Rep. Ralph Norman Defends Gun Rights

I was with Congressman Ralph Norman Friday morning for his “coffee visit” town hall at the Rock Hill Diner.  When we went to the reserved area, a group of women in red t-shirts (Moms Demand Action) planted across from us, intent on dominating the event with their radical anti-gun agenda.  They claimed that they are not anti-2nd amendment, but as the discussion developed, their talking points turned toward hard-left “Resist” statements, i.e. anti-Trump, pro-abortion, anti-gun rights, etc.

Many of their arguments and claims were naive if not childish, often without any factual basis, even just plain false. I was seated next to Ralph and defending gun rights.  While we agreed on some points, we countered other claims and demands with reason and facts, and the activists grew more frustrated and aggressive. They demonstrated little knowledge about firearms, gun law, law enforcement, legislative process, etc. They even tried presenting a fake news item and we proved it was untrue.

At one point I told one of the activists, “I am a concealed carrier, and if a terrorist came in that door shooting the place up, I would defend you.  Doesn’t that give you comfort?” Incredibly, she said NO!  She doesn’t believe I should be allowed to own a gun, and said she would prefer to “talk it out” with the terrorist.  That’s when the congressman was asked by another attendee if he is also a concealed carrier.  Norman reached into his jacket, pulled out his .38, laid it safely on the table, and stated he is a carrier too, and he would defend himself and them.  He said he carries all the time except when he is in Washington, DC and he if anybody comes after him with a gun, he had better be a good shot, because he will be shooting back.  The gun wasn’t exposed more than a minute or two.

Nobody was intimidated.  Nobody was afraid.  Our photo, published in the Rock Hill Herald, shows everybody smiling. Congressman Norman was calm, affable, warm and gentle with these ladies.  We all agreed on some of their points.  But that wasn’t good enough for them. The congressman did upset one of the ladies by admonishing her for the proliferation of F bombs and other profanity all over her group’s web page.  He pointed out that children see Facebook pages too.  It is interesting to note that within hours of the incident the Congressman’s Facebook page was filled with vitriol and profanity, some of it from the very people who we met that morning.  It appears that these messages have since been “scrubbed”.

After their failed attempt to bully the Congressman, the “Moms” ran directly from the diner to the newspaper office, and their embellished story was printed as gospel by the press.  It hit the wires and was instantly viral in the national news media.

Congressman Norman made a statement on his Facebook page, but already the national “Resist” movement had been mobilized, filling his page with expletives, F bombs, and ugly hatred.  Norman asked me to help develop a response, and with some media-savvy friends from DC we worked out a plan which has been fairly well received. You have probably seen his second response .  We have been getting good support from conservative groups around the country.  We set up an interview on Fox and Friends for Monday morning.

This is a pivotal moment for defense of the 2nd Amendment and the NRA.  The “Moms” group is funded by and was sent on this mission by out-of-state money and is, as Norman said, hell-bent on eliminating private gun ownership.  We believe they were also accompanied by, if not directed by, one of Archie Parnell’s officials. They pretended to be concerned about child safety, but when I questioned them they defended the murder of 650,000 American babies per year by abortionists (latest available statistics), so it’s clear this is not about children for them.

The clip on the right is an example of the kind of people we face from the left (apologies for the language).  It takes no small measure of strength and purpose to run for office against today’s brand of Democrats.

Congressman Norman is absolutely on the right side of this battle, and the radical leftists will find that they picked the wrong target for an ambush.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Don’t take your guns to town, son
Leave your guns at home, Bill
Don’t take your guns to town

Don’t Take Your Guns to Town – Johnny Cash

 

 

Whenever I get a request for a Johnny Cash tune at one of my weekend gigs, I know they are expecting “Folsum Prison Blues”, the standard Cash bar song.   But I sing this one instead, the story of a good young man who died defending himself and others against a bad guy.

I’m Taking Names and Keeping Score

scoreboard

Would you watch a basketball game if nobody kept score?  Of course not.  If nobody keeps score, nobody wins.  If nobody wins, the contestants will lose interest and probably not put in much effort.

Besides, if nobody keeps score, how do you know which team or player is the best?

