How Herbert Hoover Launched Cardinal Nation

The St. Louis Cardinals were the major league team farthest west and farthest south until the 1950s.  But that’s not the only reason the Redbirds built a massive flock of fans from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The St. Louis Cardinals owe big government statism and technological innovation a big thanks, in addition to geography and great teams.  The technology was radio.  The big government statist?  None other than Herbert Hoover.

This was just one of the amazing facts I put together reading Michael Patrick Leahy’s magnificent book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement.  (Buy it today.)

Bill Hennessy Reading Covenant of Liberty

No, Mike didn’t devote page space to the Cardinals. Instead, he traces the ideological roots of the Tea Party—and the government-loving hatchet men who’ve been chopping at those roots since the Constitution was signed.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)Hoover addresses a large crowd in his 1932 cam...

Hoover used his power as cabinet secretary under Woodrow Wilson, and later Republicans Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, to grab the radio airwaves as the exclusive property of the US Government.  A champion of “associationalism” and public-private partnerships, Hoover granted mega-station power to a handful of lucky radio corporations.  These stations got 50,000 watt, clear channel licenses, allowing them to blast their signals around the continent.  And, thanks to geography, one station could broadcast around the world.

That station, KMOX in St. Louis, began broadcasting the St. Louis Cardinals in 1926. KMOX carried the Cardinals to farms, small towns, and cities throughout the Midwest and South Central states. In fact, by 1928, KMOX could be heard as far away as New Zealand, making it the first truly global radio station.The closest team to baseball fans in Missouri, Southern Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska, Kentucky, and even Georgia was now available at 1120 AM.

Leahy points out the economic value of a clear channel license:

A clear channel license was, in essence, a license to print money because each clear channel station could, in the evenings, reach up to half of the geographical territory of the United States. Each station, then, could reach well over 50 million listeners, and advertisers were more than willing to pay top dollar to reach those listeners, provided of course that the programming was half way decent.

Hoover’s intention was to draw more power into the central government. In 1926,the Supreme Court struck down Hoover’s directives as Commerce Secretary. Those directives had given the government exclusive power to operate radio stations in the United States. The Navy was, for a time, America’s only radio network. It created the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) to manage its stations.

(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Matt Holliday #7...

After the Supreme Court decisions, Hoover was ordered to issue radio licenses. Unwilling to surrender control to the free market, which he despised, Hoover managed to get Congress to adopt the Federal Radio Act of 1927—and Cardinal Nation was born.

One of the first things Hoover did was create a spectrum that allocated sixteen gigantic 50,000 watt stations across the country. He licensed these stations to General Electric, Westinghouse, and a few other powerful manufacturing interests.

Earlier, as Agriculture Secretary under Woodrow Wilson, Hoover was the first to win broad government control of food production and distribution. (President Obama’s Executive Order of March 16 extends the White House’s power to take over food and other industries, augmenting the damage Hoover’s statism as done.)

Hoover’s public policy legacy, according to Leahy, was, indeed, the Great Depression, but not for the laissez-faire we learned about in school.  Instead, Hoover and his Republican Congress micromanaged the U.S. economy from the moment of his inauguration in 1929. Just as the economy began healing from the stock market crash, Hoover clobbered it with high tariffs, stifling regulations, tax increases, and soaring federal debt. (Sound familiar?)

Hoover’s autocratic control of radio helped make General Electric the government-dependent, tax-free behemoth it remains today. And it continued a precedent of broken Constitutional principles that extends back to the first hours of our republic.

By moving economic decisions from people to government, and by coopting corporations, Hoover laid the foundation for the financial disaster that struck during his administration. But he also helped make my Cardinals one of the most storied franchises in baseball.

Just one example of the way progressives have used passion to steal liberty from people.  Leahy presents more.

In Covenant of Liberty, you’ll meet the first Tea Partier, John Lilburn of London, who spent years in prison in the 1640s for his insane desire to escape the arbitrary rule of other men.  You’ll learn the underhanded tactics that Alexander Hamilton employed to circumvent Congress and the states in extending the reach of the federal government.

