Wednesday, March 30, 2011

9 Republicans Opposed Voucher Program in D.C.

Earlier today, the House passed the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act,( HR 471).  This educational program was originally enacted in 2004 and achieved phenomenal success.  It provided for vouchers for those who were forced into failing DC public school.  In 2009, the Democrats repealed this program, despite its success.  Needless to say, they are beholden to the teachers union that vociferously opposes any support of private schools.

Shockingly, 9 Republicans voted against the reauthorization of this vital program.  These Republicans need to explain why they opposed school choice, a position that is an imprecation to conservatism.  Here are the nine dissenters:

Reps. Judy Biggert (Ill.), Robert Dold (Ill.), Sam Graves (Mo.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Timothy Johnson (Ill.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Ron Paul (Texas), Dave Reichert (Wash.) and Mike Simpspon (Idaho).

It should be noted that while conservatives categorically oppose any federal intervention in education, D.C. is different because Congress has constitutional authority over them. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hey Senator Schumer, Who are the Real Extremists?

So, which Democrats will follow Schumer's messaging advice?  Or will they wisely look in the mirror first?

As the Democrats continue to bankrupt the nation with crushing debt, and stymie Republican attempts to balance the budget, we were beginning to wonder if they had their own plan to achieve budget solvency.  The New York Times just revealed their monumental plan for the future of our fiscal stability.  Drum roll......Labeling Republicans and tea partiers as extremists!
"Moments before a conference call with reporters was scheduled to get underway on Tuesday morning, apparently unaware that many of the reporters were already on the line, Charles Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, began to instruct fellow senators on how to talk to reporters about the contentious budget process.

After thanking his colleagues — Barbara Boxer of California, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Carper of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — for doing the budget bidding for the Senate Democrats, who are facing off against the House Republicans over how spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Mr. Schumer told them to portray John Boehner of Ohio, the Speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme. “I always use the word extreme,” Mr. Schumer said, “That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.”
Schumer feels that a coherent and well-disciplined smear campaign against the tea party will compensate for their incoherent budget plan, vapid ideology, and criminal insouciance to the plight of the American job seeker and consumer.  We have known for some time that Democrats champion coordinated talking points and use them as marching orders for their minions.  Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) responded to our article opposing 113 week unemployment benefits with the same archaic messaging:  "Considering that there are five unemployed workers for every available job, Rep. Lee hopes that Republican leadership will reject this extremist, ultra right-wing view."

It is a classic case of projection in which Democrats are attempting to promulgate their own image deficiencies on us.  Let's keep score of the current political dynamic and ascertain the nature of genuine extremism.

The Obama Doctrine: Funding Terrorists in Israel and Libya, Silence on Syria

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been duping leftists in Western governments for years into thinking he is Mr. Peace.  During the past decade, successive governments in the U.S. and Europe have been genuflecting to Abbas and his Fatah terrorist organization.  They have showered the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority with more foreign aid per capita than even any legitimate country.  The implicit purpose was to strengthen the "moderate" Palestinians so they can defeat the "extremist" Hamas, establish a peace-loving state, and live happily ever after.

To that end, Abbas championed the surreptitious game of good-cop bad-cop.  He discreetly promoted terror while allowing Hamas to publicly embody the face of Palestinian terrorism.  Recently, Abbas has become so emboldened by his continued sainthood among Europeans that he has begun to shed his camouflage.

Mahmoud Abbas is now preparing for a unity government with Hamas in an effort to consolidate power over Hamas-controlled Gaza.  The Jerusalem Post reports:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Senate Action Alert: Small Business Bill

The major legislative item on the agenda in the Senate this week will be The Small Business Reauthorization Act (S. 493).  Republicans plan to use this bill as a platform to promote critical pieces of legislation through the process of non-germane amendments to the bill.  Here are some vital amendments that will be debated and voted on throughout the week:
  • Senator Mitch McConnell is offering an amendment (S. AMDT 183) to prohibit the EPA from promulgating any regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.  There is perhaps no force that is more destructive to our prosperity, consumer freedom of choice, and job creation than onerous cap and trade schemes.  There are many red state Democrats who are up for reelection in 2012 and will be hard pressed to go on record as supporting policies that are an imprecation to the interests of their states.  Make sure to call Senators Claire McCaskill, Joe Manchin, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, and Jon Tester in particular.

  • Senator David Vitter is offering an amendment (S.AMDT. 178) forcing the federal government to sell off unused and underused property.  This is a serious issue.  The federal government owns over half of the land in some western states and has been using it to stifle energy development.  Selling unused federal lands would also serve as a prudent means of generating revenue without raising taxes.

  • Senator Rand Paul is using the SBA bill as a platform to offer his signature budget bill (S.AMDT 199) which would slash $200 billion in spending for fiscal 2011.  Paul's plan slashes funding by 50% to the Departments of Energy, Education, and HUD.  This amendment represents real limited government and budget austerity and will separate the men among the boys in the ranks of the Republican Conference.

  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is forcing a vote (S. AMDT 197) to delay the implementation of ObamaCare until a final resolution is reached in pending lawsuits.  Unlike other bills that are designed to merely ameliorate ObamaCare, this amendment would completely halt it during the ensuing legal battles.
  • Senator Tom Coburn has filed an amendment (S.AMDT.184) to force federal agencies to compile comprehensive lists of all of their programs
Make sure that all of your Republican senators are on record supporting these amendments, especially Rand Paul's budget proposal.  Also, let's see which faux moderate Democrats will commit to supporting anyone of these commonsense initiatives.  Needless to say, I didn't waste time calling my senators; Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin!

