vote

Yes, I was a part of the original tea party movement. Yes, I’ve voted third party in a Presidential election. Yes, I’ve hoped and believed different outcomes would come about only to be disheartened and defeated.

I’ve learned a lot since 2008. I’ve learned that sheer will doesn’t win elections. And, unfortunately, many of my friends in the tea party/patriot movement haven’t quite grasped this. We too often look at wave elections like 2010 and 2014 and assume that because we believe and fight hard, we win. While that is certainly a part of the equation, the actual algorithm for winning elections, especially at the national level, is far deeper than that.

Here’s the thing about 2010 and 2014. They were midterm elections and the incumbents were terrible. It’s not so much that Americans woke up and said “these new GOP candidates are great and I’m excited about them,” more than it is that Americans flat out rejected incumbents. In midterm elections there is low turnout and incumbents of the President’s party have no help at the top of the ticket. This is not to say our hard work and dedication didn’t matter. Not at all. Our hard work and dedication made the difference. But we would fools to assume or assert that incumbents were defeated because of some new method, message or agenda that the American electorate has embraced.

I hate to say this, but the old rules still apply. And if we choose to ignore them then we do so at our own peril. Money, infrastructure and perception are three key components in a national election. I hate that this is the case, but just because I hate it does not render it not the case. Just because I have a will to see it differently doesn’t mean it’s different.

Money, infrastructure and perception. Three absolutely critical components of a national election. And based on these three, I believe there are only four candidates who can survive the first few state primary/caucuses come 2016. Five if Romney jumps in.

The Non-Romney Four:

  • Jeb Bush
  • Rand Paul
  • Scott Walker
  • Ted Cruz

Obviously if Romney jumps in there will be five as Romney would be able to work through to Florida.

I’ve written about this before, but I’ll touch on it again here. On the money front a candidate is going to need between $250 and $300 MILLION to win the primary in 2016. The 2012 election provides significant data on this front and it isn’t pretty. By the time we got to Florida in 2012, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich were the only two remaining viable candidates. Gingrich was barely hanging on, riding the coat tails of a win in South Carolina, which helped him raise a couple million to go into Florida with. Unfortunately, a couple million was meaningless when it came to the big money machine of Mitt Romney.

There are conflicting numbers depending on which source you use, but the consensus seems to be that Romney spent around $10,000,000 in Florida on TV ads alone. Another $5,000,000 million was spent by pro-Romney Super PAC groups. This compared to about $2 million spent by the Gingrich campaign and another $2.2 million spent by PACs supporting Gingrich.

When you take into account the physical campaign infrastructure (offices, canvassing team vans, travel, etc), collateral materials and political mail and other marketing campaigns, the Romney machine probably spent some $30 MILLION+ in Florida alone! Gingrich had a ground presence in Florida, but comparatively speaking it was insignificant and made little difference on primary day.

When it comes to running an election statewide, Florida is a beast. If you ever driven from Tallahassee to Miami (I have) you’ll get a sense of what kind of ground you have to cover and saturate to win statewide. Doing so is much easier said than done. And far more expensive than anyone might want to admit.

Do I wish sheer will, principles and grassroots work could do it alone? Absolutely. But I don’t believe it can. Not in a 3 second world where each and every voter is trained to see 50+ TV ads, youtube commercials, mail pieces, yard signs and someone at their front door.

So when I look at the current crop of candidates on the GOP side, I only see four who I believe can make it to Florida and beyond. Five if you count Romney.

-Jeb Bush

Bush is going to take a Romney path. He’ll struggle in Iowa, potentially win New Hampshire, lose South Carolina and command a huge outcome in Florida. Unlike Romney, Bush has the added benefit of extreme name recognition in Florida. From there it’s game on for Bush. He’ll have big money in the bank, big money Super PACs following his every step, massive campaign operations and the media giving him all the perception of winning that he’ll need. It doesn’t matter how well the other candidates are able to define Bush during the campaign, Bush will survive it all simply because he’ll have the money, organization and media all working in his favor.

