Thursday, April 28, 2011

Congress doesn't need to raise debt ceiling.

There is no doubt that America is amid a great financial crisis, but while those of us in the real world are tightening our belts to adapt to the current economic environment, Democrats in Washington want permission to spend even more and add to our crippling national debt.

The conversation in Washington D.C. for weeks had centered, for the most part, on how much our leaders are willing to listen to the American people and head down the path to financial responsibility by taking steps to curtail the burden on our sons and daughters. The budget produced by the House of Representatives that passed Friday was more of a flinch than a step in the right direction. The final amount cut from spending, according to the Congressional Budget Office, was a less-than-whopping $352 million. This rate is much lower than the $38 billion advertised and the $100 billion promised earlier, to be exact the actual cuts made are just under one percent of the promise and they are just minutia compared to the $3.8 trillion national budget. To put this in comparison, the average income in Southwest Missouri is about $33,000, so the cut that Congress man is equivalent to you cutting your annual budget by about $3.05.

Now with these modest budget cuts, that were nearly to blame for shutting down the government, behind us, the discussion will soon turn to raising the debt ceiling. In February of last year, the debt ceiling was raised to $14.294 TRILLION with an unprecedented increase of $1.9 trillion dollars (over double what it had been raised before.) Currently, our national debt is approaching 96% of our Gross Domestic Product, around a 35% increase of what it was only four years ago.

Increasing the debt ceiling has been characterized by those on the left as necessary, Obama has claimed that defaulting on the debt could "plunge the world economy back into a recession" and Treasury Secretary Geithner claimed that the discussion regarding NOT raising the debt ceiling could be "catastrophic." Geithner told news sources this weekend that "Congress will raise the debt ceiling" and seemed unperturbed by anything to contrary. Now, it seems that Republican leadership may continue to pander to the left instead of fixing government spending. But what would be the implications if they refused?

Some experts suggest that the danger implied by the left is overstated and that a failure to raise the debt ceiling would simply require the federal government to use its revenue to pay the interest in lieu of contributing to our bloated budget. Options are not limited to blindly raising the ceiling, and must include either putting a hold on the ceiling or pairing the raise with large, meaningful cuts. No family could be sustained by increasing their credit limit amidst encumbering debt, especially without making a serious budget overhaul to ensure that debt is corralled. The government shouldn't be afforded the option, either.

If Republicans are serious about restoring fiscal sanity, they need to say no to increasing the United States' already-maxed-out credit. Conservatives in Washington must show leadership on this issue to regain the people's confidence that was lost in them after failing to make legitimate budget cuts.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!! (and, a thought from President Ronald Reagan)

[Note: I'm a little late, getting this posted... But it contains wisdom that's pertinent, at ANY time! :-]

...J. Brandon West, who is one of our bloggers, was going to do an Easter-themed post here; This morning however, there was a tragic situation. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.]

A thought for this occasion, from President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004):
"Meaning no disrespect to the religious convictions of others, I still can't help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history.

No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion. the miracle I spoke of? Well consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time—possibly to your own home town:

A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister. He never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most.

He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing—the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb.

End of story? No, this uneducated, property-less young man who...left no written word has, for 2,000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived—all of them put together.

How do we explain that? ...unless he really was who he said he was."

- President Ronald Wilson Reagan

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Announcing the 2011 Annual Kansas Federation Convention

Kansas Federation of College Republicans

It's that time of year, again! Announcing the 2011 Annual Kansas Federation of College Republicans Convention in Topeka, KS on April 30th at 8:00, hosted by the Kansas Republican Party.

Invited Guests include:

Kansas State Executive Officials
Governor Sam Brownback
Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer
Attorney General Derek Schmidt
Treasurer Ron Estes
Secretary of State Kris Kobach
Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger

Kansas Federal Officials
U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS02)
Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS01)
Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS04)
Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS03)

Kansas State Legislative Leaders
Speaker Mike O’Neal
Majority Leader Arlen Siegfried

RNC Officials
National Committeeman and former Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-KS04)
National Committeewoman Helen Vanetten

Republican Activists

Registration is required for this free event and can be completed by visiting

For more information, please contact

Paje Routhier, Chair
Kansas Federation of College Republicans

Federal Delegation Should Butt-Out of Missouri Redistricting

For quite some time now, Missouri's state legislature has been working on the new Congressional maps based on the 2010 census data. The redistricting has not been without struggle as leadership in both the House and Senate have been bogged down trying to appease members of their own chambers and the egos attempting to pull the strings from Washington D.C.

