Weekly Musing 5-11-14
Happy Mother’s Day
A special thanks for the love, sacrifice and unconditional love Mother’s provide their families. Generation after generation, moms remain the anchor of virtually every family.
Miss my mom, thank my kids mom…and hopefully we’re all grateful for ALL the moms in our lives!
R.I.P. Jerry Schostak
It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of Bobby Schostak’s father, Jerome “Jerry” L. Schostak.
He passed away last evening at Beaumont Hospital surrounded by his family. Once funeral arrangements are finalized, we will be sure to pass them along to everyone.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking those who wish to honor the memory of Mr. Jerome L. Schostak to do so by making a contribution to:
Reuben Phoenix Schostak Congenital Heart Center Research Fund
Please keep Bobby Schostak and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
The RNC held its spring meeting in Memphis Tennessee this Wednesday through Saturday. It was a great meeting and we had some very interesting speaker and networking as usual. Our two key guests who address the Committee and friends were Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. The major policy initiative that was undertaken was to wrestle back control of presidential debates from the media and put the RNC in charge of scheduling, process and most importantly moderators! I attached an article below that goes into greater detail.
Our own National Committeewoman Ronna Romney McDaniel was officially ratified by the RNC as our newest member! She was a natural, working the room meeting new folks, attending every meeting and will clearly represent Michigan Republicans well.
Some of you ask what do I do when I go to these RNC meetings now that I’m not a member…
…all I can to help build our party!
RNC clamps down on 2016 primary debates
A group of 13 RNC members, essentially operating under the control of party Chairman Reince Priebus, will choose the timing, location and media partners of the 2015-2016 Republican primary debates. They will insist that conservative panelists join moderators from the mainstream media.
To make it stick, the plan would crack down on candidates who participate in debates that aren’t sanctioned by the party — by barring them from ones that are.
10 Maps That Explain the 2014 Midterms
What the Democrats wouldn’t give to swap this year’s Senate map for the one coming up in 2016. This year’s Senate class, filled with Democratic incumbents in hostile territory, would be difficult to defend any year—it’s especially so when there’s an unpopular Democratic president in the White House. But the next Senate map, coming in 2016, is filled with Democratic targets and Republican vulnerabilities. Simply switch them—leaving all else the same—and the 2014 midterm takes on a completely different character.
That’s obviously impossible, but it does get at an essential truth of American politics: For all the plaudits heaped on the winners and derision dumped on the losers after an election, structural factors controlled by neither side dictate the results to a significant degree. Big gains one year lead to big losses another; races won in certain environments would be defeats in others. Due to the mix of seats up for election this year, just 2 million voters across six states—0.6 percent of the U.S. population—could end up deciding the fate of the Senate.
What follows is an attempt to illustrate the structure of the current state of American congressional politics through a series of maps, some explaining the Senate, some explaining the House and some explaining where certain key races will be won and lost.
The Surprisingly Unrepresentative 2014 Senate Map
Republicans, as mentioned, need to net six seats to win the Senate, and there are six Democratic-held seats on this map where President Obama got less than 45% of the vote in 2012. Let’s assume the GOP nets those six seats, but everything else remains the same, which is a perfectly plausible scenario. Those states — Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia — represent just 3.8% of the U.S. population.
Of course, the actual number of residents who are eligible to vote, who show up to vote and who cast a ballot for the GOP candidate is an even smaller share. Assuming turnout in line with the most recent midterm, control of the Senate could end up being switched by 2 million Republican voters, or less — just 0.6% of the American population. That would hardly be a national mandate, though Republicans would assuredly claim one anyway.
The Electoral College challenge facing the Republicans in 2016
Even though the Democrats would need more Electoral votes from the swing states, they would have a significant advantage. The Democrats won 13 of the 14 states in 2012 (all except North Carolina). Of course, they won the popular vote by 3.9 percentage points in 2012. Had the popular vote been even, I estimate that the Republicans would have had a better than 50 percent chance in just three of the states (North Carolina, Florida and Ohio) with 62 Electoral votes. In 2016, the Republicans’ chances would be marginally lower in all three. The estimated probability that they’d win all three states if the popular vote was evenly split is just 48 percent.
Ted Cruz Releases Definitive List of 76 ‘Lawless’ Obama Actions Republican Sen. Ted Cruz released a definitive list Wednesday of 76 “lawless” Obama administration actions and abuses of power.
Cruz’s “The Legal Limit Report No. 4,” obtained by The Daily Caller, delves into little-known and little-reported details of President Obama’s executive actions. Cruz was set to discuss his report at the Federalist Society in the Promenade Ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington at 2:15 PM Wednesday.
“Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat,” Cruz stated in the report’s introductory remarks.
Poll: For the midterms, a tilt to the GOP
The Midterm Landscape
With just less than six months to go before the 2014 elections, a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center poll takes an in-depth look at which way voters are leaning and which issues are important to them at this point in the election cycle.
Great Analysis: Democratic, Republican voters worlds apart in divided Wisconsin
In the acrid and escalating clash between red and blue America, there is no battleground quite like metropolitan Milwaukee.
Spectacularly divided, remarkably mobilized, frequently fought over, its politically lopsided communities have been veering apart for more than 40 years.
Democrats and Republicans aren’t just strangers to each other in their politics — they increasingly live in separate worlds. In its ultrapartisan geography, this is arguably the most polarized place in swing-state America.
Liberal donors eye new long-term investments in states and new voters to boost Democrats
group of wealthy liberal donors who helped bankroll the Center for American Progress and other major advocacy groups on the left is developing a new big-money strategy that could boost state-level Democratic candidates and mobilize core party voters.
