Sunday, October 31, 2010

I've been busy making a dump truck

Contraception could be free under health care law.

From the Associated Press comes this story this evening:

Fifty years after the pill, another birth control revolution may be on the horizon: free contraception for women in the U.S., thanks to the new health care law.

The use of birth control is "virtually universal" in the U.S., according to a government report this summer from the National Center for Health Statistics. Nearly 93 million prescriptions for contraceptives were dispensed in 2009, according to IMS Health, a market analysis firm. Generic versions of the pill are available at Walmart stores, for example, for $9 a month.

Still, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned, and many occur among women using some form of contraception. The government says the problem is rarely the birth control method, but "inconsistent or incorrect use," such as forgetting to take a pill.

Advocates say free birth control would begin to address the problem.

"We can look at other countries where birth control is available for no cost, and what we see are lower pregnancy rates, lower abortion rates and lower teen pregnancy," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood.

It would remove a cost barrier that may be keeping women away from more reliable long-acting birth control, and also affects those who don't do well on inexpensive generics.

A major research study now taking place in St. Louis provides a glimpse of how things might change.

The Contraceptive CHOICE Project is providing free birth control to as many as 10,000 women, tracking their decisions and the results. About 70 percent have chosen long-acting contraceptives such as IUDs (intrauterine devices) or implants, which are reversible and have a much lower failure rate than pills or condoms. The proportion of U.S. women using such methods remains low; part of the reason seems to be higher upfront cost.

"The shift we need to see in the United States is a shift away from methods like the pill and condoms to the most effective methods, like implants and IUDs," said Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, a principal investigator on the study. "And we'll only see that shift if somebody is willing to pay for it."

How the Obama administration will apply the law remains to be seen. It could allow insurance plans wide discretion on meeting the coverage requirement. A panel convened by the Institute of Medicine will hold its first meeting Nov. 16 to begin work on recommendations to HHS. The department has until next August to make its decision.

Game's at Billy's house, no limit and all the scotch you can drink. Oh yeah, what happens in Springvegas stays in Springvegas

Didn't the Metro Mafia refer to Springvegas also? Wasn't Billy Long traveling on the bus with Roy yesterday? Lane Koch is a Deputy Political Director in the Roy Blunt for U.S. Senate campaign. She tweets as "LNKOCH".

For Joan and Greg who got married this afternoon

Billy Long - Question 4 - Free Market What? Nails? Huh? Can you imagine this guy in DC?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fact Check, Please!

My father was in the publishing and newspaper business all his life.

He knew that what he wrote and what news went into the newspaper had the potential to influence people's thoughts and attitudes.

He believed he had a moral duty to his subscribers and readers to explore every aspect of a story, especially a controversial story. He was a strong believer in fact checking.

I used to help him out with the fact checking. In those pre-internets days it was a lot harder to do it than it is now.

A story in today's SN-L demonstrates the need for fact-checking and a red pen.

The story, Billy Long outraises Scott Eckersley six- , attributed to SN-L staff, appeared in today's SN-L. Excerpted below, it appears the reporters made a rookie mistake and the editors didn't catch it:

In the race for 7th District, Republican Billy Long raised six times as much money as Democrat Scott Eckersely, according to reports filed in mid-October.

According to Open Long reported raising $1.3 million. Eckersley reported $201,897. Long has been campaigning about a year and a half, while the Eckersley campaign kicked off in March 2010.

The largest individual expenses listed by the Long campaign in September were to Axiom Strategies for $19,919; followed by $18,000 to Public Opinion Strategies for polling. Axiom got eight payments totalling $51,308. The J. Harris Company, LLC, a consulting firm received $12,494 for consulting and travel.

The largest individual expenses listed by the Eckersley campaign were a $15,005 and a $6,500 media buy, followed by $5,000 for Campaign Strategy Research Services, an Arlington, Va., firm. said the organization making the largest contribution to Long was Med-Pay, $17,000.

The largest organizational contributor to Eckersley was ActBlue, $10,650.00
Did you catch it?

Federal election campaign limits the amount an individual can donate per election cycle, usually $2400 to a candidate. The chart below is from the FEC website:
The article's reporters said, " said the organization making the largest contribution to Long was Med-Pay, $17,000."

Read the chart above. Medpay's $17,000 contribution exceeds the contribution limit in any category.

Something ain't right here. Let's take the bus over to and look up Long's top donor list. The chart below is a screen shot of the top half of the page which lists Long's top donors and the amounts given:
Just to be fair and balanced, here is a screen capture of the bottom half of the page which lists Eckersley's top donors (I could not get the entire page in one screen capture but you can see the entire page

Oh my.

Oh my, my, my.

Look at that disclaimer that is at the bottom of the screen capture of Eckersley's top donors.

Why, parts of it are even highlighted in bold print:
This table lists the top donors to this candidate in the 2009 - 2010 election cycle. The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organization's PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Open Secrets even explains the statement:Writing on the SN-L boards as 'Busplunge', I left the following comments on this story:
" said the organization making the largest contribution to Long was Med-Pay, $17,000."

Are there any fact checkers at the SN-L?

Contribution limit per election cycle is $2400.00 per election cycle.

How can Med-Pay legally contribute more than $17,000 then?

From the Opensecrets web page: "The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organization's PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families."

ah, jeez

Jim Lee
10/30/2010 8:28:59 AM
and a short time later, this comment:
When a donation is made to a political candidate, there is usually a form to fill out listing the donors employer. A lot of employees at MedPay or lots of Gordon Kinney (sp) family members donated to Long.

Also, Long told Steve Grant this about farm subsidies (Long wants to end them): "They're bringing milk in from out of the area. Our farmers here have to pay to have milk trucked in from other states. So there's a lot of things in the farm subsidies that have to be looked at."

