Archive for January, 2009
While at the YMCA tonight I was watching C-Span. Why I do not know, but they were playing Pelosi’s weekly briefing. I wish I could find a way to link the video other than linking to C-Span. Will keep trying, but here is the transcript from today. You lose some effect by not being able to see her face and her really odd expressions while she is talking. One of my most favorite parts is where she says, that Republicans across the country actually support this bailout! Is she nuts? Ok well here it is for your listening and reading pleasure:
As I said yesterday, one week and one day back, the President on the steps of the Capitol called for swift and bold action. He called for investments to create jobs. He called for cutting taxes to the middle class, 95 percent of the American people. He called for investments in innovation, in science, in education, in health care, and building infrastructure of America, including a modern grid to distribute renewable energy resources, which he called for investments in as well. One week and one day from his call to action, the House of Representatives passed legislation doing just that.
So we are very, very proud of the action taken by the House today. We look forward to the bill being taken up in the Senate, go to conference and have this recovery package signed into law before we leave for the Presidents’ Day break.
The next week, we can talk about what is on the schedule for next week if you wish. But we are very, very proud of what has happened in a mere week and two days since the President became the President of the United States.
I would be pleased to take any questions.
Q: Madam Speaker, I want to ask you about this vote yesterday. All Republicans, and even some of your fellow Democrats, say that they had to vote against it because of excess spending. They said that this didn’t stimulate the economy, excess spending that your lieutenants put into this bill. Given that, is it your fault in some ways that Barack Obama’s first vote was so partisan and not bipartisan?
Speaker Pelosi. Listen, we didn’t come here to be — I didn’t come here to be partisan. I didn’t come here to be bipartisan. I came here, as did my colleagues, to be nonpartisan, to work for the American people, to do what is in their interest.
The President’s agenda is reflected in this legislation. As I mentioned, some of the priorities that were there were creating jobs, cutting taxes, helping states through this difficult economic time and to do so in a fiscally sound way. People vote for what they believe in.
Clearly the Republicans did not believe in the agenda that I just described for you, and that is probably one of the reasons they voted that way. I think they probably voted their conscience, and they couldn’t support that.
But we are very, very proud of the product that came out of our legislative step one and look forward to working — we have reached out to the Republicans all along the way. And they know it. They were part of the original bill with some of the tax provisions were their suggestions. They had what they asked for in terms of committee markups. They had the vote on the floor that gave them plenty of opportunity to make change. They just didn’t have the ideas that had the support of the majority of the people in the Congress.
They won one — Mr. Platts won an amendment for openness in the process, and I think it was a valuable addition to the legislation.
I take credit for the great action taken by the Congress one week and one day since the President called for bold and swift action on the steps of the Capitol.
Q: … is if your principal opponents are not John Boehner or Eric Cantor. They were Rush Limbaugh or Matt …
Speaker Pelosi. I won’t speak to that. I am the Speaker of the House. I don’t get into that.
Q: Can you characterize the role that Obey played in crafting the bill and getting it through the House?
Speaker Pelosi. David Obey is a master at work. To see him craft legislation is a sight to behold. He and other chairmen played an important part in translating the agenda that the Obama Administration has presented to us into legislation. And we are all deeply in his debt for the masterful work that he did and doing so in a very short time frame.
Q: Speaker Pelosi, do you regret adding the tax cuts and taking out some provisions, like the contraception provision, because no Republicans — it didn’t get any Republican votes?
Speaker Pelosi. No. The fact is that — and you said, “Do you regret putting in the tax cuts?” The tax cuts were, especially the net operating loss carry back, were at the suggestion of the Republicans. They asked for it. We put it in the original bill at their suggestion, and it had its role to play. I think everyone will admit, more jobs are created by more on the investment side than on that side. But we shall see.
And as far as the contraception is concerned, we will have to have that in some legislation. It saves $700 million. But it was a distraction. It was a distraction, and therefore, we want to say, “Look, our economy is experiencing great difficulties. The American people, therefore, are, too. We need to act, and we need to act now.”
