This Week’s Interesting Reads

Rick Perry’s Campaign Reportedly Stops Paying Staff As Fundraising Flounders – Katon Dawson, chair of Perry’s South Carolina campaign, told The Texas Tribune and The Washington Post late Monday that all South Carolina staffers are now working as volunteers.  “Money is extremely tight,” Dawson said. “We all moved to volunteer status.”  Staffers at the campaign’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, and in Iowa and New Hampshire also will not be paid, according to sources familiar with the campaign. Campaign manager Jeff Miller has permitted staff members to begin searching for other jobs, the sources said.

Ben Carson Shares With Iowa Church How He Became Christian – In May, Carson shared how God helped him “ace” his chemistry exam at university by showing him all the answers.  Carson, who was a featured speaker at the official National Day of Prayer gathering in Washington, D.C., said he won a scholarship to Yale and thought he was “pretty hot stuff” but only until he got to the end of the first semester.  “I was failing chemistry; that wasn’t cool at all. And you can’t be a pre-med and fail in chemistry,” said Carlson.  The night before the final exam, he was thinking about his life. He prayed, saying, “Lord, medicine is the only thing I ever wanted to do. … Would you please tell me what is it you really want me to do?”  He planned to prepare for the exam the whole night, but fell asleep. He had a dream in which he was alone in an auditorium as some “nebulous figure” wrote out chemistry problems on the blackboard.  “When I went to take the test the next morning, it was like ‘The Twilight Zone,'” he said. “I opened that book and I recognized the first problem as one of the ones I dreamed about. And the next, and the next, and the next, and I aced the exam and got a good mark in chemistry. It worked out okay,” he added.

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Rand Paul Calls Trump a Fake Conservative

We don’t need a bully, and we don’t need another President who thinks he is King. We certainly don’t need someone who has driven his companies into bankruptcy four times yet smugly tells us he uses our nation’s Chapter 11 laws to his own personal advantage. All well and good for him – but what of the creditors and vendors he defaulted on?

Voters are hungry for a plain-spoken critique of Washington. But I’m unsure how credible that voice is when it comes from the consummate insider, a man who buys and sells politicians like he does Lamborghinis.

Trump has paid over 1.5 million dollars to politicians from both sides of the aisle, from Harry Reid to Rahm Emanuel to Jeb Bush. The majority of his donations were to Democrats until a few years ago when he began thinking more seriously of making a play for the Republican nomination.

(For the record, Donald Trump has NEVER donated to any of my political campaigns, perhaps because he knows I can’t be bought. He has donated to an eye institute that sponsored the medical mission I took to Guatemala where the funding was directly spent on our surgical work restoring sight to over 200 men and women.)

Read the entire op-ed here.

Bobby Schilling Urges Us to Let Senator Kirk Know We Stand for Life

BobbySchillingIt’s been my pleasure to support and volunteer for Congressman Bobby Schilling in his past two campaigns for Congress.  In the following editorial the Congressman reminds us that defunding Planned Parenthood is not the only piece of pro-life legislation Senator Kirk is likely to vote against.  We need to let Senator Kirk know there are consequences to his votes.  This article also makes me think the Congressman would make a great Senator himself should he decide on a primary challenge.  I’m ready for some more volunteering!

It is early, and Sen. Kirk has time to change course. According to reports, there are as many as seven more investigative videos coming out. That will likely mean further congressional action.

One vote sure to happen in the Senate as soon as next month will be on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This common-ground legislation would limit abortions after 20 weeks, or 5 months of pregnancy.

It would prohibit the late-term abortions (except in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother) that Planned Parenthood finds especially useful in harvesting valuable body parts.

Polls show that a strong majority of Americans support this legislation. One Washington Post-ABC News poll in 2013 showed that 60 percent of women support it, compared to just 25 percent opposed. Bills like this can move us forward together on this contentious issue.

Yet, Kirk is one of only a handful of Republican senators who isn’t co-sponsoring this bill.

While Sen. Kirk is home for the August recess, I hope Illinois voters will urge him to rethink — politically and morally — and do the right thing. Lives — and real women’s health care — hang in the balance.

Read the whole post here.

PS. Run, Bobby, Run!

Who Won the First GOP Presidential Debate Last Night?

Disclaimer – I did not watch the entire debate last night due to a busy schedule.  My thoughts are based the few minutes I was able to listen as I worked on other things, the closing statements I was able to watch uninterrupted, clips online and cable news analysis after the debate.

It seems to me that the overall winner was Marco Rubio.  He was conservative, articulate and looked competent despite his age and inexperience.  He didn’t get caught up in made-for-TV squabbles and kept his composure.  In short, for the first time, he looked presidential to me.

I’ll run down a few other rambling thoughts:

Since he announced, Rand Paul has been my guy.  Yet, I’ve got to admit, he didn’t have a great night.  It seemed to me he was looking for a fight, trying too hard to create that break-out moment (especially in his interactions with Trump).  It never happened.  On style points, Chris Christie bested him during their dust-up. However I still think Rand’s argument was better, constitutional and more substantive.  There is a reason why we have the Fourth Amendment!  Christie can win sympathy by playing on fears and memories of 911.  Rand’s hug comeback wasn’t the greatest either…  The good news for Rand is, this was only the first debate.

Donald Trump once again displayed why he shouldn’t be President.  He was arrogant and couldn’t give a straight answer to the question.  However, I will say two things in his defense.  First, those questioned were so biased against him that there might not have been any good responses.  Second, I think it is tyrannical to ask candidates to pledge to support the eventual winner no matter who it may be.  Would we really expect Lindsey Graham to support Rand Paul if he got the nod?  There are real disagreements between these candidates.  I will never blindly pledge to support just any candidate the GOP decides to put up.  I applaud Trump for having the guts to be the only one to stand against this ridiculous question.

Chris Christie reminded everyone why he used to be so popular before Bridgegate…

Ben Carson had a few really good lines and overall did well.  His intelligence was obvious.  I loved his closing remarks.  My gut tells me he’s going to do a lot better than people think.  He’s got a strong, committed, grass-roots base behind him.

Mike Huckabee is a likable guy who knows how to play to the cameras.  He’s great at one-liners and knows how to connect with people.  I share many of his convictions regarding social issues and I’m sure he’s a genuine believer.  Yet, being a likeable person isn’t a qualification for the job he’s seeking.

I don’t think Scott Walker made any big splashes, but had a couple of good thoughts here and there.  No major gaffes.  He basically maintained the status quo and didn’t hurt himself any.

A lot of people were concerned about John Kasich’s answer concerning gay marriage.  I think we’re getting a preview of the language that many conservatives are going to start using as gay marriage becomes more acceptable.  It’s the standard religious liberal response to abortion.  Personally I’m against it but I can’t force my beliefs on others…