The California Dairies Federal PAC gave Long a substantial donation.

Why is Long accepting money from the California Dairies PAC when he told Grant that "Our farmers here have to pay to have milk trucked in from other states"?

Haliburton, Arch Coal, Exxon, General Motors, Koch Bros, Beer Wholesalers, Great Southern Employees all donated to Long's campaign.

The FEC site:

Jim Lee
10/30/2010 8:46:03 AM
The "our farmers here are having to pay to have milk trucked in from out of state" can be found here: "There's been many a slip between the cup and the lips"-- Billy Long KY3 News.

The documentation for the contribution from the California Dairies Federal PAC can be found here: "The two sides of Billy Long: "They're bringing milk in from out of the area. Our farmers here have to pay to have milk truckedin from other states." Billy Long accepts California Dairies Federal PAC donation to Long campaign."

Other areas of this story that need explanation to the readers:

Who the Axiom Strategies principals are and their history and why did Long pay them so much money: "Decision awaited on libel suit against Billy Long advisor".

James Harris' connection to the fake Scott Eckersley 'withdrawing from the race' email: "Billy Long consultant James Harris pushes false rumor about Scott Eckersley"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hey Martha! Look at this! Billy's been tweeting again! That man's a serial tweeter!

Our favorite auctioneer likes twitter. In fact, he likes it so much he's on there twice! Once as 'Auctnr1' (Auctioneer One) and twice as 'BillyisFEDUP'.

Come to think of it, I first really noticed Long's campaign because of his tweets. It was back in February.

Do you remember it?

I do.

"Uh, look, about last night..."

My computer skills have gotten better since February. I know now how to capture screen shots.

Billy's tweeting skills seem to be ok (ok, we know he's good on the iphone. His sense of time is really gone haywire.

Consider these recent tweets (it was about 10:30 pm when I captured these):
# Billy Long BillyIsFEDUP Looking forward to joining @RoyBlunt tomorrow on his bus for Get Out The Vote Rallys in Polk, Greene, Lawrence, Jasper & Newton Counties 25 minutes ago via HootSuite

# Billy Long BillyIsFEDUP Another great Newton County Bean Feed in the books! Spoke to the group then spoke a group of Home School kids that are working hard for GOP 26 minutes ago via HootSuite

# Billy Long BillyIsFEDUP We need Volunteers to Walk, Knock & Call - volunteer at 417.88FEDUP 26 minutes ago via HootSuite

# Billy Long BillyIsFEDUP Just spoke at the headquarters in Branson - great crowd - Tom Schweich & @RoyBlunt up next- headed to Neosho Bean Feed 27 minutes ago via HootSuite

# Billy Long BillyIsFEDUP It was great being on Aurora Radio just now on the McCormack Files - I don't think John McCormack has ever had a bad day - always upbeat! 28 minutes ago via HootSuite

# Billy Long BillyIsFEDUP Looking forward to Barnstorming The 7th District with @RoyBlunt tomorrow on his Bus! Polk, Greene, Lawrence, Jasper & Newton Counties!!! 28 minutes ago via HootSuite

Aurora to Branson to Neosho in 4 minutes!

The man's a serial tweeter!

The two sides of Billy Long: "They're bringing milk in from out of the area. Our farmers here have to pay to have milk trucked

in from other states." Billy Long accepts California Dairies Federal PAC donation to Long campaign.

Last week, in a profile with Steve Grant our favorite auctioneer Billy Long said,

They're bringing milk in from out of the area. Our farmers here have to pay to have milk trucked in from other states. So there's a lot of things in the farm subsidies that have to be looked at.

The website Billy Long: All Hat No Cattle went through Long's FEC filings and found that his
most recent finance report says you’ve received money from the CALIFORNIA DAIRIES FEDERAL PAC. Is your interest in California milk producers something that benefits us folks in southwest Missouri?
From the FEC website:
TURLOCK CA 95380 09/28/2010 $2,500

The post also looks at other contributors to Long's campaign:
Or, what about EXXON MOBILE CORPORATION? Maybe Billy taking money from big oil has something to do with southwest Missouri oil producers? (What producers) Or maybe he just wants to deregulate big oil? After all, the Gulf of Mexico is a long way from Missouri and who cares if we destroy local economies through the likes of another BP spill?

But the one we really don’t understand is the money you’ve taken from HALLIBURTON. Are you casting your vote in favor government waste, fraud and abuse? These guys are the ones who plundered the U.S. Treasury out of billions of dollars in no-bid contracts handed out by the Bush Administration.

We’re just sayin what goes around comes around and already Billy’s giving all sorts of signals that he’s just the latest in a long line of political hypocrites.

Really, how can a guy say he’s fed up with the way Washington operates and then accept money from the biggest corporate thief of taxpayer money in the history of the United States? Billy apparently has no problem saying one thing and doing another.

Billy knows all about auctions and all one needs to do is look at his finance reports to know that the bidding is in full swing.

Billy Long consultant James Harris pushes false email rumor about Scott Eckersley

from Fired Up Missouri:

Some special person distributed a fake press release this morning declaring the Democratic candidate Scott Eckersley is withdrawing from the 7th Congressional District the Friday before Election Day. A couple of clues that it was a fake? It came from a email address no one has heard of and contains multiple grammatical errors.

But Billy Long consultant James Harris was happy to push the rumor anyway, because he's a totally awesome dude.

(And yes, this retweet is from the same Shawn Bell who worked/works for Harris and was on the wrong end of a Rep. Brian Nieves freak out because he thought Harris was behind a letter accusing Nieves of having extramarital affairs with lobbyists.)

Harris has since deleted his original tweet -- and has not published a correction or apology -- but the Internets remember.

