Matthew DesOrmeaux

Recent Posts From Matthew DesOrmeaux

Americans for Prosperity Texas hosts a barn-storming strategy session for conservative activists

afp

Over the weekend you may have seen the hashtag #TXO trending among your favorite bloggers, writers, and conservative activists. That was all part of a two-day event called Texas Online, put on by the Texas arm of Americans for Prosperity just outside of Houston, the purpose of which was to hear from the best and brightest in the business on how to refine and spread our own message. I attended of my own accord, not as a representative of United Liberty, but I thought I’d share some of my experiences for those who weren’t there.

For starters, picture nearly everyone you follow on Twitter in one room. That was basically the scene. Some of the biggest up-and-comers in the conservative community, but almost no actual politicians, were in attendance. Jim Geraghty, Kevin Williamson, and Charles Cooke of National Review, Ben Howe and Dan McLaughlin from Red State, Lachlan Markay and Sonny Bunch from the Washington Free Beacon, Avik Roy from Forbes, Guy Benson from Townhall, William Upton from Americans for Tax Reform, Dana Loesch, Fingers Malloy, Larry O’Connor, Kurt Schlichter, Steven Kruiser, Matt Walsh, Noah Rothman, Bill Whittle - it was a who’s who of the online right.

With all those big names, you might think it was like a concert or CPAC, where the stars show up, do their routine, then leave out the back to cheers from their adoring fans. Not at all. They were all there to participate, learn, mingle, and network with the rest of us. It wasn’t an issue or policy-focused Obama bash fest either. It was two days of intensive strategy, tactics, training, and tips for doing our jobs of selling the message of freedom better. And boy could we use it.

No more excuses, Mr. President, fire Eric Shinseki and fix the broken Veterans health system

Last year when it became clear that Kathleen Sebilius was on her way out at Health & Human Services, I recommended an unlikely successor: Mitt Romney.

The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee wasn’t chosen for the position, obviously. But that may have been for the best. There’s a new position in the news for which he is even better suited: Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

The Veterans Health Administration has become embroiled in scandal this spring after reports of corruption at its health clinics and veterans dying waiting for care. There have been widespread calls for the current VA Secretary, retired Army General Eric Shinseki to resign or be fired, but President Obama has stood by him…so far. When the congressional investigations into the VA really get into the details, that may not last long, and Shinseki will have to be replaced.

Mitt Romney obviously has the experience to come in and save faltering companies and non-profit organizations, which would make him an excellent choice to reform and refocus the VA and its health program. But one additional detail makes him the perfect candidate: HHS is a political appointment, VA isn’t.

Obama has lost his hold on Millennials: Young people oppose gun control and affirmative action

Most political conventional wisdom pegs young voters and the not-yet-of-age as definitively liberal and probably tied to the Democratic Party for life. The saying goes that once a generation votes for the same party three times in a row, they’re lifelong adherents. The youth vote has gone to Obama and the Democrats in two successive presidential elections, but the all-important third may be elusive, for surprising ideological reasons.

Young voters have been one of the driving forces behind the recent surge in support for marriage equality and drug decriminalization, of course. But their party affiliation isn’t determinant there. Sixty-nine percent of voters under 29 support same-sex marriage, but 61% of young Republican voters do as well, and only 18% of them say gay couples raising children is bad for society. Sixty-one percent of voters under 29 also support legalization of marijuana.

This poll doesn’t have the same partisan generational breakdown as the marriage poll, but I would guess the ratio is similar, with a slight majority of young Republican voters opposing marijuana prohibition.

Support for gun control has also fallen the most among Millenial generation voters than other generations in just the last few years, from 59% in 2009 to 49% this year.

guns

With 24’s return, does Jack Bauer have the same appeal to a different America?

Jack Bauer

Tonight marks the return of the smash TV hit 24, its first new production since the series finale in 2010. A lot has changed in the last four years, and while Fox looks to have another ratings success on its hands with this more limited run series, Live Another Day, is the world still a safe place for Jack Bauer’s brand of no holds barred counter-terrorism?

Fatefully, the first season of 24 began production in March 2001. Fox premiered it in November 2001, less than two months after the 9/11 attacks, when other media companies were still censoring their output to not offend America’s new sensitivity to all things related to commercial air travel, skyscrapers, patriotism, and terrorism.

Over the next eight seasons, television audiences were fearlessly treated to assassination attempts, nuclear attacks, internal coups, electrocuted nipples, and an unending stream of yelled demands and immunity agreements. And we loved every minute of it.

King Barack’s Court: A Flippant Regime

King Obama

Several years ago, Rush Limbaugh stopped referring to the Obama “administration” and started calling them the Obama “regime.” They routinely acted contrary to the will of the people and above the law in pursuit of their political agenda. It has become much worse than that now. They just don’t care anymore. They are now King Barack’s Flippant Regime.

