News Ticker powered by Fox News

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Goracle Speaks To His Washington Followers

With Al Due Respect, We're Doomed
By Dana Milbank
Thursday, January 29, 2009; Page A03

The lawmakers gazed in awe at the figure before them. The Goracle had seen the future, and he had come to tell them about it.

What the Goracle saw in the future was not good: temperature changes that "would bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fabric of life everywhere on the Earth -- and this is within this century, if we don't change."

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry (D-Mass.), appealed to hear more of the Goracle's premonitions. "Share with us, if you would, sort of the immediate vision that you see in this transformative process as we move to this new economy," he beseeched.

"Geothermal energy," the Goracle prophesied. "This has great potential; it is not very far off."

Another lawmaker asked about the future of nuclear power. "I have grown skeptical about the degree to which it will expand," the Goracle spoke.

A third asked the legislative future -- and here the Goracle spoke in riddle. "The road to Copenhagen has three steps to it," he said.

Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) begged the Goracle to look further into the future. "What does your modeling tell you about how long we're going to be around as a species?" he inquired.

The Goracle chuckled. "I don't claim the expertise to answer a question like that, Senator."

It was a jarring reminder that the Goracle is, indeed, mortal. Once Al Gore was a mere vice president, but now he is a Nobel laureate and climate-change prophet. He repeats phrases such as "unified national smart grid" the way he once did "no controlling legal authority" -- and the ridicule has been replaced by worship, even by his political foes.

"Tennessee," gushed Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican from Gore's home state, "has a legacy of having people here in the Senate and in public service that have been of major consequence and contributed in a major way to the public debate, and you no doubt have helped build that legacy." If that wasn't quite enough, Corker added: "Very much enjoyed your sense of humor, too."

Humor? From Al Gore? "I benefit from low expectations," he replied.

The Goracle's powers seem to come from his ability to scare the bejesus out of people. "We must face up to this urgent and unprecedented threat to the existence of our civilization," he said. And: "This is the most serious challenge the world has ever faced." And: It "could completely end human civilization, and it is rushing at us with such speed and force."

Though some lawmakers tangled with Gore on his last visit to Capitol Hill, none did on the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. Dick Lugar (Ind.), the ranking Republican, agreed that there will be "an almost existential impact" from the climate changes Gore described.

As such, the Goracle, even when questioned, was shown great deference. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), challenging Gore over spent nuclear fuel, began by saying: "I stand to be corrected, and I defer to your position, you're probably right, and I'm probably wrong." He ended his question by saying: "I'm not questioning you; I'm questioning myself."

Others sought to buy the Goracle's favor by offering him gifts. "Thank you for your incredible leadership; you make this crystalline for those who don't either understand it or want to understand it," gushed Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who went on to ask: "Will you join me this summer at the Jersey Shore?"

The chairman worried that the Goracle may have been offended by "naysayers" who thought it funny that Gore's testimony before the committee came on a morning after a snow-and-ice storm in the capital. "The little snow in Washington does nothing to diminish the reality of the crisis," Kerry said at the start of the hearing.

The climate was well controlled inside the hearing room, although Gore, suffering from a case of personal climate change, perspired heavily during his testimony. The Goracle presented the latest version of his climate-change slide show to the senators: a globe with yellow and red blotches, a house falling into water, and ones with obscure titles such as "Warming Impacts Ugandan Coffee Growing Region." At one point he flashed a biblical passage on the screen, but he quickly removed it. "I'm not proselytizing," he explained. A graphic showing a disappearing rain forest was accompanied by construction noises.

The Goracle supplied abundant metaphors to accompany his visuals. Oil demand: "This roller coaster is headed for a crash, and we're in the front car." Polar ice: "Like a beating heart, and the permanent ice looks almost like blood spilling out of a body along the eastern coast of Greenland."

The lawmakers joined in. "There are a lot of ways to skin a cat," contributed Isakson, who is unlikely to get the Humane Society endorsement. "And if we have the dire circumstances we're facing, we need to find every way to skin every cat."

Mostly, however, the lawmakers took turns asking the Goracle for advice, as if playing with a Magic 8 Ball.

Lugar, a 32-year veteran of the Senate, asked Gore, as a "practical politician," how to get the votes for climate-change legislation. "I am a recovering politician. I'm on about Step 9," the Goracle replied, before providing his vision.

Prospects for regulating a future carbon emissions market? "There's a high degree of confidence." The future of automobiles in China and India? "I wouldn't give up on electric vehicles." The potential of solar power in those countries? "I have no question about it at all."

Of course not. He's the Goracle.


----------------------------------------------------------
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/28/AR2009012803318.html?hpid=opinionsbox1
-----------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

I thought this was just a fun story to read.

Another Iraqi Election, Another Day Without Terrorism

Polls Close in Iraq Elections, No Major Violence Saturday, January 31, 2009

BAGHDAD —  Iraq's provincial elections have wrapped up without any reports of serious violence.

Polls closed at 6 p.m. (10 a.m. EST) on Saturday — an hour later than planned — after millions of voters cast ballots for influential regional councils around most of Iraq. There were no reports of major violence.

