Confessions of a Delegate. As commentators, political junkies, your next door neighbor and just about everyone speculates about the number of delegates garnered by candidates in the 2016 primary race, I thought it was time to actually talk to one of the delegates to a past convention to get an idea of what it’s like. Thus, Confessions of a Delegate. Mark Johnson was a republican activist supporting Texas Congressman Ron Paul for president in 2012. Johnson was part of the storied Minnesota Delegation, one of five state delegations pledged to support Paul. We’ve all seen the shots on TV from the convention floor. What was it really like to be on the floor at the convention? What was it like to experience the power of the establishment first hand, a republican establishment bound and determined not to allow the Texas Representative a chance to speak to the convention or have his name entered into nomination from the floor. What did the establishment do? They changed the rules before the convention (the now famous rule 40b) and prevented a so called ‘minority report’ on the rules committee from being entered into consideration and voted on, making sure Minority Report author Morton Blackwell’s bus didn’t make it to the convention in time for the vote. The establishment also disqualified the Maine delegation and replaced them with Romney supporters. Why is this important. This fight is nothing compared to what could happen if none of the candidates reach Cleveland with enough delegates pledged to them to achieve a nomination on the first ballot, an outcome which appears more and more likely, an outcome all three remaining candidacies appear to be preparing for. Now ‘retired for the time being’ Johnson talks about his experience and has some advice for the delegates elected to their conventions in 2016. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate. (Editor’s note; At one point I refer to what happens when delegates get to ‘Tampa’, since we were talking about Tampa and 2012. I meant to say Cleveland, where the GOP convention will be held in 2016.)
Political Crossroads. Freewheeling discussion of the big stories from the week. The Hillary Clinton Email spectacle, police shot in Ferguson, Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to the Iranians, and in the wake of his DHS vote and visit to Selma, Congressman Tom Emmer gets the better of the North Metro Tea Party. Police groups say ‘anti government’ sentiment is the cause of a disturbing increase in ambush shootings of officers. Weak minded individuals are influenced by ‘anti government’ types, who then go out and shoot cops. Really? Or, do criminals use popular protests as a justification for their bloodlust? The city manager and police chief of Ferguson, Missouri resigned, provoking a late night, unruly group of people to protest. Shots rang out and two police officers were wounded. Michael Brown’s family and protest groups issued statements decrying the shooting, blaming ‘outsiders’, without knowing whether it’s true. Who can forget the chants at one of Al Sharpton’s protests, “What do we want? Dead Cops”. Yes, words matter, protesters. Surveys show more Americans do not trust their government. Can you blame them? The United States was in fact created by anti government types. Their creation is designed to protect citizens from the government, not the other way around. If you don’t trust the government, you’re American! Democrats think Freshman Senator Tom Cotton is anti American because he had the temerity to challenge President Obama’s unilateral (that means he didn’t consult Congress on it) deal with the Iranians. A deal the President claims will prevent them from getting nuclear weapons. Tom Cotton and 46 other Senators don’t agree, and they wrote a letter to Iran’s government suggesting a future president could obviate the deal, sooner than ten years. Oh The Humanity! The wailing and the gnashing of teeth! How dare the Senate step on the constitutional toes of the White House! And when the Senate hits pay dirt, what does leadership do? Run away as fast as it can. With moderates running the House and Senate flexing their muscles and coming down on ‘extremist’, ‘populist’, ‘upstart’, and ‘radical’ lawmakers, it looks more and more like the so called Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party Movement is waning. The same dynamic played out in the wake of Congressman Tom Emmer’s controversial vote on DHS funding. Pilloried by the North Metro Tea Party, Tom responded on this podcast, and in other media outlets, and despite being called names, shouted at, and threatened with competitors in 2016, the Congressman appears in the mainstream media as a reasonable, hardworking congressman, humbly serving his constituents. Did Emmer win this round with the Tea Party? Squeak all you want, the wheel that gets the grease these days is the one with the votes, and money. As the tea party and libertarian movements falter, and perhaps fade, the political crossroads is one way. The chances of a Bush/Clinton contest in 2016 only increases if this is true. Sponsored by Baklund R&D.
Heavy Stories. In the first of two podcasts for the weekend of January 23rd, 2015…the heavy stories. Lots of talk about the State of The Union, whether or not a Republican Congress can govern, factions forming in the House, and all the other static. These stories have obscured for the time being, discussions of the effects of the price of oil. The low price of gas is almost always celebrated by the media as a ‘good thing’ since ‘reductions in the price of gas, act like a tax cut on the economy’. While it is a pleasurable to experience to fill up your tank for less than thirty dollars, throw in a car wash and come away with change from your fifty, we still have a long way to go before the ‘tax cut’ experience kicks in. Suddenly though, the story line has changed. Media outlets and pundits who enthusiastically endorsed lower oil prices as ‘acting like a tax cut’ are suddenly decrying ‘deflation’ in the economy, and writing stories about how deflation can only lead to ruin, and ‘something’ must be done. Meanwhile, the price of beef, milk, cheese, rice and other staples at any store, whether it is a Walmart or a ‘Whole Paycheck’ aren’t ‘deflating’ very quickly. And since wages have not kept pace with even moderate inflation, Americans will need to see further reductions in the rate of inflation (Disinflation) before the celebration begins. And what about those media outlets? Why they have found a new story line … horrible and giant oil companies that are suddenly laying of noble workers in North Dakota and Texas. What will happen when companies start laying people off, due to reduced pricing power? (Editor’s Note: They don’t mention that energy price inputs for companies are also getting cheaper.) Why is the specter of deflation terrifying? Because as money becomes worth more (lower prices mean you can buy more) if you are in debt, it makes paying back the debt that much more difficult. And, the world’s central banks are carrying a lot of debt. So are companies and individuals, and your good old Uncle Sam. Moreover, this nonsense about the United States being economically decoupled from the rest of the world is being exposed. If the rest of the world slips into recession because of bad economic policy and bad monetary policy, and bad political leadership, why would the United States escape the pain, since our policy and political leadership is just as bad as say, Europe, if not worse. This — and many other issues — will also be discussed this weekend at the SD-61 Chili Dinner AND CONTEST in South Minneapolis. Come on out! Sponsored by Mycompletebasement.com. (Editor’s Note: 06:38 Hours: Well, I just google mapped Midland Texas and characterizing it as in the Dallas metro, is a bit of a stretch, in fact it’s more like the splits. Midland is west of Fort Worth, close to Odessa so it really isn’t as to Dallas as Plymouth, Minnesota is to Minneapolis. I seem to remember a trip to Dallas, seeing an exit for Midland and it seemed a lot closer than it looks on the map.)