Archive for August, 2012

Ken Paxton Talks Voter ID

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A federal court has rejected Texas’ Voter ID law, but Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court. Joining us this morning to discuss is State Representative (and candidate for State Senate) Ken Paxton.

State Representative Ken Paxton

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Condoleezza Rice’s RNC Remarks


You can see the transcript of the speech HERE.

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Thursday’s Guest Lineup

Joining us to react to this week’s Republican National Convention:

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

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Congressman Pete Sessions

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Congressman Jeb Hensarling

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Live from Tampa – GOP Platform Talk with Dr. Merrill Matthews

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Just how conservative is the GOP Platform?

Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) Resident Scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews joins us this morning from the Republican National Convention to analyze emerging policies — from Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform proposal, to tax reform, to the coming “fiscal cliff.”

Visit IPI’s website HERE.

Dr. Merrill Matthews

 

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Dallas Morning News, 8/27/12

 Mark Davis: Thank you, Neil Armstrong

markdavisshow@gmail.com

Published: 27 August 2012 04:57 PM

2008

This is about Neil Armstrong, but it’s also about me. And if you felt any connection to this gentle yet bold American hero during his lifetime, it’s about you, too.

Countless words have already been written about his Ohio childhood, his youth as a pilot, his astronaut days and his footprints on the moon. But these words are about what he did for the world, for America, and for me.

If the Apollo 11 mission sparked worldwide wonder, there was nothing like the exponential boost of that wonder seen through the eyes of an eleven-year-old boy.

The previous Christmas, the crew of Apollo 8 had orbited the moon, reading from the book of Genesis as the Earth rose above the lunar horizon. During that week, Neil Armstrong was told he would command the first moon landing, three missions and seven months later.

Oddly enough, that did not automatically mean he would be the first man to walk on the moon. There was a brief debate over whether Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin might plant the historic first steps.

Once that was ironed out, every child, and every adult who had ever looked at the moon with spellbound awe began to wonder what it would be like to be the quiet 39-year-old pilot from Wapakoneta, Ohio, as he trained for the most significant journey since Columbus.

I finished sixth grade in June of 1969 and began counting the days for that mid-summer morning of July 16, as Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins rode their towering Saturn V rocket into the sunny Florida sky.

While that launch was in crisp late-sixties color on our Zenith living room TV, the pictures from the moon four days later were in ghostly black and white, and past my usual bedtime.

But the adrenaline from the moon landing that afternoon was still pumping through my adolescent veins. I may not have blinked for those two and a half hours, watching the blurry images of Armstrong and Aldrin bouncing around in the lunar gravity, one-sixth of Earth’s.

Reading the plaque behind their spacecraft ladder: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

The phone call patched in from Richard Nixon, who had been president for exactly six months. The planting of the American flag.

These images riveted me with such passion that I actually paid attention to the rest of the Apollo missions, lasting to man’s last lunar footprints in December 1972. Those feats amazed me then, and they amaze me now. For every year of my life, I have looked at the moon with gratitude for the twelve men who walked there.

The path of my adult life led me to a media career that has allowed me to interview presidents and cover history as it happens. But nothing can top October 17, 2008, as I was honored to MC a panel discussion and luncheon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. The occasion was the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Apollo program, and a tribute to astronaut Walt Cunningham, the only surviving member of the project’s first successful mission.

The guest list widened my eyes like those days of youthful wonder: Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders, Apollo Flight Director Gene Krantz (so memorably portrayed by Ed Harris in Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13,” uttering the unforgettable “Failure is not an option.”), even Fort Worth’s own Alan Bean, who had walked on the moon on the Apollo 12 mission.

Then came the word of a late addition to the panel and luncheon guest list: Neil Armstrong.

I have not had many heroes among famous people. My parents were heroes to me. My wife is today. Military personnel, cops and firefighters are every day. Among famous individuals, I would list President Reagan, who shaped my views as a young adult, and President George W. Bush, who protected my country after 9/11. I had the usual list of sports figures I admired as a kid, but that is quite another matter.

