Boehner: Obama Insistence on Tax Increases Causes Setback on Debt Deal

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Saturday, 23 July 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S.

John Boehner and President Obama argue over raising taxes for revenue, debt limit, and reducing government spending. In the ongoing deadlock over the prospect of raising the federal debt limit, a sticking point has been whether or not any deal would include tax increases. These have euphemistically been referred to by Democrats, and chiefly by President Obama, as efforts to “raise revenue.”

On July 16, for instance, Bloomberg News reported that “President Barack Obama said Republican lawmakers should agree to raising revenue in any deficit-cutting deal, noting he has agreed to consider cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare.”

Said the President: “I’m willing to do what it takes to solve this problem, even it it’s not politically popular.... I expect leaders in Congress to show that same willingness to compromise.”

The White House has continued to push for increased revenue through tax increases, mainly on “the rich” and on corporations. At a July 22 “town hall” meeting at the University of Maryland, President Obama insisted that increasing revenue through taxes on high earners and corporations was necessary.

“[W]e can’t just close our deficit with spending cuts alone,” the President said. He went on to warn that spending cuts alone would result in seniors, students, and the unemployed facing higher costs.

Relying on spending cuts alone, he said, “means that seniors would have to pay a lot more for Medicare, or students would have to pay a lot more for student loans. It means that laid-off workers might not be able to count on temporary assistance or training to help them get a new job. It means that we’d have to make devastating cuts in education and medical research and clean energy research — just at a time when gas prices are killing people at the pump.”

Congressman Paul Ryan Sips Wine, Liberals Are Outraged

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Tuesday, 12 July 2011. Posted in Politics

A liberal calls out Paul Ryan for drinking expensive wine. A liberal economist, dining out with her husband to celebrate her birthday recently at an upscale Washington, D.C. restaurant, spied Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan at the same restaurant drinking wine with two other men. The problem for the liberal economist? The wine was $350 per bottle and Ryan and his friends had two of them.

Cue the liberal outrage.

The blog Talking Points Memo covered the story on July 8. According to TPM’s account, Rutgers University associate business professor Susan Feinberg “did the math” on the back of an envelope and discovered that the two bottles of wine cost more than a family on minimum wage earned in a week. Here’s how TPM reported the gist of the story:

"We were just stunned," said Feinberg, who e-mailed TPM about her encounter later the same evening. "I was an economist so I started doing the envelope calculations and quickly figured out that those two bottles of wine was more than two-income working family making minimum wage earned in a week."

The outraged Feinberg decided to confront Ryan in the restaurant. According to TPM, she demanded to know “how he could live with himself” drinking expensive wine while contemplating budget cuts to programs for the poor.

State Department Promotes Lady Gaga, Anti-Christian Agenda

Written by Denise Behreandt on Tuesday, 28 June 2011. Posted in Politics

Hillary Clinton admits that it was the governments deal to allow Lady Gaga to perform in Rome for LGBT or Gay pride parade. U.S. taxpayers are paying for federal officials, up to and including the Secretary of State, to promote American popular culture, anti-Christian bias, and the gay agenda abroad.

That’s the only conclusion that can be made from Hillary Clinton’s announcement that the State Department played a key role in helping controversial singer Lady Gaga gain access to perform at venues in Europe, including at a “gay pride” event in Rome that was nothing if not an act of hateful provocation against Catholics (Vatican City, within Rome, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Church has been outspoken in opposition to the gay agenda).

CNSnews.com reporter Penny Star noted on Monday that Clinton admitted that the State Department played a key role in “sealing the deal” that resulted in Lady Gaga performing at the gay pride rally in Rome.

“And then there is the work that our embassy team in Rome has been doing,” Clinton said according to Star. “Two weeks ago they played an instrumental role in bringing Lady Gaga to Italy for a Euro Pride concert.”

Regarding the latter event, Clinton singled out Ambassador David Thorne for his work in helping Lady Gaga make an appearance.

Ron Paul Wins Republican Leadership Conference Straw Poll

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Sunday, 19 June 2011. Posted in Politics

Ron Paul wins the straw poll at the Republican Leadership Conference.Solid conservative, pro-freedom candidates came up big at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.

