Ten ‘Mama Grizzlies’ and a ‘Fat Guy’ GOP Future

By Paul R. Hollrah, Guest Blogger

It has not been a good year for President Barack Obama and the Democrats. And while most of the bad news was generated by Obama himself and the “ship of fools” he has surrounded himself with in the White House, it was congressional Democrats who paid the price Nov. 2.

Unfortunately, given the quality of Republican leadership in the years since the departure of Newt Gingrich, we have no guarantee that Republicans will take full advantage of the coming shift in the political balance of power. The uncertainty evidenced by their handling of issues in the recent lame-duck session leaves us to wonder whether the male-dominated House and Senate leadership won’t once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.)

On the Republican side of the aisle in Congress we find few truly courageous and outspoken members. Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Jim DeMint of South Carolina are notable exceptions. When asked why they are not more aggressive in their response to Democrats and their policies, Senate Republicans would likely murmur something about the Senate being the world’s foremost “gentlemen’s club.”  A “gentlemen’s club,” indeed… run by the likes of Harry Reid and Dick Durbin? Not!

As matters now stand, the shortage of testosterone among conservative and Republican men has become so critical that, as Republicans move to capture the ground that Democrats have relinquished, the strongest leadership potential in the Republican ranks is to be found among women and minorities.

Sarah Palin

Among the most effective and outspoken conservative elected officials, dubbed “Mama Grizzlies” by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin are Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.); Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.); Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.); Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi (R-Fla.); Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.); Governor-elect Mary Fallin (R-Okla.); Governor-elect Nikki Haley (R-S.C.); Governor-elect Susana Martinez (R-N.M.); and Congresswoman-elect Kristi Noem (R-S.D.).

Outside the realm of elective office, we have an equally impressive cadre of strong conservative female writers and thought-leaders, including Tammy Bruce, Amanda Carpenter, Mona Charen, Linda Chavez, Liz Cheney, Ann Coulter, Monica Crowley, Mary Katharine Ham, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, K.T. McFarland, Kate Obenshain, Dana Perino, Phyllis Schlafly, and Teri Thompson… to name just a few.

Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla.)

They are joined by a growing number of strong and eloquent black conservatives, including former corporate CEO Herman Cain; Republican political strategist Angela McGlowan; Lincoln Institute President Jay Parker; conservative columnist Star Parker; conservative author, Rev. Wayne Perryman; National Black Republicans President Frances Rice; Congressman-elect Tim Scott (R-S.C.); Congressman-elect Allen West (R-FL); and economics professor Walter Williams.

Deborah Blum, author of Sex on the Brain, tells us that, “Feminists become understandably annoyed by the oversimplified, back-to-the-kitchen notion that women don’t have the hormonal underpinnings for competition. And plenty of men… are equally annoyed at being dismissed as a bunch of naturally bad-tempered apes.”

Clearly, Ms. Blum has not spent a great deal of time around conservatives and Republicans in recent times. At a time in our history when events call for conservative leaders to be “naturally bad-tempered apes,” almost to a man, the best-known conservatives and Republicans tend to be milquetoast wimps. It’s hard to imagine the likes of Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mitch McConnell, or the weepy John Boehner in the role of “naturally bad-tempered apes,” a personality type that will be absolutely essential in dealing with badly-wounded House and Senate Democrats and a “shellacked” Obama armed with a veto pen.

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)

Because liberals and Democrats are what they are, the last thing the country needs is wimpish “nice guy” Republicans in the Oval Office and in the congressional leadership. Other than Newt Gingrich, the only man in the ranks of Republican leaders who appears to have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with liberals, Democrats, and their bought-and-paid-for special interests, is Gov. Chris Christie, the “fat guy” from New Jersey.

In a recent Trenton press conference, Christie chastised a columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger.  When the columnist questioned whether the governor had adopted a “confrontational tone” with legislative Democrats and the politically powerful teachers’ unions, Christie replied, “You should see me when I’m really pissed. I love when people say they don’t want to have argument. That’s what we were sent here for.” Holding up a Democratic press release, Christie said, “Here it is:  Bigger government, higher taxes, more spending. I believe in less government, lower taxes and in empowering local officials who are elected by their citizens to be able to fix their problems…”

He continued, “This is who I am. Like it or not, you guys are stuck with me for four years and I’m going to say things directly. When you ask me questions, I’m going to answer them directly, straightly, bluntly, and nobody in New Jersey is going to have to wonder where I am on an issue… and I think they’ve had enough of politicians who make them wonder. I came here to govern, not to worry about re-election. I came here to do what people sent me here to do, and so, ‘blunt?’ ‘direct?’ Maybe you might say ‘honest and refreshing.’ Maybe we could see that in your paper tomorrow.”

