Saturday, September 18, 2010

New UN Summit For Global Taxation; EPA Regulations Uses Discreditied Science;

Expose Obama has written: Next Wednesday, Barack Obama is scheduled to address a United Nations summit calling for a “small global tax” on the U.S. economy and hundreds of millions more dollars in U.S. aid — and some of his advisers do not believe that is enough.
Obama will speak to the UN Summit on Millennium Development Goals, a global “anti-poverty” blueprint that calls for $845 billion in foreign aid from the U.S. before 2015. But the UN and several foreign nations will use next week’s conference to push for “small global taxes” on airline tickets and financial transactions that could net $30-$35 billion a year. The new UN tax will deposit the money collected from developed Western nations into a “Global Solidarity Fund,” which will then redistribute the funds to other nations. The president told the UN last year, “We have fully embraced the Millennium Development Goals.”

An undisclosed portion of this will go toward “climate change mitigation” — that is, advancing the global socialists’ Green agenda. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has no plans to keep the international slush fund small....
An undisclosed portion of this will go toward “climate change mitigation” — that is, advancing the global socialists’ Green agenda.  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has no plans to keep the international slush fund small, insisting properly saving the world from greenhouse gases “would require financial assistance of perhaps an additional 1 percent of gross domestic product of rich countries in 2015.” (Emphasis added.) That would haven taken $143 billion out of the U.S. economy last year alone, a debt he deems “a small sum compared with the likely costs of inaction.”
It is a small sum compared to the plan advocated by Barack Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren, who has spent the last 30 years calling for a UN tax ten to twenty times that amount:   Science Czar Wants a $1.4 Trillion UN Tax September 17th, 2010 Ben Johnson, Floyd Reports

[Continuing this same item in the news, according to Canada Free Press]:  In an article in The Christian Science Monitor, under the headline, “Small global taxes would make a big difference for world’s ‘bottom billion,’” the foreign minister of France and other officials of foreign nations endorse various forms of “innovative development financing.” One of their proposals is a tax on international currency transactions that could generate $35 billion a year.
The proposal, popular at the United Nations for decades and long-advocated by Fidel Castro, is called the Tobin Tax and named after Yale University economist James Tobin. Steven Solomon, a former staff reporter at Forbes, said in his book, The Confidence Game, that such a proposal “might net some $13 trillion a year…” because it is based on taking a percentage of money from the trillions of dollars exchanged daily in global financial markets.
He is referring to the fact that once such a tax is in place, it could be easily raised to bring in hundreds of billions of dollars or more a year to the U.N. and other global institutions.
The term “small global taxes” brought a stunned reaction from Senator David Vitter, when he was told of what is being proposed in advance of the U.N. summit. Vitter introduced Senate resolution 461, “Expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress should reject any proposal for the creation of a system of global taxation and regulation,” to put the Senate on record against any such measure. He has vowed to maintain pressure on the world body to avoid implementing any of these schemes and thinks that the Congress has to use whatever financial leverage it has to frustrate U.N. demands for more power and authority in world affairs.
The Vitter resolution was sent to the liberal-controlled Senate Finance Committee, which declined to act on it.
Obama has been a major U.N. supporter since he was in the Senate and sponsored a bill, the Global Poverty Act (S 2433), to force U.S. compliance with the MDGs. Joseph Biden, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tried to get it passed into law but ultimately failed.
 WOAI Radio in Texas reveals: The state of Texas today sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a federal appeals court in Washington DC, claiming four new regulations imposed by the EPA are based on the 'thoroughly discredited' findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and are 'factually flawed,' 1200 WOAI news reports. 
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says the rules are illegal and if imposed, will cost Texans in higher energy costs and tens of thousands of lost jobs.

One of the rules imposed by the EPA would extend clean air regulations to the tailpipes of personal cars and trucks, but Abbott says the pollutants which the EPA aims to restrict by this rule aren't even found in internal combustion vehicles. 
  One of the rules, the so called 'Tailoring Rule,' would require that all Texas clean air regulations be 'tailored' to match federal rules by January 2, 2011, or the US EPA will impose it's rules on Texas.