You’ll also be introduced to Leahy’s 4-Promises theory. That theory holds that the Constitution is a covenant in which the government makes four promises in exchange for its existence, granted by the states and the people. Those four promises are:

  • to abide by a written constitution and its “plain meaning”
  • to refrain from interfering in private economic matters
  • to honor the “fiscal constitution”
  • to exercise thoughtful deliberation in Congress

Every Tea Partier knows that the fourth principle fell in 2008 and 2009, with dynamic duo of TARP and the Bailouts. And if the principle somehow survived Bush and Paulson, it certainly died with the passage of ObamaCare and Nancy Pelosi’s frightening assertion that we’ll have to pass the bill in order to know what’s in it.  “I’ll take whatever’s behind Door Number Four, Monty.”

You will gain some remarkable insights into American history, how we got where we are, and maybe even sports when you read Covenant of Liberty—the most important book about the Tea Party by a true Tea Party founder to date. It’s the best history book I’ve read in years, and you’ll be saying the same thing after you read it.

BREAKING: Ed Martin Running for Attorney General in Missouri *UPDATE*

Ed Martin Jr. of St. Louis has redirected his fire to the Attorney General race, and this is great news for everyone except Chris Koster.

Back when Ed Martin was talking about running for the Republican nod to take on Claire McCaskill, I had another thought.  Well, a bunch of people had another thought: Ed would make an outstanding Attorney General.


HUGE list of endorsements on Ed’s official press release


I guess I was right. Ed Martin for Congress

I wasn’t disappointed that Ed chose to run for Todd Akin’s US House seat. Ed would make a great conservative legislator.  And as I said before, so will Ann Wagner, who can now focus on  . . . whichever Democrat decides to give a concession speech at 7:01 pm on November 6.

But, at this pivotal moment in history, as Attorney General, Ed Martin will be Missouri’s general in the war on Washington abuse.  Here’s why.

First, Ed has used his law license for the good of society, to protect life, to defend the wrongly accused, and to advance his—our—conservative principles.  He’s not a lawyer who’s in it for the money.  I’ve met some of the people he’s helped, and I’ve heard their stories.

In these battles, including a nationally covered battle against Illinois’s criminal Governor Rod Blagojevich, Ed Martin was tenacious, principled, and victorious.

Missouri needs an AG who will fight for the right things. 

Second, Ed understands that the battle for liberty over the next 12 years will be fought between the states and Washington. The states—and only the states—have the Constitutional power and the economic leverage fight Washington and win. 

The Several States vs. US Government will be ugly,long, and painful. [Insert your analogy here.]  Most people will lose their stomach before it’s over. People—even good conservatives—will want to throw in the towel and heel to the Washington monster.

Ed won’t.  He understands that Congress, with its entrenched establishment and elitist snobbery, is as close to a lost cause as you’ll find.  He wants to be one of 50 state attorneys general who, with their governors and secretaries of state, beat Congress into submission.(I said “ugly.”) 

Ed Martin has a clear path to take on turncoat Democrat Koster in November.  That fight begins today. When Ed prevails in November, Missouri will have an Attorney General who actually has read and understands the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution—and a man who’s smart to know it matters.

Previously on Hennessy’s View about Ed Martin:

Give Me 5 Minutes, And I’ll Give You a New Friend

Name the One Tea Partier in the Race

11 Minutes of Exactly What We’re Talking About

BREAKING: 2nd Federal Judge Rules HealthControl Unconstitutional—No One Surprised

iStock_000007404184SmallU.S. District Judge Roger Vinson today ruled Obamacare directly violates the Constitution by mandating that citizens buy health insurance. 

This ruling goes further than the previous Virginia ruling. Judge Vinson declared the entire Obamacare bill unconstitutional because the individual mandate portion is not severable from the rest of the law.

Third, Judge Vinson granted the plaintiffs “declaratory relief,” the functional equivalent of an injunction, freeing them from the burden of compliance. From the Wall Street Journal:

Meanwhile, Republicans are drafting a series of bills targeting particularly unpopular pieces of the law, include its requirement that larger employers provide coverage or pay a fee. And they're laying plans to choke off funding to hire federal workers to enact the law.

More broadly, Monday's decision sharpens the battle lines over the broader issue of whether the federal government can require Americans to purchase something solely because they are living on U.S. soil.

