NAACP Issues Its First ‘Travel Advisory,’ And You Won’t Believe Where For




For the first time in its history, the NAACP has issued a travel advisory, warning minorities not to travel to the state of Missouri. The warning, which is styled after the State Department’s travel advisories, originated earlier this summer from – of all places – the Missouri chapter of the organization.

The official release begins by explaining the nature of the advisory;

The advisory means each individual should pay special attention while in the state of Missouri and certainly if contemplating spending time in Missouri. Unlike seasonal weather advisories, where no unnecessary travel on city streets or parking might be directed, the NAACP wants to make Missourians and our visitors aware of looming danger which could include the following by example of what has happened to some residents and visitors…

The advisory goes on to list a bevy of incidents – both accounts of actual situations and the type of imagined hysteria that the modern left is famous for – against African-Americans, Muslims, and the LGBT community. A later paragraph actually ties in 19th century history, bringing up Dred Scott and the Missouri Compromise.



The impetus for the travel advisory is Senate Bill 43, which, according to the legislation itself, “modifies and creates new provisions relating to unlawful discriminatory practices.” The NAACP calls it a “Jim Crow Bill” before advising minorities to:

  • warn your families, co-workers and anyone visiting Missouri to beware of the safety concerns with travel in Missouri,

  • notify members of your trade associations, social and civic organizations that they are traveling and living in Missouri at their own risk and subject to unnecessary search seizure and potential arrest, and

  • file and seek help on any existing claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and whistle blowing ASAP before your legal rights are lost if Senate Bill 43 is not vetoed by Governor Greitiens.

The advisory remains in effect until “at least” August 28, when the bill goes into effect, provided the governor does not veto it.

Austin Petersen To Challenge McCaskill For Senate Seat

Libertarians have better luck running for office under the banner of the Republican Party than the Libertarian Party. Since the founding of the Libertarian Party in 1972, no Libertarian candidate has ever won a major election. Some Libertarians, such as Ron Paul, have achieved greater success by becoming Republicans to take advantage of the GOP’s larger base and organization. This probably explains Austin Petersen’s announcement that he intends to run for the US Senate in Missouri as a Republican.

Republican congresswoman Ann Wagner had been expected to run against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in 2018. Wager announced over the weekend that she planned to focus on her family and home district.

Petersen announced his run in an op-ed for the Kansas City Star on Independence Day. He is a native of Peculiar, Missouri who was runner up to Gary Johnson for the 2016 Libertarian nomination for president.

As a libertarian Republican, Petersen would be a thorn in the side of party leaders if he wins. His announcement criticizes the new Republican establishment as well as liberals like McCaskill. “Since President Donald Trump’s unexpected victory last November and Republicans’ triumphant return to congressional majority, Washington has returned to business as usual,” Petersen said. “After running on repeated promises of minimizing government and ending federal micromanagement of American lives, Republicans have shown themselves unable to pass any substantive reforms.”

At this point, Petersen is the only declared candidate for the Republican nomination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missouri Suffers After Caving to #BLM

Bigotry (n) – stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own. (Source: dictionary.com)

The headline read “This is just a beginning”, but if the current trend continues it could well have been the beginning of the end.

The headline was CNN’s, and the story told of students’ excitement in the fall of 2015 over the resignation of the University of Missouri president and later of its system chancellor resulting from protests led by a group called Concerned Student 1950.

Those protests came on the heels of the nearby Ferguson protests over the shooting of Michael Brown – widely recognized as the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fallout over the protests continues nearly two years later. The number of incoming freshmen currently expected for the Fall, 2017 semester at Missouri is 35% lower than for the Fall, 2015 semester – a staggering figure that cannot be ignored or simply overlooked as an aberration. The simple truth is that those protests have led prospective students to look elsewhere for their post-secondary education.

But as one business owner recently found out the hard way, actually putting such thoughts into words can earn you a heap of trouble.

The truth can often – heck, is almost always – a hard pill to swallow, and unfortunately our society is becoming ever-more narrow-throated. It seems the only truth some will even recognize as true is that which aligns with their own belief system.

And so here we are nearly two years removed from that tumultuous fall of 2015 – when the nation seemed more divided than any time since perhaps as far back as 1968 – and the University of Missouri is seeing a dramatic dropoff in new student registration.

One must wonder where the progress lies in this scenario.

What has been accomplished, other than the crippling of an institution of higher learning that boasts one of the most diverse program offerings in the nation?

Was it the goal of protesters all along to increase minority representation among the student body through attrition?

