As Massachusetts enjoys another snowstorm, I thought you might enjoy this video from Minnesotans For Global Warming–the video is called “The Twelve Days of Global Warming.” It can be found at YouTube. Enjoy the snowstorm.
Monthly Archives: December 2009
Happy New Year–May We Get It Right In 2010!
As we end the year, it seems only fair to post a musical summary of 2009. This summary can be found at jibjab.com. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2010! (And may the New Orleans Saints win the Superbowl!!!)
The current Administration in Washington has referred to the 9/11 terrorist attacks as man-caused disasters. This is poliltical correctness taken to the extreme. Meanwhile, there is no comment from the administration on the man-caused disaster that is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal reported that on Christmas Eve the Obama Administration removed the $400 billion limit on funds given to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to keep them solvent.
The article points out:
“Fannie and Freddie’s congressional sponsors–some of whom are now leading the administration’s effort to “reform” the financial system–have a lot to answer for. Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, sponsored legislation adopted in 2008 that established a new regulatory structure for the GSEs. But by then it was far too late. The GSEs had begun buying risky loans in 1993 to meet the “affordable housing” requirements established under congressional direction by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).”
There have been attempts to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In 2005 the Democrats blocked legislation by the Republican controlled Banking Committee that would have established more auditing and oversight of the two agencies. When you look at bonuses paid over the years to people high up in the agency, you see many names you recognize and major players in the Democrat party.
The article points out:
“By the end of 2008, Fannie and Freddie held or guaranteed approximately 10 million subprime and Alt-A mortgages and mortgage-backed securities (MBS)–risky loans with a total principal balance of $1.6 trillion. These are now defaulting at unprecedented rates, accounting for both their 2008 insolvency and their growing losses today. Since 2008, under government control, the two agencies have continued to buy dicey mortgages in order to stabilize housing prices.”
The role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the mortgage crisis is obvious. My question is this, with the amount of money the government is having to pour into these entities to keep them solvent, why are their top employees being paid very large bonuses?
On December 27, RightWingGranny reported that the top twelve executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be receiving bonuses totaling up to $5 million. This is taxpayer money–we are bailing them out–why are they getting bonuses?
Knowing Our Enemy Part 4
This is the last in a series of four articles from the Washington Examiner which they have posted to help all of us understand who we are fighting in the war on terror. It is written by Andrew G. Bostom and is found at the Washington Examiner today.
The opening paragraph of the article states:
“Turkey’s current Prime Minister Erdogan, commenting in August, 2007 on the term “moderate Islam,” frequently used in the West to describe his ruling political party, the AKP, stated, “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.””
So what are we doing when we attempt to make friends with ‘moderate’ Muslims?
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (a 57 nation group that includes all Muslim nations and makes up the largest voting bloc in the UN) ratified the 1990 Cairo Declaration, or “Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.” This universal declaration includes such statements as:
“Articles 19 and 22 reiterate Shari’a principles, stated throughout the document, which clearly apply to the “punishment”–death–for so-called “apostates” from Islam.”
“The Cairo Declaration–entirely consistent with Islamic Law–also introduces unacceptable discrimination against non-Muslims and women, while sanctioning the legitimacy of dehumanizing, Shari’a-compliant punishments such as flogging, amputation, and stoning.”
The article points out that a large percentage of Muslims in the world believe in the principles of Sharia law and seek the establishment of a worldwide Caliphate run on the principles of Sharia law.
This is the enemy we face. There is no room for negotiation. Our leaders need to understand that the jihadists are not fighting us because of what we have done or are doing–they are fighting us because of who we are and the freedoms we enjoy. Closing Guantanamo or releasing a few token terrorists will not end this war. The only way the war on terror ends is when a point is reached where the terrorist training camps are closed, the terrorist leaders are dead, and the terrorists-in-training decide they don’t want to die also.
Are We Back To The September 10, 2001, Mentality About Terrorism?
A website called the Strata-Sphere.com reported today on subtle changes that have been made in the intelligence community since President Obama took office. The article points out that the Christmas Day bomber was placed on the British government’s watch list in May 2009. At that point the U. S. Embassy in London, the U. S. State Department, and the U. S. intelligence agencies would have been notified of this due to intelligence sharing agreements entered into after September 11, 2001. Unnamed sources in the State Department have come forward to say that since President Obama took office they are being encouraged not to create the appearance of profiling or targeting Muslims. It also seems as if terrorism has moved back to being a criminal matter–a very bad idea.
