"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)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Declares Emergency as Winter Storm Approaches

Some of you that read this are probably laughing because our temps are 45 today but they were 79 on Saturday and going to single digits by Tuesday morning. Tonight we are supposed to get clobbered with ice changing to snow. After that blizzard that hit us the day before Christmas in 2009 no one is going to take a chance this year including yours truly.

Very happy to see Gov Fallin get a jump on this storm declaring an emergency before it hits as it is supposed to be really nasty -- people need to stay home after the storm starts so she has given everyone plenty of warning.

Have been to the grocery to stock up -- couldn't believe how crowded it was! Picked up some more wood for the fireplace in case we lose power so at least we can stay warm. Went around and gathered up all the candles I have in glass containers -- my kids did a really good job of stocking me up after our ice storm the other year when we lost power for 4 1/2 days since I went through most of the candles I had on hand. Flashlights are ready to go. My SUV and I are now hibernating until the roads are cleared off.

With all the preparation this time, watch us get missed by the major part of the storm -- that would suit me just fine. The biggest problems are going to be to the north and east of us as our storm out of the Four Corners links up with the major storm and blizzard that will be hitting Chicago. The Weather Service is predicting St. Louis is going to be getting a lot of snow. Earlier a guy told that Tulsa OK to the NE of us about 115 miles could get up to two feet of snow! YUCK!

One thing everyone was right about when we moved to Oklahoma with the closure of Kelly AFB, TX, by the BRAC -- if you don't like the weather just wait as it will change. Temps overnight in the single digits is something I could do without which is supposed to happen Tuesday and Wednesday morning before warming back up above freezing. Ready for Spring! My granddaughter in Fort Collins, CO, told me this morning on the phone she is tired of snow and wants spring with flowers. I second her wish!


January 31, 2011

Governor Mary Fallin Declares Emergency as Winter Storm Approaches

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today declared a State of Emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties as state officials continued their emergency response preparations for a dangerous winter storm heading toward the state.

Because the latest weather event could include blizzard conditions and possible power outages, emergency management authorities recommended issuing this declaration before the storm arrived so weight and size limits on state roadways could be waived to allow heavy power company vehicles to position themselves across the state.

“The winter storm heading toward Oklahoma has the potential to cause dangerous travel conditions and sub-freezing temperatures,” Fallin said. “This disaster declaration will make sure we can prepare for the winter weather ahead of the storm.”

The declaration provides a formal mechanism for local governments to seek reimbursement for recovery costs through the state’s disaster public assistance program, should conditions warrant. The executive order is also the first step toward seeking federal aid should it be necessary.

“We encourage all Oklahomans to prepare for the storm before it arrives. Make sure you have the proper storm supplies in advance, such as flashlights, batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food,” Fallin said.

The Department of Emergency Management is also reminding all citizens to replace batteries in NOAA all-hazard weather radios. This will ensure continued weather updates directly from the National Weather Service. Once the storm arrives, please heed the recommendation of public safety and transportation officials regarding travel conditions.

Stay tuned to local media and National Weather Service stations for updates as forecasts can change as the winter storm approaches.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chaos in Egypt Also Brings Out the Best in some Egyptian Communities in Cairo

Today for the first time the police have begun to return to some neighborhoods:

As the curfew began at 4 p.m. Sunday, police were seen returning to some neighborhoods and working in tandem with the army to try to restore a sense of security.—

Civilians took over to watch over their neighborhoods when the police were pulled from the streets. Roving bands of thugs were not only going after the Museums but individual residences in some of the best areas of Cairo. The people of Cairo turned out to protect their Museums against the thugs and now we learn they are also protecting their neighborhoods.

We are hoping this is the beginning of an orderly transition from the Murbarak regime but it is too early to say. Egypt faces a lot of chaos in the days ahead as various factions try to take over leadership. Our prayers are with the people of Egypt as they attempt to remove a dictator and keep from sliding into a fundamentalist country like Iran run by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Civilians watch over neighborhoods in Egypt chaos
Updated: Jan 30, 2011 - 11:10AM

AP CAIRO -When Egypt's police melted from the streets of Cairo this weekend, the people stepped in.

Civilians armed with knives, axes, golf clubs, firebombs, metal bars and makeshift spears watched over many neighborhoods in the sprawling capital of 18 million this weekend, defending their families and homes against widespread looting and lawlessness.

The thugs had exploited the chaos created by the largest anti-government protests in decades and the military failed to fill the vacuum left by police.

On Saturday, the army sent out an appeal for citizens to help.

"The military encourages neighborhood youth to defend their property and their honor," it said in a statement.

On Sunday, joint teams of civilians and military were patrolling, some with guard dogs.

Mohammed Gafaar, a 34-year old salesman in the Nasr City area, said his neighborhood watch organized soon after the night curfew went into force at 4 p.m. They did it at the behest of residents, who appealed for protection of their property, sending out the call from the local mosque.

"I feel betrayed by the police," said Gaafar, who had carried rocks, a stick and a firebomb in a soda bottle. "They have to be tried for the protesters they killed and for their treason. They left the country to be looted. I am angry at the regime."

Akram al-Sharif, a 33-year old Cairo resident who lives in one of the affluent compounds in the city's west at the edge of the desert, said locals hired twenty bedouins with guns, and organized into groups to protect the five gates of the compound.

"I am happy this is happening. There was solidarity," he said. But he criticized the military for failing to protect private property.

The troubles began after days of protests calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak reached a crescendo Friday, when tens of thousands poured into the streets after noon prayers in the city's 3,000 mosques. The protests quickly spiraled into clashes with riot police, who fired countless canisters of tear gas, rubber bullets and waters cannons and beat the demonstrators with sticks.

By Friday night, protesters had set fire to the ruling party headquarters along the Nile in central Cairo and the first reports of looting emerged — people making off with electric fans and televisions from the burning complex. Mubarak ordered the military into the streets for the first time to try to control the escalating turmoil.

On Saturday, the tens of thousands of police who normally patrol the streets vanished. Security officials, asked why they disappeared, said that remained unclear. But the police, who are hated by many, may have been seen as just fanning the flames.

Throughout the day, shops and malls were ransacked and burned, and residents of affluent neighborhoods began reporting burglaries by gangs of thugs roaming the streets with knives and guns. By mid-afternoon, shopowners and residents were boarding up their stores and houses.

Gangs of armed men attacked jails, sending thousands of inmates into the unpoliced streets.

As night fell, the neighborhood watches took up where the police left off.

In the affluent neighborhood of Zamalek, where many foreigners live and embassies are located, groups of young men, some as large as 40 people, set up barricades on every street entrance to the island in the middle of the Nile.

In other neighborhoods, residents wore arm bands to identify each other and prevent infiltrators from coming into their midst. In Zamalek, a handwritten announcement hanging on a street window asked people to register their names for neighborhood defense committees.

Watch groups armed themselves with a makeshift arsenal of shovels, baseball bats, whips, and the occasional shotgun. Young men organized themselves into shifts, and locals brought tea and other snacks.

Neighborhood guardians set up metal barricades and stopped cars, questioning them about their destinations and street addresses and sometimes searching them. With many roads blocked, drivers went the wrong way on largely empty one-way streets to get around.

Long after midnight, gunshots rang out on a scenic street along the Nile, near the Indian embassy and the Algerian ambassador's residence. One youth said the neighborhood watch confronted the passengers of a car, one with a firearm, and persuaded them to leave.

Residents said they were filled with pride to see Egyptians looking out for each other in a society where many, if not most, struggle just to subsist.

Gaafar, the salesman, had returned from Dubai to take part in the protests. He said he feels sad at how things turned out, but believes it won't deter people from continuing to protest.

"This has brought out the best in people," he said. "There were people who were much younger than me who have never come across gunfire before... They looked scared. But they were still standing. Everyone was so brave."

Associated Press reporter Sarah El Deeb contributed to this report from Cairo.

Source: AP via AOL News

Frank Gaffney: The Muslim Brotherhood is the Enemy

CNN and Fox News had on reports from Egypt and here in the United States where Egyptians were demonstrating. When Geraldo came on Fox News, CNN came on the TV. Noticed a lot of people interviewed wanted Mubarak gone but were not sure what the outcome would be. It is a world that most of us know little about. That's why this morning I looked for an article by Frank Gaffney, head of the Center for Security Policy, who is an expert on foreign policy and calls it like he sees it including the dangers to America that he is seeing by the Muslim Brotherhood.

You don't have to be a Middle East expert not to trust the Muslim Brotherhood and have a hard time figuring out over the years why so many government officials of both parties see no problem with them. Excuse me, but they want to fundamentally change our way of life in America by introducing 'Shariah Law' as the law of the land. How they even got to first base here in the United States is beyond most of us. This is their creed -- not exactly Mom and apple pie -- actually is frightening:

“The Brotherhood’s creed is: ‘God is our objective; the Koran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.’”