In a university system which was already struggling to pay its faculty well enough to attract qualified minority applicants, how is Mizzou supposed to improve its compensation package without increasing tuition among a drastically reduced student population?

Even if we ignore the fact that no real evidence has been produced to verify the incidents which supposedly led to the creation of Concerned Student 1950, even if we ignore that now infamous video of a Missouri journalism professor attempting to quash the free-speech rights of a student reporter, even if we ignore that the student who led the protests denouncing white privilege was himself the product of a very privileged upbringing, we cannot ignore the fact that the future looks far less bright for Mizzou today than it did then.

So in an effort to help point them in a direction that might actually accomplish something worthwhile, here is a piece of advice for the U of M student body:  Study the life of your school’s founder.

James Rollins was a wealthy slave owner. If a statue of him exists anywhere in Missouri, some social justice warrior is likely plotting to have that statue removed.

But James Rollins was also the kind of man who put the interests of his community – and his nation – ahead of his own. In fact, he was largely responsible for the approval of the 13th amendment to the US Constitution – you know, the one that abolished slavery. It’s a historical fact. You should look it up some time, even if you use a much-pilloried (at least among academics) website like Wikipedia.

Here, I’ll save you the trouble so your journalism prof won’t Wiki-shame you:

Rollins’ support of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery, played a key part in its passage by Congress, sending the amendment to the states for ratification. The Senate passed the bill easily on its first vote on April 8, 1864, but the House defeated it twice in 1864 before passing it on January 31, 1865. Rollins initially voted against the bill. Shortly before the third vote, President Lincoln personally asked Rollins to support the amendment, as necessary to preserve the Union. Rollins agreed to do so. On January 13, 1865, two days after the Missouri Constitutional Convention abolished slavery there, he spoke for the first time for the amendment, in a lengthy and persuasive speech to Congress. With Rollins’ support, the amendment passed with the required two-thirds majority with just two votes to spare.

Yeah maybe now you’ll think twice about removing that statue. And while you’re at it, you might want to read that passage on how the U of M came to be located where it is. Some pretty enlightening facts there about your founder.

The point here being that James Rollins – considered the Father of the University of Missouri – was open minded enough to consider others’ points of view in order to achieve a higher good. And if you want true healing that will last and be an example of brotherhood to the rest of the nation, that’s what you need to do.

Bigotry exists. In fact, in some measure it exists in all of us stubborn and self-centered human beings – and if you’re unwilling to recognize that, you’re part of the problem.

You want to effect change? You want to save and even improve your institution? Instead of continuing to make demands, try having an open dialogue.

That prefix “di” would be a great place to start.

Red State Republican Deserts GOP On Obamacare

In a surprise announcement that underscores the difficulty that Republicans are having in assembling a majority to replace Obamacare, a Republican congressman from the red state of Missouri has announced that he will not support the current health care reform bill. After supporting earlier versions, Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) has become the latest conservative to jump ship and oppose the Republican effort to scuttle Obamacare.

Long represents Missouri’s seventh congressional district, a deep red district in the southwest corner of the state that includes Branson and Springfield. The district has been represented by a Republican since 1961. Voters there supported Donald Trump by a 70-25 percent margin over Hillary Clinton. Trump’s margin there was larger than that of any Republican presidential candidate this century. Long won both the 2016 primary and general election with more than 60 percent of the vote.

The conservative nature of Long’s district makes it all the more surprising that he would not be on board the Obamacare replacement effort. According to a statement by Long in Politico, it came down to how the Republican bill dealt with pre-existing conditions.

“I have always stated that one of the few good things about Obamacare is that people with pre-existing conditions would be covered,” Long said. “The MacArthur amendment strips away any guarantee that pre-existing conditions would be covered and affordable.”

The MacArthur amendment is a compromise reached between Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). The amendment would allow states to seek waivers for several provisions of Obamacare such as benefits that are required to be covered under the law and the ban on allowing companies to charge more based on a person’s health history.

MacArthur told CNN that the plan would protect people with pre-existing conditions while giving states more flexibility. “We need to protect the most vulnerable people in the current plan. These are people with pre-existing conditions,” he said. “We want to make sure they are protected. Secondly, we have to give the states flexibility to bring premiums down for everyone else.”

Long’s opposition to the amendment underscores the difficulty that Republican leaders have in finding a balance between moderate and conservative viewpoints on healthcare. Like Long, even many Republican voters who have favor repeal of Obamacare find parts of the law attractive.

One of the most popular aspects of the health law is the provision that requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions. A CNN/ORC poll from March found that 87 percent of voters favor “maintaining the protections offered to people with pre-existing conditions under Obamacare.” The numbers are unchanged across the political spectrum with 87 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of conservatives agreeing with the statement.

