Saturday, December 29, 2007

Meet the Political Lindy's

The Hamilton Journal-Herald has a fun story about a Butler County family that is heavily involved in politics. Check it out here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Boehner Column: "Congress’ No-Energy Bill Could Cost Jobs, Will Raise Energy Prices"

Congress’ No-Energy Bill Could Cost Jobs, Will Raise Energy Prices

It should come as no surprise that Congress has, once again, made your life more difficult. The U.S. House recently passed an energy bill that does nothing to lower energy costs – you don’t get a break on your fuel costs; there’s no relief for your high home-heating bills.

The American people want their elected leaders in Washington to address the rising costs of living and the skyrocketing energy costs. But this bill instead will create an energy shortage and kill American jobs, creating a recipe for economic disaster. According to an independent study by CRA International, a business consulting group, the No-Energy Bill would “restrict the supply of energy available to the U.S. economy” and increase costs for a wide array of consumer goods and services. And energy policy analysts have noted that schemes in the bill will actually increase gas prices.

The big question that must be asked is: Who is looking out for consumers? Unfortunately, the answer from Congress is: Not us.

I voted against this bill, and I will continue to vote against bad legislation that will hurt working families. This bill contains zero reforms to help families deal with rising home-heating costs. It doesn’t take a single step toward more production of domestic energy sources. And, as the CRA study noted, it could result in the net loss of 4.9 million American jobs by 2030, a $1,700 decrease in the average American household’s annual purchasing power and a net loss of $1 trillion in U.S. economic output.

By now, you’re wondering what is contained within the more than 1,000 pages of the bill that was written secretly by just a few powerful Congressional representatives and bypassed U.S. House process by not being vetted through the Energy and Commerce Committee.

There is $2 billion in the bill to develop a rail line from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to lower Manhattan. The bill creates “forestry conservation tax credit bonds” that apparently will benefit just one company in the entire country due to the new program’s requirements that land must include at least 40,000 acres and have a “native fish habitat conservation plan approved by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.” The only such “forest” with fish is owned by a timber company in Montana.

As if that’s not bad enough, a “green pork” $3 billion slush fund in the bill could also put your tax dollars toward:

Hybrid snowmobiles in Aspen, Colorado;
A fake rainforest in Iowa;
Replacing police cars in Beverly Hills with Lexus Hybrids;
And copies of Al Gore’s global warming move to give to school children.

If we are serious about solving the energy crisis in America , we must deal with conservation, with alternative fuel sources and with increased domestic production of energy. We must be committed to developing long-term alternatives to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And we must provide incentives for consumers and companies to embrace alternative sources of energy.

Two years ago, the Republican-led Congress passed the Energy Policy Act – the first comprehensive national energy strategy in more than a decade – that called for oil exploration on a very small parcel of the 19 million acres in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge. The benefits of expanding our energy portfolio are not just in reducing prices but increasing opportunities here at home for new family-wage jobs and growing American industries. Ohio is among the largest coal-producing states in the country and we have devoted an enormous amount of resources for research and development. While retaining our position as a national leader on coal, we should seek to become a leader in other energy sectors as well.

Let’s get serious about energy independence. Let’s get serious about what we need to do as a nation to solve this problem for our children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, legislation that kills American jobs and threatens our economy is not the right direction for us to take. I look forward to developing a real energy strategy for our nation and for our working families.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Boehner Hosts First Telephone Townhall

Nearly 600 Constituents Participated; 20,000 Messages Left
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) last night hosted his first Telephone Townhall with nearly 600 constituents from Ohio ’s 8th District.

“My chief responsibility in Congress is representing my neighbors in Ohio ’s 8th District, and the best way for me to be effective in doing that is to talk directly with them about the issues they care about most,” Boehner said. “Advances in technology allow me to be here in Washington waiting to vote while speaking with a large number of constituents to gauge their priorities. We had a frank conversation about the important issues that impact the residents of the 8th District, and I appreciate the honest feedback they provided to me.”

Those participating in last night’s call were given the opportunity to question Boehner on any issues they wished to discuss. Questions ranged from concerns about expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, limiting earmarks and winning the Global War on Terror to questions about the Medicare Drug Prescription Benefit, simplifying the U.S. tax code and manufacturing jobs being outsourced overseas. At the end of the call, participants could choose to record a question and/or comment; Boehner will be responding to those 8th District residents who left recordings.

A total of 40,136 households in the 8th District were called last night with an invitation to participate in the call. A message from Boehner directing constituents to either the West Chester or Troy district offices or Boehner’s website was left at 20,265 households. The call lasted 50 minutes, and the average length of time constituents spent on the call was 10 minutes.

“I’m very pleased with our first Telephone Townhall, and I look forward to the next one,” Boehner said.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Boehner Column: "Capitol Flag Controversy Reaffirms We Are One Nation Under God"

The American people have grown weary of endless attempts by politicians and bureaucrats to bar the word God and other references to faith from our public institutions.

The latest evidence that Americans have had enough came this month, when it was revealed that employees of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol (AoC) have been removing references to God from the official certificates that accompany United States flags that are flown over the Capitol and sent by Members of Congress to their constituents. The revelation sparked a massive public outcry.

Since 1937 when the flag program began, people have been able to request to have an American flag flown over the Capitol in honor of loved ones, special events, honored colleagues, fallen soldiers, community achievements and other special people or occasions. The flag is typically paired with a certificate to commemorate the occasion or person for whom the flag was flown. Often, the messages mention God or reference faith in some way. This proud and time-honored tradition has stood for generations.

Like millions of other Americans, I was troubled to learn that the new management in the U.S. House of Representatives had quietly decided to change the practice. I am grateful for the actions of Dayton-area Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) who spoke out after learning that the word “God” was omitted from a certificate requested by a young Eagle Scout in his district seeking to honor his grandfather.

Shortly after learning of this situation from Rep. Turner, the senior Republican on the House Administration Committee, which oversees day-to-day functions of the U.S. House, voiced similar concerns to the Architect’s office. I followed suit by sending a letter to the Speaker of the House, who oversees the Architect’s office, asking her to immediately restore the traditional flag procedures that allow for religious expression on the certificates.

I wrote, "As Speaker, you have the authority to instruct the Acting Architect to disregard the written policy and restore the longstanding practices that have been the tradition of the House for generations… As Speaker, you have the authority – and the opportunity – to do the right thing… This policy does not reflect the will of the American people.”

The morning after I sent my letter, I was pleased to hear from the Speaker that she had decided to instruct the Architect’s office to reinstate those time-honored traditions allowing for religious expression on the flag certificates.

To remove any questions regarding flag procedures, Rep. Turner has announced that he will offer legislation to permanently allow references to God and expressions of faith on flag certificates. I support the legislation and believe it is an appropriate way to solidify the Speaker's decision.

It's unfortunate that this controversy had to take place, and indeed, the battle to restore the traditional practice in full may not be over yet. I have made clear that I will accept nothing less than the full restoration of this tradition. Nonetheless, the massive public outcry over the policy banning the word God from flag certificates has provided reassuring evidence that most Americans still believe passionately that we are One Nation Under God -- and the procedures of the United States Congress should continue to reflect it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Boehner Column: "Higher Taxes, Zero Accountability Won’t Cure Washington’s Spending Addiction"

President Ronald Reagan famously said, “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

Regrettably, Washington’s spending habits have only gotten worse since President Reagan uttered those words and while the Republican-led Congress lowered taxes for working families, married couples (and married couples with children) and small businesses, the new majority in the U.S. House is doing its best to erase our economic success by raising taxes.

Last month, 110,000 jobs were created, and the Department of Labor revised its August jobs report to note the creation of 89,000 jobs. This marks 49 consecutive months of job creation in the U.S. , which is the longest uninterrupted period of job growth on record for our nation. Still, too many American families continue to struggle with the rising cost of living in the United States , especially as the price of energy, home mortgages, and consumer goods continue to increase and eat away at the family budget every month.

The anxieties American families face are deepened every time another tax increase is proposed – in part because we don’t have full accountability and transparency in how Congress spends your tax dollars. Studies show Americans believe about 40 cents of every tax dollar sent to Washington is wasted. They also show an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that lawmakers who request federal funding for projects in their districts (known as an “earmark”) should publicly put their name to that project and be willing to defend it. I believe that if a politician isn’t willing to put his or her name publicly behind a project, the American people shouldn’t have to pay for it.