This article by Gaffney gives the facts which are scary and shows what we are facing if we don't get out act together right here in America.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the ‘vanguard’ or tip-of-the-spear of the current Islamic Movement in the world. While there are other transnational organizations that share the MB’s goals (if not its tactics) – including al Qaeda, which was born out of the Brotherhood – the Ikhwan is by far the strongest and most organized. The Muslim Brotherhood is now active in over 80 countries around the world.
Now we have a group of 'kumbyya' types heading our Government led by a President Obama who doesn't want to acknowledge the dangers America faces from the Islamic extremists led by the Muslim Brotherhood. He prefers to tell us they are no threat to our way of life. We will never forget his ability to recite the Islamic prayer in their dialect during the campaign and yet we heard the media raving about how wonderful it was to have a candidate of the world.

Excuse us but we would prefer to have a candidate and President raised in the American culture who sees the threats to America that organizations like The Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR bring to America and the World. We are frankly tired of the 'kumbaya' we see on display in this White House toward our enemies and hatred displayed toward some our allies like Great Britain. This also includes the State Department under the current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who is friend with Arafat's wife, and the Justice Department under Eric Holder. There isn't one of those people we trust with the security of the United States.

The last paragraph of this article should send chills up the spine of anyone who loves America and our way of life:

In short, the Muslim Brotherhood – whether it is operating in Egypt, elsewhere in the world or here – is our enemy. Vital U.S. interests will be at risk if it succeeds in supplanting the present regime in Cairo, taking control in the process not only of the Arab world’s most populous nation but its vast, American-supplied arsenal. It is no less reckless to allow the Brotherhood’s operatives to enjoy continued access to and influence over our perceptions of their true purposes, and the policies adopted pursuant thereto.
When you think of all the military equipment and arsenal we have provided the Egyptians over the years, it is extremely dangerous for the world and especially Israel right now as The Muslim Brotherhood continues to agitate and make a bad situation worse. We are no fans of Mubarak and his dictatorship but we are also smart enough to realize that Democracy is not going to happen in Egypt as the Muslim Brotherhood will move rapidly to take control of Egypt when not if Mubarak falls. Flashback to Iran under Carter is what we are seeing.

Read this article and ask yourself how did the American voters elect such an inexperienced person to be President who was not raised in the typical American way of life. Growing up in Indonesia, going to Islamic mosques, being mentored by a known Communist, joining a church run by former Muslim, Rev Wright, who preaches black separatism and hate America rhetoric,and becoming a community organizer is not a resume for an American President. Yet the media and the progressive democrats pushed him as the 'International President' -- wonder what they think now?

We are depending on Obama to do the right thing with this worsening Egyptian situation? God help Israel and the rest of us who love Freedom.  We are all about to go through some dark days ahead with the fall of Mubarak in Egypt.  If the Muslim Brotherhood take control of the Suez Canal, which happens to oil prices?  We have oil companies and rigs leaving the Gulf because of Obama policies and now we are facing a possible shortage of oil from the Middle East.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the Enemy
Posted by Frank Gaffney Jan 30th 2011 at 3:31 am

Suddenly, Washington is consumed with a question too long ignored: Can we safely do business with the Muslim Brotherhood?

The reason this question has taken on such urgency is, of course, because the Muslim Brotherhood (or MB, also known by its Arabic name, the Ikhwan) is poised to emerge as the big winner from the chaos now sweeping North Africa and increasingly likely to bring down the government of the aging Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

In the wake of growing turmoil in Egypt, a retinue of pundits, professors and former government officials has publicly insisted that we have nothing to fear from the Ikhwan since it has eschewed violence and embraced democracy.

For example, Bruce Reidel, a controversial former CIA analyst and advisor to President Obama, posted an article entitled "Don't Fear Egypt's Muislim Brotherhood" at the Daily Beast. In it, he declared: “The Egyptian Brotherhood renounced violence years ago, but its relative moderation has made it the target of extreme vilification by more radical Islamists. Al Qaeda’s leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, started their political lives affiliated with the Brotherhood but both have denounced it for decades as too soft and a cat’s paw of Mubarak and America.”

Then, there was President George W. Bush’s former press spokeswoman, Dana Perino, who went so far on January 28th as to tell Fox News “…And don’t be afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. This has nothing to do with religion.”

One reason we might be misperceiving the MB as no threat is because a prime source of information about such matters is the Muslim Brotherhood itself. As the Center for Security Policy’s new, best-selling Team B II report entitled, Sharia: The Threat to America found: “It is now public knowledge that nearly every major Muslim organization in the United States is actually controlled by the MB or a derivative organization. Consequently, most of the Muslim-American groups of any prominence in America are now known to be, as a matter of fact, hostile to the United States and its Constitution.”

In fact, for much of the past two decades, a number of these groups and their backers (including, notably, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal) have cultivated extensive ties with U.S. government officials and agencies under successive administrations of both parties, academic centers, financial institutions, religious communities, partisan organizations and the media. As a result, such American entities have been subjected to intense, disciplined and sustained influence operations for decades.

Unfortunately, the relationships thus developed and the misperceptions thus fostered are today bearing poisonous fruit with respect to shaping U.S. policy towards the unfolding Egyptian drama.

A notable example is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). A federal judge in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial – which successfully prosecuted the nation’s largest terrorism financing conspiracy – found that CAIR was indeed a front for the Ikhwan’s Palestinian affiliate, Hamas. Nonetheless, Fox News earlier today interviewed the Executive Director of CAIR’s Chicago office, Ahmed Rehab, whom it characterized as a “Democracy Activist.”

True to form, Rehab called for the removal of Mubarak’s regime and the institution of democratic elections in Egypt. This is hardly surprising since, under present circumstances, such balloting would likely have the same result it did in Gaza a few years back: the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood and the institution of brutally repressive theocratic rule, in accordance with the totalitarian Islamic politico-military-legal program known as shariah.

An important antidote to the seductive notions being advanced with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – and, for that matter, in Western nations like ours – by the Ikhwan’s own operatives, their useful idiots and apologists is the Team B II report. It should be considered required reading by anyone who hopes to understand, let alone to comment usefully upon, the MB’s real character and agenda.


In short, the Muslim Brotherhood – whether it is operating in Egypt, elsewhere in the world or here – is our enemy. Vital U.S. interests will be at risk if it succeeds in supplanting the present regime in Cairo, taking control in the process not only of the Arab world’s most populous nation but its vast, American-supplied arsenal. It is no less reckless to allow the Brotherhood’s operatives to enjoy continued access to and influence over our perceptions of their true purposes, and the policies adopted pursuant thereto.

Excerpt:  Read More at Big Peace

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Courage to Stand by Tim Pawlenty

Latest on MItt Romney: Sen DeMint (SC), Gov Nikki Haley (SC), and former Senator Judd Gregg (NH) not on board for Romney in 2010!

We go from covering Senator Marco Rubio yesterday to reading and posting about Mitt Romney today. What a come down.

Must admit I was SHOCKED to read last night that Jim DeMint who touts himself as being 'The conservative voice' in the Senate and how we need only 'conservatives' elected supported Mitt Romney in 2008 for President. So did Nikki Haley who is now the Governor of South Carolina. Makes zero sense.

Will someone please tell me how someone like DeMint who supported some pretty far right Republicans in 2010 for Senate and went after what he considered 'establishment and elitist' Republicans could possibly support Mitt Romney who is one of the most 'establishment' and 'elitist' Republicans we have who self financed a lot of his own campaign in 2008.

They supported Romney without knowing for sure where Romney stands on pro-life issues but knew he was part of the the debacle of healthcare in MA? Looks like to us DeMint and others are hypocrits who let their dislike of McCain cloud their vision in 2008. Think it is time the rank and file Republicans quit allowing people like DeMint to determine who is 'establishment' and 'elitist' in the GOP because obviously in 2008 he supported Romney who is both.

Anyone that tells themselves that Romney is a hard core conservative needs to look in the mirror and tell themselves they probably shouldn't be involved in politics.

Former Senator Judd Gregg from NH I can see would support Romney but then I never put him in the very conservative category. Now even Sen Gregg is not sure he will support Romney. Another key person former Rep Vin Weber from Minnesota is now helping former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty not Romney:

“He benefited in 2008 with some people who were looking for the not-McCain candidate,” contended former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), who backed Romney in 2008 and still thinks highly of him, but is now a top adviser to Tim Pawlenty. “Romney was the obvious, most broadly acceptable alternative to McCain. And he had the benefit of being a fresh face.”

Romney is going around tying up big donors but he forgets they only have one vote just like us who donate small amounts of money. If Romney thinks he can buy the nomination, think again. With Judd Gregg not embracing Romney in NH and thinking of running himself, Romney is doomed.

