"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As I sit here tonight looking at the lights and decorations on the Christmas tree, the Christmas village all lit up on the old German buffet, the lights just being turned off outside by the timer and eating a Christmas cookie that I just made today, I am reminded of my own family's Christmas traditions.  My little brother who towers over me arrived this afternoon for Christmas and our trip to the Fiesta Bowl to see the Oklahoma Sooners win.  My youngest daughter and her boyfriend will be arriving on Christmas day.  My son, his wife, and my grandson will be here for Christmas dinner so am really looking forward to Christmas Day!

Grew up in a family that went to a Church when I was young that didn't have a Christmas Eve service so my Mom read the Christmas story from the Bible, then Twas the Night Before Christmas and then we would put out milk and cookies for Santa and I would go to bed ready for Santa to come.  Brought that same tradition into our home when our three children were little and added that each was to pick out a book that I would read and as they became older, they read the book themselves.  When I was young it was watching Scrooge on television on Christmas Eve.  My children watched Sesame Street Christmas we had taped every year along with Mickey Christmas shows.  We taped all all the Christmas shows which they watched over and over again even after Christmas.  I watched Frosty the Snowman with my two granddaughters when I was in Fort Collins two weekends ago to celebrate Christmas with my oldest daughter and her family.  Yesterday I watched Mickey Mouse Christmas with my grandson here in Norman. 

When the children were small we lived in Southern California and took them to Disney, Knotts Berry Farm, and Universal for Christmas, but on Christmas Eve we still had our traditional reading of the Birth of Christ, their books, and Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Can remember the look on my Mom's face the Christmas they spent with us in Yucaipa as she watched our oldest daughter read Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Also remember the kids as they came down the steps and had to wait until their Dad set up our video camera.  My parents and brother were shocked that we cut down our Christmas tree right next to an orange grove.  Took my parents and brother to Disneyland for Christmas -- a Christmas I will never forget as Dad had arthritis really bad but that Christmas he walked without a cane.  Wonderful memories that have come flooding back tonight as I watch the lights on the tree go on and off.

God has truly blessed me over the years and all the memories I have of my children growing up and now my grandchildren.  Seeing Santa through their young eyes brings back what a wonderful time of year is Christmas when it truly is better to give than receive.  There is nothing like seeing a child get what they asked Santa for Christmas as their eyes get big and a smile even bigger. 

Was concerned that my youngest granddaughter wouldn't remember me as they moved to Colorado when she was not even 14 months old.  Her Mom woke her up from her nap and brought her down when I arrived.  My oldest granddaughter couldn't wait to get a hug and go out and help me bring in everything.  My youngest didn't say a word as her Mom put her down but when she saw her sister and I go out to the car, she started yelling 'Grandma, Grandma' and wanted me to pick her up.  Yesterday when I was at my son's, my grandson let out a happy yell when I came in the door.  Those are memories that you never forget and touch your heart. 

Do a lot of Christmas decorating around the house, inside and out, and have added a lot of items over the years.  I started decorating a lot when the kids were small and added some each year and now there are people who drive my home to see the decorations.  One of the neighbor kids told me how happy he is that he moved next door to me as he can look out his bedroom window and see all the lights every night.  Last year I added two snowmen with their arms raised that looks like they are signaling 'touchdown' and sit on my flower box with the Sooner rock and birdhouse hanging from the front porch.  They brought the Sooners luck in the Sun Bowl last year which my brother and I attended and will do the same this year in the Fiesta Bowl!

As I put up the manger scene on the table, I put the the bible opened underneath to Luke 2: 1-20, telling of the Christmas story, I was reminded of how much the Christmas holidays mean to so many people around the world as we celebrate the birth of Christ in our own way.  As Christmas carols are sung around the world on Christmas Eve, the one that stands out to me is Silent Night.  Remember having friends in Vietnam that saw the Bob Hope show.  He always ended with Silent Night which brought tears to my eyes as they broadcast the show on NBC.  At the end of this post, is a video from Bob Hope's last visit to Vietnam and singing of Silent Night.   Bob Hope and his crew spent so Christmas' entertaining our troops who took a respite from combat to see his show.  To me he will always be the #1 entertainer for what he did to bring Christmas to our troops serving around the world.

We still have our soldiers in combat this year that once again the USO will be providing Christmas entertainment for them. They will be celebrating Christmas with a Christmas dinner provided by the military.  The men and women serving today are remembered in our hearts but especially at this time of year they need extra prayers as they are separated from their families and friends for Christmas. 

Our men and women of the military over the years have been the ones who stand the watch even on Christmas Eve and Christmas to protect all of us and this America we call home.  Here is a trip down memory lane for those who remember Bob Hope and his USO tours in Vietnam.

May God Bless each of you and yours as you celebrate this Christmas and the new year when our Country begins to right the ship.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reagan Centennial Update and the Year Ahead!

This email was perfect timing.  The 'sky is falling crowd' has been out in full force because of the lame duck session of Congress which frankly should be outlawed except for keeping Government open and emergency type items.  That said, many are convinced our best days as a Country are behind us which makes me wonder about the people posting stories and some people's comments.  In the middle of all of negativism comes this email from the Reagan Foundation to remind us that this is the Reagan Centennial Year.

Ronald Reagan was such a positive person who saw the glass half full when he shared with all of us "America's best days lie ahead."  We still believe in the Reagan optimism that our best days are ahead.  Having been around a lot of college students by living here in Norman and having children graduate from the University of Oklahoma, I will second his comments.  Many of the young people today are very bright and share a theme with President Reagan that they want to make the world a better place.  The number of hours donated by OU students to different charities and to our communities is enormous.  A large number of our athletes are mentors in the public schools here in Norman. 

The future of America is bright as people standing up telling Government to go on a lean budget and stay out of our every day lives.  They are not snarky and don't attack all the time, they just speak the truth that they want the Congress to stop the runaway spending.  A few national politicians are frankly too snarky and are too quick to comment negatively on every little item.  It doesn't do the country any good to keep fostering the hatred we see.  We don't like the President's lurch toward the left supported by the Democrats in Congress, but elections have consequences as people are finding out.  Change will be coming in January as the House of Representatives will be the outpost for the common sense Republicans we just elected. 

This is the holiday season and the world is not ending.  In a few days we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the next week we usher in the new year that should be full of hope and optimism.  The first week in January the new Congress is sworn in with Speaker-Elect Boehner becoming Speaker Boehner and the Senate adding six more Republicans.  Republicans this session will have a say in the direction of the country and in government spending.  They need our full support because the veto pen is still in the White House and Reid is still leader of the Senate. 

During this time of year remember the optimism of Ronald Reagan who brought back American Pride after some of the worst years this Country went through where our military returning from Vietnam were treated very poorly and harassed, where mortgage rates were 16% and inflation very high under President Carter.  President Reagan with his hope and optimism was able to work with the Democrat Congress to get the economy moving and interest rates down.  He treated people with respect and they responded.  That is something people running from office need to remember.  

As we celebrate the 100 years of President Reagan's birth, we need to bring back that hope and optimism of a man who took office when we had our Iranian embassy staff being held prisoner in Iran who were released right after he was sworn in as President.  The Iranians knew they were no longer dealing with Carter who was a wimp but would be dealing with President Reagan, a man who would not back down to their threats.  Those were dark days when the former two-term Governor of California took over, but our Nation turned around and we will do it again. 

Reagan Centennial Update

Dear Friends,

The Ronald Reagan Centennial is quickly approaching! These past few months have been exciting as a number of partnerships and programs have taken shape. Meanwhile, through the generosity of Centennial presenting sponsor, GE, throughout 2010 the "Traveling Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum Exhibit" brought artifacts and stories from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to cities across America including Long Beach, Chicago, Atlanta, New York City, Boston and Houston.

President Reagan often said, "America's best days lie ahead." As representatives of America's next generation of great leaders, the Ronald Reagan Centennial National Youth Leadership Committee embodies that same optimism, representing the future with anticipation and promise. If you haven't done so yet, visit our website to read the profiles from the National Youth Leadership Committee. Some members participated in a podcast series with Reagan Centennial partner, and non-profit promoter of free markets, Sam Adams Alliance. These podcasts can be found here, or on iTunes.