As the AP reported last week, U.S. House members met with top ranking GOP members of the Missouri legislature. The purpose for all of this is to influence the legislators in getting the new Congressional maps drawn in a way that would optimize their chances at re-election. Aside from being an affront to standards of personal decency and ethics, the meddling of our Congressional delegation also flies in the face of Missouri's Constitution, which clearly states that "the general assembly shall by law divide the state into districts corresponding with the number of representatives to which is it entitled." Our federal delegation should have no further say in the proceedings than any other citizen of the state, and limiting their entanglement may be good for the state as a whole.

Congressmen having to maintain positive professional relationships with legislators from their district could have a positive impact on the entire political dialogue and clean up ugly election rhetoric. With Congressmen at the mercy of their state senators and representatives, we would be less likely to see personal attacks and outright lies during election season as potential candidates may actually have face consequences for what they say. Besides with the economy in the tank and three military conflicts, don't Congressman have better things to than worry about being re-elected?

Read more by William Lynch at his blog: Life as a Law Student.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Taxing Reminder

As the deadline, for filing your taxes, is now imminent (& will have passed, by the time this is published), here are some selections, pertinent for this time of the year (aside from Easter - and Earth Week).

TAX DAY 2011

From WorldNetDaily:

- Economic Sense Left D.C. a long time ago, Herman Cain

===> Note: The Purdue College Republicans are hosting a big event, featuring "the Herminator," this Wednesday night!! (It's FREE and OPEN to the public!!)

From TownHall:

- Obama's Tax Hypocrisy, Lurita Doan
- There's No Fairness in Taxing E-Sales, Jeff Jacoby
- Tax Congress!, John Ransom
- Obama Invents a New Word: Tax Expenditures, Floyd Brown
- Tax & Debt Bomb, Larry Kudlow
- Fertilizing Farms with Tax Dollars, Stephen Chapman
- Taxes and Politics, Thomas Sowell
- Eat the Rich, Walter Williams

From National Review:

- ‘Fairness’ on Tax Day (Most Americans get their government for free.) - Douglas Holtz-Eakin
- 'Regulation Day'? (Regulations cost us nearly as much as taxes do.), Iain Murray
(...and Roger Clegg replies)

And, from the paleo side:

- Become a Multi-Millionaire… as a Tax Snitch, Simon Black
- Eat the Private Rich?, Walter Williams
- Eat the Government Rich?, Thomas Sowell
- Eat the Savers?, Doug French
- Loopholes are Freedom, Thomas DiLorenzo

- No Taxation, Art Carden
- CNBC Says: Pay Your Fair Share

Via RushLimbaugh:

- Tax Day: Half of US Pays Nothing
- Wall Street Journal - Where the Money Is: Obama Taxes Middle Class While Pretending to Tax only the Rich
- AP: Nearly half of US households escape federal income tax
- AP Spin: Super Rich See Federal Taxes Drop

And check out:

[New Online Tool: Marginal Tax Rates Calculator]


==> Center for Fiscal Accountability:
==> Alliance for Worker Freedom:


Government Bytes: The Official Blog of the National Taxpayers Union

National Taxpayers Union asks: Does the IRS owe you money?

No New Energy Taxes!

Beyond Bailouts

National Taxpayers Union (NTU) rates Congress


FairTax ball cap! = = = = = Fair Tax Nation

IL FairTax || FairTax IN || KS FairTax || MI FairTax || FairTaxMN || MO FairTax || OH FairTax || WI FairTax

Show Me!! Missouri College Republicans - Convention recap

[The entry below links to a recap, of the Minnesota State College Republicans Convention, last (April 16th) weekend. And another recent one recaps the Wisconsin College Republicans Statewide Convention.]

