(Des Moines, IA) Welcome to Caffeinated Thoughts’ live blog of The FAMiLY Leader’s Celebrate the Family event with Dr. Ben Carson. I call this lazy man’s blogging because I don’t have to write anything when getting home. Brian Myers who is here with me tonight will provide a summary and thoughts about the evening.

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Final thoughts: Carson is a dynamic speaker, he spoke without notes, he connected with the audience. It seemed like he was well received. He made a good step forward in preparation for running for President. He is not a perfect candidate however, and I personally have some concerns, but I have an open mind and will vet a number of candidates. He spoke a lot about education, but didn’t really put forth a plan. I’m curious where he stands on Common Core, etc.

An inspiring story for sure, but we’ll need to see more with his policy proposals, etc. That said I think he can be a contender. That’s all for now, Brian will provide a wrap-up.

8:44p – Carson: Freedom is not free, you have to work for it every day. Major standing O. This wraps up the program.

8:42p – Carson: Government is supposed to conform to the will of the people, not the people to be confirmed to the will of the government.

8:41p – Carson: Even though President Obama said we are not a Judeo-Christian nation, we are a Judeo-Christian nation.

8:39p – Carson: We are in the process of throwing our values away due to political correctness.

8:37p – Carson: This country has been blessed with enormous amounts of energy. We are #2 in oil production now because of fracking on private land. Brings up hydrogen…

8:36p – Carson: making people dependent is not compassion, it the cruelest thing you can do to them.

8:35p – Carson: We have gone way over board with regulations.

8:34p – Carson: We do need some regulations because greed is part of our human nature.

8:32p – Carson: To get us out of debt we need to revive that what drives our economic engine – business. Reform tax code… spark job creation. People get into business to make money, not to support the government.

8:31p – Carson: Our debt is unsustainable debt. That is why it is incumbent on us to know who are representatives are. If they vote to increase that debt… you need to vote them out of office.

8:28p – Carson: To address immigration we must reverse the polarity of the magnet of everything that is drawing them here and then secure the border.

8:28p – Carson: In this nation we have people in dire poverty. Don’t we have an obligation to extend them a helping hand before we allow millions in?

8:27p – Carson: Our brains are made in the image of God, and God is no dummy. We must use our brains to solve some of the world’s problems.

8:26p – Carson: God gives us guidelines so we can live uncomplicated lives. One reason why parents give their kids guidelines.

8:23p – Carson: The wonderful thing about medicine is when you show data it changes people’s mind, but that doesn’t happen with politics.

8:20p – Carson: I didn’t have time to listen to people who were saying I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything due to my situation. I was too busy learning.

8:19p – Carson: Mom made them turn off the TV and start reading. He went from the bottom of his class to the top.

8:18p – Carson: The wonderful thing about God is that you don’t need to have a PhD to talk to God. All you need is have faith. She would ask for wisdom.

8:17p – Carson: We won’t improve our education because of a central education department, but at the local level.

8:15p – Carson: Our values and our faith also made us exceptional nation.

8:14p – Carson: Our country prospered because of the education of the populace, something that wasn’t seen in Europe at the time.

8:12p – Carson: Our founders knew that we needed a well-educated populace to maintain our country. All it would take to change our country is a slick population, a dishonest media and uneducated populace.

8:11p – Carson: Education is the great divide. If you get a great education in this country you can chart your own future.

8:10p – Carson: struggled in school in 5th grade.

8:07p – Carson: My mom never went on welfare because she didn’t want to be dependent. She never allowed excuses. She only had a 3rd grade education and a single mom. Carson’s brother is a rocket scientist.

8:06p – Carson: Growing up I hated poverty.

8:05p – Carson: We must ignore the PC police.

8:04p – Carson: They don’t know what to call a black person who is against the progressive agenda, pro-life and pro-traditional marriage.

8:03p – He discusses the left’s demonizing pro-life and pro-traditional family people. We must not submit or be intimidated by them.

8:02p – Carson: We should not allow anyone muzzle our free speech.

8:00p – Carson: Disclaimer, I am not politically correct.

7:59p – Carson grew up in Detroit. He said that Detroit is a harbinger of things to come if we don’t change as a nation.

7:58p – Carson: This is why I’m so passionate about railing against the Affordable Care Act, you should be in charge of your health, not the government.

7:56p – Carson: What a incredible privilege as a physician was to be given responsibility of people’s life. Our health and life are the most valuable things we have.

7:54p – Carson: I believe that God gives everybody special gifts and talents.

7:51p – Ben Carson: One of the pillars of America is the family.

7:49p – Deace: Carson is a smart guy, he literally is a brain surgeon…. Carson doesn’t need to do this. You can tell a lot about a candidate by what motivates them, and whether you support Dr. Carson or not we need more candidates motivated by what motivates Ben Carson.”

