Read the Bills Act Coalition

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Puppet Master mad at puppet trying to cut his strings

Putin didn't put Medvedev in place for Medvedev to actually assert his own agenda. From the Financial Times:

It was an innocuous sounding comment in what appeared to be a routine television interview. But in the six days since Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, described his feelings about taking the oath of office in May, the corridors of power have been buzzing....“The final responsibility for what happens in the country and for the important decisions taken would rest on my shoulders alone and I would not be able to share this responsibility with anyone,” Mr Medvedev told an interviewer...Usually when discussing such matters he stresses his “consultation” with Vladimir Putin, the prime minister and former president, who all but installed Mr Medvedev in his job and is thought to take most of the big decisions. But this time Mr Medvedev stressed that he was the single constitutionally empowered decision-maker....Cremlin watchers say this assertiveness seems to be part of a new pattern, with Mr Medvedev appearing frustrated that, in spite of his constitutional power as commander in chief, he is stuck in a subordinate role....“An apprehension is growing on both sides, particularly the Putin side,” said Dmitry Simes, head of the Nixon Centre in Washington, who spent last week in Moscow. ...“No one is quoting Putin as saying anything . . .  But several of Putin’s associates are uneasy about his [Med?vedev’s] new assertiveness.”....Mr Simes said Mr Medvedev had summoned cabinet members and given instructions. “Clearly it was Medvedev reaching out to members of the cabinet on economic issues which normally would be considered Putin’s prerogative.”...A Putin adviser said Mr Medvedev’s remarks in the interview demonstrated a “cavalier” attitude. Mr Simes said: “Medvedev sounded very self-confident. He was not very deferential.”...Personal relations between the two men are warm, but most attempts by Mr Medvedev to pursue independent policies have been thwarted. Anti-corruption measures he championed were changed by Russia’s usually supine parliament in October. According to Russian press reports, plans by Mr Medvedev to appoint independent judges were thwarted by Putin allies...Mr Medvedev’s big legislative success has been a constitutional change to lengthen the presidential term from four to six years, which has sailed through the approval process. The reason? “Everyone understood that this was Putin’s idea,” said the Russian-language version of Newsweek



Read Here: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cfa5d788-d697-11dd-9bf7-000077b07658.html

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HOPEWELL SCHOOL BOARD THROWS PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNDER THE SCHOOL BUS FOR OBAMA

Posted by MAXIMUS


HOPEWELL, VA: On December, 12, 2008, Ms. Mel Bage the Director of Personnel for the Hopewell City Public Schools, sent out an email to employees of the Hopewell School System that is causing quite a stir. The email is posted below in its entirety.

HERE IS THE PRIMER:
The Hopewell School Board has decreed that they will not be celebrating George Washington Day (known nationally as President's Day) on February 16, 2009. This is a holiday recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia and is celebrated with a day off, link here and look on the February Calendar and then to the Holiday legend on the bottom of the document: http://www.dhrm.virginia.gov/calendar2009.pdf

This longstanding Holiday honoring Virginia's favorite son WHO ALSO HAPPENS TO BE THE FOUNDER OF OUR NATION will instead be supplanted by a day off to honor the inauguration of President Elect Barak Obama on January 20, 2009. This is a controversial decision at best. Why? George Washington helped to form and grow a nation. Barak Obama is best known for helping to grow ACORN---a voter registration program.

From Wikipedia: "The federal holiday Washington's Birthday honors the accomplishments of the man who has been referred to, for over two centuries, as "The Father of his Country". Celebrated for his leadership in the founding of the nation, he was the Electoral College's unanimous choice to become the first President; he was seen as a unifying force for the new republic and set an example for future holders of the office."

"The holiday is also a tribute to the general who created the first military badge of merit for the common soldier. Revived on Washington's 200th birthday in 1932, the Purple Heart recognizes injuries received in battle. Like Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Washington's Birthday weekend offers another opportunity to honor the country's veterans. Community celebrations often display a lengthy heritage. Historic Alexandria, Virginia, hosts a month-long tribute, including the longest running George Washington Birthday parade, while the community of Eustis, Florida, continues its annual "George Fest" celebration begun in 1902. At the George Washington Birthplace National Monument in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and at Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia, visitors are treated to birthday celebrations throughout the federal holiday weekend and through February 22." link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidents%27_Day

WIKIPEDIA continues, "Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day (or Presidents' Day). As Washington's Birthday or Presidents Day, it is also the official name of a concurrent state holiday celebrated on the same day in a number of states. Titled Washington's Birthday, the federal holiday was originally implemented by the United States federal government in 1880 for government offices in the District of Columbia (20 Stat. 277) and expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices (23 Stat. 516). As the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen, the holiday was celebrated on Washington's actual birthday, February 22. On January 1, 1971 the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. A draft of the Uniform Holidays Bill of 1968 would have renamed the holiday to Presidents' Day to honor both Washington and Lincoln, but this proposal failed in committee and the bill as voted on and signed into law on June 28, 1968 kept the name Washington's Birthday."

In an exclusive to the Virgina Blogosphere, the Contemporary Conservative has obtained the below internal email from Mel Bage, the Director of Personnel for the Hopewell City Public Schools heralding the Holiday change:

From: Bage, Mel

Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 8:45 AM

To: *ALL ADMINISTRATORS; *ALL SBO

Subject: Amendment to 2008-09 School Calendar

Here is the School Board resolution from last evening with regard to the school calendar for 2008-09:

08-12-G15
Approval to Amend 2008-09 School Calendar


RESOLVED, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, that the following change in the 2008-2009 School Calendar is hereby approved:
January 20, 2009 – Schools Closed
February 16, 2009 – Regular School Day"

###

What's the problem here? School System employees were not asked for their input on this sudden change. Insufficient public notice was given so that this change could be discussed. Hopewell students are going to miss-out on an important teaching moment because students will not be encouraged to watch the Inauguration while at home. At school, however, it could be televised and used for different teaching opportunities. Not to mention, this is the only full day of school during that week in Hopewell. Another concern is that many staff members use the calendar to plan their own personal activities. These employees will now be forced to use personal/sick days or be docked a day of pay to do something that was previously scheduled according to the school calendar in order to accommodate those people who do not want to use personal days or be docked pay to attend the Inauguration . A bigger concern is for the parents with children Hopewell Public Schools. These parents have not been notified and now will have to make child care arrangements for their children during this day off from school.

THE NOXIOUS ODORS FROM THE FACTORIES ARE NOT THE ONLY THINGS STINKING UP HOPEWELL THESE DAYS....

Not The Way to go Out as President

RNC is now ripping Bush as he heads into the sunset...The Bailout was a bad idea from the get go and it is only going to get worse, no matter how the money is spent..free-enterprise has to have loosers and personal responsibility in running a successful company or paying the consequenses should always be a part of the equation. You cannot constantly save people and companies from their actions without creating greater peoblems in the long term. From the Washington Times:

Republican Party officials say they will try next month to pass a resolution accusing President Bush and congressional Republican leaders of embracing "socialism," underscoring deep dissension within the party at the end of Mr. Bush's administration. ...Those pushing the resolution, which will come before the Republican National Committee at its January meeting, say elected leaders need to be reminded of core principles. They said the RNC must take the dramatic step of wading into policy debates, which traditionally have been left to lawmakers. ..."We can't be a party of small government, free markets and low taxes while supporting bailouts and nationalizing industries, which lead to big government, socialism and high taxes at the expense of individual liberty and freedoms," said Solomon Yue, an Oregon member and co-sponsor of a resolution that criticizes the U.S. government bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Republican National Committee Vice Chairman James Bopp Jr. wrote the resolution and asked the rest of the 168 voting members to sign it. ..."The resolution also opposes President-elect Obama's proposed public works program and supports conservative alternatives," while encouraging the RNC "to engage in vigorous public policy debates consistent with our party platform," said Mr. Bopp, a leading attorney for pro-life groups who has also challenged the campaign finance legislation that Mr. Bush signed. ...See related story: Jeb Bush Senate bid a GOP remedy? ...If enacted, the resolution would put the party on record opposing the $700 billion bailout of the financial sector, which passed Congress with Republican support and was signed by Mr. Bush, and opposing the bailout of the auto industry. The auto bailout bill was blocked by Senate Republicans, but Mr. Bush then reversed course and announced that he would use financial bailout money to aid the auto manufacturers......The RNC usually plays a policy role only every four years when it frames the national party platform, which typically is forgotten quickly. ...In 2006, some party members presented a resolution challenging Mr. Bush's plan to legalize illegal immigrants and enact a guest-worker program. Mr. Bush's lieutenants fought back, arguing that the party should not tie the president's hands on a policy issue, and the RNC capitulated, passing an alternate White House-backed resolution instead. ...This time, the backers of the new resolution say they will not be deterred by a fight, and say they have the numbers to pull off this rebellion


