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Opinion: Beck's information

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Glenn Beck (over 6,000 turned out to hear him speak at the Chaifetz Center in St. Louis recently) has been voted the second most popular cable-TV show personality (behind Oprah Winfrey).

I attribute his success not to his mannerisms but to his continuous presentation of information. He's the bestselling author of three books, and recently I read his 167-page book "Common Sense," the case against an out-of-control government inspired by Thomas Paine.

The following are some excerpts:

* "How is it possible that a Congress with an overall approval rating of 13 percent saw 95 percent of its incumbent representatives win re-election along with 88 percent of its incumbent senators? Common sense tells us those two things cannot possibly go together -- yet it happened. Why? Because veteran politicians have written the rules to favor themselves and the two mainstream political parties.

In the 2008 general election, the average incumbent House member raised an average of $1,356,311. The challengers raised an average of $336,585. Incumbent senators fared even better, raking in an average of $8,804,631, while their lowly challengers averaged 87 percent less, or $1,155,599.

"No matter how great your message is, it's hard to win an election when you can't afford to get it out there -- which is why campaign-finance laws have helped the parties become so entrenched. But it's not the only reason for their dominance -- there's also redistricting, otherwise known as 'gerrymandering.' Americans want elections that are open and fair, but the gerrymander is designed to make sure that doesn't happen. How? It's simple: by artificially carving out election districts that favor a particular incumbent or political party. That politician and party then have a much better chance of staying in power.

"Politicians can actually decide which neighborhoods, races, religions and income levels they want in their district. They can even decide which side of the street to draw the line down. In short, they get to choose exactly who lives in their district -- which begs the question: Are we choosing our representatives, or are they choosing who gets to vote for them?"

* "For anyone keeping track, our politicians have committed future generations to pay a combined $99.2 trillion just for our unfunded Social Security and Medicare obligations. Add in our national debt and interest payments and you'll easily exceed the capability of most calculators."

* "The tax code that started in 1913 as 14 pages now exceeds 67,000.

"An income tax that was promised to only apply to the wealthiest 1 percent in 1913 quickly grew to 5 percent in 1939 and then, following World War II, to almost 75 percent of all Americans. To soften the tax blow, the government did what it always does: It reframed the argument. When 'War on Terror' was considered to be too aggressive it was changed to 'overseas contingency operations,' which is supposed to sound much friendlier. The same idea applied to our tax agency. The 'Bureau of Internal Revenue' was renamed the 'Internal Revenue Service' to, as the government put it, 'stress the service aspect of its work.'"


The Missouri U.S. Senate race between U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is already being followed nationally. By the time Election Day arrives we will probably know more about them than we care to, but it's important that we make a dedicated effort to separate the wheat from the chaff.

With the current 59-41 Democratic Senate majority, this state is one of a few that can provide a tipping point in history.


I recently finished a book about Winston Churchill by historian Paul Johnson. I've always wanted to read more about Churchill. He was a prolific writer during his lifetime, which is covered in this 165-page book.

It's like reading a well-done CliffNotes version. Fascinating.


Another book I found enjoyable and highly informative about the campaign of Barack Obama for president is "The Audacity to Win" by David Plouffe. It was published last October, but I missed it, and when Plouffe was brought back onto the scene by President Obama after the Democrats lost the Massachusetts senatorial race to Scott Brown, I decided to read it.

The book goes into depth about this initially small-groups strategy that brought a surprise victory in the Democratic primary over the Hillary Clinton team.

Also, the $750 million raised with a major use of e-mail (13 million-name list) and social networking was eye-opening.

Many who bought into candidate Obama's image and campaign rhetoric are now reconsidering their enthusiasm about the man who is governing differently than they thought he would.


Although government-sector employment has ranged since 1950 between 15 percent and 19 percent of the population, President Obama's Cabinet appointments have over 90 percent of their public experience in the government sector. No wonder they have so much trouble running what has been a free-market constitutional limited government.

Of the total union employees in this United States, 51 percent work for local, state or federal governments, and the influence they have on our governments is growing.

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.


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"How is it possible that a Congress with an overall approval rating of 13 percent saw 95 percent of its incumbent representatives win re-election along with 88 percent of its incumbent senators? Common sense tells us those two things cannot possibly go together -- yet it happened."

Real common sense would tell you regardless of how you redraw the political boundaries or change campaign financing there will never be a day in which JoAnn Emerson is going to rank high in approval amongst the populace of California's Bay Area, nor will there be a day when Nancy Pelosi would meet the approval of Southeastern Missouri. The people of each district and state will elect those people who (mostly) represent their interests and those individuals will be significantly more popular than those elected elsewhere representing different interests.

In short true common sense would make it obvious that you should naturally dislike Congress in general FAR more than you dislike your own incumbent Senators & Representatives.

