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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Anti-Legal Immigration Protests Abound

And you thought the Tea Party protests were big? They were nothing compared to what took place today.

The Associated Press told of stories across the nation, but one in particular focused on the protests against Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law. According to the report, close to 50,000 people showed up and were exceptionally vocal and angry about what transpired in Arizona.

From the AP story:
Organizers estimated about 20,000 gathered at a park on Chicago's West Side and marched, but police said about 8,000 turned out.
The event resembled something between a family festival - food vendors strolled through with pushcarts - and a political demonstration with protesters chanting "Si se puede," Spanish for "Yes we can." A group of undocumented students stood on a stage at the Chicago park and "came out" regarding their immigration status.
Juan Baca was among those students. Baca, 19, whose parents brought him from Mexico illegally when he was 4 months old, said he has had to drop out of college and work several times already because he can't qualify for financial aid.
"It's been a struggle," he said. "I missed the mark by four months."
Astounding.  First, the student was angry because "he didn't qualify for financial aid," then he has the audacity to say he "missed the mark" by four months.  Not exactly sure what he means but the AP story makes it seem as though the illegal student believes he would be entitled to a free ride were he born here.

These protests were significant - seeing 50,000 in Los Angeles alone.  There were approximately 5,000 at the Tea Party rally in Oklahoma City, and based on what we're hearing, it was a drop in the bucket compared to protests today across the nation against the new Arizona law that actually does what the federal government has failed to do.

I remember during the Istook/Henry gubernatorial race in 2006 when immigration was former Congressman Ernest Istook's centerpiece.  It made many of us cringe because we knew what Henry's response would be:  That Istook spent 14 years in Congress and did nothing about it.  Four years later, the federal government has sat idly by while the important issue of immigration reform looms large.

Recently, a Democratic operative said to me that one of the reasons the GOP has refused to touch this very sensitive issue on a federal level is because "they don't want to lose the Hispanic vote."  Balderdash.  They've refused to do anything about the issue of illegal immigration because they don't want to lose campaign contributions from companies who employ illegal immigrants - or contributions from companies whose subcontractors employ illegal immigrants.

That is the sad truth, my friends.

We need candidates for Congress, for the State Legislature who will speak the truth about this issue - that the system is broken and yes, it needs reform.  We need men and women who are willing to just tell it like it is and present solutions that offer those who want to come here and work legally, the opportunity to do so and to do something serious about those who are here and who come here illegally. 

There is a reason it is called ILLEGAL immigration.  It just might be that it is, well, illegal.

Saturday Style, Part 2

The house was all a-twitter this morning as the ladies of the house prepared to depart for their morning outings - including a fashion show for the older two, and a trip to the Science Museum for the younger two.  Having spent the day at the Science Museum yesterday with Mason and Madison, I know the little ones have a morning of excitement ahead of them.

As for the fashion show...no thanks.  I'll watch ANTM on television, thank you.

So, here are a few items of interest I thought I would share with you on this rainy Saturday in the great state of Oklahoma.

David Holt, Senate District 30:  Received a message from David Holt regarding his Senate District 30 race wherein he talks about the progress of the campaign and his fund raising efforts.  Pretty impressive and it shouldn't surprise anyone that he's leading the very small field of two in money because, well, he's Mayor Mick Cornett's right hand man.  From his message:

Friday, we reported to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission that we have raised $124,152 in total, including $14,136 in the first quarter of 2010. Donations accepted after March 31 were not included in our report.

The campaign has spent $29,909 in total to this point, a “burn rate” of just 24 percent. That means we enter the home stretch of the campaign with $91,754 left in “cash on hand.”

In contrast, our only opponent remaining in the race reported having received just three donations in the first quarter of 2010, totaling $1,425. He has already spent 73 percent of the money he has raised, leaving $9,137 left in “cash-on-hand.” That means we enter the home stretch of the campaign with a 10-to-1 advantage in available funds.
 Holt has pretty much run a campaign any anointed candidate should run.  He has been knocking doors - though rumor has it, very selectively - and he has an aggressive social networking mechanism in place.  Holt is a nice young man.  He named his son "George" after President Bush.  That alone should endear him to many Republicans.  The truth is that the people of Senate District 30 are basically going to get a younger version of Mick Cornett as their State Senator.  That's the bottom line.  He won't screw anything up, but don't expect any earth-shattering conservatism that would make the Tea Partiers piddle.

