Monday, January 31, 2011

Update on House Conservative Legislation

The major legislation that was debated and voted on this past week was HR 38, the FY 2011 Budget Resolution..  This bill will limit non-defense discretionary spending to no higher than 2008 levels.  The Democrats are complaining about the ambivalence of the exact budget numbers, but Republicans are merely repairing a budget that was never dealt with a year ago.  This is a nice start but more needs to be done.  Here is an update on some other budget and non budget related bills that should be a priority for conservatives.

  • Dr. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) introduced a tort reform bill that is being designated as H.R. 5.  This is one of the most direct causes of high health care costs and must be taken up immediately.  Here is a brief summary of the provisions in this bill from The Hill:

"Among other things, the bill would limit the number of years a plaintiff has to file a legal claim against medical practitioners and ensure that doctors are only liable for the portion of a procedure for which they are at fault. The latter provision would limit the ability of a plaintiff's lawyers to seek "deep pockets" in a legal challenge.
The bill also ensures that more monetary awards would go to patients, not patients' lawyers, puts "reasonable limits" on punitive damages and allows states to maintain their own damage award caps."

Rand Paul is Right on Foreign Aid

Unfortunately, we often work assiduously to elect an alleged conservative who upon assumption of office, vacillates between the right and the center. Thankfully, that has not been the case with Rand Paul.  He has not wasted time being a timid, freshman, do-nothing Senator.  In his first few weeks, he has had the temerity to push for private retirement accounts, reform of birthright citizenship, and has formed the Senate tea party caucus.  His greatest accomplishment to date is his blockbuster budget plan which calls for $500 billion in cuts per year, not just per decade!

One of components of our budget that would be targeted for elimination is foreign aid.  Liberals in the media and "pro-Israel" groups are trying to drive a wedge between fiscal conservatives and foreign policy conservatives by suggesting that Rand Paul is being anti-Israel by cutting their foreign aid.

On the surface, this is obviously a flagrantly disingenuous argument because the plan eliminates all foreign aid, not just Israel's.  The reality is that we must prioritize our budgetary needs in order to achieve fiscal solvency before we borrow more money from China to aid other nations.

However, a deeper perspicacity of the issue of foreign policy in general, and the Middle East in particular, illuminates a more salient question that is ignored by the media.  What does it mean to be pro-Israel?  Let's present two world philosophies vis-à-vis Israel; the conservative and the liberal view, and determine which is more advantageous for our ally.

Liberal View

1. Grant Israel several billion dollars of economic and military aid.
2. Use that aid to coerce, castigate, and threaten them into handing over their territory to Islamo-fascists, for the purpose of creating a 22nd Arab state and 2nd Palestinian state.  Every check point, military operation, or act of self defense must be cleared with Washington.
3.  While giving foreign aid to Israel, Washington simultaneously grants billions of dollars of economic and military aid to all of their enemies like Fatah Palestinians, Lebanon (ostensibly Hezbollah), Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.  In addition, they train the Palestinian military and supply them with all the weapons they need to assail Israel.

Conservative View

1. Limited or no aid to Israel as we must balance our own budget.  Israel is thankfully in a stronger position than it was when we began the foreign aid program.
2. As a result, there are no strings attached and no promulgating of the "piss process".
3. Absolutely no weapons, aid, or military training for terrorist entities or Muslim states that threaten Israel or anyone else.

To any true pro-Israel policy thinker, the choice is quite obvious.  But, for those liberals at AIPAC, the most important thing is to perpetuate the status quo of funding Israel, while funding their enemies, and mandating a Palestinian state.  It often appears that they would be satisfied with a robust; U.S. armed and equipped "Palestinian state", as long as Israel would continue to receive its sacrosanct aid.  We must remind them that aid to Israel is not an ends to itself.  It is a means to achieve greater security for Israel, and by extension, America.  If we continue to implement broader policies that negate and countervail that aid, it should be discontinued.  Maybe these hypocritical leftists ought to examine their own views regarding Israel before they slander American conservatives who are Israel's best friends in the world.

Personally, I favor a plan that would cut 90% of foreign aid instead of scuttling it completely.  While allies like Israel, South Korea, and Taiwan no longer need economic assistance, it is in our strategic interest to send them military aid.  A strong reaffirmation of our military assistance to Taiwan would send a powerful message to China, especially at a time when we are projecting weakness on that front.  A further bolstering of South Korea's military would also send a message to....China again!  And, the continuation of some military aid to Israel would project a much needed posture towards her enemies that are currently aided by... U.S. taxpayers.

However, when confronted with a choice between the status quo which funds friends and foes of America, or Rand Paul's across the board cut in foreign aid, there should be no ambivalence from conservatives.  Let's call out these pseudo pro-Israel organizations on their own hypocritical priorities and deny them the opportunity to drive a wedge between conservatives.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Biden Supports Despotism in Egypt

After doing nothing to support the democratic revolutions in Tunisia and Sudan, the President had the gall to take credit for them during his State of the Union Address.  Now, as protesters are on the bring of overthrowing Islamo-fascist Hosni Mubarak, Joe Biden is supporting Mubarak.  The Egyptian government has suspended the remaining liberties that are granted to their citizens, yet the administration has not suspended a red cent of the $1.3 billion in foreign aid to the regime.  This, from the Christian Science Monitor:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Liberal Economics: Drive up Cost of Food on Poor, While Benefiting Corporate Donors

The Democrats have thrived in public office since FDR by cementing their power through the perpetuation of government and subsidization of poverty.  Pick an industry and the name of the game is the same.  They blow up the private sector through any mix of taxation, regulation, and litigation.  Then, as jobs are cut and the cost of the good or service of that industry skyrockets, the liberals swoop in with more government solutions to solve problems incurred by the original governmental intervention.  Worse, these programs usually benefit their corporate friends who remit some of their new-found cash to Democrat reelection committees.

