Mar 23, 2017

Vice President Pence Visiting Little Rock

Little Rock, AR -  Vice President Mike Pence will make his first official visit to Little Rock, Arkansas March the 24th.  Those wishing to attend have been directed to park 1000 East Roosevelt Road.  The location is Horace Mann Magnate Middle School.  
People are encouraged to arrive early for processing and the shuttle ride to the location where Pence will be speaking.  The event opens at noon with remarks at 2:30 p.m. 
The visit is being supported by the Republican Party of Arkansas located at 1201 W. 6th StLittle Rock, AR 72201.  The Republican Party of Arkansas can be found on the web at http://www.arkansasgop.org/

Feb 16, 2017

Republicans: Have We Missed Our Calling?


The Republican Party was founded with a mission of ending slavery.  The party, grown out of the old Whig Party, was strictly against the spread of slavery.  The core belief was that stopping the continued growth of slavery would eventually lead to enough votes in Congress to eliminate it altogether.  From that time on, the party has always stood against injustices.  After slavery was abolished, Republicans pushed for the voting rights of former slaves.  They later pushed for equality and women's rights.  They stood firmly against southern Democrats who wanted to put down the Civil Rights movements.  In many cases the Republican Party stood against what society considered to be the norm.  In fact, the party even stood against what religion considered to be appropriate.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party again stands at the threshold of a fight against discrimination.  The problem that now faces the party that has always fought hard against discrimination is the core question that must now be answered.  Can the party separate religious beliefs from political views once again?  I say once again, because few may remember that at the time slavery was in place, many preached it was appropriate and even Biblical to have slaves.  Later, store owners in the 1960's would justify not serving African-American people because they were "decedents of Cain" and in some circles the color of a person's skin indicated whether he descended from Cain or not.  Religion was used to justify what Republicans simply saw as wrong.  Today we would be horrified to think of someone justifying slavery with the Bible, or justifying women not voting based on some Biblical verse that indicated women had no rights.  We would simply say those religious leaders were wrong.  We can say that, but the question remains "Can the party separate religious beliefs from political views once again?"

The fact is that many Republicans firmly tie their religious views to their political views.  In other words, regardless of what the Constitution might say, they elevate the Bible, or another religious book over it.  If that is how a person feels, then it is fine....we are, after all, a nation founded on religious freedom.  However, it is because of that foundation of religious freedom that we must be very careful not to allow our religious views to guide us in all matters regarding the Constitution and other people's rights.

Consider this for a moment - what if a large group of the voting population was Jewish.  That population turns out to be the dominate voting group in the Republican Party.  Would it be appropriate for them to tell Christians that they can not work on Saturdays because Saturday is the Sabbath? No.  It would be no more appropriate than it would be for Christians to tell Jews that they must honor Sunday as a Holy Day, not Saturday.  The bottom line is religion does not matter and in fact has not mattered many times when the Republican Party stood up for the Constitution and stood against society, and even religious, norms such as slavery, voting rights, women's rights, and many other situations.

Where is all this going?  We stand at a crossroad as a party.  We can embrace our calling to stand up for the Constitutional rights of all people, or we can continue to select who and when we will stand up based on our own religious views - regardless of the views of other people or the law.

President Trump recently had the DOJ withdraw support for a Transgender lawsuit in Texas.  The message sent to the LGBT community was clear - the highest ranking Republican in the country is not going to support your rights.    It's a scary thought to our fellow citizens who are LGBT.  They felt suddenly justified for all their open opposition to candidate Trump and now President Trump.   On the other hand, many Republicans cheered Trump's decision.  But is his decision the right one for the party and the nation?

Although many Republicans are not supportive of the LGBT community or their efforts, how is it different than the efforts of women to gain the right to vote, or African-Americans to gain equal rights?  Much like those efforts, isn't the LGBT communities push for equal rights the same?  The answer should be a resounding "Yes", but the problem is that our religion conflicts with our Constitution.  Remember, many preachers stated that slavery was okay, but Republicans set religion aside and said, "No, slavery is not okay."  Many religions felt that women should not have the right to vote - even allowed beating women who tried and promoted voting- but Republicans set religion aside and said women should vote.  Many preachers stated that separation of "Colored and Whites" was God's will, but Republicans set religion aside and said, "No separation is right in the United States."

