News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor: Dr. Bill Smith [OzarkGuru] - email@example.com
Saturday, October 27, 2007
NewsBusted Conservative Comedy, Ep. 114 [Video]
Complements of NewsBusters: Time to Kickback & relax with a little conservative comedy: Topics in this episode: Hillary Clinton, CNN, the 2008 Nobel Prize and more!
Tags:CNN, comedy, Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, standup, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Hope on the Sea Horizon - Senate Republicans may sink Bush's UN treaty
by Cliff Kincade: Can the U.N.'s Law of the Sea Treaty not only be delayed but defeated outright in the Senate? That's the question that conservatives are delightfully pondering as a remarkable series of events has put the pact, supported by the Bush Administration and the liberal leadership in the Senate, in serious jeopardy. Perhaps the most significant development is the announcement by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell that he will oppose the White House and vote against the treaty.
As opponents of the treaty make their case in advertisements and on cable TV and talk radio, Republican senators are increasingly hearing from their constituents that they don't want the treaty ratified because it will undermine American sovereignty and hand more power over to the United Nations. In the same way that the people prevailed in the Senate in the matter of defeating the illegal alien amnesty bill, it is entirely possible that the U.N. power grab known officially as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea could be rejected. . . . [Read More]Contact your senators! Let them know you are against the Law of the Sea Treaty. See also:Supreme Court Case Proves "LOST" Must Sink Tags:Cliff Kincaid, Law of the Sea Treaty, Mitch McConnell, US SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Info, opinions and positions abound. Here is one posted todayby Scott Miller, THE CONSERVATIVE POST: Mike Huckabee has been having a good run lately. He’s done very well in all the Republican debates, he is very articulate, and actually pretty funny. He is moving up in the polls in Iowa, getting good press, and has moved into the upper tier of candidates… all with pretty limited resources. So why the title of this post… “The Problem with Huckabee”? Well, while Mike is a social conservative, he has a very spotty record as a fiscal conservative. Pat Toomey lay’s out the case against Huckabee’s fiscal record in Arkansas in a very persuasive piece on NRO: Dump the Huck
During Huckabee’s tenure as governor, the average Arkansan’s tax burden increased 47 percent, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A dyed-in-blue tax hiker, Huckabee supported raising sales taxes, gas taxes, grocery taxes, even nursing home bed taxes. He virulently opposed a congressional moratorium on taxing Internet access, and sat on the sidelines while his Democratic legislature pushed the largest tax hike in Arkansas history into law. What’s more, on his watch, and frequently at his behest, state spending increased by 50 percent, more than double the rate of inflation, and the number of state government workers rose by 20 percent. Yes, as a presidential candidate, Huckabee has signed on as a supporter of the Fair Tax and pledged against raising taxes, but when a candidate’s long and clear record flies in the face of his election-year symbolism, you can chalk it up to politics every time.
Huckabee makes no secret of his desire to turn the GOP leftward, calling himself a “different kind of Republican,” adopting protectionist positions, and peppering his campaign speeches with the kind of class warfare rhetoric one expects to hear from John Edwards. No doubt, this is the reason that the liberal media is so smitten with him.
Instead of talking about curtailing government spending, Huckabee refuses to endorse President Bush’s veto of a vastly expanded S-CHIP. He is an unabashed fan of No Child Left Behind and an opponent of private school choice. Huckabee is also quickly becoming the labor unions’ favorite Republican, recently gaining a union endorsement along with Hillary Clinton.
Pretty devistating case against Mike. While I like Mike Huckabee, and would vote for him over Hillary Claus any day, his big government record in Arkansas precludes me from backing him for the nomination. When you take the true measure of each candidate’s record, it’s clear that the Fred Thompson is really the only solid conservative in the top tier, and that’s why I’m with Fred. Tags:Election 2008, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
At golf tournaments, players and spectators watch the leader board. Yesterday, the Rasmussen Reports placed Mike Huckabee on the leader board. He passed Romney an is in #4 on the leader board. True, we have many more holes to play. The leader board standings are:
Rasmussen Reports on Friday identified that "Rudy Giuliani remains precariously atop the pack with support from 20% of Likely Republican Primary Voters nationwide. Fred Thompson is close behind at 19% while John McCain enjoys a second straight day in third place with 14% of the vote. Huckabee continues to gain ground and is just two points behind McCain at 12%. This is the first time all year that Huckabee has surpassed Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts Governor slipped another point and he is now at just 11% nationally. No other Republican attracts more than 3% support while 18% are undecided." . . . [Read More] Tags:Election 2008, Fred Thompson, golf, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Rasmussen Poll, Rasmussen Reports, Rudy GiulianiTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Rusty on "Media Matters Survey Matters Not At All"
Rusty Turner, Editor, The Morning News (Northwest Arkansas), shared his comment on a recent survey by Media Matters, a left-wing liberal , news source working for the election of Hillary Clinton and others. He even takes a small poke at Accuracy In Media, a conservative watchdog of the liberal press. The following quotes by Rusty should wet your appetite in hopes you will drop read his total thoughts on the Media Matters and their surveys:
I got quite a chuckle out of a recent press release from an outfit called Media Matters which said that conservative opinion dominates American newspaper editorial pages. . . . Those of us in the newspaper business greeted the news with a shrug of the shoulders and an eye roll, because we all know what Media Matters is. It calls itself a progressive web-based organization dedicated to correcting the inaccuracies promoted by the “conservative” media. In other words, it is a liberal mouthpiece. And if its self-description sounds familiar, it is. . . .