Read Here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/30/rnc-pushes-unprecedented-criticism-of-bailouts/

Monday, December 29, 2008

Definition of Hate Speech in Canada re-defined

from One News Now:

A Canadian pro-family leader is pleased that the Canadian Conservative Party has overwhelmingly approved a resolution to repeal the "hate speech" provision that has been used to squelch the free speech rights of Christians and others who speak out against homosexuality....At its recent convention in Winnipeg, the Conservative Party approved Resolution P-203, which would repeal Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the "hate speech" provision. Brian Rushfeldt, the executive director of the Canada Family Action Coalition, says repeal of Section 13 is long overdue...."Section 13 is the one that allows, basically, Human Rights Commission people to persecute somebody for freedom of speech on an issue that the commission feels is either promoting hate or causing discrimination against a particular individual," he explains.....But Rushfeldt believes it will be up to the people to push for the repeal of Section 13. "I think the people of Canada are going to drive it [at] the next election if there hasn't been action taken before that to fix the Human Rights Act," he contends. "I think the people of Canada are going to make this an election issue, and I believe that the Conservative Party is the only one that would even consider changing the Human Rights Act."...There is little chance, Rushfeldt says, that Section 13 can be repealed with the current makeup of Parliament.




Read Here:http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=365390

Not to Sweet for Obama's Transparency

From Chicago Sun Times Lynn Sweet:

The Obama team, pledging the ''most open and transparent transition in history,'' gets ... a ''F'' when it comes to revealing transition meetings with groups. Contrary to its own ''seat at the table transparency policy,'' meetings are not posted on a Web site....I'm giving a ''B'' to the Obama transition report on staff contacts with Gov. Blagojevich. The report was a summary narrative released last week of an internal inquiry into Gov. Blagojevich's selling-of-a-Senate seat scandal. While the Obama team deserves credit for disclosure -- including that President-elect Barack Obama and incoming White House staffers Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel met with federal prosecutors -- offering some notes or transcripts to support the conclusions would have been helpful......The Obama transition team has failed to disclose information from its meetings. ... During the presidential primary campaign, then candidate Obama, still an Illinois senator, made a pledge I heard for the first time on Oct. 24, 2007. In a school gym in Dover, N.H., Obama said if president, he would post his meetings on the Internet. That was interesting to me because Obama's Senate staff had been very selective about what Obama Senate-related meetings they disclosed and seemed to be guided by a ''less is best'' policy....A month after the election, on Dec. 5, John Podesta, a transition co-chair, issued an Obama transparency policy. When it comes to meetings, ''the date and organizations represented at official meetings in the Transition headquarters or agency offices'' would be ''posted on our Web site,'' at www.change.gov....Indeed, the ''seat at the table'' section states ''on this page, you can track these meetings, view documents provided to the Transition and leave comments for the team,'' but the statement is only partly true....What is posted are materials -- for example, briefing or position papers -- submitted by groups in connection with a transition meeting. There is no list of meetings on the site, with a meeting defined in the policy as having three or more participants....Transition spokesman Nick Shapiro, asked why the meetings are not posted despite the policy, said, ''This policy is part of President-elect Obama's commitment to run the most open and transparent transition in history. The transition staff has been instructed that this is a floor and not a ceiling. No transition has ever attempted to implement such disclosure requirements, and as we continue to evaluate the policy, refinements will be made to it."


Read Here: http://www.suntimes.com/news/sweet/1352924,CST-NWS-sweet29.article

Your Tax Dollars Hard at Work

A wish list for Abortion providers? Not my tax dollars...From One News Now:

Over 50 pro-abortion groups have submitted a 55-page wish list called "Advancing eproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration" to the incoming Obama administration. Jim Sedlak of American Life League's (ALL) Stop Planned Parenthood, or Stopp International, has tallied the cost...."They want unfettered abortion. They want the government paying for all of its programs," he contends. "In fact, [if] you total up everything that they've asked Obama for, Planned Parenthood and their friends want the taxpayers to give them $4.6 billion next year."...According to an ALL press release, the document requests $700 million to fund Title X, $900 million for international "family planning" programs, and additional millions for STD and sex education programs. Putting it under a microscope, Sedlak says the request is shocking when there are people on the streets looking for an income...."We have to remember that last year, Planned Parenthood got $356 million in government money and [got] $114 million in profit," he points out....


Read Here:http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=364520

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

BREAKING....Delegate Frank Hargrove (R-Hanover) will not run for re-election in 55th House District


Posted by MAXIMUS


Delegate Frank Hargrove, (R-Hanover), a Virginia Gentleman through and through, is not running for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates. The 55th District that he represents, largely a Hanover County District, is as red as it gets in Virginia.


The upcoming Republican primary for this seat will be tantamount to winning the general election--thus, the GOP primary will be where the action is on this race---more coming on the three GOP candidates vying for the nomination later.


For now, a big thank you to Delegate Frank Hargrove for a wonderful record of service to America, his state, and his beloved Hanover County. From his legislative website:


DELEGATE FRANK HARGROVE


Born: Elmont, VA, January 26, 1927
Religion: Methodist
Education: Public schools of Hanover County and Richmond City, Virginia Polytechnic Institute (B.S., Business, 1951)
Virginia Colleges and Universities: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Military Service: USAAF (1943-45)
Occupation/Profession: Retired
Membership & Affiliation: Kenwood United Methodist Church (chairman, board of trustees) Ferrum College (former chairman, board of trustees)Randolph-Macon College (former member, board of trustees) Mechanicsville Businessmen's AssociationHanover Association of Businesses (founding president)Ashland KiwanisAmerican Legion Post 175VFW Post 10657 (life member)Masonic Joppa Lodge No. 40Hanover Mental Health Association (former board member)Hanover Humane Society (board member)Ashland-Hanover Leadership Council
Spouse: Oriana Dale Robertson
Children: Frank D., Jr., Oriana Dale Alderman, Stewart R., and H. Wellesley

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Frosty as Jesus

It is a tradition in my house that from Thanksgiving to Christmas we watch every Christmas story we own (and we own almost every Christmas special ever made) from Christmas Vacation to Elf to Rudolph, we attempt to watch them all; we even have the CBS Christmas special "The House Without a Christmas Tree" with Jason Robards just to show you how extensive our collection has grown. One of my favorite shows is "Frosty the Snowman" as done in the year I was born, 1969, by Rankin/Bass (the pioneers of Christmas greats like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and A Year Without A Santa Claus to name a few) productions. The reason I like Frosty besides him saying "Happy Birthday" every time he comes alive is that at it's heart Frosty is a retelling of the Christ story if Jesus was a Snowman instead of the baby savior of course...think I'm making this up? Here are just a few of the parallels between the Nativity and Frosty the Snowman:
1. Frosty comes to life through a miracle as did Jesus. In Frosty’s case it is through a seemingly un- magical top hat from a terrible magician Professor Hinkle. Only through the combination of the "magical" Christmas snow, the love of the school children AND the magical top hat does Frosty come alive.....As for our lord and savior, his birth is also a miracle (as told in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 1 verses 26-38 -

26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." ...29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." ..... 34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" .... 35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[c] the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God." ... 38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.