Such overwhelming opposition explains why so many Republican congressmen are reluctant to get on board with conservative plans to eliminate the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions. With a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 91 percent, Long is no moderate or squish. A member of the House of Representatives since 2011, Long has undoubtedly learned to listen to constituents and is most likely hearing from many of them that they want pre-existing conditions covered.

The economic difficulty is that there is no free lunch. If pre-existing conditions are covered, many people won’t buy health insurance until they get sick. If people only buy insurance when they are sick, the cost of coverage goes up.

The Republican difficulty is that the free market position held by many conservatives is that the government should not mandate that insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions. This conflicts with the popular opinion of voters that people with pre-existing conditions should not be denied health insurance. The conflict has caused a schism in the party between those, often from safe Republican districts, who favor free market policies and those who are listening to the majority of voters.

There is also a time factor. Republicans lack the 60-vote majority in the Senate to avoid a filibuster so they are relying on the budget reconciliation process to pass their health care reform. If they cannot get agreement on health care, the budget reconciliation opportunity will vanish for another year.

The conundrum is similar to the one that Democrats faced in 2010 when they passed the Affordable Care Act. Poll after poll showed that voters opposed the Democrat version of health care reform. A CNN/Opinion Research poll taken just before the bill’s passage found that 59 percent opposed Obamacare. Democrats forged ahead against public opinion and paid for their arrogance with the loss of the House, the Senate and ultimately the White House.

The lesson is one that Republicans should take to heart. An election victory is not a blank check from the voters. If Republicans force an unpopular policy on the country, they may well find themselves punished by voters in 2018 and beyond. The defection of conservatives like Billy Long may be a bellwether of a rising public anger that could endanger the Republican majority.

Democrats Poised To Win Control of Senate

A month ago, the GOP seemed to be the odds-on favorite to retain control of the Senate. With the tumultuous month of October behind us, the odds seem to have shifted slightly to favor the Democrats regaining control.

The Democrats have a structural advantage due to the fact that they are defending only 10 seats while Republicans are defending 24. Only one Democratic seat, the Nevada seat of the retiring Harry Reid, was considered at risk. A total of eight Republican seats, many in blue or purple states, are threatened. Many of these at-risk seats were won in the Tea Party wave election of 2010. Wave elections often allow weak candidates to win who cannot retain their seat when political conditions return to normal.

FiveThirtyEight puts the chances that the Democrats will win the Senate at over 60 percent. A recent blog post noted that four of the eight most hotly contested races have seen major shifts. Three races have shifted toward the Republicans and one toward the Democrats. Indiana, New Hampshire and Wisconsin have moved slightly toward the Republicans while Pennsylvania now favors the Democratic challenger.

Here are summaries on the battleground Senate races for Republican seats:

  • In Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio’s lead over Democrat Patrick Murphy has tightened slightly, but Rubio is still the clear favorite.
  • In Illinois, Sen. Mark Kirk’s seat is all but lost. Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s lead has widened to 13 points in the Real Clear Politics average after Kirk made an embarrassing comment about Duckworth’s heritage.
  • In Indiana, a race previously considered a Democrat lock, Rep. Todd Young (R) was tied with former Senator Evan Bayh (D) in a recent poll. FiveThirtyEight’s models show Young’s chances of taking the seat surging from 30 percent to 45 percent. The seat is currently held by Republican Dan Coats, who is retiring.
  • In Missouri, Sen. Roy Blunt is in a tossup race with Secretary of State Jason Kander. FiveThirtyEight gives the race as a 55 percent chance of going to the Democrats, a slight improvement for Blunt.
  • In New Hampshire, Sen. Kelly Ayotte seems to be maintaining a margin-of-error lead over Gov. Maggie Hassan. FiveThirtyEight has downgraded Hassan’s chances of winning the seat from 67 to 56 percent. The race is still a tossup, but with slightly better odds for Ayotte.
  • In North Carolina, Sen. Richard Burr’s race with state Rep. Deborah Ross is still a tossup. FiveThirtyEight puts Ross’s chances of taking the seat at 34 percent, down nine percent from two weeks ago.
  • In Ohio, Sen. Rob Portman’s seat seems to be reliably Republican. Portman holds a double-digit advantage over Gov. Ted Strickland.
  • In Pennsylvania, Sen. Pat Toomey has trailed Katie McGinty in nine straight polls. The race is still close, with McGinty leading by an average of less than four points, but FiveThirtyEight has moved the race from a tossup to a 73 percent chance of a Democratic victory.
  • In Wisconsin, Sen. Ron Johnson’s chances are still not good. Former Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold has consistently led the race. FiveThirtyEight says that the race has moved slightly in Johnson’s favor, but Feingold still has a 90 percent chance of retaking the seat.