There is no better illustration of the fatuous cycle of government than the Democrat's food policy.  They have artificially inflated the cost of food through ethanol mandates, environmental regulations, and new FDA regulations.  In addition, their constriction of oil drilling, refinery constructing, nuclear power, and coal extraction, has had a residual effect on the cost of food transportation.  Now that these regressive policies from the progressives have come home to roost, and people cannot afford the gratuitously high cost of food, they are waiting at the door with handouts.

According to the latest data released by the USDA,  an additional 289,737 people were added to the food stamp program during October 2010, the first month of FY 2011.  That is roughly a 14% increase in enrollment and costs of the program on a year-over-year basis.  There are now a record 43,200,878 people and 20,183,148 households enrolled in the program which costs us almost $5.8 billion annually.  At this rate, the food stamp program will cost taxpayers at least $70 billion for FY 2011, and will likely increase as enrollment in the program continues to skyrocket.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random Notes and Musings from the SOTU Show

-Energy- Obama calls for the elimination of subsidies for energy that works, while asking for more subsidies for energy sources that don't work.  I'm all for eliminating subsidies for everyone, including oil producers.  But this is just pure perversion. He says he can't predict which energies will lead the future (except that he will ensure that it won't be oil), yet he wants to subsidize wind, solar, and corn.  Then again, Obama and the libs have always intended on grinding our energy production to a halt.

- Trade-Obama takes credit for trade agreements that Bush had proposed long ago, but Democrats and Obama (until recently) stiffed.

- Health Care-Obama admitted that the 1099 filing provision of his Health Care bill was a disaster.  So why did he sign it?  What other burdens to businesses did he willingly sign into law?

- Spending-How can we freeze discretionary spending, yet add all his new porkulous, subsidies, and handouts disguised as tax cuts without adding to the deficit?  He also said that he wants to redouble his efforts from the first stimulus.  Well, 1 trillion*2=?  Then again, he probably doesn't regard that as discretionary spending.

- Tort Reform- There is no doubt that he would never sign any pure bill that has consequential effects on his trial lawyer friends.  A. The Democrats rely on it. B. This would cut health care costs and would therefore, undercut his plans for single payer.  This was just a shout out to the media so they can shower him with accolades about his move to the center.  The same holds true for his promise on corporate tax reform.  Although, he can always say that he only agreed to tax cuts if it doesn't add to the deficit.  And of course, he believes that all tax cuts add to the deficit, while no spending initiatives will increase it.  Also, he offered absolutely no specifics on tax reform.

-Regulatory reform- Well, that was already proven to be smoke and mirrors by everyone from the WSJ to the Heritage Foundation.

- Social Security- Obama ruled out private accounts and cutting benefits, so what does that leave us with except tax increases?

-The much hyped Sputnik reference- Daniel Foster of NRO has a great observation on this:

A sharp operator on the Hill points out to me that the total cost of the Apollo program — America’s long-form response to Sputnik — was $25 billion, or $113 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars. Also known as one seventh of the stimulus bill.
Don’t like that? Okay, how about this: the entire NASA budget from 1958 to 1970 was about $38.5 billion, or about $150 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Also, what nerve for the man who is ostensibly killing the space program to use that as a metaphor for innovative investments!

About that SOTU Prom Night

As Republicans continue to make last minute frantic efforts to adopt a Democrat to sit with during the grand speech, I was wondering how this would play out with certain members.  If the objective is to show bi-partisanship and reconciliation, will the RINOs sit with Republicans tonight?

Which Freshmen House Members Are Conservative? Time Will Tell

While the House class of 2010 is regarded as the "Tea Party Congress", it is quite obvious that not all 87 freshmen Republicans are conservative.  All of the bills and resolutions so far have been over fundamental issues and were all supported unanimously by the Republican Conference.  Over the next few months, we will see if cracks begin to form in the conservative armor of the freshmen class.

We have seen the first signs of RINO life this past week when Charlie Bass (NH-2) and Charlie Dent (PA-15) convened their first Tuesday Group lunch of RINOs.  Bass's efforts are not really that surprising or disappointing because he is really an old veteran RINO who was reelected in 2010 after losing his seat.  The group is co-chaired by Dent and Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8).  I couldn't find a list of those who will attend the Tuesday meetings this session and how many of them are freshmen.  Here is a link to those who are members of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a sister caucus to the Tuesday Group.

It is important to note that not everyone who is a member of the Main Street Partnership has a moderate voting record.  There are some members, such as Roscoe Bartlett, who are also on the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC).  For what it is worth, there are only 6 Freshmen members of the Partnership: Charlie Bass (NH-2), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Richard Hanna (NY-24), Nan Hayworth (NY-19), Tom Reed (NY-29), Steve Stivers (OH-15).

