Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pay freeze 'an empty gesture'

Today's San Francisco Examiner editorial:

President Barack Obama has endorsed a two-year salary freeze for federal workers. He and his allies in Congress and the liberal media portray this is as a significant concession to resurgent Republicans on Capitol Hill.

In fact, Obama might as well be using a milk jug to bail out the Titanic — the freeze is estimated to save only about $5 billion in an annual federal budget of more than $3.5 trillion, including a $1.3 trillion deficit. In short, Obama is trying to pass off a temporary savings of one-twentieth of 1 percent of total federal expenditures as a serious move against Washington, D.C.’s federal spending and debt crisis.

Read more here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Poll: Say Merry Christmas

Why do many stores, businesses and media organizations use the word "holiday" or "holidays" rather than Christmas? Many will probably say they don't want to risk offending people by singling out a particular religious group's holy day. But as it turns out, more people are offended by the generic "holiday" reference than they would be by a reference to Christmas.

From Rasmussen Reports:

As Americans crowd stores nationwide, most still prefer being greeted by signs that say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.”

According to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, just one-out-of-four Adults (24%) like “Happy Holidays” instead. Sixty-nine percent (69%) prefer that stores use signs that say “Merry Christmas.” [...]

These figures are consistent with surveys during the holiday season for the past few years.

Hey, I've met Christians who don't celebrate Christmas. But considering that even most non-Christians observe the day by spending time with family and exchanging gifts, if I'm a business, it seems I'd rather run the risk of alienating a few haters and malcontents who get upset over the mere mention of Christmas than to risk alienating the masses.

Friday, November 26, 2010

'Help your neighbor, not a turkey'

Alyson Cunningham writes in the Salisbury, Md., Daily Times:

For the last five years, Marissa Filderman has adopted a turkey for Thanksgiving.

But she's never interested in raising the feathered fellow.

The 24-year-old vegetarian is focused on saving that turkey from its inevitable holiday fate.

So each year, she adopts a foul from Farm Sanctuary, an organization which rescues abused farm animals and works to stop and expose cruel farming practices with shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif.

Around Thanksgiving, the sanctuary has a special turkey fundraiser that allows people to sponsor a turkey for $30 or a flock for $180.

According to the Farm Sanctuary's website, the organization has saved more than 1,000 turkeys in 24 years.

It's all too much for Troy Hadrick at Advocates for Agriculture, who responds:

As we approach Thanksgiving we think about all the things we are thankful for. Our family is thankful for the food we have to eat. But for too many families there isn’t much food to be had for the holidays. It makes it even harder to accept when we have people in our society giving money to animal rights groups to feed turkeys when that money could be used to feed their neighbors. Please support your local food banks so those less fortunate than you can enjoy Thanksgiving rather than a turkey.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving tradition

A poem by Denny Banister of Jefferson City, Mo., the assistant director of public affairs for the Missouri Farm Bureau:

Tradition is tradition, often difficult to explain,
We do it because we do it, not to would be insane.
Nationalities, races and religions have traditions they must follow,
Without traditions, traditional times would be meaningless, void and hollow.

Americans each year at Thanksgiving have a traditional Thanksgiving feast,
The traditional meat served is turkey, we don't feast on just any beast.
How did the turkey gain its place on our traditional Thanksgiving table?
Because that's what the pilgrims feasted upon according to fact and fable.

Now we've all heard how they hunted the bird, but I know the real rendition,
Our forefathers’ gunpowder was damp that day, they were hunting with bad ammunition.
Don't laugh, you'll have to prove me wrong, but that's what I'm here to say,
Our forefathers couldn't have shot a buck - their buckshot was damp that day.

The men marched forward toward the woods, their ranks had one addition,
They took along an Indian scout, you guessed it - it was tradition.
The women all proudly waved good-bye as their protectors left to go hunting,
Then prepared the table for the feast, trimmed with doily, napkins and bunting.

It's a good thing women are blessed with women's intuition,
This first feast had to be done just right or we'd be stuck with unpalatable tradition.
They didn't know what their pilgrim husbands would bring home for the main dish,
So they fixed foods that would go just as well with partridge, venison or fish.

