JAMES SIMPSON: A common complaint we hear about members of Congress is that they have never served in the military. A total of 95 veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the National Guard are current House members (the 96th, John Murtha just died). This represents a mere 20 percent of sitting Members of Congress and is a record low. We can chalk this up as one good reason for Congress’s stunning ignorance regarding military matters.
“I will go to Washington to do battle against Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Steny Hoyer and the rest of them. They have never seen anything like the Southern fried butt whipping that’s coming at them!” Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.)
Among the many encouraging signs for the nation as we head into the 2010 midterm elections is the number of first-time Republican candidates for Congress who are recent military veterans. There is even an organization supporting them: Iraq Veterans for Congress (IVC). Read more…
JAMES SIMPSON: Many are puzzled that Democrats persist in ramming unpopular and destructive legislation down our collective throats while seemingly unconcerned by their plummeting poll numbers. A widespread belief is that the Democrats are committing political suicide and will be swept from one or both houses of Congress with unprecedented electoral losses next November. But since Democrat politicians rarely do things that will not ultimately benefit themselves, this column asked two weeks ago: “what do they know that we don’t?”
We may have found out. It’s called universal voter registration. The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund described the Democrat plan recently at a David Horowitz Freedom Center forum.
WASHINGTON: One bright reader nominated both Democratic caucuses of the Senate and the House as joint recipients for the 2009 Prevaricator of the Year™. This is in acknowledgement for their fine work on Healthcare and Cap and Trade this year.
Our models were showing their nomination in the lead until a White House staffer nominated President Obama and forwarded this video to us. So it is anyone’s guess at this time who will win in the end.
Let us know who you think should receive the prestigious 2009 Prevaricator of the Year™. We have developed a very advanced proprietary algorithm to make the final decision, but our readers’ nominations are assessed heavy weighting. Email, leave comments here, tweet us, contact us, call us, just get your nominations in before it is too late.
WASHINGTON: In an unprecedented move the Senate has add language to the healthcare bill that prohibits future changes or repeal. On page 1020 of Senate version HR3590 (full text available here) it states:
‘‘(B) LIMITATION ON CHANGES TO THE 6 BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS IN OTHER LEGISLATION.—It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report (other than pursuant to this section) that would repeal or otherwise change the recommendations of the Board if that change would fail to satisfy the requirements of sub-paragraphs (A)(i) and (C) of subsection (c)(2). ‘‘(C) LIMITATION ON CHANGES TO THIS SUBSECTION.—It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.
Senator Jim DeMint explains it a whole lot better than we can. Here is a transcript of the video below: Read more…
Democrats and a few Republicans must harbor the same mistaken assumption concerning American fiscal policy as that of Philip A. S. Franklin, Vice President of White Star Line when he made a comment in response to the sinking of his company’s ship, the RMS Titanic. He said “I thought her unsinkable and I based [my] opinion on the best expert advice available.” America has hit a fiscal iceberg and the ship is rapidly flooding with debt that will soon drag it to the bottom of the sea floor, and instead of bailing water over the bow, Congress is widening the hole allowing more debt to flood in.
Over the weekend Congress gave final approval to a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending measure that increases budgets for federal government agencies an average of 12 percent and gives federal workers a 2 percent pay increase. The bill also includes 5,224 pet projects known as earmarks at a cost of $4 billion. But what’s a few billion when you’re spending over a trillion dollars; we can afford it, right? (To get an idea of what a trillion dollars looks like, check out this link.)
Here is a small sampling of the disclosed earmarks:
$2.7 million to support surgical operations in space.
$200,000 for the Washington National Opera.
$30,000 for the Woodstock Film Festival Youth Initiative. Read more…
Current law prohibits the community organization ACORN and its associated groups from receiving any federal funds from any federal law currently on the books, (P.L 111-68 Sec. 163). However, the Eric Holder Justice Department has interpreted the law’s phraseology in such a way that permits federal agencies to pay ACORN for “binding contractual obligations” the government made before the current prohibition was enacted.
This interpretation may go a long way toward effectively neutralizing ACORN’s funding prohibition, and it is a questionable interpretation at best. The actual ban reads as follows:
None of the funds made available from this joint resolution or any other prior Act may be provided to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or allied organizations. H.R. 2918
The Justice Department has decided that the phrase “provided to” is unclear and “has no established meaning in appropriations law.” They cite terms more frequently used, such as “obligate” and “expend,” that have widely accepted meaning in spending legislation. They go on to arduously defend their point by exhaustively listing the many definitions of “provide” given in Websters, Oxford and American Heritage dictionaries and even Roget’s Thesaurus. Like Bill Clinton, they probably could have found as many definitions for the word “is…”
WASHINGTON: When you were a kid, do you remember watching the animated School House Rock video, “I’m Just a Bill” and having that reassuring feeling that the legislative process was transparent and straightforward?
Me? Well perhaps it was the catchy tune and the vocally gifted piece of parchment paper begging for my sympathy (after all the bill just wanted to be signed), I felt at ease that those writing the bills were honorable citizens and disinterested legislators.
Now, a few years later amidst the cloudy and uncertain debate of health care, my mind is catapulted back to the elementary depiction of our government at work, and one question stands forefront in my mind. Who are the people that are writing the health care bill? Ordinary citizens? Unbiased legislators? As it turns out, the beloved cartoon of American educators everywhere failed to depict the true scribes of many of our laws. Read more…
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