The plan, being crafted in private by a group of about 100 donors that includes billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros and San Francisco venture capitalist Rob McKay, seeks to give Democrats a stronger hand in the redrawing of district lines for state legislatures and the U.S. House.
he effort reflects a sense among many top donors on the left that Democrats missed opportunities in 2010 to shape the redistricting process and contain the tea party wave that helped propel Republican victories around the country.
Obama Unleashes the Left How the government created a federal hunting license for the far left.
It’s obvious that the far left has decided there are no longer constraints on what it can do to anyone who disagrees with it. How did this happen? Who let the dogs out?
The answer is not university presidents. The answer is that the Obama administration let the dogs out.
The trigger event was an agreement signed last May between the federal government and the University of Montana to resolve a Title IX dispute over a sexual-assault case.
Every college administrator in the U.S. knows about this agreement. Indeed, there are three separate, detailed “Montana” documents that were signed jointly—and this is unusual—by the civil-rights divisions of the Justice and Education Departments. Remarked DoJ’s Joceyln Samuels, “The government is stronger when we speak with one voice.”
That’s real muscle. But read the agreement. It is Orwellian.
The agreement orders the school to retain an “Equity Consultant” (yes, there is such a thing) to advise it indefinitely on compliance. The school must, with the equity consultant, conduct “annual climate surveys.” It will submit the results “to the United States.”
The agreement describes compliance in mind-numbing detail, but in fact the actual definitional world it creates is vague. It says: “The term ‘sexual harassment’ means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” But there are also definitions for sexual assault and gender-based harassment. All of this detailed writ is called “guidance.” As in missile.
Room to Pray A small victory for civilization
The vandals have lost one at the Supreme Court. The psalmist surely did not have Anthony Kennedy in mind when he proclaimed “Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of thy judgments,” but the trumpets should sound any and every time Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s grubby little cult suffers a political defeat.
The case was Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Susan Galloway et al., and the question was whether the town fathers of a Rochester suburb you’ve never heard of were doing violence to the Bill of Rights by allowing citizens and clergymen to lead prayers before meetings of the town board. The plaintiffs in the case were Susan Galloway, a Jewish woman who describes her history of activism as beginning with a refusal to sing Christmas carols as a junior-high student, and Linda Stevens, a retired public-school functionary and atheist who served in the august position of president of the Greater Rochester Chapter of the National Organization for Women and as vice president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Ms. Stevens complained that the overwhelmingly Christian character of the locals’ prayers made her feel like she would “stick out,” and so, naturally enough, she filed a lawsuit, apparently immune to the irony that her response to what she perceived as a situation encouraging conformity through social pressure was to seek federal action mandating conformity at gunpoint.
This Is the One Thing the Right and Left Are Working Together On In Congress
Conservatives and progressives both see that America has a greater percentage of their population in prison and jail than other nations. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons and county jails in 2011. There were also 4,814,200 adults on probation or parole at year-end 2011.
Many of these inmates deserve to be in prison, and we are safer because they are. But every prison cell costs money. Americans concerned about government overspending note that putting a person in prison for one year in California can cost $50,000. Progressives note that many are in prison for non-violent crimes—some for decades. Progressives want racial disparities in stops, arrests, convictions and sentencing to be addressed. Both conservatives and progressives have begun internal discussions of the costs of the drug war on human lives, civil liberties and taxpayer dollars.
All you need to know about business in China
Six big trends are shaping the country’s future, as investor Jeffrey Towson and McKinsey’s Jonathan Woetzel explain in this excerpt from The One Hour China Book.
A lot of people view China business as mysterious. Relax. Consumers behave pretty much the same everywhere. Competition is pretty much the same everywhere. You just need to ignore the hype and focus on the basic fact that in China today, there are six big trends (exhibit). That’s it. Six trends shape most of the country’s industries and drive much of China’s impact on the Western world. They are like tectonic plates moving underneath the surface. If you can understand them, the chaotic flurry of activity on the surface becomes a lot more understandable—and even predictable.
These trends move businesses on a daily basis. They’re revenue or cost drivers that show up in income statements. Deals, newspaper headlines, political statements, and the rising and falling wealth of companies are mostly manifestations of these six trends, which aren’t typically studied by economists and political analysts. In fact, we happen to think that Chinese politics or political economics are wildly overemphasized by some Westerners in China. So let’s tell a story about each of these megatrends, with some important caveats. They’re not necessarily good things. They’re not necessarily sustainable. For every one of them, we can argue a bull and a bear case. Most lead to profits or at least revenue. Some may be stable. Some lead to bubbles that may or may not collapse. We are only arguing that they are big, they are driving economic activity on a very large scale, and understanding them is critical to understanding China and where it’s headed.
A Breath-Taking Example of the Power of Our Computers
Researchers at the Havard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, MIT and other institutions around the world haven’t quite built a god-like supercomputer, but they have done something that pushes us just a wee bit closer. Dubbed the Illustris Project, cosmologists have created a computer simulation of a universe, very much like our own, to study dark matter and energy and the formation of galaxies.
According to the project’s website, the “Illustris simulations were run on supercomputers in France, Germany, and the US. The largest was run on 8,192 compute cores, and took 19 million CPU hours (the equivalent of one computer CPU running for 19 million hours, or about 2,000 years).” It took five years.
You can take an journey through the different corners of the universe they created here. Or have a look at this:
Three Weeks to Choose From
June 8, June 22, July 6
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NEW Facebook Page…
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