Lt. Governor Jari Askins:  The McCarville Report is reporting (I know, that sounds redundant, doesn't it?) Jari Askins has spent $62,000 or so on opposition research for her gubernatorial bid.  And that she's spending about $10k a month for her consultant, Don Hoover.  Hoover is good, but he's not $10k a month good.  Read the McCarville Report here.

Dave White for Congress:  I had the opportunity to chat with Dave White, the independent running in Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District this week and frankly, I am impressed.  He's a no-frills, no B.S. kind of candidate with a wickedly impressive resume' - and it isn't massaged and crafted just to run for public office.  He's a Naval Academy graduate, he's a former Navy Seal, he is a successful business owner, and he has specific ideas about just what he would like to do if elected to Congress.  Pretty simple. He is, in many ways, what many of the candidates in the GOP race for the 5th District desire to be.  Here is the story from the Oklahoman.

Ronblackradio.com Transition:  Eventually, all my blog entries will be here on this blogger page rather than just on my website.  The site, hopefully, will be redirected here.  My archives and all will remain intact, or somehow be available here as well.  No clue how to do that just yet though.

Jacking of the Nigh Couple:  Former Governor George Nigh and his wife were attacked in an area most would consider "safe."  In my estimation, if a former Governor of this great state isn't safe, none of us are at this point.  And meanwhile, we're hearing talk of a decrease in the number of law enforcement officers on the streets as a result of budget shortfalls.  It is an atrocity.  There are so many candidates running for public office who are touting their support of public safety, but nothing is being done to adequately fund public safety - and don't get me started on the MAPS3 fiasco.  While I supported certain aspects of MAPS3, I am flabbergasted that the citizens of Oklahoma City are overlooking the fact that everyone who supported MAPS3 had to have known that public safety would take a hit financially.  It's bovine fecal matter.

More to come, I'm sure.

And now for something completely different...

Saturday Insomnia

After watching "The Lovely Bones" followed by "Grudge 3," found myself sitting up trying to find something profound to discuss and unfortunately, this blog entry will be anything but profound.  Perhaps profoundly ridiculous.  Here are some of the stream-of-consciousness thoughts racing through my head this sleepless evening...

Quote of the week - "Horse Hockey."  There is a reason Mike McCarville is a legend in Oklahoma media.  Today, his post regarding the "Mary Fallin contributed to Brad Henry" mess sums it up...

Straw-Grasping: Received an email this week from a supporter of one GOP candidate for governor claiming the other GOP candidate had donated to Democrat Brad Henry's campaign. Horse hockey. The candidate contributed to the inaugural fund, as official records clearly show.

Again, Mike is the master and there is good reason for it.

Oklahoma City Thunder:  Fans of the NBA in Oklahoma City must be very, very proud of their team.  Without question, finishing 12th in the NBA so early in franchise history is astounding and will probably give Oklahoma City leaders another point to check off on their respective resume's. 

Gubernatorial Rum:  The salvos have been coming hot and heavy in the GOP gubernatorial race and the latest was clearly an ill-timed House Resolution giving Puerto Rico some serious choices regarding statehood - or not.  While the timing of Congresswoman Mary Fallin's involvement in this resolution was abject silliness, the responses from the Fallin-haters was equally silly.  Apparently, while quoting the story posted on the Muskogee Politico, they failed to actually READ the story wherein the whole fiasco is explained quite adequately.  The whole mess really only serves to increase rum sales in the state of Oklahoma, rather than do any real damage.  The Fallinistas are probably chuckling about this one.  I crack myself up..."Fallinistas" and "Brogdonites." 

KTOK's Mark Shannon:  Mark and I have worked together at WKY and there is no question that Mark has quite a following and many are lifting him up in prayer and hoping for a miraculous recovery and speedy return to the airwaves on News Radio 1000, KTOK.  Mark has become the Afternoon Delight of Clear Channel Oklahoma, breathing new life into the microphone and offering a unique perspective on news and pop culture of the day.  Mark has been battling illness for most of the year and he and his wife, Kris, need us to continue to pray for him.  They are going through hell right now and Christians on both sides of the aisle should be on their knees, offering up prayers.

