News Ticker powered by Fox News

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Palate Cleanser: Rep. Steve Buyer to Rep. Richardson: This Is Why the People Have Thrown You Out

Here's a palate cleanser from Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN). The Democratic Speaker of the Committee Laura Richardson must have the same definition of bipartisanship thay Nancy Pelosi does:

Obama Master of the Obvious: You Know Maybe I Didn't Work With GOP Enough Over Last Two Years

Obama played the role of Captain Obvious, during the slurpee summit:

Obama and the Senate Republicans all described the talks as civil and frank. Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia said he was encouraged that Obama acknowledged that he should have reached out more to Republicans in his first two years in office, and that Tuesday's meeting would be the first in a series of discussions on working together.

Boehner also said Obama conceded not spending enough time working with Republicans.

A senior administration official told CNN that Obama told the GOP leaders "he had to do better" and added, "the president is ready to do his part."

In remarks to reporters after the event, Obama said he already invited Republican and Democratic leaders to meet with him again several times in the future, including one summit at Camp David.

Obama didn't reach out enough to Republicans. Duh! Maybe, he's finally starting to understand, or he's just posturing. My bet is a little of both.

He's not going to be too accommodating to Republicans. Pelosi won't let him. However, he'll have to make some token consolations to Republicans. He knows that he'll be in huge trouble in 2012, if he stays on the far-left course that Pelosi has been heading down. He's has to start acting like the moderate, post-partisan president that he had campaigned to be, when he was running for the job, if wants to have any shot at being re-elected for a second term.

What Could Go Wrong? Amtrak to Allow Guns on Trains

While TSA is turning the airport into a police state, Amtrak is going in the opposite direction:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Amtrak says it will allow passengers to bring guns on most trains, matching air travel rules allowing unloaded firearms to be stored in locked luggage bins.

The new policy, urged by gun rights advocates and mandated by Congress, will go into effect Dec. 15, the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee reported Tuesday.

Federal Homeland Security officials said as long as security protocols are enforced guns on trains are allowable.

"It's deemed safe and appropriate," federal Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez said. "If people follow the rules, it's pretty simple."

Gun owners must let Amtrak know of their intention to bring guns aboard trains that have checked baggage service 24 hours in advance.

Unloaded firearms must be in hard-sided cases and will be kept in train lockers, Amtrak says.

Depending on the security that they're going to have guarding the lockboxes, this could be ok, or it could go very wrong. There is always the chance that the security can be compromised. This would blow up in their faces, if terrorists use this to their advantage.

TEA Party Gaining Real Poliltical England

Is there a TEA Party movement gaining steam across the pond in Jolly ‘Ole England?

The Tea Party movement's recent electoral gains have gotten international attention, including in the mother country whose taxes inspired the first Tea Party -- the United Kingdom.
A new rebellion against big government and high taxes is resonating in Ye Olde England.

"Ideas around limited government, absolutely, there's lots of people in Britain who share those as well." says Matthew Sinclair of the Taxpayers' Alliance. The group -- formed in 2004, naturally calling for lower taxes -- is one of the largest in Britain with a Tea Party slant. It boasts some 60,000 supporters.

The group organized workshops this past fall with FreedomWorks and other American Tea Party support groups. "We're always trying to learn how to campaign better. We're always trying to learn if there are policy initiatives in the states which have succeeded," Sinclair explains.

Like the Tea Party in the U.S., there are many groups here vying for the label. From one strictly aimed at domestic politics, to another upset about tax money going to the European Union, and yet another nationalistic group upset about immigration.

Europe has been starting to move to the right, for a while now. Their liberal deficit spending policies have brought them to near-economic collapse, and they’ve been forced to come to terms with it and start cutting back. Many Europeans have come to realize the error of their ways, and if a TEA partyesque movement takes real roots in England, it could spread throughout the rest of Europe, given enough time.

Pelosi Has New Mission in Life: Stop Obama From Compromising With Republicans

Here’s further proof that the message that should be learned from the election hasn’t been received by the Democrats. Over the next two years, Pelosi has, apparently, made it her mission in life to keep President Obama from being able to reach any form of compromise with Republicans:

But Pelosi's mandate is diverging from the president's at a critical time, with potentially damaging consequences for Obama's ability to cut deals with Republicans in the new Congress.

Their partnership is strained after an election in which Pelosi and many Democrats feel the White House failed them by muddling the party's message and being too slow to provide cover for incumbents who cast tough votes for Obama's marquee initiatives.
Pelosi will lead Democrats "in pulling on the president's shirttails to make sure that he doesn't move from center-right to far-right," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., a co-chair of the liberal Progressive Caucus in the House. "We think if he'd done less compromising in the last two years, there's a good chance we'd have had a jobs bill that would have created real jobs, and then we wouldn't even be worrying about having lost elections."

Behind Democrats' decision to keep Pelosi as their leader after historic losses lies intense concern among liberals who dominate the party's ranks on Capitol Hill: They fear Obama will go too far in accommodating the GOP in the new era of divided government, and they see Pelosi as a counterweight.

That’s rich. Nancy thinks that they compromised with Republicans too much over the past two years, and that’s why they lost in a tsunami this past November. Republicans ran successfully against her nationwide. She was in campaign ads in districts where she had probably never even stepped foot in her life. She has become a symbol of hyper-partisanship everything that is wrong with Washington today.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Following Recommendations of Deficit Commission Report: Obama Freezes Salaries of Most Federal Workers

President Obama decided to freeze the pay of most federal workers for the next two years, not including Congress, of course:

Bowing to growing budget concerns and months of Republican political pressure on federal pay and benefits, President Obama today announced he would stop pay increases for most of the two million people who work for the federal government.

The freeze applies to all Executive Branch workers -- including civilian employees of the Defense Department, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers.

"Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifices and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government," Obama said in a speech Monday afternoon explaining the decision. He added, "I did not reach this decision easily, this is not a line item on a federal ledger, these are people's lives."

While this is an important first step, this is not a particularly huge step towards solvency:

The decision will save the government about $2 billion for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 and $28 billion over the next five years, the White House said. The long-term savings come from lowering the government's base compensation over the next two years.

This has been well-received bu both sides of the political spectrum. Although, some are complaining that the military wasn't included in the freeze:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), whose district is home to thousands of federal workers, said he was pleased Obama instituted only a two-year freeze instead of the three years proposed by the Bipartisan Deficit Commission. But Obama also should have cut pay for some military personnel, Hoyer said in a statement.

"There has been parity between civilian and military pay raises for 22 of the past 28 years in which raises were authorized, and hundreds of thousands of federal civilian employees work alongside military employees in the Department of Defense and other agencies," Hoyer said, noting that the first American casualty in the Afghanistan conflict was a civilian CIA agent.

Hoyer is just posturing here. There isn't any good chance for a freeze on military wages, too, for hood reason. Those in the military don't make even close to the amount that those working in DC do.

Prominent Rep King (R-NY) Advises Sec Clinton & Obama Administration: Declare WikiLeaks a "Terrorist Organization"

In the wake yet another release of sensitive information vital to national security by the WikiLeaks website, many people from all sides of the political spectrum have called for something to be done to stop this. Many are worried that this will greatly affect our ability to maintain good diplomatic relations with our allies adversely and will put us a huge disadvantage in relation with our enemies.

Prominent Republican and Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Rep. Steve King of New York has presented an option that definitely deserves serious consideration:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should review whether WikiLeaks can be declared a terrorist organization, according to a senior Republican. 

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for U.S. officials to get aggressive against WikiLeaks after the website published highly sensitive, classified diplomatic cables that reveal frank assessments of foreign leaders and the war on terror. 

I am calling on the attorney general and supporting his efforts to fully prosecute WikiLeaks and its founder for violating the Espionage Act. And I'm also calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to declare WikiLeaks a foreign terrorist organization, King said on WNIS radio on Sunday evening.

By doing that, we will be able to seize their funds and go after anyone who provides them help or contributions or assistance whatsoever, he said. To me, they are a clear and present danger to America.

WikiLeaks has released thousands of cables that reveal embarrassing comments about foreign leaders and U.S. operations abroad. The White House and Clinton have been forced to conduct an outreach campaign to smooth the waters.

The Obama administration hasn't taken legal action against WikiLeaks, but has condemned the release in the harshest terms. But the clamor for legal action by lawmakers in both parties increased the pressure for prosecution based on the leaks.

Clinton has the authority to declare an organization a foreign terrorist organization (FTO), a formal designation that allows the U.S. government some leeway in taking action. The current list of 47 FTOs includes al Qaeda and its various offshoots; Hamas; and a variety of other groups.