As you can see, most of them represent swing-Dem leaning districts and were known to be moderate.  The only surprise on this list is Nan Hayworth, who definitely campaigned as a conservative.  However, she does represent a Democrat district and might have become a member for show.  She is also a member of the RSC, although so are Hanna, Reed, and Stivers.  It is more important to find out if she and the others attend the Tuesday Group.

Incidentally, throughout the election campaign, I was eager to find out who would join the RSC.  We must keep in mind that not every member is a solid conservative and not every non-member is a RINO.  Nonetheless, it provides us with a cursory view of where the member is headed in terms of ideological and partisan alignment.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence: The Technocrat and the Intrepid Ideological Conservative

Any conservative who is flirting with the idea of supporting Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels for President should read this Politico puff piece on the potential presidential aspirant.  Jonathan Martin of Politico, in a piece titled, "Mitch Daniels: Heartthrob of the Elites", cites elitist columnists and publications that heap praise upon Mitch Daniels for his "gold-plated resume".  After discerning the type of pundits who admire Mitch Daniels, I am more certain than ever that he is not the man with the temerity, grit, or passion to battle the left.  Here is the opening of the article:

If pundits and columnists represented the GOP base, Mitch Daniels would be the odds-on favorite for the presidential nomination in 2012.
The Indiana governor has been showered with favorable coverage from political thinkers and analysts in recent months, most of which heaped praise on his thoughtful and principled approach to governing while celebrating his serious yet down-to-earth mien.
“Of all the Republicans talking about the deficit these days, Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, has arguably the most credibility,” claimed The New York Times’ David Leonhardt in an Indianapolis-datelined economics column recently. (emphasis added)
If these supercilious politicos hold Daniels in such high regard, I can't imagine any supposition that he would serve as the conservative warrior to lead our nation back to constitutional government.  Perhaps it is his perfect resume, which titillates David Broder, that assures the political elite not be leery of Daniels.  As Jonathan Martin continues,

As David Broder wrote last fall: “[H]is record of accomplishment is dazzling.”
He went to all the right schools (Bachelors, with honors, at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and a law degree, with honors, from Georgetown), learned at the knee of a political Wise Man (veteran Sen. Richard Lugar) headed up a think tank (Hudson Institute), was a top executive at a Fortune 500 company (Eli Lilly), and for two terms has been a governor, where, as the mandarins’ formulation goes, all the real policy innovations take place.

I'll let that paragraph speak for itself.  Next, he cites a quote from George Will regarding an interview Daniels had with the Economist.

“He is a Republican who had never heard of 9/12, Glenn Beck’s tea-party group, before The Economist mentioned it to him.” 
Citing his gold-plated resume, The Economist observed that in each of his jobs Daniels “brought a decidedly dorky passion: a reverence for restraint and efficacy.”
The article closes by quoting acclamatory statements from such 'impeccable conservatives' as Charles Krauthammer and Weekly Standard writers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

MD-Senate: It's Minority Leader Nancy Jacobs!

The Maryland Republican Senate Caucus met yesterday to elect a new Minority Leader following the resignation of RINO Alan Kittleman.  Most people expected fellow RINO, Minority Whip David Brinkley to become the next leader.  Several days ago, we advocated that Nancy Jacobs (R-Harford, Cecil Counties) would be best suited for the job as she has been a staunch fighter for all conservative causes, including social conservatism.  I certainly didn't expect it to happen, but Senator Jacobs was elected Minority Leader.  In further good news, Brinckly will no longer be Whip either, as he was replaced with E.J. Pipkin.  Senator Pipkin is not as stellar as Jacobs, but he is better suited for the job than Brinkley.

Here is the report from the Sun:

Maryland Senate Republicans chose Sen. Nancy Jacobs as minority leader on Friday — just weeks after voting her out of the minority whip position.

The GOP caucus elected Sen. E.J. Pipkin as the new minority whip. The leadership elections followed the resignation of Minority Leader Allan H. Kittleman over his plans to introduce legislation to legalize same-sex civil unions in Maryland.

Jacobs, who represents Harford and Cecil counties, said the Senate Republicans' main goal this year will be to "protect constituents who are hurting financially in these tough economic times."

She said she would continue to fight against new taxes and to make the state more hospitable to private businesses. The Senate's only female Republican, Jacobs appears to be the first woman to lead the Senate minority caucus.

Friday, January 21, 2011

RSC Spending Plan a Good Start, More is Needed

The Republican Study Committee, the conservative House caucus, released a bill this week to cut $2.5 trillion in spending over the next 10 years.  This plan, which is summarized in a two page document, includes cuts in specific Obama programs, as well as the elimination of old programs and subsidies.

The main objective of the RSC plan is to pass a CR that caps non defense/security discretionary spending for the remainder of FY 2011 to 2008 spending levels.  Then, beginning in 2012, this bill would slash discretionary spending to 2006 levels and would eliminate automatic increases for inflation.  The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 also calls for cuts in federal employees and their salaries, the privatization of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and the sequestering of the remaining stimulus funds.  Finally, the plan calls for the elimination of 56 programs, mandates, or subsidies that will save an additional $330 billion over 10 years.

