Michael R. Shannon


Michael R. Shannon (The Whole Shebang (mostly)) is a Virginia-based public relations and media consultant with MANDATE: Message, Media & Public Relations who has worked in over 75 elections on three continents and a handful of islands.

Most Recent Articles by Michael R. Shannon:

Virginia Election Determined by Angry Swamp Creatures

Nov 13, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Virginia Election Determined by Angry Swamp Creatures
The Virginia off–year election for governor demonstrates what would have happened last year if the Constitution didn’t require an Electoral College.

Crony Conservative Ed Gillespie carried 82 counties compared to Democrat Ralph Northam’s 13. The 69–county advantage didn’t mean squat though. All that counted was Northam’s 230,853 vote margin that put him in the governor’s mansion.


Where is the GOP Refund Window?

Nov 7, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Where is the GOP Refund Window?
Scott Daugherty of the Virginian–Pilot has discovered a lawsuit that may make a conservative folk hero out of the lawyer/plaintiff.

Bob Heghmann, a 70–year–old retired lawyer who lives in Virginia Beach, VA, has filed a lawsuit in federal court charging the national and Virginia Republican parties with more than simple bad faith failure to repeal Obamacare, as Republicans had promised voters for over seven years.

His lawsuit contends Republicans “[have] been engaged in a pattern of Racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats.” Heghmann believes the parties and national GOP leaders raised millions of dollars in campaign funds from trusting voters “while knowing they weren’t going to be able to overturn…Obamacare.”


Afghanistan Strategy Is the Only Hope for Education Reform

Oct 17, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

The federal government is currently enmeshed in two gigantic, expensive reform projects, one domestic and one foreign. Both are failures even though the tactics couldn’t be more different. In one — at a cost of $2.5 trillion — Uncle Sam is trying manfully to completely change a political culture.

In the other — at just under $1 trillion — Uncle Sugar won’t touch the culture. What is the same, and the ultimate source of failure, is the obstinate refusal of project architects to recognize their strategy isn’t working now and won’t be working in the future.


Millionaires & Billionaires Fighting “Oppression”

Oct 14, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Oppression certainly isn’t what it used to be. Instead of vicious police dogs, water cannon, billy clubs and Bull Connor, America is greeted with the sight of millionaires and billionaires kneeling in football stadiums trying to make white America feel guilty without so much as a Chihuahua yapping in the background.

And they aren’t alone. The Opposition Media, celebrity culture, leftist pastors, educators, politicians, various groin activists and Hollywood were all united in condemning the USA for the alleged subjugation of blacks. The protesters had no compunction about attacking the president and insulting the flag.


Kaepernick: When Taking a Knee Is All About Me

Oct 9, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Just think—if Tim Tebow had taken a knee for Antifa instead of God he might still be in the NFL. Or at least he could be a topic of conversation for people wondering why Tebow wasn’t playing. I find it ironic a league that is now encouraging “celebrations” after a touchdown, frowned on Tebow offering a quick word of thanks after a score.

Offering a word of thanks certainly isn’t a problem with Colin Kaepernick.


Temple to Journalist’s Self–Regard Falls on Hard Times

Sep 20, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Evidently, America just wasn’t that in to you.

The Newseum, a 250,000–square–foot Nexus of Narcissism for America’s journalists is in danger of closing. Originally opened 20 years ago, the Newseum is journalism’s valentine to itself. A museum designed to tell a breathless public everything it could possibly want to know about all that’s warm and wonderful about reporters.


Let’s Revive Extreme Vetting for Politicians

Sep 14, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

It’s amazing the American public can be so right in general and so wrong in particular when it comes to evaluating Congress. The Gallup survey found the approval rating for Congress as a whole is currently a dismal 20 percent. This means our DC swamp denizens are tied with members of the opposition media, lawyers and car salesmen when it comes to the public’s general distaste.

But at the same time, when rating their individual member of Congress, the public gives that representative a much better grade of nearly 50 percent. Somehow the fact their representative is part and parcel of the entire wretched institution escapes voters.