If we all have lists of those who have captured our hearts and minds with what they have done, Neil Armstrong was at the top of mine. As he walked on the moon when I was 11, I marveled at the universe God had made. On that day in 2008, I marveled at the good fortune God granted me to be able to thank him in person.

During that panel discussion, it was all I could do to suppress turning the whole thing into the kind of fawning mess parodied in “The Chris Farley Show” on Saturday Night Live. “Hey, Neil, do you remember when you and Buzz landed, and you took communion and then you walked on the moon and unfurled the flag but it didn’t deploy all the way out so it kind of looks like it’s waving and you talked to Nixon and pounded core tubes into the surface with that hammer and how the lunar dust just wouldn’t come off your suits and all of that, remember that? That was AWESOME!!!!!”

My space geek adrenaline flowing at 1960s levels, I somehow navigated the program to a successful conclusion without annoying the participants with rekindled adolescent effusiveness. Neil Armstrong’s participation was guided by his wish to thank others who had preceded him and the countless workers who made it all possible.

It is that kind of instinct that defined the quiet, dignified man I met that day, the reluctant but iconic hero who passed away Saturday.

Do you know how many restaurants he could have opened? How many Chryslers he could have sold? How many starlets he could have dated? How many millions he could have made hawking products or just reminding us in a thousand speeches about his exploits?

But instead he went home. To Ohio. To teach engineering at the University of Cincinnati, and to enjoy a career in business. The understated life he led only adds to the magnitude of the footprints he left on the moon and on American, and human, history.

I have a picture of our handshake after the Dallas event. His other hand is placed over mine, capturing the exact moment he thanked me for conducting the discussion with some degree of competence. The first thing that occurred to me was the crazy disconnect that he should thank me for anything, after the lifetime of wonder and gratitude his achievements had given to me, to all of us.

The outpouring of attention to those things since his death would have spurred him to remind us that his walk on the moon was mere happenstance. It could have been anyone, he would say. What mattered was the team that put the effort together and the nation that made it happen.

But it was not anyone. It was Neil Armstrong, a hero who let others sing the songs of his heroism. He let others write and speak of those times, and so we have. We have remarked about his journey, the history he made, and the way he honored that history by living a life deserving of the admiration it has been such a joy to carry for him.

In his last years, he was not such a quiet hero. If prodded, he would lament, never scoldingly, about how we seem to have lost our sense of wonder about exploring what lies beyond our world.

I immerse myself in the concerns of this world and this moment for a living. But I am trying to tell my son, who is nine, about a time when we had plenty of problems, as a nation and a world, but we still found a place, in our hearts and our budgets, for the magnificent things space exploration may yield– not just Teflon and calculators, but tonic for the human spirit.

Armstrong’s family statement asked us to “give Neil a wink” next time we look into the sky to see the moon where he walked 43 summers ago. We should do more than that. We should remember what it felt like to unite as a human race to celebrate what mankind had done in reaching toward the stars. We should begin reaching again, never allowing ourselves to get so caught up in the hand-wringing concerns of today that we forget about what our tomorrows may hold.

Then we can say we will have truly thanked this great American, this great man, for what he did for us.

The Mark Davis Show airs from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays on KSKY (660 AM). He can be reached at themarkdavisshow@gmail.com.

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The GOP Convention Schedule — Day By Day

From the Associated Press:

Officials with the Republican National Convention have cut virtually all of the activities scheduled for Monday and compressed what was to be a four-day convention to three days, running Tuesday through Thursday.

Check out the revised schedule  HERE.

 

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Walt Cunningham on the Life of Neil Armstrong

UPDATE: Did you miss this special segment? Catch the podcast HERE!

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We will welcome Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham, who is the lone surviving crew member of the first successful Apollo mission.  Neil Armstrong came to Dallas to honor Walt on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of that first mission, for the event I was honored to MC.  I would not have met Neil without that event for Walt, and he will have recollections of his friend and colleague, and memories of a time when America had a can-do leadership spirit.