King expressed confidence that other lawmakers in both parties would rally to his strategy toward WikiLeaks. The website CNET published excerpts of King's letter to Clinton on Sunday.

I'm confident you'll find many people in the Congress, the House and Senate, who will support my demand for the prosecution, and also the declaring of WikiLeaks to be a foreign terrorist organization, he said.

Releasing these documents are tantamount to a form of cyber-warfare. Why not treat this as a form of terrorism or treason?

ObamaCare Claims Another Victim: SEIU Will Stop Covering Children of Over 30K Low-Income Workers

As a result of the passing of ObamaCare, new requirements on healthcare has claimed another victim. The SEIU, one of the largest unions in the US, said that it will stop covering the children of over 30,000 low-income workers:

One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.

The fund is administered by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. Union officials said the state compelled the fund to start buying coverage from a third party, which increased premiums by 60%. State health officials denied forcing the union fund to make the switch, saying the fund had been struggling financially even before the switch to third-party coverage.

The fund informed its members late last month that their dependents will no longer be covered as of Jan. 1, 2011. Currently about 6,000 children are covered by the benefit fund, some until age 23..................

“In addition, new federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26,” Behroozi wrote in a letter to members Oct. 22. “Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

Of course, the SEIU is asking more money from the government to bail them out of paying for the increase in health costs brought about by the ObamaCare plan that they champIoned and pushed on an unwilling public:

“We hope the state of New York will do the right thing and provide the funding necessary for this most vulnerable population of direct caregivers,” the union said in a statement.

Dear SEIU union boss and thugs,

Sorry, but the state of New York can't afford even more debt. If you want to lower costs to your childrens' healthcare, please join us in pushing for a repeal of the abomination of ObamaCare.

The Majority of American People

Liz Cheney: N Korea Is Bush's Fault, Flashback: Bush Isn't the Only Former Pres That Had Issues With N Korea

While Obama and most of the other prominent Democrats have blamed everything that is wrong in this country on Dubya, Republicans have not join in the chorus. However, with the flare up in tensions on the Korean Peninsula, some have started to put some blame on the former Republican president:

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" this weekend, former State Department official Liz Cheney joined that chorus when she said,

"I do think what we have seen [in North Korea] is an example of how provocative American weakness can be. And I think that unfortunately it is policy of weakness that has expanded back into the Bush administration -- into the last years of the Bush administration. . . . We have seen time and time again North Korea -- if they test a nuclear weapon, there are no consequences. . . . And what they have learned is that their belligerence, in fact, oftentimes yields from us capitulation and concessions."

Putting some blame on Bush is valid, but only mentioning Bush's mistakes isn't entirely fair. Bill Clinton, also, had his mistakes, when it came to handling N Korea's mentally unstable "Dear Leader".

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday Break

I've been taking the week off for the holidays. I'll be back on Monday.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hoyer: Stop Whining, Potential Terror Trial Jurors Would Be Sent On Taxpayer-Funded Paid Vacation

Steny Hoyer, the Democratic #2 in the US House put forth the suggestion that we should move the trials back to Gitmo and send jurors on

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Sunday the U.S. should consider holding military trials for terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay and that American jurors might enjoy the taxpayer-funded trip to Cuba.

"Other juries are sequestered and it's a Caribbean island," Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" when asked by host Bob Schieffer about how to get jurors to the island. "It's not like it's the Archipelago or Siberia."

Mr. Hoyer's statement follows the civilian trial last week of Ahmed Ghailani, who was convicted on just one of roughly 270 charges related to the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa. The case has renewed the debate about whether the better venue is a military commission or civilian court for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

This is just ridiculous analogy. If we sent potential jurors on this "vacation", they aren't going be with their loved ones seeing the sights around Havana, laying up on the beach, or catching some gnarly waves. They're going to holed up in a military barrack away from their families against their will. The only sites that they'll be seeing will be the inside of their housing and the courtroom. It may not be literally Siberia, but they might as well be. They're be in a social Siberia.

It's not a bad idea to move it back to Cuba for security reasons. Gitmo is one of the most secure military facilities in the world. We won't have to deal with the obvious terrorist threat as much as we would anywhere else. It would take away an all-too tempting target away from Al-Qaeda.

Regarding the overall premise behind the analogy, if we do move it back to Cuba, why not just turn it back over to the military? We wouldn't have to uproot people out of their lives and tear them away from their families. Plus, it is a waste of money to sequester them for weeks and transport them hundreds of miles to Guantanamo Bay.

The military is much better equipped to handle these kind of trials, anyway, as the civilian trial of Ahmed Ghailani, where he was acquitted of all but one of the around 270 charges because of evidence that was erroneously thrown out, more than adequately proved.

Shock Poll: Over 90% of Southern Afghans Don't Know About What Happened on 9/11

No wonder that we're having such a hard time in Afghanistan. If the Afghansdon't even know why we invaded their country, it'll be much harder to win their hearts. It is so easy for the Taliban to convince them that we are the conquering, blood-thirsty infidels that they claim us to be, if they don't have the correct and complete story:

A surprising high number of people in southern Afghanistan have never heard about the terrorist attacks which struck the United States on September 11, 2001, according to a report from the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS).

The report draws on findings from field research conducted by Afghan interviewers in October of this year, interviewing some 1,000 Afghan men in Kandahar and Helmand provinces of southern Afghanistan. With multiple attacks every day, those are the most violent regions of Afghanistan. Another 500 men were interviewed in the northern provinces of Parwan and Panjshir, which is calm compared to the south.

Among other findings, the report showed a significant lack of understanding of the history of the international community's presence in the country. Many interviewed by ICOS said they did not know about the events of 9/11 and were unable to describe what a democracy is.

The ICOS said the dissemination of the international community's political narrative and public justification for its presence in Afghanistan is very limited. As a result, the Taliban and other insurgent groups are able to easily fill this gap with its own propaganda.

According to the research, more than 90 percent of those interviewed in the south were not familiar with the events of 9/11, when al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger planes and crashed them in New York City, Washington, D.C. and in Pennsylvania.

This is a huge reason why we are still having big insurgency issues in the southern and eastern provinces.
If there really is this kind of gap of knowledge, we need find a way to bridge it and quickly because it'll be a much steeper hill that we'll have to climb with regards to winning this war. In the end, we'll win this war with the pen not the gun; ink not bullets.

As they say, knowledge is power, and this study shows that we are losing this part of the war badly. It is no coincidence that there are many more attacks in the same part of the country that 90% of the people don't know anything about 9/11.

Friday, November 19, 2010

TX Gov Rick Perry Suggests that White House Should Consider Sending Military Into Mexico

Fresh off from becoming the new head of the RGA, Texas Governor Rick Perry is worried that the drug wars that are being waged across the Rio Grande will spill in to the United States and suggested that we should consider sending the military into Mexico to fight the drug cartels that have all but taken control of the Mexican border cites

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was just elected the new head of the Republican Governor's Association, said this week that President Obama should consider sending the military into Mexico to help fight the drug war.

During an interview on MSNBC on Thursday, Perry, a potential presidential 2012 presidential candidate, said the U.S. must "use every aspect of law enforcement that we have, including the military," when asked whether he would support military involvement in Mexico to help the country battle drug lords.

"I think you have the same situation as you had in Colombia," Perry said. "Obviously, Mexico has to approve any type of assistance that we can give them."

Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger told the San Antonio Express-News that the governor's point is that the U.S. must consider all options to secure the border.

Perry is pretty much echoing the sentiment that Hillary Clinton has regarding the subject. The Mexican border has become increasingly violent over the past few months, and the Mexican government seems to be powerless to stop it. Border security is going to become more of an issue, if things do not get any better, and it doesn't look like that it will.

Bill Clinton was very successful in Colombia, when he helped that country get things back under control when the drug cartels were kidnapping and killing people left and right with little to no resistance from local authorities. Now, Clinton stopped short of a full invasion of the country, but he did give the Colombian president military assistance, which included hardware and a limited amount of personnel, to help them quell the "insurgency".

However, things are much different in Mexico than they were in Colombia in the late 90's. The Colombian president welcomed help from the US. Mexico is much more nationalistic, and because of that, President Felipe Calderon is much less likely to be so enthusiastic about receiving any help from us. Still, if the violence continues to escalate as it has been and it starts to spill across the border into US cities, then, we may have very little choice but to fight back against these drug gangs.

