Friday, April 29, 2005
Special thanks to Arkansas Daily Blog.
Welcome, bird watchers. Below you will find news and links related to the amazing rediscovery of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker in the big woods of Arkansas. After reading it, we hope you will stick around and learn more about Mike Huckabee, Governor of Arkansas.
Yesterday, Gov. Mike Huckabee stepped to a podium in downtown Little Rock and made an exciting announcement. "A team of researchers led by UALR found and confirmed the ivory-billed woodpecker," he said. "It is living in the Big Woods, bottomland hardwoods that are habitat preserved for some species thought extinct."
Not seen for more than 60 years, the Ivory Billed Woodpecker was rediscovered in Arkansas by David Luneau of the University of Arkansas Little Rock. First reported by NPR, Luneau caught a few seconds of video footage of the bird, sending birders everywhere into a frenzy. Now the Feds are involved, appointing the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service to coordinate creation the "Corridor of Hope" referring not to the famed home of Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee, but to the big woods areas in the Cache River Wildlife Refuge where the bird was found.
Gale Norton, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, announced that the federal government is earmarking $10 million to work on the ivory-billed in Arkansas.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's knee-jerk reaction, however, wasn't positive. "It's a big wet kiss to the far right," he said, apparently sticking to his prior vow not to accept any deal that keeps Democrats from blocking future nominees.
Interestingly, Senator Reid felt differently during the Clinton Administration, saying "I don't think we should have litmus tests for members of the sub-Cabinet, the Cabinet or the judges. . . We're not going to do that. We're going to have hearings. We're going to have the process vetted as soon as possible. And I think we should have up-or-down votes in the committee and on the floor. So the answer is, no, there is no litmus test and there will not be."
Special thanks to Intellectual Conservative.
Governor Mike Huckabee is leading a national effort among governors to steer Medicaid reform. Working alongside Democratic Governor Mark Warner of Virginia, Huckabee is keeping the people--grandmothers, grandfathers, the poor and disabled--who depend upon Medicaid for their very survival at the forefront of the debate.
"The real focus we have is not how can we cut people off, it's how can we provide services to people who really need it, and how to maintain them at an affordable level," Huckabee said.
That plan was jeopardized last week when a planning document, intended only for governors, was leaked to Congress. The unfinished document contained references to proposed Medicaid cost savings, not cuts, in the neighborhood of $8 to $9 billion. This number was seized upon by House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, who argued incorrectly on Tuesday that the nation's governors have come together to support reducing Medicaid spending, so House members should, too.
Now Governors Huckabee and Warner are leading a battle to ensure the people who desperately need Medicaid services are protected.
"They've done exactly what we feared they might. They're looking at a budget number. We're looking at people,'' Huckabee said.
Medicaid has grown far faster than inflation and is estimated to cost over $300 billion in total this year. Future projections put expenditures at astronomical levels, threatening to bankrupt the program.
Today roughly 53 million people are on Medicaid. The program now pays for two of every three nursing home patients in the country. It pays for one out of three births. It has become the leading payer of mental health services, and the leading payer of services for people with HIV and AIDS. One out of nine people in the country are on Medicaid.
"One thing governors feel, Democrats and Republicans alike, is that we have a health care system that, if you're on Medicaid, you have unlimited access to health care, at unlimited levels, at no cost. No wonder it's running away," Huckabee has said. "But people need to remember that to balance the federal budget off the backs of the poorest people in the country is simply unacceptable. You don't pull feeding tubes from people. You don't pull the wheelchair out from under the child with muscular dystrophy."
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
"Governor Huckabee is currently campaigning for a healthier American population and sharing his own story in his new book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork. What started as a personal goal has become a state-wide initiative, and now with the release of his book and the help of Newman's publicity efforts, Governor Huckabee is putting out a national advisory to fight the obesity epidemic."
According to the press release, in addition to a "TV satellite tour with local news stations" and two national radio tours, planned stops now include New York, Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles with appearances on CNN, FOX News, Hannity & Colmes, Dennis Miller, Imus in the Morning, and the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson "and thats just the beginning!".
Get ready, America. The Huckabee bandwagon is about to pick up a few more fans.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
If you are looking for Gov. Mike Huckabee's new book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork, you can order it here.
Cruise on over to 2008 Political Perspective and vote for which Republican you would like to see win the nomination for president in 2008.
INDC Journal discusses obesity, health risks and KFC's recent decision to put the "Fried" back in their chicken.
You can always find thought provoking commentary by Mark Coffey at Decision 08. We particularly enjoy his ongoing observation of the war on religion in the Op Ed pages.
John Hawkins at Right Wing News opines about the Democrats' sudden desire to compromise on judicial nominees now that Republicans have the votes to end filibusters.
Real Clear Politics wades through mountains of stuff every day and collects all the best for you. You could spend hours here.
More on the supposed public opposition to easing Senate judicial filibuster rules from PoliBlog.
40 Days of Fat is a unique way to incentivize yourself to drop a few pounds.
Always some great stuff to read at friend Ryan James' blog.
Catch you tomorrow.
Monday, April 25, 2005
Matt Bai wrote a very interesting column in New York Times Magazine over the weekend titled “Democratic Moral Values”. He provides a very revealing glimpse into the self-analysis the Democratic party is currently going through as it tries to figure out how to win back the “churchgoers” it has finally realized it can no longer ignore. Bai makes an attempt to wrap up the article by saying that both Republicans and Democrats may be experiencing a “transitional moment” with regard to moral values, using the Terri Schiavo case as a hopeful example of how Republicans finally found, and crossed, the line with their own constituents.
