Saturday, July 30, 2011

U.S. Senator On Raising The Debt Ceiling

A while back, one U.S. Senator had this to say on the floor of the Senate about raising the debt ceiling:

Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America's debt problem. 
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies.  
Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is "trillion'' with a "T.'' That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President's budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion. 
Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we'll spend on Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.  
And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on. Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America's priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans; a debt tax that Washington doesn't want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies.  [. . .]
Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here.'' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.  
I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit. 

I couldn't agree more.


Did I mention when this speech was given, and who made it?


March 16th, 2006.


Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois).



Friday, July 29, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Oklahoma Mesonet has put together several interesting weather maps. The two below consist of days with high temperatures over 100°F.

(click to view larger)
 (click to view larger)

It's been hot!

Saturday: George Faught for Congress Kickoff Rally, 2nd District GOP meeting


George Faught for Congress Kickoff Rally

(Muskogee, OK) - The George Faught for Congress campaign invites the public to its kickoff rally this Saturday, July 30th, to announce his run for the 2nd District Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Dan Boren in 2012.

“America faces challenging times ahead that will require tough decisions,” Faught stated. “I am ready to take Oklahoma’s common sense, conservative approach to tackle the difficult issues in Washington D.C.”

The rally will be held at the Muskogee Civic Center outdoor pavilion (4th and Okmulgee) at 11:00am.  The press is invited to attend. Following the rally will be the quarterly 2nd District GOP meeting held at the Farm Bureau building (28 East Shawnee Road). An optional lunch is provided for $5 per person.

The Debt Ceiling

From Michelle Byte at GetRightOK.com:
The republicans in Congress keep talking politics as if we are still interested in it.  They have lost or are losing the party faithful. The conservative leadership, at least in OK, is sick of the politics and are not interested in the political ramifications of sticking it to the democrats/Obama because we are no longer certain that we will even have a country when the next election rolls around.  If we are playing politics and we KNOW the Senate will not pass this bill, why not make the "Boehner plan" a HUGE cutting bill?  Why not push through trillions upon trillions in cuts?  Take a chainsaw to this ridiculous federal budget.  Go big or go home.
The Boehner plan only guarantees a vote on the balanced budget amendment.  And we all know how much we can trust the guarantees of Congress...
The plan calls to reduce 1.8 trillion over 10 years, but we are increasing at a rate of 8 trillion a year, so this plan simply means that instead of increasing by 80 trillion over 10 years, we will increase just 78 trillion.
What we need are for our Republican leaders to just say "NO, we will NOT compromise." It is time to stand up for what is right, which is to live within the budget AND the bounds of the Constitution.
If you are cutting the spending that is causing us to run so close to the debt ceiling, why do you need to increase the debt ceiling?  Wouldn't it be wiser to just cut spending until it hurts?
The Republicans like to say how bad Obama's spending is, and indeed it is.  Under his administration, government has grown and spent at unprecedented levels. However, let's not forget who paved the way for him.  We overspent to a massive degree when Bush was in the White House, but I guess that was okay because he had an R next to his name.
They're saying that if nothing is done, the treasury would have to use incoming funds to pay the bills coming due, and that the money needing to go out is more than the money coming in.  I have an amazing idea.  I will put it in all caps so the idiots in Congress can read it easier:  CUT THE DIFFERENCE!!
If the president has to prioritize spending, let him be the one that decides not to pay Social Security.
I haven't posted anything on the debt ceiling yet, partly because I've been to busy with work to sit down and type something up, but also because this whole charade is sickening.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans is talking about "cuts". Well, let's get this straight: they are not talking cuts - they are still talking spending more than we take in, just to a slightly lesser degree.

$14,549,767,231,001.00

That's what the national debt was at 9:55am this morning. Congress needs to install the debt clock on the wall in the House and Senate chambers, and on every member's desk, and in their offices.

This is not a time for timid financial gimmicks. No 'pale pastels'. We need bold action. Now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bill O'Reilly on media-proclaimed Norwegian "Christian terrorist"

In the video below, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly responds to media portrayals of Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who killed nearly 80 people this week in a bombing and shooting attack, as a "Christian terrorist".