But its business as usual in Congress where these earmarks are disclosed in some bills – not all – and even then, the disclosure is so murky you can’t pull up a comprehensive list of earmarks and the lawmakers requesting them. Recently, when a powerful Member of Congress was asked why this was so difficult, he responded that it was too bad people would have to work to connect the projects with their sponsors. This is exactly the kind of attitude we need to do-away with in Washington .

Another attitude we need to do-away with is, again in the words of former President Reagan, “If it moves, tax it.”

In the late 1990s, the Republican Congress enacted a ban on Internet taxes that has allowed the American people to capitalize on its growth. Since then, the Internet has driven economic growth and prosperity in ways we never could have imagined. But this tax moratorium will expire in just a few weeks and so far, there’s been no action by the majority in either the U.S. House or Senate to renew the ban or even eliminate e-taxes permanently. That’s sad proof of Mr. Reagan’s words.

Here is a list of just some of the tax increases that have been proposed since January in the U.S. House, as documented recently by the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

  • Reinstating the “marriage penalty” income tax that forced middle-class married couples filing jointly to pay more taxes than if they filed separately;

  • Cutting the per-child tax credit from $1,000 to $500;

  • Reinstating the Death Tax, which is scheduled to meet its own demise in 2009 but will resurrect two years later unless Congress makes this tax’s death permanent;

  • Raising federal cigarette taxes by 156 percent, to $1 per pack;

  • Raising cigar taxes from a 20.7 percent tax on wholesale prices with a 5-cent cap to a 53 percent rate with a $3 cap;

  • Increasing the federal gasoline tax anywhere from 5 cents to 50 cents per gallon;

  • Eliminating the interest deduction for home equity loans;

  • Creating a $50 per ton tax on carbon to be assessed on coal, petroleum products and natural gas to create a fund to combat global warming;

  • The most recent proposal is a war surtax that will be levied on every working American, purportedly to pay for the war. What this really is, though, is a backdoor proposal to cut off funding for our troops bravely serving in Iraq by forcing an unpopular tax increase onto hard-working American families. If this attempt to pull the plug on troop funding succeeds, there will be a stampede by free-spending lawmakers looking to grab those dollars for pork-barrel projects – and unless we enact full accountability and transparency for earmarks, you won’t know how your tax dollars are being spent.

    Right now, I am leading an effort to require public disclosure for all earmarks and to make sure we can openly debate any earmark on the House Floor. I don’t personally use earmarks because I don’t view the federal Treasury as an open checkbook for Washington lawmakers, and I will continue fighting to make sure that you know how we’re spending your hard-earned dollars.

    Family Drug Court Receives Grant

    It is a program designed to bring drug-addicted parents back together with their children after treatment. And it got a major boost in funding after having to scrape from wherever it could. Butler County's Family Drug Court received a 2.5 million dollar federal grant which will be split out ($500,000/year) over five years.

    The Enquirer has more...
    Since June 2006, existing staff from various agencies have carved out time to serve on a “treatment team” that coordinates drug treatment, counseling, parenting classes and weekly court visits – much more intensive work than on other cases. “The goal is to reunify the children with their parents who are sober and clean,” said Ron Craft, the court’s judge.

    About a dozen parents of 23 total children are enrolled. Because of the new funding, the program might be able to double the number of people served, Craft said.

    “This is major,” Butler County Commissioner Chuck Furmon said Thursday. “Two-and-a-half million dollars is really going to make this program go.”
    It is a good progam doing good things.

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Nenni Announces for 53rd District

    From the Oxford Press:
    MIDDLETOWN — Former two-term Middletown City Commissioner and local businessman Paul Nenni announced Thursday that he'll be seeking the Republican nomination for the 53rd Ohio House seat.

    Nenni, a certified public accountant, will be seeking the seat currently held by four-term state Rep. Shawn Webster of Hanover Twp., who will be barred from seeking re-election due to term limits.

    Nenni said he has spent the time focusing on his family and business since leaving the city commission in 1999.

    Now that his two daughters are older, Nenni said he has "a lot of free time now."

    "I have a desire to do it plus the availability to be in Columbus, three, four or five days a week," he said.

    Nenni believes his 34 years of business experience, his accounting background and his patriotism from his Marine Corps service makes him a good, honest and caring politician for the county he lives in.
    I had been hearing that there was going to be a candidate announcement out of the 53rd, and I am pretty sure that this is it...

    He gets my support with this comment:
    "We need new blood in Columbus," Nenni said. "We need people who can hit the ground running and to get the job done."
    Couldn't have said it better myself...

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Road Closure Notice - Seward Road Near Route 4

    This via my good friend Scott of Fairfield Republicans:







    CONTACT: Ben Mann

    City Engineer

    Public Works Department

    8870 N. Gilmore Road

    Fairfield, Ohio 45014

    Butler County GOP Seeking Candidates

    From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
    The Butler County Republican Party will screen potential candidates Oct. 3 for some of the offices appearing on the March primary election ballot.

    Candidates for Common Pleas Courts, U.S. Congressional Districts No. 1 and 8, and state central committee should notify Sandy Ewen in writing by Thursday.

    Fax 513-858-4634.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Boehner: SCHIP Proposal Expands Government-Run Health Care, Includes Hidden Earmarks & Aids lllegal Immigrants

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today made clear his strong opposition to legislation to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), saying the program should focus on the needs of low-income children, not adults or upper-income children who already have private sector health care.

    In classic “Washington-style math,” the bill could classify 1,516 Ohio as rich and poor at the same time. According to an analysis by the Heritage Foundation, 1,516 families could pay the Alternative Minimum Tax – intended to prevent the very rich from skipping out on paying taxes – and qualify at the same time for SCHIP – intended to provide healthcare to children of low-income families.

    Boehner issued the following statement regarding the SCHIP proposal:

    “Republicans support renewing SCHIP to help states provide health care to low-income children, which is exactly why we’re opposing this disappointing bill today. Using this critical program to provide government benefits to adults, illegal immigrants, and upper-income families who can afford private health insurance is bad policy. Federal funds targeted for low-income children should benefit low-income children. Period.

    “Republicans created this program in 1997 for exactly this purpose – as a means to help children in low-income families – not as a first step towards a massive expansion of government-run health care for all Americans. The children this program is intended to serve deserve better, as do American taxpayers. Unfortunately, this bill also includes hidden earmarks and opens the door for illegal immigrants to enjoy taxpayer-funded health benefits.

    “Throughout this process, some lawmakers have sought to ensure a presidential veto rather than avoid it, putting politics first instead of focusing on the needs of low-income children. Having ignored repeated calls from House Republicans to work together on commonsense solutions for America ’s neediest children, the majority has now produced a fatally-flawed bill that deserves to be vetoed. With only five days until the program’s September 30th expiration date, I’m hopeful we can put politics aside and focus on the 6.6 million low-income children who need quality health insurance. Republicans remain committed to renewing SCHIP and providing low-income children with the health care they need.”

    There are anywhere from 236,000 to 245,000 children in Ohio who currently have no health coverage. But nearly 165,000 of those childrens’ parents have not signed them up for the program, despite the benefits it would provide. What’s more, studies and surveys repeatedly have shown that opening up eligibility to government-funded programs like SCHIP leads to a decline in those who participate in private insurance despite preferring private health insurance.

    NOTE: Republicans have repeatedly called for House Democrats to work together on bipartisan solutions that focus on helping low-income children obtain quality health care benefits. As recently as September 19th, Leader Boehner and Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) requesting that she back an 18-month extension of the SCHIP program sponsored by Energy & Commerce Ranking Republican Joe Barton (R-TX). The extension would give both Republicans and Democrats ample time to reauthorize the program in a more responsible fashion and in the same bipartisan spirit that marked the creation of the program in 1997.

    Ask Boehner: Investing in Our Security, Passport Rules Reinstated

    I occasionally use this column to answer questions from 8th District constituents. You may submit questions to My office is available to help constituents and you will find contact information at the end of this column.

    I’ve heard that you made a comment during a television interview about our troops in Iraq but I’ve heard it from so many different places that I was hoping you could tell me what you said and why you said it.