UPDATE: Bell has also deleted his tweet (screen cap below) without issuing an apology or correction.

UPDATE: I received an email message to contact Shawn Bell who is working on a U.S. Senate campaign in Washington state. He wanted me to delete all references to him in this post because although he worked for James Harris, he is no longer employed by James Harris. I recorded the converstion but Bell would not give me permission to play the tape on this blog. It was an interesting conversation.

Also, The Fuse Joplin reports that

When asked if he was involved in the false media release, sent from ‘,’ not Eckersley’s personal or campaign email, (James) Harris said in an email, “Hot Diggidy Dawg,” mimicking Billy Long’s response when he thinks Eckersley is lying.

An important message from former VP candidate and half-term Alaska governor, Sarah Palin:

9:14 a.m.

The phone rings.

Caller I.D. shows a toll free caller.

I know what to expect. Anyway I think I know what to expect.

"Hello Illinois....this is Sara Palin blah, blah, blah......."

What the hay?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An important message from Bush Attorney GeneralJohn Ashcroft

October 26, 2010

Dear Southwest Missouri Neighbors,

Never before have I felt such an urgency regarding the national character of America as I do today. When our leaders dismiss the WILL OF THE PEOPLE as "ignorance:" when our leaders mortgage our grandchildren's future; when they seek to direct our entire existance, WE MUST RESPOND--WE MUST VOTE--GET OUR NEIGHBORS TO VOTE. Freedom is at stake-America is in the balance as never before.
Please vote. Thanks!

John Ashcroft

Is this the same robo-call Leach was pushing in Norr's district?

Those Leach robo-calls made the Huffington Post:

While the closing weeks of the 2008 presidential campaign were defined in part by a series of nasty robocall attacks on Barack Obama, there has been a noticeable absence of the campaign technique in the 2010 elections.

Among congressional candidates, only a few have used robocalls -- a relatively cheap form of blitzing voters with an automated message -- to push headline-grabbing messages. The real memorable ones, indeed, have taken place at the local level, often with groups trying to micro-target social conservative voters.

On Wednesday, a group called the House Republican Campaign Committee (presumably an arm of the Missouri Republican Party) released a robocall attacking Courtney Cole, a state representative in Missouri, for having ties to the "hardcore pornography industry, including gay pornography."

"This is an urgent alert for all Christian families," the call goes. "Before you vote you should know that state representative candidate Courtney Cole has taken hundreds in campaign donations from a representative of the hardcore pornography industry, including gay pornography. By allowing her Democratic campaign to be funded by those who are involved with and support hardcore pornography, Courtney Cole clearly does not share our Christian family values. On Election Day stand up for what's right and decent by voting no on Courtney Cole. Paid for by House Republican Campaign Committee, Inc."

Hey boys and girls! Let's sing along with Billy! SN-L Endorses Long

Hey Boys and Girls! Let's sing along with Billy!

The SN-L endorsed Long in this morning's paper.

“Although his campaign launched some negative, questionable attacks in the primary, we believe Long resorted to them because of advice that is becoming far too common in today's no-holds-barred campaign climate.

“(Eckersley) he should be well aware that anyone who fabricates or exaggerates hurtful allegations for political gain will have a difficult time ever regaining support in the Ozarks -- regardless of what has become acceptable in other parts of the country.”

Is this called "talking out of both sides of your mouth"?

"His platform and public explanations of it during the primary and general campaigns have at times generated questions and claims of contradiction."

Why didn't the SN-L ask those questions and explore the contradictions in Long's platform.

Your reporting never went substantially beyond Chula, Little Bear and the disclosure that Long thinks Mickey Owen was 'some kind of celebrity'.

Billy Long is a dang good auctioneer. He should stick to what he knows best.

That's some friend, that $30,000.00 friend. Why is a car dealer in NC investing tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign of a

political rookie in NW Springfield?

Didi Tang reports in this article in this morning's SN-L big bucks are pouring into two local state representative campaigns -- Sellars and Leach.John Sellars (SN-L photo)

Sellar's glossy mailers haven't been reaching the bus barn, I suspect someone pulled our name from the mailing list. I did get one yesterday, a slick piece with a photo of John that looks different from the photo the SN-L uses. Has John lost some weight? If so, that's good because I worry about his and Billy's health.
In John's mailer, he asks for my vote because he believes "Missouri needs citizen-legislators with experience in the real world."

The flip side of the mail piece shows Sellars with a group of children in what I thought was a classroom. (Both Sellar's wife Jane and Sara Lampe, whom Sellars is hoping to unseat, are educators.)
I don't think it is a classroom in a school, I think the photo was taken in the history museum where John works as the director.

I don't know if it is a stretch to say that working in a history museum is working in "the real world" and working in education isn't (I wonder what John's wife has to say about that) -- I think John is in basically the same business as his wife and opponent.

The tag line on this side is again with citizen-legislators not career politicians I guess those lunches John had with Billy were productive after all. Billy uses that same phraseology. It must have polled well.)

In a bit of irony, I did receive a fund-raising letter from John earlier this month. In the letter he said:

My campaign has relied on the support of friends, family neighbors and concerned citizens, not deep-pocketed special interests

My opponent on the other hand, has received tens of thousands of dollars from outside special interest groups. These groups have no interest in our district; rather, they want someone in Jefferson City who will stand up for their cause, even if it hurts our district.

So far, we have been able to keep up financially with my opponent, but there is little doubt that, in the end, the special interests will try to come in and buy this seat. We cannot let them do it!
Tang reports in today's article that on Tuesday, the House Republican Campaign Committee gave Sellars $40,050, following an Oct. 13 payment of $8,050. On Friday, fellow Republican and state Rep. Eric Burlison contributed $5,001 to Sellars' campaign and on Wednesday, Burlison gave Sellars another $1,000.