  "Today's court filings challenge the EPA's attempts to ignore federal law, impose their federally mandated deadlines and force Texas to spend millions of dollars advancing the Administration’s regulatory agenda," Abbott said. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tax Breaks for All; New EPA Rule Would Bankrupt Coal Industry; Government Benefits SEIU; Australian Tea Party; Extreme Judicial Nominees; Why Businesses Sit on Cash

Thirty-one House Democrats, most of whom face tough re-election bids this fall, have signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urging them to extend expiring tax breaks for all income levels, including the wealthy.
The Washington Examiner writes: Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), an industry-backed think tank, said the new EPA rule "will bankrupt the coal industry and cause electricity prices to 'necessarily skyrocket,' fulfilling two more promises President Obama made while running for office. The magnitude of this EPA decision on new and renewal permits in Appalachia will cost American jobs and put mom and pop operators out of business." 
Pyle was referring to Obama's 2008 statement that his energy and environmental policies would "necessarily skyrocket" consumer costs for energy.
Big Green environmentalists are pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to ban "mountaintop removal" coal mining. To that end, the enviros have organized a vintage politically correct national pr campaign dubbed "Music Saves Mountaintops" featuring part country music and part the usual Natural Resources Defense Council agitprop.
The slogan of the campaign is "Save a Mountain, build a wind mill," referring to the contention of President Obama and his Big Green allies that alternative energy sources like wind can replace energy generated by fossil fuels. Eighty-seven percent of America's energy is currently produced using coal, natural gas and oil.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:
Big Government reveals: It seems no matter where you these days it is easy to find another rule of law or procedure bent by this government to the benefit of SEIU.
FEC law specifically prohibits threats of financial reprisals in an effort to obtain PAC (Political Action Committee) contributions. Not only does SEIU threaten every local member that their PAC contributions must meet SEIU national Headquarters’ goal; SEIU brazenly made it a part of the union’s constitution.
Under this scheme, SEIU political planners notify each local of its PAC contribution goal.  If that PAC goal is not achieved, then the local receives a reduction in its allocation of forced dues money equal to the PAC shortage plus 50%. Looks like threats with financial reprisals.
Not only did the FEC ignore FEC rules in dismissing of the NRTW complaint; it hid its reasoning for dismissing the complaint until well past the 60-day deadline, thus prohibiting the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation an opportunity to challenge the FEC dismissal in U.S. District Court.
For some, rules do not apply.
The Australian writes: the Australian T.E.A. Party (an acronym for Taxed Enough Already) will be targeting pre-selections across the country and heavily promotes its links to "our friends" in the United States.
The Washington Times opines:  President Obama sent another reminder on Monday about the importance of this fall's Senate races by resubmitting five judicial nominations so extreme as to be alien to the American experience.
All five nominations were held up for months because not even many Democrats want to go on the record voting for their confirmation. The nominations officially lapsed when the Senate recessed for more than 30 days in August. Rather than letting them die quietly and without embarrassment, the president renominated them - as if to emphasize his utter disdain for the usual American norms of justice.
The five radical judicial nominees are:
Robert N. Chatigny, a federal district judge from Connecticut, showed bizarre sympathy for a serial rapist-murderer, saying his "sexual sadism" was a "mitigating factor" rather than reason to punish him to the extent of the law.
Federal magistrate Edward M. Chen of San Francisco objected to the singing of "America the Beautiful" at a funeral because of his "feelings of ambivalence and cynicism when confronted by appeals to patriotism." He also once explained that a judge should "draw upon the breadth and depth of their own life experience. ... Inevitably, one's ethnic and racial background contributes to those life experiences." So much for a neutral arbiter of justice.
University of California at Berkeley law professor Goodwin W. Liu likewise has argued that the judiciary should be "a culturally situated interpreter of social meaning" and that there is a constitutional right to welfare.
And From Forbes: When U.S., corporations sit on more than $800 billion without creating jobs, when banks hoard more than $1 trillion in profits without lending to small businesses and consumers  and when health insurance companies with tens of billions in profits demand huge premium increases, there are only two words to describe such greed says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
“Economic treason!”
 [Is this where Juan Williams of Fox News got the notion that businesses who are sitting on cash are part of the cause of this recession?]
it’s even worse. U.S. corporations actually hold a trillion more than you say — $1.8 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.
Does anyone in the AFL-CIO’s donut lounge pause to ask why corporations aren’t hiring or banks lending? Of course, you would have to talk to a real employer or banker to get the answers. I have. Here is what they say: 
1. Corporations aren’t hiring because Congress and the Obama Administration, particularly with health care, have made it costlier to do so in a time of slowing growth.
2. Banks aren’t lending because small business is getting kicked in the teeth. The survivors are playing defense.
Read details @

