Thursday, December 31, 2009

Vacation Break

I will be taking about a week and a half off from blogging, to take a vacation with my family. So, while y'all are putting up with highs around 30°-35° and lows from 18°-25°, I'll be having temperatures around 80° on a Mexican Riviera cruise...

I'll get back to blogging when I get back, but since news is always breaking, be sure and check out the blogs on my blogroll (two areas on the sidebar) and the media links (especially NewsFifty).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

GloverGate and the Muskogee Phoenix Coverup

(picture from the Oklahoman website)

A controversy is beginning to brew over Muskogee highway contractor Craig Glover and his interaction with State Sen. Kenneth Corn (D-Poteau) and State Sen. Earl Garrison (D-Muskogee).

Randy Ellis with the Daily Oklahoman wrote an article detailing how Glover, twice rejected by ODOT's prequalifications committee due to ties to his father's suspended company*, contacted Garrison and Corn in 2007 to intervene on his behalf. After communicating with the aforementioned state senators, ODOT had a sudden and complete change of mind about Glover, who received the credentials he needed to bid for state projects. Since that time, Glover's company has been awarded over $35M in road contracts, including almost $3M in federal stimulus monies.

*
(George Paul Glover pleaded no contest to using prohibited material on U.S. 64 and U.S. 59 in 2007, and intimidating a state grand jury witness. His company was subsequently suspended from bidding on state projects, and Craig Glover formed his own company a short while later.)

Two months before both state senators got involved, Craig and George Paul Glover gave a combined $1,250 to Earl Garrison's re-election campaign. Craig had also donated in 2002 to Corn's campaign. At the time, Sen. Corn was on the Senate Appropriations Committee and Sen. Garrison was on the Senate Transportation Committee.

The Daily Oklahoman also ran an editorial today that blasted the senators involvement.

However, there is another twist to the story.

When the Muskogee Phoenix ran the AP story, they conveniently neglected to mention Earl Garrison's involvement. The article that ran in the December 28th print edition of the Phoenix referred to two state senators, but only mentioned Kenneth Corn by name.

Scan of the Muskogee Phoenix article, with no mention of Garrison.

Why would the Phoenix not mention Earl Garrison, the local state senator (and the figure with the most local interest), but instead only mention Kenneth Corn, whose district is outside of the Phoenix circulation area? Why try to hide Garrison's involvement?

Also, did they really think no one would notice the absence of the second senator? Did they really think no one would question why Earl Garrison was not included?


UPDATE: According to sources, the Phoenix employee responsible for laying out the page with the article had to edit it in order for the article to fit. Still no explanation on why Garrison was completely cut out of the story.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Airline Security Advice from Israeli Expert

Please watch the following video from Fox News on airline security. Isaac Yeffet, the former Director of Security for Israel's El Al Airlines and former senior intelligence director for Mossad, talks about the shortcomings of American airline security, and how El Al operates.



Yeffet gives a different perspective on the body scan machines being touted recently as the "solution" to security problems, the new regulations being enforced, and general security ideas. How about replacing Janet Napolitano with him?!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Snow in Muskogee

We received about eight inches of snow at my house in Muskogee (about as far north in Muskogee as you can get from where the National Weather Service sensors are at Davis Field, hence the discrepancy in totals; the NWS said Muskogee got 4"-4.5"). Here are a few pictures from what is already going down in Oklahoma weather lore as the Christmas Eve Blizzard [note: these pictures were taken this afternoon, after two days of melting].





Interesting note: I have posted pictures of this same shot from the January 2007 and January 2009 ice storms. Right after this snow, the road looked more like the January '09 ice storm picture.


The family snow volleyball court!


Not sure the bees like the snow...


Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Conservative View: Modern Day Carpetbaggers

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Modern Day Carpetbaggers

Christmas has come and gone for 2009, while most of us will have fond memories of the time that we spent with our friends and families. One supposed gift that I am sure that all Americans will never forget is the gift that 60 United States Senators gave us earlier this week by advancing the health care bill (HR 3590). Those of us that cherish that liberty have huge concerns about allowing our government to have more control over the lives of each and every American. While some believe that we will have free healthcare, I have found that having blind faith in any idea or person will usually result in disappointment.