I say ‘hopeful’ example because I just don’t feel it. I watched carefully during the whole Schaivo affair, and listened to my family, friends and fellow churchgoers. There was no outrage at Republicans. Nor was there a groundswell of support. It was more or less a non-event among the middle-class, conservative Baptists I hang around with.
Sure, I was a little perturbed that congress poked its nose into the case, but I was also perturbed that it spent time on steroids in baseball.
Congress wastes time and money every day. Politicians crave the spotlight. It’s something Americans have grown used to.
I really think the Democrats are desperate for the Schaivo case to be a defining moment (Bia refers to it breathlessly as “the era after Terri Schaivo”) but it is going to fall on deaf ears. Especially dangerous for Democrats, should they attempt to insert the Schaivo case into the political debate, will be coming across to voters as attempting to use Schaivo for political gain without actually caring about her.
Bai himself describes the moral dilemma Democrats now face:
“...while Republicans managed to further define themselves as a party that would even go to unpopular lengths to defend the sanctity of ravaged and unborn souls alike, Democrats were again left to ponder their own identity…Even in defeat, Republicans emerged as ‘the party of life’. And as one leading Democratic operative privately warned a roomful of allies, “We can’t just be the party of death.”
Therein lies the Democrats' problem. Even as they criticize Republicans for injecting faith and morality into politics, their leaders are having meeting after meeting in which they analyze how best to redefine themselves as a party with faith and morals.
Hypocrisy abounds in the Democratic party.
During the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, Democrats quite rightly created the very idea of federally legislating morality, believing they had both the right and responsibility to intervene. Yet now, when Republicans act in a similar way in the Schaivo case, Democrats see it as wrong.
On the issue of abortion, Democrats vigorously oppose any government move they see as potentially threatening a “woman’s right to choose”. Yet at the same time, they see no problem at all with legislation limiting gun ownership or restricting school prayer.
Furthermore on the subject of abortion, Democrats fail to see the hypocrisy in their simultaneous support of unrestricted abortion and opposition to the death penalty. To many Americans, these positions are totally incompatible.
In their meetings, Democratic leaders today are struggling mightily with these issues but they are going to fail. They are going to fail because they are again embracing hypocrisy. They talk of “seeming” more Godly. They talk of changing their “image” and learning to "speak the same spiritual language” as Republicans.
Pandering and hypocrisy will not work. In order to win back what they’ve lost, Democrats are going to have make real changes. Their own attempts to engage Republicans on the field of battle are going to force Democratic lawmakers who call themselves Catholics and Baptists to reconcile, once and for all, their professed faith and their affiliation with a party that supports abortion, removing prayer from schools and obscenity.
This puts them on a collision course with their most powerful interest groups and their own leadership. Already there are signs of skirmishes.
"Sometimes I don't think my leadership gets it," said Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Alabama. "If they're to really stand the chance to take the House back, they've got to leave those members plenty of room to vote where their district is coming from rather than where the national party is coming from."
Some conservative Democrats, like Senator Richard Shelby (AL) have already been forced to switch to the Republican party by the Democrats' secularism. Shelby has for years attempted to get Rep. Cramer to follow him.
Cramer says he is not uncomfortable enough "right now" with his party to take that leap. The question is: How long can he hold on?
How will this war ultimately change the Democratic party? Only time will tell. As the war rages, however, as with all wars, there will be refugees. Perhaps millions of them. People of true faith and morals, finally forced from their political home.
The Republican party must be prepared to take them in. To do so, however, we need a leader who speaks with authority on the issues of faith, morality and government.
We need Mike Huckabee.
UPDATE: GOP Bloggers agrees with our premise.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
- Spend quality time with your family
- Enjoy God's great outdoors
- Get some much-needed exercise
- Start planning what you want to do for exercise next time
- Over-do it your first time out
- Pack vienna sausages and twinkies for snacks
- Forget to take water along for your dog(s)
- Stop for a cheeseburger and ice cream on the way home
See you Monday,
Friday, April 22, 2005
The Political Beaver thinks Gov. Mike Huckabee is a "really hot sleeper pick" for the GOP nomination in 2008.
I had some time to browse the blogosphere this evening and came across this gem. Julian Sanchez blogged the Republican National Convention for Reason Magazine last fall and posted this story about Gov. Huckabee's band, Capitol Offense, which played at several events there. We have not blogged much about the Governor's musical talents yet, so here's a review for you. I love the photo of the Gov with the mic.
This more sinister part of the war on Christianity is being waged by Senate Democrats who block judicial nominees because they are people of faith. Democrats recoil in feigned horror at the suggestion that religion plays a role in their decisions to block these nominees, but there can be no other explanation.
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch acknowledged this war recently saying, "the left is trying to enforce an anti-religious litmus test" against judges. David Limbaugh, author of the book "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity" provides evidence to support Hatch's observation and adds weight to it by pointing out that in addition to judicial nominees, Democratic opposition to other types of nominees seems limited to those who have spoken openly about their Christianity.