While the RSC plan is a bold and prudent beginning, there is much more work to be done.  It's important to note that recent budget deficits have skyrocketed to a gargantuan $1.3-$1.4 trillion.  This budget plan would only shave off an average of $100 billion per year.  Here are some other programs that should be eliminated as we aim for a balanced budget.  Many of these cuts will probably be included in the new Welfare Reform Act that the RSC plans to unveil in the coming days.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

MD-Senate: Alan Kittleman Was Right to Resign as Minority Leader

Last week, we reported on state Sen. Allan Kittleman's civil unions bill and called upon him to resign from leadership.  We are happy to hear that he has acknowledged that his social liberalism is unbecoming of a Republican leader and voluntarily resigned his leadership post.  It is one thing to have divergent views within the party; it is another thing to have the leader of the Republicans push for priority legislation of the other side even before they do.

As we look to find a new minority leader, we must consider who would cogently fight for conservatism and have media savvy to expose the egregious policies of the far left to the public.  Surprisingly, state GOP Chairman Alex Mooney is calling upon Kittleman to reconsider his decision to step down.  I guess he is concerned that there is nobody else who could fill the vacuum.  After all, his likely successor would be minority whip David Brinkly, who is not exactly a stalwart conservative.  However, this is not an excuse for bringing back a RINO to a leadership position.

I will reiterate what I have said before regarding Maryland politics.  If we lack the temerity to fight for conservatism with the few remaining elected officials that we have, then what is the point of serving in the General Assembly.  There is already a robust socialist, pro illegal, morally decrepit party in the state.  Who needs a second one?  I constantly hear people advocate ad nauseum that we must moderate our views so that we can cooperate with the ruling Democrats.  But if that is the objective, then why not just go home and let the Democrats carry out their business alone?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Remember Those Red District ObamaCare Socialists in 2012

Thankfully, the Republican controlled House just passed the repeal of Obamacare by a 245-189 margin.  Three Democrats; Mike Ross (AR), Dan Boren (OK), and Mike McIntyre (NC), joined every Republican in support of repeal.  This means that 10 of the remaining 13 Democrats who voted against Obama Care to win reelection last year, showed their true colors by opposing repeal.

Here are the ten Democrat turncoats:

Ben Chandler ( Ky.), John Barrow ( Ga.) Heath Schuler ( N.C.), Larry Kissell ( N.C.), Stephen Lynch ( Mass.), Jason Altmire ( Pa.), Tim Holden ( Pa.), Collin Peterson ( Minn), Dan Lipinski ( Ill.) and Jim Matheson ( Utah).

If we include the other Democrats who represent R rated districts (Cook PVI) but supported ObamaCare from the beginning, that number increases by another 6, for a total of 16:

Jerry McNerney (CA) Joe Donnelly (IN) Tim Walz (Minn) Bill Owens (NY) Mark Critz (PA) Nick Rahall (WV)

These 16 Democrats must be targeted for their disingenuous conservative talk at home, as they vote with the radical left in DC.  It looks like their symbolic vote against Nancy Pelosi was nothing more than window dressing.  Let's end the blue dog and pony show and defeat these clowns in 2012.

Weekly RINO Roundup

- McCain Calls Obama a Patriot

- Bill Frist: Don't Repeal Obamacare (And he was the leader of Senate Republicans when they controlled every branch of gov't?)
- Newt Gingrich Praises Obama, Criticizes Palin

- Scott Brown:  R is Just itty-bitty Letter at End of Name ( I guess it is the Ted Kennedy seat after all)

- Dick Lugar to Seek ReelectionPromote Assault Weapons Ban

-Charlie Bass and the Return of the Tuesday Group ( And we thought we were done with RINOs in the House)

- Lindsey Graham: Romney is the Front Runner

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ND Senate: Another Golden Conservative Opportunity

Last week, we stressed the importance of electing a Jim DeMint conservative to a vacant red state Senate seat in Texas.  The same applies in North Dakota after today's announcement by Kent Conrad that he will not seek reelection.  As with the Texas GOP primary, it is important that we identify the true conservative within the next month or so.  We must remember that the primaries occur much earlier during presidential elections.  This will preclude a chaotic primary in which the conservative vote could potentially be split, while handing the seat to a RINO.  It will also ensure that the GOP won't coronate an establishment candidate just because he has the most name recognition.  Keep in mind that there is no excuse for the "he can't win the general election" argument in a state like North Dakota, especially considering the thin Democrat farm team.

We will be providing comprehensive updates on both the Texas and North Dakota GOP primaries in order to identify and promote the authentic conservative.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Cost of Obama's Ban, Baby ,Ban Energy Policy

Unfortunately, the left has vividly illustrated for us the regressive effects of progressive energy policies.  They ban, tax, regulate, or litigate efficient and effective energy sources, while promoting special interest "green energy", a.k.a. no energy.  As a result, we have incurred a severe shortage in food and energy supplies, thereby augmenting the costs of both of these basic consumer needs.  Any who is hit hardest from these nescient policies?  Fixed-income families.  So much for the progressive's obsession with helping out the poor!

Aside for the negative effects of green energy policies on the cost of fuel and job creation, there is another casualty of this liberal madness.  Ironically, the government is losing much needed revenue as a result of its onerous oil drilling regulatory regime.  According to a new calculation by the Heritage Foundation, the Federal treasury will lose $1.35 billion in revenue this year due to Obama's ban on deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  In other words, they are losing the taxes paid on the 220,000 barrels per day that will not be produced this year.  They also note that "The number grows even larger when coupled with a lack of Gulf lease sales and fewer rental payments. Those three components — royalties, leases and rent — make up a sizeable amount of government revenue."