There will be more this weekend...stick around.  It's going to be fun.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Shanster Needs Prayer

KTOK's Mark Shannon has been battling health problems for quite some time as most talk radiophiles know, and according to his website today, he needs our prayers. He writes:

Greetings I cannot tell you how much my life has sucked the past few days. Nevertheless, at least I've had a life to suck.

On Wednesday morning I began to run a fever, experience pain in my kidneys and generally just felt crummy. By 1pm, the my doctor told me to grab an ambulance ride to the hospital, and about 4pm, I was there and going through what's become a very familiar routine, although this time I was incoherent, (though very entertaining babbling away with words that just seemed to come from nowhere.)

I spent most of Thursday "out of it" too, until they started pumping blood and platelets in to my system. Both are at a severe levels, and even adding the blood and platelets hasn't done much t improve either condition.

My kidneys appear to be shutting down slowly, another really bad sign, and a specialist has been called in to see what she can see.

In short, while I haven't given up or given in to "death," we are preparing for it and having the discussions that are needed in the event it is "check out" time.

I've had a life blessed beyond what I deserve, and I have few regrets. If my time here is up, then I am confident that God will prepare me, much as everything leading up to this point in my life has prepared me for the next step in life.

What that truly means is anyone's guess - except for that of the Father.  He knows what's going on and it is to Him we must petition for peace and healing for Mark.  The Shanster and I have not always agreed on things nor methodology, but one thing is certain - mark knows radio and he is exceptionally talented and has been a God-send for KTOK - as has President Obama.

Mark and his wife, Kris, are going through a very tough time right now and if you're a praying person, I would ask on his behalf that you do just that.  God does answer prayer.

How Serious Are We About Reform?

Americans are very, very pissed off.  Gasoline prices are going up, unemployment is still a problem, we feel as though our rights and liberties are being eroded and we feel as though the federal government has its grubby fingers in virtually every aspect of our lives.  First with the bailout of banks as a result of the home mortgage fiasco, then with the auto industry and now, the federal government that touts itself as the "protector of the citizenry" has become the consummate provider of corporate welfare to the insurance industry with Obamacare.

Yes, I said it.  Obamacare does nothing but serve the "big business" they supposedly hate by mandating every American purchase a product thereby propping up an already successful business.  For the conservatives in Oklahoma, why hasn't Frank Keating come out against Obamacare?  Why?  Because he is a lobbyist for the insurance industry.  But I digress.

So, I ask you:  How serious are you about reform?  In Oklahoma, we have seen numerous Tea Party rallies that have succeeded in getting people really fired up, but provided no singular leadership or even a platform for supporters to follow.  Tea Party rallies are a good thing, don't get me wrong, but for an already conservative state like Oklahoma where Republicans own the House and the Senate, own all of the Corporation Commission (the agency that regulates about 80% of the state's economy), and in this election cycle, will own the Governor's Mansion, the position of Lt. Governor, the Labor Commission, the Superintendent of Public Instruction position, and probably even the State Treasurer's office, the rallies are tantamount to having Aubrey McClendon lecture Larry Nichols on the benefits of domestic energy exploration.

At a time when the Tea Party rallies should be focusing on how to help Republicans in tough Oklahoma House and Senate Districts, they degenerated to name-calling and bashing committed Republicans such as Oklahoma GOP Chair Gary Jones.

Again, I ask:  How serious are we, as Republicans, about reform?  In 2004, when President Bush won re-election, most talk radio guys and gals were gushing.  They were tickled pink that George Bush had defeated John Kerry and that Republicans still were in control in Washington.  There were auditory celebrations that became legendary.  I, on the other hand, opened my show with a piece from Mozart's Requiem Mass and warned, "To those that much is given, much will be required."  I warned that if we did not follow through with our promises of more jobs, a more stable economy, reduced deficits and fiscal sanity, we would lose the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate and in 2010, we would see a Democratic President.

I hate to say it, but I told you so.

We have seen Republican after Republican campaign on immigration reform.  We have received none - and the 14th Amendment remains to be interpreted by the SCOTUS fully.  We have seen Republican after Republican campaign on energy policy reform.  We have seen a lurch to the left, an embracing of "green energy," and domestic energy production that is abundant and clean-burning be left virtually out of the equation (namely, natural gas). 

And here is the really sticky wicket for my Republican brethren in the state of Oklahoma:  What is still the biggest growth industry in Oklahoma even after Republican leadership in the House and Senate?  State government.  Government is still the largest employer in Oklahoma...  Follow me?

