Monday, October 11, 2010

My Debate With Local Liberal Newspaper Editor

Here is my newest Guest Commentary for my local paper:
A lame-duck Session of Congress is one called back into session between the elections this November and the swearing-in of the 112th Congress next January If Democrats should lose their majority in the House and/or Senate this November, this will give the “losers” and retirees one last chance to muscle through, without fear of voter retaliation, the legislation they can’t defend prior to the elections. 
Look for the same tactics used to get the Healthcare Bill passed to be used once again: bribes, promises, reconciliation, deem-and-pass, etc.  This could be Democrats’ last chance to get what they dearly want, so they are working hard to prepare their strategy.   As Harry Reid said, “Remember, we still are going to be in Congress, working, after the election. There are things that we have to do. There is a lot of mopping up to do when we come back after the election.”  Perhaps they should have the courage to put these laws forward prior to the elections, but that would be too dangerous for their reelection prospects.  Indeed, many Democrats are running away from their votes on healthcare.
So just what laws would be on the table for the Lame Duck Session? 
Democrats have discussed, promised and/or planned for the following:
1)    Card check – according to Arizona Representative Raul Grjalva, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who said this would be the last chance for the foreseeable future.  Card Check forces employees voting for or against having a union to cast their vote in public. As Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin said, “to those who think [card check] is dead, I say think again." "We're still trying to maneuver" a way to pass some parts of the bill before the next Congress is sworn in.
2)    Raise taxes - according to Senator Jay Rockefeller, who said “It could be a huge deal.” They would use Obama’s Deficit Commission suggestions, due on December 1, as their rationale.  Notice that the due date was not prior to the elections, when actual votes might affect the outcome.
3)    The  New Start nuclear treaty with Russia, which restricts America’s strategic missile defenses
4)      Federally mandated Universal Voting Registration, whereby all state election laws will be overridden by a federal mandate to register to vote all those on welfare, and all property owners and drivers license holders, whether they ask to be registered or not. Those lists include illegals and felons, and will create an opportunity for massive voter fraud nationwide.
5)    Budget resolution to lock in increased agency spending.
6)    Lots of Pork.  A Senate aide has revealed that "some of the biggest porkers on both sides of the aisle are leaving office this year, and a lame-duck session would be their last hurrah for spending.
7)    A VAT tax, in addition to current taxes, added to a product or material at each stage of its manufacture or distribution, ultimately passed on to the consumer.
8)    Cap and Tax , according to John Kerry – redistributing wealth, destroying jobs, and lowering Earth’s temperature by a mere 1/10 of one percent – a meaningless amount.
9)     Nancy Pelosi has said that the financial transactions tax (HR4191) currently before Congress would have to be a “global transaction tax” involving all the G20 countries in order to keep U.S. investors from taking their business overseas and out of taxable reach.”  This 1% tax on stock transactions would affect every single person who owns and invests in stocks or mutual funds, from small business owners to senior citizens.

Is this the change we seek?
From: Jeremy McBain Petoskey News-Review <>

Most of this is nothing but guesses and partisan scare tactics before the election, Karen. I am denying your request for publication on this one. You know better than this. Give me a real issue column if you want it published.
Jeremy McBain
On Oct 6, 2010, at 3:14 PM, Karen Peters wrote:

Jeremy, these are not just guesses, they are stated goals of Democrats, supported by their quotes. If they are scary they need to be known by voters even more.  I am now sending the websites which you intimated I need not send.  {They are further below...}  But they do prove to you that I am not making it up, that the words are straight from Democrat mouths, and Americans should not be kept in the dark about what this or any government would like to do.  Because I research 3-4 hrs. a day for at least 5 years, and have provided a news service for almost two years, I am a self taught expert on National politics.  One has to work hard to know what is really going on in Washington, and these are times where it is necessary to be informed.  And yes, their hopes and plans ARE scary...  Karen
From: Jeremy McBain Petoskey News-Review
Since you and I have had conversations in the past and you are not just another guest columnist, I will tell you partisan media sites and blogs are hardly dependable sources, Karen, and reading them does not make you an expert. I would say this very same thing — and have — to those on the left. 
Frankly, I am getting tired of all this hyper-partisan ship on both sides ....
-Jeremy, you and I must agree to disagree.  I feel that quotes, no matter the source, are valid.  Since most newspapers lean decidedly left, where else can Americans learn the full story?  Politico, which I used, is not a right-leaning paper......for instance.  It's story was on Pelosi's idea for a global transaction tax, which she is on video supporting.  The Human Events story QUOTED the liberal  "Meet The Press" Show.  The Wall St. Journal quoted Democrats, and the START Treaty issue was written by Hillary Clinton herself.  This is a free country still, and words and actions of our government should not be hidden just so that we have no partisanship in our country.  Heaven help us if we should keep a blind eye when our country is in grave danger, and I am not talking about this time in our history, but anytime.  We will have freedom only if we are willing to defend it.