I come from the small business sector; with that experience I want to share some of my concerns about the consequences that we are likely to experience. We all like to go to a restaurant and eat a good meal, but I have observed that the cost of eating out is rising. The people that own and operate restaurants must make a profit; they must balance the cost to do business to the price that they can charge for their product. There is an old saying that says, “You can only charge what the traffic will bear”. Forcing business owners to provide insurance for all of their employees will result in many of them laying off some of their employees and scaling back their business in order to stay competitive. Now the very people that thought that they were getting healthcare for free could find themselves hunting for another job in an ever increasing jobless market.

Our country was founded upon the premise of equality for all citizens and the rule of law. It was appalling to see all of the deals made to certain senators in order to (for the lack of a better phrase) bribe them to support the bill. While some states will benefit from all of the sweetheart deals, others will be paying the bills. Our senators should be working to defend our liberty and freedom and to treat all citizens equal and fair. In my opinion, the leadership of the Senate is the equivalent of the carpetbaggers of the civil war era. In any conflict there are people not afraid to stand up and be heard, one such man is Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma. It is refreshing to hear from a person that believes in a limited responsive government, not one resembling a carpetbagger.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas!

Have a very merry CHRISTmas!

from the Muskogee Politico

The account of the birth of Jesus Christ, from Luke 2:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
I hope that you have a very happy and safe holiday, with the coming blizzard-like conditions forecast for tonight!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Arnett: A Gift from Boren this Holiday Season


Congressional candidate Dan Arnett issued the following release last night:
A Gift from Boren this Holiday Season

In the season of giving, Dan Boren recently voted to give future generations of Oklahomans a larger share of debt. On December 16, 2009 the House voted 218-214 to raise the limit of debt that the federal government may accrue by $290 billion. Thirty-nine Democrats, mostly blue dogs, and not a single Republican voted for the measure citing that this would allow the federal government to “pile even more irresponsible debt onto future generations.” Nancy Pelosi and House leadership had hoped to pass a $1.8 trillion increase in the debt limit but centrist Democrats opposed doing so without also creating a special commission to reduce the national debt.

The national debt has reached $12,000,000,000,000. Public debt makes up $7.6 trillion of the debt and has been borrowed from citizens and foreign countries. The remaining $4.4 trillion is debt held by the government and is borrowed from the surplus of other government agencies and programs, primarily from the social security trust fund.

The publicly held debt requires interest be paid to the debt holders and this interest is paid with tax payer dollars. In 2009 the interest payments amounted to $209 billion. Taxpayer dollars spent on interest payments is money that is not being spent on internal improvements, defense spending, or being returned to the taxpayer as a surplus.

The current track President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and the enablers of their efforts like Representative Boren are leading us on is an unsustainable path. The recession coupled with the excessive spending on programs such as TARP, the bailouts of different private businesses and the auto industry, as well as the massive “stimulus” bill has caused the debt held by the public to grow to 56% of the economy. Spending on entitlement programs is expected to double in size over the next few decades and this will cause the national debt to become 320% of the economy.

In order to provide a better future for the next generation, or at least a future as good as the one past generations of Americans had, Congress should build tighter budget controls, reform entitlement programs, and cut wasteful spending. Representative Boren and his 217 colleagues need to work to lower the deficit, not vote to spend and borrow even more taxpayer dollars.

Being a Boren should not entitle our representative to win re-election when he continually votes the future of his constituents down the tubes. I believe children this year would have preferred a lump of coal in their stocking compared to what Mr. Boren just sent them for Christmas.

Arnett is running
in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District. The GOP primary will be held on July 27, 2010. Fellow candidates are Daniel Edmonds, Howard Houchen, and Charles Thompson.

Monday, December 21, 2009

MUST READ: Senate Prohibits Future Congresses from Changing 'Death Panels' w/o Supermajority

This is a must-read post from RedState's Erick Erickson:
If ever the people of the United States rise up and fight over passage of Obamacare, Harry Reid must be remembered as the man who sacrificed the dignity of his office for a few pieces of silver. The rules of fair play that have kept the basic integrity of the Republic alive have died with Harry Reid. Reid has slipped in a provision into the health care legislation prohibiting future Congresses from changing any regulations imposed on Americans by the Independent Medical Advisory Boards, which are commonly called the “Death Panels.”

It was Reid leading the Democrats who ignored 200 years of Senate precedents to rule that Senator Sanders could withdraw his amendment while it was being read.

