful that if we stood up to them in this manner, the feds might punish Oklahoma businesses, especially those in the energy industry, by not allowing them to sell their products outside the state under the justification of the interstate commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution.

That fear of the feds is why I suggest the terms “spineless” and “cowards.” If we would alter our State Constitution to reflect our superior “states rights authority” we might have to go to the courts on that issue. On the other hand, we might really push back and just ignore an unconstitutional order coming out of a federal court on this issue and just see how far the feds would push it.

In the mean time, as I said a few weeks ago in one of these e-mails, the newly elected Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives have enormous power to protect the states in this regard. Since all funding and spending bills must originate in the U.S. House they could simply cut the EPA’s budget in half or completely de-fund this liberal bastion of excessive power. Nothing like being out of a job or missing their paychecks to explain to nameless faceless bureaucrats what is acceptable and what is not.

I liked much of what Kris Steele has said, but the proof will come in the pudding, which will soon be made known. We are looking for action more than just words.

Charlie Meadows is the head cheese over at the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Romantic History

Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library
I had the incredible honor of serving in the United States Navy under the legendary President Ronald Reagan.  There was excitement beyond description with just the mere thought or rumor that Reagan may be coming to the base for a surprise visit.  He was an enigmatic, incredible personality and leader whose following borders on the religious.

But Ronald Reagan is not, nor was he, a christological figure regardless of how much we want him to be.  We often forget that it was under Ronald Reagan that our Department of Defense expenditures were out of control and waste was rampant.  Hell, I remember the $400 toilet seat purchases that finally resulted in very serious cost-cutting measures.  I received a few commendations myself for streamlining administrative procedures in transferring personnel but the truth remained that all was not perfect.

The same kind of romanticism applies with the Republican Party as a whole right now.  Most Republicans today are very much like Democrats today wherein they are part of said political party because they have always been and have believed in some of the romanticism of yesteryear.  Every election cycle, the romance novel is pulled out, dusted off and quoted from with impunity and voters eat it up.

Another example is that of the Dallas Cowboys.  I remember being a fan of the Cowboys during the Landry era.  The man was a gentleman, a class act to be sure and his football players generally were model citizens.   Jerry Jones has turned the Cowboys into a money-making machine, filled to overflowing with thugs and a franchise that has somehow managed to maintain the "America's Team" label even after Tom Landry has gone on to play in the Superbowl in the sky.

It's understandable.  We have so few "heroes" in the forefront of our minds these days.  There was a time when men and women in the military were "heroes."  Men and women who stand a post in our contemporary culture receive far less praise and honor than they did once in this country.  Tom Landry and Roger Staubach served our country.  Perhaps that is why they led with such integrity.

Steele Defense Still Inadequate

Representative Kris Steele has been given some ink by his liberal friend, Ed Kelley, to provide a defense for his "conservative" existence in the State House.  Defending his pro-life record, he makes a plea for a "balanced approach," focusing on jobs and education in this next legislative session where in he may be navigating the Republican ship.

Another example of Steele's unprecedented ego and a slap in the face to real conservatives who have more than 50 functioning brain cells. 

His apology (from the Greek, "apologia," to give a defense), Kris "I-Wanna-Be-Brad-Henry-When-I-Grow-Up" Steele intentionally labels constitutional issues as "social."  Either Steele's ignorance and stupidity will go down in Oklahoma history as legendary, or he is a crafty snake in the grass who has spent far too much time with his liberal mentor, Ed Kelley.  Either way, they dynamic duo of hyperbole have given us all we need to prove that Steele is not a conservative, regardless of his position on abortion.  This statement in his asinine article says it all:
We must defend our constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms, defend against federal government overreach, and guard against those who intentionally break the law and pose a threat to public safety. My commitment as a social conservative has not changed or wavered.
He actually uses the word, "constitutional," but concludes his statement with the "social conservative" caveat.  He ignores the issue of illegal immigration altogether, which is constitutional, and something that the Republican Party campaigned on in this last election cycle.  Since when is the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution or the problem of illegal immigration merely "social conservative" issues?  It is the bloody constitution, my friends.  The Constitution many men and women currently and throughout history have raised their right hands and swore an oath to defend against enemies both foreign and domestic.  Many gave their lives to defend what Steele and the Oklahoman consider toilet tissue.  By attempting to marginalize the constitution to merely "social," it is a slap in the face to every veteran in this country.