I guess it depends on what the meaning of the term "special interest" is, but it sure sounds to me like, as John says in his letter, "the special interests will try to come in and buy this seat".

Melissa Leach and her $30,000.00 friend. Leach is a fundraiser for conservative causes. Do you think she met this guy while cold calling for cash? Why would someone put $30,000.00 into a house seat campaign in NW #SGF, especially someone from North Carolina.

STOP THE BUS! SELLARS IS RIGHT! He just had the wrong district!
These groups have no interest in our district; rather, they want someone in Jefferson City who will stand up for their cause, even if it hurts our district.

So far, we have been able to keep up financially with my opponent, but there is little doubt that, in the end, the special interests will try to come in and buy this seat.

Melissa Leach (SN-L photo)

Melissa Leach has been on the bus before, recall this post from February, 2010: That's some friend, that $20,000 friend!

A political sign in the front of Greene County Damaged Freight Sales on West Kearney succinctly sums up the Leach campaign. Charlie Norr has a sign that is hung from two metal fence posts at that location. Leach piggybacked on Norr's sign, using Norr's fence posts to hang her own sign. Leach 'leached' on Norr's sign. I'll go back out there today and get a photo.

Leach's campaign must have spent a heck of a lot of money on 'robo-calls'.

The calls have an urgent message for "all Christian families" claiming Charlie Norr has taken "hundreds in campaign contributions from a representative of the hard core pornography industry".

I think the connection is that a local magazine distributor might have contributed to Norr's campaign.

Meanwhile, Norr is fighting to pass legislation to control interest on "Pay day Loans", helping families with austic children, and serving his constituents. Read the SN-L endorsement of Norr.

Leach, in contrast, received over $30,000 from David Bryan, a car dealer in Fayetteville, NC.

Melissa "I support the Tea Party Movement - Taxed Enough Already" Leach, who, like Rod Jetton, received government assistance (courtesy of the taxpayers) while in college, doesn't want to or can't answer the question of why a car dealer NC, has given $30,000.00 to a political rookie in NW Springfield.

Maybe the SN-L should have asked her?

And then there is this mailer I got from Bob Dixon, he's been on the bus before, too (Bob Dixon not only accepted campaign contributions from payday loan lobbyists, he's got campaign signs in front of them! too. Look at the shirt the guy in the crowd photo is wearing --"End the Fed" Is this a hidden code message to tea partiers? (Earlier this year a story was going around, as Billy likes to call it, SpringVegas that Dixon received tax credits not once but twice to rehab his midtown home. Do any bus riders have any information on how this can be fact checked?)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Apparently, there is nothing new under the sun, #SGF is just 80 years behind the times.

From the December 7, 1930 edition of the LA Times:

Party on Top of Hollywood Building Raided
Four Girls Among Prisoners Seized in Foray
Hundred and Fifty Officers Battle Revelers

In perhaps the most spectacular raid ever conducted by Los Angeles police, nearly 400 persons were arrested early yesterday on morals charges when 150 officers broke up what they said was a wild stag party on the fourteens floor of Hollywood Storage Building, 1025 North Highland avenue. All but four of the prisoners were men.

The raid was the result of a tip received by vice squad officers and four detectives, clad in tuxedos, were assigned to gather evidence. They arrived early and mingled with other spectators, who paid $1 each for admission. The affair was billed as a "fraternity benefit smoker" and early in the evening began to take on the aspect of an orgy, according to the police report.

Not until nearly midnight, however, did the vice squad officers feel that the revelry had reached its height, when four young women appeared in what was described as an indecent performance. This was climaxed, they declared, by another dance in which the four appeared without even a semblance of drapery. Rushing toward the exits, the detectives announced that every spectator was under arrest.

Meanwhile, just outside and in the streets below, guarding every means of escape, were 150 reserves who had been summoned in anticipation of a riot. Dozens of men attempted to flee by means of fire escapes, but they were driven back by officers who had expected such attempts.

Hand-to-hand fights were numerous as the officers rushed into the hall, once an exclusive Hollywood night club, and beer bottles crashed through windows as the melee increased in violence. Several thousand persons had gathered in the street below to watch the proceedings.

A check-up revealed 362 men had been arrested in addition to the four women. The latter described themselves as: Ruth Williams, 21 years of age, of 1347 North Serrano street; Isabelle Clemons, 20, of 420 Fetterly street; Doloros Moreno, 19, transient, and Ruth Scott, 22, of 1215 West Tenth street. They pleaded not guilty before Municipal Judge Eagen to the charge of being dissolute persons. Bail was fixed at $150 each pending trial on the 19th inst.

Six of the men taken into custody were booked as promoters of the show. They gave their names as Glen B. Mates and George N. Hammond of Glendale; Harry Gaston of Long Beach, Otto Good of Ocean Park, and Lloyd Baxter and Ray J. Faeth of Los Angeles.

Deputy City Prosecutor McDonald announced he will press vagrancy charges against the 362 men, including the asserted promoters of the show.

Roy gets testy! Schadenfreude

Congressman Blunt continues to dodge questions about the illegal worker scandal, and today he got testy with reporters who asked questions about it.

Schadenfreude? You betcha!

MICHAEL MAHONEY: Did you know this woman you wrote the letter for, or not?

BLUNT: What a -- You know, that's just such nonsense, Mike, and you know it. And it's desperation politics on their side. And, uh, these issues are bigger than that. We put a statement on that at the time. It was accurate at the time. You can go back and read it.

MAHONEY: Did you know her or not?

BLUNT: We put a statement on that at the time. And it's exactly accurate. You read it, and you know what it says.

MAHONEY: She says that she did work for your family, sir.