Wikipedia lists 272 terrorist attacks in 2009. Since the vast majority of those attacks were carried out by Muslims, does it not make sense to watch Muslims more carefully when they enter America or are moving around the country? Al Qaeda is not stupid. I am sure they realize that for now, with President Obama, they don’t have to worry about profiling, but I am willing to bet that they are scouring the world to find blond blue-eyed radicals in case America ever decides to defend itself.
The French Courts Reject Their Version Of Cap And Trade
As soon as healthcare reform is dispensed with (one way or the other), the next fun legislation the radicals in Congress have in mind is Cap and Trade (known lovingly as Cap and Tax). This is the bill that if healthcare had cooperated better in being passed in October or November, President Obama would have taken to Copenhagen to show what great little ‘green’ people we are. It will thoroughly cripple our economy if passed, but we will have the satisfaction of knowing what great little ‘green’ people we are. People will lose their jobs, children will go hungry, people will lose their houses, but we will be great little ‘green’ people. We’ll see what happens next.
France tried to pass its version of Cap and Trade to be enacted January 1st, but they have run into a few problems. Bloomberg.com is reporting today that the French Constitutional Court has rejected a tax on carbon emissions, saying that the exceptions in the law violated the concept of equality and and totally undercut the attempt to limit greenhouse gases.
The article points out:
“The tax, which would have started on Jan. 1, was set at 17 euros ($24.38) per ton of carbon-dioxide emissions, President Nicolas Sarkozy said in September. To make the tax more palatable, he partially or fully exempted power plants, public transport, airlines, farming and fishing, as well as 1,018 older cement, steel and glass factories.
“In all, 93 percent of all industrial carbon emissions in France would have avoided paying the full tax, the constitutional court said in a decision published on its Web site. The tax would have fallen disproportionately on fuel for heating and cars, it said.”
Stop a minute and think how this would work in America. Corporations and industries generally have lobbies that pay serious money to influence legislation. You and I, the average American, have only our votes. Guess who will get the breaks if Cap and Tax comes to America? Guess who will make serious money if Cap and Tax comes to America? Oddly enough, people like Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi are heavily invested in industries that will profit greatly from a carbon tax. General Electric, which owns some media outlets is heavily invested in the new energy that is supposed to develop from Cap and Tax legislation. Do you think they would use their media outlets to portray Cap and Tax in a positive way? Hmmm.
Knowing Our Enemy Part 3 – The Finances Of Our Enemy
This is the third in a series of four articles from the Washington Examiner which they have posted to help all of us understand who we are fighting in the war on terror. It is written by David Yerushalmi and can be found at the Washington Examiner today.
Mr. Yerushalmi begins the article citing the meltdown of Dubai World — a quasi-sovereign global concern that owns 77 percent of the international port manager DP World and the single largest real estate developer in Dubai.
He points out:
“What makes this story more than simply one of a massive real estate investment company gone bad is the double-edged sword so prevalent in the chase for oil-based Middle East wealth: Sovereign wealth funds and Shariah-compliant finance.”
Beginning in the 1970’s with the oil embargo and the continually rising prices of oil, Persian Gulf countries have had major amounts of money to spend. Since 9/11 the Muslim Brotherhood has been aggressively promoting the doctrine of Shariah-compliant Finance. The goal in doing this was to impose Shariah law as the supreme law of the world (this is another reason we need to develop our own energy sources).
The article points out:
“Dubai World, a company wholly owned by the Dubai sovereign has funded itself through debt to the tune of $60 billion. The Dubai debt now in default just happens to be SCF bonds, or “sukuk.”
“These bonds pay interest just like their forbidden cousins in the Western markets, but the interest is put into a black box of Shariah-created fictions and “special purpose vehicles” to keep the forbidden interest off the books.”
Right now we have a combination of greed and extreme self-interest in the international financial world and a blindness of western governments to the threat financial sharia represents.
The article concludes:
“The result has been the perfect convergence: Western financial markets in dire need of liquidity; the liquidity available in the sovereign wealth funds of the Persian Gulf Shariah faithful; and the willful blindness by Western governments to understand the threat Shariah poses as an existential and institutional reality within a financial system already on the precipice of wholesale failure.”