-- Posted by Nil on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 1:17 AM

Nil - you need to do some reading on campaign financing and redrawing political boundaries so you can understand the concepts and the arguments.

-- Posted by ParkerDaws on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 6:38 AM

The problem I am encountering in my independent campaign is the federal government provides benefits to so many of our citizens they fear any one else in office is a threat to their direct welfare.

I have met people on Social Security Disability, recipients of ag subsidies, union workers dependent on government contracts, veterans on pensions (like me), government employees, landlords on HUD program (like me), Medicaid recipients, educators who seek grants for job survival, as well as others.

Local government officials, as in the case of the new Hwy 25/school intersection in Jackson, use federal help to duck local problem responsibility.

I have yet to meet the big money recipients like oil company, bank, investment house, and insurance CEOs who benefit from industry tax breaks and loan guarantees.

Visit: http://larrybill.com/i-have-met-the-enem...

Thanks,

Larry Bill, Conservative Independent for Congress, 8th District, Missouri

-- Posted by nolimitsonthought on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 8:21 AM

Regarding elections. The Supreme Court recently ruled that virtually on limits can be implaced on campain donations from individuals or special interest groups. We already have the best congress money can buy---and they are bought!! I beg to ask this question: "We elect a person to represent us--the citizens of Missouri (or one of the districts thereof} so why should huge sums of money be poured into Missouri from out of state?

There should be a law passed prohibiting all political donations to any canidate for public office unless the donor resides in the state or district the canidate desires to represent. I recently saw a news cast on CNN that stated that one member of the U.S. Senate(the worlds most exclusive club)received millions ($1,5XX.XX)each day from a drug or pharmacy group. Any one stupid enough to think that senator will vote any way but as the donor(s) wish needs mental evaluation. As I stated earlier--our congress is bought!!!

-- Posted by tang867 on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 9:42 AM

larry bill, you've met union people who depend on government contracts. who? where? what conntracts? social security diability? that is a crime? geeez. perhaps you could meet more ceo's and oil company big shots if went to the country clubs. but not around here, because we don't have enough big shots. i see your bid going nowhere.

-- Posted by workingdude on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 7:59 PM

workingdude,

Thanks for the challenge.

Didn't union labor build the $62 million courthouse in Cape? Don't go there to find the IRS, Social Security office, or FBI, like you could in the inadequate old courthouse.

This is a quote from the Southeast Missourian on February 5, 2010: "The biggest single group of PAC contributors during the quarter were labor unions, which gave Emerson $28,000."

I'm not anti-union, but I see how my promise to reduce earmarks, like the $1.6 million bicycle bridge in Cape, can be unappealing to unions.

I'm sorry I talk about the 800 lb gorillas in the room, but please point out to me one area of our current lives where the federal government isn't involved? This involvement is beneficial to specific groups at the expense of others.

The federal budget is so massive that 40% has to be borrowed or printed. If we don't cut back on demanding the Federal Reserve buy government debt (meaning print money) because the Chinese, Saudis, and the Germans don't want it, our worthless dollars will put this country into anarchy.

If you don't believe our country can get that bad, please review the events of the Rodney King riots in the 1990s. In Los Angeles, demonstrators burned down the post office. When residents determined there was no way they could get their government checks, they tried to loot the grocery stores. Shop-keepers manned the rooftops wielding M-16s to keep them out. This is a lesson for a future I'm trying to prevent.

I really don't care if my bid goes nowhere. I'm going to present things as I see them and let the chips fall where they may. I try to talk specifics while other candidates pat you on the head and promise "I'm really working hard for you" and shout "Jobs, jobs, jobs" with no plan presented.

The most ardent Emerson supporters I have met often have a personal story where her constituent services representatives helped them get a personal government benefit.

Thanks for the feedback,

Larry Bill, Independent Conservative Candidate, 8th District, Missouri

visit: http://larrybill.com/i-have-met-the-enem...

-- Posted by nolimitsonthought on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 11:29 PM

After receiving a courteous inquiry from the Emerson staff, I feel obligated to point out that "the $1.6 million bicycle bridge in Cape" earmark was not an actual Emerson earmark. I did not mean to imply so.

Yet it is still an earmark in her district and was put forward by fellow Republican Senator Kit Bond.

Larry Bill

-- Posted by nolimitsonthought on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 4:15 PM

Glenn Beck is a dumb man. I've seen his show on fox. It only appeals to the uneducated who don't ask questions.

-- Posted by Ike on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 10:15 AM

Glenn Beck lost all my respect when he moved to Fox. I used to watch his show, and agreed with some of his points, but now he's just another pawn in Murdoch's army of retards.

-- Posted by the_eye on Mon, Feb 22, 2010, at 10:51 AM


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Gary Rust
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