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Onerous Obamacare Law on Business Transactions Left In; Michelle Can't Stand Being First Lady; Arizona Sheriff to Build Armed Volunteer Posse

John Thune I voted today to strip a ridiculous requirement from the ObamaCare law requiring every business transaction over $600 to be reported to the IRS. The provision will drown small business owners in paperwork. Unfortunately the vote failed to get support from enough Democratic Senators to pass. We will keep working to change it.
Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb. slammed Section 9006 of the mammoth bill, which requires a "2,000 percent increase" in mandatory filings of 1099 tax forms for businesses, charities, state and local governments, and even churches. Johanns said Democrats stealthily slipped the onerous new requirements into the bill as an added source of revenue to help foot the overall legislation's multi-trillion dollar price tag, and did not consider the effect it would have on businesses across the country.
As the current law stands, starting in 2012, all organizations will be mandated to issue 1099 tax forms not only to contracted workers, but to any other group or business from which they purchase at least $600 worth of goods or services in a given year. They'll also be required to send a copy of each 1099 document to the IRS. Johanns called the entire process "punishing" to businesses and cited a July report from the IRS' independent taxpayer watchdog arm warning that Section 9006 "may impose significant burdens" that it labeled "disproportionate" and perhaps unenforceable.  [That ought to inspire businesses to hire new workers, right? - No, it won't.]
Michelle Obama, according to the wife of the French President, thinks being America’s First Lady is ‘hell’, Carla Bruni reveals today in a wildly indiscreet book.
The UK Daily Mail writes: 
Miss Bruni divulges that Mrs Obama replied when asked about her position as the U.S. president’s wife: ‘Don’t ask! It’s hell. I can’t stand it!’
Details of the private conversation, which took place at the White House during an official visit by Nicolas Sarkozy last March, emerged in Carla And The Ambitious, a book written in collaboration with Miss Bruni.
Read more:
PHOENIX - Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he's still planning to build an armed volunteer posse to fight illegal immigration. Currently, unarmed volunteers help Arpaio with his immigration sweeps and crackdowns. But soon, Arpaio plans to build a volunteer posse that will be armed with weapons and gear. Their main job will be to enforce immigration and smuggling laws.
Townhall and Dr. Paul Kengor revisit the wisdom of Milton Friedman, a fierce defender of the benefits of capitalism:
It has been almost 50 years since Milton Friedman, Nobel economist, released his classic, Capitalism and Freedom. The book has slowly slipped from my course syllabus, not to mention that of the political elite. And why not? What Friedman said is now obvious. Surely, Americans, given the indisputable superiority of the free market over the statist model, no longer needed reminding of the abject failures of socialism, collectivism, wealth distribution, prime-the-pump “stimulus” spending, Keynesian deficit spending, and other discredited policy prescriptions?
Well, after a century of examples of what works and what doesn’t, look at how America voted on November 4, 2008. As Ronald Reagan said, freedom is always a generation from extinction; it must be handed on again and again. The teaching process never ends.
So, I dusted off Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom. To be sure, Friedman had his faults, particularly in monetary policy, but, generally, his thoughts on economic freedom and the dangers of collectivism and central planning are timeless—especially right now.
Thus, [now] the managers and planners are in charge, with their hands on the ship of state, seizing the resources that feed the most dynamic, prosperous engine that capitalism and freedom ever produced. The Invisible Hand has been waved off by the visible hands of the reformers. And they are spending us into oblivion. Not only did we hit unprecedented deficits in the first year of the Obama administration, but we’re at debt levels unseen since World War II. The record deficit left by George W. Bush suddenly looks desirable.
Interestingly, Milton Friedman offered this parting thought: He said that if these individuals ever actually gained the power they craved, they would ultimately “produce a collective state from which they would recoil in horror and of which they would be among the first victims.”
Are they recoiling in horror? I see no evidence. The planners and “stimulus” pushers seem to think the problem hasn’t been enough planning and stimulus .