You can read the full report here.

We already know that Obama has no regard for consumer spending or job creation, but one would think that he would covet his precious tax revenue.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Golden Opportunity in Texas As Hutchison Announces Retirement

It was announced today that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will not seek reelection!  This is the best piece of news for conservatives for a while.  We always have such a difficult time electing solid constitutional conservatives in blue states or knocking off incumbent RINOs even in red states.  Now, we have a golden opportunity to elect a DeMint conservative in a solid red state.  The best thing is that we won't have to fight a costly and vicious primary against the entrenched RINO.  We applaud Senator Hutchison for keeping her pledge to retire after this term in 2012.

Luckily, there is no lack of a Republican or conservative bench in Texas.  However, as we have witnessed quite vividly, there is a big distinction between the two.  We must ensure that conservatives don't split the vote and hand a solid red seat to a RINO.  This is what happened in Tennessee in 2006, in which former Congressmen Ed Bryant and van Hilleary split the conservative vote, giving us RINO Bob Corker.

The first major candidate that has officially registered to run is Railroad Commissioner and former state Delegate Elizabeth Ames Jones.  Another Railroad Commissioner, Michael Williams, originally planned to fill the seat had Hutchison vacated it in middle of the term.  It is therefore quite likely that he will officially run for the open seat and announce his intentions soon.  Former Texas Sec. of State Roger Williams has also formed an exploratory committee and was planning to run even before the retirement announcement.  All three candidates appear to be conservative so we must wait and see who rises to the top.  There is also some chatter about Lt. Governor David Dewhurst tossing his hat into the ring.  Dewhurst has built a solid reputation as a staunch border security hawk.

There is a bit of concern that Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert is considering a bid for Senate.  As you can imagine, the mayor of the ninth largest city in the country is not a conservative.  Granted that Dallas is not nearly as bad as most major urban centers, but it is still hard to elect an authentic conservative from such a large city.  There are many questions about his commitment to limited government and his stances on social issues.  We shall wait and see.  It is just imperative that we not squander this opportunity to elect a conservative by splitting the base vote and handing a RINO the seat.  Keep in mind that the primaries are much earlier during presidential election years, so we must work to sort out the field within the next few months.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do Republicans Have the Temerity to Hold the Debt Ceiling?

The Democrats have a habit of sabotaging our economy and then demanding that we pass their legislation to avert impending doom that would result from their original policies.  Unfortunately, Republicans credulously accept their premises and acquiesce to the emergency legislative actions.  We watched this unfold during the debate over TARP, in which Republicans naively bought into the notion that the Great Depression would return unless they supported the Democrat bailouts.  We agonized over it when Republicans agreed to extend unemployment welfare and ethanol subsidies for another year, lest taxes go up for a week in January.

The same dynamic is now unfolding with the debate concerning the debt ceiling.  The national debt currently stands at $13.95 trillion, as we accrue over $100 billion in new debt every month.  By that calculation, we will surpass the $14.29 trillion debt ceiling in less than three months.  The Democrats are demanding that Republicans consummate and perpetuate their unconstitutional spending habits by raising the debt ceiling, or suffer the peril of defaulting on our credit. 

Never mind that it was the Democrats who caused the credit, housing, and budget crises in the first place!  They seem to forget that programs like TARP, bailouts, porkulous, union payoffs, cash-for-clunkers, 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, Franken-Dodd, and Obama Care are the culprits for the doubling of the national debt.  Should the Republicans reward the pillagers by granting them one more opportunity to purloin the taxpayers?  Are we ever going to stop passing the buck down and indefatigably fight against big government in the present?  Even the much anticipated repeal of Obama Care was oddly postponed to placate the Democrats' shameless politicization of the Tucson shooting.  Why not start reversing the $1.4 trillion deficit now?

Instead of falling into their sinister trap once again, we must uproot their premise by demanding a lowering of the spending floor.  If we lack the intransigence to block Democrat proposals due to threats of peril, how many more Democrat initiatives will we support under the guise of "a one time emergency fix"?  Will Republicans support one last tax increase on Social Security to preclude its bankruptcy?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maryland Economics: Tax Beverages and Their Producers into Oblivion

I have always felt that liberal urban politicians would make the best teachers of economics.  They know how to illustrate economic principles through practical applications like nobody else.  Last year, the hoodlums on the Baltimore City Council passed a 2-cent beverage tax on all bottled beverages sold in the city.  Only a few months later, Pepsi plans to shut down their production of soda in Baltimore.  The Baltimore Sun reports:

"The Pepsi plant in Baltimore will no longer make soda, and the company plans to lay off 77 people as officials have decided to stop manufacturing operations — a decision they blame in part on a controversial new beverage tax in the city.
The last cans and 2-liter bottles of Pepsi-Cola, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew and other sodas ran through the production line Monday morning. Executives at Pepsi Beverages Co. told workers in meetings later in the day that production would be halted for good. Pepsi officials said they would work out details regarding the layoffs, including potential severance, with the local Teamsters union."

Now, all of the drones who voted for these crooks will have to suffer with the higher costs of beverages and the loss of jobs that will continue to ensue as a result of the tax.  Pepsi will just take their business to states that appreciate capitalism.

