Oct 29, 2013

Republicans and Roosevelt's "Follow me!"

Republicans have long been known for leading the way and being first in many political areas.  Republicans pushed for the 13th Amendment, freeing slaves in the United States.  Republicans pushed for voting rights for former slaves.  Republicans pushed for women’s rights, and they were a major driving force behind the Civil Rights Movements.  Countless pages could be written about the Republican Party that since the 1850’s has influenced our nation.  However, few Republicans have been as diverse, spirited, and larger-than-life than Theodore Roosevelt.   

Most Republicans and Democrats alike groom themselves from local office and work their way up to higher offices in a long career that, if the votes are right, can carry them in political life long after most other people have retired.  Roosevelt could be said to have done the same thing, if it wasn’t for the difference that made the man lead in so many other areas. 

Unlike other politicians, Roosevelt was diverse.  He was a cattle rancher, a deputy sheriff, a historian, an explorer, a police commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the Governor of New York, a lawyer and a soldier.  From his days as a soldier he would become known not for yelling “Charge” to his troops, but instead for yelling “Follow me.”   Ironically, being a soldier did not come before political offices.  In fact, Roosevelt left his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to join the fight in the Spanish-American War.  Rather than hide behind the desk and send others to war, he advocated for it, and then took up the reigns and fought in it. 

As President, Roosevelt continued to fight for those less privileged than himself.  He pushed for better business relations and in doing so launched over forty antitrust cases against various businesses in the county.  He pushed for some of the first regulations dealing with handling food safety and drugs.  Roosevelt also fought against false advertising and misleading promotions.  He pushed for the National Forest Service and helped develop five national parks, including areas like the Grand Canyon.  He was one of the few people to see the importance of the Panama Canal and when France left the project, he quickly pushed for the United States to intervene and maintain control of the canal. 

While those accomplishments alone are impressive for Roosevelt’s life, it also has to be noted that he broke down other barriers never attempted before.  Roosevelt led the way as the first President to host an African-American for a White House dinner, and he was the first to appoint a Jewish member of a presidential cabinet. 

In the end, the larger than life President who lived by his own rules could best be summed up as an American Hero.  While both parties today search for that next great presidential candidate, it will always be hard to overcome the presidential candidate named Roosevelt.  In one of his final campaigns he carried himself with such force and drive that he gave a ninety-minute speech during a campaign stop after being shot in the chest.   Perhaps it’s time for the Republican Party to look back at this hero and once again leave the slogan “Charge” and embrace the slogan “Follow us”. 

Oct 3, 2013

Washington, the Nazis had barricades too…

from: http://padresteve.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/beachobstacleshedges-vi.jpg
Ask someone to remember a Civil War Veteran and you’ll get a blank stare from most people.  They can recall the generals and the leaders, but most cannot pinpoint a name and say, “So-in-So served from Texarkana”.  Ask someone to remember a Spanish War Veteran and Roosevelt’s Roughriders come to mind, but no one recalls names or faces of the men.  Ask someone to recall a World War I Veteran, and some can tell you the name of a great grandfather who fought in the war to end all wars.  In Texarkana, someone might point to Otis Henry, a young man killed in the horrible trench warfare, but that’s because his name was promoted more by his mother than by anyone actually knowing him.  Sadly, it’s a fact, long after old soldiers die, they truly fade away as was once said.  Many of those soldiers are remembered today only through history books, pictures, online resources, and ultimately the statues and memorials that line our cities and towns.  When alive, these living heroes visited their memorials, left flowers, notes, mementos and even tears.  They recalled the names of those lost in war and the names of those surviving only to be gone by that day.  It’s a tradition that goes back hundred’s of years, perhaps thousands of years.  A war is fought and once over a memorial is built for those who died.  Hopefully it is built within the lifetime of the survivors so they can visit.  The World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. took too long to build.  Unfortunately, many of those who fought in the war died long before the memorial was built.  Those still alive, in the 80’s and 90’s, diligently plan to view the memorial.  For some, it will be the first and last time they visit. 

The Greatest Generation will not win the next Presidential Election.  Some of those visiting the memorial may not even see the next round of elections.  So, ultimately, in the big battle to keep the government open or shut down, their vote simply will not change the outcome.  There are too few of them left today. 