Again, I would like to point out the words of Mark Tapscott who explained in his introduction to these four articles that our first and most important defense against the enemy we are facing in the war on terror is to know the enemy.
Knowing Our Enemy Part 2
Yesterday I posted the first of a series of four articles from the Washington Examiner which they have posted to help all of us understand who we are fighting in the war on terror. The second article can be found at the Washington Examiner and is written by Tawfik Hamid.
Mr. Hamid points out that honoring the traditional dances or mores of a culture is a positive thing, but honoring the stoning of women in a culture should not be viewed as a positive thing.
Mr. Hamid points out that after the Danish newspaper published cartoons of Mohammed there were no demonstrations by Muslims for four months. It was only after the magazine apologized for publishing the cartoons that the violence began.
The article points out:
“The violent response to the cartoons occurred in early February of 2006; only 72 hours after the magazine apologized for publishing the cartoons. This apology was likely perceived by radical Muslims as weakness, and thus initiated a wave of Islamic violence that spread to many parts of the world.
“Similarly, making concessions to Islamic Shariah law can serve as a provocation to radical Islam, as it gives the radicals the impression that the West should bow to their Islamic laws.”
The article points out that in respecting the religious freedom of Muslims we need to aware of which religious practices affect only the person who practices them and which practices have a negative effect on others. Muslims must be required to practice their religion within the bounds of the American legal system, otherwise we run the risk of importing some of the more barbaric aspects of Muslim law–honor killings, stonings, etc. In America we do have religious freedom, but that is the freedom to practice your religion within the boundaries of the law. Murder is against the law.
This is a time to show our faith as a country in the validity of our laws, it is not a time to try to bend those laws to an immigrant group that has refused to assimilate.
What Constitutes Victory In The War On Terror?
Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner writes yesterday about our enemy in the war on terror:
“Because the first and most essential defense is to know the truth about this enemy, The Washington Examiner this week is publishing a four-part series focusing on the nature of the Jihadist threat and what must be done to defeat it.
“Monday’s first installment in the series was written by Jed Babbin, editor of Human Events, author of “In the Words of Our Enemies” and other essential reading on the U.S. strategic position in the world, and former deputy undersecretary of defense in the first Bush administration. Babbin argues that neither the Obama nor the prior Bush administration has correctly defined the nature or identity of terrorist nations.”
This is the link to the first article in the series by Jed Babbin, Washington Examiner. Mr Babbin states that:
“Islam is a religion, an integration of beliefs and assertions that prescribes worship in a particular way. But radical Islam, we must insist, is different. Though it stems from a set of religious beliefs, it is also a hegemonic and aggressive ideology that requires of its adherents that they either enslave or wage war against nonbelievers.
“Such an ideology cannot be defeated with guns alone. But it can and must be defeated in the war of ideas, which we have not chosen to fight.”
He points out that the first thing we need to do is prove that freedom under our constitution is superior to enslavement under a religious tyranny. The second thing to do is to demand that the ‘moderate’ Islam leaders acknowledge and stand against the radicals in their own ranks.
Jeb Babbin concludes:
“That is why democracy cannot be built among those whose culture defines itself — as radical Islam does — as intolerant of other religions and which seeks hegemony over those who do not share its particular brand of intolerance.
“President Reagan understood the power of ideas. When he condemned the Soviet Union as an evil empire, when his speeches embraced those who fought for freedom such as Lech Walesa and Poland’s Solidarity Movement, he helped free the millions who suffered under communist oppression.
“If we are to defeat radical Islam, our national leaders must understand this, and follow Reagan’s example in every thought, in every speech and in every action.”
Until we get rid of the concept of political correctness and the idea that all cultures are equal, we will never be able to defend ourselves against Islamic terrorists.
The Need To Rethink What To Do With The Terrorists We Are Holding At Guantanamo
The Blotter from Brian Ross at ABC News reported yesterday that the two men behind the plot to blow up a Northwest Passenger Jet on Christmas Day had been released from Guantanamo in 2007.
According to the article:
“Guantanamo prisoner #333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi, and prisoner #372, Said Ali Shari, were sent to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 9, 2007, according to the Defense Department log of detainees who were released from American custody. Al-Harbi has since changed his name to Muhamad al-Awfi.”
The men were sent to Saudi Arabia where they attended an “art therapy program” and were later released (having been rehabilitated?).