No More Extensions of Unemployment Benefits

Let Democrats pay unemployment benefits from their own coffers as reparations for destroying jobs.

Amidst record long-term unemployment, Democrats are trying  to extend unemployment welfare yet again.  Will Republicans continue to obediently follow them in accelerating more creeping socialism?  Or will last December serve as the Republicans' final act to perpetuate unemployment welfare?

Beware the doomsday TARP coalition of Republicans.  Conservatives must be ever vigilant of those Republicans who are willing to vote for an entitlement program one last time with the alleged purpose of precluding an economic apocalypse.

These Republican lawmakers were agog in their support for TARP and the bailouts as a means of preempting the next depression.  As such, they lobbied fellow Republicans to support 'one last bailout'.  They are the same members who continue to regurgitate Tim Geithner's false premonition that we will default on our credit if we fail to raise the debt ceiling.  To that end, they seek to cajole conservatives into raising the debt ceiling 'one last time'.  These same visionaries were also the ringleaders of the grand tax deal in December, which extended the Bush tax cuts (except the death tax repeal, of course) in exchange for Obama's economic distorting redistributive projects.  Consequently, they agreed to extend the ethanol/green subsidies and unemployment benefits just 'one last time'.

Unfortunately, too many Republicans are credulous enough to believe the vacuous predictions of the left, thereby perpetuating entitlement programs until they become immutable.  History has shown that once a government program is enshrined as an entitlement, it becomes impervious to change, much less elimination.

Hence, House Democrats are now pushing for a vote to extend unemployment benefits once again.  John Boehner and Eric Cantor have agreed to meet with Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) to discuss HR 589, the "Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act of 2011".  This bill would extend unemployment benefits another 14 weeks even for the "99ers", those who have maxed out on their benefits after 99 weeks of unemployment.  Originally, Lee and Scott were denied a meeting with GOP leadership because their bill would add another $16 billion to the deficit.  However, since they have offered to fund the $16 billion extension with spending offsets, Boehner and Cantor are willing to discuss the bill.  A spokesman for Boehner said that the Speaker is committed to keeping an open door policy for members of both parties.

Friday, March 25, 2011

MD-Senate: Action Alert on Wine Shipments

Among Maryland's plethora of nanny-state laws and restrictive regulations, is a law that bans the purchase of wine beyond state lines.  Currently, if you want to purchase wine from a distributor out of state, you would have to pick it up in person.  Senator J.B. Jennings (R-Baltimore County) has brought a bill (SB 248) to the Senate floor that would change this restriction:

Repealing provisions that provide for a direct wine seller's permit; establishing a direct wine shipper's permit to be issued by the Office of the Comptroller; requiring a person to hold a permit before the person or the person's agent may engage in shipping wine directly to a personal consumer in the State; requiring an applicant to meet specified qualifications for a permit; requiring a direct wine shipper to perform specified actions; etc.

The bill might come up for a vote today.  Unfortunately, Democrats might also push for a vote on their 3% increase in the alcohol tax within Maryland.  That's right.  They overtax local wine purchases and ban interstate wine purchases.  Either way you lose!

Call your state Senator and ask them to support SB 248.  Also, voice your firm opposition to the 3% increase in taxes on alcoholic drinks.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baltimore Delegate Jill Carter Hasn't Paid Water Bill since 2009

Only in a political oligarchy like Maryland can deadbeat politicians like Jill Carter get reelected time and again.  This public parasite who votes incessantly to raise taxes on us, hasn't paid her home water bills since 2009!  Here is the scoop from Laura Vozzella of the Sun:

The city's Bureau of Treasury Management put out a long list last week of properties with delinquent taxes and municipal liens, which are scheduled to be sold in a sealed-bid tax sale on May 17. Among the properties is Carter's Glen Allen Drive home, which is assessed at $283,392 and has a lien on it for $920.61.

The money is not owed for property taxes on the Hunting Ridge home, which Carter said she pays through her mortgage payment. It's for water.
Is there no floor to the degree of bottom feeders that populate Annapolis?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We Need Conservative Leaders Like Josh Mandel in the Senate

If he can take Haditha, he can certainly take Sherrod Brown.

Yesterday, The Columbus Dispatch reported that Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel is leaning towards a run for Senate in 2012.  Josh Mandel is precisely the person to take out left-wing kook and famed Nazi hunter, Sherrod Brown.  We need Josh in the Senate.

Conservatives worked assiduously in 2012 to elect Republicans who would not only oppose Obama's proposals, but would also stem the tide of 80 years of socialism.  In other words, we were searching for innovators who would challenge the status quo and quash the profligate spending once and for all.

As the political dynamic of the 112th congress begins to materialize, we can easily decipher the innovators among the group of vapid Senators.  Senators like Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Pat Toomey have taken a leadership role from day one in promoting conservative governance.  Their leadership qualities have been manifest in actions such as Johnson's fight against ObamaCare, Rubio's high profile dissent on the CR, Toomey's leadership on the debt ceiling, Lee's leadership on all things budget and constitutional government, and  Paul's leadership on everything including toilet fascism.  Some of the others have shown-in varying degrees- that they are content to follow the path of incrementalism that is promulgated by Republican leadership.  A few of them are so aloof that they have relegated themselves to the status of freshmen seat warmers.