If we're serious about reform - REAL reform - we have to take a look at candidates running for political office and determine whether or not they are true servant-leaders with an eye to the future or if they are simply more of the same.  At the same time, we have to ask ourselves whether or not candidates aren't just riding the wave of pissed off people to further their own political careers, or if they have truly considered all of the consequences of their positions and the intended and unintended consequences therein.

Don't think that 2010 is "in the bag" for Republicans.  As a party, we've shown how easy it is to snatch defeat from the hands of victory.  While we were reeling from the fact that Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, there were a handful of people willing to admit that we brought it upon ourselves.  It's easy for us to stomp our feet and scream from the rafters how "President Obama hates capitalism," while Republicans in our own state are passing legislation that would make even the Supernanny blush in comparison.

Think about it:  If we're serious about reform, we must begin in our own back yard, in our own neighborhoods and we do so by using the brains God gave us to step away from the elixir of emotionalism and educate ourselves on the candidates and the issues important to us.  And most importantly, we fact-check.  Trust, but verify.

I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Navy Veteran in CD5?

Apparently, there is another Navy veteran who is in the fight for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by Congresswoman Mary Fallin.  And according to his website, he's an independent.

His website reads:
The success of my entrepreneurial enterprises, and the various investments I made along the way, allow our family to live without debt. It is a very nice feeling to have no mortgage, no car payments, no credit card debt, and no bills other than utilities, taxes and insurance (which, by the way, requires a full time job to pay). I suppose I could have continued to reinvest my nest egg be­fore paying off all our loans and credit cards, but the pres­ent economy has us a bit scared. My wife and I sleep much better this way. 
Now it’s time for me to give back. I am running for public office. I will run as I am—an independent conservative, and “debt-free.” I will represent the 5th District of Oklahoma without owing any money or any favors to special interests—a pure representative of the people.
I am not an attorney. I am not a career politician. I do not have millions in the bank. I am simply a guy living what was once the American Dream. I started with noth­ing, worked hard, and never, never, never quit.

His website is very interesting, very informative about who he is and what he believes.  He supports a very conservative rule of law, he supports the 2nd Amendment, has a pretty darned good view on energy policy, supports Israel, is pro-life, and is pro-traditional marriage.  And it doesn't appear as though he's a big fan of traditional political consultants as well.  He says:

First - If you are not a multimillionaire capable and willing to wage this kind of battle with one’s own finances (or at least enough to pay the political consultant’s entry fee), or a career politician with immediate access to special interests, lobbyist, PACs, party purse strings, and apparently the time to campaign for 12 to 18 months, then you need not apply. Sadly, this excludes the vast majority of the truly gifted leaders within our society; the business owners, fire chiefs, principals, head nurses, inspiring coaches and true leaders in this great country far to busy working, raising a family, unwilling and unable to subject themselves, their nest egg, and their solid reputations to an 18 month campaign.
If Mr. White is serious about his campaign, and from the looks of it, he is, he'll be facing one of the multitude of Republican candidates from the 5th District - more than likely, it will be Kevin Calvey.

Visit his website here and judge for yourself.

Hat tip to my friend, Bryan Dean, for this heads-up.

Oklahoman Editorial Board Gets It Right. Finally.

The national spotlight was on Oklahoma because of a now exceptionally controversial AP story that contained the scary term, "militia," so, what was the response of the Oklahoma legislature?  To pass a bill to make it illegal to recruit anyone to join a militia or the KKK.  Somehow, the two get confused by legislators and not only that, with the bill that passed the House 98-1, it is entirely possible that most of the talk show hosts being broadcast in Oklahoma could potentially be charged under this incredibly bizarre knee-jerk reaction.

The Oklahoman Editorial Board and I don't agree on much very often, but this time, they nailed it.  In the editorial piece today (here), they state:

...puzzling is the continued inaccurate portrayals of Timothy McVeigh as a militia member. State Rep. Mike Shelton noted in debate that, "In Oklahoma, we have seen the damage done by militia fanatics.” He added that if groups were "going around terrorizing communities, doing drive-by shootings, using ammonium nitrate to blow up buildings,” they’d be considered unauthorized militias.

