Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish all of my readers a merry Christmas! I hope that you have a wonderful time as you gather with family and friends, and pray that you remember and rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus Christ.




A fantastic rendition of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen'
by the Annie Moses Band


Without further ado, the text from the Gospel of Luke's account of the very first Christmas:


And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 


(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 


And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 


And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 


to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 


And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 


And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 


And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 


And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 


And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 


And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 


And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 


Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 


And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 


And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 


And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 


And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 


But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 


And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


Luke 2:1-20

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poll shows Gingrich leading in Oklahoma (but take with a grain of salt)


SoonerPoll.com conducted a poll over the past month on the presidential primary here in Oklahoma. It has some interesting results, but I'll explain why it should be taken with a big grain of salt.

Newt Gingrich: 33.3%
Mitt Romney: 14.3%
Rick Perry: 9.3%
Herman Cain:  9.3% (dropped out during polling, but was kept in for consistency)
Ron Paul: 4.3%
Michele Bachmann: 3.5%
Rick Santorum: 1.5%
Jon Huntsman: 1.3%
Don't know/refused: 23.5%

SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific poll Nov. 17-Dec. 16, 2011.  The survey was of 400 'Likely' Oklahoma voters who identified themselves as Republicans, with a margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

At the start of their polling, Herman Cain was still an active candidate. Upon his withdrawal, SoonerPoll had to keep his name in the poll, in order for consistency in the survey.

However, Cain's inclusion isn't the problem for me -- my hesitation is based on the length of the poll. Most surveys of this nature are done in a two to three day period, sometimes as long as a week. This one took a whole month, which seems excessive to me. With this particular election cycle, much transpires in a month's time (a prime example in this poll being Herman Cain's candidacy).

A primary poll is essentially a snapshot of the current mood of the electorate in regards to the candidates. When a poll is of this length, it loses focus, and the results become fuzzy and out of focus.

Gingrich may well have this type of a lead in Oklahoma, but I take this poll with a big grain of salt. Until another poll confirms the results, put an asterisk beside this one.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dead: Kim Jong-Il


Kim Jong-Il
DEAD

The North Korean government is reporting that longtime dictator Kim Jong-Il died two days ago of a heart attack. His apparent successor is Kim Jong-un, his youngest son.

Read more here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eagle Forum Endorses George Faught

George Faught, candidate for Congress in the 2nd District, has picked up another major endorsement, this time from Eagle Forum PAC and Phyllis Schlafly.



Eagle Forum Endorses George Faught in
Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District

Washington, D.C. – Eagle Forum PAC, a conservative public policy organization founded by pro-family leader Phyllis Schlafly, is proud to endorse George Faught in the race to represent Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District.

“George is exactly the kind of leader we need in Washington,” said Schlafly.  “He is a tireless defender of life, marriage, fiscal responsibility and national security.”

“As a state legislator, George had a 100% pro-life record.” Schlafly noted.  “He also wrote and advocated for legislation to make English Oklahoma’s official language, a measure supported by 87% of Americans.”

“George also led the effort to decline federal money for Oklahoma to lay the groundwork for Obamacare,” Schlafly explained.  “Obamacare must be overturned!  If someone is willing to turn down money for his state as a state legislator, we know we can count on him to go the distance in Washington and vote for its complete repeal.”

“Now, more than ever, we need Members of Congress who don’t just vote well, but will roll up their sleeves and fight to protect life and marriage and to cut federal spending,” said Schlafly.  “We know George Faught will represent and fight for our values.  We look forward to working with him in Congress.”

Eagle Forum PAC supports candidates who are committed to a conservative philosophy of limited government, national sovereignty and traditional values.

Learn more about George and his campaign for Congress by visiting his website, and by following him on Twitter and Facebook.

Romney in 2002: "My views are progressive"

Hat tip to Kavon Nikrad of Race42012.com for first bringing this clip to my attention. Here, in a news story from his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Mitt Romney states that "I think people recognize that I'm not a partisan Republican, that I'm someone who is moderate, and that my views are progressive".


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor: 70 Years




70 years later, a grateful nation remembers the sacrifices at 
Pearl Harbor, and during the rest of World War II. 

We salute our heroes - living and fallen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ron Paul wins OKGOP Straw Poll



Results for the Oklahoma Republican Party Presidential Straw Poll were announced this evening at the "Victory 2012" rally in Oklahoma City. Texas Congressman Ron Paul emerged as the victor of the online poll, which required a five dollar donation per vote, and was limited to one vote per individual.

The results:

  1. Ron Paul - 46%
  2. Herman Cain - 25%
  3. Newt Gingrich - 17%
  4. Mitt Romney - 6%
  5. Rick Perry - 3%
  6. Michele Bachmann - 2%
  7. Rick Santorum - 1%
  8. Gary Johnson - less than 1%

Poll was conducted online at www.OklahomaStrawPoll.com from November 21st to December 5th. For more details visit www.oklahomastrawpoll.com/faq or call (405) 528-3501.

Blogger to Coburn: run for president as "favorite son"


Tulsa blogger Michael Bates of BatesLine.com has penned a plea to Sen. Tom Coburn, urging him to file a presidential campaign here in Oklahoma as a "favorite son" candidate. Filing for president in Oklahoma started today, and closes on Wednesday at 5pm.