2. Frosty teaches the school Children about love and fun(the children's life prior to Frosty is painted as unfulfilled with bad magician's aka Professor Hinkle trying to "entertain" them with poor magic) gaining a following that culminates in a joyous parade through the town before he leaves them to go to the north pole (or go on high so to speak)......Jesus, on the other hand, preaches God's word, through out the country gains in a time of unfulfilled false prohpets and substandard magic gaining disciples and a following which culminates the gloriousness of his ministry with a parade into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday before he is taken into custody.
3. Frosty is apparently killed by Professor Hinkle when the Professor snatches the magical hat from Frosty’s head and locks him in the greenhouse full of poinsettias….But when Santa comes and open’s the door of the greenhouse to let the cold wind (or Holy Spirit) pass over the pool of melted Christmas snow, Frosty is resurrected once again…..So was Jesus apparently dead from his crucifixion until he rose three days later to fulfill the prophesy that was foretold in the scriptures.
4. Frosty promises to return every year with Santa. It is stated that Jesus Christ, having been seated at the right hand of the Father, will come again in glory.
I could go on but I think you all get the gist…In this time when a good Christian message is hard to find on Television, it’s good to know that someone is sneaking the actual story of Christmas in the form of a chubby snowman for our kids to learn and watch.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is a Decision forth coming on second hald of TARP funding

From Reuters:

President George W. Bush has made no decision yet on whether to ask Congress to release the second half of the $700 billion of funds it approved to stabilize U.S. financial institutions, but it will likely be needed by February, the White House said on Monday....U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson called on Friday for Congress to release the second $350 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Funds after Bush announced a decision to use some of the money as emergency loans to ailing U.S. automakers.....The first $350 billion was virtually exhausted before Bush announced the decision to loan $17.4 billion to carmakers in an effort to stave off a collapse that would have cost hundreds of thousands of jobs....."I think that it's clear from the auto loan announcement on Friday that additional funds for TARP (Trouble Assets Relief Program) will be needed as early as February," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. "And so it's possible that we could be the ones to ask for it and it's possible the next administration. But no decision has been made on that."...."The president will make a decision based on what the needs of the program are and what he's hearing from Secretary (Henry) Paulson and what they need going forward," he said....Fratto declined to speculate on what might prompt the Bush administration to request the additional funds, rather than leaving that decision to the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama. He said the Treasury Department was monitoring markets to ensure they were functioning correctly and had adequate liquidity....."If the Treasury secretary determined that he had an immediate need for it (the additional $350 billion), he wouldn't hesitate to come to the White House and ask the president to request that authority from Congress," Fratto said....He said some funds for financial institutions had been committed but not yet released. "Certainly the funds for the American automakers have been committed. They haven't been released yet either," Fratto said....Paulson's call for the release of additional funds on Friday was not a formal request....Some members of Congress have said if the administration seeks the second half of the TARP funds, they will attach conditions to ensure that some of it is used as direct help for struggling homeowners rather than going to companies.



Read Here: http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE4BL31U20081222?feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews&rpc=22&sp=true

Friday, December 19, 2008

Interesting Development...

...with Blago and Emanuel...from The Chicago Sun Times:

President-elect Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had a deeper involvement in pressing for a U.S. Senate seat appointment than previously reported, the Sun-Times has learned. Emanuel had direct discussions about the seat with Gov. Blagojevich, who is is accused of trying to auction it to the highest bidder. ...Emanuel talked with the governor in the days following the Nov. 4 election and pressed early on for the appointment of Valerie Jarrett to the post, sources with knowledge of the conversations told the Sun-Times. There was no indication from sources that Emanuel brokered a deal, however.....A source with the Obama camp strongly denied Emanuel spoke with the governor directly about the seat, saying Emanuel only spoke with Blagojevich once recently to say he was taking the chief of staff post....But sources with knowledge of the investigation said Blagojevich told his aides about the calls with Emanuel and sometimes gave them directions afterward. Sources said that early on, Emanuel pushed for the appointment of Jarrett to the governor and his staff and asked that it be done by a certain date.....At least some of the conversations between Emanuel and Blagojevich were likely caught on tape, sources said...After Jarrett took herself out of the running in mid-November, Emanuel submitted a list of suitable names to the governor's camp that didn't include her name.....Emanuel, who has refused to comment on the issue, is not accused of wrongdoing......In portions of conversations released in a criminal complaint against Blagojevich, he can be heard complaining that Obama wouldn't give anything in return for a Jarrett appointment.




Read Here:http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/blagojevich/1337789,CST-NWS-rahm18good.article

na nana na na Congress gives themselves a raise

Still think this Congress is looking out for you? It's really becoming Washington political elites versus American more than Reps versus Dems in how our government is being run right now......From the Hill:

A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay....Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it. ....“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan group. “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.”...However, at 2.8 percent, the automatic raise that lawmakers receive is only half as large as the 2009 cost of living adjustment of Social Security recipients....Still, Steve Ellis, vice president of the budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, said Congress should have taken the rare step of freezing its pay, as lawmakers did in 2000....“Look at the way the economy is and how most people aren’t counting on a holiday bonus or a pay raise — they’re just happy to have gainful employment,” said Ellis. “But you have the lawmakers who are set up and ready to get their next installment of a pay raise and go happily along their way.”....Member raises are often characterized as examples of wasteful spending, especially when many constituents and businesses in members’ districts are in financial despair.....Rep. Harry Mitchell, a first-term Democrat from Arizona, sponsored legislation earlier this year that would have prevented the automatic pay adjustments from kicking in for members next year. But the bill, which attracted 34 cosponsors, failed to make it out of committee......“They don’t even go through the front door. They have it set up so that it’s wired so that you actually have to undo the pay raise rather than vote for a pay raise,” Ellis said....Freezing congressional salaries is hardly a new idea on Capitol Hill. ...Lawmakers have floated similar proposals in every year dating back to 1995, and long before that. Though the concept of forgoing a raise has attracted some support from more senior members, it is most popular with freshman lawmakers, who are often most vulnerable.....In 2006, after the Republican-led Senate rejected an increase to the minimum wage, Democrats, who had just come to power in the House with a slew of freshmen, vowed to block their own pay raise until the wage increase was passed. The minimum wage was eventually increased and lawmakers received their automatic pay hike....In the beginning days of 1789, Congress was paid only $6 a day, which would be about $75 daily by modern standards. But by 1965 members were receiving $30,000 a year, which is the modern equivalent of about $195,000....Currently the average lawmaker makes $169,300 a year, with leadership



Read Here:http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/with-economy-in-shambles-congress-gets-a-raise-2008-12-17.html

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Fed is Running out Ideas...can't afford to lower rates any lower

.....lowering interest rates just isn't getting it done....Below is Motley Fool analyst Bill Barker talks about the impact the Fed's latest interest rate cut. From One News Now and AOL Video

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/how-will-fed-rate-cut-affect-consumers-big-3/3068516203

The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow think Obama Policies might Lead to a Destructive Today

From One News Now:

The senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow is concerned that Obama's new energy/environmental team will institute policies akin to the sort of remedy that killed America's first president....Paul Driessen of CFACT says the appointment of Steven Chu as energy secretary, Lisa Jackson as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and Carol Browner as climate czar is troubling in that they all adhere to the belief that manmade carbon emissions are driving "global warming."....He believes that this team, along with Congress, will push aggressively to create "green jobs" and put harsh restrictions or even eliminate industries that depend on hydrocarbon-based energy. Chu has even stated that when it comes to climate change, coal is the problem and that it needs to be eliminated....Driessen compares that approach with the old practice of blood-letting. He explains that in 1799 George Washington was killed by that practice when his physicians drained a substantial amount of his blood, trying to cure malaria and a sore throat. His physicians improperly thought that his blood was the problem....."So now we are looking at our hydrocarbons, which are the life blood of the American economy, and trying to do blood-letting on a massive scale amounting to a quart or more of blood from a human being, and getting rid of that because it has what some people think are the impurities of carbon dioxide that causes global warming," says Driessen.




Read Here:http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=357410

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Fluff Piece of the Year!!!!

No surprise that Obama is Time Magazine's Man of the Year...I would even agree he SHOULD be Time Magazine's Man of the year (but for drastically different reasons).... but come on! I think the authors of the story either
1.) asked Barrack out on a date when they were done with the interviews (cuz they're in Loooove)
2.) got a free color T.V., parting Ginsu knife set, a Flobee? or
3.) are delusional....
....I'm all for optimism but HE HASN'T DONE ANYTHING YET!!! So let's just keep this thing in perspective okay....From TIME (never thought I'd type that on this blog) Magazine:

You probably sat in a fancier conference room the last time you refinanced or heard a pitch about life insurance. There's a table, some off-brand mesh office chairs, a bookcase that looks as if it had been put together with an Allen wrench and instructions in Swedish. ...To reach this room, you pass through a cubicle farm lightly populated by quiet young people. Either they have just arrived or they are just leaving, because their desks are almost bare. The place has a vaguely familiar feel to it, this air of transient shabbiness and nondescriptitude. You can't quite put your finger on it ... ."It's like the set of The Office," someone offers.........Bingo.....It is here that we find Barack Obama one soul-freezingly cold December day, mentally unpacking the crate of crushing problems — some old, some new, all ugly — that he is about to inherit as the 44th President of the United States. Most of his hours inside the presidential-transition office are spent in this bland and bare-bones room. You would think the President-elect — a guy who draws 100,000 people to a speech in St. Louis, Mo., who raises three-quarters of a billion dollars, who is facing the toughest first year since Franklin Roosevelt's — might merit a leather chair. Maybe a credenza? A hutch?....But he doesn't seem to notice. Obama is cheerfully showing his visitors around, gripping the souvenir basketball he received from Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens, explaining a snapshot taken the day he played pickup with the University of North Carolina hoops team. ("They are so big and so fast and so strong, you know.") Then, since those two items basically exhaust the room's décor, Obama sits down on one of the mesh chairs and launches into a spoken tour of his world of woes. It's a mind-boggling journey, although he shows no signs of being boggled — unless you count the increasingly prevalent salt in his salt-and-pepper hair. By now we are all accustomed to that Obi-Wan Kenobi calm, though we may never entirely understand it. In a soothing monotone, he highlights the scariest hairpin turns on his itinerary, the ones that combine difficulty with danger plus a jolt of existential risk. (See pictures of the Civil Rights movement from Emmett Till to Barack Obama.) ..."It is not clear that the economy's bottomed out," he begins, understatedly. (The morning newspaper trumpets the worst unemployment spike in more than 30 years.) "And so even if we take a whole host of the right steps in terms of the economy, two years from now it may not have fully recovered." That worries him. Also Afghanistan: "We're going to have to make a series of not just military but also diplomatic moves that fully enlist Pakistan as an ally in that region, that lessen tensions between India and Pakistan, and then get everybody focused on rooting out militancy in a terrain, a territory, that is very tough — and in an enormous country that is one of the poorest and least developed in the world. So that, I think, is going to be a very tough situation......."And then the third thing that keeps me up at night is the issue of nuclear proliferation," Obama continues, sailing on through the horribles. "And then the final thing, just to round out my Happy List, is climate change. All the indicators are that this is happening faster than even the most pessimistic scientists were anticipating a couple of years ago." ...Score that as follows: one imploding economy, one deteriorating war in an impossible region and two versions of Armageddon — the bang of loose nukes and the whimper of environmental collapse. That's just for starters; we'll hear the unabridged version shortly. ...But first, there is a bit of business to be dealt with, having to do with why you are reading this story in this magazine at this time of the year. It's unlikely that you were surprised to see Obama's face on the cover. He has come to dominate the public sphere so completely that it beggars belief to recall that half the people in America had never heard of him two years ago — that even his campaign manager, at the outset, wasn't sure Obama had what it would take to win the election. He hit the American scene like a thunderclap, upended our politics, shattered decades of conventional wisdom and overcame centuries of the social pecking order. ...Understandably, you may be thinking Obama is on the cover for these big and flashy reasons: for ushering the country across a momentous symbolic line, for infusing our democracy with a new intensity of participation, for showing the world and ourselves that our most cherished myth — the one about boundless opportunity — has plenty of juice left in it.


Why History can't Wait is the name of the article...trust me, falsely reported history can wait and wait and wait and wait

From Drudge


Read Here:http://www.time.com/time/specials/2008/personoftheyear/article/0,31682,1861543_1865068,00.html

Not your Grandmother's PTA anymore

From WCBSTV.com:

Nassau Cops: PTA Mom, Boy Found Half Naked In Car
Police Come Across Fogged Up SUV On Elementary School Grounds In Baldwin; Residents Shocked, Horrified

Reporting Jennifer McLogan ― A prominent PTA official is facing some serious allegations involving a teenage boy....Police arrested Joan Tuckruskye after allegedly finding her in the backseat of a parked car with a 13-year-old boy on Friday night. Both of them, police said, were partially unclothed....."I feel devastated for the victim," said "Steve," the suspect's neighbor....His son attends school with both the alleged victim and suspect's daughter, and is outraged over charges that Tuckruskye, vice president in charge of fundraising for the school, endangered the welfare of a 13-year-old boy. ...."I'm shocked because she has children. Yes, she has children," he said...."I've known them for 22 years. My children are friends with hers. I feel sick," added "Lisa," another neighbor of the suspect....It was in the rear of the elementary school parking lot where patrolling officers said they noticed the foggy and steamed windows of an SUV. They approached and knocked on the window...."They observed a woman in her 40s and a boy who appeared to be a teenager. They were not clothed from the waist down," said Lt. Kevin Smith of the Nassau County Police Department....At first, police said, the boy said he was 18. Later at the hospital, though, he admitted being 13 but claimed he and the PTA mom were only kissing. ...The Baldwin School District issued a statement, saying the District "is cooperating fully...and is working to maintain a normal and calm school environment for all students while police investigate."The investigation is ongoing. If it's determined that a sexual act took place, charges could be upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony.


...they were only kissing? Crazy...



Read Here: http://wcbstv.com/topstories/baldwin.naked.sex.2.888922.html

Tis' the season to tax, tax, tax, tax

A glimpse into Christmas future as we begin the "tax everything we can think of to raise funds" portion of American history....Lord knows, we've spent every dime we have in the coffers (and more) already. Just like the cousin you loan "rent" money too and then see her with a bottle of Budweiser,Big Mac, new purse and matching shoes, we tax payers need to demand that the government stop spending our money like we are an endless piggy bank and balance the budget in a real way(our hard earned money is not "funny money" for politicians.) The government, at all levels, needs to stop charging US more money then we already pay them, through all these insane taxes and begin to actually make some hard decisions about cutting spending and pet programs, consolidate program and agencies doing duplicate efforts, and tighten their belts overall as we citizens have had to do over the last several months. We need to start holding our representatives responsible for common sense spending and curb the tide that we pay for irresponsible government. From the NY Daily News:

Gov. Paterson's proposed $121 billion budget hits New Yorkers in their iPods - and nickels-and-dimes them in lots of other places, too....Trying to close a $15.4 billion budget gap, Paterson called for 88 new fees and a host of other taxes, including an "iPod tax" that taxes the sale of downloaded music and other "digitally delivered entertainment services." ..."We're going to have to take some extreme measures," Paterson said Tuesday after unveiling the slash-and-burn budget....The proposal, which needs legislative approval, did not include broad-based income tax increases, but relied on smaller ones to raise $4.1 billion from cash-strapped New Yorkers. ...Movie tickets, taxi rides, soda, beer, wine, cigars and massages would be taxed under Paterson's proposal. It also extends sales taxes to cable and satellite TV services and removes the tax exemption for clothes costing less than $110.
"The governor is nickel-and-diming working class families," said Ron Deutsch, executive director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, an advocacy group. ...State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long warned that reinstating the sales tax on clothing and shoes will drive people to New Jersey, where they will also gas up their cars and pick up their wine, spirits and soda because the prices are less due to lower taxes. "You're sending notice to the people of New York that we really don't want you here," Long said. "The governor proposed flat spending, but why not actually cut the budget before raising taxes and fees?" ...Paterson's 2009-10 budget proposal represents only a 1% increase in total spending from this year's budget - the smallest increase in a dozen years. It also calls for:

A 3.3%, or $698 million, reduction in school aid.
$3.5 billion in health care savings, including reductions in payments to hospitals and nursing homes. ..Video slot machines at Belmont Park, more multistate lottery games and expanded hours for the state's Quick Draw lottery game. ...Layoffs for 521 state workers and the elimination of seven state agencies. ..."This is where we are," Paterson told reporters. "Maybe we should have thought about this when we were depending on what we thought was inexhaustive collections of taxes from Wall Street - and now those taxes have fallen off a cliff." ...Paterson aides say the budget represents a net gain for New York City, but Mayor Bloomberg wasn't buying it. He said it could cost the city more than $1 billion, including a $600 million reduction in school aid. ..."I don't know that 100% of it is going to go the classroom, but a large percentage of any reduction we get from the state will go to the classroom," Bloomberg said. "That will mean larger class sizes and fewer services."



Read Here: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/12/16/2008-12-16_gov_david_paterson_unveils_dire_new_york.html

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Liberal Egos Working Together...I Don't Think So...

From Politico:

'Pelosi Sets Boundaries With Emanuel,' by John Bresnahan: 'In a recent conversation with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel offered some advice on a Democratic House leadership race. Pelosi's response, according to several Democratic sources: It is 'an internal House Democratic Caucus matter, and we'll handle it.' Democratic insiders say there's no animosity between Pelosi and Emanuel, who's leaving his post as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus to become the next White House chief of staff. But the speaker is laying down the law nonetheless. In talks with Emanuel and others, sources say, Pelosi has 'set parameters' for what she wants from Barack Obama and his White House staff - no surprises, and no backdoor efforts to go around her and other Democratic leaders by cutting deals with moderate New Democrats or conservative Blue Dogs. Specifically, Pelosi has told Emanuel that she wants to know when representatives of the incoming administration have any contact with her rank-and-file Democrats - and why, sources say.......