John Hawkins of Right Wing News recently interviewed Limbaugh about his book, asking if Senator Hatch was "on target" in his observation. "Yeah and I've written columns about it," Limbaugh said. "Judicial nominees in particular and nominees to the FDA like David Hager, or Jerry Thacker to the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS, are Christians and they get lambasted by the secular left. When it comes to judicial nominations, there is a de facto litmus test applied against pro-lifers and people with strong Christian values. Yes, I think that's what has happened although they deny that's what's going on and they get indignant about it. But if you look at its core, they have an antipathy towards Christians who articulate their views in the public arena."
Two of the blocked Christian judicial nominees who have spoken openly about their views are Priscilla Owen of Texas and Janice Rogers Brown of California. Both have been nominated for lifetime judgeships on the U.S. Court of Appeals, the nation's second-highest court and, according to Democrats, a holding tank for future Supreme Court nominees.
Democrats, desperate to keep people of faith out of what they see as the Supreme Court line-up, use code words to describe their opposition to these nominees, calling Brown a nominee who sees the federal bench as a platform to "advance her own extremist views" and labeling both judges as "judicial activists" who should be "stopped before they get lifetime appointments."
What these Democrats fail to remind us is that they have eagerly and actively supported other judicial nominees when their very real potential for "judicial activism" would have advanced the secular cause. And when Republicans attempted to block these liberal nominees, it was the Democrats who cried foul.
The GOP-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday gave its approval to judges Owen and Brown, passing them along to the full Senate. This moves Republicans one step closer to a showdown with Democrats over the filibuster. Republicans have threatened the "nuclear option", using their majority position in the Senate to change the rules to eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominees.
While such a rule change would ensure the approval of President Bush's nominees, many conservatives fear that it will come back to bite us in the future when Democrats have improved their position in the House and Senate and again control the White House.
If Republicans are forced to resort to the nuclear option, which appears inevitable, it will escalate the war on Christianity to a fever pitch in 2008. With no judicial filibuster in the Senate, Republicans will have even more incentive to keep the White House and Democrats will have even more incentive to win it.
We've already shown you that Democrats will try anything, including overt pandering to religious conservatives, to win the White House in 2008. Republicans must field a candidate with the experience, wisdom and moral authority to lead us into this battle.
That candidate is Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
New details about the book and its promotion are available. In his 12 stop program, the Governor encourages people to break free from the destructive habits that threaten their health and self-esteem. Focusing only on weight loss, he says, usually leads to failure, and attention to "total body health" is the only way to truly succeed.
The Governor's program inspires readers to STOP the following unhealthy habits:
2. Making excuses
3. Sitting on the couch
4. Ignoring signals from your body
5. Listening to destructive criticism
6. Expecting immediate success
8. Making exceptions
9. Storing provisions for failure
10. Fueling with contaminated food
11. Allowing food to be a reward
12. Neglecting your spiritual life
The book, which will be published May 5, will be promoted with advertising in Publisher's Weekly, People and Time along with a national media campaign, regional book signing tour, national television satellite tour, national print publicity campaign and Web marketing. Rumored to be on the book tour schedule are appearances on Oprah, Leno and Letterman.
Why wait? You can pre-order your copy right here.
A report released yesterday by a unit of the Centers for Disease Control could lead overweight and obese Americans to falsely believe that being overweight is not dangerous. The new report, based upon statistical analysis, revised the number of annual deaths due to obesity dramatically downward, from a previously estimated 400,000 to 112,000 annually.
Dr. Bob Eckel, of the American Heart Association, said the confused message from the CDC could be dangerous if people use it to justify being overweight. "I hope people aren't jumping to that conclusion," he said, indicating that the statistics used in the report may be skewed. "We are getting heavier, younger, and people don't die of obesity in five to 10 years. I think the epidemic of obesity is not being assessed adequately."
"I am sure this is going to create confusion," agreed Dr. William Cochran of Pennsylvania's Geisinger Health System. "[T]here is positively, absolutely undeniably no doubt that being obese is not good for you."
Other factors skewing the results of the study include better drugs for controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes and a reduction in the number of smokers, all of which contribute to keeping overweight people alive longer.
Tim Church of the Cooper Institute, which advocates exercise, agreed that most overweight Americans do not fit the profile of being overweight yet fit. "No, the average American is not fit," he said. "That is the problem -- we are an extremely sedentary country. We have two epidemics in this country -- one is obesity and one is physical inactivity."
Cochran also noted the current study points to adults, most of whom only became overweight as adults. But 16 percent of U.S. children are overweight, and other studies have predicted they may die at younger ages than their parents will.
"We are seeing kids with insulin resistance, kids with what used to be called adult onset diabetes. I see kids that can't breathe at nighttime. So there is no doubt, being obese is not healthy."
Dangerously confusing messages like this, coming from the government's authority on disease control, illustrate the critical need for leadership on the issues of health and health care. Governor Mike Huckabee is that leader. His new book, "Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork", will be published next month.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
C'mon Huck! We know you're running
OK, I've been biding my time to comment on this, but I think now is the right time.
I've been checking the "unofficial" Mike Huckabee for president blog on a daily basis. When it started, it seemed like an amateurish thing, believably launched by a fan of the governor.
But lately I've been getting suspicious. This blog is looking awfully professional, with some detailed and consistent policy themes, and the photos/graphics to go with them.
Today's post is a statistic-laden briefing about child obesity, for pete's sake!
There's no doubt about it. This blog is being staffed by a pro, and odds are he/she is coordinating with Huckabee's staff to keep the message tight.