I laughed the hardest, though, when I got to part of the Media Matters report dedicated to Arkansas daily newspapers. The report scores each newspaper’s op-ed content on how progressive or conservative it is. The Morning News’ score? One-hundred percent conservative. That sound you hear is local Republicans gasping and area Democrats saying “Huh?” Here’s how Media Matters came to that score, and here’s why its survey and report are worthless: . . . [Read More]
Tags:media bias, Media Matters, news mediaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Flag-folding recitations for vets banned because of religious content
Victory Update - OneNewsNow reports that the Veterans Affairs Department has changed its directive banning the use of a religious recitation at flag-folding ceremonies. A VA spokeswoman now says volunteer honor guards may recite any text requested by next of kin. OneNewsNow: In the latest attack on Christianity, the U.S. government has banned the flag-folding recitations at all 125 national cemeteries. The banning came as the result of one complaint! The situation is similar to that in which one person removed prayer from schools. They cite an AP source to explains the situation:
Complaints about religious content have led to a ban on flag-folding recitations by Veterans Administration employees and volunteers at all national cemeteries.
At thousands of military burials, VA volunteers have folded the American flag 13 times and recited the significance of each fold to survivors. The 11th fold glorifies "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” The 12th glorifies "God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost." Citing a need for uniformity, the National Cemetery Administration has prohibited unpaid VA volunteers as well as employees from conducting the recital at all 125 national cemeteries. American Legion attorney Rees Lloyd calls it "another attempt by secularist fanatics to cleanse any reference to God."
Following one complaint, the Veterans Administration has made anti-Christian bigotry the law of the land. The U.S. government has bowed to pressure from one radical anti-Christian secularist. Allowed to stand, the action by the Veterans Administration, in essence, means that anti-Christian bigotry is now the accepted and approved law of the land . . . [Read More]
Take Action:Sign the American Family Association online petitionto President Bush asking him to rescind the action to ban the recitation now in use. It will immediately go to the White House.Then comment and send this info on to others. Tags:anti-christian, Christianity, Flag, military burials, military troops, Veteran Affairs, veteransTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Everyone concentrates on the problems we're having in this country lately; illegal immigration, hurricane recovery, alligators attacking people in Florida.Not me. I concentrate on solutions for the problems. It's a win-win situation.
Dig a moat the length of the Mexican border.
Send the dirt to New Orleans to raise the level of the levies.
Put the Florida alligators in the moat along the Mexican border.
Any other problems you would like for me to solve today?
Tags:alligators, government, humor, hurricane recovery, illegal immigration, political humorTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
A gift intended to promote diversity in Oklahoma is generating controversy instead. Several state lawmakers are returning copies of the Quran to a state panel on diversity after one lawmaker claimed the Muslim holy book condones the killing of innocent people. In a letter to colleagues, state Representative Rex Duncan says "most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology." At least 17 other legislators have notified the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council that they too will return the gift.
The council's chairwoman, herself a Muslim, is denouncing Duncan's assessment of Islam. She says Islam not an ideology but a religion, and a "very peaceful, very inclusive" one. In Washington, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) calls Duncan's statement "disturbing" and "offensive."
ARRA Comment: Thank you to the Oklahoma lawmakers who stood up. What is Oklahoma's Governor doing with an Ethnic American Advisory Council? A Cowboy Advisory Council - Yes! A Ethnic Council that passes out a book advocating the death of Christian, Jews and all other Americans with a beliefs other than those of Muhammad and the present Islamist radical seeking to destroy America - No! Makes me wonder what is going on in Arkansas and all the other states and territories. Please share with uswhat is happening in your community or state related to passing out Qurans (Korans). Tags:CAIR, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Koran, Oklahoma, Quran
2nd Amendment Rights Denied Students -- Bradey Center Solution: 'Drop Out of School'
James Taranto, Best of the Web addresses a litany of topics you may wish to review but one that caught ARRA's attention was his comments regarding Wednesday's Fox News report by Melissa Underwood: Students Strap On Empty Holsters to Protest Gun Restrictions on Campus. Taranto said: Last April a man who seemed to have been mentally ill went on a rampage at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Cho Seung-hui used firearms to murder 32 people before killing himself--and somehow he managed to do it even though Virginia Tech is a "gun-free school." Or was that because it's a gun-free school? As we noted at the time, a shooting five years earlier at another Virginia institution, the Appalachian School of Law, was stopped when an armed student confronted the gunman. Appalachian, a private school, is not "gun free." From these two incidents it is reasonable to believe that campus gun bans are more effective in preventing defensive than aggressive use of guns--a view that is gaining adherents on campus, Fox News reports:
College students across the country have been strapping empty holsters around their waists this week to protest laws that prohibit concealed weapons on campus, citing concerns over campus shootings. "People who would otherwise be able to defend themselves are left defenseless when on campus," said Ethan Bratt, a graduate student wearing an empty holster this week on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, a group of college students, parents and citizens who organized after the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech University in April, launched the protest. . . .
But others believe college is no place for firearms. "You don't like the fact that you can't have a gun on your college campus? Drop out of school," said Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence . . . [Read More]
"Drop out of school." Hamm's advice certainly reflects the degree of maturity and thoughtfulness we've come to expect from the Brady Center. Well Put James!Tags:2nd Amendment, Bradey Center, colleges, Fox News, gun control, gun rights, James TarantoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Stop The Mother Of All Tax Increases Senate GOP Leaders vow it will be DOA
Hat-tip toFullosseousFlap for summarizing the Democrats' latest money grab and stop this tax increase: The “mother of all tax increases” is already being proposed by Charles Rangel, D-NY, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rangel does not forsee a vote on the total proposal this year. Is this a preview of a Democrat administration featuring Hillary Clinton? You betcha - TAX and Spend Redistribution of Income. If it gets out of the House, Senate GOP Leaders intend to make Dead on Arrival.
The bill will add a 4% surtax on Americans earning more than $150,000 a year ($200,000 for couples). That is on top of the scheduled expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. So, under Democrats’ plan, over the next few years, the individual income top tax rate in the will rise from 35% to 44%.