Additionally, in January of 2011 many of the student leaders on the Committee will be featured in their college or university newspaper.

Visit the Centennial website ( www.reagancentennial.com) for the most recent Calendar of Events and other Centennial updates. In particular, here are upcoming dates to keep in mind:

January 1: Ronald Reagan Centennial float in the Tournament of Roses Parade

January: Ronald Reagan civics based curriculum announced for use by schools nationally

February 5 &6:  Live webcasts of President Reagan's Centennial birthday celebration

February 7: Grand re-opening to the public of the greatly enhanced and renovated Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

February 10: Ronald Reagan Centennial Postage Stamp issued by the United States Postal Service

February: Academic Symposia with University of Southern California, University of Virginia, University of Notre Dame, followed by the United States Naval Academy next fall

March 12: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, Wall Street Journal, and Manhattan Institute conference in New Your City titled, "Supply Side Economics: Reagan's Leadership Then and Now"

March 27: Partnership with the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the NASCAR Auto Club 500 May: Select Major League Baseball teams will honor the Reagan Centennial during a home game
For the third year in row, the Rose Parade Viewers' Choice Award will allow Rose Parade fans to choose their favorite float by voting online and via text message. On January 1st be sure to vote for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation float #52 and ensure Ronald Reagan's place in Rose Parade history!

Let me conclude with a photo of sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan - two of whom are on our Centennial National Youth Leadership Committee - spelling out "RR 100" on the carrier's deck:

Sailors honor Reagan

By: Senior Political Editor Mark Preston

Celebrating late President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, U.S. Navy sailors mark the occasion on the deck of the aircraft carrier named in his honor. (PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Navy/ Dylan McCord)

Washington (CNN) - Sailors serving aboard the USS Ronald Reagan paid tribute to the nation's 40th president last week by forming together on the deck of the aircraft carrier to spell out his initials and the number 100 to signify the upcoming anniversary of the late president's centennial birthday.
Reagan, who was born on Feb. 6, 1911, was first elected president in 1980 and again for a second term in 1984. He died on June 5, 2004 at the age of 93. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library plans a year long celebration to honor the 40th president on his 100th birthday.
What a terrific tribute! I'll be in touch with you again in the new year as our celebratory year begins.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season.

My best to you all,
Stewart McLaurin
Executive Director Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Decision Points by President George W. Bush

There have been many biographies written by people who served in office and the members of their staffs but by all accounts the book that President George W. Bush wrote Decision Points is one that all of us who lived through his Presidency and 9/11 will find interesting. It is not a biography about every detail of his life but the Decisions he made along the way and especially in the eight years he served as President.

Heard President Bush on the radio on the way to my daughter's in Colorado and was reminded once again of the class of Pres Bush and his wife, Laura, in the White House. So glad he has taken the high road since leaving office and not being snarky about the current Administration. Shows the type of person he is and why this Country misses his sense of humor and ability to deal with big decisions without getting nasty. Candidates in the future need to look at how President Bush handled himself with humility, humor, and honesty.

This Nation can Thank God that President Bush was in office when 9/11 hit and made the decisive decisions necessary to protect this Country. We felt a lot safer with him in office then we do today.

During the eight years of President and Mrs. Bush, we never had to wonder if the White House Christmas decorations were going to be traditional or if the birth of Christ was going to be celebrated -- we knew that they were all about Christmas traditions and the reason for the season -- birth of the Christ child.  Makes you nostalgic for those days! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mrs. Bush: Quite the class act!

Couldn't agree more with the author of this article -- Laura Bush has always been the class act. As the First Lady of Texas to the First Lady of the United States, she made all of us proud to have her for our First Lady. The White House during the Bush years at Christmas was beautifully decorated -- we know that Laura Bush was responsible for putting traditional Christmas back in the White House. This picture is one of the favorite Christmas pictures of the President and First Lady in front of this beautiful Christmas tree. No politics today -- enjoy reading about Laura Bush who is truly a class act!

Mrs. Bush: Quite the class act!
By Lou Brancaccio
Columbian Editor

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Former first lady Laura Bush visits with guests at a reception Tuesday in Vancouver.
So I snuck into the Laura Bush library event earlier this week and had a great time.

Now let’s be honest here, sneaking into an event where there are about as many Secret Service types as there are books in the library is no easy task.

But, hey, I know people who know people. And I hoped to speak to the former first lady before she delivered her talk to the sold-out crowd.

So I begin to work the room where a private reception was being held for her, but I run into this guy in a suit, with a buzz cut and a thingy in his ear.

Now people who know me know I’m a bit of a Chatty Cathy. And I figure if I can get into an extended conversation with this guy who has a thingy in his ear, who knows, right?

He’d be all like “Hey, nice guy,” then I’d be all like, “Let’s get Laura over here.” We’d end up in a back room, drinkin’ Pepsi and eatin’ beef jerky and talkin’ about life after the White House.

So the conversation begins.

Me: “You Secret Service?”

Guy with thingy in his ear: “Yes.”

• • •

OK, so that didn’t go quite as I had planned, so I go to Plan B. Plan B basically is to wait in line and see if she has a minute for me.

She did!

Me: “Hi, I’m the editor of the local newspaper.”

Laura Bush: “Is that The Columbian? I read that in my room today.”

Me: “Yes, The Columbian. So, what do you think of the media?”

Laura Bush: “I have a line in my talk tonight about that.”

Me: “OK, I’ll wait. … Hey, what do you miss most about the White House?”

Laura Bush: “The chef.”

Me: “What? You’re not a great cook?”

Laura Bush: “I’m out of practice.”

Hey, it wasn’t over a Pepsi in a back room, but I’ll take it!

• • •

The main event was about to happen.

Mrs. Bush was a wonderful speaker. As she was updating the audience on her family, she mentioned that one of her twin daughters, Jenna Bush Hager, is a news correspondent for NBC’s “Today” show.

“Continuing our warm relations with the media,” she deadpanned.

The audience roared!

Mrs. Bush paused for a second, then coyly smiled. She looked at me and pointed.

“I said that for you.”

• • •

Make no mistake; Mrs. Bush is an extremely engaging person. I’ve sat through more than my fair share of these kinds of things, and she is as engaging as they come.

It’s also evident she’s extremely intelligent, has an infectious dry sense of humor and understands the importance of pacing when she speaks to a crowd. Much like a singer who has to appreciate cadence, a great speaker has to appreciate pacing.

And, without hesitation, I’d say she is a great speaker.

• • •

Let’s also not forget that Mrs. Bush was here to promote our libraries and reading.

These are two hugely important features of any thriving community. And what’s great about this event — the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation’s Authors & Illustrators dinner and silent auction — is that those who were there chose to help the cause.

And if Mrs. Bush comes back? Hey, the beef jerky is on me!

Source: The Columbian

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505 or lou.brancaccio@columbian.com.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dream Act Lost while Don't Ask Don't Tell Passed.

It was a mixed bag today in the Senate since the Grinches Reid and Pelosi are still hard at work trying to stop members from enjoying the Christmas holidays.  Dream Act was important to defeat from the standpoint that it opened the door for amnesty.  Something we are having a hard time figuring out is that members of the military from foreign countries who serve our Country do have a chance to become citizens so was that a red herring to open the door to amnesty.  If it was, it failed.

Tip for the Day:  You can still order from Amazon and get the presents on time.  It was great to shop on line for most of the items and avoid the lines at the malls.  Looks to me like they didn't add a lot of people in the stores this year with the length of the lines.  That doesn't even account for shopping at Amazon and saving sales tax.  Some members of the Oklahoma Legislature think we should voluntarily pay the sales tax -- no thanks.  Not the way they waste our tax dollars.  If you haven't bought Christmas and you don't want to stand in line, buy on-line! 