NOTE: These observations are pretty accurate, with a couple of important exceptions. This blog was started by Crit back in Feburary as a purely amateur fan site, but it grew so rapidly that Crit called up an old college friend (me, BSR) to help. While I'm still an amateur, I did have more blogging experience, so I was able to bring a bit more professionalism to the site. While Crit isnt handling the daily postings, we still collaborate on the content and work together to "market" this blog around the blogosphere. Now for the exceptions: We are in no way connected to Gov. Mike Huckabee or the Governor's office of Arkansas. Nor have we coordinated in any way with anyone on the Governor's staff, though we would welcome that (hint hint)!
The new report also determined that being "modestly overweight" actually reduced the liklihood of death when compared to people of "normal" weight. This surprising statistic is dangerous because Americans could latch onto it and use it as an excuse to not watch their diet and keep their weight under control. According to Biostatistician Mary Grace Kovar, a consultant for the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center in Washington, what is now considered "normal" weight may be set too low for today's population. Also, Americans classified as overweight are eating better, exercising more and managing their blood pressure better than they used to, she said.
The new analysis did confirm that obesity -- being extremely overweight -- is indisputably lethal. The CDC is not going to scale back its fight against obesity. "There's absolutely no question that obesity is a major public health concern of this country," said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. And the CDC will continue working to improve methods for calculating the consequences of obesity.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
The American Heart Association today released a call for caution against obesity among toddlers. Childhood obesity has become such a threat to public health that it could reverse the last half-century's gains in reducing cardiovascular disease and death, the heart association said.
The prevalence of overweight children and adolescents has almost quadrupled from less than 5 percent in the 1980s to about 16 percent today.
Toddlerhood, according to experts, is a time when dietary and activity habits are formed. Parents must be aware that their own dietary choices and activity levels may well be repeated by their children.
Gov. Mike Huckabee, a role model for healthy living and the battle against obesity, is a potential candidate for president in 2008 and has the ideas, experience and leadership to help America address it's health care crisis. His fourth book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork, will be published next month.
Monday, April 18, 2005
There are many reasons to support in-state college tuition and scholarship eligibility for these children:
Logic and tolerance -- opponents criticize and demonize illegal immigrants for coming here and running up states' costs for health care, welfare, education and incarceration when they commit crimes while at the same time denying them access to the very tool that will lift them out of poverty. Neither illegal immigrants, nor their children, are going away. Purposefully holding these children down while at the same time complaining about their need for state assistance smacks of hypocrisy and racism.
Economic development and intellectual advancement -- illegal immigrant families represent one of the fastest growing demographics in the country. Every state needs an educated and talented workforce. Therefore educating these children makes good economic sense. In addition, there are gifted and talented children of illegal immigrants out there who can make important contributions in many fields. Take, for example, the headline story of this post about a group of undocumented immigrant high school students from Pheonix who stunned the robotics community by beating a team of MIT students in a recent competition. Because these gifted students are from poor families and are ineligible for in-state tuition or scholarships, it is possible they will never have the opportunity to make their contribution to society. A scholarship fund has been started for them by their school district.
Finally, human decency and fairness -- since when did we start punishing children for the crimes of their parents?
Think about that for a second.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Here's a great piece by Paul at Powerline about how some Democrats are opposing President Bush's judicial nominees because the nominees are people of faith.
Aaron at Pardon My English give his opinion about the hyposcrisy of Howard Dean.
Captain's Quarters has a spectacular analysis of why Republicans can wait no longer to end Democratic obstuctionism on judicial nominees.
Here's a pretty good piece by the Wall Street Journal's Dan Gerstein, who attempts to define the reasons Democrats are losing the "culture war". He had me until he said Hillary Clinton is "making the progressive case for social responsibility better than anyone." If that's really true, the Democrats have even bigger problems than we thought.
Here's a trend that will send chills up and down the spines of Democrats. One of the only bright spots in the 2004 election was the welcoming embrace of college towns. Now they could be losing them, as well. Students around the nation, fed up with liberal bias on their campuses, have begun fighting back. Where can we contribute to this effort?
Ryan James is keeping track of the 2008 race's Southerners, who seem to be dropping like flies.
John Brummett predicts Gov. Huckabee will resign prior to the 2006 election season, partly to give Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller an advantage in the gubernatorial election and partly to begin deciding what to do with the rest of his life. He also predicts that Gov. Huckabee will seek the 2008 presidential nomination. Not mentioned is the fact that such a move would require Gov. Huckabee to relinquish the Chairmanship of the National Governor's Association and dramatically weaken his chances for winning the nomination. We just don't see that happening.
Each Sunday morning, we are going to post some news and ideas for you to help you turn off the TV, stop reading blogs (gasp!) and get outside. Why Sundays? Well, we have families too. We know that week days and evenings are full of work, homework, school activities, and kid's sports practices. Saturdays are generally jammed with the kids' softball tournaments, soccer games, haircuts, oil changes, paying bills, etc. But Sundays... after church, most people don't have much going on.
Today, no matter where you are in America, you have pretty darn nice weather. I am taking my family, and my modestly overweight dog, on a walk this afternoon. We are going to enjoy the beautiful weather and talk to some of our neighbors. Then, we are all going to grab a rake and some trashbags and make a family activity out of cleaning the leaves out of our flower beds. It'll be fun.