'During the Bush years, the White House set policy, and Republicans on Capitol Hill were expected to follow it. ... Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are signaling that they won't tolerate a repeat with a Democrat in the White House and Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate. ... Pelosi sometimes resisted Emanuel's desire to always be on the attack, but she did respect his insight and his willingness to work hard to achieve legislative and political goals. ... 'Look, they have different goals now,' said an aide to one top Democrat. 'Her job is to protect her members; his job is protect Obama.'


Interparty turmoil, killed the the Republican Party, and I think the ego's here will ultimately do the same to the Liberals now in charge...just saying

Ouch!

From CBS3.com:

Del. Man Charged In Bizarre Castration Plot
HOCKESSIN, Del. (CBS 3) ― A Delaware man has been arrested after being accused of arranging a bizarre plot that involved castrating his ex-son-in-law....Wilbur Eichman has been charged with one count of criminal solicitation after he paid a man cash to beat up his ex-son-in-law....Police say Eichman paid 34-year-old Charles Pernot $1,200 to beat up the victim and even offered up a bonus if Pernot cut off the victim's genitals...."He offered or suggested he use a high power rifle and he said that if you castrate him, there will be a bonus in that for you, an additional $3,000," Corporal Trinidad Navarro said......Investigators said Eichman even wanted his ex-son-in-law's genitals brought to him....Police said Pernot attacked the 44-year-old victim on December 11 in the stairwell of his apartment by striking him in the face and demanding money during the assault. Pernot fled the scene when the victim began to yell for help....."The next day, our victim receives a phone call from the person saying he's the assailant, he's the one who was hired essentially to beat him up," Navarro said. "And he had some information that somebody that the victim knew wanted him hurt."...Navarro said the assailant told the victim that if he wanted the information, he would have to pay $500...."So they agree to meet in a public place and it's at that point he hears the conversation on this person's cell phone and recognizing the voice as his ex-father-in-law," Navarro said....Pernot was charged with attempted robbery, attempted burglary and conspiracy....Eichman was arrested late Saturday and charged with one count of criminal solicitation. He has been arraigned and released after posting a $500 secured bail.



Read Here: http://cbs3.com/local/Wilbur.Eichman.New.2.888221.html

Monday, December 15, 2008

AFP is making a difference

The below is a story that references Americans for Prosperity's marathon effort to effect real positive change in our government. This is real change that actually accomplished something. By AFP showing the GOP leadership that this was an issue that folks on both sides of the isle cared about, they realized that it was futile to maintain the current course. ..Please contact your legislator to keep the pressure on .......

From the Washington Post

House GOP Agrees to Recorded Votes

House Republicans agreed to record votes taken in subcommittee meetings while at a closed-door caucus meeting this afternoon at the state Capitol, according to Republicans.

In previous legislative sessions, many bills have been killed in subcommittees on unrecorded voice votes, making it difficult to track a member's position on controversial legislation.

Americans for Prosperity, a group that supports limited government and free trade, had pushed Republicans to make the switch and submitted hundreds of signatures of those who supported a change.

"This is a great victory for government transparency and a great victory for people in Virginia,'' Ben Marchi, state director for Americans for Prosperity, said today.

In 2006, the Republican-controlled House changed the rules to allow subcommittees to kill legislation on unrecorded votes. Before that, subommittees did not record votes but they could only make recommendations and not kill a bill outright. Democrats fought the rule in 2007 and 2008 but were unsuccessful.

By Anita Kumar | December 14, 2008; 5:05 PM ET


News:

http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/187726

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/opinion/op_ed/article/EDVOTES_20081212-175837/149546/

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/opinion/columnists/article/AFPOP1214_20081212-200659/149670/



http://www.newsadvance.com/lna/news/opinion/editorials/article/assembly_gop_has_no_need_to_fear_openness/11443/
http://www.newsadvance.com/lna/news/state_regional/article/more_daylight_urged_for_some_legislative_panels/11419/

http://hamptonroads.com/2008/12/republican-activists-push-rule-change-vote-records

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2008/12/conservatives_pressure_gop_for.html

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/state_regional/state_regional_govtpolitics/article/VOTE10_20081209-212908/147297/

http://hamptonroads.com/2008/12/republican-activists-push-rule-change-vote-records



Blogs:

http://hamptonroadsgop.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/americans-for-prosperity-and-state-director-ben-marchi-lead-the-fight-for-open-and-honest-voting-in-the-house-of-delegates/

http://www.bluecommonwealth.com/node/1348

http://rightwingliberal.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/dear-bill-howell-let-the-light-shine-in-on-subcommittees/

http://redvirginia.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/something-republicans-should-be-doing/

Americans for Prosperity – Virginia Applauds House Republicans’ Move To Record Subcommittee Votes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday, December 15, 2008
Contact: Ben Marchi (804) 380-9240

Americans for Prosperity – Virginia Applauds House Republicans’ Move To Record Subcommittee Votes

With the Virginia legislative session a month away, House Republicans set tone of transparency for the 2009 General Assembly session

RICHMOND – The Virginia chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP-VA) today commended House Republicans for making transparent and accountable government a state priority by requiring recorded subcommittee votes, giving Virginians public access to individual delegate votes on crucial legislation in subcommittees.

"This is a victory for Virginia voters." said AFP – Virginia State Director Ben Marchi. "Accountable and transparent government is where good government begins, and it is encouraging that both Virginia voters and delegates are in agreement."

AFP-Virginia’s fight for recorded subcommittee votes included a petition supporting transparency in state government signed by Virginia activists, along with an influx of phone calls and letters voicing concern to legislators.

"Having recorded votes in subcommittees will allow Virginians to check and make sure we are doing the job they put us here to do," said Delegate Ben Cline (R-Lexington) who has authored transparency legislation to be introduced in the 45 day session beginning next month.

AFP-Virginia was also glad to hear that House Republicans made difficult but necessary cuts in their budget – saving Virginia taxpayers over $1 million-- and pledged to oppose any earmarks in the 2008-2010 biennial budgets.

Over the next few months, AFP will take its message of transparent, accountable, and limited government on the road, holding town hall meetings with legislators at the local, state, and federal levels.

"The 2009 session has not yet started and Virginia taxpaying citizens are already winning," said Marchi. "With the support of our over 13,000 members, I know the voices of Virginians will continue to be heard.”

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

Getting Elected is getting more and more expensive

From USA Today analysis:

'Nearly half of the nation's House and Senate candidates raised $1 million or more in contributions for the 2008 election, about two-thirds more than a decade ago, campaign-finance reports show.

Disagree, burn a church?

From WaPo:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's home church was badly damaged by arson, leading the governor to apologize Saturday if the fire was connected to "undeserved negative attention" from her campaign as the Republican vice presidential nominee....Damage to the Wasilla Bible Church was estimated at $1 million, authorities said. No one was injured in the fire, which was set Friday night while a handful of people, including two children, were inside, according to James Steele, the Central Mat-Su fire chief.....He said the blaze was being investigated as an arson. Steele said he didn't know of any recent threats to the church, and authorities did not know whether Palin's connection to the church was relevant to the fire..."It's hard to say at this point. Everything is just speculation," he said....Pastor Larry Kroon declined to say whether the church had received any recent threats....Palin was not at the church at the time of the fire. She stopped by Saturday, and her spokesman Bill McAllister said in a statement that the governor told an assistant pastor she was sorry if the fire was connected to the "undeserved negative attention" the church has received since she became the vice presidential candidate Aug. 29......"Whatever the motives of the arsonist, the governor has faith in the scriptural passage that what was intended for evil will in some way be used for good," McAllister said...The 1,000-member evangelical church was the subject of intense scrutiny after Palin was named Sen. John McCain's running mate. Early in Palin's campaign, the church was criticized for promoting in a Sunday bulletin a Love Won Out conference in Anchorage sponsored by Focus on the Family. The conference promised to "help men and women dissatisfied with living homosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome."