Iraqi authorities imposed a huge security operation around the country that included traffic bans in major cities and extensive checkpoints and surveillance posts. The U.S. military also was out in force but did not take a direct role in the election security.

Results from the elections are not expected before Tuesday.

Iraqis passed through security checkpoints and razor-wire cordons to vote Saturday in provincial elections that are considered a crucial test of the nation's stability as U.S. officials weigh the pace of troop withdrawals.

Polls opened shortly after dawn after a step-by-step security clampdown across the country, including traffic bans in central Baghdad and other major cities and closure of border crossings and airports.

Though there was no major violence during voting, there were some disruptions at the polls.

A Kurdish official said hundreds of Iraqi Kurds stormed an election office in a disputed city after claiming many Kurds were not on voting lists for provincial elections. There were no reports of serious injuries.

The protest in Khanaqin on Saturday is part of lingering disputes over control of the city about 80 miles northeast of Baghdad. In August, Kurdish and Iraqi forces were locked in a tense standoff before the Kurds backed off.

Salahuddin Kekhaa, a Kurdish official in Khanaqin, says Kurds held a rally to claim that thousands of Kurds were left off voting list. Then they tried to break into the local election office but were turned back, he said.

Ghufran al-Saidi, a Shiite lawmaker in the Sadr City district, said a military officer opened fire in Baghdad after voters chanted slogans at a polling station. He said two people were injured, one of them seriously.


-----------------------------------------------------------
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,486164,00.html
-----------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

Thank God there was no violence today. There has been a lot of progress been made over the last couple years after the surge. Let's hope that Obama doesn't change the direction of the change made in Iraq. Love him or hate him, Bush did a lot of good in Iraq.

Iran Says America Has Become "Passive"

Iran says Obama's offer to talk shows US failure
Jan 31 09:16 AM US/Eastern

US President Barack Obama's offer to talk to Iran shows that America's policy of "domination" has failed, the government spokesman said on Saturday.

"This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed," Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

"Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change," he added.

After nearly three decades of severed ties, Obama said shortly after taking office this month that he is willing to extend a diplomatic hand to Tehran if the Islamic republic is ready to "unclench its fist".

In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh tirade against the United States, demanding an apology for its "crimes" against Iran and saying he expected "deep and fundamental" change from Obama.

Iranian politicians frequently refer to the US administration as the "global arrogance", "domineering power" and "Great Satan".
Tensions with the United States have soared over Iran's nuclear drive and Ahmadinejad's vitriolic verbal attacks against Washington's close regional ally Israel.

Former US president George W. Bush refused to hold talks with the Islamic republic -- which he dubbed part of an "axis of evil" -- unless it suspended uranium enrichment, and never took a military option to thwart Tehran's atomic drive off the table.

The new administration of Obama has also refused to rule out any options -- including military strikes -- to stop Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Iran denies any plans to build the bomb and insists its nuclear program is solely aimed at peaceful ends.


---------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.073ba2ee2f1f00668848a4655420fedc.411&show_article=1
---------------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

This an obvious stab at Obama and his campaign promise to meet with dictators without preconditions. To people like that, it is a sign of weakness. Ahmadinejad and others like him prey on people's fear of confrontation to get what he wants. The more we cave in; the more he will use our "passiveness" against us.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Pelosi: A "Non-Partisan"?; Goes After GOP

January 29, 2009, 6:03 pm
Partisan Barbs Follow House Stimulus Vote
By Kate Phillips

With the focus on the economic stimulus package shifting to the Senate, the partisan split evident with the Democrat-only passage of the bill in the House last night overshadowed a lot of the discussions on both sides of the aisle today. So much so that various leaders were practically disowning the word bipartisanship as if deadly germs were part of its etymology.

At a news conference earlier today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the Democrat-only passage of the economic stimulus package, contending that Republicans were indeed included; their suggestions on tax cuts had become part of the bill itself, she said. But several G.O.P. senators and representatives hit the airwaves today, criticizing the spending portions and promoting their view of a more palatable alternative — bigger, broader tax cuts and incentives.

When Mrs. Pelosi was asked whether the vote — 244 to 188 without a single Republican's approval — represented a failure on her part to advance President Obama's desire for a broad bipartisan bill, she practically snapped:

"I didn't come here to be partisan. I didn't come here to be bipartisan. I came here, as did my colleagues, to be nonpartisan, to work for the American people, to do what is in their interest."


Right, and the Pope is non-religious.


"The president's agenda is reflected in this legislation. It's — I mentioned, some of the priorities that were there about creating jobs, cutting taxes, helping states through this difficult economic time, and to do so in a fiscally sound way."


First, this "stimulus" plan will create very few jobs. Second, spending over $1 trillion on mostly pork for liberal causes like ACORN, which helped cause this current financial crisis by bullying banks to give loans to those who couldn't pay them, is not going to create enough jobs to warrant such an enormous expenditure. Sen. Inhofe, OK (R) said that based on the bill's price tag each of the 3 million to 4 million jobs expected to be created would cost about $295,000.

"People vote for what they believe in. Clearly, the Republicans did not believe in the agenda that I just described for you, and that's probably one of the reasons they voted that way. I think they probably voted their conscience and they couldn't support that. …"

No, Nancy. The core Republican beliefs are that cutting taxes create new jobs. That is not what they are upset about. It the billions of taxpayer money being wastefully spent on items like contraceptives that have little or absolutely no job creation potential.