Republican Rep: I Think That It's Time to Privatize Airport Security

In light of the anger over TSA's "love pats", Florida Representative John Mica (R)
has suggested that it might be time to privatize airport security:

Seeking to capitalize on the growing furor over passenger patdowns, a powerful Florida congressman is pushing for airports to consider ditching TSA agents altogether in favor of private contractors -- a proposal that the Transportation Security Administration conditionally supports.

But Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., a longtime critic of the TSA, counts among his campaign contributors some of the companies that might take the TSA's place. In the past 13 years, he has received almost $81,000 in campaign donations from political action committees and executives connected to some of the private contractors already at 16 U.S. airports.

Mica's spokesman says those contributions have never influenced his decision-making. As the ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Mica is expected to lead the panel once the new Congress convenes in January.

The TSA, meanwhile, is not opposed to calls for privatizing airport security.

While this may be a good idea, he may not be the right messenger, considering who he has received many of his campaign contributions from over the years. However, something definitely needs to be done about this issue. Even though these security policies have only been in place for a few weeks, there has already been an outcry from the public to get rid of them because they go too far and violate their 4th amendment rights. I shudder to think of the mayhem that may ensue during the holiday travel season.

Biden to Afghanistan: Daddy (Obama/US) Will Take Your "Training Wheels" Off This July

In reference to starting to withdraw troops out of Afghanistan at the July 2011 deadline, Vice President Biden said that Afghanistan will have to start standing on their own as the US will start taking the "training wheels" off next summer:

While defending the military surge in Afghanistan after eight years of what he termed "neglect," Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that Afghan leaders could soon be left on their own, whether they're ready or not.

"We had to say, 'Look, you've got to step up, man,'" Biden said Thursday on CNN's "Larry King Live."

"Let me tell you, we're going to start -- Daddy is going to start to take the training wheels off ... next July, so you'd better practice riding."

I understand what he is trying to say here isn't bad, but it is just how he put it is what is so bad. I wonder how Karzai and Afghan people like being compared to children much less with the US/Obama/Biden being their daddy. I imagine that this will not be well received in Kabul.

Video: McConnell: I'm Not Going to Support Any Multi-Trillion Omnibus That's "Thrown Together Behind Closed Doors"

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader, stood up in front of the Senate, yesterday, and said that he will not support any spending bill that the Democrats might try to ram through in the lame duck session that has been "thrown together behind closed doors".

“One thing we’ll need to do before we leave this year is fund the government. Because Democrats didn’t pass a single appropriations bill this year.

“So now they’ll try to mop up in the 11th hour with an Omnibus spending bill that covers all of it. This is one more sign they aren’t learning many lessons from the election.

“If this election showed us anything, it’s that Americans don’t want Congress passing massive trillion dollars bills that have been thrown together behind closed doors.

“They want us to do business differently.

“So I won’t be supporting an Omnibus spending bill.

“We’ve seen what happens when Democrats rush legislation and try to jam it through at the last minute with no time for review or for the American people to learn what’s actually in the bill. The Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase are fresh on their minds.

“Americans want us to take our time and get things right. And they want us to spend less.

“The voters have spoken.

“We need to show we heard them.”

This is an obvious reference to the times that Pelosi had literally locked out Republicans over the past two years, when there were negotiations involving important legislation.

If he follows through, this would be a sharp contrast to the all-too-obvious contempt and hyper-partisanship that Pelosi has shown Republicans over the years.

Clyburn: We Don't Really Need to Extend Bush Tax Cuts During Lame Duck

The assistant minority leader, or is it the assistant TO the minority leader, of the US House has recently stated his doubts about whether the Bush tax cuts are "essential" or not:

Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the new No. 3 leader of House Democrats in the 112th Congress, said it's not "essential" for Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts because if all income taxes go up as scheduled on January 1, "you've got a big deficit reduction taking place, which is also a good thing."

Clyburn is the first Democratic leader to suggest any benefit from a failure to extend the Bush-era tax cuts. The White House and every Democratic leader to date has described extension of the middle-class portion of the Bush tax cuts as a top economic and political priority.

He's missing the forest for the trees. If they fail to extend the tax cuts, there will be much uncertainty in the market because ALL Americans will be uncertain about what their budget will be and how much money they will have during this upcoming year. So, they will hold onto their money and not buy/invest until they are sure what their taxes will be. This won't be a small raise in our taxes. It'll be significant enough that people will have to make huge changes to their financial plans either way it goes. We need to get this over with, so they can go ahead and plan for next year.

Also, his assertion that the increased taxes will help with the deficit is untrue, if you consider what will likely happen at the beginning of the 112th Congress. As Paul Ryan stated last night, if the cuts are not passed during the lame duck, it will likely be passed at the beginning of next year, when the Republicans will get a huge majority in the House, and if it is passed, it will most likely be made retroactive to the beginning of 2011. So, there will be no benefit on that end at all. The Democrats would have put America through alot of anxiety and uncertainty for nothing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rep Trent Franks (R-AZ): AG Eric Holder to Turn 180 on Terror Trials or Resign Immediately

So, it begins. Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona's second district has called for Attorney General Eric Holder's immediate resignation, if he doesn't reverse course on how their prosecuting the terror trials:

November 18, 2010 -- Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02), a Member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, today issued the following statement in response to the Ghailani verdict:

"Despite Attorney General Holder's promises that "these cases have to be won" and that "failure is not an option," yesterday's ruling will be remembered as one of the most blatant miscarriages of justice in the history of our federal criminal court system. I cannot imagine a greater affront to the families of the victims who have waited so long for justice on behalf of their loved ones, nor can I imagine a more dangerous signal that was sent to our enemies, than to see a man who had already admitted to the 1998 African Embassy bombings, and who continued to work as an Al Qaeda operative and even a Bin Laden bodyguard until as late as 2004, acquitted of more than 280 criminal charges due to procedural protections in the civil court that precluded critical evidence from being admitted.

"The Obama Administration has now fundamentally characterized itself with the word "failure." In this case, failure comes with the unspeakably high cost of the shock, pain, and grief to the families of the 224 innocent people who were murdered and the more than 4,000 people who were wounded in these horrific terrorist attacks, who were all just told by a federal court that the man who irrefutably helped create the bombs that maimed and slaughtered their innocent loved ones is not guilty of a single count of murder.

"If this insane policy of appeasing terrorists and granting them American Constitutional rights to be tried as quasi American citizens continues, the cost of this failure will pale in comparison to the cost of the failure that will undoubtedly yet occur as a result of this ruling. Terrorists now have incontrovertible evidence that they can exploit the American justice system and they will use this knowledge to train new terrorist recruits and manipulate their cases if and when they are caught.

"Yesterday's ruling was a demonstration of why military tribunals were created and why they are so important. Military tribunals have long been established for those accused of war crimes. By definition, these tribunals are set up to deal with the unique challenges dealing with those who commit, in cases such as this, acts of terror against innocent civilians. These types of tribunals have been used before with great success. For instance, during WWII a group of Nazis were charged with attempting to terrorize citizens within the United States, in an effort to dissuade them from entering the war. They were captured and tried in a military tribunal in less than a month.

"President Bush once said, 'We must not let foreign enemies use the forums of liberty to destroy liberty itself.' Because of the current Administration's blind commitment to a radically misguided and dangerous philosophy, President Obama is now responsible for one of the greatest cracks in the foundation of liberty I have witnessed in my lifetime. Our children and grandchildren may be made to pay a terrible price as a result.

"Unfortunately, the failure of the Ghailani verdict is just the beginning. In light of this disastrous ruling-- the obvious consequence of the Administration's own disastrous terror trial policy-- I call on Eric Holder to either repudiate the Administration's policy on terror trials, or resign immediately."

Personally, I think that he should have resigned, when he dropped the case against the Black Panthers that intimidated voters back in 2008.

Unfortunately, unless Obama tries someone like KSM that gets acquitted, I don't see this escalating to the point where Holder has to resign, and I think that the chance of that happening is nil. Obama won't chance such an embarrassment so close to the 2012 elections.

San Francisco Wants to Charge $3 Per Trip To/From City

People in the San Fransisco Bay Area are beside themselves, after hearing the news that the city of San Fransisco is contemplating charging commuters $3 to leave and enter the city during rush hour:

Peninsula residents are upset about a proposal to charge commuters $6 each weekday to enter and exit San Francisco to the south, calling the plan "a slap in the face," "a crazy idea" and "ridiculous."

Already dealing with some of the nation's highest gas prices and, in some cases, hefty parking fees, drivers crossing the San Mateo County-San Francisco border would pay rush hour tolls to fund local transportation upgrades and, in theory, reduce traffic jams, under a proposal by San Francisco officials.