Newsweek's new issue is devoted entirely to family wellness, and how children follow the examples set by their parents. Check it out.
You should also check out 40 Days of Fat. If your family can stand to lose some weight, sign up. You can help yourself, help your family and help others all at the same time.
Now get outside!
Friday, April 15, 2005
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean went to Arkansas earlier this month to speak to the National Association of State Democratic Chairmen, which had its meeting in Little Rock. Prior to the meeting, Dean called Arkansas columnist John Brummett to give him a preview of what he planned to say in his speech.
"We need to talk about Christian values and how they are Democratic values," he said. "Jesus taught to help the least among us. He spent his life reaching out to the disenfranchised. The Democratic Party is the party of that value, not the Republican Party."
We highlight Dean's remark above because he says Jesus taught to help the 'least among us' and to 'reach out to the disenfranchised.' Who, we ask, is least among us than the un-born? And who is more disenfranchised than the unborn, who are summarily aborted with no chance whatsoever to defend themselves?
Is Dean saying that the Democratic party has finally come to realize the error of its ways in regard to human life? Sadly no. Dean's call falls somewhere short of truly protecting the least and most disenfranchised among us.
If, on the one hand, it were true that the Democratic Party's front man had honestly begun a sincere walk with Christ, and was striving to lead his fellow Democrats on that walk, it would be cause for celebration among Christians everywhere. Unfortunately, this is not the case. According to Wesley Pruden, even as Dean utters Jesus' name a secular assault on Christianity, led by the staunchest allies of the Democratic Party, is underway.
And this is an assault on the very Christian values that millions of Democrats hold dear to their hearts!
The Washington Times' Julia Duin has begun an important three-part series that details the war on Christianity. The first part, titled "Religion under a secular assault", was published April 13.
Among the points she makes:
--The secular war on religion is organized and funded primarily by the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, People for the American Way and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
--Their attacks are focused exclusively on Christianity.
--Since the 1960's these groups have filed hundreds of lawsuits demanding that Christian symbols and practices, to the exclusion of all other religions, be prohibited in public places and public life.
--Columnist Burt Prelutsky recently wrote on the subject in the Los Angeles Times, saying "The dirty little secret in America is that anti-Semitism is no longer a problem in society - its been replaced by a rampant anti-Christianity."
--100% of the ACLU's political contributions in the last election went to Democrats.
For Howard Dean to come to the South, talking about Christian values while the very backbone of his party works behind the scenes to destroy Christianity, is the single greatest act of hypocrisy and betrayal in modern times.
The Democratic Party knows it has been losing Presidential elections primarily due to its own spiritual emptiness. They also know that the South, where Christian values and spirituality are particularly important, is the key to their future success.
So what do they do? They pretend.
Consider, for example, Dean's statement to a breakfast fund-raiser in Nashville, Tennessee on March 30, reported in the Memphis Flyer. "We need to talk about values and not be afraid of them. Until we do that, we're not going to win in the South."
Until the Democratic party stops merely "talking about values" and truly changes itself by changing its platform position on abortion (which will drive away the radical left wingers who have hijacked the party), it will not have truly changed.
Christians and pro-lifers need to keep that in mind.
If you are pro-life Democrat who is disappointed by your party's position on protecting human life, you are welcome here. Please learn more about Mike Huckabee and his honest and refreshing approach to leadership.
UPDATE! Yet another devastating example of the Democrats' war on religion: The ACLU, which supported ONLY Democratic candidates in the last election, recently fought to secure recognition of a student homosexual group and then CHANGED ITS POSITION when its own legal precedent would have allowed the same recognition of a Christian group. Special thanks to Gateway Pundit.
This is significant to readers of this blog because a brand new Harvard Medical School study shows that more than one half of all bankruptcies are filed as a result of crushing medical expenses --more than half! And these aren't all just poor, uninsured people, either. "Most were average Americans who happened to get sick," the study says. Many of these families had health coverage, but it "offered little protection. Families with health coverage faced unaffordable co-payments, deductibles, and bills for uncovered items and even the best job-based health insurance often vanished when prolonged illness caused job loss --precisely when families needed it most."
In addition, "several had used credit cards to charge medical bills they had no hope of paying." Finally, these people were not just rushing into bankruptcy, either. They fought hard and suffered long before being forced into bankruptcy.
In the two years prior to filing:
- 40% lost phone service
- 19% went without food
- 54% went without needed healthcare
- 43% stopped filling prescriptions
- 15% took out second and third mortgages for medical bills
- 1/3 continue to struggle paying bills long after filing bankruptcy
That, my friends, is a human tragedy. Now, guess what racks up the lion's share of medical bills? Chronic illnesses. Guess what causes more chronic illnesses than anything else? Obesity. That's right.
According to brand new research conducted by RAND, obesity is linked to "very high rates of chronic illnesses--higher than living in poverty and much higher than smoking or drinking." When compared to normal-weight individuals, obese people suffer from a 67% increase in chronic health conditions. For smokers its only 25%. (!)
Now get this. Not only does obesity cause far more health problems than smoking, it also affects far more people. Approximately 19% of Americans are smokers. Fully 59% of us are classified as overweight-to-obese! Chronic illnesses often take years to develop. That means that almost 60% of us are walking around out there with what could be a chronic, catastrophically expensive, life altering disease percolating in our veins.