We think it is time for Congress to go home after they pass the continuing resolution into late January or February and quit spending money and passing their feel good bills.  It really is time for Congress to spend time with their family at this Christmas season.  Grinches need to stop trying to steal Christmas for their own agenda!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Senate Democratic leader drops nearly $1.3T spending bill

When we heard this afternoon that Senator Inhofe (R-OK) was going to lead the charge against the Omnibus Bill of Harry Reid's, we had to wonder what Reid was going to do.  His track record against Inhofe is not very good.  Now we learn tonight Reid is pulling back the bill and going to work for a continuing resolution until next year to keep the Government open.  All Republicans decided to stick together so the bill is dead and Reid pulled it back to save face!  Great night!  Now it is time for everyone in Congress to go home after the vote on the continuing resolution to celebrate Christmas with family and friends.  Nothing else needs to be voted on after that resolution.  Hope Reid has gotten a clue! 

Senate Democratic leader drops nearly $1.3T spending bill

Published: December 16, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats controlling the Senate abandoned on Thursday a huge catchall spending measure combining nearly $1.3 trillion worth of unfinished budget work, including $158 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Facing a midnight Saturday deadline when a stopgap funding measure expires, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would work with Republican leader Mitch McConnell to produce a bill to keep the federal government running into early next year.

The 1,924-page bill collapsed of its own weight after an outcry from conservatives who complained it was stuffed with more than $8 billion in homestate pet projects known as earmarks.

Reid, D-Nev., gave up on the bill after several Republicans who had been thinking of voting for it pulled back their support. McConnell, R-Ky., threw his weight against the bill in recent days, saying it was "unbelievable" that Democrats would try to muscle through in the days before Christmas legislation that usually takes months to debate.

"Just a few weeks after the voters told us they don't want us rushing major pieces of complicated, costly, far-reaching legislation through Congress, we get this," McConnell said. "This is no way to legislate."

The turn of events was a major victory for earmark opponents like Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who for years have been steamrolled by the old-school members of the powerful Appropriations Committee.

The spending barons saw their power ebb in the wake of midterm elections that delivered major gains for Republicans — with considerable help from anti-spending tea party activists.

"We just saw something extraordinary on the floor of the United States Senate," a grinning McCain said.

The $1.27 trillion catchall bill wrapped together 12 bills — blending $1.1 trillion for the operating budgets of every federal agency with an infusion of funding to carry the war in Afghanistan into its 10th year — into a single foot-tall piece of legislation that Democrats had hoped to pass with just a couple of days' worth of debate.

It was designed to bankroll the day-to-day operations of the government for the budget year that started Oct. 1, funding the almost one-third of the federal budget that Congress has to pass each year.

The House and Senate typically spend months on the 12 annual spending bills, but Democrats didn't bring even a single one to the Senate floor this year, an unprecedented collapse of an appropriations process.

The sinking of the bill was a setback for President Barack Obama, who supported it despite provisions to block the Pentagon from transferring Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the United States and fund a program to develop a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which the administration says is a waste of money.

Just Thursday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made a public push for the omnibus measure at an appearance at the White House, saying that operating under a stopgap measure frozen at current levels would be a major hardship for the Pentagon.

McConnell had earlier quietly backed the effort to produce the legislation, which had significant input from Republicans on the Appropriations panel.

But release of the bill on Tuesday sparked an outcry among the GOP's conservative political base. Senate Republicans held two combative closed-door meetings in which the rank-and-file turned up the heat on those few Republicans who were considering voting for the bill.

Republicans were also irate that the measure contained money to begin implementation of Obama's controversial health care law and a financial overhaul measure that all but a handful of Republicans opposed.

McConnell proposed Thursday to keep the government running at current funding levels through Feb. 18. By then, Republicans will have taken over the House and bolstered their strength in the Senate, giving them greater leverage to force spending cuts.

The House last week passed a yearlong funding bill that's mostly frozen at current levels.

Read more: The Oklahoman

Florida Grassroots Leaders Led the Fight Against Omnibus Bill.

Thanks to Robin Stublen for sending me the email about the Florida Grassroots effort where activists from many groups joined together to "JUST SAY NO" to the Democrats Omnibus bill.

Great Job Florida Grassroots!

Looking forward to seeing more states follow the lead of Florida as various groups join together as part of the Grassroots that includes long time activitists as well as people who just became active in politics.

Florida Grassroots Leaders Led the Fight Against Omnibus Bill.

Below you will find grassroots leaders from all over the state of Florida who today led the fight against the Omnibus Bill in the United States Senate. On Thursday evening Senate President Harry Reid pulled the Omnibus Bill and has stated that he will work with Republicans for a Continuing Resolution on spending. The Florida Coalition of grassroots leaders are pleased with this victory for the taxpayers of our country.

At the time of the announcement our online petition was receiving on average 100 signatures per hour. You can view the petition HERE

Resolution Supporting a Government Shut Down

We, the undersigned grass roots organizers from the State of Florida, do hereby support and encourage the immediate shut down of the United States Government until
All earmarks are removed from the Omnibus Bill or A continuing resolution, excluding any earmarks or other business, is signed through the month of February.
In support thereof we submit the following:

The will of The People is not reflected in the Omnibus Bill.

It is in the best interest of The United States of America that the terminated Congress members be barred from voting on future policy or laws.

Signed this 15th day of December, 2010.

Pat Wayman
Venice 912 Project

Robin Stublen
Punta Gorda Tea Party

Sharon Calvert
Tampa Tea Party

Karin Hoffman
DC Works For Us

Paula Helton
Gainesville Tea Party

Nancy Meinhardt
Miami 912 Project

Billie Tucker
First Coast Tea Party

Elaine Laffey
Tea Party Ft. Lauderdale

Nathan Worley
North Port 912 Project

Tom Tillison
Central Florida Tea Party Council

Ron Rakovich
Nature Coast Patriots

Alan Berkelhammer
Gainesville Tea Party

Pam Evans
DC Works For Us

Sharon Taylor
DC Works For Us

Fred Donnelly
Titusville Patriots Group A912

Karen Jaroch
Tampa 912 Project

Paula Schaff
Punta Gorda Tea Party

Jason Hoyt
Central Florida Tea Party Council

Don Forward
Titusville Patriots

Tina Woode

Seminole County 912 Project
Sanford/Lake Mary Chapter

Jesse Phillips

Beth Colvin
Sarasota Patriots

Chrissy Prazeres
President, 13 Patriots, Inc

Tom Gaitens
Florida Director-FreedomWorks.org

Lisa Feroli
Orlando Tea Party

Kathleen Waligore
Tampa 912

Pace Allen, Jr., Founder
Tallahassee www.taxteaparty.com

Don Hensarling
Florida 912 Project

Joe Sekula
North Pinellas 9.12 Project

Kathleen Waligore
Tampa 912
Lakeland 912/Tea Party-viva

Maureen Siebold
Winter Haven 912-viva

Steve O'Neal
Fl. Minuteman Org-viva

Bill Landes

Clyde Fabretti
West Orlando Tea Party
& Central Florida Tea Party Council

Terry/Norma Osborn
Titusville Patriots

Scott Walker
Titusville Patriots

Trish Manesell
Titusville Patriots

Susan Vingris
Titusville Patriots

Fred Conolley
Titusville Patriots

JR McGovern
Titusville Patriots

Bob Davidson
Titusville Patriots

Jay Jacobs
Baker County Tea Party

John Lindsey
Winter Haven 912

Pat Barnhart
Writing Down Pat

Juan Torres, M.D.
Latino American Tea Party

David Folsom

John Burford
American Tea Party

Ed Knickman
Southlake 912 Tea Party

Rolando Perez

Edna Mattos
Citrus County Tea Party

Donald McDermott
Tampa Bay
Central Florida 912 Group

Ed Wilson
Tea Party Solutions

John Beck
Gainesville Tea Party

Cindy Haller

Dave & Ruth Kilburn
Palm Bay

Andria Kapit

How the 'Lame Duck' Became Extinct from IBD

The Grinches who Stole Christmas!

We have chosen to enjoy the Christmas Holiday season and not even try to make sense of what Harry Ried and Nancy Pelosi are doing in DC as they have chosen to play the Grinch with Christmas forcing the Congress to stay in session to pass their pet bills before Republicans take over the first week of January.

The Senate finally passed continuing the Bush Tax Cuts for everyone until December 31st, 2012, but then added in more pork which was to be expected from the Grinches.  As Cong Paul Ryan said yesterday there is no choice but to vote for them.  If I trust one person when it comes to the economy, it is Paul Ryan. This video from four days ago provides his stance on the tax cuts and what will happen if they are not passed.

