The West Virginia legislature voted last night to approve a special election this November to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the late U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (D). A compromise was reached at 5 pm and the legislation was then approved with large majorities in both chambers. Continue reading
The two lions of the Senate are gone now, but their unfortunate legacy in national security policy remains. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) would have been shocked to see today’s Boston Globe which reports his GOP successor holds not only his Senate seat, but also his decades long claim to be the most popular politician in the Bay state. Continue reading
The August recess has had a major impact and 15 Democratic Senators are now on record against cap and trade. 60 votes are needed for passage but they only have 45. The deadline set by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is September 28th, and while the White House will not admit it is over, there is now no way the Senate will accept the economy killing measure which has been passed by the House.
Senator Reid reaffirmed today that a vote will be held in September. The Senate is likely to pass legislation requiring the use of renewable energy, but not cap and trade. Now our electrical bills will not be increased 80%. Cap and trade would have been a great issue to use in the 2010 campaign, but none of us would have wanted to see the economic damage when we are still in a recession. The Republicans stayed united and the victory would not have been possible without the moderate Democrats.
It is always good to be cautious and many Democrats are saying the energy bill should be split with cap and trade being addressed in the next session. The liberals appear to know cap and trade is already dead in this session.
Josh Nelson wrote in the Huffington Post, “President Obama is well on his way to squandering the best political environment we have ever had, without using an ounce of political capital to improve the legislation.” Joe Klein in Time said, “the Waxman-Markey energy bill passed by the House is an excellent candidate for euthanasia. It is a demonstration of all that’s wrong with the legislative process.”
‘Fastest Dying Cities’ Meet for a Lively Talk by Douglas Belkin, Wall Street Journal
Last year, Forbes.com used long-term trends of unemployment, population loss and economic output to devise a list of “America’s Fastest Dying Cities.” The cities include Cleveland, Dayton, Canton and Youngstown, Ohio; Detroit and Flint, MI; Buffalo, Scranton, Springfield, MA and Charleston, WV. They all realize manufacturing is not going to come back to save them.
These cities have natural resources, hardworking people, underutilized infrastructure, and land for expansion, but you can see the decline everywhere and the housing markets and crime are awful. What they also have in common is rejecting the obvious path to a turnaround. All of them are over-taxed and over-regulated with a one party political system which has led to heavy patronage and incompetence in local government. They all have several common denominators. Among them bad local political choices, lack of regional cooperation, and no vision to diversify 20-30 years ago. They are also controlled by unions which promoted policies destroying manufacturing jobs. Decades of anti-business policies have resulted in a migration of good jobs.
The companies that stayed in these cities saw their market share evaporate, as their ability to fend off foreign or non-union competitors waned. Union workforces became increasingly less productive as measured against hourly throughput. Now the laws of economics are holding true. Union leaders horribly failed their membership by not emphasizing productivity.
The leaders of these dying cities are meeting now but their problems have been around for a long time. For example, Detroit never recovered from its 1967 riots. I hope they will look at themselves to come up with an answer but I am skeptical.
This letter was published in Forbes: “I’ve lived in Flint, MI my entire life and I just recently began working at a GM factory. With the exception of a few people my co-workers are the laziest and most negative people I’ve ever seen. From what I’ve heard from the GM workers all my life and what I’ve recently seen first hand, the workers themselves have played NO SMALL PART in what’s happened to the automotive industry here.”
These observations were supported in a letter I received from Norina Mooney of California’s Silicon Valley; “As a member of the SEIU labor union I agree with you. Most union workers are lazy. They are complacent in their jobs but they know they will never be fired. I work for a government agency and I am the exception to the rule. Most workers do not go out of their way to do anything. I makes me so irritated but I guess I was placed there for a reason.”
Rush Limbaugh’s anti-Obama rhetoric at yesterday CPAC conference was over the top, but the other side makes the same mistake. Far too many people avoid facts or a calm explanation of their viewpoint. They instead try to destroy another person’s character. There are people like this in both political parties and they little interest in compromising for the good of our nation.
Examples of this are easy to compile. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) gleefully said every 100 deaths in Iraq equaled another seat for the Democrats in Congress. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) called Bush a “loser” and said our troops “have lost in Iraq.” He also called the surge a failure BEFORE it even get started.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) called Osama Bin Laden a ‘freedom fighter’ and claimed he was more popular in Afghanistan because he “built schools, roads and hospitals.” She said we were the ones killing Afghani people and not Al Qaeda.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) compared American behavior at Guantanamo Bay to that of “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings.”
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) said Abu Gharaid, where no one died, was “just as bad as the 6 million Jews being killed.”
Sen. Bob Byrd (D-WV) said the American guards at Guantanamo were “no better than and no different than the Nazi concentration camp guards.” Not even one death had been reported at Guantanamo at the time of remark.
NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said there was no difference between “The American flag and the Confederate swastika”. Former Sen. John Glenn (D-OH) said “It’s the old Hitler business.” Garrison Keillor called our guards “Brownshirts in pinstripes.” Linda Ronstadt described them as “A new bunch of Hitlers,” and Al Gore used the phrase “Digital Brownshirts”.
This rhetoric is not constructive, and Adolf Hitler and the Nazi’s have no relation with a democratic United States and our humane military.
When Mohammed al-Qahtani, the suspected 20th hijacker of September 11, 2001, was experiencing chest and head pains he was given a CAT scan and put on a heart monitor. A radiologist was flown to Cuba for consultation, and an operation was scheduled right away. The Nazi’s did not do that.
The most unfortunate thing about the quotes I selected is that they were all from Al Jazeera broadcasts on both their English and Arabic news site. They were used to inflame our opponents in the Middle East. As far as political rhetoric is concerned, so much of the debate today involves personal destruction.
I know little about Michelle Malkin but she is in the political arena and it is fine to disagree with her viewpoint. I would not call her, or any other person, a pig. A liberal pundit did that today. I do not believe politicians are windbags, and practically all of them have good motives. I will disagree with lawmakers, but I will not question their intelligence if they are on the other side.
I sincerely admire many liberal lawmakers who disagree with me, and I would never say their election was an “insult to the human race.” That quote is from the same pundit. I address these lawmakers in a civil tone and with respect for the position they hold.