Monday, January 31, 2011

Is this another one of Steve Helms' WTF moments?

This billboard,one of several in Springfield (I saw it on Grant Avenue, just north of the Brown Derby store at St. Louis Street) certainly caused some fireworks at the last meeting of the Greene County Republican Central Committee which was held last week at a downtown restaurant.

And the guy who started the fireworks?

Why Steve Helms, of course, the master of the sucker punch.

He is upset with Roseann Bentley, a Greene County Commissioner, Springfield Area Arts Council Board Member, former Missouri State Senator, former chair of the Senate's Education Committee, former president of the State Board of Education, and former president of the Springfield R-12 Board of Education.

The story I heard is that at the end of the meeting, as people were leaving, Helms got the floor and made a motion to censure Bentley for appearing in that campaign ad and also to remove her from the central committee.

After being seconded by Larry Russell, the motion passed.


A recent bus rider had this to say about Helms:

He was discharged from the Army for reasons unknown; arrived in these parts of the country with fewer papers on birth, education and employment history than President Obama; drug out of bankruptcy by some woman active in the Republican Party; appointed to a top legal community position in the courts system with no prior skills by a Governor who quit his position after supporters had spent millions of dollars to get him elected, and, this is almost a novel but not as good as Winters Bone.
And now he wants to kick Roseann Bentley out of the Republicans.

Another bus rider said
The employees at the courthouse say Helms, when he is there, hides in his office and works on Springburg and has nothing to do with the running of the office and courts system.

The judges rely on another person for leadership and liason with the Circuit Clerk's office.

Look at Helms' personal bio on his website,
Born: September 12 no date given here, does he even have a birth certificate? is he hiding something?

Married: Virginia R Helms, January 30, 1988

Children: Sarah, David, & Elizabeth no mention of what school they attend, are they homeschooled?

Education: Sarasota High School, 1984 did he graduate? Is this Sarasota Florida?

Attended: OTC, Austin Peay State University, Hopkinsville Community College OTC we can assume is Ozarks Technical College here in #SGF, Austin Peay and Hopkinsville CC are in Clarksville TN and Hopkinsville, KY. Fort Campbell next to these two areas. So we can deduce that Helms was stationed at Fort Campbell sometime during his army career. (I took my basic training at Ft. Campbell, which is hte home of the 82nd Airborne.)

Military Service: US Army from 1989-1996 No memtion of rank? duty stations? dates of assignments? MOS?

Self-employed/Business: 1996-2008 Would the business be Helms Home Repair? Helms Enterprise and Complete Mobile Home, Mello's Tree Service? or maybe it is your "mini-vacation rental" business or your newspaper publishing business?

Greene County Circuit Court Clerk: 2008 - Present

Boards: S.A.L.T.

Local Emergency Food and Shelter Board

Organizations: American Legion National Rifle Association Missouri Republican Assembly - NFRA

Church: Second Baptist Church
What's Bentley done? - This narrative was taken from one of the many websites that come up when Bentley's name is googled.

This is from the Missouri Women's Council when they presented their Award of Distinction to Bentley in 2006.
Roseann Bentley
Greene County Commissioner 2nd District

Roseann Bentley’s exceptional contributions to the cause of women and children have had a significant impact locally, state-wide and nationally. She has been tireless in her efforts to make a difference over many years and through a variety of ways.

Roseann was the first woman elected to the Missouri Senate from Southwest Missouri. She helped set up a Take Your Daughters to Work Day in the State Capitol and gave keynote addresses to approximately 100 girls for several years.

Roseann sponsored legislation which was amended onto House Bill 1519 which took thirty million dollars from the gaming boat entry fees and used it to fund better early childhood education. This bill set up programs for more quality child care, for parenting education and for developmentally appropriate activities taught to childcare providers and to stay at home moms.

She chaired the Children’s Services Commission for three years. This commission discussed and analyzed how their actions and legislation affected families.

She was co-founder of the United Way Day of Caring fourteen years ago. This event has become an annual event in Springfield. She has seen thousands of volunteer hours given on behalf of women and children.

She served as the President of the Junior League of Springfield. The year she served, the League started a thrift shop which has given three million dollars back to the community from the profits the shop has generated. She was awarded the Association of Junior Leagues’ International Mary Harriman Award for her work on behalf of women and children.

She co-sponsored the bill that set up the first Missouri Office for Women’s Health.

Her insights and far reaching efforts are a tribute to a woman who has made significant contributions to the cause of women and families. Her dedication and focus are truly amazing.

For Helms to even suggest that Bentley needs to be censured for appearing with Coonrod in the billboard speaks volumes about the mindset of Helms. Helms needs to apologize to Commissioner Bentley, the Greene County Republican Central Committee and HE needs to resign from the Central Committee.

WTF, Steve?

Republican Pickup Truck Owner Fears Rhinoceros Attack In Missouri

from What is ruining America for middle-aged white guys who drive monstrous pickup trucks around the Ozarks thanks to the oil from Islamofascist dictatorships? Oh, the usual: President Obama, “the news media,” and higher education. Also, beware of “rhinos,” also. Thanks to Wonkette operative “Will Ferrell.”

The only missing here is trucknutz.

Is Billy Long abusing his position?

Remember when Long or someone on his staff turned over to the F.B.I. the names of those bloggers who were 'worrisome to Long'? Turns out that all those interactions between Long and the bloggers (You remember, the asking Billy questions he wouldn't answer and how he would just walk away from those seeking answers of him) all those events occurred in a one week period in early September during Billy Long's business tour in which he encouraged members of the public to come out and discuss issues. Well, they did. And this was Billy's response. (remember this all took place between September 6 -10, 2010 by several bloggers in the 7th district.)
Here are the tapes:

Notice in this tape after Billy gets down taking about how important the young people are to him, how he just ignores a question from one of the college students not once but twice.

In clip, Long ignores the questioner:

In this clip, after Long had spoken at Meek's Lumber in Monett, he completely ignores the blogger.

After that horrible tragedy in Tuscon, Long gave Sheriff Arnott a list of names, probably six, of people who were worrisome to him. Arnott told the press and the F.B.I. said the bloggers would be receiving a visit from law enforcement agencies.

These video tapes, all taped in the week of September 6, 2010, show Long consistently refusing to answer questions from constituents.

It wasn't until January, four months after the fact and a week after the Tuscon tragedy that Long decided these encounters were worrisome to him.

But, Sheriff Arnott says Long didn't give him the names, his staff did. But in the tapes, Long is generally alone without staff present -- save for one instance in Monett.

