Michael R. Shannon
Michael R. Shannon is a Virginia-based public relations and media consultant with MANDATE: Message, Media & Public Relations who has worked in over 75 elections on three continents and a handful of islands. Michael’s columns have appeared on his own News & Messenger site and AmericaSpeakOn. The Tampa Trib has published some of his columns, as has Black Velvet Bruce Li. He was an editorial writer and columnist for the Dallas Morning News, and has been in politics and journalism since 1972. As consultant to The Israel Project, he has made a number of trips to Israel where he worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their efforts to promote a positive image of Israel. Shannon has also conducted media and message training workshops for MFA and Israeli Defense Forces spokespersons along with representatives of various non–governmental organizations. During the UN Court trial in The Hague, Shannon worked closely with the MFA in its international media outreach. You can reach Michael at
. You can also read more on his blog, "The Whole Shebang (mostly)" at http://michaelshannon.wordpress.com/. Look for Michael's Book, "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times: (Now With Added Humor!)".
Someone in the White House is channeling John C. Calhoun.
Stephen Dinan, of the Washington Times, writes the White House has issued a report that claims, “...the strength and continuity of rural America is contingent on common–sense immigration reform.” In other words, the availability of your boutique tomatoes depends on amnesty for illegals.
The Obama Administration believes rural America, much like the antebellum South, has a ‘peculiar institution’ the rest of the nation must respect. In this instance the 50 to 60 percent of the agricultural workforce that’s in the country illegally.
In the 20–page report Calhoun, whoops…the authors, claim farmers are having trouble hiring workers and as a result are cutting back on planting or “are moving operations abroad as a result of the labor shortage.”
Sometimes a story just sounds too good to be true. A study published in Psychological Science has found that girly–men are more likely to support a cradle–to–grave welfare state and “share–the–wealth” economic policy than more robust male specimens. This sounds reasonable to me and the fact it appears the research wasn’t paid for by tax dollars is a bonus.
“Psychological scientists” Michael Bang Peterson, of Aarhus University in Denmark, and Daniel Sznycer, of the University of California, found that conservative or right wing beliefs are strongly correlated with physical strength.
The researchers studied bicep size, socio–economic status and political views from participants in the U.S., Argentina and Denmark. Selecting participants from the U.S. and Denmark is not surprising, since that’s where the researchers are based, but why Argentina? Juan Perón was a famous Argentine strongman, but his appellation had nothing to do with muscularity and everything to do with being authoritarian socialist.
A significant proportion of the US population feels marginalized and suffers from perceived widespread disrespect. Their desires are discounted and in some instances actively discouraged by state, federal and local government. Families are either split or prevented from coming together, which results in children who are denied the benefits of a two–parent family. Circumstances beyond the control of these individuals have put them in the shadows, outside the mainstream of American society and at the mercy of an often cruel and heartless public.
And that’s why Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Public Policy Center have both come out in support of homosexual marriage. As Daly said in an interview with Christianity Today, “What are the solutions to help get these families together, get them in a lawful state, one that can be recognized, and then move forward? I think that is a healthy situation for the country. Let's get behind this, not play politics with it left or right and not fearmonger with it. These are people that need dignity. Even though in some cases they've broken the law, there's always that heartfelt story out there where you just tear up looking at what they're facing now. We need to do what's humane.”
We’ve all seen photos of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Particularly last year when he was being mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick on the Romney ticket. He would be beaming, with a large, toothy smile, looking well groomed and squeaky clean. And no wonder, this wholesome image was the product of a group effort, since the governor relies on Virginia taxpayers to keep him smelling fresh.
According to Laura Vozzella in the Washington Post, the McDonnell family has used its government–supplied credit card much like the GSA uses its card. Billing the taxpayers for “body wash, sunscreen, dog vitamins and a digestive system detox cleanse.”*
It takes a man with high self–esteem to bill the taxpayer for his weekly dose of Colon Blow, knowing the information is only an FOIA request from the public domain, to say nothing of opposition researchers. But at the same time it’s comforting to know there are no blockages, legislative or otherwise in the governor’s mansion.
And really, who wants a first family with that bloated feeling?
Sen. Tom Coburn (R–OK), a truly great American, has released his annual report on waste, duplication and redundancy in federal programs. Evidently inspecting catfish is both a vital and difficult task, because it currently takes three different federal agencies to do the job. And as soon as someone can reliably map the location of catfish sex organs, TSA is interested in participating, too.
An editorial in The Washington Examiner has more detail http://washingtonexaminer.com/examiner-editorial-feds-waste-95-billion-on-duplicative-programs/article/2526699, but what’s important for my purpose is the total figure. If the savings recommendations in Coburn’s last three waste reports had been implemented, taxpayers could have saved almost $300 billion. That’s enough to pay for Obama vacations and Joe Biden’s shotgun shells for the rest of their term.
The problem with figures that large is it doesn’t bother the spenders because it’s not their money and it depresses the taxpayer because he can’t imagine how one would obtain such a sum or make a dent in paying for it.
It’s remarkable that the political party allegedly joined at the hip with Big Business has such an incredible problem with a basic operational task like marketing. Somehow when it came time to divvy up the commercial sector, the Republicans got all the boring accountants, while the Democrats scooped up all the cool art directors.
Confining Republican outreach efforts to shareholder annual meetings and Daughters of the American Revolution gatherings is obviously not working. We’re going to have to get a “twitter” and compose some “twits” er, “tweets” if the GOP intends to become the happenin’ party.
Fortunately, great minds are at work on this project and they have arrived at a solution. Over the next few years the GOP will be including up a storm. According to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, the party will be establishing “swearing–in citizenship teams” to approach the newly naturalized with the new, improved GOP message.