Missouri Federation of College Republicans (MOCR)

...And now, the Show-Me State! Missouri was the other CRNC Midwest Caucus state to have held their statewide CR Federation Convention, the weekend of April 16th.

I was glad to have been at last year's MOCR Convention; I've participated in prior Missouri GOP campaigns, and have thoroughly enjoyed me experiences, doing politics in the Show-Me State (very-different, from across the river, here in Illinois ;-)...

Here is a Convention recap, along with some recent news, from the Missouri Federation of College Republicans!!

I regret I was not in attendance. CONGRATULATIONS to new Missouri Chairwoman BRENNA MEDLIN, and the newly-elected Executive Board!!

Chair: Brenna Medlin, Saint Louis University
Vice-Chair: Matt Baker, Missouri State University
Treasurer: Andrew Schwartz, Truman State University
Secretary: Michelle Wertz, University of Central Missouri

Keep up the great work, in the GREAT state of Missouri!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Minnesota College Republicans - Convention Recap

...And also last weekend was the annual statewide Convention of the Minnesota College Republicans. (For a recap of the Wisconsin Convention last weekend, see Scottsblog's always-excellent entry, below.)

Thanks to Nick Amell and others, for the live-Tweeting! Many of us, who weren't able to be in the Twin Cities last weekend, greatly appreciated that, especially while trying to follow along, with what was happening! :-)

Bess Folsom has also provided a GREAT recap, of the MNCR 2011 Convention, at her weblog!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Minnesota College Republicans Display Passion and Compromise

The University of St. Thomas was overwhelmed on Saturday by College Republicans from around the state. The Minnesota College Republicans arrived at 10 am for their annual convention, during which the next year's board of directors is elected.

Minnesota College Republicans logo

It was clear to guest speakers Tom and Jacquie Emmer and Tony Sutton that the day was going to be long and tedious when the convention convened late due to delegate qualification problems. It took until lunch to approve the rules for the convention and still not everyone was happy.

The lunch hour consisted of trips to Chipotle, Tea Garden, and Davanni's to refuel and lots of tweeting and gossiping with CRs across the state. By the time the convention re-convened at 12:45 it was clear that the group was divided and rumors of not even being able to elect a new chairman started circulating.

While delegates continued to argue over delegate qualifications and even impeachment, current chairman Tyler Verry and candidate Bobby Benson had a surprise up their sleeves. Rumors started flying so much that the room of delegates was literally buzzing....

========> Curious about what happened at the #mncr11 convention? Check out Bess' recap, at "The Girl's Right" blog!


Thanks to the MNCR leadership, for your service, and for coordinating a great Convention! And congratulations to incoming Minnesota College Republicans State Chairman RYAN LYK!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Happy CR Birthday

Congratulations, on two fronts ;-) to Caleb Hays, an officer of the Kansas Federation of College Republicans, a registered blogger at this site, who also has his own (well-designed!) weblog.

Caleb was elected, this evening, as the new Chairman of the Pitt State University College Republicans. Facebook image foursquare

And also, this happens to be Caleb's 21st birthday! (Guess this was a good birthday present! :-)

Draft saved at:
4/14/11 @ 11:08 PM (CST)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wisconsin College Republicans elect new leadership at annual convention

College Republicans at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire (UWEC) with State Rep. Warren PetrykThe UW-Eau Claire Chapter of the Wisconsin College Republicans gathered with Representative Warren Petryk (front-center) to host the 2011 Wisconsin College Republicans State Convention

Over 60 Wisconsin College Republicans gathered in Eau Claire this past Friday and Saturday for the 2011 College Republican State Convention, electing new leadership and amending a slew of constitutional articles. The proceedings began at 4 PM Friday afternoon with a social gala and check-in at the Holiday Inn at Craig Road in Eau Claire, followed by a reception at 7 PM that included 5 legislative speakers, mostly from districts around Eau Claire. Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder of Abottsford opened the festivities with an inspiring ten minute speech, telling the youth in the room to not let anybody stop them from "achieving anything they've set out to do". Suder's speech, which set the tone for the convention, was followed by an Asian-themed banquet dinner complete with chicken-fried rice and egg rolls and while the contingent of student relaxed after the meal, the main speakers stepped up to the mike with Warren Petryk, 93rd Assembly representative, headlining first.