Monday, July 25, 2011

"Abortion, Yes — Other Choices? Forget It."

Deroy Murdock

Abortion, Yes — Other Choices? Forget It.

Almost unanimously, Washington Democrats call themselves "pro-choice." "I support a woman's right to choose!" they thunder. "Choice," of course, means abortion, and that is where the Democrats' passion for choice starts and stops.

Elsewhere, Democrats sabotage a woman's right to choose. Instead, they demand to make that choice for her, as they do for men. I support a woman's right to choose whether or not to use a traditional Thomas Alva Edison incandescent bulb. Democrats disagree.

The House of Representatives voted July 12 on a measure to repeal federal regulations that effectively criminalize sales of Edison's bulb. According to Freedom Action's Myron Ebell, violators face a federal penalty of $200 per offending bulb sold.

Among 239 Republicans, 228 (or 95 percent) voted to liberate women (and men) so that they could choose among inexpensive incandescents, pricier LEDs, compact fluorescents (tainted with toxic mercury), and even candles. (Five thinking Democrats supported the GOP majority.)

Candles average 15,260 home fires and 166 attendant fatalities annually, the National Fire Protection Association reports. Yet candles remain legal.

Among 192 Democrats, 183 voted to deny a woman this choice, echoing President Barack Obama's veto threat. (Ten statist Republicans concurred.) Fully 95 percent of Democrats defended a 2007 law (signed by socialist Trojan Horse George W. Bush) that is steering Americans, like cattle, toward alternative bulbs.

"These standards are not taking choices away," Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently told journalists. The polite word for Chu's statement is "Orwellian." The precise word is "lie."

This law deliberately raises the bar higher than Edison's bulb can leap. Regulations that wittingly exceed a product's defining features prohibit the product itself. Why should Washington take away donuts, for instance, when it could criminalize fried-dough pastries that encircle holes?

I support a woman's right to choose whether or not to use Avastin. Obama's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee disagrees. On June 30, ODAC rescinded its approval of this treatment for late-stage breast cancer. ODAC decided that Avastin's side effects were not worth its five-month average life extension, even though it lengthens the lives of "super-responders" by upwards of two to three years.

Perhaps ODAC forgot that a key side effect of metastatic breast cancer is death — as 40,000 women discover annually. But that hardly matters to the pharmacrats who snatched this choice from some 17,500 American women on Avastin. Ironically, those Obama administration members likely support a woman's right to control her body — but only regarding abortion.

I support a woman's right to choose whether or not to buy health insurance under Obamacare. Congressional Democrats disagree. They voted in near lockstep last year to compel women (and men) to participate in Obamacare. Without exception, Republicans opposed Obamacare and its individual mandate.

I support a woman's right to choose to send her child to an alternative school that accepts educational vouchers. Unfortunately, Washington Democrats disagree. A federal initiative gave roughly 3,000 students vouchers worth up to $7,500 to escape Washington's calamitous government schools. Despite promising results, teachers unions detested this program.

So, after Obama took charge, congressional Democrats swiftly killed it. Never mind the choices of the poor, mainly black mothers whose kids these vouchers benefited. Fortunately, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, successfully re-authorized these vouchers within last April's bipartisan budget agreement.

I support a woman's right to choose Internet gambling as a pastime. Unfortunately, Obama's Justice Department disagrees. On April 15, it hijacked the domain names of Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, three foreign-based poker websites.

Justice eventually let Poker Stars and Full Tilt serve foreign gamblers, provided that they discriminate against Americans. Thankfully, Antigua-based Absolute Poker is fighting Justice's authoritarianism before the World Trade Organization.

If a woman chooses to kill the young American in her womb, nearly every Democrat in Washington, D.C. will fight for her like Army Rangers on Normandy Beach. But if a woman desires almost any other choice, Democrats impersonate the Great Wall of China.

Deroy Murdock is a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Email him at deroy.Murdock@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Faught in support of federal Balanced Budget Amendment


Faught joins state legislators in support of federal Balanced Budget Amendment

Muskogee, OK – State Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee) has joined more than 40 other state lawmakers in pledging support of the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment.  Faught, who recently launched his candidacy for Congress, becomes the first 2nd District congressional candidate to announce his support of the plan to reverse the country’s dramatic slide into debt.

