Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker draws standing ovations at Freedom Summit in Iowa

This story is from The Hill.

Excerpt:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) delivered a fiery speech in Iowa on Saturday, wowing the conservative crowd with a passionate argument for small government and his own lengthy resume.

The Wisconsin governor, in rolled-up shirtsleeves, paced the stage as he blasted big government and touted a long list of conservative reforms he’s pushed through in blue Wisconsin.

The governor also showed a rhetorical flourish that’s largely been absent from his previous campaigns, drawing the crowd to its feet multiple times.

“There’s a reason we take a day off to celebrate the 4th of July and not the 15th of April,” he said, almost yelling as his voice grew hoarse. “Because in America we value our independence from the government, not our dependence on it.”

Walker’s speech had something for every element of the activist crowd. The governor touted his three victories over Democrats and recall win as well as his state-level education reforms. Each new policy he helped pass drew cheers: Voter ID laws, education reforms, tax cuts and defunding Planned Parenthood.

The biggest question for Walker as he ramps up for a race is whether he has the fire in the belly and political skills to stand onstage against the other candidates. And in his first major Iowa address, he may have done a lot to dispel notions that he lacks charisma.

When he said he won reelection as Milwaukee County Executive in an area where President Obama won by a two-to-one margin, some in the audience gasped.

“If you get the job done the voters will actually stand up with you,” he said before contrasting his record with Washington’s deadlock.

The preacher’s son also showed a personal side — and spoke in religious terms to thank Iowans who prayed for him as he faced death threats during his fight against the public sector unions, including one that promised to gut his wife “like a deer.”

Walker made sure to establish his Iowa roots — saying he’d lived there until third grade until his father got a job as a minister in Wisconsin — before promising to return “many more times in the future.”

More from a different article from The Hill:

Scott Walker’s stock is soaring after a triumphant return to Iowa.

The Wisconsin Republican governor delivered a pitch-perfect speech to a room packed with influential Hawkeye State conservatives on Saturday, walking them through his robust resume and ideology with a passion that surprised many.

Activists say Walker came out on top after 10 hours of candidate speeches.

“It was a clear Walker victory. He had expectations coming in here, he was on everyone’s shortlist and he had to meet those expectations and I thought he far exceeded them,” said former Iowa Republican Party political director Craig Robinson. “I thought his speech was just perfect, and I thought his delivery was perfect. The delivery really surprised me.”

Walker held his own against Ted Cruz, the event’s other star. While the Texas senator always turns in commanding performances with conservative crowds, the governor next door helped himself the most by making a strong first impression with many Iowa activists who simply knew him from his showdown with the unions.

He offered something for almost every type of conservative, rolling through his record of both social and fiscal accomplishments, drawing big applause by knocking “radical Islamic terrorists” and touting legislation he backed to relax gun control laws and cut taxes.

He spoke about his faith in a natural way, and in one sentence managed to mention that he was both the son of a pastor and had Iowa roots (Walker spent his early years in the state before his dad moved to a church in Wisconsin).

Most importantly, he did it all with a folksy yet fiery delivery that had observers gushing and brought the crowd to their feet.

The biggest question surrounding Walker heading into the weekend is whether his charisma could stack up against the other White House contenders. It was a worry Walker shared — one Republican who talked to him backstage said the governor expressed concern that people would view him as “bland.” But as the strode onstage with his shirt sleeves rolled up and paced about the floor, those worries vanished.

“Walker found a way to talk about himself, talk about the country and talk about Iowa in perfect proportionality, and he did so with a style that was very easy and engaging,” said Republican pollster Frank Luntz. “He connected to these people — you could see it.”

[…]But Walker made a big splash in his first Iowa appearance of 2015, stealing the spotlight from his likely foes.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever heard him live and he was tremendous. It was a great speech,” said Sam Clovis, a conservative kingmaker and the GOP’s 2014 nominee for state treasurer. “That was something special.”

Since we are ramping up to the 2016 election, I took some time to list out my 6 favorite candidates for the GOP nomination.