Officials said they would spend $60 million to $100 million to set up the electronic system, coupled with local transit improvements, starting in 2015. It would be the first local "congestion pricing" system in the country and could begin as a 6-to-12-month pilot program that, if successful, could become permanent.

Under the plan, drivers leaving or entering San Francisco at the southern border would pay $3 from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. and another $3 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, with a daily cap of $6. Commuters would pay up to $130 per month, or $1,500 in a year, if the tolls last that long.

It'll reduce traffic jams during rush hours, for sure, because no one will want to pay. Instead, rush hour will be moved to 4am-6am and 6:30-8pm, or it'll move the traffic jams off the highways and onto the residential or commercial streets, as people exit off the highway, in order to go around and avoid the toll booths.

Really, this is about three things. First, they are trying to get money to pay the bills and debts that they are racking up with all of their wild spending and create an end-around to raising taxes. Second, they are trying to limit carbon emissions.

This would be a huge business and jobs killer for San Fransisco. Some people who cannot afford to pay yet another bill/tax and, because of family obligations, can't change their schedule to avoid the toll times may end up quitting the jobs that they have in the city and find jobs elsewhere. Plus, those that go into the city to do business and/or go shopping will shy away from going into the city and take their business elsewhere, if they are charged a toll. This is an example of the type of economy-killing ideas that are driving people away from such lunacy.

This could, also, start a toll war in between San Fransisco and the surrounding cities:

Daly City Councilman David Canepa said he thought the worst part of the plan was that it was being done "under the guise of trying to get people to take public transportation."

"It's absolutely nonsensical," said Canepa, who also called the plan terrible, atrocious and egregious. "It's a slap in all of our faces. They're trying to make San Mateo County residents pay a tax because over the years they haven't made proper investments in their infrastructure."

Locals also wondered why San Francisco would be getting all the money even though the border is shared by both counties, and what would stop other cities from copying them.

"We could do the same thing; it'd be a nightmare," warned Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, of a toll at the same border to fund Peninsula projects, or tolls at each of the borders of all the local cities. "It sounds like another crazy idea. Where do you stop nickel and diming people? You should be able to travel from city to city without paying a toll."

This will not end well, if it is implemented. However, because of all of the negative reactions to this idea coming from just about everyone and the high cost of $60-100 million just to start the program, I doubt that this will get off of the ground, but then again, this is the city that Pelosi is from and where ultra-liberal idiocy abounds and thrives without restraint. So, who knows?

States With High Taxes Set to Lose Political Influence Due to Migration to Low-Tax States

There could be a ill-wind blowing over the next decade across states, like California and New York, as people are moving away from there to live, work, and start business in states with lower taxes:

Migration from high-tax states to states with lower taxes and less government spending will dramatically alter the composition of future Congresses, according to a study by Americans for Tax Reform

Eight states are projected to gain at least one congressional seat under reapportionment following the 2010 Census: Texas (four seats), Florida (two seats), Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington (one seat each). Their average top state personal income tax rate: 2.8 percent.

By contrast, New York and Ohio are likely to lose two seats each, while Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will be down one apiece. The average top state personal income tax rate in these loser states: 6.05 percent.

The state and local tax burden is nearly a third lower in states with growing populations, ATR found. As a result, per capita government spending is also lower: $4,008 for states gaining congressional seats, $5,117 for states losing them.

People fleeing California. I wonder why. Oh yeah, it is because of insane policies like this.

Considering that most of the states that have the highest taxes are also states that are dominated by Democrats, this could strengthen the GOP in the House and with the electoral votes during the presidential election and will make it increasingly difficult for Democrats, especially liberal Democrats, to get the majority in Washington. No wonder that they wanted to ram has much of their liberal wishlist through during these past two years, while that they had such a huge majority. I think that they may have seen the writing on the wall and took advantage now, even if it was to the detriment of the them this election, because they don't know if they'll get this kind of power again, at least not anytime soon.

I love the this exit quote:

Imagine that: Americans are fleeing high tax, union-dominated states and settling in states with lower taxes, right-to-work laws and lower government spending. Nothing sends a message like voting with your feet.

If only, we had warned them. Oh wait! We've seen this before.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rep-Elect Col. West (R-FL): We Have to Cut Military Spending

While on Top Line, Rep-Elect and retired Lieutenant Colonel Allen West (R-FL) echoed what his fellow Tea Party endorsed Rep-Elect Rand Paul said last week, when he said that we should definitely cut the military budget:

This is coming from a well-decorated officer. He should definitely know what he's talking about, when it comes to what the military needs. His opinion will carry alot of weight in Congress.

This is, also, interesting that this is coming from two TEA party candidates. I can't find a recent poll on the subject, but this could have some support from the public, as long as it is done smartly and not to the detriment to our national security.

I agree that cuts to the military could be done without hurting our strength and should be looked into seriously. Although, this may have a hard time getting widespread support from the other Republicans. So, it may be a non-starter, for now, but could gain traction somewhere down the line.

GOP Sens. Murkowski (AK), Inhofe (OK), Cochran (MS): Don't Care About Earmark Ban, We'll Do It Anyway/ Update: Cochran: On Second Thought: Maybe Not

While the Senate Majority Leader McConnell and other GOP senators are reversing course over an earmark ban, other Republican Senators continue to stand firm on their desire to bring home the bacon:

“I don’t think so,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said when asked if she would comply with the resolution. Murkowski said the ban is merely “about messaging” and would give a misleading impression of taking on the deficit. “I don’t think it is being straight up with the public,” she said.

Appropriations ranking member Thad Cochran, R-Miss., would not commit to complying with a ban resolution, saying he would see “what other options” are available. And Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said he was unlikely to honor the ban. He introduced legislation Monday to change the earmarking process, including barring congressional aides from participating in fundraising activities; creating a new database of all earmarks; giving the Government Accountability Office the power to randomly audit earmarks; and requiring lawmakers to certify that a recipient of an earmark is qualified to handle the project being funded.

This is a direct slap in the face all of those that voted for Washington to cut all of this spending.

Inhofe is usually a hard fiscal conseravtive, but Cochran, who led the Senatorial field for bringing home the bacon (according to a study by Citizens Against Government Waste released in April 2010), won an astounding $485 million in earmarks this year. Also, Murkowski, if she wins the election, is well-known for being a RINO and bucking Republican leadership.

So, believe that Inhofe will probably reverse course, but Murkowski and Cochran are too dependent on earmarks to turn back easily and quickly. They'll need a Damascus moment to quit their addiction.

Via a tweet from @senatus:

Cochran on earmark moratorium (via release): "I will take the views of my Republican colleagues to heart."

Shocker: New Poll Shows Only 26% of Americans Believe Obama Will Be Two-Term President

This shocker of a poll came out late last night. Could they have been trying to bury this bad news? Obama, please read and head. America is talking to you:

The midterms not only dealt a big shock to the Democrats, but also sent a message to President Obama. According to the new POLITICO "Power and the People" poll, only 26 percent of the public believes he will now be re-elected as President in 2012.

This difference of expectations could mislead the president if he is listening to the Beltway chatter – right here in D.C. he may just find a lot of comfort in this assessment by insiders , and that may lead to actions that don’t fully adjust for the sea change that has occurred among the general public.

This big difference can partially be explained by the different ways that the two groups see the economy and the world today. Seventy percent of D.C. elites admit that they have been affected less than the average citizen when it comes to the economic downturn. The elites see the Tea Party as purely a fad (70 percent). In contrast, those who say that the President will not be re-elected see the country as headed in the wrong direction by 82 percent, the economy in the wrong direction by 81 percent and overwhelmingly want repeal of healthcare at the top of the agenda. Among the quarter of the public that sees his re-election as probable, they see the economy turning around by nearly 3 to 1. They are the outliers of the electorate, suggesting that the President has a lot more work to do to get back on track for a second term.

It'll be definitely be big-time trouble for Obama, if he listens to the Washington Democratic leadership. Both Pelosi and Reid seem to be clueless, when it comes to knowing what mainstream America is thinking. They both staying in the leadership positions, even though they lead their party to historic losses.

If Obama has any shot at all to becoming a two-termer, he must move to the center, just like Clinton did after 1994 mid-terms.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sen. McConnell Reverses Course Over Earmark Ban

There was a surprise announcement on this first day of the lame duck session of Congress, today. Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), pulled an abrupt 180 over the earmark ban that the House Republicans are pushing:

In an abrupt reversal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday endorsed a moratorium on earmarks that GOP conservatives are seeking to send a signal that the Republican Party is serious about curbing federal spending.

