Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Republican Shell Game

We had an election. We worked hard to make a difference in Washington and in our local elections. We thought we sent a clear message and that both the Democrats and Republicans would 'get it'. The Republicans keep saying they got it. It appears they didn't.

I'm watching what is going on in this lame duck session and I am more disgusted than ever. It seems to me that the Republicans are simply playing a tricky shell game. They are moving targets, hiding behind a "good" vote in order to shove through a "bad" vote.

I picture a group of the Republican top dogs sitting around discussing the START treaty. They want it to go through but know the public is against it, that there are extremely valid reasons to wait until next year. Maybe the START treaty was a benign, so they thought, vote they could "give" Obama and crew if they gave the Republicans a victory in another area.

Discussion ensues as to how they're going to appease the voters yet obtain their objective...  The current powers-that-be in the Republican hierarchy scrutinize the records of each of their co-horts, checking to see how strong they are in their home states and decide Georgia's Johnny Isakson is on point, is to be one of the designated sacrifices to get the thing through. They allowed him to vote the way they think the public would like on a requisite number of votes and now it's his turn to give one up for the team.

They know they have Scott Brown, Olympia Snow and the liberal end of the Republican Party, they just have to come up with a few more to get it through. Then they can beat their chests to the public and say they really didn't want the START treaty to pass. Lindsey Graham, who has been sliding in the estimation of conservative voters, is allowed to be the one to act like he's righteously indignant, is in tune with the tea party/9-12, etc. conservatives.

Isakson says he can't go it alone, his fellow Georgian Saxby Chambliss is going to have to vote, too. He also wants to make sure he's going to get some pet project included somewhere along the line if he's going to take one for the team. Negotiations start.

I have come to believe that on each of the votes that "we" have lost during the lame duck session, and prior, that type negotiation, or something very similar, has happened. These past few weeks Republicans have handed over victory after victory to the Democrats and Obama. It would be interesting to track the pattern of who votes on the Dem side on various controversial bills over time to see how the shell game works. They've always played it, but now it seems they've gotten a little sneakier.

As with any shell game the shill running the game is faster well able to fool most of us. Even knowing we're being duped it's virtually impossible to catch them at their game.

Yes, we busted the Omnibus bill, sent the Dems packing on that one. But we could have had it all. We could have held them off until the next session. If the Republicans stood strong we would have started fresh instead of ending the year with a whole lot of horrific baggage.

I guess we're going to need to work even harder to get rid of the rest of them and hope they haven't corrupted the new bunch we just sent to Washington by the time we send them some support in two years. I didn't expect things to change overnight, but I certainly wanted to believe that more would have gotten the message.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dem administration advancing 'North American Union' agenda

- from back on the 16th, but I'm just now reading it... so I'm just now sharing with you. Reprinted with permission.

By Jerome R. Corsi
(c) 2010 WorldNetDaily

Acting quietly, below the radar of U.S. public opinion and without congressional approval, the Obama administration is implementing a key policy objective of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, to erase the border with Mexico and Canada.

The administration is acting under a State Department-declared policy initiative described in a March 23 fact sheet titled "United States-Mexico Partnership: A New Border Vision."

"Mexico and the United States have a shared interest in creating a 21st century border that promotes the security and prosperity of both countries," the State Department declared. "The U.S. and Mexican governments have launched a range of initiatives that challenge the traditional view of 'hold the line' and are developing a framework for a new vision of 21st century border management."

At the same time, CTV News in Canada has obtained a draft copy of a declaration between the U.S. and Canada entitled "Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Competitiveness," to be implemented by a newly created Canadian-U.S. "Beyond the Border Working Group."

The two documents strongly suggest the Obama administration is pursuing a stealth bureaucratic methodology to establish a common North American border around the continent, encompassing the U.S., Canada and Mexico, while simultaneously moving to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico as well as between the U.S. and Canada.

Under the Bush administration's SPP, the U.S., Mexico and Canada organized some 20 different "shadow government" bureaucratic working groups composed of agency heads and undersecretaries in the three nations. The groups span a wide range of policy areas, from e-commerce, to aviation policy, to borders and immigration, trilateral travel, transportation, energy, environment, food and agriculture, health and financial services.

WND has reported since 2006 that a blueprint published in 2005 by the Council on Foreign Relations entitled "Building a North America Community" called for the establishment of a common security perimeter around North America by 2010 to facilitate the free movement of people, trade and capital between the three nations of North America.

In his 2001 book, "Toward a North American Community," American University professor Robert Pastor, a co-chair of the CFR blue ribbon committee that authored "Building a North American Community," called for the creation of a North American Commission, a North American Parliament, and a North American Court on Trade and Investment.

The language of the documents declaring "A New Border Vision" with Mexico and Canada could easily have been lifted directly from the CFR report or Pastor's book.

The 2005 CFR report "Building a North American Community" called on page xvii of the Foreword for the "establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security perimeter, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter."

CTV News reported that the language of the draft agreement specified that "A New Border Vision" for the U.S. and Canada would involve "a perimeter approach to security, working together within, at, and away from the borders of our two countries in a way that supports economic competitiveness, job creation and prosperity, and in a partnership to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people and goods between our two countries."

Similarly, the U.S. State Department fact sheet calling for "A New Border Vision" with Mexico specified five areas of "joint border management, co-responsibility for cross-border crime, and shared commitment to the efficient flow of legal commerce and travel," namely: enhancing public safety, securing flows of people and goods, expediting legitimate commerce and travel, engaging border communities, and setting policy.

