Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Happy Thanksgiving Day … established by a Republican President

Written by Editor on . Posted in History

Of course, you knew that.
The tradition of celebrating a day of thanksgiving does go back to the Puritans of Massachusetts, but for the origin of a national Thanksgiving Day we look to the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln.In 1789, President George Washington had called for a day of thanksgiving and prayer on the last Thursday in November, but this did not give rise to an annual tradition. In 1863, President Lincoln first issued a proclamation for a Thanksgiving Day, also on the last Thursday in November.Let’s not forget that a Democrat president, Franklin Roosevelt, tried to change the date — to the second-to-last Thursday of the month — but an outraged public soon put an end to such tampering with tradition. In 1941, Congress established by law the date we Americans have celebrated ever since.
From Grand Old Partisan.
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The pundits are still puzzled … “Why didn’t President Obama do more to help the economy?”

Written by Editor on . Posted in Politics

Christian Science Monitor

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Patrick Fleenor at CS Monitor answers: “The short answer is that his goal has always been to redistribute the economic pie – not necessarily grow it. That’s a shame, because he could have pursued policies that achieve both.Obama and Democrats will probably pay a high price next week for failing to see a pro-growth path to fairness. Will the presence of a Republican-led, pro-growth Congress persuade the president to pursue his goal of greater fairness in a way that helps economic growth? Our mutual prosperity depends on it.” Sucks to be a bonehead.
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RANDY EVANS: Forget Political Tidal Wave, we’re talkin about a Tsunami

Written by Editor on . Posted in Politics

J. Randolph Evans Column No. 1036 (10/1/10)
Already, people are talking about what went wrong for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections and the elections have not even happened yet. Absent a dramatic shift in the political tides, there will be many explanations and most of them will be right.Many Democrats will undoubtedly blame history and they will, in part, be right. Historically, the party in power in the White House does lose seats in the Congress during the election years when the President is not on the ballot. Typically, these losses are in the range of twenty seats or so. This could explain some of the losses.Many commentators will credit the Tea Party and they will, in part, be right. No one can credibly ignore the huge impact that the Tea Party has on the 2010 elections. Incumbents have fallen; party structures have been changed; and the political landscape is now different.Many historians will note that it is all about the swing of the political pendulum back from the left toward the middle and right, and they will, in part, be right. Polls confirm that Americans overwhelmingly believe that President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are just too liberal for the country. There is no one thing that leads voters to this conclusion. Instead, it is the accumulation of many things.Many pollsters will insist that the economy doomed any hopes for Democratic success and they will, in part, be right. Voters do vote their pocketbook. Presidents Reagan and Clinton proved just how important the economy can be. President Reagan rode “stagflation” (high unemployment and high inflation) all the way to the White House. President Clinton did the same with one simple mantra – “it’s the economy stupid.” It is a political lesson that gets taught every decade, but never seems to get completely learned.Many Republicans will argue that they have earned the right to govern again and they will, in part, be right. As evidence, they will cite their steadfast opposition to the stimulus package, “cap and trade” legislation, and “Obamacare.” In addition, Republicans have offered a “Pledge To America” – a 20+ page booklet outlining the principles on which they would govern. While no “Contract With America,” it has stymied accusations that Republicans stand for nothing. The combination of solidarity of purpose with an actual written commitment to specific policies has separated them from the Congresses of the past.Many political party organizers will point to the relative energy level of activists in the various political camps and they will, in part, be right. As illustrated by a question at a recent town hall meeting by an Obama supporter, President Obama’s supporters are simply exhausted by the endless need to defend the President and the Democratic Congress. Just one mega-battle, like healthcare, can exhaust even the most active supporters. Multiple mega-battles saps all the energy of supporters, and all of their reserve, and then some. Political exhaustion is the death knell for campaigns. Yet, on the other side, opponents of the President’s policies have been energized by the real possibility of, oddly enough, change on election day. The gap between the energy of these groups spells trouble at the polls.Many in the Congress will blame the President’s staff for a litany of things and, they will, in part, be right. Indeed, die hard supporters will never consider the possibility that the message is wrong. Instead, the political woes of the moment must mean that the President and his staff failed to effectively deliver the message.One after the other, mainstream media personalities have quizzed the President on whether he will now “fight back” in the final days leading up to the election. The truth is that he has been fighting all along. It is not a delivery or packaging issue. Saying the wrong things louder, or more passionately, never makes things better. Indeed, recent polls suggest that it, in fact, makes things worse. An entire summer proclaiming a recovery that never happened – that is a message problem.Many inside the White House will blame the Congress, and they will, in part, be right. Democrats complain that the Congress has not done enough, notwithstanding overwhelming Democratic majorities in both the U. S. House and Senate, (indeed a filibuster proof majority for some period of time). Of course, Republicans complain that Democrats have done too much.The one thing on which an overwhelming majority of Americans agree is that whatever the Congress is doing, it is doing poorly and literally making our citizenry poorer. Disapproval ratings have never been worse. When no one is happy about the job Congress is doing, bad things happen on election day – whether for the Democrats in 1994 or the Republicans in 2006.So what happens when everyone is right – a tsunami.J. Randolph Evans McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP 303 Peachtree Street Suite 5300 Atlanta, Ga 30308