The media loves to put Romney out and front but except for the Mormons supporting his candidacy, we don't see a lot of others and even then they are not fully on board this time. Wonder if he is going to do at CPAC what he did the last time -- bus in supporters from around the country and pay for their ballots. Some of them were not even old enough to vote in the primary or general election. Is Romney the reason that the ACU for CPAC has opened up their doors to obvious gay groups causing some conservatives to back out.

Are Republicans going to allow the media to pick a candidate against Obama. If they are, then Marco Rubio needs to get himself ready for a run in 2016 because we will lose the 2012 election to Obama. In my world if a candidate ran in 2008 and couldn't beat McCain, then they should forget about running in 2012 and that includes all of them.

Read more on Romney at: Politico

Friday, January 28, 2011

Senator Rubio assigned to Senate Commerce, Small Business, Foreign Relations, and Intelligence Committees

As I watched and listened to the Marco Rubio giving the Republican address on 11/16/10, I am struck with his ability to connect to people even on YouTube.  It is like he is talking directly to each of us that watch his videos.  Marco Rubio has that rare trait that he can connect with people whether in person or in a video.

Senator Rubio has received his committee assignments in the Senate and has chosen his Chief of Staff Cesar Conda who worked at one time for Vice President Cheney.  Now when can Rubio and other newly elected Senators move into their permanent offices?  Because of increased numbers of Republicans, some will be taking over former Senate offices occupied by Democrats.  We learned that outgoing Senators have six months to clear out?  Why? 

Senator Rubio has a basement cubicle in the Dirkson Senate Office Building along with Sen Dan Coats (R-IN) who has a vast background in foreign policy and another Freshman Pat Toomey (PA).  Very few Republicans have their permanent office unless they are replacing a Senator that had some ethics and cleaned out the office in time for the new Senator to occupy when the session started.   Some Senators with seniority also switched offices for a better view or other reasons so the moving people in the Senate have been very busy.

Senator Rubio has an impressive list of Senate assignments to enhance his background as detailed by the Miami Herald and other news sources. He made a weekend trip earlier this month to Afghanistan as part of a group of seven Republican Senators led by Minority Leader McConnell along with Lindsey Graham (SC), and Richard Burr (NC), and other Freshman Senataors Pat Toomey (PA), Ron Johnson (WI) and Kelly Ayotte (NH).

The trip, disclosed by a NATO website, is Rubio's first overseas visit as a senator (he went to Israel after the election but before being sworn in) and gave him an up-close look as the debate picks up over what to do with the war.

We were surprised to see that Senator Bill Nelson from Florida has lost his seat on Armed Services according to the Miami Herald since he was a member of the military and an astronaut.  The seat was lost because Republicans gained six seats in the Senate?  Can think of other Democrats that should not have a seat on Armed Services instead of Nelson -- why put Freshman Senators Coons or Manchin on Armed Services instead of Bill Nelson?  Has Nelson fallen out of favor with Reid?  Latest info: Nelson has given up his seat at the request of Majority Leader Harry Reid

Marco Rubio gets committee assignments: foreign relations, intelligence; Nelson loses Armed Services post
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio today landed perches on several key committees: Commerce, Science and Transportation, Foreign Relations, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Rubio said: "I’m honored to be a member of these important committees that address some of our nation’s and state’s most important issues. This committee portfolio will enable me to work directly on policies to promote private sector job creation, keep Americans safe and maintain our strong standing in the world.

"In addition to continuing my work with small business entrepreneurs I’ve met throughout Florida, I am especially encouraged by the fact that these assignments will allow me to work on many issues of great interest to Floridians, including NASA, free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama, our missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and relations with key allies in our hemisphere and across the world."

(That makes Rubio the 5th Floridian on a foreign relations committee: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen chairs the House panel and David Rivera, Frederica Wilson and Connie Mack are on the committee.)

Read more: Miami Herald

We did get one chuckle out of all of this as this paragraph appeared in the article from the Weekly Standard about Rubio's staff:

Conda is one of four senior Rubio staffers who worked on or otherwise advised Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign. (The others are: Sally Canfield, Rubio’s legislative director; Joe Pounder, communications director; Alex Burgos, press secretary.)
All these people did work for the Romney for President campaign but a lot of George W and Jeb Bush's people worked not only for Romney, but for a lot of the campaigns in 2008. Backgrounds on all but Alex Burgos go back to Bush/Cheney where Cesar Conda worked two years for Vice President Cheney,Sally Canfield was a Domestic Policy Advisory to Gov George Bush during the 2000 campaign, and Joe Pounder worked in the Bush White House in Communications the first two years of the Administration. Alex Burgos was senior communications manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center before joining the Rubio campaign, and he was also deputy press secretary for the NRCC.

What Senator Rubio has done is hire some of the best people Republicans have with a lot of experience at not only the state level but at the National level which is very important to a Senator that their staff has worked in DC.

Marco Rubio Picks a Chief of Staff: Cesar Conda12:15 AM, Jan 28, 2011 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES

The old Washington axiom that congressional staffers are often more powerful than their bosses will not apply to Marco Rubio and those who work for him. But, as the tremendous number of resumes submitted to his office suggests, Rubio’s staff will be important. And in a move that brings an end to what has been the source of growing speculation on Capitol Hill, Rubio has hired Cesar Conda as his chief of staff.

Conda is a well-known and highly regarded policy wonk, with experience in the executive branch as well as on Capitol Hill. He worked closely with Rubio during the fall campaign, advising the candidate on policy and serving as a key player on Rubio’s debate prep team. After the election, Conda helped run the transition, a job that included putting together the staff he will now lead.

Conda served as the top domestic policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney during the first two years of the Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a critical behind-the-scenes role in conceiving the Bush tax cuts and Bush economic policy more broadly. When Cheney engaged in a quiet debate with his old friend Fed chairman Alan Greenspan about whether bigger deficits lead to growing interest rates, he tasked Conda to prepare his response to a study Greenspan sent.

Before joining the Bush administration, Conda worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Spence Abraham from Michigan (when Abraham was a freshman) and Senator Bob Kasten from Wisconsin. In the private sector, he worked as an analyst for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, more recently, was a co-founder of “Navigators,” a public affairs firm.

Yesterday, Rubio was assigned to the Senate Commerce, Small Business, Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees

Excerpt: Read More at Weekly Standard
This explains why some National Tea Party people threw Rubio under the bus after the election and recently got mad at him for not becoming a member of the DeMint/Paul Tea Party Caucus in the Senate. Some Tea Party people accused Rubio of being the establishment. Let's see, Rubio was the Speaker of the Florida House (check), looks to Jeb Bush for advice (check), hires members of his Senate staff with ties to George W. Bush/Dick Cheney/NRCC/Chamber of Commerce (check) for starters.   NOTE:  The Tea Party in Florida has joined with the Florida grassroots and others to form a coalition and do support Rubio as the vast majority of them campaigned for Senator Rubio, but then they also like Jeb Bush. 

This is also an example of some of the National Tea Party people who do not understand the world of politics and how it works -- candidates and offices holders reach out to people with experience who have already been through campaigns and have gained experience working for people who were elected to office. In this case because of Rubio's contacts, he has pulled in some of the best and brightest people we have to be part of his Senate staff with a lot of experience at the National level. 

These are the some of the same Tea Party people who got mad when Freshman Senators and Representatives went to the official orientation to learn from the Claremore Institute how everything works in DC instead of their Tea Party Patriot orientation.  What did one of their people do when they got mad, she sent out Freshman names with their private cell phone numbers and email addresses. 

Rubio was the Florida Grassroots candidate before the Tea Party got involved something else the National Tea Party does not understand. He built his base in the counties where the County Chairs were livid with Gov Crist and GOP Chair Greer. Senator Rubio has had close ties to Jeb for years and they served together -- Jeb as Governor and Rubio as Speaker of the Florida House plus you can tell they genuinely like each other. Jeb's two sons were some of Rubio's first fundraisers long before Jeb endorsed Marco for Senate.

If Senator Marco Rubio is what the Tea Party now calls 'establishment,' please give us more candidates like the 'establishment' Marco Rubio. Next up he will be joining a lot of other fellow Republicans with the 'elitist' label to go with 'establishment' label.

Seems to now be the mantra of some Tea Party people if you don't agree with them, then they are going to label you with names they think have a negative connotation. Childish is a better word for these tactics. Reminds you of the little kid who wanted to be quarterback and when they chose someone else, he took his football and went home. Are these the same people who are always threatening Republicans to stay home and not vote which they carried out in 2006 and 2008 or vote Third Party because the candidate didn't agree with their views 100%? We are quickly beginning to wonder if those are the people who have taken over the National Tea Party movement. After all, Ron Paul keeps taking credit for starting the Tea Party movement.

