Wednesday, November 30, 2005
On Monday, December 5th Governor Mike Huckabee will receive the AARP's Impact Award. The award is given each year to "10 honorees who did something extraordinary to make the world a better place."
Dubbed a "Health Crusader," Huckabee's reasons for receiving the honor are described as follows:
In 2003, on a routine visit to his doctor, Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas got some bad news: if he didn't dramatically change his lifestyle, he could die within ten years. Desperately overweight and diabetic, the former Southern Baptist preacher began a diet-and-exercise program that led to a 110-pound weight loss and a new mission in life—helping others get healthy. The first priority? Raising public awareness of the link between obesity and health problems in a state where 61 percent of the adult citizenry are overweight.
Huckabee created Healthy Arkansas, a comprehensive effort to get Arkansans to eat better, exercise more, and stop smoking. Among his more innovative initiatives: offering smoking-cessation classes to Medicaid recipients, giving state workers $240 reductions in their annual health insurance premiums for participating in self-health assessments, and testing the body mass index of every schoolchild.
Thanks to Huckabee, Arkansas is now the only state to use every cent of tobacco-settlement money—$223 million since 2003—for health programs. Huckabee, 50, the current chairman of the National Governors Association, recently launched a yearlong Healthy America agenda. The goal: change people's habits through education and awareness.
"If we eat healthy, exercise, and don't smoke, we can add 13 healthy years to our lives," he says. "The key thing is not just living longer but living better."
Interestingly, the AARP write-up fails to mention Huckabee's completion of two marathons in the last year.
The award ceremony takes place at the New York Public Library at noon on December 5th. See this on the AARP's official website HERE.
Scroll down for new posts!
Hugh Hewitt took over the periodic Ruffini straw poll after Ruffini left to go work for the GOP. Governor Huckabee has shown steady improvement in his performance in these polls for the last several months.
This poll is particularly important because the MSM pays attention to it, which results in more articles being written and, ultimately, more Huckabee information being disseminated.
Vote for Mike Huckabee HERE.
Link it to your own blogs. Tell all your friends and family who support Mike Huckabee to vote as well. You can email this page to them by clicking the little envelope at the bottom. And remember, you can vote in this poll daily!
For information about Huckabee's previous performances in these polls, click here and here.
We're going to leave this post pegged at the top, so scroll down for the new stuff.
Wednesday, Nov 30, 2005
By Rob Moritz Arkansas News Bureau
LITTLE ROCK - The family advocacy group that conceived the state's basic health insurance plan for the children of Arkansas' working poor honored Gov. Mike Huckabee on Tuesday for creating and selling the ARKids First program to the Legislature. "He made children's health care a high priority during the 1997 session and beyond," Rich Huddleston, executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families, said in honoring the governor at the organization's 27th annual meeting.
Huddleston also said that since the program was created funding has never been cut, despite some difficult state budget shortfalls. ARKids First is a medical insurance initiative created for families who don't qualify for Medicaid and can't afford private insurance. More than 240,000 children in Arkansas are currently enrolled.
"A child sitting out there in the classroom with a headache, a toothache, stomach ache, can't concentrate, can't think, can't learn, can't fully develop. Only when we have healthy children can we have the kids who are going to be able to reach their full potential."
Huckabee downplayed his role, saying he mainly sold the program to the public and lawmakers. Many others played as big a role as he did, the governor said, including the group's former director Ami Rossi, whom Huckabee credited with coming up with the original idea for the basic health care plan for poor children.
"This is the one thing that we have an obligation to give to the future generations of Arkansans," he said. "A child sitting out there in the classroom with a headache, a toothache, stomach ache, can't concentrate, can't think, can't learn, can't fully develop. "Only when we have healthy children can we have the kids who are going to be able to reach their full potential."
Since the ARKids First program was implemented eight years ago, the state's uninsured rate for children has fallen from 19.4 percent to 10 percent, Huddleston said. The governor described the program as "an example to the rest of the country."
During his speech, the governor said he would have qualified for ARKids First while growing up in Hope in southwest Arkansas. His father was a fireman and his mother a clerk and his family had no medical insurance, he said.
