Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!



It's Thanksgiving week, and I'm taking a brief blogging sabbatical. I hope you have a great week spending time with family and counting your blessings.

In the mean time, be sure and check out the links I've posted for other political blogs and sites, both Oklahoma-based and national. I've linked plenty of conservative news sources on both sidebars.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Republican Jarrin Jackson to run against Mullin


JARRIN JACKSON ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN FOR CONGRESS OK­2

(November 23, 2015, Oologah, OK­) Today, Jarrin Jackson announced his campaign for the Republican nomination to Congress, Oklahoma District 2. The Rogers County resident will challenge two­-term incumbent Markwayne Mullin.

Jackson said, “I'm a combat veteran who has one unifying belief: Serve America. All of who I am, what I have done, and what I believe flows from that.”

He said, “This is a time for triage and intervention, not maintenance. Our country is getting sicker, and our enemies are using our goodness against us. We need to counter that. I am conservative, but I want to be judged by performance, not labels. I offer American values, fresh ideas, and military­-grade grit.”

Jackson said he is for limited government, and believes security is the key to freedom and opportunity. “America didn't prosper by accident back in the day. We prospered on purpose, asserting American ideals and stressing initiative. How we did it then is how we do it again.”

Jackson is a decorated, former Army Ranger who graduated from West Point and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. A 5th generation Oklahoman, he grew up in Oologah, is married to a pediatrician, and has two boys.

Learn more by visiting JarrinJackson.com.

Music Monday: Simple Gifts

This week's Music Monday is a section from Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring based on the old Shaker song Simple Gifts.

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

SoonerPoll: Trump leads in OK, but Cruz and Rubio surge


SoonerPoll, in conjunction with News 9/News on 6, today released a new Oklahoma presidential primary survey showing significant changes from their last report in September.

SoonerPoll/News9/News on 6 Oklahoma Presidential Tracking Poll (PDF link)
389 likely voters registered Republican, conducted Nov. 12th-15th.
MoE +/-5.1%. Numbers in parentheses are from Sept. 1st-15th survey.

Donald Trump - 27.1% (30.8%)   -3.7%
Ted Cruz - 18.3% (6.5%)   +11.8%
Ben Carson - 17.5% (22.5%)   -5.0%
Marco Rubio - 16.3% (4.1%)   +12.2%
Mike Huckabee - 4.3% (5.0%)   -0.7%
Carly Fiorina - 2.3% (8.3%)   -6.0%
Jeb Bush - 2.2% (6.2%)   -4.0%
Rand Paul - 2.2% (0.9%)   +1.3%
John Kasich - 0.5% (2.2%)   -1.7%
Other - 2.5% (3.1%)   -0.6%
Unsure - 6.7% (10.4%)   -3.7%

Cruz and Rubio both surged around 12%, while most other candidates fell 2-6 points. Trump's lead has been cut to single digits (8.8%), and there's essentially a three-way tie for second.

The bottom ten candidates combined (14%) don't even beat the fourth place candidate (Rubio at 16.3%). The presidential primary on the GOP side is swiftly becoming a four-man race.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bobby Jindal drops out of Presidential race


Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has ended his presidential campaign. Jindal, arguably the most conservative governor in the country for the past eight years, never really got a chance to break through into the top tier, rarely polling nationally above 1-2%. His main "strength" was in Iowa, where he polled as high as 6% -- his campaign was based on pulling out an upset win in the 'Hawkeye Caucii'.

It's a sad state of affairs when the first three GOP candidates to exit the 2016 race are conservative, successful, multi-term governors (Perry, Walker, Jindal).

Here is his full statement:
I cannot tell you what an honor it has been to run for President of the United States of America. My parents came to this country 45 years ago searching for freedom and a chance.
When I was born, we lived in student housing at LSU, and never in their wildest dreams did they think their son would have the opportunity to serve as Governor of Louisiana or to run for President.

They raised me to believe Americans can do anything, and they were right, we can. But this is not my time, so I am suspending my campaign for President.

Going forward, I believe we have to be the party of growth and we can never stop being the party that believes in opportunity. We cannot settle for The Left’s view of envy and division. We have to be the party that says everyone in this country – no matter the circumstances of their birth or who their parents are – can succeed in America.

One of the things I will do is go back to work at the think tank I started a few years ago – where I will be outlining a blueprint for making this the American century.