They voted for Obama because they were sick of the Bush style hypocrisy when it came to being fiscally responsible. Bush let the deficit baloon to record proportions. He also championed the bank bailout which most people were against according to polls taken.

To add to the Bush stain that was already put on McCain, his response to the economic downturn was abysmal. When he suspended his campaign to help lead the debate for the TARP bailout, he went back to Washington and disappeared. He didn't lead in any debates or discussions. He didn't fight for the conservative principles that the Republicans are supposed to stand for. The only thing that we heard from him while he was in Washington was a silent "yea" when the vote was done. McCain looked lost throughout this time. The American people lost all confidence in him after that when it came to the economy.

Polls after the election said that the GOP wasn't too conservative. They just weren't staying true to the principles that brought them to power. A poll today by Rasmussen said that 56% of all US voters say the Republicans should return to the Reagan views and values. Only 29% say that they should move away from Reagan. Among independents, 61% to 23% think that GOP should be more like the 40th President. Of all polled, 59% still believe as Reagan did the government is the problem not the solution.

Nancy Pelosi needs to be real. Misrepresenting the facts is not going to help this country climb out of this recession that the liberal policies that the Democrats helped to create. This bill is a wish list to many of the liberal programs and pet projects and will have little if any short-term positive effects, but lots of long-term negatives effects with all of the excess spending.

-----------------------------------------------------------
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/29/partisan-barbs-follow-house-stimulus-vote/
-----------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ACORN Gets a Big Piece of the Stimulus Pie

Republicans Object to Stimulus Dollars for ACORN
Republicans say voter registration and community groups like ACORN could be eligible for funding under the Democrats' economic stimulus bill. 
FOXNews.com
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Republican lawmakers are raising concerns that ACORN, the low-income advocacy group under investigation for voter registration fraud, could be eligible for billions in aid from the economic stimulus proposal working its way through the House.

House Republican Leader John Boehner issued a statement over the weekend noting that the stimulus bill wending its way through Congress provides $4.19 billion for "neighborhood stabilization activities." 

He said the money was previously limited to state and local governments, but that Democrats now want part of it to be available to non-profit entities. That means groups like ACORN would be eligible for a portion of the funds.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., told FOX News Tuesday that the money could be seen as "payoff" for groups' political activities in the last election. ACORN generally supports Democratic candidates and actively backed President Obama last year.

But he said the funding is just one example of frivolous spending items in the $825 billion package. 

"It's just a long list of spending items. Not a real economic stimulus job creation bill," Vitter said. "It's line after line after line of favorite liberal spending programs, and it amounts to a big government bill -- not a job creation bill." 

Democratic leaders in the House have already dropped federal funding from the bill for new contraceptive services and ongoing programs to stop sexually transmitted diseases after Obama told them that it did not fit in with the job-creating objectives of the package.

Obama plans to meet with Republican leaders on Capitol Hill Tuesday to hear some their input on the package. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama is open to suggestions. 

"If there are good ideas -- and I think he assumes there will be -- we will look at those ideas," he said Monday.


---------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/01/27/republican-leaders-raise-concerns-acorn-stimulus-dollars/
---------------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

Why is ACORN which played a big role in causing the current financial crisis and has scandal after scandal came out about voter registration fraud in favor of the Democratic candidates getting this what is being perceived as a "payoff" for the last election? This is supposed to be a bill that creates jobs and stimulates the economy. How is giving money to this left-wing organization for "neighborhood stabilization activities" going to stimulate the economy? What is "neighborhood stabilization activities" to them? Is it something like when ACORN bullied banks to lend money to people that couldn't afford to ever pay them back? This is just another example of government waste that the Democrats are trying to pass through Congress.

Pelosi: Gitmo Alums, Not in My Backyard

Pelosi Shrugs off Alcatraz as Possible Terror Detention Facility Republicans opposing an Obama administration order to close Guantanamo Bay prison facility within a year suggest sending terror detainees to House Speaker Pelosi's district.
FOXNews.com
Sunday, January 25, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday shrugged off Republican suggestions that the federal government reopen Alcatraz prison in her San Francisco district to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

President Obama this week signed an executive order calling for the closure of the prison at Guantanamo within the year. Republican Rep. Bill Young then suggested to White House counsel Greg Craig that the prisoners who could not be released back to their home countries or sent to a third country be put up in "the Rock," the famous military installation and prison that closed down in 1963 and is now part of the National Park Service.

Asked whether that was a serious proposal, Pelosi said, "It is -- no."

"Perhaps he's not visited Alcatraz," Pelosi said of Young while displaying little sense of humor. "Alcatraz is a tourist attraction. It's a prison that is now sort of like a -- it's a national park."

That explanation didn't stop House Minority Leader John Boehner from repeating the suggestion on Sunday, making that point that closing down Guantanamo by year's end may not be the best plan considering the recidivism rate of terrorist detainees is about 12 percent. 

"If liberals believe they ought to go, maybe we ought to open Alcatraz," Boehner, R-Ohio, told NBC "Meet the Press." Being reminded that Alcatraz is a national park, Boehner responded, "It's very secure."