See the original version of this article HERE.
Huckabee, widely known in Arkansas for his concern about the health and well-being of children, said "Out of respect for the Holloway family, including several members who live here in Arkansas, and out of concern for the safety of our citizens, I believe the prudent course of action is to avoid travel to Aruba for the time being."
You can read more about the boycott movement HERE.
Monday, November 28, 2005
This week, Huckabee discusses the moving experience of running past national memorials in his weekly radio address.
You can listen to it HERE.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
"It does appear that Congress is becoming increasingly unplugged from the states. It's a real growing source of frustration for both Democratic and Republican governors.''
You can catch the entire article HERE.
UPDATE: Paul at Right Side of the Rainbow makes his thoughts about this story known HERE.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
This week Mike Huckabee moves WAY up but we are just as interested in his analysis of the other candidates (check it out for yourself HERE).
Thank you, Mr. Surace!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Food is finally a friend instead of a foe - and I'm thankful
11/19/2005 8:36:41 AM Daily Journal
If it's the week before Thanksgiving, it must be time for the annual "What I'm thankful for" columns. If it's the week before Thanksgiving, it also means we're about to spend the next six weeks exposed to countless occasions to overstuff.
Put the two together, and I'm overstuffed with gratitude. You see, I spent 47 years as a fat person. (Not that I'm outwardly slender - yet.) But back in June, I told you about having gotten excited over Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's book - "Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork" - about his 110-pound weight loss, which involved overcoming the same food-focused culture, family tendencies and personal mindset that many of us Southerners have in common.
His book teaches that overeating is more than a physical issue. I opined that if my fellow evangelical Christians and I can start addressing it in ourselves as a spiritual issue, then we might be able to fit more people into the same amount of pew space. And the increased credibility we'd gain as we lost weight might mean we need that extra room for more people.
Nearly six months into this effort, it's time for me to be accountable. And grateful. Since reading Huckabee's book in May, I've had no sweets. Other than three pieces of fish, two slices of green tomato and one omelet, no fried foods. My two incidences of fast food ("If it comes through a window, it isn't food," Huckabee says) were in little bitty towns with no other options - and were the leanest thing on the menu.
Instead, breakfast is usually fruit, whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk. Reasonably healthy soups and sandwiches constitute most lunches. Supper is usually vegetables, salads, lean meats, fish, whole-grain breads and pastas. I still don't get all the exercise I should - Huckabee's way ahead of me there - but I'm trying to free up more time for that, too.
Plenty of times before, I'd read books about losing weight, exercising, getting fit, getting healthy. If you're a fellow fatty, you know the drill - each time, I'd swear it's going to be different, and the new-found motivation would last a few days or a few weeks before fading away in the face of temptations. This time has been different.
It can't be just Huckabee's book, even though I've shared several copies with friends in hopes that they might get the same result. It's not even the realization that his Arkansas background was much like mine here in Mississippi - church dinners heavy on the fried and the buttered, food-based reward and comfort, and big family gatherings that become marathon meals. I know it's not mere will power that's lightening my frame - I never had a sufficient supply before, yet eating healthily simply isn't the struggle it used to be. I'm not even tempted to resume my long-time love affair with Little Debbie.
The change was profound. Though I'm still far from my ideal weight, I'm no longer fat between the ears. (But the realization of what it was like to be food-obsessed is still a painful memory that will keep me sympathetic with other strugglers, if I have any heart at all.) What's enabled me to adopt a healthy approach to food after so many years of gluttony? The only answer I have is God's providence. I don't know why it happened.
But 75 pounds lighter, I'm overstuffed with gratitude.
Errol Castens is the Daily Journal religion editor.
Contact him at (662) 678-1586 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Appeared originally in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 11/19/2005 8:00:00 AM, section z , page 1
Friday, November 18, 2005
You can watch it yourself by clicking the segment titled "Talk Don't Run" HERE!
Mark Byron blogs about Mike Huckabee again today. Actually, to be totally accurate, he speculates about the possibility of a Cheney resignation and who might be called upon to replace him. While we have not spent a single second of time speculating about this ourselves, we do appreciate Mr. Byron's determination that Huckabee would be a qualified vice president.