The article describes the rehabilitation program:
“One program gives the former detainees paints and crayons as part of the rehabilitation regimen.
“A similar rehabilitation program in Yemen was stopped because so many of the detainees quickly joined with al Qaeda or its affiliates, the official said.
“The increased role of al Qaeda in Yemen, which joined with the Saudi al Qaeda unit, has underscored the problem of how to best handle the repatriation of detainees at Guantanamo.”
I have only one question–why in the world do we want to keep terrorists anywhere other than Guantanamo? At Guantanamo there is no possibility of escape, and frankly, if you look at living conditions in Cuba, would you want to escape? At Guantanamo there is no real interest by the terrorists in making the surrounding area a terrorist target. Cuba is an island. It is easy to monitor people arriving and leaving the island. On May 20 of this year, the New York Times reported that one in seven of the prisoners released from Guantanamo has returned to terrorism. Are we willing to take that risk?
Terrorism Is An International Issue
Mlive.com (which seems to be a website for Michigan news) reported a story yesterday by a passenger on the plane with terrorist Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab on Christmas Day. The passenger and his wife (Kurt and Lori Haskell) are attorneys who happened to be on that plane. Mr. Haskell reports that he saw Mutallab, who was poorly dressed, approach the boarding gate with a man who was expensively dressed.
The article reports:
“…He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, ‘He’s from Sudan and we do this all the time.'”“Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab’s lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.”…”
Putting Healthcare On Layaway
Armstrong Williams has a post today in the Washington Times about Congress’ plan to ‘save’ us money by passing their healthcare reform bill.
Mr. Williams points out::
“It’s easy to “save money” over 10 years, as the bill’s proponents deceitfully claim, if you’re fudging the numbers. See, Congress is going to collect revenues (taxes, fees) for four years to save up for the benefits that don’t fully kick in until 2014. What a terrible bargain. I don’t know anyone who would start making car payments today for a car they can’t drive off the lot till 2014, but that’s basically what Congress is doing with this health care reform.”
Years ago, in the age of dinosaurs, when most wives stayed at home and incomes were generally lower, there was something called ‘layaway.’ I think some stores still use it, but for many reasons (among others, we are a society that demands instant gratification), it is not as common as it was twenty years ago. Under the ‘layaway’ plan, you might go shopping for all your Christmas presents in October. You would then ask the store to put them aside, and you would make payments on the items until they were paid for. Then you would bring them home. That is what Congress is doing with this healthcare bill.
My question is simple. Are you willing to pay for something for four years without receiving any benefit from it? Layaway was not generally used for items that were needed immediately. If providing health insurance for everyone is so important, why are we spending four years paying for it without it actually happening?
As I have said before, it’s time to scrap this bill and start over with both parties working together. We need tort reform, portability across state lines, insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, and tax credits to help low income people buy health insurance. We need less regulation of healthcare insurance, not more. The free market works much better than the government–compare FedEx to the Post Office. Even though the Post Office is no longer officially part of the government, they are run basically according to government rules. The Post Office loses money, FedEx makes a profit. Why? Because FedEx pays people to make decisions that will result in higher efficiency and higher profits. They are profit based. Healthcare that is profit based makes better medical decisions than the government does. Setting up 111 new government agencies to oversee healthcare will never save us money!
If you oppose the healthcare bill and your representatives in Congress are not listening to you, call any friends you may have in Massachusetts. The only way to stop this thing is to elect Scott Brown to the Senate–he will be the 41st Republican vote against the current healthcare bill. Our representatives are not representing us, it’s time to elect someone who will.
Looking For My Keys Under The Street Light
Anyone over the age of five has heard to joke about the man who seemed to be furiously searching for something under a street light. Another man stopped him and asked what he was looking for. The first man replied that he had lost his car keys across the street and was looking for them under the street light. When asked why he was looking for his keys on one side of the street instead of where he had lost them, he replied that the light was better under the street light. The story seems incredibly stupid, but think a minute. That’s what we have been doing with national security in the war on terror.