The argument is just the latest iteration in an ongoing dispute over what to do with the remaining 245 enemy combatants who were to be tried in military commissions until a stay was ordered by the president last week in one of his first official acts.

Boehner said the promise to close Guantanamo by year's end is impractical. 

"Unilaterally saying it without knowing how were going to deal with them keeps a campaign promise, but may be irresponsible," he said.

But Pelosi called the plan to use the next year to review the case of each detainee is "brilliant." 

"What the president put forth was very wise. He said he's going to close Guantanamo, take the time to do it. You can't just go down there today and say, 'Everybody out,' and lock the door. They're going to review the cases, narrow it down and then go from there. ... It's brilliant," she said on ABC's "This Week."

Vice President Biden, speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," said the prison must be closed because the symbolism of Guantanamo around the world has resulted in the growth of terrorist organizations, not their reduction. 

"There's no question it has to be closed. And we don't think it's inconsistent to deal with our national security and our Constitution. ... That's why we have the White House counsel -- Mr. Craig is now going through this meticulously, deciding what we're going to do with each and every prisoner," he said.

Biden added that if the detainees went through the civilian court system and were somehow released, they still would not be sent out into the United States because all but one is an American citizen.

"If they are not a U.S. citizen or if they are not here legally, then, even if they were released by a federal judge, they would not be able to stay here in the United States. They would be sent back to their country of origin. They would not stay here," Biden said. 

"They have no legal status to stay here, I don't anticipate that happening. What I anticipate happening is that those people who are in a situation where it is either the evidence is in question or it's going to be hard to make a case, we will most likely be rendering them back to their countries of origin or another country," he continued, adding that some countries have already agreed to establish prison facilities for the detainees.


-----------------------------------------------------------
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/01/25/pelosi-shrugs-alcatraz-possible-terror-detention-facility/
-----------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

This sounds like a good idea to me. Alcatraz was a military and maximum security prison for almost 100 years. The island's building will have to be renovated because of decades of salt water erosion. However, this will "stimulate" the economy in San Francisco. Since the far left wing is the main opponents of the terrorists being taken out of Cuba, they should be the ones to take them in. Now, you can't get any further left than Nancy Pelosi and her San Francisco district.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama Receives Criticism and Praise for Funding Abortions Internationally

Vatican official accuses Obama of 'arrogance'

A senior Vatican official on Saturday attacked US President Barack Obama for "arrogance" for overturning a ban on state funding for family-planning groups that carry out or facilitate abortions overseas.

It is "the arrogance of someone who believes they are right, in signing a decree which will open the door to abortion and thus to the destruction of human life," Archbishop Rino Fisichella was quoted as saying by the Corriere della Sera daily.

Fisichella is president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, one of a number of so-called pontifical academies which are formed by or under the direction of the Holy See.

"What is important is to know how to listen... without locking oneself into ideological visions with the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death," he added.

Obama signed the executive order cancelling the eight-year-old restrictions on Friday, the third full day of his presidency.

The so-called "global gag rule" cut off US funding to overseas family planning clinics which provide any abortion services whatsoever, from the operation itself to counselling, referrals or post-abortion services.
"If this is one of the first acts of President Obama, with all due respect, it seems to me that the path towards disappointment will have been very short," Fisichella said.

"I do not believe that those who voted for him took into consideration ethical themes, which were astutely left aside during the election debate. The majority of the American population does not take the same position as the president and his team," he added.

The order won Obama praise from Democratic lawmakers, family planning and women's rights groups but drew angry condemnation from pro-life organisations and Republicans.
More than 250 health and human rights organisations from around the world sent Obama a letter, thanking him for ending a policy "which has contributed to the deaths and injuries of countless women and girls."


---------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.ae20b64499f4af8b4c9bf8793c4ba754.341&show_article=1
---------------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

Let's look at that last sentence again.

"More than 250 health and human rights organisations from around the world sent Obama a letter, thanking him for ending a policy 'which has contributed to the deaths and injuries of countless women and girls.'"

Maybe all of the pro-life organizations should send the president a letter, thanking him the starting a policy which will contribute to the deaths of 42 billion innocent babies worldwide. Of the 42 billion, 83% of those children are from developing countries like the ones that President Obama send our taxpayer money to people that end the lives of unborn children.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two More Gitmo Alums Return to Al-Qaeda

Two ex-Guantanamo inmates appear in Al-Qaeda video

2 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Two men released from the US "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have appeared in a video posted on a jihadist website, the SITE monitoring service reported.

One of the two former inmates, a Saudi man identified as Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri, or prisoner number 372, has been elevated to the senior ranks of Al-Qaeda in Yemen (2nd in command), a US counter-terrorism official told AFP.

Three other men appear in the video, including Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, identified as an Al-Qaeda field commander. SITE later said he was prisoner No. 333.

A Pentagon spokesman, Commander Jeffrey Gordon, on Saturday declined to confirm the SITE information.

"We remain concerned about ex-Guantanamo detainees who have re-affiliated with terrorist organizations after their departure," said Gordon.

"We will continue to work with the international community to mitigate the threat they pose," he said.