The best hope for across-the-board (fiscal, social, and defense) conservatives is for another candidate to emerge, but it's too late (believe it or not) for another candidate to enter and compete effectively in the primaries. Filing deadlines have already passed for New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, and Missouri. Oklahoma, Ohio, Louisiana, and Michigan close filing this week. By the time we know the result in New Hampshire, even more deadlines will have passed. Although Iowa has no filing deadline (the caucus straw poll is not binding), a win there would require creating a grassroots GOTV organization ex nihilo in less than a month.
Tom Coburn speaking on health care fraud, by Medill DC, on FlickrBut there is still a way for a "player to be named later" to become the Republican nominee. "Favorite son" candidates could file in each state, giving Republican voters a way to vote for "None of the Above" and to deny a majority of delegates to any of the currently active candidates, none of whom seem to have the right stuff to win the nomination, win the general election, and then steer the country decisively away from the fiscal Niagara Falls just around the next bend in the river.
I'm asking you, Sen. Coburn, to run in Oklahoma's primary as our favorite son.
Sure, any random Republican with the intention of serving as a placeholder for "None of the Above" could cut a check for $2,500 to put his name on the ballot. But Joe Random would have to raise huge amounts of money to publicize his reasons for running and to convince Oklahoma voters that he could be trusted with their votes.
You wouldn't have that problem, Sen. Coburn. The media, both local and national, would give a Coburn favorite son candidacy significant coverage. Oklahoma Republican voters already know and trust you (your TARP vote notwithstanding -- an error, but well-intentioned), and they know you are not driven by a lust for power. And if a win in Oklahoma turned into a national groundswell for a Coburn nomination, the vast majority of Oklahoma Republicans and fiscal conservatives nationwide would be very, very pleased.
If you should win the Oklahoma primary, as I expect you would, Oklahoma's 43 delegates would give you a seat at the table in deciding the outcome of a deadlocked national convention, helping to ensure that the Republican nominee is someone who understands the fiscal crisis that looms over our nation and who is prepared to act decisively to deal with it.

Read the post in its entirety at this link.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cain suspending presidential campaign


OUT.


Cain: "I am suspending my presidential campaign."  Launching organization to push for his 9-9-9 plan, and other issues.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cain responds to latest allegation

It's another week, and another individual has come to the media with claims of inappropriate behavior by presidential candidate Herman Cain. His response is posted below.



Dear Patriots and Supporters,

As you probably heard yesterday, a troubled Atlanta business woman used national media outlets to promulgate a fabricated, unsubstantiated story about a 13 year affair with me.  I am writing you today to assure you that this woman’s story is completely false.

I do know Ms. White.  I have helped her financially at times over the past few years, just as I have helped many friends and acquaintances throughout the years. I thought Ms. White was a friend in need of a supportive hand to better her life.

Ms. White has made it apparent that she was abusing the friendship.

But now I am asking for your friendship.  I am also asking for your prayers and support. This is a trying time for my family, my campaign, and for me.  It is also a trying time for our country as we are all distracted from the truly important issues facing our nation.

This evening I have an important speaking engagement at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, where I will be outlining my foreign policy and national security plan.  While recent events have taken a toll on me, the people in the audience this evening will not know it.  I will deliver my message with vigor and enthusiasm.

Let me assure you, I am not deterred.  America’s future is too important. We will continue on this journey to make America great once again.

Thank you and God bless.

Sincerely,

Herman Cain

Cain is scheduled to appear at a "Victory 2012" rally in Oklahoma City on December 5th, to raise money for the Oklahoma Republican Party. More information on that event is here. Results from the ongoing Oklahoma Presidential Straw Poll will be announced at the event that evening.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving!


I will be out of town for Thanksgiving, and so will be absent from the blogging scene for at least a week. In the meantime, I encourage you to check out the many good blogs I have listed on the sidebar (under 'Top Blog List' and 'Blogroll').

Friday, November 18, 2011

OKGOP to hold presidential straw poll



OKGOP Announces Presidential Straw Poll
Pinnell: "Time the 'reddest state in America' had a straw poll of its own"


(Oklahoma City) - The Oklahoma Republican Party today announced the launch of the inaugural Oklahoma Presidential Straw Poll. The poll will be an online straw poll conducted with the assistance of eVoter, a nonpartisan election information website.

"Many states hold presidential straw polls every four years creating national publicity and financial support for their respective state," said OKGOP Chairman Matt Pinnell. "We thought it was time the 'reddest state in America' had a straw poll of its own. Nothing could be a more accurate barometer of Republican primary voters than to poll those in the most conservative state in the country."

Oklahoma received notoriety as the 'reddest state in America' after all 77 Oklahoma counties went red in 2008, garnering the highest percentage of the vote in the country for the McCain/Palin ticket.

From November 21st - December 5th, voters will be able to cast a vote for their preferred presidential candidate for a $5 contribution to the Oklahoma Republican Party. "In other states, straw poll voters can end up spending hundreds of dollars in travel costs and ballot fees in order to vote," said Pinnell. "We wanted to provide a way for voters to show their support for their candidate from the comfort of their own living room."

Beginning on November 21st, voters will be able to cast their vote at www.oklahomastrawpoll.com. Voting will close at 5:00 pm on December 5th. Results will be announced December 5th at a "Victory 2012" Rally featuring special guest Herman Cain. The Rally will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Marriott at 3233 Northwest Expressway and will be open to the press.

For complete rules and information visit www.oklahomastrawpoll.com/faq. For press inquires and interviews please contact Chairman Matt Pinnell at 405-528-3501.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Supreme Court to hear ObamaCare in 2012


The United States Supreme Court has announced that they will rule on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA ObamaCare) next spring, finally bringing the many lawsuits against the president's healthcare legislation to the pinnacle of America's judicial system.

Oral arguments will take place in March, and last for five and a half hours - an unusually long amount of time for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Settle in for a contentious debate, and close vote...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

GOP Presidential Candidates' Mount Rushmore Additions


ABC News and Yahoo recently teamed up to conduct a round of interviews with the Republican presidential candidates, which included a "lightning round" covering more personal, non-political questions; you can view the synopsis here. It's an interesting and entertaining read.

One of the questions asked was about additions to Mount Rushmore.

From ABC News/Yahoo:


Question: Who should be the fifth president on Mount Rushmore?

  • Jon Huntsman: Ronald Reagan, but I worked for him 100 years ago, and I saw him up close as an advance man. Very special man.
  • Michele Bachmann: Well, Ronald Reagan would be a good choice.  But — I– I think just — Garfield was the last member who was — the House of Representatives, who became president of the United States — and he — and he was a very — he was a wonderful man.  But also, I’d have to say, Calvin Coolidge should be up there, too. Calvin Coolidge, because Calvin Coolidge — was able to get the United States’ budget way on track.  And he really was a taking-care-of-business kinda guy.
  • Rick Perry: I think there’s enough presidents on Mount Rushmore already.
  • Mitt Romney: I got a couple.  John Adams and Ronald Reagan.
  • Herman Cain: The fifth president that belongs on Mt. Rushmore, he hasn't been president yet.  No, the one possibility up until this point would be Ronald Reagan.
  • Newt Gingrich: I’ll go for five and six:  F.D.R. and Reagan.