These prosaic bench warmers are by no means Republicans in name only.  They will invariably vote with the Republican Conference most of the time, if not all the time.  However, they lack the gumption or the willingness to challenge the status quo of both political parties.  Only conservative leaders, who have the pugnacity to fight an inexorable battle against the statists, can reverse the inane cycle of government growth.  In 2012, we must elect bold conservative leaders, not uninspiring Republicans who are merely passive in their opposition to perennial statism.  We must stop 'bringing Lamar Alexanders to Chuck Schumer fights'.

One such leader, Ted Cruz, is already running for Senate in Texas.  He sagaciously described his role as senator in the following way:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

MD-House: No Shale Drilling in Western Maryland

Maryland Democrats continued their inexorable war on the consumer today; this time they are targeting natural gas exploration in western Maryland. 

Democrats on the House Environmental Matters Committee voted to ban drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation in western Maryland until state agencies conduct a study on "how drilling affects health and the environment".  In other words, with the wolves guarding the drilling house, there will be no drilling in western Maryland; there will be no local jobs creates; there will be no reprieve from rising gas and electricity prices.

Earlier today, the HEM Committee tabled an amendment by Delegate Wendell Beitzel (R-Garrett) that would have required the onerous drilling regulations to be approved by a legislative panel.  It would have also forced the Maryland Department of the Environment to issue drilling permits immediately.  The underlying bill (H.B.852) is being sponsored by Democratic Dels. Heather Mizeur of Montgomery County and Marvin E. Holmes Jr. of Prince George's.  How ironic that it is the DC urban area politicians who are limiting drilling in the rural areas of western Maryland, even though the drilling is supported by the local representatives.

It is quite obvious that the proposal of environmental impact studies are simply means to scuttle the shale fracking altogether.  Samson Resources and Chief Oil & Gas, a Dallas-based gas company, have signed leases to drill in western Maryland in 2009.  The Department of the Environment has already been "studying" the environmental impact since then.  North Dakota has welcomed the shale fracking industry into the state and is now enjoying a 3.9% unemployment rate.  I guess Maryland will just continue to rely on government jobs to fill its employment roles.

It is reflective of a perverse dichotomy that Governor O'Malley is banning job-creating consumer-friendly shale drilling even as he advocates that Marylanders underwrite the inefficacious wind projects of his political allies.

Call your state legislators in Annapolis and demand that they stop chasing jobs out of Maryland and fleecing energy consumers!

Tell your state reps to oppose HB 852 and your Senator to oppose SB 634

Monday, March 21, 2011

Libya is Not Our Fight

The absolute dyslexia of liberals and their choices for military intervention.

Liberals have a penchant for engaging in the wrong wars and fighting them the wrong way.  They are always meek and submissive towards those who represent an existential threat to America, such as Iran, Russia, China, Syria, and Venezuela.  When they finally choose to engage in military intervention, it is usually for a dubious cause or for the purpose of some humanitarian aid that lacks a clearly defined mission or end result for our troops.  Unfortunately, many Bush Republicans have a predilection to automatically support any military intervention, even if it lacks a clear mission or its original purpose does not represent a substantial threat to our national security.

Somalia was a classic example of a leftist foreign policy folly.  There was no reason to involve our military in a humanitarian operation in that part of the world.  However, once Somalia became a magnet for terrorists, these hypocritical interventionists refused to deal with the new reality and treat the mission as a military operation.  Consequently, our soldiers were unprepared for the ensuing ambush in which over a dozen American soldiers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.  Instead of bringing the terrorists to justice and turning the place into a waste zone, we summarily retreated.  Thus, the very interventionists who were all too eager to engage in an imprudent use of our military were suddenly lacking the temerity to engage the enemy when it really mattered.

Unfortunately, it appears that history might repeat itself in Libya.  As with the Egyptian insurgents against Mubarak, the Libyan rebels do not share our values, and as such, do not warrant our overt military support.  In addition, unlike Iran and other terrorist supporting states, the Qaddafi regime in Libya does not pose an existential threat to our national security interests. 

Undoubtedly, Qaddafi (unlike Mubarak) deserves to suffer demise for his terrorist attacks during the 80's.  However, the ship already sailed on that one.  Reagan attempted to assassinate him in the 80's (at the appropriate time) and was ironically undermined by some of the same European countries that are suddenly calling for Qaddafi's head 25 years later.  France and Spain undermined Reagan's Operation El Dorado Canyon in 86' by denying us overflight rights, adding 1,300 extra miles for our bombers.  I guess it took them 25 years to conjure up the righteous indignation to take decisive action against Qaddafi. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Leftward Drift of the MD Senate, If that's Even Possible

The Maryland Gazette has an interesting write-up on the leftward drift of the Maryland Senate.  It speaks volumes that such a shift is seismic enough to be palpable to media outlets even in Maryland:
The Maryland Senate, the chamber traditionally known as the measured, more conservative body in the General Assembly, is taking a sharp turn to the left, some observers say.

The shift, illustrated by the passage of a bill to legalize gay marriage last month and a definitive yea vote earlier this week to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at public universities, is directly linked to a change in membership following the November election.
 I guess "measured" and "more conservative" represent the extreme of the theory of relativity.  The Gazzete article doesn't even begin to mention the litany of tax increases that have passed or are being debated in Senate committees.  The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is to the left of Lenin.  Their latest gift to Maryland was their vote to support legalized marijuana in Maryland yesterday.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nostalgia with '95 Political Narrative Should Cut Both Ways

Let's Replicate the Welfare Reform Success of '95

Republican leadership is waging a civil war against conservatives over the budget, due to their visceral fear of a government shutdown.  Their inexplicable fixation on the 1995 political paradigm has traumatized them from repeating the alleged mistakes of Newt Gingrich and the 104th congress.  Such a one-dimensional focus should logically dictate that we attempt to replicate the successes of that era as well.