KMBC: Blunt gets Testy With Reporter, Refuses to Answer Questions About Illegal Worker:

KSHB: Blunt refuses to talk about a campaign controversy

KMBC's Mike Mahoney 20 Pounds of Headlines: Blunt Gets Testy With Reporter over Immigration Charge

The Pitch: Roy Blunt gets pissy with Micheal Mahoney's questions about former housekeeper

Show-Me Progress: Roy Blunt Continues to Bail Out

St. Louis Activist Hub: Roy Blunt STILL Running Away from Reporters

Change is not a spectator sport. You can't sit this one out, get out and vote November 2, 2010

My favorite auctioneer remembers Mickey Owen: "I guess he was some kind of celebrity."

Pepper Martin, Mickey Owen. and Lon Warneke. St. Louis Cardinals, 1939

Earlier this month, Cory deVera profiled Billy Long for an article that was published in the October 3, 2010 edition of the Springfield News-Leader.

In that story deVera recounts how Long related to her this story of how he first got involved in politics:

Auctioneer Billy Long learned back in 1964 not to take it for granted that Republicans always win in this area of the state.

At age 9, he rode his bike around handing out bumper stickers for Glen Hendricks, the Republican candidate for Greene County Sheriff, who was also the brother of a family friend.

"No way in the world was a Republican incumbent sheriff going to lose -- we are in Republican territory," recalled Long. "But what happened? He lost. Who'd he lose to? Mickey Owen."

Owen had been a professional baseball player.

"I guess he was some kind of celebrity," said Long. "He ran as a Democrat and won."
"I guess he was some kind of celebrity," said Long.

Billy, I'm throwing the BS flag on this one.

You know damned good and well who Mickey Owen was. Before I even moved to Springfield I knew who Mickey Owen was and what he was famous (or infamous-depending on your pov) for.

Every kid in Springfield knew Mickey Owen. Well, correct me on this one, apparently every kid in Springfield SAVE one knew who Mickey Owen was.

I find it as hard to believe that Long didn't know who Mickey Owen was as I do that Long didn't know what kind of parties went on at the Metropolitan Grill.

During his tenure as Greene County Sheriff, Mickey Owen bought non-operative automobiles, painted them in Greene County Sheriff's department colors, and parked them at various places in the county as a deterent to speeders and scoff-laws.

Anyone else remember that? I specifically remember one car was a 1956 Cadillac Sedan de Ville.

For someone who claims he was involved in politics since a young age, I find it difficult to believe that Long guessed Owen was "some kind of celebrity."

Apparently the reporter didn't know who Mickey Owen was either. If she had, she could have called him out on his statement. But that is to be expected when the local papers have reporters who have no sense of local history.

But I ain't gonna go down that street.

It just seems to me that Long is so used to bull sh*tting people at his auctions that he thinks he can do the same if he gets elected to congress.

I think Vance Randolph was speaking of the ilks of Billy when he said, "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."

When Owen died in 2005, the New York Times' Richard Goldstein wrote this story:
Mickey Owen, the Brooklyn Dodger catcher remembered for a misadventure in the 1941 World Series that propelled the Yankees to the championship and overshadowed his All-Star career, died Wednesday at a nursing home in Mount Vernon, Mo. He was 89.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer's disease, his son, Charles, said.

Owen played for 13 seasons in the major leagues and was an outstanding catcher with a strong, accurate arm. But he has been linked in baseball history with figures like Fred Merkle, Ralph Branca and Bill Buckner, all outstanding players defined by a single moment of misfortune.

On the afternoon of Oct. 5, 1941, the Yankees were trailing the Dodgers, 4-3, at Ebbets Field in Game 4 of the World Series and were down to their final out with Brooklyn about to tie the Series at two games apiece. Tommy Henrich, the Yankees' star outfielder, was at the plate facing the ace reliever Hugh Casey, with nobody on base and a full count.

Casey threw a pitch that broke sharply, and Henrich swung and missed. The home-plate umpire, Larry Goetz, signaled a strikeout and the game was seemingly over.

But the pitch hit the heel of Owen's glove and skipped away for a passed ball. As Owen chased the ball near the Dodgers' dugout, Henrich raced to first base. Joe DiMaggio followed with a single to left, then Charlie Keller hit a ball high off the right-field screen, scoring Henrich and DiMaggio and giving the Yankees a 5-4 lead.

After Bill Dickey walked, Joe Gordon doubled to make the score 7-4. The Dodgers went down quickly in the ninth, and the Yankees had a lead of three games to one. They captured the World Series the next day, inspiring the enduring headline in The Brooklyn Eagle, "Wait Till Next Year."

Vindication was a long time coming for the Dodgers, who lost to the Yankees four more times in the World Series before defeating them in 1955 for their only championship in Brooklyn.

Owen dismissed speculation that Casey's fateful delivery was a spitball.

"Casey had two kinds of curveballs," he told Dave Anderson of The New York Times in 1988. "One was an overhand curve that broke big. The other one was like a slider, it broke sharp and quick. But we had the same sign for either one. He just threw whichever one was working best. When we got to 3 and 2 on Tommy, I called for the curveball. I was looking for the quick curve he had been throwing all along. But he threw the overhand curve, and it really broke big, in and down. Tommy missed it by six inches."

As Henrich remembered the moment: "As soon as I missed it, I looked around to see where the ball was. It fooled me so much, I figured maybe it fooled Mickey, too. And it did."

Owen feared he would be a pariah for Brooklyn fans, but he was evidently forgiven. "I got about 4,000 wires and letters," he told W. C. Heinz in The Saturday Evening Post on the 25th anniversary of the passed ball. "I had offers of jobs and proposals of marriage. Some girls sent their pictures in bathing suits, and my wife tore them up."