It is the kind of straightforward and unambiguous leadership that Republicans at all levels will have to display in the years ahead if the elections of Nov. 2 are to have any meaning at all.

Newt Gingrich

In 1994, Gingrich and other Republicans signed a hard-nosed “Contract with America,” promising much-needed reform in Congress. The voters responded positively and Republicans experienced four productive years between January 1995 and January 1999, conducting themselves as we would expect them to. But then, when Gingrich chose not to seek reelection in 1998, House leadership fell to Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Tom Delay (R-Texas)… both of whom set about organizing a Republican majority that was indistinguishable from Democrats.

Hastert and Delay were still there when George W. Bush arrived in 2001, claiming to be a “compassionate” conservative… which proved only that he hadn’t the foggiest notion of what a conservative was. By failing to exercise any party discipline over a free-spending Republican Congress, all Bush did was to make it impossible for lifelong rank-and-file Republicans to defend the party they had always thought of as the last best hope for America.

Who can deny that the ultimate fate of our country was set in concrete during the Roosevelt Administration when New Deal Democrats decided that political power could be solidified by purchasing the allegiance of special interests… interest groups and individuals who wanted something from government… and using other people’s money to do it?

The complete socialization of America and the destruction of the capitalist system has been the sole raison d’être of the Democratic Party for more than seventy-five years, and were it possible to paint a picture of what party leaders have seen as their ultimate dream during all those years, the Obama Administration and the Pelosi-Reid Congress would be their ideal. The current crop of Democrats in the White House and in Congress are simply the most evil and corrupt group of politicians ever to set foot in Washington. It is Chicago-San Francisco-Las Vegas social and political morality transported to Washington and tailored to engulf the entire nation.

Liberals and Democrats have not failed to notice the power (and danger) of feminist gains on the right. In an August 28, 2010 New York Times editorial by Anna Holmes and Rebecca Traister titled, “A Palin of Our Own,” they wrote, “An older generation of female Democrats, including Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Pelosi, are about as eager to mount a Palin-style girl-powered campaign as they are to wear a miniskirt on the House floor…

“But as women of a different generation – of, gulp, Sarah Palin’s generation – we wonder if Democrats shouldn’t look to her for twisted inspiration, and recognize that the future of women in politics will be about coming to terms with (and inventing) new models… If Sarah Palin and her acolytes successfully redefine what it means to be a groundbreaking political woman, it will be because progressives let it happen – and in doing so, ensured that when it comes to making history, there will be no one but Mama Grizzlies to do the job.”

On Feb. 28, 1854, some 30 devout abolitionists, opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, met in a small one-room schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisc., to create a new political party… the Republican Party. And if a lack of strong leadership and a departure from Republican principles demands that we do it all over again we have a good beginning. We have ten Mama Grizzles and a fat guy from New Jersey to build on.

Hollrah is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a contributing editor for Family Security Matters and a number of online publications.  He resides in northeast Oklahoma.

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‘Nanny State’ Agents Out to Kill Raw Food Industry (Update)

I’m not a health food nut, a vegan, a vegetarian or anything unusual, but I am an advocate of free enterprise.  From Howell County, Mo., to Ventura County, Calif., free enterprise is being threatened by agents of the “Nanny State” who seem to be on the war path, zealously striving to shut down elements of the nation’s raw food industry.

In the first video (below), you can see how government agencies have suspended operations in rural Mountain View, Mo., where raw food products have been made and shipped from Morningland Dairy for more than 30 years.

In the next video (below), you can see how ridiculously “over the top” an Oct. 30 raid on Rawesome Foods, a private members-only food cooperative in Venice, Calif., truly was.

If you think events like those highlighted above are rare and unusual, you might be right.  At the same time, however, you should be aware that a bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 510, contains 225 pages of new regulations, many of which are problematic, according to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).  While some regulations are potentially onerous, but perhaps reasonable – such as requiring every facility to have a scientifically-based, but very flexible, food safety plan—others give FDA sweeping authority with potentially significant consequences.

Read more of Senator Coburn’s concerns regarding food legislation here.

To help save the Morningland Dairy, visit the UNCHEESE PARTY web site.

UPDATE 1/12/11 at 8:10 a.m. Central: The Morningland Dairy case went to court yesterday in West Plains, Mo.  According to this post on the company’s blog, one judge for the case bowed out Friday afternoon and another judge was appointed.  In addition, the company was “denied trial by jury, and only part of the case is to be heard, which is the Missouri Milk Board’s claims and our first and second counterclaims.”  More updates to follow.

UPDATE 1/12/11 at 8:23 a.m. Central: Here’s another update about court proceedings yesterday inside the Howell County (Mo.) Courthouse.