It was Reid leading the Democrats who has determined again and again over the past few days that hundreds of years of accumulated Senate parliamentary rulings have no bearing on the health care vote.

On December 21, 2009, however, Harry Reid sold out the Republic in toto.

Upon examination of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment to the health care legislation, Senators discovered section 3403. That section changes the rules of the United States Senate.

To change the rules of the United States Senate, there must be sixty-seven votes.

Section 3403 of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment requires that “it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.” The good news is that this only applies to one section of the Obamacare legislation. The bad news is that it applies to regulations imposed on doctors and patients by the Independent Medical Advisory Boards aka the Death Panels.

Section 3403 of Senator Reid’s legislation also states, “Notwithstanding rule XV of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a committee amendment described in subparagraph (A) may include matter not within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Finance if that matter is relevant to a proposal contained in the bill submitted under subsection (c)(3).” In short, it sets up a rule to ignore another Senate rule.

Senator Jim DeMint confronted the Democrats over Reid’s language. In the past, the Senate Parliamentarian has repeatedly determined that any legislation that also changes the internal standing rules of the Senate must have a two-thirds vote to pass because to change Senate rules, a two-thirds vote is required. Today, the Senate President, acting on the advice of the Senate Parliamentarian, ruled that these rules changes are actually just procedural changes and, despite what the actual words of the legislation say, are not rules changes. Therefore, a two-thirds vote is not needed in contravention to longstanding Senate precedent.
The rest of this post can be read here.

Winners and Losers in the Senate Health Care Bill

Here's a short list of winners and losers in the Senate version of ObamaCare/health care 'reform'.

Winners:
  • Nebraska - gets permanent federal funding for the Medicaid expansion, at the expense of the rest of the Union, a bribe for Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE).
  • Vermont, Massachusetts and Hawaii - get partial, short-term federal funding for Medicaid expansion.
  • University of Connecticut - gets $100M for hospital construction, thanks to Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT).
  • Louisiana - $300M in increased federal Medicaid subsidies, in order to buy the vote of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
  • Medicare providers (physicians and hospitals) in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah - will get paid more than other states under the reimbursement formula.
  • Medicare Advantage members in Florida - will get to keep their coverage, while the program gets deep cuts in the rest of the country.
Losers:
  • The American People - new taxes, worse health care, more government control... what's there to like?
  • The American taxpayer - 400 billion dollars in new taxes.
  • Unborn babies - abortions will still be paid for with taxpayer funds (particularly on Indian reservations).
  • Future generations - those who will have to pay for this in the future (which includes young Americans like myself).
  • Tanning salons - will get hit with a 10% tax (to replace a discussed-but-dropped tax on cosmetic surgery).
  • People making over $200,000 a year - Medicare payroll tax increased by 0.9%.
  • Insurance companies - must spend at least 85 cents per dollar on medical costs, leaving 15 cents for overhead, salaries, stock-holders, et cetera.
  • Generic drug makers - name-brand companies won 12 years of protection from their generic competitors.
  • State budgets - Medicaid expansions will be a budget-breaker, in a time when 49 of 50 states are facing budget shortfalls (some of them quite severe), and states like California are facing bankruptcy.
These are just some of the winners and losers. If you want to add some, leave a comment.

Dr. Coburn on Senate Floor: 'No' is a great word

Sen. Coburn, on the Senate floor Friday evening:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2nd District Congressional Race Update: Edmonds Visits All 2nd District Counties


The following press release was just received from Republican Congressional candidate Daniel Edmonds:
Edmonds Visits All 25 Counties in District 2 in 2009

MORRIS, OK – Daniel Edmonds, the conservative candidate for Oklahoma’s U.S. Congressional District 2 seat, recently completed a tour of all 25 counties within the District. Since his filing to run for U.S. Congress in August, Edmonds has shared his message of liberty with citizens in each county through candidate forums, parades, county Republican meetings, group conferences, and one-on-one meetings.

“I’m excited with the positive reception the Edmonds 2 Congress campaign has received in all locales of the District. The citizens of the Second District are ready for a positive change in the way our federal government is acting,” Edmonds said, “and for a positive change in our current representation.

Our message of liberty, limited government, respect for the Constitution, respect for life, and personal responsibility resonates with individuals who care about our country, our heritage, and our legacy.”