Read Here:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/13/AR2008121302503_pf.html

The cooling trend tells us how fast global warming is effecting the planet? You can'r be serious

..doesn't this statement seem a little odd, "...cooling trend illustrates how fast the world is warming...SETH BORENSTEIN's bias in this article is so biased toward Clinton, Gore and Obama and implied against Bush that it ceases to by a story by a AP reporter and becomes a commentary. From AP:

When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid............Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it....."The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," he said on Tuesday after meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. "We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way."..But there are powerful political and economic realities that must be quickly overcome for Obama to succeed. Despite the urgency he expresses, it's not at all clear that he and Congress will agree on an approach during a worldwide financial crisis in time to meet some of the more crucial deadlines....Obama is pushing changes in the way Americans use energy, and produce greenhouse gases, as part of what will be a massive economic stimulus. He called it an opportunity "to re-power America."..After years of inaction on global warming, 2009 might be different. Obama replaces a president who opposed mandatory cuts of greenhouse gas pollution and it appears he will have a willing Congress. Also, next year, diplomats will try to agree on a major new international treaty to curb the gases that promote global warming....."We need to start in January making significant changes," Gore said in a recent telephone interview with The Associated Press. "This year coming up is the most important opportunity the world has ever had to make progress in really solving the climate crisis."...Scientists are increasingly anxious, talking more often and more urgently about exceeding "tipping points."..."We're out of time," Stanford University biologist Terry Root said. "Things are going extinct."


Gore must be behind on his mortgage payment like a lot of other Americans since he has emerged yet again with dire predctions that will without a doubt raise his speaking fees....since Global warming is all about making money off of the "green" movement.

Read Here: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081214/D952LKP00.html

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rahm Emanuel, refused to take questions

From the Chicago Sun Times:

President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, refused to take questions from reporters this morning about whether he was the Obama “advisor” named in the criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich......The complaint states Blagojevich wanted a promise of a high-level appointment or some other reward for Blagojevich in exchange for Blagojevich naming Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the U.S. Senate....Emanuel was uncharacteristically absent from Obama’s news conference this morning. He was spotted two hours later in the lobby of Chicago’s City Hall. He was there to listen to his two children performing in a concert with their school, Anshe Emet....A Sun-Times reporter pressed him to comment about whether he was the emissary named in the criminal complaint...“You’re wasting your time,” Emanuel said. “I’m not going to say a word to you. I’m going to do this with my children. Don't do that. I’m a father. I have two kids. I’m not going to do it.”...Asked, “Can’t you do both?” Emanuel replied, “I’m not as capable as you. I’m going to be a father. I’m allowed to be a father,” and he pushed the reporter’s digital recorder away....Blagojevch was caught on tape saying that he wanted the Obama advisor in question to know what Blagojevich wanted in exchange for the Jarrett appointment....Blagojevich said, “He asks me for the fifth CD thing, I want it to be in his head.” Emanuel represents the 5th Congressional District in Illinois...No one in the Obama campaign or administration has been charged with any wrongdoing. Obama said this morning that none of his staff has had a hand in any dealmaking on his Senate replacement
.

Read Here: http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/1326788,rahm-emanuel-blagojevich-obama-121108.article

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Should the threat of Riots be used in the debate of the bailouts

Sen. Jim DeMint warned that the perception that some industries are being bailed out and some aren’t could lead to violence...do you think this is a legitimate point in the debate over the auto bailout and bailout in general? From The business and Media Institute:

Time and again we’ve heard about the lost jobs and economic impact of failing to bail out the beleaguered American auto manufacturers. But little mention has been made of the consequences of going through with the bailout, and how such an action would be viewed by other Americans.....In an interview following a Dec. 10 press conference where he and four other senators aired their opposition to the proposed bailout deal struck by congressional leaders and the White House (and approved by the U.S. House of Representatives 237-170 that evening), Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., warned that the perception that some industries are being bailed out and some aren’t could lead to violence.....We’re going to have riots. There are already people rioting because they’re losing their jobs when everybody else is being bailed out. The fairness of it becomes more and more evident as we go along. The auto companies may be hurting,” he said, but “there are very few companies that aren’t hurting and they’re going to hurt. We don’t have enough money to bail everyone out.”...DeMint blamed the unions for pushing this issue as far as it has gotten. The senator said the notion that reorganization under bankruptcy would not work was generated by the unions for fear of losing their power...“The primary driver behind this is the unions, because bankruptcy allows the auto companies to basically restructure all their contracts in a way that a bankruptcy judge says will make them sustainable,” DeMint said. “And if they do that, then essentially the unions lose all their leverage. It’s the unions that have brought them to the brink. So definitely, I think the reason they want a political solution and a car czar is because a car czar can protect the unions through this whole process at the expense of the taxpayer.”..The result of the bailout culture that now exists on Capitol Hill will be incredibly high rates of inflation down the road as the economy picks back up and prices reflect the amount of new money circulating through the economy.........“There is no question this will result in inflation,” DeMint said. “The amount of money we’ve borrowed, the amount of money we’ve printed has put us in a more dangerous situation than we’ve ever been in as a country. We may not see the inflation as long as the economy is slow. But, I’ve talked to some economic experts and once the economy starts picking up with so much money in the money supply and so much debt, we’re likely to see very high interest rates and very high inflation rates.”...DeMint went as far as to say that General Motors (NYSE:GM), one of the big three auto manufacturers lobbying for bailout money, was better off than the nation that’s debating whether to rescue it....“If you look at where we’re going, we’re not on a sustainable course as a country,” DeMint said. “Frankly, GM is in a better financial situation than we are as a country. The only difference is we can print money. But as other countries around the world lose confidence in the value of a dollar – that’s going to come home very shortly



Read Here: http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20081211131911.aspx

Add another cookie to the Economic stimulus package cookiejar

From Reuters:

A senior Senate Democrat said on Wednesday a planned economic stimulus package will likely include money and tax breaks for doctors and hospitals to buy advanced technology that will make it easier for them to share patient care information.....Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, said at a news conference that lawmakers were discussing what should be included in the package of tax breaks and infrastructure spending that President-elect Barack Obama has said will be needed to jump start the faltering U.S. economy.....Baucus said the package, which some have estimated would be about $500 billion to $700 billion, would also include tax incentives for businesses and alternative energy as well as tax relief for the middle class....As head of the tax-writing Finance Committee, Baucus will have a major say in what goes into the legislation. About half the value of the economic recovery package could be in the form of tax relief, he said....Obama has said he wants an economic package that would include the largest U.S. infrastructure investment since the 1950s.....That infrastructure investment will likely include grants and tax incentives for health information technology, Baucus said. Businesses and health reform advocates have said harmonizing the electronic standards needed to exchange information about patient care could go a long way toward reducing costs. Lawmakers are working to address privacy concerns with such technology



Read Here: http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE4B96UY20081210?feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews&rpc=22&sp=true

Troubled Asset Relief Program(TARP) to get more oversight

From Reuters:

The Senate voted on Wednesday to approve a bill to toughen oversight of the $700 billion bank rescue plan....The bill specifies that Neil Barofsky, inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, has authority to investigate any use of TARP funds he deems questionable.....It also gives him authority to hire auditors and makes funds available for his office....The TARP itself is overseen by Neel Kashkari, the Treasury's interim assistant secretary for financial stability. Barofsky is the internal watchdog.....The TARP has been criticized for doing little to unfreeze the credit markets while the pace of foreclosures has sped up.....In a related measure, the House of Representatives approved a measure that would require banks getting TARP money to disclose more about what they're doing to lend the money out -- a primary goal of the program....The House measure was adopted as an amendment to an unrelated bill to bail out struggling auto manufacturers. The auto bailout bill also passed. But the prospect that it would pass in the Senate was uncertain.