-Rand Paul

Rand Paul will lose the perception war, no doubt. The media, GOP establishment and more traditional conservative wing won’t give Paul the fair shake he’ll deserve. That said, Paul will raise a ton of cash via a grassroots army that would crawl over glass to champion his cause. I think Paul will give Bush a run for his money in states like New Hampshire and I believe he’ll be able to survive beyond Florida whether he wins it or not. Additionally, because of how dedicated and energized Paul supporters are, the Paul campaign should be able to establish enough ground organization to help remain competitive beyond the first few weeks of primaries and caucuses.

-Scott Walker

I won’t hide the fact that I’m a Walker voter. I wrote about my support for Walker here and will be working to help his candidacy in any way I can. Setting that aside for a moment and putting my blogger hat back on, I believe Walker is the 900 pound guerrilla in the 2016 primary. Walker is a warrior when it comes to elections. He has won three elections in the past four years, one a recall bankrolled by powerful unions and Obama-friendly special interests. He’s a Governor of a Midwestern/Northern state that took over when his state was damn near bankrupt and against all odds turned it all around. Walker will gain huge Super PAC support from various free-market political spending groups and he’ll pull significant money from the big donors who have supported his campaigns for the past four years. Walker should do well in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, but will probably have a tough run in Florida. That said, I think he’ll have enough steam to make it beyond Florida once his campaign begins running at full speed.

-Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz is going to struggle in two areas. Money and perception. The media hates Cruz and loves to mock, demean and insult him at every turn. The perception will be that he’s a far right wing candidate and will not be able to outlast the Bush machine much less win the general election. I disagree with this narrative, but I believe this is a narrative that will plague him from day one. On the money front, Cruz won’t be able to capture much of the big donor attention that will be consumed by Bush and Walker. He will, however, raise enormous cash via grassroots conservatives and may end up raising the most through small donations of all the candidates (He and Paul might split this trophy). If Cruz can get through Florida he’ll be a hefty challenger when states like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and the rest of the south come around.

If these four candidates all survive Florida, I believe the 2016 primary is open for the taking. Bush will struggle in the midwest and west, Cruz will dominate the south, Walker will be poised well in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, etc., and Paul will be solid in Nevada, Colorado, Kentucky, Virginia and several others.

Again, it all comes down to money, infrastructure and perception. Grassroots power is the cherry on top and will be absolutely necessary, but without the ability to also master the first three components, a candidate is going to have a VERY difficult time when Florida voters go to the polls to see who survives.

Thoughts On Other Candidates

-Ben Carson

On most points I’m a fan of Carson and I think he commands a decent following. I do, however, believe his past comments against the 2nd Amendment and a few other issues primary voters will take offense to will be a crutch he won’t be able to overcome. Yes, I know Carson has changed his position on those issues, but don’t for a second think his new positions will make it in the big money TV ads that will slam him if/when he ever gains serious traction. The same happened to Gingrich back in 2012. Gingrich had a very good grassroots organization that was carrying him through to Florida, but the Romney Super PACs devastated him with constant TV ads that he just couldn’t overcome.

-Mike Huckabee

Huckabee, in my view, is in a situation where his best shot at winning the primary came and went. In 2016 the vote that Huckabee would need to win will be split in far too many directions via Paul, Walker, Carson and Cruz. Could Huckabee compete in Iowa? Sure. But as 2008 and 2012 showed us, Iowa doesn’t necessarily pick the candidate that makes it beyond Florida. Mike Huckabee won in 2008, for example, and Rick Santorum won in 2012. Huckabee will appeal to social conservatives, but in my opinions won’t get far without a significant bump in the three key components listed above.

Marco Rubio could be interesting, but his past support of an amnesty bill will cripple him and Bush should be able to oust him with the Florida vote. Chris Christie and Rick Perry are both going to be non-starters, contrary to what the media would have you believe, and I don’t think Sarah Palin or Donald Trump will actually run.

So again, in my opinion the following four are the candidates with the most potential to survive beyond Florida.

The Non-Romney Four:

  • Jeb Bush
  • Rand Paul
  • Scott Walker
  • Ted Cruz

Five if Romney jumps in. I’ll add, on that note, that I think Romney does more damage for the Romney/Bush wing than anyone else. I think if Romney gets in the moderate vote is in trouble and may struggle to beat the conservative vote. So, in some ways, a Romney candidacy could be good for patriots looking to see Paul, Walker or Cruz come out ahead.

