Friday, October 06, 2006
Bus Tour Comes To Fort Smith With FanFare
As the bus pulled into the parking lot everyone streamed out of the pavilion holding "ASA" signs and cheering. When the doors of the bus opened, everyone on board rushed out with the same great enthusiasm. Some quick hugs and handshakes and we all went back into the pavilion.
Col. Dallas (ret.) of the 188th thanked Asa for his efforts in turning the tide with the Brack Commission and keeping the 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith where they are loved and respected. Then the Colonel introduced "the next governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson!"
Asa gave a great speech, touting the accomplishments of his career and the improvements he has in store for Arkansas - eliminating the grocery tax, saving rural schools, growing Arkansas jobs, and fighting illegal immigration. Ever the gentleman, Asa touted his greatest strength as well, Susan.
Asa's thoughtfulness was not reserved to just family, he singled out the efforts of the Sebastian County Republican Women for the evenings shindig.
As our next governor was finishing up the speech and thank you's, Fort Smith's Channel 5 KFSM News decided to show up for the event. They did get a good interview with Asa and later with Susan. While Susan was being gracious with our intrepid reporter, Jared Broyles, Asa made the rounds. He took the time to speak with everyone that wanted to talk to him.
Then it was off - reportedly to the Northside Grizzlies game. Go ASA! and Go Grizzlies.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Ibd Mon Oct 2, 7:00 PM ET
Scandal: Right after Mark Foley was revealed to have had inappropriate e-mail conversations with a 16-year-old page, he resigned and checked into rehab. Now, what did Democrats know, and when did they know it?
Yes, you read that right: the Democrats. It's of course clear that Foley, a Republican representative from Florida, resigned for good cause. We don't defend him or his inexcusable behavior -- good riddance.
But it didn't take long at all after Foley's resignation for the Democrats to call for an investigation of the entire Republican leadership in the House, charging that GOP stalwarts knew early on that Foley, as they like to say in the rehab business, had a "problem."
Democrats have begun losing their once-significant lead in the polls, and a mere five weeks remain until the midterm elections. Is this scandal the Democrats' own "October Surprise," meant to throw the GOP into a tailspin shortly before the vote?
Recent polls show Democrats aren't doing very well on several key issues. What better way than a good, old-fashioned sex scandal to get people's minds off such things as the importance of winning the war in Iraq, our ongoing vulnerability to terrorist attack and the necessity of keeping the Bush economic boom going?
As it is, Republicans deny knowing about the explicit text messages that Foley sent to a 16-year-old congressional page back in 2003. In repudiating Foley, House Speaker
Dennis Hastert called the messages "vile and repulsive."
Despite this, the immediate take by Democrats and much of the mainstream media was that this was a classic example of Republican hypocrisy -- talking "morals" and "values" while all the time shielding a child predator. But it was nothing of the kind.
If anything, the episode reveals the Democrats' hypocrisy about their own behavior. The fact that Foley resigned virtually within minutes of being told that ABC News had copies of his salacious e-mails and text messages indicates he at least felt shame for his actions. Can the same be said for Democrats?
Sadly, it doesn't seem so. How else can you explain the following?
In 1983, then-Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was caught in a similar situation. In his case, Studds had sex with a male teenage page -- something Foley hasn't been charged with.
Did Studds express contrition? Resign? Quite the contrary. He rejected Congress' censure of him and continued to represent his district until his retirement in 1996.
In 1989, Rep. Barney Frank, also of Massachusetts, admitted he'd lived with Steve Gobie, a male prostitute who ran a gay sex-for-hire ring out of Frank's apartment. Frank, it was later discovered, used his position to fix 33 parking tickets for Gobie.
What happened to Frank? The House voted 408-18 to reprimand him -- a slap on the wrist. Today he's an honored Democratic member of Congress, much in demand as a speaker and "conscience of the party."
