Archive for March, 2016

If you are wondering what is happening at the state capitol, don’t worry! Lot of us are wondering the same thing. The article below might help explain some of it…

Campaign for Liberty

We just received word that dangerous so-called “ethics reform” bills have been introduced and are now sitting in committees in the Senate and the House (S.B. 570 and H.B. 2062). These bills can be considered at any time.

Don’t let them go any further!

It is URGENT that you call your state senator and state representative TODAY and demand they vote against any bill that includes donor disclosure or regulates political speech in any way.

Click here to find your state senator and state representative.

Bills like these are designed to crush the grassroots by removing an individual’s right to speak anonymously by forcing organizations to release your name and address to a government monitoring agency.

In other words, politicians would have an “enemies list” to go after if you try to speak up about their voting records or engage with fellow citizens to advocate for a cause.

If passed, these laws would secure the power of the political class by ensuring the voters cannot learn of a politician’s voting record on liberty issues.

Your private information would then be available on government websites for all to see!

The law is designed to undermine the kind of work you and I have done exposing corruption and conflicts of interest and holding legislators accountable.

So-called “ethics reform” laws have already silenced grassroots activists in Montana, and several other states are considering such bills attacking our First Amendment rights to free speech at this moment!

Unfortunately, many of these bills are supported and written by so-called “conservatives.”

Please call your state senator and state representative and demand they vote against any bill that includes donor disclosure or regulates political speech in any way.

Click here to find your state senator and state representative.

Our right to free speech is especially important around election time.

Numerous court decisions over the last century have confirmed and reconfirmed that our political speech is protected from regulation.

In fact, any casual student of history knows the very purpose of the First Amendment is to protect POLITICAL speech that criticizes and exposes politicians.

Politicians have no right to protection from criticism.

Yet, that’s what these so-called “ethics” bills are attempting to do.

And that’s what we must stop!

Until the gavel falls and the legislative session is closed, we must be vigilant in making sure lawmakers don’t succumb to the pressure.

Call your state senator and state representative today and ask them to vote against any bill that includes donor disclosure or regulates political speech in any way.

Click here to find your state senator and state representative.

In Liberty,

Deb Wells
National Director of State Operations
Recruit, Equip, Train, Mobilize

P.S. We just received word that dangerous so-called “ethics reform” bills have been introduced and are now sitting in committees in the Senate (S.B. 570) and the House (H.B. 2062). These bills can be considered at any time. Bills like these are designed to crush the grassroots by removing an individual’s right to speak anonymously by forcing organizations to release your name and address to a government monitoring agency.

It is URGENT that you call your state senator and state representative TODAY and demand they vote against any bill that includes donor disclosure or regulates political speech in any way.

Click here to find your state senator and state representative.

P.P.S. I know for some of you, a major contribution of $100 or even $500 is within reach, and I hope if you are that person, you will make that significant contribution to this fight. I also know that for others reading this message, a contribution of $10 or even $20 is a genuine sacrifice. Be assured that every contribution will be treated as the sacred trust that it is and will be used to achieve our shared ends, so please be as generous as you can.

On the positive side, the fact that the political parties are basically private country clubs, is becoming clarified. On the negative side, people will simply get more hacked off when they realize that they have no voice, or choice and are effectively managed from on high by “powers outside of their control” that are not, and will never be, the Creator. So…please let others know about this. It STILL comes down to the consent of the governed:

We choose the nominee, not the voters: Senior GOP official

Political parties, not voters, choose their presidential nominees, a Republican convention rules member told CNBC, a day after GOP front-runner Donald Trump rolled up more big primary victories.

“The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That’s the conflict here,” Curly Haugland, an unbound GOP delegate from North Dakota, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. He even questioned why primaries and caucuses are held.

Haugland is one of 112 Republican delegates who are not required to cast their support for any one candidate because their states and territories don’t hold primaries or caucuses.

Even with Trump‘s huge projected delegate haul in four state primaries Tuesday, the odds are increasing the billionaire businessman may not ultimately get the 1,237 delegates needed to claim the GOP nomination before the convention.

This could lead to a brokered convention, in which unbound delegates, like Haugland, could play a significant swing role on the first ballot to choose a nominee.

Most delegates bound by their state’s primary or caucus results are only committed on the first ballot. If subsequent ballots are needed, virtually all of the delegates can vote any way they want, said Gary Emineth, another unbound delegate from North Dakota.