Would vote for Paul Ryan for President in a minute. He has a better grasp of the economy than anyone that speaks IMHO. He also understands what it takes to get the job done unlike some of the 'sky is falling crowd.'

The Tax Cuts will expire the end of 2012 so in two years this will be brought back up but if the planets stay aligned, Congress should be able to make them permanent after the 2012 election even if they have to be made retroactive when the new President and Congress takes office.

As for the rest of the garbage that Reid and Pelosi are trying to get passed, we can get upset about it and let it ruin this Christmas holiday season or we can file it away for the 2012 election which is exactly what we are doing. Not going to allow the Democrats to put a damper on our Christmas holidays and trip to the Fiesta Bowl for the Oklahoma Sooners game at Connecticut.

Just returned from celebrating Christmas with my two granddaughters in Colorado -- had a great time and didn't even touch a computer. Family is so important all year but at Christmas it gives a chance to give back to those who mean so much to all of us. Hearing my youngest granddaughter (20 months) going around saying 'Grandma, Grandma' and her older sister saying 'I love you Grandma' over and over again puts everything into perspective. No matter what happens in one's life, family is so important.

Now looking forward to my youngest daughter and her boyfriend coming to Norman for the Christmas weekend to join her brother, his wife, and my precious grandson to celebrate Christmas. My brother will be here next week for Christmas and then off to the Fiesta Bowl where the Oklahoma Sooners are hosting Connecticut. Great way to start the New Year with our closest Sooner friends from around the Country.

We will be giving periodic updates if it is important but if we gave updates on all the stupid things the Democrats are doing right now, we would be in a horrible mood about something we cannot change. The Democrat leadership is the absolute worst ever in the Congress and bet we could get a lot of Democrats in both Houses to agree. They cannot believe they are slated to spend another Christmas Eve in DC instead of with their families and friends. Shows how little the Democrats in charge value their families and could care less about anyone else's that is in the Senate or the House.

Rallying cry needs to be Remember Christmas 2010 when the Democrat Leadership Grinches stole Christmas from members of Congress to pass their own agenda!

Members of the House and Senate needs to tell the Reid/Pelosi group to stuff it and leave town except for one person to ask for a quorum. I nominate a Blue Dog Democrat who was defeated because of Reid/Pelosi/Obama to do the honor!

My recommendation is to turn off your radio or turn to stations that carry music unless it is sports talk. The 'sky is falling' crowd is out in full force on political talk radio. No amount of blustering is going to change one thing about the Grinch who runs the Senate or

The Grinch that runs the House --

Have a terrific day and remember the fight begins in January when Republicans take over the House and pick up members in the Senate. The cost cutting will come on the budget that starts October 1st, 2011, which is something a lot of commentators are forgetting along with website posters. The new Congress will take up the next budget. This Democrat dominated Congress couldn't see fit to pass the FY11 budget starting October 1st, 2010, until the lame duck so they could add pork knowing they are going on a diet beginning in January when Paul Ryan and his Committee write the FY 12Budget.

Have faith in America and the people we elected in November to begin to right this ship in January.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A deal has been struck on Tax Cuts

Looks like in exchange for extending unemployment benefits for 13 more weeks, the Bush Tax Cuts will stay in place for two more years.  IMHO it is a small price to pay to get the Bush Tax Cuts for two more years and then hope to make them permanent so we don't have to go through this every few years.

Liberal Democrats are mad that Obama cut the deal with Republicans because they wanted the tax cuts on the rich to go away.  That would be the same 'rich' that create the jobs, but for once Obama didn't listen to the likes of Pelosi and the Progressives.  He did the right thing.

We think unemployment being extended for long time unemployed is something that needs to end, but at this time of year, some of those people cannot find work and with Christmas approaching, they could use the extra help.  A lot of places are not hiring and when you are unemployed, there is no way you can afford to move so it is Catch 22.  There are some people unemployed who have worked for years, have paid into the unemployment fund and for the first time have had to draw unemployment checks to survive.  With the high unemployment rate, I just don't see how we can do anything but help these people.  It is not like they are getting checks that most can afford to live on, but it puts food on the table and a roof over their head. 

A down economy leads to unemployment which is what we are seeing and believe the numbers are much greater than the ones we are seeing released from the Federal government.  It has hit every state but some a lot harder.  We do not see a big push to hire people even for the Christmas holidays either at least where we live.  We have noted a lot of older employees have taken jobs in places like Walmart, Home Depot, Target, and Lowes when they were used to having jobs with a lot of responsibility.   We will say one thing that the customer service at check-outs has improved dramatically with the influx of these older people. 

We don't know the answer to the unemployment and down economy but we do know if the Bush Tax Cuts were removed for people making over $250,000, it would have been a disaster.  Thirteen more weeks of unemployment may just help some of the people make it to where they can begin to get jobs. 

Know we haven't seen the full details, but we think it is probably the best deal that could be achieved from what we are hearing off the record.  Lot of people forget that they hated everything being rammed through with no compromise.  Now that Obama has agreed to compromise, they want to go after Republicans for compromising.  Short-sighted in our opinion and part of what is wrong with politics on both sides especially from the pundits.  Not always going to get your way so you get the best deal possible. 

We have noted that pundits on both sides who have never been in politics always claim to know what is best and if an office holder doesn't follow their agenda, then they are not a 'true' conservative or liberal -- throw a dart depending on the office holder.  Have to wonder if some of these pundits have worked in campaigns before the way they want everyone to think they know it all.  As someone who has worked campaigns for years, nothing is ever a done deal because something out of the blue always comes up.  Anyone who says only "I" know the right way to go is arrogant. 

There are some pundits who are former campaign people like Dick Morris who at times is all over the place and one of the ones to use "he is not a 'true' conservative."  We have no clue to his agenda and frankly pay little attention since he was the Clinton mastermind.  When Karl Roves speaks, we listen because he knows how to organize a campaign and understands very well how something can come up out of the blue to hurt a campaign and what has to be done to keep moving forward.  If we had to rely on one person, it would be Karl Rove.  Even when not agreeing with what he is saying 100%, listen closely because he knows politics as well as anyone on the scene today and a lot better than most.  Sometimes a campaign guru gets blamed for what the candidate actually does, but most have broad shoulders and no one is going to rattle them.

We remember back in the 90's when the Republicans shut down the Government thinking it was a good idea when it was a horrible idea and gave Clinton the upper hand again.  We believe this leadership team is very smart and will not allow that to happen.  They will do what is best for the American people as a whole and work to always get the best deal possible.  With the Senate still Democrat controlled, it is going to be a tough fight but the House Leadership is up to that challenge the way we have seen them fight the last two years.

Bottom line is that this looks to be a good deal because we have two more years for the Bush Tax Cuts unless Pelosi throws a monkey wrench in the compromise. If that happens, then the new House can pass the Bush Tax Cuts and make it retroactive to 1 January 2011.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Scrooge in the White House and Congress on Retaining Bush Tax Cuts

Anyone with an ounce of brains understands that the people with the wealth are the ones who create the jobs in this Country. We are sure that people making over $250,000 a year are shocked they are considered part of the wealthy now according to the Democrats.

Cannot fathom what would happen if the Bush Tax Cuts were allowed to expire on 1 January 2011. Wouldn't want to have money in the stock market on January 3rd, 2011 if that happens. That would be one sure way for the wealthy of this country to lose even more money.

It is so ridiculous that there is even a discussion about allowing any of the Bush Tax Cuts to expire. Extend them for two years, one month, and let the new Administration in 2012 decide to keep them because we cannot fathom anyone with the slightest of an economic background allowing them to expire.

Obama, Pelosi, and Reid need to stop playing games and extend the tax cuts today. Oh wait, they are not meeting until tomorrow. They also need to get the budget passed but we are not holding our breath on that one either. They only passed a continuing resolution until December 19th. The House never has drawn up a real budget but has shell bills with numbers. Are they going to punt to the 112th Congress with a continuing resolution that expires the day the Republicans take over in the House and gain seats in the Senate? Would not shock us even a little. This group of Democrats in charge could care less about the American people as evidenced in the way they pass bills without reading.