In 2001, President Clinton' who had his own intern problem, commuted the prison sentence of Illinois Rep. Mel Reynolds, who had sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer and pressured her to lie about it. (Reynolds also was convicted of campaign spending violations.)
You get the idea. Democrats not only seem OK with the kind of behavior for which Foley is charged, but also they protect and excuse it. Only when it's a Republican do they proclaim themselves shocked -- shocked! -- when it comes to light.
We have a lot more questions about this whole affair. The timing of the revelations, as we noted, couldn't be more propitious for the Democrats. Turns out both the Democrats and several newspapers seem to have known about Foley's problem as far back as November, according to research by several enterprising blogs.
Why didn't they come forward then? Who dredged up these e-mails -- and why did they hold them until now? This reeks of political trickery.
We're glad Foley's gone. He betrayed Congress, his party and the trust of the 33 pages who serve in Congress, and their parents. He behaved immorally, and we won't be surprised at new revelations.
That said, if this scandal is the Democrats' answer to their problems at the polls, it's pretty pathetic. It shows a base contempt for the voters.
Link to story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ibd/20061002/bs_ibd_ibd/2006102issues01
Monday, October 02, 2006
Tax Cuts - And The Rich Paid More
"For years, policymakers and legislators in Arkansas responded to every challenge the state has faced by raising taxes. So instead of growing a vibrant economy and creating new jobs and expanding our tax base, the state hiked taxes again and again and again up to a point where working families just can't afford to pay anymore and our economy is stifled. He has also called for broad-based tax relief for working Arkansans."
As typical of the left, the Dems claim that that will benefit the rich. This is the same thing they said when President Reagan proposed his tax cuts in 1981. Yet the coffers filled up and Congress spent like drunken sailors - no offense to sailors. Again in 2001, tax cuts were proposed and passed - this time by President Bush. Predictably, the left screamed that it benefited the rich.
This time, as last, they were wrong.
According to a paper from the National Center for Policy Analysis, "Millions of upper-middle and moderately high-income earners also benefited from tax rate cuts. But the analysis shows their savings was limited by the Alternative Minimum Tax, which eliminates some deductions and credits they could otherwise claim on federal tax returns. The levy particularly hits those whose high state and local taxes become ineligible for federal tax deductions.
"For instance, taxpayers who earned between $100,000 and $200,000 in 2004 paid 22.5 percent of all federal taxes, up from 19.4 percent four years earlier. Those who earned between $200,000 and $500,000 in 2004 paid 17.9 percent of all federal taxes, up from 15.4 percent in 2000, the analysis showed."
Asa's tax proposals will bring in higher dollar amounts to the states coffers without undo harm to any mandatory projects. In fact, if history is any guide, jobs will be created by cutting taxes.
Other bonuses from Asa's tax reform plan:
- Small Businesses receivee increased expense limits.
- Manufacturers receivee energy exemptions.
- Sales tax on food and medicine are eliminated.
- The State Legislature would require a super-majority to raise taxes.
What does Mike Beebe offer? Well, considering his history of raising taxes, you can probably take his proposals as tongue-in-cheek offers at humor.
- "Phase-out" of grocery tax.
- "Phase-out" of tax on utilities for manufacturers.
- Tax Credits to help small businesses cover their employees.
Keep in mind Beebe has had 20 years of service in the legislature and AG office, yet has never offered these up for consideration himself. He has never shown leadership on this issue and, chances are, never will.
Asa says, "We must think anew and we must act anew. Instead of focusing on new revenues driven by new tax increases, we must look at reducing the state’s tax burden as a way to spur the economy, create jobs, and the needed revenue will flow from a broader and healthier tax base." Reaganesque.
National Center for Policy Analysis: Taxes http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?page=article&Article_ID=12879
Asa Hutchinson: Taxes http://www.asaforgovernor.org/get-informed/Issues/issue.aspx?IssueID=13
Mike Beebe: Issues http://www.mikebeebe.com/free_details.asp?id=9