Tags:Charlie Rangel, Democrats, increased taxes, liberals, Republicans, Tax, taxes, US Congress, US SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Rudy & religious right meet on the road to political adulthood [Video]
by Daniel Henninger, Wonderland, The Wall Street Journal: Call me old-fashioned, but I think governing philosophy is more important than the endless Chinese puzzle of moving this or that issue forward and back. American politics, right and left, has become obsessive about nailing where candidates "stand" on standalone issues -- abortion, gay marriage, immigration, the North Pole melting or pulling out of Iraq. Trying to pin politicians down is honest work. But last time I looked, the thing you win was still called a "government." That means it matters if the candidate is able to govern, which has proven a challenge the past 16 years or so, in part because proliferating factions refuse to be governed. . . .
Tags:Daniel Henninger, Election 2008, Politics, religious right, Rudy Giuliani, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Gary Brauer: A picture went around the world yesterday that must have struck many people as very, very strange. Mrs. Bush is touring the Islamic world to raise awareness of breast cancer. Good for her. It's a serious problem for women worldwide. But did you see the photo? The first lady is seated between two women from the United Arab Emirates, one of the "moderate" Islamic countries. They are totally covered. One has an eye slit, and the other does not. This is the Islamic view of "choice." In much of the Islamic world, women are treated like cattle. They cannot vote, they cannot drive a car, they cannot be seen in public without their husbands and many are often abused by their husbands, who cite Sharia law in their defense. The First Lady, and for that matter U.S. feminist groups, could help Islamic women a lot more by urging the Muslim world to treat women as full human beings deserving of respect. Tags:Breast Cancer Institute, Gary Bauer, Laura Bush, Muslim, WomenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
From Senate sources: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell discusses the 6th anniversary of the Patriot Act in an NRO editorial. - Sen. Lamar Alexander explains the awful Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, which passed the House this week, in a RedState post. The Washington Timesurges the Senate to kill the bill. - Last night, thanks to bipartisan pressure from Sens. John Sununu (R-NH), Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Senate passed a seven-year extension of the moratorium on Internet access taxes. Has yet to be reconciled the with the 4-year House version. - Much discussion continues on of the tax package unveiled by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY). Yes, it's the same Charlie Rangle pushing for earmarks for three NY City College buildings with his name on them. Ways and Means Ranking Member Jim McCrery (R-LA) explained how the bill amounts to “the largest individual income tax increase in history.” The Wall Street Journal examines Rangel’s “Trillion-Dollar Baby” and finds it revealing of Democrats’ wildest tax dreams. Sen. McConnell declared Rangel’s tax hike “dead on arrival in the Senate.” - The Democrat-led Congress "inappropriate" activities have resulted in NOT one of the 12 annual appropriations bills reaching the president’s desk. Not since 1987 has Congress failed to pass even one appropriations bill this late into the year. The Washington Timesexplains today how Democrats’ fiscal irresponsibility impacts our troops.
On The Floor: Resumed consideration of the Amtrak reauthorization bill (S. 294). The bill would authorize $11.4 billion for Amtrak over six years, mandate a strategic overhaul of Amtrak, and direct the government to refinance Amtrak’s $3 billion debt. Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) expects work on the bill to be finished on Tuesday. The Senate Agriculture Committee approved the 2007 farm bill by voice vote yesterday. Floor action on the $283 billion bill is possible next week. Also possible next week is consideration of the House’s hastily-passed revision of the SCHIP bill (H.R. 3963). Tags:Agriculture Bill, Amtrak, Charlie Rangel, Hawaiian Government bill, increased taxes, Internet tax, SCHIP, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Donny Shaw, Open Congress Blog: . . . The Senate tonight (10/25), hot on the heels of the House, passed a bill by unanimous consent to extend a moratorium preventing states and localities from imposing taxes on Internet services. Because there was no recorded roll call and the description of the bill the Senate passed doesn't seem to match any of the proposals that have been introduced . . . The Senate and House-passed bills have to be reconciled by a conference committee before going to the President to be signed into law, hopefully before the current moratorium expires on Nov.1. In light of the CRS memo that was issued after the House passed their bill, the conference committee will likely adopt the technical points in the Senate's bill that protect emails from being taxed. The other issue that will have to be hammered out is how long to extend the moratorium -- the four years that the House has proposed, or the seven proposed by the Senate. . . . [Read More] Tags:internet, Internet tax, US CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
40 Years Ago John McCain was shot down & became a prisioner of war
Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: The ARRA and others opposed the massive amnesty for illegal aliens that was proposed by Democrats and supported by several leading republicans including Sen. John McCain. However, ARRA is proud of John McCain military service and sacrifice for our country. As a fellow veteran, I salute Captain John McCain for his valor and his commitment to Honor, Duty & Country during his 23 years of service in the United States Navy.
Today, marks the 40th anniversary of the day John McCain was shot down and became a guest of the North Vietnamese, spending much of his captivity in a prison camp which would come to be known as the Hanoi Hilton. Earlier that year, he narrowly escaped death aboard the USS Forrestal. A missile misfired on the deck of the carrier and it hit the fuel tank on John McCain's plane. He jumped from the cockpit of his fighter jet into the inferno below, rolling to escape. After the fire on the Forrestal, he would have been eligible to safely return home, but John McCain volunteered to continue fighting and transferred to the USS Oriskany.
On October 26th, 1967, while on his 23rd bombing mission, a surface to air missile hit McCain's plane, forcing him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and his leg. He fell into a lake where he used his teeth to inflate his life vest. A North Vietnamese mob dragged him out of the water, where someone in the crowd bayoneted him and turned over to the local authorities. By the time John reached the infamous prison, he had received precious little medical treatment and was tossed into the care of Colonel Bud Day. His captors preferred that he die in American hands. But John McCain didn't die. Colonel Day nursed him back to health.