The upcoming year promises to be an exciting one as the primary election draws nearer.

Edmonds plans to continue visiting with citizens in all 25 counties in 2010 and looks forward to meeting with as many as he can to share his vision for the Second District. Everyone is invited to visit http://danieledmonds.org to learn more about Daniel Edmonds' Congressional campaign and to find ways to contact him.
Edmonds is running in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District. The GOP primary will be held on July 27, 2010. Fellow candidates are Dan Arnett, Howard Houchen, and Charles Thompson. I am awaiting information from an Independent candidate, which should be available soon.

Coburn Blasts Health Care Bill's New Abortion Language

From Sen. Tom Coburn today, on the Senate health care reform bill's new compromise abortion language (concessions meant to secure so-called pro-life moderate Democrat Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson's support):

December 19, 2009

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), a practicing physician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies, today released the following statement on the abortion compromise language in Majority Leader Reid’s manager’s amendment to the health care bill.

“This reprehensible and deceptive agreement is a historic and radical shift in policy that will require taxpayers to pay for abortion. The American people will be outraged when they realize this so-called compromise is a farce. I can’t imagine there is a single pro-life taxpayer in Nebraska, or any other state, who would agree to pay to end the lives of the unborn for a never-ending Medicaid earmark or tax breaks for insurance companies. Unfortunately, Senators Reid and Nelson disagree,” Dr. Coburn said.

“The fact that the most ardent pro-choice Senators support this agreement while pro-life groups, such as the National Right to Life Committee, oppose it should send a chilling signal to taxpayers in Nebraska and across America. Majority Leader Reid wants to rush this phony agreement through the Senate precisely because he does not want the American people to have time to understand its implications. Yet, in spite of these efforts to mislead the public, the American people will grasp and understand this decision and they will hold accountable anyone who defends sacrificing the unborn on the altar of political expediency,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Senators Reid, Nelson and others are using Enron-style accounting gimmicks to justify this radical shift in policy. Their claim that federal dollars will be separated from private dollars paid by premiums is a farce and they know it. In reality, the dollars will be fungible and mixed just as Social Security ‘trust fund’ dollars are used to finance other areas of government,” Dr. Coburn said. “The fact is this agreement, which was allegedly reached after weeks of gut-wrenching negotiations, is an elaborate charade. This new language is identical to, or worse than, the underlying abortion language in the Reid bill. Senators Reid, Nelson and others will have great difficulty convincing taxpayers that they were working to accomplish something other than carving out special favors for particular states.”

Dr. Coburn released the following fact sheet on the agreement:

Sen. Reid’s Manager’s Amendment Solidifies Requirements that Federal Funds Pay for Abortions
  • The Manager’s Amendment introduced by Sen. Reid does not in any way resolve the concerns previously articulated by Sen. Nelson, Rep. Stupak, and pro-life Americans have raised regarding the federal funding of abortions. In fact, the “compromise” language included in the manager’s amendment would be even worse than the so-called “compromise” put forward by Sen. Casey earlier this week. This abortion language ensures that—for the first time—federal funds will be used to pay for elective abortions.
  • The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, Family Research Council, and a myriad of other pro-life groups are opposed to this language, and with its inclusion they will officially oppose the passage of this health care legislation.
  • The manager’s amendment is nothing more than elaborate structure to circumvent and violate the clear intent of the Hyde, Stupak, Weldon and Nelson amendments: that no federal funds will support health plans that include elective abortions.
There is no prohibition on abortion coverage in federally-subsidized health care exchanges
  • Unlike the language in the original Nelson/Hatch amendment, or the Stupak amendment in the House, the manager’s amendment does not prevent federal funds from paying for abortion in the federally-subsidized health care exchanges.
The state “opt-out” still requires each state’s tax dollars to pay for elective abortions
  • A state may prohibit abortion coverage in its exchange, but the underlying bill already allowed a state to do so. This provision does nothing to prevent one state’s tax dollars from paying for abortions in other states. States can opt-out of providing insurance coverage of abortions, but cannot opt-out of paying for abortions. The manager’s amendment ensures that Nebraska taxpayers will be paying for abortions in California.
The new “public option” managed by the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) will cover abortions
  • Each state through OPM can provide two multi-state plans and only one of them will exclude abortions. OPM’s current health care program—the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) does not include any plans that cover elective abortion. For the first time, a federally funded and managed health care plan will cover elective abortions.
The manager’s amendment includes the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, without Hyde Amendment language to prevent federal funding of abortions
  • Last Congress, the Senate passed a reauthorization of Indian Health Service (IHS) and included pro-life protections—supported by Sen. Nelson—to ensure that no federal IHS funds can be used to pay for abortions. This amendment fails to codify restrictions to prevent federal funding of abortions within Indian health.
The manager’s amendment rejects other “compromise” proposals on abortion
  • Other “compromise” proposals put forward would have codified the House-approved “Weldon Amendment” which prohibits government bodies from discriminating against health care providers. These compromises also included an “individual” opt-out from abortion coverage, which the manager’s amendment does not. The manager’s amendment rejects even the most broadly accepted agreements on this issue.
The Senate bill is likely to be voted on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day - while most Americans are celebrating the holiday with their families, and not paying attention to conniving Washington politicians bent on wrecking the American economy and way-of-life.