Who would you pick for an addition to Mount Rushmore? Would you even choose anyone? Leave your thoughts in the comments!


Note: Ron Paul and Rick Santorum were also interviewed, but did not have time to get the Mount Rushmore question in their roughly two-minute lightning round.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

M5.6 earthquake shakes Oklahoma; largest in state history


Last night at 10:53pm, a magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck Oklahoma, centered in Lincoln County. The quake was felt across the entire region, including neighboring states and as far away as the Great Lakes. The previous state record for an earthquake was a magnitude 5.5 in 1952, centered near El Reno.

The shaking lasted over a minute where I was; I was actually on the phone with someone in Oklahoma City who felt the quake right before it reached me.

Did you feel it?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hammons won't seek reelection


From the Muskogee Phoenix:

Mayor won't seek new term
Hammons plans to attend law school

Mayor John Tyler Hammons said Thursday that he would step aside next year at the end of his second term to pursue a law degree.

Hammons dispelled speculation that he might run for the House District 14 post held by Rep. George Faught, who is seeking the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District race.

Hammons said he made his decision after he received law school scholarship offers. He hopes to attend the University of Oklahoma or the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

“We’ve done a lot of good things since I’ve been here, and I’m proud of that,” Hammons said. “I’m looking forward to going back to being a private citizen. ... It’s time to seek other opportunities.”

Read more from the Muskogee Phoenix here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Musical Interlude: Of the Father's Love Begotten

It's time for another Musical Interlude! And yes, I'm posting a Christmas song... but you'll have to bear with me - I've been playing Christmas music for a few months now, since my church's orchestra began the annual preparation for our Christmas program. Besides, Christmas is less than two months away now!

The lyrics to this particular song, Of the Father's Love Begotten, were penned by Aurelius Prudentius around A.D. 400, and the melody originates sometime between the 10th and 12th centuries.





To listen to more Musical Interludes, click on the 'Musical Interludes' label.

Friday, October 21, 2011

'Occupy LA' Protester: Run the Jews Out

With the spread of the radical-left Occupy [fill-in-the-blank] movement, attention is being attracted to the very real anti-Semitism within its ranks. Watch this video.




McAllister: "Jews have been run out of 109 countries throughout history, and we need to run 'em out of this one."

The original interview with McAllister that sparked the controversy is here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Faught: strong fundraising quarter, 80% from within CD2



Faught Off to Strong Start, Raises over $105,000
Faught receives support from across the district.

Muskogee, OK — Muskogee businessman and conservative state legislator, George Faught, announced today that he has raised $105,331.00 during his first quarter of fundraising in his bid to be the next Congressman from the 2nd District of Oklahoma. Faught, who is making his first run for Congress, announced on July 14th his intention to run for the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Dan Boren.

"Our campaign has gotten off to a great start both in fundraising and grassroots support," said George Faught. "The contributions we have received so far, as well as the number of like-minded individuals who are uniting with us is truly humbling and energizing. Over 80% of our donations have come from people who live and vote in the 2nd District. It really shows that they are ready to send a tried, true and genuine conservative fighter to Congress to stand up to the politics of the Obama Administration."

George Faught is in his 3rd term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and represents a 70% registered Democrat district located within the boundaries of the 2nd Congressional District.

"Our shared conservative values have been under attack for years, and the power to stop this onslaught lies with the people of this great nation. Alone we may not be able to do much, but if we unite, together we can accomplish many great things," said Faught. "This is just an early step in our battle to return the 2nd District and Congress to the principles our nation was founded on, and away from the special interests and liberal politics of Washington. I want to thank all of the folks who have signed on with our campaign so far, and look forward to traveling across this fine district in the coming months."

Staunchly pro-life, pro-business, and pro-limited government, Faught was recently endorsed by the Concerned Women PAC and the Can-Do Conservatives of America. In 2010, Faught received the top 'Limited Government' rating from Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise (OK-SAFE). He was honored in 2011 as ‘Representative of the Year’ by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Faught lives in Muskogee with his wife, Becky, and is the father of three grown children. You can learn more about George and his campaign by visiting his website, and by following him on Twitter and Facebook.

Shannon elected House Speaker-designate



OKLAHOMA CITY (October 17, 2011) - Rep. T.W. Shannon has been elected House Speaker-designate for the 54th Oklahoma Legislature.

The House Republican Caucus elected Shannon (R-Lawton) as Speaker-designate during a caucus meeting Monday morning at the Capitol.

Should Republicans maintain their majority in the House following next year’s election cycle, Shannon will be next in line to serve as Speaker of the House beginning in November 2012, when current House Speaker Kris Steele leaves office due to term limits.

“The House will be in good hands under Representative Shannon’s leadership,” said Steele, R-Shawnee. “T.W. is a dynamic and capable leader who will continue to work hard for the state of Oklahoma. I look forward to begin working with him to ensure a smooth leadership transition next year.”

Shannon and Reps. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, and Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, were the candidates for Speaker-designate.

“The three candidates who made themselves available to fill this position are fine public servants and are to be commended for their enthusiastic desire to be leaders in Oklahoma’s effort to grow as a state,” Steele said.

Shannon, 33, said he looks forward to working with Steele and the rest of the House in the coming months.

“I was extremely humbled by the support shown by my colleagues today,” Shannon said. “I am excited and ready to stand behind Speaker Steele to help grow our majority in the coming election and assist in advancing a conservative agenda that will make Oklahoma a destination to live, work and raise a family.”

Shannon, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, is a sixth generation Oklahoman and third generation Lawtonian. He has served in the Legislature since 2006, representing House District 62. Shannon previously served as a congressional staffer for U.S. Reps. J.C. Watts and Tom Cole.