My two.

-Eric Odom

walker

I’m all in for Scott Walker. I mean all in. I’ll donate, make calls and do whatever I can to help his primary campaign.

Now I know there will be naysayers. I’ve heard the same tired arguments against Scott Walker for the last year and none of them hold water when compared to Walker’s accomplishments. I also know there are several other principled candidates that align with my beliefs and I don’t try to knock those candidates down in view of those who support them. But I personally believe Scott Walker is the single best shot we have at avoiding a Jeb Bush scenario.

In the 2016 GOP Primary election the following points are critical for any candidate who wishes to defeat the establishment pick.

  1. The ability to rally conservatives AND the ability to pull significant moderate GOP primary votes.
  2. The ability to raise tremendous money from all various factions of money sources available to GOP candidates.
  3. The ability to win traditionally “purple” states as well as deep red states.
  4. The ability to build a competent, smart and coherent political campaign.
  5. The ability to provide proven, verifiable results in previous public office or private life.
  6. The ability to prove he/she is NOT already a part of Washington (No Senators or Congressmen, current or past).
  7. The ability to not only talk about defeating the radical bankrupt policies of the Obama/liberal agenda, but actually show he/she can and will do it.
  8. The ability to deflect powerful opposition forces, overcome them and pivot to a position of offense.
  9. The ability to prove he/she can WIN when all odds are against them.

This is Scott Walker.

Walker has won three elections in the past four years, one of them a MASSIVE recall effort funded by powerful public employee unions and billionaire leftists. When he took charge in Wisconsin, a purple state, the state was $3.5 BILLION in the hole. Wisconsin now runs a surplus and business from states like Illinois are crawling over glass to move their operations north to Walker’s turf. He has been hit with every possible method of attack, from the union fueled protests at the state house for weeks on end, to frivolous lawsuits, to false charges and much more, and in every instance he emerged victorious.

Walker isn’t admired and supported in both constitutional conservative AND moderate GOP circles. He raises national level money and he runs near flawless campaigns. His state is extremely firearm friendly (I often open carry when I’m in Wisconsin), talks about getting rid of the income tax, is lowering business taxes, clamped down on public employee union control and one of his first moves in 2016 is to beat down common core.

Is he perfect? Nope. He was a little squishy on the exchanges, for example. But his reasoning for those few bumps is logical and realistic.

If you think Walker can’t win a primary or general election, you haven’t paid enough attention to his electoral accomplishments. Granted, running for Governor is a whole different ballgame vs. President, but Wisconsin, in many ways, is reflective to the type of landscape presented in a general national election. Red, purple and blue all have to be a part of the equation and Walker has mastered the art.

I want someone who takes the gloves off and isn’t afraid of a fight. I want someone who has proven results when it comes to fixing seemingly unfixable fiscal problems. I want someone who can beat Jeb Bush and then go on to be Warren or Clinton. And I sincerely believe Scott Walker is the answer.

It seems I’m not alone. Rush Limbaugh is now out swinging for Walker, even going so far as to say Walker is a worthy heir to Ronald Reagan.

Video clip below.

Make up your own mind and let me know what you think.

Some additional reading from the last few days.

 

Bonus thought: My dream ticket is pictured below. 

Walker Haley 2016

For those who haven’t yet heard, a group claiming to be ISIS hacked this site and several others in the Liberty News Network over the weekend. My personal site (This one) was the first hacked and I believe it was my last post about a possible Muslim purchase of the White House that set them off.

I don’t want to go in to a lot of detail about the hack because I already wrote about it over at LibertyNews.com. Click here for full details on what the hackers did. I will, however, repost that story here and tell the hackers, whoever they might be (ISIS, Anonymous/CIA, etc… whoever) to pound sand.

Push me and I’ll push back.