The Kentucky lawmaker announced his concession on the Senate floor, moments after the start of a lame-duck session of Congress that could stretch into mid-December. McConnell's announcement served as recognition that his bid to retain the practice of steering money to pet projects was losing steam to an emboldened coalition of tea party-backed senators, led by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

"Make no mistake, I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don't apologize for them," McConnell said. "But there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight. And unless people like me show the American people that we're willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government."

This is a pretty significant turn around because the House can't pass the ban all by themselves. However, the Democrats are still dominate both sides of Congress until the end of the year. So, this might be a no-go until the beginning of the 112nd Congress.

Also, There are much bigger fish to fry during this session, that'll only last a couple of weeks, like extending the Bush cuts and passing a budget. I don't think that this will pass during the lame duck, but it will probably be one of the first things, if not number one, on the agenda for Congress in 2011.

Shumer (D-NY) Proposes to Raise the Bar on Tax Cuts for Higher-End Earners

Since the Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year, there is an urgency in Washington to get something done during the lame-duck session.

Up until now, there has been a line drawn at those that make $250K and over. Since many small business would fit in the over $250K bracket, GOP wants all of the cuts to me made permanent, but Obama and the Democrats are calling for all but the cuts for those higher-end earners to be made permanent.

While he was on "Face the Nation", Senator Chuck Shumer offered a compromise to get past this roadblock:

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday proposed a compromise on the Bush-era tax cuts that would keep them for people making less than $1 million but would eliminate then for "millionaires and billionaires."

"It would be much better to raise the limit to a million dollars," Schumer said on CBS's "Face the Nation," rather than allowing Warren Buffett and other billionaires get a tax cut.

"They are not small businesses," Schumer said.

This will be much harder for the Republicans to resist. Most small business don't make over a million a year. It'll be interesting to see if the rest of the Democrats will adopt this new limit. If they do, then, they may be able to get enough Republicans and Blue Dogs to join in to make this possible.

However, word coming down from the liberal Democrats is that it may not be good enough.

Oh My! DeMint: Michael Steele Is Reason Why GOP Didn't Take Senate Too

There is a growing movement to oust Michael Steele out of the RNC Chair. Yesterday, Jim DeMint (R-SC) added his voice to the chorus:

The lack of a well-organized voter mobilization effort by the Republican National Committee could have cost the GOP “a few Senate seats,” Sen. Jim DeMint suggested Sunday.

Partly as a result, the South Carolina Republican suggested he wouldn’t support a second term for controversial RNC Chairman Michael Steele, saying on "Fox News Sunday" “I’m looking for some alternatives right now.”

“I haven’t decided who would support," DeMint said, "but we need a strong national Republican organization to help organize the energy of the tea parties and the other citizen activism that we are seeing out there right now. We need to make sure that we have a lot of boots on the ground.”

The senator said, “I appreciate Michael Steele’s service.” But he added the party’s get-out-the-vote effort lagged under Steele, asserting “where we lost a few Senate seats, our ground game was not as strong as it could have been. We were actually out manned on the ground.”

I actually think that it is a bit unfair to blame Steele for not taking back the Senate. There was hardly anyone before election day that thought that the Republicans would be able to overcome the 9-seat deficit to take back the Senate. Only 1/3 of the Senate was up and about half of those we'ree Republican incumbents. They would've had to flip almost all Democratic incumbents to do it. Three of those seats that were lost were from very heavily blue states of California, Delaware, and Connecticut, and Colorado leans Democratic most of the time. The only loss that was a complete waste of a seat was Sharron Angle's loss to Harry Reid in Nevada.

Now, he has been prone to gaffes during his 1st year, but he has seemed to have toned it down, over the past few months. I don't know, if I would agree with it, but his departure seems more and more likely with every passing day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Heath Shuler to Symbolically Challenge Pelosi for House Minority Leader

Earlier today, Blue Dog Democrat, Heath Shuler (NC), has announced that he will challenge Nancy Pelosi, if she doesn't step aside and let someone else lead the House Democrats:

North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler said Sunday he would challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the leadership of the Democratic minority in the next Congress although he acknowledged that he does not have the votes to win.

"We've just come off the largest ... loss for the Democratic Party in almost a century," Shuler said on CNN's State of the Union. "And to be able to put Speaker Pelosi as minority leader is truly ... unacceptable for our party."

"If she doesn't step aside then ... I'm going to press forward," he said. "I can add and subtract pretty well. I don't have the numbers to be able to win, but I think it's a proven point for moderates and the Democrat Party that we have to be a big tent. We have to be all-inclusive. We have to invite everyone into the party."

Considering that almost half of the blue dogs were voted out last week, the Congressional Democrats will become increasingly liberal than before. Therefore, he will definately be an uphill battle for him to win over Pelosi, unless the liberal Democrats wake up and realize that they need to change leaders, if they want to come back anytime soon. I'll set the odds at 100-1 that Democrats will wise up and move back to the center like they did in 1994.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New Republican Majority Looking to Reinstate DC School Voucher Program

At the beginning of the 112nd Congress, the new Republican majority is looking to undo much of what the Democrats did over the past two years. While ObamaCare will be the main target, it won't be the only bill that will have a bulls-eye on it this January:

Newly empowered Republicans may try to resurrect the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which pays for low-income children to attend private school in Washington, when they assume control of the House in January.

"It's definitely something that we're working on," said an aide to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees Washington. "This is a program that will definitely be looked at in the subcommittee in the next Congress."

Ironically, Democrats will attack this program that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) had axed last year that will help mostly minority students in our Nation's Capitol escape the failing public school system and get into private schools, where studies have shown that these students will fair much better than their public school counterparts, on the basis of not being able to afford it or worrying about taking money out of public schools and redirecting it to private schools.

Public schools aren't failing because of a lack of funding. They are failing because of a lack of discipline in the classroom and little or no accountability on the teachers for individual performances. The teachers' unions are choking the like out of the public schools. We need to give our children and their parents the choice and opportunity to escape such record of failure.

Unfortunately, with a Democratic majority in the Senate and Obama in the White House, it will be a bit of a battle to get this reversed, but I don't believe that it will be impossible. Momentum is heavily on the side of the GOP, and this has been a losing issue for the Democrats in the eyes of the voters for a while now. After all, who would want to be the ones that said no to helping poor minority students get a better education?

Good News: Alvin Greene Mulling Over 2012 Presidential Run, Releases Comic Book

Put this in the ridiculous file:

Alvin Greene, the quirky former South Carolina Senate candidate, added additional hype to his potential bid for president earlier this week when he upped the likelihood of a run from "I'll have to see," to "I'm seriously considering."

Not everyone is excited about the idea of this scenario.

"I am at a loss for words to describe this new development," wrote S.C. Senate Democratic Caucus director Phil Bailey according to the Columbia Free Times.

But it's possible that Bailey and other Democrats will be able to save their words, because Greene is hinting that he might not mount a campaign affiliated with their party.

"I don't know which party I'll run in as a candidate," he told the Times. "I'm thinking about that."

I honestly don't know what to say. He is obviously addicted to the spotlight and the attention, now. He received a small taste of it this past election, and now, he wants more. Another possibility, is that he is crazy. He definitely didn't seem all there in a few of his interviews.

To see some of this comedy gold click here for his interview with MSNBC's Olbermann and O’Donnell.

I fully expect see more comedy gold like this coming over the next year or two, if Greene does decide to throw his hat into the race.

But wait!!! It gets even better:

Like most candidates in the planning stages of a presidential bid, Greene has recently published a book, though it doesn’t follow the traditional biographical format. He promoted the book to reporters during his election night party in Manning.

The book, titled “Alvin Greene – Ultimate Warrior,” is a comic book and aims to re-frame portions of the candidate’s biography that appeared in the press throughout his campaign.

Instead of being involuntarily discharged from the Army for lacking the skills necessary to remain a serviceman, as the Associated Press reported, in the comic-book version Greene is pushed out for trying to expose that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

And while official reports allege Greene had shown pornographic material to a college girl on the University of South Carolina campus, the comic-book version instead shows Greene being set up by a shadow government because he was a threat to the military industrial complex.

Greene indicated to Free Times that there might be more literature about him to come.

“The preliminary comic book is out,” Greene says. “So maybe [another book will] be something in the nature of like the Ultimate Warrior again or something.”

Alvin Greene has really become a parody of himself. Hasn't he? This guy definitely needs to be checked in to the Rubber Room Hotel, if he really believes what he put in his comic book.

No one takes him seriously anymore. Hopefully, the media has learned better and will totally ignore him this go around, but then again, they always do like a train-wreck.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Time: Hey, Dubya Might Have Voted For Obama in '08?