Okay, I’ll get to the point.  When we elect a congressman or a senator, we assume he or she is doing what we want them to do.  But are they?  Unless you have the time to look up their votes on every issue, you can’t possibly know.  And even if you did, you would have to know which votes are important and which are just “show votes”, intended to make a legislator look good even though they don’t really accomplish anything.

Congress has an 11% approval rating, but incumbents are re-elected 96% of the time.  If we don’t like what they are doing, why do we keep re-electing them?  The answer:  they get away with lousy performance because voters aren’t keeping the score.

Fortunately, there is a great way to measure your congressman’s performance.  It’s the Heritage Action Scorecard.  Heritage Action is the activist wing of the acclaimed Heritage Foundation, and their aim is to hold members of congress accountable.  The Scorecard is the perfect tool.  Heritage Action identifies “key” votes – issues which have a direct and important impact on quality of life in America.  The scorecard shows how each member voted on every key issue, and accumulates an aggregate score.

My South Carolina congressman, Ralph Norman, has a 95% rating in the current session, which compares to 68% for the average house Republican.  That puts him near the top of the pack.

Norman score card

Digging deeper, I can see that only one of his votes did not agree with Heritage Action’s recommendation.  The Scorecard makes it easy for me to thank my congressman when I like his vote on an issue, or to ask for justification when we aren’t on the same page.   And it sure makes the check-writing decision easier at election time.

As a Montana native I still follow the politics there.  I can’t help but notice Senator Jon Tester’s 0% rating.  I hope my Big Sky friends are noticing too.

Too many citizens think they have no control over what happens in the nation’s capital.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.   With a tool like the Heritage Action Scorecard and a telephone, every voter can hold his members of Congress accountable, and can make an informed decision at primary and general election time.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

I’m winning
I’m winning
I’m winning
And I don’t intend on losing again

Winning – Santana

Money Can’t Buy Me Love – Or Votes

The recent Republican primary runoff victory by Judge Roy Moore over Luther Strange in the race for Jeff Sessions’ Alabama senate seat is just the latest in a string of expensive losses for the Swampers.  Nearly a full year after American voters turned the pollsters and pundits upside down, the DC good-ole-boys are still in full Trump Denial.

Here are some of the Swampers’ embarrassing defeats:

  • Breitbart News reports Strange lost the runoff election by 20%, spending an estimated $30 million ($137 per vote) compared to Moore’s $2 million ($7 per vote).  This is after Moore pounded Strange in the first primary despite being outspent 25 to 1.  Strange was heavily funded by Mitch McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund and the NRA.
  • Issue One claims Democrats blew $32 million in a failing effort to push Jon Ossoff past Republican Karen Handel for the Georgia congressional seat vacated by Tom Price, who has already resigned his administrative office.  Issue One says Handel spent $23 million, but other analysts claim Handle was outspent 8 to 1 – the truth is probably somewhere in-between.
  • Hillary Clinton spent about $15 per vote, three times the amount Donald Trump invested on the presidency in 2016.

The first shot over the DC Establishment bow was fired by Dave Brat in 2014, when he sacked Eric Cantor, Republican house majority leader, in the Virginia congressional primary race.  Cantor had the backing of the entire swamp, including the Chamber of Commerce, the NRA, and the National Association of Realtors.  All of the Republican money and every loose dollar on K Street was bet on Cantor – $5.5 million in all.  Brat had a measly $200,000 and a warm smile from the Tea Party.  It’s fitting that Brat’s first name is David, as Goliath (Cantor) fell in a large, thunderous heap.  Brat has since been a stellar Freedom Caucus member.

My Congressman, Ralph Norman (R-SC), spent a little bit more than his opponent, Archie Parnell, seeking the seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney a few months ago.  And most of that spending was his own money.  “I don’t want to owe favors to anybody,” he told me early in the race.  And he has stayed true to his word, already taking strong positions against the powerful, big-money lobbyists.  Norman is also on the Freedom Caucus.

Maybe the Swampers will finally “get it” and stop trying to buy political offices against the will of the people, who are tired of business as usual on Capitol Hill.

Nah, it won’t happen.  The DC Establishment Swampers will continue to do what Swampers do – spend other peoples’ money.  They can’t help themselves.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

 

I don’t care too much for money,
Money can’t buy me love!

Can’t Buy Me Love – the Beatles

 

The lads are rockin’ it with their Rickenbackers and Voxes!