Shannon and his wife, Devon, also a Lawton native, are the parents of a daughter, Audrey Grace, and a son, Tahrohon Wayne II.

Shannon holds a bachelor of arts in communications from Cameron University and a juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University. (OK House Media)

Also of note: once formally elected Speaker in November of next year, Shannon will become the first black speaker of the house in state history.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Israeli cabinet approves deal to release Gilad Shalit

After 1,935 days in captivity, Israeli Army Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit may well be coming home soon.



In a deal negotiated with the help of the Egyptian government, Israel has agreed to a phased release of over 1,000 Arab terrorists held in Israeli prisons. In return, Hamas (the Islamic terrorist group in control of the Gaza Strip) will turn Shalit over to Egypt, who will transfer him to back to Israel.

Shalit was captured in a raid on June 25th, 2006, and has been held hostage by Hamas ever since. The only contact with the outside world Gilad has been able to make during his captivity took place in 2009; three letters, an audio tape and a video. Repeated attempts by the Red Cross to visit Shalit have been refused by Hamas, and previous negotiations or rescue attempts all failed.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Perry slams Romney in web ad

Texas Governor Rick Perry's presidential campaign released a hard-hitting ad against fellow GOP contender Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts. Take a look.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bridenstine receives Combat Veterans for Congress PAC endorsement



Jim Bridenstine, Republican candidate for Congress in the 1st Congressional District, recently received the endorsement of a national veterans political action committee. Bridenstine, who is running against incumbent Congressman John Sullivan, announced his candidacy in the middle of September.


Tulsa’s Jim Bridenstine Endorsed by National Veterans Organization


Tulsa, OK - U.S. congressional candidate Jim Bridenstine (Jenks) was officially endorsed by national Veteran’s P.A.C. “Combat Veterans for Congress” Thursday.  Bridenstine, who was recently selected to rank of Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve, joins the company of such notable Veterans as Florida Congressman Allen West, Lt. Col- USA (Ret), Arizona Senator John McCain, Capt-USN (Ret), and California Congressman Duncan Hunter, Capt-USMCR.  Bridenstine officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in Oklahoma’s 1st U.S. Congressional District on Thursday, September 15th in Tulsa.

I am honored to receive the endorsement of Combat Veterans for Congress PAC.”  Said Bridenstine.  “This group represents the best America has to offer and the ideals that will keep America strong and free. I will never forget the fighting men and women with whom I serve or those who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our republic.

The PAC’s Chairman and Director said of Bridenstine:

After a careful and thorough evaluation of the Congressional race in the 1st Congressional District of Oklahoma, it is our strong opinion that Lcdr Jim Bridenstine, USNR has the best chance of limiting government, controlling spending, and retaining that seat in the Republican column. The Combat Veterans For Congress are interested in electing men and women who will try to fundamentally change the way business is conducted in Congress. Lcdr Bridenstine’s proven courage in combat, willingness to protect and defend the US Constitution in war and in peace, and his intent to rein in the out of control spending by Congressmen who have been unresponsive to the will of their constituents, makes Lcdr James Bridenstine the clear choice for the voters of Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District.” -- Capt Joseph R. John, USN (Ret), Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC

Bridenstine, a Republican, is a pilot in the U.S. Navy Reserve, but is best known as the former Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, where he created the QuikTrip Air and Rocket Racing Show and launched Tulsa’s effort to acquire a retired space shuttle.  In 2010, he accepted orders to serve with the United States Navy Reserve, where he was recently selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander.  He currently flies counter-drug missions worldwide.

Early in his active duty career, Jim Bridenstine flew E-2C Hawkeyes off the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.  It was there that he flew combat missions and gathered most of his 1,800 flight hours and 333 carrier arrested landings.  Jim participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Southern Watch in Iraq, and Operation Shock and Awe in Iraq.  While on active duty, Jim Bridenstine transitioned to the F-18 Hornet and flew with the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN.

The 1993 Jenks High School graduate was Oklahoma Swimmer of the Year.  His formal education includes a Triple Major from Rice University (Economics, Business, and Psychology) and an MBA from Cornell University.

Jim Bridenstine is married to Michelle (Ivory) Bridenstine.  They have three children, Walker (5), Sarah (3), and a Baby on the way. Jim Bridenstine and his family are members of South Tulsa Baptist Church.

ABOUT Combat Veterans for Congress –

Combat Veterans For Congress Committee supports fiscally conservative Combat Veterans to Congress who believe in limited government, will rein in the out of control spending of Congress, are committed to preserving and defending the US Constitution, and will support the independence and freedom of the individual as outlined in the Bill of Rights, according to their mission statement.  They also support those who are dedicated to promoting The Free Enterprise System that created the greatest economic engine in the history of mankind, who will provide for a strong national defense, and who will endorse the teaching of US history and the Founding Fathers’ core values in educational institutions.

For additional information about Combat Vets for Congress, visit CombatVeteransForCongress.org. For additional information about Bridenstine, visit JimBridenstine.com.

'The Play' - Celebrating 10 Years

It's been 10 years since the famous Roy Williams 'Superman' play at the OU-Texas football game. Today, OU gets another chance to beat Texas...




BOOMER SOONER!

Constitutional Flaw?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just how big is Oklahoma's government?

Americans for Prosperity Oklahoma has put together a great video, detailing how vast and complicated Oklahoma government is. Take three minutes and watch the video below.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Palin decides against 2012 campaign


In a decision that isn't too much of a surprise, Sarah Palin announced yesterday that she will not be running for President in 2012.
October 5, 2011
Wasilla, Alaska

After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.

My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office - from the nation's governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency. We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the "fundamental transformation" of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.

From the bottom of my heart I thank those who have supported me and defended my record throughout the years, and encouraged me to run for President. Know that by working together we can bring this country back - and as I've always said, one doesn't need a title to help do it.

I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables. We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.

Those will be our priorities so Americans can be confident that a smaller, smarter government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people can better serve this most exceptional nation.

In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House.

Thank you again for all your support. Let's unite to restore this country!

God bless America.