Did Bush cement his RINO label by oting for Obama in 2008?

Over the past week, former President George W. Bush has been giving us little appetizers in advance of the main course that is his new book, ranging from his thoughts on former Vice President Dick Cheney to his hurt feelings over Kanye West's comments post Katrina. But now, a real kicker: Did Bush support presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008? (via Financial Times)

During the 2008 presidential campaign a group of British officials, which included then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, visited Bush in the Oval Office, the newspaper reported. The meeting came a short time after the president had endorsed Sen. John McCain in the election. During a light chat about the upcoming vote in which they expected Bush to say something nice about his one time Republican rival, he reportedly told the group, "I probably won't even vote for the guy.รข€

Whoah. Full stop. Come again?

"I had to endorse him," Bush said. "But I'd have endorsed Obama if they'd asked me.

Of course, there is no way to prove that any of this actually happened. None of the principals allegedly involved in this conversation are admitting anything.

Starting during the 2000 presidential campaign, rumors have swirled saying that Bush and McCain don't have the best relationship, cantankerous at best, and Bush didn't have too many flattering things to say about McCain in his book. Even so, I couldn't see Bush endorsing or much less voting for the ultra-liberal Obama over McCain, no matter what his personal feelings toward the Arizona senator are.

This is such a non-story that I wonder why Time even bothered to post it.

Happy Meals Are Happy Again After San Francisco Mayor Newsom Surprisingly Vetoes Happy Meal Ban

Kids all across the Bay area can rejoice. The stand-off between Ronald McDonald and the City of San Francisco is finally over:

San Francisco, California, Mayor Gavin Newsom vetoed Friday the city's ban on most McDonald's Happy Meals with toys.

In making the veto, the mayor released a new report on how a public-private partnership is combating childhood obesity and how San Francisco's more than 55,000 public school students are now eating fresher and healthier foods.

"Parents, not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it comes to spending their own money," said Newsom. "Despite its good intentions, I cannot support this unwise and unprecedented governmental intrusion into parental responsibilities and private choices."

It Begins: Key Democrat Seeks to Repeal Part of ObamaCare

So it begins: Sen. Max Baucus is seeking to pass a bill that would take out a provision in ObamaCare that would force small businesses to report "payments to and purchases from any business totaling more than $600":

A key Senate Democrat announced Friday that he would introduce legislation to repeal a provision in the recently-passed health care reform law that would eliminate an overly-burdensome reporting requirement for small businesses that might have left many drowning in paperwork.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., released a statement saying, "I have heard small businesses loud and clear and I am responding to their concerns."

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) contains a provision designed to raise revenue without raising tax rates, that would, beginning in 2012, require all businesses to report payments to and purchases from any business totaling more than $600 in a calendar year, regardless of what the money was used to purchase.

The Baucus legislation would strip the requirement from the bill entirely, but it will also leave a major hole from the revenue lost. The nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee estimated that $19 billion could be expected over 10 years.

Small business owners and their advocate groups have canvassed Capitol Hill for months decrying the provision which was designed to reduce the sizable "tax gap" between what individuals and businesses owe the IRS and what they actually end up paying. The IRS estimates that the government loses more than $300 billion each year from noncompliance.

But Baucus said small businesses "need to focus their efforts on creating good-paying jobs - not filing paperwork."

I love the last line from Baucus. It hits straight to the heart of the problem with that provision.

It will be interesting to see if this gets passed. If it does, it'll open the door for the Republicans to pass similar legislation next year that will further gut out more provisions out of the bill, in an effort to neuter the bill.

ACLU Looks to Prosecute Bush for Waterboarding Admission

The ACLU is looking to take advantage of Bush's admission in recent interviews that he authorized the water-boarding of three terrorists, while in office, and call for former President George W Bush to be prosecuted for torture:

Former President George W. Bush seemed content as “the retired guy” on The O’Reilly Factor last night, but if the American Civil Liberties Union has anything to do with it, that retirement probably won’t be quite as peaceful as he envisioned.

In his new book, Decision Points, Bush details how he authorized the waterboarding of certain terror suspects, even though the practice is largely considered to be a form of torture and was since banned by the U.S. Well, the ACLU isn’t happy with the admission – and they think it’s worth a criminal investigation.

From a letter from the ACLU to attorney general Eric Holder:

“The ACLU acknowledges the significance of this request, but it bears emphasis that the former President’s acknowledgment that he authorized torture is absolutely without parallel in American history. The admission cannot be ignored. In our system, no one is above the law or beyond its reach, not even a former president. That founding principle of our democracy would mean little if it were ignored with respect to those in whom the public most invests its trust. It would also be profoundly unfair for [Assistant U.S. Attorney John] Durham to focus his inquiry on low-level officials charged with implementing official policy but to ignore the role of those who authorized or ordered the use of torture.”

While it’s a bit hard to imagine Holder actually following through on that request, considering the firestorm that would undoubtedly follow, the ACLU isn’t the only group making this kind of statement: Amnesty International recently said Bush must be prosecuted in the wake of his admission. Either way, none of this talk is likely to faze Bush. If anything is clear from his frank admissions and recent interviews to promote Decision Points, it’s that this is someone at peace with what he did as president…and someone who’d much rather leave the fierce debate over his actions to everyone else.

I highly doubt that anything will come of this. It would set a very bad precedent, and it could conceivably open the door to prosecutions of all presidents for their military operations. Clinton could be prosecuted for bombing Iraq, or Obama could be prosecuted for anything that has gone on in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan.

The ACLU is just looking to embarrass Bush and keep public opinion low on him just when his approval numbers are starting to creep above Obama's.

Pelosi Buries Head in Sand: Red Tsunami Wasn't My Fault

More proof that Pelosi doesn't get it:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has the “overwhelming support” of fellow Democrats in her bid to become minority leader in the next Congress, and says she’s not to blame for the Democrats’ mid-term debacle.

“We didn’t lose the election because of me,” Ms. Pelosi told National Public Radio in an interview that aired Friday morning. “Our members do not accept that.”

Instead, the California Democrat attributes the loss of at least 60 seats to high unemployment and “$100 million of outside, unidentified funding.”

“Any party that cannot turn (9.5% unemployment) into political gains should hang up the gloves,” she said.

Even though many political ads used Pelosi as a albatross around the neck of Democrats across the country, Pelosi's approval rating is around 6% nationally, and the bills that she rammed through are extremely unpopular, it still isn't her fault. It must be Bush's fault. Mmmmk.

Among those rooting for Ms. Pelosi to stick around are Republicans, who are giddy at the prospect of reprising in 2012 the attacks they used in the past election cycle, tying Democratic incumbents around the country to the liberal from San Francisco.

Ms. Pelosi’s reply: Bring it on. “The reason they had to take me down is because I’ve been effective in fighting special interests in Washington, D.C.,” Ms. Pelosi said, citing the health insurance and financial services industries. “I’m effective. They had to take me out. I’m also the most significant attractor to support for the Democrats.”

“So, I’m not looking back on this,” Ms. Pelosi said. “They asked me to run, I’m running. We don’t let the Republicans choose our leaders, and again, our members understand, they made me a target because I’m effective, politically and policy-wise.”

She was "effective" because she had such a huge majority in the House. Will she have as much of a hold on the blue dogs that are left? No, the few blue dogs that survived the election will be scared to death to back anything that would be even close to liberal.

The only shot she has is if she can move to the center and work with the Republican majority. Unfortunately, I don't think that she has it in her. She doesn't even think that she does anything wrong. So, she won't feel any need at all to change course.

Considering that the Democrats that are left are hugely liberal, I could see her winning the post, again, but it would not be wise for the Democrats to repeat history because they haven't learned from it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Line Drawn in Sand Over Making ALL Bush Tax Cuts Permanent

All that we've heard about over the last couple days is about whether or not Washington will let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year.

President Obama said a Republican proposal to preserve the full array of Bush administration tax cuts for two more years presents a "basis for conversation" that could lead to a compromise as lawmakers prepare to meet next week for a high-stakes showdown over taxes.

However, a senior House Republican on Sunday flatly rejected the option most favored by the White House: decoupling the Bush tax cuts that benefit the wealthy from the cuts that benefit the vast majority of Americans by extending each set of provisions for a different period of time.

"No, I am not for decoupling the rates," Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the No.2 Republican in the House, said on "Fox News Sunday." He echoed the GOP argument that such a move virtually would guarantee the eventual expiration of tax breaks in the upper brackets, where some of the most successful small businesses pay taxes.

"I am not for raising taxes in a recession, especially when it comes to the job creators that we need so desperately to start creating jobs again," Cantor said. "I am not for sending any signal to small businesses in this country that they're going to have their tax rates go up."