Videotapes don't lie. You have seen citizens question public officials like this frequently-- just watch C-Span. It happened to Roy Blunt. He didn't turn names of the questioners into the F.B.I. If Long embellished his tales of the encounters with the bloggers (I mean the guy's an auctioneer, would he embellish?) to make them more threatening than they were, as he appears to have based on the video tape evidence, Long's motives for doing so become suspect.

Long has a history of playing a victim. You heard that in his tale of what he is giving up-- his auction company...what kind of assets does an auction company have, anyway? A couple of portable pa's? A computer, a trailer maybe and a whole bunch of bidder number cards. He plays the victim with the bloggers.

Billy Long, Sheriff Arnott used the F.B.I. in an attempt to intimidate critics.

I gotta tell you, if the Greene County Sheriff and an F.B.I. agent came to my house (and I live in Greene County so Arnott would be in the right county) and started asked me questions I would have never thought to record the interview, in fact, I would have probably been scared sh*tless and fumbled all over myself trying to answer their questions.

Arnott and the F.B.I. agent --he's the only guy in this whole affair who was doing the right thing. Based on the information he was given, he had to check it out. The only problem is the information he was given was not true.

Bus riders, you watched the videos. did Billy look threatened? Using my favorite John Boehner quote, "Hell NO!" He ignored us most of the time.

I recorded an hour of conversation with Billy Long. His staffer kept telling him that they needed to go to another event. Billy kept talking. The staffer kept trying to shut him up. Here's what I wrote on that occasion:

At the very end of my conversation with Billy on September 7, 2010, I asked him if he furnished health insurance for his employees. During last night's debate, our favorite auctioneer was asked how much his health insurance cost. He didn't know. Ask his wife, he said.

Ah jeez, this is a guy who wants us to send him to Washington and he wants us to ask his wife how much his health insurance costs. For someone who wants to repeal and replace "Obamacare" you would think that he would know how much his health insurance premiums were costing him, you know, just sort of as a talking point?

But, remember this: on September 7, 2010, I asked Billy Long if he provided health insurance for his employees.

Billy Long replied "They're all covered, I've offered it to them, the ones that don't have, everybody's got healthcare, I offer it to them either in salary and that, and they always take it in salary, so."

Long told me, "everybody's got healthcare."

Then he inserted this caveat: "I offer it to them either in salary and that, and they always take it in salary, so."

But he said, "They're all covered." Then he said, "they always take it in salary".

Doesn't that mean that no one is covered?

Long is Wrong for the seventh district and why the tea party folks aren't letting him that he is selling them out and fast, is beyond me.

Billy hasn't learned that the kind of crap you can pull at an auction, how you can sucker people and manipulate them into making higher bids is fine in an auction setting and joke around and play grabass maybe ok while you are wearing a mike and wielding a gavel but there is no place for such actions and antics when you are a congressman.

A simple search of this blog will turn up repeated instances where Long has embarrassed the district or demonstrated his lack of knowledge of what it means to be a congressman.

A man is known by the company he keeps and Billy is keeping company with everything he said he was against.

"Not afraid of anybody,anytime?" But you turned their names over to the police. And that Billy Long was an abuse of power and was wrong, wrong, wrong.

More here.

Billy shuts the door on the Billy Long Auctions Llc; MO jobless rate now 9.5%; 26 million people under 35

don't want health insurance and Obamacare might have killed his mother back in March, 2008.
From KSPR comes this story

U.S. Rep. Billy Long was expected to sell his auction company but instead he decided to just close the doors.

After 29-years Long closed the doors on his auction company and according to his former vice president at Billy Long Auctions Llc. Long sold the company's assets to competitors.

Get weather and breaking news alerts on your cell phone >>

House rules prohibit representatives from owning a business while serving.

But Long could re-open his business when his service in congress is done.

Long consulted with an ethics committee on what to do with his company.

"He really wanted to clear the books of his business and focus one hundred percent on his role of representative." says Eric Olson.
They said Long couldn't sell the name of the company so Long sold off the assets.

I seem to recall a radio interview Long did where he told the DJ that without him his auction company was worthless. Looks like he was right. Now the question is, when will he get rid of this 1/3 interest in Murney Company?

IN other news, Missouri had third-worst job loss rate in 2010
A year-over-year 0.6 percent decrease in employment put Missouri third-worst among states in percentage job loss last year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday that Nevada suffered a 1.5 percent employment decline in 2010, followed by New Jersey, down 0.8 percent, and then Missouri.

The unemployment rate went up in 20 states last month, the bureau said, down in 15 and stayed the same in 15.

On the flip side, Kansas ranked in the top 10 states for low unemployment rates compared with the national average. Kansas ended the year with a 6.8 percent jobless rate, compared with the national average of 9.4 percent, seasonally adjusted.

Missouri’s jobless rate was 9.5 percent.

The bureau reported this year-end data:

•For Missouri: A civilian labor force of 3,003,800, with 2,647,400 on establishment payrolls, and 285,100 unemployed job hunters.

•For Kansas: A civilian labor force of 1,502,400, with 1,330,200 on establishment payrolls, and 102,600 unemployed job hunters.

| Diane Stafford,

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The acorn didn't even fall in the same forest....

It is customary for any woman in politics who is against the established regime to be called feisty, more or less the way any elderly black sharecropper whose picture is taken by a magazine photographer is spoken of as having great dignity.
So starts Calvin Trillin's 1972 Profile of Sissy Farenthold. Continuing,

Frances (Sissy) Farenthold, a state legislator from Corpus Christi who just lost a runoff for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Texas, was occasionally called feisty during the campaign by some visiting reporter, but the Texas Observer — a liberal Austin biweekly that happens to have as its principal editors two women who are sometimes called feisty themselves — titled its cover story on her last year “A Melancholy Rebel.” When Mrs. Farenthold said during the campaign that a “private government” of special interests controls the state capitol, she seemed to be expressing disappointment even more than anger. Her voice often had a tone of weary resignation, as if nothing would please her more than to hear that everyone in Austin had reformed and thus relieved her of the unpleasant duty of dealing once more with a tiresome subject. When asked about her mood by reporters, Mrs. Farenthold sometimes said it derived partly from her experiences during the two years she served as director of a legal-services program in her home county, just before her election to the Texas House of Representatives. An alternate theory is that anybody who has seriously worked for change through three sessions of the Texas House of Representatives is fortunate to escape with a melancholy frame of mind instead of severe, disabling depression.