Arnold Malcolm Owen, a native of Nixa, Mo., made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937 and was traded to the Dodgers before the 1941 season. He handled 476 consecutive chances without an error in 1941, setting a single-season National League record for catchers, and he was an All-Star for four consecutive years before entering the Navy early in 1945.

After leaving military service, Owen jumped to the Mexican League in 1946 and was among more than a dozen major leaguers suspended from organized baseball until 1949 for doing so. He later played for the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox and had a career batting average of .255.

After his playing days, he founded the Mickey Owen Baseball School in Miller, Mo., and served as sheriff of Greene County in Missouri.

In addition to Charles Owen, of Mount Vernon, Mo., he is survived by three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His wife, Gloria, died in 1994.

Owen maintained that he was not bothered by the barbs over his World Series miscue. As he put it long afterward, "I would've been completely forgotten if I hadn't missed that pitch."
Billy Long, I call on you to apologize to Mickey Owen fans everywhere. Your statement that you "guess he was some kind of celebrity" denigrates the memory of Mickey Owen. My little brothers Ed and John attended Mickey Owen's baseball camp in Miller and have great memories of the catcher and sheriff. They didn't have to 'guess' he was some kind of celebrity, they knew he was.

"I guess he was some kind of celebrity." You can bet he was!

btw- I see from your twitter posts, Auctnr1 aka BillyisFEDUP, that you started your education tour today. Did you tell the schools you were visiting that you want to abolish the Department of Education?

Or did that slip your mind like you forgot to tell the farmers who came to your farm tour you want to eliminate farm subsidies?

Oh Billy, Billy, Billy. You had such promise when this picture was taken of you with Chula and Little Bear. Look, you've got your pistol on your hip. Ahh. (Who were you channeling then? Wild Bill or Jingles?).(photo courtesy Billy Long)

Look at you now. What happened? (TFJ photo Natalie Preston)

computer problems

can't access internet

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is Billy Long still "Fed Up"? A Turner Report report

From The Turner Report: Is Billy Long still "Fed Up"?, reprinted in its entirity because it needs to be said:

(The following is my column for this week's Newton County News and for the KY3 website.)

Two words characterized the primary battle for the Seventh District Congressional seat currently held by Roy Blunt.

The minute Springfield auctioneer and former radio personality Billy Long said he was “fed up” with government as usual, “fed up” with the big spending ways of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, and “fed up” with career politicians who had never signed the front of a check, he had latched onto his ticket to the general election.

In a year when Tea Party enthusiasts are ripping anything that smacks of incumbency or experience, veteran state senators Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, and Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon, didn’t stand a chance.

Once the primary passed, and Nodler, Goodman, and the rest of the cast of characters from the Republican primary were in Billy Long’s rear view mirror, the Fed Up Express became a thing of history.

Perhaps it’s the difference in opponents. Instead of two veteran state senators, Long’s chief opponent, Scott Eckersley, is someone who is just as inexperienced in elective politics as Long is.

Or perhaps now that Gary Nodler and Jack Goodman are no longer siphoning money from traditional sources, Billy Long can start raking in the cash from the special interests just like all of the “career politicians” he has spent months criticizing.

No better evidence can be found than in Long’s quarterly disclosure report, filed October 15 with the Federal Election Commission.

Long's contributor list for the past quarter reads like a who's who of big business, including a couple that are reminiscent of recent excesses.

FEC documents show Halliburton and Exxon Mobil each dropped $1,000 into Long's campaign chest.

Halliburton, long associated with former vice president Dick Cheney, was the recipient of billions of dollars, much of that in the form of no-bid contracts, from the federal government. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to drain the U. S. economy, Halliburton has been swimming in greenbacks for the past decade.

It would seem that kind of special interest excess would be something that would have the earlier incarnation of Billy Long, the one that apparently vanished after the primary, fed up.

And why wouldn’t Exxon Mobil fit into that same category? After all, it is a company that recorded record profits during a time when average American citizens were paying more than double and sometimes triple what they used to pay for gas.

Surely the old Billy Long would be fed up with that kind of excess.

That’s just the beginning of the traditional interests that began lining up behind “Fed Up” Billy after he no longer needed to be fed up.

The American Bankers' Association gave the maximum $5,000, credit industry law firm Hunter & Williams chipped in with $1,000, and the R. J. Reynolds PAC gave $2,500.

Long also received big bucks from many of the so-called leadership PACs, including $5,000 from the Rely on Your Beliefs PAC of Roy Blunt, the man Long hopes to succeed, plus thousands from the leadership PACS of such Republican luminaries as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Congressman John Boehner, Eric Kantor, and Paul Ryan.

All of these men would seem to fit into that “career politician’ mode that Billy Long considered to be poison before he safely had the Republican nomination in his hands.

It appears likely that in two weeks, Billy Long will be Congressman-elect for the Seventh District. If that is the case, one question remains- Which Billy Long will be on his way to Washington? Will it be the one who is fed up or will it be just another politician feeding from the public trough.

Do you think Billy Long is longing for the days when the paper only did stories about him, Chula and Little Bear? Hot Diggity Dog!

(photo courtesy Billy Long)

I've been following Long's campaign since February. A quick search of the bus will reveal that.

This aspect of the race is toxic.

It is out there, just under the skin, the soft underbelly of Springfield that no one wants to talk about on the record.

When I first heard, last August, these allegations, I didn't believe them.

This can't be true. This is Springfield, this kind of stuff doesn't go on here.

I didn't believe it until people started talking to me, people who were disgusted by what goes on but also made very much money in tips, sometimes more than a week's salary in one night. They were trapped. They didn't like what was going on but they liked / needed the money.

I was directed to websites, social networking sites, given key words to search for on google.