They created something called dressing made from bread a day old,
They had no intention of starting a fad, they just didn't want it to mold.
Meanwhile deep in the forest, our hunters were being harassed,
By the Indian scout who mocked their skills - the pilgrims were very embarrassed.

One spotted an elk, took careful aim, pulled back the trigger - CLICK!!
They discovered damp gunpowder would not fire, the realization made them sick.
What could they have for their Thanksgiving feast, on what would they that night sup?
One of the lads said, "Let's stew our shoes, I'm famished - I'll gobble it up!!!"

They were in no mood for jokes, and one of the blokes flung his musket into the field,
Just as old Tom Turkey, who heard the "gobble" jumped up - his fate was sealed.
What senses he had were knocked out that day, the turkey was plucked stuffed and roasted,
In exchange for his silence the Indian was fed while the hunters exaggerated and boasted.

They truthfully said they didn't fire a shot, they had no need for ammunition.
That's why today we raise turkeys on farms - to shoot them would break with tradition.
The producers of food from the Missouri Farm Bureau want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving,
As to the quality of my poetry, what can I say - it's a living.

So Banister's poetry isn't the greatest, I did as good as I could,
I was inspired by one of the very best, but Charles, I'm not nearly Os- Good.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#foodthanks



The AgChat Foundation is urging people today to express their gratitude for those who provide food in a tweet, Facebook entry, video or blog post. People are encouraged to use the hashtag #foodthanks. It's part of the foundation's effort to let the public get to know farmers through social media.

For our part, we at the Capital Press are thankful for our readers who support what we do. I'm thankful to live in a country that produces such an abundance of foods and other goods, with more than 100 different crops grown in my state and many more grown in other states. I'm also thankful that people in big cities are rediscovering the value of agriculture through the local food movement.

Most of all, I'm thankful to work for a company full of good, down-to-earth people who do their darnedest to capture ag's story every week, and every day on our Web site. May everyone be so fortunate.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Report: Freeze coming to California orange groves

Alex Sosnowski, senior expert meteorologist for AccuWeather.com, reports:

AccuWeather.com reports the stormy, snowy weather pattern underway in the West will culminate with a mid- to late-week freeze over California's San Joaquin Valley, home to many orange groves.

Temperatures over the lower part of the valley, where most of the groves are located, will dip into the middle 20s at the core of the cold air.

The cold will challenge record low temperatures in the region which are generally in the upper 20s to near 30 degrees. Lows this time of the year tend to average near 40 degrees.

The lowest temperatures are forecast to occur late Wednesday night into Thanksgiving Day morning, when several hours of below-freezing temperatures can occur in areas between Porterville and Bakersfield.

According to Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler, "Low temperatures in some of the groves may dip as low as 24 degrees Thursday morning."

"Temperatures could also dip into the upper 20s for a few hours late Thursday night into Friday morning," Mohler added.

While near-freezing temperatures are also forecast for the lower San Joaquin Valley Monday night and Tuesday night, it would only be for a very brief time and damage is not expected.

The magnitude of the cold air is very unusual so early in the season.

"You are much more likely to see a freeze like this late in December, rather than late November," Mohler said.

The groves in the region are known for their table oranges, but also a small amount of juice oranges are grown in the area as well.

"Lemons, grown farther south in California, will also be hit with freezing temperatures for a few hours late in the week," according to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark.

Clark added, "These areas are likely to experience low temperatures in the upper 20s Thursday morning and again Friday morning."

Interests in the orange and lemon grove regions are advised to take protective measures or risk damage.

Idaho activist: boycott TSA scanners

Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation is urging travelers to take part in tomorrow's protest of the new TSA security measures by "opting out" of full-body scans.