In other words, "current research may, if anything, understate the public health consequences of obesity."
So if you're a big, powerful, intelligent lawmaker in Washington--and you care about bankruptcy law--you must care about medical costs--particularly obesity--also, right? Well, apparently not. "RAND's findings suggest that weight reduction should be an urgent public health priority." But there's only one politician out there talking about it: Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Maybe we should listen.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
"I DO think that a Southern governor has a great chance at the nomination if he chooses to run," he says. "His name is Mike Huckabee."
Justin's blog is a great daily resource for 2008 campaign news and opinion. Highly recommended. Don't forget to stop by and let your voice be heard in his polls, too.
ABC News reports today that, for state legislators who begin four days of discussions in Washington on Thursday, the current financial landscape is a mix of good and bad. Signs of economic improvement are clear, with tax revenues up steadily for more than a year.
While those are undeniably steps in the right direction, "We've fallen behind," said Harley Duncan of the Federation of Tax Administrators.
Spending overruns popped up in 31 states, with most of the problems coming from Medicaid costs and other health care programs. Why are Medicaid and other health care program costs exploding? Learn more here.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
That was enough to make us cranky, but then he went on to report that one of Barbour's friends told him "He'll be the only real Southerner in the race." A race, Fineman agrees, that will depend heavily upon the GOP's ability to maintain its dominance in the "crucial voting bloc" of the religious conservative South.
But hold on, Fineman says. Barbour won't be the only real Southerner in the race. "By my admittedly rough count there could be at least FIVE Southerners in the '08 contest."
OK, we think. Here it comes. He's going to talk about Gov. Huckabee. But does he? No! He names every Tom, Dick and Harry in and around the South EXCEPT Gov. Mike Huckabee. How could he leave out the 'Southernest' Southerner of them all?
Thankfully, the oversight was not lost everyone. Ryan James caught it and took issue with it as well.
Here's a wake-up call. ABC News reported about new research released today by Neuroscientists who have discovered that low life forms, including slugs, make better dietary choices than humans.
Seems all species, including humans, have an enzyme mechanism that signals us to seek foods that create a perfect nutritional balance. Unfortunately humans have found a way to ignore it. The researchers say that our diets, when overloaded with fats, release morphine-like "pleasure signals" that interfere with the mechanism.
Fried Twinkie, anyone?
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
That's what Paul Krugman, liberal economist, has done in his New York Times column published yesterday titled "Ailing Health Care". Krugman asserts that the real fiscal crisis in America today is not Social Security, but health care.
Bravo! Right answer. We agree. Sort of.
First a clarification: While we have said here many times that health care, particularly Medicare and Medicaid are more urgent crises than Social Security, we have not accused the Bush administration of "inventing" the Social Security crisis. It IS in crisis. We have merely made the point that if one thinks Social Security is in a crisis, one must also accept the fact that health care is in a major crisis as well. Health care is, in fact, a more urgent crisis that must be dealt with...and soon.
Now we'll tell you how Krugman came to the right answer the wrong way. He blames the problem on rapidly rising health care costs.
Fair enough. But how did you reach that conclusion, Mr. Krugman?
"Rising health care spending isn't primarily the result of medical price inflation," he says. "It's primarily a response to innovation: the range of things that medicine can do keeps increasing. For example, Medicare recently started paying for implanted cardiac devices in many patients with heart trouble, now that research has shown them to be highly effective. This is good news, not bad."
Krugman blames the health care crisis almost entirely on "progress". Not once did he wonder why so many patients have heart trouble in the first place. Sure, medical advances play a role in rising costs, but the real culprit--the problem we can control--is personal choice.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in America, costing an estimated $117 billion per year. That is more than the war on terror costs (by far!).
Here's the real problem: Our health care system is one that pays for these costs, and other costs associated with other preventable diseases, without providing any incentives for people to make positive choices about their own health.
As Gov. Mike Huckabee says, "Our whole health care system is screwed up. We pay people to get sick. We do nothing for them to stay healthy. That's completely wrong. We should be creating incentives for individuals to lead a healthy lifestyle rather than pour money into a program that pays for sickness."
That is not to say that we join the growing chorus of lawmakers who are talking about a fat tax. Nor do we advocate the demonization of the fast food industry. We argue instead that, rather than negative incentives, Americans need a positive role model and positive incentives to make the right choices about their own health. Rather than "sick days", we should get "well days".
In other words, we need to change the way we think about health and health care 180 degrees. Mike Huckabee is helping us do that.
Monday, April 11, 2005
And they have to nominate a real Southerner. In 2000, they assumed that Southerners were too stupid to notice that Gore was raised a liberal Northeasterner and spent only token time in the South. Gore was, in truth, nothing more than a carpet bagger and Southerners knew it. Then in 2004 Democrats were so desperate to win at least a couple of Southern states they decided to put a Southern VP on the ticket. After looking all over the place the best they could find was John Edwards, a raw, inexperienced, liberal ambulance chaser. Again, Democrats assumed that southerners were too stupid to recognize pandering when they see it.
The fact that neither of these men managed to carry their own states, much less any other Southern state, is proof positive that Democrats desperately need a real Southerner at the top of their 2008 ticket. Will they do it?
We believe so. A quick perusal of post election news and democratic blogs leads us to believe the Democrats finally “get it” with regard to the South.