But McVeigh wasn’t a militia member. He had acquaintances with militia leanings, but the attack on our federal building was plotted and completed by an anti-government loner, not an anti-government militia. Shelton is the latest in a long line of people who have bent those facts to suit a cause.
This instance alone could be enough for folks like OU Political Science Professor Keith Gaddie to write volumes, yet the average taxpayer in Oklahoma is probably following the Oklahoman's lead in "scratching their heads."  I sure as heck don't understand it.

Too often, media bias on a national level likes to combine terms and thereby created "guilt by association."  For example, in conservative circles, the two terms "liberal" and "Democrat" are used with impunity.  On the other side of the spectrum, the terms "militia" and "KKK" are used as well, with the end result being (at least in Oklahoma) knee-jerk legislation that would end in jail time for stupidity.

Last time I checked, it's not illegal to be an idiot.  As Ted Nugent once said, "stupid people should be allowed to say (or do) stupid things as often as possible so we can continue to identify who the stupid people are."  I don't necessarily disagree with that view because my stupidity is on display every day right here on this website and heard on close to 50 stations daily on my energy report.

Even the "conservative Constitutionalists" are guilty of this kind of knee-jerk garbage legislation and it can be found in things like taking DNA samples at the time of a felony arrest - not conviction, mind you, but an arrest.  Or, the ban on breeds of dogs because their owners are idiots many times.  Or legislation that regulates how dead horses are handled.  Or legislation that would ultimately completely dry up federal funding for roads and bridges in Oklahoma...

But I digress.

The Oklahoman nailed it this time, and you're encouraged to read it here.

Tempest, Meet Teapot

There were rumors swirling around this morning that Congresswoman Mary Fallin had contributed to Governor Brad Henry back in 2003, as reported by the Muskogee Politico, and within a few short hours, clarification came from the Fallin campaign. 

Apparently, the contribution was not a campaign contribution, but rather money spent on the Inaugural Ball.  One could easily argue the efficacy of such an investment, but that's a story for another time.

The advantages of the Internet are amazing - we can get information quickly and distribute it effectively.  Unfortunately, sometimes stories get out there that are misunderstood and need clarification.

Kudos to the Muskogee Politico for quickly reporting the story and it's aggregate result before too many Brogdonites gathered up pitchforks and stormed the Fallin Congressional Office.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

To Debate or Not To Debate?

More and more chatter about a gubernatorial debate between Congresswoman Mary Fallin and State Senator Randy Brogdon is heating up and talk radio in both major markets in Oklahoma are still fired up about it.  But will it accomplish anything?

We have talked about it previously, friends:  Every election cycle, men and women get fired up about debates and more often than not, it is the trailing candidate and his/her supporters who have the highest volume.  Think about it:  If State Senator Randy Brogdon were the front-runner, do you honestly believe that his campaign strategy would be to give Congresswoman Mary Fallin much-needed earned media to get out her message? 

Of course not!

So, it's fun to listen to the supporters of Randy Brogdon to get all ginned up about debates, but the truth of the matter is that it is simply part of the campaign cycle.  More than likely, if history serves us correctly, we'll see a series of debates that will probably begin at the end of May and conclude two weeks prior to the primary itself.

It's standard protocol, friends.  There will be a debate and the result will be pretty much what most pundits are expecting:  Unless there is a proverbial "smoking gun" in the Fallin camp, State Senator Randy Brogdon will begin his preparation for a Congressional race in a couple years and Fallin will take on the Democratic nominee for Governor. 

In my opinion, most of the issues Brogdon has been talking about truly are Congressional in nature.  I think he would make a spectacular member of the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation.

Democrats are quiet about it, but you can bet they would much rather see Jari Askins rather than Drew Edmondson take on Mary Fallin.

Now, I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Rep. John Wright Gets OCPAC Nod for Lt. Governor

The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee members have met and decided that Representative John Wright will be the recipient of their endorsement for the stepping stone position of Lt. Governor.

