Sunday, January 23, 2011

Conservatives Lay Out $2 Trillion Dollar Spending Cuts

And it tackles 55 different programs and agencies, such as Amtrak, Public Housing, and International Aid, amongst other things. But not on the list were: defense and entitlements, known as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security. It has not been endorsed, but it is the most specific that the Republicans have come up with. Another idea involved is to, when unemployment is down, freeze welfare spending at the same amount it was in 2007. Honestly, I don't expect the Republican Party to honestly look at cutting defense. They've never done it before, so why start now? They'll probably hit up the entitlements and welfare. If the republicans were seriously interested in cutting spending and deficits, they would stop giving away tax cuts, and Democrats would stand up when they actually tried. But that's like saying North Korea will disarm. Not going to happen. On this plan, many financial experts say it can't be done, because it would cut the government by at least half within the next nine years. Here's the deal: we can no longer afford the Sacred Cows. We must reform Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and cut defense. If someone has some ideas, I'd like to hear them.

State bankruptcy?

Many supporters of the idea that many states have so much debt, that the only way for them to get out of it would be to allow states the ability to go bankrupt. The problems are not just short term funding, or lack there of, but things like pension funds that can't pay, which takes money from health care and education. As of right now, there is no bill bieng tossed, but even if there were, there would be many problems getting it passed, due to the constitution, or somehow making the states problems worse.

UPDATE: A bill to allow bankruptcy could be introduced in Congress within a month, according to Newt Gingrich. And while there was no comment on who would introduce it, he did say there was bipartisan support in the house and the Senate, and that they had been looking at it for three or four months. No states have currently shown interest in this, and it is no surprise. Who wants to pilot a huge, complex bureaucracy through a courtroom? It would take large amounts of time that few may actually have.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Goodbye Virtual Fence

The Virtual Fence: A "fence" made of sensors and cameras that are cover the gaps between the actual wall between Mexico and the United States, and are monitored by border patrolmen. The project is officially canceled after 1 billion dollars was spent on it. Instead, the federal government has decided to take a "region by region approach," relying on the physical geography, among other things, to decide how to protect the border. It has been well known for overrunning costs and being delayed constantly. Originally planned at seven billion to cover the entire border, 2,000 miles, in a test program, it cost 1 billion to cover the 53 miles that make up the Arizona border. In the meantime, there are reports saying that the size of the Border Patrol has increased to
20,500. Also, the number of illegals who are detained has dropped to 463,000 as of last year.

You're Outta Here!

Michael Steele, who spent the last two years going from gaffe to gaffe, has been replaced. On Friday, he was replaced by Reince Priebus, the head of the Wisconsin Republican Party. He was once an attourney, but advised Ron Johnson, who beat Russ Feingold, and Paul Ryan, but also has ties to Mr. Steele. You see, Mr. Priebus had been the head of Steele's 2009 campaign, and was general council to Mr. Steele. The vote to elect him was not straightforward: it took seven rounds worth of votes, over four hours, to get the majority of votes. Steele dropped at halfway when he realized he couldn't get the votes he needed.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gun Control

Carolyn McCarthy is known as one of the fiercest gun control advocates ever. and next week, she will be releasing a bill that outlaws high capacity magazines, which, is gun clips which hold high levels of bullets. It would also outlaw selling or giving away clips that have more than ten rounds, like the expired Brady Bill, but this new one would also cover the ones before that, which Brady did not. It carries ten years in prison if guilty. This is a personal thing for her, as her husband was killed, and her son injured by someone who was shooting with a high capacity magazine in 1993. However, guns rights advocates and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say gun control legislation has no real chance of passing, even given the assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords, a Representative of Arizona. We need to do something. If not this, then we should consider Rep. Pter King's bill, which would ban guns ONLY when 1,000 feet or less from a Congressperson.

Tax reforms

Next Thursday may be the beginning of a new wave of tax reforms that haven't been seen since Reagan, in the Ways and Means Committee. Dave Camp, of Michigan, has said that with nine out of ten families using help of some kind to prepare taxes, the tax code is "too complex." A problem with this plan is that Mr. Camp has shown an unwillingness to raise taxes. Among the reforms that should be considered is the corporate tax reform. Timothy Geithner has decided to meet with business execs to discuss reformations. The main goal, according to business and tax experts, would be to cut the top rate to thirty percent. Seems fairly easy, right? Wrong. To accomplish this will require cutting certain breaks, or lowering how much a person could get, which I have no doubt Mr. Camp would consider tax increases. Among the top things needing reform, according to experts? First things first, oil refineries get a forty five cent credit for blending ethanol with gasoline.  Who's idea was this? I don't think that's even possible. And if it is, who verifies that its been done? Just by breaking this, we can see a 32 billion dollar revenue increase over five years. Next is Section 199, in which certain things made in the U.S. would be taxed at a lower rate. The "manufacturing" part, however, is so unspecific that it could cover such things as hamburger making for fast food chains, for instance. By fixing this, the U.S. could pick up 62 billion dollars. It's a start, anyway.

