- KARK is obsessed with Petrino. These people just can’t leave it alone. Their latest: using a pic of Petrino & a pic of Jeff Long to garner divide Hog fans.
- ‘Beat that dead horse!’ No, not us. KARK. Their viewers staged a mini-revolt on their Facebook page this week in response to their Petrino coverage.
- White County Republican primary judge debate moderated by a Democrat. This is notable as part of a larger puzzle, but apparently it didn’t help Judge Lincoln too much. He still told several outright lies & had a poor performance.
- Reviewing the county judge debate. A citizen reporter provides a summary of the debate & grades both candidates.
- The Arkansas Project releases audio of the Arkansas Surgeon General’s arrest. What crime did he commit, exactly?
- Louisiana passes Arkansas again. The Bayou State gets school vouchers, thanks to the relentless work of Gov. Bobby Jindal.
- A Louisiana Dem compares school choice to the crucifixion of Jesus. Can’t make this stuff up if we wanted to, folks.
- Arkansas Voter’s Guide. Editor Nic Horton sat down with Family Council President Jerry Cox to discuss the group’s voter guide, a very valuable resource for Arkansas voters.
- Globetrotter Smith is ineligible…again. Is this the end of the Fred Smith saga? We think not.
I popped into the White County Republican Women’s meeting on Tuesday evening to hear State Rep. Mark Biviano unveil part of the House Republicans’ platform for next year’s general assembly. Biviano is serving as Policy Director for the House GOP caucus. (Minority Leader Bruce Westerman told me earlier this week that the full platform will be unveiled by the end of the month)
So, here’s a sneak peek at some of what we should see on the Republican platform in a few weeks:
1. Reigning in Government Spending. Biviano said, “We can’t keep growing government and expect taxpayers to keep paying the bill.” He added that a big part of reigning in spending is transparency: “The people deserve to know the good news & the bad news.” That’s change I can believe in right there.
Biviano cited the shortfalls in the Forestry department, the unemployment overpayments, and the increased projected shortfalls in the state’s Medicaid program as prime examples of how a little transparency could go a long way: “I learned about the increased projected shortfalls in Medicaid the same time y’all did, when I read the paper.” This is a serious problem that is rampant throughout the state government: shortfalls are being hidden for political purposes, and we, the taxpayers, are paying for it. Literally.
Biviano said reigning in government spending also includes implementing performance-based budgeting for state agencies. This system would give departments increases (or decreases) based on their performances, rather than across the board increases because ‘the governor said so.’
2. Tax Reform. Biviano said tax reform in Arkansas starts with eliminating the capital gains tax to encourage growth in the state. (click here to read a recent report from Goldwater Institute about the positive effects of such a repeal)
3. Fixing Medicaid. Biviano said Republicans wanted to use the state’s surplus from this year to cover the shortfalls in the program, but the governor did not want to listen. I would expect, and hope, that Republican solutions to the crisis will look something like this.
4. Protecting Arkansas’ Future. This part of the platform includes more pro-life legislation, which may include (if I understood correctly) a fetal pain bill.
Protecting the future also means reforming unemployment benefits & instituting voter ID requirements in the state, said Biviano. Biviano said we need drug testing before Arkansans can receive unemployment benefits, as well as some non-prohibitive voter ID requirement to prevent voter fraud in our state.
5. Educational Excellence. Biviano started by setting the record straight on Arkansas’ standing in education:
Despite what you may read in the papers, we rank 45th in the ability to achieve. 50% of Arkansas high school graduates have to take additional coursework before college.
I am a believer in school choice. It’s in our best interest as a state to put our students where they can succeed.
Biviano also added that we spend more than $11,000 per student in Arkansas which is more than enough to cover the cost of private education. (I believe when I was in private high school the tuition was right around $5,000 per year, or less than half what the taxpayers are currently paying–and I believe I got a better return on my investment)
And this is just the preview! This is very exciting for idea-oriented conservatives across the state. And even aside from the content, which is excellent, it’s just a great idea for the caucus to present a detailed, no-nonsense plan like this to the voters. It’s a ‘contract with America’ approach that is bold, clear, and principled.
If they stick to it, it’s a winner for Republicans and a winner for Arkansas. It will resonate with voters. It already is.
The recent scandal involving the Susan G. Komen Foundation and their pulled funding of Planned Parenthood–and then their consequent caving, reinstating the funding–has been well documented over the past week. In case you missed it: Komen announced they would pull their financial support of Planned Parenthood early in the week, prompting millions of dollars in donations from pro-lifers across the country. In fact, Komen fundraising jumped by 100%. But by Friday afternoon, they had announced their decision to reverse course, leaving their new donors more than furious.
I have long railed against Komen because of their support for Planned Parenthood, even calling out Republican activists and candidates in Arkansas in the past for their participation in the Komen “Race for the Cure.” The response has typically been something like, “You’re crazy,” or “I don’t think that’s true.” I have been frustrated beyond end at the refusal of conservative, so-called ‘pro-lifers’ to admit that Komen does in fact support PP. Now that everyone has pretty much conceded that point, it appears that the defense of Komen has shifted. And of course, I can only bite my lip for so long.