 

 

Red Light Rummies, Center Lane Simpletons, Nascar Ass Cars, and the Scooter Jerk

Is it just me or is bad driving an out-of-control epidemic?

I know people have complained about bad drivers since cars ran on kerosene.  But I swear, in the last year or so, I am seeing auto insanity at a level I never thought possible.

A couple of days ago I drove over the bridge to Charlotte and back.  20 miles each way, through suburban and city traffic.  The stuff I saw on just that one trip would have set my hair on fire, if I had any.

First there was the Scooter Jerk.  The heavy traffic on our four-lane expressway had slowed in one spot to maybe 15 mph, but the Jerk figured he shouldn’t have to wait in line like everybody else.  So he gunned his little machine to its pathetic full speed, squeezing his little scooter butt between the two lanes of commuters and truck drivers, down the dotted line to his important destination.  Drivers honked and beeped their displeasure to no avail.  But then the congestion cleared and the traffic resumed its normal 55 mph pace.  Except for everybody in the right lane.  We were all stacked up and cussing behind the Scooter Jerk, who was maxed out in the middle of our lane at 30 mph.

I finally got past the little Jerk and was cruising at posted speed, singing third harmony with Tom Petty.  Until I had to jam on the brakes to avoid hitting a Nascar Ass Car.  These guys are all over the place.  They can’t tolerate being behind anyone, so as soon as a car-length opening appears in the adjacent lane, they dive into it to gain a couple of feet advantage.  No turn signal, of course.  Hell, Kevin Harvick don’t need no stinkin’ turn signals!  The Ass Cars slalom down every road, weaving back and forth through the lanes, squeaking by bumpers and fenders.  After all the Nascar maneuvering, they might get to work 50 seconds earlier.

The light just ahead of me turned yellow, so I pulled my big red Ram to a stop.  But the Redlight Rummy behind me had other plans.  He ripped his steering wheel to the right, lurched around my truck and half off the street, and zoomed through the red light in front of me just in time to avoid getting clipped by the crossing traffic.  I really thought it was gonna be a T-Bone, and I don’t mean steak.

Running red lights is an art form around here.  Nearly every time I stop at a red light two or three brainiacs continue through the intersection in the other lanes.  The drivers behind me are ticked off at me.  “Doesn’t that bozo in the red truck know there’s a three-second safety buffer between the red light and the green going the other way?”  And remember the “right on red” rule?  Did you think you were supposed to stop first before you turn right?  Me, too.  Boy are we suckers.

Many of our streets have two lanes in each direction, and a center lane that can be used to turn either left or right in the middle of the block.  At least that’s the plan for most of us.  The privileged Center Lane Simpletons think it is their own private express lane, driving down the middle for blocks or even miles at high speed and giggling at how stupid the rest of us are for staying in our lanes and waiting our turn.

It’s anybody’s guess why bad driving has become so commonplace, so suddenly.  Maybe it is rebellion against Trump and any other authority.  It could be we have a new generation of drivers who grew up on participation awards and continuous self-esteem building who can’t be bothered with traffic laws that might interrupt their social media participation.  Our silly rules just don’t apply to them.

Maybe cops overlook traffic infractions because 1) they don’t want to risk offending anybody, 2) they don’t get paid enough to put up with crap from self-centered narcissists, 3) they don’t want to get shot, or 4) the last traffic citation issued in the U.S. was in 1986 and they have forgotten how to write a ticket.

My advice for a long and happy life:  when the light turns green, count to five, and then look both ways before you start.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light
Those days are over . . .
You don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right

Roxanne – the Police

 

 

Mulvaney Set to Drain the Swamp

mulvaney-alligatorFor a long time I have suspected that because liberals see everything through the prism of skin color, they assume conservatives do too, and are therefore racists.

Only recently have I realized that the same is true of political corruption.  Liberals think that conservatives who run for office or accept administrative posts must be doing it to enrich themselves unethically because that’s what they, the liberals, do – or would do, given the chance.

For instance, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) excoriated HHS nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) during his hearing for a $300 profit he made on a stock purchase in a company that benefited from a ruling his committee made.  Her condescending rebuke was designed to paint Price as a monster who made shady self-serving deals using his government influence.  How rich.  Warren, a “one-percenter” with assets estimated at $10 million, falsely claimed Native American heritage to land a professorship, and received $350,000 for teaching one  college course.