On the video, al-Shihri is seen sitting with three other men before a flag of the Islamic State of Iraq, the front for Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

"By Allah, imprisonment only increased our persistence in our principles for which we went out, did jihad for, and were imprisoned for," al-Shihri was quoted as saying.

Al-Shiri was transferred from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia in 2007, the US counter-terrorism official said.

The other men in the video are identified as Commander Abu Baseer al-Wahayshi and Abu Hureira Qasm al-Rimi (also known as Abu Hureira al-Sana'ani).

The Defense Department has said as many as 61 former Guantanamo detainees -- about 11 percent of 520 detainees transferred from the detention center and released -- are believed to have returned to the fight.

The latest case highlights the risk the new US administration faces as it moves to empty Guantanamo of its remaining 245 prisoners and close the controversial detention camp within a year.


---------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hZfIcWnHqBz4kQR90lC_pXaHeW4Q
--------------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

Obama should think twice before releasing the Gitmo prisoners. Many Americans will lose their lives, if they return to their jihad against the citizens of this country as most that are release do.

Friday, January 23, 2009

House GOP Finally Develops Backbone Over Dems Stimulus Package

The GOP Wises Up Strategically attacking Obama's $825 billion stimulus bill.
January 19, 2009 - by Jennifer Rubin

House Democrats have come up with an $825 billion stimulus bill. Republican Minority Leader John Boehner’s initial reaction — “Oh, my God!” — expressed the abject disgust that many will feel once they learn what is in it. Boehner’s office put out a handy guide to some of the “lowlights”:

1. The House Democrats’ bill will cost each and every household $6,700 additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.

2. The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.

3. President-elect Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save three million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $50,000 a year.

4. The House Democrats’ bill provides enough spending — $825 billion — to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700.

5. $825 billion is enough to give every person living in poverty in the U.S. $22,000.

6. $825 billion is enough to give every person in Ohio $72,000.

7. Although the House Democrats’ proposal has been billed as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, in actuality only $30 billion of the bill — or three percent — is for road and highway spending. A recent study from the Congressional Budget Office said that only 25 percent of infrastructure dollars can be spent in the first year, making the one year total less than $7 billion for infrastructure.

8. Much of the funding within the House Democrats’ proposal will go to programs that already have large, unexpended balances. For example, the bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which already have $16 billion on hand.  And, this year, Congress has plans to rescind $9 billion in highway funding that the states have not yet used.

9. In 1993, the unemployment rate was virtually the same as the rate today (around seven percent). Yet, then-President Clinton’s proposed stimulus legislation ONLY contained $16 billion in spending.

10. Here are just a few of the programs and projects that have been included in the House Democrats’ proposal:

• $650 million for digital TV coupons.
• $6 billion for colleges/universities — many which have billion dollar endowments.
• $166 billion in direct aid to states — many of which have failed to budget wisely.
• $50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.
• $44 million for repairs to U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters.
• $200 million for the National Mall, including grass planting.
• $400 million for “National Treasures.”

11.  Almost one-third of the so called tax relief in the House Democrats’ bill is spending in disguise, meaning that true tax relief makes up only 24 percent of the total package — not the 40 percent that President-elect Obama had requested.

12. $825 billion is just the beginning — many Capitol Hill Democrats want to spend even more taxpayer dollars on their “stimulus” plan.

But the House Republicans are not simply saying “no.” (Or even “Hell, no!”) They are taking seriously Obama’s offer to listen to their ideas. They are holding hearings and presenting their ideas — mostly in the form of tax cuts or defense spending.

The House Republicans, not always know for finesse, seem then to be operating on a clever two-track process. On one hand, they are lambasting the existing Democratic plan, which certainly bears the Obama administration’s imprint, but for now is presented under the House Democrats’ name. The Republicans are making clear it isn’t a stimulus plan, isn’t going to do much for economic recovery, and isn’t going to get many of their votes. On the other hand, they are ignoring the Obama team’s influence in shaping that very plan and instead answering his high-minded calls for input with plenty of constructive and conservative ideas of their own.

Will it work? It depends, as Bill Clinton might say, on what the definition of “work” is. If they are aiming to refashion the Obama stimulus plan into one all conservatives could embrace the answer is almost certainly “no.” But two other outcomes are possible, and either could be termed a success of sorts.

First, the Obama might embrace their ideas — add meaningful tax rate cuts, swap domestic pork for needed defense spending, and reduce the overall level of spending. The Republicans would thereby demonstrate their relevance and influence — and deal a setback to their House counterparts who would then be characterized as to the left of Obama. Triangulation would be back.

The more likely result, however, will be that virtually none of their ideas gets into the bill. In that case they can in good conscience vote against it, making clear that “bipartisanship” is a flimsy fa├žade and that the responsibility for the bloated deficit and useless spending bonanza rests solely with the Democrats. That “works” too.

Now all of this will take place before the bill reaches the Senate. Then it will be Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s chance to perform the same task: force the new administration to give ground or corral his caucus to vote en masse against the spend-a-thon.

Republicans haven’t always played their cards well over the last couple of years. Their tone has often been off-putting and their policy muddled. And they were hampered to a large extent by the pressure to defend the Republican president. Nevertheless, they have learned to operate in the minority with limited parliamentary rights and a dwindling caucus. And they found out the hard way that it doesn’t pay to get buffaloed into support for ill-conceived rescue plans.