The Vietnamese soon realized that they were holding the son of the US Commander of the Pacific Fleet - they called him "The Prince". They offered him an early release, but McCain knew accepting an offer would violate the military code of conduct through which he pledged, "I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy." He repeatedly refused early release. The story of McCain's five and a half years of torture, beatings and solitary confinement is well known. After the war McCain needed extensive surgery to repair the clumsy, cruel medical treatment he had received from his captors, and he underwent years of physical therapy to be able to walk normally. He remains unable to lift his arms over his head.
Less known is the powerful faith he developed in his God, his country and his fellow prisoners of war. He says his closest relationships and friendships today are with the men who served with him as a POW. During his military career, he received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, and a Distinguished Flying Cross. He retired in 1981 with 23 years of service as a Captain, USN.
Captain John McCain came home more committed than ever to the notion of honor and service to his country. He has spent a lifetime in the service of the American people. The American people are fortunate that a leader of his caliber, intellect and bravery is one of the Republican candidates for president.For more Info See:John McCain, Sen. John McCain, John McCain Tags:Election 2008, John Mccain, military, presidential candidate, Republican, Senator, US Navy, US Senate, Vietnam WarTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Jed Babbin, Human Events: Why are Republicans so split on an unconstitutional bill that carves a group of Americans out of our society and sets them -- like an Indian tribe -- as a separate sovereign state? Yesterday, by a vote of 261-153 the House passed . . . HR-505, the “Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007.” That bill, and Sen. Daniel Akaka’s (D-Hi) version, attempt to create a new “sovereign” state within the United States: a new Native Hawaiian “tribe” comprised of descendants of indigenous Hawaiians. . . .
The bill creates a nine-member commission that will create and maintain a roll of members of the new tribe entitled to participate in the “reorganization” of Hawaii and the benefits (remembering Abercrombie’s “land and money”) it will create. Naturally, the eligibility criteria can be interpreted several ways that presumably the commission will decide and probably have to set up its own court system to adjudicate. That same House staff analysis said that the bill, “allows for negotiations between the ‘three governments,’ the U.S., the State of Hawaii, and the new Native Hawaiian governing entity on the following matters: . . . In effect, the new government will negotiate with the United States to create its own, separate mini-nation, invisible to most of the people who live in or around it. Within it, the new government can write, enforce and adjudicate civil and criminal law. And there will be two classes of citizens in Hawaii, natives and others. The result could be that neighbors in Hawaii -- one a native Hawaiian and one who’s not -- could have vastly different rights to land, tax obligations and voting rights. . . .
The idea of creating a new sovereign tribe is clearly unconstitutional. In 1913, in the U.S. v. Sandoval case, the Supreme Court stated that the federal government’s power, under Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution (the commerce clause which mentions regulation of commerce with “the Indian tribes) did not include creating new tribes. Sandoval’s reasoning covers only preexisting tribes that lived apart from other Americans, and had their own societal laws and rules. Hawaiians obviously don’t meet the Sandoval criteria, so the bill cannot be constitutional. Any doubt of the unconstitutionality of the bill was put to rest by the US Civil Rights Commission which said that this legislation would, “…would discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege.” . . . [Read More] Tags:discrimination, Hawaii, Hawaiian Government bill, racial quotas, US ConstitutionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
House of Hypocrisy Impatient Democrats Rush Second SCHIP Vote During Wildfires But Delay First SCHIP Vote Two Weeks to Run Political Attack Ads
Two Weeks for Political Attack Ads
No Delay to Deal with California Wildfires
“Groups putting $1 million into ads targeting Republicans to overturn SCHIP veto …
“…[A] coalition of labor and advocacy groups is stepping up the battle over the federal children's health-care program, known as SCHIP…
“The coalition, which includes the AFL-CIO and MoveOn.org, rolled out a nearly $1 million television ad campaign and is targeting about 20 Republicans to vote to override the president's veto of the bill …
“This push by Democratic groups comes on top of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's efforts to zero in on eight House Republicans who opposed the bill. The campaign arm started running radio ads …
"A vote in the House is scheduled for October 18. Despite the two-week delay on the override vote, designed to pressure Republicans …”
“…Democrats' decision to hold the next vote on the State Children's Health Insurance Program on Thursday – when many Republicans will be in California as President Bush tours areas hit by wildfires.
"’Five to seven members are going, all of whom would be 'no' votes, and [Democrats] know it,’ House Republican Whip Roy Blunt told CNN. ‘This is clearly designed to minimize the Republican opposition to this bill’ …
Thirteen Republicans from fire-stricken districts signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, urging her as ‘a fellow Californian’ to postpone the vote.
"’Members should not have to choose between making an important vote in Washington or being in California helping our constituents to get the aid they need to rebuild their homes and their lives,’ they wrote.”
A new version of the Democrats’ SCHIP bill, H.R. 3963, was reported out of the House Rules Committee at 11:25 p.m. last night under a closed rule. Which means that the Republicans did not get to view the 293- page bill until late last night, let alone be part of the negotiations. Despite cosmetic changes, the bill did not adequately fix many of flaws which led to the veto of the previous bill.
The bill does not require proof of citizenship to receive SCHIP benefits. Section 211 of the bill states: “in lieu of requiring the individual to present satisfactory documentary evidence of citizenship or nationality,” states can submit “the name and social security number of the individual.” Earlier in the afternoon, a Republican-sponsored amendment – the only one allowed – which would require a positive proof of citizenship by recipients, among other things failed on a mostly party-line vote, 164-242. Most Americans do not want illegal immigrants collecting benefits paid for by American taxpayers. The bill was just just like the last bill and allows for identity fraud. Social Security numbers are not a valid proof of citizenship. This is an issue many House members, on both sides, expressed concerns about but it was not adequately addressed. “We gave the other side the opportunity to correct this major flaw in the legislation, but they chose to stay with their leadership and reject an offer to compromise,” Rep. john Boozman (R-AR) said.
