Monday, August 1, 2011

Come Follow Me and Be A Watchman

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Thanks, and keep the faith.

Bob McConnell

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thank A Soldier

Today is Armed Forces day. President Truman created the holiday in 1950. It marked the conclusion of one of the hardest battles of his presidency. The deeply entrenched and proudly separate War Department and Navy Department had been combined into one Department of Defense. This is a classic story of how the feds solve a problem. Post-war hearings in Congress were chaired by none other than Lyndon Johnson. Great military leaders including Ike, Nimitz, Halsey, and Bradley testified that the Army and the Navy needed to learn to talk to each other so there would be no more Pearl Harbors. The goal was to train and fight as one team. Pressure, compromise and intrigue were all part of the deal. It included the mysterious death (a theme which continues in DC until the present day) of the first Secretary of Defense, the former Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal. Was it suicide or not?

"Saving money" by combining two bureaucracies resulted in doubling the number of coffee carriers and pencil pushers in the Pentagon. You see, we not only kept the Secretaries of the Army and the Navy, we added a Secretary of the Air Force and Secretary of Defense. The inability, aka refusal, to talk to each other, much less train and fight as one team continued under Carter in the Iranian desert, until Grenada in 1983. Almost forty years after feds "solved" the problems of World War II, the Army still couldn't talk to the Navy, much less the Air Force and young men died as a result. Read about this classic federal fairy tale in Urgent Fury. Double the bureaucracy, bust the budget, ignore the problem, and get re-elected. Starting to sound familiar?

Forget about the feds in Washington today. Stand tall and recognize the American military, a combined arms team prepared to fight, and if need be die in defense of our country and our way of life. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, ready at a moment's notice in any bar to argue about who is tougher, will die for one another on the battlefield. The courage, commitment and uncompromising integrity of our Armed Forces have earned America's highest respect, and with good reason. The feds didn't solve the problems of training and fighting as one team, the men and women of our military solved the problem. Most recently, Seal Team 6 took point in Abottabad. We salute them. They stand at the front of what General McArthur in his farewell speech at West Point called "a long grey line." The line stretches unbroken through countless battlefields- the Ia Drang Valley, Pusan, Normandy, Belleau Woods, San Juan, Gettysburg, and Bunker Hill, to the beginning of our nation.

Those who have served, or are now serving are America's finest. Each of them, and all who will follow swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign or domestic. Thank them, God Bless them, and God Bless the United States of America.

Next week, if all goes according to plan, A Conservative Voice will come to you as a podcast. Using a different platform will allow you to subscribe (for free) directly. We are looking for sponsors support in return for prominent recognition. Details to follow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Winning Ticket

It's good to be an American, and really good to think about what we have accomplished in the past two years. We didn't get everything we wanted, but we put the breaks on the radical progressive Obama, Pelosi, Reid agenda. We broke the mold that 95% of people in Congress get re-elected by putting 91 freshmen in the House: that's almost 20% new blood.

After I lost the primary, I learned that what I experienced here in the 3rd CD was a microcosm of Republican politics across the country. Combat Veterans for Congress endorsed me and forty or so other vets, most of us running for office for the first time. We had paid our dues to our country, but not to the Party. I heard the same story from vets who stepped up in New York, Virginia, Florida, Texas, California and here in Colorado. We were viewed as a threat and shut out by the GOP. What I have come to realize is that the real threat to the Republic I have sworn to defend is not progressives, it is a political system that rewards mediocrity.

Ninety-one freshmen, ninety of them Republicans, and most of them are now in office because of Tea Party voters. Michele Bachmann was out there for us, raising money, campaigning, taking on the hard issues. Despite what she accomplished, Rep. Bachmann was shut out by the GOP power brokers. Boehner couldn't find a leadership position for her. Thanks John. Last fall she established a Tea Party caucus in the House. Twelve came to her first meeting. Today that number is up to 64. Two - Mike Coffman and Doug Lamborn - are from Colorado. Neither Scott Tipton nor Cory Gardner are on the list. Backtracking on campaign promises began almost as soon as the new Congress was sworn in. The Pledge to America to cut $100 billion from spending this year became $38 billion for the photo op, and in hard dollars became $320 million. John and company now say they will bargain over raising the debt ceiling because not to raise it would "destroy the Republican Party." John, we don't care about the GOP, or your limos and Secret Service, or the ego trip being third in line for the hot seat. Raising the debt ceiling will continue the destruction of the Republic.

There are only two things worth bargaining over: a balanced budget and a term limits amendment passed by both the House and Senate. Send the two amendments to us so we, The People, can decide our future. Then agree to raise the debt ceiling, not before. No more bargaining over fancy accounting tricks.