The sole Democratic battleground seat is Nevada. This race is a tossup between Rep. Joe Heck (R) and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. Heck holds a slight advantage in the RCP average of polls, but FiveThirtyEight gives Cortez Masto almost a 60 percent chance of winning.

The current balance of power in the Senate is 54 Republicans to 46 Democrats (including independents). The Democrats need a net pickup of four seats to split control of the Senate or five seats to take a majority. In the case of a 50-50 split among the two parties, the incoming vice president can cast the deciding vote.

At this point, Democrats look likely to retain Harry Reid’s Nevada seat as well as pick up Republican seats in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These four seats would be enough to split the Senate evenly with the Republicans.

The fifth seat, to give the majority to the Democrats, will likely come from either Missouri, New Hampshire or North Carolina. All three races are tossups and FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats the edge in both Missouri and New Hampshire.

Regardless of whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins the presidency, it has been viewed as critical for Republicans to hold the Senate. The Senate has the role of confirming judges and Supreme Court justices as well as confirming treaties. Any bills from the House’s Republican majority, which is likely safe, must go through the Senate before they are signed into law by the president.

The most recent round of polling gives little hope of preserving the Republican Senate majority. As Republican Senate hopes fade, so do hopes of everything from keeping liberal justices off of the Supreme Court to repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Funds Attacks Against Pro-Life Women [UPDATED]

[UPDATED:] Several people have told me that “Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle PAC” is not actually the same as “Eagle Forum PAC.” The latter actually is supporting Ann Wagner and gave her $1000.00 on October 3rd. The “Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle PAC” was set up the day Phyllis died by Ed Martin, the then Executive Director of Eagle Forum who several members were trying to oust.

I’ve made changes below to reflect that.

——

I really do suspect Phyllis Schlafly would be horrified to know that Eagle Forum, the organization she founded, appears to have lined up with NARAL in Missouri to try to oust a pro-life woman in favor of a pro-abortion man. That is what the FEC data shows. Eagle PAC was set up the day Schlafly died and is spending money to oppose Republican Ann Wagner, a pro-life Republican. Wagner is being opposed by Bill Otto, a Democrat backed by NARAL. As noted in the update, Eagle Forum is backing Wagner.

The same thing is happening in Virginia where Eagle PAC is spending money to oppose Barbara Comstock. Though a more moderate Republican than I’d prefer, Comstock is a female pro-life member of Congress who came to fame as one of the Clinton family’s chief nemeses.

Comstock, whose work helped lead to Bill Clinton’s impeachment, is opposed by an Obama loving Democrat. Like in Missouri, all the abortion activists and Clintons are working overtime to defeat Comstock. But Eagle PAC is spending money opposing her too.

My only guess is that Eagle PAC is spending the money against these two pro-life Republican women because they have distanced themselves from Donald Trump. So Eagle PAC would rather hand the seats to pro-abortion Democrats who support the entirety of the Obama agenda. In the process, Eagle PAC, using Schlafly’s name, is now at odds with Schlafly’s organization.

Missouri Democrats Oppose Religious Freedom Legislation

Georgia isn’t the only state where religious freedom is under attack these days. As we warn in You Will Be Made to Care, the Left is just getting started.

In Missouri, Democratic senators filibustered a bill that would permit the people of Missouri to vote to amend their Constitution to give clear protection to those who object on moral grounds to redefining the institution of marriage.

Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal and other Democratic lawmakers filibustered to block the bill they say—wait for it—discriminates against same-sex couples.

The filibuster began Monday afternoon, continued for 39 hours and ended Wednesday afternoon. The bill passed 21-11 after GOP senators broke the filibuster.

The bill is known as Senate Joint Resolution 39. It proposes “protection of certain religious organizations and individuals from being penalized by the state because of their sincere religious beliefs or practices concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex.”

Sen. Bob Onder said the bill, “protects churches, pastors, religious organizations in a very well-defined class of individuals from being penalized, targeted, persecuted on the basis of their religious beliefs.”

The bill would simply give Missouri voters the final say. 

To become part of the constitution, a majority of voters must approve it in a statewide vote. Democratic politicians stood in the way of the people. Why not give them a vote? What are they afraid of? 

Here’s how Democratic Sen. Jamilah Nasheed framed the issue as she channeled her inner Anthony Kennedy: “This bill is a direct hit on those individuals who decide to love and be in love with the same sex, and that’s not fair.”  