- Sarah Palin

With Palin and Chris Christie declining to run, the GOP field is most likely in its near-final form. It is probably too late in the race for a candidate to get in and still have a chance at winning; Rick Perry seems to be discovering that he may well have waited too long to jump in.

Palin made the right decision; unfortunately for, her brand is still damaged from the pounding she took in the 2008 election and immediately thereafter from the mainstream media and the Republican establishment. While she still would have been a formidable candidate in the GOP primary, her viability in a general election campaign is questionable. I think she realized that she can be most effective on the sidelines, focusing her efforts on down-ballot races and firing up the grassroots for 2012.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Faught picks up Concerned Women endorsement

State Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee), candidate for Congress in the 2nd District, picked up a big endorsement today, as the Concerned Women Political Action Committee (affiliated with Concerned Women for America) announced their support of his candidacy. The release is below:




You can learn more about Faught and his campaign by visiting GeorgeFaught.com.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Balancing the budget and concern over debt unite Oklahomans


The national debt currently stands at over $14.7 trillion, and that sum causes great concern to Oklahomans, regardless of political affiliation. By the same token, an overwhelming majority of Oklahomans support a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget.

SoonerPoll recently conducted a survey that asked respondents’ thoughts on the national debt, and on a balanced budget amendment, and I think you’ll find the results to be interesting.

Click here to read the rest of my column and poll analysis at SoonerPoll.com.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Perry Wins Oklahoma State Fair Straw Poll

The Oklahoma County Republican Party conducted a straw poll at the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City. Rick Perry won the GOP primary portion of the poll, in which nearly two thousand ballots were cast over a ten-day period.

Whom do you expect to vote for in the Republican Presidential Primary?
Oklahoma County GOP straw poll; 1,947 votes, Sept. 15th-25th

Rick Perry - 39%
Ron Paul - 19%
Mitt Romney - 14%
Herman Cain - 11%
Michele Bachmann - 7%
Newt Gingrich - 5%
Jon Huntsman - 2%
Rick Santorum - 2%

You can the rest of the results (six questions in all) here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Netanyahu's UN Speech

In case you missed it, here is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the United Nations General Assembly from yesterday:


Cain wins Florida's 'Presidency 5' Straw Poll


Herman Cain scored an unexpected, and rather stunning, victory in today's Presidency 5 straw poll in Florida. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry had been expected to be the top contenders in the Florida GOP event, but Cain took the straw poll by storm.

  1. Herman Cain - 996 (37.1%)
  2. Rick Perry - 409 (15.4%)
  3. Mitt Romney - 372 (14%)
  4. Rick Santorum - 289 (10.9%)
  5. Ron Paul - 276 (10.4%)
  6. Newt Gingrich - 224 (8.4%)
  7. Jon Huntsman - 60 (2.3%)
  8. Michelle Bachmann - 40 (1.5%)
After an initial (and massive) surge, Rick Perry has had a difficult few weeks. This is a painful end to the week, as it continues the story-line of Perry's campaign troubles.

Also surprising about this poll was that Ron Paul (well known for targeting straw polls) came in fifth, and Michelle Bachmann came in a very distant dead last. Bachmann and Romney did both skip the event, but in a gathering of party faithful in a contentious primary, one would expect their numbers to have been higher (particularly Bachmann's).

This is very good news for Herman Cain, and will give some much-needed wind in his campaign's sails. Presidency 5 organizers like to tout the fact that the winners in their three previous straw polls (1979, 1987 and 1995) went on to become the Republican nominee every time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Editorial: What would Arab state #23/Muslim state #58 be like?

Global leaders are so busy speaking of how essential it is for a “State of Palestine” to be founded that none of them seems to have noticed that it already exists in practice in the Palestinian Authority. Since the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994, the contours of the “State of Palestine” that they wish have taken form in front of our eyes.

So what will this famous “State of Palestine” be like?

It will be a racist state ethnically cleansed of Jews, as the PLO representatives proclaimed the last week.

It will be a state led by Holocaust enablers like Hamas or by a Holocaust-denier like Mahmoud Abbas, who in a book downgraded the number of Jewish victims and denied that the gas chambers were used to murder Jews.

In any case, it will be a state committed to the destruction of the nearby Jews’ homeland.

A state that will banish freedom of conscience for artists, journalists and writers. A state that will drive away Christians from the land, while proclaiming Jesus “the first fedayeen”.

A state that will stone to death Arab homosexuals and prostitutes, who are now finding a shelter in Israel. A state that will torture Arab inmates in prisons and that will throw political dissidents from the roofs of public buildings.

A state where the Iranian clergy will preach the Khomeinist ideology. A state that will accept checks and support from the genocidal Muslim Brotherhood in the name of “the caliphate or death”, as the Islamists who assassinated Egypt’s Anwar Sadat in 1981 decorated their holding cages.

A state where the sharia – the Islamic code – will be the only rule of law. A state that will be put to death human beings simply because guilty of apostasy (conversion to Christianity). A state where the women will be obliged to wear headscarves. A state where “honor killings” will terrorize the female population.

A state that will commemorate terrorists, human bombs and baby killers in public squares, streets and monuments.

A state that will not hold democratic elections, but that will be a combination of corruption, dictatorship, Islamic theology and “binladenism”.

A state where terror militias will cut fingers of the smokers.

A state where public libraries will become the largest global archive of antisemithic books.

A state that will ban drinking in public buildings. A state where liquor stores will be blown up by terror groups.

A state where men will be banned from women’s hair salons.

A state where security forces will arrest people for expressing opinions unpopular with the regime, as well as punishing media organizations and journalists for their coverage of such statements.

A state where the ratio of militiamen/men- under-arms to civilians will be higher than in any other country. A state where worshipers in mosques will be gunned down by terrorists.

A state that will encourage a new category of Arab refugees, those who would gladly escape oppressive and murderous Palestinian control.

A state where ambulances will be stopped on the way to hospitals and wounded will be shot in cold blood. A state that would be a heavily armed union of rejectionists all dedicated to destroying the shards of Western values.

A state where young couples will not walk hand in hand in the Al Manar Square of Ramallah and where plainclothes officers will halt them in the streets, demanding to see marriage licenses.