Mrs. Farenthold went to Austin in 1968 with the idea of working for welfare reform — having come to the conclusion that the welfare laws had a lot to do with the pathetic condition of her clients in Nueces County — but she eventually became identified with reform of the state government itself. The Sharpstown stock-fraud scandal — a complicated series of events tied together by the passage of some banking legislation and the stock profits of some people who were helpful in passing it — made corruption the most important issue in Texas politics during her second term in the House. Normally, officeholders in a state like Texas have differed from eminent public servants in the federal government primarily in the way some social scientists claim that lower-class Americans differ from those Americans who have arrived at the middle class — an inability to defer reward. A commissioner of an important federal regulatory agency is content to live on his government salary, secure in the knowledge that his next job may be as a highly paid executive or counsel in the industry he has been regulating. Distinguished Washington lawyers who serve as deputy secretaries of one department or another are ordinarily not given large retainers to use their influence until after they resign their posts. In some states, though, it is understood that such patience is too much to ask of a poor frail human being who happens to find himself governor. In Texas, participatory democracy has meant that leading Democrats can participate in the most lucrative business deals. During her campaign for governor, Mrs. Farenthold would sometimes ask her audience, “How long has it been since we’ve had a governor who left office without a ranch?” When Orval Faubus left the governorship of Arkansas, he was asked how he had managed to build a two-hundred-thousand-dollar house after having earned only ten thousand dollars a year during his twelve years in office, and he said he owed it all to thrift.

What brought Sissy Farenthold to prominence was that the Sharpstown scandal was blatant enough to offend the voters but not the Legislature. In the House, Mrs. Farenthold’s resolution calling for an independent committee to investigate the scandal drew the support of only thirty out of a hundred and fifty members — a group that became known in Austin as the Dirty Thirty. But it soon became obvious that even Texans who are relatively tolerant about how the temptations of high public office might strain a man’s patience were shocked by the Sharpstown disclosures. Voters never seem shocked at hearing about the impersonal forces that actually control a state government. Nobody seemed surprised during the campaign, for instance, at Mrs. Farenthold’s disclosure that there were a hundred and seventeen utility lobbyists registered at the last session of the Texas Legislature and that Texas remains one of the few states in the country without statewide regulation of utility rates. Candidates for governorships around the country rarely bother to bring up the fact that the state regulatory agencies that do exist are often controlled by the industry they are supposedly regulating. (When Mississippi’s insurance commission authorized a rate increase after Hurricane Camille, the commission consisted of two insurance agents and a lawyer for insurance companies.) But personal corruption can make voters angry. In Texas, there has been much more interest in how relatives of some legislators managed to end up on the payroll of other legislators than in how Texas manages to remain one of the four states in the union without a corporate income tax.

When the governor of Texas, Preston Smith, who profited personally in some stock transactions connected with the Sharpstown case, decided to run for renomination in the Democratic primary this spring anyway, he was given little chance of success. Dolph Briscoe, a millionaire banker and rancher from Uvalde, who had finished fourth after an expensive campaign for the nomination in 1968, was considered a strong candidate, partly because he could prove that he was innocently banking and ranching in Uvalde when everybody was trading stock in Austin, his only state-government service having been as a legislator in the fifties. The favorite in the primary was Ben Barnes, the lieutenant governor, who had not been directly involved in the Sharpstown transactions, although, as David Broder of the Washington Post pointed out, all the talk about the number of investigations that had failed to link him with the scheme made him sound uncomfortably similar to Big Jule in “Guys and Dolls,” who was renowned for having had thirty-three arrests, no convictions. (In the financial statement required of gubernatorial candidates, Barnes stated that he had two hundred and sixty-seven thousand dollars in assets — which, for a young man who had spent his entire career as a public servant at a salary even below that of the governor of Arkansas, displayed a degree of thrift that approached asceticism.) In winning the lieutenant governorship, Barnes, a protégé of Lyndon Johnson and John Connally, had carried every single one of the two hundred and fifty-four counties in Texas. His political rise was considered so inevitable that the two sides of a late-night political discussion about him in Austin could be divided by differing opinions on precisely which year he would become President of the United States.

The candidacy of Frances Farenthold seemed barely able to survive a description of who she was — a politically liberal woman who was called Sissy and had gone to Vassar and was married to a foreigner. (George Farenthold is a businessman who was born in Belgium and has been an American citizen since 1940. The George Farenthold, Jr., who was found murdered last week was his son by a previous marriage.) She was dismissed by all professional politicians as a token candidate who had absolutely no chance of making the runoff. In Austin, she was known for holding strong views and expressing them — which in the way professional politicians judge candidates for statewide office is like having a serious disease and developing complications. In 1969, a resolution commending Lyndon Johnson for his handling of the Presidency, including, presumably, his handling of the war in Vietnam, had divided the Texas House along strictly male-female lines — a hundred and forty-nine for, one opposed. Among all the legislators who believed that sooner or later there had to be a change in the Texas marijuana law, which now makes possession of marijuana a felony that can be punished by life imprisonment, Mrs. Farenthold was the one willing to become identified as an advocate of pot by introducing a bill that would have made first-offense possession a misdemeanor. She openly supported the farm workers’ boycott of lettuce and refused to join the other candidates in reciting the dread effects of school busing. Early in the campaign, she called for the abolition of the Texas Rangers — an élite corps of the state police that many Texas Anglos think of as a symbol of proud Texas history and many Mexican-Americans in the southern part of the state think of as a symbol of Anglo oppression. (She later said she would settle for making South Texas off-limits to the Rangers.) Her supporters could think of hardly anything else she could do to offend the type of voters Texas candidates ordinarily cultivate, except, perhaps, to launch a vitriolic personal attack on John Wayne. But her most important identification was still as someone who had fought the corruption in Austin rather than tolerated it — the Den Mother of the Dirty Thirty. Dolph Briscoe, advertising that he was a man Texans could believe in, got forty-four per cent of the votes, almost winning the primary without a runoff. But Sissy Farenthold finished second, eliminating both the incumbent governor and the incumbent lieutenant governor from the race.

Whether the simple fact of being a woman gained or lost votes for Sissy Farenthold was a popular subject for discussion after the primary — the primary results having relieved the discussants of the burden of arguing about which year Ben Barnes would be President. There was some question whether a woman candidate was culturally unacceptable to a lot of Mexican-Americans or to those Texas Anglos whose idea of a public leader is the father of the Cartwrights on horseback. There was some question whether middle-class Anglo women found her a source of pride or envy. She had, after all, lived what might be the fantasy of any housewife who felt unfulfilled by the League of Women Voters: a lawyer from a family long prominent in Texas law, she had waited until her youngest child was in school before taking up full-time practice, and seven years later had found herself as a candidate for governor. There were those who believed that her unusually strong primary vote in normally conservative suburbs reflected the support of women, although other analysts traced it to simple snob appeal.