He opines:

We’re witnessing what appears to be a twisted psychological experiment in what indignities Americans are willing to endure in the interest of airport security. … Now, those who have concerns about health risks or invasion of privacy are being subjected to a government-administered groping. The result is a steady stream of complaints from border to border of Americans who have been fondled, harassed, mocked and manhandled. Clearly, TSA is trying to use its police powers to make examples out of anyone who has the temerity to protest the body scanners. That’s bad enough for the adults; parents are now being told they have the ultimate Hobson’s choice: irradiate their kids or subject them to fondling by a stranger in a government uniform.

Monday, November 22, 2010

With friends like these ...

Western ranchers, you have a new ally in your push to end the federal ethanol subsidies that many believe contribute greatly to escalating input costs. Want to know who it is?

Wait for it.

Wait for it ...

Al Gore.

"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Reuters quoted Gore saying of the U.S. policy that is about to come up for congressional review. "First-generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

"One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president," the wire service reported Gore saying.

Of course, never mind that he thinks emissions from your livestock are destroying the planet. He'll help you cut your feed costs, at least.

Sarah Palin's Alaska

You can rarely catch me watching so-called reality TV, one of the greatest misnomers of our age.

But I've caught both episodes of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on TLC, partly out of curiosity and partly for the satisfaction of knowing that the show drives the haters and malcontents nuts.

Aside from being a great promotion of Alaska -- which blogger John Hinderaker of Power Line pointed out last week -- it has the potential of showing average folks that they could do anything they set their minds to, such as climbing a mountain or working on a fishing boat. And it also lets the country get to know one of the nation's most enigmatic and controversial families.

Will it help or hurt any political aspirations Sarah Palin may have? I think it'll be a wash -- that is to say, that it won't have any net impact. The people who like her are watching; the people who don't, aren't. As I've suggested before, I think she'd have a lot to prove to even a Republican primary electorate considering that she abruptly left her last elected office mid-term.

But if she decides not to run for president, I think Palin could be on to something with this TV series. Perhaps she could expand on it and call it something like "Sarah Palin's America." She and her family could go around the country in their custom travel bus and interview middle Americans who make the country work, including farmers and ranchers, and try her hand at their craft. Think she could brand a calf? You betcha.

Maybe she could happen upon George W. Bush's ranch in Texas. Then the haters would get a two-for-one special.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stitchwork, the Bible and the American Revolution

Joel J. Miller, the author of "The Revolutionary Paul Revere" and co-editor of "The Portable Patriot: Documents, Speeches, and Sermons that Compose the American Soul," details how it's possible to tell how colonial Americans felt about the challenges of their day by looking at their needlework.

He writes:

Following the Boston Massacre, Faith Trumbull, wife of patriotic Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull and mother of famed portraitist John Trumbull, stitched an elaborate scene to explain the shocking event.

The embroidery depicted the death of Absalom. As the story goes, King David of Israel is met with an insurrection led by his son, Absalom, who is killed by David’s rogue commander, Joab. In the needlework, Joab is wearing a red coat. The point was clear enough: The grievance may be legitimate—King David/George is depicted as aloof and playing a harp—but care is needed; rebellion may end up backfiring. How to communicate a deeply important truth about breaking events? With Bible stories, of course.

And it wasn’t just needlework. When Paul Revere wanted to explain the colonists’ cause, he reached for a biblical allusion as well—telling his British cousin that England wanted to make the Americans “hewers of wood and drawers of water,” a reference to the ninth chapter of Joshua.

Miller draws parallels between the faith of Americans in Revolutionary War times and the tea partiers of today. You can read his reasoning here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The real Thomas Jefferson

Floating around on the Internet:

A nice encapsulation of the life of arguably is the greatest American to have ever lived and the epitome of the "American Spirit".

Thomas Jefferson was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

· At 5, began studying under his cousins’ tutor.
· At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.
· At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.
· At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.
· At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.
· At 23, started his own law practice.
· At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
· At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America" and retired from his law practice.
· At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
· At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.
· At 33, took three years to revise Virginia's legal code and wrote a Public

Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.
· At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.
· At 40, served in Congress for two years.
· At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial

treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.
· At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.
· At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.
· At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.
· At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.
· At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation's size.
· At 61, was elected to a second term as President.
· At 65, retired to Monticello .
· At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.
· At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia

and served as its first president.
· At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams

Thomas Jefferson knew because he-himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson really knew his stuff.