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stealth Immigration Bill; Poverty Increases Under Obama; Severence Clause Not in Healthcare Bill; Black Panther Investigation; Mother Earth; Oil-and-gas Drilling Bans

Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he will add the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure, to a defense policy bill the Senate will take up next week.
The decision means the defense bill, which often passes with bipartisan support, will be home to two major, thorny political issues – the other being the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Reid called the DREAM Act "really important" and said it should be passed because it provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.
Yahoo News reports:  The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.
American Thinker writes: Virginia is asserting that certain portions (that is, personal mandate) of ObamaCare are unconstitutional. If Virginia prevails, it leaves the question of what happens to the rest of the ObamaCare statute? This is where the concept of severance comes in. Normally all comprehensive laws contain a boilerplate severance clause; it says that if any portion of the law is found to be unconstitutional that portion is severed from the rest of the law, that is, the rest of the law stands.

But ObamaCare contains no severance clause. Virginia is asserting that if it prevails on its substantive claims, the whole law is unconstitutional. (If Virginia does not prevail, any one of the 20 plus legal challenges have the same severance argument available.)

If a severance clause is normal boilerplate, why does not ObamaCare contain one? This is where Scott Brown's election enters.  Recall the House passed its version of ObamaCare. On Christmas Eve, after much horsetrading and bribing, the Senate passed its version.  The Senate version was not drafted to be in its final form; it was drafted to get 60 votes.  Normally, these bills would be reconciled in a conference committee and the final version would have to be voted on again with 60 votes in the Senate.  However, before it could be sent to conference and reconciled, Scott Brown won in Massachusetts -- a reconciled bill could no longer get 60 votes!  That is why the House had to vote up or down on the Senate bill which was basically a draft without the normal boilerplate inserted.