In the runoff campaign, being a woman gave Mrs. Farenthold certain advantages — all of them the kind of advantages that would strike a women’s liberationist as reflections of a sexist society. Briscoe suffered from his refusal to meet her in debate, a refusal normally expected of a candidate who knows he has a large lead, mainly because it made him appear to be cowering before a woman. Mrs. Farenthold, who at one point trapped Briscoe in a Fort Worth hotel lobby to ask him about the debate face-to-face, often said that Briscoe was running away from her, and in speeches during the last week of the campaign she sometimes followed that accusation with a line that never failed to draw applause: “How unmanly!”

The singularity of a woman candidate was probably responsible for some of the television and newspaper coverage that made Mrs. Farenthold’s name familiar to voters in an extraordinarily short time. At some point in the runoff campaign, Mrs. Farenthold became a star, and rallies would end with dozens of young people coming up to the platform to thrust forward posters on which she was expected to scrawl “Sissy.” Outside Corpus Christi, she did not receive the endorsement of one major newspaper, but any news item about Dolph Briscoe seemed to be accompanied by two or three about Sissy Farenthold. The headlines usually referred to Briscoe formally by his last name and called Mrs. Farenthold Sissy, as if the reporter thought of him as some stiff banker suffering an interview and of her as a personal friend — which, as it happened, was usually the case. Just before the runoff voting, a labor lawyer who has become accustomed to finding word of his candidates somewhere back near the auction notices told an acquaintance that he first realized Mrs. Farenthold’s appeal to the press after she made a routine trip to inspect the pollution in the Houston ship channel. (The ship channel may be best known to future historians not for the role it plays in Houston’s economy but for a remark made in defense of its cleanliness. When environmentalists were being particularly critical a year or so ago about what some factories were dumping into the water, one official tried to put it all into perspective by telling a reporter that arsenic is a scare word.) “At breakfast the next morning, I picked up the paper and there was a three-column headline saying ‘Sissy Astonished at Pollution in Ship Channel,’” the labor lawyer said. “Three columns! I said, ‘Well, the Lord is with us this time.’” On the day the conservative Dallas Morning News endorsed Briscoe on its editorial page, its two interpretive pieces on the campaign were headlined “Briscoe Strategy Barring Full Coverage by Press” and “Sissy Shoulders Burden of Stardom with Aplomb.”

Despite their reputation for being embattled, liberals in Texas are not just a tiny minority, as they would be in, say, Mississippi. When their traditional coalition of labor and the minorities and ideological liberals is operating, they can carry the state — which hasn’t happened in the governor’s race for many years but has accounted for the election of Ralph Yarborough to the Senate a few times. The two or three people who told Sissy Farenthold that she had a chance of making the runoff based their prediction not on her appeal as a reformer but on what they called a “structural opportunity” — a number of liberal votes that no other candidate was likely to get. She went into the runoff without the official endorsement of the state labor organization and without assurance of a large turnout of black and Mexican-American voters. But her advisers hoped she could make up the difference with the support of young voters and women and, most of all, people of all sorts of backgrounds who were disgusted with the state government and wanted reform.

It is routine for Texas-candidates who can be labelled liberals to assure voters that old labels like “liberal” and “conservative” are meaningless. Mrs. Farenthold managed to sound more persuasive than most, partly because of her approach — she seemed to be considering each issue separately rather than fitting it into some ideological framework — and partly because of the issue that brought her to prominence. Although the Dirty Thirty had included the liberal faction in the House, it had also included some Democrats who were not liberals and even some Republicans. Mrs. Farenthold, campaigning as a reformer rather than a liberal, maintained that the issue of the campaign was public government versus private government rather than liberal versus conservative. Compared to what she was accused of believing about marijuana and busing and abortion, her concentration on the need to end favoritism and bring honest representation to Austin sometimes sounded like a respectable, middle-class appeal for good government. But if public government actually ever did replace private government in Austin — if, as Mrs. Farenthold suggested, the lobbyists were reduced to the role of petitioners rather than manipulators — the result would have been the “radical upheaval” Briscoe accused Mrs. Farenthold of favoring. The manipulators she was talking about represent the most powerful financial interests in the state. What the Democrats who have always defeated the liberals in statewide races have had in common is not a rigid political ideology — a number of them, including Ben Barnes, are noted for their flexibility — but a compassion for the plight of people who have to wake up every morning and face the problems of running an oil company or a bank or a utility.

Briscoe, in a cautious campaign restricted pretty much to television and newspaper advertisements, said that the reform issue had been settled in the first primary. As most voters perceive the need for reform — ending personal corruption rather than tampering with corporate control — he was right. The incumbent governor had been badly defeated, after all, and the Speaker of the House had eventually been convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery. The line that always drew the most applause at one of Mrs. Farenthold’s speeches — that the governor’s chair was not for sale this year — expressed a view that cost Briscoe no votes among voters who were interested in reform. As a matter of personal corruption, it made no difference that, as Mrs. Farenthold often said during the campaign, Briscoe had already begun to deal with the same lobbyists she had been fighting. In the traditional view of reform, Briscoe had the same qualification that is often mentioned about a Rockefeller who runs for governor in a place like Arkansas or West Virginia or New York — “He’s too rich to steal.”
Continuing the analogy, here's the "acorn".

BTW, he won and is currently serving on the Homeland Security Committee with Billy Long and, along with Long, is a co-sponsor of this bill.

Something's happening here, what it is aint' exactly clear.

There's a man with a gun over there, telling me I've got to beware.

Bus riders: have you ever heard of Gregg Hartley?

He describes himself on his twitter page as a Republican policy advisor., however, sees it another way and The Washington Post reports that "He (Hartley) has reorganized the firm and turned it into a predominantly Republican operation."

The firm with which he is, for now at least, Chief Operating Officer of, Cassidy & Associates, is one of the largest lobbying firms in D.C. One of their clients is City Utilities of Springfield, MO.

According to their website, Cassidy & Associates has "helped businesses, non-profits, and political figures navigate their way through once-in-a-lifetime crises that resulted from federal action."

Hartley also understands social media. Tweeting under the name GreggLHartley and listing his location as "The Shady Side", Hartley clocks in this morning with over 4,000 tweets.

Earlier this month, The National Journal's Jeremy Jacobs reported:

Former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman picked up a big endorsement for her Senate bid on Thursday: Gregg Hartley.