“I am proud to join many of my legislative colleagues in support of the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment. If this amendment passes Congress, I look forward to Oklahoma taking the lead in ratifying the amendment,” Faught said.  “I have always believed that government must live within a budget, much like how I operate my carpet cleaning business, or how we all do as families.”

The Oklahoma state lawmakers sent a letter to all congressional sponsors of the bill, which is under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Faught, who this week was reported by the Congressional Quarterly as the GOP’s likely nominee for the 2nd Congressional District seat being vacated by Congressman Dan Boren, further said, “I am publicly pledging that if chosen by the people of Oklahoma’s 2nd District to represent them in Congress, I will fight to balance the budget, and restore fiscal responsibility to Washington.  I will not stand by and watch the destruction of our children's and grandchildren’s futures through the irresponsible spending by both Democrats and Republicans. Overspending has put our nation $14 trillion into debt, and it is time Washington was forced to address the problem.”

George Faught was the first Republican elected to represent Oklahoma House District 14. Faught and his wife, Becky, have been married for nearly 29 years. They live in Muskogee and have three grown children, Tyler, Jamison and Savannah. They operate a family-owned carpet cleaning business that has been serving communities in eastern Oklahoma for the past 24 years.

For more information, please visit Faught’s website at www.GeorgeFaught.com, and follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeFaught and on Facebook at facebook.com/GeorgeFaught. To contact by phone, call (918) 682-8383, and by email at info@georgefaught.com.

Musical Interlude: Edward Elgar's "Enigma Variations"

It's time for another Musical Interlude! Here are two pieces by British composer Edward Elgar, taken from his Enigma variations.



Variations on an Original Theme ("Enigma") op.36; Variation XIV (Finale: Allegro Presto) "E.D.U."




Variations on an Original Theme ("Enigma") op.36; Variation IX (Adagio) "Nimrod"



To listen to more of my "Musical Interludes", click on the 'Musical Interlude' label.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Saga Continues: Cherokee Election Part II


After weeks of recount after recount, with Chad Smith and Bill John Baker alternating leads, the Cherokee Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot determine who really won the June 25th election for principal chief.

A date has not yet been set for a re-vote. Baker has called for Smith to set the election on August 13th, the day before the original inauguration for the new chief.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dr. Coburn Releases $9 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan


U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. today released a new report “Back in Black” that outlines how the federal government can reduce the deficit by $9 trillion over the next ten years and balance the federal budget. The 614-page plan was the result of a thorough and exhaustive review of thousands of federal programs.

“The American people are tired of Washington waiting until the last minute to avoid a crisis, particularly when it is a crisis Washington itself created. The crisis, though, is not the debt limit deadline. The crisis is Congress’ refusal to make hard choices and reduce a debt that has become our greatest national security threat. The plan I am offering today gives Washington 9 trillion reasons to stop making excuses and start solving the problem,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Both parties will no doubt criticize portions of this plan and I welcome that debate. My goal is not to replace the work of the budget committees but to show the American people what is possible and necessary. What is not acceptable, however, is not having a plan and delaying reform until some perfect political moment that will never arrive. The fact is doing nothing is a tax increase, a benefit cut for seniors and the poor, and a betrayal of the core values both parties hold dear,” Dr. Coburn said.

Click here to view Dr. Coburn’s full report, click here for a section by section outline of the report, click here for a summary of savings and click here for highlights of the report.


Additionally, Dr. Coburn released the following report exposing wasteful government spending in Oklahoma. For the full report, click here.

[Blogger's note: You can also view Dr. Coburn's press conference on C-SPAN here.]

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Faught Launches Congressional Campaign


Faught Launches Congressional Campaign

MUSKOGEE  -  State Representative George Faught (R-Muskogee) announced today his candidacy for Congress in Oklahoma's Second District, a seat currently held by Rep. Dan Boren. Faught  (pronounced ‘Fŏt’)  formed an exploratory committee to consider a possible run after Rep. Boren’s announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2012.