Democrats point out, with faux concern and anger, that President-elect Trump’s cabinet picks are mostly wealthy individuals.  Like Trump himself, his nominees have accomplished a level of business (not government) success that not only builds wealth, it also indicates competence.

The Democrats can grandstand and delay, race-bait and class-envy ad nauseam, trying to hold up the confirmation process.  But it won’t work.  The swamp will be drained.

Only the shallowest of observers can’t see that these all-stars are not in it for personal profit.  Quite the contrary; they are sacrificing their earning power and precious time as an act of patriotism, service and charity.  And isn’t it just possible that the wealthy Democrats, most of whom have never earned a dollar in the private sector, are panicking at the prospect that their own gravy train may soon fall off the tracks?

The Trump team tapped budget hawk Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to head up the Office of Management and Budget.  Mulvaney was a co-founder of the uber-conservative Freedom Caucus and has a stellar resume in budget, finance, and business – both inside and outside the Beltway.  Mulvaney isn’t rich – during legislative sessions he slept in the closet of his office.  But he is focused and determined.  And he is building his own all-star team, starting with Heritage Action brainiacs Russ Vought and Jessica Anderson.  The Beltway is abuzz today with talk of a plan to reduce the national debt by $10.5 trillion in ten years, based on the Heritage Foundation’s Blueprint for Reform published last year.

This is what common-sense Americans have been praying for since Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC gave birth to the Tea Party in 2009 – a glimmer of hope that our children will not have to deal with the economic destruction caused by our monolithic $20 trillion federal debt.  In his rant, by the way, Santelli gave kudos to Wilbur Ross, another Trump appointee.

President-elect Trump calls it “draining the swamp”, which encompasses both rooting out corruption and slashing out-of-control spending.  It makes me picture OMB Chief Mulvaney in the role of Amos Moses, that badass Cajun in the Louisiana bayou, knockin’ alligators in the head with a stump!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideNow Amos Moses was a Cajun
He lived by himself in the swamp
He hunted alligator for a living
He’d just knock them in the head with a stump!

Jerry Reed – Amos Moses

 

I love this 1982 video of Jerry Reed and Glen Campbell rockin’ it up with this funky, swampy, bluesy version of Reed’s “Amos Moses.”  You won’t find more guitar pickin’ power in one camera shot.  Reed is most widely known as Burt Reynold’s sidekick in the “Smokey and the Bandit” movies, but he was an outstanding musician and songwriter, and was revered by guitar players world-wide.  Among his innovations was the “claw” style of picking, which he allegedly taught to Chet Atkins.  Campbell had a stellar career until it was derailed by alcoholism and, later, Alzheimer’s disease.  He started as a studio guitarist, was an early member of the Beach Boys, and eventually had his own television show plus many gold records.

 

Lindsey Graham: Everybody F***ing Hates Me

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Poor Lindsey Graham.

He’s the senior senator from the great state of South Carolina; a Republican who has held his office since 2003.  And yet very few people in his own home state can stand the sight of him.

Democrats hate him because he is a Republican.  Republicans hate him because he is a Democrat with an R behind his name.  He votes against his fellow Republicans 69% of the time.

One might ask, “How the hell does somebody like Lindsey Graham get elected in South Carolina?”  Well, it’s complicated.

You see, the last primary election in South Carolina featured six contenders for his Senate seat who filed as Republicans.  Five of them actually were conservative Republicans.  The sixth was Lindsey Graham.  Now, the Democrats knew they had no chance of winning the Senate seat in a conservative stronghold like South Carolina.  Fortunately for them, South Carolina has “open primaries”, where anybody from any party can vote in whatever primary they wish.  And the Democrats wished to elect Graham, knowing he will vote their way in the Senate most of the time.  They got him through the primary, and the general election went predictably easy for the guy in the “R” column.

At a time when Americans are dancing in the streets over the Trump-induced death of the liberal left, Lindsey doesn’t even pretend to be conservative.  He’s for big bailouts.  He busts his butt to preserve the corrupt corporate-crony Import/Export Bank program.  He leads the fight for amnesty.  After President Obama encouraged illegal immigrants to get out and vote, Lindsey excoriated President-elect Trump for even suggesting that vote fraud is possible.