Visit Walt’s website (and order a copy of his book) HERE.

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Neil Armstrong passes away: One great loss for mankind

 

On October 17, 2008, the Frontiers of Flight Museum hosted an event to honor the 40th anniversary of the first flight of the Apollo program.  A special guest was Neil Armstrong, who would walk on the moon the following year.  He and several astronauts spoke on a panel I was honored to MC, and then I introduced him at a luncheon afterward.  Other than events connected to my family, to earn his appreciation for remembering that era with detail and fondness–  one of the great honors of my life.

Hear my intro of him and his remarks here:

 

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Mark’s Latest Dallas Morning News Column

A Backlash to the Backlash Against Todd Akin

Mark Davis

21 August 2012 06:45 PM

I knew it was coming.

As various Republicans fled nervously from any proximity to Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, I awaited the accompanying backlash.

I heard resentment that our own senator, John Cornyn, also head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, made clear that Akin would not see an additional dime of campaign help.

I heard anger that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus suggested Akin step aside.

I even heard frustration that Mitt Romney found it necessary to criticize Akin’s misstep.

Why would anyone be frosted by negative reaction to an error in judgment as deep as Akin’s disastrous comments on rape?

Because to many, it seemed like the Republican establishment abandoning a true conservative and caving to anticipated criticism. It smacked of a usurpation of a call Missouri voters should make, not party bigwigs.

Such concerns are not without basis. The Republican power structure has a famous comfort zone with more moderate candidates who do not require the heavy lifting of defending bold, unapologetic conservatism. This has created a fair impression that this “establishment,” whatever it is, sometimes shrinks from fights it should welcome.

But this is not one of those fights.

Even if we get past the clumsiness of Akin’s comment about “legitimate rape” and the accompanying question of “As opposed to what?” — there is the far more daunting challenge of Todd Akin, Amateur Obstetrician, floating the opinion that during a rape, “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

“That whole thing,” meaning the likelihood of pregnancy.

Something shut down at that moment, all right: Akin’s electability.

And that is why anyone serious about winning a Republican Senate majority had to abandon wishful thinking and stop complaining about double standards and lay the field the way it is striped. And that means calling for Akin to step aside for the good of the party — I would say the good of the country — to make way for a candidate who can actually beat struggling Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill.

Akin no longer can. That may be unfair, it may require harshness to a good man, it may be another example of a double standard that allows Democrats to say and do any number of similar or even worse things and suffer no consequence.

But the facts are what they are. This was no gaffe. There was no trick question, no trap laid by a sinister media questioner. This was an unforced error of stunning proportions, revealing what no candidate for high office should ever display: the capacity for saying something profoundly stupid on purpose.

His apology was sincere but changed nothing. Thousands upon thousands of Missouri voters willing to consider an alternative to McCaskill would not be able to get past Akin’s self-inflicted wound.

There are a hundred less egregious things Akin could have said I would not have considered a deal breaker. And I will give him credit for being right on the far larger issue — that it is morally unsound to compound the stigma of rape with the tragedy of abortion.

But as President Barack Obama leapt to the microphones to make the predictably offensive point that men in particular should not be weighing in on protecting the lives of unborn babies they co-created — Missourians needed a response from a warrior without blemish.

Against an absurd “war on women” offensive from Democrats, Republicans cannot afford any nominees who hand their opponents the ammunition to justify that charge.

Todd Akin is a good father, husband, man and citizen who revealed a fatal flaw. When such flaws make a candidate unelectable, it is time for one last display of good character: withdrawal from the race.

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Frontloading HQ and Joshua Putnam

8:35amCT

Joining us this morning to discuss potential GOP Convention scenarios is one of our favorite experts on campaigns and elections, Professor Joshua Putnam. His website Frontloading HQ is an invaluable resource to anyone who enjoys geeking out over delegate counts, electoral college maps, polls, etc.

Check it out HERE.

 

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