Here they are:

  1. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker
  2. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal
  3. Texas governor Rick Perry
  4. New Mexico governor Susana Martinez
  5. Indiana governor Mike Pence
  6. Texas senator Ted Cruz

Five out of six candidates are governors, because I really think we need to prefer people who have executive branch experience – experience at building consensus with Democrats in order to get sensible bills passed that will help middle class Americans. I would like to see Ben Carson run, but I think he would make a better HHS secretary than President. Ohio governor John Kasich is a good choice, but he doesn’t have the same accomplishments that the governors in my list have. Walker is my first choice because he took on the public sector unions and won.

There are also some people I don’t think should be President. I like Marco Rubio, but his support for amnesty disqualifies him as a candidate. Jeb Bush is disqualified because he is too supportive of amnesty and Common Core. Mitt Romney’s record is too supportive of abortion and gay rights. Romney also supports global warming alarmism. I think Romney is a better Democrat than he is a Republican. Rand Paul is only good on fiscal issues. On social issues Paul is a moderate. And foreign policy, Paul is a Democrat. Chris Christie is really a conservative Democrat.

If you want to learn more about Scott Walker, I recommend Walker’s new book. I actually got the audio version, and it’s read by governor Walker himself.

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Iowa senator Joni Ernst responds to Obama’s State of the Union speech

Iowa senator Joni Ernst

Iowa senator Joni Ernst

Here’s the video of the speech:

Transcript from The Weekly Standard.

Good evening.

I’m Joni Ernst. As a mother, a soldier, and a newly elected senator from the great State of Iowa, I am proud to speak with you tonight.

A few moments ago, we heard the President lay out his vision for the year to come. Even if we may not always agree, it’s important to hear different points of view in this great country. We appreciate the President sharing his.

Tonight though, rather than respond to a speech, I’d like to talk about your priorities. I’d like to have a conversation about the new Republican Congress you just elected, and how we plan to make Washington focus on your concerns again.

We heard the message you sent in November — loud and clear. And now we’re getting to work to change the direction Washington has been taking our country.

The new Republican Congress also understands how difficult these past six years have been. For many of us, the sting of the economy and the frustration with Washington’s dysfunction, weren’t things we had to read about. We felt them every day.

We felt them in Red Oak — the little town in southwestern Iowa where I grew up, and am still proud to call home today.

As a young girl, I plowed the fields of our family farm. I worked construction with my dad. To save for college, I worked the morning biscuit line at Hardees.

We were raised to live simply, not to waste. It was a lesson my mother taught me every rainy morning.

You see, growing up, I had only one good pair of shoes. So on rainy school days, my mom would slip plastic bread bags over them to keep them dry.

But I was never embarrassed. Because the school bus would be filled with rows and rows of young Iowans with bread bags slipped over their feet.

Our parents may not have had much, but they worked hard for what they did have.

These days though, many families feel like they’re working harder and harder, with less and less to show for it.

Not just in Red Oak, but across the country.

We see our neighbors agonize over stagnant wages and lost jobs. We see the hurt caused by canceled healthcare plans and higher monthly insurance bills. We see too many moms and dads put their own dreams on hold while growing more fearful about the kind of future they’ll be able to leave to their children.

Americans have been hurting, but when we demanded solutions, too often Washington responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like Obamacare. It’s a mindset that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions.

That’s why the new Republican majority you elected started by reforming Congress to make it function again. And now, we’re working hard to pass the kind of serious job-creation ideas you deserve.

One you’ve probably heard about is the Keystone jobs bill. President Obama has been delaying this bipartisan infrastructure project for years, even though many members of his party, unions, and a strong majority of Americans support it. The President’s own State Department has said Keystone’s construction could support thousands of jobs and pump billions into our economy, and do it with minimal environmental impact.

We worked with Democrats to pass this bill through the House. We’re doing the same now in the Senate.

President Obama will soon have a decision to make: will he sign the bill, or block good American jobs?

There’s a lot we can achieve if we work together.