“The citizens of eastern Oklahoma deserve a proven leader to represent their conservative values in Washington, D.C.” declared Faught. “Today, our country has arrived at a critical crossroads. Out of control spending and unsustainable debt have brought America to the verge of economic collapse. We are engaged in a battle over what kind of country we’re going to leave for our children and grandchildren, and I am ready to fight for their future.”

Faught, currently serving his third term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, became the first Republican in state history to win the State House District 14 seat, in an area with over 70% Democratic registration.  District 14  encompasses portions of eastern Muskogee and western Cherokee Counties.

“I have always enjoyed strong bi-partisan support. Regardless of party affiliation, Oklahomans are conservative, and deserve conservative representation. They want God-honoring, pro-life, pro-gun, Constitution-supporting elected officials.” stated Faught.  “The encouragement I have received to run for Congress has been overwhelming.”

Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District covers the eastern third of the state, stretching from Kansas to Texas and includes 26 counties. Over the past few election cycles, trends have shown that while the district is registered heavily Democratic, the voters are conservative.

“I have a very strong attachment to the 2nd District. I have lived and worked here for 48 of my 49 years, and I have a vested interest in seeing our district prosper,” Faught said. “Washington politicians have gotten the nation off course, but together we can take our country back.”

Faught and his wife, Becky, have been married for nearly 29 years. They live in Muskogee and have three grown children, Tyler, Jamison and Savannah.  They have owned and operated a carpet cleaning business serving communities in eastern Oklahoma for the past 24 years.

The George Faught for Congress campaign will be holding a kickoff event on Saturday, July 30th, at the Muskogee Civic Center at 11:00 a.m.  You can visit Faught’s website at www.GeorgeFaught.com, follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeFaught, and like his Facebook page at facebook.com/GeorgeFaught. To contact by phone, call (918) 682-8383, and by email at  info@georgefaught.com.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

AFP visiting Boren to push for Balanced Budget Amendment

Americans for Prosperity Activists Push for 
Balanced Budget Amendment
-Grassroots visits Representative Boren’s district offices urging spending cuts-

Muskogee — We Need Congressman Dan Boren to Support a Balanced Budget!  Oklahoma families understand that they must balance their budgets. Politicians in Washington, DC don’t.  That’s why AFP supports a Balanced Budget Amendment.

This Thursday, July 14th, we are asking you to visit Congressman Dan Boren’s district offices and encourage him to support a Balanced Budget Amendment. Take 15 minutes out of your day and make a difference!

The Oklahoma chapter of the free market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity will join a huge coalition of conservative and tea party organizations in a nationwide effort to visit U.S. House Members’ district offices.  The grassroots message this coalition will carry is that representatives must support a balanced budget amendment to U.S. Constitution that has spending caps and a requirement for a supermajority vote to raise taxes.  

“Our grassroots are really worked up about the need for this balanced budget amendment, with tough limits on spending and taxes.  State and local governments all need to work each year to bring their books into order and it’s long past time that the federal government take similar steps,” said Oklahoma State Director Stuart Jolly.  “We’re going to visit Congressman Boren’s district offices because he needs to know how important this amendment is to free market grassroots activists all across this country.”

What: National District Office Day on the Balanced Budget Amendment
When: Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 12:00 Noon.
Who: Americans for Prosperity Grassroots Activists (open to all!)
Where:

1. Muskogee Office, 431 W. Broadway, Muskogee, OK 74401, (918) 687-2533
2. Claremore Office, 309 W. 1st Street, Claremore, OK 74017, (918) 341-9336
3. McAlester Office, 25 East Carl Albert Parkway, Suite B, McAlester, OK 74501, (918) 423-5951
4. Durant Office, 112 N. 12th Avenue, Durant, OK 74701, (580) 931-0333

The national day of district office visits comes just days before the U.S. House will vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment.  Next week, the U.S. House will vote on H.J. Res. 1, offered by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R.-Va.), which has received widespread conservative support.

H.J. Res. 1 requires:

  • Revenues to match outlays
  • Limit spending to 18 percent of GDP
  • Supermajority vote in Congress to raise taxes
  • Supermajority vote in Congress to raise the debt ceiling
  • The President must submit a budget to Congress that balances
  • Several other important provisions


See you at one of the offices list below on Thursday!


