Monday, December 20, 2010

Tax Bill; Herman Cain; Net Neutrality; andThe Start Treaty

The New York Posts writes: Obama signed into law an $858 billion bill negotiated with Republicans that extends Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels -- including breaks that he once decried for the highest earners.
Clearly moving from the left to the center, Obama even agreed to lower the inheritance tax on the wealthiest Americans as sought by Republicans -- enraging his liberal Democratic friends.[Didn't you just love the comment Rep. Anthony Weiner made to Megan Kelly on Fox News regarding estate taxes? He said, "You aren't paying anything in that case because you'll be dead."]
During the ceremony, Obama spent more time stroking Republican leaders than fellow Democrats.
There was a reason: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid boycotted the event.
Staffers in Pelosi's and Reid's offices insisted that they could not get to the White House because they were swamped on Capitol Hill wrapping up a host of bills before Congress adjourns in the next week or so. But Capitol insiders said neither was thrilled with the Obama-GOP tax deal.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) turned out to be Obama's new bosom buddy.
Both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden pointedly praised McConnell for crafting a compromise with the White House. The president also noted that the deal passed both houses of Congress by "wide bipartisan margins."
[First of all, regarding the estate taxes, they were raised from 0% to 35%.  They were NOT lowered, except from rates of long ago.  And this article gets it right: this is NOT an Obama tax cut - it is the extension of the tax rates of the last 10 years.  In so doing, Obama admitted that raising tax rates is NOT good for the economy.  How quickly I think he will "forget" this maxim....  I wonder if Biden thinks this is, in his words, "a big f-ing deal.  I would guess it only fits that description when there is NO bipartisan agreement, as when passing the ObamaCare bill.  It is interesting that he now finds bipartisanship to be so exciting.]
Read more:
[Herman Cain, who inspired many at a rally while in Petoskey, Michigan, has made an announcement, one which was well received when he laughingly said to us, "who knows, maybe I will run to replace Barack Obama!"]

Cain, a radio talk show host and favorite of the Tea Party movement, confirmed the news in an interview with The Daily Caller.
Read more:
The Blaze writes: The Federal Reserve has reversed its decision that originally forced a small Oklahoma bank to remove from its premises and website Bible verses, crosses, and Christmas buttons. The reversal occurred after national outcry and a letter from two Oklahoma lawmakers who charged that the decision may be unconstitutional.
Sen Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) sent a joint letter to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday afternoon saying they have “seldom encountered a more alarming case of heavy-handed interpretation and enforcement of Federal regulations,” and charging the decision may be in violation of “fundamental Constitutional protections.” [It still amazes me that this Progressive government is throwing so much at us that we must keep an eternal vigil against the usurpation of our rights, and be ready on a daily basis to fight for what is right.  They will NOT overwhelm us!]  
The Wall St. Journal warns us: Tomorrow morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will mark the winter solstice by taking an unprecedented step to expand government's reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a recent court ruling.
How did the FCC get here?
For years, proponents of so-called "net neutrality" have been calling for strong regulation of broadband "on-ramps" to the Internet, like those provided by your local cable or phone companies. Rules are needed, the argument goes, to ensure that the Internet remains open and free, and to discourage broadband providers from thwarting consumer demand. That sounds good if you say it fast.
Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s.
Analysts and broadband companies of all sizes have told the FCC that new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices.
The Hill adds: The Democrats have a message for Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps: Don't screw things up on net neutrality.

Democrats allied with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski are working to put public pressure on Copps as the net-neutrality vote draws near. 
Genachowski needs Copps to vote for his plan during a commission meeting on Tuesday if the rules are to pass.
A prominent Democrat close to the White House said it this way on Friday: "If Copps votes no on Tuesday, he'd be handing the president a huge loss at a time when the Democrats should have a big win."
"Voting no…would be snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory and would be giving the Republicans a huge win," the source said.
The Washington Times reports: Key Senate Republicans on Sunday announced that they do not support ratification of a U.S.-Russia arms control treaty, upsetting White House plans to win passage of the pact during the lame-duck session of the Senate. I've decided that I cannot support the treaty," Mr. McConnell said Sunday on CNN. "I think the verification provisions are inadequate, and I do worry about the missile defense implications of it."

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