Hartley is one of the top lobbyists on Capitol Hill, currently working for Cassidy and Associates. He has deep ties to Missouri, having served as Sen. Roy Blunt's (R) chief of staff as he was ascending the leadership in the House.

In an email to his personal email list -- obtained by Hotline On Call -- Hartley threw his weight behind Steelman. The email had the subject, "Steel Magnolia from Missourah," and in it Hartley wrote that he is ready to back Steelman even though it is unclear whether there will be a contested Republican primary.

"Too early to know for sure if there will be a serious primary or to predict winners," Hartley wrote. "But supporting a solid candidate isn't always that big of a choice. I've made mine."

Hartley also encourages the recipients of the email to visit Steelman's site and to consider making a contribution.
Talent this week announced that he would not seek the senate seat he lost to a Mccaskill in 2006.

Hartley, who supported Gary Nodler in the August primary, quickly shifted his allegiance to Billy Long and frequently tweets about it.

This morning, after I finished reading the print edition of the Springfield News-Leader (I love the smell of newspaper ink in the morning, it smells like...home), I switched to electronic media.

There I tumbled upon a series of twitter exchanges that started several days ago between Bungalow Bill (remember him? he's Christian County blogger who got a visit from Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott and the F.B.I. for being critical of Billy Long.) and Hartley -- back in the day, we'd call it a 'pissing contest'.

Does anyone else wonder why Gregg Hartley, the COO of one of the most, if not the most powerful lobbying firms in Washington D.C., Cassidy & Associates, is allowing himself to get ruffled by a constituent of Billy Long's who asks tought questions and who was labeled by the Springfield News-Leader as a "thorn"?

The F.B.I. agent who, with Sheriff Arnott sitting on the couch next to him, conducted the interview, said to Bungalow Bill, the blogger in question, "You are absolutely in your right to do just that (question Long)and more power to you. That's what you're supposed to be doing: holding people accountable. Because that's the people we elect and they are supposed to be accountable to us. And somebody's got to do it and more power to you."

Yesterday, Hartley retweeted this from JamesMNHarris (as Bus riders may or may not know, Harriswas part of the Billy Long campaign team with Jeff Roe. Harris also achieved some sort of notoriety, I guess, caused by some stuff that went on in Washington MO during the election-- another pissing contest?): Amazing how individuals w/ no journalism training, but email or blog now think they are now reporters. Self proclaimed importance.

Sure looks like somebody is ruffling some feathers!

Getting back to what started this post, also on Hartley's twitter feed this morning is this:
Hill COS agreed this week to help with efforts for Veterans in Defense of Liberty..... about 6 hours ago via web from Shady Side, MD
I don't know who the "Hill COS" refers to, but I sure do know who the "Veterans in Defense of Liberty" are: That's the group formed earlier late last year by Scott Magill

They have a website and a member of the board of directors is Sam Paredes.

VIDOL also endorses candidates. Their website boasts "75% combat efficiency with 2010 endorsements".

"Combat efficiency"? WTF does that mean?

Angry people with guns who are mad at the government.

And Gregg Hartley's working with them.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The party's over...

Four months after first opening its doors at 4512 Hampton Avenue, the headquarters of the St. Louis Tea Party is no longer. The Riverfront Times has more on this story.

In other news, three newly elected senators, who were elected under the tea party banner, elected not to join the Tea Party Caucus.

From the Washington Post

The decisions of Johnson and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) not to join the Tea Party Caucus underscore the fissures within the Republican Party as it seeks to build an effective governing coalition in Washington while satisfying an emboldened conservative base outside the Beltway. And for the tea party, the new Congress presents a test of whether the movement's activist momentum can continue within the rhythms and business of governing.
Locally, and all politics is local, local Congressman Billy (I was tea party when tea party wasn't cool)Long's tea party bonefides are wearing thin. Remember when he or his office turned in a list of names to Greene County Sheriff Arnott as being "worrisome to Long"? It gets better.

Long, who refused to confirm that he has a conceal and carry permit and whether or not he pack heat, is a newly appointed member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

He, and several others members of that committee(Blake* included) are co-sponsoring a bill that expands the current bill -- "If you see something, say something".

Remember it was Long who gave the names of bloggers who wrote posts critical of him were to law enforcement officials.

It seems that in Billy Long's world not agreeing with him is "suspicious activity" and needs to be investigated by the F.B.I.

Where's Billy today? He and 56 other representatives are at Heritage Foundation Conservative Members Retreat.

Oh, he seems amusing.

*I do not believe that Blake Farenthold and Billy Long are related other than by political ideology.

Is this a joke?

Does writing blog posts critical of Billy Long reflect a terrorist threat? Apparently Billy and Blake think so.

Washington, D.C. (Wednesday, January 26, 2011) – Today, ­U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, along with 11 other Committee Republicans, introduced legislation that would provide legal protections to individuals who report suspicious activity that may reflect a terrorist threat.

The See Something, Say Something Act of 2011 would provide civil immunity in U.S. courts for individuals who, acting in good faith and based on objectively reasonable suspicion, report threats to appropriate law enforcement officials.

“I have long advocated for a multi-layered approach to securing our homeland,” said King. “Alert and vigilant citizens who report suspicious activity provide one critical layer. Good citizens who report suspicious activity in good faith, should not have to worry about being sued. In 2007, I pushed for a law protecting vigilant Americans from frivolous lawsuits when they report suspicious activity involving our transportation systems. The See Something, Say Something Act of 2011 extends that protection to those who report suspicious activity anywhere. This legislation would enhance the Department of Homeland Security’s national ‘See Something, Say Something’ awareness campaign.”

Recently, reports from ordinary citizens have helped defeat terrorist plots. Last year in Times Square, a street vendor helped save countless lives by alerting NYPD officers to a vehicle loaded with explosives, a report that resulted in the arrest of Faisal Shahzad Additionally, a tip from an vigilant citizen contributed greatly to the December 2008 conviction of five men for plotting to attack and kill American soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J. As the DHS campaign recognizes, such reporting should be encouraged.

In 2007, in response to frivolous lawsuits filed against passengers who reported suspicious activity on a commercial aircraft, Rep. King, along with Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), included similar language in The implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 that protected citizens who reported threats to the nation’s transportation systems. In 2009, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held hearings on the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Several witnesses at those hearings, including Charles Allen, DHS’s Chief Intelligence Officer, Donald Van Duyn, the FBI’s Chief Intelligence Officer, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, and Al Orlob, Marriott International’s Vice President for Corporate Security, endorsed the idea of expanding the 2007 law beyond the transportation sector.

The legislation has received the support of law enforcement and community groups, including: the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the National Troopers Coalition, and the National Association of Town Watch.