The Department of Justice said it would appeal the ruling. 

This is great news for everyone who believes in the rule of law.  It also points out how critical it is that we regain control of the U.S. Senate before one of the Supreme Court’s conservatives leaves the bench.  The 5-4 balance of power currently favors (slightly) the rule of law. Any vacancies will be filled by an Obama appointee who would effectively overturn the idea of limited government.

For now, though, share this great news with friends:  ObamaCare is unconstitutional.  And a federal judge said so.

Meanwhile, Gateway Pundit reports that the Obama administration has come unhinged over the ruling. Michelle Malkin has the full ruling. Relive the healthcare battles on  Brooks Bayne has more on The Graph.

Video of St. Louis Event--Almost as Good as Being There *update*

My hat's off to Bob Anders and the crew from Creative Video Services for this 3-part series of the St. Louis Nationwide Chicago Tea Party protest held February 27, 2009. If you need videography, you can't go wrong with Creative Video. Part I: St. Louis Tea Party (Part 1) from CR8VDO on Vimeo.

Click here for Parts 2 and 3.

Dana has lots of great links.  


1.  It was a 3-part, not 4-part video. Sorry, my math.

2.  The STL Tea Party made Drudge!!!!  How flippin' cool is that?


St. Louis Tea Party Makes Drudge

Flow-Thru Afterglow

Dangerous Thoughts Standing in the Wings

Why are you here? I thought.

I was standing on the steps of the Arch fully aware that my fingers were painfully cold when the wrong thought crossed my mind.  By "wrong thought," I mean that one thought that will subconsciously sabotage the important or dangerous thing you are about to attempt.  Like thinking, "what if the front wheel just fell off?" as you're cruising down a winding road on a motorcycle, or "what if I forget my lines?"  just before stepping onto the stage.

100_0795 Before and behind me stood 1,500 people, most of whom I'd never seen before.  They had traveled from as far away as Cincinnati, Ohio, Scottsdale, Arizona, Rolla and Kansas City, Missouri, to St. Louis on one to three days notice on a cold workday with snow flurries spitting on their heads.  Winds gust to 30 miles per hour, slapping the the tea bags they'd taped to their signs. 

But why were they here? Why would they sacrifice to attend a rally called by some blogger they'd never heard of and a conservative radio talk host?

Answers Emerge

Jackie Smith, the hall of fame tight end, took the megaphone and asked, "How many of you are at a protest for the first time in your live?" 

Ninety percent raised their hands and hollered.

A Voice, For Once

A small business owner provided the answer to my question:  we've been afraid to say anything for years.


Political correctness--a Nazi-like, liberal speech suppression technique begun in the 90s--cowed average Americans into keeping their mouths shut for 20 years.  Not since the early days of the Reagan administration have conservatives felt free to say, "I love this country because we're free."  The truth is, if we're not free even to speak our minds, then there is now "America" to love.  There is only a European socialist quasi-dictatorship a little too far west. 

The Next One

The Tea Party was only the first step in a march that ends with a Congress that understands that America is not a land, it's an idea. That idea is that human beings are the best judges of what will achieve happiness.  Free to follow that judgment, some will fail, but more will exceed their wildest expectations.

On February 27 in cities from coast to coast, a few hundred people pretended we still have the freedom to pursue our own dreams.  We ignored the shackles of political correctness and a semi-fascist president.  We hoped to draw out 50 to 100 like-minded souls to begin a movement.

Our humble expectations were exceeded by a factor of 15. 

And, as the Gipper might say, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Claire McCaskill?  Freshen up your resume.

Other Reactions:

Side Notes:

  • I finally met Gateway Pundit in person.  It was an honor, much like meeting Dana Loesch and Jackie Smith.  
  • Dana Loesch and I met for the first on Friday at about 10:00 a.m.  What better testimony to the power of new tools like Twitter and Facebook and email that two perfect strangers would coordinate, split duties, and manage an event for 1,500 people in 4 days. 
  • The next even will be different, bigger, and far more threatening to the left and the national medial.  Not violently threatening; politically threatening.  They will not be able to bury the story, nor will they escape the consequences.  But they will try to prevent it.  In other words, this story will have legs.