From Jeremy:
We will agree to disagree, and I disagree very much with your statement newspapers lean left. I have been called a conservative many times in the past week. It's just very easy for partisans to say newspapers are biased to try and make an argument. Sometimes I thing partisans would vote against Jesus if he came back and ran for office on the opposing ticket.
If you feel so strongly about your issue, you are free to take out an ad. Thank you.
So, he has been pressured for his decision to let me have a guest commentary every two weeks, instead of the normal every month.  And, the only way he will let me get my word out is being paid to do so thru an ad.  This is what it is coming to.  I'm considering taking out an ad along with my blogsite, just to see if he will deny it......WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR TO GET OUT THE TRUTH!

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) suggested Thursday that Democrats might attempt to move "card-check" legislation this year, perhaps during a lame-duck session. 

Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, strongly disputed that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA, or "card-check") was dead in the Senate.

"To those who think it's dead, I say think again," Harkin said on the liberal Bill Press radio show. 

"We're still trying to maneuver," the Iowa Democrat added, explaining that if Democrats can't move the bill in its entirety, they might try to pass key parts of the union-organizing legislation individually.

START treaty must be ratified in lame duck session (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)

By Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - 09/30/10 03:22 PM ET
Thank you very much, Senator Kerry, and thank you for your strong leadership that produced the 14-4 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I’m very grateful that Chairman Kerry and Ranking Member Lugar were at the forefront of making the case why the treaty is so much in America’s national security interests.
I also applaud the continuous resolution that included money that will be spent in order to modernize our nuclear facilities and begin the process of updating not only our technology, but training of personnel that are necessary in order to ensure that we are providing good stewardship of America’s nuclear programs. 

This vote that was in the committee demonstrates unequivocally that national security is a bipartisan commitment. As we have seen with every arms control agreement, going back to the original START 1 treaty that was passed, ratified by the Senate 18 years ago tomorrow, this is an obligation and responsibility that senators addressed without regard for the day-to-day politics. In fact, that last treaty, as John will know by doing the arithmetic, occurred in another election year, but that does not in any way undermine the bipartisan acknowledgment of the importance of continuing this critical work.

We have had excellent conversations with senators on both sides of the aisle and we will continue to answer questions and work with the Senate broadly beyond the committee in preparation for the vote that we are hoping will occur in the lame duck session, because we ran out of time here during the Senate before it went out prior to the election.

But the support for new START by our entire military leadership, our intelligence community, six former secretaries of state, five former secretaries of defense, three former national security advisors, and seven former commanders of U.S. Strategic Command is an extraordinary endorsement of why this treaty needs to be passed, and passed in the lame duck session.

So again, I thank the chairman for his leadership, for the great vote that we got from the committee, and I look forward to the vote in the lame duck session that will once again demonstrate the Senate joining all of its predecessors in years past to continue to support arms control treaty.
Article of Interest: The Obama-Pelosi Lame Duck Strategy 
Union 'card-check,' cap and trade, and so much more. 

        Wall Street Logo

Washington, Jul 9 -

Democratic House members are so worried about the fall elections they're leaving Washington on July 30, a full week earlier than normal—and they won't return until mid-September. Members gulped when National Journal's Charlie Cook, the Beltway's leading political handicapper, predicted last month "the House is gone," meaning a GOP takeover. He thinks Democrats will hold the Senate, but with a significantly reduced majority.

The rush to recess gives Democrats little time to pass any major laws. That's why there have been signs in recent weeks that party leaders are planning an ambitious, lame-duck session to muscle through bills in December they don't want to defend before November. Retiring or defeated members of Congress would then be able to vote for sweeping legislation without any fear of voter retaliation.

"I've got lots of things I want to do" in a lame duck, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W. Va.) told reporters in mid June. North Dakota's Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, wants a lame-duck session to act on the recommendations of President Obama's deficit commission, which is due to report on Dec. 1. "It could be a huge deal," he told Roll Call last month. "We could get the country on a sound long-term fiscal path." By which he undoubtedly means new taxes in exchange for extending some, but not all, of the Bush-era tax reductions that will expire at the end of the year.