Joining Chairman King in introducing The See Something, Say Something Act of 2011 are Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Rep. Michael T. McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ), Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), all of whom serve on the Committee on Homeland Security. Also joining is Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Branson's Baldknobbers present artifacts to Smithsonian, Billy Long misses the Ceremony and a special Billy Long WTF moment

KY3 and the SN-L have a story about Branson's Baldknobber's Country Music Show presenting artifacts to the Smithsonian Institute.

From the SN-L story:

In a ceremony today in Washington, D.C., several members of The Baldknobbers, Branson’s oldest live music show, officially donated many artifacts to the Smithsonian.

The performers flew out to Washington make the presentation at the National Museum of American History. Before flying out, performer Brent Mabe talked about how much had changed from when the show began performing, primarily for vacationing fishermen, along Lake Taneycomo in 1959.

Where's Billy?

Well, last night Billy was stuck in the snow at Dulles Airport and ended up, he says, spending the night with a staffer of Michele Bachmann..

Of course he tweeted (why, the man's a serial tweeter) about getting stuck which was captured Al Kamen, who writes a gossip column for the Washington Post:
Going once, going twice

Freshman Republican Rep. Billy Long, the Missouri auctioneer and tea party favorite, was among those who took a chance but failed to get a flight out of Dulles during Wednesday night's snowstorm.

He tweeted of his plight, our colleague Philip Rucker reports. "Stranded at Dulles with Reps. Michele Bachmann & Dr. Phil Gingrey & his Wife Billie plus everyone else in the free world - no more flights," he typed.

Then: "Dulles PA 'Don't accept ground transportation offers from anyone - REALLY? They could charge $200 if they could get to the terminal!!!"

Three hours later, Long tweeted: "Midnight at the Oasis - and we're stuck in a for real Cul-De-Sac, we surrender after 9 hours of this Dulles/Subdivision adventure."

Thursday morning brought better news for our hardy travelers. "We dug out in light of day - crashed at a Rep. Bachmann's staffer's house - like Willie Nelson put on my cleanest dirty shirt - Dulles bound."

After reading that account, FishbowlDC, a Washington D.C. media blog posted this on their twitter account this morning (click on image to enlarge):

He seems amusing?

The link embedded in the post links to this entry in their daily round-up and Long's tweet about spending the night with Representative Bachmann's staffer.

Too bad he missed the Baldknobbers presentation at the Smithsonian Institute today. Roy was there. Billy missed a great photo opportunity here.

A quick check of FEC records indicate Billy received no contributions from the Mabe Family. Apparently Billy still had time to attend his breakfast happy hour meeting(I think that's what he calls them) with his five lobbyist friends who forked over at the most two grand a person to eat sausage and bisquits with Billy at the Capitol Club. He's got his priorities set.

How many times does a constituent family get enshrined in the Smithsonian? This reminds me of the time Billy missed the reading of the Constitution on the floor of the house because he was busy meeting with a lobbyist.

Wherever Billy was, that he missed the Smithsonian presentation, it must have been important, don't you think?

I know, I'll check to twitter to see if he tweeted where he was that was so important he missed the doings at the Smithsonian!

He did! YEA! (click on image to enlarge it):

I guess the pleasure obtained from being a member of the first group to go through the revamped and updated Ronald Reagan Museum (which, as Billy tells us, doesn't open to the public until February 7) was more important, in Billy's mind at least, than attending the Baldknobbers (who happen to be his constituents) ceremony with Roy Blunt at the Smithsonian.

Baldknobbers at Smithsonian or Ronald Reagan Museum. Tough choice, I gather.

"He seems amusing."

Here it is: Billy's WTF moment(click on image to enlarge):
He seems amusing?
Ah, jeez.

This just in, via Billy Long tweet:
General Edwin Meese gave a great after dinner speech at The Heritage Foundation Banquet tonight at the Reagan Library & Museum about 1 hour ago via Mobile Web

"Fiscally Untenable...Pure Fantasy"

"That fair tax scares me, Daddy. Those fair tax people scare me too."

From Fired Up Missouri:

A new letter to Auditor Tom Schweich from former Governor John Ashcroft's Commissioner of Administration, Jim Moody, slams Rex Sinquefield's initiative petitions to hike the state's sales tax as "fiscally untenable" proposals that would bankrupt the state or Missouri's middle and working classes.

Moody writes
We will begin our analysis with some words of caution for you, and suggestions for the questions that you should ask in every phrase of your analysis. We believe that a sound analysis by your office will reach the conclusion that we have reached--that is, all of these petitions are fiscally untenable. They will either bankrupt the state, or in the alternative, bankrupt the poor and the working lower or middle income classes.

The first page of Moody's letter is below, the rest of it is here

Fired Up concludes
Sinquefield is obviously a major GOP donor -- and provided financial backing for Schweich in his 2010 campaign - and the Auditor's actions on these petitions will provide an early indication of whether he can be the independent and honest official he promised to be (when he wasn't promising to be a hyper-partisan auditor, of course).

Another one of those WTF moments

This was actually painful to watch.

GRETA: Governor, last night there was a lot of discussion about the Sputnik Moment the President wants us to have. Do you agree with him? Is this our moment?

PALIN: That was another one of those WTF moments, when he has so often repeated, the Sputnik Moment, that he would aspire Americans to celebrate, he needs to remember that what happened back then with the former communist USSR and their victory and that race to space, yeah, they won, but they also incured so much debt at the time that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union so I listen to that Sputnik Moment talk over and over again and I think, no we don’t need one of those.

Your attention is directed to the previous post

In Steve Helms' world "Firearms Equal Freedom".

The guy's name is Gerald Gay. He's a state rep in Wyoming. Here's more

Drug maker asks Ohio, Oklahoma not to use sedative for putting inmates to death

From the Reading Eagle, comes this story by AP legal affairs writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins:

Pentobarbital maker Lundbeck Inc. says it never intended for the drug to be used to put inmates to death.

"This goes against everything we're in business to do," Sally Benjamin Young, spokeswoman for the Denmark-based company's U.S. headquarters in Deerfield, Ill., told The Associated Press.

"We like to develop and make available therapies that improve people's lives," she said. "That's the focus of our business."

Founding fathers favored government run health care

From Greg Sargent, writer of the "Plum Line" for the Washington Post:

Forbes writer Rick Ungar is getting some attention for a piece arguing that history shows that John Adams supported a strong Federal role in health care. Ungar argues that Adams even championed an early measure utilizing the concept behind the individual mandate, which Tea Partyers say is unconsittutional.