So for now, they are doing the best with what they have — which isn’t much. And they are posing a challenge to the new administration: does the Obama team really want to reenact the New Deal or do they want a bipartisan plan that might just work to promote growth and lift the economy out of recession? We’ll find out the answer soon enough.

______________________________
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-gop-wises-up/
______________________________

My Thoughts

It's good to see Republicans actually acting like fiscal conservatives. After Bush and Congress inflated the deficit to monstrous proportions, the GOP needed to take a stand against the Bailoutpalooza that is running wild in Washington. The little piggies that are lining up at the stimulus trough needs to be stopped before all of our children and grandchildren are paying for our financial gluttony and stupidity into the poor house for generations to come.

Blagojevich's Arrogance Reaches New Level

Blagojevich Compares His Arrest With Attack on Pearl Harbor In an interview Thursday, the Illinois governor compared his early morning December arrest by FBI agents to Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. AP
Thursday, January 22, 2009

CHICAGO -- Illinois' embattled but defiant governor, so fond of reciting poetry as he defends himself against federal corruption allegations, has turned instead to the history books to describe the emotional strain his arrest put on him and his family.

In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Gov. Rod Blagojevich compared his early morning December arrest by FBI agents to Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

He says it was a "complete surprise" but he'll prevail, just like America in World War II.

Blagojevich says there's no chance he'll resign before the start of the state Senate's impeachment trial next week. He says he'll fight the allegations against him "to the very end.

"The two-term Democrat is accused of scheming to swap President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat for personal gain.



-----------------------------------------------------------
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/01/22/blagojevich-compares-arrest-attack-pearl-harbor/
-----------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

Does the arrogance of this guy know any limits?

Recent Ramblings from "Captain Planet" Pelosi

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/21/MN5Q15EJQ2.DTL&type=politics&tsp=1

Pelosi said one of her favorite moments from Inauguration Day was when Marine One lifted off the Capitol grounds, signifying former President George W. Bush's exit from Washington. "It felt like a 10-pound anvil was lifted off my head," she said.

This is not unlike the 20-lb anvil that will be lifted off of the heads of all Americans' outside of San Francisco and Hollywood once she leaves office. This comment just shows what a classy lady that she...well...isn't.

"It's my view that (tax cuts for the wealthy) are big contributors to the national debt."

I guess the UAW $17 B bridge loan to nowhere and the almost $1 Trillion "stimulus" plan that Obama and the Democrats are proposing doesn't add to the national debt. The plans that the Democrats are wanting to pass will use more money than the tax cuts will. The government doesn't have the money to be bailing out anyone especially when it doesn't do any good. The pigs will just return to the trough in a few months looking for more.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pelosi and Dems Raise Taxes on the Poor in Order to Help the Poor

Obama’s recession remedy: Tax the poor! By Michelle Malkin  •  January 14, 2009 04:43 AM

It’s baaaack. Remember S-CHIP? The Democrats are racing their universal health care Trojan Horse through the House today and in the Senate by Friday. Yesterday evening after I filed my syndicated column (printed below) on Obama and the Democrats’ first massive tax increase of 2009, the 285-page text of the proposed S-CHIP expansion went online. It’s H.R. 2 and something a significant number of congressional members will not do before voting for the behemoth bill.

Every legal tobacco product from premanufactured cigarettes and cigarette papers to cigars to roll-your-cigarettes, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco will be taxed out the wazoo. Take roll-your-own tobacco. It’s currently taxed at $1.0969/lb. The Obama/Democrat S-CHIP plan would hike that to $24.62/lb. Cigarette taxes would rise from $19.50 per thousand to $50.00 per thousand for small cigarettes and from $40.95 per thousand to $105.00 per thousand for large cigarettes.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to have an open debate on the bill. House GOP leaders lodged a protest. (But remember that 42 Republicans sided with Pelosi last January in a failed attempt to override President Bush’s veto.)

So much for transparency and openness. And so much for those promises to provide tax relief to “ordinary Americans.” As usual, Barry O was just blowin’ smoke:

Obama’s recession remedy: Tax the poor!
by Michelle Malkin Copyright 2008

“Everybody’s going to have to give,” President-elect Barack Obama warned over the weekend. And some people will have to give more than others – starting with low-income smokers. Democrats are rushing this week to impose massive tax hikes of at least 61 cents on every cigarette pack sold in America, in addition to new increases on other tobacco products. The money will fund a long-plotted federal expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).

Yes, this is Dr. Big Nanny’s prescription for recession: Punitive tax increases on the poor to feed a universal health care Trojan Horse.

Obama and his liberal Democrat colleagues sure have a funny way of demonstrating “progressive” values, don’t they? Health surveys show that smokers are more likely to be blue-collar workers, minorities, and have less than a high school education. The National Taxpayers Union noted that tobacco taxes take a 50-times-larger share of income from those earning less than $20,000 than those earning more than $200,000. Put another way: Families making less than $30,000 per year pay more than half of all taxes paid on cigarettes, while families making more than $60,000 pay only 14 percent.

That’s the dictionary definition of “regressive,” not “progressive.”