We now stand at a point where religion once again tells us something is wrong.  It tells us that the LGBT society is wrong.  Preachers talk against it, religious leaders pound the podiums of churches across the nation and say it's wrong!  In the eyes of those religions, it is wrong.  In the eyes of many reading this now, it is wrong.  But ultimately why should your religion or the religious beliefs of any group of people, rule over and tell the LGBT that they do not have rights?  That is not what this nation was founded on.  This nation was founded on the belief that you can have your religious view and others can have religious views that are different from yours.....That is what the Republican party has stood for.  Members of the party have not always agreed when it comes to Religion - we have Catholics, Jews, Christians, Muslims, and even Atheist who are Republican - but what we have in common is a belief that we should and can all have equal rights under the Constitution of the United States of America.  It is time for Republicans to realize that as a party we can not miss our calling.  Our calling is to stand up for those oppressed- whether it is a slave in the 1800, a woman in the early 1900, Civil Rights in the mid-1960s, or even the LGBT person in the 2000s - we do not back down when it comes to Constitutional Rights.  We may not personally believe  in the issue on a religious basis, but we understand that the United States is bigger than our individual religious views - we can hold onto them, believe in them, but we can not allow any person or group of people - whether we like their views or not- to be oppressed in this country.  It is not what Americans allow to be done and it goes against everything the party was founded on to allow anyone to live under any sort of oppression without the same rights and liberties that we all share.   The time for the Republican Party to rise up and answer the call is now or else we betray everything those founding members of our country and party have set in motion so long ago.

Feb 9, 2017

The Travel Ban: A Judge, A President, and American Safety


One of the first things President Trump did when he entered office was to sign a travel ban on Muslims from certain countries.  Immediately Democrats and others began to cry foul.  It was followed by people from around the world criticizing the order.   Trump had stated when running for office that he felt like we needed a better system to ensure those meaning to harm U.S. citizens can not easily get into our nation.  He made the promise to look into it.  Once he was in office, as President he would naturally learn information not known by most Americans.  He now holds some of the nation's most secret intelligence reports from around the world in his hands daily.  He has to make decisions- some will be popular, and some will be unpopular such as the travel ban.

Travel bans are nothing new.  The modern media may want to make everyone feel like Trump is being a "real mean guy" and putting out the torch of liberty here in the U.S., but the truth is almost all of Trump's predecessors have done it.  In fact, Obama did it, Bush did it, Clinton did it, Bush Sr. did it, Reagan did it, Carter did it, and that list extends clear back to World War II when travel bans were put in place stopping Japanese, Germans and Italians from entering the United States.  The media seems to forget all about those travel bans because they sure treat Trump as if he is the first to ever issue one!

Fast forward a few days and suddenly a judge puts a halt on Trump's order.....now let that soak in for a moment.  Think long and hard about this.....a federal judge put a halt on the President's order for a travel ban....are you realizing the dangers of what just happened?  A federal judge who has no information from the CIA, the FBI, Homeland Security, and that federal judge has no daily security briefings on intelligence that has been gathered - some of it hours or even minutes old - that the President does have; however, that judge was able to halt the President's order.  This has been unheard of in the past - nobody challenged any of the previous President's on their travel bans.  Why would a judge who is ignorant to security briefings  - because that judge is certainly not involved in security briefings at the White House - halt the travel ban?  Keep in mind that judicial review of Executive Orders is part of the system, but no travel bans have been overruled in the past because the President issuing a travel ban is supported by the law.

To make matters worse, an appeals court has now refused to reinstate the President's order.  Again, why are we even having this argument?  Why is any court or judge overruling the President of the United States when it comes to American's safety?  As much as Republicans often disagreed with Obama's Executive Orders, never once was a judge called on to overrule one regarding travel - and had it been done, it would have had to go to trial and be reviewed before it was simply stopped.  Even if we disagree with an Executive Order, we have to assume that the President has some information that we do not have or have not seen.   With an appeals court now refusing to reinstate the President's order, we have crossed into a dangerous area where those who do not have information, an understanding of the full scope of the situation, and who apparently can only be making their judgements regarding travel based on what the media is telling them are in a position to overrule a President.

Whether you agree with the travel ban or not, this overruling of the ban has been handled in the worst possible manner and has not set up a situation where all American's are at risk.  If a President can not enforce Executive Orders on travel based on intelligence he or she has access to without someone overruling it with no access to the intelligence, we have put all Americans at the mercy of uninformed judges who may know the law and have good intentions, but have no clue as to what information may have prompted a decision.  These will be dangerous times - Trump has vowed to fight the failure to reinstate the order, as well he should - the fact is even if this was President Obama and an order we did not agree with, no judge should be halting it when it comes to the potential safety of American lives without a lengthy, and proper judicial review or review by Congress.

Immigration and Nationality Act: Section 212(f) "Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."

Oct 26, 2016

Trump's Election Battle of 2016


Early voting has started in most of the country and already people are casting votes to determine who our next president will be in 2017.  We have a choice now that will set the direction of our country not only for four years, but for years to come afterwards.  Trust between the military and their Commander-in-Chief, or mistrust and fear.  Trust between the American public and their President, or loathing and mistrust.

In recent weeks I've traveled a lot of Arkansas and Texas.  Everywhere I go I see signs that say Trump.  I see a few Hillary signs, but not nearly as many as I do Trump signs.  Positive talk about Trump dominates the social media outlets - yes there is negative too, but positive seems to be everywhere.  Experts on elections have already predicted that Trump should win - allegedly this one guy has not been wrong since 1984, but everyone makes mistakes.  Unfortunately, the mass media's polls seem to reflect that Hillary is leading.