Let’s tear down trade barriers in places like Europe and the Pacific. Let’s sell more of what we make and grow in America over there so we can boost manufacturing, wages, and jobs right here, at home.

Let’s simplify America’s outdated and loophole-ridden tax code. Republicans think tax filing should be easier for you, not just the well-connected. So let’s iron out loopholes to lower rates — and create jobs, not pay for more government spending.

The President has already expressed some support for these kinds of ideas. We’re calling on him now to cooperate to pass them.

You’ll see a lot of serious work in this new Congress.

Some of it will occur where I stand tonight, in the Armed Services Committee room. This is where I’ll join committee colleagues — Republicans and Democrats — to discuss ways to support our exceptional military and its mission. This is where we’ll debate strategies to confront terrorism and the threats posed by Al Qaeda, ISIL, and those radicalized by them.

We know threats like these can’t just be wished away. We’ve been reminded of terrorism’s reach both at home and abroad; most recently in France and Nigeria, but also in places like Canada and Australia. Our hearts go out to all the innocent victims of terrorism and their loved ones. We can only imagine the depth of their grief.

For two decades, I’ve proudly worn our nation’s uniform: today, as a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. While deployed overseas with some of America’s finest men and women, I’ve seen just how dangerous these kinds of threats can be.

The forces of violence and oppression don’t care about the innocent. We need a comprehensive plan to defeat them.

We must also honor America’s veterans. These men and women have sacrificed so much in defense of our freedoms, and our way of life. They deserve nothing less than the benefits they were promised and a quality of care we can be all be proud of.

These are important issues the new Congress plans to address.

We’ll also keep fighting to repeal and replace a health care law that’s hurt so many hardworking families.

We’ll work to correct executive overreach.

We’ll propose ideas that aim to cut wasteful spending and balance the budget — with meaningful reforms, not higher taxes like the President has proposed.

We’ll advance solutions to prevent the kind of cyberattacks we’ve seen recently.

We’ll work to confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

And we’ll defend life, because protecting our most vulnerable is an important measure of any society.

Congress is back to work on your behalf, ready to make Washington focus on your concerns again.

We know America faces big challenges. But history has shown there’s nothing our nation, and our people, can’t accomplish.

Just look at my parents and grandparents.

They had very little to call their own except the sweat on their brow and the dirt on their hands. But they worked, they sacrificed, and they dreamed big dreams for their children and grandchildren.

And because they did, an ordinary Iowan like me has had some truly extraordinary opportunities because they showed me that you don’t need to come from wealth or privilege to make a difference. You just need the freedom to dream big, and a whole lot of hard work.

The new Republican Congress you elected is working to make Washington understand that too. And with a little cooperation from the President, we can get Washington working again.

Thank you for allowing me to speak with you tonight.

May God bless this great country of ours, the brave Americans serving in uniform on our behalf, and you, the hardworking men and women who make the United States of America the greatest nation the world has ever known.

You can find out more about Joni Ernst in this article from Yahoo News.

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Republican Joni Ernst beats Bruce Braley in Iowa Senate race

Iowa senator Joni Ernst

Iowa senator Joni Ernst

NBC local news reports:

Joni Ernst has been elected as the next U.S. Senator from Iowa. The Republican, a state Senator from Red Oak, defeated Democrat U.S. Representative Bruce Braley in one of the nation’s closest watched elections.

Ernst will fill the seat currently occupied by Senator Tom Harkin. Harkin, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1985, announced in January 2013 that he would retire at the end of his term in January 2015.

Recent polls had shown Ernst pulling ahead, a poll released by the Des Moines Register this weekend showed her with a seven point lead. A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday showed the race was tied at 47%.

Ernst will be sworn in to the Senate in January.

Here’s a bit of background on her:

In 1989, a teenage college student from Iowa completed an agricultural exchange on a family farm in the Soviet state of Ukraine. Not surprisingly, as Joni Ernst retells it, the experience gave her a profound new appreciation for her home country — one that has colored her career choices to this day.