Stuart A. Jolly
Oklahoma State Director
Americans for Prosperity
LTC, US Army (Ret)


Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best way to safeguard individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP has more than 1.7 million members, including members in all 50 states, and 31 state chapters and affiliates. More than 85,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial investment in AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oh, the irony: DSCC asks Koch brothers for cash

Politics often creates very odd situations. The following is a prime example.

For the past several years, the Left has demonized and attacked Koch Industries and the Koch family, the wealthy businessmen brothers who are big financial supporters of free-market and libertarian organizations and groups (although their political donations are vastly overshadowed by their philanthropic contributions). However, that opposition apparently extends only so far.

Recently, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, sent a letter to the Koch's PAC, asking for donations to the DSCC. She even left a voicemail with them. Koch Industries replied to the request with this letter:

Senator Patty Murray, Chair
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Dear Senator Murray:

For many months now, your colleagues in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee leadership have engaged in a series of disparagements and ad hominem attacks about us, apparently as part of a concerted political and fundraising strategy. Just recently, Senator Reid wrote in a DSCC fundraising letter that Republicans are trying to “force through their extreme agenda faster than you can say ‘Koch Brothers.’”

So you can imagine my chagrin when I got a letter from you on June 17 asking us to make five-figure contributions to the DSCC. You followed that up with a voicemail* indicating that, if we contributed heavily enough, we would garner an invitation to join you and other Democratic leaders at a retreat in Kiawah Island this September.

I’m hoping you can help me understand the intent of your request because it’s hard not to conclude that DSCC politics have become so cynical that you actually expect people whom you routinely denounce to give DSCC money.

It is troubling that private citizens taking part in the discourse have become the targets of White House and DSCC fundraising missives, and we would certainly encourage you to rethink that approach. Ultimately, I expect voters will see through that and will weigh the issues on the merits alone. But in the meantime, if you could provide me some insight on what exactly you are asking of us and why, I would be most grateful.

Sincerely,

Philip Ellender
President, Government & Public Affairs
Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC

After Ellender's letter was posted on KochFacts.com, Koch Industries' media site, the DSCC responded with a letter of their own.

Dear Phil:

Thank you for your genuine, heartfelt concern about our recent solicitation and your request for clarification. Indeed, the form letter and follow-up solicitation you received was a staff error.

However, the bigger and more troubling mistake is the long political history of your employer, the Koch Brothers. As a (former?) Democrat, perhaps your time would be better spent looking into their efforts to privatize Social Security or their opposition to expanding the children's health insurance program. Or maybe, you can post a list of all of the anonymous contributions they have made to right-wing smear campaigns across the country. If you'd like to share voicemails from all the shady groups asking you for millions of dollars, we'd happily listen to those as well.

So, I write to make it clear that your invitation was an error and has been rescinded.

Sincerely,

Guy Cecil
Executive Director
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

P.S.: I was impressed how quickly you responded, given how often you must be on the phone with Governor Walker of Wisconsin.

Staff error? Right......

Sunday, July 10, 2011

RightOnline 2011 Recap


Finally! My RightOnline 2011 post. As I said a while back, I had the opportunity to attend this year's RightOnline conference in Minneapolis, back in mind-June. I'll attempt to give a brief recap of this fantastic event.

For starters, the RightOnline staff has posted videos of each of the conference speakers, which you can view here. They have also linked to articles by bloggers and other news sites here.

The conference had the largest turnout they've ever had - over 1,500 conservative activists attended. The interesting thing about RightOnline is that every year, it is done in the same city and at the same time as NetRoots Nation, the Left's online activist conference. Throughout the weekend, people from both conferences would drop in the opposing event to chat or just look around (sometimes they'd be well received, sometimes they wouldn't). Generally, both sides were very cordial to each other.

The agenda included six breakout session tracks focused on a variety of issues (from Online Activism 101 to Public Policy Issues), split by several general sessions with featured speakers like Andrew Breitbart, Erick Erickson, Ed Morrissey, Michelle Malkin, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, presidential candidate and former Governor Tim Pawlenty, and presidential candidate Herman Cain.