Under "setting policy," the State Department fact sheet with Mexico called for achieving rapid policy change through "an agile inter-agency process within each country as well as a means by which both governments can easily coordinate at a bi-national level."

This provides additional support for the conclusion that the bureaucratic "working groups" established under SPP in the Bush administration will continue to operate under Obama administration.

CTV News reported that the draft declaration of "A New Border Vision" with Canada similarly also specified a cross-border policy agenda, including:

* An integrated cargo security strategy;

* A joint approach to port and border security and screening;

* Cross-border sharing of information between law enforcement agencies;

* A closer working relationship between the two militaries in the event of emergencies;

* A new level of collaboration on preventing and recovering from counter attacks.

Affirming the continuance of the working group process, the draft declaration with Canada specifies the U.S. and Canada "intend to address threats at the earliest point possible, including outside the perimeter of our two countries."

The origin of the SPP can be traced to a trilateral summit meeting in Waco, Texas, March 23, 2005, between President George W. Bush, then-Mexican President Vicente Fox and then-Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

At the end of the Waco summit, the three leaders simply declared that the U.S., Mexico and Canada were now in the Security and Prosperity Partnership, without the signing of any international agreement between the three countries or the ratifying of any trilateral treaty by the U.S. Senate.

The SPP in the administration of President Bush appeared designed to replicate the steps taken in Europe over a 50-year period following the end of World War II to transform an economic agreement under the European Common Market into a full-fledged regional government, operating as the European Union, with its own currency, the euro, functioning as the sole legitimate currency in what has become known as "the eurozone."

The concern was that under the SPP, the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, could evolve into a regional government, the North American Union, with a regional currency, the Amero, designed to replace the U.S. dollar, the Mexican peso and the Canadian dollar.

WND has reported analysts have believed the North American integration plan will proceed incrementally, largely below the radar, since the SPP was declared "dead" by one of its chief architects, American University Professor Robert A. Pastor, who for nearly 15 years has been a major proponent of building a "North American Community."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Remarks on the House floor by Congressman Paul Ryan (WI-01)

Senior Member of the House Ways and Means Committee; Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee
December 16, 2010


Let me address just a few of the issues that I have been hearing here on the floor. I'm hearing some of my colleagues from the other side of the aisle saying "We just can't afford these tax cuts." Only in Washington is not raising taxes on people considered a "tax cut". What we're talking about here is not cutting taxes; we're talking about keeping taxes where they are and preventing tax increases.

Second point: "We – meaning the government – can't afford this?" Whose money is this after all? Is all the money that is made in America Washington's money, government's money? Or is it the people's money who earned it? I hear all this talk about the death tax, the estate tax: "This is going to give a windfall to these people. All this money going to these privileged people who have built these businesses, made all this money." It's their money! We have a country built on equal, natural rights, where you can make the most of your life, get up, work hard, take risks, become successful, create jobs, grow businesses, earn success – and yes, pass it on to your kids. What on earth is wrong with that? That's the American dream.

To my friends on my side of the aisle, who simply do not like some of the spending in this bill: I do not like it either. Let's cut the spending next year when were in charge. There is junk in the tax code, everybody agrees with this. This is advancing some of the junk in the tax code and what I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle next year: let's get rid of the junk in the tax code when we are in charge. Right now – let's not hit the American people with a massive tax increase.

If we want to get this debt under control, if we want to get our deficit going down, there are two things we need to be doing: we need to cut spending and we need to grow the economy. We need prosperity in the country. We need job creation. We need people going from collecting unemployment to having a job and paying taxes.

Is this a growth package? No, it's not a growth package. It's only a two year extension [of current tax rates]. We're not talking about a pro-growth economic package. We're talking about preventing a destructive economic package from being inflicted on the American people in about two weeks. The last thing you want to do is put more uncertainty in the economy, hit the economy with a huge tax increase, trigger a stock market sell-off and lose jobs. So do we want to make these permanent? You bet we do and that is exactly what we are going to be advancing.

We need economic growth. We need spending cuts. That's exactly what we intend on doing, and I think that's exactly the message that voters sent us. Let's prevent this tax increase from happening. Let's clean up the stuff we don't like in this bill next year. Let's make sure that when people go home for Christmas, they know that they are not going to have a massive tax increase a few days later.

This is a bill that is necessary to prevent our economy from getting worse. This is not a bill that is going to turn it around. Next year, let's pass the policies that will turn our economy around.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

President George W. and Laura Bush to Sign Books in Atlanta!

signing
George W. and Laura Bush
Decision Points

Thursday, December 16, 2010 • 11:30 AM
>>Borders – Atlanta - Buckhead
3637 Peachtree Rd. NE, Ste. C | Atlanta, GA | 404.237.0707

Customers MUST have a wristband in order to attend the event. A limited number of wristbands will be distributed on Wednesday, December 15th beginning at 10:00 am at the Borders Buckhead while supplies last. One wristband per person. EACH customer must purchase one copy of both Decision Points and Spoken From the Heart to receive a wristband, with a limit two books of each title per person. For

Monday, December 13, 2010

Net Neutrality: Will Netflix destroy the Internet?

The FCC is slated to make some decisions on the issue on net neutrality on December 21. Given a looming video-inspired bandwidth crunch, it's important those rules are less about "rights" than economics.
READ FULL STORY

Monday, December 6, 2010