Cannot wait to see the gavel handed from Pelosi to Speaker-Elect Boehner. Going to be a breath of fresh air in the House and the American people will finally learn what is going on in an 'open environment' when we are allowed to see the bills before they come up for a vote.

President Obama is in for a rude awakening as his leftist agenda goes into a black hole. Will he be able to handle not demanding something be passed? We doubt it! Should make for an interesting two years. Unlike Clinton, it will be hard for him to compromise with Republicans -- actually virtually impossible with his attitude.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oklahoma GOP has wings with 2 agendas -- Conservative and Far Right

While reading stories about our Oklahoma Sooners winning the Big 12 Championship last night, this article popped up in my local paper. Normally this would be on our sister site Voices from the Heartland, but we are not going to be posting on there until after the Fiesta Bowl on January 1st, 2011.

Some friends and I who moved to Norman from Texas like to joke we were rock ribbed conservatives in Texas and compared to some here we are moderates in Oklahoma. That is not entirely true as we still have conservative values we have always had -- we just think that some people have taken being elected as a mandate to push 'ONLY' social issues.

We have one State Rep who declared gays were more of a threat than terrorists and wouldn't back down when a teenager took offense as his Mother was killed in the Murrah Bombing. We have heard if you don't go to Church twice a week you are not a Christian. Attend meetings and find out some of the group was picketing Texas Governor Rick Perry on the so-called 'NAFTA' highway that was debunked over and over again but it didn't deter these people.

We had two State Conventions where this group tried to take over the State Party and they were horrible trying to wear down everyone with rhetoric and objections. Meetings went on for a long time before they were defeated. One of them ran in our primary for Governor and originally said he wanted the Tea Party to have a militia with them. Couldn't believe what I was hearing but he was part of the group out to overthrow the State GOP Chair. It was made up of the religious right, Americans for Prosperity, and Ron Paul Supporters. They came up with a platform that needed tossed in the trash. They were defeated 7-1 and although they might have the loudest voices, they didn't have the votes as Common Sense Conservatives ruled the day.

Speaker Elect Steele is the perfect person for the job and is so right that economy and healthcare need to be the primary battles this time. The odd thing is he is not even close to being a liberal that a small group of malcontents paint him as. Unfortunately two of them are State Representatives from my county who are speaking the loudest. Wonder if there is a ulterior motive since neither were named to leadership.

Most people would not believe the number of bills that are submitted each year in such a small state where the Reps were at last count the 2nd highest paid in the Country. Abortion bills are usually #1 for amount of bills as they cannot seem to get it through their head there was a Supreme Court ruling. Some that do get passed are overturned in the courts.

It is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars and takes up time to hear all their social conservative bills so that budget bills and other important bills are brought to the floor in the last few days of session with people having no time to read them.

We are encouraging the legislature to follow Steele's lead on putting economic development and the budget first along with the healthcare and other problems facing our State like some of the worst roads and bridges in the Country. If there is time left after working on the important bills, then hear the 'feel-good' bills but quit putting social conservative bills at the front and bills dealing with important matters at the end. We believe that Speaker-Elect Christ Steele is the person to do just that -- we wish him well in this legislature.

December 5, 2010

Oklahoma GOP has wings with 2 agendas
By Sean Murphy
Associated Press Sun Dec 05, 2010, 01:36 AM CST

OKLAHOMA CITY — As Republicans in control of the Oklahoma House open two days of meetings to set their 2011 agenda, their incoming leader is taking shots from the chamber’s ultra-conservative wing because he has put the state’s struggling economy at the top of his agenda rather than social issues.

Members of the House GOP meet Monday and Tuesday in Bartlesville, and Kris Steele, who will be formally elected as House Speaker next month, believes the Legislature next year should concentrate on economic development and plugging holes in the state budget.

More-conservative Republicans want legislators to tighten access to abortion, relax regulations on firearms and attempt to restrict immigration.

“There’s going to be some fireworks within the caucus,” said state Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, who acknowledged some of his GOP colleagues have privately questioned whether Steele is too liberal to lead the House. “I think we’ll know after Tuesday.”

For the first time in state history, Republicans in Oklahoma will control the House, Senate and the governor’s mansion after Oklahoma voters in November ushered in huge gains for the GOP, including all eight Democrat-held statewide seats on the ballot.

Steele, a soft-spoken minister from Shawnee, said House Republicans are still united — but cracks are obvious among the 70-member-strong Republican majority as they hammer out their agenda for the legislative session that begins in February.

This week’s meetings haven’t gone unnoticed by Oklahomans wanting action on social issues. Some right-wing groups plan to travel to Bartlesville, too.

“We’re not going up there to picket or protest,” said Dan Fisher, an Edmond pastor who signed up several participants Friday over lunch at the H&H Gun Range in Oklahoma City. “We’re just going up there to remind them that: ‘We’re the ones that put you into office, and we’re not going away. Take a stand on these social issues. They matter to us.’”

Charlie Meadows, whose Oklahoma Conservative PAC has been a longtime fixture of the state GOP’s right wing, sent a mass e-mail to supporters on Friday urging them to join the caravan if they care about issues like “the rising homosexual agenda, the growing threats from radical Muslims and Sharia Law, the ever expanding big brother privacy invasion laws” as well as illegal immigration and states’ rights.

Some tea party groups also plan to travel to Bartlesville, and Fisher said he expects hundreds to turn out.

But moderate House Republicans fear an inordinate amount of attention on social issues will create a House divided and divert attention from the budget and a struggling Oklahoma economy.

“I’m seeing people every day who are concerned because they don’t have a job or health insurance,” said Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, an emergency room physician in far northeast Oklahoma. “They could care less about right-to-carry (firearms), abortion, gays. They’re worried about their health care and putting food on the table.”

State Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, agrees.

“I would ask my ultra-conservative friends — do they understand that we are in the bottom of median family income, that we lead the nation in incarceration of female prisoners, that some of our nonviolent, criminal statutes are some of the most oppressive in the nation?” he asked. “We have serious issues in the state that are challenging us, especially when the budget situation is as bleak as it’s been in the history of this state.”

For his part, Steele says he’s never wavered on his commitment to expanding gun rights, restricting abortion or targeting illegal immigration. He said he supports a measure to allow for open carrying of firearms that Democratic Gov. Brad Henry vetoed last year, and that he will not thwart legislative attempts to further restrict abortion or address illegal immigration.

“Just because I’d like to pursue initiatives to create a business-friendly environment in Oklahoma and give us the opportunity to foster job creation and job opportunities for Oklahomans does not mean I’m any less committed to my stance on pro-life issues or Second Amendment rights or states’ rights or any of those things,” Steele said. “I think we can take a balanced approach and pursue an agenda that ultimately accommodates both arenas.”

Republican Gov.-elect Mary Fallin said she agrees with Steele that the state’s budget and fostering a good business environment should be the top priority for lawmakers when they return to the state Capitol in February.

“We’ve got to focus on getting Oklahoma’s economy back on track, creating the very best business climate possible,” Fallin said. “We’ll certainly consider the other ideas that the Legislature has, and that’s not to take away from their ideas, but just says these are the important priorities I believe will get Oklahoma back on track.”

Source: Norman Transcript

University of Oklahoma Wins Last Big 12 Championship!

Oklahoma Sooners win!

On to the Fiesta Bowl on 1 January 2011! 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

From Lucianne.com

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Odds and Ends During the Christmas Holiday Season

Since the midterms are over, we are going to be taking several days off each week until after the New Year starts and the new Congress is sworn in on January 3rd. In there will be a trip to Colorado to see the granddaughters, hosting Christmas, and a trip to a Bowl Game for the Sooners which we will learn the Bowl assignment after the Big 12 Championship on Saturday Night at Jerry's World. Choice is Fiesta or Alamo Bowls -- both places are great to visit and watch the Bowl Game!  

We are now in December, the mid-term elections are almost a month ago, and for the most part all the races are certified except for one Senate race where Joe Miller in Alaska cannot admit he lost to Lisa Murkowski's write-in.  Wish Alaska would hold a vote today and he would probably lose more than 2-1 after all his shenanigans since the election. 