As Virginia argued in its Memorandum (Pages 24 to 28), the presence of a severance clause raises a presumption that Congress did not intend the whole statute to depend on the constitutionality of any particular clause.  But with no severance clause, they are not entitled to that presumption. A court cannot sever the offending clause on its own if the statute would not function as Congress intended.
From the Washington Times: The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division — in the wake of the New Black Panther Party case — is being investigated by the department's office of inspector general to determine whether voting section employees have been harassed for participating in specific investigations or prosecutions.
In an end run around policy barring IG investigations of Justice Department litigators, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said his office will review what types of cases are being investigated, whether there have been changes in enforcement policies and procedures, and whether the civil rights laws are being enforced in a non-discriminatory manner.
CNN reports: Paris, France - The French senate approved Tuesday a law banning any veils that cover the face -- including the burqa, the full-body covering worn by some Muslim women -- making France the first European country to plan such a measure. The law passed by a vote of 246 to 1, with about 100 abstentions coming essentially from left-leaning politicians. The legislation was overwhelmingly approved by the lower house of parliament in July and will go into effect next spring.
From Newsweek: The cover of The American Scholar quarterly carries an impertinent assertion: “The Earth Doesn’t Care if You Drive a Hybrid.” The essay inside is titled “What the Earth Knows.” What it knows, according to Robert B. Laughlin, co-winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics, is this: What humans do to, and ostensibly for, the earth does not matter in the long run, and the long run is what matters to the earth. We must, Laughlin says, think about the earth’s past in terms of geologic time.
amaging this old earth is, Laughlin says, “easier to imagine than it is to accomplish.” There have been mass volcanic explosions, meteor impacts, “and all manner of other abuses greater than anything people could inflict, and it’s still here. It’s a survivor.”
Climate change over geologic time is, Laughlin says, something the earth has done “on its own without asking anyone’s permission or explaining itself.” People can cause climate change, but major glacial episodes have occurred “at regular intervals of 100,000 years,” always “a slow, steady cooling followed by abrupt warming back to conditions similar to today’s.”
Six million years ago the Mediterranean dried up. Ninety million years ago there were alligators in the Arctic. Three hundred million years ago Northern Europe was a desert and coal formed in Antarctica. “One thing we know for sure,” Laughlin says about these convulsions, “is that people weren’t involved.”
The Hill writes: The Interior Department spending bill slated for markup Thursday in the Senate Appropriations Committee will re-impose oil-and-gas drilling bans off the Pacific Coast that lapsed after decades in 2008, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said. Obama administration offshore leasing plans do not contemplate oil-and-gas development off the coasts of California, Oregon or Washington. But Feinstein — who chairs the subcommittee that crafts Interior spending bills — said in the Capitol Tuesday that the measure would re-instate the bans to provide extra protection.
[In the I'm not kidding you category]:  ( – The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex.
The genitalia-washing program is part of a larger $12-million UCLA study examining how to better encourage Africans to undergo voluntary HIV testing and counseling – however, only the penis-washing study received money from the 2009 economic stimulus law. The washing portion of the study is set to end in 2011.
Breitbart reveals: Bank of America will charge clients new monthly fees if their accounts do not meet a minimum balance, the bank's CEO Brian Moynihan said on Tuesday. "We will increase the account balance minimums or charge monthly fees in lieu thereof, which is the choice of the customer," Moynihan said at a Barclays Capital conference in New York.
These and other measures will allow the bank to compensate for revenue lost due to new regulations put in place following the 2008 financial crisis that led the US government to salvage many banks with massive bailouts, he said.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ideas For Changes in American Government Policies

BRAINSTORMING IDEAS FOR CHANGE IN AMERICA: [My latest Guest Commentary published in the local liberal newspaper]

As the election approaches, along with our chance to make our votes count toward changes we desire, I am considering changes many might like to see.
Our country’s government should learn to live within its budget, just as we families must do. An end to earmarks, and a cut in government spending nearly across the board, not just a decrease in the planned increases, would be beneficial.  If Americans saw our government cut spending in times of economic woe, we would know that our grandchildren will not be saddled with enormous debt.  If government would cut its creation of yet more government jobs as an answer to job losses, and instead put its focus on what would inspire private small businesses to hire, Capitalism would have a chance to be the amazing creator of jobs it has always been. That would not only raise employment but inspire Americans.
The Bush tax cuts should not be allowed to expire, for that would be devastating to a failing economy.  It would be the largest tax increase in our country’s history. And it is “rich” people, after all, who create businesses that create jobs and attending perks, not poor people.
Businesses would be encouraged to hire once again if they knew that they will not have new and higher Business and Corporate taxes, higher energy bills thru a new Cap and Tax bill, a new VAT tax and continued increases in their obligations to pay for higher health care costsAn assurance that the Lame Duck Session will not produce onerous unpopular bills would also be a boon.  Businesses are waiting for signs positive for growth, and should not be denigrated for keeping their cash on the sidelines, as Juan Williams has suggested.      
Because a number of states are litigating against the new healthcare bill and the majority of Americans are against the bill as well as the incentive-ridden votes which passed it,  the health care bill could be rewritten, repealed or defunded until its Constitutionality is decided.  It is a model for more government intrusion into our lives.  Democrats are being advised not to say the law will reduce costs and deficits, for the CBO has now admitted that it will do neither.  As Nancy Pelosi actually said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”.  What we have learned is that it will harm our country, as almost daily we learn of the rising monetary and human costs of the particulars in the bill.  It will not be possible to insure 30 million more people, waiting in line to be cared for by the same number of doctors, while simultaneously cutting costs.  In this healthcare bill are more non-healthcare related stealth taxes on “the rich”, such as on excess profits on the sale of one's home and on income from investments.  How does this pertain to healthcare?
It would save our government money if it would not prosecute the state of Arizona for actually enforcing a federal law that mandates that being illegal – is illegal!
Our President should quit shaming Americans for going to certain vacation spots while he lavishly vacations every month.  His remarks about Las Vegas sent their economy plummeting, as many conventions were cancelled.
As we actually loan money to other countries for their offshore drilling endeavors, we should end the drilling moratorium in our own Gulf, restoring many thousands of jobs there.
As Ronal Reagan once said, “Government is not the solution to our problems; government IS the problem”.

