How to Tell a Lie

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You had to laugh. Claire McCaskill jumped on Twitter to announce she’d never met the Russian ambassador to the US. Before that, she jumped on Twitter to brag about being so damned important and vital that the Russian ambassador sought her oracle-like guidance.

After people mocked and scorned her silly lie, Claire McCaskill made up more lies to cover the first lie. You know, like a liar.

Senator McCaskill believes Jeff Sessions should resign for not telling a lie. Which is consistent in a perverted McCaskil sort of way.

I call on Senator McCaskill to resign. I also call on Jack Dorsey to shadow ban @clairecmc.

If you want Claire McCaskill to resign, click the box below.

Thanks for your help. I smell an open Dem Senate seat.

Oh, I almost forgot.

If you’re going to lie on Twitter, delete the tweets that expose your lie BEFORE tweeting the lie. It’s just good lying.

Here Are the Ex-Im Facts Ann Wagner and Claire McCaskill Don’t Want You to Know

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Rep. Ann Wagner’s Heritage Action Score is a disappointing 59. It’s about to drop even lower.

Last week, the Republican from Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District came out strongly in support of cronyism by endorsing and vowing to fight for extending the Export-Import Bank.

From Wagner’s interview with National Public Radio:

“There is some talk about a short-term reauthorization, perhaps six or seven months on Ex-Im,” she said. “I’d like it to be longer than that. I’d like to find a way for Ex-Im to have the proper reforms and be with us so that we can compete abroad for a long time.,” Wagner said.

For four years, now, Rep. Wagner has asked us to trust her when she tells us she’s a principled conservative. That trust is now broken.

She says that “Ex-Im is about jobs; thousands and thousands of jobs.” But research shows that Ex-Im has no discernible effect on jobs in America. Not only is trust broken, but her credibility is shattered, too.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) joined Rep. Wagner in supporting Ex-Im, which then-Senator Barack Obama correctly described as a “fund for corporate welfare.” And Wagner wants us to trust her judgment?

Here are the facts on Export-Import Bank–facts Ann Wagner and Claire McCaskill don’t want you to know:

Cost?

  • As a result of Ex-Im’s activity, taxpayer exposure will exceed $140 billion before the end of 2014.
  • According to the Congressional Budget Office, Ex-Im will cost taxpayers $2 billion over the next 10 years.

Financing?

  • 98 percent of U.S. exports receive no assistance from Ex-Im.
  • Of those that do receive financing, 75 percent goes to only 10 multibillion dollar, multinational conglomerates (e.g. Boeing, General Electric).
  • Boeing alone received 66 percent of Ex-Im’s loan guarantees in 2013.
  • Should Ex-Im expire, Boeing would be perfectly capable of arranging alternative, private-sector financing for its exports, and its representatives have said so publicly.

Unilateral Disarmament?

  • In 2013, only $12.2 billion of Ex-Im’s $37.4 billion in total financing—less than one-third—was dedicated to counteracting subsidies from foreign export credit agencies.

Small Business Activity?

  • Congress requires that 20 percent of the dollar amount of Ex-Im’s authorizations go to small businesses; however, Ex-Im fails to meet this statute nearly every year.
  • Ex-Im’s definition of “small businesses” includes firms with as many as 1,500 workers and companies with revenues of up to $21.5 million annually.
  • Ex-Im provides export financing for just 0.009 percent of all small businesses in America.

Controversy and Credibility?

  • Ex-Im’s Inspector General has concluded that the bank ignores long-term economic impacts in its internal analyses.
  • Both the Government Accountability Office and the Inspector General have warned that Ex-Im’s “loan-loss rate” is unreliable and that the bank is not properly protected against waste, fraud and abuse.
  • In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office found that FCRA-based cost estimates, the kind that Ex-Im relies on, do not provide accurate accounting metrics, as they do not incorporate the full costs of the risk associated with the loans.
  • In 2013, Ex-Im authorized $630 million in Russia-related transactions, including $32 million to help build a petroleum refinery, supporting Russia’s energy sector at a time when the country is using its energy dominance to hold client states hostage to its agenda.
  • This year, former Ex-Im employee Johnny Gutierrez was fired amid allegations of accepting cash bribes in exchange for trying to help a Florida company obtain a loan guarantee.

Jobs?

  • A Congressional Research Service report has confirmed that Ex-Im shifts jobs; it does not create them: “Economists generally maintain… that subsidizing export financing does not add to the overall level of economic activity, and subsidizes foreign consumption at the expense of the domestic economy. [Therefore], promoting exports through subsidized financing…will not permanently raise the level of employment in the economy, but alters the composition of employment among various sectors… and performs poorly as a jobs creationmechanism.”