The New York Post posted an article detailing the history of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who has been charged with attempting to blow up Northwest Flight 253 on Friday. About six months ago, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father reported to the US Embassy in Nigeria that he was concerned about his son’s extremist behavior. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was on the US National Counterterrorism Center watch list in November. Evidently no one chekced the watch list, and the airports in Nigeria and in Amsterdam did not sufficiently screen for explosives. Any one of these measures, which are supposedly routine, would have prevented Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from getting his explosives on that airplane. The only things that saved the people aboard that airplane were a faulty detonator and the quick actions of the other passengers. What is the reaction of homeland security? Instead of looking at the actions that failed–the lack of follow-up on a report of a potential terrorist and the insufficient screening of passengers overseas, they are going to futher restrict the actions of the fellow passengers! There are reports that passengers will not be allowed to use the bathrooms or have personal items or blankets on their laps during the last hour of any flight. Great! So the terrorists will plan their activities for one hour and fifteen minutes before the flight ends! This is the national security equivalent of looking for your keys under the street light when you actually dropped them across the street!
Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Bonuses
Allgov.com posted an article today stating that the top twelve executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will receive bonuses and incentive payments this year of up to $5 million. At the same time Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is reporting that the Obama Administration has decided to cover an unlimited amount of losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
According to the article:
“The Treasury announced Thursday it was removing the caps that limited the amount of available capital to the companies to $200 billion each.”
This is an amazing combination of facts. On October 16th, RightWingGranny.com posted an article stating:
“Today’s Power Line posted an article on the Pay Czar’s decision that Ken Lewis, Chairman of the Board of Bank of America, would work for free in 2009. Not only will he not be paid for the rest of the year, he has been asked to return the $1 million he has already received this year. Mr. Lewis agreed to the decision, stating that “he felt it was not in the best interest of Bank of America for him to get involved in a dispute with the paymaster.””
The argument made at the time for the government’s being able to cut Ken Lewis’ pay so drastically was that the government had bailed out the Bank of America financially. The government has also bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so why do thier executives receive hugh bonuses while the head of Bank of American loses his pay?
This seems to be a very uneven exercise of government power and may be an example of why the government should not be allowed to meddle with salaries in the business community.
Attention Massachusetts Voters!!!!
As the Senate passes a horrible healthcare bill, raises the debt ceiling by $290 billion, and continues its runaway spending, would you like to take their hand out of your pocket?
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO DO JUST THAT!!!!!
One of the reasons Washington is so tone deaf to the American people right now is that both the White House and both houses of Congress are ruled by the same party–the Democrats. There is no need for bi-partisanship and no effort made to include the ideas of the minority party in any debate or legislation. What you have in Washington is a bunch of people all having the same worldview with no room for input from anyone who does not share that worldview. Unfortunately for the American taxpayer, the worldview is “Bigger Government Is Better Government.”
There is a way to stop this runaway spending train, and Massachusetts, you hold the key!
Scott Brown is the Republican candidate for Ted Kennedy’s seat. He is running against Democrat Martha Coakley. Ms. Coakley, if elected, would be the sixtieth vote for the Democrats, just as Ted Kennedy was, and just as his appointed replacement is. If she is elected, the runaway spending will continue. She is a liberal Democrat who tends to support the party line. Although she will occasionally disagree with her party, that is unusual and cannot be depended upon.
Scott Brown tends to be an independent thinker. He has been active in state politics long enough to know how politics works and has done a commendable job as a State Senator. He would be the 41st vote for the Republicans–the vote that would be needed to filibuster bad legislation. The election of Scott Brown would force bipartisanship back to Washington and provide a chance for the best ideas of both parties to be heard and enacted.
Massachusetts, it’s up to you–vote for Scott Brown on January 19th or hold on to your wallet–it’s about to be raided again!
I’m Not Sure This Is Diplomacy
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported on a possible trip to Iran by Senator John Kerry. Senator Kerry is Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate, so the idea that he would visit Iran is not unusual–other than the fact that the US has previously demanded concessions in Iran’s nuclear program before agreeing to direct talks.
The interesting part of this possible visit is the timing. The Iranian people are protesting in the streets again and the government is cracking down on protestors again. The recent death of cleric Hossein Ali Montazeri has caused a new wave of protests against the current government in Iran.
The article states:
“”We’ve eschewed high-level visits to Iran for the last 30 years. I think now — when the Iranian regime’s fate is less certain than ever — is not the best time to begin,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at Washington’s Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“”The wrong message would be sent to the Iranian people by such a high-level visit: The U.S. loves dictatorial regimes,” said Hossein Askari, a professor at George Washington University and former adviser to Iranian governments.”