    During a live interview with CNN while I was traveling in Iraq to thank our troops for their hard work, I was asked about the money we’re spending in Iraq – an amount the show’s host quoted as $2 billion to $3 billion a week. This is a lot of money. But when we look at this money in the context of the investment we’re making to defeat al Qaeda, protect our interests here and abroad, win the global War on Terror and provide the equipment and resources our troops need to do their job, that investment is well worth the price. However, any attempt to put a dollar figure on what our troops are doing in Iraq does a disservice to their sacrifices that will make us, our children, our grandchildren and generations to come safer.

    Unfortunately what’s happened is certain parts of that interview have been cherry-picked and spliced to create an entirely new meaning to my words. Now, as anyone who’s watched recent elections can tell you, negative attacks are part of politics – and that’s true, to a certain extent. What’s not acceptable are partisan attacks aimed at our troops and their families, and character assassinations on the brave men and women who volunteer to serve in our country’s military. Recently, a political group that is pushing for precipitous withdrawal from Iraq bought a full-page ad in a national newspaper attacking the character of Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, and implying that he’s somehow betraying the nation by reporting on progress in Iraq. Elected officials – those of us who choose to run for office as the path to making a better world for our children – understand that people and groups who don’t agree with us may resort to misleading attacks. But the men and women who bravely serve in the armed forces do not deserve such a heinous assault on their character.

    During my trip to Iraq , I had lunch with Ohio soldiers in Baghdad and also met with Col. Michael Garrett, a 1984 Xavier University graduate who now serves as the commanding officer of Forward Operating Base Kalsu. After returning from Iraq , I met with five Ohio families who lost their sons there. These families came to thank me for my commitment to supporting our efforts in the global War on Terror. These families wanted me to know that they’re committed to winning because they want their sons’ sacrifices to be worth something.

    I’m including here a transcript of the complete question and answer from the CNN interview so you can see what I was asked and how I answered:

    Excerpt from CNN Interview transcript, September 10, 2007:

    BLITZER: Mr. Leader, here is the question. How much longer will U.S. taxpayers have to shell out $2 billion a week or $3 billion a week as some now are suggesting the cost is going to endure, the loss and blood the Americans who are killed every month, how much longer do you think this commitment, this military commitment, is going to require?

    BOEHNER: I think General Petraeus outlined it pretty clearly. We're making success, but we need to firm up those successes. We need to continue our effort here because, Wolf, long term the investment that we're making today will be a small price if we're able to stop al Qaeda here, if we're able to stabilize the Middle East . It's not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids. This is a very important effort on the part of the United States to secure our national interests and to secure our security interests, especially when it comes to al Qaeda, who has been our number one enemy here in Iraq .

    My family is planning a Thanksgiving trip to Mexico and we remember hearing that the new passport rules were no longer in effect. Do we still need passports?

    Yes. Beginning Oct. 1, anyone age 16 and older traveling by air to Canada , Mexico , the Caribbean and Bermuda will need a passport. Due to an extensive backlog, the State Department temporarily relaxed that requirement but the rules will soon go back into effect. While the State Department says the standard application process will take 10 to 12 weeks and the expedited process two to three weeks, my office found that the standard application was taking 12 to 16 weeks and expedited applications were taking three to six weeks. Even though the State Department will have processed much of the backlog, I still encourage anyone planning to travel by air to Canada , Mexico , the Caribbean and Bermuda should apply for a passport as early as possible. Information may be found at

    If you are an 8th District resident and have questions about either of these issues – or other issues with the federal government – please contact my office toll-free, 1-800-583-1001.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    Boehner Arrives in Iraq , Leading Congressional Trip to Review Troops’ Progress Under Operation Phantom Thunder

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) arrived in Iraq today, leading a seven-member congressional delegation to review the progress made by U.S. troops described by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker under Operation Phantom Thunder. Boehner issued the following statement on the delegation visit:

    “My Republican colleagues and I have said throughout the year that it is our duty to listen to the commanders on the ground as we make key decisions on the next steps in Iraq . This congressional delegation visit will give us the opportunity to listen to them in person and see firsthand how General Petraeus’ strategy has laid the foundation for important security and political gains ahead.

    “Our troops have made irrefutable progress against al Qaeda in Iraq but, as General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker reported to Congress this week, there is still much work to be done – particularly when it comes to political reconciliation. Though reconciliation has begun to take hold in towns and villages across Iraq , everyone – Democrats and Republicans alike – hopes Iraqis will make progress more quickly on a national basis. It is my hope that this trip will give us a chance to see the challenges that lie ahead, while gaining a greater appreciation for the significant strides our troops have made under Operation Phantom Thunder.

    “Most importantly, this trip will give us a chance to thank our troops for their efforts in Iraq and service to our country. Our men and women in uniform have joined with Iraqi Forces in taking the fight to al Qaeda and brought greater stability and security in Iraq . It is now our responsibility to make a bipartisan commitment to solidify those gains and bring our troops home after victory, not defeat.”

    NOTE: Joining Boehner in Iraq are Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), Ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA), Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-OH).

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    Boehner Column: "A Chance to Improve No Child Left Behind"

    Five years ago, President Bush signed into law No Child Left Behind at Hamilton High School . This law represents the most sweeping education reform in a generation – an effort to end decades of failed federal education policy that allowed billions of taxpayer dollars to be spent without insisting on results for students, rewards for good teachers, and direct involvement by parents.

    Congress is currently working to rewrite this legislation – updating it to continue meeting educational challenges and working to provide states and local school boards more flexibility than the original law allowed in how they can choose to spend federal dollars. We should look at what has worked since No Child Left Behind was first implemented and use those lessons to write a new law that more effectively tracks the reform principles that guided the original bill.

    Flexibility and Local Control

    Republicans have long believed that states and local school districts should have maximum flexibility in how they spend federal dollars as long as they are willing to commit to increased student achievement. I recently signed on as a supporter of the State and Local Flexibility Improvement Act that allows local entities to transfer up to 100 percent of their dollars among the various federal education funding streams and provide states with additional flexibility in the design of their accountability systems. It is simply unacceptable for us to deny states and school districts this type of freedom and flexibility.

    No Loopholes in Accountability

    Prior to No Child Left Behind, states accepted billions of dollars each year in federal education aid but were not held accountable for using that money to get academic results for all children. Disadvantaged students were written off as unteachable and shuffled through the system without receiving a quality education. I hope that in writing a new bill, there will be no loopholes for chronically underachieving schools to evade identification as a school in need of improvement or as a school in need of restructuring. As Congress writes legislation to reauthorize No Child Left Behind, we must ensure it is free of loopholes that permit children to fall through the cracks.

    School Choice

    Before No Child Left Behind, millions of parents were in the dark about how their child’s school was performing – and they had no options if they suspected the school was underachieving. One of the most important reforms brought to federal education policy by No Child Left Behind was that it gave parents a choice. For the first time, parents with children in these schools could use their child’s share of federal dollars to choose a better school and/or secure a private tutor, including one from a faith-based entity.

    Unfortunately, we’ve seen right here in Ohio the vehement opposition to giving parents these options with proposals to eliminate educational opportunities for low-income students and a line-item veto used by the Governor to eliminate a choice program for students with disabilities. School choice programs give parents and their children options in education, which should be a common goal for all of us.

    Among the proposals in the new law being considered is one that would allow an underachieving school to essentially extend the school day and keep students longer rather than encourage them to seek help from private tutors. This is a flawed idea that would take options away from parents and hurt children who are not getting the education they deserve. Additionally, under current law, a school district must set aside 20 percent of its federal Title I dollars to fund outside tutoring for eligible students. But the revised law that is being drafted would require individual schools to set aside this money. While this may seem like only a subtle change, it could cheat tens of thousands of students out of their right to free tutoring services if the total amount of set-aside funds is limited in this way.

    Support for Our Teachers

    Our teachers are among the most dedicated professionals, and they deserve our support as they educate our children. Several years ago, Republicans enacted a measure that allows teachers to take a tax deduction for money they spend out of their own pocket on classroom expenses like books and crayons. As Congress considers No Child Left Behind reauthorization, we should also pass legislation making permanent this tax relief, which recognizes the sacrifices teachers make to ensure their students get a quality education.