“It could introduce Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, or it could be the other candidates that have already been in the race and are now out of the race [such as] Mike Huckabee [or] Rick Santorum. All those people could eventually become candidates on the floor,” Emineth said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who decided not to run for the White House this year, said in a CNBC interview Tuesday he won’t categorically rule out accepting the GOP nomination if a deadlocked convention were to turn to him. But on Wednesday, a Ryan spokeswoman said the speaker would not accept a Republican nomination for president at a divided convention.

Democrats experienced the last true brokered presidential convention to go beyond the first ballot in 1952. Republicans came close at their 1976 convention.

“The rules haven’t kept up,” Haugland said. “The rules are still designed to have a political party choose its nominee at a convention. That’s just the way it is. I can’t help it. Don’t hate me because I love the rules.”

Haugland said he sent a letter to each campaign alerting them to a rule change he’s proposing, which would allow any candidate who earns at least one delegate during the nominating process to submit his or her name to be nominated at this summer’s convention.

If the GOP race continues at the same pace, Trump would likely have a plurality of delegates. So far, he’s more than halfway to the 1,237 magic number.

Trump split Tuesday’s winner-take-all primaries in Florida and Ohio.

The real estate mogul dominated in Florida over Sen. Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race after losing his home state.

But Trump lost Ohio to the state’s governor, John Kasich. Trump also won Illinois and North Carolina. He held a slim lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Missouri early Wednesday.

Emineth, also a former chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, told “Squawk Box” in the same interview that he’s concerned about party officials pulling “some shenanigan.”

“You have groups of people who are going to try to take over the rules committee,” he warned. “[That] could totally change everything, and mess things up with the delegates. And people across the country will be very frustrated.”

“It’s important that the Republican National Committee has transparency on what they’re doing [on the rules] going into the convention and what happens in the convention,” he continued. That’s because of “all the votes that have been cast in caucuses and primaries. Don’t disenfranchise those voters. Because at the end of the day, our goal is to beat Hillary Clinton or whoever their [Democratic] nominee is in November.”

Emineth said he’s worried that frustration would discourage Americans in the general election from voting Republican.

Campaign for Liberty Meets Thursday Night 7 pm at Chen’s Garden
 
The  Howell County Campaign for Liberty Group will meet Thursday, March 17. At 7:00 pm according to chairman Don Eagleman. Candidates for West Plains City Council will speak and take questions. Members will also be updated on recent Lincoln Day activities, the upcoming election caucus and events of interest around the state including the DNR land grab in Oregon County. Those attending are encouraged to come early and enjoy the buffet.
The  Ozarks Property Rights Coalition  will meet Thursday, March 24. At 6:00 pm according to co-chairman Bob Parker.
 
Topics of discussion will include the DNR land and cash grab in Oregon County, a recent rally in the lead belt counties, the upcoming elections and caucus and suspicious activity conducted at area schools by individuals who appear to be middle eastern in origin.
 
Those attending are encouraged to come early to eat and visit. For more information call 417-264-2435.

‘Unprecedented’ UN global data gathering to add huge amounts of information for governments to collect

 By

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Security Council meeting on sexual exploitation and abuse in UN peacekeeping operations on March 10, 2016.  (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Security Council meeting on sexual exploitation and abuse in UN peacekeeping operations on March 10, 2016. (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

Six months after giving birth to a cluster of nebulous Sustainable Development Goals that aim to dramatically change the economic, social and environmental course of the planet, the United Nations is working on a drastic renovation of global data gathering to measure progress against its sweeping international agenda.

The result that emerged late last week from the U.N. Statistical Commission — an obscure body of national experts that calls itself the “apex entity of the international statistics system” — is a document as sprawling, undefined and ambitious as the sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, themselves — which  lay out 17 goals and 169 sometimes overlapping targets to transform global society.

In attempting to cover at least some of that ground, the so-called “draft global indicators framework” likely will add huge new volumes of information that governments collect as they measure progress toward what amounts to a global socialist or progressive agenda.

To the extent that the indicators are adopted or incorporated by national governments, such as that of the U.S., they will also provide a powerful reorientation of public debate as they filter into academic and policy discussions.

In all, the draft framework outlines 230 statistical indicators to measure progress toward the SDGs, including such familiar ones as per-capital Gross Domestic Product and the proportion of populations living below national and international poverty lines.