Last week, I watched Newt announce his candidacy. He hadn't gotten ten words out of his mouth before I turned to my friends and said, "He's already lost." The GOP grey hair said he had worked with Ronald Reagan. People under fifty don't remember Reagan. Obama will crush him as the old guy who is living in the past. The ticket that will defeat Obama is Bachmann and Allen West. But they aren't GOP team players, and I believe the GOP power brokers would rather keep Obama in office than support either of them. So it is up to us.

Bachmann is testing the waters to see if she has the support she needs to put herself into this vicious process. Go to her website, or go to her one-question poll: Are you satisfied with the current field of GOP candidates? Show her your support with a vote and a contribution. Bachmann is also tuned into social media. She can reach the young conservatives, the independents (who make or break elections) and the totally disenfranchised. Get on board, let's get this party started, and let's beat Obama soundly in 2012.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How Pain at the Pump Wins Elections

Four dollar gas is tough. The six dollar gas some say is coming will be devastating. Consumers will feel the pinch at the pump. Producers will feel it even more. Their only choice is to pass the increased price of feed, fertilizer, fuel and help on to consumers. Everything we buy is going to cost more. Already there are calls for Obama to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce prices. Don't hold your breath. My bet is he will let prices rise until August, 2012. Then he'll pull a Clinton, dipping into the SPR to reduce prices at the pump just in time for the election. Sadly, it will probably work just like it did in 1996.

The threat of six dollar gas is our own fault. America has the resources to produce our own energy and feed the entire world. We could do it, and still have the cleanest air on earth, but we don't. Why not? It is because the federal government has convinced us that Americans are entitled to live in a hyper-clean world of bottled water, hand sanitizer, and magic cars that run forever. It is a world where we don't have to smell cattle because we buy beef from Argentina. We don't have to see oil rigs because we buy gas from Saudi Arabia. People don't have to work at boring jobs because we buy junk from China. It is a world where in the Yampa Valley tax money is used to
kill one kind of fish to protect another, because it is a better fish? It is a seductive song, money for nothing, chicks for free. And we fell for it.

It is time to face reality. There are no magic cars. A cow produces the same amount of methane in South America as it does in North America. Our mining/drilling/refining technology is light years ahead of the Middle East. Worldwide energy demands are projected to increase almost fifty percent in the next twenty years. Over millions of years, there have been ice ages and oceans and tropical forests right where I sit. The summit of Everest is sedimentary rock. Species have come and gone. The cycle will continue. Despite these realities, members of the Colorado congressional delegation on
both sides of the aisle talk about more wilderness. Friends, I love wilderness. I wrote a book about it. I can see three wilderness areas from my house and that is one reason I live here. But let's get serious; wilderness is a playground for a tiny percentage of very vocal Americans, the physically elite. America is reeling on the ropes of a world financial crisis. I view every acre of Colorado that becomes wilderness as a job lost. Let's put wilderness on the back burner and develop our timber, coal, oil and natural gas resources.

Recently Dale Bartlee of the
Colorado Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers said it best. "The biggest help our elected officials could give us is to get out of our way and let us do what we do best." Today we could be energy independent, fully employed, producing the best products, and feeding the world. Instead we face chronic high unemployment and the prospect of six dollar gas. We have been had. US Forest Service employees were in Ukraine twenty-five years after Chernobyl telling folks there to build roads, thin the forests and harvest dead trees or face disastrous fires. Meanwhile, Ken Salazar preaches the opposite: road less wild lands are the answer to millions of acres of dead trees in Colorado. What USFS experts say is good for Ukraine is good for America as well. Get out of our way and let us do what we do best. Declare Colorado's natural resources a federal free zone. We have seven congressmen and two senators. Write all of them, today, and get your political action groups - all the 9/12, Liberty, and Tea Party folks - to band together on this one. Do it, because the Sierra Club and others are pushing hard in the opposite direction. No new wilderness areas. Get the feds out of here and let us get back to work.

The critical question is whether enough peoples' eyes open before the Titanic sinks. I am hopeful because in the past two years, Tea Party groups have sprung up in big cities and in places no one has ever heard of all over America. We are the People and we are asking hard questions. We are mocked by many, and vilified by some. The political elite in both Parties see us as a threat to their survival. What they don't understand is that name calling will not stop us. So I say, take a liberal to a Tea Party. We have to win this one person at a time. Talk with them in simple terms about deficits, the national debt, and the failure of existing federal programs. Show them that we are not a bunch of racist extremists, but activated patriotic citizens. Acknowledge that both political Parties have screwed us. Try it. Take a liberal to a Tea Party. I did and we had a ball.

Next week we will talk about another reality. We won't get out of this mess by hunkering down and hoarding. We will only get out by giving.