Tea Party movement was started with individuals mad about how the Federal Government under Obama and the Progressive Democrats were spending their tax dollars, but how many of them are Paul supporters? Is Sen DeMint going to be shocked when Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky takes over the Senate Tea Party Caucus and DeMint learns a lot of the Tea Party are actually Paul supporters? Is Rand Paul going to run for President if his Dad doesn't?  Is Fox News really the people behind the National Tea Party movement?  All good questions with no answers -- we will be watching.

Pass the popcorn as this is about to get interesting as various candidates fight it out to claim the Tea Party candidate mantle -- we are betting a good portion of the Tea Party will once again support Ron Paul like they did in 2008 or his son, Rand Paul, if his Dad doesn't run.  Then what are the Fox commentators going to have to say about the Tea Party movement they pushed so hard as bright, shiny, and new?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mike Pence Announcement He is NOT Running for President

We expect in January 2013 to saying Governor Pence instead of Congressman Pence. He has not announced for Governor but it is obvious from the email that he plans to stay in Indiana and run for Governor. Cannot say we are all that surprised since his kids are teenagers and would be hard on the family at this time of their life.

We wish Congressman Pence well and this is a huge win for Indiana!


Friends and Supporters,

Over the past few months, my family and I have been grateful for the encouragement we have received to consider other opportunities to serve our state and our nation in the years ahead.

We have been especially humbled by the confidence and support of those who believe we should pursue the presidency, but after much deliberation and prayer, we believe our calling is closer to home.

The highest office I will ever hold is husband and father. As a family, we feel led to devote this time in our lives to continuing to serve the people of Indiana in some way.

In the choice between seeking national office and serving Indiana in some capacity, we choose Indiana. We will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

In every major decision in my life, I have learned to follow my heart, and my heart is in Indiana. Karen and I love this state: the highways and byways, the small towns and courthouse squares, the big cities and corn fields. We love the strong and good people of this state and feel a debt of gratitude to those who have sustained our work with their steadfast support and prayers.

After years of falling behind, Indiana is on the verge of an era of growth and opportunity like no other time in my life. Those of us who serve Indiana in Congress and in the Statehouse have a unique opportunity to advance the interests of Hoosiers. As Governor Daniels has rightly observed, there is important work to be done in Indianapolis and Washington, and it's time to focus on the task at hand.

In the months ahead, as we attend to our duties in Congress, we will also be traveling across the state to listen and learn about how Hoosiers think we might best contribute in the years ahead. After taking time to listen to Hoosiers, we will make a decision later this year about what role we will seek to play.

Public service requires humility, patience and discipline to pursue what matters most. To save this nation, men and women of integrity and insistent conservative vision must step forward and serve where they can make the most difference. While we may have been able to seek the presidency, we believe our best opportunity to continue to serve the conservative values that brought us to public life is right here in Indiana.

For now, permit us to simply say "thank you." In the wake of such encouragement, we have often thought to ask, "who am I, Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"

Thanks to all those who took time to offer earnest counsel and advice.

Thanks to all who took time to express encouragement from across the state and across the country. And thank you for the prayers of so many faithful friends.

Indiana can lead the nation back to fiscal responsibility, reform and strong families. As we achieve an even better Indiana for our children and grandchildren, we will continue to be a model for a better and stronger America.


Mike Pence
Columbus, Indiana

Filibuster 'reform' Dead but AmeriPAC Still Wants Money to Defeat Reid's Plan to Destroy the Filibuster

UPDATE:  After further research when we received the same email from World Net Daily, we decided to do some more investigation and discovered two PACs.  The first PAC is American Political Action Committee (AIRPAC) #C99002396 we found after going to the AmeriPAC website and found the number listed on the bottom of the page and they had this PAC since 1980 and are conservative.  The AmeriPAC we found using that acronym at the FEC is AmeriPAC:  The Fund for a Greater America #C002711338 and very Democrat.  When you search for American Political Action Committee, a whole host of sites comes up and buried in there is AmeriPAC with the correct number. 

Should have checked it out completely but using an acronym of the PAC for search is done frequently.  Are Democrats now picking acronyms and adding a few words to confuse people because it certainly confused us and we have been following PAC contributions for years.  My recommendation is to not only check out FEC contributions but now check out their websites before you give one penny. 

What you read below is when we thought AmeriPAC was a Democrat PAC following the search on the FEC database.  We decided to leave up the initial post to show how easy it is to be fooled by these PACs using the same acronyms.  The one thing that stands is the fact this filibuster change rule died last night but AmeriPAC wants donations and for everyone to buy a book so my premise that these PACs are out for money even after something has happened stands.  We apologize to the ACU for thinking they were sending out paid email from a Democrat PAC.

Recommend the FEC have a link to all PACs alphabetical by name with their number. Maybe they do but I couldn't find it -- you have to search by name of the PAC off the main link. 

Anyone for cleaning up the FEC to make it user friendly?


Started out this post complaining about PACs like AmeriPAC who asks for money after it is too late to have any impact which has always made no sense.  The Filibuster Reform bill died last night with the adjournment of the Senate but that didn't stop AmeriPac from asking for money to stop it this morning:

Reid To Destroy GOP By Filibuster!
Reid Pushing For A Vote This Week!

ALERT: Dictator Harry Reid is pushing a new rule to give liberals carte blanche power to pass any bill they want - whether the American people like it or not!
This was not the first time AmeriPAC has sent out emails like this.  I usually just delete their emails but this time I decided to follow my own link below to the FEC and check out how AmeriPAC was connected and to my shock discovered they gave to Democrats who were running for Congress along with Democrat Congressional Committees.  Talk about non-truth in advertising.

There is a a searchable campaign data base at the FEC so if you put in the name of the PAC in search, you should be able to find out how many donations they received and how they spent those donations. I decided to follow this link for AmeriPAC and it turned up their donations were given to Democrat Congressional candidates and committees:  Blue Dog Democrat PAC, DNCC, and familiar Democrats like Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Jason Altmire (D-PA), Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), and Alan Grayson (D-FL) for starters. Don't know if this link will take you to the list or if it will time out but it is worth a try: http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/com_supopp/2009_C00271338-- at that link you see contributions to Democrats running for the House in 2010.

AmeriPAC is sending out their emails to Conservatives like us looking for donations -- will bet money some people will be fooled with their rhetoric because it was sent out by info@conservative.org from the ACU when actually AmeriPAC is a Democrat PAC.  Why would the ACU send out an email for a Democrat PAC?  Most likely they never bothered to check out the PAC as we would bet it was more important to get paid to send out the email which gives the group credibility then to spend time checking them out.  We didn't didn't send them money but we also didn't check them out until this morning.  Lesson Learned -- check out every PAC that asks for donations in email.

We have lost track of how many times PACs like AmeriPAC have asked for money to stop something when it is already defeated/passed or to ask for money for campaign ads the night before the election so they can go on the air. People need to be very careful when donating to a PAC and check out how a PAC spends its money before donating. All these scare tactics to get money should be a tip off.  Now we will follow our own advice and check out every PAC that sends an email.  Who knows how many other PACs we are getting emails from give to Democrats.

In contrast to asking for money to lead the effort against Reid's attempt to change the rules for filibuster, we have the real story from Byron York of the Washington Examiner below that details the quiet death for the filibuster 'reform' ended last night.

In Senate, a quiet death for filibuster 'reform'
By: Byron York 01/26/11 10:10 PM
Chief Political Correspondent

Lost in the hubbub over President Obama's State of the Union speech was the quiet death of liberal Democratic hopes to "reform" the Senate filibuster. Those hopes officially expired at 10:20 p.m. Tuesday, as lawmakers prepared the leave the Capitol after the president's speech, when the Senate adjourned for the first time this year.

For months, some Democrats had been working on a plan to use a parliamentary maneuver called the "nuclear option" to put an end to minority Republicans' ability to block Democratic initiatives. Under that scenario, on the first day of its session -- and only on the first day -- the Senate would be able to change its rules regarding filibusters with a simple majority vote. Normally, it takes 67 votes to change the Senate's rules, but on the first day, Democrats believed, they could kill the filibuster with just a 51-vote majority.

Of course, the first day the Senate was in session was January 3. Most people would assume that such first-day changes, even if they were possible, would have to be made on that day. But in the Senate, "first day" can be a flexible term. So when the Senate finished business on January 3, Majority Leader Harry Reid did not adjourn the body, which would have meant the end of the day. Instead, Reid declared the Senate in recess, which meant that it remained, in technical Senate terms, in its "first day" until whenever Reid chose to call an adjournment.

Through January 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 -- through all those days the Senate was in recess and therefore still officially in its "first day." That meant liberal Democrats could continue to maneuver and negotiate ways to end the filibuster and, if they could find 51 senators willing to go along with their scheme, take a vote on the Senate's "first day."