The Conservative View: Short Lives and No Wisdom

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Short Lives and No Wisdom

It is very seldom that we humans live to be over 100 years of age, and when you look at the whole scheme of things 100 years is but an inkling in geologic time. We are able to see the cycles in the seasons throughout the year, but it is very hard for any person to witness the longer weather cycles that can last for decades. We assume that next year should be a carbon copy of the year before and the next year the same as the current one. Over the past week leaders from across the world have been attending the Climate Change summit in Denmark. Before we run headfirst into a brick wall in the name of controlling climate change, we need to look at the evidence of climate change in the past.

Throughout the long history of the earth there have been many mass extinctions of all kinds of animals. The dinosaurs lived and prospered on this earth far longer than we humans. There was no way that we humans could have caused that catastrophe, the demise of the dinosaurs was only one of many such events.

It was in the 1980’s that many in the main stream media were crying out that we were about to enter into another ice age (global cooling) now the thing in vogue is global warming. I just wish that these groups would make up their minds. Most Americans like me live in a modest home and do our best to live within their means. We spend all that we can afford to purchase more insulation for our homes, better windows, etc... Most of us are too poor to pollute very much of the planet by using too much energy. On the other hand, one of the biggest scare mongers out there (former vice president Al Gore) spends $30,000 in energy bills every year at his Nashville mansion, while he travels the world doing speaking engagements while flying his gas guzzling private jet spreading gloom and doom.

The elitists of our country have seldom had to live on a very limited budget, entering into some climate treaty will save energy because the majority of us will not have enough finances to purchase the energy we need. I am told that with age comes wisdom, it is sad that we don’t live long enough to see the long weather cycles of our planet.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Crime Mapping Site Available for Muskogee

The Muskogee Police Department has signed up with www.CrimeReports.com to report crime in the City of Muskogee. Citizens can log onto the website, and view crime reports from the past six months and registered sex offenders across the city via flags in the vicinity of the crime.

CrimeReports is an interactive mapping site that currently partners with over 600 law enforcement agencies across the nation. As of today, Muskogee, Broken Arrow and Sand Springs (in order of commencement) are the only cities in Oklahoma to provide this service.

It costs the Police Department $99 per month, paid for by a federal Weed and Seed grant.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rural Water Advisory

From Muskogee County Rural Water District #3:
Because of high turbidity in the water system and the potential for contamination as a result of this situation, the drinking water supplied by Muskogee County Rural Water District #3 may be unsafe for human consumption.

As a precaution, it is advised that the consumers of the Muskogee County Rural Water District #3 water system bring the water to a full rolling boil for one minute before consumption or use for food preparation.

This advisory will remain in effect until further notice. Questions concerning this situation should be addressed to Everett Staton: 617-2474.
This advisory was issued earlier this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Coburn Forces Reading of Single-Payer Amendment

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R-Muskogee) forced a floor reading of a health care amendment today, stalling the Senate for over three hours.

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (and self-described socialist) submitted a single-payer health care amendment that would have enrolled every American citizen in Medicaire. Coburn objected to a routine motion to waive reading of the amendment, forcing a reading of the entire measure - something that happens rarely, if ever, in any legislature (federal or state).