The latest Chicken Little scare in Washington is that disaster awaits America if Congress ties a balanced budget to raising the debt ceiling. Obama wants a clean bill. My response is, call his bluff. Send him a clean bill refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Then let the People decide. Start the process in Congress so we can debate a balanced budget amendment, the only way we will force fiscal responsibility on the federal government. Americans will sort it out because failure is not an option.

This week the President also wrote Congress calling for an end to subsidies for big oil. Call his bluff. Get the feds out of the business of picking winners and losers entirely, whether it is a fish or wind turbines. Adopt a flat tax starting in 2012. For the next five years require every American and every business to pay 10% with no subsidies or deductions of any kind for anyone, and I mean anyone. Unfortunately, it will never pass this Senate. My bet is if it did, in five years we would be ready for real tax reform, eliminating every existing federal tax and replacing them all with a fair tax on consumption.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Conservatives: The Only Adults in the Room

We, the People cannot trust either Party to restore the Republic. The sound bite was that Round One resulted in an "historic deal." Shut down was avoided, and the largest budget cuts in history would be made. Really? Boehner went from $100 billion to $38 billion to $330 million. He sold us out to save the Republican Party. Obama showed he was willing to sell out our military and their families, and reneged on the "no money for Czars" deal. Or was their ever a deal on Czars? Was creative accounting the secret deal from the beginning? Someone is not telling us the truth: what a revelation. Next time, be transparent. Let sunlight shine on the process. Give us a transcript of the negotiations so we can see if anyone is telling us the truth.

Round Two opened with Paul Ryan (now this guy I like) throwing the first punches. Not to be outdone in the suddenly trendy cutting game, Obama presented his plan at GWU, even looking at the camera periodically (not only clean and articulate, he reads really well). Meanwhile Biden, guru of the next budget commission showed solidarity with the air traffic control union by snoozing on the job.

Mr. President, if Round Two is really about people starving and disabled children left out on the street, you win, we all agree. But it isn't about that is it? For you it is about preserving something much larger, and that is the entitlement mentality you depend on for votes. It is about "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need." This Marxist theory has never worked, anywhere. In practice, it destroys the incentive to work of both those with ability and those with need and the system eventually collapses. Not only that, even if we "cut" $4 trillion from the deficit over the next twelve years the debt doubles to $28 trillion (check your math) and the whole house of cards still tumbles down.

The truth is that two thirds of your cuts are tax increases. They happen now. The only spending you want cut now is the military. SECDEF Gates' solution is to shrink the fighting force and put a lid on spending for critical space defense programs (God forbid we cut fat in the Pentagon). Other spending cuts come after the next election and, de ja vu, are mostly imaginative falsities based on creative accounting. Meanwhile, sensing disaster for progressives and his own outdated economic theories, Paul Krugman exhorts Democrats: "Let's not be civil" in response to Republican "cruel nonsense." What does this add to the dialogue?

Mr. Speaker, we didn't take back our House last November so you can save your precious Party. Get with the program or you will become a footnote in history in 2012. Your strong-arm tactics and smarmy back door deals do us no service.

Fellow conservatives - the adults who have been left out of the room - this is about avoiding financial collapse while protecting the Nation and actually helping those with real needs. The past two weeks have demonstrated, again, that political deals are phony. The only way to stop the madness is by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Round Three has already started. Urge your representatives and senators to get in the ring and fight for economic sanity.


Looks like the cat fight over redistricting in Colorado will end up in the courts. Don't you wish now we had cleared the bench? Check out the maps. Several of them split the Third CD putting everything north of I-70 in the Second CD. Mesa and Boulder, a match made in heaven? How about this in 2012: ski patroller, mountain guide, cowboy Colonel Bob McConnell versus gift-card selling, flower-power rich guy, the Blueprint architect himself, Jared Polis? Get your tickets early, because this fight would sell out, pitting two Party outcasts with world views as different as the sun and the moon in a knock-down drag-out for our future.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blow Away the Smoke

Back in my day, the military devoted an entire manual to using smoke screens to conceal your actions or intentions. Today, politicians posing as leaders have perfected the art of using smoke screens for the same purpose. Often they succeed with help from airheads in the media who carry the water for one political party or the other. Lets blow away some of the smoke and see if we can figure out what they are trying to hide. Remember, the truth will set you free.

The federal deficit is way too complicated for ordinary citizens to understand. Blow the smoke away and it isn't that complicated. The federal government will collect more than two thousand five hundred billion dollars in taxes this year. But it will spend over one thousand, five hundred billion dollars more than it collects in taxes. The difference in the two numbers is the deficit. There are lots of reasons the deficit has gotten so large, and both Parties are equally responsible. One huge reason is what, in the past I have called the "re-elect me Christmas tree."

