Limbaugh’s ‘Crimes’

Crimes Against LibertyDavid Limbaugh is angry. He’s angry that we have a president who has a “god complex that portends ill for this nation.” He’s angry that we have the most divisive president in American history. He’s angry that Barack Obama “lied, cheated and stole to impose Obamacare.”

He’s angry that his five children face an “unsustainable debt and will be a second tier nation for a generation;” at Obama’s “dogged, blind faith in the redistribution of wealth.”

Limbaugh contends Obama “acts outside the rule of law” and likes to bully corporations and threaten uncooperating senators (Kyl) and states.  He decries the “creep to socialism that is now in hyper speed,” as  described to guest host Doug Urbanski, on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show today.

And he makes a further case for his anger in his latest book: “Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama.”

His detailed list of “accomplishments” that have taken place in the last 19 months documents all the instances where liberty has been taken away from Americans. It will be a good reminder – and motivator – for all of us concerned with the 2012 election.

Haslam meets with Memphis TEA Party

Bill Haslam
Bill Haslam

Hello from the Memphis TEA Party;

I wanted to update you on my meeting with Bill Haslam. We met here in a Memphis last week and his wife and West Tennessee campaign manager were present. I had several people from our Memphis TEA Party group along with our 9th District Congressional Candidate, Charlotte Bergmann. The meeting lasted about 50 minutes due to a commitment he had in Nashville with Ron Ramsey.

The meeting was extremely friendly and open. I asked him to address four key issues: His participation in Mayor Bloomberg’s effort “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” ; a TN state income tax; his disclosure of his interests in Pilot Oil; and his views of addressing the Healthcare Freedom Act and the expansion of the Federal government.

He offered a substantial defense of his views and was unequivocal in the right to keep and bear arms as defined by the 2nd Amendment. He indicated that he, along with 700 other mayors, had joined Bloomberg’s coalition when it appeared to be focused on fighting crime and ensuring that guns didn’t get into the hands of criminals. He reiterated his views that the coalition was going in the wrong direction and that he did indeed remove himself when it appeared to be detrimental to his 2nd Amendment views and those of Tennessee. And while the political reality was clear, he again reiterated his views that he would support fully our rights and would not abridge the Constitution in any way.

In the matter of the state income tax, he again stated he would not support and indeed would oppose any efforts to establish a state income tax. I pointed out that the stimulus dollars would expire at the first of the year and that TN would be in a terrible hole from the point of view of our budget. He recognized that and stated he felt we could reduce the size of government while focusing on growing jobs and therefore the tax base. He saw no other way, given our state requirement to balance our budget. His business experience and the realistic perspective about the budget allowed for no other alternative. And he understood that he would work with Ron Ramsey to accommodate the reduction of the budget to meet the balance budget requirements of our state. However, without growth, the state would need to make some difficult choices to meet those reductions in spending.

On disclosure, he pointed out that he has disclosed more about his personal financial position than others in the past and which is required by law. He also stated that his interest in the family business is the source of his wealth and he was not hiding anything relating to this fact. And indeed, while many attempted to make an issue of this, he was of the opinion that he had been forthcoming in this matter.

Mark Skoda
Mark Skoda

Finally, he was most explicit about the need to reject the expansion of the Federal government. The need to push back on healthcare, immigration and Federal largess were all points he brought forward in the discussion. I pointed out that the next governor would need to be absolute in resisting the enticements of the Federal government and the expansion and control of Tennesseans. He understood this fact and was adamant that Washington was broken and that the governors needed to take a stand. He also pointed out that being a part time legislature, our state government was already functioning more efficiently than most.

I told Bill that I appreciated sitting across the table from him with his wife present. She being from Memphis, I was also pleased that she could hear from Charlotte Bergmann who pointed out the problems facing our county and our city. I believe that both he and his wife recognized the emotional turmoil of this campaign and the need to meet their political rhetoric with actions that reflected his promises. He was direct, unapologetic and most friendly. At no time did I feel that he was condescending or placating me and my team. This was a business discussion and a heartfelt defense of the issues.

