Archive for November, 2010

California boy gets escort to school

November 15, 2010

Take a look at Cody Alicea’s ride to school this morning.  He’s the young boy who was told to remove the flag from his bike.

Teaparty scores huge win

November 15, 2010

For weeks (months?) we’ve heard how the Tea Party movement is not a serious player on the political field. We first heard how they would have no influence over elections, that they (we) were “astroturf” and not worth listening to. We then heard how they/we would only elect ineffectual representatives who would be stuck in a corner not able to get anything done. Since the election, we’ve heard how those Tea Party Reps and Senators would butt heads with the DC establishment and ultimately, the establishment would win. Wrong, wrong and can I just say – wrong.

Not only did the Tea Party score huge wins on election day and have elected Representatives and Senators who are hitting the ground running, but today, Senator Mitch McConnell, the poster boy for the establishment GOP, announced he is supporting an earmark ban in the 112th conference. McConnell, a huge fan of the earmarking process, was actively campaigning against a ban as recently as last week. He was unable to hold up against the onslaught of public outcry and pressure from the conservative wing of his party.

He released a statement today that read in part:

I have thought about these things long and hard over the past few weeks. I’ve talked with my members. I’ve listened to them. Above all, I have listened to my constituents. And what I’ve concluded is that on the issue of congressional earmarks, as the leader of my party in the Senate, I have to lead first by example. Nearly every day that the Senate’s been in session for the past two years, I have come down to this spot and said that Democrats are ignoring the wishes of the American people. When it comes to earmarks, I won’t be guilty of the same thing.

Make no mistake. I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don’t apologize for them. But there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight. And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government.

That’s why today I am announcing that I will join the Republican Leadership in the House in support of a moratorium on earmarks in the 112th Congress.

It’s slow in coming and his statement still smacks of “if only you were smart enough to understand”, but the fact remains that a true grassroots movement of We the People has forced the Minority Leader of the Senate to change his position. Tea Party: 1 Establishment: 0

Poor Charlie Rangel

November 15, 2010

He’s only had 2 years to prepare for his ethics trial but he couldn’t figure out how to have an attorney present with him this morning as the trial began. He argued with the ethics committee chairwoman, Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California as the hearing opened. He asserted he was “entitled to a lawyer” while Lofgren responded that he had had ample opportunity to prepare for his legal defense and had not been prevented from acquiring legal counsel. Rangel “parted ways” with his previous attorneys in October.

Before he stomped out of the proceedings, he did admit it would be “very, very unwise” to represent himself.

He then released a statement complaining about his “unfair” treatment:

“I hope that my colleagues in Congress, friends, constituents and anyone paying attention will consider my statement and how the committee has been unfair to me. They can do what they will with me because they have the power and I have no real chance of fighting back.”

Rep Lofgren announced this afternoon that “there is no genuine issue” or dispute over the facts in the case. She also closed the committee – composed of 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats – to discuss each of the 13 counts against Rangel. Those deliberations could take hours to days.

School makes boy remove American flag

November 13, 2010

In Denair, California, middle school officials told Cody Alicea to remove the American flag on the back of his bike. Apparently concerned that the flag would incite “racial tensions or uprisings“, school officials decided (after 2 months) that the 13 year-old could no longer come to school with Old Glory.

Cody complied, but expressed his disappointment to a local television station. He and his family hoped to talk to school officials about their policy.

The story hit on Veteran’s Day and quickly went viral. Spurred to action, neighborhood residents organized a protest march against the school while a Texas group vows to send 1,000,000 flags to the school. Congressman-elect Jeff Denham, a Republican from Merced, denounced the school’s decision and offered to fly Cody to Washington DC to attend his swearing-in on January 5th.

School officials were quick to back-track on Friday and issued an open letter stating that it was “unfortunate that the entire story of this issue has not been fully portrayed in the media.” They noted that the “student involved in this incident” is once again allowed to fly his flag. They also said that the matter will be discussed at their upcoming Board meeting this week. I’m guessing it will be VERY well attended.

Great campaign ad

November 13, 2010

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) had a pretty darn good ad early on, trying to distance herself from her party. It didn’t work. She lost. But the ad was good.