A state that will declare war on Judaism, depicting Jewish history in the Middle East as no more than an insignificant, brief sojourn by arrogant colonizers.

Who would live in such a state? So why the world is dribbling at the mouth about the creation of a “State of Palestine”?

Is it because Arab state number 23 and Muslim state number 58 will be the perfect tool for the evaporization of the lone Jewish state in the world?

6 miles is the distance between the Israeli city of Afula and the “State of Palestine”. 9 miles to the city of Netanya. 11 miles to reach the skycrapers of Tel Aviv. 4 miles to bomb the Ben Gurion International Airport. Just a mile to the city of Kfar Saba.

Building the small Palestinian caliphate on Israel’s shoulders is the first step of throwing the Jews in the sea.

Italian journalist Giulio Meotti authored this editorial, which appears at IsraelNationalNews.com. 

Israel's Ayalon on the peace process

With the Palestinian Authority's looming efforts to seek recognition by the United Nations, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon's office has released an excellent video entitled 'The Truth of the Peace Process'.




Ayalon had a previous video on The Truth about the West Bank, which you can view here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Carter wants Romney as GOP nominee



"I hope he [Romney] wins. I'm not taking a position, but I would be very pleased to see him win the Republican nomination."

More here.

American Majority 'Training Bomb' tomorrow in Bixby


American Majority is holding a Training Bomb tomorrow at locations across the country, designed to educate and train conservative political activists.

Not only will it be the biggest one-day training of conservative activists ever, but American Majority is going to be introducing new lectures, new manuals, and new projects.

Honoring Constitution Day

On September 17th, we will celebrate the 224th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution. It is one of the greatest political documents in history.

But in 2011, the principles of limited government and individual freedom are in question. Understanding there is a problem is not enough. Coming up with ideas to solve the problems is not enough. Protesting is not enough. For us to turn this country around, the citizens must be equipped with the tools to bring about real change, and then spurred into action. We know we need to reduce the impact of government on our lives in order to make America stronger, and there’s no better day than Constitution Day to bring thousands of Americans together to learn how they can ensure we continue to live in a free society.

Get trained. Make a difference.

To that end, American Majority, one of the premier political training institutions in this country, is proud to announce that on September 17th, Constitution Day, it will be conducing the first ever Training Bomb. Tea Party members and liberty minded activists will come together in more than thirteen cities for the largest single-day grassroots training initiative in American history. For the first time, simultaneous sessions across America will be held to educate and mobilize fiscally conservative activists and future leaders.

This is not a rally. This is not a summit.

This is a massive effort to equip concerned citizens with the tools necessary to bring about change. Both an activist and candidate curriculum will be offered at each location to help the conservative cause organize for victory next year.

With the 2012 election season just around the corner, American Majority Oklahoma is inviting patriots to get a jump on the competition in preparation for one of the most important elections in recent memory. 
On Saturday, September 17th, American Majority Oklahoma will be in the Tulsa metro to present “Kickoff to Election 2012”.

The “Kickoff to Election 2012” will take place from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and will be held at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church located at 12802 S Memorial Drive in Bixby.

The cost is $25 per person, and lunch and all training materials will be provided.  Seating is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

This training, which is a part of American Majority’s Constitution Day Training Bomb, is designed for potential candidates, activists, volunteers, and any concerned citizen who wants to make a difference in the 2012 elections.

THIS BRAND NEW, NEVER BEFORE SEEN PRESENTATION will focus on simple and applicable keys to victory that conservatives can use to prevail in politics and transform our nation.

For more information or to register, please visit www.trainingbomb.com. You can also go here for more information.

American Majority is a fantastic organization, and I can't recommend them and their events enough. This coming election cycle will be crucial to America's future, and it is vital that conservative activists have the training necessary to be effective.

If you can attend, I encourage you to do so.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Still Remember












I was only 11 years old at the time, but will never forget how that calm Tuesday morning was shattered. In moments, America was changed forever.

Never forget.

Never again.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Muskogee Tea Party Co-Hosting Presidential Debate


Muskogee Tea Party Co-Hosting CNN/Tea Party Express Presidential Debate

CNN and the Tea Party Express, along with the Muskogee Tea Party and more than 100 other tea party groups from every state across the country, will team up this Monday (September 12) to host the first Tea Party presidential debate, to be held in Tampa, Florida. Eight Republican presidential candidates will be present for the debate. Questions for the candidates have been given by Tea Party members all over the nation, and will also be taken from select remote-viewing parties being held by co-sponsoring Tea Party groups.

This will be a historic evening, and the Muskogee Tea Party is proud to be a co-sponsor of the debate. The debate will air live on CNN starting at 7:00pm Central Standard Time. It will also be live-streamed on CNN.com/TeaPartyDebate.

Candidates participating will be Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN), businessman Herman Cain (GA), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (GA), former Gov. Jon Huntsman (UT), Congressman Ron Paul (TX), Gov. Rick Perry (TX), former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (PA).

The Muskogee Tea Party will be hosting a special debate watch party, on Monday evening starting at 6:30pm at Buffalo Wild Wings in Muskogee (1130 W. Shawnee). The public is encouraged to attend, have some great food, watch the debate, and interact with fellow Tea Party conservatives.

The Muskogee Tea Party's organizer, Jamison Faught, and member Steven Proctor will be representing the group in the live audience in Tampa, Florida.

For more information, please email MuskogeeTeaParty@gmail.com, or call (918) 869-6000. You can also visit the Muskogee Tea Party's website at MuskogeeTeaParty.com, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

CNN/Tea Party Express hosting Tea Party Debate Monday

(CNN press release, 9/8/11)

CNN, Tea Party Express to Host
First-Ever Tea Party Debate, Sept. 12 

CNN and the Tea Party Express, along with more than 100 local tea party groups from every state across the country, will team up Monday, September 12 to present a first-of-its-kind debate from the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention: Tampa, Florida. Eight Republican presidential contenders will face questions from moderator and lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer during the two-hour event, which will air live on CNN from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. from the Florida State Fairgrounds. The debate will focus on a wide-range of topics, including the role, size and scope of government, with a specific emphasis on issue number one to tea party members and all Americans: the economy.