The bill passed 265-142, less than the two-thirds needed to override, despite the absence of several California members due to the wildfires in that state. There will be 13 Southern California Representatives (9 Republican and 4 Democrats) absent from today’s SCHIP vote because they are where taking care of their family, friends, and neighbors during the horrific fires in California.
Republicans expressed concern that the new SCHIP bill does not guarantee needy children are first in line for benefits, just like the old plan, Boozman said, "SCHIP was created for needy children. It would follow that needy children receive SCHIP benefits first. The last bill stripped out a requirement that 95% of SCHIP-eligible children receive benefits before states can let richer families participate. This bill strips it out again. How can you tout a bill as a way to help needy kids when those kids are not guaranteed to be at the head of the line?” Tags:children, John Boozman, SCHIP, State Childrens Health Insurance Program, US House
If you are biased already concerning Mike Huckabee, I could expect that you might only read the article that favors your already formed opinion. But considering that Mike Huckabee may be by a slim outside change the candidate of choice for the GOP or at least the VP candidate, it is good that these varied issues are addressed by Hillyer and Saltsman before they are addressed in a national campaign. Hillyer may actually be doing Mike Huckabee a great favor by "clearing the decks" in issues before the future battle.
And for those who may say that Huckabee will never be President, the same was said about Huckabee never being Governor of Arkansas. After Gov. Bill Clinton left Arkansas to become President, his position was filled by the Lt. Governor - Clinton crony and now convicted felon, Jim Guy Tucker. With the Lt. Governor's seat open, a special election was held on July 27, 1993, and without hardly a mention by the national press, Arkansas elected a Republican preacher named Mike Huckabee. Three years later, Tucker had resigned because of a felony conviction in the Whitewater scandal and on July 15, 1996, Huckabee was sworn in as Governor of Arkansas. He served for the next 10 years until term-limits kept him from continuing as Governor. Tags:Arkansas, Election 2008, Mike Huckabee, Republican, Quin Hillyer
by Dan Owens on Blog for Rural America: The rice czar, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), is speaking against more excellent comments by Sen. Klobuchar on payment limits. She says that the payment limits compromise engineered by Conrad and Chambliss is good enough- and then says that they have lowered the limits on all three farm programs. That is simply false. . . . Lincoln is really laying it on about supporting farmers and how this compromise is just the most reform in farm programs ever. She says that farmers have to be large to be competitive. . . . Really, Lincoln is just fighting for her rice farmers, who get $96 per acre in direct payments - for doing nothing . . . [Read More] Tags:Blanche Lincoln, farm subsidies, farming, Rice
Tony Perkins, Washington Update: A federal appeals court in Cleveland has struck down a 1988 federal child pornography recordkeeping law. The law requires porn producers to keep records with the proof of age of all people depicted in "actual sexually explicit conduct" to ensure that children are not being used. The problem Congress sought to address was not theoretical. The law was passed in the wake of findings by Attorney General Meese's Commission on Pornography that the porn industry was in fact using girls under the age of 18 in hardcore films, and this commonsense law was another way to help keep children away from this vicious industry. Yet the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said the law was unconstitutional because it requires all producers to keep records, not just commercial producers. According to the Court, the recordkeeping requirements are too burdensome for non-commercial porn producers and violate their First Amendment rights. But doesn't this miss the point? Children are just as harmed by the sick people who produce child porn for the "fun" of it as the sick people who are in it for the money. Why should anyone who produces sexually explicit pornography be excused from proving that they're not exploiting children? The law was previously upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1994. The Department of Justice has not yet announced its next steps, but the 6th Circuit result must not stand. See also:Child porn law struck downTags:6th Circuit Court of Appeals, FRC, pornography, protecting children, Tony PerkinsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
From Senate sources: Yesterday, after a contentious debate, the Senate finally confirmed Judge Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Senators also blocked a motion to take up the DREAM Act (S. 2205).
Failing to pass the Dream Act, Senate Democrats did NOT address any of the five appropriations bills they have yet to pass, but to a bill to reauthorize Amtrak. Though the Amtrak bill needs to be completed, the Nov. 16th deadline to fund government operations looms large. This Congress has now gone farther past the original deadline to pass the 12 appropriations bills (Oct. 1st) without a single one having been sent to the president than any Congress in the last 20 years. A week from today, the moratorium on Internet access taxes expires. After a previous attempt to pass a permanent ban on Internet access taxes was blocked by Senate Democrats, Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) introduced an amendment to the Amtrak bill to make the Internet access tax ban permanent. Because the deadline is so close, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell then filed for cloture on the Sununu amendment, setting up a likely vote on a permanent ban tomorrow.
On The Floor: Senate resumes consideration of the Amtrak reauthorization bill (S. 294) which would authorize $11.4 billion for Amtrak over six years, mandate a strategic overhaul of Amtrak, and direct the government to refinance Amtrak’s $3 billion debt.
Markup of the 2007 farm bill continues today. The Senate Agriculture Comm. is expected to send the $288 billion bill to the floor for possible consideration next week.
In the House: Yesterday, the House passed the Hawiian Government Act, H.R. 505 which will great two governments in Hawaii. The bill is proceeding through the Senate as S.310. A vote EDNA, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, has been postponed to next week. GOPUSA article addresses the effort by Democrats to create special special workplace rights bill for gays and transsexuals. the president has threatened to veto ENDA in it spresent form.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) willreveal what House Republicans are calling the “Mother of All Tax Hikes.” In a letter to Republican members, Ways and Means Ranking Member Jim McCrery (R-LA) explained some of the bill: “At a bipartisan Ways and Means caucus last night, Chairman Rangel outlined his long-awaited ‘Mother of All Tax Hikes’ legislation. The basics of the package are simple: This is the largest individual income tax increase in history.