The narrative has definitely moved to the GOP's advantage after the election. There is no longer any serious debate about letting them all expire permanently. It's now just about making the tax cuts for those that make over $250K p/yr permanent or just extending it for another couple years or so.

These "tax cuts" have been in place for a decade. So, we are really talking about tax hikes not cuts.

Of course, if Obama gets his way and the taxes for those making over $250K are only extended but the rest are made permanent, then, the Dems are hoping that it'll hurt the Republicans, when they'll presumably argue for making them permanent a few years from now.

All of the tax cuts need to be made permanent. That way there will be no more uncertainty in the economy. Businesses will stay apprehensive about expanding their business and hiring more people, if they don't know what the tax rates will be from year to year.

It would be like me buying an expensive car that will have me paying a car note for a few years, when I have no idea if I'll have even a job in six months. People would rather hold off on purchasing the care until they were SURE that they'll still have a job at the beginning of the year. Businesses are doing the same, now, and will continue to do so, until they know for sure what the tax rate will be from year to year.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rep-Elect West Sets His Sights on Congressional Black Caucus

Rep-elect Allen West (R-FL) has decided to take on the Congressional Black Congress by joining them next year:

With his convincing victory over Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, Allen West will be the first black Republican congressman in Florida since Reconstruction and one of only two black Republicans in the House, joining just-elected GOPer Tim Scott of South Carolina.

West plans to join the Congressional Black Caucus, which hasn't had a GOP member since three-term Connecticut Rep. Gary Franks was defeated in 1996. Former Oklahoma Republican Rep. J.C. Watts rejected joining the caucus, calling its members "race-hustling poverty pimps."

Conservative West, who seldom discussed race in his campaign, is critical of the "failure of the liberal welfare policies in the black community" and says the caucus could use some ideological diversity.

I wish him good luck because, like the NAACP, the CBC has long since strayed from truly representing all of African-Americans and have become shills and bastions for the most liberal left for decades now. We truly need more diversity of thought in these kinds of groups.

h/t Cubachi

Gov. Christie to Group of Students: I'm Not the One Keeping You Down, Teacher's Unions Are

After hearing all of the propaganda coming from teacher's unions, students are worried about how New Jersey Governor Christie's "war" against unions are affecting their own teachers. So, some students recently questioned Christie about it. Christie responded by saying that he's not hurting their quality of education the unions are, and he's not going after the union not the individual teachers:

Gov. Chris Christie took his fight with the state’s largest teachers union directly to the kids today, telling a room full of Trenton students their schools were short on supplies because of greedy teachers union officials — not state aid cuts.

"There’s a lot of really great teachers in the state," said Christie. "But their union cares more about how much they get paid than they care about how well you learn."

A spokesman for the New Jersey Education Association said the remark was ironic considering the governor’s April statement that teachers were using students as "drug mules" by discussing state aid  cuts with them.

"The governor apparently has a double standard, because he claimed that teachers were using kids as drug mules," said NJEA spokesman Steve Wollmer. "Now he’s speaking directly to children about matters political."

Let's all go back to that "drug mules" comment and put it into context:

“Scaring students in the classroom, scaring parents with the notes home in the bookbags, and the mandatory ‘Project Democracy Homework’ asking your parents about what they’re going to do in the school board election, and reporting back to your teachers union representatives, using the students like drug mules to carry information back to the classroom, is reprehensible.”

h/t Cubachi

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Conservative Tax Foundation Releases a 10 Worst States For Businesses List

A new list has been released by the conservative Tax Foundation identifies what they consider the worst states to run a business. Would it shock anyone that 8-out-of-10 have leaned to the left over the past few years and 6 of them are hardcore Democratic states? Me neither:

New York
New Jersey
Rhode Island
North Carolina

All the Tax Foundation used to come up with this list is taxes. So, basically, this just a list of the states with the highest taxes. There is no doubt that taxes have huge impact on all kinds business, but this not, by far, the only issue that can negatively affect business. Therefore, this list does need to be taken with a grain of salt, but it is still very telling.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another Olive Branch? Obama: On Second Thought, Let's Look Into Expanding Natural Gas Exploration

First, one of the biggest, most aggressive proponents of huge restrictions on carbon emissions in the EPA suddenly resigns, after Tuesday's elections. Now, Obama is flirting with the idea of expanding the development of natural gas and coal industries:

President Obama's newfound interest in expanded natural gas drilling yesterday surprised many on all sides of the drilling debate, from environmentalists to drillers and even the coal industry.

Representatives of drilling groups said they had no idea that Obama would make natural gas his lead olive branch to the newly empowered Capitol Hill Republicans. But they were pleased that he did.

"I was surprised by the venue," said Chris Tucker, spokesman for Energy In Depth, a drilling industry group formed to fight off federal regulation of shale gas drilling.

Obama's remarks seemed to refer to vast new sources of shale gas in Pennsylvania, Texas and their neighboring states. Improvements in "hydraulic fracturing" technology have allowed production from formations under those states previously thought to be too expensive to exploit (E&ENews PM, Nov. 3).

"We've got, I think, broad agreement that we've got terrific natural gas resources in this country," Obama said when he was pressed for issues on which he could compromise with Republican leaders. "Are we doing everything we can to develop those?”

The answer is no. What has caused this sudden change of heart? He has, up until now, totally dismissed conservative ideas regarding the exploration of our own natural gas and coal or considering nuclear energy sources, and it hurt him bad in the Appalachian States and the South. The GOP swept Pennsylvania and Florida and had huge gains in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan. All of these states either produce coal or the major industries are heavily reliant on coal. Senator-elect/Governor Manchin had to shoot a hole in Obama and the Democrats’ Cap-n-Trade Bill, in order to get elected in coal-rich West Virginia. While this statement didn't mention coal this time, it could be just a matter of time before he says something similar about coal.

This is his attempt to win some of those people back that were rejecting Obama, in large part, because of his stance on the putting more regulations and restrictions on the industries. He’s betting on that this will appease some people enough to forget about whole cap-n-tax debacle by the time that November 2012 rolls around.

Is Obama Extending an Olive Branch to Conservatives? Far-left EPA Official Resigns

Many wondered how Obama would respond to the Red Tsunami. Would he move to the center like Clinton did back in 1994-5 or arrogantly ignore the will of the people and proceed with his far-left agenda? His condescending tone and what he said during the press conference Wednesday seemed to indicate the later. However, the sudden departure of one of the most liberally-aggressive officials at the EPA, right after he was crushed at the polls, seems to indicate the former.

One of the Obama administration’s most aggressive officials on global warming regulations is stepping down from her post at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Lisa Heinzerling, the head of EPA’s policy office, will return to her position as a Georgetown University law professor at the end of the year, said EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan.

Within EPA, Heinzerling is one of the more dogmatic proponents of regulating greenhouse gases to the maximum extent possible under the Clean Air Act.

There are two camps within the agency on climate, said an environmental advocate who spoke on background. The Heinzerling camp, with the mind-set that, “we have the law on our side; let’s go get them.” In the other camp are Administrator Lisa Jackson and EPA air chief Gina McCarthy, who are trying to maintain the support of the White House and Congress………

“I think she’s probably the farthest left and most committed of anyone on the team, with the exception of Carol Browner,” on climate change, said an industry attorney familiar with the agency, referring to the former agency administrator and President Barack Obama’s energy and climate adviser.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air had some interesting insights to this new developmentL

The question will be whether Heinzerling left on her own steam or got pushed out the door. Even if it was her own decision, it may have come after losing the fight to run roughshod over Congress and impose the equivalent of carbon taxes through regulation. A Republican House appears poised to strip the EPA of funding if it exceeds what the GOP considers its Congressional mandate, which means an end to regulatory innovation for the next two years, at least.

There isn’t much point in sticking around for Heinzerling under those conditions. If she got pushed, then it sends a stronger signal that the White House may have decided to forgo a constitutional battle with Congress over regulatory expansion as a substitute for legislation. This shows the importance of winning the House in the midterms. The Senate won’t be able to add spending rejected by the House because Republicans will have a substantial majority to block it in conference reports. Anything defunded by the House will stay defunded, and despite some of the tough talk from the Obama administration before the midterms on pursuing regulatory solutions, the White House has apparently reached the obvious conclusion.

We will know more when Obama appoints Heinzerling’s successor. If the next appointee is an advocate of aggressive regulatory expansion, then Heinzerling’s departure won’t have been an olive branch at all.