While the political liabilities of the '95 government shutdown are debatable, the political successes of welfare reform are incontrovertible.  By 1996, Republicans, with the overwhelming support of the public, forced President Clinton to sign the most sweeping welfare reform act in decades. 

Unfortunately, the Democrats gutted the most potent accountability mechanisms of the bill with the Obama stimulus in 2009.  In addition, the '96 reform bill, imposing work requirements and spending caps, was only applied to 1 of 77 anti-poverty programs.  RSC Chairman Jim Jordon has introduced The Welfare Reform Act of 2011 to address these issues.

Here are some of the major provisions:

Maryland Democrats Discover Hidden Costs of Excise Taxes

It's amazing how serendipitously liberals stumble upon economic realities.  Throughout this legislative session, liberal agitation groups have been lobbying for an increase in the excise tax on alcohol.  They plan to earmark that money for gratuitous health care entitlement programs for special interest rent seekers in the state of Maryland.

Suddenly, they have discovered that the DC government levies an additional 3-4% sales tax on alcohol, instead of an excise tax on the wholesale level.  They were never concerned about the market distortions that are induced by corporate or wholesale taxes in previous years.  Only now that they have discovered a model for double taxation on the consumer of alcohol, they decry the odious nature of wholesale excise taxes.  Here is the story from the Sun's Julie Bykowicz:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Devastation of Market Distortion is Coming Home to Roost

Let's take Rahm Emanuel's advice and seize the food crisis to obliterate socialism and corporate cronyism.
Wholesale Food Prices Highest since 74'

Food Stamps Surge in West

These two headlines are quintessential examples of the perennial cycle of government intervention.  They offer a vivid portrayal of how the Democrats perfidiously inflate the price of food so that the maximum number of people will be dependent upon their food programs, thus granting them a permanent electoral constituency.

Obama and the Democrat economists have championed a monetary policy of quantitative easing (QE2) over the past few years as a means of reviving the economy.  These economic "experts" felt that by abusing the Fed's mandate to ostensibly print extra money and offer negative real interest rates to banks, the stock market would surge and spawn an economic recovery.  It was all for the benefit of Main Street, of course.

In addition, these same selfish market interventionists have perpetuated the ethanol mandates, subsidies, and tariffs that have wreaked havoc on the global food commodities market.  As much as 40% of domestic corn is being diverted for the use of ethanol, an extremely inefficient fuel source.  The promulgation of this ineffective fuel source, along with Obama's war on all other efficacious energy sources such as fossil fuels has in turn spiked the cost of transportation of food.

Now, the socialist chickens have come home to roost.  After months of QE2 and years of fatuous ethanol and energy policies, food prices are near record highs.  The Labor Department reported today that the wholesale measure of food prices, the Producer Price Index (PPI), rose 1.6% in February:

Update of Conservative Legislation

 Since Republicans have taken back the House, many of have been clamoring to pass legislation that would undo all of the havoc that the 111th congress wreaked upon our nation.  Here are a couple of laudatory pieces of legislation that we should be pressing our representatives to support.  Call your member of congress and Senator and ask them to co-sponsor some of these bills.

- Senator Jim DeMint has introduced S.504-the National Right to Work Act.  This bill would preserve the right to of any individual to abstain from joining a union.

- Congressman Tim Scott introduced H.R. 937- Rising Tides Act- to lower corporate tax rates to 23% and would let companies deduct up to 85 percent of overseas earnings when repatriating it to the United States.

-Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-VA), chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee is moving along legislation to block  the EPA from implementing climate regulations.

-Congressman Tom McClintock introduced the Full Faith and Credit Bill-H.R. 421, which would ensure that the Treasury Dep't prioritize interest payments on debt before other spending.  This would preclude any potential default that the left is predicting in the event of a government shutdown.  Pat Toomey introduced a similar bill in the Senate (S. 163)

- Senator James Inhofe and Rep. Steve King introduced (H.R. 997) English Only Bill .

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MD Senate Votes to Exacerbate Illegal Immigration

In a sane world, members of Maryland's General Assembly and Senate would be frog marched out of Annapolis and sent straight to prison.  The very people who swore to uphold the law are now subverting it by purloining public funds for the use of illegal aliens.  Last night, the Senate voted 27-20 to grant in-state tuition to illegal aliens.  At a time when they are levying egregious taxes on the citizens of Maryland in order to solve a self inflicted budget shortfall, they are stealing more funds and earmarking them for lawbreakers.

According to a study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal aliens cost Maryland a total of $1.7 billion annually.  This is not including the cost of the new proposed legislation granting them in-state tuition.  That is roughly commensurate to the entire structural deficit for the coming fiscal year.

This illegal bill now moves to the Hoouse where it will be voted on in the Ways and Means Committee.  Please email the members of the committee and tell them to represent Marylanders, not illegal aliens.  Here are the emails of the two leaders of the Ways and Means Committee.

Monday, March 14, 2011

So, Which Murderers are your Taxes Funding?