And his trip continues elsewhere.  Read carefully this statement from Steele:
Because the national recession has left many jobless and created a $600 million state shortfall, it is clear we must enact sensible reforms that allow Oklahomans to reach their economic potential and grow our state economy.
"$600 million state shortfall."  We have a balanced budget requirement in Oklahoma - a "shortfall" is language used by those who believe the taxpayer dollars belong to the government rather than to the people.  That kind of language begins with the faulty supposition that the tax dollars earned by citizens of this great state belongs first and foremost to the government.  The way we SHOULD look at it is that our income is OUR income and the state government gets what is tantamount to an allowance to run what WE THE PEOPLE believe to be justified government programs, predicated on what has been outlined in the United States Constitution as well as the Constitution of the great state of Oklahoma.

If Kris Steele lived in any other state, he'd be considered a Democrat.

The truth that you need to know is that there are many Republicans and Democrats alike in the Oklahoma House of Representatives who are sick and tired of Steele's song and dance.  They feel as though they too have been bamboozled, flim-flammed and hoodwinked.  Otherwise constitutional conservatives have been forced to provide a defense for Steele just to try and keep the peace.  It's a disaster already and the legislature isn't even in session just yet.

No one will disagree that we need jobs in Oklahoma and we need to attract jobs here.  We do so by creating a functional infrastructure - not by appointing the same bureaucrat who failed to effectively build roads and repair bridges in the past (Fallin appointee, Gary Ridley).  Steele is right that we need education reforms, but that doesn't mean throwing more money at the problem as he is eluding to.  It means eliminating administrative functions that are costing Oklahoma taxpayers needless millions of dollars every year.  The constitutionally conservative solutions we demand are the very solutions that will accomplish what Steele is desiring but he is afraid to offend his puppet master, Fred Morgan and his liberal media mentor, Ed Kelley.

It's one of the biggest shams we've seen in a long time.  It's the same flim-flam the Democrats under Gene Stipe pulled but the language has changed and establishment Republicans are putting up with it.  Hopefully, not for long.

When exceptionally liberal Democrats are defending Steele's position, we need to be afraid.  Very afraid.

Let's not forget that within the first two years of Republican leadership in the House a few years back, Scott Pruitt pointed out to then Lt. Governor candidate Todd Hiett, Republicans had grown government by 18%. 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Coming Next Week...

Grassroots Primer:  Next week, I'll be giving you a free primer on how grassroots activism need not be orchestrated by a consultant, political hack or candidate for public office - you can do it yourself.  You'll get some links to websites that are very useful as well as numbers to call to get copies of voter lists from state and county election boards.  This will be fun.

House Committee Assignments:  In the process of putting together a comprehensive look at the committee assignments Speaker-elect Steele has put forth and you will be shocked and ready to take action.

Gubernatorial Appointments:  Who are the people Mary Fallin has chosen to lead and what will the impact be on her first term as Governor?  This is one you'll want to share with your whole email list.

And so much more.  Tune in regularly...

First Week In December 2010 In Review

This has been a hectic, wicked, wild and exceptionally revelatory week in pop culture as well as politics in the great state of Oklahoma.  Let's take a trip down memory lane...

Match made in heaven.  Steele (right), Kelley (left).
Steeley Kris:  Kris Steele, Representative from the wonderful little metropolis of Shawnee has been under fire and it has been more than justified.  While the Oklahoman try as they might to belittle those of us who believe in Constitutional government, most of us have seen through the journalistic bullsh*t.  In a piece (of crap) today, Steele defends his so-called 2nd Amendment support and steers clear of the big issue of illegal immigration reform, perhaps leaving it to the Governor-elect to do something.  Steele is not what he is trying to portray and soon enough, he's going to learn that We The People will not be bamboozled by his chief apologist, Ed Kelley.  In the story today, they again use the term "social conservatives" to spit in the face of all who believe in Constitutional government and Steeley Kris apparently believes that to be just fine with him.  Read the tripe here.

