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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - April 23, 2009

Senate is considering S. 386, legislation designed to crack down on financial fraud. Yesterday, the Senate approved an amendment that would create a bipartisan commission to investigate the causes of the financial crisis. The Senate also approved, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Res. 108) commending the crew of the Maersk Alabama, Captain Richard Phillips, and the U.S. Navy for their exceptional efforts and devotion to duty.

House Judiciary Committee continues markup on legislation that will put your religious freedoms in danger of the HR 1913 "Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009." Yesterday, The Democrats admitted defeat on the phony “findings” that claimed homosexuals and drag queens were fleeing across state lines to avoid personal attacks. The Democrats voted to remove the “findings.” Sources at the mark-up meeting identified that Rep. Gerald Nadler (D-NY) admitted that this bill is designed to raise the penalties for crimes against these specially protected groups! This is unequal protection under the law. Democrats admitted that “animus” – or what a person thinks – is the basis for enhanced penalties against homosexuals, bisexuals, and transsexuals. They have admitted that this is a thought crime bill! People will be punished for what they think – just for their violent actions!

HR 45 - the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009 was introduced into the House. Basically this bill would make it illegal to own a firearm - any rifle with a clip or ANY pistol unless: It is registered. You are fingerprinted, supply a current Driver’s License and Social Security number, and submit to a physical & mental evaluation at any time of their choosing. Each update - change or ownership through private or public sale must be reported and costs $25. Failure to do so you automatically lose the right to own a firearm and are subject up to a year in jail. Includes a child provision clause on page 16 section 305 stating a child-access provision. Gun must be locked and inaccessible to any child under 18. The Government would have the right to come and inspect that you are storing your gun safely away from accessibility to children and fine is punishable for up to 5 yrs. in prison.

Remember the Federal Budget for Year 2010. House and Senate Budget Committees (controlled by democrats) are convening a conference committee to reconcile the differences between their two versions of the budget. Expect their use of a process called “budget reconciliation,” that would stifle debate and ease passage of controversial and costly changes that the Obama Administration wants. These changes, which are aimed at “remaking” the American economy, include nationalized health care, a cap-and-trade energy program, and an overhaul of the college loan system. What’s more, the Obama budget would levy a whole host of new and higher taxes to fund these policies.

The budget would raise income taxes on individuals and small businesses by $636 billion over 10 years. President Obama’s budget would also impose a “light switch tax” on all Americans in order to implement a cap-and-trade energy policy, where companies would have to pay the federal government to use oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. That tax alone could cost American families as much as $3,100 per year in higher prices for electricity, gasoline, and other products and services.

This massive $3.6 trillion budget comes on top of the $787 billion “economic stimulus” package; $410 billion fiscal 2009 omnibus spending bill that was loaded with more than 8,000 earmarks; and the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, Detroit automakers, and homeowners who took out mortgages they can’t afford. Note that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has predicted that the Obama budget will push the federal deficit to a mind-numbing $1.85 trillion this year and pile up $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade, on top of the existing $11 trillion national debt! CBO called these deficits, which would never fall below 4% of our economy’s gross domestic product, “unsustainable.” The non-partisan Citizen's Against Government Waste is calling for individuals to contact their Senators and Representatives to demand that sanity is returned to the process and that these items be removed from the budget.

National Security: In the wake of the White House releasing previously classified memos providing legal reasoning for and describing enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorists, Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration are all over the map on whether there should be new investigations over these methods. There have also been mixed messages on whether the administration would be open to prosecutions of officials who wrote the legal advice in the memos.

In their daily briefing on Congress, The Huddle, Politico writes, “Democrats have been completely knocked off their game this week by the debate over torture and spying. So instead of driving the national conversation to climate change – a huge domestic priority for Dems – they’re fighting amongst themselves over who knew what on torture and what should be done about it now . . . .” The Washington Times reports that top legislators knew of the interrogations including democtrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), and Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA). As they should have been

Politico points out, “The headlines show a completely mixed message from Democratic leaders.” That may be understating things a bit. The AP says, “Democrats hold back on second interrogations probe,” but Roll Call reports, “‘Truth Commission’ Gains Currency Among Democrats.” According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Pelosi backs anti-terror truth commission,” but according to the Las Vegas Sun, “Reid declines forming panel to probe Bush interrogation tactics.” One AP story says, “Dems push for torture hearings, ignoring Obama,” yet another AP story says, “Obama open to torture memos probe, prosecution.” Meanwhile, Bloomberg writes, “Obama Says Prosecuting Lawyers for Memos Up to Holder,” but the Los Angeles Times reports, “Prosecuting ‘torture memo’ authors called ‘a real stretch.’”

Politico pointed out the only thing that was made clear yesterday, writing, “Obama muddles torture message.” The Washington Post has a very good article examining the shifting statements coming from the White House, divisions in Congress, and the effects on President Obama’s desire to move forward. It’s worth reading the whole thing.

So, where do we go from here? That appears to be up to the administration and the Democrat majority in Congress. They might do well to consider what Sen. McConnell said Tuesday: “The president made big deal, after coming to office, about looking forward and not looking backward. And I wish there were as much focus in this administration on policies that will keep us safe here in the United States.”

Tags: CIA, federal budget, gun control, Hate Crime Bill, national security, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:10 AM - Post Link


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) reinforced the notion that people could be prosecuted for having a particular BELIEF. "We also need to protect those potential victims who may be the recipients of hateful words or hateful acts, or even violent acts," said the Democratic lawmaker.


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