$363 million for domestic baby-killers; up to $1 billion for Palestinian baby-killers
As the budget battle rages on and as we continue to fund domestic baby-killers, do we have to fund foreign ones as well?!

For years, the left wing foreign policy establishment has rapturously promoted the 'Palestinians' as the cause célèbre of our national security interests.  Despite their unyielding commitment to terror, these supercilious 'wizards of smart' have credulously identified the creation of a 'Palestinian' state as the consummate solution to all geo-political problems.  They posit that upon creation of a 22nd Arab state and 2nd Palestinian state (the first being Jordon), the culture of terror would cease and we would all experience peace in our time.

Incidentally, their maniacal fixation on the Palestinians has left them stupefied and devoid of solutions regarding the broader turmoil in the Middle East.

To that end, congress has been cajoled into authorizing billions of dollars in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA).  In addition, we have equipped and trained their armed forces with the best our military has to offer.  This travesty is justified as integral to strengthening the "Palestinian people" and the "moderate PA leadership" in their alleged battle against the "extremist" Hamas.  Those of us with more than a superficial understanding of the Middle East and Islamo-fascism, have always known the PA to be indistinguishable from Hamas.  After all, the PA, otherwise known as the Fatah, was the catalyst in terror under the leadership of Yasser Arafat long before Hamas arrived on the scene.

The barbaric massacre of a family of five in northern Israel over the weekend should dispel the fallacy of the moderate Palestinian even in the eyes of their fatuous promoters.  Here are the sickening details of the massacre:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekly RINO Roundup

- Dick Lugar announced his opposition to H.R. 1-the GOP spending bill for the rest of the fiscal year.  He is really begging to be dethroned.  Let's accede his request.

- Scott Brown continues to show that he is indeed occupying "the Ted Kennedy seat".  He expressed his dismay with the budget cuts to the Home Energy Assistance Program.  Hwy Scott, maybe if you'd stop empowering Democrats we wouldn't need energy assistance programs because we would have an ample supply of our own energy sources.

- Lindsey Grahamnesty is planning to revive the 'Gang of 10' talks with progressives to push for a "Clean Energy Standard".  This would amount to a cap and trade bill that would limit our energy production and mandate the use of impotent and inefficacious energy sources.  I guess they will not rest until gas prices are at $10 a gallon.

-95 House Republicans join every Democrat in supporting a clandestine suspension bill to promote veterinary health coverage.  The bill past 280-138.  As a suspension bill, we only needed 146 of the 242 Republicans to oppose the bill.  Yet, astoundingly, 95 Republicans supported this minor, yet gratuitous gesture towards ObamaCare.  For what purpose did we win back the House again? [full report here]

Thursday, March 10, 2011

CRS Report: U.S. is Leader in Fossil Fuel Resources

Oil, gas, and coal are the energy sources of the past, present, and future
While Obama continues his implacable war on fossil fuels and campaigns for impotent and unreliable energy sources, he incessantly condemns oil as 'the energy of the past'.  He is obviously referring to his self-fulfilling dream of eradicating oil from our economy; not the proven reality of our oil reserves.  According to the latest research by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), America has more proven reserves and undiscovered resources of gas, oil, and coal than any other country in the world.  Contrast that to the billions of dollars in special interest subsidies that have failed to ameliorate ineffectual 'alternative fuels' and it becomes quite obvious where the energy source of the future lies.

In an impassioned and timely floor speech this morning, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK.), an energy policy hero, elucidated the salient findings of the CRS report.  The report, which was initiated by Inhofe for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, includes estimates from the Energy Information Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  Here are some of the key points from the report and from Inhofe's research:

  • While we only have 28 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, there are 135 billion additional barrels of undiscovered, yet recoverable, oil resources throughout our territory.  In other words, as a result of the war against drilling, we can only "prove" the existence of 18% of the total 163 billion barrels. This is because we can't officially prove the exact amount of fuel resources until we explore and drill them.  If we were to tap into our resources, we could cancel our imports from the Persian Gulf for 50 years, still meeting our energy needs.      
Parenthetically, the cessation of Libya's mere 1.7 million barrels of production per day has caused chaos in the global market.  Were we to pump our oil reserves at a similar rate, the oil would last for 263 years.  This would presumably have a commensurately positive effect on oil prices.

MD-Senate: The Assault on our Freedom Continues

Another day; another assault on our freedoms (and wallets) in Maryland.  Yesterday, the state House focused on granting criminals more liberty by easing the parole process for violent criminals.  At the same time, a Senate committee was proposing legislation to levy a 5 cent tax on plastic and paper bags.  Here is the scoop from WBAL:

The proposed Senate Bill 602 will require stores to charge customers 5 cents for the use of plastic and paper bags. Lawmakers said if the measure passes, Maryland would become the first state to adopt a disposable bag fee...

Lawmakers said a portion of the revenue would go to the Chesapeake Bay Trust and other state environmental projects.

Environmentalist Halle Vandergaag testified in support of the bill, saying that the flimsy plastic bags are major sources of pollution, as well as a public health concern.

“When plastic bags get into the water, they break down," he said. "And as you can imagine, they're made from petroleum, so there's a chemical product that actually breaks down and makes its way into our drinking water and into our fish, crabs and oysters.”