Instead of ‘your crazy’ or ‘it’s not true,’ the defense of Komen that I have been hearing all week is even more atrocious in my mind: “Well, Planned Parenthood provides mammograms for poor women and I think we should still support these types of services, even though we disagree with abortion and PP’s conducting of abortions.” Some have even gone so far as to say that we should still give PP federal tax dollars because “the government can ensure that that money isn’t going to abortions.” If you don’t see a problem with this logic, then you are exactly who I am talking to.
Unfortunately the title of the post has spoiled the punchline, but here it is anyway: Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms for women, poor or otherwise. Sure, they have a page called “Mammograms” on their website, but they don’t even claim to offer mammogram services:
Ask your health care provider, health department, or staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center about where you can get a mammogram in your area.
And even if PP did offer mammogram services, would this somehow excuse the hundreds of thousands of abortions that PP does per year to the point that it would be acceptable to support them financially? (which is what is happening when you support Komen, whether you want to admit it or not.)
How anyone who calls themselves “pro-life” can justify their support of this organization, or their sister organization Komen, is beyond me. And how Komen can continue to support PP–while research has now indicated that women under 40 who have abortions can increase their likelihood of breast cancer by 40%–is equally disturbing.
What’s also concerning is that while we’re winning the war for life–polls now show that the majority of Americans identify as “pro-life”–we’re losing these battles. We are losing ground.
We, as conservatives, lose when we allow liberals to distort the facts. Distortions (lies, really) such as “Well, Planned Parenthood saves lives of women through mammograms.” But we aren’t just losing the argument with liberals. We are losing the argument with undecideds, moderates, and independents. People who aren’t quite decided on the issue of life. We lose because these people aren’t aware of the media bias, the lies being told on television and almost every other media outlet every day. The Culture of Death is on the march. We lose because we don’t fight lies with truth.
Look, these topics aren’t easy to discuss. I’ve shied away from them at times. I’ve had more than a few blush-induced pauses while researching for this article. These aren’t easy or fun things to discuss, particularly because people are so passionate about these issues. But if we don’t fight back, the Left wins, and lives are lost. We have to fight back with the truth.
As a Christian Bale fan and a strong pro-life advocate, I wanted to share this from LifeSiteNews.com:
Famed Batman star Christian Bale is making headlines after he traveled nine hours from Beijing to visit blind forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng.
The actor never got the chance, however, as he was roughed up and forced away from Chen’s village by Chinese government officials, according to a CNN report.
“What I really wanted to do was shake the man’s hand and say ‘thank you,’ and tell him what an inspiration he is,” he said.
Bale was in Beijing for the premiere of “The Flowers of War,” a drama about the 1937 Rape of Nanjing. About his attempt to visit Chen, Bale stated, “I’m not brave doing this . . . This was just a situation – I can’t look the other way.”
Check out the video:
Arkansas Patriot & The Liberty Bell contributor Will Simpson was featured on Young America’s Foundation‘s website today as part of their series, “Young Conservatives on the Rise.” Will is currently interning at YAF for the summer. In the article, Will talks about taking on the liberals at the University of Arkansas, including the campus newspaper–a kindred spirit indeed.
Here’s my favorite excerpt from the article:
It is hard to pinpoint exactly why I am passionate about public policy. When I learned the share of income that was confiscated by taxes, I realized that the system discouraged people from working. I gained an appreciation for the sanctity of life when we adopted my little brother after he was nearly aborted. And in rural Arkansas during deer season, gun control is considered practically demonic.
These factors worked together to create a lasting impression on my Chef Boyardee-fed brain: I had more faith in the American people than in the government.
Simpson is a principled conservative, a defender of liberty, and he has one heck of a radio voice. He’s on his way to even greater things. Thanks for making Arkansas proud.
Nicholas Horton is the Editor of The Arkansas Patriot & former Searcy City Council candidate. In his spare time, he volunteers for various political causes. Contact Nicholas at email@example.com & follow him on Twitter.
The Arkansas Patriot is proud to welcome a new contributor–Josh Mesker.
Josh is a public policy analyst in Little Rock. He is a graduate of Sterling College where he was instrumental in forming the school’s first pro-life student group.
Welcome to the team, Josh.
A concerned Searcy citizen submitted this letter to The Patriot:
“I met Jesse Boyce at Congressman Vic Snyder’s recent meeting at the Lightle Center in Searcy. When I introduced myself to him, realizing he is a candidate for State Representative, I asked him what his personal position is on abortion. His response: “I’m not going to tell you.” Then I asked him, if he had an opportunity to vote on the abortion issue, how would he vote (pro-choice or pro-life). His response: “I’m not going to tell you.” Continue reading