St. Louis Tea Party Turnout Rocks!

Thanks to the 1,000+ patriots who stood in the snow at the Arch, Dana "The Energizer" Loesch, Doug Saur, the speakers, Michelle Moore and Jeff who managed the fairgrounds, Desiree' the Poster Party Lady, and the true leaders at #TCOT who held my hand after I stumbled into this event.   St.Louis 1000 Conservatives in 4 daysToday at the Arch in St. Louis was simple patriotic magic.  I have to do some wrapping up of the event, but I'll say this:

America's future is not in the White House; it was on the steps of the Gateway Arch and dozens of other Tea Party locations today.

This was not an event; it was step in a march that ends with Repealing Pork by Retiring socialists.

The scene was simply unbelievable.  Dana Loesch electified the crowd, and Hall of Famer Jackie Smith had them roaring.  In between, American Issues Project President Ed Martin, conservative blogger Shamed Dogan, responsible mother and former candidate for State Senate Gina Loudon, and State Senator Lemke (sp?)  sent a clear message that the 1,000+ adored. 

The Republic will be in great hands. . . soon.  

Thank you all.

If you were at the St. Louis, event, upload photos and videos to  See you Facebook messages for details.

Photos & Videos:




Keep this movement growing; going isn't enough.  Tell your friends to watch the news feeds, read the blogs, monitor #tcot.  Don't stop.  This wave won't crest until we have a conservative Congress, President, and SCOTUS.

How to Change the World with Twitter

My light blogging owes to our efforts to change the world in a week.  My role is, appropriately, miniscule.

When Congress listens, it will repeal the trillions of waste, fraud, and abuse it has produced over the past 4 months, it will stop proposed borrowing and bailouts, it will stop rewarding bad behavior in corporations and citizens, or it will retire.  This time, there are no two ways.

image Using tools like Twitter, email, and Facebook, TCOT has provided at least 163 patriots a forum to voice its discontent on Friday, February 27 at 11:00 a.m. at the foot of the Arch steps in St. Louis.

These citizens are coming out to tell Congress that we utterly reject its notion of borrowing its way out of debt, paying people and companies for failure, and building debt that must be paid through high taxes or high inflation.  

In the past 24 hours, the House has spent $410 billion and President Obama has requested hundred of billions more for healthcare.  When will it stop?

The stop starts on Friday.  Join us. 

Technorati Tags: ,,,

Matt Sczesny Rocks, and other Tea Party News

Great coverage of the St. Louis Tea Party on KMOV Channel 4 by reporter Matt Sczesny.   Channel 4 has not posted the video (that I can find).  I'll link or embed it as soon as it's available.

Please say "thanks" to Matt and KMOV for a fair report.


Amy at Top Conservatives on Twitter has put together a convenient list of the Tea Parties across the country.  This list is NOT exhaustive, as not all cities have a Facebook Event page.  

If you have friends and family in other cities, please encourage them to attend their local rally.  And remember, this is an exhibition, not a competition; please, no wagering.  (h/t Letterman)


For our local St. Louis theme, I really, really like the Red:  the blood of the patriots.  We represent that vast stretch of land filled with strong, working people who rush to the shores when our Republic is threatened.  We stand tall against enemies foreign and domestic.  We bandage our wounds and march on, ever forward, ever humble, yet ever certain of our purpose.  

Red-stained guaze around our heads, red sweaters on our chests, the river at our backs, the Great Frontier before us.  St. Louis was the far side of the America's Rubicon.  All who travel there on Friday will set themselves on the trail to a future under the torch of our brilliant past.   

When Ben Franklin left Consitution Hall after the delegates had finally ratified the document that forever changed man's relationship to government, a citizen shouted, "Dr. Franklin, what have wrought us?"  

Franklin replied simply, "A Republic . . . if you can keep it." 

To hear our President doubt our steel, question our resolve, and deny our ability to right ourselves and help our neighbor without some immense government to guide us is to hear that Philadelphia citizen shout back at Franklin, "Can you keep it for us?" 

Our red shirts tell Franklin, "Just watch."

