Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ken Cuccinelli featured on Big Government.com

I was quite pleased this morning to come across this article on BigGovernment.com about our new Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. It appears that others outside the Commonwealth of Virginia are starting to take notice. Thank goodness!


We *heart* AG Cuccinelli

With the touch issues he is already working on Health Care Reform with the help of the General Assemble (HB 10 and SB 417)and now the EPA Global Warming Petition. My hope is that AG Cuccinelli will lead the way for other states Attorney Generals to stand up to the federal government.

As Christian Josi noted in his article:

Keep an eye on this guy. He means business. And by picking these kinds of necessary fights, he’s certainly going to need backup.

Thank you, Mr Josi, for noticing!

Special note: if you are in VA please contact your Senator and ask them to support HB10 as noted above. There is 2 more weeks in this legislative session and it is important that we pass both HB10 and SB417.

Read more at the Va 10th Amendment blog.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting a handle on Government Spending


Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes, who represents the 4th congressional district, is activity working to hold Washington accountable for their out of control spending. Rep Forbes has sponsored bill HR 4479 “Tighten Washington’s Belt Act 2010” which proposes to cut discretionary spending by 40% through FY 2015.

According to Rep. Forbes:

“The Tighten Washington's Belt Act will force Congress to prioritize, to spend less, and to spend smarter. It will mean that bills packed with excessive, wasteful and duplicative spending can no longer fly through committee and over the President’s desk without direct consequences.”


The bill will call for a 10% reduction in discretionary spending over the next 4 fiscal years, with the exemption of benefits and compensation provided to active duty military and to veterans defined as discretionary spending. It is also, important to note this is for discretionary spending only, which accounts for 40% of the budget, and does not include spending for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. So far there are no co-sponsors to this bill and it is currently in the House Budget committee. Please call your representative and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor.

You can read more about the Tighten Washington’s Belt Act 2010 at Forbes website.

Another very simple bill which will freeze congressional salaries is HR 4255. Something that people may not be aware of is that congressional pay raises are automatic. This bill would “Stop the Automatic Pay Raise for Members of Congress in Fiscal Year 2011 Act”. So far Rep. Forbes, Rep. Goodlatte (VA-6), Rep. Nye (VA-2), Rep. Perriello (VA-5), Rep. Whitman (VA-1) and Rep. Wolf (VA-10) have all signed on as co-sponsors.

I once heard the saying, “getting out of debt is like busting out our prison, you have to chip away at it little by little”. These bills certainly put us on the track of chipping away at the debt. Is the more we can do, absolutely, but you have to start somewhere and I am glad to see Virginia Representatives on board.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Health Insurance Bill passes the house

This bill HR 4626 named Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act passed the House Feb 24th, the day before the big health care summit. This bill would repeal a law that exempts health insurance companies from anti-trust laws. Now, I have not look into this bill in great detail, but the fact that it passed with a little opposition could be a good sign.

What has me scratching my head is while the MSM, President Obama, Pelosi and Reid are distracting us with "Health Care Reform" it looks like this might be a bill that would offer up more competition, which would in turn make health insurance more affordable. Yet, it passes with no media coverage other than a few local websites and blogs.

Rep Perriello, (VA-5), who sponsored the bill had this to say:

“If you’re a health insurance company and you’re not engaged in monopolistic practices, you’re not colluding, then you have nothing to worry about,” Perriello said in a speech on the House floor Wednesday. “But if you are, be afraid. Be very afraid. Because you are no longer going to enjoy the monopoly protections you have enjoyed for 65 years.”


This sounds like Health Insurance Reform to me and best part, does not look like it would cost taxpayers a dime.


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Monday, February 22, 2010

Video: I am the Tea Party Leader

The Republicans, Democrats and MSM have been scratching their heads to figure out who is the leader of the Tea Party movement. Here's a hint:



Thank you, Waco Tea Party! I hope this goes viral.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Eric Cantor issues statement about reconciliation

Yesterday, I posted about the democrats apparent attempt to gain support to pass health care reform using the budget reconciliation rules. Today, House Republican Minority Whip, Eric Cantor has issues the following statement:

“If the President is sincere about moving forward in a bipartisan fashion, he must take the reconciliation process – which will be used jam through legislation that a majority of Americans do not want – off the table. By using the reconciliation process, the Administration and Democrat leaders are sending a clear signal that they still refuse to listen to the American people and have no interest in bipartisanship. To be certain, by using the reconciliation process, the Administration makes clear that their promise of bipartisanship is dead.

“If the President’s intention for the health care summit is to finally show that he is ready to listen and work in a bipartisan way to produce incremental reforms that the American people support, he is off to a rocky start. The health care bills that the Obama Administration has apparently combined to form a new plan - unfortunately again behind closed doors - have not only been rejected by the American people and Republicans, but by Democrats on Capitol Hill who have spent that past year arguing amongst themselves over them. I urge President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Reid to stop trying to subvert the will of the American people and finally start listening to them.”