According to the U.N. General Assembly resolution that called for their creation, the new SDG indicators are supposed to be “simple but robust.” Among the relatively novel measurements the draft framework proposes to develop:

 

■   The “proportion of government recurrent and capital spending going to sectors that disproportionately benefit women, poor and vulnerable groups”

■   The “extent to which global citizenship education and education for sustainable development . . . are mainstreamed at all levels in national education politics, curricula, teacher education and student assessment”

■   The “number of countries that have implemented well-managed migration policies”

■   The “average income of small-scale food producers, by sex and indigenous status”

■   The “proportion of persons victim of physical or sexual harassment, by sex, age, disability status and place of occurrence, in the previous 12 months”

■   The “mortality rate attributed to unintentional poisoning”

■   The “proportion of national Exclusive Economic Zones [200-mile ocean limits] managed using ecosystem-based approaches”

■   The “number of plant and animal genetic resources for food and agriculture secured in either medium or long-term conservation facilities”

■   “Progress by countries in the degree of implementation of international instruments aiming to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing”

 

The indicators endorsed in the framework are “unprecedent in their scale and nuance,” according to John Pullinger, National Statistician of Britain, and immediate past chair of an expert group of national statistical agencies that pulled together the indicators for the Statistical Commission.

(The U.S. was not an expert group member, but participated in a grouping known as the Friends of the Chair of the Statistical Commission that provided guidance for the effort.)

Among other things, the SDG indicator quest included a “really strong push,” in Pullinger’s phrase, for “disaggregation,” which has been defined by the U.N. as a breakdown of statistics by “income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability and geographical location, or other characteristics.”

Just how that information will be collected, and how enlightening it will prove to be, remains to be seen, as the process to refine and obtain the data, Pullinger indicated, is likely to stretch on as long as the SDG agenda itself, through 2030.

The indicators endorsed in the framework are “unprecedent in their scale and nuance.”

– John Pullinger, National Statistician of Britain

Adding to the complexity, the data search will depend on national governments of all stripes — democratic and dictatorial, developed and developing — to come up with their own versions of the facts.

The eyebrow-raising and sometimes improbable diversity of the proposed data-gathering effort is a reflection of the “transformational” SDGs themselves, which aim to touch on most areas of human existence and impact.

They also reflect another aspect of the SDGs — an uncoordinated degree of ambition that some of the world’s top scientific bodies found at times impractical, redundant and unmeasurable. Those scientific groups, however, were to a considerable degree ignored.

The same can now be said about the bid to measure their progress, according to Brett Schaefer, a U.N. expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation. Some of the huge array of indicators are “useful and practical,” he observes, but many “are seriously flawed.”

Like the U.N. itself, many are focused, he says, on “inputs like the level of government spending or the volume of development assistance devoted to a particular issue, rather than the results from those expenditures.”

Others could best be described in Schaefer’s phrase as “transparently political objectives,” including those based on ratification of U.N.-generated treaties, like the Law of the Sea and an international biodiversity convention, both of which the U.S., for example, has not ratified.

Still others, he said, “use imprecise or subjective terms that invite bias or data manipulation.”

Overall, Schaefer was concerned that the immense data collection effort involved on a global scale — much of it unprecedented — “will consume significant resources and will likely outstrip the capacity of less developed countries.

“We have got what we have got,” British National Statistician Pullen told Fox News — meaning, among other things, that the “technical task is to find a set of indicators that speak to the targets.”

“We have to understand that there are a lot more things going on than just statistics.”

Pullinger agreed that “the data needs are vast” for the indicators, but added that “this is just the current case of a fact of life in the world of measurement. As scientists, we are working to understand the world better.”

Some targets, Pullinger said, “are more measurable than others,” meaning that “we need to keep refining them, and consulting. This is normal for the way we work.”

Indeed, as part of the method involved in further refining the data-gathering process, the expert group and the Statistical Commission divided the indicators into three “tiers.”

These depended on whether the data required was “already widely available;” whether a method of determining the data existed but the data “are not easily available;” and where “an internationally agreed methodology has not yet been developed.”

Work on the first two tiers of data is expected to continue for the next full year, while 12 months from now the experts group is expected to “provide a work plan for further development of Tier III indicators” — and to fill in other “data gaps” as they arise.