October the 1st marked the first day of the shut down.  Along with everything else not considered important, the memorial was shut down.  Someone forgot to tell the veterans.  Someone forgot to tell the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy, fought on the islands near Japan, or flew over the shell, filled sky’s of Germany that the memorial was closed.  It wouldn’t have mattered anyway.  Who can tell a man who has seen hell first hand, that some guard in Washington is going to stop him from seeing the memorial.  A memorial paid for by the people and for the people’s greatest generation.  So while Washington argues and points fingers, the Obama Administration sends “Closed” signs to the World War II Memorial.  The response…the veterans simply remove the barricades from the open air memorial, after all, there were signs and barricades at Normandy along with Nazi machine gun fire….these veterans are used to moving past barricades. 

It was a triumph moment for the Greatest Generation, but not one unnoticed.  The President sent additional security.  The call went out, this is simply not right.  Radio announcers threatened to have a half a million people march on Washington, people read the papers and posted on Facebook and Twitter.  Once again, as that call went out, Republicans responded. 

The Republican National Committee immediately offered to pay for security to keep the memorial open.  Paul Rand (R) went on the floor to call those sending more security “ some idiot”.   Some Republican representatives, and some Democrat representatives even went and moved the barricades for the veterans.   While it is commendable that Democrats joined Republicans in moving the barricades, Democrats must remember that it is their leader in the President who sent the additional security to keep out the veterans. 

In the end, I’m proud to be a member of the Republican Party that has always, and continues, to stand up for what is right.  But, there comes a time when votes should not matter.  That time is now.  That time is now when the Greatest Generation, the entire reason we are not speaking German with a Nazi flag flying over our country, wants to visit their memorial.  It’s time to stand again America.  If we are not willing to stand with those left from the generation who saved us all, then it’s time to close shop because as a nation it will mean we have already gone under….
from: http://swordattheready.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/vetblocked.jpg

Sep 30, 2013

Should The Next Arkansas Governor Be An "Arkansas CEO"?

When you listen to the discussions in Arkansas by candidates for Governor each person has views making a voter feel a sense of confidence.  It is still so early that nobody in the state knows which candidate will end up with the nomination for the Democratic Party and which will have the Republican Party nomination.  Most media outlets seem to indicate that it’s going to be a battle between Mike Ross (D) and Asa Hutchinson (R).  Both men have impressive backgrounds.  Ross served as Congressman as did Hutchinson.  Hutchinson also has the distinction of serving as a U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, and as the Administrator for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.  So, to the press at large it looks like these two giants will end up battling it out for your vote.  Ross will likely pull support from Governor Beebe and maybe even President Clinton.  Hutchinson could pull support from an array of powerful Republicans.  So far, Ross will not have an opponent, so he can concentrate on the general election and seems to have the party nomination in the hat.  Hutchinson faces Debra Hobbs and Curtis Coleman.  Most people in the press are simply ignoring Hobbs and Coleman, but for Hutchinson to do so would be a mistake.

Debra Hobbs, a State Representative, has name recognition in her area, and to a degree on the state level.  Curtis Coleman though seems to be a one-man train jumping from the four corners of the state as if the election will be held in the morning.  Curtis wants to approach Little Rock and the state with a unique view.  He wants to pursue Arkansas as a business venture.  While Hutchinson and Ross will be running on records, they will forget that those records are firmly solidified in Washington politics, something most Arkansas voters would rather have little or nothing to do with these days. 

Coleman presents a fresh view, a view that Arkansas can be better than it has been.  He presents a view that says, “Why is Arkansas trending in the bottom of the economic circle when compared with surrounding states?”  His question is simple, direct and important.  Regardless of who wins the nomination for the party, they need to listen to Coleman.  Coleman’s vision for Arkansas is one where taxes are low, job growth is steady, and those in need are taken care of without the rules and regulations of Washington overshadowing the state.  Attend one of Coleman’s events, and you don’t get the feeling that this is politics as usual.  You get the feeling that this is a business proposal.  He is proposing something simple.  Curtis Coleman is saying, “Let me be your Governor, and we’ll run the state as if I’m the CEO you hired to run your company.” 

Recently there was a post that showed the best states to start business in according to Forbes.  That list showed what Curtis Coleman has been saying all along…Arkansas isn’t making it.  It further proved another Coleman point; Arkansas is surrounded by state’s prospering with business.  Among the best states is Arkansas’ neighbor’s Texas (7), Oklahoma (14), Tennessee (15), and Missouri (30).  Arkansas came in at number 35 with Louisiana at 40 and Mississippi at 49.  This means 4 of 6 states surrounding Arkansas rank better for business.  Another way to look at this is that out of the seven states in the region, Arkansas ranks in at number five.  This is not a case where yelling, “Razorbacks are Number One” is going to make a difference!  The fact is Arkansas as Coleman has been saying is coming up short.