Since the beverage tax worked so well in Baltimore, the Maryland legislature is planning to increase alcohol taxes on all wine, beer, and liquor sold in Maryland.  Eventually, all beverage producers and retailers will be chased out of the state.  The Maryland politicians provide the most effective stimulus of economic growth for Pennsylvania and Virginia!  Unfortunately, with full control of Maryland government and a drone-like electorate, the Democrats and their tax hikes are virtually insuperable.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More Regressiveness From Progressives As Oil Prices Skyrocket

As Americans continue to shiver from the cold, they will continue to pay more to heat their homes and power their cars.  Sadly, yet ironically, the culprit is the man-made hoax of global warming.  For years, the left has attempted to demonize oil and energy producers with their hateful rhetoric.  Now, they are turning their vituperative rhetoric into action.  Oil prices surged again yesterday following the release of the recommendations from the President's Oil Spill Commission.  Bloomberg News reports:

Crude advanced 2.1 percent after the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill recommended exploration in U.S. deep waters be overseen by an independent agency in the Interior Department. Producers suspended most output from Alaska’s North Slope after a Jan. 8 pipeline leak.
“The market took off after the release of the presidential panel’s report,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago. “There’s concern that it will become more difficult to develop resources and there will be less oil available.”
Oil for February delivery gained $1.86 to $91.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since Jan. 3. Futures have risen 10 percent in the past year.

Ask Your Congressman to Support H.R. 140- To End Birthright Citizenship

One issue that will hopefully make a comeback in the 112th congress is immigration.  With a record 1.2 million new immigrants arriving each year (primarily from the third world), and an equal number of illegals sneaking through the border or overstaying visas, we must reassert control over our borders, sovereignty, and destiny as a nation.  One of the more egregious immigration policies over the years has been the misinterpretation of the 14th amendment to perpetuate the disastrous policy of birthright citizenship.

There are a number of good bills that were introduced during the first week of congress which will address our immigration problems.  Steve King has introduced H.R. 140 to clarify the Immigration and Nationality Act to grant citizenship only to those who are here legally.  Congressman King has been the leader on border security and immigration for many years and we must urge our congressmen to lend their support to his bill.  There are currently 26 co-sponsors of HR 140.

Incidentally, it is important to point out that Steve King, who had been the ranking member on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, has been passed over for the chairmanship by Speaker Boehner.  Many of us in the pro enforcement camp have been anticipating the ascendancy of Mr. King to the chairmanship all year.  Instead, Rep. Elton Gallegly of California will serve as Chairman and King will be Vice Chairman.  While I have nothing against Congressman Gallegly, it is Steve King who has been the leader on this issue.  The fact that Boehner passed over the current ranking member is an unambiguous sign that he is scared of King's uncompromising stance on our nation's sovereignty.  Here is the scoop from National Journal:

The public reason for King's demotion was a reorganization of the committee. The post was given to Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., a senior member to King who is considered conservative enough on immigration to satisfy tea party Republicans but not as outspoken as King. But it was also clear from GOP aides that House leaders worried about King and his tendency to press on immigration issues that angered more moderate members of his own party.
"John Boehner isn't very aggressive on immigration," King said, noting that the GOP "Pledge to America" barely mentions immigration or border security. "It's the tiniest section," he said.

Monday, January 10, 2011

As Social Conservatism Demises, So Does all Conservatism

Despite the triumphant ascendancy of conservatism in our times, many Republicans are impetuously 'punting on first down' in the battle for social conservatism.  Some prominent GOPers feel that not only is social conservatism not a priority, it is something that should be unconditionally and unilaterally surrendered to the left.  There are elected Republicans supporting the repeal of DADT, radical homosexual organizations sponsoring CPAC, and party leaders supporting a pro-abortion woman for chairman of the party.  Today, I came across a story of a local Republican leader advocating for gay civil unions in my home state of Maryland.

The Republicans are down to a pitiful 12 seat caucus in the Maryland Senate.  Twelve!  Yet, even the remaining holdouts won't stand up for conservatism.  What's worse is that the minority leader, RINO Allan Kittleman, is planning to introduce a bill next week that will recognize civil unions in the state of Maryland.  His proposal would give couples entering in a civil union the same rights given to married couples.  The amazing thing is that Kittleman represents part of Carroll County, one of the most conservative jurisdictions in Maryland.  The Columbia Flyer explains Kittleman's rationale:

“I believe that the government shouldn’t be involved in marriage,” Kittleman said. “I think the government should be involved in civil unions.”

That belief, and his views on civil rights, are what prompted him to draft this legislation, Kittleman said.

“This is something I have felt strongly about for a long time,” he said, noting that with several new state senators elected in the November mid-term elections, it is “a good time to put in new ideas and to see where people stand.”