What The Big Deal? MSNBC Indefinitely Suspends Olbermann For Donating to the Max to 3 Democrats/Update: TV "Insiders" Say Olbermann Won't Be Back

Keith Olbermann was suspended indefinitely by MSNBC for donating the maximum amount allowed by law to three different Democrats this past election cycle:

MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement Friday: “I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay."
Olbermann made campaign contributions to two Arizona members of Congress and failed Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Olbermann, who acknowledged the contributions in a statement to POLITICO, made the maximum legal donations of $2,400 apiece to Conway and to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. He donated to the Arizona pair on Oct. 28 — the same day that Grijalva appeared as a guest on Olbermann’s “Countdown” show.

I’m really having trouble drumming up the ability to care about this story much. MSNBC is just posturing and trying to keep alive the meme that they are unbiased. The fact that Keith is liberal and would donate to Democrats should not come as a shock to anyone that has watched Countdown for more than two minutes. His bias is more than obvious. He doesn’t even really try to hide it, either.

Personally, I don’t think that he should be suspended or fired for this anymore than Juan Williams should have been fired from NPR over his comment about being nervous around Muslims on airplanes, and it’ll, more than likely, pass, and he’ll come back to MSNBC soon, especially considering all of the negative backlash that they are getting from the left AND the right over this issue.

However, there is a hypocrisy angle to this story. This should be brought up to Keith by any guest that comes on his show anytime that he chastises Rupert Murdoch or anyone else on Fox for donating a penny to any GOP candidate


TV "Insiders" are saying that Olbermann won't be back:

Insiders we’ve talked to say Olbermann won’t be back. The question is whether he’ll leave or MSNBC keeps him off the air.

Good News for Republicans: Pelosi Announces Her Desire to Become Minority Leader of House Democrats

Pelosi was being coy about it yesterday, but this really shouldn't a huge shocker to anyone. With the House Democratic Caucus being more liberal than before, there really isn't much shot that she'll be replaced with a more moderate Democrat:

WASHINGTON — Despite steep losses for her party in Tuesday’s elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said on Friday that she would run to remain the leader of the House Democrats, even as some of her colleagues urged her to step down.

In a letter to her caucus, Ms. Pelosi, who engineered the Democratic takeover of the House in 2006 but became a favorite target of Republicans, said that many of the remaining House Democrats had encouraged her to try to stay on as the leader after the new Republican majority replaces her as speaker — an unusual move in light of the rebuke her party received at the polls.

“Based on those discussions, and driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare, I have decided to run,” Ms. Pelosi wrote in her letter.

The announcement, made after days of deliberation by the speaker, was intended at least in part to stem a quickening revolt among more moderate and conservative House Democrats who wanted her to step aside. Several lawmakers went public with their opposition in recent days, and many others were expressing reservations privately.

But the party’s loss of 60 seats in the election — many of them held by moderates — has left the remaining Democratic caucus more liberal than before, giving her a good chance of retaining her position if she chooses.

Of course, since her approval ratings are so low, the Republicans are more than "jubilant" over the prospect of Pelosi reprising her role as the face of the Democratic party:

"Given that there are now 60-plus defeated Democrat House members urgently seeking jobs due to Nancy Pelosi’s failed leadership, we welcome her decision to run for House Minority Leader based on her proven ability to create jobs for Republican lawmakers," said National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) communications director Ken Spain.

AARP: Thank You For Your Support of Us and OCare & By The Way We're Raising Your Healthcare 8-13% Because of OCare

The AARP rewarded their employees for their support of them and Obamacare by raising their healthcare 8-13% due to a rise in medical costs due to…you guessed it…Obamacare:

WASHINGTON – AARP's endorsement helped secure passage of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Now the seniors' lobby is telling its employees their insurance costs will rise partly as a result of the law.

In an e-mail to employees, AARP says health care premiums will increase by 8 percent to 13 percent next year because of rapidly rising medical costs.

And AARP adds that it's changing copayments and deductibles to avoid a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans that takes effect in 2018 under the law. Aerospace giant Boeing also has cited the tax in asking its workers to pay more. Shifting costs to employees lowers the value of a health care plan and acts like an escape hatch from the tax.

"Most plan co-pays and deductibles have been modified," Jennifer Hodges, AARP's director of compensation and benefits, wrote employees in an Oct. 25 e-mail. "Plan value changes were necessary not only from a cost management standpoint but also to ensure that AARP's plans fall below the threshold for high-cost group plans under health care reform."

AARP officials said medical inflation is the main reason employee costs will be going up. The health care law is "a small part," said David Certner, legislative affairs director.

Those in the AARP and seniors in general were very skeptical of the healthcare overhaul, especially regarding a potential rise in medical costs, when it was being debated earlier this year, but the AARP leaders told them not to worry. Now, just a few short months since it was passed, those skeptics have been proven right.
Here’s a link to a video where AARP reps were trying to convince their dues-paying members, at a convention in Dallas, that Obamacare is A-OK. As you can imagine, things did not go well.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DeMint: Sure I'll Raise the Spending Cap....If There Are Massive Spending Cuts Too

In the wake of the Red Tsunami that swept across America this past Tuesday, liberals are going to try to goad Republicans into compromising our core values in order to get things done. The American people are expecting those that we elected to stop this spending orgy and erase the deficit. As the RNC chairman, Michael Steele, put it, they are on probation until 2012, and they will be yanked the next election, if they fall back on the old Republican way of not practicing what they preach.

Jim DeMint is, usually, known to be a solid conservative, but he has a RINO moment here, teasing to back raising the spending limit, if the Democrats ok massive spending cuts:

JOHN KING, HOST, "JOHN KING USA": ….. Many have said now that the Republicans have a majority in the House, more conservatives in the Senate, where will we know, when will we know if you're serious about keeping your promises about spending and the debt. If there's a vote in the Congress on raising the debt ceiling so that the government can continue to print money and spend money, should Republicans say no?

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think Republicans will say no, unless that raising of the debt ceiling is accompanied by some -- some dramatic spending cuts, something that would direct us toward a balanced budget in the future, Republicans will not support an increase in the debt limit.

What I hope you'll see from Republicans right out of the box, as soon as we get back, is a moratorium on earmarks. Americans and connected the dots. They realize if we're all up there trying to bring home the bacon, we're going to bankrupt our country. And if Republicans in the House and the Senate both take a pledge to not ask for earmarks and to have a moratorium on -- on them in the Congress, I think it will show Americans, at least at the beginning, that we are serious.

So there are a number of other things we need to do to demonstrate that we're -- we're serious. And one of those is to de-fund Obama Care, and, as soon as we can, hopefully, have a vote on balancing the budget.

While this sounds like another Republican acquiescing to the Democrats’ demands and compromising our core values, in order to get anything done, it does confuse me a bit because if there are massive spending cuts, why would we ever need to raise the spending limit? If we are spending way less, there is no need to raise the cap.

Maybe this is just harmless carrot that he is dangling in front of the Democrats, since massive spending cuts is what this country needs, and with those cuts, raising the cap would be useless. However, it could end up biting us in the butt, in the end, if there is ever a liberal lean in Washington like there had been over the past two years. It would be one less obstacle for them to overcome to implement an even greater spending spree next time.

Red Tsunami Sweeps State Legislatures As Well, GOP Picks Up 680 (Most of the Modern Era)

While most of the attention Tuesday was given to the national elections, there were significant gains made and records broken by the GOP in the state elections, as well:

Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures -- the most in the modern era. To put that number in perspective: In the 1994 GOP wave, Republicans picked up 472 seats. The previous record was in the post-Watergate election of 1974, when Democrats picked up 628 seats.

The GOP gained majorities in at least 14 state house chambers. They now have unified control -- meaning both chambers -- of 26 state legislatures.

That control is a particularly bad sign for Democrats as they go into the redistricting process. If the GOP is effective in gerrymandering districts in many of these states, it could eventually lead to the GOP actually expanding its majority in 2012.

Republicans now hold the redistricting "trifecta" -- both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship -- in 15 states. They also control the Nebraska governorship and the unicameral legislature, taking the number up to 16. And in North Carolina -- probably the state most gerrymandered to benefit Democrats -- Republicans hold both chambers of the state legislature and the Democratic governor does not have veto power over redistricting proposals.

This is just another sign of how upset Americans are over the direction that the ultra-liberal Democrats have taken this country over the past two years. Obama better heed the voice and will of the American people or there will be a sequel to this year’s red tsunami: Red Wave Part Deux. The 2012 would be more devastating for the Democrats as more Democrats than Republicans will be up for re-elections in the Senate, and another wave would, no doubt, cost the Dems the Senate and, most likely, the White House, as well.