7:47p – Deace: It is telling that if someone runs for office and their wife and children are no where to be seen. Not the case with Ben Carson.

7:46p – Deace: “Bob wanted me to remind you that there is no pressure to give and that God loves a cheerful giver. Bob will be very cheerful if you give.”

7:37p – Stouffer is doing the fundraising challenge tonight.

7:34p – Stouffer: The world is watching (Iowa) and the stakes are high.

7:32p – Stouffer: we all should be taking arrows for the cause of Christ.

7:31p – Stouffer is wearing a “Run Ben Run” sticker… hmmm… Bob spoke at our Caffeinated Thoughts Briefing.

7:28p – Dr. Bob Stouffer, the principal of Oskaloosa Christian School, is part of the program. He thanked those who attended and announced that every dollar raised tonight goes to programming as the event was underwritten by Friends of Alons.

7:27p – It’s no secret that Bob Vander Plaats is positioning himself to be a king maker in 2016, and they are touting some of the events The FAMiLY Leader have done and interviews BVP has given.

7:24p – Showing a video touting the If 7:14 prayer movement they launched. Praying for revival, for families that honor God, for marriages, for life…

7:23p – Vander Plaats received a standing O.

7:20p – Vander Plaats hits on reducing debt, life, repealing Common Core, immigration, and religious freedom. He said “we the people” need to determine immigration policy through elected officials, not the President.

7:18p Vander Plaats: We need leaders who can and must repeal Obamacare. We need to reform the health care debt.

7:17p – Vander Plaats: These extra ordinary times requires extra ordinary leadership.

7:14p – Takes time to pray because of the If 7:14 initiative they started awhile back. Problems our country face are spiritual ones, not political ones.

7:13p – Vander Plaats: You’ll never be right when you try to do wrong.

7:11p – Vander Plaats recounted his recent trip to Europe when he visited Auschwitz “the largest cemetery in the world.” He said that Nazis attempted to remove God from the culture. He recounted the last Democratic National Convention who “removed God from the platform and then after political pressure booed Him back in.”

7:08p – Big crowd tonight.


7:06p – I doubt that is an endorsement, but we’ll follow-up to see.

7:04p – Vander Plaats: “Whether Dr. Carson runs for President or not, his involvement would be good for this race… .I myself hope he does run.”

7:03p – Vander Plaats: “Dwayne Alons and his wife Clarice are a class act.” They discussed naming the award for him before even discussing who should receive it.

6:59p – Deace and Vander Plaats shared a hotel room recently because “he’s Dutch and cheap.”

6:55p – Elected officials were recognized, not many here tonight.

6:50p – The audience prayed for Rep. Alons in his battle with cancer. A personal note: Rep. Alons is a godly man, and a humble public servant. I encourage our readers to be in prayer for him and his wife Clarice.

6:47p – Alons is being awarded for his stand for life, marriage, school choice, etc. He has been in the Iowa House for 17 years. They shared his background and I never realized he was a Brigadier General in the Iowa Air Guard. He was a fighter pilot.

6:43p – Chuck Hurley, Vice President of The FAMiLY Leader, said they are going to proceed with the program. They are honoring State Representative Dwayne Alons with the Champion of the Family award. Alons is battling cancer and unable to attend.

6:39p – Brian said he was hungry watching all of these people eat. The sacrifices we make to bring you fine folks quality journalism.

6:38p – Brian yawned.

6:37p – Brian went on a foraging trip and brought me back a Diet Mt. Dew… I knew there was a reason we were keeping around :).

6:33p – Bill just said he is happy about the Minnesota game. So am I. I love it when ANYBODY beats Nebraska.

6:29p – Dr. Ben Carson, now retired from John Hopkins, now lives in West Palm Beach, FL according to William Petroski of the Des Moines Register who is sitting next to me tonight. We are both bummed about the outcome of the Iowa – Wisconsin game, but are glad the Hawkeyes at least made a game of it in the 2nd half.

6:28p – There are a lot of “Run Ben Run” stickers here tonight. What say you, too early to get behind a prospective candidate?

6:23p – People are eating at the moment so there isn’t too much to blog about. There are not many press outlets here so Brian said the event is depressed… Ba boom, yes thank you we’ll be here all night. Press generally never fed at these things, but Jan Mickelson generously said that he would throw a few carrots my way.

6:13p – Here is the awesome press area we’ve been given.


6:10p – A brief respite here after the National Anthem and invocation. Steve Deace gave the welcome and said that he met with Ben Carson this morning and that he is the “real deal.” He said that Iowans shouldn’t let him off the hook however, and social conservatives need to take the opportunity to vet him and other candidates and “get it right.”

5:54p – I saw Congressman-elect David Young is here at the Airport Holiday Inn, and State Senator Dennis Guth and State Representative Dean Fisher dropped by. We are looking at a packed event. They are expecting 900 here tonight.

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