In closing, I can say that at the very least, he reiterated his official positions. He did so with honesty and forthrightness. He is an extremely charming man with a clear vision for the state and a recognition that he will need to prove out his positions over time. However, he was absolute in affirming those positions and his conservative bonafides. I told him we would be there holding him and our other legislators accountable. I closed by thanking him and indicating I would publish this note of our meeting. However, I have to say that being able to look across the table and have a direct and forthright meeting of the minds was most heartening.

I will not say that one meeting makes the case. However, for me, it went a long way to moving me from sitting on the sidelines to becoming an advocate for Bill Haslam and the changes necessary to achieve success in our state. I believed him and will work to hold him accountable to his representations. In that context, I will also support him during November and will ask my members to do the same. And in the end, each person and Tea Party leader will need to make their own assessment and take decisions accordingly. I am not asking you to support him from your respective organizations. I did however tell Bill that I would share my views with the group and the perspectives from this meeting.

In this, I have done what I promised. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or wish to discuss this further.


Mark A. Skoda

Founder & Chairman

The Memphis TEA Party

Shelby election lawsuit announced

From Midtown Republican Club member Cile Brooks (see attached PDF):

Ten countywide candidates in the August 5th election have formally filed an election contest in Shelby County Chancery Court requesting injunctive relief. The ten plaintiffs in the suit include certain non-partisan judicial candidates as well as certain Democratic nominees, all of whom competed in the County General Election earlier this month. Based on an inspection and investigation of the Shelby County Election Commission (SCEC) and of August 5th election records, the suit claims that the election process was incurably flawed to the extent that the citizens of Shelby County were denied a free and equal election as required by Article I of the Tennessee Constitution.

R or D?

I don’t mean Republican or Democrat. I mean Recession or Depression.

The bad economic news just keeps coming. The recession that ought to be winding down seems to be winding up. Today there was more bad news that drove the Dow below 10,000 for a time.

Durable goods dropped, excluding aircraft.  New home sales fell 12.4% in July, following yesterday’s report that sales of previously occupied housing fell 27% – a low not seen since the Johnson administration.  Last week the weekly jobless claims hit 500,000; we’ll see what tomorrow brings. Obama’s Homeowner Assistance program is failing, with half of the participants not able to make their house notes.

Summer of Recovery?

Maybe for Barack Obama’s golf game.

If you want to dip into the gloom, take a look at The writer Tyler Durden  has such titles as “JPM ‘Disastrous’ Durable Goods Number Sets Stage for sub 1% Q3 GDP,” “We’re All in a Race to the Bottom,” “Stock Market’s Slow, Painful Death Rattle.” At James Gannon writes “Fed to Savers: Drop Dead,’ with Ross Kaminsky saying “Housing Stops.”

No one knows what is coming next. Tax hikes? Inflation? Deflation? Higher unemployment?

The only answer may lie in the question, R or D. Republican instead of Democrat control of Congress may just stop the slide.

‘Taj Mahal’ school amid layoffs (Video)

It has a ten acre park surrounding it and an Olympic quality swimming pool. You can eat in a dining room dubbed “better than most restaurants” or at a fast food court. Fine art murals hang on the walls with a glass and metal exterior of the finest quality. The auditorium is suitable for the Oscars presentations and was modeled after the famous Coconut Grove nightclub. If you prefer, you can go to the dance studio with its cushioned maple floors for instruction.

Lavish getaway hotel? Expensive spa?

Guess again. It’s the new public school in Los Angeles that cost $578 million dollars in a state that’s more or less bankrupt. L.A. residents … worldwide … are beginning to feel the pinch.

They call it the Taj Mahal and at that cost it could be. The kindergarten through 12th grade complex is named after Robert F. Kennedy and will open next month. Enrollment is 4,200 students and costs per student for its construction have been about $135,000 with an enormous overall cost of $250,000 per student.  It cost more than China’s Olympic stadium and more than Denver’s Invesco field.