“The bill will add a 4% surtax on Americans earning more than $150,000 a year ($200,000 for couples). That is on top of the scheduled expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. So, under Democrats’ plan, over the next few years, the individual income top tax rate in the United States will rise from 35% to 44%. By way of comparison, the other 29 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries – basically other developed nations - have an average top marginal tax rate of 35.7%. In fact, only five OECD countries would have higher top marginal tax rates in 2011 than the U.S. if the Democrats’ bill is enacted.” Tags:appropriations, Charlie Rangel, increased taxes, Internet tax, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Hat tip to Oustside the Wire for the lead on this video. This mock ad appearing on YouTube will no doubt be controversial, but it makes an accurate point. The SCHIP expansion the Democratic leadership is fighting for is to be funded by smokers. There aren't enough smokers now to fund the program.– Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Tags:Democrats, politics, SCHIP, smoking, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Update: Today the U.S House passed H.R. 505 by 261-153, a troublesome bill designed to further divide the United States. In the U.S. Senate, the pending bill is S.310. National Review Editorial: The House will take up the question whether the federal government should recognize ethnic Hawaiians as a new Indian tribe. The Bush administration has promised to veto the bill if it passes, arguing that — in the words of a policy statement — it would “discriminate on the basis of race or national origin and further subdivide the American people into discrete subgroups accorded varying degrees of privilege.” The president deserves to be commended for this position.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D- HA. It would create a nine-member panel to decide who counts as a “native” Hawaiian and enroll the members of the “tribe.” This governing entity could then negotiate with federal and state government to acquire land (and would certainly become the beneficiary of huge federal earmarks). It could establish schools that discriminate against non-Hawaiian children. And it could hold elections with racial criteria for participation, immune to challenges under the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. (Indeed, the bill was written to circumvent a 2000 Supreme Court decision that forbade the state’s Office of Hawaiian Affairs to hold an election in which only “native” Hawaiians could participate.)
. . . More fundamentally, there is no good reason to recognize racial groups as distinct nations simply because they are ethnically unique. Doing so overturns the idea of E pluribus unum, and sets a terrible and divisive precedent. John Edwards’s fantasy of “two Americas” might well become reality — except that there would be many more than two Americas if every ethnic group followed Hawaii’s example. . . . Unfortunately, the attempt to divide Americans by race will not end if President Bush vetoes the Akaka Bill. Hillary Clinton voted for it in 2006 — and she may sign it into law yet, if Americans make her their president . . . [Read Full Editorial] Tags:discrimination, Hawaii, Hawaiian Government bill, racial quotasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination by President George Bush of Judge Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals by a vote of 59-38. Tags:federal judges, Leslie Southwick, confirmation, US SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ARRA:Let see if Prime Time News Reports this new AP report out of Baghdad!Report by Steven R. Hurst: Baghdad (AP) — October is on course to record the second consecutive decline in U.S. military and Iraqi civilian deaths and Americans commanders say they know why: the U.S. troop increase and an Iraqi groundswell against al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch points to what the military calls "Concerned Citizens" — both Shiites and Sunnis who have joined the American fight. He says he's signed up 20,000 of them in the past four months . . . [Read More] See Also:Boozman Comments on Progress in Iraq Tags:Iraq War, John Boozman, military
Update on Cloture Vote - Phone before amnesty vote today
Update:Cloture Vote failed by a vote of 52-44 (required 60 votes). Misnamed "Dream Act" back on hold. THIS IS A SHOW-DOWN MORNING: Dream Act Being Debated Right Now! Amnesty for 1.3 to 2.1 million illegal aliens being debated in Senate! by Bobby Eberle, GOPUSA: Today, the Senate takes action on the DREAM Act (S.2205). This proposed measure is just another example of Washington's relentless push for amnesty for illegal aliens. By continuing to ignore the will of the American people, these legislators thumb their collective noses at the rule of law. Now is the time for all of us to act! Democrats are pushing this measure which they say is designed to allow school-aged kids to stay in the U.S. (amnesty) to attend college. The Heritage Foundation describes the bill, saying, "The bill purports to grant amnesty to individuals unlawfully in the United States who arrived before the age of 16. Publicized as a humanitarian measure for children, the bill would allow applicants to immediately receive conditional legal status, including eligibility for federal benefits like student loans. We must stop it today!
NumbersUSA: TARGET THESE DEMOCRATIC SENATORS UP FOR RE-ELECTION NEXT YEAR. TARGET THESE DEMOCRATIC SENATORS UP FOR RE-ELECTION NEXT YEAR Baucus (D-MT) Biden (D-DE) Durbin (D-IL) Harkin (D-IA) Johnson (D-SD) Kerry (D-MA) Landrieu (D-LA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Levin (D-MI) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Rockefeller (D-WV) Tags:amnesty, Dream Act, illegal aliensTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
From Senate sources: The Senate floor this morning will be dominated by debate over the nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Following debate, the Senate will vote on invoking cloture on the nomination and if cloture is invoked, the Senate will then vote on confirming Judge Southwick.
The Senate will proceed to debate on the motion to proceed to S. 2205, the DREAM Act.Following debate, the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the DREAM Act and if cloture is invoked, they may vote today on the act.
Time is running out not only to make permanent the ban on Internet access taxes, but also on a fix to the alternative minimum tax (AMT). The IRS must prepare its tax forms for the next tax year soon and Senate Republicans want to fix the AMT before that happens. Inspite of Democrats' rhetoricpromising AMT relief, but their track record has been disappointing.