For us, its the top of the ticket or bust ;)
You can check out Mr. Byron's blog HERE.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
"The national media is starting to recognize the achievements of a pair of little known (at least nationally) governors that are going to make an impact in the 2008 Presidential Race. Both Mike Huckabee and Mark Warner are outstanding politicians who can reach across party lines to grab votes. Despite the fact that most GOP speculation has centered on big name candidates like McCain, Giuliani, and to a lesser extent, senators like Allen, Frist, Santorum, and Brownback, governors are "where it's at" for Presidential candidates."
There's more, so jump on over to check it out HERE.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Byron methodically and intelligently rounds up Cillizza's list, providing thoughtful commentary about the candidates' REAL chances:
Allen: "He's not going to make either moderates or conservatives happy; he might get vetoed by the theocons for his center-right views on abortion. He also seems a bit stiff to wear well for a year-long campaign, although the Virginia wing of the Peanut Gallery is open to critique that thought."
McCain: "Even though he's more conservative than people give him credit for, his independent streak on economics and on campaign finance, as well as being part of the judicial-pick centrist Gang of 14, will make it very hard for him to get nominated. There will be an anti-McCain from the right; the question becomes who he'll be."
Rudy: "Way too center-left on social issues and on economics to be nominated by the modern Republican Party. He does well in early polls, but not everyone knows his full ideology; people primarily know him as Mayor 9/11."
Frist: "Persona non grata with theocons after his stem-cell stance; that and his peek-a-boo trust fund issues (unfairly, in my view, but so's life) will make his campaign a non-starter."
Romney: "His centrism on economics and on social issues will make him a hard sell in Red State territory. People note that his Mormon roots will be a hard sell as well, but the Bible-belt folks who'll be turned off by his Mormonism will be more turned off that he's not Mormon enough on social issues, not unlike Kerry and his Catholicism."
Huckabee: You'll have to jump on over to Byron's blog for that. Click HERE.
"... Like Clinton," Time says, "Huckabee has approached his state's troubles with energy and innovation, and he has enjoyed some successes. Most notably, he created ARKids First, which offers health insurance to poor children and has helped reduced the percentage of uninsured Arkansans under 18 to 9% in 2003-04, compared with 12% for the nation and 21% for neighboring Texas.
Since he became Governor in July 1996, welfare rolls have declined by nearly half, and last year the state's economy grew 4.4%, beating the national average of 4.2%. But Huckabee, 50, is a good Governor, not just for what he has done but also for who he has become, personally and politically. He is literally half the man he used to be, having lost 110 lbs. after learning in 2002 that he has diabetes and suffering chest pains a year later. He now exercises with martial regularity. More important, but less noted, has been Huckabee's political transformation. In his early years as Lieutenant Governor and then in the top job, he offered little more than anti-Clinton resentment and capering populism."
"Huckabee is now a mature, consensus-building conservative who earns praise from fellow Evangelicals and, occasionally, liberal Democrats."
For the rest of the Time article, click HERE.
Edited for length and content by BSR.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Anthony Surace of The Templar Pundit has been publishing well-reasoned and thoughtful analysis of the 2008 campaign for some time now and it has not gone unnoticed (he was recently featured on MSNBC's Connected Coast to Coast program).
Today he publishes his latest 2008 candidate rankings, moving Mike Huckabee up to second place, behind Mitt Romney.
Check it out for yourself, HERE.
And while you are there, go ahead and vote in his poll.
Well done, Mr. Surace!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Gov. Mike Huckabee, Chairman of the National Governor's Association, has been at the forefront of a major national debate over reforming Medicaid. On Wednesday, Huckabee told the nation's Medicaid directors that the American Medicaid system is in dramatic need of overhaul after remaining virtually unchanged for 40 years -- and that changes made to the program should be "reform-driven."
Huckabee insists that reforms to Medicaid be made compassionately, because the program serves as the safety net for the poor and elderly.