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Joe Manchin: The Cowardly Faux Moderate

Perhaps no politician is more willing to engage in political aerobics than Joe Manchin.  There is no degree to which he will not contort his political statements and ideological alignment in order to obtain and retain power in West Virginia.  Manchin aired an infamous TV ad depicting himself taking aim at the cap and trade bill while campaigning to join the anti-gun, pro-'cap and trade' Democrat Party.  Despite his previous support for ObamaCare, he campaigned against it.  Now he is eliciting headlines by criticizing Obama on the budget.  However, it is Manchin's voting record that we must examine, not his contrived political stunts or meaningless rhetoric.

The media has made a big deal out of Manchin's rebuke of Obama's lack of leadership on the budget this past Tuesday.  Politico even posted an article titled, "Joe Manchin Goes Rouge".  Here is what he said on the Senate floor:

“Why are we doing all this when the most powerful person in these negotiations — our president — has failed to lead this debate or offer a serious proposal for spending and cuts that he would be willing to fight for?”...

“Respectfully, I am asking President Obama to take this challenge head on and propose a compromise plan for dealing with the our nation’s fiscal challenges.”

95 Republicans Vote to expand ObamaCare

Is this the meaning of 'repeal and replace'?

Beware the many bills that discreetly pass the House under suspension with bi-partisan support.  Carefully scrutinize any legislative news headline announcing the passage of "non-controversial bills".  Last night, more than a third of House Republicans granted Democrats a small, but gratuitous health care victory.  95 Republicans joined every Democrat to pass a provision of the original 2009 ObamaCare bill by a 280-138 margin.  Republican leaders; Cantor, McCarthy, and Roskam opposed the bill.

The Veterinary Public Health Amendments Act (H.R. 525), sponsored by progressive extremist Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), was part of the original ObamaCare bill that passed the House in 2009, but was not included in the Senate version or the final reconciliation bill.  Here are some of the provisions of H.R. 525 as summarized by the Republican Study Committee.
  • Allows veterinarian schools to receive grant assistance from the Public Health Workforce Grant program.
  • Individuals who will receive or have received a degree in veterinary public health can apply for and receive loan assistance under the Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Program, a federal loan repayment program created in Obamacare.  Title V, Section 5204 of Obamacare created this loan program which forgives student loan indebtedness for eligible public health professionals for up to $35,000 per year for three years.
  • The bill defines the term “veterinary public health” to include veterinarians engaged in one or more of the following areas to the extent such areas have an impact on human health: biodefense and emergency preparedness, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, environmental health, ecosystem health, pre-harvest and post-harvest food protection, regulatory medicine, diagnostic laboratory medicine, veterinary pathology, biomedical research, practice of food animal medicine in rural areas, and government practice.

The Consequences of Obama's War on Oil are Dangerous

The charts shown above are from the latest short term energy outlook from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and posted on the website of the House Natural Resources Committee.  The numbers speak for themselves.  Obama has depredated Gulf oil drilling and exploration, which in turn has forced us to import more oil from terrorist supporting countries.  The president will continue to articulate bald faced lies about the need to ween ourselves off foreign oil, but his war on domestic productivity continues to make us an utter dependent suckling of terrorist oil.  The next few weeks will be crucial for congressional Republicans and their opportunity to exhibit leadership on this issue.  They need to make a comprehensive energy production bill an immediate top priority on the House floor.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Rally in Annapolis Tomorrow Against Gas Tax

Only people as contemptible as Maryland Democrats can propose an increase in the state gas tax while oil prices are so high.  Yes, the same people who are orchestrating a wind tax on our electric bill to earmark funds for their corporate cronies; the very same crooks who are planning to tax our beverages and liquor.  And yes, the very same repugnant lawmaking lawbreakers who are plotting to steal our tax money and expend it for illegal aliens.

Members of the state legislature need to here from us now.  Unfortunately, there is a well oiled lobby machine advocating for the passage of the gas tax.  They claim that the funds are needed to repair potholes in the roads.  The reality is that there never was a transportation slush fund.  The Democrats placed that money into the general fund and spent it on their special interest handouts and social programs in order to get reelected.  We need to demand that they stop purloining the transportation slush fund and use it for its original purpose.

Join Americans for Prosperity at a rally in Lawyer's Mall, Annapolis at noon tomorrow Wednesday March 9th

Tell O'Malley and the leftists in the legislature to halt their assault on Maryland taxpayers.

MD-House Gives O'Malley Cover to Set Murderers Free

Well, it's not only fiscal and social issues that are under assault by Maryland Democrats.  They are also ensuring that criminals serving life sentences can get out of jail easier.  Every year, the Democrat controlled legislature passes some reprehensible criminal oriented bill.  This one is simply appalling. 

Earlier today, the House of Delegates passed HB 302 by a74-66 margin.  Under current law, only the Governor can grant the final approval for parole for those serving life sentences after their release is recommended by the Parole Commission.  This bill would grant the Governor 90 days to disapprove of the Commission's decision.  If he fails to act within that time-frame, the criminal is automatically set free!  Keep in mind that anyone who is serving a life sentence in the criminal friendly state of Maryland must really deserve it.  This bill will make it easier for them to obtain parole.

However, there is a more important and insidious aspect to this bill.  Under current law, the Governor has to officially sign off on the parole grant in order for the criminal to be released.  This places the Governor under public scrutiny and forces him to be judicious in his critical decision.  Many Governors have lost credibility and even their future political aspirations from overzealous parole grants.  This new bill will allow the Governor to silently and passively allow the parole to be awarded simply by abstaining from taking action.  Unfortunately, this law will lead to a slew of parole grants for violent criminals by shifting the accountability away from O'Malley.

