On deck today: Romney and Obama face off in Ohio with two very different speeches on the economy. We’ll also talk Mayor Bloomberg’s interest in milk and popcorn; J Christian Adams joins me to talk the DOJ’s attack on Florida and voter integrity. Kurt Schlichter joins to talk his new book: I Am a Conservative: Uncensored, Undiluted and Absolutely Un-PC.
Today marks two important occasions: the birthdate of the United States Army and Flag Day.
There will be no fireworks and no time off from work. In fact, there may not be any celebration at all. But the calendar shows that Thursday is the designated holiday to honor the stars and stripes: Flag Day.
Officially recognized for nearly a century — President Woodrow Wilson first established June 14 as Flag Day in 1916 — but long overlooked in terms of significance to most Americans, Flag Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. flag in 1777.
Bill James, manager of the American Legion post in Palmetto Bay, said he believes the holiday provides an opportunity to honor the nation’s most recognizable symbol.
“The flag is a symbol of our country and our history,” said James, 67, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam.
“It’s what soldiers die for — protecting the country, the owner of our flag. It’s to be respected, cared for and honored. The flag is a symbol of who we are.”
This girl! (Backstory)
I plan on asking every cab driver in whose cab I ride whether they did any of these things in the backseat:
See, “nitrates” in all these things will trigger the TSA’s Official Terrorist Alarm whilst I undergo their security screening and I don’t want to be held responsible for some terrorist cab driver’s water-swilling, hand-lotioning ways. I once accidentally took a bullet in my carry-on for a cross-country trip but look out, hand lotion.
This guy got a finger wagging from the TSA for showing the insipid weakness of their Backscatter machines. I thought the machines were perfect? To hear the TSA explain it, they don’t douse your body with a questionable amount of radiation, they pelt your body with cupcakes and sugar. Who doesn’t love cupcakes and sugar? Terrorists, that’s who. I kid you not, in Dallas I had a TSA agent shout at me that “radio waves aren’t radiation.”
Scientists spoke out against the Backscatters, but luckily the CEO knows the President well enough to fly around with him. I’m sure that helps in bypassing pesky health certifications.
“But, but you’re already exposed to radiation while flying!” Well then by all means, SIGN ME UP FOR MORE. Why stop at body scanners? Do you have any uranium I can handle?
I forgot to tell you the reason for the fun: I’m headed to Las Vegas to speak at Right Online. I’m looking forward to the event and it will mark the second time I’ve heard Sarah Palin speak in person.
Last night I was on the question panel for the Missouri GOP Primary Senatorial Debate between Congressman Todd Akin, John Brunner, and Sarah Steelman. It’s a hotly contested primary for what will become a brutal general election against Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill. You can watch a re-webcast of the debate here.
Questions from the panel seemed to focus most on Obamacare; some of mine in particular focused on foreign policy and border issues, such as Fast and Furious.
I asked the candidates what the United States’s response should be to the uprising and massacres in Syria; both Akin and Brunner wanted to keep out of Syrian affairs whereas Steelman seemed to suggest military action. Akin quoted the Founders; Brunner employed his military background and explained that any military action must involve a clear vision of victory as well as well-defined objectives to minimize the term of engagement and amount of resources.
On Fast and Furious — arguably the biggest scandal of the Obama administration — I asked the candidates whether they would have supported this program under a Republican president (it began as a gun walking program under Bush and was expanded and its oversight eroded under Obama) and what they would do to bring justice to the families of the slain border agents in the tragedy. All three echoed that they would push to bring Holder up on charges; Akin declared he would push for Holder to take the stand, highlighting the fissure between Boehner and others in the House and giving more weight to claims that Boehner is the obstacle to getting Holder on the stand. Brunner said he would not have supported any such program under any president regardless the party affiliation, as did Steelman.
I asked the candidates about the Politico piece which reported that certain members of the House GOP were planning their move after the Supreme Court ruled on the health care law. Depending on whether the high court was to throw out the law in total or partial, some GOP members were considering leaving in place “popular and consumer friendly” portions of the law. I asked the candidates, if presented with this legislation in the Senate, would they stand with grassroots and the majority of Americans who opposed this law when it was forced upon us or would they stand with House and/or Senate leadership? All three said the entire law must go, no exceptions. I noted to a colleague afterwards that it was a slightly different answer than I expected from Rep. Akin, who I asked on my show about the Politico piece they day it ran. He was cautious with his answer then and said that there may be certain pieces that some might consider keeping. I was glad to hear his resounding “no” last night.
Having been part of a number of presidential debates, I used the same judgment evaluating this debate as I have those: ignoring the candidates’s records or any past statements and specifically judging them on their answers and delivery at the debate. The ability to articulate conservatism well is supremely important in our sound bite era. It’s a reason why Chris Christie is so popular: he’s a moderate east coast Republican who, if running in the southern states, would be eaten alive with his record on energy, but his ability to speak to what angers us about government (coupled with New Jersey reforms) has helped propel him to the national stage.
I thought Todd Akin won last night’s debate based on his answers and delivery, with John Brunner second and Sarah Steelman third. It was the first time I’ve ever seen Akin aggressive. It’s one of the complaints I hear about him most often, that lack of fire in the belly needed to carry one through November. Steelman got the most jabs in, mostly directed at Akin, and at one point from my vantage onstage, Brunner looked visibly agitated at Steelman’s answer and no doubt wished he had longer than a 30 seconds for a response.
I’ll be playing soundbites from the debate on today’s show, beginning 12 central. Akin was scheduled for today’s show not to discuss the campaign or debate, but because he’s one of the major players in bringing the possibility of contempt charges against Eric Holder next week, a story which broke yesterday.
Another reason why Wisconsin was so important:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in Tuesday’s recall vote is yielding dividends for another Midwestern Republican governor.
A group that sought to force a recall of Michigan’s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday it’s calling it quits, citing a lack of support and the chilly political climate in the wake of the Wisconsin vote.
Michigan Rising, an independent group that had set a goal of gathering 1 million signatures on petitions to force a recall vote on Mr. Snyder, said Thursday it will stop its recall campaign immediately. The organization’s leaders said in a web post that as of June 4 it had collected only 2,079 names on 655 petitions, well short of a target of 200,000 signatures by June 1.
“It has become abundantly clear that Michigan Rising was not going accomplish its goal of recalling Governor Snyder,” Michigan Rising’s communications director Bruce Fealk said in a statement. “The results in Wisconsin crystallized how difficult a task it is to recall a sitting governor, even when the unions and the Democratic Party play a significant role in the effort.”