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?