Is a Shortage of Brownies Next?

Sep 4, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

What a man considers a crisis tells us a lot about his character. In the past governors have declared a state of emergency for hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, riots, epidemics, crime waves, Trump rallies and earthquakes.

Evidently in Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval thinks those problems are too 20th Century for him. He’s declared a state of emergency because Nevada is running out of marijuana! Maybe Sandoval had a severe case of the munchies that clouded his thinking or maybe his priorities are just different, but mobilizing the state government because of a “wacky tobaccy” shortage breaks new ground in emphasizing trivialities.

Nevada has legalized the sale of mota for “recreational” uses (are there truthfully any other?) and just two weeks after the chronic crop went on sale retailers began warning their supply is almost down to seeds and stems.

Personally I question the need for a state of emergency. I was under the impression maryjane users were a calm, mellow lot more prone to expressing outrage if stores ran low on Cheetos after a “bake sale.”

While it was the sellers who were more prone to violence.

Yet blaming the governor for the laughing grass shortage is probably unfair, since he didn’t support dope legalization in the first place. The blame rests on a supposedly “conservative” Republican legislature that let crony capitalism get in the way of the competition they allegedly support.

So what did the legislature do? How could it foul up something as simple as legalization? Why do I feel strangely lethargic and uncompelled to post the Newsmax link?

Okay, I’m better now. Complete details available at NewsMax.


Collusion Isn’t A Crime Even If You’re Caught

Aug 23, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

An extensive investigation operating quietly outside the limelight of round–the–clock news coverage on Capitol Hill has conclusively vindicated the Opposition Media. There WAS official government interference in the 2016 presidential contest that elected Donald Trump.

It’s a story that has everything: Secret coordination, baggy uniforms with funny hats, lists of hand–picked operatives embedded in the campaign and nationwide scope. Even worse, these blatantly illegal activities involved official collusion at the highest level of government.


Way Past Time to Let Congress Enjoy Obamacare

Aug 21, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Every presidential administration reaches a pivot point. Many observers thought Trump’s came when Anthony Scaramucci walked in the White House door. Others thought it came 10 days later when Scaramucci walked out the door.

For me the Scaramucci Saga was just part of the excitement when the circus comes to town.

The pivot point I’m looking for is when President Trump finally learns he has only enemies and bystanders among the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill.


Left’s Policy on Guns & Mental Health Turns on a Stiletto

Aug 4, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Up until quite recently the official policy on the left was to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable. A CNN propagandist wrote, “If there’s anything both sides of America’s heated and polarizing gun debate may agree on, it’s the need to keep firearms out of the hands of people with serious mental illness.”

The gun control group “Before It Starts” asked petition signers to, “Support stricter gun control by giving law enforcement and mental health professionals the obligation for independent mental health screening for gun permits…It’s not the gun, but the people who are permitted to use them.”


Newest Congressional Perk Comes with Sidearm

Jul 31, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

The lunatic that opened fire at Republicans practicing for the annual Congressional baseball game may have only succeeded in making Congress even more remote and detached from the lives of the people the members allegedly represent.

Now the Washington Post reports panicky representatives “are traveling the halls of the Capitol — and the streets of their home towns — with security details.” The question is how do they justify the expenditure and the resulting imposition on the public?


Losing the House to Win the Future

Jul 28, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is worried about the failure of Republican governing reality to match Republican campaign rhetoric. Newt told Fox News, “I would say the highest focus ought to be on getting the tax bill through because if we don’t have economic growth next year, I think we’re in real danger of having Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

Big time Texas donor Doug Deason has already told Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell that his wallet is a dry hole until McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan “produce results on health care and tax reform.” And Deason isn’t the only donor heading for the customer service window hoping someone is there to ask for a refund.


Now We Know Where Barack Got the Design for Obamacare

Jul 25, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Where have you heard this before? There’s a federal insurance program designed to protect citizens from catastrophes that can devastate families. A program fashioned by experts who employed “best practices” as they formulated and priced this vital insurance protection.

