Political Critic Archives - December 2009

 

Archives - December 2009

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Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 9:05pm

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year in 2010!!!  It should be an incredibly exciting year!!!

Sydney welcomes the New Year (AAP: Dean Lewins)


Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 11:59pm

Government Bails Out GMAC...Again!

Really?  Hasn't the administration learned their lesson yet about bailing out random companies? GMAC, the financing arm of General Motors, said today that the Treasury Department has given them $3.8 billion of taxpayer dollars.  This would mark the 3rd time the government has handed over money to GMAC.

The American taxpayer now owns 56% of this firm.  That sounds like a lot...until you realize that GMAC is a worthless, insolvent company without government intervention.

At what point will the Obama administration realize that bailing out bad corporations is a terrible decision?  Just like the CIT bankruptcy, which cost taxpayers $2.3 billion, this will also be a wasted effort.


Monday, December 28, 2009 - 1:45pm

Napolitano Admits Failure

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted that the system did not work in preventing a man with explosives on board a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day. The man had already been flagged as a potential threat, yet was still allowed on the plane.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, is seen in this photo released by the U.S. Marshal's Service.Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was listed in the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database, but his name was apparently not screened before boarding the Northwest Airlines flight.  The list holds nearly 550,000 names and is much larger than the 'Do Not Fly' list, but it still should've kept him from flying.

Why bother keeping a database of 550,000 possible terrorists if you're not going to use it to screen possible threats?  Is it really that difficult to run every passenger's name through the computer system before allowing them on board?

If Homeland Security doesn't fix this major flaw in the system, a terrorist will bring a plane down eventually.  We got lucky this time as the bomb didn't explode, but the next time we may not be as fortunate.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - 8:40pm

Final Vote Set For Christmas Eve

Democrats are determined to pass healthcare reform before the end of the year.  With Ben 'Kickback' Nelson on board, the Senate voted on cloture by a party-line 60-39 tally.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has scheduled a final vote for 7am on Christmas Eve.  If the date and time hold, it would mark the first vote on Christmas Eve in more than a century.

 

Once the Senate passes the bill, it will need to be reconciled with the House bill.  There are significant differences in the two bills, but President Obama has (finally) promised to get involved to move the process along. 

It remains to be seen how much longer this will take.  In the meantime, Congress is ignoring just about everything else.


Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 5:05pm

Reward for Nelson

In order for Harry Reid and the Democrats to get 60 votes on their healthcare reform bill, they needed to coax Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) to side with them.  They got Nelson's vote, but only after giving his state of Nebraska a huge payoff.

As a result, Nebraska will now receive a permanent exemption from their share of Medicaid expansion.  They are the only state to get this sweetheart deal and it will end up costing federal taxpayers an additional $45 million in the first ten years to make up the difference.

Deal-making is commonplace in politics and other Senators did get special treatment, but rarely do they rise to a monetary value of tens of millions of dollars dedicated to one, sparsely populated state.

The bottom line is that Senator Nelson was effectively bribed into voting for this healthcare bill. It's a shame politicians don't cast votes on what they actually believe.


Friday, December 18, 2009 - 11:35pm

Weak Global Climate Deal

As soon as you hear the phrase "non-binding" in any agreement designed by politicians, you can be sure that it doesn't mean a thing.  Such is the case with President Obama's climate pact reached in Copenhagen today with four other countries.

Poor countries immediately denounced the deal because of the non-binding language and since it didn't set a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  They quickly realized this accord was simply a way for the American president and other world leaders to save face.

Let's be serious...President Obama's trip to Demark was a complete waste of time.  For months, the Copenhagen summit was expected to yield significant progress on global warming. Instead, it will end without a legally binding pact and with no deadlines or targets on emissions.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 6:20pm

Debt Ceiling Hitting Limits

Even though our federal government carries an enormous debt burden, the Treasury Department is actually limited in terms of how high they can go.  Currently, they are restricted to stop at $12.1 trillion, which they anticipate hitting by the end of the year.

House Democratic leaders are having trouble raising the ceiling as fiscal hawks oppose them.  As a result, a short-term extension may be the only option available to lawmakers.  The debate has been ongoing for some time now with little progress.

Why is Congress wasting all this time debating debt limits.  Wouldn't it be more productive to, oh, I don't know, figure out how to stop spending so much taxpayer money?


Sunday, December 13, 2009 - 3:49pm

Comic Relief

The mainstream media has become notorious for covering frivolous stories and ignoring actual, real news. The cast at Saturday Night Live demonstrate (again) how ridiculous and irresponsible the national networks acted in their reporting of Tiger Woods' many extramarital affairs.

Unfortunately, the media will only report on stories that increase ratings.  When the next big- name celebrity gets in trouble, you can be sure the MSM will provide wall-to-wall coverage.


Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 1:10am

FDIC Closes 3 More Banks

It seems that every Friday night, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) shuts down more banks.  The intent is to open these financial institutions on Monday morning under government control and without an interruption of services, but this is now becoming a weekly ritual.

Regulators shut down three more banks today, bringing the total number of failures this year to 133.  In comparison, there were only 25 bank closures last year and only three in 2007.

The cost to taxpayers in 2009 to rescue these financial institutions: $28 billion!!!

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Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 8:50pm

Obama in Norway

President Obama accepted his Nobel Peace Prize today in Oslo, only days after he ordered an additional 30,000 American soldiers to the war in Afghanistan.

Does anyone else see the hypocrisy here?

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - 5:35pm

Three Senators Hold the Cards

Harry Reid and the Democrats need 60 votes to pass their healthcare reform bill, but thus far have only 58.  They need two of the three Senators seen below to vote with them and will have to compromise on a few issues to get them.  Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) hold the key to passing healthcare reform in this country.

Fortunately, the Democrats don't need all three Senators, so they should be able to play them off each other to some extent.  If one of them refuses to play ball, s/he could miss out on changing the "historic" bill to their liking.  My bet is that Ben Nelson will be left out in the cold in the end.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009 - 12:45pm

Defense Secretary Talks Afghanistan

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down with David Gregory this morning on Meet the Press to discuss the U.S. war plan in Afghanistan.

 

The best move Barack Obama has made thus far in his presidency was to keep Bob Gates as his Defense Secretary.  Even though he seems intent on quitting before the end of President Obama's first term, I hope he reconsiders.  The president needs people in his Cabinet that disagree with him, especially on matters of foreign policy.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009 - 12:59am

Portia on Gay Marriage

Better Off Ted actress Portia de Rossi appeared on The View yesterday to discuss her beliefs on gay marriage.  De Rossi is openly gay and has been married to Ellen Degeneres since August 2008.  They were legally wed in California before Proposition 8 was repealed.

 

De Rossi's viewpoint is one I agree with completely.  I simply don't understand conservatives like Elizabeth Hasselback that argue against gay marriage.  Their rationale makes zero sense.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 5:45pm

Obama's Afghanistan Strategy

The president is adding more troops to Afghanistan, but he has also decided that the vast majority of American forces will be out of the country in three years.  Not coincidentally, that would be before the end of President Barack Obama's first term in office.

They say that war is simply an extension of politics and Mr. Obama is demonstrating how true that statement is.  Rather than concern himself with winning the war in the right manner and time frame, he appears to be making decisions based on the election schedule.

The war in Afghanistan is very unpopular with the president's base and he knows he'll have trouble winning a second term if the situation isn't resolved by election time.  Left-wing groups have already been protesting for months against any possible escalation in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, President Obama has forgotten that his first priority is to the safety of U.S. soldiers under his command.  Like every other politician before him, President Obama will do anything to remain in power.  Everything else, including troop movements, is secondary.

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