Subsidy Harm?

  • When Ex-Im bureaucrats hand out taxpayer-backed loans…
    • Unsubsidized domestic businesses must face competitors backstopped by a government guarantee
    • Subsidized domestic businesses grow lazy and complacent relying on federal assistance, and are further encouraged to use resources for lobbying rather than productive investment
    • Market actors are encouraged to make bad investments by the distortion of true opportunity cost
    • Consumers face higher prices, since subsidizing exports helps foreign consumers at the expense of domestic consumers

Political Climate?

  • In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama denounced Ex-Im on the campaign trail: “I’m not a Democrat who believes that we should defend every government program. There are some that don’t work like we had hoped…[like] the Export-Import Bank that has become little more than a fund for corporate welfare.
  • On September 30th, 2014, Ex-Im’s charter will expire and it will be unable to continue operating.

(Source: Heritage Action for America)

If we cannot trust Ann Wagner to take a principled stand against this small piece of Washington cronyism, how can we trust her to fight the really tough battles?

If we cannot trust Ann Wagner to tell the truth about Export-Import bank’s effect on jobs and the economy, how can we trust her to tell us the truth about other corporate welfare schemes?

If we cannot trust Ann Wagner to put principle ahead of K Street cronies, how can we trust her to represent us in Washington?

This isn’t about one small issue: this is about integrity, honesty, and philosophy of government. By her strong support of this “fund for corporate welfare,” Rep. Wagner has betrayed her own promises of principled conservatism. The people of her district deserve more respect and better representation.

I’ll let my questions to Rep. Wagner stew. Of course, she is welcome to answer them in the comments below. Over the next week or two, I will have to decide whether I can vote to extend Ann Wagner’s stay in Congress.

The Karl Rove School of Sanctimony

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When I read about Todd Akin’s unfortunate comments to Charles Jaco, my first thought was uncharitable.  “I could just kill him.”

“I could kill him,” is an idiom. Its cousins include “wring his neck” and “poke his eyes out.” Idioms hyperbolize our emotional reaction to an event.

I was angry because Todd Akin gave the left a great talking point in the infamous interview. I like Todd Akin. I voted for him.  I want him to beat Claire McCaskill, and, if not him, someone. So his hideous PR failure Pissed. Me. Off. In fact, I’m still feeling a bit uncharitable, but that’s my problem at this point.

Karl Rove attacked Akin almost immediately.

Karl Rove, who directs a lot of campaign money through Crossroads GPS, vilified Akin. Rove promised to pull Crossroads funding from Missouri. He predicted that Akin would lose his race against Claire McCaskill for the US Senate by largest margin in modern history.

All fair and good. Akin put a safe Republican Senate pick-up at risk by his failure to check his tongue. Akin’s error put at risk four years of hard work by millions of Americans and jeopardized Todd’s favorite causes, including pro-life.

Rove Gone Wild

But at the Republican National Convention, Karl Rove drove right off the rhetorical Chappaquiddick Bridge.

“We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”

Roves comment was not an idiom. It was an original thought. He said “murder,” not “kill,” indicating intent and planning.

Even more malevolent,  “we should,” which Rove said, is not “we could.” Could implies ability; should implies duty.  Karl Rove essentially said, “We are obliged to murder Todd Akin.”  Or at least to defeat him in November.  (Todd Akin has since accepted Rove’s apology, for which I tip my cap to both men.)

So much for Karl’s sanctimonious excoriation of Todd Akin.

But he was joking of course.

Or was he?

In charity, we assume Rove isn’t plotting Akin’s physical assassination. But he might be plotting Akin’s political assassination.

Rove implied he prefers Claire McCaskill to Todd Akin.  That’s fine.  He’s entitled to support whoever he wants for the US Senate.

What irritates me most about Rove’s comment, though, is exactly what irritated me about Akin’s.  In a world where Republicans are held to a God-like standard by the media, saying idiotic things in public hurts the cause.

Rove committed precisely Akin’s sin.

He said something stupid that reached public ears.

For that, Rove deserves the same excoriation he’s advocated against Akin.  My guess is, though, Karl’s wealthy friends will protect him.

Part 3: Todd Akin Needs to Lead or Get Out of the Way

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, member of the United States House of Represe...

Todd Akin: member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part 3 of 3 |  Read Part 1 |  Read Part 2

Before we get too far down the Akin rally road, let’s get some solid advice to Mr. Akin.

His principles, his spine, his grassroots do no good if Missouri turns blue.  He cannot advance his causes from his house in Wildwood.  Failure to take the Senate makes Obamacare permanent, at least in our lives.