    No New Testing

    I oppose adding any new testing mandates that would require states to do more testing than is currently required under federal law. Since implementing No Child Left Behind, I have seen no evidence convincing me that we need to test in additional subjects and in more grade levels. Instead of creating more tests, we should make sure the current system is working as it was intended.

    We’ve seen many successes under No Child Left Behind, and our children are better for it. But the law is far from perfect. Congress has an opportunity this year to improve No Child Left Behind to allow greater local control, more parental choice, and additional help for good teachers. I hope we seize it.

    Friday, September 7, 2007

    Boehner: Higher Education Bill Saddles Taxpayers with New, Misdirected Entitlement Spending

    So-Called “Student Aid” Bill Subsidizes Institutions and Graduates, Shortchanges Students

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) issued the following statement today opposing the higher education bill (H.R. 2669) because it creates five costly new entitlement programs; provides billions in benefits for those who already graduated from college; and misdirects new, mandatory federal spending toward institutions, rather than students:

    “Last year, Republicans expanded student benefits and saved taxpayers billions by fundamentally reforming our student loan programs. This higher education bill guts those reforms by shortchanging students and mortgaging their future to pay for a tidal wave of government spending.

    “As our nation grapples with runaway entitlement spending, some in Congress continue to make matters worse by leaving taxpayers on the hook for an explosion of costly new programs. Their higher education bill asks taxpayers to subsidize college graduates and institutions with billions in new spending that will be placed on auto-pilot instead of being subjected to an annual congressional review.

    “While some lawmakers insist on burdening taxpayers with new spending and higher taxes, House Republicans have presented plans to balance the budget without raising taxes, keep federal spending in check, and let middle-class families keep more of their own money. It’s often said that once Washington creates a new program, it never goes away. Congress should think twice before forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for new entitlement programs.”

    NOTE: Today’s entitlement bill is only the latest example of new federal spending in the 110th Congress. Since the beginning of the year:

  • $6 billion in new spending was tacked onto January’s omnibus spending bill to finish the 2007 appropriations process;

  • A budget with $20 billion spending more than the President’s budget request was passed;

  • About $17 billion in additional spending was added to the troop funding bill; and

  • More than half of the annual appropriations measures were passed despite the threat of a Presidential veto because of excessive spending.
  • Thursday, September 6, 2007

    Boehner: General Petraeus, Ambassador Crocker Deserve to Be Heard

    WASHINGTON, D.C – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today on the upcoming testimony by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker and the new report released by the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, chaired by retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, on the success of the military surge in Iraq:

    “General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will testify next week on the progress of our troops, and both Republicans and Democrats alike should listen to their conclusions and recommendations with an open mind. It is troubling that Democratic leaders are doing anything and everything they can to dismiss their testimony even before they have the chance to utter a single word before Congress. Republicans have said all year that we will listen to those who have witnessed our successes and setbacks firsthand, and as next week’s testimony approaches, we will await any recommendations, next steps, or adjustments that may be needed in our strategy.

    “The report today from General Jones offers Congress valuable insight into the security gains we’re making in Iraq, as well as the challenges that lie ahead. The foremost priority of our troops has been to train, equip, and deploy the Iraqi Army in combat, and General Jones’ report confirms that Iraqi armed forces are becoming increasingly effective and are capable of assuming greater responsibility for the internal security of Iraq. And while the report found that the Iraqi police are making progress, it says we must see more for them to meet their essential security responsibilities. Everyone – the Jones Commission, Republicans, and Democrats alike – expects to see even more progress in Iraq, but it’s clear the foundation for solidifying our security gains has been laid.

    “Most importantly, General Jones’ report concludes that ‘the strategic consequences of failure, or even perceived failure, for the United States and the Coalition are enormous,’ and I could not agree more. When Democratic leaders invested their political fortunes in failure in Iraq, they were acutely aware of the risks, and the Jones report underscores the very dire consequences of a precipitous withdrawal and policy options rooted in failure.”

    Tuesday, September 4, 2007

    Boehner Op-Ed

    Washington Times: "Congressional One-Trick Ponies" by Rep. John Boehner:
    “I’ve often said that Democrats are running Congress just as I’ve expected them to, and nowhere is this clearer than on their approach to fiscal policy. And on taxes especially, Democrats have proven to be one-trick ponies; rather than pursuing real spending reform, they’ve singled-out tax increases as a ‘silver bullet’ solution to any and every problem facing our nation. This not only demonstrates an appalling unwillingness to make tough decisions when it comes to the federal budget, and runaway entitlement spending in particular. It also places working families squarely in the crosshairs, ready to absorb higher — and often altogether new — taxes to pay for an onslaught of new spending in Washington .”

    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Jungle Jim's Won!

    This is news is about a week or so old, but Jungle Jim's won the Best Bathroom contest. Read all about it on Jungle Jim's website here.

    HT: RightAngleBlog

    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    In the News...

    Scott over at Fairfield Republicans has a few stories that might interest Butler County residents:

  • Bee's Buffet owner gets year in prison - This story has been brewing since 2004 when the restraunt was raided for illigal immigration violations.

  • Raid at Fairfield Business - Koch Foods - Nets 161 - Something of a theme here...another illegal immigration story.

  • Butler County changing voting precincts - This one is very interesting if you're a political junkie like me!

  • Check 'em out!

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Boehner Statement Following President's Speech at American Legion Convention

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after President Bush’s remarks on the war on terrorism at the 89th Annual American Legion convention in Reno, Nevada:
    “As President Bush underscored today, Iraq is at the intersection of our battle against radical Islamic extremists and represents the defining struggle of this generation. Throughout Iraq, General Petraeus’ strategy is working to drive out extremism and bring freedom to a part of the world that needs it most – and America will be safer because of it.

    “In addition to our military gains in Iraq, Sunday’s news of a political consensus among Iraq’s top Shiite, Sunni Arab, and Kurdish leaders will help deliver reconciliation, unity, and a free and secure country in the heart of the Middle East. A growing number of my Democratic colleagues have witnessed our troops’ successes firsthand and are realizing the folly of their leadership’s year-long political calculation to simply declare ‘the war is lost.’ Indeed, this approach is proving to be dead wrong both for the national security of our country and for the credibility of their party.

    “With Congress set to return to session next week and with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker poised to deliver their report next month, Democratic leaders are faced with some very serious choices. Will they support a path that continues success, or they will maintain a platform of failure? If it’s the latter, just how far are they willing to move the goalposts in the face of overwhelming evidence of progress in Iraq? And just how much longer will they attempt to make the case that a precipitous withdrawal is the right approach, even as Iran’s radical leader declares that he is prepared to fill a power vacuum left if American troops leave behind an unstable Iraq? House Republicans will continue to ask these key questions as we await the report from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker in the coming weeks.”

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Congressman Boehner Weekly Column: Iraq Surge Strategy Shows Signs of Progress

    Iraq Surge Strategy Shows Signs of Progress

    Soon after Congress reconvenes from the August District Work Period, the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq will deliver a report detailing the progress we’ve made under a new battle plan put into action this year.

    Gen. David Petraeus, who assumed control of our troops in February, has implemented a “surge” that required an infusion of U.S. troops working with Iraqi Security Forces and our allies to methodically clear violence-plagued areas of Iraq of terrorists. Gen. Petraeus’ overall plan in Iraq includes a counter-insurgency strategy, which in part focuses on helping Iraqi towns rebuild after major combat operations.

    We have two options in Iraq – success or failure. Failure would bring about disastrous consequences for our security, our international interests and our allies. Failure in Iraq would allow al Qaeda to emerge strong and establish terrorist safe havens, and it will give Iran unchecked ability to increase its support of terrorist groups.

    Success in Iraq , however, will deny terrorists a safe haven not just in that country but throughout the Middle East , striking a significant blow to the efforts of Islamic extremists in a region that serves as a critical source of funding, recruits and support for global terrorist activities. Success in Iraq will mean a safer America for our children and grandchildren.

    And we’re seeing success emerge. In a recent military operation, Iraqi Army Scouts planned and conducted simultaneous raids on multiple buildings and detained a suspected terrorist believed to be a key man in the exchange of smuggled money for weapons, explosives and recruits. And as Iraqi civilians see more and more progress on the ground, the number of tips they’re relaying to Coalition Forces are yielding greater results. One recent tip led U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police in Baghdad to two sites that contained materials to make bombs and other explosive devices.