UPDATE 1/16/11 at 1:35 p.m. Central: Bob Parker of Raymondville, Mo., reports, “I was locked out of the Morningland Dairy trial last week. They closed the door for the last two hours of the trial.”

UPDATE 1/26/2013 at 11:20 a.m. Central:  Today marks an important milestone in this case as the state shut down the Morningland Dairy after more than two years of a legal battle.  See video below:

Americans Dying to Get Hands on Federal Funds

First thing this morning, I shared news about Dead People Voting in Missouri; now, thanks to a great U.S. senator from the state of my birth, I bring news about ONE-BILLION TAX DOLLARS SPENT ON DEAD PEOPLE!

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.) today released an oversight report, “Federal Programs To Die For – American tax dollars sent six feet under, that exposes more than $1 billion that has been sent to the deceased in the past decade. Washington paid for dead people’s prescriptions and wheelchairs, subsidized their farms, helped pay their rent, and even chipped in for their heating and air conditioning bills.

“Nothing represents the stupidity of wasteful Washington spending more than directing a billion taxpayer dollars to the deceased. This practice is disgraceful and, in many cases, robs the living of promised benefits,” Dr. Coburn said. “Congress itself created this mess by allowing poorly designed programs to continue unchecked. As a result, $1 billion of taxpayer funds has gone to 250,000 deceased individuals since 2000. If Congress is ready to get serious about spending restraint, ending subsidies for deceased people is a sensible place to start.”

The report shows that since 2000 the known cost of payments to more than 250,000 deceased individuals has topped $1 billion, according to a review of government audits and reports by the Government Accountability Office, inspectors general, and Congress itself. This is likely only a small picture of a much larger problem. Among the agencies making payments to the deceased:

• The Social Security Administration sent $18 million in stimulus funds to 71,688 dead people and $40.3 million in questionable benefit payments to 1,760 dead people.

• The Department of Health and Human Services sent 11,000 dead people $3.9 million in assistance to pay heating and cooling costs.

• The Department of Agriculture sent $1.1 billion in farming subsidies to deceased farmers.

• The Department of Housing and Urban Development overseeing local agencies knowingly distributed $15.2 million in housing subsidies to 3,995 households with at least one deceased person.

• Medicaid paid over $700,000 in claims for prescriptions for controlled substances written for over 1,800 deceased patients and prescriptions for controlled substances written by 1,200 deceased doctors.

• Medicare paid as much as $92 million in claims for medical supplies prescribed by dead doctors and $8.2 million for medical supplies prescribed for dead patients.

• Congress has established HIV/AIDS funding distribution based on historic numbers of deceased HIV/AIDS patients, while many individuals living with AIDS desperately wait for medical care.

Unless you’re “dying” to collect some federal funds, please VOTE RESPONSIBLY.

Senator Coburn Says ‘Yes’ to the Word ‘No’

Michelle Malkin writes this afternoon about Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) delivering “a rousing defense of the ‘Party of No’” a short while ago in the nation’s capitol:

“We’re accused of being the party of no,” he said. But “no is a wonderful word. When your child is misbehaving, you say no. When someone’s stealing liberty, you say no…Saying no at the right time saves lives. Saying no at the right time saves money…Saying no at the right time saves liberty.”

It’s the best rejoinder to the empty charge of “obstructionism” I’ve seen and heard. I’ll post the video as soon as it’s up.

Amidst debate on health care reform and trillion-dollar spending bills, I love to see the senators from the state of my birth — Sen. Jim Inhofe is the other — making a lot of sense while standing amidst a bunch of dangerous, liberal fools.

Ten ‘Heistman Trophy’ Finalists Named

Today, one year after sharing a similar report in 2008, I share a new oversight report issued this week on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).  Inside, it contains candidates for what an annual award I’ve decided to call “The Heistman Trophy.” Among those, descriptions of the 10 finalists appear below:

The Heistman Trophy1. Broadband Map That May be Obsolete by the Time it’s Complete ($350 million): $350 million was awarded to states from the Department of Commerce to build a map of its broadband Internet infrastructure, though it duplicates existing maps. Rather than spend $350 million on the project, one firm said it could map the whole nation for $3.5 million – one percent of the cost. Or, anyone with a computer could Google it – for free.

2. Empty Mall Gets Energy Award ($5 million): $5 million was awarded to the Oak Ridge Mall in Tennessee to provide geothermal heat – only the mall has few stores and customers.

3. Fossil Research in Argentina ($1.57 million): Researchers from Penn State will travel to Argentina to dig up plant fossils.

4. Anti-Capitalist Puppet Shows ($50,000): Puppet theaters with socialist, anti-capitalist messages were paid $50,000 to put on puppet shows.