“Democratic leaders are out of touch with the American people. [We] don’t really have the same life, day to day, as all those people out there in those red states”, said Doug Sosnik, former Clinton Political Director at the recent Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) meeting. “We can’t figure out a better way to sell to those people—we’ve got to be more like them.”
Being “more like them”, he says, means finding Democratic leaders from small-town and rural America. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR), the only Southern Democrat to win a Senate seat, agreed. Speaking at the same council meeting, she urged the party to adopt a strategy “that encompasses dealing with people who live where I grew up: in the middle of nowhere, out in rural America.”
Al From, the DLC’s founder, said “for the second term in a row, we did not win one electoral vote in the South. We have to expand the map. If we aren’t challenging the Republicans to defend their turf, they will constantly challenge us to defend ours.” Finally, he said, “you can’t talk about a national strategy until you talk about a Southern strategy.”
Democratic leaders are also keenly aware of just how soundly they were trounced in the South. Election returns have been studied down to the county level and reported in the Washington Post, Time Magazine and other national publications. Across the South, white voters constitute a majority of voters in 1,154 counties. Kerry won just 90 of them.
By contrast, Bill Clinton, (a real Southerner) won 510 of them. Enough to carry five Southern states and the White House in both 1992 and 1996.
Democrats are also very aware that history is not on their side.
According to Gleaves Whitney, a presidential historian and author of the AskGleaves.org blog, since 1856 Republicans have won seven of nine open presidential contests against Democrats. “Regarding 2008,” he says, “see if they don’t look south of the Mason-Dixon line for their candidate.”
Whitney also quotes Mark Rozell, another presidential historian. “In the past 40 years, the Democrats have won the White House only with a Southern Baptist at the head of the ticket. For 2008, the lesson for Democrats seems clear: In seeking a party nominee, go south.”
Why do we point this out to you on this blog? Because now is not the time for Republicans to ease their grip on the South. If Democrats are going to nominate a real Southerner (assuming they can find one who is viable), Republicans will make a huge mistake by not going toe to toe with them.
A Republican ticket that has no real Southerner facing a Democratic ticket that has one stands to lose not just a few Southern states, but the White House as well. Democrats have no choice but to try to win back at least part of the South. Republicans cannot afford to let that happen. That’s why we are predicting that the South will be ground zero in 2008.
Even in a Southerner vs. Southerner steel cage death match, Republicans maintain a decided advantage. Democrats cannot nominate a pro life candidate. Republicans not only can, but must or they will have unilaterally disarmed in the South and they will lose Southern states and the White House. Worse, they will have willingly tossed the Democrats a life preserver in a region they desperately need. That would be stupid.
If Republicans are going to have to defend the South against a real Southern Democrat, the only way to limit the damage is to “out-Southern” them. There is one way to do that: Republicans can nominate a real Southerner who also happens to be a former Southern Baptist minister. We’re willing to bet the Democrats can’t find one of those.
Chris is fortunate to live in Arkansas, where he's had the opportunity to personally witness Gov. Huckabee's transformation and hear his ideas about health and health care. The rest of America will have to wait until next month, when the governor's new book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork, will be published and promoted with a national book tour.
UPDATE: We did some more reading about 40 Days of Fat after posting this morning and learned something that warrants an update. 40 Days of Fat is far more than one guy who was inspired to lose weight by Gov. Mike Huckabee. 40 Days of Fat is actually one of the most innovative ideas we've ever heard of-- a blog-based, worldwide weight loss challenge for charity! Basically, you can join the effort by pledging to donate money to World Vision for each pound you lose, each push-up and sit-up you do, etc. The challenge begins May 1 and lasts through June 9th. Brilliant idea, Mr. Chris! Learn more here.
Good luck to you, Chris. Keep up the hard work.
While speaking at a national conference on improving health care for all Americans, Governor Mike Huckabee told his astonished crowd about a southern secret: the deep fried Twinkie. State Fairs throughout the south offer lots of fried foods, including Twinkies and candy bars. Even more amazing: people eat them.
The governor used the story to illustrate a disturbing trend that affects not just the south, but the entire country. "America is in trouble," he said of obesity. He called for a "culture of health" that "attacks the causes of disease". When he becomes Chairman of the National Governors Association this summer, Huckabee said, healthy living will be a major theme of his tenure.
According to the article, some political analysts have said the healthy-living theme could prove useful to the governor if he decides to run for president in 2008.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Friday, April 08, 2005
Of course, readers of this blog already knew that. We've been screaming about it here for weeks.
Thanks to Mark Coffey at Decision 08 for directing me to the Broder article via Viking Pundit.
PBS announced this week that Sesame Street is joining the battle against childhood obesity with a new emphasis on healthy habits. Shockingly, the changes include forcing the Cookie Monster to cut back substantially on his only true love --chocolate chip cookies--reducing them to the status of a "sometimes food".
Thursday, April 07, 2005
A new study estimates that overweight and inactive Californians cost the state $21.7 billion a year in medical bills, injuries and lost productivity.
That's just one state. Nationally, studies show that obesity has reached epidemic proportions, costing taxpayers more than the war on terror. Experts say Medicare, not Social Security, is the real crisis.
Gov. Mike Huckabee is the only potential candidate for president in 2008 talking about the health and health care issues America faces. His new book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork, will be published in May.
