All Posts Tagged With: "Congress"

Is The Middle A Place To Deal With Debt?

As of this writing, debate continues in the US Senate on the compromise Debt Ceiling bill, but one bit of information from the House vote presents an interesting view on the state of the Moderate position: all 5 of Iowa’s congressmen voted against the bill, even though we have 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans representing us.  (Update: Yup, the Senate approved it and Obama signed it… long day already!)

The reasons for voting “No” are drawn clearly along party lines.  The Democrats from Iowa (Braley, Loebsack and Boswell) all stated that “shared sacrifice” was lacking from the bill, which is code for “we want to soak the rich”.  King and Latham, the Republicans, were focused on fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget.

Saying that …


Default is Inevitable, Part II

Talking points are truly amazing things. They capture the essence of the obsessions of political operatives. The political news has recently been dominated by the talking points surrounding the debt ceiling debate, with the main terms of choice being the assorted variants of “apocalypse.”

First of all, failing to raise the debt ceiling would not automatically lead to a default on the national debt. The federal government would continue to collect revenue, and could use that revenue to pay debt obligations as they fall due, or in other words, pay the coupon interest on time. This would involve deep cuts to everything else, and if you are a professional politician that is synonymous with impossible, so there is an assumption that default would be the …


What’s Really Wrong With Today’s Government?

Brian NygaardIn the February 16th, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Gerald F. Seib wrote an article called Senate Woes Flag Wider Disease.  The premise of the article is that the center of the political continuum has been eroded and that the bridge historically connecting the left and the right is being dismantled.  He goes on to indicate that the result is a Senate without an ability to accomplish anything.  The Framers, along with many who have followed, have long-since understood the power of the majority in a democracy.  Accordingly, they have inserted safeguards against the potential “tyranny of the majority” that are now coming into clear view.  Mr. Seib also points to the rapidly expanding use, over the last twenty years, of filibusters and …


Why (Not) Term Limits?

How to decideTerm limits have lately become a popular topic of conversation.  When a lot of folks start getting fed up with what’s happening in Washington, term limits are sometimes becomes strategy #1 for solving the problem.  But it’s like the idea of a flat tax or domestic drilling… it sounds good as a sound bite, but what does it really end up meaning, and why do we really think it’s going to help?

Frankly, I was a big supporter of the idea some years ago (back when Neal Smith represented my US House district in Congress), but I have figured out that the reason I was such a big supporter was specifically because of Neal Smith.  That is, I wanted him out of office, and term …


Spreading The Wealth: Is It Socialism?

It’s been an interesting week so far as reaction to the whole Joe The Plumber escapade has heightened people’s awareness of Barack Obama’s agenda.

For the sake of full disclosure, and ensuring people don’t accuse me of taking his words out of context, you can see the full transcript of the conversation between Obama and Joe here. I’m going to focus on one sentence that Obama said:

I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

One can argue a hundred different opinions on this topic, and there’s been a lot of comments around how this is a Socialist agenda (and many consider this to be pretty obvious).  However, the new argument from the Left is that there’s nothing new here


A Defining Day

Seven years ago today our world changed.  Expressing how that day felt and how it has changed the way we live today I will leave to the rest of the world today.  It was a day of great heroism and pain, and I cannot forget it.  It hurts.

My concern today is how quickly we seem to have forgotten.  It is a shame that so many are anxious to forget the horror of 2001, the loss of life, the viciousness of the attack and the evil that permeates the hearts of those that wish to destroy America.

I can’t say that I understand the kind of hatred held by those who want to do us harm.  But I am confident that they will not …


Supreme Court: Capital Punishment Old-fashioned

Court Scales

The court is wrong.

As Lyle observes, the court has been progressively narrowing the conditions under which the death penalty can be used. By itself, this is a frustrating fact as the court appears to be referencing reasons with less basis in law and more basis in their feelings. Lyle observes:

…the longer a Justice stays on the Court and watches capital cases come and go, the greater the prospect that capital punishment will lose another vote…

But more disturbing is …


It Doesn’t Take Much to Fool People

President Bush and Senator John McCain are both now promoting off-shore domestic drilling.  Hallelujah.  It took them long enough.

But it is, amazingly, going to yet be an uphill battle.  As long as Democrats continue to stand on weak, worthless principles, like “anywhere buy my backyard”, we’re going to have to fight for the things that make sense.

I’m not advocating we put ourselves into a position to cause the kinds of oil disasters that drove us away from drilling off the coasts of California and Florida… but we should have the technology now to provide the safeguards needed to prevent that.

However, in an area that has no people, no tourists, and no real value to people, Bush and McCain continue to oppose …


What’s a Federal Government To Do?

This afternoon, my post about Iowa considering raising the Gas Tax to help pay for flood recovery was clicked into by someone on the “house.gov” network… that is, someone probably working in some congressperson’s office took a look at the post.. I have no idea who.  But less than an hour later, I notice a story (that has evidently been running at least since early morning) that the White House is now asking Congress for $1.8 Billion in disaster relief money.

And of course, Congress will add more to the request.

But with tens of billions of dollars, maybe even hundreds of billions, in damage and recovery expense across the midwest, this will end up being a small portion of the needed funds.

And, it …


Congressional Conservationists Corraling Resources

Not that anyone should be shocked, but definitely frustrated, but today’s Washington Post provides some insight to the plans of Congress with regard to converting more and more land over to federal protection control.  You know what’s scary?  If this had been the approach Congress took when Thomas Jefferson was president, we’d still be all stuck on the east coast, the western 1/3 of the country would be part of Mexico, and everything from Ohio to the Rockies would still be under Indian control (well, maybe not) and undeveloped.  Oh, and we’d still be using outhouses.

The thinking is, Congress may set aside as many as 2 million additional acres in this year.

Wilderness areas, which have the strictest level of federal protection, account for


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