Marylanders must prepare for the onslaught of violence from released criminals.  Republican House Minority Leader Tony O'Donnell listed a number of violent criminals who currently await O'Malley's action (or inaction) regarding their parole.  He also reiterated the obvious fact that paroled inmates have a staggeringly high rate of recidivism.  Sadly, we cannot protect ourselves with firearms because Maryland violates the constitution by denying us the right to carry.  These leftists really thin of everything!

Now is the Time to Pass an ANWR Bill

It's time to launch a counteroffensive and end the Democrats' war on oil once and for all.

In 1995, the Republican-controlled House and Senate passed a balanced budget act, which contained a provision to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil drilling and exploration.  On December 6th of that year, President Bill Clinton vetoed the bill, ensuring that not a drop of oil would be extracted from the barren land of this 20 million acre area.  We have literally been paying for this veto for the past 15 years.

This gargantuan frozen tundra in the northeast corner of Alaska contains the most oil of any single untapped source within the borders of the U.S.  According to the mean average estimate of the U.S. Geological Survey, there are at least 10.3 billion barrels of oil in ANWR.  Most of this oil can be tapped through a drilling imprint of just 2,000 acres, or .0001%, of the reserve area.  In addition, there is an estimated 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in ANWR.  Only an insidious gang of politicians hell-bent on undermining our national security, economic prosperity, and free market capitalism, could be so intransigent to impound this treasure from the American people.

Yet, for the past 15 years, a truculent group of Democrats, along with a handful of liberal Republicans in the Senate, has prevented another ANWR bill from making its way to the president's desk.  Now, with Obama behind the desk, he has promised to block any effort to drill in ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf, the Rockies, and much of the Gulf coast.  It is high time that we issue a direct challenge to Obama and quell his war on energy independence and productivity.

In 2006, Mike Pence suggested that the Republicans in the House pass an ANWR bill every week.  Now that the GOP is in charge of that body, they should immediately fast track a bill to unlock this barren land of energy bounty and bring it to an 'up or down vote' under a closed rule on the House floor.  Let the Democrats stand before the American people at a time when a lack of oil and gas has inflated the cost of gasoline, electricity, food, and many vital products that must be transported at a gratuitously high price.  Let them regurgitate their fatuous lies about the reproductive life of the caribou while their constituents are languishing from the high energy prices that they have so blithely promoted.  Ultimately, we have the votes to crush their resistance anyway.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Maryland's Energy is Gone With the Wind

Gov. O'Malley is forcing consumers to subsidize their own astronomical utility bills and his corporate cronies

The first few months of 2011 have given rise to a resurgence in federalism.  States across the country are implementing their own legislation to circumvent onerous federal policies; ranging from immigration to environmental regulations.  Red states, bolstered by fresh conservative governors and majorities in their legislatures, are asserting their power to mitigate the effects of odious federal initiatives.  Unfortunately, blue states such as Maryland are using their unique jurisdiction to exacerbate failed government policies. 

The Democrats continue to wage a pertinacious war on the taxpayer and consumer of energy.  Socialists intuitively understand that energy in general, and fossil fuels in particular, are the lifeblood of the capitalist free market economy.  While the federal government failed to pass a cap and trade bill, Governor Martin O'Malley plans to mandate that utility providers use 20% of their energy from 'green energy' by 2022.  Electric companies are forced to purchase renewable energy credits and pay an alternative compliance payment.  These mandates have already enshrined a perpetual hidden cost in the utility bills for Marylanders that has increased precipitously over the past few years.

Not satisfied with gratuitously hiking the cost of terrestrial energy production, O'Malley is now planning to levy a tax for the next 20 years to underwrite the construction of offshore wind farms.  Last Thursday, the Maryland Governor promoted his wind tax before the House Economic Matters Committee, claiming that the charge to Marylanders' electric bills would only amount to $1.44 a month.  His own Public Service Commission, however, estimated that the cost could approach $9.

Here is the Washington Post's analysis of the debate over the costs of this boondoggle:

Friday, March 04, 2011

MD-Senate: The Food Police Behind the Wheel

Driving laws which target cell phone use during vehicle operation tend to resonate with the public.  We can all attest to the fact that erratic driving as a result of phone distraction is quite pervasive.  However, like all laws that are unconstitutional, yet laudatory in purpose, they invariably lead to abuse of power by government.  If you surrender an inch of liberty for 'the better good', they will take a mile.  Point in case is Maryland's new proposed ban on reading text messages while driving.

Yesterday, the Maryland House of delegates overwhelmingly passed H.B. 196-to ban the reading of phone messages while driving.  Del. Michael Smigiel (R-Cecil County) rightly warned that this bill would lead to the infringement on our liberties.  Despite his protests, the bill passed 116-22.

The real fun came in the Senate, as members offered amendments to the Senate version of the text messaging bill (S.B.424).  The bill was sponsored by radical nanny stater Jim Brochin (D-Towson), the politician who disguises himself as a moderate.  Later in the day, RINO Allan Kittleman, the former Republican Senate Leader (unbelievable!), added an amendment to ban eating and drinking while driving!  Luckily, this amendment was defeated, but so were some other common-sense amendments like providing an exception for emergency text messages.

Although the attempt to ban eating while driving was defeated this time, we are all too painfully aware of the history of draconian legislation in Maryland.  It is floated as a radical novelty one year, then becomes consensus the next session. 