And what will that money buy? S-CHIP, you’ll recall, is the joint federal-state program that covers health insurance for children and families at or near the poverty line. Over the past two years, President Bush and the Republicans took a rare, fiscal conservative stand against widening eligibility criteria far beyond the working poor. Democrats wanted to be able to enroll families with incomes at 300 or 400 percent of the poverty level – adding an estimated $35 billion over five years to the existing S-CHIP funding costs.

Opponents of this Hillarycare-esque push were lambasted as cruel child-haters for arguing that the program should not be extended to include well-off families, illegal aliens, and single adults. They were attacked as heartless penny-pinchers for questioning the wisdom of subsidizing the S-CHIP expansion with a dwindling and unstable funding source (smoking is on the decline and cigarette tax revenues are shrinking). Left-wing comedienne Joy Behar called me a “b*tch” on national television for reporting that the Democrats’ poster family for S-CHIP expansion to cover the “poor,” the Frost family of Baltimore, owned middle-class assets including two properties and three cars.

But if these do-gooders truly cared about The Children, they’d be cursing mightily over the squandering of current S-CHIP funds and the cheating of the very children the program was intended to help. State data analyzed by the Department of Health and Human Services reveal that 13 states spent more than 44 percent of their S-CHIP funds in 2008 on people who are neither children nor pregnant women. Michigan topped the list with more than 70 percent of its federal children’s health insurance funds earmarked for adults who have no kids.

In New Jersey, people earning as much as $295,000 were enrolled in its S-CHIP program dubbed “NJ FamilyCare.” Like many states, New Jersey failed to check eligibility for all program enrollees and refuses to do stringent assets tests. As I’ve noted before, the refusal to do assets tests on federal health insurance programs is why federal entitlements are exploding and government keeps expanding. After an audit found that the program had paid $43.1 million to participants without knowing if they were eligible, Assemblyman Richard Merkt, R-Morris observed that it “called into serious question the state’s competence to run health insurance programs.” Multiply that by 50 states.

How will the Democrats prevent such fraud? I’d give you more details about the Obama/Democrat tax hike on the poor to expand children’s health care coverage for the non-poor and non-children, but as of Tuesday afternoon, there was no legislative text available. And no hearings are planned before the expansion is rushed through for Obama to sign. The Wall Street Journal did report that Democrats plan to lift decade-old restrictions to allow legal immigrant children to tap into S-CHIP. (Open-borders activists hope it’s the camel’s nose under tent for illegal alien applicants.) But there’s no word on whether (or how) citizenship eligibility requirements will be strengthened. The Democrat leadership hasn’t responded to Republican entreaties on that issue, either. Hurray for the deliberative process.

What I can tell you for sure is that the S-CHIP expansion is a rest stop on the road to a universal health insurance entitlement, built on the backs of overtaxed, low-income workers. (Listen to Democrat Tom Vilsack admit it openly here.) Welcome to the era of “shared sacrifice.”


-----------------------------------------------------------
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/01/14/obama%e2%80%99s-recession-remedy-tax-the-poor/
-----------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

This is just the beginning of the tax hikes on the poor that the Democrats will try to sneak past us. They claim that they only want to raise taxes on the poor, but this show that in reality they want to raise it on everyone.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chavez Tests Obama's "Mettle" With Veiled Threat on His Life

Venezuela's Chavez says Obama has "stench" of Bush Sat, Jan 17 16:44 PM EST CAMPO CARABOBO, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday Barack Obama had the "stench" of his predecessor as U.S. president and was at risk of being killed if he tries to change the American "empire."

Most world leaders expect a new era of U.S. foreign relations when Obama, a Democrat, is sworn in as president on Tuesday after Republican George W. Bush's eight years in the White House.

But Chavez said frayed ties with Washington were unlikely to improve despite the departure of Bush, who the Venezuelan leader has often called the "devil."

"I hope I am wrong, but I believe Obama brings the same stench, to not say another word," Chavez said at a political rally on a historic Venezuelan battlefield.

"If Obama as president of the United States does not obey the orders of the empire, they will kill him, like they killed Kennedy, like they killed Martin Luther King, or Lincoln, who freed the blacks and paid with his life."

Obama, who will be the first black president in U.S. history, was given Secret Service protection on the campaign trail earlier than is customary for candidates and security for Tuesday's inauguration is extremely tight.

Venezuela is a leading supplier of oil to the United States and the two countries once enjoyed close ties.

Relations deteriorated after Chavez first won election in 1998 as he took on U.S. companies as part of his socialist agenda of nationalization of various industries and accused Washington of backing a brief coup against him.

Last year, he expelled the U.S. ambassador from Venezuela.

Chavez's foreign policy is based on countering U.S. global influence and promoting countries like Russia and China as world leaders. He has close ties to U.S. foes Cuba and Iran.

Until recently, Chavez had said he hoped relations with Washington could improve. But in the last few days, he has picked up on comments he attributes to Obama accusing him of obstructing progress in Latin America and exporting terrorism.