Leading the pack with a win in the straw poll at the event was Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Long a favorite with libertarians and the man whose candidacy essentially catalyzed the Tea Party movement, Paul continues to generate support from a large and vocal group of supporters. Paul finished with 612 votes in the poll.

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman placed second in the straw poll to Congressman Paul with 382 votes. This was a strong showing, considering that Huntsman lacks solid name recognition and is hampered with social and traditional conservatives by what are viewed as left-leaning positions on some hot button issues like immigration and cap-and-trade legislation. At least one report, however, suggested that Huntsman may have attempted to stack the deck in his favor at the straw poll.

CBS News reported: “It was rumored that Huntsman's campaign bought tickets for and bussed in a number of college Republicans to up his vote, and his campaign did not deny as much to CBS News.”

Though the moderate Huntsman penetrated the top 3, he was followed in the poll results by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who came in with 191 votes. While not as ideologically “pure” as Ron Paul, Bachmann brings a strong appreciation for free market economics and a limited government philosophy to the Republican field.

The Agenda Game: Part III - Reframing the Debate, Recasting the Agenda

Written by Beverly K. Eakman on Wednesday, 08 June 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S., Opinion, Beverly Eakman

Conservatives should insist that schools teach real science.Part II of this series examined how conservatives lost the “turf wars” and became increasingly marginalized in a leftist game of agenda-driven politics. This final segment will show how “new blood” conservatives are moving past the recriminations. They’re working instead to reframe the debate and recast the agenda so that the Left has to regroup.

First, these conservatives have stopped being reactive. The days of the Left continually upping the ante with ever more outrageous acts, and spinning conservatives off in a hundred directions are wearing thin. The conservatives now thinking about throwing their hat in the campaign ring seem to recognize that they have to focus on, at most, three issues—ones most likely to energize the public. Rather than merely condemning the circumstances that brought these crises, they see the necessity of outlining a corrective plan if they expect to compete—and do it in sound bites, if possible.

Take a random topic in the news:  Retraining/indoctrinating the military to accept open homosexuality, which began in earnest last March as a prelude to opening the ranks to gays. This outrage followed a reckless vote in the lame-duck session, with the Obama administration rushing to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” before the House Armed Services Committee could hold a hearing to examine the Pentagon’s survey and official report on the subject.

The Agenda Game: Part II - Finding ‘Conservative Turf’?

Written by Beverly K. Eakman on Monday, 06 June 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S., Opinion, Beverly Eakman

Charlton Heston and Ronald ReaganIn Part I of this series “Conservatives Lose Ground on Social Issues,” it was established that the Left is eating conservatives’ lunch and throwing back the Leftovers to be picked up in a desperate attempt to sustain public outrage — enough to win at election time. Conservatives have taken the bait for 35 years, and lost ground doing so. Part I ended with the quandary of how to take back the reigns of debate and, with it, the agenda. Which produced a new dilemma: Getting the Left to debate issues on Conservatives’ turf.

Many would cite a list of well-known (at least to die-hard conservatives) think tanks and forums:  the Heritage Foundation, the Washington Times, the American Conservative Union, the American Enterprise Institute, Hillsdale College, the Weekly Standard, Concerned Women for America, Media Research Center and so on. But if one then were to ask:  Suppose one of these organizations decided to host a debate, inviting established speakers and experts from all sides. The topic could be anything:  global warming, women alongside males on submarines, gay clubs in schools, displays of Christian crosses on tax-supported properties, Medicare reform, drugging rowdy schoolchildren, private-property rights versus environmentalism, domestic oil drilling, cultural enhancement. What are the chances that any known entity on the liberal side will come to any of these debates at the above institutions?