Furious negotiations went on behind the scenes. The Democrats' anti-filibuster wing, led by Sen. Tom Udall, tried to muster support for the effort to kill, or at least substantially weaken, the filibuster. Udall wasn't, of course, trying to persuade Republicans to go along; all GOP senators opposed the idea. Rather, Udall and his allies were trying -- and, it turns out, failing -- to convince 51 Democrats to put an end to the filibuster. By Tuesday, it was clear they had failed. After the State of the Union, Reid adjourned the Senate, and the 22-day "first day" was over.

The filibuster was untouched; nothing has been done to it. "Literally nothing," says a Republican Hill source.

Excerpt: Read more at the Washington Examiner

NOTE: Updated to show that the email of the group who sent out the AmeriPAC email is the American Conservative Union.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rep. Mike Pence: Obama Signals More Spending in State of the Union

Rep Mike Pence, R-IN, 01/26/11 Email:

Dear Fellow American,

In last night's State of the Union address, President Obama called on Americans to take control of our destiny and take responsibility for the deficit.

He outlined plans to increase American competitiveness through education, infrastructure and innovation. And he encouraged members of Congress to put their differences aside and work together to restore this country to prosperity and greatness.

So how does President Obama plan to achieve this transformation? More spending!

You and I both know that more spending and more borrowing is not the answer to get the economy moving. To hear the President call for more of the same stimulus spending that failed to turn our economy around for the last two years was very frustrating. That's why I hope you will stand with me as I call on our leaders to give the American people a new direction.

To see my response to the State of the Union follow this link to watch  last night's PBS interview.  (speech is also below)

/s/Mike Pence

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said that while the president reflected on America's strengths in the 2011 State of the Union speech, Pence was disappointed that President Obama "appeared to commit to more spending" in his speech.

AP Fact Check: Obama and His Imbalanced Ledger

On this blog this morning we have brought you the reviews of Obama's State of the Union by Red State, The Weekly Standard, American Spectator, and the Washington Post.  We have saved the review with the most substance for last -- AP's fact checking of the Obama speech.  We are speechless this is from AP starting with the title -- no wonder the other reviews panned his speech.

When we look at Obama wanting high speed rail across the Country, it shows out how of touch he is with most of Middle America, the South, and the West.  We have rail service here in Oklahoma from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, Texas.  Because of all the stops along the way to pick up passengers and drop them off, I can drive to Fort Worth with time to spare and have my car to go where I want to go not rent a car.  Public transportation is not very popular in this part of the Country because of the distances you travel. 

If we had high speed rail to OKC to Tulsa, how am I going to get around Tulsa to go where I need to go?  Take a taxi (costly), rent a car (costly), or take a bus which most likely I would have to change buses several times to get where I want to go.  Not to mention I would have to get from Norman to the train station.  If it would be like the one to Fort Worth that stops all along the way, then I would most likely stick to driving the 1:45 to 2:00 hour drive up the Turnpike, pay my turnpike fee via Pike Pass and have my car to make stops at various locations.  Probably would be faster and cheaper even with the higher price of gas.

This is what people on the East Coast with major cities close to each other have never understood about the rest of the Country.  BTW we count Chicago on the East Coast not in Middle America because it is run like an East Coast city.  We rely on our cars throughout the rest of America to take us where we need to go or we fly.  Most of us wouldn't get on a bus either.  We are independent for the most part and travel to places that public transportation is not feasible like going to a high school baseball game in Enid or Stillwater, OK. 

High speed rail in this part of the Country would be a huge boondoggle and the Federal Government would have to fund it every years for years to come like they do Amtrak which is not a cheap way to travel.

Now the AP has fact checked Obama's speech and found out the math and arguments they use are not factual.  Why are we not surprised?  The shocking part is that AP is the one doing the Fact Check and finding the speech not factual in a lot of areas.

FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger

Associated Press – 1 hr 40 mins ago (January 26, 2011)

WASHINGTON – The ledger did not appear to be adding up Tuesday night when President Barack Obama urged more spending on one hand and a spending freeze on the other.

Obama spoke ambitiously of putting money into roads, research, education, efficient cars, high-speed rail and other initiatives in his State of the Union speech. He pointed to the transportation and construction projects of the last two years and proposed "we redouble these efforts." He coupled this with a call to "freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years."

But Obama offered far more examples of where he would spend than where he would cut, and some of the areas he identified for savings are not certain to yield much if anything.

For example, he said he wants to eliminate "billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies." Yet he made a similar proposal last year that went nowhere. He sought $36.5 billion in tax increases on oil and gas companies over the next decade, but Congress largely ignored the request, even though Democrats were then in charge of both houses of Congress.

A look at some of Obama's statements Tuesday night and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: Tackling the deficit "means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. Health insurance reform will slow these rising costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit."

THE FACTS: The idea that Obama's health care law saves money for the government is based on some arguable assumptions.

To be sure, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated the law will slightly reduce red ink over 10 years. But the office's analysis assumes that steep cuts in Medicare spending, as called for in the law, will actually take place. Others in the government have concluded it is unrealistic to expect such savings from Medicare.

In recent years, for example, Congress has repeatedly overridden a law that would save the treasury billions by cutting deeply into Medicare pay for doctors. Just last month, the government once again put off the scheduled cuts for another year, at a cost of $19 billion. That money is being taken out of the health care overhaul. Congress has shown itself sensitive to pressure from seniors and their doctors, and there's little reason to think that will change.

OBAMA: Vowed to veto any bills sent to him that include "earmarks," pet spending provisions pushed by individual lawmakers. "Both parties in Congress should know this: If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it."

THE FACTS: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has promised that no bill with earmarks will be sent to Obama in the first place. Republicans have taken the lead in battling earmarks while Obama signed plenty of earmark-laden spending bills when Democrats controlled both houses. As recently as last month, Obama was prepared to sign a catchall spending measure stuffed with earmarks, before it collapsed in the Senate after an outcry from conservatives over the bill's $8 billion-plus in home-state pet projects.

It's a turnabout for the president; in early 2009, Obama sounded like an apologist for the practice: "Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their districts, and that's why I've opposed their outright elimination," he said then.

OBAMA: "I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits."

THE FACTS: Republicans may be forgiven if this offer makes them feel like Charlie Brown running up to kick the football, only to have it pulled away, again.

Obama has expressed openness before to this prominent Republican proposal, but it has not come to much. It was one of several GOP ideas that were dropped or diminished in the health care law after Obama endorsed them in a televised bipartisan meeting at the height of the debate.

Republicans want federal action to limit jury awards in medical malpractice cases; what Obama appears to be offering, by supporting state efforts, falls short of that. The president has said he agrees that fear of being sued leads to unnecessary tests and procedures that drive up health care costs. So far the administration has provided grants to test ideas aimed at reducing medical mistakes and resolving malpractice cases by negotiation, but has recommended no change in federal law.

Trial lawyers, major political donors to Democratic candidates, are strongly opposed to caps on jury awards. But the administration has been reluctant to support other approaches, such as the creation of specialized courts where expert judges, not juries, would decide malpractice cases. In October 2009 the Congressional Budget Office estimated that government health care programs could save $41 billion over 10 years if nationwide limits on jury awards for pain and suffering and other similar curbs were enacted.

OBAMA: "Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying — without the pat-down."

THE FACTS: High-speed rail has been most successful for trips between cities roughly 200 to 500 miles apart — planes are more efficient for longer distances and cars for shorter trips. Administration officials say it's inevitable that there will fast passenger train service between U.S. cities since projected population growth — 70 million more people in the next 25 years — will otherwise create congestion so severe that air or highway travel between nearby cities will become impractical.

But there are many major hurdles that will have to be overcome. Congress has approved $10.5 billion to jumpstart selected high-speed rail projects, but some industry estimates for the cost of a truly national network with service to major cities in every region of the country range from $500 billion to $1 trillion. Also, it's doubtful that all service will be truly high-speed, often described as a minimum of 110 mph. Frequent stops could force trains to travel slower for safety even if they are capable of higher speeds.

Excerpt:  Read More Facts at AP

Stephen F. Hayes: Not a Winning Speech

While traveling around the Net this morning looking for reviews of the Obama State of the Union, most reviews have not been raving.  In fact on the sidebar, the Washington Post went after Obama's speech for lacking substance on the economy.  Now we have the Weekly Standard weighing in that Obama ignored our Foreign Policy and National Security.  If you take all the sites together our initial assessment from reading various reviews that the speech was long on rhetoric and short on substance is verified. 

How can a President ignore our Foreign Policy and National Security when he gives the State of the Union.  We have seen quite a few remarks that the speech was not Presidential coming from a wide variety of sources.  It looks like it was a speech that used the lowest common denominator to get his points across.  Pretty bad when it is compared to what an elementary student might give in a speech.  Some have said he wants to go back to the 50's with his rhetoric last night.