Yesterday the Senate passed the fiscal 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill after rejecting a motion by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to send the bill back to committee and pare the funding until it matches the president’s funding request. Tags:alternative minimum tax, AMT, Dream Act, Internet tax, Leslie Southwick, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Cliff Kincade: Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has seized on an issue―U.S. sovereignty―that could not only win him the Republican nomination for president but propel him into the White House. The conventional wisdom is that the former Arkansas governor is starting to get traction because of his views on social issues. While that is undoubtedly a factor, it is also the case that Huckabee for several weeks has been hitting hard on the issue of restoring American sovereignty and resisting the advance of United Nations-led global government. . . . Huckabee’s success is due, in part, to adopting the Reagan approach to national security matters. As a candidate, Ronald Reagan had established himself with conservative voters by opposing Jimmy Carter’s Panama Canal Treaty and urging the roll-back of Soviet-style communism. . . . Showing similar vision, Huckabee sees the Law of the Sea Treaty as a massive giveaway of U.S. sovereignty and resources that must be stopped. This was Reagan’s position. Reagan refused to sign it as president. . . . [Read More] Tags:Cliff Kincaid, Election 2008, Law of the Sea Treaty, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate, Ronald ReaganTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Stop delaying passage of a critical veterans funding bill
Today concerned a member of the Arkansas delegation called on the House leadership to stop delaying passage of a critical veterans funding bill and earned bipartisan agreement. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, made a statement during debate of H.Res. 237, legislation encouraging greater public support of the Veterans Day holiday which earned the agreement of Veterans Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA).
During debate of H.Res. 237, Boozman said, “There is no better way to honor our veterans on Veterans Day then to ensure funding for their medical care and other benefits. That is why I call on my friends on the other side of aisle to appoint conferees for the military construction and VA appropriations bill. . . . We are almost a month into the new fiscal year and there is no practicable reason that this bill can not pass and become law. It won’t be long before this apparent political ploy will begin to affect the care our nation’s warriors receive. Let’s appoint conferees and ensure the VA can continue to give our veterans the excellent care they deserve.”Tags:Arkansas, John Boozman, medical care, Representative, US House, VA, Veteran Affairs, veterans
Parents should be aware if child requests abortion
U.S. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR) today signed on to legislation which bolsters the rights of American parents to know if their children have requested an abortion. H.R. 1295, the “Parental Notification and Intervention Act of 2007,” makes it unlawful for any person or organization to perform an abortion on a minor without notifying her parents unless there is proof of abuse by the parent or in the event of a medical emergency. Violation of the law carries up to a $1,000,000 fine and prison time up to 10 years. “Parents should know if their child has requested a medical procedure which presents certain risks to their health,” Boozman, the father of three daughters, said. “Parents are required to grant permission for minors to get their ears pierced, or get a tattoo. It would only make sense a parent should have the right to know their daughter is about to undergo a major medical procedure which could potentially harm their child.” Tags:abortion, John Boozman, parent rights, Representative, US HouseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Okiecampaigns: A member of the Oklahoma Republican Assembly involved in video productions has developed the below video linking Mitt Romney's speaking on issues in the past and present. Romney speaks in his own words on his various positions about abortion rights, pro-life positions, gun-rights, homosexual rights, marriage, etc. The video is being provided for two reasons: 1) to allow viewers to draw their own conclusions, and 2) to identify the items that will be important to social conservatives in the next election. If Mr. Romney's former strong positions on the above issues had been shown at the values voters conferences, the results may have been different. Viewers must make their own decisions:
Tags:Arkansas Federation of Republican Women, Election 2008, Flip-Flop, GOP, Mitt Romney, POTUS, presidential candidate, Republican, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
From Senate sources:- Senators work to complete the Labor-HHS appropriations bill today.
- A vote on the nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals could come as early as Wednesday. - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the DREAM Act (S. 2205) Monday night. A vote on the cloture motion could come Wednesday. -The Heritage Foundation has a policy paper today urging Congress to pass a permanent ban on Internet access taxes. Senate Republicans have repeatedlycalled for a permanent ban. - In other news, Senator Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision which ruled that campaign spending was protected speech under the First Amendment and is proposing a constitutional amendment to that end.
On The Floor: Senate will resume consideration of the fiscal 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3043). Votes & bill completion expected today. President Bush has vowed to veto the bill, which is $9.6 billion above his request. A vote on the nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals could come on Wednesday, as could a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the DREAM Act (S. 2205).
In the House: As early as Wednesday, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) H.R. 3685 is expected to be debated and voted on in the U.S. House. If signed into law, ENDA would place "sexual orientation" into a category similar to race, gender and age and FORCE employers and even Christian businesses, Boy Scouts, universities, schools religious radio and television stations and daycares to violate their religious beliefs by hiring applicants whose behavior is considered sinful and bizarre.
This week, the U.S. House is expected to bring a bill to the floor sponsored by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI-1), the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2007 (H.R. 505) which will create a Hawaiian race-based government for people with Native Hawaiian blood living anywhere in the United States. It will create a Hawaiian race-based government by establishing a Native Hawaiian “tribe.” Eagle Forum has an article asking questions on the bill.
Politico reports that House Democrats are concerned about the public’s downbeat view of Congress, launched a public relations offensive Monday to polish the image of the new majority after a series of legislative setbacks this month. The campaign, ranging from traditional events to conference calls with groups outside of Washington, is designed to circumvent the national news media.