I reported on none of this. Without names attached, it wasn't going in the bus. Besides, I was having my hands full just reporting on Long's tweets on twitter, of which there were many.

But I heard so many stories from so many different sources that I slowly began to think there must be an element of truth in here. Not that they were 100% true, just as they weren't 100% false.

A telling sign to me that there is some truth in all this are Long's statements about his gambling. He changed his story too many times. I've posted about that.

But all of that, and there is a lot of that, is a character issue.

The real story in the Long campaign is unreported and for this I fault the SN-L.

Look at the people running Long's campaign, Jeff Roe, James Harris, Jason Klindt-look at their history.

Look at Long’s conflicting positions on Social Security, Agricultural, the healthcare bill and Career politicians and their cronies.

Look at Long's campaign contributons and where they came from, follow the money.

None of this was reported with any substance in the SN-L, but the paper did report about Chula and Little Bear and his drop dead tricks

The Turner Report has also posted on this subject.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bush is back!

from Duane Graham's The Erstwhile Conservative:

“You’re not going to see me giving my opinions in the public arena, until I start selling my book.” —George W. Bush, October 21, 2010

Our former president, fittingly, spoke before a finance trade association yesterday in Chicago. It was fitting because the appearance gave him a chance to tell us all how sorry he was for what his administration’s policies, with aid from a Republican-controlled Congress, did to all our finances.

Whoops! My bad. He didn’t tell us how sorry he was about the economic disaster he presided over. Nope. But he did tell us—well, not exactly “us” but the finance trade association—according to the Chicago Tribune, that, his greatest failure in office was not passing Social Security reform.

Greatest failure? Not passing Social Security reform?

Oh, my. On his watch our entire economy nearly came crashing down, and his greatest failure was not to privatize part of Social Security, which would have cost seniors dearly during the collapse? Oh, my, my, my.
Oh, my, my, my indeed!

Long, Duran claim no knowledge of allegations

Long denies Metropolitan Grill accusations.

Springfield MO Restaurant Center of Campaign Ad Controversy.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Billy Long denies allegations of misconduct

Joy Robertson of KOLR10 has a story on the allegations of misconduct by Billy Long at an upscale Springfield restaurant.

Robertson reports that restaurant chef and owner Pat Duran said he had no working knowledge of any of the allegations and that Billy Long has never been inside the restaurant past 10 p.m.

In response to the allegations made against him, Long issued this denial : "It is 100-percent false. It's a flat out lie. Anyone who knows me knows that it is completely false. This is hurtful to me and my family. Character does matter in this race and Scott Eckersley has shown his by choosing to air a slanderous ad in a desperate bid to get elected."

It is not known if the response was delivered by email or another delivery method.

Robertson also reported that Duran said the "Metro Mafia" a daytime gathering of businessmen Duran assembled to raise money for the police and fire pension fund. It's a fund, he says, (that) has raised more than $10,000. It's a group, he says, Billy Long has never been a part of.

The Metropolitan Grill's website has a webpage devoted to the "Mafia Nights at the Metro Grill. From that webpage:

Pat was tired of feeling like the college kid at a high school party. Although the dining and nightlife in Springfield is incredible, after 9 PM the younger generation is just getting started, while the more experienced (so to speak) seem to be winding down. Pat wanted to create an atmosphere for the more seasoned working professionals, who migrate to the Southeast side. A place where you can hear great music from 1960 - 1990. A place where you can grab an exquisite late night snack until 1 AM. A place "where everybody knows your name." The Metro Mafia, just like age, is nothing more than a state of mind.

Late-night, upscale shenanigans, beginning after 9 PM on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. ".
Also featured on that page, on the left side bar, is this: Mark your calendars for upcoming costume theme nights. (You know you and your BFF have always wanted to be Maverick and Goose.)

The 'Maverick and Goose' reference is, of course, to two of the main characters in "Top Gun", the 1986 action movie about naval aviators and their adventures in the air and in the bar.

Any resemblance of the actions depicted in this clip from "Top Gun" to real persons, living or dead, or their alleged actions, is purely coincidental.

"Do you realize I haven't kissed you in over an hour?"

"Touch of Evil was one of the best things I did in that period of my life. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done." Henry Mancini

Republican Michael Wardell calls on Billy Long to step down

Michael Wardell press release:

Nixa, Missouri, October 22, 2010 — In light of recent allegations against Billy Long, Republican Michael Wardell calls on Billy Long to bow out of the Congressional race.

I am saddened and disturbed at the outlandish behavior of the Republican nominee, Mr. Billy Long.

In a time that our country needs men and woman that can stand up to temptations of life in Washington D.C. with steel in their backs, and proclaim truthfully that they can lead and direct our little part of the United States toward a better future, we are burdened with possibility of sending someone to Washington that is unable to assume the level of responsibility that is a United States Congressman.

Many know that I have already endorsed his opponent, Mr. Scott Eckersley. I did so because I felt that Mr. Long didn’t have the ethics, morals, and values to adequately represent the 7th Congressional District.

In light of the two individuals who have bravely come forward and enlightened the electorate as to what Mr. Longs’ true character is, I am asking my fellow Candidates that were unsuccessful in their own bid for the Republican Nomination, to withdraw their endorsement of Mr. Long.

I am not asking them to support Mr. Eckersley if they don’t believe in him, but to remain silent would be only show tacit approval of Mr. Longs’ hideous behavior, and ultimately further wound our communities.

I also call upon Mr. Long to put country, community, and the Republican party before his own political goals and ask him to step down to prevent further embarrassment to the conservative movement.

Fed Up Billy Long talks about his values

Co-worker corroborates claims against Billy Long

From the Eckersley for Congress:

Robert Bush, a former co-worker of Jennifer Case submitted a letter today corroborating the claims made by Case about Billy Long’s involvement with strippers at a Springfield upscale restaurant.

