These are perilous times. Last November’s election of Barack Obama and a filibuster-proof majority of Democrats in both houses allowed a virulent cabal to capture our nation’s seat of power. As with the Democrat takeover of Congress in 2006, it was a disaster of epic proportions. With one shocking, enormous, blatantly partisan, self-serving and destructive proposal following on the heels of another, the sheer enormity of their power grab defies description.
The most effective tactic used to stifle debate in politics is name-calling. As left-wing theorist Saul Alinsky noted in his “Rules for Radicals,” this is “cruel, but very effective.” After all, no one likes to be called stupid. And if you get your opponent to cry, so much the better. Perhaps, the second most effective tactic is less talked about, but certainly familiar to everyone. It dismisses all legitimate debate and criticism of a proposal with one pungent, paralyzing phrase: “What’s your solution, stupid?”
The Obama administration, in a major shift on housing policy, is abandoning George W. Bush’s vision of creating an “ownership society’’ and instead plans to pump $4.25 billion of economic stimulus money into creating tens of thousands of federally subsidized rental units in American cities. The idea is to pay for the construction of low-rise rental apartment buildings and town houses, as well as the purchase of foreclosed homes that can be refurbished and rented to low- and moderate-income families at affordable rates.
An Afghan bill allowing a husband to starve his wife if she refuses to have sex has been published in the official gazette and become law. The original bill caused outrage earlier this year, forcing Afghan President Hamid Karzai to withdraw it. But critics say the amended version of the law remains highly repressive.
$90,000 in government spending of hard working American’s tax dollars=one job created in Corpus Christi Texas. By the way there is no guarantee how long that job will exist. Nice work Mr. community organizer who’s never run anything in his life.
Corpus Christi’s cut of federal stimulus dollars will improve city roads, pay the rent for people living in housing projects, train math and science teachers and send more people to trade schools and college on government scholarships. Those projects, along with dozens of others, are part of about $200 million of federal stimulus projects coming to the area. The money should create close to 2,000 jobs, based on White House formulas. Those job creation numbers likely are “severely inflated,” said Jason Alaniz, the city’s intergovernmental relations project manager in charge of stimulus projects. “Some grants aren’t going to create jobs, period,” he said.
After a weekend of relatively tame town halls President Obama found one vocal skeptic in a college student who challenged the President to an Oxford debate over the public option at his Grand Junction, Colo., town hall this evening. Zach Lahn, a 23-year-old student at the University of Colorado got the President’s attention after shouting out during the Q and A a few times. The President finally called on him during the end of the town hall. “I just want proof here that I’m happy to get a good debate going,” the President said, knowing that he could be wading into harsher waters than he is used to.
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President Barack Obama’s health secretary is suggesting the White House is ready to accept nonprofit insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run public option in a health overhaul plan. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Obama still believes there should be choice and competition” in the health insurance market—but that a public option is “not the essential element.”
For a brief, clattering moment on Saturday morning, Bald Eagles nesting along Yellowstone National Park’s Firehole River had to share their sky with three Marine helicopters ferrying the First Family down to Old Faithful. The Obamas had lunch and views of the famous geyser, most likely oblivious to the ripple effect caused by extensive security measures for their visit on the Park’s busy, fee-free weekend. On the narrow two-lane highway between Old Faithful and Midway Geyser Basin, however, motor traffic came to a standstill, eventually backing up vehicles for nearly two miles.
A growing number of auto dealers say the process of getting paid under the government’s “cash for clunkers” plan increasingly resembles some of the wrecks accumulating on their lots as part of the program. The slow payments coming from the federal government are reinforcing the paradoxical nature of the program for dealers: It has generated the most showroom traffic they have had in months while at the same time heaping unease, frustration and worry onto the industry’s worst-ever downturn. As of the close of business Friday, there was talk in the industry that some dealers are considering pulling out of the clunkers program altogether.
Arriving in Montana to join battle with his critics on Friday, President Barack Obama stepped from Air Force One, stripped off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves. Little more than six months after he swept into office with some of the highest approval ratings recorded, he is fighting to save his historic presidency from turning into a one-term wonder. Obama was ready for a vigorous defence of the healthcare reforms that have spawned verbal fisticuffs at public meetings across the country. In the event, the Montana meeting unfolded with a subdued politeness that left some White House aides wishing it had been a little more feisty, so their champion could have shown off his sparring skills.
Put on body armor, check weapons, cover head and shoulders with a scarf. That was the drill for female American Marines who set out on patrol this week with a mission to make friends with Afghan women in a war zone by showing respect for Muslim standards of modesty. The all-female unit of 46 Marines is the military’s latest innovation in its rivalry with the Taliban for the populace’s loyalty. Afghan women are viewed as good intelligence sources, and more open to the basics of the military’s hearts-and-minds effort — hygiene, education and an end to the violence.
Three sourpuss Parks Department agents put the squeeze on a 10-year-old girl in Riverside Park yesterday, slapping the tyke with a $50 ticket for hawking lemonade without a permit. Clementine Lee, who lives just blocks from the Upper West Side park, had dreamed of opening a lemonade stand since last year and took advantage of yesterday’s beautiful weather to set up shop.
Americans had to work from January 1 until August 12 this year just to cover the cost of government. That is 26 days more than they had to work last year to cover the cost of government. “Cost of Government Day” this year fell on Wednesday, August 12, according to Americans for Tax Reform, the conservative group that calculates when the day occurs. Cost of Government Day is the day in the year when the American people have earned enough income to pay the total cost of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state, and local level.
A British man has been sentenced to three-and-a-half-years in prison after burglars found images of child pornography on his stolen laptop and turned it over to the police. Richard Coverdale was convicted of downloading pictures of child abuse as well as exposing himself to an unsuspecting teenage girl over the internet while posing as a 14-year-old boy, according to Gazettelive.com. Police started investigating the 24-year-old convicted arsonist after burglars discovered the images on a laptop they stole from Coverdale’s house in August 2008 and contacted police, the Web site reported.
Quote of the day.
The rapid deterioration of the economy has slowed down. But if you have lost your job, the worst may not be over for a long time. If you have a job, you may still lose it.
-Alice Rivlin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office.