    Despite this progress, those who are invested in failure in Iraq will no doubt find an angle from which to criticize Gen. Petraeus’ report. But our troops are not in Iraq just to create a stable political environment – they are there to help the Iraqi people take control of their country and of their own lives. Coalition Forces are training Iraqi Security Forces, including local police, to defend their countrymen – that is very different from their mission under former dictator Saddam Hussein, who used the police and military to terrorize his own people. While progress in Iraq ’s national government has been slower than hoped for, grassroots reconciliation in provinces like Anbar and other Iraqi towns is encouraging. We all agree that more political progress is essential but pushing for a precipitous withdrawal when the momentum is ours is not just irrational, it is negligent.

    I’m pleased to see that lawmakers who hold varying opinions of our purpose in Iraq recently noting that we’re seeing successes there. Freshmen Congressmen Brian Baird (D-WA), Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) commented on that progress after returning from Iraq where they saw for themselves how the surge is working.

    “The success in Ramadi is not just because of bombs and bullets, but because the U.S. and Iraqi military and the Iraqi police are partnering with the tribal leadership and the religious leadership. … What they’re doing is respecting the people, giving the people some control over their own lives,” Ellison said. (Associated Press, Ellison Returns from Trip to Iraq , 7-30-07)

    Rep. Baird: “One, I think we’re making real progress. Secondly, I think the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility … and in the long run chaotic for the region as a whole and for our own security.” (The Olympian, Baird sees need for longer U.S. role in Iraq , 8-17-07)

    Sen. Dick Durbin, who has been a fierce critic of the war in Iraq , stated after a trip that, “the surge of American troops has led to military progress in Iraq .” Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Senate Armed Committee, noted that the surge is producing “measurable results.”

    And the Cincinnati Enquirer earlier this month opined that, “…the war has taken a turn for the better, like a patient making a sudden recovery after years on life support.” (Cincinnati Enquirer, “Wait, Haul Down the White Flags – The Surge is Working,” 8-5-07)

    There’s still a lot of work for us to in Iraq and in the region to ensure not only security there but our security here at home. The terrorists have taken note of the painful lessons of Vietnam , and their hope of victory in Iraq lay in us losing faith in ourselves and in our military. We cannot turn our backs on our troops, who have sacrificed so much, and on the Iraq people who, having tasted freedom will not rest until they are truly a free people.

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    House-Passed Medicare Bill Would Cut Additional Billions in Funding for Home Oxygen Beneficiaries; Ohio's Seniors to Face Significant Medicare Cuts

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ohio will be severely impacted by provisions in the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act of 2007 (CHAMP), legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on August 1, 2007 that will cut additional billions in funding for Medicare beneficiaries on home oxygen therapy and directly impact 21,500 of the state's senior citizens who receive this critical therapy in their homes. If enacted into law, the bill will cut almost $2 billion in Medicare funding for home oxygen therapy over the next 5 years -- $81.2 million in Ohio alone.

    The House-endorsed bill will cap Medicare funding at 18-months for home oxygen therapy, a benefit on which more than one million Americans nationwide rely. Nationally, nearly half of the more than 1 million seniors who rely on this benefit will be affected by these cuts.

    The Council for Quality Respiratory Care, a coalition of the nation's leading home oxygen providers and manufacturers, strongly opposes any further cuts to Medicare funding for home oxygen therapy. Peter Kelly, Chairman of the Council and CEO of Pacific Pulmonary Services, Inc., urged congressional leadership to eliminate these Medicare cuts from final legislation when the House and Senate meet to reconcile their respective bills. According to Kelly, "Congress has already made sweeping changes to the home oxygen benefit as part of both the Medicare Modernization Act and the Deficit Reduction Act, changes that take effect in 2008 and 2009 and that will cut Medicare home oxygen funding by 19 percent. We are deeply concerned that further Medicare cuts at this time would deal a destabilizing blow to the home oxygen therapy benefit and the Medicare beneficiaries who are dependent upon it for their care."

    Recent research shows that "access to services such as home oxygen...can decrease the need for hospitalization" of Medicare patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bacterial pneumonia. The study, conducted by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, was published in the June edition of the journal Medical Care.

    A state-by-state breakdown of the Medicare cuts concludes that Florida, Texas, California, Ohio and Michigan, states with the largest number of home oxygen beneficiaries, will feel the greatest impact of the proposed cuts. The CQRC data is based upon recent analysis of the Congressional Budget Office's scoring of Medicare spending reductions from the 18-month rental cap.

    The Council for Quality Respiratory Care is a group of the nation's leading home oxygen therapy providers and manufacturers, representing a majority of the more than one million Medicare patients who depend on the home oxygen benefit for their care in order to live in an independent environment. The Council was formed to work closely with policymakers and their staffs to facilitate a deeper understanding of the clinical, operational, and service- related complexities associated with the provision of this life-enhancing benefit.

    Boehner Statement on National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released the latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report on security in Iraq:
    “Today’s report confirms what Republicans have been saying about the successes of our troops in combating al Qaeda in Iraq and underscores the consequences of a precipitous withdrawal. In fact, the report states very clearly that changing the mission of our troops right now, as Democratic leaders have proposed, would ‘erode the security gains achieved thus far.’ The fact that Democratic leaders continue to push for precipitous withdrawal despite the significant progress our troops are making shows just how deeply invested they are in failure.

    “The NIE report also confirms what Republicans have been saying about political reconciliation. The ‘bottom-up’ progress we’re seeing in provinces like Anbar and other Iraqi towns are positive steps, but we must see further evidence of reconciliation at the national level. House Republicans have said all along that it’s critical for Congress to listen to the commanders on the ground. That remains the right approach, and we will await the report from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker in the coming weeks.”
    NOTE: Following are excerpts from some key judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate:
    “There have been measurable but uneven improvements in Iraq’s security situation since our last National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq in January 2007. The steep escalation of rates of violence has been checked for now, and overall attack levels across Iraq have fallen during seven of the last nine weeks. Coalition forces, working with Iraqi forces, tribal elements, and some Sunni insurgents, have reduced al-Qa’ida in Iraq’s (AQI) capabilities, restricted its freedom of movement, and denied it grassroots support in some areas.”

    “Perceptions that the Coalition is withdrawing probably will encourage factions anticipating a power vacuum to seek local security solutions that could intensify sectarian violence and intra-sectarian competition. At the same time, fearing a Coalition withdrawal, some tribal elements and Sunni groups probably will continue to seek accommodation with the Coalition to strengthen themselves for a post-Coalition security environment.”

    “Iraqi Security Forces involved in combined operations with Coalition forces have performed adequately, and some units have demonstrated increasing professional competence.”

    “We assess that changing the mission of Coalition forces from a primarily counterinsurgency and stabilization role to a primary combat support role for Iraqi forces and counterterrorist operations to prevent AQI from establishing a safe haven would erode security gains achieved thus far.”

    Boehner: We Will Balance the Budget Without Raising Taxes

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) issued the following statement today after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced its deficit forecast for this year declined dramatically from $248 billion to $158 billion - $47 billion less than the Bush Administration’s estimate from a month ago and $90 billion lower than last year’s CBO estimate:

    “Today’s announcement reaffirms what Republicans have been saying for years: we will balance the budget without raising taxes. Democrats in Congress, on the other hand, are intent on reversing course by raising taxes on working families and proposing billions upon billions of dollars in new federal spending. These misguided, failed policies not only would guarantee us deficits as far as the eye could see, but they would bring our economy to a screeching halt and leave future generations on the hook to pay for the unchecked spending spree congressional Democrats have in store.

    “Earlier this year, House Republicans pledged to uphold the President’s veto of any bill that contains excessive spending, and as Congress prepares to return next month, we’ll continue to uphold that pledge. And when Democrats propose raising taxes as the solution to any and every problem facing our nation, we’ll fight them every step of the way. Republican-led pro-growth policies have strengthened our economy and placed a balanced budget within reach, and we’ll work to ensure those policies stay in place.”