I just ran this theory past a professor of history who specializes in the early republic, and he said there's actually something to it. Short version: There's no proof from the historical record that Adams would have backed the idea behind the individual mandate in particular. But it is fair to conclude, the professor says, that the founding generation supported the basic idea of government run health care, and the use of mandatory taxation to pay for it.

Here's the background. Ungar points out that in July of 1798, Congress passed "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seaman," which was signed by President Adams. That law authorized the creation of a government operated system of marine hospitals and mandated that laboring merchant marine sailors pay a tax to support it.

Ungar argues that this blows away the argument made by many opponents of the individual mandate: That it's unconstitutional to mandate that all citizens purchase health coverage, or that this violates the founding fathers' view of the proper role of government.

Is this true? In some ways it is, according to Adam Rothman, an associated professor of history at Georgetown University. He argues that it's a "bit of a leap" to compare the 1798 act directly to the individual mandate, because the act taxed sailors to pay for their health care, rather than "requiring that sailors purchase it."

But Rothman says that it's perfectly legit to see shades of today's debate in that early initiative.

"It's a good example that the post-revolutionary generation clearly thought that the national government had a role in subsidizing health care," Rothman says. "That in itself is pretty remarkable and a strong refutation of the basic principles that some Tea Party types offer."

"You could argue that it's precedent for government run health care," Rothman continues. "This defies a lot of stereotypes about limited government in the early republic."

Also: Some have argued that the individual mandate is, in effect a tax, but one that cuts out the Federal government as middleman. In this reading, everyone will eventually participate in the health system anyway, and the mandate means the Federal government is merely directing people to buy insurance, rather than collecting a tax and using that money to purchase that same insurance for them.

We will never know whether the founding generation would have agreed with this concept or not. They didn't agree on much even among themselves. But in Rothman's view, they are already on record supporting government run health care, financed by mandatory taxation. So there!

UPDATE, 3:29 p.m.: To be clear, the system of government-run hospitals was established for laboring merchant marine sailors, whose very dangerous work in trade was crucial to the young republic. The history is right here. I've edited the above to clarify

Car and driver, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Spring, 1990

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
From Car and Driver Magazine:

Arkansas 7
Highway 7 is one of the best-kept secrets in the country. Once anointed one of America's ten most beautiful roads by National Geographic, it is tucked into the folds of the Ozark National Forest and the Ouachita Mountains. Its best stretches link Harrison up north, which calls itself the "Crossroads of the Ozarks," and Arkadelphia, south of the newlywed and spa haven of Hot Springs. Along the way the road twists through miles of hardwood forests, across pristine streams such as the Buffalo National River, near state parks and wildflower meadows, by dramatic rock formations and high bluffs, over mountain tops and down into valleys still unspoiled. An especially splendid tract is the Ozark Highlands to Rotary Ann Overlook, with an awesome view of forests and mountains. Around every bend lies adventure-everything from hiking, camping, trout fishing, canoeing and caving to simply dawdling over fresh-baked pie and hot coffee at the Booger Hollow (population 7, counting the coon dog) Trading Post & Chuck Wagon Cafe. You might even get to observe a cutthroat game of checkers. The bonus beauties of 7 are its shortages of both traffic (particularly in spring and fall) and interruption (30-mile legs without settlements) and a length of 200 miles. This is a road mixing elemental and advanced challenges in well-balanced proportions. Avoid it like the plague in icy weather, but make a beeline for it any other time. Guaranteed to knock your socks off and turn you into a seriously addicted repeat offender.

Did you ever get that feeling that today is going to be 'one of those days'?

Your attention is kindly directed to this post first published on August 29, 2009. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Faded photographs

More brillance from Ozark Billy

This just in from "The Erstwhile Conservative" (I'll bet he was on the list):

Ozark Billy has weighed in on Obama’s speech.

Here’s a compilation of his brilliant commentary, courtesy of the Springfield News-Leader:

Rep. Billy Long, R-Springfield, said he thought the president was “off.”

“The content, to me, was lacking,” Long said in a post-speech interview.

“We’re in serious, serious problems in this country and we need to cut spending immediately. And he was talking about electric cars,” he said…

Long…said the president should have gone a step further and cut spending, instead of freezing it…

Long was especially disappointed with the president’s call to abolish oil subsidies* and the part advocating bipartisan work on last year’s health care bill, he said.

He liked some of the president’s suggestions, such as medical malpractice reform, which Republicans have championed. But, he said, Obama was late inviting Republicans to the table to discuss health care reform.

“It’s interesting now that he wants our ideas where last year he cut us out totally,” Long said.

And Long, along with his fellow Springfield Republican, Sen. Roy Blunt, criticized Obama’s lack of focus on jobs.

“I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear about cutting spending and creating jobs,” Long said.

Naturally, President Obama should have tailored his speech to please Ozark Billy, or maybe a Boss Hogg hat would have helped.

In any case, according to the News-Leader, “Long sat with members of the South Carolina delegation, including another auctioneer.” That auctioneer is union-basher, Jeff Duncan, and I, for one, believe it is totally appropriate for our respected representative to spend quality time hanging around Republicans from South Carolina.

And I don’t know if Joe “You lie!” Wilson was among the group Ozark Billy sat with, or if Jim “Waterloo” DeMint was nearby, but it is altogether fitting that someone who could say that Obama was “off” last night has all of the qualifications for membership in a rather strange fraternity of goofy Republicans from South Carolina.


* Obama ask Congress to eliminate the subsidies because the industry seemed to be doing okay. Here is one example:

ConocoPhillips said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net income jumped 54 per cent as oil prices increased and its refining operations turned a profit.

The Houston company, reported net income of $2 billion, or $1.39 per share, for the final three months of 2010. That compares with $1.3 billion, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 22 per cent to $53.2 billion.

The sad thing about that is this, from the last summer’s New York Times:

…an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process…the tax breaks…average about $4 billion per year.

Now, nevermind that it makes no sense for Ozark Billy to get so upset about taking away subsidies for oil companies—southwest Missouri isn’t exactly Saudi Arabia—but to be so upset about that and at the same time whine about government spending is, well, that’s Ozark Billy for ya!
Photographic recreation of Billy Long in an electric car.

Pony for sale, cart and harness too.

Daughter Sara has her pony Pete for sale.

I can't speak for the horse, but the equipment is nice.

More pictures on Sara's blog here. Sara writes:

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to sell my pony Peter. :(

Pony: Named "Pete" 10 hh, Chocolate palamino with one white cornet band, gelding, grade Shetland, 5 years old, green broke to drive, ties, trims, loads, bathes, slightly ornery, would only work for exp. children with supervision, better for an adult, not broke to ride.