In addition to questions from Blitzer, audience members inside the debate hall, made up in part by members from tea party groups in 31 states and the District of Columbia, will be invited to ask questions directly to the candidates. Questions will also be taken live from tea party members at debate watch parties in Phoenix, Ariz.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Portsmouth, Virginia. Online, CNN will solicit questions via comments on CNNPolitics.com, the CNN Politics Facebook page, and by using the #CNNTeaParty hashtag on Twitter.

The following Republican candidates will participate in the debate: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

The debate will be broadcast live on CNN, CNN International, CNN.com, and CNN Radio. The debate will be available via live stream in the CNN Apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

CNNPolitics.com will provide a series of stories for all things related to the CNN-Tea Party Republican Debate: the evolution of the tea party movement, its influence on the Republican Party, what’s at stake for the GOP hopefuls participating in the debate and more. On debate day, Monday, Sept. 12, CNNPolitics.com will dedicate its site to coverage of the debate, featuring profiles of the candidates and a behind-the-scenes look at event preparations.

On the day of the debate, the CNN Political Ticker will host a live, up-to-the-minute blog, including real-time comments from CNN’s political team. The page will also incorporate a social media live stream, integrating the conversation happening across CNN.com, Twitter and Facebook directly onto the Political Ticker.

Additionally, a new page for debate coverage, CNN.com/TeaPartyDebate, will be live on Friday, Sept. 9 and will feature a live video stream of the debate, plus related video.


[Blogger's note: the Muskogee Tea Party is one of the co-sponsors of the debate - the only group from Oklahoma that is a co-sponsor. As the organizer of the Muskogee Tea Party, I will be in Tampa in the audience at the debate.]

Friday, September 9, 2011

Just another day on the job...


I was on a carpet cleaning job this morning, when this horse 
decided to check out the Clean Pro work van.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Perry and Romney on Social Security, plus your take

At last night's presidential debate, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney had a heated exchange over Social Security and the direction needed for the program.

Perry called Social Security "a Ponzi scheme" and "a monstrous lie". Romney said that the GOP nominee "has to be someone who isn't committed to abolishing Social Security, but is committed to saving Social Security", and that he would never say Social Security was a failure. Listen to this clip:




Now, for your reaction, use the poll below and comment on the post.



Wildfires and Drought



The wildfires in Texas and here in Oklahoma are complicated by the exceptionally severe drought both states are undergoing. The following graphic and text are from the U.S. Drought Monitor website:

(click for larger image)

Southern Plains: Conditions continue to remain bleak in Oklahoma and Texas with very little help being seen on the horizon after the near miss of Tropical Storm Lee. The only change of note in Oklahoma, as noted above, was in the filling in of D2 completely within the northeastern corner as it meshes with the expansion of D2 in southeastern Kansas and southwestern Missouri given the oppressive heat, high winds and lack of any significant rains the past few weeks. 
Texas also sees very little change this week with only a small area of the Texas Panhandle moving from D2 to D3. The big story has been the fires in Texas though, which were fanned by the backside winds of TS Lee. Year-to-date, 18,719 fires have burned over 3.5 million acres resulting in 2,897 structure losses according to the Texas Forest Service. The 3.5 million total Texas acres burned represents over 50% of the national total acres burned. In addition, 96% of Texas’s pasture and rangelands are rated as “Poor” or “Very Poor” while Oklahoma shows 90% in this category.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Relief from the Heat!


After enduring record high temperatures for months, Oklahoma looks to be getting a break from the heat over this next week.

Labor Day in particular is looking really nice...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Understatement of the Week: Joe Biden


Vice President Joe Biden attended a Democrat fundraiser in Tulsa last night, and made the understatement of the week. The Tulsa World reports this quote coming as Biden was speaking of the Democrat Party's past in Oklahoma:


"The proud history is there," Biden said, "but there's 
been quite a bit of a drought." 


Yep, that's right, Joe.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pinnell: Flyover State Blues? Not in Oklahoma!



Flyover State Blues
by Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell

Seems like every time a Presidential race heats up midwestern states get the 'Flyover State Blues'. The term "Flyover Country" refers to the part of the country that many Americans only view by air and never actually see in person at ground level. When Presidential campaigns start mapping out campaign stops- Flyover Country usually gets the same flyover treatment.

Some states (Arizona, Michigan and Florida to name a few) are so fed up they've flirted with the idea of jumping to the front of the line. Problem is, New Hampshire and Iowa have automatic triggers in their state statues that would move their Presidential Primary if a state tries to jump them. The RNC supports the current calendar too, and is threatening to slash National Delegates if states do in fact cut in line.

I wish states would simply take care of their own business at home and stop worrying about where they are in line or if they are labeled a flyover state. Oklahoma is the reddest state in the country. We got that title and our State House and Senate majorities in Presidential election years. Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights would tell you "If you aren't first, you're last!" Well, Oklahoma isn't first, but we are doing just fine with our placement in line!

While states need to play by the rules, there are ways to make your state more appealing to Presidential candidates, and I believe we accomplished that this past weekend at our OKGOP State Committee Meeting.

The way OKGOP rules defined a proportional state was not how the RNC defined a proportional state. Therefore, we needed to change this party rule to be in compliance with the RNC. The change makes OK a proportional state statewide (with some minimum requirements). Therefore, if no presidential candidate receives more than 50% of the statewide primary vote, then Delegates would be awarded proportionally, just as is currently done in our congressional districts. This rule passed overwhelming last Saturday.

This new rule is not only a more fair way to award our statewide at large Delegates, but it also changes the game for GOP Presidential hopefuls.

If you remember, four years ago John McCain was the winner of our statewide at-large Delegates because OK was a winner-take-all state in regards to the statewide vote results. However, he had only received 36% of the statewide Republican vote, far from a majority of the will of Oklahoma's primary voters. Mike Huckabee, who received 33%, and Romney who received almost 25%, didn't receive any at large Delegate votes. Under the new rule, since McCain didn't receive more than 50%, any candidate receiving more than 15% of the statewide vote would've received delegate votes. I believe that type of proportional setup would be very intriguing to this large and very deep field of GOP candidates.