Three hours into the projected 12-hour reading, Sen. Sanders pulled the amendment (in disgust, I might add). However, Dr. Coburn pointed out later on Sean Hannity's radio program that the Senate Rules were broken when the parliamentarian allowed the amendment to be withdrawn.

On Hannity's show, Coburn read the following from Riddick's Senate Procedure:

"Reading: Under Rule XV, paragraph 1, and Senate precedents, an amendment shall be read by the Clerk before it is up for consideration or before the same shall be debated unless a request to waive the reading is granted; in practice that includes an ordinary amendment or an amendment in the nature of a substitute, the reading of which may not be dispensed with except by unanimous consent, and if the request is denied the amendment must be read and further interruptions are not in order; interruptions of the reading of an amendment that has been proposed are not in order, even for the purpose of proposing a substitute amendment to a committee amendment which is being read. When an amendment is offered the regular order is its reading, and unanimous consent is required to call off the reading."
Hannity also asked the Senator if Republicans had other parliamentary tricks up their sleeve to stop the health care reform bill. Coburn responded that "here will be several more attempts to derail this bill from a parliamentary standpoint by me." He did not go into detail, since he did not want to tip his hand. He did further state that due to his planned moves, the earliest the Senate could vote on a final bill would be exactly Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Muskogee Tea Party - December 16th


In commemoration of the 236th anniversary of the original Boston Tea Party, the public is invited to participate in the upcoming Muskogee-area Tea Party to be held at the Muskogee Civic Center (Room C - second floor; 4th & Okmulgee) on Wednesday, December 16th, from noon to 1:30pm.

This is an opportunity for citizens to express their concerns about the direction Congress and the White House are taking our country.

The goal of the Tea Party movement is to encourage citizens to get involved and let their voices be heard. This is a non-partisan event and open to all Americans who want to protect their freedoms and futures.

The format will be a bit different than previous Muskogee Tea Parties. We'll be doing this "popcorn" style - anyone who wants to speak will have a certain amount of time (probably about 2 minutes) to speak, and then the next person in line will get the microphone. Since there is not going to be a set program to follow as in previous events, feel free to just drop in for a while if you don't have time to stay for the entire Tea Party.

For more information, go to www.teapartymuskogee.com or contact organizer Jamison Faught, 869-6000.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Conservative View: Armadillo Holes and Horses

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Armadillo Holes and Horses

Anyone that has ever ridden a horse knows you have to have some intelligence for your protection and that of the horse. A good cowboy knows that he has to be aware of his surroundings and know the territory. If the cowboy is riding the horse on a well maintained race track, he can run the horse at full speed and not worry about dangers such as armadillo holes and such. On the other hand, if the cowboy is riding in an unfamiliar field he must go at a slower rate and watch for dangers that could hurt him or his horse. If the cowboy is riding in the forest he can run the risk of being knocked off by low hanging limbs. In the long run, the most sensible thing to do is to slow the horse down before you hurt him or yourself. Riding horses is a lot like spending money; all of us need to slow down to avoid being hurt.

In the 2009 fiscal year we Americans have run up a budget deficit of 1.4 trillion dollars. It is easy for us to hear those numbers and become numb to them, but that amount is roughly 10 percent of our total economy. The alarming thing is that amount is triple what it was just a few short years ago. The only time the deficit came close to reaching that percentage was during times of war such as the Second World War. There are projections that over the next decade the red ink will increase by an additional 7.2 trillion dollars. Over the past few days there has been talk that congress will have to raise the debt ceiling. The current $12.1 trillion limit could reportedly jump by as much as $1.8 trillion.

It has become a joke that our government will ever limit the growth of debt. When the debt reaches the $14 trillion point the ceiling will be raised again. Out here in the real world you would be hard pressed to find a banker that would just keep loaning you more money, especially if you were already in debt so deep that you couldn’t pay off what you already owe. We Americans need to take a lesson from the cowboy who knows when to slow the horse down and prevent injury to himself and his horse. Like a horse stepping into an armadillo hole, the black hole of debt can be just as dangerous.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

A Tale of Two Tea Parties

December 16th will be the 236th anniversary of the ‘Boston Tea Party’ – that famous assembly of American patriots who threw hundreds of tons of British tea into the waters of Boston Harbor to protest unjust taxation and oppressive government. The same fiery spirit that led those Americans to refuse to bow to British pressure prompted them to begin the struggle for independence just two short years later. After over two and a quarter centuries, we still benefit from the foundation laid by our Founder’s sacrifices.