Curtis Coleman wants to change that.  He wants to see a state where Arkansas comes up number one in the region.  Arkansas should not be bringing up the bottom of the list for business.  Consider that Arkansas is home to:
ABF Freight
Am Tran
Candy Bouquet
J.B. Hunt
Lion Oil
Murphy Oil
Mountain Valley Spring Water
Riceland Foods
Sam’s Club
Tyson Foods
USA Drug
Windstream Communications

If none of that list caught your attention, then you’re sure to recognize the Arkansas based company of Wal Mart. 

There’s no reason that Arkansas should be ranked number seven among the surrounding states.  It’s the basic argument that Coleman has set forth and he stands by each time he speaks.  Coleman doesn’t spend time saying why his opponents are wrong.  Curtis Coleman built a company going through the red tape of government both on a state level and a national level.  He deserves to be listened to at minimum by all candidates, but more importantly voters need to ask themselves one important question; “As a voter, do you want politics as usual, or do you want someone who will help propel Arkansas into a positive position for business growth, academic and vocational success, and prosperity not seen in the state in decades?”  If that’s what you want, then you want Curtis Coleman for your governor and CEO of the State of Arkansas.

"Arkansas Gubernatorial Election, 2014." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Sept. 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.
"Asa Hutchinson." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.
"Best States for Business." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.
"List of Arkansas Companies." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.

Sep 26, 2013

The Ted Cruz Filibuster Hours

This week Senator Ted Cruz took the Senate floor to perform an old fashioned filibuster.  Cruz had the same target that many American’s have these days….Obamacare.  Cruz was not, however, supported by everyone in the Grand Old Party.  Many felt his filibuster of twenty-hours was a waste of time, grandstanding, and even a ploy for attention.  In closed doors sessions, the normally quite and dignified Senator Boozman from Arkansas even complained about Cruz.  During the time used Cruz talked about the ills of the Obamacare, read a story to his daughter, and pushed into a twenty-one hour rant.  In the end, it seemed to change nothing, but on the other hand it might have changed everything yet unseen.

Ted Cruz, already popular with our Tea Party brothers and sisters, managed to propel himself and Obamacare into the spotlight again.  The nation tweeted, Facebookers posted, and the news media ate up the moment.  It’s important to look beyond that though.  Cruz is already a national medial garner with his family history, and his supporters.  Like fellow filibuster, Rand Paul, Cruz has been able to show Americans that when nobody else will listen to them in Washington, he will stand up for them.  Try standing for twenty-one hours sometime.  It’s not an easy task.  Nonetheless, Cruz has now proven that no matter how much the odds are against him, he’s willing to listen to Americans and take a stand even if it means in the end he looses.   Remember, Americans love those who take a stand against the odds and loose….Remember the Alamo. 

Cruz’s actions may have just put his name on the GOP list for potential presidential nominations.  Americans are tired of politicians going to Washington and turning their backs on those who elected them, or using trick votes to get what they want while still looking like they support the folks back home.  Just ask former Congressman Mike Ross from Arkansas.  When Obamacare hit the floor, he voted against it, thus looking like a hero to those back home in Arkansas opposing the bill; however, what Ross won’t tell you is that he voted to move it out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.  In other words, he could have killed it in committee and he would never have had to vote on the floor.  His actions helped Democrats push through Obamacare without making Ross look like a sell-out.  Consequently, Ross is now running for Governor of Arkansas and he’ll likely tell voters how bad Obamacare is for the state.  Cruz on the other hand has stood up for the little guy.  It may have been a fruitless stand, or as stated before it may change everything.  Cruz could have just set sail to cruise right toward a GOP nomination.

Sep 10, 2013

Obama's Red Line at Home Equals Division

With words like "We don't need no stinking permit" We don't need bikers are planning to ride into Washington sometime during the Million Muslim March, which has a permit, on September 11th.  The bottom line....division.

Democrats and Republicans alike would be hard pressed to say that Obama's Washington is encouraging healing and brotherly love.  After all, there are 364 other days in the year that our American Muslim brothers could plan a march in Washington.  Why did they want to do this on September 11?  Why not September 10, September 8, or maybe even August 1st?  For a Muslim to plan a march on the nation's capital on September 11 is a much of a slap in the face as can be!