We must show the way forward on growing our economy and winning the war against terror, and especially defeating radical Islam.

I realize that our country is off on the wrong track right now. Everyone knows that, but don’t forget, this is still the greatest country in the history of the world – and every single one of us should start every day by thanking God that we are fortunate enough to be US citizens.

Now is the time for all those Americans who still believe in freedom and American exceptionalism to stand up and defend it. The idea of America – the idea that my parents came here for almost a half a century ago – that idea is slipping away from us. Freedom is under assault from both outside our borders and from within. We must act now, we do not have a moment to spare.

Jindal was in my initial top three out of the field. Scott Walker was who I leaned toward at the beginning, but then he dropped out. For the last two months I've been in a toss-up between Cruz and Jindal.

Jindal has the stellar conservative record of reform that we need in Washington. Sadly, the electorate this time around is more enamored with the high-on-flash-low-on-substance Donald Trump than they are with real solutions. Regardless of who becomes the GOP nominee and defeats Hilary Clinton, Bobby Jindal needs to play a prominent role in the next administration.

With Walker and Jindal now out, count me on the Cruz Crew train.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Republican John Tyler Hammons announces for SD9


Former Muskogee mayor John Tyler Hammons has thrown his hat in the ring for the GOP nomination in Senate District 9. He joins fellow Republican candidate Dewayne Pemberton, and Democratic candidate Jack Reavis. Reavis has twice run unsuccessfully for House District 14, while Pemberton is making his first run for office.

Hammons made the announcement official with a Facebook post this afternoon:


Hammons was elected mayor of Muskogee in 2008 at the age of eighteen, making him at the time the youngest mayor in the nation, and was reelected in 2010. In 2012, he left office to pursue a law degree. He passed the bar over the summer, and currently works as an assistant attorney general of the Cherokee Nation.

Senate District 9 covers portions of Muskogee and Cherokee counties (including the cities of Muskogee and Tahlequah), and is currently held by Earl Garrison (D-Muskogee), who is term-limited.

Music Monday: Preacher Tell Me Like It Is

For this week's Music Monday, we've got the Southern Gospel trio 'Greater Vision' singing their song Preacher Tell Me Like It Is.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

McLain wins SD34 GOP primary



David McLain appears to have pulled out a squeaker in the winner-take-all GOP primary for Senate District 34.

With 34 of 35 precincts reporting, McLain received 881 votes (42.11%), John Feary got 823 (39.34%), Mark Williams received 333 (15.92%), and Chuck Daugherty got 55 (2.63%).

The general election will be January 12th, 2016.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Music Monday: Armed Forces Salute

This week's Music Monday (a little late) is an Armed Forces Salute arrangement that I enjoyed playing with the Tulsa Bible Church Orchestra for several years, typically on Memorial Day, but it fits for Veterans Day as well.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Coburn on Cavuto: candidates need to address national debt

Former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn was interviewed yesterday by Fox News host Neil Cavuto, and called for the GOP presidential candidates to address the national debt crisis, and briefly touched on his thoughts on some of the candidates.



Thursday, November 5, 2015

Followng Coburn, Lankford to Release a Gov't Waste Report


WASHINGTON, DC— Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today announced he will release a federal government waste and solutions report later this fall. Specifically, the report will highlight examples of wasteful or duplicative spending, along with burdensome regulations, but will also offer a policy solution to each of the problems. Lankford’s report, entitled, “Federal Fumbles: 100 ways the government dropped the ball”, will continue a tradition started by former Senator Tom Coburn, MD. The Office of Senator Lankford released a short video on social media today to tease the release of the football themed-report in late November.


“With a massive $19 trillion federal debt and a half-a-trillion dollar deficit, we must tackle our federal budget and root out inefficiencies, duplication and wasteful spending wherever they exist,” said Lankford. “This report will provide specific examples of wasteful spending and unnecessary regulations that are not in the taxpayer’s best interest, and show how the federal government has dropped the ball.”

Lankford shares Senator Coburn’s sentiment that many Members of Congress should produce their own waste reports, and he applauds Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK), Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Senator Dan Coats (R-IN), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), among others, who have released reports to expose wasteful spending.

After serving four years in the US House of Representatives, Lankford was elected to the US Senate on November 4, 2014, to finish the remaining two years of retiring Senator Coburn's term, which will end January 2017. From his position on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Lankford welcomes the opportunity to identify reckless government spending and gimmick pay-fors.