Harness: New leather pleasure harness, pony sized, bought new last year for $350

Cart: Bicycle wheeled pony cart, fits Pete, totally redone last summer, new paint, bearings packed, building a new seat for it now

(Harness and cart in picture are my old ones, sold, the set that comes with Pete are MUCH nicer.)

$1000 obo

If we are going to be drug testing anyone,

maybe it ought to be that guy who gave $30,000 to Melissa Leach who in turn is co-sponsor of a birther bill in the MO house.

Who is Melissa Leach? She used to go by Lisa Leach, she lived out west, was born in July, 1960, graduated from MSU in 1994 with an individualized bachelor of science degree, is a single parent who was on food stamps for a while, is a senior fundraiser at Strategic Fundraising, Inc (member of the "Strategic Million Dollar Club" - you may have seen their ads in the SN-L) and she is the state representative in the 137th district in north Springfield.

In a video produced by her campaign, (probably what the $4,200 inkind donation from Rachel Young Design and Photography was used for - but we won't know because line 18 shows -0-) a banner text on the bottom of the screen states: "I support the Tea Party Movement - Taxed Enough Already". Her video is on youtube.

But that still doesn't answer the question of why a Car dealer in Fayatteville, N.C., gave $30,000.00 to a political rookie in Northwest Springfield.

Leach also appears to have the same problem delineating 'in kind' contributions and expenses as does Bob Dixon.

Look it up on the MEC website, her MECID # CO91126

Maybe those ethics reformers in Jefferson City ought to make it a part of the package if you can't vote for a person you can't give her money?

$30,000.00 from a Cadillac dealer in North Carolina! Maybe she met him while she was doing fundraising for the republicans? Maybe they used to date? Maybe he likes her? Maybe it's her brother? Or did he give her thirty grand because she's a teapartier?Photographic recreation of Melissa Leach soliciting.

Talk in the abstract is cheap.

From the New York Times story on Pentagon budget cuts:

In an interview, Representative Vicky Hartzler, a freshman Republican from Missouri who was backed by former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, said that her priorities were jobs and “reining in runaway spending.” But when asked about the Pentagon budget, Ms. Hartzler, who defeated former Representative Ike Skelton, the longtime Democratic chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said that “now is not the time to talk about defense cuts while we are engaged in two theaters with men and women in harm’s way.”

Ms. Hartzler said she questioned the $78 billion in cuts to the military budget over the next five years, and added, “I will be a staunch defender of military installations in my district and across the country.” Ms. Hartzler’s district has two large military bases, Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base, home to the B-2 stealth bomber and a new ground-control station for unmanned Predator drones.
I miss Ike already.

Flashback February, 2008

Southwest Missouri legislators lead charge to call President Obama a foreigner

From the Turner Report:

Barack Obama is an American.

It is sad that we still have a large number of wild-eyed conspiracy theory addicts who believe that our president has risen to the top of fhe political ladder thanks to a bizarre plan that supposedly originated back when a Hawaii newspaper announced his birth nearly five decades ago.

Now that President Obama has been in office for two years, you would think that this issue would have been put to rest and we would stop wasting taxpayers' money on furthering this mythology.

Sadly, that is not the case in Missouri, and it appears that much of the waste is originating in this corner of the state.

HB 283, filed by Rep. Lyle Rowland, R-Cedarcreek, requires state political committees to certify in writing that their candidates for president and vice president shall be certified and "such certification shall include proof of U. S. citizenship for each nominee."

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Rowland says he believes President Obama is a citizen, and that his bill is for future candidates. Future perhaps as in 2012 when Barack Obama is likely to run for re-election.

At a time when Missouri legislators have professed over and over that the number one priority in this session is jobs, it is amazing just how many ways they are finding to deal with nonsense.

Rowland is far from the only southwest Missourian to attach his name to HB 283. Sixteen representatives are co-sponsoring the measure, including Rep. Mike Kelley, R-Lamar, Kevin Elmer, R-Nixa, Don Wells, R-Cabool, Darrell Pollack, R-Lebanon, Don Phillips, Kimberling City, Shane Schoeller, R-Willard, Barney Fisher, R-Richards, and Melissa Leach, R-Springfield.

The other representatives co-sponsoring the measure, all Republicans, are Stanley Cox, Sedalia, Tom Loehner, Koeltztown; Dave Hinson, St. Clair, Lindell Shumake, Hannibal; Jason Smith, Salem, Andrew Koening, Winchester; and Diane Franklin, Camdenton.

The bill was read for the second time today. It is not on the house calendar at the moment and if the House's Republican leadership has any common sense (and it does), this bill will be buried in committee and never see the light of day.

At a time when Missourians are suffering due to the continuing harmful effects of a downward-spiraling economy, the last thing we need to see is our legislators pandering to the extreme fringes of their constituency.

Put Missourians back to work and put the birthers back under the baseboards where they belong.

In Steve Helms' world "Firearms Equal Freedom"

From the latest issue of Greene County Circuit Clerk Steve Helms' online newspaper comes this column written by Bill McCoy.

Why does the left oppose personal firearms in a democracy? The rise of personal firearms closely correlates with the rise of personal liberty and democracy in Europe and the Americas.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution is in place to protect, defend, and guarantee the First Amendment. Those crafting the Constitution knew well that neither governments, nor militaries or police could be fully trusted and had every intention of assuring that the population of the United States had the means to counter authoritarian attempts.

Prior to the advent of personal firearms, governments’ derived power from the accumulation of political and economic allegiances held in place with armies and politically trusted praetorian guards. The state imposed its will by massing large numbers trained and well-equipped soldiers against populations having only farm implements and stones for defense. Personal firearms rebalanced the algorithm and introduced a new political calculus, intruding on the authoritarian bent of any state.

The progressive left and their government icons represent a new twist on a feudal system replete with modern vassals and suzerains, in reality the foundations of the royalist system that many Europeans took a millennium to defeat. Firearms are the first target of oppressive governments be they ruled by a king or socialist elites. There is no social contract that can stand up to a leftist philosophy which demands a state monopoly on violence and any means to challenge the state.

Loughner’s shots were still echoing in Tucson when the left commenced its attack on Second Amendment rights. Setbacks in Supreme Court cases has required the left to temporarily set aside its frontal attack on firearms and to pursue an oblique strategy against ammunition, magazines, and denying firearms to those judged to be mentally impaired. The Soviet Union was renowned for its incarceration of political dissidents in mental wards, simply because they disagreed with the socialist elites. In the end, whom can we trust with this decision?