I sat in on some informative breakouts discussing Freedom of Information, citizen journalism and state/local blogging, a very interesting talk by James O'Keefe (the man behind the ACORN and Planned Parenthood sting videos). In addition, RightOnline attendees had the opportunity to screen the new (and well done) Sarah Palin documentary The Undefeated (Jim Geraghty has a good review here).

I was impressed with all three of the presidential candidates who spoke at the conference. Tim Pawlenty carries with him a reputation of being a dull and boring speaker, but he did much to avoid that at RightOnline (such as somewhat more casual dress, the use of a wireless microphone which enabled him to roam the stage, rather than standing stationary behind the podium).

Michele Bachmann blew the roof off the building with her speech. She showed her solid grasp of a wide variety of issues, from health care to fiscal policy and jobs. At several points in her speech, she received sustained standing ovations. Bachmann really connected with the attendees, and set a very high bar for the remaining speakers.

As enthusiastically as Bachmann was received, I think Herman Cain got even higher ratings from the convention attendees. As with Bachmann, Cain has been criticized by the media and Republican establishment as being a lightweight with a poor grasp of the issues, but again, he showed a good handle on the policy side of things.

Bachmann and Cain are candidates that should not be underestimated. They may not be establishment picks, they may not have the background of a more "traditional" GOP nominees, and they may not as well thought of in the Beltway, but these are the candidates that will energize the conservative Republican base and the Tea Party. They are both forces to be reckoned with.

Outside of the politicians and candidates, the speakers who got the highest marks were probably Ann McElhinney (an Irish transplant who railed against "CINOs" - Conservatives In Name Only) and the ever-witty Andrew Breitbart, who rambled on for about thirty minutes in a very entertaining manner (and could have gone twice as long without any complaints from any attendees).

In short, I had a great time at the conference, as did the rest of the Oklahoma "gang" who attended. If you get the chance, you'll definitely want to try to make RightOnline 2012. Ironically, the NetRoots folks apparently have gotten tired of RightOnline following them around, so it seems they are trying to book up Providence, RI, with non-compete clauses for 2012, to prevent RightOnline from being able to hold their conference in that city!

Again, if you wish to watch videos from the conference, they have been posted on the RightOnline website. Other blog posts and news articles are here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oklahoma Republican Party breaking fundraising records


OKGOP Fundraising Continues to Break Records
(Oklahoma City)- The Oklahoma Republican Party today announced the completion of yet another successful fundraising quarter. During the 2nd quarter of 2011, the OKGOP raised $118,794.80 from 895 donors in 67 counties. The amount outpaces every second quarter in a non-election year on record, going back to 1987
"The Oklahoma Republican Party doesn't go away in non-election years, it's quite the opposite," said OKGOP Chairman Matt Pinnell. "We are building the infrastructure now that will be needed in 2012. We have a tremendous opportunity next year to expand our majorities at the state House and Senate level, elect a new President, and send a conservative Republican to Congress from the 2nd District. We will continue to tirelessly raise the necessary resources that will be required to maintain our reputation as the reddest state in the nation," concluded Pinnell.

For more information please visit www.okgop.com.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle........

[click to enlarge]

...... the Oklahoma Democratic Party's domain has expired, and is pending deletion. Kind of like their situation in Oklahoma politics today.

Birth of a nation: South Sudan gains independence



After over two decades of bloody civil war, southern Sudan has finally achieved its independence. At 12:01am (local), July 9th, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan officially separated from the Republic of Sudan, and was recognized by that country.

Here is a map of the new nation and its surrounding neighbors (for the geographically challenged, Sudan and South Sudan are located in the continent of Africa):


Over 98% of South Sudanese voted for independence in a referendum that was held this past January - part of a peace agreement from 2005.

STS-135: The Last Space Shuttle Launch

Atlantis will be making the final space shuttle launch shortly. Watch below.



         



Streaming Video by Ustream

Monday, July 4, 2011

That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States


IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock


New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton


Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry


Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery


Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott


New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris


New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark


Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross


Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean


Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton


Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton


North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn


South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton


Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walto