Not the most honest candidate in the world and if he had any class, he would throw in the towel but as long as he keeps getting money from the Tea Party Express and others, why should he concede?   The list of Joe Miller baggage continues to grow the longer this is drug out by Miller.  Reminds us of Al Gore in Florida in 2000!  Yesterday an Alaska judge ruled there will be a hearing on the 8th as they need to get this fast tracked in order to certify the election. Of course Miller whined and said he couldn't be ready. Sarah Palin chose his wife to be on the Judicial appointment board to give her a job so now she is part of the process choosing judges. So far several judges have dropped out as they said their dislike of Miller was too great for what he is doing to Alaska.

Way to go DeMint, Palin, and the Tea Party Express to keep money flowing into his coffers so he can fight the election results which are going to remain that Lisa Murkowski is the winner because no matter how you slice it, she is over 2,000 votes ahead if every ballot Miller objected to is thrown out including one that reads Murkowski, Lisa, Republican. Miller said since it says Republican it is his vote. That is the kind of idiot tactics the man is using. He has ZERO class. Best guess is that when he is ruled against on Wednesday, he will take it to the AK Supreme Court, and from there to Federal Court to keep this election tied up in Court. Does that sound very Republican to you? Doesn't to us but then we don't think building a Berlin type wall on the border with guards waiting to shoot is very American either but Miller does.

At last count Republicans had picked up 63 seats in the House which is more than we could have imagined a year ago. Speaker-Elect Boehner and his leadership team are preparing to take full control of the House on January 3rd, 2011.

The Food Act did pass the Senate but by most accounts it is so watered down that the House under Speaker Pelosi most likely will not pass the bill. 

Republicans led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stood up to Reid in the Senate and told him to pass the Bush Tax Cuts and the Budget or they are not going to continue hearing and voting on anything else.  With Sen Kirk (R-IL) in the Senate the hand of the GOP has become strengthened which is why Reid took so long to seat him.

Wikileaks is still going on with security 'supposedly' being tightened but then the State Department has never been one to keep secrets very secure.  Looks like Hillary is at the brunt of this fall out.  Also came out that Bradley did this because of 'gay' slurs according to some pundits.  Just great they want to repeal don't ask, don't tell right after this happens.  Not sure that is going to happen or anything else unless the Senate takes up the Bush Tax Cuts and the Budget.  We can hope for a stalemate this month until the new House and Senate are seated in early January!

This morning Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner had this headline for his column which we think is the best suggestion we have seen so far:

Lame ducks should stop quacking and go homeBy: Examiner Editorial 12/01/10 8:05 PM

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., expressed frustration to a fellow back-bench Democrat about having little or no clue what was going on in the lame-duck Congress.Viewers of C-SPAN 2 were treated to a rare moment of Washington candor on Tuesday. Unaware that he was sitting in front of a live microphone in the Senate chamber, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado expressed frustration to a fellow back-bench Democrat that "the whole conversation is rigged. The fact that we don't get to a discussion before the break about what we're going to do in the lame duck, it's just rigged." The takeaway from this revealing incident is that even Senate Democrats returned to Washington this week with little or no clue what their leaders were cooking up for the interregnum before the new Congress is sworn in next month.

Unfortunately, we now know much more about the plans of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to grab at third-rail issues and make a last push for failed progressive ideas. Senate Democrats have moved to ram through a new version of the DREAM Act, which offers a conditional amnesty to some illegal immigrants, as well as a terrible bill that forces local governments to let their firefighters unionize. Meanwhile, House Democrats on Tuesday passed a party-line bill that keeps the government running only until Dec. 18, a hint that they might still attempt a last-minute spending spree on their way out the door.

The result of the 2010 election should have convinced congressional Democrats that they no longer have the public's trust. After losing their large House majority and six Senate seats, they shouldn't be pushing the same left-wing agenda that got them thrown out on their ears. This Congress should simply finish essential business and get out of town. First, fund the government at its current level until early next year. Second, prevent a New Year's tax increase so that businesses can plan for proper withholding from employees. And if Congress wants to keep the temporary 99-week unemployment benefits regime in place, then extend it long enough for the new Congress to make an informed decision about the program's future.

Sitting members of Congress were indeed elected to serve until their terms expire in January. But the operative word is "serve." Instead of searching for new, last-minute methods for steering state and federal funds to favored constituencies, Democrats in Congress should heed commentator P.J. O'Rourke's observation that the November election results delivered a restraining order from voters on the Congress that approved Obamacare, a failed economic stimulus package, and a $13.5 trillion national debt.

Source: Washington Examiner

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Holidays is a Time for Giving to Charity not to PACs

Yesterday I finally decided that I would answer the phone from the 202 area code knowing it was probably the RNC dialing for dollars.  Wanted to get my two cents in so I answered the phone.  Started off with their normal speech and then I had a chance to talk so I covered a few of my concerns.  As I was finishing up my comments, the person said you are not the only one saying that same thing.  Because I said I would consider donating January 1st, I was given over to a supervisor and went through my whole spiel again.  Received the same reaction that I wasn't the only one except this time he wanted me to guarantee I was going to give and started off on reasons why I should.  Stopped him with I know you are the only organization that can fund some of the Presidential activities but I am not donating to any political cause until after the 1st of January.  My money for donations will go to charities that help kids have a better Christmas. 

They don't get it -- this is the time to donate to charities if you are going to donate not some political PAC. 
Yesterday I had seven requests in my inbox and five more today asking for PAC donations.  It is mind boggling that at this time of year they are asking for political donations when we just finished up the mid-term election.  As for donating to Joe through the DeMint PAC, they are wasting their breath -- Joe Miller was a bad candidate and is looking more like a Democrat sore loser with filing lawsuits and the whine.  The Anchorage Daily blogs are filled with comments from alll sides telling Jim DeMint and the Tea Party Express to stay out of Alaska politics.  My reply yesterday to every PAC asking for a donation was to remove me from their list. 

There are so many people whose children are not going to have a very good Christmas this year due to their parents not being able to find good jobs and are working jobs to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.  Food Banks need donations along with Toys for Tots for the Marine Corps and The Salvation Army for starters.  There are many organizations that are there to help provide some Christmas for children in need.  Walk in any Walmart and see the tags on the Christmas tree -- doesn't take a lot to go buy a gift listed on the tag and make some one's Christmas a lot happier.

We had experience with Toys for Tots in my county when I was Vice Chair of the County GOP.  Our float in the Christmas parade was about Toys for Tots and all the toys on the float were taken up to the Marine Corps reserves after the parade.  Our County gave over $1500 worth of Toys.  That's when I learned that toys that are given for Toys for Tots stay in your own area and are given to children to make their Christmas brighter.  Had a ball shopping for toys from donations I was given.  We even ended up on the broadcast news for our project as the local channel filmed me coming out of Toys R Us.  Felt so good to deliver all those Toys to the Marine Corps Reserve outside of Tinker AFB. 

Several years ago when my youngest daughter was at OU, her sorority hosted children who were not going to get anything for Christmas.  The girls bought the toys from the list the children had provided.  Our Parent Club with the girls decorated the house for Christmas and the Christmas Party for these children.  It was a great teaching moment for the girls when they got to see how happy these children were along with their parents.   Some people make fun of sororities but they are second to none on campus for philanthropy  projects throughout the year.  Every sorority at OU has a charity they raise funds for at different fundraisers during the year.

Everyone can do their part.  Drop $1 in the bucket of The Salvation Army every time you go in Walmart.  Remember growing up and my Dad giving me a quarter to drop in the bucket every time we passed one -- thought it was great. 

Drop off cans of food at your local food bank.  Our Governor-Elect Mary Fallin, as part of her Inauguration, is kicking off a food drive for the OK food banks around the State of Oklahoma for the month of December.  What a great Inaugural event to give back to those less fortunate.

There are many charities that need money right now -- just participated in one for Coats for Kids that provides new coats for children in our area who cannot afford them that is sponsored by a local TV station.