Conservative Grassuprooting:  Kaye Beach and her radio partner in truth had me onboard their radio show Friday evening to talk about the grassroots in Oklahoma and what we need to do to push the conservative, Constitutional agenda forward.  It was fun, entertaining and hopefully enlightening for the listeners.  Kaye was one of the first to break the stories about the doggone highway camera scam being pushed on the Oklahoma legislature a while back.  Here is Kaye's website. 

Kenny Goza
SD47:  Announced candidates have been working hard to take over where Todd Lamb left off and this is going to continue to be one of the more exciting races we have seen in a long time.  We have the following candidates:
1.  Greg Treat:  Political insider who has worked in politics his whole life with little or no private sector experience.  Worked for Coburn, Fallin and even Fred Morgan - the current President of the State Chamber who, by the way, filed suit against the State of Oklahoma for its law allowing law-abiding citizens the right to keep their firearms in their vehicles.  How Treat feels about this is yet to be determined.  He lists among qualifications..."Faithful Husband to Maressa."  As though it would be hard to be faithful to her...but I digress.  Here is Treat's website.
2.  Carol Hefner:  You know the name, the face is remarkably attractive.  Carol has hired Fount Holland, Trebor Worthen and Chad Alexander's operation so you know for a fact that she is in this race to win.  Hefner has charisma, but no real platform that is discernible from her website
3.  Kenny Goza:  Yes, he is an attorney.  He is a self-made business man who has public sector experience, is a veteran, but has also grown his business to five separate offices throughout Oklahoma.  The thing I like about Kenny and Carol both is that neither of them actually need this job, unlike Treat.  However, Kenny has said that he will donate his paycheck to veterans and the foster care system.  You have to love that.  Check out his website here.


Harry Coates and the Lobbyist of Fire:  The story broke about State Senator Harry Coates recently about an affair with a lobbyist.  In my estimation, Coates had problems long before the affair issue came about and I believe that the issue of the affair is between the parties involved and not really our business.  It's the whole "he who is without out sin, cast the first stone" thing - the issues to me is the fact that the spokesperson for local business entities who opposed HB1804 (immigration reform) has questions now about procurement of government contracts because of the affair.  Coates is a business owner in Central Oklahoma and was, for a while, considered the odds-on favorite to be the Senate President Pro Tempore.  So much for that...

More to follow....

Friday, December 03, 2010

Steele Afraid Of Confrontation

I received a call from an elected official this evening who has informed me that Speaker-elect Steele has changed the location of the dinner meeting on Monday after learning that there are numerous conservative groups planning a protest.

Details will be forthcoming, but from what I understand, the location has been changed and Charlie Meadows of OCPAC will be sending out an update as to the location of the scheduled protest of Speaker-elect Steele's continued dodging of the issues of Constitutional importance that Oklahoma voters voted for just last month.  Steele appears to be in cahoots with the likes of former House Representative Fred Morgan who is now the President of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce.

Remember, it was the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce who joined in a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma when the legislature passed a law allowing individuals to store firearms in their vehicles.  Morgan has yet to come out against said lawsuit.

Steele's change of venue is a finger in the eye of those who desire accountability.  This is not accidental, this is all about Steele and his boys hanging out with lobbyists, playing some golf at taxpayer expense.  There is no legitimacy for Steele doing this whatsoever.  This is the kind of thing Republicans used to bitch about when Democrats pulled this crap.

You are being bamboozled, friends.

Mary Fallin is scheduled to speak as well...you do the math.

The event is now:

6pm, Bartlesville Community Center

OCPAC Fired Up - Protest

From the OCPAC email (emphasis, mine):

1) The recent article in the Oklahoman (Thanksgiving day) suggested that Speaker-elect “Steele and other Republican leaders are increasingly favoring priorities shared by several in the state business community who would prefer Oklahoma be in the national spotlight for economic reasons rather than legislators SQUABBLING (emphasis mine) over immigration, weapons or social issues.”