Read Here: http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE4BA0HH20081211?feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews&rpc=22&sp=true

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Paglia asks the Question, provides some answers

From Camille Paglia over at Salon:

Dec. 10, 2008 | Roads and bridges! What joy. Last week's announcement by President-elect Barack Obama of his massive public works initiative to stimulate the economy won loud applause from me. Not only does the decaying U.S. infrastructure need emergency attention but construction commissions will be far more substantive and enduring than the half-mythical 5 million "green" jobs that Obama was airily promising before the election....But then I gulped when Obama also pledged educational reform by putting state-of-the-art computers in every classroom. Groan. Computers alone will never solve the educational crisis in this country: They are tools and facilitators, not primary conveyors of knowledge. Packing his team with shiny Harvard retreads, Obama missed a golden opportunity to link his public works project with a national revalorization of the trades. Practical training in hands-on vocational skills is desperately needed in this country, where liberal arts education has become a soggy boondoggle, obscenely expensive and diluted by propaganda and groupthink....The plurality of moderates and conservatives on Obama's appointments list didn't surprise me, because I never thought he was the flaming radical socialist portrayed on right-wing talk radio (which I listen to and enjoy even when I disagree). As an Obama supporter and contributor, I've been very gratified by his dignified deportment and steadiness at the helm to date. But I must admit to puzzled disappointment with his recycling of Clinton era veterans, who reek of déjà vu. Surely we might have expected a better mix of fresh faces and progressive voices? Obama's team may have underestimated the labyrinthine personal interconnections and habit-worn loyalties of that cliquish crew....As for Obama's appointment of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, what sense does that make except within parochial Democratic politics? Awarding such a prize plum to Hillary may be a sop to her aggrieved fan base, but what exactly are her credentials for that position? Aside from being a mediocre senator (who, contrary to press reports, did very little for upstate New York), Hillary has a poor track record as both a negotiator and a manager. And of course both Clintons constantly view the world through the milky lens of their own self-interest. Well, it's time for Hillary to put up or shut up. If she gets as little traction in world affairs as Condoleezza Rice has, Hillary will be flushed down the rabbit hole with her feckless husband and effectively neutralized as a future presidential contender. If that's Obama's clever plan, is it worth the gamble? The secretary of state should be a more reserved, unflappable character -- not a drama queen who, even in her acceptance speech, morphed into three different personalities in the space of five minutes...Given Obama's elaborate deference to the Clintons, beginning with his over-accommodation of them at the Democratic convention in August, a nagging question has floated around the Web: What do the Clintons have on him? No one doubts that the Clinton opposition research team was turning over every rock in its mission to propel Hillary into the White House. There's an information vacuum here that conspiracy theorists have been rushing to fill....Meanwhile, an area where too many in the mainstream media have been oddly AWOL is in the response to the attack on Mumbai, India, two weeks ago by a squad of Pakistan-based terrorists, who killed nearly 200 people. Reaction in the U.S. was somewhat muted because the protracted standoff occurred over the Thanksgiving holiday, when many Americans were traveling or absorbed in family business. But I was troubled by a persistent soft-pedaling of the identification of the attackers as Muslims --as if the mere reporting of that fact would be offensive and politically incorrect....Because seven years have passed since 9/11 without another attack on native soil, many Americans, particularly urban professionals, seem to have been lulled into a false feeling of security. But jihadism as a world movement -- even if its membership is a tiny fraction of young Muslim men -- will continue to pose a serious threat to every open democratic society over the next century and more. Anyone who has studied ancient history knows that great civilizations, from Egypt and Persia to Rome and Byzantium, broke down in stages separated in some cases by many superficially tranquil decades. Because of the unprecedented fragility of our intertwined power grid and complex transportation system, the technological West is highly vulnerable to sabotage and chaos....The tragic fate of so many innocent victims in Mumbai deserves our pity. But what should live in special infamy was the ruthless execution of the Lubavitcher rabbi, Gavriel Hertzberg, and his lovely wife, Rivka, who was 5 months pregnant. These were two idealistic young people of obvious warmth and humanity, who sought only to serve. The rescue by their Indian nanny of their orphaned 2-year-old son, Moshe, crying and smeared with his parents' blood, is already legendary. Was this zeroing in on the Chabad Jewish Center in Mumbai about Israel, or was it simply a gruesome eruption of the medieval tradition of anti-Semitism? Why have Muslim organizations, very quick to protest insulting cartoons, been mostly silent about the atrocities in Mumbai?...The slaughter of the Hertzbergs and other Jews at Chabad House should be a wake-up call to Western liberals who believe that jihadism can be defeated through reason and happy talk. Only other Muslims can launch the stringent internal reform necessary to stomp this barbaric extremism out. But the events in Mumbai confirmed my opinion about the looming problem of a nuclear Iran: While I oppose all American military operations and bases in the Mideast, I continue to believe that Israel, whose security is directly threatened, has every right to take preemptive military action against Iran.



Read More Here: http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2008/12/10/hillary_mumbai/

Leave Obama alone for God Sake

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am not a supporter of Obama and his proposed policies but I am having a hard time figuring out why the media, conservatives in general, Republicans and people who didn't vote for him are seemingly rejoicing in the recent events of the Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and that their may or may not be a connection with the President elect.... I guess to quote Blagojevich, "It has value" and we all want to get paid, which is a sad reflection on where our society is going. We should never be happy when there is corruption in our government(nor should we justify it) since we, the American People, are the one's who ultimately pay for that corruption regardless on who commits it. It seems that ever since Nixon (and probably before) that each of the two major political party would rather find dirt on the other instead of fostering their ideas of a better government for America....any linking of Obama to Blagojevich at this point, with no evidence to that effect, seems childish (as does defending Obama which in itself concedes some amount of guilt that just isn't there at this point)and "jumping the shark" on any action that guilt would cause Obama. At some point, we as voter and people, need to stop this pettiness that has overtaken politics and vote in leaders that put our interests in front of their interest, their party's interest and trying to make themselves look good by making the other party look bad instead of actually doing some real work for their constituents. Where there is smoke there usually is fire but sometimes it's just smoke. We need to rid ourselves of government corruption not just government corruption of the opposing party. As I always have said, I want a true conservative leader (e.g. Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling)because I believe in conservatives principles (see what is a contemporary conservative post)not a party line politician no matter what party they belong too.

What's up with Illinois Government

Growing up across the river from Illinois (grew up in Iowa) you always heard of the corrupt state government apparatus "over there" but this level of corruption crosses political boundaries (in case you didn't know the previous governor of Illinois is in jail right now for corruption and he was a Republican so finger pointing at party's is off the table)and philosophical differences to just plain greed and evilness. The matter should be dealt with swiftly and decisively by the Bush administration and/or the incoming Obama administration, depending on how long it takes to impeach and prosecute Blagojevich. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.... From the AP:

President-elect Barack Obama hasn't even stepped into office and already a scandal is threatening to dog him.

Obama isn't accused of anything. But the fact that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a fellow Democrat, has been charged with trying to sell Obama's now-vacant Senate post gives political opponents an opening to try to link him to the scandal. A slew of questions remain. The investigation is still under way. And the ultimate impact on Obama is far from certain.

He pointedly distanced himself from the case Tuesday, saying, "I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so I was not aware of what was happening" concerning any possible dealing about Blagojevich's appointment of a successor.

In Chicago, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said prosecutors were making no allegations that Obama was aware of any scheming. And Blagojevich himself, in taped conversations cited by prosecutors, suggested that Obama wouldn't be helpful to him. Even if the governor was to appoint a candidate favored by the Obama team, Blagojevich said, "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation."

Republicans pounced nonetheless.

"The serious nature of the crimes listed by federal prosecutors raises questions about the interaction with Gov. Blagojevich, President-elect Obama and other high ranking officials who will be working for the future president," said Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the new GOP House whip.

Added Robert M. "Mike" Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee, "President-elect Barack Obama's comments on the matter are insufficient at best."

Robert Gibbs, an Obama spokesman, said, "We did not know about this recent part of the investigation until today."

The two Illinois politicians have never been especially close and have largely operated in different Democratic Party camps in the state. Blagojevich's disdain for Obama was clear in court documents; he is quoted as calling the president-elect a vulgar term in one phone conversation recorded by the FBI.

Despite all that, at the very least, the episode amounts to a distraction for Obama just six weeks before he's sworn into office while he works to set up his new administration and deal with a national economic crisis. It also raises the specter of notorious Chicago politics, an image Obama has tried to distance himself from during his career.

In court documents, FBI Special Agent Daniel Cain detailed several phone calls between Blagojevich and his aides that were intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps over the past month. Blagojevich is accused of conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife, Patti. Among his alleged desires: a Cabinet post, placement at a private foundation in a significant position, campaign contributions or an ambassadorship.

There were signs the continuing investigation could still involve Obama.

It appears that Obama friend Valerie Jarrett, an incoming senior White House adviser, is the person referred to repeatedly in court documents as "Candidate 1." That individual is described as a woman who is "an adviser to the president-elect" and as the person Obama wanted appointed to the Senate seat. Court papers say that Candidate 1 eventually removed herself from consideration for the Senate seat.

Blagojevich talked at length about Candidate 1 in a Nov. 11 phone conversation with an aide.

One day later, Jarrett, a Chicago businesswoman who is one of three co-chairmen of Obama's transition team and was a high-level adviser to his presidential campaign, made it known that she was not interested in the seat. On Nov. 15, Obama announced that Jarrett would be a senior White House adviser and assistant for intergovernmental relations.