This after the LA district laid off 3,000 teachers and in an area that has a dropout rate of 35% according to the AP and ABC News.

The money was obtained through voter approved bonds. But one wonders if taxpayers across the country will be bailing them out.  We probably already are. The recently passed $10 billion Edujobs bill that was passed allocates $1 billion for the LA school district as reported by The Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

We’ve come a long way from the one room schoolhouse. Years ago a co-worker told me of his experiences growing up in Alabama and attending a one room classroom. Somehow, even with teenagers mingling with the elementary aged children, and nothing but desks and hand me down textbooks, pupils managed to get a grasp of the basics that many probably do not have in our public schools today. He went on to become a millionaire and an informed citizen up into his 80s.

Home schoolers seem to do OK, also. The estimated $500 cost per pupil  home schooling entails lands those students higher test scores on things like the ACT than our money draining public schools can produce.

And how will the maintenance costs, benefits for employees and possible illegal immigrant school population keep costs down? As one writer put it, “Give me a state of the art teacher over a state of the art building any day.”

If you build a great, expensive school  they will come. But will they learn?

Republicans Fire First Shot in 2010 Campaign

This morning House Minority Leader John Boehner launched the opening attack of the 2010 election season.

The Republican from Ohio made a speech in which he asked for the resignation of the entire Obama economic team, including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House economic advisor Larry Summers.

Boehner said what we all know; that the stimulus plan has been a failure and the economy is heading downwards.

The election is in ten weeks. Glad to see the Republicans on the offense.

You and the Electronic Precinct

2010 Take Back America“Politics is no longer a spectator sport.”

That’s the message for all of us who care about the country from Dick Morris and Eileen McGann in their new book,  “2010 Take Back America.”

“Those in the grandstands must leave their seats and come down on the playing field to help their side score,” they write.

“The Internet has made each of us the center of our own political campaign. We ARE the campaign. The days when the candidate and a small group of professionals ran things – and the rest of us chipped in money, showed up at rallies, and voted – are over. Now each of us must conduct our own campaign within our own circle of acquaintances, until the circle spreads to include thousands of voters.

“Too many of us still labor under the illusion that politics is a top-down game, driven by the manager and candidate whose initiatives filter down to the lowly campaign workers – the foot soldiers on the ground. We wait for our phones to ring or emails to arrive telling us what to do to help win the election.”

Why this is so is because “political advertising, like all advertising, is losing its effectiveness – for two key reasons.”

Number one is because the internet is replacing television. You can’t reach a great number of people at one time anymore, they argue, since you can access hundreds of channels, tape them, watch when you want and zip out the ads.

But, more importantly, they say is the second reason. “The conventional top-down media driven political campaign isn’t working anymore because we don’t believe what we hear from strangers.” Doubt it? Just think of Rathergate. Bloggers and other Americans suspected the letters about Bush getting  a pass on serving  in Vietnam were false documents and revealed them for the frauds they were.

It follows, then, that “the more we disbelieve those we don’t know, the more we DO believe and rely upon those we do know,” they claim.

And that’s where we come in.

“If you want to make a difference in 2010, now’s the time to start reaching out to all those people to spread the word. They are your constituents – your electronic precinct.” No longer are wards and precincts geographical areas to be canvassed, the electronic precinct consists of people you know: colleagues, neighbors, friends, family, acquaintances.

“Make a list of your ‘constituents’ and go talk to each of them by email, by Twitter, by YouTube, by Facebook, even by phone,” they suggest. “Remember to think of yourself as a publisher,” they say and send them articles, information on a good candidate, notice of meetings, shows to watch, etc.

“But canvassing your own electronic precinct is only part of your assignment. You must also get your friends to join you as precinct captains, bringing their own list of friends, family, colleagues and associates.

“One pebble cast into the water will generate its share of ripples. But only when many are thrown at once can  we build a wave.”

Let’s hope we build a tidal wave.