And the question before us is: Do you want to take the country in a new direction where many more people participate in the economic prosperity of our country? That we must act now, 500,000 people a month are losing their jobs. So rather than have a distraction at this time, I thought it was important to be in the bill because it is a savings. The bill was scored higher once that came out because it saved $700 million.
But I am very pleased with how that has proceeded. Yes.
Q: Madam Speaker, President Obama did make it very clear from the start of this process that he wanted a bill that would have broad bipartisan support. So was this a failure or at the very least a disappointment not to have a single Republican support it? And secondly, what is the President talking about in his statement last night about seeing this bill improve in the Senate?
Speaker Pelosi. I don’t think he said “improved.” He said “strengthened.”
Speaker Pelosi. So we will see what happens with this. This is step one in the process.
But, look, the President reached out before he came President, before he was even sworn in, to have a bipartisan meeting of the leadership, House and Senate. He met with House and Senate bipartisan leadership after he became President. He met with the Republican leadership. He met with the Republican Caucus. Before he walked into the room, the Republican leaders told their Members, before the President came into the room, don’t vote for this bill. So they had a decision that they made.
Now, each Member has to make his or her own decision about what they believe in. And I believe that this was a good bill for education, for renewable energy, for making us energy independent, for investments in innovation to keep us competitive in the world economy, for cutting taxes, for creating good paying jobs in the near term and with the time release to stabilize the economy over the longer term. They disagreed. They didn’t vote for it.
But you know what, when you can’t win on policy, then you turn to process, and then you turn to personalities. The fact is, we have a very important job to do. And again, the process is secondary to this. They had, again, they told me they thought the rule was fine. They had their opportunities for a substitute, for a motion to recommit, for amendments. This is very inside. Republicans in the country support this legislation, support this legislation. Whatever the tactics of the Republicans in Washington is another thing. But this isn’t about partisan or bipartisan. It is about being nonpartisan and acting in the best interest of the American people. And that is all I am about going to say on process.
Any other questions?
Q: … provisions in the bill according to the CBO, the spending provisions, not the tax provisions, aren’t going to spend out within 2 years: 52 percent will; 42 percent won’t. If the point of the bill is to stimulate the economy and to act swiftly and boldly, as the President said, why enact those provisions which will take 5 to 10 years to spend out?
Speaker Pelosi. I don’t agree with your basic premise. The fact is that 75 percent of this bill will be spent out in the first 18 months, and immediately, there will be a higher level of confidence in families, in businesses, in our economy, because of these infusions of investment. So, again, the White House has stated and we have insisted that at least two thirds of it go in the first 18 months.
Q: Two thirds or 75 percent?
Speaker Pelosi. Seventy five percent, 75 percent in the first 18 months.
And it is absolutely necessary. Again, 500,000 Americans are losing their jobs every month. If we don’t pass this legislation in a timely fashion, that will continue. The economy, at the rate that it is going, the continuation of the Bush years would have added 2 percent more to the unemployment rate. This bill will take us in a new direction.
Again, we are very proud of it. We look forward to seeing what the Senate does, come to conference, have this all done.
But our next order of business on the agenda is to pass the children’s health insurance program next week. The Senate today — we will pick up in the House the Senate legislation next week.
And so in addition to the celebration that we had this morning at the White House to end pay discrimination in the workplace and make it fair, and next week, we will make sure that health insurance is expanded to 11 million children in America. We are very excited about that. And then, following that, we will pass the recovery act and take our country in a new direction under the leadership of Barack Obama.
Believe me, it is so different to work on this legislation and then be there to see it signed into law, to change public policy, to make a difference in the lives of America’s working families.
Thank you all.
When is this going to stop.
I was watching the Press Conference with the New Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, and through his whole speech all he did was bash the previous presidency. We get the picture you all are going to great lengths to make sure that everyone knows that all the problems in the world are the fault of the Bush presidency. Whatever. I want to turn off the TV and not listen to anything at all when all I see hear is insults. So please tell your speech writers to get some new material.