(Reporting by Jorge Silva; Editing by John O'Callaghan)


---------------------------------------------------------------
http://us.mobile.reuters.com/m/FullArticle/p.rdt/CPOL/npoliticsNews_uUSTRE50G2F420090117
---------------------------------------------------------------
My Thoughts

Just another world leader that "wants to test the mettle of this guy". He all but threatens Obama's life. His anti-American foreign policy views are not going to accept anyone that is the President of the United States. Not even our Saviour-in-Chief can stop people that have nothing but evil intentions for our country from treating the US with anything but contempt.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Miracle Happens on the Hudson as "Everyone Prayed"

An investigation has begun in New York, after a US Airways jet crashed late Thursday afternoon into the Hudson River. Miraculously, authorities say all passengers survived.

A bold crash landing into Manhattan's Hudson River, and stories of miraculous rescues of passengers on board.

"It would appear that the pilot did a masterful job of landing the plane in the river, and then making sure everybody got out," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

US Air Flight 1549 went down into the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport.

"The left engine just blew, flames were coming out. Smelled gasoline," recalled Flight 1549 passenger Jeff Kolodjay.

Authorities say all passengers and five crew members were able to exit the plane safely in less than two minutes.

The Airbus 320, bound for Charlotte, North Carolina was airborne for less than three minutes when the pilot radioed in, saying the plane had hit a flock of geese and two engines were disabled.

"Pilot said, 'Brace for a hard impact.' Everyone started saying prayers. Looked over the water, we thought we had a chance, because there was water. You have to give it to the pilot, he made a hell of landing," Kolodjay said.

Witness along Manhattan's West Side say they saw the plane go down hard in the river. With water temperatures in the 30s, rescue boats and ferries raced to help passengers escape.

Many are crediting the pilot for the controlled crash landing that spared the lives of all on board as well as residents of densely populated New York City.

Divers had to rescue some people from the frigid waters after the crash.

An air traffic controller ordered the pilot to divert to nearby New Jersey for an emergency landing before the pilot decided to land in the Hudson River.


---------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.msnbc.com/id/28679787/
---------------------------------------------------------------
My Thoughts

This is another example of the power of prayer and our foundation as a religious nation.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Obama: Gitmo Isn't As Easy As I First Thought

"It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize," the president-elect explained. "Part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it's true. And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo-American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn't result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up."

But Obama said unequivocally that it will close. "I don't want to be ambiguous about this. We are going to close Guantanamo and we are going to make sure that the procedures we set up are ones that abide by our Constitution. That is not only the right thing to do but it actually has to be part of our broader national security strategy because we will send a message to the world that we are serious about our values."

Obama said that he is not ruling out prosecution for crimes committed by the Bush administration and left open the possibility of appointing a special prosecutor or commission to independently investigate abuses of power and illegal activity.

Obama's comments came in response to the most popular question on his own Web site, www.change.gov, which has received 23,000 votes on the "Open for Questions" portion of the site. Bob Fertik of New York who runs the Democrats.com Web site asks Obama, "Will you appoint a special prosecutor -- ideally Patrick Fitzgerald -- to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"

"We're still evaluating how we're going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we're going to be looking at past practices and I don't believe that anybody is above the law." Obama said. "But my instinct is for us to focus on how do we make sure that moving forward we are doing the right thing. That doesn't mean that if somebody has blatantly broken the law, that they are above the law. But my orientation's going to be to move forward."


---------------------------------------------------------------
http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/Economy/story?id=6619291&page=1
---------------------------------------------------------------
My thoughts

Maybe that Bush guy had it right all along.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bailouts Gone Wild

Porn kings Larry Flint and Joe Francis go begging for a bailout
BY CATEY HILL DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Wednesday, January 7th 2009, 5:18 PM

Is the porn industry up next for a bailout?  If porn titans Joe Francis and Larry Flynt have anything to do with it, it will.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, the titans of pornography are begging for a bailout.

Joe Francis, creator of the "Girl's Gone Wild" video series, and Larry Flynt, founder of Hustler, will ask Congress for a $5 billion bailout, according to TMZ.

Why does the porn industry need a bailout?  Because apparently even porn is getting smacked by the recession. 

XXX DVD sales have taken a hit - about a 22% hit, according to TMZ.

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind," Flynt is quoted as saying on TMZ. "It's time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America."

Is the porn industry really experiencing a severe downturn?  It depends on who you ask.

Francis Koenig's fund AdultVest, which invests in porn-related assets, was up 50% in 2008, according to Tom Johansmeyer's article in next month's Atlantic (as reported by The Huffington Post).  But video sales are down.

"The industry's not going anywhere," Koenig says. "You've got 6 billion people on the planet," he laughs, "and they're all horny."

The porn industry generated about $12 billion in 2007, according to the Atlantic article.


--------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/01/07/2009-01-07_porn_kings_larry_flint_and_joe_francis_g.html
--------------------------------------------------------------

My Thoughts

Well, apparently this culture of expecting a bailout that was started by Bush and expanded by the Democrats has finally gone too far. Whether or not this is a real expectaion or a joke by Francis and Flint, it is a perfect example of what is happening because of the Congress' lack of a backbone to turn down anyone with their hand out. Sure, they'll put on a show that will make it look like they're going to be tough, but when it comes to it they'll use the taxpayer's money to bailout those that made bad decisions and ruined their companies that they were hired to run.