What exactly does he mean by recognizing government’s role in civil unions, but not in marriage?  What planet is he living in?!?  Also, he says that this is an issue that he feels strongly about.  So let's get this straight.  The Democrats control every facet of government in Maryland and the leader of the rag-tag Republican caucus feels strongly about supporting a Democrat cause!  So why doesn’t he just become a Democrat?  We already have a robust party that spits on our American values, infringes on our rights, and destroys our free markets.  Now we are saddled with an Orwellian opposition leader who pushes left wing legislation even before the ruling party gets a chance.  This is a question that we need to confront not just in Maryland, but across our nation.  Do we really need two left hands in public policy?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Tuscon Shooter Was Deranged, Not Conservative

Thankfully, the latest reports indicate that Congresswomen Giffords is expected to recover from the shooting earlier today.  While there are still many things to sort out, one thing is clear.  This murderer was insane.  There was no coherent right or left political ideology that fueled his actions.  We must make sure that the media and the far left have no plans to turn this into some referendum of the tea party by blaming today's massacre on conservatives.  This is why I want to draw attention to one line from an ABC article on the murderer, Jared Loughner:

In the YouTube profile, the account holder, identified as Loughner, lists "The Communist Manifesto" and "Mein Kampf" among his favorite books.
A former classmate of Loughner's told ABC News he was extremely political in high school, but not radical. The classmate said Loughner once met Giffords in 2007 and said he thought the congresswoman was "unintelligent."(emphasis added)

It is quite evident that this guy was simply a madman.  This was not left wing or right wing terrorism.  A would be "tea party assassin" would not quote the Communist Manifesto.  In addition, Gabrielle Giffords is one of the most conservative Democrats and recently voted against Nancy Pelosi, much to the chagrin of some left wing websites.  There are also reports of people who knew him that are describing him as a leftist.  However, I am not saying that this attack was politically motivated from the left either.  He was simply deranged.

The bottom line is that as the week progresses, we need to make sure that the narrative is focused upon the important things such as security measures for public servants.  If the media attempts to conjure up images of the tea party while discussing the Tuscon massacre, we need to remind them of Loughner's choice reading.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Same Blue Dog and Pony Show as Before

Well, it appears that nothing has changed for the decimated Blue Dog coalition of self professed moderates.  They have always launched their rebellion against the leadership in highly symbolic ways, while acquiescing to them like lap dogs when it really counted.  Nothing has changed in this congress.

19 Democrats voted for someone other than Nancy Pelosi for Speaker:

Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, John Barrow of Georgia, Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Dennis Cardoza of California, Jim Costa of California, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Larry Kissell of North Carolina, Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike Michaud of Maine, Mike Ross of Arkansas, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, and Heath Shuler of North Carolina

Yet, when it came time to vote for the Republican rules package, not a single Democrat crossed the aisle to buck their leadership.  Their strategy is quite transparent.  The Blue Dogs wanted to avoid being viewed in a TV ad as supporting Nancy Pelosi, so they took that off the table by voting for somebody else.  But when it comes time to vote on substance, they will usually vote with their leadership.  Luckily, their votes don't matter any more.  We own the House!

However, it is still important that we target every remaining red district Democrat and expose their left wing voting record throughout the session.  As we have explained in a previous post, there are 17 Republicans who represent blue districts (following Charlie Cook's PVI) and will be relentlessly targeted by the Democrats.  While it is imperative that we rigorously defend those districts, we must also launch a counteroffensive against the 17 remaining Democrats in red districts. 

A quick check of the 19 votes against Pelosi reveals that only 10 are from R rated districts while 9 are from D leaning districts.  This means that there are seven Democrats who represent R leaning districts who still supported Pelosi for Speaker:  Here are the Pelosi poodles:

Jerry McNerney (CA-11)
Ben Chandler (KY-6) (R+9 District)
Tim Walz (MN-1)
Colin Peterson (MN-7)(R+5 District)
Bill Owens (NY-23)
Mark Critz (PA-12)
Nick Rahall (WV-3)(R+6 District)

These guys should be toast in 2012.  Any potential opponent should already be preparing a TV ad which depicts them standing on the House floor and declaring "Pelosi". 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Perpetuating the Social Security Ponzi Scheme is Not Conservative

When Bernie Madoff was caught running a Ponzi scheme, he was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment.  Needless to say, the Ponzi scheme was prorogated immediately.  Unfortunately, when the leftists in government were caught purloining the funds from the mandatory Social Security retirement program, they were rewarded with reelection.  Worse yet, they still have the power to force us to contribute more, receive less, and raise the retirement age in order to perpetuate and exacerbate the greatest Ponzi scheme of all time. 

It is quite evident that Democrats are content with their 'don't ask don't tell' policy concerning Social Security.  They are happy to continue bankrupting this nation, while remaining silent regarding the impending implosion of Social Security.  Republicans are justified in their vocal concern over the program's insolvency and their calls for reform.  However, it is extremely disconcerting to hear many conservatives support the idea of digging deeper into this unconstitutional confiscatory program.  Many conservatives have adulated the recommendations of the debt commission because they “address” the Social Security crisis.  The problem is that they address the insolvency by implementing one or more of the following changes; cutting benefits, raising payroll taxes, raising the exemption limit, means testing benefits, and (most egregiously) raising the retirement age.  The need and desire to address a policy problem is no excuse for proposing the wrong solution.

On Sunday, Lindsey Graham made headlines by asserting that he would not support raising the debt ceiling until the long term fiscal problems are solved.  Sounds conservative, right?  Think again.  Here is the full quote from Lindsey Graham on Meet the Press:

“I will not vote for the debt ceiling increase until I see a plan in place that will deal with our long-term debt obligations, starting with Social Security, a real bipartisan effort to make sure that Social Security stays solvent, adjusting the age, looking at means tests for benefits. On the spending side, I’m not going to vote for debt ceiling increase unless we go back to 2008 spending levels, cutting discretionary spending.” (emphasis added)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Greece Does Something Prudent for Once

Greece has released plans to build a border fence on their border with Turkey in an attempt to keep out illegal immigrants.  The U.K. Daily Mail reports:

The first stage in the planned structure was unveiled yesterday, with a 10-ft high, eight-mile-long trial fence to cover a section of the border near the town Orestidada.
According to the EU's border agency Frontex, the area concerned has become the main entry point for migrants traveling from Africa and Asia, with an average of 245 people per day crossing illegally in October alone last year.  Around 90 per cent of all illegal immigrants into the EU have come through Greece, it is estimated.