A voice from the past to lead us in the future:
John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

Thomas Jefferson Quotes:

* When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
* The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
* It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
* I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
* My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
* No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
* The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
* The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
* To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
* Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will growup around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Profound statements

Friday, November 19, 2010

'Don't touch my junk'

I think a lot of people underestimate how significant this TSA groping controversy could be to the political landscape over the next two years.

One person who doesn't is Charles Krauthammer, who writes on Facebook:

Don't touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the tea party patriot, the midterm election voter. Don't touch my junk, Obamacare --get out of the examining room, I'm wearing a paper-thin gown. Don't touch my junk, Google --Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don't touch my junk, you airport security goon --my package belongs to no one but me. [ ... ]

[Hat tip: Alana Burke]

In my view, nothing brings home the idea of an over-intrusive government more than having some federal goon stick his hand down your pants (or if you're a woman, inside your bra). If this goes on very long, I predict it will have more of an impact on the attitude of the American electorate than such substantive policy issues as Obamacare or cap-and-trade ever could.

GIPSA would affect the poultry industry, too

So asserts the National Chicken Council, which reports:

Proposed new regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will cost the broiler chicken industry more than $1 billion over five years in reduced efficiency, higher costs for feed and housing, and increased administrative expenses, according to a study released today by the National Chicken Council.

And that doesn’t even count the potential costs of litigation, lost export sales, and increased consumer prices, according to the study by FarmEcon LLC, an agricultural economics consulting firm.

“The proposed rule changes are likely to slow the pace of innovation, increase the costs of raising live chickens, and result in costly litigation,” wrote Thomas E. Elam, president of FarmEcon. “Higher costs would put upward pressure on chicken prices, and economic theory strongly suggests that consumers would ultimately bear most of these costs.”

For one thing, GIPSA would complicate chicken companies' ability to pay premiums to their contract growers for efficiency, an official from the NCC told me.

For my story on this, check back to the Capital Press Web site soon.

Journalistic freedom on the endangered list

Within a few short years, could it be illegal for news organizations to offer coverage that raises questions or is critical of the government?

Perhaps if Sen. Jay Rockefeller gets his way.

He actually said this:

"There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, 'Out. Off. End. Goodbye.' "

"It would be a big favor ... to our ability to do our work here in Congress ...

This sort of thing has come up before. And I say again -- when the people in power view the First Amendment as an impediment, all defenders of the First Amendment and those who hold it dear should take notice.

To have a sitting U.S. senator and committee chairman publicly calling for news organizations to be shut down by the government because of their content ought to be getting howls of protest and outrage from every major news outlet in the country. The fact that it isn't merely shows the sad state of affairs that so-called mainstream American journalism is in.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Earmark ban a 'strong first step'

From Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif., the West's highest ranking Republican on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee:

“Across our nation, Americans view earmarks as a signature example of Washington’s out-of-control spending and waste. They are tired of the borrowing and spending and they have demanded a change. Sadly, there have been many instances where the flawed earmarking process has led to waste and abuse. All over the North State, I have heard from many, many citizens that Congress needs to take immediate steps toward reducing spending and ensuring that our children and grandchildren don't inherit a mountain of debt. Today I joined House Republicans in continuing a ban on earmarks during the 112th Congress, and I’m pleased that the Senate Republicans have affirmed this stance. While this is only a first step in the right direction of returning to fiscal responsibility and ending business as usual in Washington, it is an important one. We have a lot of work to do to tackle our debt crisis and skyrocketing spending, and I look forward to working toward responsible solutions that will grow our economy, create jobs and get our nation back to a balanced budget.”

The values of rural voters


This week's Capital Press editorial explains why rural voters largely rejected the Obama-Reid-Pelosi triumvirate.

A snippet:

People who wager their livelihood on the weather and the markets each growing season don't run scared every time the economy tanks. They deal with the issues up close and personal every day, and they have a clear understanding of the facts.