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Thursday, February 18, 2010

18 Democrat Senators support passing health care reform by reconciliation

A letter composed by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and co-signed by 3 other senators, calls on Harry Reid to bring public health care option up for a vote using budget reconciliation rules. To date 18 senators and 119 house members have signed on as supporters. Senator Schumer even boosted about it in a fund raising email to supporters and selling it as an "... opportunity to break through the obstructionism Republicans have pushed for the past year". I guess Senator Schumer did not realize the Democrats had the majority.

Meanwhile, over at the White House, President Obama is busy working on his proposal ahead of the Health Care Summit. This is from the New York Times:

Democratic officials said the president’s proposal was being written so that it could be attached to a budget bill as a way of averting a Republican filibuster in the Senate. The procedure, known as budget reconciliation, would let Democrats advance the bill with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote supermajority.

Congressional Democrats, however, have not yet seen the proposal or signed on.

The House and the Senate each adopted a version of sweeping health care legislation late last year. But efforts to combine the measures stalled after a Republican, Scott Brown, won a special Senate election in Massachusetts on Jan. 19, effectively stripping the Democrats of the 60th vote they needed to overcome Republican filibusters.

“It will be a reconciliation bill,” one Democratic aide said. “If Republicans don’t come with any substantial offers, this is what we would do.”


Republicans, please pay special attention to the last sentence. I am guessing that Republicans are not going to have anything "substantial" and the democrats will be "forced" to use the budget reconciliation rule to pass public health care.

Many skeptics have been telling the Republicans not to go to the health care summit, at this point I am incline to agree with that. However, it is really a lose lose for the Republicans, if they go they will be ridiculed for not bring anything "substanial" to the table, if they don't go they are being obstructionist.

So much for the open and transparent.

In case you did not know the Republican Health Care proposal has been on line since last July, you can read it here.


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Student Nondiscrimination Act 2010

This bill was brought to my attention this morning, HR 4350 "Student Nondiscrimination Act 2010". It is more feel good legislation that seems to be harmless on the surface, however the bill is seeking to protect specifically lesbian, gay and bisexual or transgender. The bill was introduced late January by Rep Jared Polis. According to Metro Weekly


Citing “relentless harassment and discrimination” and “life-threatening violence” faced by students “based on their sexual orientation,” U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) today introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit such discrimination, as well as that based on gender identity, in public schools in the United States.

The bill would require that no student in public schools be “excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” based on the student’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill also would prohibit harassment based on either characteristic.


Now, I'm asking myself, it this a real problem.... "relentless harassment and discrimination" and "life-threatening violence". Or is there some other motivate behind the legislation. Well, of course it is the latter:

The purpose of this bill is not what is being stated, but is quite simply to mandate in public schools one acceptable viewpoint on the issue of homosexuality, using purported violence or harassment as the rationale, and the power of the feds as the hammer. The goal is to silence those who may warn about or object to student expression of homosexuality or gender confusion… The federal governmental intrusion and sweeping new unregulated powers in what are local and state matters are proposed in this bill. Enforcement will primarily be through federal agencies, which will craft new regulations to back up this bill’s provisions with the President’s approval. Can you spell “czar”?


Yep, this bill will give power to such bureaucratic as the Safe School Czar, currently Kevin Jennings or Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. They will have the power to create programs to promote the "lifestyle" and tolerance and then mandate through this legislation that it be taught public schools. Those schools that refuse will lose their federal funding. That seems like bullying to me.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Health Care Summit: Beer Summit Part 2

Remember last summer when "stupidly" ended up giving President Obama and the White House a major PR problem. The White House's response to whole debacle was to invite the Robert Gates and James Crowley to the White House for a beer. The meeting was dubbed the "beer summit" and President Obama describe the purpose of the meeting as this:

“It’s an opportunity to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic that you lose sight of just the fact that these are people involved, including myself. All of whom are imperfect.”


The beer summit was a PR campaign to smooth over the situation and have the media move on to something else. So is that what President Obama is trying to do with the Health Care Summit? Except instead of the media moving on, he wants the American People to move on. It seems to me, Obama wants to appear to be reaching out and working with Republicans. I would bet a major object is to get "The People" to back off because we aren't buying what he is selling, despite his explanations.

Even the Republicans are skeptical of his motives, Rep. Boehner has this statement on his website:

"A productive bipartisan discussion should begin with a clean sheet of paper. We now know that instead of starting the 'bipartisan' health care 'summit' on Feb. 25 with a clean sheet of paper, the president and his party intend to arrive with a new bill written behind closed doors exclusively by Democrats -- a backroom deal that will transform one-sixth of our nation's economy and affect every family and small business in America. They will then engage a largely handpicked audience in a televised 'dialogue' according to a script they have largely pre-determined. They will do this as a precursor to embarking on a legislative course that Democratic congressional aides acknowledge has also been pre-determined -- a partisan course that relies on parliamentary tricks to circumvent the will of the American people and engineer a pre-determined outcome. It doesn't sound much like bipartisanship to me."