Why Does Media (Even Conservative Media) Look the Other Way on Evidence Suggesting a Muslim Purchase of U.S. White House/Presidency?

obama-bows

One of the most basic foundational principles of journalism is the notion that we question everything. Not only should we question everything, Continue reading →

obama-bows

One of the most basic foundational principles of journalism is the notion that we question everything. Not only should we question everything, we should even question the first answer we get should one come. When we look at the undeniable Muslim influence on the power-brokers in Obama’s administration, however, media is completely silent. This goes for all of the mainstream media networks, including Fox, as well as conservative pundits, analysts, bloggers and news outlets.

Take Charles Krauthammer for example. Krauthammer is often paraded around as one of the smartest columnists in media yet he actually believes Barack Obama is just careless, juvenile, incompetent and not fit to lead. Why does it never occur to Krauthammer that Barack Obama knows exactly what he’s doing, and the outcomes we’re seeing are all a part of a master plan to weaken the Republic? Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Krauthammer ask questions along the lines of Obama being a bull in a China shop with the specific agenda of bringing this country down.

Furthermore, how is it that people like Krauthammer can so easily ignore evidence that Obama is a pawn if middle eastern interests? How much of a pawn? Continue reading →

Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak and Crisis Art

Let me kick this off by acknowledging my friends and followers who believe the American Ebola crisis is just a scare tactic or a false flag of some kind. Yes, some of you have told me I’m crazy for “feeding the frenzy” on the subject of Ebola. Yes, some of you have told me you think it’s a big deal only because the media wants it to be a big deal. I get it. Some of you just don’t care and think I shouldn’t either. But let me say this, if you truly believe the Ebola situation here in America is not something we should be paying attention to that’s fine, but don’t come to my door begging for clean water, food or emergency supplies when shit really does hit the fan.

Personally I think it’s a MUCH bigger issue than even the media is portraying. And, unfortunately, I think the media may be playing right into the hands of the tyranny that could come alongside the fed’s response should this beast really get out of its cage.

You see, an interesting narrative is developing around the CDC’s pitiful response to Ebola in America. It’s one that can’t be ignored or disputed. Simply put, America’s hospitals cannot handle with, cope with or contain an Ebola outbreak. If we look at the Dallas Hospital where patient zero died, for example, we see what happens when just one individual with Ebola shows up in an emergency room. As a result of that situation there are now two additional cases of Ebola with more than 100 now being tested/watched for the deadly virus. What would happen if TEN Ebola patients walked into an ER room in Chicago? Or Green Bay? Or Phoenix? What would happen if an airplane (it’s entirely possible this just happened last Monday with one of the Texas nurses who now has Ebola) landed where 10% of the passengers picked up Ebola before catching other flights or heading to sporting events in their communities?

The truth is right in front of us. American hospitals are not prepared for Ebola. This isn’t simply a matter of some training and new guidebooks. Even if a hospital were properly educated on procedures and protocols, there simply isn’t enough facilities, equipment and manpower to deal with an outbreak. Or even an onslaught of “potential” cases, for that matter.

The CDC and fed knows this. The media knows this. The medical community knows this. And now you know it. So what do we do?

In comes the Ebola facilities.

U.S. and local health officials want to set up dedicated hospitals in each state for Ebola patients, part of a new emphasis on safety for health-care workers after a nurse caring for an infected patient in Dallas tested positive for the virus.

Here’s the thing, though. Media and public officials aren’t just calling for these new federally funded facilities overseen by federal agencies to exist for confirmed Ebola cases. They’re actually going so far as to suggest people be forcefully sent to one of these facilities for exhibiting symptoms. Meaning, even if government only says it thinks you might have been exposed to Ebola, they would operate in the interest of public health and safety to completely void your constitutional rights and incarcerate you.

Read that again. Even if government only says it thinks you might have been exposed to Ebola, they would operate in the interest of public health and safety to completely void your constitutional rights and incarcerate you.

One of the hosts on Fox News “Outnumbered” made this suggestion earlier today during the show. I can’t remember her name, unfortunately, (someone could probably find a transcript of the show if they look for today’s record 10/15/14) but she openly suggested these new facilities be used to hold Americans who are suspected to have been exposed to Ebola.

Suspected? Who makes that determination? And at what cost?