When the Sons of Liberty stepped foot on those three ships loaded with tea, they knew they would be angering a colossal government. Rather than passively submit to tyranny, they stood up and made their voices heard.

In response to their experiences with monarchial government, those patriots who were our nation’s Founders set up a Constitutional Republic, limited in size and scope, to preserve the liberties we all hold dear. Since that time, however, we have begun to drift from the moorings of our founding documents, and have allowed the federal government to grow into a monster the Founders would never have recognized.

Today, we constantly hear of some new scheme the politicians in Washington are cooking up. From amnesty for illegal immigrants, pork projects, government-run health care and disastrous “cap-and-trade” proposals that will destroy our economy and way-of-life, Congress and the White House continues to ignore the will of We The People.

For decades, the American people have watched as career politicians and those who do not possess our nation’s best interests at heart have used the government to benefit themselves, at the expense of the citizens.

No longer.

With the onset of the Tea Party movement in February of this year, the American people have awakened to see the destruction that has been, and is being, wrought on our country. We are standing up and saying ‘enough is enough!’ We will not stand idly by as yet-unborn generations are loaded with crushing debt and the Constitution is trampled on.

Millions have gathered across the nation in the past ten months to make their voices heard. Here in Muskogee, over 850 concerned citizens have come out for three separate ‘Tea Parties’ since April 15th. Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike have voiced both their opposition to harmful government policies, and their favor for ideas such as the FairTax, balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility and congressional term limits.

On December 16th, more Muskogee-area patriots will be gathering for another Tea Party, from noon to 1:30pm at the Muskogee Civic Center (Room C). Now is the time for American citizens to stand up and speak out. Whether your issue is federal or local, unless you join in the fight nothing will change. Remember – you truly can make a difference.

The political status quo must be changed, if we want to pass on an America as great as the one we received from our Founding Fathers.

Get involved. Connect with like-minded citizens from all over this part of the state. Come to the Muskogee Civic Center from noon to 1:30pm on Wednesday, December 16th. Come and make your voice heard!

Jamison Faught is the organizer of the Muskogee-area Tea Party movement. He is local conservative political activist and blogger. You can read his blog at www.muskogeepolitico.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Area School Board Filings

The filing period for area school board races ended yesterday. Multiple candidates filed in several districts across the area.

Muskogee: Larry Dan Leatherman and Pamela Isaacs (incumbent Danny Shiew did not file).
Hilldale: Terri Breedlove (incumbent) and Vernon Antonioni.
Fort Gibson: Darren Kilpatrick (incumbent) drew no opposition.
Okay: Jon Oxtoby and David Rodden.
Braggs: Kyle Jones (incumbent) and Audra Lynn Hunt.
Norwood: Rickey Moore (incumbent) and Susan Kirk.
Hulbert: Kent Barnes (incumbent) Christopher Sallee and Linda Baker.
Webbers Falls: David Jarrard and Robert Vinson.
Wagoner: Vernon Sullivan (incumbent) and Mark Collins.
Tahlequah: Hamid Vahdatipour and Duel Smith.

The school board elections will be held on February 9th, 2010. Any runoff elections will be held on April 6th, 2010.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

USS Oklahoma burning after capsizing in Pearl Harbor.

We must never forget the sacrifices of previous generations of Americans. The patriots of World War II come closest to mind on this date, especially as they begin to fade from history.


Never again, never forget.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Conservative View: Cards and Politics

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Cards and Politics

I have never fancied myself as being an accomplished card player, but knowing when to fold and get out of the current game is a trait that any good card player knows. When you are playing cards with one or two people you have a much better ability to set the tone of the game and insure that the game will be fair. On the other hand, if you get into a game where there are many players you have a much better chance of being taken to the cleaners, especially if some of the other players form an alliance. Everything in life is a game, if we learn how to play the game we will be successful; if we don’t, we run the risk of losing our shirts. The same can be said about international politics. In a little over a week our leaders will be attending one of the biggest games of chance that our country has ever faced. The United Nations' Copenhagen Climate Change Conference starts next week; the outcome of the meetings could mean the beginning of the end of U.S. sovereignty.