5. Free Rides on Baltimore Water Taxi ($1.6 million): A program to offer free rides on the water taxi as a means of relieving road congestion got money despite it doing little to stop people from traveling in cars.

6. Digital Television Ad Campaign ($6 million): An ad agency was hired for $6 million one month before the switch to digital television—and reported creating three jobs with the money.

7. California Computer System ($60 million): In 2002, California got $66 million to upgrade its computers for the unemployment insurance program. It spent the money on other things and just got another $60 million in stimulus for the same project.

8. Non-Competitive Contracts ($7.8 billion): Half of all stimulus contracts awarded as of the fall were not subject to full competition.

9. Mice, Alcohol and Drugs ($38,000): Studying the impact of alcohol and methamphetamines on mice and rats.

10. Tourist Railroad ($2 million): The Virginia & Truckee tourist railroad in Nevada will get more than $2 million for an extension.

Cast your vote in an unscientific way via the comments section below.

Senator Lists Wasteful Provisions of Stimulus Bill

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.)

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.)

In a post published yesterday on his web site, Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.) lists nearly three-dozen “wasteful and non-stimulus spending provisions” in the deeply-flawed Senate stimulus bill.  Those provisions appear below:

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Dept. of Energy defunded last year because the project was inefficient;
• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film;
• $650 million for the digital television (DTV) converter box coupon program;
• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship);
• $448 million for constructing the Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters;
• $248 million for furniture at the new Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters;
• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees;
• $400 million for the CDC to screen and prevent STD’s;
• $1.4 billion for a rural waste disposal programs;
• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities;
• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion;
• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities”;
• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges;
• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI;
• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction;
• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas;
• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings;
• $500 million for state and local fire stations;
• $650 million for wildland fire management on Forest Service lands;
• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities;
• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs;
• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service;
• $412 million for CDC buildings and property;
• $500 million for building and repairing NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD;
• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service;
• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the VA “National Cemetery Administration”;
• $850 million for Amtrak;
• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint;
• $75M to construct a new “security training” facility for State Dept Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies;
• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems;
• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations; and
• State Medicaid Bailout: $87.7 billion Through 3 different mechanisms, the bill would provide additional federal funds to state Medicaid programs over the next 3 years. This is nearly $70 billion more than the governors asked President Obama for in December, and should be a loan to be repaid by the states.

To read more about Dr. Coburn’s views on the stimulus plan, click here.

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See also: Coburn Offers Fixes for ‘Generational Theft Act’

Coburn Offers Fixes for ‘Generational Theft Act’

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.)

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.)

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.) yesterday began offering amendments to the deeply-flawed Senate stimulus bill in an effort to improve the bill and ensure that taxpayer dollars will go to solutions will stimulate economic growth.  His list of amendments includes the following:

1. Require that all money in the bill given to states be a loan that must be repaid.

2. Strike $246 million “Hollywood earmark” for the purchase of motion picture film.

3. Strike “biggest earmark of all time” – $2 billion for FutureGen clean coal power plant.

4. Sense of the Senate that the Congress should support President Barack Obama’s “Plan for Restoring Fiscal Discipline.” (Specifically relating to cutting costs and inefficiencies of government.)

5. No funds shall be used for casinos, aquariums, zoos, museums, golf courses, or swimming pools (mirror House language).

6. No more than $1 billion may be spent on projects for federal agencies inside the beltway.

7. Require that any contract that is awarded must be competitively bid.

8. Convert $9 billion for broadband into loans for internet service providers/telecom companies to build infrastructure in market-sustainable areas.

9. Prohibit any Army Corps of Engineers construction funds appropriated in this Act from being used for initial construction projects until all unfinished Corps projects have been completed.

10. No funds from the Federal Building Fund may be used to construct new federal buildings until the government reduces its inventory of surplus/excess real property by 50 percent as of the date of bill passage.

11. None of the funds made available for the National Park Service may be expended unless such funding directly reduces the deferred maintenance backlog.

12. Strike authority for the Director of Indian Health Service to spend all health information technology funds ($85 million) at his discretion, regardless of current law (competitive awards, bidding, etc).

13. Cut $3.25 billion in funding for Workforce Investment Act programs since WIA has not been reauthorized and GAO has found duplicative job-training programs across 8 different federal agencies.

14. No funds in the Act may go to a public or private institution of higher education that has an endowment of more than $15 billion and/or spends more than $100,000 on lobbying annually.

15. Make the “making work pay” tax credit non-refundable (the plan to give $500 or $1,000 checks of every family).

To read more about Dr. Coburn’s views on the stimulus plan, click here.

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See also: Senator Lists Wasteful Provisions of Stimulus Bill