Because of this expressed attitude, a decision has been made to go to Bartlesville Monday evening, December 6th to conduct a demonstration the evening before the House Republicans meet for their annual retreat. If you care about 1 or more of the following issues: abortion, the rising homosexual agenda, the growing threats from radical Muslims and Sharia Law, the ever expanding big brother privacy invasion laws, irrational 2nd Amendment restrictions, the invasion of illegal aliens, Tenth Amendment issues and personal liberty in general, then you really need to make every effort to re-arrange your priorities and try to get to Bartlesville. This is a critical time to let your voice be heard. It might be dubbed, The Do the Right Thing TEA PARTY! Following is our schedule:

THE GOAL - Wherever you are coming from, “BE” in downtown Bartlesville in front of the Phillips Building (the tallest downtown building) across from the rear of the Hilton Garden Inn at 5:00 p.m., next Monday, December 6th. We will end our demonstration around 7:00 p.m.

WHAT TO BRING - Dress for cool weather and bring tasteful signs. (Some suggestions at the end of this e-mail). You may want to bring some snacks.

CARAVAN SCHEDULE FROM THE OKC AREA - I believe we have at least 1 bus and 2 vans which will depart from the Turner Turnpike parking lot (I-35 and NE 122nd) at 2:00 p.m. sharp. First come first serve for seating in these vehicles. Be prepared to bring your own vehicle or ride with someone else if all seating is filled. Depending on time, we might stop for fast food, otherwise we should be back around 9:30 p.m. or a little later.

Sign Suggestions:

A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND - RINOs ARE THE ONES DIVIDING OUR HOUSE

WE VOTED FOR ELEPHANTS - NOT RINOs

DON’T STEELE OUR CONSERVATIVE VICTORY

THE PRIMARY ELECTION CYCLE FOR SOME OF YOU MAY START THE DAY AFTER THE
SESSION ENDS!!!

McCarville Nails The Oklahoman

In an excellently written commentary by the radio legend, Mike McCarville, he absolutely nails the Oklahoman for their lack of understanding of the issues important to Oklahoma.  This is a MUST read for every Oklahoma voter who currently subscribes to the Oklahoman and would like a reason to discontinue service.

Unless, of course, you need the cat box liner.

Save maybe two or three of the journalists working for OPUBCO, the place has gone left fast and the truth be known...they will do and say whatever the Chamber and CHK's former ad agency tells them to.  They have to because they can hardly give their paper away.

Newspapers across the country are having difficulty maintaining subscriptions because of the proliferation of Internet access and the availability of 24/7 cable news channels.  Newspapers like the Oklahoman have tried convergence with local news organizations such as News 9 and when they got too big for their britches, some marketing genius told them to go it alone.  Now, they have basically two hosts who are about as exciting to watch and listen to on their web-based "TV" as watching paint dry.

The Oklahoman is ripe for take-over, in my opinion, so don't be surprised if the Dallas Morning News (who still actually reports real news and not what the Chamber tells them to) buys the Oklahoman eventually.


Read Mike's very appropriate commentary here.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Rumor: Protests At House Republican Caucus?

Oklahoma voters have spoken on November 2nd and they have made it clear that yes, they desire a conservative, even Constitutional agenda pushed forth in the Oklahoma legislature this session, but there are continuing questions swirling around Speaker-elect Kris Steele and his committee leadership.  In collusion with the mainstream media, some of the language of the fight has been changed from "conservative, Constitutional issues," to "social issues."  The truth of the matter is that Kris Steele has revealed himself to be less than conservative on Constitutional issues.

This week, the rumors are that members of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee, Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now (IRON) and perhaps even some Tea Party organizers will be traveling to Bartlesville, Oklahoma to challenge the Republican leadership in the House to do what they promised during the campaigns. 

Two of the key issues that this blog will be covering and will continue to cover are the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms as well as the Constitutional responsibility of government to do something about the illegal immigration problem.  There will be video and audio collections posted from Republican leadership across the state that have made promises and you will see them first hand for yourself right here.  And that, my friends, is not a rumor - that is reality.

We The People are tired of campaign promises that are empty and leave us wanted a recount or a mulligan.  Hopefully, there will be a protest and even some video interviews.

Video Thought For the Day