They are not against government. Even the most conservative farmer or rancher understands that there are a few big things government does well -- defense, air traffic control and law enforcement, for instance. They are against a big, intrusive government that reaches into the smallest aspects of their lives.

They resist unreasonable rules and regulations formulated by unelected and unseen functionaries. They resent the patronizing paternalism of the nanny state.

Rural voters are unwilling to surrender their independence. They don't want a government that dictates what they should eat, what they should think, what they should do with their own property. They are tired of the arrogance of a ruling class that assumes Washington bureaucrats know better than the rest of us how we should live.

The elite might say it's simplistic, but farmers and ranchers really do expect a legislator to read and understand those 2,000-page pieces of legislation before voting "yes." It's just common sense.

The upshot:

Many farmers and ranchers still unapologetically believe in America's exceptionalism. To them this is still a special place, where great things happen. It's a country where people of the most humble origins can make something of themselves if they are willing to work hard. They believe in providing a helping hand to those in need, but balk at creating ever larger groups dependent on entitlements.

Farmers and ranchers are the epitome of individual responsibility and self-reliance. Faith in themselves, and in the grace of God, drive them to plant the next crop, raise their families and provide stewardship for the resources in their care. And rather than bitterly clinging to these values, they happily embrace them as the guiding force of their lives.

Candidates who hold similar values earn their support.

They salute their 'American fellow patriots'

Need a lesson in American exceptionalism and the degree to which U.S. ideals have been exported around the world?

Just look at the budding Tea Party movement -- in Europe.

Declaring war on over-regulation

Farm groups such as NCBA have gained a powerful ally in their ongoing fight against excessive regulation and its drain on economic growth: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

From the Washington Times:

The head of the nation's largest business lobby Tuesday announced a stepped-up plan to fight a wave of new federal regulations coming in the wake of President Obama's health care, banking and environmental reforms.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said in a policy address that the Washington-based group will create special new unit to highlight the burden for big and small businesses from excessive regulation and promised "even greater activism" by the Chamber's legal arm to fend off new regulations in court.

"The biggest single threat to job creation facing us today is a regulatory tsunami of unprecedented force," Mr. Donohue said, noting that Mr. Obama's health care overhaul law alone creates 183 new agencies and federal bodies, while the financial, regulatory overhaul approved earlier this year "has 320 required rulemakings, another 220 suggested rulemakings and over 170 reports and studies."

More here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This has to stop!

Into my in box this morning:

I felt a real need to forward this to you and ask you to do the same.... Please don't misread my intentions. I am in NO way in agreement with any type of gun control, but after seeing this..I am, unfortunately, in agreement that something needs to change...

If you agree with this please send to the powers that be. Hope we can stop it.

While I always agree that hunting is an ethical God given right, we think that we would have to agree with the author on this one. Fox hunting in Colorado should be banned!

Please help ban fox hunting in Colorado ~

THIS MADNESS MUST STOP!!



Signed,
Peter Cottontail
Bugs Bunny
The Easter Bunny
Thumper

EPA 'offended' by success

Kathleen Hartnett White and Mario Loyola, op-ed contributors to the Washington Examiner, address a subject all too familiar to many a farmer and rancher.

They write:

While the nation remains focused on other issues, the Environmental Protection Agency has been engulfing vast areas of economic activity and long-held state authority with all the power, speed and silence of a snowy mountain avalanche. EPA's new rules in a host of areas are starting to freeze investment and job creation under a blanket of onerous new mandates that promise little environmental benefit. [...]

[T]oday's EPA is far more like an activist for whom no standard is too high, no burden too onerous, no risk too low, and no science too speculative. Despite being a world center of energy production, Texas has dramatically improved air quality. Yet it is disproportionately burdened by EPA's actions.

For the full editorial on the EPA's "war on Texas," go here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Call-in show to discuss GIPSA rule

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association is hosting a live call-in show to discuss the proposed GIPSA rule beginning at 5:30 p.m. today on RFD-TV.