We know money is tight for a lot of people right now, but if you can donate a $1 to any charity it will be appreciated.  The Spirit of Christmas is giving of yourself or donations to help others.  

Finally Mark Kirk Quits House, Joins Senate after Democrat Leadership Stalled

It is about time that Mark Kirk was seated in the Senate late yesterday.  If he had been a Democrat Harry Reid would have seated him right away.  Kept hearing there was a problem with paperwork -- always is when a Republican takes a Democrat seat.  We learned that from Scott Brown in MA when his paperwork was also delayed.

This seat is sweet as it is the seat that Obama held and now will be held by a Republican for the next six years.  Kirk was seated early because the election was to fill out the term of Obama and also for the new term that starts on January 3, 2011!

Congratulations to Mark Kirk, our newest Republican Senator!

Kirk Quits House, Joins Senate
By Jessica Brady
Roll Call Staff
Nov. 29, 2010, 6:12 p.m.

Sen. Mark Kirk was officially sworn in Monday, handing Republicans another vote in time for the crucial days of the lame-duck session.

Kirk won the Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama in Illinois and is the third of three new Senators to join the chamber during the lame-duck session. The former House Member won both his own six-year Senate term and a special election to replace appointed Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) for the remainder of this year. He resigned his House seat Monday to move across the Capitol.

A fiscal hawk, Kirk takes his seat just as Members prepare to debate how to extend expiring tax cuts enacted President George W. Bush and a continuing resolution or omnibus spending bill to keep the government funded next year. An appropriator in the House, Kirk is an opponent of earmarks and has said he will oppose any Senate omnibus measure laced with funding for special projects. Kirk also penned an editorial Monday in the Chicago Tribune in which he called on the Senate to adopt a moratorium on earmarks. The newly minted Member will get his chance to push that cause later Monday evening when the Senate considers an amendment sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to adopt such a moratorium.

Excerpt: Read More at Roll Call

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels

WikiLeaks on Twitter said they released the documents to El Pais, Le Monde, Speigel, Guardian & NYT. Some websites are going after the NY Times but in this instance if they didn't release the information, foreign papers would have gone ahead without them. Looks like they worked together to release the information at the same time.  We believe the NY Times made a smart move to get the information out here in the States and not be filtered through foreign newspapers. Most of the documents released cover the last three years although a few are said to go back much earlier.

What a coincidence in that forty years ago Daniel Ellsberg who was a military analyst released the "Pentagon Papers" which sent shock waves through the military community and the White House.  We didn't believe those should have been released as he took an oath to never divulge security.  He broke that oath because he was part of the anti-war crowd who would do anything possible to embarrass the Government including breaking the law.
In late 1969 - with the assistance of his former RAND Corporation colleague, Anthony Russo — Ellsberg secretly made several sets of photocopies of the classified documents to which he had access; these later became known as the Pentagon Papers. As an editor of the New York Times was to write much later, these documents "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance". They revealed that the government had knowledge, early on, that the war would not likely be won, and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was ever admitted publicly. Further, the papers showed the government had lied to Congress and the public. (Wikipedia)
There is no excuse for someone getting these State Department documents and releasing them or the earlier documents on Afghanistan this summer or the "Pentagon Papers" all of which were released for some one's agenda with no thought to the harm it might cause. It is troubling that security can be broken that easily at the State Department  to allow access to documents that were classified for a reason. If this group, Wiki Leaks, founded by Julian Assange who is also their spokesman, didn't have someone on the inside at the State Department, would be shocked. We find it hard to believe that the person arrested for the original leak of documents from Afghanistan, Bradley Manning, US Army intelligence analyst who is being court martialed, would have access to the State Department documents.

The fact that this correspondence has been leaked doesn't speak well of the Department of State.  Cannot believe over the years what people have put in correspondence, but then most figured the documents were classified and would not be released. We agree with Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) that the greatest harm is the loss of trust by governments dealing with the United States. How many countries trust us anyway after the last few years with the Obama Administration? One thing the documents do show is that Obama was not interesting in furthering relationships with Europe but preferred to work with the Far East which should send chills up your spine.

"I think the greatest harm ... is the loss of trust that other governments will have in dealing with the United States of America," Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told "Good Morning America" today. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange "is putting into danger our foreign policy and perhaps the lives of certain Americans around the world." (ABC News
Agree 100% with Senators Lyndsey Graham (R-SC) and Clare McKaskill (D-MO) that the leakers of these documents should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Releasing classified documents is against the law, but will the Holder Department of Justice step in to help. Frankly the DOJ couldn't even win a case in civilian court against a terrorist so we have little faith they will do anything now.

Having worked around classified, find it so hard to believe that any organization would be so careless about their security. Think it is time to clean out the State Department and start over. For years leaks have been happening from the State Department against our own Department of Defense (DoD) as they did their power plays when they sensed that the DoD and National Security Advisor were getting more power.

The arrogance shown by many of our Secretaries of State has been mind boggling over the years. The people get that appointment and it goes to their head in most instances. Maybe if the Secretary of State would stay home more and concentrate on making the State Department a functional organization, we would be better off. The current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has logged countless miles on AF planes traveling around the world and what is there to show for all the travel? She doesn't even travel with the President on his foreign trips which is strange. Career diplomats who are firmly entrenched in the State Department hierarchy since the Carter years have not helped the perception of arrogance and power plays out of this group.

Leaking the material is deplorable," Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, a Republican, told Fox News. "The people at WikiLeaks could have blood on their hands ... People who do this are low on the food chain as far as I'm concerned. If you can prosecute them, let's try."

His Democratic colleague Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri agreed with him and said she hoped "we can find out where this is coming from and go after them with the force of law". She added that "the people who do these document leaks need to do a gut check about their patriotism".

Representative Peter King of New York, a life-long supporter of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, called on Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, to designate WikiLeaks a "Foreign Terrorist Organisation" outlawed in the US.

"WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States. I strongly urge you to work within the Administration to use every offensive capability of the U.S. government to prevent further damaging releases by WikiLeaks," he said in a statement.

The Pentagon blasted WikiLeaks for its "reckless" dump of classified documents and said it was taking steps to bolster security of classified U.S. military networks. (London Telegraph
When reading the article from the NY Times, we are aghast at some of what was written. Anyone with an ounce of brains should know not to put some of these comments down on paper. These cables/messages speak poorly of the leadership at the State Department and in the Administration. Would fire Hillary Clinton in a heartbeat after this release of documents. Always thought she was over her head at the State Department and this proves that fact. We don't believe that Obama has the nerve to fire her over these leaks because he is afraid she will run against him for President.

Wonder who is going to be asked to fall on their sword for this failure of security?

Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels
Published: November 28, 2010

WASHINGTON — A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks posted 220 cables, some redacted to protect diplomatic sources, in the first installment of the archive on its Web site on Sunday.

The disclosure of the cables is sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and American ambassadors around the world have been contacting foreign officials in recent days to alert them to the expected disclosures. A statement from the White House on Sunday said: “We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.”

The White House said the release of what it called “stolen cables” to several publications was a “reckless and dangerous action” and warned that some cables, if released in full, could disrupt American operations abroad and put the work and even lives of confidential sources of American diplomats at risk. The statement noted that reports often include “candid and often incomplete information” whose disclosure could “deeply impact not only U.S. foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world.”

The cables, a huge sampling of the daily traffic between the State Department and some 270 embassies and consulates, amount to a secret chronicle of the United States’ relations with the world in an age of war and terrorism. Among their revelations, to be detailed in The Times in coming days:

¶ A dangerous standoff with Pakistan over nuclear fuel: Since 2007, the United States has mounted a highly secret effort, so far unsuccessful, to remove from a Pakistani research reactor highly enriched uranium that American officials fear could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device. In May 2009, Ambassador Anne W. Patterson reported that Pakistan was refusing to schedule a visit by American technical experts because, as a Pakistani official said, “if the local media got word of the fuel removal, ‘they certainly would portray it as the United States taking Pakistan’s nuclear weapons,’ he argued.”