America is a great melting pot.  We have Muslims, Christians, Jews, Agnostics, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Satanist and I'm sure somewhere there's some religious group that believes my 1975 Pet Rock is the savior of the world!  We tolerate all religions because we believe in a separation of church and state.  But we also respect each other.  Christians have killed Jews and Muslims in name of God in the past.  Catholics have killed Protestants in the name of the Father.  Yes, and Muslims have killed Christians in the name of God.  The fact is, most religions have some negative history behind them.  We'd all like to forget it and be able as Dr. King once dreamed to sit down at the table of brotherly love together.  Despite the great melting pot though, we all still have issues we deal with that will not let us sit down at that table yet, and for Americans in general, September 11 is one of those days we have issues concerning.

On September 11, two times now (thank you for that awesome response to the last attack President Obama) we have been attacked by those claiming to do it in the name of being a Muslim.  So, when a group of Muslims come together and say, "Hey, I know, Allah will be mighty proud of us if we have a march.  Let's do a Million Muslim March....and I know, let's plan it for September 11, 2013!  Yes, that will be mighty awesome."  Instead of sounding to Americans like a celebration of one of our fellow Americans individual beliefs, it sounds like they are saying, "Hey, I know, we can really piss off a lot of Americans if we plan a Million Muslim March on the same day that some of our nutcase brothers decided to kill as many Americans as possible and go see Allah!"

So, in the end the response is a bunch of bikers decide to hold a march, well a ride, on the same day.  They ask for the same permit that the Muslims got and get denied.....yes, the Obama government denied the permit for the bikers, but granted one for the Muslims.  Simply put, they mixed church and state for the Muslim March, but failed to allow what is essentially a civic group to march.

The answer is simple, hold your march...you have 364 other days to look into for your march.   Republicans and Democrats don't hate you, you're American Muslims, but have some sensitivity, not to mention honor for your country.  If you want to be an American, then be an American, but September 11 is Patriot Day, not Muslim Day or Christian Day, or any other religion's day.  It's a day to remember that fanatical Muslims from another country tied to terrorist killed our brothers, our sisters, our friends, and our fellow countrymen.  It's a day we can not and will not forget.  Don't make it a day we feel like American Muslims have no sensitivity to.  Let's make it a day all our brothers and sisters in this great country can take a moment to remember and recognize these were not our American Muslim brothers and sisters because true Americans, regardless of religion, don't turn and cause undue division in the UNITED States.

Aug 14, 2013

Obamacare Waste: Small Scale

As Washington scrambles to implement what those who voted for it call "a train wreck" Obamacare is slowly being implemented behind the scenes.  Across America private individuals are being contracted with to implement the first phases of Obamacare.  Already in the Texarkana area an office is in place with phones, staff, and electricity.  Oh, yes, your tax dollar is paying for those phones, staff and electricity. 

The job is simple.  You are contracted to "sell" Obamacare to people.  You will take a list that does not exist, call people at numbers you do not have, visit them at their homes or in the office, have them complete a form you do not have, and sign them up for a healthcare program based on their income which you do not have the figures for right now.  Sounds easy enough.  However, when most people stop to pay attention the the job, some key points stand out:
1.  There is no list to be used for contacts yet.
2.  There are no phone numbers for contact yet.
3.  There is no form to be completed yet.
4.  There is no program to offer yet.

This may sound like government waste and it is, but it even gets better.  Some people have already been in this job for several months!  As the old saying goes, it gets better and better because they have nobody to train them.  That's right, there is no trainers, because nobody knows how to do this job.  So, not only is the person contracted missing the ability to complete their job, they are also responsible to train themselves.  This is like taking your physician right out of high school and telling him or her that she needs to train herself.  You know, just read a few books on anatomy and you'll be good to go...here's your medical license!

President Obama is pushing this so that he can say his program is working.  While it is working, it appears to be working for two important areas.  First, now the census workers will have something to do, and second that something will apparently be surfing the Internet on the government paid for (yes with your tax dollar) computers while they wait for a form and a list that does not exist.  Finally, it is the hope of this writer that at least the hard working government contract workers will have some sort of healthcare....but wait, they are contracted workers, so it's highly unlikely they will have access to the government healthcare plans that all other government workers have...yet again paid for by your tax dollar.

Feb 5, 2013

Curtis Coleman: Business Leader for Arkansas Governor!

Years ago, Arkansas license plates did not say, “The Natural State” as they do today.  Years ago Arkansas license plates proclaimed “The Land of Opportunity.”  Somewhere along the way, the state simply decided there was not much opportunity left and changed the motto.  Curtis Coleman most likely did not approve of that change.