Maybe Obama should consider firing his speech writers because after two years the speeches are getting worse and what he has to say becoming even more irrelevant.  Some pundits are saying he is moving to the center but with this speech would have to ask to the center of what because he touts his leftist leaning agenda as successful when they have been a disaster.  Sounds like this speech belongs in the trash heap of history along with his spending habits.
Not a Winning Speech

12:00 AM, Jan 26, 2011 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Less than three months after voters across the country expressed their utter disdain for Washington and an overreaching government, Barack Obama’s second State of the Union address, and the mindless symbolism surrounding it, validated their judgment and demonstrated that many in the political class, beginning and ending with the president himself, learned nothing from that election.

It began even before the speech. Democrats and Republicans announced to great fanfare that they would sit with their political opponents. It was a quintessential Washington display – it was completely meaningless, editorial boards and Washington chin-strokers loved it, and politicians could congratulate one another on their own courage. At least it didn’t cost any money.

The theme of the president’s address was “Winning the Future” – a phrase as meaningless now as when it was the title of a book by Newt Gingrich in 2005. Where his speech wasn’t inscrutable, it was banal.

*We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.

*The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand still.

*So now is the time to act.

*We should have no illusions about the work ahead of us."
And where it wasn’t banal, his speech was filled with the kind of important-sounding goals in every State of the Union that will be forgotten before the week’s end - if they haven’t been already.

With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources.

And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car.

There were, however, real moments of clarity. In something of a surprise, given the eagerness of the White House to reposition the president as a centrist, Obama spent much of his speech defending the activist government he has grown over the past two years, calling repeatedly for continued “investment” from the public sector.

To drive that point, he recycled – appropriately enough – some language on innovation and spending from a speech he gave in North Carolina last month. In his speech last night, Obama said: “Let’s make sure what we’re cutting is really excess weight. Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.”

It’s the second time he’s made that claim. Does President Obama really mean to suggest that the engine of the U.S. economy is government spending? It’s consistent with the way he governed over the first two years of his presidency, but it’s a jarring departure from his sudden centrism.

Overall, the speech was a lot like the Obama presidency: phony bipartisanship, too much spending, unconvincing rhetoric on fiscal restraint, and not enough attention to foreign policy and national security.

Source:  The Weekly Standard

Obama's State of the Union Speech or as Red State Headlines "The Sputnick Moment"

If you watched the speech, you will know about "The Sputnick Moment" that was probably what people will remember from the speech the most. My son called and asked if I was watching the speech and I told him no that I was watching NCIS. He told me Obama is looking to 2035 for the nation to be completely on renewable energy and asked how dumb was that which is what he remembered from the speech. Typical Obama was my reply looking very far out and ignoring today. Won't be blamed when it doesn't happen.

This morning I decided to look around at how the State of the Union speech was received and the one place I found the best summation was on Red State by Erick Erickson --short and to the point with no flowery rhetoric for a State of the Union speech short on details and long on rhetoric.

Think that the State of the Union speech over the years is being watched by fewer and fewer people. The speeches are long on rhetoric and short on details no matter who gives the speech. Looking forward to the day when a President delivers the State of the Union speech in 10 minutes or less because frankly most people lose interest very rapidly. It has been five years since I watched a State of the Union speech so you could say that I am bi-partisan -- don't watch either party. It seems like the speeches have gotten longer and said less over the years.

Must admit that comparing the economy to "The Sputnik Moment" makes me wonder at Obama's use of the word 'Sputnik' as he has set out to destroy NASA and the Space Program. His lack of knowledge of history that President Kennedy used the Russian 'Sputnik' launch to launch the Space race shows not only he doesn't understand history but then neither do his speechwriters.

If the current President and the people from the Ivy League he has surrounded himself with are an example of an Ivy League education, time to elect someone who is not from the Ivy League IMO. Obama did get his education at Columbia and Harvard after the post-60's movement when the education level seemed to drop as the protesters became professors and started inserting their liberal agenda into the classroom in the Ivy League and other so-called 'prestige' schools so a liberal education became the norm not the exception.  Is a liberal education short on actual history and long on rhetoric which was reflected in the Obama speech?  If so, the heads of these so-called 'prestige' universities might want to rethink their curriculum.

In some ways it is sad when "The Sputnick Moment" will be the hollow words remembered from the speech of President Obama who is dismantling the space program which is a 180 from President Kennedy who started the Space Race that landed a man on the moon. When that is all that someone remembers from the speech, Obama FAILED!

The Sputnik Moment
Posted by Erick Erickson
Wednesday, January 26th at 5:00AM EST

“Barack Obama did not jump the shark; he sputniked.”Barack Obama’s “Sputnik Moment” sums up his speech best. In fact, there is no reason to fully dwell on his speech in light of the sputnik moment. What do I mean? Consider this: Barack Obama declared that “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.” His reference was to the mobilization of the United States after the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite. President Kennedy mobilized the United States to aggressively combat the Soviets with not just an arms race, but with a space race — a race to the moon.

President Obama declared our present economic climate our sputnik moment then proceeded to ignore NASA in his speech while defunding our space program. Nevermind that he did not identify an enemy hell bent on destroying us. He just wanted to use the metaphor without regard for its historic meaning — something this President all too often does.

Barack Obama’s bold leadership will not lead to a new race to space. Rather, in his own words, Barack Obama’s “sputnik moment” is . . . wait for it . . . no seriously, wait for it . . . “solar shingles that are being sold all across the country.”

Not exactly a John F. Kennedy oratory moment. But wait, it gets even better as Barack Obama announces his intention to return us to the 1950’s.

As much as the Democrats caricature the Republicans as hell bent on driving us back to 1950’s style culture, Barack Obama is hell bent on driving us back to 1950’s style economics where people work for large corporations that subsist on government program subsidies and the employees all belong to unions. In the history of the United States, that world view is very recent.

Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs — none of these people needed government subsistence to innovate. They did it on their own. And those, like Jobs, Gates, and others that built off of government inventiveness, the inventiveness on which they built off of came from technological advancements in national security and war — an area of the budget the President is willing to cut.

Barack Obama’s speech was a terrible speech. The only saving grace for him is that it will not be remembered by the American public. Paul Ryan had much more substance and, surprisingly enough, Michelle Bachmann had the best speech of the night with both style and substance.

All and all, Barack Obama’s “sputnik moment” should stand in American history for a great buildup without delivery. Barack Obama did not jump the shark; he sputniked.

Source: Red State

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Washington Examinder: Why Mike Pence should run for president

When we first heard the name Mike Pence mentioned for President several years ago, had more of a who is this man and why would he be considered to run for President in 2012? Then over the last two years as Chairman of the House Republican Conference began to really notice him and started listening to the one minute speeches of him and his good friend Steve King of Iowa and thought that these two Congressmen are what this Country needs. People who are articulate and you can understand what they are saying.

Neither of them are stick your finger in the wind to see which way it is blowing type of Congressmen -- they know who they are and are not afraid to stand up for their principles. They have a clear vision of what is right for America -- less Government interference for one thing, a leaner Federal Government, and a tax code that everyone can understand for starters. It makes sense they are good friends.

This blog really helped me learn about the man Mike Pence as I started posting more and more of the articles he sent out as Chairman of the Republican Conference. Then at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans last spring, a lot of us saw Mike Pence in action as he gave a great speech that brought the crowd to their feet over and over again. Only two people were outstanding -- Mike Pence and Gov Rick Perry of TX. Most of the rest of the speeches were lackluster at best and some were pretty bad.

After that appearance, we started looking at various candidates who might run and kept coming back to Mike Pence as being someone who is articulate, intelligent, down to earth, and has a lot of common sense which comes from being raised in the Heartland of America and who is raising his family in Indiana.

Might be a 'wee bit' prejudiced after being raised in the Heartland, living on both coasts, and now permanently back in the Heartland, but believe the heart and soul of America is right here where neighbors still take care of neighbors and you are friendly to strangers who have just moved to your area or are passing through who just want some information or to see a friendly face. People are not afraid to show their religion or as they say in some parts, there is a church on every corner in some areas.

We have noticed Pence doesn't take himself too seriously but takes being part of putting America back on the right track very seriously.

We sincerely hope that he decides to run for President in 2012 and firmly believe he will be able to unite the various parts of the Republican Party because frankly he is not an 'in your face' type of person. He is comfortable with himself and not trying to be something he is not which is exactly what we need.

This is a very good article and another one in a long line of articles we have read in the past few months asking Mike Pence to get in the race for President in 2012 and let America see what some of us are seeing.

Why Mike Pence should run for presidentBy: Mark Tapscott 01/25/11 3:38 PM
Editorial Page Editor

One of my favorite moments from my seven years of toiling happily at the Heritage Foundation came in 2006 just before I introduced Rep. Mike Pence as a speaker. As we sat together chatting, I casually asked him if he would run for president.