Petryk gave his speech about service, tying in his calling to public office and sacrifice as a duty he didn't take lightly.

"Someone asked me what it was like to run for office and many of you with campaigns know how crazy it is and some of the description lack of sleep, etc, are there," he said. "And many of you have worked or will work on campaigns and I read a quote one time that pretty much sums it up. . . 'He who mounts the wild elephant goes where the wild elephant goes.' and that's pretty profound because it takes you on journey. . . I've been told oftentimes we define our dreams and sometimes they define us and that's what happened in the process as I humbly accepted the call and I am so happy to be here. In spite all of the challenges, it is incredible to spend time with these gentlemen and these ladies and to turn this state around."

Tom Larson, 68th District Representative from Dunn County, told the students a little bit about his experience struggles with representing his constituents in the way he believed most accurately reflected the silent majority view on the Budget Repair Bill. Kathy Bernier, 67th Assembly Representative from Chippewa Falls then got up and told the group a little bit about the trying times and the emotional challenges of dealing with the protestors, upset constituents, and the support of her male colleagues during the recent budget repair battle.

"Some of us had people out our doors and down the halls and we were determined to stay in our offices and meet those folks who were angry and upset and speak with them and I had law enforcement in my office from time-to-time, I had other legislators, my male neighbor legislators in my hallway would come and rescue me and they would take me out for a little break and they were wonderful. . .As you know my district is pretty much 50/50 and when the media called and told me that the City of Eau Claire passed a resolution telling me to vote no, I asked them how did Howard Ludwigson (a conservative on the city council) vote and he voted no. On election night when it came to the City of Eau Claire, I had a 1000 vote lead from the surrounding townships and I only won by 93 votes and so my thought was that the City of Eau Claire was not going to tell me how to vote because that is not indicative of what my district really looks like and who got me elected."

Senator Terry Moulton of the 23rd Senate District talked about how his business (Mouldy's Tackle) in Eau Claire gained a boost in revenues from the attention given to it by a union protest at the end of February as people who were on the conservative side flocked to it from surrounding areas during that time to show their support. Lori Forcier, 3rd Vice Chair of the Wisconsin GOP talked about her passion and support for the College Republican groups around the state and how she would throw her weight behind them as "Chair of the 72 County Chairs" of Wisconsin. Forcier was Eau Claire County GOP Chair for several years and was a strong mentor for the College Republicans at UW Eau Claire.

The keynote speaker was Senator Glen Grothman from West Bend, whose speech highlighted the budget hearings being conducted in Superior and Steven's Point over the last few days concerning Scott Walker's 2011 to 2013 budget and how many of the people who show up for the meetings are not representative of all of the people in the state.

"And they're all asking for more money," said Grothman. "Unless you're a grounded person, people get confused and begin to think that people want more money spent because that's what you usually hear as a legislator, that's what you usually hear as a county board member, that's what you usually hear as a city council member. There must have been over 500 people testifying and I'd be surprised if 10 of those were supportive of Scott Walker's budget and the reason is because the average guy is too busy working. If you're somebody who works at the University, K-12 education, at the county board, or what-have-you, your paycheck does not depend on making the public happy, it depends on getting the politicians to get you more money, which is why we had the problem we had yesterday and today."

The convention kicked off at 9 o'clock Saturday morning with 48 amendments to the College Republican State Constitution, several of them major. The changes were made within the first 2 hours. Awards were handed out with Eau Claire winning Chapter of the Year for the second straight year. UW-Milwaukee’s Kate Edwards won individual activist of the year. The last item on the agenda was to nominate new leadership for the coming 2011 year. Charlotte Evans, the UW River Falls student who was elected chair in 2010 is stepping down due to time constraints due from her other commitments. Evans is credited with rebuilding both the image and the operation of the Wisconsin College Republicans after the organization fell into complete turmoil when former chair Lora Rae Anderson completely changed parties the day after the 2010 convention concluded. The shakeup made national headlines and destroyed the credibility of the Wisconsin CRs in the eyes of the State and National GOP, as well as created a PR battle between the Democratic Party and the Democrat College Republicans and the Wisconsin CRs. Evans and the executive board that she appointed fought back and neutralized both the fallout and the war of words against the GOP borne from Anderson's action. Evans, a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard, divided time between her Guard duties, her University physics studies, and restoring trust and connections between the Wisconsin CR organization, other state organizations, as well as the individual chapters in the state. Her executive board worked hard to refurbish the reputation of the College Republicans by making them a big part of the State GOP Convention in Milwaukee last May and by sponsoring numerous campaign weekends and Get-Out-the-Vote efforts for GOP candidates all over the State during the 2010 election cycle.