Tags:illegals, dependents, Dream Act, EDNA, Hawaii, Leslie Southwick, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ICYMI: We reported this story several days ago. We have moved the post and it will "lead" all other posts to honor Lt. Murphy who today received posthumously the Medal of Honor!Please share your comments about this genuine hero! by Gidget Fuentes, Navy Times: Two years after his death in a harrowing firefight on a mountaintop in Afghanistan, Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a SEAL from Patchogue, N.Y., will receive the nation’s highest combat honor, Navy officials said. A Navy spokeswoman confirmed Oct. 11 the decision by President Bush approving the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor, the first for the Navy for the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Murphy, 29, was leading a four-man reconnaissance and surveillance team during Operation Red Wing in Afghanistan’s rugged Hindu Kush mountains June 28, 2005, when the team was spotted by Taliban fighters. During the intense battle that followed, Murphy and two of his men — Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny Dietz and Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew Axelson — were killed. A fourth man, then-Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell, was seriously wounded and knocked unconscious, but managed to escape. Luttrell was rescued days later. Murphy was killed while phoning in for reinforcements. The tragedy continued when enemy fighters shot down one of the transport helicopters carrying the rescue force, killing eight more SEALs and eight Special Forces operators. The 11 SEALs killed marked the largest single-day loss of life for the tight-knit community.
President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Murphy’s parents, Daniel and Maureen, and his brother, John, on Oct. 22 at a 2:30 p.m. ceremony in the White House. . . . [Read More] See also:Hooyah to a Hero Tags:Congressional Medal of Honor, Michael Murphy, SEAL, US Navy
Poultry Plant Employees Charged With Hiring Illegal Aliens
KeepArkansasLegal: SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Seven employees of poultry processor George's Inc. were arrested Wednesday on federal charges of hiring illegal aliens at a Southwest Missouri plant that was raided by immigration authorities in May. John F. Wood, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said the indictments and arrests show that no one is above the law when it comes to hiring illegal workers. . . . Immigration agents and police raided the Butterfield plant in May. They arrested 136 people -- mainly from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador -- on suspicion of being illegal immigrants. . . . All seven were indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts each related to hiring and harboring illegal immigrants. Those charges are felonies that each carry a maximum 10 years in prison. In addition, (three) were each charged with aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft for allegedly helping illegal immigrants use valid Social Security numbers from other people. Comment by KeepArkansasLegal: . . . I'm proud of ICE and the State of Missouri for going after this company, but since our State Attorney General Dustin McDaniel works for the Hillary Clinton Campaign, it's unlikely that there's going to be any legal action from Arkansas.[Read More] Tags:ICE, illegal aliens, illegal immigration, MissouriTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary -- Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu stops bill to keep Internet tax-free
NRSC: WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu would apparently prefer that you pay taxes every time you log onto the Internet. Last night, Landrieu effectively stopped the Senate from voting on a bill that would permanently extend the Internet tax ban. Currently, usage of the Internet is tax free. Last night, Republicans offered S. 2128, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The bill would permanently extend the current ban on taxing the Internet.
Mary Objects: After Republicans asked the Senate to consider the bill, Mary Landrieu stepped up to voice objection. Landrieu told the Senate she objected on behalf of Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware. As a result of her objection, the Senate was not able to vote on the bill. Sadly, Landrieu is no stranger to this issue. In 2003, Landrieu joined a handful of other Senators to derail efforts to pass a permanent ban — just another Landrieu attempt to increase taxes.
“Mary Landrieu would apparently rather you be taxed each time you log on to the Internet to pay a bill, get directions or send an e-mail. I guess she figures she has voted for higher taxes on almost everything else, why not the Internet,” NRSC Communications Director Rebecca Fisher said. “What is Mary Landrieu’s objection with permanently extending the Internet tax ban?”
Tags:Internet, Internet tax, Mary Landrieu, NRSC, US Senator, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Last night the eight of ten of the GOP presidential hopefuls gathered for Fox News Republican candidate debate in Florida. Two candidates, Alan Keyes and John Cox, were not invited by the Florida GOP because of low polling numbers. John Cox has less than 1%, but Alan Keys is a new candidate with a notionally recognized name. However, it was good to see the number of candidates reduced to allow each candidate to have more time. Fox News moderators focused the most questions to the top four candidates, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and John McCain while giving limited time to Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul.
Candidates were aggressive in trying to identify who was the most conservative and then addressed perceived "conservative defects" in the other candidates. At times, this was both amusing and enlightening. Candidates that "took-on" Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democrat candidate, received the enthusiastic approval of the audience. Thompson and Romney addressed the importance of keeping Hillary out of the White House. Giuliani quoted Hillary statement that she has "a million ideas. American can't afford them all." Rudy jested, "No kidding Hillary, we can't afford you." McCain received a standing ovation, even from non-supporter, to show their appreciation for his military service after e said, "In case you missed it, a few days ago, Senator Clinton tried to spend one million dollars on the Woodstock Concert Museum. now, my friends, I wasn’t there, I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event. I was tied up at the time, but the fact is ..." The tied up comment relating to his time as a prisoner of war. Video of comment follows:
Ron Paul repeated his usual "isolationism" litany and was often booed by the audience. Tom Tancredo was "iced out" by the moderators. Both Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter offered important comments but did not receive adequate time. Huckabee said, "if Hillary Clinton were President taxes would go up" and "the Security of our nation would be at stake." Huckabee noted Hillary being president is "no laughing matter."
A Fox News' focus group did not pick a winner for the debate. However, they loved it when candidates addressed their nemesis, Hillary Clinton. A majority of the group indicated that they felt Rudy Giuliani was the most likely best option to beat Clinton. They recognized Thompson & Romney strengths. They also said that although they had not been Huckabee supporters, they were impressed by Huckabee's comments and felt that Huckabee is not being allowed adequate time in the debates.
In my opinion, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney came out as the top three in this debate. John McCain and Mike Huckabee were the second tier winners. Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul were next with Tom Tancredo pulling up the rear. Tancredo should drop out and expect he will do so after the Iowa Caucus or New Hampshire primary. Hunter has much to share but with his lack of funding and media support, he may not be with us much longer. Ron Paul should drop but with the significant funding from libertarian and anti-war supporters, he may will be the "torn in the side" of the other candidates until the Republican convention. Most of these guys together would make a powerful team that would benefit our country and I hope the final nominee wisely considers this fact and does not waste this talent!
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