His response was one of those “have you completely lost your mind” looks one rarely sees in public on the faces of politicians as cool, composed and competent as Pence. Then we both shared a laugh, I introduced him, and life went on, he to become chairman of the House Republican Conference and me to an humble position with this newspaper.

But I was serious when I asked the question because I’ve long thought Pence is one of those rarest of Washington figures – a man who says what he means and means what he says. There aren’t many such men in either party.

Remember, Pence is the guy who is “a Christian first, then a conservative, then a Republican.” The guy has his priorities in order. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an endorsement of Pence because honesty and having the right priorities are only two of the most important qualification for the Oval Office. There are others and we have not yet seen enough of Pence on the national stage to make judgments in those regards.

It is important for the Republic, though, that men like Pence stand for high office and especially so for the highest office. I think there are abundant reasons for thinking this Indianan could become the Republican leader for the 21st century. For now, here are three of those reasons:

First, there is his level-headedness. It’s both a blessing and a curse. When he speaks, Pence usually gives the impression of having thought it through, of knowing what he is talking about in that detailed way that can only be the product of genuine reflection. It is a curse when Pence comes across as a bit pedantic. This is far from a show-stopper.

Second, there are his convictions. He is a man of faith and a genuine conservative who understands that economic freedom produces the best results for everybody concerned when sown among consumers who are independent, trustworthy, family oriented and hard-working.

In his recent speech to the Detroit Economic Club, Pence offered this common sense observation:

“All I really know about economics is what you tax you get less of and what you subsidize you get more of. We need a tax system that will encourage income, savings, investment and growth, but our tax code does the opposite. It punishes savers and investors by taxing them twice and in some cases more times than that.

“To promote income, savings and investment, we need a system built on the principle that income should be taxed once and just once. We need a fair and effective method of taxation that will make doing your taxes easy and remove the confusion of the present tax code.”

To that end, he supports a flat tax. Me, too. End the complexity, end the confusion, end the cultivation of tax breaks for the politically influential. In short, Pence is a supply-sider on economics.

That makes Pence the closest thing on the GOP political scene that I know of to the kind of fusionist that Ronald Reagan epitomized. With adherents as diverse as they are within GOP, including everything from gold bugs and libertarians, to classical liberals and defenders of traditional marriage and family, it very likely will require a Pence to unify the party for the epic clash of 2012.

Finally, there is his normalcy. Pence doesn’t have to work at seeming to be comfortable with folks from all sorts of social, economic and political strata. He’s obviously comfortable with who he is and why he is where he is and could be, which is the most important ingredient.

I don’t see that “fire in the belly” ambition that disciples of the conventional political wisdom have been telling us for lo these many years are essential to the winning presidential race. That’s an attribute of the imperial presidency, not of the Constitution’s chief executive. Pence is thinking of running because he worries for his country and wants to help right the ship of state.

There is an old maxim that God protects drunks and the United States of America. I think that is mostly true, but He works through good men. That’s why Pence should run – we need to see how good he can be.

Mark Tapscott is editorial page editor of The Washington Examiner.

Source: Washington Examiner

Weekly Standard: Obama vs. Bush: On Debt

Even given the fact that the 2009 budget was not signed by Obama (actually makes his figures look worse), he has averaged $1.003 trillion more than Bush a year. When is it going to stop?

To put it even into more perspective is this paragraph from the article:

Obama, of course, has said the economy made him do it. But the average inflation-adjusted deficits through Obama's first two fiscal years will be more than ten times higher than the average inflation-adjusted deficit during the Great Depression. Even as a percentage of the gross domestic product, the average deficits in Obama's first two fiscal years will more than three times higher the average deficit during the Great Depression. The fact that Obama's deficits have, by any standard, more than tripled those of the Great Depression, cannot convincingly be blamed on the current recession.

Republicans knew that Obama and the Democrats were spending like drunken sailors but this was a shocker to read. Even now, Obama is purported to say his in State of the Union he wants to cut the budget deficits but at the same time he wants to raise spending. Does this mean more new programs are on the drawing and how is that going to cut the budget? There should be a freeze on all new programs because as we have learned over the years most end up on the trash heap of failed programs.

If Obama wants to really do something that would cut the budget, we have a few suggestions:

1. Admit the stimulus failed and return the excess money to the treasury.

2. Terminate all new Czar positions and their staffs created since January 2009 and return the responsibilies to the various cabinet departments/agencies. Cut the White House staff of all new positions that were created by Obama. Cut the White House staff of the First Lady. Stop the weekly parties funded on the backs of taxpayers including flying in food from Hawaii. (How much as the spending of the White House functions grown since January 2009?)

4. Put the White House on a budget for state dinners so that they are held in the White House and not outdoors in air conditioned tents that costs millions. (The economy is on its back and the Obama's continue to act like royalty with no thought about sticking to a budget for entertaining or flying around the world on a whim) Stop travel on Air Force One unless it is for official business. No more trips to states for 90 minutes and flying back to DC. No separate travel to a destination for the First Lady and children and then the President follows a day or so later. No flying the dog on his own plane separate from the family. Stop unnecessary travel for cabinet members and the Vice President. (How much as the DNC has paid for all of Obama's travel?)

5. Cut the budgets of every department/agency starting with the people hired to oversee the unnecessary regulations released. Any new positions since January 2008 should be vetted and offset by loss of another position if the new position is required. Do an across the board cut to the number of people especially supervisors employed by the each department/agency which has rapidly been growing. Make the cuts by dollar amounts not numbers so a department/agency cannot cut five lower paid people to save a supervisor. Cut unnecessary programs. Put a freeze or cuts on the pay of senior civil service employees as their salaries have skyrocketed passed the private sector.

6. Merge the EPA back into Energy and take away the power they have been using to abuse the states and private business against the wishes of the Congress.

7. Stop the abuse of using regulations by any agency to get around having a bill passed by Congress.

8. Cut the budgets of Congress and along with the number of people on their staff and the committee staffs. Cut Congressional travel except for committee members necessary trips to ensure they are getting the correct information.

9. Reform Social Security so that in 20 years, there is still money to pay retirees.

10. Defense Department could take a giant cut by stopping the mentality of bright, shiny, and new versus upgrading current weapon systems. They have wasted billions/millions on wanting something new like the F-35 or for ATE like in house VDATS by Warner Robins when upgrades to the F-16 and current ATE systems would have saved billions/millions of dollars in taxpayer money.

At the same time, we need to look at the Federal Employees Unions who fund candidates who then become President or members of Congress. Essentially they are spending millions on who they want to be their boss. Are office holders who receive millions from the Federal Employees Unions going to want to do anything to cut the union member's unnecessary jobs? We believe the answer is 'No' and why we continue to get an even more bloated government.

Somehow any mention of the words 'fiscal responsibility' by this President rings hollow after his first two years. Words without action mean nothing. What will we learn from the teleprompter tonight?

Obama vs. Bush: On Debt
7:00 AM, Jan 25, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON

In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama will reportedly issue a call for "responsible" efforts to reduce deficits (while simultaneously calling for new federal spending). In light of the President's expected rhetorical nod to fiscal responsibility, it's worth keeping in mind his record on deficits to date. When President Obama took office two years ago, the national debt stood at $10.626 trillion. It now stands at $14.071 trillion -- a staggering increase of $3.445 trillion in just 735 days (about $5 billion a day).

To put that into perspective, when President George W. Bush took office, our national debt was $5.768 trillion. By the time Bush left office, it had nearly doubled, to $10.626 trillion. So Bush's record on deficit spending was not good at all: During his presidency, the national debt rose by an average of $607 billion a year. How does that compare to Obama? During Obama's presidency to date, the national debt has risen by an average of $1.723 trillion a year -- or by a jaw-dropping $1.116 trillion more, per year, than it rose even under Bush.

In fairness, however, Obama can't rightly be held accountable for the 2009 budget, which he didn't sign (although he did sign a $410 billion pork-laden omnibus spending bill for that year, which is nevertheless tallied in Bush's column). Rather, Obama's record to date should really be based on actual and projected spending in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 (plus the $265 billion portion of the economic "stimulus" package, which he initiated and signed, that was spent in 2009 (Table S-10), while Bush's should be based on 2002-09 (with the exception of that same $265 billion, which was in no way part of the 2009 budgetary process).

How do Bush and Obama compare on closer inspection? Just about like they do on an initial glance. According to the White House's Office of Management and Budget, during his eight fiscal years, Bush ran up a total of $3.283 trillion in deficit spending (p. 22). In his first two fiscal years, Obama will run up a total of $2.826 trillion in deficit spending ($1.294 trillion in 2010, an estimated $1.267 trillion in 2011 (p. 23), and the $265 billion in "stimulus" money that was spent in 2009. Thus, Bush ran up an average of $410 billion in deficit spending per year, while Obama is running up an average of $1.413 trillion in deficit spending per year -- or $1.003 trillion a year more than Bush.