During the convention on Saturday, Matt Rossetto was elected new chair for the 2011 Wisconsin College Republicans. Johanna Conrad was elected Vice Chair, Neil Isono treasurer, and Peter O'Reilly secretary. Conrad took over as chair of the UW Eau Claire College Republicans a year ago when former chair Bobby Hamill graduated. She was instrumental in keeping the CRs operating at a high level in Eau Claire and was responsible for guiding the club to it's second "Chapter of the Year" award. New chair Matt Rossetto will now appoint a new executive committee.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is the Political Landscape in Washington a New and Better Place or Business as Usual?

The political divisiveness in Washington DC has been an ever present topic in our newspapers and news channels since the election of President Obama in 2008. With Democrats in control of both the Legislative and Executive branches, there was little the Republican Party could do to advance its agenda, but to voice opposition to any Democrat legislation and hit the campaign trails. Democrats got their way for two years, pushing through bailouts, the health care bill, and refusing to work with House and Senate Republicans on the 2010 budget. Then the elections of 2010 came around and Republicans recaptured control of the U.S. House with the largest majority that they had seen since the 1940’s. President Obama and new House Majority Leader Boehner exhibited a glorious show of pomp and ceremony over their willingness to “work together for the American people”. Many Americans held a semblance of hope that, for once, Congress and the President would forsake the political wrangling and come to a consensus on what was best for the nation instead of their respective political parties. The show of civility was short-lived and by the time President Obama gave his State of the Union Address, politicians from both parties had taken to the trenches once again.
At the forefront of the epic legislation battles, is the present debt crisis and how much to cut the federal budget. The Democrats want to keep all the entitlement programs that keep the base of their electorate happy, while the most outspoken Republicans want cuts across the board on all programs. Meanwhile, President Obama has decided to send American military forces into Libya to aid NATO nations that are attempting to deescalate the oppression of civilians by Col. Muammar Gaddafi. In the midst of all this chaos, the possible Republican presidential contenders are launching their campaigns for 2012, and just this week, President Obama announced his re-election campaign. Suddenly the emphasis has been shifted from righting the nation’s wrongs, to vilifying the opposing party. Many Republicans are not conservative in their withering criticism of President Obama’s military interventionism in Libya. If a correlation can be made between Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Odyssey Dawn, it seems like the Democrat and Republican parties have traded foreign policy doctrines. This hypocrisy can be the most glaring give-away that politics in Washington DC is indeed, back to business as usual. Similarly, the budget cutters are all for abolishing those programs that do not benefit their districts. Senator Coburn (R-OK) wants Defense cuts while Senators Boxer (D-CA) and DeMint (R-SC) want to cut Ethanol subsidies. Any form of federal spending will “bankrupt the country” unless it pays out to that particular Senator’s state or Congressman/woman’s district. Once again, politicians have not failed to show the American people that their legislative priorites will be based on how such decisions influence their re-election chances.
The majority of Americans are Americans first, and party affiliated second. Instead of focusing on the “big picture” politicians are again entrapped with yielding to the special interests that shout the loudest and line the most pockets. The most vocal voices on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum are clamoring for the advancements of their own particular vendetta and forsaking what might be in the best interests of the nation. The politician that can sift through such na├»ve approaches to policy making is a rare one indeed. These politicians are presently in the minority in Washington DC or are drowned out by those who toe the party line. When times are tough, tough men and women take action. We can only hope that those men and women will wake up one day and re-establish this country’s faith in its elected leaders.

Brandon West
Vice-Chairman Kansas Federation of College Republicans