Regulatory reform has also been a top priority for Lankford during his first year in the Senate. He chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, and he launched the #CutRedTape Initiative with Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in March. Lankford and Heitkamp have worked together on three regulatory improvement bills which passed Committee several weeks ago.

Tuesday's GOP Debate: 8 in primetime, 4 in undercard


The FOX Business Network/Wall Street Journal GOP Debate on Tuesday will be featuring eight candidates in the primetime debate, and four in the undercard debate (aka "the kid's table"). This is the first debate this cycle with candidates being bumped off the main stage (Huckabee and Christie).

From FBN:
The four polls used in the average were conducted by the following organizations: Fox News, Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP, Quinnipiac University, and The Wall Street Journal/NBC News. To qualify for the prime-time debate, a candidate had to score 2.5% or higher in an average of the four most recent national polls. Candidates scoring under that had to receive at least 1% support in at least one of the four most recent national polls to qualify for the 7 p.m. debate. No online or automated (IVR) polls were used in compiling the data.
Here's the main event lineup (9e/8c), along with the candidate's average in the qualifying polls:

  • Donald Trump (25.3%)
  • Ben Carson (24.5%)
  • Marco Rubio (11.8%)
  • Ted Cruz (10.0%)
  • Jeb Bush (5.5%)
  • Carly Fiorina (3.0%)
  • John Kasich (2.8%)
  • Rand Paul (2.5%)

In the 7e/6c JV debate:
  • Mike Huckabee (2.3%)
  • Chris Christie (2.3%)
  • Bobby Jindal (0.5%)
  • Rick Santorum (0.5%)

Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore did not qualify for the undercard debate.

In addition to airing on the Fox Business Network, the debate will be livestreamed for free online. Additionally, for those who subscribe to cable or satellite but don't get FBN, Fox is temporarily "unbundling" the channel for subscribers to be able to watch.

Personally, I think a smaller debate stage is good. Ten people sharing the limited debate time doesn't allow enough time to delve into issues and get enough input from all the candidates. I think the race is starting to coalesce around four candidates (Trump, Carson, Rubio and Cruz), and most of the other candidates really need to consider dropping out.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Music Monday: Amazing Grace

This week's Music Monday is the namesake song from the 2006 movie Amazing Grace. This arrangement comes in the closing scene of the movie -- it's by far my favorite rendition of the timeless hymn.

Enjoy!



Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Republican Rick West announces for HD3


Rick West Announces Candidacy for Oklahoma House District 3

Heavener, OK, ­Nov. 1, 2015–  Rancher and long-time Le Flore County resident Rick West has announced his candidacy for the Oklahoma House District 3 seat.  West, a Republican, is running for the legislative seat that is being vacated by current State Rep. James Lockhart.

“I am ready to serve the people of House District 3 as their next State Representative,” said West.  “And I am ready to work hard to bring more jobs to Le Flore County while reducing government waste.”

Born in North Carolina, West has lived in Le Flore County since 1977. In 1979, he married his wife of 36 years, Jan, and they moved to Hontubby Community just outside of Heavener, where they run a cattle and poultry farm.

“Living in Le Flore County for almost 40 years, I know firsthand the problems that face the people in District 3,” said West.  “And you can be confident knowing that I will work hard for each and every person in our district.”

In 2012, West retired after 36 years of service from USDA/APHIS (Animal /Plant Health Inspection Service) as an animal health technician. Rick also worked to help reduce outbreaks that have affected the livestock in Oklahoma and across the country including finding ways to combat the Exotic Newcastle Disease, BSE (Mad Cow disease), Avian Influenza, Tuberculosis, & Brucellosis.

West and family are members of the Big Creek Baptist Church in Heavener where he serves a deacon and Sunday School teacher. Rick is also a member of the Farm Bureau, the American Farmer and Rancher, and the Poteau and Heavener Chambers of Commerce. In addition, Rick is active in the local and county Future Farmers of America and is a supporter of the local school academic and athletic activities.

Rick has also stayed active in the community by serving on the Le Flore County Equalization and Excise Board, the Le Flore County Fair Board, and the APHIS/ Native American Working Group, which is a liaison between the USDA and the Native American tribes in Oklahoma.

To learn more, please visit WestforHouse.com.