The Agenda Game: Part I - Conservatives Lose Ground on Social Issues

Written by Beverly K. Eakman on Friday, 03 June 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S., Opinion, Beverly Eakman

Two decades after Reagan, can conservatives once again make it morning in America?Conservatives and traditionalists appear to be hopelessly outclassed when it comes to organizing and strategy. How else to explain the lack of bang for the conservative buck, even with umpteen nonprofits, volunteer groups and lobbying organizations devoted to promoting a traditional approach to social issues? Inboxes overflow with “urgent” admonitions to contact members of Congress over one issue after another:  the Defense of Marriage Act, gays in the military, women on submarines, pro-homosexual curricula. This past May, it was the politically-correct censorship of six year-olds (“Candy Cane Case”) and transgendered classrooms.

The very concept of marriage now appears to be in trouble—a cornerstone of the pro-family, conservative movement—even as celebrities brag on and on about conceiving out of wedlock. Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, in an interview just published in WORLD magazine, allowed that pro-family leaders probably are losing the battle for traditional marriage among younger generations of Americans, “as casual ‘hookups’ continue to replace the romance of dating”. A combination of factors has contributed to this result:  teen magazine articles; hypersexual advertising; and age-inappropriate, graphic sex education. The one in four girls reported to have had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in 2008 hasn’t changed much from year to year—a little more among some demographics one year, a little less in others.

US Hits Debt Limit, Big Government At the Crossroads

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Tuesday, 17 May 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S.

Keynesians gasped when government hit its debt limit. Keynesians everywhere issued a collective gasp on May 16, 2011 as the United States government hit its debt limit.

In a letter to Congress, Treasury Secretary Geithner said that the government would have to stop funding some obligations because it could no longer borrow money.

Addressed to “The Honorable Harry Reid” with copies to Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Geithner’s letter said:

“I am writing to notify you, as required under 5 U.S.C. § 8348(l)(2), of my determination that, by reason of the statutory debt limit, I will be unable to invest fully the portion of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (“CSRDF”) not immediately required to pay beneficiaries. For purposes of this statute, I have determined that a “debt issuance suspension period” will begin today, May 16, 2011, and last until August 2, 2011, when the Department of the Treasury projects that the borrowing authority of the United States will be exhausted. During this “debt issuance suspension period,” the Treasury Department will suspend additional investments of amounts credited to, and redeem a portion of the investments held by, the CSRDF, as authorized by law.”

Obama and the Imperial Presidency

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Sunday, 17 April 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S.

President Barack Obama The Democrat faithful, buttressed by ardent and vociferous proselytizing by hardcore socialists, bamboozled the American people in 2008 to put President Obama in the White House. It wasn’t really a hard sell, as a majority of Americans, on the right, the left and among independents, had soured on a Bush Presidency that had embraced an expansive and imperialistic form of government.

Bush started foreign wars based on UN, rather than Congressional, mandates. And he regularly disobeyed laws passed by Congress that he disagreed with by issuing signing statements at the time he signed the measures into law.

Disenchanted with this and other authoritarian behaviors not in keeping with American principles of good government, the American people repudiated what may be called the “Bush Doctrine” and swept what they thought would be its polar opposite into power.

Republicans Claim Cuts, But Spending Bill Keeps Big Gov In Business

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Thursday, 14 April 2011. Posted in Politics

Big government keeps spending taxpayer money and increasing the national debt. “By a 260-167 vote, the bill has passed the House with bipartisan support. HR 1473 will keep the government open through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year,” wrote Alex Altman for Timemagazine’s “Swampland” blog. The bill later passed the Senate by a vote of 81-19, paving the way for it to reach the President’s desk. 

Altman also noted that not all Republicans were happy with the spending bill. Fifty-nine jumped ship and voted against the measure. And, according to Altman, it can be expected that the Tea Party base will likely be unhappy as well.

Why? Altman explains: “Yesterday the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the deal will trim federal outlays by $352 million during the remainder of the fiscal year, which is less than 1% of the $38 billion splashed across triumphant press releases. The comparatively meager figure heightens the risk that House Tea Partyers and deficit hawks, who were already irked by the compromise, could rebel in large enough numbers that John Boehner is forced to find a cohort of moderate Democrats to push the deal over the finish line.”

The One Opinion Piece the New York Times Didn’t Want You to Read

on Tuesday, 29 March 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S.