Friday At The GOP

Today is a big day for the Republican Party. Today, they will decide on whether or not Michael Steele should keep his job as the head of the Republican National Committee. Before he was elected head of the RNC, he was Lt. Gov. of the state of Maryland. He became the head of the RNC in 2009, and preceded to commit major gaffes, such as certain members ending up in a bondage themed strip club, or 20 million dollars worth of debt. Today's vote will be done by secret ballot, no one knowing who voted how. in order to win the seat, a candidate will need to earn 85 votes. There are currently no predictions on who will win, as there are expected to be several rounds worth of voting. Other concerns to the winner will include what may be the start of a Republican Civil War, where conservatives and tea party members are nominating ever increasing right-wingers. Which means the destruction of moderates and establishment people, such as Mike Castle or Bob Bennett, as well as re-attracting the donors who left Mr. Steele. and while things could change, the current favorite appears to be Republican Party Chairman for Wisconson, as well as former Steele booster, Reince Priebus.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When You Thought You'd Heard It All

The surprise is not the fact that most conservatives support spending cuts. The surprise is that, for the first time that I know of, a majority of Republicans support Spending Cuts across the board, including the military, instead of everything except military. Other responses were to pass a balanced budget amendment (good luck with that), tax cuts (which ADD to the deficit. 3 percent of people are sniffing markers.), and fixing Social Security and Medicare (where to start?). And, perhaps not so surprisingly, more people have confidence that the incoming Republicans will cut spending, instead of the returning Republicans.

Reality over GOP

You know that old saying, "The next leader will be the one who's the bigger liar?" Well, in the case of the GOP, this fits in with them. They have promised to usher in an era of spending cuts. But, like all politicians, what they say may not necessarily be the case. For example, they have said they would cut $100 billion in spending (No, I did not make a typo) within the first year. OK, our deficit is at least $1.3 trillion. (Again, no typo) $100 billion is less than a percent. It simply isn't enough. Second of all, Congress has had trouble getting $100 billion dollar cuts within ten years, never mind a single year. So, they are violating mathematics as well as history. And what are they cutting? No one has any clue, because they would exempt defense, emergency funds, and the entitlement programs. Because the best plan is one that either doesn't exist, or is unclear. Next is the pledge to return spending to 2008 levels. You know, right as the economy was going to hell. Their main concern is non-discretionary spending, which is--what? No, really, they have yet to define what that means. The only good thing for this is that they are following the recommendations of the president's deficit reduction committee. Only they said to start in 2013. And on top of that, they have made it harder to reconcile bills, by no longer requiring that increases in spending or tax cuts must be made up for with tax raises or spending cuts elsewhere.

It's official: Rush Limbaugh's a moron.

Rush Limbaugh continued to push back against Democrats’ criticism of violent rhetoric in connection with the Tucson shootings, suggesting that the suspected shooter, Jared Loughner, was smirking in his latest photo for a reason.
"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on, he knows that...the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim. He's the latest in a never-ending parade of victims brought about by the unfairness of America...That smiling mug shot -- this guy clearly understands he's getting all the attention and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder - but something lesser."

Obtained from

Dennis Kucinich

America's favorite liberal (ok, bit of a stretch, I know, but stick with me) is in danger of losing his seat, thanks to the redistricting that takes place every ten years. Having lost his second presidential bid, he has won his eighth term representing the Cleveland, Ohio area. There is speculation that his seat will be outright eliminated by the Republicans, which means one of two things: he can retire, or he can run in one of the neighboring districts. And so, he has ramped up his appearances, sent out emails, and done all of the things that you would expect a soon to be eliminated politician to do. He could run against Marcia Fudge, which many say would be easier for him, or he could run against Sutton, who's district is, perhaps, more conservative. But, no matter which person he runs against, if it comes down to that, will be a guarentee that he will win. In Ms. Fudge's district, he would probably lose the African American vote, as she is black. If he runs in Ms. Sutton's district, the problem will be convincing EMILY'S List, which has a history of supporting female candidates, to endorse him. All right, so here's the deal: don't expect this guy to stick around. He has gone so far as to say that if he would have to have a primary battle, it would not focus on his opponent. That, alone, will probably end things for him.

Removing the Death from Death Penalty

Welcome to the great state of Illinois, where, if you kill someone, you might get off with thirty to life, and consider yourself lucky for that. After ten years worth of debating, the state legislature voted to end the Death Penalty. The move is especially noteworthy, as the bill passed just hours before the new lawmakers were to be sworn in. It is now up to the governor, Patrick Quinn, to decide whether or not to sign the bill. If he does, Illinois would become the sixteenth state to outlaw the Death Penalty. It passed the Senate 32 to 25, and the House passed it 60 to 54. No executions have been done since Republican governor, George Ryan, ended up commuting the sentences of those on Death Row in 2000.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Republican Heresy

And they are never called on it, for some reason. The top contenders for the GOP nod for President: Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee have all made calls for the limiting of greenhouse gases. If you're a liberal, read: environmentalists. A few have even comitted what may be seen as political suicide, by embracing cap and trade. A cap and trade is where the government puts a limit on how much pollution a company may create. If they want, or need, more, they can buy from the government or each other. Probably, in my mind, not the best system ever invented. Anyway, if you dig, you'll find things, such as Tim Pawlenty's guess that Congress, in 2008, would pass a system in a year, year and a half. He even went so far as to say he "supported a reasonable cap and trade system." Even Sarah Palin has said she "believes some activities contribute to ...climate change," as well as saying "we have to do something about it." She has since flipflopped, saying that it is a "snake oil science." Really, Sarah? Here's an idea: before you call on anyone for flipflopping, make sure to youtube yourself on global warming. But it doesn't end with just the Presidential nominees. John Boehner, now Speaker of The House, and Represenitive of the Cheeto-State, has said "Humans clearly contribute to this...It depends what kind of safety valves there are." Watch as conservatives start to say that global warming is either: A.) not real, B.) not man made, or C.) does not require cap and trade, which is simply inefficient and awkward, but instead requires nuclear, wind, or solar energies, as well as clean coal, which just doesn't exist.