Excerpt: Read More at Weekly Standard

NBC: U.S. can't link accused Army private to Assange

We were skeptical of this tie-in from the beginning. Since a lot of the documents were from the State Department, why were they on a DoD computer system and why didn't the system alert that classified was being downloaded?

Whatever smelled is turning out to be true as now the investigators can find no direct tie-in between Manning and Assange of Wikileaks. The military knows he downloaded documents and passed them on, but do they know which documents or who was his contact for the documents? Have they now determined all the documents on Wikileaks are not from Manning? Lots of questions with no answers.

Whoever in the Army chain of command allowed such a low ranked person to have all this access with little to no supervision, needs to be shown the door. This was no way to run a secured operation. Have a hard time believing that he could come and go from a secured room/area without receiving a full security check. If that is the case, the Army Security people have some explaining to do.

Hope they throw the book at Manning as a warning to everyone that sharing classified information will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. You take an oath and Manning violated that oath by downloading and passing on classified information. For Holder to even wonder if Manning should be charged under the espionage act has us wondering once again about this Attorney General.

NBC: U.S. can't link accused Army private to Assange
Military also denies allegations that Bradley Manning is being mistreated

By Jim Miklaszewski
Chief Pentagon correspondent

NBC News
updated 1/24/2011 7:55:01 PM ET
2011-01-25 00:55:01

U.S. military officials tell NBC News that investigators have been unable to make any direct connection between a jailed army private suspected with leaking secret documents and Julian Assange, founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The officials say that while investigators have determined that Manning had allegedly unlawfully downloaded tens of thousands of documents onto his own computer and passed them to an unauthorized person, there is apparently no evidence he passed the files directly to Assange, or had any direct contact with the controversial WikiLeaks figure.

Assange, an Australian national, is under house arrest at a British mansion near London, facing a Swedish warrant seeking his extradition for questioning on charges of rape. Assange has denied the allegations.

WikiLeaks' release of secret diplomatic cables last year caused a diplomatic stir and laid bare some of the most sensitive U.S. dealings with governments around the world. It also prompted an American effort to stifle WikiLeaks by pressuring financial institutions to cut off the flow of money to the organization.

U.S. Attorney General Eric holder has said his department is also considering whether it can prosecute the release of information under the Espionage Act.

Assange told msnbc TV last month that WikiLeaks was unsure Army PFC Bradley Manning is the source for the classified documents appearing on his site.

"That's not how our technology works, that's not how our organization works," Assange said. "I never heard of the name of Bradley Manning before it appeared in the media."

He called allegations that WikiLeaks had conspired with Manning "absolute nonsense."

Officials: No torture of Manning
On Monday, U.S. military officials also strongly denied allegations that Manning, being held in connection with the WikiLeaks' release of classified documents, has been "tortured" and held in "solitary confinement" without due process.

Excerpt: Read More at NBC News

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cong Mike Pence: “A Nation that Will Not Stand for Life Will Not Stand for Long”

Mike Pence has it right when he says "A Nation that Will Not Stand for Life Will Not Stand Long" which was the title of his speech today that he gave at the National Right to Life March on this very cold day in DC.

Roe v Wade was another one of those Supreme Court decisions that I figured there was no way it would be made the law of the land.  I expected the SCOTUS to rule that it was a state's rights issue and up to the states which would mean that states like New York where it was legal would continue to be legal but in states where it was outlawed, it would stay outlawed.  Once again, I was wrong along with a lot of other people and it became the law of the land opening up abortion in all states as federal law. 

Since then the Feds have tried to take over more and more of what belongs to the States.  No matter what anyone thinks of abortion, it is WRONG to spend any tax dollars on abortion funding period.  If someone wants an abortion, find a way to pay for it but not with MY tax dollars. 
So much has been written over the years about a woman's right to choose.  It is difficult to imagine someone ending a life when you can view an ultrasound and see their heart beating.  Cannot believe it took so long to outlaw partial birth abortion when there was zero reason for it. 

My oldest daughter was born at 28 weeks, a little over 34 years ago at a hospital that already had made itself into a regional hospital for premature babies for which I will always be grateful.  It was 21 degrees below zero the night before she was born, with snow and ice on the ground which I had taken a fall on that morning.  Went to the doctor that afternoon who put me in the hospital and gave me steroids with alcohol that night for her lungs.  She needed the treatment for at least 8 hours and had it for over 12 before the C-Section. 

Know what it is like to wake up every morning, call the hospital, and finallly find out your daughter is not only still alive, but is beginning to breath on her own and instead of losing weight is now starting to gain.  Then you worry about her hearing because of being in the incubator for so long, but it was perfect.  After two months of worry, that magic day arrives and you bring a very healthy daughter home at 5lbs, 2 oz. and she never looks back.  She made it home on her due date and has been thriving ever since and now has two daughters of her own who are the most precious granddaughters you could ever have.

Don't pretend to walk in anyone's shoes and don't know what they are going through when they make a decision to have an abortion, but I do know what it is like to bring home a tiny baby after two months of worry and watch her grow through the years.  Life is very precious and not something to throw aside for convenience.

Pence Address at Today's March for Life
by Mike Pence on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 1:31pm

“A Nation that Will Not Stand for Life Will Not Stand for Long”
Congressman Mike Pence made the following remarks at the 38th Annual March for Life today on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.:

We gather to mark the 38th anniversary of the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott. And we gather today in the shadow of a new pro-life majority on Capitol Hill. And we will keep gathering until Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history where it belongs.

These are trying times in the life of this nation.

Our economy is struggling and our national government is awash in a sea of debt.

Amidst these struggles, some would have us focus our energies on jobs and spending.

We must not remain silent when great moral battles are being waged. Those who would have us ignore the battle being fought over life have forgotten the lessons of history. As in the days of a house divided, America's darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles.

A nation that will not stand for life will not stand for long.

You know there can be no lasting prosperity without a moral foundation in law.

And as to focusing on spending, I agree.

Let’s start by denying all federal funding for abortion at home and abroad.

The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X.

The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America.

Thank you for braving the cold one more time and saying to the heart of our national government, ‘We will fight on for life. We will fight on for the unborn and the brokenhearted.’

And we will fight on because we know, as Jefferson said, ‘God who gave us life gave us liberty…and God is just and his justice cannot sleep forever.’

And we know this: We will win this fight because the deepest desire of every mother and father is to protect their child, at any cost, even with the own lives and that truth cannot be erased.

The American people will make this right. We will restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law. Because every American knows in their heart, this is the greatest nation on earth because we acknowledge the God-given right to liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the unalienable right to life.
Source: Facebook

Explosion kills 31 at Moscow airport

We will never understand what makes a terrorist suicide bomber. How can any civilized human being walk in an airport and blow themselves up killing innocent people plus themselves? We have seen it happen too many times over the years. It seems terrorists will do anything to further their cause and human life means nothing to these barbarians.

Right now it is being blamed on Chechnen Rebels who have targeted Russia. How many more bombings before the United Nations finally gets a grip on the fact that any terrorist are a threat to the rest of us. If it cannot get that simple fact through their heads at the UN, then the UN is totally worthless. The head of the UN bends over backwards for 3rd world countries while thumbing their nose at the United States and other allies of the US. What has the UN done to stop terrorism except a lot of talk. If anything is done, the US has to take the lead. What good is the UN except a money drain on the US? I would rather depend on NATO any day of the week.

Sad day for Moscow and the innocent people whose lives were taken. Prayers are with the victims and their families.

Explosion kills 31 at Moscow airport

Domodedovo, shown in Dec. 2010, is generally regarded as Moscow's
most up-to-date airport, but its security procedures have been called
into question. (Pavel Golovkin, Associated Press)

From the Associated Press
January 24, 2011, 7:20 a.m. (pst)

Moscow — An explosion ripped through the international arrivals hall at Moscow's busiest airport on Monday, killing 31 people and wounding about 130, Health Ministry officials said.

The state RIA Novosti news agency, citing sources in law enforcement, said the explosion at Domodedovo Airport may have been caused by a suicide bomber.

Moscow police were put on high alert and immediately beefed up patrols in the subway system, a previous target of terrorists.

Mark Green, a British Airways passenger who had just arrived at the airport, told BBC television he heard the huge explosion as he was leaving the terminal.

"Literally, it shook you," he said. "As we were putting the bags in the car a lot of alarms … were going off and people started flowing out of the terminal, some of whom were covered in blood."

"One gentleman had a pair of jeans on that was ripped and his thigh from his groin to his knee was covered in blood," he added.

Green said thousands of people were in the terminal at the time of the blast.

Domodedovo is generally regarded as Moscow's most up-to-date airport, but its security procedures have been called into question.

Excerpt: Read More at Los Angeles Times