"The challenges we face with Medicaid system are not just about the money; we need to find better ways to save and improve the lives of the frailest members of our society."
The Governor delivered his remarks in anticipation of floor consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives of budget reconciliation bill HR 4241. This bill contains Medicaid reforms agreed upon by the nation's 50 governors.
Speaking at the fall 2005 annual meeting of the National Association of State Medicaid Directors in Arlington, Va., Huckabee said, "There is almost nothing about life in this country that is the same as it was in 1965, yet the Medicaid system has not changed much at all since it was signed into law by President Johnson. It is well past the time this country addressed the fact that unsustainable Medicaid growth is creating a very real fiscal crisis in most states."
Using Arkansas as an example, Huckabee noted the Medicaid program has grown from 400,000 recipients in 1996 to over 717,000 today. "Program costs have jumped to $3 billion annually," said Huckabee. "In our state, with its population of 2.7 million citizens, the program pays for roughly 75 percent of all nursing home patients and 50 percent of all births."
As NGA chairman, Huckabee has played a key role in the ongoing Medicaid reform discussions involving governors and congressional leaders. The NGA Medicaid reform proposal outlines fundamental changes that would give governors more flexibility to deal with a program burdening them with costs spiraling out of control.
Huckabee told a crowd of more than 500 people at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel in Arlington, "The Medicaid system needs to move expeditiously toward real cost savings and better coverage. This country doesn't have the luxury of looking at this complex issue from a think-tank point of view. We have to continue to work with Congress to improve the lives of millions of Americans who have nowhere else to turn for medical coverage, but we also have to come to grips with the harsh fiscal reality that this unchecked growth can't continue."
Huckabee has been governor of Arkansas since July of 1996 and is the second most senior serving governor in America. He told the Medicaid directors some of the core components of Medicaid reform should be:
--A review of funding for end of life care
--Incentives for recipients to get involved in wellness efforts
--Exploration of new ways to deal with people shielding assets to obtain Medicaid eligibility
--Reform of the waiver process allowing states to try new approaches to old problems
--A more flexible benefits package for the younger Medicaid population
--The creation of more consumer choice benefits
--Greater transparency in the prescription drug reimbursement program
While serving as chairman of the NGA, Huckabee is overseeing his "Healthy America" initiative, encouraging all Americans to invest in their own health by taking preventive measures, including exercise, eating healthier, and refraining from tobacco use.
This is an edited version of an article previously written by Kirsten Fedewa of U.S. Newswire.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
For details about both events, scroll down.
Huckabee will discuss the impact of the unrestrained costs of Medicaid, natural disasters and a possible flu pandemic that are straining states' resources as never before. According to Huckabee's staff, he will not only point out the problem, he will offer solutions.
For over a year, Huckabee has been the center of a national dialogue on how to compassionately reform the Medicaid system, which provides health care for 53 million Americans.
The current Medicaid budget growth is unsustainable for a majority of states, who bear most of the fiscal burden of this program. Medicaid serves populations with the most serious and expensive health care needs -- and is the largest and fastest growing component of state budgets.
For more information, click HERE or to request an interview with Gov. Huckabee, contact Kirsten Fedewa at 703-684-3339. (Cell: 202-365-6936)
Media who wish to cover the event must be credentialed in advance by the Association of Public Human Services Association.
Contact: Frank Solomon at 202-682-0100 ext. 285 or email@example.com
Former recipients include Governors Zell Miller of Georgia, Tommy G. Thompson of Wisconsin, John Engler of Michigan and Michael Leavitt of Utah.
This year's awards dinner is being held at the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Embassy Row Hotel.
Here is an excerpt from Governing's profile about Huckabee:
Mike Huckabee is probably best known nationally for having recently shed more than 100 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes. As the governor of Arkansas for the past decade, he has done just as much to reshape government, forcing changes in most important areas of state policy.
He is also being recognized for his advocacy of "Healthy America," his national initiative through the National Governors Association and his leadership and dedication to reforming Medicaid.
"Huckabee, who has been testing the 2008 presidential waters, is a true exemplar of the concept of "compassionate conservatism."