Anyone spending five minutes with Curtis Coleman will learn two things quickly about the man; first, he is passionate about Arkansas and second he has a natural ability for business leadership.   Curtis is not the “politician as usual” Little Rock is used to seeing.  In fact, politicians around the state are telling him that approaching the work of the governor with a business mind will not work.  When told his business approach will not work, Curtis is quick to respond with the words “watch and see.” 

Whoever said that knowledge is power, must have been thinking about the passion that Curtis has for Arkansas.  He has jumped into information about Arkansas’ history, tax code and ability to compete with both feet.  Curtis has traveled and compared Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Louisiana’s approach to taxes and business growth to that of Arkansas’.  Curtis’ findings are simple.  Arkansas does not compare.  Someone listening to Curtis can hear a voice of concern when he states “Arkansas is the second most regulated state in the nation.”  Curtis knows that those strict regulations have hindered economic growth.  Curtis’ voice rises as he notes that Arkansas has a huge tax code.  Curtis goes on to note that surrounding states pay an average worker $138 more a week than the average worker in Arkansas.  Like many Arkansans, Curtis simply does not understand why Arkansas cannot compete on a national, if not global level.  He points out that Arkansas is a state of abundance with more food, fabric, timber, and water than the population of the state can use.  The passion that Curtis has for Arkansas pushed him to run for Governor at a time in life when most people are thinking about retirement.  Why?  Curtis has children.  Curtis has grandchildren.  Curtis knows that someday all of our children will inherit the Arkansas our generation leaves behind.  Frankly, Curtis does not like what is going to be left behind.  He wants to leave behind a state that can prosper beyond the limitations currently imposed on the state.  The passion Curtis has forced him not to look at retirement, but instead to travel hundreds of miles within Arkansas and hundreds of miles outside the state.  He has built the strongest grass roots campaign in the history of Arkansas politics.  He built it from the border city of Texarkana to the far reaches of the northeast Arkansas in Blytheville.  County groups have come together and seen the passion that Curtis presents and they have said, “Yes, Arkansas can prosper.”

Unfortunately, for the politicians that will face Curtis in the political arena, they simply have not had to face someone like him before.  Not only does he have the passion for the state unequalled by others, he has an ability to lead in business.  Normally business leaders are out making money and politicians are out making rules to regulate the business leaders.  This time things are different.  Curtis is intent on taking his brand of business leadership into the political area and the sacred halls of the Arkansas capital.  As Governor Coleman, Curtis will force the rank and file politicians to answer the tough questions like, “Why does Arkansas have 587 failing schools?” or “Why do skilled workers have to come from other states to Arkansas and work?” and ultimately, “Why does Arkansas have a tax code bent on business destruction?”  Curtis will lead and if the politicians doubt that, then they only need to stop and look at the grass roots campaign group that continues to grow.  They need to listen and look at the people falling in line behind Curtis.  Curtis is pulling support from Republican and Democrat business leaders.  He is pulling support from families, moms, dads, students, workers, and business owners.  Curtis is pulling support from people who are not saying, “Here’s a $50 check, do what you can,” instead they are saying, “Here’s a $100 check that’s a payment toward my contributions…. I’m sending more next month.” 

You will meet Curtis in the coming months.  You will have an opportunity to see him in a meeting, or at a fundraiser.  You do not have to give money immediately, just go talk with him.  Go spend a minute with him, shake his hand, listen to his vision, share your story, and watch the sparkle in his eye.  When you see that sparkle light up as Curtis talks about how Arkansas can prosper, you will know for yourself that there is passion for Arkansas and leadership for Arkansas.  More importantly, he will give you a reason to believe a Governor can be a business leader that will make you see that Arkansas can be the land of opportunity again.

Jan 4, 2013

Open Letter to John Boozman and Tom Cotton

I would like to remind our friends in Washington, Tom Cotton and John Boozman, that we elected you to stand up for our rights. As new gun control legislation is being considered, you each need to remember that the 2nd Amendment states "shall not be infringed." Any legislation that attempts to ban, remove, on hinder legal gun ownership by law abiding citizens is an infringement on the 2nd Amendment. If an infringement is allowed on any single one of our Bill of Rights, then it opens a door for further infringements on any and/or all rights guaranteed to the people of the United States. Gun control is a much larger issue than simply one amendment to the United States Constitution. If you stand by while one amendment of our important Bill of Rights is violated, can we trust you not to stand by while all of them are violated? Our campaign rallies, fundraisers, support, work, donations, and ultimately our votes carried you each to Washington to fight for the fourth District. More importantly though, we sent you there to uphold the Constitution, the rights, and the core of the freedoms that make up the United States for everyone in this country.