Scott Walker writes about New York Times articleFrom the office of Governor Scott Walker: In the weeks since Governor Walker introduced his reforms to balance the budget and protect middle-class taxpayers the New York Times has repeatedly used its editorial pages to opine on the reforms. All told there have been at least seven editorials, op-eds or columns in the paper about the Wisconsin reforms.

Below is the Op-Ed that Governor Walker wrote that the New York Times chose not to run:

In nearly every state across America, Governors are facing major budget deficits. Many, Democrat and Republican alike, are cutting state aid to schools and other local governments - which will force massive layoffs, massive property tax increases or both.

In Wisconsin, we are doing something progressive in the best sense of the word. We are implementing reforms to protect middle class jobs and middle class taxpayers. While our idea may be a bold political move it is a very modest request of our employees.

Did Obama Violate the Constitution in Going To War with Libya?

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Wednesday, 23 March 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S.

Libya, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of War.

The U.S. attack on Libya to enforce a UN resolution against the government of dictator Muammar Qaddafi is just the latest military action undertaken by a U.S. President without proper Constitutional authorization. Now, critics from both sides of the aisle are questioning President Obama’s actions.

The U.S. Constitution, the governing charter of the federal government, grants the power to declare war exclusively to Congress and not to the President. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution establishes that Congress alone has the power to authorize military activities against foreign nations. Clause 11 of Section 8 states that Congress shall have the power “to declare War, grant letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.”

Despite the clear grant of the war-making power to Congress alone, since World War II, which was the last war authorized by a proper Congressional declaration of war, U.S. Presidents have routinely engaged in war making without properly seeking a declaration of war.

In an attempt to reign in the executive branch’s growing affinity for conducting warfare under auspices other than that of Congress (such as their own, or that of the United Nations), in 1973 Congress passed the War Powers Resolution. It maintained that the President could only “introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances” pursuant to three conditions:

Baby Boomers Turn 65: But Can They Reverse the Nation’s Political Clock?

Written by Beverly K. Eakman on Sunday, 13 March 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S., Opinion, Beverly Eakman

Baby boomersBaby Boomers start turning 65 this year. I ought to know; I’m one of them…

Tons of products and thousands of advertisements center on reversing the aging process—especially as it affects physical appearance. But at age 65, many Boomers are more concerned about their country’s political clock than they are their biological one.

For the vast majority of us, Woodstock and the ascendency of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll was a “them” phenomenon, not an “us” event. They had “a little help from their friends,” charismatic radicals that young firebrands inhabiting the universities on their parents’ dime really didn’t know all that well. Some of these “friends” turned out to be highly trained Soviet provocateurs–turned-“community organizers,” such as Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Herbert Marcuse. Others were simply drug-runners.

Democracy Requires Participation

on Friday, 25 February 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S.

Governor Scott Walker of WisconsinThe budget repair bill is now in the hands of the Legislature.  Although it is getting a lot more attention than most bills, it is still just a bill working its way through the process.  In our state, budget bills are introduced by the Governor, reviewed by the Joint Finance Committee and then brought before the State Assembly and State Senate.

Legislators can debate budget bills in committee and on the floor of their respective houses and offer amendments.  Most importantly they have the responsibility to vote, much like citizens do at the ballot box during elections.

The public offered suggestions and we made changes to the bill because of their participation in the public process. I also applaud Assembly Democrats for publicly debating the budget repair bill I introduced two weeks ago.

Belt Tightening Goes National, Federal Labor Union Warns of Consequences

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Sunday, 20 February 2011. Posted in Politics, U.S.

Labor UnionsIt started in the states where, as in Wisconsin, it has caused a great deal of angst. Now, with Republican lawmakers in Congress working to cut federal spending, the massive federal bureaucracy faces cuts that threaten its workforce.

According to Politico, a leading official for the Social Security Administration has warned workers that furloughs might be in the offing if Republican-proposed cuts take effect.

“Given the potential of reduced congressional appropriations for the remainder of the fiscal year, the agency is issuing this notice at this time in the event that a furlough may become necessary,” Jay Clary, who according to Politico “oversees labor management” at SSA, told the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

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