The Heritage Foundation … SOLUTIONS FOR AMERICA: 128 specific policy prescriptions for Congress to consider

Written by Editor on . Posted in New Conservatism


Good stuff … don’t forget to download the PDF.
From the Heritage Foundation: Compiled by a team of Heritage experts, Solutions for America identifies the nature and scope of our most pressing problems in 23 discrete policy areas, and recommends 128 specific policy prescriptions for Congress to consider. Some of the recommendations are groundbreaking. Others are familiar. Some are being debated right now. All have one thing in common: They would return power to the people. And, collectively, they will transform America, setting her back on the track to prosperity and greatness.Perilous times necessitate bold action. America is at a tipping point. To continue on the current path of ever-expanding central government will plunge us into a statist abyss of lost liberties, vanishing opportunity and dying prospects of a better tomorrow. But our nation can just as well correct course, as she has so often in the past.Americans by the millions have begun the process, rallying around the vision of the Founders. The policies articulated in Solutions for America are calculated to make that vision a reality, to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish anew. LINKNAME.
I got my copy … did you get yours?

The ghost of Jimmy Hoffa still smiles on government legislation

Written by Editor on . Posted in Liberalism

JIMMY WOULD BE PROUD: "Unions understand that big government is their bread and butter, so unions, that represent 15% of all American workers, account for more than 50% of the nation’s largest Political Action Committees."

JIMMY WOULD BE PROUD: "Unions understand that big government is their bread and butter, so unions, that represent 15% of all American workers, account for more than 50% of the nation’s largest Political Action Committees."

By Star Paker @ BIG GOVERNMENT: How, in these tough times, do Democrats who control congress decide who’ll get funded and who not?This is the latest example, particularly illustrative, showing that Washington is less and less about ideas and values, and more and more about interests, power, and money.In this case, we’re talking about unions. Of the $26 billion the bill appropriates, $16 billion goes to state Medicaid programs and the other $10 billion to unionized state and local government employees.…Needless to say, around 100% of these union political contributions go to Democrats. In Washington, It’s the Money that Talks.

Trouble in River City … Maxine Waters is next

Written by Editor on . Posted in Liberalism

That slow drip you kept hearing in the back rooms in Washington is about to turn into a rushing flood as the prospect of a full frontal attack on Congressional corruption gets started this fall. Pretty bad timing if you happen to be a Democrat. But even with their House seats relatively secure, both Rangel and Waters' ethics investigation will be a party embarrassment … particularly when they are reminded that Nancy Pelosi promised to "drain the swamp" and "run the most ethical Congress in history."

Trouble in River City … Maxine Waters is next: “You want to know why caucus members like Jefferson and Rangel and Waters are in trouble?” asks a former Democrat staffer on the Ways and Means Committee. “It’s because they are so used to hitting up corporations and business associations for dollars for the CBC that they really don’t see a difference for what they do on their own. Rangel almost certainly saw no difference between hitting up companies for his own job-training program in New York and what he would do to steer money to the CBC.”The staffer pointed out that the National Bankers Association, which Waters claimed asked for the meeting that is now at the center of her potential troubles, has been an active supporter of the CBC in the past.Unlike many other caucuses on the Hill, which are in many cases informal associations of House members focused on specific issues, the Congressional Black Caucus is a financial powerhouse, with a 501(c)(3) foundation under its control, and a $4 million townhouse headquarters in downtown Washington, far from the prying eyes of Capitol Hill reporters. That townhouse’s mortgage was paid for in 2008 by a fundraising program that tapped dozens of U.S. corporations — including AT&T, General Motors, and Coca-Cola — for tens of thousands of dollars. Coca-Cola in the past has also underwritten the organization’s annual prayer breakfast.Because the Congressional Black Caucus steers all those corporate dollars through its nonprofit, charitable educational foundation, it is not beholden to federal campaign finance rules. And that foundation has pulled in millions — more than $50 million, in fact, between 2004 and 2008. From The American Spectator and AmSpecBlog by The Prowler: TROUBLED WATERS.

Evening Summary of MUST READ stories for Monday, July 26, 2010

Written by Editor on . Posted in Current Events

In 1960 middle-income Americans paid less than 30 percent of their earnings in local, state, and federal taxes; today that figure is up to 40 percent ~ Cato Institute.