    NOTE: So far this year, congressional Democrats have added $6 billion in new spending to a bill that finished the 2007 appropriations process; passed a budget that exceeded the President’s budget request by some $20 billion; added about $17 billion in additional spending to a troop funding bill; and passed several annual appropriations measures that have drawn veto threats because of excessive spending. At the same time, they have proposed a laundry list of new taxes, including:

  • A massive $392.5 billion tax increase on middle-class families in their Fiscal Year 2008 budget.

  • More than $15 billion in new energy taxes that will raise gasoline prices on consumers.

  • A 115 percent to 2,200 percent increase in tobacco taxes and a new tax on every American who has a private health insurance plan in their SCHIP bill.

  • A $7.5 billion tax increase in their Farm Bill, threatening 5.1 million American jobs and greater investment in the U.S.

  • A 5-cent increase per gallon federal gas tax hike for infrastructure and a 50-cent increase per gallon federal gas tax hike for a global warming plan.

  • Raising taxes on homeowners by ending the home mortgage deduction.
  • Friday, August 17, 2007

    Boehner Weekly Column: Free Speech Under Attack by Calls to Revive Fairness Doctrine

    The U.S. Constitution guarantees and spells out our rights as citizens, the foremost of which is the freedom of speech. And over the past few months, there’s been talk among liberal Democrats of reviving the so-called Fairness Doctrine, a repealed Federal Communications Commission rule requiring broadcast license-holders to offer a balanced presentation of controversial issues.

    The theory behind the Fairness Doctrine, put in place in the 1940s when there were relatively few radio and television stations compared to today, was that the limited numbers of these media outlets should offer people the full spectrum of news and opinion. I’ve always believed that government regulation of speech is a bad idea and leads to the rationing of political thought and expression, and I was pleased the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987 under President Reagan’s administration.

    Of late, however, there has been a renewed effort to re-instate the Fairness Doctrine prompted by liberal frustration with the success of conservative talk radio hosts while networks such as Air America, which catered to the far left, have floundered into obscurity.

    Talk radio has become a conduit for those who otherwise wouldn’t have a voice, and reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would amount to censorship of the radio airwaves. Broadcast companies would water down their programming, and could be forced to eliminate conservative talk radio. While the spectrum of airwaves is not unlimited, they are not a scarce resource in need of protection. In fact, the number of broadcasters in the country continues to increase.

    But it’s not just radio and television that offer people choices. There are enough places today where people can get their news that we don’t need the federal government playing Big Brother. Most Americans simply won’t support government bureaucrats deciding what should and should not be on radio and TV.

    In June, the U.S. House approved legislation preventing federal funds from being used to implement the Fairness Doctrine. This is a temporary fix. A permanent solution is needed, and that’s why every single Republican in the House have signed on as co-sponsors of the Broadcaster Freedom Act, introduced by my friend Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). This bill would prevent the FCC or any future President from re-instating the Fairness Doctrine without an act of Congress.

    The Fairness Doctrine will not ensure that more opinions will be heard. It will limit the number of opinions offered and it will diminish any kind of vigorous debate. Those Democrats in Congress championing the return of Fairness Doctrine have made clear that they do not intend to balance the airwaves – they just don’t like the proliferation of conservative talk shows that millions of Americans enjoy every day.

    A senior advisor to the Speaker of the House recently warned, “Conservative radio is a huge threat and political advantage for Republicans, and we have to find a way to limit it.” Many conservatives – myself included – could make the same argument about the explosion of liberal web blogs, which have been identified as a major political advantage for Democrats. But we don’t.

    Indeed, we understand that limiting debate – whether by forcing broadcasters, bloggers, or anyone to fit their views into a government-determined mold – weakens the most sacred of our rights: the freedom of speech. And we simply won’t stand for it.

    Hamilton West Side All-Stars on ESPN2

    The Hamilton West Side Little League All-Stars play today at 2pm on ESPN in the first round of the National Little League Championship...they currently are the Great Lakes Champion and play the Eastern States champion from Massachusettes. Hamilton definitely has some hitters. GO WEST SIDE!

    Friday, August 3, 2007

    Butler County Commission Picks Fox for CSB

    From the Fairfield Echo:
    HAMILTON — Michael Fox's former colleagues on the Butler County Commission on Thursday named him executive director of Children Services.

    Fox resigned as county commissioner in early May to apply for the job.

    "I am very confident Mike will be an outstanding director," Commissioner Gregory Jolivette said. "Mike has exhibited a passion for protecting children throughout his public career."

    Commissioners had chosen three finalists from the 14 applicants for the job. The other two finalists had both served as directors of children services agencies in other counties.

    Timothy Stolitca, one of the other finalists, was named deputy director by the commissioners.
    At least they had the sense to hire someone with competence to back him up...

    Mike Fox, enjoy your raise... Commissioners Jolivette, Furmon and Dixon: this is not one I'll soon forget... Competence matters...

    Wednesday, August 1, 2007

    Boehner: 20 Simple Reasons to Oppose the Democrats' SCHIP Bill

    From some $193 billion in Medicare cuts to new tax hikes on working families, from new benefits for illegal immigrants to its new ‘Hillary-Care’ plan for government-run health care, there is a lot to oppose in the Democrats upcoming bill to dramatically expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Republicans support renewing SCHIP to aid children in low-income families, but all the Democrats delivered with this bill is a poorly-crafted, partisan proposal that works against seniors, working families, and taxpayers.

    Following are the Top 20 Most Egregious SCHIP provisions that House Democrats won’t tell you about:
  • Massive ‘Hillary-Care’ at Taxpayer’s Expense. The Democrats’ bill would help achieve their longtime goal of bureaucratic government-run health care.

  • 3.2 million Seniors in 22 States will lose Medicare Advantage benefits.

  • Cuts Medicare Advantage for Seniors by $157 billion, resulting in higher co-pays, a loss in specific health care benefits, less quality and choice of programs, and fewer choices among doctors.

  • Cuts Medicare Part A for Seniors by $8.8 billion, including rehabilitation facilities, and long term care hospitals.

  • Includes Medicare Cuts of $6.5 billion to skilled nursing facilities.

  • Cuts Medicare Part B for Seniors by $9.6 billion, including payments for oxygen and brachytherapy.

  • Includes Medicare Cuts of $3.6 billion to the end-stage renal disease program for seniors.

  • Includes Medicare Cuts of $7.5 billion to home health and more cuts to end-stage renal programs.

  • Provides Benefits for Illegal Immigrants. Opens the door for SCHIP and Medicaid benefits for illegal immigrants by eliminating the requirement that persons applying for such services show proof of citizenship or nationality.

  • Removes Legal Immigrant Waiting Period for Benefits. The Democrats’ bill eliminates the current five-year waiting period required for legal immigrants to receive government health benefits.

  • Includes Stealth Tax Increase on Private Health Care Plans. The Democrats’ bill includes a stealth tax increase that will drain money from the Medicare trust fund and increase taxes on every American with a health insurance plan.

  • Dramatically Increases Tobacco Taxes. The Democrats’ bill hikes the cigarette tax by 45 cents per pack, once again proving that Democrats are harming low-income families they claim to want to help.

  • Expands Massive Entitlement With No Regular Scrutiny. The Democrats’ bill creates a permanent entitlement program without requiring Congress to review the program on a regular basis, thus encouraging irresponsible spending with no checks and balances.

  • Eliminates Income Eligibility Restrictions for SCHIP. The Democrats’ bill allows anyone to be eligible for free health care through a program that was intended to serve low-income children.

  • Shifts 2.1 Million Kids with Private Health Care to Government-Run Hillary-Care. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Democrats’ bill would shift some 2.1 million children who are currently in private health care plans to government-run health care.

  • Guts Key Fiscal Responsibility Measure to Keep Medicare Spending in Check. The Democrats’ bill repeals the requirement in the Medicare prescription drug law requiring Congress to consider reforms to control runaway spending.

  • Allows 25-Year-Old “Children” to Receive SCHIP Benefits. A “child” can be 25 years old under this children’s health insurance program.

  • Allows States Access to Unlimited Waivers to Enroll Adults. This bill does nothing to rein in the numbers of waivers given to states allowing them to enroll hundreds of thousands of childless adults, who are simply taking away limited resources from low-income, uninsured children.

  • Restricts Beneficiaries’ Access to Wheelchairs. Under the Democrats’ bill, seniors will be unable to purchase a wheelchair for the first month after they are prescribed one.