The visit of Senator Kerry would be consistent with the Obama Administration’s tendency to support tyranny over democracy. The only real chance we have of stopping Iran’s nuclear program is regime change. To strengthen the current regime at this time is to increase greatly the chances of a war in that region. If Iran’s nuclear program continues, at some point Israel will attack it and there will be chaos in the region (not to mention what it will do to the price of oil around the world). Sending John Kerry to Iran is a bad idea.
How Much Is $12.4 Trillion ?
Just before the Senate went home for Christmas, they passed a bill (in addition to healthcare). According to Breitbart.com, that bill will raise the debt ceiling in the United States to $ 12.4 trillion. That bill raises the debt ceiling by $290 billion. The vote was very much along party lines, with one Republican voting for the bill and Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana voting against the bill.
The article quotes Senator Bayh as saying:
“I would not support raising the debt ceiling because Congress has not adopted a credible process to restrain spending and eliminate red ink,”
Senator Bayh is running for re-election in 2010. I have my own personal theory that if things continue in their current direction nationally, Senator Bayh may challenger Barack Obama for the Presidency in a Democrat primary. I know that it is unusual to challenge a sitting President in a primary election, but depending on what President Obama’s approval ratings are in 2011 and depending on the results of the 2010 midterm elections, I think it is possible.
The article points out:
“Thursday’s debt limit measure and the larger version looming in January require a supermajority of 60 votes to pass. Democrats control the chamber with 60 votes, which could require all 60 members of the Democratic caucus to vote for it, including several members who are politically endangered.
“The current measure is needed as a result of the out-of-control budget deficit, which registered $1.4 trillion for the budget year that ended in September. The current debt ceiling is $12.1 trillion and is set to be reached by Dec. 31.”
China has voiced concern over the amount of debt the US is incurring. American is going to run out of money at some point. The reason for the large increase in the debt ceiling is to try to avoid having to raise it too many times before the 2010 elections. It is also interesting that even though the majority of the ‘benefits’ in the healthcare bill don’t actually begin until 2014, if the bill is passed and signed, the tax increases will begin immediately.
There will be no further posts at this site until after Christmas. I know that there are a lot of important things going on now, but they will have to wait until Saturday. If you need a blog fix for Christmas, there is a wonderful Christmas story posted at Power Line.
Enjoy the day with your family. If you don’t have a family, volunteer in a soup kitchen, and if you are in an airport, thank a soldier. Have a wonderful holiday. I promise to get back to work on Saturday!
Merry Christmas To All Our Military And Their Families
We need to remember that as our servicemen protect and defend our country, their wives and families serve too. This is a note that appeared on facebook from a friend of mine.
Mark’s Christmas tree that the kids bought with their own money to send to him. They had to make sure Daddy had a tree this year! If you can’t tell, the colors are all Ohio State! “Go Bucks… Come Home Soon Daddy!” was a note left inside the box from the kids to Mark! Merry Christmas Mark!
Please remember all of our military families this Christmas!
Finally–A Bi-Partisan Bill In Congress!
No, it’s not healthcare! the Washington Examiner reported yesterday that on December 15th the House of Representatives passed a bill by a margin of 412 to 12. The bill is called the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act.
According to the article:
“The bill targets a major Iranian vulnerability. Even though it has vast stores of oil — it’s the world’s fourth-largest producer — Iran has little capacity to refine that oil into gasoline, diesel fuel, and other usable products. So an oil-rich nation has to import gas. If it can’t get the gas, it can’t keep its economy going. The legislation would crack down on the companies that provide the fuel that keeps the Iranian theocracy in business.”
Iran’s nuclear program is continuing. There is no doubt that the program is not moving toward peaceful purposes. This bill calls for the Obama Administration to deal with the problem at hand rather than ignoring it.
The bill has moved to the Senate, where is is temporarily sidelined by the healthcare debate. The bill also has bipartisan support in the Senate and is expected to pass easily. America’s allies have already signaled their support for tougher sanctions against Iran, America just needs to act.
Hopefully when this bill reaches President Obama’s desk, he will sign it quickly. There may be unpleasant consequences to limiting the amount of refined petroleum products that Iran can import, but those consequences will be mild compared to the consequences of Iran having a nuclear bomb.
