Senate race, national news, movie and local musical

Friday, October 5, 2012

I'm disappointed that with all of the big economic, social, military, health, environmental etc. issues facing this country, Sen. Claire McCaskill and the media seem obsessed that Rep. Todd Akin said that McCaskill wasn't "ladylike" during their recent debate at the Mo. Press Convention, where I was in attendance.

"I think we have a very clear path to victory, and apparently Claire McCaskill thinks we do, too, because she was very aggressive at the debate, which was quite different than it was when she ran against Jim Talent," Akin said at a news conference in the state Capitol.

"She had a confidence and was much more ladylike [in 2006], but in the debate on Friday she came out swinging, and I think that's because she feels threatened."

Reporter Bob Priddy reminded me in a recent column that when I served in the Missouri Legislature the male legislators were addressed -- and still are -- in the Senate by the Speaker as "the gentleman from" (Cape Girardeau) and the female legislators as "the lady from" (her district). Names were not the appropriate protocol to be used.

Since Akin and McCaskill served in the Missouri House of Representatives, they are familiar with that usage. It seems that shows more respect than guy or gal (girl), man or woman.

A recent (Sept. 23) independent poll by Chilenski Strategies showed Todd Akin ahead of Claire McCaskill 47.5 percent to 46.5 percent, with 6 percent undecided. No wonder McCaskill is so aggressively attacking Akin and, in my opinion, distorting some of his votes and statements.

Incidentally, McCaskill publicly released her "in-house poll" this week showing her up by 9 percent. Take that for what it's worth.

Paul Bedard, writing in, pointed to a Rasmussen poll on the Missouri Senate race.

"Five weeks after making the comments that at the time seemed career-ending, Rasmussen Reports has Akin six points behind McCaskill, 51 percent to 45 percent. That result shows an improvement over past polls, some that had him behind by 10 points. And among those 'certain to vote,' he trails McCaskill by just four points, said Rasmussen.

"More surprising is that he is better-liked than McCaskill, found Rasmussen. Some 47 percent of likely Missouri voters have a favorable view of Akin, with 30 percent in the 'very favorable' category. Some 41 percent view McCaskill favorably, with just 14 percent 'very favorable.'"

For me the key issues are whether the Democrats or Republicans will control the U.S. Senate and who will be the next president of the United States.

This is a tipping election for the U.S. and is not to be taken lightly.

The same Chilenski poll of 817 registered voters showed Romney up 50.2 percent to Obama 44.3 percent, with 5.5 percent undecided in Missouri.

"According to the Federal Communications Communication, a program that gives free or subsidized phones to low-income people has doubled in the state of Ohio over the past year to cover more than 1 million people. The Dayton Daily News reports that the program cost the state of Ohio almost $27 million -- just in the first quarter of 2012. That was more than $11 million increase from the same period the previous year."

-- Breitbart online newsletter


The opening paragraph of an economic, nonpartisan economic newsletter I receive, which outlines President Obama's administration, said:

"With Iran ever closer to nuclear weapon capability, Middle East tensions escalating, a vicious terrorist attack in Libya killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, European banking and debt crisis threat continuing, the South China Sea conflict between China and Japan intensifying, economic slowdown in China continuing, central banks accelerating monetization against deleveraging, deflationary forces, USA fiscal cliff ever closer, government distorted pricing signals, near zero-yield investment environment, growing uncertainties for citizens and businesses and diminishment of USA global geopolitical stature and power, let us venture forward together to assess the facts in an attempt to chart a favorable course through these challenging circumstances, which he precedes to do in 23 pages of information."

The letter continues:

New Leisure Class in USA

"America, recently and very clearly now, has a new leisure class with these characteristics:

* No work required;

* No income taxes to pay;

* No Social Security to pay;

* Free days, free evenings and free weekends;

* No work responsibilities;

* Food stamps;

* Unemployment compensation up to 99 weeks;

* Disability income from Social Security;

* More and more entitlement programs;

* More and more welfare programs;

"This new leisure class has tax free cash flow, no work, unlimited leisure time and no personal responsibilities. To improve the tax free cash flow often the recipients of the new leisure class game the system to obtain maximum benefits from various government entitlement and welfare programs.

"Some federal government employees have the assignment to get individuals not yet on welfare to apply for welfare. These government employees, on our tax dollars, are given recognition awards for their recruits to welfare programs.

"The new leisure class is funded by taxes collected on working Americans, thereby reducing the standard of living, leisure time, financial assets and retirement security of these working Americans."

Sound domestic policy recommendation for USA

In The Wall Street Journal on Sept. 20, five senior fellows at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University -- George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer and John B. Taylor -- had a straightforward eight-point program to fix the U.S. economy:

1) Lowest possible tax rates on the broadest tax base;

2) Sound monetary policy;

3) Trade liberalization;

4) Spending control;

5) Entitlement reform;

6) Regulatory reform;

7) Litigation reform;

8) Education reform.

In the past four years, President Obama and his administration have not pursued on a realistic basis any of the above policy initiatives.

I highly recommend the movie "Last Ounce of Courage," which is one of the more emotional movies I've seen recently. It covers the separation of church and state in local government and schools and a family dealing with a loss of a loved one in military combat.

It was showing at Cape West 14 Cine; but see it on DVD when available.

The big hit of the sold out performance of "Grease," the outstanding student musical directed by Ken Stilson, was the solo by Teen Angel, played by faculty voice instructor Judith Farris. A solid delivery by one of Cape Girardeau's favorite personalities, lending a humorous touch to the production.

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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