Flyover blues? Nah, not in Oklahoma.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

State of the Race: My Take

The Ames Straw Poll is over. Tim Pawlenty is out. Rick Perry is in. The debates are taking place. Sarah Palin is still hinting. Candidates are pounding pavement in the early states.

What does the race look like right now for the GOP presidential primary? This post is my take on the landscape as it currently stands, divided into three categories of candidates.


The Contenders


I view the nomination as a battle between three individuals - Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann; or, another way to put it, Mitt Romney versus 'Not-Romney'.


Mitt Romney

After falling short in 2008, Mitt Romney finds himself at the head of the pack - and with that comes the added attention and criticism the lead man gets. Four years have given his opponents ample time to sharpen their knives, and Romney's embrace of his Massachusetts health care program (which ObamaCare was modeled after) has done little to help him on what is sure to be one of the hottest topics this cycle.

Romney is in the same position as John McCain was in 2008; almost every other candidate is to the right of him, and he is the one they all love to hate. Nevertheless, due to his large war chest, well-oiled campaign machine and experience gained in 2007-2008 on the campaign trail, he is the leader - for now. Romney's best chance is for the rest of the field to continue to be diluted, but if the grassroots begin to consolidate behind one candidate, he will be in trouble.


Rick Perry 

The big Texan has burst on the scene, and in a short time has taken this race by the horns. But does Perry have the staying power to wrestle it to the ground? Only time will tell.

As the newest kid on the block, Perry has not undergone as thorough a national vetting as the others. Expect him to hit some rough patches. However, his organization is top-notch, and has the advantage of running numerous races in one of the largest states in the Union. The transition from gubernatorial to presidential campaigning will likely be much smoother for Perry's team than it was for any other candidate.

At the moment, Perry may have the aura of the conservative's best hope to beat Romney, but the longer he is in the race, the more his record will be scrutinized, and there will be controversial issues some conservatives may find troubling. Also, Perry will still have to keep other 'Not-Romney' candidates at bay to secure the nomination.


Michele Bachmann


The feisty congresswoman from Minnesota may have been passed up by the surging Perry, but underestimate Michele Bachmann at your own peril. Bachmann is to the right of both Romney and Perry, and is well connected with the Tea Party movement, which will benefit her.

However, she does face several hurdles. First of all, nobody has gone straight to the White House from the U.S. House since James Garfield was elected in 1880 (Gerald Ford was appointed Vice President, then became President when Nixon resigned; Ford was never elected to either office). Secondly, the winner of the Ames Straw Poll rarely becomes the winner of the Iowa Caucus, or of the nomination. Her path to the nomination relies almost entirely on winning in Iowa.

Bachmann has lost some steam as the 'Not-Romney' focus has been moved to Perry for the time being, but I think she can bounce back. Perry's entrance will force Bachmann and her campaign to work harder (with Perry in, if Palin also ran it would be devastating to Michele's chances). At this stage, Bachmann is still in the top tier, and very much in the running.


The Man who will not go away

Ron Paul

The libertarian-leaning congressman from Texas almost defies categorizing. There is a definite gap between Romney/Perry/Bachmann/Paul and the rest of the crowd, with Paul in the rear of the top four. Nevertheless, I do not include him in my Contenders category.

I'm sure I'll catch some flak from the Paul crowd, but I see little room for Paul to grow, and I don't see him even getting close to winning the nomination. He holds many views that are outside the mainstream of Republican and conservative thought, and will only appeal to a limited slice of the primary electorate. Ron Paul will not be going away, but he has little room to grow.

Paul has attracted a very obsessed and zealous following, from which he raises large sums of money. However, I don't think he can spend enough money to gain enough support to win in the Republican primary. I don't see him becoming anything other than a niche candidate.


The Background Noise

Some of these candidates appeared as if they would break into the top, or at one time actually led in polling, but have since dissipated to the degree that they will have little impact on the race. Others never had a chance at all.


Herman Cain

Cain is done. It's unfortunate, because I thought he might have a shot at becoming a very serious contender, but shallow support, serious gaffes, and sub-par debate performances seem to have done him in.

Herman is a very charismatic individual and can energize the Republican base, but his political inexperience has caused problems for him on the campaign trail, and as a result, the campaign is suffering. Polling has shown a sharp drop for Cain, and I don't see him recovering.


Rick Santorum

The former senator never really had a chance to begin with. His only shot at the nomination is to win in Iowa, and that simply will not happen with Perry, Bachmann, Romney and Paul all taking significant portions of the Hawkeye electorate.


Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich may be an intelligent individual, but he has offended too many conservatives and been out of politics too long to be a viable candidate. His debate performances, particularly at the most recent one, have been atrocious, with Newt coming off as a grumpy old man who can't handle tough questions. Newt should hang up his hat and go home before he makes an even greater fool of himself.


Jon Huntsman

If Jon Huntsman thinks playing the moderate in the race will secure the nomination in this climate, he is sadly mistaken. Enough said.


Thad McCotter

Thad McCotter is a great guy with a dry sense of humor, but honestly, the congressman never had a remote chance at getting anywhere near the top in this primary. I don't know what he was thinking when he decided to get in.


Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson is a non-candidate for numerous reasons, the biggest of which is Ron Paul. Johnson is even more libertarian than Paul is, and that will not fly in a Republican primary. Gary would be better suited running on the Libertarian ticket - where he would meet with equal electoral non-success.


The Palin Wild-card

Sarah Palin

If Palin jumps in, which I consider unlikely, the primary game could change dramatically. Palin is immensely popular with the grassroots, and can raise a ton of money, but does popularity translate into votes? Sarah no longer polls as well as she once did, but that could change if she gets in.

Candidate Palin would immediately join the top-tier, most likely pushing Michele Bachmann out at the same time. I do think Palin has a harder time convincing people she can beat Obama; her brand has been damaged (unfairly so) that I don't know how viable she really is as a general election candidate. Nevertheless, like I said, if Sarah Palin gets in, everything changes, and that could be very positive for her.