From Charlie Meadows' OCPAC's email:

This past Wednesday, our dues paying members voted to endorse State Representative John Wright over State Senator Todd Lamb in the closest race so far this year. There were a large number of “no endorsement” votes which caused our first run-off vote of the year. Some vote to make no endorsement because there isn’t that much difference between the candidates, couldn’t tell who was the best or perhaps they don’t like any of the candidates. Regardless of the reason, Representative Wright was chosen in a close run-off race. There wasn’t that much difference between them on their perspectives for the job. 
I believe John Wright to be the more conservative candidate, but Senator Lamb certainly displays the persona of a salesman to promote the State of Oklahoma which is a major function for the Lt. Governor position. Both are good communicators, John’s style is thorough and methodical, while Todd’s style is forceful and full of charisma. While I believe either of them will make a good Lt. Governor, our members did select John Wright who now joins these other candidates endorsed by OCPAC. Randy Brogdon for Governor, Mark Costello for Labor Commissioner, Nathan Dahm for 1st District Congress, R.J. Harris for 4th District Congress and Kevin Calvey for 5th District Congress. Congratulations to all of these fine candidates.
Whomever wins the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor will face a seasoned, well-prepared Democratic challenger in Senator Kenneth Corn.

Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District Race Gets Weird(er)

In the beginning there was Representative Mike Thompson, chair of the all-important House Energy Committee, and Mike had pretty much sewn up all the major players in the Oklahoma business community as his supporters.  His consultants, Trey Richardson and Josh Kivett are stalwart Republicans who are well known in the Oklahoma Congressional delegation.  He was leading the pack in fund raising, had an aggressive grass roots operation and then, suddenly, he disappeared.

Enter:  Kevin Calvey.  Riding the wave of Iraq war veteran status, Calvey became the front runner in the race almost over night.  He was always "in" the race, but his media buys pushed him over the top and he has received the endorsement of organizations such as OCPAC and the Oklahoma Rifle Association.  Now, Kevin is clearly the one to beat in this race.  Or so we thought.

Along came Representative Shane Jett, a Navy man from out in the hinterlands of Oklahoma's 5th District whose consultant is the former Speaker of the House, Lance Cargill.  But Jett was overshadowed by the recent announcement that former Corporation Commissioner, former Congressman J.C. Watts endorsed a political newcomer, Mr. James Lankford.

Lankford shocked the Internet universe with his presence on Facebook - boasting over 10,000 fans on his page.  Of course, he hasn't utilized that resource to its fullest extent, but his uber-conservative posture has positioned him as "another Tom Coburn" by J.C. Watts. (Read the endorsement from the Muskogee Politico here.)

One would be hard-pressed to find a more bizarre set of circumstances in any political race than you would in the 5th District race.  And I haven't even mentioned the aggressiveness of Dr. Roy or Rick Flanigan. 

I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sabbath Silliness

Sunday Debate:  In my estimation, cupcakes are an ideal breakfast food - virtually all the major food groups are represented.  Cupcakes are, in my opinion, little more than muffins with icing on them.  There was a little dynamic tension when I walked into the dining room to see the majority of the girls sitting at the table eating cereal, two eating nothing and all the while, a very large tray of delicious cupcakes were sitting on the counter.  I asked the question as to why they weren't eating cupcakes for breakfast and the rather loud response was in the form of a question:  "We can have cupcakes for breakfast?"  I said, "Why, of course.  Cupcakes are simply muffins with icing on them."  Smiles abounded and they dove into the cupcakes.  My wife entered the room with a less than happy look on her face, but they had it covered because I had already approved of such food substances for breakfast consumption.

Apparently, there is still some debate as to the efficacy of cupcakes as approved by the Breakfast Police.  Scored points with the girls, lost a couple points with the wife.  But still, the girls out-number us anyway. 

To be continued...

Sunday Morning News:  There was a time in my life when I lived for the Sunday morning news shows.  I thought the sun rose and set by those programs and anyone who has any interest in politics must, by necessity, follow them with religious fervor.  But then, life happened and I found myself with no interest whatsoever to watch them.  There was a time when I was in the running for the Sunday morning standoff with Mike Turpen over at KFOR, but I didn't quite fit the mold.  I was probably too conservative, wouldn't allow Mike to filibuster the conversations and told him as much.  Former Mayor Kirk is a little more patient, and clearly more connected with the Heritage Hills crowd than am I.  It was then, really, that I realized how the shows are not really designed for open and candid debate, but really are more about pushing a subtle message of unity with just enough dynamic tension to make them appear as though they are real discussions.  Mike and Kirk have a whole lot more in common than one would realize on the surface and We The Sheeple rarely delve into the nuance of media so their alliances continue to fly under the radar.

And since Tim Russert passed, there is nothing on the national scene worth watching - if I want to watch liberal propaganda, I'll turn on 60 Minutes and get my fill.