¶ Thinking about an eventual collapse of North Korea: American and South Korean officials have discussed the prospects for a unified Korea, should the North’s economic troubles and political transition lead the state to implode. The South Koreans even considered commercial inducements to China, according to the American ambassador to Seoul. She told Washington in February that South Korean officials believe that the right business deals would “help salve” China’s “concerns about living with a reunified Korea” that is in a “benign alliance” with the United States.

¶ Bargaining to empty the Guantánamo Bay prison: When American diplomats pressed other countries to resettle detainees, they became reluctant players in a State Department version of “Let’s Make a Deal.” Slovenia was told to take a prisoner if it wanted to meet with President Obama, while the island nation of Kiribati was offered incentives worth millions of dollars to take in Chinese Muslim detainees, cables from diplomats recounted. The Americans, meanwhile, suggested that accepting more prisoners would be “a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe.”

¶ Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government: When Afghanistan’s vice president visited the United Arab Emirates last year, local authorities working with the Drug Enforcement Administration discovered that he was carrying $52 million in cash. With wry understatement, a cable from the American Embassy in Kabul called the money “a significant amount” that the official, Ahmed Zia Massoud, “was ultimately allowed to keep without revealing the money’s origin or destination.” (Mr. Massoud denies taking any money out of Afghanistan.)

¶ A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.

¶ Mixed records against terrorism: Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the “worst in the region” in counterterrorism efforts, according to a State Department cable last December. Qatar’s security service was “hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals,” the cable said.
Excerpt: Read More at NY Times

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Obama Reaching Out!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving is a Time to Give Thanks to God for Our Many Blessing not for Political Attacks

After watching a touching video concerning the life and death of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, Chris Henry, that was shown yesterday before the Bengals game, I was in no mood to see an article that had Sarah Palin attacking the President's gaffe's and the media as part of her Thanksgiving Message.

First the video that touched so many people yesterday and left James Brown on CBS Sports in tears along with a host of people who watched the video live or have seen the replay. Chris Brown lost his daughter who was in college in a traffic accident so this really hit home to him.

Yesterday did not see this video but after hearing about it this morning, decided to view the video from Chris Henry's Mom, Carolyn Henry Glasby, on the organ donation decision she made following her son's death from a pick-up accident on December 16th, 2009. For those of you who don't know, Chris Henry was a professional football player who was a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals who was killed in an accident after he fell off the back of a pick-up truck. There are two lessons to be learned:

1. NEVER ride or jump in the back of a moving pick-up truck. My youngest daughter in college had a sorority sister killed after she was thrown from the back of a pick-up truck. In one split second, everything can change.

2. SIGN UP to be an organ donor. It is the greatest gift everyone can give. When you see the lives this young man touched through organ donations, you realize how important it is when you get your driver's license to check organ donor.
This is one of the most touching videos I have seen and brings tears to your eyes. Chris Henry's mother made a tough decision, but it was the right decision and one that has touched the lives of four people, their families and friends. We hope her message will touch potential donors everywhere who will decide to become an organ donor.

After viewing the video, decided to take a look at websites to see if anything had happened that was worthy of note. Imagine the shock to see this headline:

Sarah Palin uses Thanksgiving Message to Attack US President Obama's Gaffes 
For the last several days have been receiving emails from candidates we supported in the general election. There was a common theme running through all the emails and that was to thank God for their many blessings and to asked that God Bless all of us, the men and women in our military, and our Nation. They all left a good feeling that these were the right people to lead our Nation in Congress and in our States. It was also a message of this is One Nation, Under God, and we have to work together to bring our Nation back to its heritage of Freedoms for every American.

On Thanksgiving for part of Sarah Palin's message she chooses to attack the President on his gaffes and the media for not reporting them enough which leaves us cold. We believe that is a total lack of class for a day that is set aside every year for our Nation to give Thanks.   

Makes us wonder about the people who are touting her as Presidential material and even praise her for her attacks in her Thanksgiving message.  As we posted on a website, we must be from a different planet because we view Thanksgiving as a time to give Thanks to God for our many blessings not a time for a political attack.

We do not believe she has the experience or the toughness to guide our Country -- continual twitter and facebook attacks against Obama and the media are not going to work. She has her own gaffe's in interviews going back to her nomination to be Vice President. Her interviews this week contains one of those gaffe's.

We will have more to say in the days ahead but you can mark us down in the column of Karl Rove and Barbara Bush. After seeing the video, the comments of Palin were just too much to ignore for today.

We leave you with one message and that is to sign up to be an organ donor -- greatest gift a person can ever give!  Four families were blessed and had so much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving as detailed in this video as well as countless others who have received organ donations.  Thanks to Carolyn Henry Glasby from a town outside New Orleans for sharing her story.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This picture of President George W. Bush was from his trip to Iraq for Thanksgiving in 2003.  Despite the media spin, the picture of him carrying the turkey was the real deal not plastic as even the NY Times admitted in 2004.  This is what we have been missing in the last two years.  President Bush has always put the military first.  We are so thankful he was our President when 9/11 happened less than eight months into his administration.  President Bush and his wife Laura brought class to the White House during their eight years in residence.  No one could ever doubt his his love for America.   Thank you President Bush for giving America eight years of your life during some of the most trying times.  We will never forget what you and Laura did for the Country following 9/11.   

One item of good news from South Texas.  The unthinkable happened yesterday with Solomon Ortiz finally conceding his Congressional race in South Texas to newcomer Blake Farenthold.  If someone bet on that race, they won a bundle of money if they bet against Ortiz because frankly we thought he was unbeatable and are still in shock he lost.  He lost by around 800 votes on election day and lost by the same number on a hand recount.  Congratulations to Blake Farenthold the newest Congressman from South Texas.

We want to wish all you a very Happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  If you are traveling, have a safe trip -- hope you are not flying because it most likely will leave you in a not so good mood after clearing security. 

This is our last post for the Thanksgiving holidays and we leave you with this beautiful video with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir providing the music for 'America the Beautiful!'

We will be back on Monday!

God Bless You and Yours and God Bless America!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Governor-Elect, 2011 Inaugural Committee Partner with Wounded Warrior Project

This is such a great idea out of Governor-Elect Rick Scott. Looking forward to seeing him as the next Florida Governor. If you want to feel good about a candidate, read this article and look at the pictures.

Governor-Elect, 2011 Inaugural Committee Partner with Wounded Warrior Project
November 22, 2010

FT LAUDERDALE — Governor-Elect Rick Scott and Executive Director Steve Nardizzi, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) today announced a partnership between the 2011 Florida Inaugural Committee and Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that provides programs and services for injured service members and their families.

“The heroes protecting and defending our nation at home and around the world are the heart of Florida and a shining example for us all. I am honored to highlight their tremendous sacrifices and continued contributions to our state through this partnership with Wounded Warrior Project,” said Governor-Elect Rick Scott.

The 2011 Florida Inaugural Committee is organizing more than a dozen events across the state, many of them free and open to the public, and is funded through the generosity of private donations. Proceeds from these contributions to the Inaugural Committee will be distributed to Wounded Warrior Project.

“Wounded Warrior Project harnesses the strength and determination of the young men and women who serve our nation and I am proud to announce the Inaugural Committee’s commitment to contributing to their valuable work through this unconditional gift,” said Ambassador Francis Rooney, Co-Chair of the 2011 Florida Inaugural Committee.

Last week, Governor–Elect Rick Scott visited the headquarters of the Wounded Warrior Project in Jacksonville, Florida where he ate lunch and visited with several wounded warriors transitioning into civilian life after their military service in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Photos courtesy of Debra Cox, Florida National Guard)

“Wounded Warrior Project was born out of, and continues to be sustained by, the spirit of compassion—one wounded warrior helping another. We are thankful for that same compassionate spirit shared by Governor-Elect Scott, the 2011 Florida Inaugural Committee, and the people of Florida for their generosity in making this gift possible,” said Steve Nardizzi, executive director of Wounded Warrior Project.

Over 40,000 of our nation’s armed forces have been physically wounded during the current military conflicts. Hundreds of thousands more are estimated to be recovering from invisible wounds of war, including post traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and traumatic brain injury. WWP assists wounded warriors and their families through a holistic approach to their recovery, providing programs and services to aid their physical rehabilitation and improve their mental health and well-being.

About Wounded Warrior Project

The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.