Congress is facing a new wave of freshmen who are eager to implement the reform proposals that they based their electoral campaigns on. The first target for new GOP senators was a ban of earmarks. They won the battle. The minority leader, Mitch McConnell agreed to an earmark ban for his caucus. Until recently McConnell was a supporter of earmarks. The fact that he caved and gave way to the Tea Party is a measure of their clout on Capitol Hill. Earmarks aren’t a large part of the nation’s expenditures, but they can be the ground for some of the most egregious unethical behavior. A ban is a good start to creating a new reform culture in the Senate.
The next battle, and one that will be more substative and less symbolic, is the battle to repeal Obamacare. Peter Suderman at Reason.com writes that the battle might have more success at the state level. That is probably true. The powerful states rights movement that has been an undercurrent of the Tea Party movement is still in flux. The GOP won several governorships and state legislative bodies on November 2nd and can use that newfound power to block Obamacare from being implemented in their states.
Meanwhile, liberals are lamenting their losses, and finding scapegoats for what was, in reality, a total rebuke of their agenda. Scapegoat number one has turned out to be the Koch brothers. The brothers are the founders of the very important Cato Institute, of which I am a benefactor. The people at Cato are forever working to reduce the size of government and to educate Americans about the power of free markets. Meanwhile, the detractors on the left are supported by the likes of George Soros, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. These liberal billionaires use government levers to enrich themselves. At the same time the Koch brothers are arguing for less government money, fewer handouts to business. What are the liberals thinking? I thought the left was supposed to hate “the man.” Apparently not.
Instead, the left is turning on America’s allies. The Israelis seem to be the target of the day. Nothing has ever been perfect with the Israeli alliance, but having the president travelling the world denouncing one of America’s strongest allies is as surprising as it is dangerous. Andrew McCarthy writes at National Review that”
Between defending the failed strategy of printing another trillion or so dollars to resuscitate the U.S. economy and fending off the resulting rebukes from G-20 leaders, Obama found time to blast Israel for building more housing. “This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.”
By “this kind of activity,” the president was referring to the construction of 1,345 housing units in the eastern section of Jerusalem. He was also drawing an equivalence between that city and Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Put aside the anomaly whose mention is also apparently “never helpful” — namely, that Palestinians simultaneously want Jews expelled from Palestinian territories while Arabs are permitted not merely to live in, but to “return” in droves to, Israel. There is also this inconvenient fact, left to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to break to the unbreakably friendly U.S. president: Jerusalem is not a “settlement” — it is the capital of Israel.
What is the president thinking? Deficits that will break the country, dashing alliances built over generations (don’t forget the snub of Britain by returning the Churchill bust), and a general distaste for pride in America.
Al Gore Led Green Grab – E.J. Smith
Al Gore and his buddies in venture capital have taken a page right out of the union playbook. As George Gilder writes, “Led by Al Gore’s investment affiliate, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, the campaign to save AB 32 raised $31 million—more than three times the $10 million that the oil companies raised for repeal.” At its core the recently passed Assembly Bill 32 is simply redistributing taxpayer money, that doesn’t exist, on renewable energy. This comes at the expense of plentiful natural resources such as natural gas, where the U.S. is the Saudi Arabia.
As goes California so goes the country and it may be too late to save California from the reckless Gore led green grab. That’s why Congress must get a backbone on this utopian dream before it takes over more of the country’s coffers. Gilder continues, “Republican politicians are apparently lower in climate skepticism than readers of Scientific American, which recently discovered to its horror that some 80% of its subscribers, mostly American scientists, reject man-made global warming catastrophe fears.”
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