Drivers all over the state are justified in their desire to discourage unsafe driving habits.  However, they must cogitate about the consequences of granting government so much power over our daily activities.  What will be next?  A ban on music in the car?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Radical Senate Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

It is well known that the Senate Democrats are on the ropes in 2012.  They are forced to defend 23 seats with many of them being highly vulnerable or open as a result of retirement.  In an attempt to ensconce their true radical ideology from their constituents, a group of 18 Democrat Senators have announce the formation of a new 'moderate' caucus for the 112th Congress.  In case any of you were wondering how there are 18 moderate Democrats when not a single one dissented from leadership on major bills, you are not missing anything.  Take a look at the names and you will find it amusing.

The Group is led by Sens. Carper (DE), Mark Udall (Colorado) and Kay Hagan (N.C.).  Others joining the group include Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Chris Coons of Delaware, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester of Montana, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Chris Coons, the bearded Marxist, is actually on the list.  The joke is that the leaders of the group have accrued an almost impeccable liberal voting record.  Sens. Carper, Udall, and Hagan have obtained a 0, 8, and 4 respectively from the American Conservative Union for the 2012 legislative session!  What a joke.  A moderate would score an average of 50.  The only person to come close was Ben Nelson, checking in at 48.  However, even Nelson, voted for all of the prized bills of the radical left like ObamaCare, DADT repeal, START, Disclose Act, and the Dodd-Frank financial services takeover.

It would be nice if these radical statists would have the temerity to own up to their liberalism and speak candidly with their constituents.  Unfortunately, they will attempt to sound like staunch conservatives who support budget austerity throughout the 2012 election season.  We must work assiduously to remind their constituents of their radical agenda in Washington.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Secretary Chu's Insidious Economics of Energy

Obama and Chu are water-boarding American consumers in ethanol and regressing us to the Middle Ages

Earlier today, Energy Secretary Steven Chu reiterated his insouciance to the plight of the American consumer of oil and gas.  Chu told members of the Senate Budget Committee that there is no need to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves because it will be corrected by spare world oil capacity:

"we have spare capacity, we expect naturally that the market forces will take care of this.” “But we are concerned and we will watch it very carefully.”
Well, it is nice to know that Chu actually has faith in the free market.  It is just a shame that the market of "spare capacity" is controlled by Saudi Arabia and not our own energy production- thanks to Chu and his boss.  Imagine if George Bush had refused to release the Strategic Petroleum Reserves in 2006 out of deference to the market forces.

The broader issue is that we are only discussing the strategic reserves because the Obama administration has malevolently extirpated our domestic energy production of oil, gas, and coal.  But fear not, Secretary Chu has a long term solution for high oil prices.  This is what he told reporters following the Senate hearing today:

Let There be Light!

One of the most egregious and unconstitutional acts of the Pelosi congress was the passage of the "Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007".  This bill, despite its Orwellian name, will actually ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs by 2014.  This law needs to be repealed immediately.  It must be one of the most pressing priorities for the new GOP controlled House.  If the Democrats Senate and Obama attempt to oppose its repeal, let us hang it around their necks in 2012.

Thankfully, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann has once again taken the lead by introducing H.R. 849, "The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act".  This bill would repeal the provisions of the 2007 energy bill that set energy-efficiency standards for incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and labeling standards.

This is an issue that is good policy and good politics for Republicans.  While there are many echo freaks out there, they are far from a majority of the nation.  Incandescent light bulbs are also a lot cheaper than those curly mercury bulbs and most people will not acquiesce to higher costs for such a mundane item.  Let's defeat yet another regressive act of the progressives. 

Call your House and Senate members and ask them to co-sponsor HR 849 and let there be light!



MD-House: Call Your State Delegate and Preserve Marriage in MD

Yesterday, the Democrats on the state House Judicial Proceedings Committee had trouble rounding up their members to vote the gay marriage bill to the floor.  This gives us more time to flood their offices with emails.  All of the Republicans are definitive votes against this travesty.  Please email all of the Democrats on the Committee and demand that they preserve marriage in Maryland.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Duplicative Programs Cost More than GOP Cuts

Republicans can use GAO report to cut more spending and inhibit the Democrat money laundering operation.

Yesterday, we dinged Senator Coburn for his involvement in the 'Gang of Six'.  Today, we commend him for initiating a GAO report which exposes the contempt in which the statists view taxpayers.

Conservatives have always known that the promulgation of government programs was not conceived from some genuine conviction of Keynesian economics, or a professed concern for the recipients.  Most government programs serve the function of a circuitous campaign financing operation for the Democrat Party.  Taxpayer funds are expended indiscriminately for redistribution programs that create dependency and are administered by special interest groups.  The dependency constituents are to reciprocate the taxpayer-funded favor by voting for Democrats, while the special interest groups are to recompense with campaign donations.

The best illustration of the malevolence fueling the expansion of government is the appalling degree of waste and duplicity that is perpetuated by the advocates of big government.  It is one thing to credulously believe in the virtues of unconstitutional and inefficacious programs.  It is downright criminal to compound them with duplicative programs with no regard for the consequences.  In other words, one ethanol program might demonstrate economic illiteracy; multiple ethanol programs exemplify Democrat payoffs to special interests.

Earlier today, Senator Coburn announced that the GAO report he commissioned a year ago has identified 34 major areas of wasteful spending, totaling at least $100-$200 billion. You can read the full 345 page report here and the 15 page summary of wasteful agencies and programs here.