Here is the press release:

Discussion on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule on livestock and poultry marketing has created controversy in the agricultural industry. National Cattlemen's Beef Association's (NCBA) television program, Cattlemen to Cattlemen, is hosting a live episode Tues., Nov. 16, featuring numerous experts explaining the impact of the rule, proposed June 22 by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, on the cattle industry. The show will provide an opportunity for viewers to ask questions and express their own opinions.

Panelists for the live call-in show, to be broadcast on RFD-TV from the NCBA’S Cattlemen to Cattlemen studios in Denver starting at 8:30 p.m. EST, will include Allie Devine, vice president and general counsel for the Kansas Livestock Association; Stephen Koontz, associate professor at the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University; David Hunt, a Colorado feedyard operator; Robbie LeValley, president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and co-owner of Homestead Meats; and Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs. Viewers can ask questions to these panelists live on the air by calling: 1-888-824-6688.

Among the program’s specific topics will be studies that outline the economic impact on the beef industry if the rule is implemented.

“Because the USDA has refused to conduct an economic impact study, it has been left to industry to determine what kinds of costs this rule might have,” says Steve Foglesong, an Illinois beef producer and president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “Producers have a right to know what these studies show.”

The comment period on the proposed USDA rule, which has the potential to significantly change the way cattle are marketed in this country ends Nov. 22. Foglesong said the live broadcast will go beyond the rhetoric to provide details about what the regulation means.

The live program will be re-broadcast on RFD-TV Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m. EST and Saturday, Nov. 20 at 9:00 a.m. EST. In addition, all episodes of NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen are available on the program’s website at www.cattlementocattlemen.org. The program is also on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter.

Friday, November 5, 2010

'Stop celebrating and get to work'

This advice for conservatives comes from author and former Voice of America writer/editor Beverly K. Eakman.

She writes:

Here's what conservatives actually got for their midterm trouble: A possibility of being able to stall funding for some of the Obama administration's more onerous pieces of legislation and an opportunity to filibuster new spending binges and perhaps keep them from coming to the floor or going to committee. That's it. Other than that, we got nada. The leftist bureaucracy is still solidly in place; the worst of the socialist-minded tax-and-spenders are still at their posts in the Senate, along with their entourages of staff, lobbyists, foundational-union-association support apparatuses, as well as their pals in the media (helped along by a certain billionaire, living the high life abroad, George Soros, with his $1 million dollar re-investment in Media Matters). [...]

Patriotic Americans have just one more shot rescuing this country from European-style leftism: 2012. This week's midterm elections constitute a start in that direction. But make no mistake: Every new class of voters is a product of an educational system progressively steeped in socialist ideals and an entitlement mentality.

Conservatives better get a reality check, quit kidding themselves and get down to serious work.

Monday, November 1, 2010

'A correction, not a revolution'

Timothy P. Carney, senior political columnist for the Washington Examiner, writes:

Big Republican victories on Election Day will shake up Washington, but they will mark a return to equilibrium rather than a dramatic electoral shift.

A majority of House Democrats losing Tuesday will be freshmen or sophomore members who won GOP-held seats in the Democratic waves of 2006 and 2008. The rest of the GOP pickups will be mostly in Republican districts (as measured by presidential votes) where Democratic congressmen have held on against the tide for years.

Liberal writer Ed Kilgore stated it well: "Republican House gains this year will represent more a reversion to the norm than some sort of electoral tsunami."

The biggest category of GOP gains will be the "snap-backs" -- seats Democrats took from Republicans in 2006 and 2008 thanks to the Democratic wave, Obama coattails, and Republican scandals and extravagance.

There's bad news for both parties, he argues.

The bad news for Republicans: This election isn't really redrawing the map, and it doesn't represent a fierce reaction against the Democrats. Instead, the country is returning to where it was politically before the Republicans threw away their majority in 2006 and 2008 through overspending, two wars, and rampant corruption.

The bad news for Democrats: This suggests that America really is a Republican country, with 2006 and 2008 as aberrations. It appears that the Democrats are a narrow regional party, contrary to the post-2008 conventional wisdom they had become the dominant national party.