Todd Akin, wonderful man he is, has a lot of responsibility.  As a candidate, he needs to grow and fast. Particularly following news that he trails Claire McCaskill by 10 percentage points according to Rasmussen.

He hasn’t helped himself in the aftermath. He has no message except “I’m sorry.”  He is letting the RNC drive the narrative.  He’s blaming the “liberal media,” but that institution seems happy to let the GOP tear him apart.

If he’s content to spend his last half million and then next 10 days apologizing, then he might as well quit now.

Here’s what he has to do:

1.  Get out of his bubble and deal with the reality he faces.  He’s shut himself off from the messages he doesn’t want to hear.  That’s human nature.  But to win, he has fight his own inclinations to cocoon.  He has to hear from people who love him but think he should drop. He needs to hear from people who hate him but think he should fight on.  He needs to hear from writers, marketers, and artists who know how to hit the brain beneath the prefrontal cortex.  He needs GOOD COUNSEL, not just “amen.”

2.  If he will leave the cocoon he’s in, he needs to hear this: as long as the message is about rape and abortion, he’s toast.  If he stays on THIS message and stays in the race, he will lose, most of the Missouri GOP statewide candidates will lose, and MIssouri may go blue. Drop the apology.

3.  He needs to bring on people he’s NOT comfortable with.  People who will challenge.  Brilliant strategists and wordsmiths who can craft an argument.

4.  He needs to know his 3 points for every press interaction and stick to them.

5.  He needs to STOP EVANGELIZING and start CONNECTING with the people who don’t already agree with him on everything.  They have to agree with him on ONE thing.  That’s it.

6.  He needs to memorize this: “I am pro-life without exception.”  That’s the end of the pro-life message.  Every additional word he utters loses 10,000 votes.

7.  He needs to memorize this response to every question about abortion:  “Every child conceived should be born into an America that has room for him or her to grow into a loving family, a good home, effective schools, and a lucrative career of their choice.” That’s it.  Nothing more. It sets up the case of the economy

8.  Every answer to every question must get back to the economy and the economic wreck advanced by Barack Obama with the enthusiastic support of Claire McCaskill.

9.  He must PROSECUTE this campaign the way a great general prosecutes a battle. Survival’s not enough.

10.  He must ignore winnability. That’s our job. His job is to make people like him, trust him, vote for him, or stay home.

Every big name in the GOP has called for him drop out. Until he leads, the calls will continue.  I know he’s shown great spine, but spine is not leadership. If he leads, they will follow.

He can put people on their heels without being a jerk.  He has it in him.  Apologizing isn’t leadership.  Leaders lead. His rival is Claire McCaskill. She is remarkably unpopular.  His nemesis is Barack Obama.  He is loathed in Missouri.

Get the message back on track.  Be a leader.  Win.

There’s one question I ask every politician who asks for my support:  why do you want this job?  The answers reveal tons about the person.  Right now, his answer seems to be “because I made a mistake, and I’m sorry.”  That’s weak.  It’s a loser’s answer.

I can’t feed him HIS answer.  But I can tell him the one’s he’s got ain’t working. Even among some of his staunchest supporters.

Preserving the Republic Is Paramount in 2012

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A few weeks ago, I blogged about loyalty to people and loyalty to principles. Both are important. Loyalty to people is an honorable principle.

Sometimes, the ideal is paramount. In 2012, we simply must take the US Senate. We must put Claire McCaskill out of office. And we must send a strong conservative to the US House of Representatives from Missouri’s 2nd Congressional district.

Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District has been well served by Todd Akin. Representative Akin is one of the most decent men I’ve ever met, in or out of politics. He was greeting voters at my polling place on primary day two weeks ago. I shook his hand and told him I was here to vote for him.

Last week, I saw Todd, again, at the Victory Field House, where all of Missouri’s Republican statewide candidates spoke. I caught Todd’s attention and told him we should meet again on November 7, because our election day meetings might be good luck. That meeting seems so long ago, now.

Like many conservatives, I cringed when I read his comments about rape on the Jaco Report. I knew he couldn’t possibly have meant what it sounded like he said. And while I say that, I still have no idea what he meant to say that might conform to known reproductive science.

Looking ahead and reasoning backwards, I tried to anticipate the possible outcomes. Congressman Akin can stay in the race and fight. Or he can step aside.

If he stays in the race and loses to Claire McCaskill, many other Republicans on the Missouri ballot will lose, too. Ed Martin, Dave Spence, Cole McNary, Shane Schoeller are all in danger. The state with some of the most effective and vibrant tea parties could see the Democrats sweep.

That cannot happen.