Monday, September 13, 2010

No Funding for Green Jobs; Clean Energy Works coalition; Financial Transaction Tax; Build Mosque at Ground Zero or Else; Offshore Drilling; and Bush Era Tax Cuts

The Washington Times reports on a little-noticed aspect of the administration’s latest — and likely fruitless — effort at stimulus: It doesn’t include funding for green jobs. The long delays typical with environmentally friendly projects — combined with reports of green stimulus funds being used to create jobs in China and other countries, rather than in the U.S. — appear to have killed the administration’s appetite for pushing green projects
The UK Guardian reveals: America's environmental groups have given up on getting climate change legislation through Congress at a time of Republican ascendancy, and have downsized to a series of more modest goals like fuel economy. In a sign of that strategy reshift, 20 environmental groups launched a new campaign yesterday to press Barack Obama to propose far more ambitious fuel efficiency and pollution standards for cars of 60mpg by 2025. Meanwhile, Clean Energy Works, a coalition of 80 grassroots groups that had 45 paid staff in Washington to lobby to get a climate change law through Congress, is shutting up shop.
Newsmax: A proposed tax on financial transactions "has a great deal of merit" and would help Congress raise needed revenue, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.

"I believe that the transaction tax still has a great deal of merit," Pelosi said at a news conference.

The tax would have a "really minimal impact on the transaction, but a tremendous impact on helping us meet our needs," Pelosi said. 
[I am sure we are not supposed to consider this a threat, of course, but] CNN reports:  -- The religious leader behind plans to build an Islamic center and mosque a few blocks from New York's ground zero said Wednesday night that America's national security depends on how it handles the controversy.
"If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Larry King Live."
"The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack."
But some critics decried his assessment.
"The whole national security thing: that's a veiled threat," Andy Sullivan, a union construction worker who wants all New York construction workers to boycott the proposed Islamic center, said on CNN's "AC 360" Wednesday night. "He's saying 'you make me move' and, guess what, the whole radical Muslim world is coming after us.  The imam, who repeatedly said his mission was to promote peace and build a bridge among faiths  [It seems to me that it is in the hands of this "peaceful" Imam to prove that he was trying to, as he said, "establish a space that embodies the fundamental beliefs that we have as Jews, Christians and Muslims, which is to love our God and to love our neighbor -- to build a space where we have a culture of worship." He can do this by moving the site while making Islam see that it is the right thing to do.  It's time for some "love" from the Islamics, isn't it?] s
Despite President Obama's moratorium on U.S. deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Export-Import Bank intends to guarantee $1 billion in loans to PEMEX, the Mexican state oil company, to bolster the company's oil drilling in the region. The bank, which is the official American export credit agency, loaned more than $1 billion to PEMEX in 2009 -- when the company was the bank's largest borrower -- in support of its drilling activities. That year, the bank also guaranteed two loans totaling $300 million made by a commercial lender.
Red-district Democrats are pressuring Speaker Nancy Pelosi to extend Bush-era income tax rates for all brackets, revealing a high-stakes rift between the party's vulnerable moderates and its safe liberals as the issue increasingly dominates the national debate.