CLICK HERE FOR THE DRAFT FRAMEWORK

George Russell is Editor-at-Large of Fox News. He is reachable on Twitter at @GeorgeRussell and on Facebook at Facebook.com/George.Russell

Political Machines

Posted: March 3, 2016 in Elections

As usual, the machine feeds those who feed the machine. We see this all the time in our own state. Most populist candidates, who espouse the desires of the people over whom they “assume” rule, are subtly, or not so subtly, attacked by the party machine. No funding, running the establishment candidate against the populist, smear campaigns and on and on. We’ve seen it happen continually. The RNC made Reagan take Bush as VP. The electronic voting machines in Texas were flipping votes for Trump to either Rubio or Cruz. No one reported that their vote for Rubio or Cruz was flipped to Trump. The head of the RNC stated that the candidates are basically auditioning for the party, so it matters little what the will of the people may be.

Now the RNC machine is resurrecting the guy who couldn’t beat the guy who couldn’t beat Obama, who himself couldn’t beat Obama, to take out Trump. Theater, anyone?

Here’s an AP article about Romney entering the fray:

Romney calling Trump ‘phony,’ urging Republicans to shun him

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is charging into the increasingly divisive White House race with a verbal lashing of Donald Trump and a plea for fellow Republicans to shun the front-runner for the good of country and party.

Romney is branding the billionaire businessman as “a phony, a fraud” whose “promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University,” according to a speech Romney planned to give at the University of Utah on Thursday morning. The Associated Press obtained excerpts of his remarks in advance.

Trump, in turn, dismissed Romney as “a stiff” who “didn’t know what he was doing” as the party’s candidate in 2012 and blew a chance to beat President Barack Obama. “People are energized by what I’m saying” in the campaign and turning out in remarkable numbers to vote, Trump told NBC’s “Today.”

In ratcheting up the rhetoric, Romney cast his lot with a growing chorus of anxious Republican leaders — people many Trump supporters view as establishment figures — in trying to slow the New York real estate mogul’s momentum.

“Here’s what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” the former Massachusetts governor said, according to the early excerpts.

But it was unclear what impact his words would have with voters deeply frustrated by their party’s leaders. Trump questioned whether the party rank and file would listen to “a failed candidate” for whom “nobody came out to vote.”

Romney has been chipping away at Trump in recent days, but the speech Thursday was certain to be his most forceful statement yet.

Panicked GOP leaders say they still have options for preventing Trump from winning the GOP nomination — just not many good ones.

Romney also said that a Trump nomination at the party’s convention in Cleveland in July would enable Democrat Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. He contended that Trump “has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.”

Romney’s involvement comes as party elites pore over complicated delegate math, outlining hazy scenarios for a contested convention and even flirting with the long-shot prospect of a third party option.

Giving Romney the back of his hand, Trump turned his sights on the general election. His campaign reached out to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office to arrange a conversation between the two men, and urged Republican leaders to view his candidacy as a chance to expand the party.

Trump padded his lead with victories in seven Super Tuesday contests, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz claiming three states and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio picking up his first victory of the 2016 race.

Despite Trump’s strong night, he was not yet on track to claim the nomination before the party’s national gathering in July, according to an Associated Press delegate count. He has won 46 percent of the delegates awarded so far, and he would have to increase that to 51 percent in the remaining primaries.

GOP strategists cast March 15 as the last opportunity to stop Trump through the normal path of winning states and collecting delegates. A win for Rubio in his home state of Florida would raise questions about Trump’s strength, as could a win for Kasich, Ohio’s governor, on his home turf.

The candidates have a high-profile opportunity to make their case to voters in Thursday night’s prime-time debate. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson all but ended his bid Wednesday, saying he would skip the debate and declaring he did “not see a political path forward.”

The GOP mayhem contrasted sharply with a clearer picture on the Democratic side, where Hillary Clinton was drawing broad support from voters and her party’s leaders. Rival Sen. Bernie Sanders vowed to keep up the fight, though his path to the nomination has become exceedingly narrow.

Romney argues that Trump’s “domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe,” Romney says. “And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.”

The Associated Press has asked Republican governors and senators if they would support Trump if he becomes the party’s nominee. Of the 59 respondents, slightly fewer than half could not commit to backing him in November.

One long-shot idea rumbling through power corridors in Washington was the prospect of a late third-party candidate to represent more mainstream conservatives. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been approached by “a mixture of people” about being part of a third-party bid, according to Jeff Miller, who managed Perry’s failed GOP presidential campaign. But Miller said Perry found the idea “ludicrous.”

A more likely, though still extraordinarily unusual, scenario being discussed is a contested convention.

___

Associated Press writers Julie Pace, Kathleen Hennessey, Andrew Taylor, Julie Bykowicz, Stephen Ohlemacher and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.