Riiiiight. Because if two people love each other, we should call that marriage, apparently. Correction: she didn’t actually limit it to two did she? That would, after all, be discriminatory. And so the wildfire burns….

Not surprisingly, the ACLU and PROMO advocacy group chimed in: “These dangerous bills and potential constitutional amendments only succeed in showing people Missouri is not a welcoming state,” the organizations said in a letter to lawmakers last month. “We should focus on keeping Missouri competitive, not keep people away.”

In other words, it would be shame to have anything happen to your economy, Missouri (maniacal laugh).

Just as we are seeing with Georgia’s own crony capitalism, money trumps religious freedom for big business and corrupt politicians.

Once again the Left is trying to take advantage of our national desire to be nice to guilt us into compliance.

Never mind that people of faith will leave any state as it becomes more hostile to their freedoms. Never mind that their businesses will continue to be fined out of existence. Never mind that their personal assets will continue to be seized by the government or that they will continue to have their lives be made a living hell. 

The obstructionist effort was praised by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, who said they are “standing on the right side of history.” Yes, the call to stand on the right side of history is not new. It has been used to justify many unspeakable horrors in the past. But progress isn’t always all it appears to be.

If progress means “the free exercise of religion” goes the way of the dinosaurs, maybe it’s time that progress lost.

Ferguson, MO and Our Neighbors’ Love

I am a thirty-nine year old white male in suburbia. When I hear of an altercation between an eighteen year old black male and a police officer, my natural inclination is to take the side of the police. For that matter, if I hear it is an eighteen year old white kid, Asian kid, Hispanic kid, or pretty much anyone else, my inclination is to side with the police. Say of me what you might, but I suspect far more people are with me on that than may admit it. The police are usually on the up and up, they usually are right, and whether you like or not you do have to respect their authority how ever much you might resent it.

When I heard — now what seems like an eternity ago — that Michael Brown had been shot, according to numerous press reports and the voices of eye witnesses, twenty to thirty feet from the police car and in the back, even with my natural inclination toward the police it seemed egregious. It was, in my mind, wrong.

We now know from Michael Brown’s autopsy that he was not shot in the back. We now know from other eye witnesses that Michael Brown did attack the police officer who stopped him. If leaks are to be believes, we know the officer was seriously injured in the attack.

There is a lot that bothers me about all of this. I am bothered by the slow response from the Ferguson Police. Many facts could have mitigated some of the issues. I am bothered by so much of the media getting so many of the early facts wrong. I am bothered by so many people who wish to treat this as a binary situation. I am bothered by the Al Sharpton’s and Jesse Jackson’s of the world swooping in to fan the flames and fundraise.

But I am most bothered by the near gleefulness of some that the early facts were wrong. I do not wish to upset friends and friendships, but I have been flooded with emails and comments on social media to the effect of “see now, the thug got what he deserved. Will you admit you were wrong?” That bothers me most of all and on two fronts. First, because it distracts from but does not negate the issue of police over-militarization. That is still a separate and legitimate issue some conservatives suddenly want to casually set aside and not make eye contact with.

But most importantly, I am appalled at the people who think “the thug got what he deserved.” And that has been a common sentiment of more than one person driving around with an ichthys on the back of their car. I am appalled at the people who view this situation in terms of winners and losers: of arguments, of laws, of politics, etc. There are no winners here. There’s a dead eighteen year old, a community torn up, an injured policeman, and a hell of a lot of division upon which the usual vultures will feast.

But there are no winners.

Ferguson, MO is about 650 miles from where I am and they are my neighbors. They are American citizens. They are families. And because of a tragedy they find themselves at the center of a national political conversation where there are now sides trying to win an argument and a fight. I am not sure what the victory will be. But damned if it won’t be politicized.

After the jury rendered its verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, I wrote “There are no sides but Justice to root for, but a Justice that will leave one side unsatisfied and still empty. Both sides made mistakes in this awful mess.” It is true in Ferguson, MO too.

Michael Brown’s death should not be political. The injured policeman should not be political. I maintain faith in the majority of this country’s citizens that they continue to care for their neighbors and pray for death, the wounded, and the divided in Ferguson, MO. But damned if the loudest voices are not confined that there must be winners, losers, and scores to settle.

There are no winners in Ferguson. Only tragedy with too few willing to let there be healing. Ferguson needs less twitter pundits and TV personalities arguing and a whole lot more people praying. Ferguson could use the Word right now, but there are too many people making coin instead.

I hope this is the last I ever write about Ferguson, MO.

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