If our elected officials are foolish enough to sign off on the climate change agreement in Copenhagen, we Americans will be paying a high price for many generations to come. There are 192 nations attending including the United States, we will be 1 of 192 participants. Voting blocs such as the EU, the AU, and the "G-77" will likely pool their votes and negotiating resources to isolate the U.S. We could easily be standing alone and be a sucker ripe for the taking. While many developing countries would be exempt to the regulations, the United States would have to obey a host of regulations that would essentially tie one of our hands behind our back.

We would be required to cap green house emissions while other countries such as China would be exempt. American taxpayers would be required to help fund other nation’s attempts to improve their energy resources. We would be required to share new clean energy technology with other nations and there could be the possibility that the people that developed the new technology would receive no payment for their efforts. Maybe the well meaning socialists at the Conference in Copenhagen feel that they have a stacked deck and a sucker. I just hope that our representatives are smart enough to fold and leave while we still have a shirt.
If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at rdrepublican@windstream.net.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tulsa Bible Church Christmas Celebration

(Click to see larger)

For anyone interested: my church, Tulsa Bible Church (60th and Sheridan), is putting on a Christmas cantata this Friday evening (7pm) and Sunday evening (6pm). With a full choir and orchestra, and drama team, the 2009 TBC Christmas Celebration will be a wonderful event for the whole family! I will be playing second violin in the orchestra.

For more information, call (918) 499-1513.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dan Arnett Announces Campaign Tour


From Second Congressional District candidate Dan Arnett (R-Henryetta):
Dan Arnett Announces Tour of Oklahoma Colleges and Universities

Over 99,437,266 Americans are under the age of 25 according to the last US Census. That age group is roughly one third of the entire population. It is that generation’s fate that is being debated on Capitol Hill. Health Care, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and taxation affects everyone but the costs will more heavily burden this and the next generation. Starting in December, the Dan Arnett campaign will begin touring area schools and universities in order to give students a chance to ask tough questions and to make their voices heard. “I believe it is important for this generation to step up to the plate. If we want our republic to succeed, it will be up to us.” Dan encourages students to be informed, to vote, and to run for office.

December 3, 2009 – Q & A with Dan Arnett at Murray State College. Time: 2pm. Location Aggie Dining Hall in the Student Union, Tishomingo, OK.

December 8, 2009 - Q & A with Dan Arnett at Coal County. Time: 6pm. Location: Esther's Country Grill in Coalgate.

December 10, 2009 – Q & A with Dan Arnett at Oklahoma Christian University. Time: 7pm. Location: Williams-Branch Center for Biblical Studies room 124.

January 14, 2010 – Q & A with Dan Arnett at Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College. Time 12:15pm. Location: Coppen Hall Room 119, Miami, OK.

February 1, 2010 – Bryan County GOP and Conservative Club. Time: 6:30-8pm. Location: TBA.

February 23, 2010 – Q & A with Dan Arnett with the Okfuskee County GOP. Time: 6:30. Location: Brick Street Cafe in Okemah, OK.

The list will be updated as times and locations are settled upon. Additionally, negotiations are under way with the schools and/or other campus organizations to set up a “Q & A with Dan Arnett” at the following colleges and universities for January and February: Bacone College, Carl Albert State College, Eastern Oklahoma State College, Northeastern State University, Oklahoma State University, Oral Roberts University, Rogers State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, The University of Oklahoma.

If you would like to have Dan Arnett come to your school, whether a college or high school, Please contact Dan at dan@danarnettforcongress.com.
Arnett is running against Democrat incumbent Dan Boren, and fellow Republican challengers Daniel Edmonds, Howard Houchen, and Charles Thompson.

American Majority School Board Training

From American Majority Oklahoma:
American Majority is conducting a candidate training event in Tulsa on Saturday, December 19th. This training will address usage of new and traditional media, campaign planning, successful fundraising tactics, grassroots organization, and more! Those running for school board are highly encouraged to attend in addition to those running for other elections in the area.

What: Candidate Training Event

When: December 19th from 9am to noon

Where: Tulsa Technology Center – Career Training Center (3638 S. Memorial)

Please click this link for more information: http://americanmajority.org/news-and-views/news/504-candidate-training-in-tulsa-ok-december-19
If you are remotely interested in running for school board, I encourage you to attend this training session. The filing period for school board elections is Dec. 7-9. There is a seat on the Muskogee School Board that will be up this time around.