Chaffetz headed to Appropriations Committee?

November 11, 2010

Congressman Jason Chaffetz, in line for a chairmanship of a subcommittee under Rep Darrell Issa, may instead find himself on the most powerful committee in the House – Appropriations.

A Politico article on Boehner and “tea party sweeteners” had this tidbit:

Cantor continues to push for reform-minded conservatives on committees such as Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, and Rules — known colloquially as “exclusive committees.” Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Jeff Flake of Ariz. are the leading conservatives who have shown interest in seats on the spending panel.

The Appropriations committee is widely recognized by political scientists as one of the “power committees,” since it holds the power of the purse. It is one of the exclusive committees of the House, meaning its members typically sit on no other committee. Much of the power of the committee comes from the inherent utility of controlling spending. Its subcommittee chairmen are often called “Cardinals” because of the power they wield over the budget.

It is also a committee known for its ability to direct pork-barrel spending to a member’s home district – or districts of their friends.

Putting Chaffetz and Flake on this powerful committee might signal a real desire to see substantive reform, since both are “anti-pork.” Or, it could be a gesture of appeasement with no substantive impact. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it is the first…..

Minority leadership chosen in Utah House, Senate

November 11, 2010

Representative David Litvack will remain the Utah House Minority Leader. Popular among his Democrat colleagues, he is also liked and respected by his colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Speaking to the Salt Lake Tribune after yesterday’s election, he talked about moving forward with five fewer Democrats at the table:

I think our approach really doesn’t change much. What has made us effective the last couple of years with 22 members is what will make us effective with 17,” Litvack said. “That is looking for opportunities to work cooperatively with the majority party on ideas that are important to us, being proactive and bringing our ideas to the table.

Democrats will continue to focus on education funding and protecting seniors and the disabled community from severe budget cuts.

He is joined by Rep Jennifer Seelig as Minority Whip, Rep Brian King as Assistant Minority Whip and Rep Christine Watkins as caucus manager.

Last week, the Senate minority caucus elected their leadership team. Senator Ross Romero will serve as Minority Leader, Senator Karen Morgan as Minority Whip, Senator Pat Jones will be the Assistant Minority Whip and Senator Ben McAdams will be the Minority Caucus manager.

Thank you to our veterans

November 11, 2010

From a grateful nation – thank you.

Semper Fidelis

November 10, 2010

by guest blogger John Cheshire
Semper Fidelis.

Always Faithful.

Today we celebrate the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  I think the Marines can best be summed up with these four quotes: 

The first from 1st Lt Cates during the famed Battle of Belleau Woods;

“I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold.”
1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC
in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918

I will hold he says. Semper Fidelis.

“The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!”
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

Thank God Indeed.

“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.”
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

The Gipper sure had a way with words didn’t he?

“Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share.”
Ned Dolan

Semper Fidelis. Always Faithful.

Thank you to all of the brave men and women, past and present, who have called themselves Marines.

Happy Birthday and we wish you a safe a speedy return.

Southern Utah Basket Brigade

November 9, 2010

The holidays are upon us and it’s time for all of us (but especially conservatives) to show we really mean it when we say the government should not be responsible for “charity”. One opportunity to reach out and serve those who are in need is by participating in the Southern Utah Basket Brigade. Their goal is to put together Thanksgiving baskets to deliver to families in the St George area.

The inspiration for the Anthony Robbins Foundation’s International Basket Brigade was born in the imagination of a child. Tony was in the 6th grade when his family was “gifted” with a huge basket of Thanksgiving food, which they couldn’t afford to buy themselves. The unconditional expression of love impressed the young Tony and he swore that he’d do well enough in life to return the favor.

Basket Brigade isn’t like any other food drive, participants get to see the results of their efforts; unlike most food drives where you donate food never knowing where it went. The result of that one act of kindness years ago has now blossomed into 3 million families being served every year.

The Southern Utah Basket Brigade can use cash donations, in-kind donations of food, toys or clothing and your time as they put the baskets together on November 20th. Join them from 9-2. Check out their webpage for more information. Just $30 fills an entire basket and donations made through the website are tax-deductible. Now get out there and get involved.


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