The sad part is these polls have been accurate for elections where Carter was ahead of Ford, Reagan was ahead of Carter, Clinton was ahead of Bush....and so on.  The news is now reporting that no candidate has ever won with the poll numbers where they are currently and this close to the election.  Most media outlets are already preparing to write Trump off as a has been.  I imagine many of them already have their headlines ready for November 9th.

All we can do at this point is promote Trump to the world, show what he has to offer America and remind the American voter that Trump propelled to the top of the Republican ticket not because he was popular and loved, not because he was a great politician, and not because he is a great speaker.  Trump rose because he is a non-politician.  He is the opposite of what most Americans are sick and tired of seeing everyday.  Americans are tired of business as usual in Washington - elections come and go and Congress rarely changes.  Everyone talks big about fighting Obamacare and taxes, but once the elections are over, they return to Washington and go about business as usual.  In a nutshell, they seem to be telling Americans, we only need your votes to stay here - that doesn't mean we will do anything for you.  Trump on the other hand represents the opposite of that.  From the start he built his campaign with his money, he traveled on his dime and in his jet, and he reached out with his dollars to America. He gave up countless television opportunities and has taken heat for things he would never have been accused of doing had he not run for president.

In these final days, you can tell your friends about Trump, encourage them to vote for him, but there is a good chance that he will not win.   However, as I sit thinking about Trump's situation and I watch him still reaching out to America, I'm reminded of another politician that the media once said would not win the election for President.  So confident was the press, that they even printed the article before voting was completed.   That president simply kept fighting, kept going, and when the counting was done, the headlines would forever be immortalized as being wrong.   Funny how that man's name also started with a "Tru".

Oct 14, 2016

Trump and The Final Hours of the Campaign


We have now reached what can be called the final days, or in truth the final hours, of the 2016 Presidential Campaign.  It's a point where days no longer count, it's now the hours that must be counted.  Votes are already being mailed in and soon early voting will start.  Recent trends have been indicated that early voting in some areas is higher than voting on election day, so this has to be considered the final hours of the campaign.  As these final hours close, it's natural to expect all candidates to pull out all the stops, but once again it appears that the Democrat Machine is in full force for candidate Hillary.

Trump has seen his popularity go up and go down over the years and certainly he has made enemies and friends in business and television.  Because of his ups and downs with popularity, it is no wonder that the Democrats would have no trouble finding a list of people willing to attack Trump's character.  Suddenly out of nowhere women are stepping forward to say Trump grabbed them, touched them, and even forced himself on them.  One even said that Trump moved the first class armrest in a plane up so that he could touch her - an amazing feat for Trump since these armrest rarely are movable in first class - but hey.....maybe her memory wasn't paid enough, or maybe she just forgot.

Already we have seen the Democrat influence not only with these "Sudden Allegations," but also with the media.   Trump has said a lot in this campaign and often he goes off his speech notes.  Hillary has done the same thing.  In fact, both candidates have made mistakes in their figures, facts, and presented outcomes while campaigning to the American people.  After each debate there is no shortage of people pointing out the wrongs on both sides.  The Democrat Machine has worked tirelessly to take any statement Trump has said and ensure the media twist it, or leaves out key parts to make Trump look bad.  For the first time, perhaps in the history of American politics, we have the Democrat Machine manipulating people to turn out against Trump and manipulating the mainstream press to turn out against him at the same time.

But a funny thing has happened along the way.....Trump has remained constant.

Trump has done two things that Hillary has failed greatly at doing.  First, when confronted by an issue or a statement about his past that was true, Trump simply said that yes he did it.  In some cases he has even apologized to the person and the public for doing it.   Hillary has never told the truth from blaming a film for attacks against our embassy to making statements like "We were broke when we left the White House."  The truth somehow seems to evade her lips daily.

The second thing that Trump has done is to give up a lot for this campaign.  He has given up television contracts, had contracts cancelled, and has even poured his own money into the campaign.  Hillary on the other hand has continued to take in funds from her book sales, continued to receive donations at the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation (Yes that's the name of it), and continued to run her campaign almost 100% on donations from Democrats and supporters.  Trump has shown that he believes not only in America, but he believes in the campaign he is running.  Hillary on the other hand has shown that she might stop taking foreign donations at the foundation, if she is elected....

At the end of the day, those who might say Trump is his own worst enemy, may need to stop and remember some simple questions.....Where were all these accusations of misconduct against Trump when he was in the public eye and on television all the time?  The possibility of financial gain is no different now than it was then with a billionaire....so why now?  Could it be that the Democrat Machine is so afraid that Hillary might lose that they were willing to pour the money into these allegations now?  .....Think that's a wild idea.....then you may want to look back at how hard the Democrat Machine worked to beat a 75 year old Senator in their own party out of his opportunity to be the nominee.