In the House, Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters last month that for bills like "card check"—the measure to curb secret-ballot union elections—"the lame duck would be the last chance, quite honestly, for the foreseeable future."

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, chair of the Senate committee overseeing labor issues, told the Bill Press radio show in June that "to those who think [card check] is dead, I say think again." He told Mr. Press "we're still trying to maneuver" a way to pass some parts of the bill before the next Congress is sworn in.
Other lame-duck possibilities? Senate ratification of the New Start nuclear treaty, a federally mandated universal voter registration system to override state laws, and a budget resolution to lock in increased agency spending.

Then there is pork. A Senate aide told me that "some of the biggest porkers on both sides of the aisle are leaving office this year, and a lame-duck session would be their last hurrah for spending." Likely suspects include key members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Congress's "favor factory," such as Pennsylvania Democrat Arlen Specter and Utah Republican Bob Bennett.

Conservative groups such as FreedomWorks are alarmed at the potential damage, and they are demanding that everyone in Congress pledge not to take up substantive legislation in a post-election session. "Members of Congress are supposed to represent their constituents, not override them like sore losers in a lame-duck session," Rep. Tom Price, head of the Republican Study Committee, told me.

It's been almost 30 years since anything remotely contentious was handled in a lame-duck session, but that doesn't faze Democrats who have jammed through ObamaCare and are determined to bring the financial system under greater federal control.

Mike Allen of reports one reason President Obama failed to mention climate change legislation during his recent, Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil spill was that he wants to pass a modest energy bill this summer, then add carbon taxes or regulations in a conference committee with the House, most likely during a lame-duck session. The result would be a climate bill vastly more ambitious, and costly for American consumers and taxpayers, than moderate "Blue Dogs" in the House would support on the campaign trail. "We have a lot of wiggle room in conference," a House Democratic aide told the trade publication Environment & Energy Daily last month.

Many Democrats insist there will be no dramatic lame-duck agenda. But a few months ago they also insisted the extraordinary maneuvers used to pass health care wouldn't be used. Desperate times may be seen as calling for desperate measures, and this November the election results may well make Democrats desperate
Liberals in Congress have a plan to raise your taxes after the elections this fall, something they must do to continue feeding the Obama Administration’s spending addiction.  Watch for them to act after the midterm elections under the cover of the report from the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  Obama was smart in the way he set up his commission.  It reports to Congress on December 1.  Congressmen who were voted out of office in November for excessive government spending will be allowed to stick it to the taxpayers one more time by voting for massive tax increases, and, since they’re already unemployed, they’ll face no electoral consequences.

Obama Energy Czar Carol Browner appeared on NBC’s "Meet the Press" Sunday with host David Gregory touting a lame duck session of Congress after the November elections as a means to pass elements of the unpopular Obama agenda.
The new Congress would not be sworn in until January.
Gregory asked Browner about the failure of Democrats to pass Obama’s cap and trade national energy tax.
ENERGY SECRETARY CAROL BROWNER:  We're deeply disappointed that we were not able to get clean energy legislation.  There's a tremendous opportunity for our country to lead the global clean energy revolution.  But that requires us to put in place the, the right laws, the right signals so that we build the wind turbines here, we build the solar panels, then we can ship them to China.  We're in danger of losing out.
GREGORY:  I understand the arguments.  The president drew a line in the sand there.  Is he conceding defeat on this?
BROWNER:  Not yet.  The Congress is coming back.  We will continue to see if we can get legislation.  We passed it in the House.  We'll continue to work in the Senate.
GREGORY:  Lame duck session, they could do it potentially there.
BROWNER:  Potentially.
House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) appeared on the same program and said Democrats from “the White House to Capitol Hill” just don’t get it.
“You just heard Carol Browner here on the show say that they're intending, I think she said, possibly to use the lame duck session to pass a national energy tax,” Pence said. “That is outrageous. What the American people know is necessary to get this economy moving again is to get federal spending under control, and preserve and promote the kind of policies and tax cuts that will create jobs.”
Pelosi, like Brown, has argued that any such fee must be imposed on transactions around the globe in order to protect the competitiveness of major exchanges such as those in New York and London.

The speaker's insistence on a global approach has frustrated some in her caucus and contributed to some misreporting of her stance. As if wanting to set the record straight, Thursday's comments were much more declarative and forceful in support of action than any in the past.

“I believe the transaction tax still has a great deal of merit,” Pelosi said, and if agreement can be reached among the G-20 nations, “It is really a source of revenue that has really minimal impact on the transaction but a tremendous impact on helping us meet our needs.

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