Graham routinely supported even the most liberal nominees.  He scoffed at the Tea Party.  To everyone’s astonishment, he ran for President, but never advanced from the kids’ table in the debates, dropping out before spending any of his campaign funds.

There was a time when the Senator had one thing in common with Republicans – his support for a strong military and a generally hawkish outlook on foreign affairs.  But even that is no longer completely in step with recent conservative sentiments.  Strong military, yes.  Protracted and expensive engagement in foreign entanglements without an end game or any obvious American interests served, not so much.

Washington, DC can be a lonely place sometimes.  And Lindsey Graham may be the most hated man in town.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

In a trap, trip I can’t grip
Never thought I’d be the one who’d slip
Then I started to realize
I was living one big lie,
She f***ing hates me

She Hates Me – Puddle of Mudd

The “Unsung Heroes” Help Poor and Minorities – Hillary Calls Them “Deplorables”

hvac%20contractorI was visiting with my young HVAC guy after he installed a new air conditioner in one of my rental houses.  Actually, it was more like negotiating than visiting.  He said he gave me a good deal, and I chuckled,  “I know you did, but I have to go through the routine.”  I was happy to write the check – he more than earned it.

Then he said something that gave me pause.  “I know you guys can afford to pay me, but you know a lot of the people I work for can’t.”

We live in South Carolina.  It’s hot.  Air conditioning is not a luxury, it is a necessity of life.  I know people lived in the South before air conditioning, but honest to God, I don’t know how.  We moved here from Montana where we built a new log home and didn’t even consider putting in air conditioning.  This is different.  In South Carolina I would put air conditioning right up there with food and shelter.

He told me about a service call he made last month to repair an air conditioner for an African American grandmother with five kids in her house that belong to her daughter, who is a heroin addict. “She told me about her utility bills, and other bills, and taking care of the kids, and doing it all on $500 a month from the county plus food stamps.  It was 96 degrees.  I knew she couldn’t afford to pay me, so I just ‘ate’ the bill. ”

I have not felt very good about my country lately.  There’s a lot of ugly stuff going on.  But this young man did a lot to restore my confidence in our future.

“I usually don’t charge somebody like that,” he said.   “I mean, you see what’s going on, and you just have to do what you can, you know?  I don’t mind giving up my labor, I can always just work harder.  But the cost of parts keeps going up and up.  I have hundreds of dollars in parts in these repair jobs.”

My HVAC guy is your average American small business owner.  He works long, hard hours.  He invests most of his profits in tools, a truck, paying his help, and keeping up his education and certification.  In the hot summer he works around the clock.  If somebody needs help at 9:00 pm, he answers the phone.   He didn’t go to college.  He goes to church every Sunday, but half the time he is on a service call that afternoon.  His kids don’t have fancy tennis shoes, and he can’t afford the time or cost of a Disney cruise.  Yet he is one of the “Deplorables” Hillary Clinton looks down on.  Even worse, he owns a business – which, to Democrats, makes him a greedy, selfish racist who got rich on the backs of the poor.  He’s the guy Obama sneered at:  “You didn’t build that business.”

The truth is, he DID build that business, and he cares a hell of a lot more for the poor, and minorities, than Hillary Clinton does, or Barack Obama, or anybody who votes for them and their Democrat friends.

And yes, he said, “I am going to vote for Donald Trump.”  He told me he had not voted for years, but this time he has to.  “The first thing I heard Trump say was, ‘I am paying for my own campaign, nobody bought me, and I can’t be bribed.’  That was all I needed to hear.”  And that certifies his status as one of Hillary’s “Deplorables”.

The sad thing is, the grandmother whose air conditioning repair bill he ‘ate’, and the addicted mother, and most of their friends and relatives, and all of the liberals who pretend to care about them but never do anything about it, are going to vote for Hillary and the Democrats.

The Deplorables out there doing real acts of charity and love every day, and not asking for anything in return – they are the unsung heroes.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

While others long to steal the spotlight
You work your magic quietly
‘Cause your not in it for the glory
The love you give comes naturally

Unsung Heroes – Terri Clark

Here’s one of my favorite country artists, Terri Clark from Medicine Hat, Albera.  Give a listen.