The federal debt is way too complicated for ordinary citizens to understand. Poof: same thing. When the federal government spends more than it collects in taxes, it borrows money to make up the difference. The amount borrowed is added to the federal debt. We pay interest on that debt, just like you do on your debts. President Obama acknowledges that all too soon, the interest on our debt alone will reach one thousand billion dollars a year. That number will come much sooner if the interest rate we pay increases even by a tiny percent. Every year or so, Congress promises that it will stop borrowing more money by putting a ceiling on what we owe. Today, the ceiling is fourteen thousand, three hundred billion dollars. We are about to hit the ceiling. Again, both Parties are equally irresponsible for letting the debt get so far out of hand.

If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling, the United States will default on our debt to China and the world will end. This comes from a man who many believe should be in jail for tax fraud, but instead is Secretary of the Treasury. Blow the smoke away. Refusing to raise the debt ceiling will mean that Congress cannot borrow any more money. This will mean that once Congress spends the more than two thousand five hundred billion it has collected in taxes this year, it cannot spend any more money. This in turn will mean that if we don't want the world to end, we have to pay the Chinese before we run out of money. In other words, Congress will have to set spending priorities limited by what is collected in taxes. Isn't that what we hired them to do?

The President can ignore his oath of office by issuing a "signing statement" in which he says he will ignore part of a bill passed by both houses of congress and sent to him for signature. Let's blow the smoke away. By summarily ignoring the "no more csars provision" of the budget deal, Obama is effectively exercising a line-item veto. Every time a president has asked for the legal authority to use a line-item veto, we have said no. Take a minute to read Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution in which we, the People, laid out the procedure for a bill to become Law. Then read Article II, Section 1 which includes the oath we, the People, require anyone to take before they assume the office of president. Now read Article II, Section 4 which says in part, the President shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Should we impeach him?

Let's stay focused on our economic crisis and not be pulled off course by Donald Trump (Trump Enterprises filed three times for bankruptcy) "birther" issues, and calls for impeachment. I have two sons who were born in Germany. Both their mother and I are citizens of the United States. Both of them are "natural born Citizens" despite the fact they were born in Germany. Either of them is just as eligible to be president as I am. I don't care where Barack Hussein Obama was born. As long as his birth mother was a citizen, he is eligible to be president as well. I do care when the President asserts the unconstitutional power to decide what part of a bill passed by both houses of Congress he will follow, and which parts he won't. If our House is going to impeach this guy, let it be on that basis and let the process start now. That said, lets blow the smoke away from impeachment. Even if the House voted to impeach, the Senate would acquit on a party line vote and we'd be right back where we started. Why waste the energy?

Let's focus on pressuring our representatives to vote for strong conservative values. Let's continue the search for a true conservative to defeat Obama in 2012. Let's make sure our voices continue to be heard and let's use our intellects and patriotism to blow away the smoke.

Friday, April 8, 2011

They Protect Us. Let's Protect Them.

Today the Secretary of Defense told the troops, now fighting undeclared wars around the globe, that they will get half their pay after the government shuts down, the balance to be paid later. They are now supposed to tell their families to pay half the rent, and put half the food on the table? Meanwhile, President Obama, the Commander in Chief, has said he will veto a bill to guarantee military pay. Shame on you. We are undertaking action as I write to make certain that no matter what happens tonight, no military family here in Routt County will suffer from your betrayal of our military. No military family's rent will go unpaid, and no child of a service member will suffer in Routt County. VFW, American Legion Posts and churches across the country, step up and do the same. Our military and their families must never again be held as political pawns.

•Today, progressives vilify the Tea Party, as they have for two years, this time for "causing the shutdown". Harry, Nancy and the rest of you shut up and listen for once. We are not a party, we are the people. You work for us. We took back our House, the People's House, last November. The Senate and the White House are next. Call us what you will, we will not allow you to destroy the Republic.

•Today John Boehner has pledged not to accept any pay until this is resolved. Twenty-five in our House, Republican and Democrat, have joined him. If your representative is not on the list, they do not deserve the title "honorable." Fire them. Stand strong Mr. Speaker, be a leader, and we will cover your back. There is a bill pending to protect military pay during the shutdown.

Tonight I urge you to join me in prayer for our nation, and that our leaders will make wise decisions in the days ahead

Bruce DuFresne

Tired of unresponsive "representatives" who do as they're told?

Governance is too important to leave in the hands of politicians. We need to hold our representatives feet to the fire. We must watch every bill, demand that they read it fully and listen to us. We must be relentless in our civic duty because we have been asleep too long.


About Me

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Steamboat Springs, CO, United States
I'm a conservative Republican who ran for Congress in Colorado's Third Congressional District in 2010. Though I lost the primary I gained an amazing insight into how politics works, and I met hundreds of wonderful, concerned citizens. Let's stay engaged in the mission. Write to me at, and keep the faith.