Educate yourself here.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Last week we recieved an offer from a college student in South Carolina to write an editorial about Mike Huckabee for this blog. Always interested in what other supporters have to say about the governor, we told him to write it and send to us for review. Well, we were impressed. Following is our first guest editorial, written by "GamecockGOP".
Very rarely do politicians have the courage in office to follow through with a ground breaking idea that could benefit many. Unfortunately the all too common path for them is to cower in a corner and support the status quo. Fortunately for the people of Arkansas, they have been blessed over the last nine years with an innovative statesman as governor.
Mike Huckabee is a leader. His leadership has brought amazing results for Arkansas. For example, his ARKids First health insurance program is revolutionary and a standard which other states will follow for years to come. ARKids First is a children's health insurance program for Arkansas' "working poor". In 1996 it was estimated that as many as 90,000 children in the state were without any type of health insurance coverage because their families earned too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to purchase health insurance on their own. These families earned as much as 200% above the federal poverty level-approximately $30,000 annually for a family of four. Children in these families were not seeing a doctor regularly. Often, the only doctor they ever saw was when they had to visit an emergency room. These children missed more school than other children for simple illnesses like ear infections and minor injuries because they got no antibiotics or other treatments to speed recovery. These families had literally fallen through the cracks.
ARKids First changed all that. Under the federal Childrens Heath Insurance Program (CHIP) initiative, Governor Huckabee crafted a customized program for Arkansas that filled the gap in coverage options for these families. Under ARKids First, families earning up to 200% above federal poverty level now qualified for state health insurance for children under age 19. But there is more to the story. Recognizing that Arkansans are hard-working, proud citizens who are often unwilling to accept a "handout", Governor Huckabee "marketed" ARKids First like a private health insurance program. References to words like "Medicaid" and "entitlement" were avoided and the governor himself, a trusted figure in the state, served as the official spokesperson for the program. The results were spectacular. Parents were not embarrassed for their children to be on ARKids First. The phones rang off the hook. Within one year, the program was covering over 30,000 previously uninsured children. Within two years it was 50,000. No other state's CHIP program has performed as well and ARKids First.
Public health has always been a key concern of Governor Huckabee's and he has seen this as reason to lead by example. He has recently drastically slimmed down, become healthier himself, and has even been named "Athlete of the Week" by the United States Track and Field Association. In May 2005 his fourth book, Quit Digging Your Grave With a Knife and Fork, will be published.
This type of populism is rarely seen in Republicans in modern times. This type of innovation and energy unfortunately is rare in politics. And because of the scrutiny and negative aspects involved with politics, good people like Mike Huckabee rarely surface as governors let alone presidential candidates. This might be exactly the reason why Mike Huckabee will be the next President of the United States of America.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Doodles571's post was then followed by this one from someone known as "Spryte".
If we multiply this kind of exchange by a few million we'll be on our way!
Monday, April 04, 2005
Governor Mike Huckabee served as keynote speaker today at the National Summit on Improving Health Care for All Americans. The summit was hosted by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Washington, DC. It is reported that the Governor shared his personal story and key themes from his new book, Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork.
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Marketing results reports will be posted for all to see.
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War On Terror: 1,538 dead (total)
Obesity: 112,000 dead (annually)
According to the Department of Defense, a total of 1,538 U.S. soldiers and civilians have been killed in operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas in the war on terror.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 112,000 Americans die every year due to obesity related illnesses*.
Note: The editors of this blog deeply respect and honor those who have given their lives in America's defense. The point of this post is merely to illustrate the scope of the obesity epidemic in the United States.
*Poor diet & physical inactivity
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Who is Mike Huckabee? Mike Huckabee is the Governor of Arkansas, currently one of the longest serving Governors in the country. He is the next Chairman of the National Governors Association and he is from Hope, Arkansas. Mike Huckabee is also a brilliant politician who is warm, caring, eloquent and engaging. He is also a musician.
If all that sounds familiar, it may be because Bill Clinton shared the exact same resume when he launched his Presidential bid in 1992. Mike Huckabee, however, is a Republican.
It seems unlikely that a small state like Arkansas could produce two Presidents in a single generation. Add to the equation the fact that they both hail from the same tiny, rural town of just over 10,000 people and it must be almost a statistical impossibility -- almost.
While Mike Huckabee shares a number of biographical characteristics with Clinton, he shares several more significant political and personal characteristics with President George W. Bush. Like the President, Mike Huckabee originally assumed his present office under a cloud of controversy. His predecessor, Jim Guy Tucker, was convicted of a felony in the White Water scandal and was compelled to resign. Mike Huckabee, then the lieutenant governor, was to assume the Governorship. However, at the last minute Tucker changed his mind.
A constitutional crisis loomed. Yet he prevailed.
His authority was doubted by many (he was sometimes referred to as the 'accidental Governor'). Yet he prevailed.
He was underestimated. Repeatedly. Yet he always prevailed.
He shares something else with the President, as well. Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, is a believer in the grace and power of God.
Now that you know a few of the things Mike Huckabee shares with other Presidents, you need to know about the things that make him unique--and uniquely qualified to serve as the next President of the United States.
This blog is a great place to start.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Iraq war: $6 Billion per month
Obesity: $9.75 Billion per month
According to the House Budget Committee Democratic Caucus, the 2004 monthly Department of Defense costs for operations in Iraq were approximately $6 Billion per month.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the current monthly costs of obesity-related illnesses are approximately $9.75 billion.
Where's the outrage?