How in God’s name could we lose our state to the party that has as its convention’s keynote speaker an accused rapist, a disbarred lawyer, a serial groper who may well have committed the very crime of which Todd Akin misspoke?

We can’t.

Todd Akin is the victim of a sickening and repulsive double-standard that exonerates Democrats who sexually assault women, who drown women at Chappaquiddick, who avoid impeachment by quibbling over the definition of “is.”

The Tea Party movement has many noble and lofty goals. We exist to restore the balance of power between the government and the individual described in the Declaration and codified in the Constitution. We are adamant about devotion to those principles. We have lost friends over the qualifications and convictions of candidates who, to the uninitiated masses, look pretty much the same. We nit-pick over tiny policy differences because we know those tiny differences blow up into horrible, liberty-destroying legislation and Supreme Court rulings.

But the Tea Party is wise enough to understand America’s peril.

We stand at a crossroads of history in 2012. One path leads to difficult times and sacrifice for a greater future. The other leads to serfdom for generations. Our decision is now, and we must choose the path of sacrifice for a brighter future.

I cannot speak for the Tea Party on this matter; I can speak only for myself.

If Representative Akin steps aside, here’s the best possible outcome I can envision:

  • The Missouri Republican central committee asks Ambassador Ann Wagner to step into the vacated US Senate candidacy. I believe Ann is Missouri’s best chance—America’s best chance—of regaining the Senate. If Ann chooses to make the jump, she will leave a race in which she is all but certain to win, to take on the biggest challenge of her life. She will need all of our support, and she will have all of mine.
  • Missouri’s Republican 2nd District Committee asks State Senator Jim Lembke to fill the vacancy Ann would leave in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional race. Jim Lembke risked his political life by speaking at the very first St. Louis Tea Party on the steps of the Arch, February 27, 2009. Jim Lembke has been THE go-to Senator for grassroots conservatives in Missouri for years. He would honorably and faithfully fill the seat so well served by Todd Akin and Jim Talent. More importantly, anyone with less conservative street cred than Jim Lembke might drive Tea Partiers to the sidelines in November.

Friends may feel differently about how this plays out, as Reboot Congress does. But this isn’t about rewards for Ann Wagner or JimLembke; it’s about giving America its best chance of survival in a Senate race that’s suddenly up in the air.

I know that many Tea Partiers find this hard to swallow. Our nature is to fight, fight, FIGHT for every inch. But this year, this race, requires a strategy to stanch liberty’s hemorrhage. If Todd Akin exits this race and we don’t rally around his relief, we will take it to our graves.

I have no idea how the next 77 days will play out, but I hope we all choose the struggle of liberty over the comfort of serfdom. History is watching.

McCaskillPAC

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What I find so funny about Claire McCaskill’s war on super pacs is that her husband is a super PAC.

For the record, I have formally endorsed Senator McCaskill in her race to return to private life.

Zimmerman Update

Having declared George Zimmerman guilty of first degree, racially motivated murder, the MSM are now investigating the case.

What they’re finding:

The George Zimmerman that Francescani describes is quite different from the “delusional racist vigilante” that many have made him out to be.

Read more on Business Insider.  But BI’s headline is wrong.

Conservatives didn’t pre-judge Zimmerman the way liberals did.  Maybe because studies show we are

better informed, more intellectually consistent, more open-minded, more empathetic and more receptive to criticism than their fellow Americans who support the Democratic Party.

Read more on The Daily Caller

(BTW, narrow-minded liberals hate it when you remind them that they’re narrow-minded, uninformed, and less receptive to criticism. So don’t do that.)

So, to mayor. Or Sotomayor

Being the eternal optimist, I’m holding out hope that Sonia Sotomayor could flip right one day.  On Wednesday, my silly dream got a bump.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in Obama vs. The People of Arizona.  (I know that’s not the actual caption, but it should be.) Justice Sotomayor “shredded” the U.S. government’s crappy case, in Business Insider’s view.  Quoting Sotomayor:

Putting aside your argument that this — that a systematic cooperation is wrong — you can see it’s not selling very well — why don’t you try to come up with something else? [emphasis original].


On her first day on the court, she questioned whether corporations really should have the same rights as humans who never die.  For many libertarians, that’s a question worth exploring.   (But that’s a huge conversation for another day.)

Exit question:  has Donald Verrilli argued his last case before the Supreme Court?   I can’t imagine that Obama will accept the blame for giving Verrilli impossible assignments in this and Obamacare cases.

Maybe the real reason Obama wants more illegals in the U.S. is to stuff ballot boxes in November.

Don’t miss yesterday’s Top Story on Mitt Romney.