“It was just such a difference between the United States and the opportunity we had and what that family had in Ukraine,” she told RealClearPolitics, citing the farm’s lack of basic utilities such as a telephone and running water. (Residents had to use an outhouse behind the chicken coop, and the family shared a single bicycle in the absence of a car. Farm work was done through manual labor, supported by horses and wagons.) “That made such an impression on me when I came back to the United States and it was a matter of ‘Oh, I love my country.’”

[…]Ernst’s campaign is putting its focus on the candidate’s varied life experiences, including 21 years in the U.S. Army Reserves and the Iowa Army National Guard and being a mother of three and grandmother of six. Indeed, Romney’s endorsement highlighted her history as a “mother, soldier and proven conservative.”

A company commander in Kuwait and southern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 (and now a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard), Ernst says the grim realities she witnessed in Ukraine long ago sparked her interest in giving back to and supporting her own country.

“I felt that the military was a great way for me to do that, to defend the freedoms and opportunities that we have here in the United States,” she explained. “I’ve loved it.”

Nonetheless, Ernst recounts the hardships of serving in the Iraqi desert, including driving convoys in 142-degree temperatures and sandstorms that would sweep over the region. The situation was “just [a] pretty difficult environment, but you just adapt and you just roll with it,” she recalled. “It was the greatest of experiences and it was the worst of experiences.”

Those experiences are what drew some of Ernst’s supporters to her side. Ruben Garza, an officer in the Iowa Army National Guard, said he sees the candidate’s service as apt preparation for the U.S. Senate. “When you’re a military leader, your actions and your words are highly scrutinized and you’re expected to do what you say. I would expect, [if] Senator Ernst says she’s going to achieve something, she’s going to put 110 percent effort into achieving that.”

Her personal story goes far beyond the Iraqi desert, of course. It can be traced back to the cornfields of Stanton, a farming town of about 700 in southwestern Iowa. The town’s premier landmark is a water tower modeled after a traditional Swedish coffeepot, complete with a colorful floral design, handle and spout. Erected during Stanton’s centennial in 1970, the tower is both a nod to the town’s 19th-century Swedish immigrant heritage and a tribute to native daughter Virginia Christine, an actress featured in 1960s television commercials for Folgers Coffee.

Joni Culver, the second daughter of a farming couple, was born the same year the water tower was erected. Ernst and her campaign like to highlight her roots as a farmer’s daughter, and she cited this aspect of her life when arguing for reduced government spending during a debate with other Republican candidates for the Senate: “As a farmer’s daughter, who grew up in southwest Iowa castrating hogs with her dad, I can go to Washington and cut pork,” she said to cheers from the audience.

Among those familiar with Ernst during those early years is her sixth-grade teacher and campaign supporter, Rick Gustafson. He compares the candidate’s upbringing to “Little House on the Prairie,” where Mrs. Culver would sew young Joni’s and her older sister’s clothes. (He still has a pillow Ernst’s mother gave him, embroidered with the names of all 23 students in his class.)  Moreover, Gustafson remembers his former pupil’s strong work ethic and that she learned to drive her father’s tractor, as well as being a model student in class.

“Joni was one of those rare students that had high intellect, very, very good academic ability, and also had a high integrity in terms of doing the right things,” Gustafson told RCP. “She had all those and showed all those qualities at that time, even though she was still in those formative years.”

Ernst first expressed that love by joining the Army Reserves and the National Guard, and she hopes to express it further by serving in the U.S. Senate. What makes her ambition especially noteworthy is that, should she win the GOP primary on June 3 and the general election in November, Ernst would become the first woman from Iowa to serve in Congress. Given the state’s long track record of moderate, independent-minded politics, one might be astonished to learn that only Iowa and Mississippi have yet to elect a woman to federal office or governor.

I think she has the background to be the first woman President one day! She is also pro-life.

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Republican Joni Ernst takes 7 point lead in Iowa senate race

Joni Ernst vs Bruce Braley

Joni Ernst vs Bruce Braley

I hope all my readers in Iowa will vote for her.

Here’s the latest poll:

Joni Ernst has charged to achieve a 7-point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley in a new Iowa Poll, which buoys the GOP’s hope that an Iowa victory will be the tipping point to a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate.