What really scares me about this is that such a response seems perfectly logical. And it’s a response that a majority of Americans will likely support should Ebola start spiraling out of control. Why? Because Americans like a comfortable way of life. We don’t want that comfort ripped from us. And the second it is, we’ll all petition government to do whatever is necessary to bring that comfort back into our homes.

But when you look below the surface of such a decision, you’ll find massive violations of rights, abuse of power and the destruction of lives of those incarcerated for weeks on end, against their will, all because some government agent made a determination to act.

I don’t know about you. But if I were pulled off of an airplane, sent off to some medical facility, had all of my communication methods confiscated and was confined to a room with no contact with my family and friends for several weeks… I would be pounding on the door of every attorney I could find. Especially if it turned out I was clear of anything and never really needed to be incarcerated to begin with.

None of this is in practice, obviously. But to suggest we shouldn’t be having this conversation now is just absurd. We should be having this conversation. We should be asking these questions. And we should be prepared for all possible scenarios.

Am I the only one concerned about this? Is anyone else thinking this could lead to all kinds of violations of constitutional rights? Thoughts?

gop

I know I know. The GOP couldn’t care less what I think, say or do. That has become abundantly clear in recent years. I’m one of those “crazy people” they hate to see at their town hall events. I’m one of those people who, unlike most elected Republicans, believe in their stated party platform. I’m one of those people who actually believes the Constitution has meaning and should be used as a guide when casting votes. I’m one of those people who believe the federal government has three simple, very limited tasks and nothing more.

1) Protect our rights
2) Defend our nation against foreign invasion
3) Regulate inter-state commerce (Keep it regular)

The federal government has completely failed on all three. Not only has it failed, it has actually become the enemy of all three. The federal government now aids in the constant violation of our rights, it now funds and directs a foreign invasion at our borders, and there is zero ability to conduct inter-state commerce without hurdles and roadblocks… all established by government. Continue reading →

Supreme Court

America used to be the land of the free and home of the brave. Unfortunately, today we’re land of the mandates of home of the lunatics. I say lunatics because several members of the Supreme Court, the highest court in America, have basically told American businesses that if they don’t like Obamacare forcing them to pay for something that goes against their beliefs, they can choose to pay the tax instead.

Why is this lunacy? Because by paying the tax, you’re still funding someone else’s healthcare. And under the (Un)Affordable Healthcare Act, those plans your tax pays for must include contraception.

Here’s what the justices said.

Other points made by the female justices:

Justice Sotomayor: how can courts know whether a corporation holds a religious belief? And what if it’s just the beliefs of the leadership, not the entire company? What happens to a non-religious minority in a corporation?

Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan asked: Because nobody is forcing Hobby Lobby or Conestoga to provide health insurance, they can simply pay the tax penalty instead.
Justice Kagan: women are “quite tangibly harmed” when employers don’t provide contraceptive coverage.

These justices are surely capable of knowing full well what they are saying is that no matter what, Christians are being forced by the government to pay for something that goes against their religious beliefs. If they aren’t then there must be some sort of mental illness keeping them from being capable of seeing the truth of what they’re saying.

I swear the more news I read these days, the more I feel like we’re living in the twilight zone.

chicago-at-night

I currently live in Virginia, but still consider myself a Chicagoan at heart. I love the city… the energy, the weather (Yes, I love Chicago winters!), the food, the environment and the sports. I can’t for the life of me, though, figure out why most Chicagoans blindly vote against their own best interests.

Illinois government, dominated by leftist Chicago politicians (looters), is arguably one of the most irresponsible governing bodies in the country. The state is headed towards absolute fiscal disaster and the only think state government seems willing to do is increase taxes.

Here’s part the problem with that.

The number of Illinoisans enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, remained above 2 million in September. This is the 12thmonth in a row enrollment has remained above 2 million people.

That means one-sixth of Illinoisans have spent more than a year relying on government handouts for their next meal.

And it should be no surprise that so many Illinoisans are on food stamps when the state is clearly better at enrolling citizens in government programs than it is at encouraging job creation.