Why on earth did Obama have his first interview with an Arab network? Really? Please stop apologizing for our country. Empathy has its place but this is some seriously new lows. We are really asking for some trouble with some of this.
And then there is this article I read this morning. So apparently writing a letter apologizing to Iran will help? He has been working on a letter since November 4th.
Officials of Barack Obama‘s administration have drafted a letter to Iran from the president aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks, the Guardian has learned.
The US state department has been working on drafts of the letter since Obama was elected on 4 November last year. It is in reply to a lengthy letter of congratulations sent by the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on 6 November.
And then another fun bashing thing I saw yesterday, Brian Williams actually said Presidents Pre-Obama were Evil – said it on TV. It is recorded. He told Letterman, that the inauguration was so special because America didn’t have its usual “evil choice” heading to the White House:
Are we really still arguing that there is no media bias?
There have been some crazy decisions being made over in the White House these days.
The ridiculous bailout bill passed the House. But kudos to ALL the Republicans who voted against it and big PROPS to the 11 Democrats who voted against. There are some seriously ridiculous things in this bill. Roll-Call
And here is some of the totally absurd pork in this bill. Borrowed information from Michelle Malkin
What happened to reform and making sure that there was no pork?
Page 41: The Coast Guard wants more than $572 million for “Acquisition, Construction, & Improvements” They claim these funds will create 1,235 new jobs. Crunch the numbers and this brings the cost of “creating” each job to a staggering $460,000+
Page 23: $200 million for Dep. of Defense to acquire alternative energy vehicles.
Page 32: $1.5 billion (with a “B”) for a “carbon-capturing contest”
Page 64: $3.5 billion for higher education facilities.
Tom Jones notes another $200 million for DoD plug-in car stations and crunches the numbers: 53,526 plug-in cars = >$3700/car.
P. 45: “$25,000,000 is for recreation maintenance, especially for rehabilitation of off-road vehicle routes, and $20,000,000 is for trail maintenance and restoration.” ATV owners, rejoice.
P. 60: $400 million for HIV and chlamydia testing.
$600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars. Uncle Sam already spends $3 billion a year on its fleet of 600,000 vehicles. Congress also wants to spend $7 billion for modernizing federal buildings and facilities. The Smithsonian is targeted to receive $150 million
$252 billion is for income-transfer payments — that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. There’s $81 billion for Medicaid, $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion for food stamps, and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don’t pay income tax. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren’t job creators.
As for the promise of accountability, some $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits. These include the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more.
Oh, and don’t forget education, which would get $66 billion more. That’s more than the entire Education Department spent a mere 10 years ago and is on top of the doubling under President Bush. Some $6 billion of this will subsidize university building projects. If you think the intention here is to help kids learn, the House declares on page 257 that “No recipient . . . shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools.” Horrors: Some money might go to nonunion teachers.
Wow. The good news is so far the Democrats own this.
So now a week later I am going to process a few thoughts. I saw the major highlights of the inauguration but it did leave me wondering a few things.
A new president is ALWAYS a historical event. Why the big drama over making this seem sooo much more than that? Every president is celebrated, each presidency is something that is celebrated and brings with it the potential to do good and bring about new policies and plans for our country.
It would seem that the part that makes it more historical than other presidents before him (and there have been 43 of them) is POTUS Obamas race. Everyone wanted to say is not even a factor in the election. People are quick to call you a racist if you are not a supporter, even when it has absolutely nothing to do with race; but rather policy. Race was never an issue as far as I am concerned, nor would it be an issue with any of the current generations. Frankly for me it would be simply having a qualified candidate that shares my views and values. I would vote for that qualified person regardless of their race. So I do see that for some people this was an important event, somehow giving them validation that there is racial equality.
