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!)".
Here we go again, a bunch of fanatics disrupt a public hearing screaming “safe” and “legal” in an obvious effort to block sensible, long overdue regulations that protect health and are supported by a majority of the public.
Furthermore, the only reason these abominations are allowed in the marketplace is because some biased judge made a legally indefensible ruling that flies in the face of public opinion and a sophisticated, modern reading of the Constitution.
Don’t these gun and tobacco mouth–breathers ever get tired of peddling their anti–scientific propaganda? Have they no shame?
Oh, wait. Check signals. This wasn’t the National Rifle Association and Joe Camel disturbing the peace. It was “progressive” Democrats and feminists claiming abortion is “safe” and “legal” and should therefore be immune to regulation — just like handguns.
The occasion for this wailing and gnashing of teeth was the Virginia Board of Health’s decision to once again regulate abortion clinics just as it did prior to 1984.
I cheated death last Saturday. I went outside to work in the yard. No doubt, in light of the last week’s crippling heat wave smothering the East Coast, you think my decision foolhardy.
Here we had Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Incompetano hovering over the DC area in her helicopter — Grope One — burning up the bullhorn batteries as she ordered people to have their ID ready and move into nearby shade.
There was the heart–rending video of the long lines of women and children waiting patiently to be admitted into the cool, subterranean interior of Greenbrier, VA’s Cold War–era Congressional missile shelter after it was opened to the public.
And who could forget coverage of PEPCO executives furtively stopping at 7/11 to hire a coyote to smuggle them across the Mexican border — one step ahead of an enraged customer base that was not only without power and air–conditioning, but also left without shade after roving bands of PEPCO’s pruning trucks had scalped their trees.
If it’s spring, it must be time for another round of stories focused on executives and compensation. Sure enough, the Wall Street Journal reports the median value of “salaries, bonuses and long–term incentive awards” for the jefe’s of 350 large companies rose 11 percent last year, while the median age of their trophy wives declined 10 percent.
Philippe Dauman CEO of Viacom, the media company, was perched at the top with a $84.3 million bonanza that was more than double his take home in 2009. Certainly, when comparing his compensation with the blue-collar get–out–of–the–trailer–park program, better known as Powerball, the check is not so impressive. Powerball players have been known to hit a $365,000,000 jackpot, but remember Wal–Mart shoppers this Frenchman gets his fluctuating millions every year, while Powerball winners are few and far between.
Even mid–range captains of industry are doing well since the median value of their paychecks was $9.3 million, an amount that is more than double what I bring in a columnist. Yet strangely enough, I feel no angst.
By contrast the average worker who is still employed in Obama’s Economy saw his paycheck grow by a meager 3 percent to an average of around $40,500, which just about covers Philippe’s restaurant and valet parking tips.
It’s really tempting to write about Osama finally getting his just desserts this week — particularly after I learned that before they tossed his body into the sea it was wrapped in Obama’s real birth certificate — but there have been too many important events on the marriage front that merit our attention.
Developments began when President Obama unilaterally decided the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) he supported during his presidential campaign in 2008, was past its Constitutional sell–by date in 2011. Evidently President Clinton, who signed the law in 1996, did not possess Obama’s finely tuned Constitutional antenna.
The President then directed Justice Department lawyers to refuse to defend DOMA — which in a nutshell defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and denies federal benefits to same–sex partners — in the courtroom, although he did say that if House Republicans wanted to scrounge up some leftover stimulus money and hire a lawyer it was okay by him.
(Just a sidelight here, but it’s it interesting that while Republican Speaker John Boehner is complaining he’s powerless to cut the deficit and at the mercy of those bullies in the Senate since he only “controls one half of one third of the government,” Obama goes out and annexes the judiciary.)
One would think a party that’s supposed to be a tool of greedy capitalists under the control of Daddy Warbucks would be capable of analyzing a budget. But evidently Republican leadership is no better at dealing with monetary matters than your average foreclosure participant.
It now appears that last week’s budget deal was even worse than conservatives initially feared. A new Congressional Budget Office calculation concludes the agenda–setting, budget cuttery–defining, take–that–Harry–Reid budget slices a mere $352 million in outlays and direct spending.
This means the budget deal that was so depressing last week is even more pathetic than initially thought.
Here’s how the numbers work. Originally conservatives were promised cuts of $100 billion. Once the Boehner regime assumed power, it was uh–oh, we don’t have full year of spending ahead of us after all (it appears no one in leadership owns a calendar) so on a pro–rated basis voters will get $61 billion in cuts.
Except we didn’t.
Conservatives and Tea party voters now know the discount rate on Boehner–led Republican promises is in the neighborhood of 62 percent. This means if Speaker Boehner promises to cut $100 billion from an Obama spending spree while running for office in November, you are going to get no more than $38 billion when he’s actually in power in April.
In return for this bait–and–switch, the conservatives are expected to continue voting Republican and Boehner will promise to respect us in the morning.
The Speaker enjoyed the support of over 80 Republican freshmen elected on a pledge to take an axe to spending and he couldn’t even eliminate funds for public broadcasting.
This is why politicians and their promises are held in such low esteem: They’ve earned it.
In an opinion piece in USA Today, Boehner characterizes failure as, “the largest spending cut in history to help begin to create a better environment for private-sector job growth.”