See Dana's Channel 5 Interview

Go Dana.  How 'bout a little equal time?  Why does the WU prof get 80 percent of the time? DELETED VIDEO EMBED

I detest videos that start automatically.  

You can see the report on KSDK's web site.  Not the best coverage, certainly not fair, but publicity is publicity.  So thanks to Rebecca for visiting with Dana and selecting 7 seconds of the interview to air ahead of 30 minutes of some college professor who wrote a book in his spare time.  (I wrote mine while I was in the Navy.)

Live Blogging Barry's Crappy Reagan Imitation

The future is ours. Your disgust with the borrowing and spending, your noble desire to restore the republic the founders wrought, those are the real protests. The tea party is in our hearts and souls--the events are just the physical manifestations.  But now, the President: Ninety percent of live blog posts suck.  So I did my blog readers a big favor:  I tested my quips on Twitter.  Here I present my instant reactions that were good enough to get retweeted.  (You're welcome.)

  • I wish he'd ask "the Democrat majority to ramrod one-sided legislation through Congress" just once.
  • BHO's funnier if you don't look at him, but Biden makes me laugh. What do I do?
  • socialized medicine! Reminds me--my license plates expire this week
  • If I'm ever prez, remind me to cure a bad disease in every speech
  • I miss the suspense of W sneaking up on "kazakishtan" 
  • When will he thank China for making all this "investment" possible?
  • Read the 10th Amendment, Barry
  • When the hell did borrowing become the lifeblood of the economy?

And the winner . . . 

  • We need to produce more solar power? I'm NOT financing a new Sun!

On Friday, we get our turn to tell the world how it is.

Uncle Barry’s Adding Machine Stimulator Regulation Gimmick

A few weeks ago, shortly after his inauguration, Barry “The President” Obama panicked:  the Republicans might talk the people out of the stimulus bill.

Barry moved quickly.  But Barry is an organizer, not an engineer.  He’s the cheerleader, not the quarterback.  He moves mobs, not nations.  And when panicked, he fell apart.

Barry decided to announce that life as we know it would economically end the Day After The Stimulus Bill Is Defeated.  The “greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression,” was a convenient bludgeon for Barry to use as a candidate against the two men least responsible for it:  Bush and McCain.  Now, that crisis was his to fix.

“A crisis into a catastrophe"

His words.  If Congress failed to pass a near-trillion dollar spending spree, then financial ruin would be upon us.

Congress passed it. The economic slide into depression accelerated.

Thanks, Barry.  Even Robert J. Samuelson – who was our Krugman when I was in college – is kind of appalled at the whole unseemly creation of this Frankenstienian spendfest.

Judged by his own standards, President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus program is deeply disappointing.

Samuelson has more bad news for those who that the trillion dollars would do anything before the next election cycle. 

His [Obama’s] politics compromise the program's economics. Look at the numbers . . . At his news conference, Obama argued (inaccurately) that the two goals don't conflict. Consider, he said, the retrofitting of federal buildings to make them more energy efficient. "We're creating jobs immediately," he said.

Yes -- but not many. The stimulus package includes $5.5 billion for overhauling federal buildings. The CBO estimates that only 23 percent of that would be spent in 2009 and 2010.

Politics Over Principle

Were Samuelson not on the left, one imagines, his critique of Barry’s first major act as president would be scathing. 

By using the stimulus for unrelated policy goals, spending will be delayed and diluted. There's another downside: "Temporary" spending increases for specific programs, as opposed to block grants, will be harder to undo, worsening the long-term budget outlook.

The reason so many are vowing to attend Tea Parties to protest wasteful spending, skyrocketing debt, transfer of wealth, and creeping socialism is because we cherish freedom, not because we’re greedy.  Most of the people at the rallies have a net worth that dwarfed by Obama’s cabinet’s daily checking account balances.  We know the value of a dollar, and we to keep the few we earn. 

It’s Socialism, Stupid

Obama is an old-time socialist with new-fangled toys what whir and sizzle.  But the magic is getting old fast. 

What a tiny, tiny honeymoon for Uncle Barry’s Adding Machine Stimulator Regulation Gimmick.  Got my cynicism early, wouldn’t you?