With that comes the knowledge now, you cannot blame race racism for your life. You cannot claim that you are being held back simply due to race, you have now triumphed over that. Rise to meet that challenge and don’t fall back on the crutch that you cannot succeed due to racism. I am weary of people who cannot get past decisions that were made decades and decades ago regarding issues of slavery, who took the land from whom, etc. Those decisions were not made by me nor anyone presently alive. There is nothing we can do to change the past, we cannot go back in time and make things different now. You will simply have to let it go and move on. Please don’t keep using those things against the government and against your fellow citizens. We share the same fundamental rights and freedoms granted by the constitution. Be proud to be an American. An American whose family tree can be traced back to any country, even Africa. Heck, I am Scotch, Irish, and a myriad of other nationalities (there is some Indian in there too).
Pet Peeve #1 here is the amount of what appears to be an unhealthy obsession with Obama. It borders on idol worship. Just watching people standing around chanting and the goofy looks on peoples faces is somewhat disheartening. Please remember he is just a mortal man. He is fallible as we all are and is not above reproach and mistakes. You will likely not like things that he does, yet as the medias chosen darling those mistakes will be skirted over and not be that publicized. How else do you explain a system that reveres a sitting president who lied under oath to congress and was most likely according to credible witnesses guilty of rape, pardoned some crazy people – yet the same system insults and criticizes an honest respectable president who kept our country safe (from threats by the way that Clinton did not handle during his time in office).
Check out these links to go along with the video!
I Pledge to Ridicule Celebrities Who Refuse to Recognize We Are At War With People Who Want to Kill Them, Too
and then for a laugh I Pledge
The only glimmer of sunshine that I see here is that people set on a pedestal tend to fall off. Please understand I do not wish the economy to get worse, etc. But I do not agree with the policy direction that this administration is heading.
HOPE does not CHANGE things
Another issue that really grates at me – HOPE and CHANGE. While I hope that Obama is able to do some good for the country, I am not counting on HOPE to do much of anything. Hope is not an active thing. Hope does not make things happen. Hope is when I would like for something to happen – like: I hope it snows while we are at the ski resort, I hope that my son does well on his test, I hope that my friends father feels better soon. These are things that are outside of my actual circle of control. I cannot make these things happen. Just hoping that things will happen are not enough. It reminds me of an Oprah book selection (which by the way – if Oprah suggests it I try not to read it), The Secret which basically suggested that if you think about something and want it enough then it will happen, basically along the lines of if you wish something hard enough you can have it.
Well, it just does not work that way.
I know the Think System works in the Music Man, but I really want a million dollars, and I hope I get it, but I think without action the odds of that happening are absurdly small. It is not enough to just hope that something will happen.
And CHANGE. We are the change we need? Ok. Change is also an action. We do have change now, we voted for change.
But politicians are notorious for the ability to not follow through. Realistically looking at the promises that POTUS Obama has made the odds of him being able to follow through on all of them is next to impossible. He is already leaning more towards the center than his party would like and is already beginning to implement policy that is causing strife amongst his own. We will see how much change there actually is and where that change takes us. I agree that we need something new, but just because it is new does not mean it will be better. Just like we have said about Bush it will take quite some time after Obama leaves office to see what the long term effects of his decisions will be.
Ok. Now on to tackle some of the decisions made in the last week. Stay tuned.
I want to read something new on our trip this weekend, if I order today I will have it from Amazon before we leave. Gotta love Prime membership.
So I went to the SVARW meeting today (Silicon Valley Association of Republican Women). It was most interesting. After I found the meeting location, my GPS missed a critical turn to get to the location, I went in and got my necessary name tag and took a seat. After getting my favorite carbs for breakfast I sat down and chatted with the women at the table. This meeting, the first of the year was free for first time guests such as myself, so it appeared that there were a number of us that were interested in checking out the group. From the women I spoke with all were looking for a safe environment to be an openly conservative. ME TOO!