Ernst, a state senator and military leader, enjoys 51 percent support among likely voters. That’s a majority, and it’s her biggest lead in the three Iowa Polls conducted this fall. Braley, a congressman and trial lawyer, gets 44 percent, according to The Des Moines Register’s final Iowa Poll before Tuesday’s election.

It looks like she is just winning on the issues:

Here’s what has shaped Ernst’s lead, according to the poll results:

  • Although a small plurality of likely voters thinks Braley has more depth on the issues, they like Ernst better than Braley on several character descriptions. They think she better reflects Iowa values, she cares more about people like them, and she’s more of a regular, down-to-earth person.
  • Voters find Ernst, who has led Iowa troops in war, to be a reassuring presence on security issues, the poll shows. In the wake of news developments on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, increasing aggressiveness of Russia and the rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East, more likely voters see Ernst as better equipped than Braley to show leadership and judgment, by at least 9 points on each issue.
  • Independent voters are going Ernst’s way, 51 percent to 39 percent.
  • The negativity in the race has hurt Braley more than Ernst. Forty-four percent say he has been more negative in campaign ads, compared with 32 percent for Ernst.
  • Among several potential mistakes the two candidates have made, the one that stands out is Braley’s seemingly condescending remark about Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley. In March, GOP operatives released caught-on-tape remarks Braley made at a private fundraiser in Texas that seemed to question the qualifications of “a farmer from Iowa without a law degree” to become the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

That inflicted a lingering hurt, as did emergence of the news that Braley had missed the majority of his Veterans Affairs Committee hearings, the poll shows.

It’s hard for a male Democrat to push the “war on women” narrative against a woman who has been off to war.

Since the article is from the ultra-leftist Des Moines Register, they register their disapproval of her support for private Social Security savings accounts. But that’s just another plus. I hope she wins, and I could see her being President one day, too. We need more REAL people, not career politicians.

Just in case anyone is wondering, yes – she is pro-life. The ultra-leftist New York Times explains:

In Iowa, a Democrat, Bruce Braley, had a 12-point advantage among women over his Republican rival, Joni Ernst, who led by 15 percentage points among men, in a poll conducted for CNN/ORC International this week; over all, the two were statistically tied. Ms. Ernst has been a particular target of women’s groups because… she has not backed off her support for a “personhood” amendment conferring constitutional rights at conception, which would effectively outlaw abortion and some fertility treatments and birth control methods.

The mid term elections are on Tuesday! Make sure you make your voice heard, especially if you are in Iowa or one of the other key senate race states.

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Iowa Human Rights Commissioner told pastor and family to “burn in Hell”

The Weekly Standard reports.

Excerpt:

In Sioux City, Iowa, a local pastor is asking for the removal of a newly appointed member of the city’s human rights commission. The city council appointed Scott Raasch to the commission, which adjudicates discrimination complaints, on July 8. However, the Rev. Cary Gordon, executive pastor of Cornerstone World Outreach, recently brought to light threatening comments Raasch left comments on Gordon’s Facebook page over Gordon’s vocal opposition to the Iowa Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage.

According to the report from the Sioux City Journal:

In one comment, Raasch wrote: “You are haters and bigots and you will get what’s coming to you sooner or later. I hope you rot in hell.”

Gordon replied, “I hope you repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. I wouldn’t want you or anyone else to go to hell.”

Raasch wrote, “I know Christ and don’t need a snake oil salesman like you to tell me about him. I guess that’s the difference between us because I think there are many people that deserve to burn in hell … including you and your entire family.”

“He gives blatant death wishes to anyone who disagrees with his political or sexual views,” Gordon said Thursday. “He is obviously unstable and filled with raging hatred.”

It’s very important to understand what kinds of people are appointed to these Human Rights Commissions. They sound so good, but actually they are just politically correct Inquisitions. And they appoint the most radical left-wing extremists to them – people who are incapable of even listening to points of view other than their own. We don’t need Inquisition panels to tell us what to think.

 

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