PM summary of MUST READ stories across the web:
READY FOR THE BAD NEWS? Calculate How Your Taxes Will Change in 2011: On January 1, 2011, the largest tax hike in American history may arrive. Unless Congress takes action, Bush-era tax cuts that were enacted in 2001 and 2003 will expire at the end of 2010.In fact, these tax cuts have saved a middle-class family of four about $2,200 annually. Since the fate of the Bush-era tax cuts is still uncertain, countless Americans are wondering how the potential tax increases will affect them. Luckily, the Tax Foundation has released a Bush-era tax cuts calculator that allows individuals to find out how their tax liabilities will change in 2011 under three different scenarios. After filling in information such as salary and number of dependents, the user can see their 2011 income tax if all the Bush tax cuts expire, if all of the Bush tax cuts are extended or if Congress passes the tax laws in Obama’s budget which lets specific tax cuts expire. From FreedomWorks by J Borowski.
UK aviation enthusiast builds the largest (and most expensive) flying model airplane in the world: Four years ago, engineer Tony Nijhuis was visiting an aviation museum in Duxford, England, when he spotted his next project: the iconic World War II–era Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Nijhuis has been building electric models since he was a boy, but he had been thinking about doing something bigger. Much bigger. The result is a replica that— with a 20-foot wingspan, period decals, and loudspeakers that blare sounds of the real engine … he had a sound designer find a recording of a plane with the same engines as the B-50, and add the sound files to a memory chip. He installed four speakers on the underside of the wings, added amps, and hooked them all up to the speed controllers. The speakers blare the sounds loudest when the motors are working their hardest. Instead of an electric whir, it sounds like the real thing. By Gregory Mone @ Popular Science — You Built What?! A Backyard B-50 Bomber.
RUH ROH! Racism For Thee, But Not For Me: The Sherrod Family Bigots–UPDATED: Now that the mainstream media has firmly established that all white people are racist, and Andrew Breitbart, in particular is racist, I’m wondering why their poster-girl for subjugation has been whisked out of the limelight? …Maybe the reason she’s not around is because every time she opens her mouth, she reveals herself to be an unevolved bigot herself. And evidently, she’s not alone in her worldview.Dan Riehl prevents a damning video of Sherrod’s husband Charles:
Charles Sherrod: “We must stop the white man and his Uncle Toms from stealing our elections.”Gee, Joan, can you tell me what’s so heroic about telling a room full of young black minds not even out in the world, yet – that if they ever embrace political, or socio-economic ideas that don’t jibe with your hero’s, the one elevated in a room before them, that they will be denounced as race-traitors? That is what Uncle Tom means, after all. What REALLY is heroic in that?Racism for thee, but not for me.
from Liberty Pundits Blog by Melissa Clouthier.
You want some Salsa with that AK-47? : Mexico likes to blame its gun violence on the US, and gun-control advocates love to repeat the canard that 90% the weapons in Mexico come from the US. (It’s actually less than 20%; more of them come from Mexican Army deserters.) They’ll have a little more trouble with that argument after this weekend. Mexico discovered that the perpetrators of several massacres are now behind bars, and were behind bars before the massacres — before prison guards let them out and armed them for their murderous rampages. By Ed Morrissey @ Hot Air: Mexico prison guards let inmates out for massacres.
I feel better already … Things aren’t as bad in American Christianity as many say it is, according to one sociologist.:Christianity isn’t on the brink of extinction, divorce rates of Christians aren’t equal to that of non-Christians and churches are not losing young people – at least not to the extent that some fear.That isn’t to say there aren’t any problems in the church. But Bradley R. E. Wright wants all the facts to be laid out before any judgment calls are made.In his newly released book Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites … and Other Lies You’ve Been Told, Wright reveals that many of the commonly cited statistics regarding the state of U.S. Christianity or the behaviors of Christians are incomplete and inaccurate. By Lillian Kwon @ The Christian Post: Sociologist Debunks Myths on U.S. Christianity.

VOTER FAIL: Half the country thinks that Congress has rigged the system

Written by Editor on . Posted in Politics

Via Red StateRasmussen has a poll out that argues against the “people hate Congress but love their own congressman” meme. Essentially, that explanation is beaten out 2-to-1 by “the fix is in:”
…23% believe members of Congress get reelected because they do a good job representing their constituents.\However, 50% believe the high reelection rates result from election rules that are “rigged to benefit members of Congress.” It is worth noting that the word “rigged” is a strong term included in this survey question. The fact that half the nation’s voters believe the election rules are “rigged” is a testament to the high levels of distrust in the country today.
Go figure … everybody else is trying to!

The President Talks Too Much

Written by Editor on . Posted in Obama Nation, Politics

Don’t be afraid … just come out and say it!
Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.

In recent weeks, the president has been anywhere and everywhere, with a campaign-style blitz of media appearances and town hall meetings. But, hard as it is to imagine in this era of the omnipresent president, there was a time when presidents weren’t seen much and were heard even less. There might be a lesson there for Obama.Our founding fathers didn’t want a president who’d perpetually pound the bully pulpit. They viewed presidential speechifying as a sign of demagoguery, and thought Congress should take the lead on most matters of national policy. They expected the nation’s chief executive to pipe down, mind his constitutional business, and keep his hands to himself.Today’s president is a constitutional monstrosity: a national talk-show host with nuclear weapons. When the president dominates the airwaves, promising to cure all manner of economic and social ills, that leads the public to expect a presidential rescue plan for anything that ails the body politic.The predictable result is an executive branch that rides roughshod over congressional prerogatives
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