  • Allows Planned Parenthood to Determine Eligibility for Medicaid. The Democrats’ bill allows pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood to determine eligibility for Medicaid services and provide Medicaid services.

  • Why would anyone, Republican or Democrat, vote for this bill?

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007

    Butler County Fair Post-Mortem

    The Middletown Journal has this update from the Butler County Fair which ended on Saturday:
    Rep. Courtney Combs bought Hoerst's entry for $4,250, according to Hoerst. Bear weighs in at 1,430 pounds.

    Samantha Darner, 14, of Hamilton offered up the reserve grand champion, Sunny. Darner is a member of the Butler County Beef Club.

    Richard's Pizza bought Sunny for about $3,000, according to Darner. He weighed in at about 1,290 pounds.
    If you order up beef on your pizza, you just might be getting a piece of that $3000 Sunny...

    Rep. Combs Wants Salvia Classified as a Controlled Substance

    Salvia is sometimes called the legal LSD and it causes some pretty intense hallucinations as evidenced by a number of videos on YouTube.

    State Rep. Courtney Combs (R-Fairfield) wants to see the drug classified as a controlled substance in Ohio.
    "I don't understand why people want to do that, why do you want to feel that way, why do you want to be out of control."
    That is why he, like many other politicians in Columbus, is putting his name on the bill. Six other states have already banned the use of salvia.

    WKRC has more here.

    Saturday, July 28, 2007

    Butler County Fair Update

    Here is what's happening at the Fair today:
    Livestock Sale-9:00 A.M. - Open Class Sheep Barn

    Frisch Marionettes - 1:00 P.M. & 6:00 P.M. - Farm Zone

    Wolf Bros. Racing -

    ATV - Motorcycle Dirt Drags - 1:00 P.M.

    Butler County Children Services Exec to be Named on Thursday

    The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the new executive director of the Butler County Children Services will be announced on Thursday according to County Commissioner Greg Jolivette. There are three candidates; two experienced professionals from other childrens services boards and former Commissioner Mike Fox.

    Chasing Aaron Update

    AP News Alert from last night:
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Barry Bonds has hit his 754th home run to pull within one of Hank Aaron's career record
    Nobody likes a cheater. Is having a steroid filled slugger as the lifetime home run champion good for baseball? Give us your answer in the Calls...

    Friday, July 27, 2007

    Butler County Fair Update

    Today's events at the Butler County Fair:
    Sponsor of The Day - Journal News

    Fair Parade - 11:00 A.M.

    Frisch Marionettes-1:00 P.M. & 6:00 P.M. - Farm Zone

    Farm Bureau Fun Day-1:30 P.M.

    Demolition Derby-7:00 P.M.

    Boehner Offers Farm Subsidy Reform Amendment to Save Taxpayers $3 Billion

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today introduced an amendment to the 2007 Farm Bill to save taxpayers $3 billion by fixing a loophole in current disaster relief law that some producers have been able to exploit to obtain large government subsidies.

    Because of the loophole, Boehner noted, some producers have been able to take advantage of low crop prices early in the harvest to obtain large government subsidies while retaining the ability to sell their crops later at much higher prices – “gaming the system” to obtain farm subsidies at the expense of both taxpayers and farmers who are truly in need of assistance.

    “No one should be able to exploit natural disasters to get subsidies from the federal government. Turning our back on this problem cheats both taxpayers and farmers who are truly in need of emergency aid,” Boehner said.

    The amendment would replace the current daily posted county price (PCP) with a monthly PCP for each crop. PCPs are used to establish loan repayment rates, which determine loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains under marketing assistance loan programs. Boehner’s amendment would eliminate the excessive cost of loan deficiency payments (LDPs) and marketing loan gains. If a similar provision had been in effect for the 2005 crop year, government outlays would have been nearly $3 billion lower.

    “The issues in the Farm Bill are not abstract issues for my constituents,” Boehner said. “My amendment aims to fix a problem that has not been addressed in the bill we’re currently considering. If we are going to continue Loan Deficiency Payments, we need to address the situation that allows farmers to lock in an LDP when prices are low and then sell their crop when prices are high. LDPs are a valuable for farmers and to preserve them, we need to fix this problem.”

    Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns included this provision in his Farm Bill recommendations. The problems with calculating LDPs based on the daily posted county price were highlighted in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The storm halted grain transport on the Mississippi River for several days, causing a short-term decline in market prices, which then triggered a large volume of LDP requests at a high LDP rate that did not reflect the longer-term or underlying market conditions. The farmers who locked in these artificially low LDPs were simply using the program to increase the payments that they received from the government.

    “If we allow the marketing loan program and LDPs to continue to be used in this manner we will undermine their integrity by allowing them to game a pricing system that reacts to daily to natural disasters,” Boehner said. “Supporting a good farm policy is important but exploiting catastrophic natural disasters cannot stand. We need to make this change if we are going to preserve LDPs and the integrity of our farm policy.”

    Ohio’s 8th District is on the eastern edge of the cornbelt and is home to some of the richest soil and most productive farms in the country. The district includes all of Darke, Miami and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. Boehner was first elected to Congress in 1990.

    Defense Contractor Armor Holdings Expands in Butler County Ohio

    HAMILTON, Ohio, July 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Butler County Board of Commissioners today approved an Enterprise Zone tax abatement agreement for Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group. The West Chester Township Board of Trustees approved the agreement earlier this week.

    "We are very pleased that Armor has decided to stay and expand their operations in Butler County," said Commission president Greg Jolivette.

    The company is a leading manufacturer and distributor of military vehicles, vehicle armor systems, and life safety and survivability systems. Armor's Butler County operation is focused on military vehicle armoring programs including the up-armored HMMWV ("Humvee"), various military trucks, and the armored cabs for more than 1,100 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, which are part of a $518 million contract recently announced by the company.

    Commission vice president Chuck Furmon said that he was heartened that another manufacturer was expanding in the County. "Ohio has experienced an erosion in manufacturing jobs but here in Butler County we are seeing growth in that segment of the economy," Furmon said.

    The $75 million project will include the construction of a new 60,000 sq. ft. ballistic glass plant, office space remodeling, and the addition of a larger lobby and customer reception area. Armor will add 300 new jobs to its current workforce of 742.

    Armor Holdings has revalidated Butler County as a good place to do business that is very attractive to manufacturers," said Commissioner Don Dixon.

    Train Derailment in Hamilton

    This is ONN:
    HAMILTON, Ohio - Police were responding to a report of a train derailment in the city of Hamilton on Friday morning.

    ONN affiliate WKRC reported that 20 Norfolk Southern Railroad cars were off the tracks on the west side of Erie Boulevard.

    Three cross streets between Maple and Grand were closed.

    Hazmat crews had not been called to the scene, but officials said it would take a long time to clean up.

    There was no immediate word on injuries.

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Democrat Job-Killing Tax Could Eliminate 1,200 8th District Jobs

    From the mailbox:
    WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 1,200 workers in Ohio ’s 8th District could get the pink slip because of a job-killing tax hike slipped into the Farm Bill at the last minute by Democrats. Throughout Ohio, more than 200,000 jobs could be lost if Democrats succeed in raising taxes on international companies that “insource” to the U.S., according to date compiled by the Ohio Department of Development and the Organization of International Investment.

    Nearly another 4,000 jobs in counties surrounding the 8th District could also be imperiled because of this tax hike while nationwide, “insourcing” companies employ more than 5.1 million Americans. These jobs have an average compensation per worker of $63,428 – 32 percent higher than typical U.S.-based jobs.

    “The tax increases just keep coming,” Boehner said. “This latest tax-raising scheme threatens millions of jobs and was sprung on the American public at the last possible moment, with Democrats hoping that its inclusion in legislation as important as the Farm Bill would force its passage. But you cannot increase the security of American farmers by destroying millions of American jobs, endangering the economic freedom and security of millions of working families. This is completely unacceptable, and we’re going to fight it.”