"He has overseen breakthroughs in health coverage for children, education management and school finance. He also sponsored the largest tax cuts Arkansas has ever seen, as well as the state's biggest road construction package. And the state this year racked up the largest budget surplus in its history."
For the rest, click HERE.
For more information or to request an interview with Gov. Huckabee, contact: Kirsten Fedewa, 703-684-3339 (Cell: 202-365-6936). The official news release can be found HERE.
Monday, November 07, 2005
New conservation stamps and limited edition prints to raise much-needed funds to save the recently rediscovered bird are being endorsed and signed by Huckabee.
Proceeds from the sale of these Official Ivory-billed Woodpecker Conservation Stamps and Prints will benefit the Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and Cornell Lab of Ornithology as they lead the efforts of the Big Woods Conservation Partnership. The program will help the Ivory-billed Woodpecker by providing funding for public education, habitat acquisition and research expenses.
To learn more, visit the official website of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker conservation stamp program HERE.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
"I acknowledge and respect Roe v. Wade as a matter of law (code for pro-abortion activists: 'Relax, I will do nothing and support nothing that in any way endangers your desire to have all the abortions you want.') However I am personally opposed to abortion (code for constituents: 'See? I really am a good, Christian person. There's just nothing little ol' me can do about that Roe v. Wade thing.')"
Then they close with this little diversionary statement: "I believe women should have the right to decide if they want an abortion in instances of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger."
Why do I call that a diversionary statement, you ask? Because that is exactly what it is. Pro-choice Senators know that most people find it difficult to argue with the notion that a woman should be able to get an abortion if she becomes pregnant as the result of a rape or incest or if her life is in danger due to the pregnancy. Who can argue with that?
What these Senators fail to tell you is that only a tiny fraction of the estimated 1.3 million abortions that are performed every year are the result of rape, incest or health concerns for the mother.
According to the Guttmacher Institute which is, by the way, a pro-choice organization that says its mission is "to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men in the United States and throughout the world," over 90% of all abortions in the U.S. are for no reason other than pure birth control.
Here's the breakdown :
21% Inadequate finances
21% Not ready for responsibility
16% Woman's life would be changed too much
12% Problems with relationship; unmarried
11% Too young; not mature enough
8% Children are grown; woman has all she wants
3% Fetus has possible health problem
3% Woman has health problem
1% Pregnancy caused by rape, incest
So according to this pro-choice organization, just 4% of the more than 1.3 million abortions in the U.S. each year are due to "rape, incest or life of the mother." Add in abortions due to a health problem with the baby and it reaches just 7%.
Pro-choice Senators know these statistics. They stand before the American people and say they personally oppose abortion, but believe it should be available to women in rare and dire circumstances knowing FULL WELL that over 95% of all abortions performed are for reasons of personal convenience.
Senators, in a position to something about it, who claim to personally oppose abortion, stand by and do NOTHING all the while knowing that millions of babies are killed and discarded like trash just because people just don't want the responsibility or the inconvenience.
Babies should not be thrown away
Babies should not be thrown away
Babies should not be thrown away because
Babies should not be thrown away because
Sorry for the lack of deep thought in recent postings. Things are really busy in our "real jobs" these days. We'll be back to our regular selves soon. Until then, have a look at this Fox News video featuring Governor Huckabee and others seeking the 2008 nomination. Click HERE.
According to Hotline On Call, Huckabee has so far this year visited early primary states Iowa (four times), New Hampshire (one time), and South Carolina (two times).
See how that stacks up against other candates' travels HERE.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
"I've been extraordinarily impressed with the faith-based community here in Arkansas and everywhere I've gone," he said at a news conference with Gov. Mike Huckabee at the state Capitol.
Read the entire story HERE.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Huckabee ran the 26.2 mile race, finishing in a very respectable 4 hours, 37 minutes.
Allen? He fired the starter's pistol, finishing in .00035 seconds and went home to sit on his couch.
This strikes us as being somewhat metaphorical.
*The above commentary is that of BSR and in no way reflects the opinion of Mike Huckabee, his staff, or any other person or entity associated with Mike Huckabee.