However, the Republicans are going along with the charade and meeting with President Obama and the Democrats. I hope they are prepared for what ever President Obama has up his sleeve. I like the way Betsy McCaughey put it in the Wall Street Journal:

Yet Republican leaders are inquiring about how much of the summit will be televised and who will be invited. They should instead tell the president to stuff the 4,500 pages of the House and Senate bills into a shredder.

Refusing to accept the Congressional legislation as the basis for talks does not make Republicans the party of "no."


Wonder if they will be serving beer?


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Monday, February 15, 2010

Obama'a Council of Governors cauces concern

President Obama issued an executive order on January 11, 2009 to establish a Council of Governors. The councils purpose is to "to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State Governments to protect our Nation against all types of hazards." Here is a great explanation and "dots" connected on why citizens should be concerned.

Just as concerning, is that our Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell, has agreed to serve on this committee. Chip Tarbutton, President of the Roanoke Tea Party has send Gov. McDonnell the following letter and we urge all concerned citizens to do the same.

Governor McDonnell,

You have agreed to serve on President Obama’s Council of Governors. This Executive Order from the President is troubling and seems to be an attempt by the Federal government to gain even more control over states, in the guise of emergency management.

I voted for you sir, and I believe that you understand that the 10th Amendment is being trampled over by the Federal Government on a daily basis.

I, and the rest of the Roanoke Tea Party, need to understand why you are participating in this Council, given the grave Constitutional issues raised by this Executive Order. Unless, you can provide us with some justification for your participation, we would respectfully ask you to pull out of the Council of Governors as soon as possible.

We eagerly await your reply.

Chip Tarbutton

President

Roanoke Tea Party


You can contact Gov. McDonnell's office at 804-786-2211 or you can send him an email

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Could Senator Schumer have "stimulus" buyer's remorse?

It’s been a year now since our “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs” stimulus bill has been passed and many are wondering if they missed something. We’ve been hearing about “created jobs”, “saved jobs”, “green jobs” and my favorite “shovel ready jobs”. Yet, not one mention of jobs for foreign countries. Apparently there is a loophole, a mis-step if you will, with the legislation as it is written. It does not stipulate that the jobs must remain in the United States. A recent article from the Investigative Reporting Workshop stated this:

The Workshop was the first to report last October that more than 80 percent of the first $1 billion in grants to wind energy companies went to foreign firms. Since then, the administration has stopped making announcements of new grants to wind, solar and geothermal companies, but has handed out another $1 billion, bringing the total given out to $2.1 billion and the total that went to companies based overseas to more than 79 percent.


An Example:

A consortium of Chinese and American companies announced a joint venture Thursday to construct a massive 600-megawatt wind farm in West Texas, using wind turbines manufactured in China.


Photobucket


So while there will be constructions jobs provided for in the U.S. the bulk of the manufacturing will be in China were an estimated 2,000 jobs were created.

Sen. Schumer is not happy and is calling on the Obama administration to block the use of stimulus funds for the utility-scale wind farm in West Texas, has not been successful.

“In all due respect I remind the secretary (of Energy) there is a four-letter word associated with the stimulus -- J-O-B-S,” Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told ABC News who interviewed him for a report done in coordination with the Workshop’s ongoing investigation. “Very few jobs here, lots of jobs in China. That is not what I intended or any other legislator who voted for the stimulus intended.”


So it seems Sen. Schumer may be having a bit of buyer's remorse. Those of us who were screaming not to pass the stimulus and warned against the wasteful spending. The stimulus packages has lived up the government as usual standard.

One last thought, could this loophole been caught and fixed if someone read the bill? or Was the fact that jobs could go to China not even on the radar? Once you turn on the faucet it is hard to shut if off or control the flow.


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Thursday, February 4, 2010

AG Cuccinelli on Cavuto

Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli was interviewed by Neil Cavuto on Fox News on February 3rd, 2010. He talked about Va Healthcare Freedom Act that was passed on Monday by the Virginia Senate. It now goes to the House of Delegates were it is expected to pass.




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Everyone gets $6,000 more in debt today

When President Obama announced his spending freeze in his State of the Union address, I think he failed to mention the House bill that would allow the debt ceiling to be raised by 1.9 trillion.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Facing a politically excruciating vote, House Democratic leaders are counting on new budget deficit curbs to help smooth the way for a bill allowing the government to go $1.9 trillion deeper into debt over the next year - or about $6,000 more for every U.S. resident.

The debt measure set for a House vote Thursday would raise the cap on federal borrowing to $14.3 trillion. That's enough to keep Congress from having to vote again before the November elections on an issue that is feeding a sense among voters that the government is spending too much and putting future generations under a mountain of debt to do it.

Already, the accumulated debt amounts to $40,000 per person. And the debt is increasingly held by foreign nations such as China.

Passage of the bill would send it to President Barack Obama, who will sign it to avoid a first-ever, market-rattling default on U.S. obligations. Democrats barely passed it through the Senate last week over a unanimous "no" vote from GOP members present.





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