    The “insourced” jobs comprise 4 percent of the private-sector workforce in Ohio and maintain a heavy concentration in manufacturing – fully 45 percent of the jobs at these companies are in manufacturing industries, according to the OFII. Companies like BASF Corp. in Darke County , which employs about 150 people, Miller Brewing Co. in Butler County , with 600 workers, and American Honda Motor Co. choose to locate their subsidiaries in the 8th District. Other companies, such as Reed Elsevier in Montgomery County with 3,100 workers and Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc., which employs about 800 people in Warren County, are U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies.

    “The State of Ohio, in general, and the city of Troy, in particular, have relied on the recruiting of International companies to offset the significant job looses we have experienced over the last two decades,” said Chuck Cochran, president of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce. “And as globalization of our economy continues, we will need to rely on international investment and in-sourcing of jobs even further. Haphazard amendments such as the one proposed by the Democrats is simply out of touch with how the world’s economy functions today.”

    Ohio companies that could be affected by the Democrats’ tax on foreign companies that “insource” jobs to the U.S.:
    Akzo Nobel; Alcon; BASF; Boehringer Ingelheim; BP; Bridgestone Americas; Cadbury Schweppes; DaimlerChrysler; Deutsche Telekom; GlaxoSmithKline; Honda; HSBC; Huhtamaki; Lafarge North America, Inc.; L'Oreal USA; Miller Brewing Co.; Mitsubishi Electric; Nestlé USA, Inc.; Novelis Corp.; Oldcastle Inc. Philips; Protec-Pac; Reed Elsevier; Rexam; Rolls-Royce North America, Inc.; Saint Gobain; Sanofi-aventis SAP; Shell Oil Company; Siemens; Sodexho; Square D; Sumitomo Corp.;Toyota; Tyco; Voith; and Volvo

    Butler County Fair

    The Butler County Fair continues today with today's events as follows:
    Sponsor of The Day - Butler Tech

    Open Class Market Goats - 8:30 A.M.

    Open Class Beef Breeding -9:00 A.M.

    Cookie Judging-10:30 A.M.

    Men's Bake-Off-11:30 A.M.

    Tractor Pull- OSTPA Pull (7:00 P.M.)

    Frisch Marionettes-1:00 P.M. & 6:00 P.M. - Farm Zone

    Junior Talent Contest-Youth Building-7:30 P.M.
    Be sure to check it out...

    UPDATE: The Fairfield Echo has excellent Fair coverage.

    Scumbag from Hamilton Caught on 15th DUI

    The Hamilton Journal-News' Eric Schwartzberg has this unbelievable story:
    FAIRFIELD TWP. — A man suspected in a hit-and-run incident was reportedly intoxicated more than twice the legal limit and is facing his 15th conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

    Stephen W. Wolf, 50, of Hamilton was driving his 1994 Ford F-350 on Tylersville Road near Jessies Way at 5:47 p.m. July 13 when witnesses say he attempted to pass in a no-passing zone, striking an oncoming 2003 Ford Explorer head-on, according to police reports.

    Wolf then allegedly fled the scene, but was apprehended a short time later at Hideaway Lounge and Reef Tavern in Fairfield. His blood-alcohol content was .203 percent, more than twice Ohio's driving limit of .08 percent, authorities said. "We don't see many (blood alcohol contents) that high anymore," said Fairfield Twp. police Chief Richard St. John.

    Wolf's driving record shows he has been convicted of OVI 14 times, according to police reports. Eight of those convictions occurred during the past 20 years.

    Wolf was also charged with driving with a suspended license, failing to stop after an accident and passing in a no-pass zone.

    The Ford's driver, David J. McMillan, 47, was injured but did not require hospitalization, St. John said.

    New OVI laws, including lowering the legal blood alcohol limit and increasing penalties, work well and get most people's attention, said state Sen. Gary Cates of West Chester Twp. However, repeat OVI offenders will continue to break the law even when their license or car is taken away, Cates said.

    "They don't seem to have any respect or concern what the law is," he said. "The only solution is to lock them up until they can get their problem cured."
    Dirtbags like this need to be kept off the streets for everybody's safety.

    Rep. Boehner: "Lessons Learned: Republicans Returning to Our Core Principles"

    Rep. John Boehner (OH-08) has an op-ed published in The Hill today. Two exccerpts are provided below, but read the whole thing here.
    In January I wrote in The Hill that after our losses last November, House Republicans “must recommit to the principles of limited and accountable government.” Here we are, seven months into the 110th Congress, and I’m pleased to report we’re doing just that.
    Republicans have a long way to go in our effort to earn back the majority, but the last several months have shown we are united and proving our commitment to delivering a federal government that will guarantee the freedom and security Americans expect; a government that is smaller, less costly and more accountable — one that will secure our borders and protect Americans from attack by radical jihadists. The American people sent Republicans a message last fall. We’ve listened. Seven months into the 110th Congress, Republicans are keeping their promises to the American people; it’s fair to say the majority can’t say the same.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    State Sen. Gary Cates (West Chester) Wants a Smoking Ban Exemption for Cigar Bars

    State Senator Gary Cates of West Chester has SB No. 195 on the table asking for an exemption to the smoking ban to "allow smoking in cigar bars and in outdoor seating areas of restaurants that are at least 20 feet away from an entrance, exit, or window of the restaurant."

    It looks to be a rather reasonable compromise. The Cincinnati Enquirer had an article about Anthony's Cigar Bar and how this legislation might save that business from going under.

    WCPO calls the exemption "unlikely" in the headline, but offers no evidence in the actual article. The piece ends with this:
    Both Cates as well as Varacalli say they receive plenty of positive feedback on their attempt for an exemption.

    They claim it comes from both smokers and non-smokers alike.

    Some people feel the issue goes beyond smoking, to an issue of civil liberties, especially at an establishment which patrons know features tobacco, even before they walk through the doors.
    While I am not a smoker, I do view this ban as a violation of your right to choose how to live your life. The nanny-state has plenty of adherents though, and it will be interesting to see how this legislation fares. At least we'll get a real debate...

    Butler County Offers Basic Health Care Coverage

    Butler County Commissioner Greg Jolivette says he feels like a proud father seeing this program finally come to fruition as the county offers basic health insurance to those making less than $30,000.

    WCPO reports:
    HealthShare Select is meant to cover people who are working and haven't had any health insurance for at least six months.

    Employers don't have to make any contributions to the health plan, except for being willing to set up a payroll deduction for their employees.

    For payments of $76 a month for individuals and $187 a month for families, it would offer basic health insurance that would cover routine medical costs like doctor and emergency room visits. All with little or no money to pay out of pocket.
    When someone covered by the plan goes to the doctor and is charged more than $55, the patient is expected to pick up the slack. The whole goal is to reduce the number of uninsured patients at area emergency rooms and doctor's offices.

    The plan was designed to pay for itself using no taxpayer dollars and will be managed by Horan Associates. Employers are also not required to contribute.

    If no subsidies are required, I'm excited about the service; but if this program ultimately becomes yet another government handout, I will not be pleased. I have yet to see where exactly the funds are coming from...I assume that the plan's fee is expected to foot the bill.

    WLWT covers what isn't covered:
    The program, which goes into effect Sept. 1, covers only basic medical care, such as doctor’s visits and checkups.

    Major medical emergencies are not covered under the plan, which is available to workers who earn less than $30,000, even those who have pre-existing medical conditions.
    It looks like an interesting program...and no, I don't qualify...

    UPDATE: The Enquirer picks up the story and has this quote in it:
    "If a doctor's visit costs $75 and the plan's limit is $55, we'd like the doctor to agree not to bill the patient for the remaining $20," Jolivette said.
    Uhh...why not? Isn't the doctor entitled to that money? It is what the cost of the visit actually is...

    It is precisely this sort of back-door negotiating that is causing inflated prices in the first place... And if the doctor would agree to this, why isn't his cost $55 to everybody?

    Welcome to the Butler County Bugle

    Introduction: Your editor is Matt Hurley, who also blogs at Weapons of Mass Discussion, and Gem City Journal. He is the founding member of the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance and a contributer to the Miami Valley Conservative Alliance Commentary and Journal. Matt also is the Owner, Programming Director and a host on TIB Radio, an internet radio station with the talk format.

    What the site is about: BCB will feature stories about the people and happenings in and of Butler County, Ohio.

    Want to contribute? Email Matt at wmdtvmatt - at - yahoo - dot - com if you have tips, comments or want to be staff blogger.

    Much more to come...