So a quick rundown on the makeup. There were somewhere between 80-100 women in attendance. There were a few men (most likely husbands of said members). I quite possibly was the youngest person there, there may have been a few other people in their 30′s but the majority were older than me. But really that is usually the case in most settings I am in. I was young when my first child was born, so I am usually the youngest parent in his class. (young by today’s standards, since everyone is waiting to have children – I was 24 when he was born). Everyone was very friendly and very eager to get involved and make a difference in our society. Seeing ways to impact decisions and government. I really enjoyed the meeting and hope that I will be able to continue to attend.
Now for the topic of the day – “The Republican Resurgence Begins NOW” Dr Charlie Self, aka Dr. History delivered the message for the day and it was most interesting. He was challenging us to imagine what our republic could look like, what it once was, compared to what it currently has become. We have become “people who abandon principles” with “politicians who choose corruption“. Pretty harsh sounding, but true. We as a nation have set aside many basic fundamental things like absolute truth, freedoms, the right to bear arms, etc in favor of allowing more liberties and freedoms to be taken away from the individuals and given to the government. He said, “we need to restore sanity and truth and have a republic left for the next generation.” And that only “attempting self preservation leads to destruction.”
The challenge was to imagine that our country could look like the following:
- Pro-life could mean making adoption costs affordable and cutting out red tape
- Parental Responsibility increases, parents are responsible for having their children ready to learn at school. The parent is responsible, not the school.
- IRS – fixes the tax system
- Military would be an effective force – not simply a police
Dr. History discussed how Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency shows that it is possible to have business reform without embracing socialist principles. It is possible to take care of the environment while still respecting private property. Foreign affairs can be handled and managed while still maintaining respect of other nations. He then offered a list of things that he feels should be involved in getting the party back in line.
- respect for all faiths, refuse preference for groups (you know I am big fan of this one. I feel strongly that there is a bias against Christianity)
- end faith based initiatives, let the public fund, no more strings attached
- economic stimulus: lower taxes, no fed $$ for bonuses or retreats, hold those in office to higher standards, jail the elite for fraud
- immigration transformation – become Ellis island again
- cut federal spending by 10%
- make military more efficient
- stress parental responsibility and local government responsibility
- multiple energy sources – By 2020 we could have a 50% reduction in our dependence if we pursue mulitple energy sources NOW
- new initiatives to prevent abortions & euthanasia
- term limits across the board, no one has more than 20 combined years in office. get new people involved. not just the elite.
- liberty and national sovereignty – we do not need tyranny from dictators at the UN
- resurgence of freedom in academics – school is to educate NOT indoctrinate
- irrevocable commitment to Israels right to exist securely
Some other interesting things to note. In 1976 the Republican Party looked lifeless but then by 1980 we had a Republican president. The party is not dead, it is only alive again when not out for party interests but reaffirming the values of the republic. The key for America is going to be to live with our differences, yet find ways to work together.
It is time to get to work. Will be interested to hear some views on what you think the party needs to do! Anyone?
(you can hear Dr. Charlie Self on the Brain Sussman Show on KSFO Hot Talk 560 AM)
So I am hoping and trying to make it to this meeting this week. It sounds most interesting. I will be curious to see what the demographics of the group is (meaning age range)
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
14595 Clearview Drive -Los Gatos, CA 95032
Cost: $13 includes
Anyone coming . . . .
I am also most intrigued by this group and hope I get the chance to attend something there as well
The Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley Presents:
Brian T. Kennedy, President of the Claremont Institute.
Mr. Kennedy has been with the Institute since 1989 and has written on national security affairs and California public policy issues. His articles have appeared in the Claremont Review of Books, National Review, Investor’s Business Daily and numerous national newspapers.
In addition to his duties as President, Mr. Kennedy serves as Publisher of the Claremont Review of Books and also directs the Institute’s Ballistic Missile Defense project, which examines the missile threat to the western United States and the need for a national missile defense.
Mr. Kennedy is a native Californian and a graduate of Claremont McKenna College.
When: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
Time: Doors open at 6:00 PM, Meeting begins at 7:00 PM
Where: The American Legion Hall
958 Homestead Road
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Cost: CFSV Members – No Charge
Non-Members – $10 at the door
First time visitors may attend at no charge.