Now it looks like the wretched naysayers were correct. The entitlement is plagued by users, with pre–existing conditions, who repeatedly cycle in and out of the program. These frequent flyers drive up costs and their premium dollars don’t begin to cover the government’s outlay.

Combined premium income from the entire coverage base falls short year after year forcing the program to run a deficit that won’t ever be reduced.


Donors View GOP Leadership as “Sunk Costs”

Jul 20, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

It’s begun to dawn on GOP donors that the millions they’ve poured into the Republicans are a bad investment. So far during the Trump administration what they have is a Bernie Madoff situation without Bernie’s return on investment.

Call it a “Promise Scheme” where Mitch and Paul promise great returns in the future if you will invest money so they can hold office today.

Lifezette reports moneymen who attended “a gathering of Koch network donors…are more than a little restive. Dallas donor Doug Deason declared his “piggy bank” is closed until the GOP leadership “produces results on health care and tax reform.”


“Gde myaso?” Russian for Where’s the Beef?

Jul 18, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Political campaigns are full of liars and fabulists. From the candidate who promises to repeal Obamacare root–and–branch, to the volunteer who lies about how many doors he knocked, campaigns attract people who are, as Mark Twain observed, “Economical with the truth.”

I know because I spent almost 40 years working in elections all over the US and in a handful of islands.

Think of all the disfunction and outrage you’ve ever endured in any organization where you’ve worked. Then condense the burned microwave popcorn in the break room, the idea–stealing colleague, the boss who doesn’t give the promised raise, the boasting braggart and the job description that changes monthly into a timeframe of only a few months.


I Would Rather 7–11 Privatize Healthcare than the Government Nationalize

Jul 14, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Occasionally circumstances force me to eat lunch in the swamp. This time I was in Fairfax County, VA, formerly a reliably conservative county that has lately been invaded by swamp employees, swamp contractors, swamp lobbyists and other refugees from Washington, DC.

The county is now reliably Democrat and gave Hillary a 68 to 32 percent victory last November. Call it a pilot project for the entire country after illegals get amnesty.

During lunch I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation between a man and a woman I assumed were business associates. Most of it was background noise, “Grumble, grumble, TRUMP, mumble, mumble, TRUMP, Hitler, Hitler, TRUMP” and so on.


Illinois Leftist Democrat Petitions Congress With a Rifle

Jul 11, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

In all the discussion of the shooting during Republican practice for the Congressional baseball game, I was struck by the fact no one thought it odd that none of the other participants tried to help seriously wounded Rep. Steve Scalise to safety.

They knew he was hurt. They saw the trail of blood as he tried to drag himself off the field. But no one went to his aid. Like a herd of wildebeest fleeing a lion attack, the wounded and slow were left behind.

Now that the coast is clear, members of Congress are leaping out of the dugout and discussing ways taxpayers can protect them in the future.


Siri Plans to Stop Taking Orders and Start Giving Them

Jun 28, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced the company is going to focus on developing self–driving car “systems” instead of the car itself. In an interview with Bloomberg Television he explained this qualifies as an “MOA” effort as in “The Mother Of All AI projects.”

The decision to concentrate on software, rather than both hardware and software is a new one for Apple. Normally the company designs the hardware along with the operating software and then ships the entire package off to China for manufacturing and intellectual property theft.


California Reinvents Medical Tourism

Jun 22, 2017 — Michael R. Shannon

Until very recently medical tourism was traveling from your home to find less expensive medical care, usually overseas. Medical tourists were leaving the warm embrace of the American Medical Association and the FDA to journey far from home. There were three motivations: Elective plastic surgery not covered by insurance, wanting to try an experimental procedure not covered or getting surgery done without benefit of any insurance at all.

That’s why breasts were being lifted in Brazil and hips replaced in India. Particularly courageous patients scheduled foreign heart transplants. I know all about this because I was almost a medical tourist myself. A few years ago we had what was laughingly called health insurance. Our deductible was so high you had to have been on life support for a week before coverage started.