It's also interesting to note that Europe has its own anti-border security leftists as in the U.S.  According to the Daily Mail, The European Commission referred to the Greek border fence as "a 'short-term measure'  that does not deal with the root of the problem."  Sound familiar?  Remember all of those who opposed our border fence because, "it can't stop 100% of the illegal crossings"?  At least the Greek government is doing something prudent.  Hey, if we are going to replicate the Greek budget paradigm, we would be wise to copy their immigration policy.

Here's a parting question.  Who are those who are crossing over the Turk-Greek border?

Let's Not Fall for the Demagoguery Concerning Pre-Conditions

The day of reckoning for Obama Care is rapidly approaching as the Republicans have scheduled a vote next week to repeal this unconstitutional, job killing piece of socialism.  They plan to schedule two votes; one on the full repeal of Obama Care (Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act), and another on a resolution which instruct four committees to craft a new health care bill.  The resolution dictates that the Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Ways and Means, report a new bill that includes the following twelve provisions:

1.  "foster economic growth and private sector job creation by eliminating job-killing policies and regulations
2.   lower health care premiums through increased competition and choice
3.   preserve a patient’s ability to keep his or her health plan if he or she likes it
4.   provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage
5.   reform the medical liability system to reduce unnecessary and wasteful health care spending
6.   increase the number of insured Americans
7.   protect the doctor-patient relationship
8.   provide the States greater flexibility to administer Medicaid programs
9.   expand incentives to encourage personal responsibility for health care coverage and costs
10. prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions and provide conscience protections for health care providers
11. eliminate duplicative government programs and wasteful spending; or,
12. do not accelerate the insolvency of entitlement programs or increase the tax burden on Americans."

Monday, January 03, 2011

The 111th RINO Senate Was the Wimpiest of All Time

Al right.  That is not precisely the title of the latest headline at Roll Call, but it is close.  The actual headline reads, "Reid Set a Filibuster Record".  In other words, thanks to RINOs, Harry Reid became the most successful Majority Leader in terms of killing filibusters through cloture.

Keep in mind that the Democrats had 60 seats only for a short time during the 111th congress.  Al Franken was sworn in as the 60th Democrat Senator on July 7, 2009, and Scott Brown was sworn in as the 41st Republican Senator on February 4, 2010.  If you factor in the summer break and the month following Kennedy's death, the Democrats only had four months with 60 Senators.  Unfortunately, they didn't need 60 Senators for cloture throughout the session.  The Republicans were more than happy enough to spare the extra change for cloture, especially during the lame duck session.

Roll Call reports that, "Reid won 69 percent of his total attempts to shut down threatened filibusters in the two years of the 111th Congress that began January 2009."  They further break down the numbers between the two sessions by noting, "Reid largely achieved his record in 2009, not 2010. In the first year of the session, Reid won 35 of 39 — a stunning 90 percent — of his attempts to close debate, or invoke cloture, on a variety of measures and nominations.  However, in 2010, his average dropped to 54 percent, when he won 28 cloture votes and lost 24."

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A New Year, A New Muslim Rampage

Well, it appears that Islamofacists always want to usher in the new year with a blast.  After slaughtering at least 80 Christians in the Nigerian town of Jos, Muslim terrorists massacred more Christians who were attending mass in the nation's capitol Abuja, as well as in Alexandria, Egypt.  1,000 Christians were gathered for mass at an Alexandria church, when a Muslim suicide bomber blew himself up, killing at least 21 and injuring over 80.  But you wouldn't know anything about the perpetrator from the first paragraph of the article from Reuters.  They begin their report:

A bomb killed at least 21 people outside a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria early on New Year's Day and the Interior Ministry said a foreign-backed suicide bomber may have been responsible.
Dozens of people were wounded by the blast, which scattered body parts, destroyed cars and smashed windows. The attack prompted Christians to protest on the streets, and some Christians and Muslims hurled stones at each other. (emphasis added)

So, a bomb just passively detonated on its own, and decided to scatter body parts.  Then, the Christians elected to commence a pogrom against the poor innocent Muslims.  Unbelievable! Folks, you can't make this stuff up.

Here was Obama's response:

"Killing innocent civilians who were simply gathering – like so many people around the world – to celebrate the beginning of a New Year further demonstrates the bankrupt vision of those who carry out these attacks, and we are similarly prepared to offer assistance to the Government of Nigeria as it works to bring the perpetrators to justice." (emphasis added)

Isn't it interesting how there is random violence around the world in Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Lebanon, and Somalia.  They are orchestrated by unknown perpetrators.  The fact that they all share the same religion has nothing to do with it!

There is another important point that this weekend's bombing bring to bear.  We provide Egypt with over $1.5 billion in foreign aid every year.  They have always straddled the fence between their ambivalence towards radical Islam and their desire to pander for American support.  If they don't use this tragedy as an opportunity to clamp down on terror, we should immediately cut off their foreign aid.  Why should we be funding another Muslim nation that harbors Al Qaeda?