Special Report host Bret Baier recently asked former National Security Council spokesman and professional Twitter troll Tommy Vietor about a particular change in the official talking points for Benghazi in the days following the attack. Vietor’s response was literally unbelievable.

Cliven Bundy doesn’t actually believe in liberty

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy positioned himself (with the help of conservative media and grassroots activism) as a champion of liberty against the oppressive federal government in his cattle dispute with the Bureau of Land Management. It turns out Mr. Bundy doesn’t actually believe in liberty, at least not for everyone.

After winning his fight with BLM, he continues to wage a pitched battle to maintain his 15 minutes of fame by holding daily press conferences on his property, usually with no more than single digit press coverage. During one such skirmish for relevancy on Sunday, he exposed himself as a disgusting racist and a dubious freedom fighter (emphasis added):

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

New Jersey rejects atheist license plate, conservatives chortle

For the second time in as many years, a New Jersey resident has been denied a customized license plate with an atheist message. In August 2013, a man was denied the licence plate “ATHE1ST” because a Motor Vehicle Commission clerk found it “offensive.”

And last week a woman was denied her requested for an “8THEIST” plate on the commission’s website. The former request was eventually granted, and the current one almost certainly will as well, especially since the woman has filed a federal lawsuit.

While the 2013 denial was an explicit in-person objection, Shannon Morgan’s request of “8THEIST” was only denied by the automated online system. Morgan said she “attempted to contact the state Motor Vehicle Commission in November and March, according to the lawsuit, but received no response or explanation”, while the commission says it reviews “every request personally.”

It is unclear whether the initial request of “8THEIST” was reviewed “personally” since it appeared to be immediately rejected by the online system, or whether the personal reviews are only of appealed requests. Also unclear is whether Morgan’s request has actually been appealed through the proper channels and/or reviewed by the commission. Regardless, after several months of no response from state officials, she has decided to file suit instead.

NSA knew about and used Heartbleed web exploit

The tech web has been abuzz this week about what has been dubbed “Heartbleed,” a code exploit in the OpenSSL encryption system, which could have allowed hackers and cyberterrorists to access login credentials from some of the biggest websites in the world over the last two years. Lists were quickly constructed to explain to users which sites were affected and which passwords they needed to change immediately.

It turns out the NSA has known about the Heartbleed vulnerability for years, but never warned anyone that millions of Americans’ online identities could be at risk. Indeed, not only did they not sound the alarm, the  NSA used the bug to access those online accounts in its already questionable surveillance activities.

Louisiana wants to make the Bible the official state book

A Louisiana house committee has approved a measure declaring the King James Bible the official book of the state. It still must be voted on by the full house, state senate, and signed by the governor, but the proposal’s biggest hurdle in deep red Louisiana might come later. While it is a very simple bill that its author says is “not about establishing an official religion,” it is quite plainly exactly that and will be challenged in court.

The short legislative history of the proposal ironically made it more explicitly unconstitutional. The bill originally named a specific copy of the Bible printed in the 16th Century that is currently held by the Louisiana State Museum. This would at least have given the measure a historical significance and could be argued as honoring the centuries-old object itself, not its religious content.

However, when filed in committee, the bill only mentioned the King James version of the Bible, which means it would be that version of the book’s content that is being honored with the official state designation, not a revered historical copy.

Another member of the committee proposed substituting “all books of faith” instead of the King James Bible, which would at least have avoided the favoritism aspect of the establishment of religion. That amendment was defeated 5 to 8.

Political dynasties are created one vote at a time

Bush dynasty

I have a confession to make. I am part of the problem. I have helped to create the next generation of a nepotistic political dynasty. I voted for George P. Bush.

Since there appears to be a Jeb Bush 2016 media boomlet going on, dynasticism is once again the flavor of the month. People often talk of political dynasties like the Bush, Clinton, and Kennedy families like they are imposed on the country from on high against the will of the people. As many problems as the democratic institutions of our republic have, we still elect our representatives by popular vote, whether they have a well known last name or not. And George P. Bush is the perfect example of that.

Generally opposed to political dynasties, I vowed to support whoever ran against Bush for the state office. Then I started researching the dozens of candidates on the ballot for various positions and found out that his opponent, David Watts, is a crazy person.

My opposition to xenophobia outweighs my opposition to nepotism, so I was forced to vote for George P. Bush. I could have abstained on that race, of course, but the result would have been the same. With my help, the youngest member of the Bush dynasty is now well on his way to the White House.

Does that sound presumptive? It’s not.

Matthew DesOrmeaux

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married, father of two, atheist, libertarian, introvert.

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