The Battle For Renewable Energy
As the Copenhagen Conference tells us we need to cut our greenhouse emissions to save the planet, the obvious solution is to move toward ‘green’ energy. Some of this energy has already shown to be somewhat practical–wind farms in Texas and other places and solar energy, which has also been cited as a possible future source of energy. You would think that the Congressmen (and women) who claim they want to save the planet would welcome either option. Well, not so fast.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Senator Dianne Feinstein has sponsored a bill that would create two monuments in the Mojave Desert in California and would ban renewable energy projects on that land. Goldman Sachs and other developers had planned several large solar power plants that have now been derailed. Senator Feinstein did, however, include in the bill provisions that would allow the construction of renewable energy plants in other parts of the desert.
The article points out:
“The legislation would also require federal agencies to accelerate their approval of renewable energy projects and lease applications for use of federal land. But it would ban renewable energy production on donated federal land outside the monument areas unless an application was submitted before Dec. 1.”
If ‘green energy’ is all that green, why are we having problems building its infrastructure?
This Is Interesting If It Is True
The Canada Free Press has been a reliable source of information on news the American press has not bothered to report. It is my source for this story. I haven’t seen the story anywhere else.
On Wednesday, December 16, the Canada Free Press reported that the United Nations was planning to move out of New York City in 2015. According to the article, the preliminary report recommends a move to Singapore, setting a target date for the completion of new headquarters in 2015.
The article reminds us:
“In November of 2005, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan proposed renovations to the United Nations Headquarters to be completed by 2014. That plan was not approved by the General Assembly, which instead resolved to seek a new location more central to its populous member countries.”
The United Nations sits on sixteen acres of land in New York City. There have been complaints by members of the United Nations recently about the lack of affordable housing in the United States and the United States’ ‘unfair’ immigration policies. Frankly, when you think of some of the recent problems of the UN–food for oil, child rape by relief workers, etc., I would not be sorry to see the organization leave America.
The UN began well–it was set up to enforce peace and protect human rights. Unfortunately it has degenerated into a group of tyrants who surpress freedom in their own countries while asking the free countries of the world to subsidize them. I have thought for years that America needs to withdraw from membership in the UN and let the dictators continue to run it. What is needed is a group of democracies working together to protect human rights and deal with the bullies of the world.
Page 1020 Of The Healthcare Bill
Yesterday’s blog at the Weekly Standard has a post which points out a rather troubling provision of the healthcare bill found on Page 1020.
The provision states:
“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.”
The subsection referred to is the Independent Medicare Advisory Board.
The article points out:
“According to page 1001 of the Reid bill, the purpose of the Independent Medical Advisory Board is to “reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending.” For any fearmongers out there tempted to call an unelected body that recommends Medicare cuts a “Death Panel,” let me be clear. According to page 1004, IMAB proposals “shall not include any recommendation to ration health care”–you know, just like the bill says there’s no funding for abortion.”
At this point I am wondering if this bill is constitutional. I am not sure that it is constitutional to require Americans to purchase something (heath insurance) or to send them to jail if they do not comply. I keep hoping someone on the Democrat side will have the courage to stop this thing. We need a “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” moment.
Words To Remember In The Healthcare Bill
On Saturday, at the blog at the Weekly Standard, William Kristol pointed out a paragraph in the Senate healthcare bill that needs to be noticed by the American public.
The paragraph is as follows:
“Based on the extrapolation described above, CBO expects that Medicare spending under the legislation would increase at an average annual rate of roughly 6 percent during the next two decades–well below the roughly 8 percent annual growth rate of the past two decades (excluding the effect of establishing the Medicare prescription drug benefit). Adjusting for inflation, Medicare spending per beneficiary under the legislation would increase at an average annual rate of less than 2 percent during the next two decades–about half of the roughly 4 percent annual growth rate of the past two decades. It is unclear whether such a reduction in the growth rate could be achieved, and if so, whether it would be accomplished through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care or would reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care.”
The words he was concerned about were “would reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care.” This is the rationing that Congress is denying is in the bill. As more Americans become eligible for Medicare, the funding for Medicare is going to be cut. This makes no sense at all. If the efficiency in Medicare were that easily dealt with, it would have been dealt with by now.
This bill will not increase availability of healthcare for Americans–it will only allow the government to bring its costly inefficiency into another area of our economy.