Bush’s letter referenced Long’s membership in the group called the “metro mafia” and his participation in “man nights” which included strippers on the bar of the restaurant. Bush was given the task of “taping the windows with brown paper, so as to limit the view from outside.”

The letter also confirmed Case’s allegations of racist behavior and illegal gambling.

I'm writing this letter to back up Jennifer Cases' statements about events that occurred at a local restaurant where I used to be an employee. As an employee I learned that Billy Long refused to have people of color wait on him. I was a cook in the kitchen and therefore never had to wait on him, but it was known among the other employees.

I was present for a "man night" as I was asked to work during that time. As Jennifer described, there were strippers present at the "man night." I witnessed them dancing on the bar. They were described as "Oklahoma City's finest." That night the typical "metro mafia" crowd was present--including Billy Long. Poker tables were set up adn gambling was going on. I had the job of taping the windows with brown paper, so as to limit the view from outside.
Robert Bush (signed)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

There's been many a slip between the cup and the lips"* Billy Long's values

KY3 explains the ad must run*:

The content of it will upset some people because of the use of the "n word" -- a word that is not usually used in broadcasts -- but KY3 and all other stations can’t prevent it from airing, and can’t censor or change it because of federal law.

“I have been asked by viewers as well as staff why we allow certain political ads to air. The truth is that television stations are required by federal law to provide reasonable access for ads for federal candidates. The law also says that, if the candidate appears in his or her own ad, then we cannot censor or edit it,” said KY3 General Manager Mike Scott.
The "n word" is not spoken in the commercial. It is shown on the screen as a part of the letter Case wrote to the Eckersley campaign.

In the letter the statement Case attributes to Long is: “We need to take back this country from the niggers and women running it… that’s the problem in D.C.”

*"There's been many a slip between the cup and the lips." Billy Long

In vino veritas?

by the way, what was that story on the front page of today's SN-L?

Oh yeah, I remember now.

*here is raw video of the KY3 story:  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tarzan Sad, Boy Die

Boy (Johnny Sheffield), Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan) and Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) in Tarzan's Secret Treasure, 1941

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More hyperbolic statements from auctioneer Billy Long: "I've yet to find anyone that's happy with 'Obamacare'. "

Long says 'the people' are furious from top to bottom on 'Obamacare' -- well, except him. Remember when he said this about 'Obamacare'? It's on the video below: "There are lots of things about the healthcare bill that are good"

Long sings a different song to Steve Grant during the KY3 interview:

The people are furious from top to bottom on Obamacare...I've not, I've yet to find anyone that's happy with 'Obamacare'.

Well, apparently the auctioneer Billy Long didn't look very hard. Isn't that Billy saying in this video excerpt from the Joplin debate, isn't that Billy saying, more than once, that there are "Lots of things about the healthcare bill that are good"?

Yeah, I thought so.

"There's been many a slip between the cup and the lips.*" Billy Long, KY3 NEWS

Steve Grant profiled Billy Long on last night's broadcast of KY3 News.

Long's statements to Grant on the issues of healthcare, agricultural subsidies and Social Security are different from the reponses Long has been saying to others during the campaign.

Consider Long's comment on farm subsidies. Long told the CAGW, in response to their survey (one of the 'jillions' Long received, one of the few he answered - sorry MRTA, apparently Long didn't think your's was important enough or carried enough dollars to answer) that he supports the "the elimination or reduction of obsolete agricultural subsidies."

Further, Long, or someone on his staff, wrote, in longhand, the following comment:

Our food supply is important and should be able to operate in a free market without the distortions of government's politically motivated subsidies.
Grant reported that Long as saying he is in favor of rewriting farm subsidies to help families not corporations.

Long said, "They're bringing milk in from out of the area. Our farmers here have to pay to have milk trucked in from other states. So there's a lot of things in the farm subsidies that have to be looked at."

Again with the "They" -- who is bringing milk in from out of the area? The milk producers? If demand is greater than local supply, why wouldn't 'they' bring in milk from out of the area? Does Billy want to take milk out of a baby's mouth?

"Our farmers here have to pay to have milk trucked in from other states." Who do the farmers make the check out to? Who do the farmers pay? The milk producers? The truckers? (see note below)

Or is this just another careless statement that one can expect from an auctioneer who is trying to run up bids on an item? Acceptable for an auctioneer? Perhaps. Acceptable from a candidate for the US House of Representatives? I think not.

(Dairy farmers in this area generally contract with Dairy Farmers of American (DFA). DFA will buy all the milk a farmer's cows produce. DFA then sells the milk to the processing plant. We all have seen those great big trucks with many axles hauling milk from the farm to the processing plant. Many a farmer has said a milk route is as good as money in the bank. this story is developing.)

*Billy's quoting Shakespeare or "The Young Guns"?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Republican mean girls.....

From the New York Times Opinion Page comes this column by Maureen Dowd:

We are in the era of Republican Mean Girls, grown-up versions of those teenage tormentors who would steal your boyfriend, spray-paint your locker and, just for good measure, spread rumors that you were pregnant.

These women — Jan, Meg, Carly, Sharron, Linda, Michele, Queen Bee Sarah and sweet wannabe Christine — have co-opted and ratcheted up the disgust with the status quo that originally buoyed Barack Obama. Whether they’re mistreating the help or belittling the president’s manhood, making snide comments about a rival’s hair or ripping an opponent for spending money on a men’s fashion show, the Mean Girls have replaced Hope with Spite and Cool with Cold. They are the ideal nihilistic cheerleaders for an angry electorate.
Yesterday the Turner Report noticed that Sarah Palin's PAC had kicked in with a $5,000 campaign donation to Vicky Hartzler, Ike Skelton's opponent.