Obama's circle of major Illinois political allies and supporters is largely separate from Blagojevich's, with two major exceptions. Both Obama and Blagojevich got extensive money and support from Chicago businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who is awaiting sentencing after being convicted in June on charges of using clout with Blagojevich's administration to help launch a $7 million kickback scheme. And Obama is close to Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, who has been the governor's staunchest legislative ally.

At least one top aide to Obama, Michael Strautmanis, previously worked for Blagojevich. Obama has appointed Strautmanis to serve as White House chief of staff to the presidential assistant for intergovernmental relations and public liaison. The Chicago native was legislative director and counsel to Blagojevich when the governor was a member of Congress and then helped Blagojevich win the governorship in 2002. There is no indication that Strautmanis is involved in the case.

More details on the case could be forthcoming.

Court documents say they don't include all calls dealing with the governor's efforts regarding the Senate appointment. And many people in the documents are referred to by aliases; there's little doubt their identities will eventually surface.

Read Here:http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081210/D94VQFC00.html

Governor Bobby Jindal makes appearance for Bob McDonnell for Governor today in Richmond

Posted by MAXIMUS

From today's Richmond Times Dispatch:

"Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, one of the emerging stars of the Republican Party, will appear in Richmond today to boost the gubernatorial hopes of Attorney General Bob McDonnell.
Jindal, the youngest governor in the country and the son of Indian immigrants, will appear with McDonnell in a joint news conference at the Jefferson Hotel at 11:35 a.m.

After the appearance, the two politicians will attend a private fundraiser at a location that McDonnell's office did not disclose. McDonnell is considered the frontrunner to win the GOP nomination for governor next year." Link here: http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/article/JINGAT10_20081210-073415/147615/

FREE names Delegate Sam Nixon Best Legislator for Virginia Business

Posted by MAXIMUS

The Virginia business community is again coming home to their natural political allies, the Republican Party. Delegate Sam Nixon is no doubt leading the charge to make that alliance a sustainable and natural alliance as it should be.

Out of all 50 states, Virginia is often ranked as the best state in which to business. Virginia business leaders who are looking to grow their entities are looking to leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates like Sam Nixon for the formulation of policy and legislative solutions to accomplish their objectives. Whether the issues are Job Growth, Increased Employment, or perhaps one day Curbing Frivolous Lawsuits, folks in the Virginia business community are looking to have Delegate Nixon carry their legislation because of his legislative prowess.

Delegate Sam Nixon is a work horse, not a show horse--to say he is reserved is an understatement. However, when it comes to legislative effectiveness, he is unequaled in helping Virginia businesses grow and prosper by developing the legislative solutions that benefit all principals such as workers, shareholders, and owners --even during challenging economic times.

From yesterday's Richmond Times Dispatch, "The Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education, Virginia FREE, has awarded Del. Samuel A. "Sam" Nixon, Jr., R-Chesterfield, with the highest cumulative business rating among all the members of the House of Delegates." link to the story here: http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/business/energy/article/C-NIX_20081209-121408/146482/

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One World Goverment/One World Order...

I concur that for the first time the U.S. and World climate are at a place well the formation of a One World Government is plausible and possible. This government will not be a American Style democracy but a more socialistic type government since it would be more easily maintained....One World Government/One World Order...From Financial Times Gideon Rachman:

And now for a world government
By Gideon Rachman

I have never believed that there is a secret United Nations plot to take over the US. I have never seen black helicopters hovering in the sky above Montana. But, for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible.

A “world government” would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.

So could the European model go global? There are three reasons for thinking that it might.

First, it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a “global war on terror”.

Second, it could be done. The transport and communications revolutions have shrunk the world so that, as Geoffrey Blainey, an eminent Australian historian, has written: “For the first time in human history, world government of some sort is now possible.” Mr Blainey foresees an attempt to form a world government at some point in the next two centuries, which is an unusually long time horizon for the average newspaper column.

But – the third point – a change in the political atmosphere suggests that “global governance” could come much sooner than that. The financial crisis and climate change are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty.

Barack Obama, America’s president-in-waiting, does not share the Bush administration’s disdain for international agreements and treaties. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he argued that: “When the world’s sole superpower willingly restrains its power and abides by internationally agreed-upon standards of conduct, it sends a message that these are rules worth following.” The importance that Mr Obama attaches to the UN is shown by the fact that he has appointed Susan Rice, one of his closest aides, as America’s ambassador to the UN, and given her a seat in the cabinet.

A taste of the ideas doing the rounds in Obama circles is offered by a recent report from the Managing Global Insecurity project, whose small US advisory group includes John Podesta, the man heading Mr Obama’s transition team and Strobe Talbott, the president of the Brookings Institution, from which Ms Rice has just emerged.

The MGI report argues for the creation of a UN high commissioner for counter-terrorist activity, a legally binding climate-change agreement negotiated under the auspices of the UN and the creation of a 50,000-strong UN peacekeeping force. Once countries had pledged troops to this reserve army, the UN would have first call upon them.

These are the kind of ideas that get people reaching for their rifles in America’s talk-radio heartland. Aware of the political sensitivity of its ideas, the MGI report opts for soothing language. It emphasises the need for American leadership and uses the term, “responsible sovereignty” – when calling for international co-operation – rather than the more radical-sounding phrase favoured in Europe, “shared sovereignty”. It also talks about “global governance” rather than world government.

But some European thinkers think that they recognise what is going on. Jacques Attali, an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, argues that: “Global governance is just a euphemism for global government.” As far as he is concerned, some form of global government cannot come too soon. Mr Attali believes that the “core of the international financial crisis is that we have global financial markets and no global rule of law”.

So, it seems, everything is in place. For the first time since homo sapiens began to doodle on cave walls, there is an argument, an opportunity and a means to make serious steps towards a world government.

But let us not get carried away. While it seems feasible that some sort of world government might emerge over the next century, any push for “global governance” in the here and now will be a painful, slow process.

There are good and bad reasons for this. The bad reason is a lack of will and determination on the part of national, political leaders who – while they might like to talk about “a planet in peril” – are ultimately still much more focused on their next election, at home.

But this “problem” also hints at a more welcome reason why making progress on global governance will be slow sledding. Even in the EU – the heartland of law-based international government – the idea remains unpopular. The EU has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for “ever closer union” have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic.

The world’s most pressing political problems may indeed be international in nature, but the average citizen’s political identity remains stubbornly local. Until somebody cracks this problem, that plan for world government may have to stay locked away in a safe at the UN.

Illinois Governor taken into custody

Illinois Governor taken into custody
From Chicago Tribune: A three-year federal corruption investigation of pay-to-play politics in Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration has expanded to include his impending selection of a new U.S. senator to succeed President-elect Barack Obama, the Tribune has learned.....Federal authorities got approval from a judge before the November general election to secretly record the governor, sources told the Tribune, and among their concerns was whether the selection process might be tainted. That possibility has become a focus in an intensifying investigation that has included recordings of the governor and the cooperation of one of his closest friends...........The governor has not been accused of any wrongdoing. The specific contents of the recent recordings have not been disclosed. Blagojevich has said the appointment of a Senate successor, which is his choice alone, could come in a matter of weeks....Speaking to reporters Monday for the first time since the Tribune revealed federal investigators had recorded him and others as part of their corruption probe, Blagojevich said his discussions were "always lawful." He also defended close confidant John Wyma, whose cooperation with federal agents helped lead to the recordings, as "an honest person who's conducted himself in an honest way."..."I should say if anybody wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it," he said. "I appreciate anybody who wants to tape me openly and notoriously, and those who feel like they want to sneakily, and wear taping devices, I would remind them that it kind of smells like Nixon and Watergate."...Unlike the recordings that the federal government has of Blagojevich, the tapes that led to President Richard Nixon's 1974 resignation over the burglary of Democratic offices at the Watergate complex and the ensuing coverup were made by Nixon himself....Regardless of "whether you tape me privately or publicly, I can tell you that whatever I say is always lawful and the things I'm interested in are always lawful," Blagojevich said. "And if there are any things out there like that, what you'll hear is a governor who tirelessly and endlessly figures out ways to help average, ordinary working people."...Blagojevich's comments came amid increasing concern by Democrats that the governor's pending appointment of a Senate successor may become politically tainted as a result of the investigations surrounding his administration. Federal investigators have been looking into allegations of corruption regarding state jobs, appointments and contracts in connection with Blagojevich's prolific fundraising.....Blagojevich has not been charged with any wrongdoing and contended that if federal investigators areƒs "going to those lengths and extents [of obtaining recordings], if in fact that's true, that would suggest all the past has been pretty good."


Read Here:http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-rod-blagojevich-1209,0,7997804.story