Illinois has 5.8 million nonfarm payroll jobs today, only 9,500 more than it did in September 2003. Over the same period, food stamp enrollment doubled from 1 million to more than 2 million Illinoisans.

You read that right. For the 12th month in a row food stamp enrollment has remained above 2,000,000 people!

How’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?

apple-gold

We knew Apple heavily relied on Steve Jobs. What we didn’t know, or at least I didn’t know, is that Apple would instantly become mediocre as it pivoted beyond the iPhone 5 model.

As a long time Apple fan it pains me to write this, but I’m extremely disappointed with yesterday’s iPhone event. Disappointed to the point of actually considering a direction outside of Apple with my next phone purchase.

Let me explain…

The devices announced, in and of themselves, only present half of my frustration with Apple. The fact that almost every rumor out there turned out to be true, with ZERO additional ‘surprises’ added was the other half. You see, for years Apple has been a point of intrigue, mystery and shocking innovation. Yes, product details have always leaked, but never have ALL of the product details leaked. Apple used to pride itself for being a close-lipped company that would having everyone at the edge of their seats on announcement day. This is no longer the case as we learned absolutely nothing we didn’t already know in yesterday’s iPhone event.

I don’t know if it’s a matter of Apple having lost its ability to innovate, making it necessary to generate buzz by leaking the few features/upgrades coming to get attention, or if the company just doesn’t really care about the mystery of its new products anymore. Either way, Apple isn’t as intriguing as it used to be. It no longer has that elite feel it used to come with as an embraced brand.

The other half, as mentioned above, is the product. I’m quite stunned that Apple would have an event to announce to the world such a flop of an upgrade to its iPhone 5 model. I’ve patiently waited this entire year for something better than an iPhone 5. I’ve sat on my iPhone 4s, dealing with its low battery life and bogged down processor, waiting for that next great ‘s’ model to come along and get me into a new 2 year contract.

Truth is, I now find myself wondering if I should just upgrade to a regular iPhone 5 with bigger storage or leave iPhone all together. The ONLY notable changes, for me personally, are the faster processor and the claimed better battery life. iOS7 is something I can get on a 4s or a 5. The fingerprint scanner? After all the NSA scandal madness I want nothing to do with this feature/function.

And truth is I’m not that impressed with iOS7. The purple/green look is just a little odd to me. And the translucent feel reminds me of Windows 7.

windows7

Then there is the iPhone 5c. I know it stands for color, but the vast majority of the media/analyst world looked at this model as a cheaper device that could compete on a global scale. Truth is, the iPhone 5c is nothing more than a plastic version of the iPhone 5, and now at the exact same price.

Slate has more.

This year was supposed to be different. For months now, analysts have speculated that Apple would finally do what many observers (including yours truly) have long called on it to do—to diversify its iPhone lineup. The logic seemed obvious. Samsung, Apple’s fiercest rival, has beencleaning up in developing markets like India and China by offering models that cater to every market niche, from the low end to the high end. By making a new phone that sold for around $300 to $400 without a carrier subsidy—which is how many people in developing markets buy phones—Apple would be able to compete for price-conscious phone buyers, creating a whole new class of iPhone users who currently can’t afford Apple’s shiny baubles.

But today, Apple whiffed. At the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., CEO Tim Cook did unveil two new iPhones rather than just one. But neither of these phones is the cheap iPhone that people had been predicting. Indeed, Apple didn’t really change its pricing strategy in any meaningful way. Across the globe, it will still be charging the same for its phones as it always has. It’s not a stretch to say that instead of a good price, Apple is now offering budget-conscious consumers around the world a strange deal: OK, the iPhone isn’t any cheaper than it used to be. But hey, look, it comes in lots of colors! Colors! Even pink! How will you be paying?

Going back to iPhone 5s, my final complaint is the three available color schemes for the hardware. Why on earth would they scrap the all white model? Who thought that would be a good idea and under what logic did such a decision occur?

Bottom line… I have an iPhone 4s that is starting to act up. I need a new phone and I’m not convinced I want an iPhone 5s… so what am I to do?

Sorry Apple, but for this Apple fan… yesterday was an embarrassment.

carly-rae-jepsen

It really doesn’t get much worse than this.