Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011

 "The GOP can afford to lose 23 votes"
This doesn't bode well for those who are looking for serious, meaningful budget cuts.  If things move in this direction it will tell us that the House leadership has more in common with the Democrats than with the conservative block in the House and the Tea Party.  

House Republican leaders turn to moderate Democrats for budget deal - The Washington Post
"Having difficulty finding consensus within their own ranks, House Republican leaders have begun courting moderate Democrats on several key fiscal issues, including a deal to avoid a government shutdown at the end of next week...
...House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) met with a conservative bloc of Democrats to discuss potential common ground on the budget and other pressing fiscal issues.
Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), a centrist Democratic leader, said McCarthy did not specifically ask for their votes on any legislation, saying that the conversation was taking place at “10,000 feet” and that the Republican was “feeling us out.”
The Democrats left the meeting knowing that they could provide the decisive votes, Shuler said, a role they are willing to play...
...It’s just not cutting spending. There are a number of limitations that passed on the floor of the House” that must be addressed, Boehner said. Those provisions have created a large hurdle for securing a final deal. Republican aides have said the provisions and the overall cost cutting are linked: The fewer that are attached to the bill, the bigger the cuts Republicans will seek...
...With 241 Republicans, GOP leaders can afford to lose 23 GOP votes before needing Democratic help. That’s why McCarthy reached out to leaders of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of centrist Democrats — such as Shuler — from conservative-leaning districts.

John Boehner can’t get something done without us,” [Steny] Hoyer said Tuesday."


Cold Equations has a handy guide to countries in the Middle East and N. Africa.  So, if you're the brutal dictator of one of these countries, you can make better informed decisions about your policies.  

CountryPrior relations with the USNuclear weapons programUS treatment of countryStatus of leader
EgyptAlliedNot significantPressured ally to step downPermanent vacation
LibyaModerately warm lately, despite past difficultiesAbandoned under US pressureBombs awayProbably on his way out
SyriaStrained to hostileNot a lot of info, probably has some programMild economic sanctionsLife is sweet
Iran"America is the Great Satan"Probably going to join the nuclear club soonIneffectual, intermittent saber-rattlingHappy as a clam
North KoreaHostileHas some nukes, ICBMs are in the worksIneffectual sanctions, endless talks, unkind portrayal in 2004 movie "Team America: World Police"You know what sucks about being Kim Il-Jong? Nothing.

Speaking of the "religion of peace"...

Two Christians killed, churches burned: extremists respond to Florida Koran burning - Asia News
"Two believers killed, churches attacked, copies of the Bible burned: the Christian community in Pakistan is once again the victim of violence by Islamic fundamentalists, who have targeted places of worship in the country. The extremist violence was triggered by the insane act - repeatedly condemned by Christians in Pakistan and India – of the pastor Wayne Sapp, who last March 20, in Florida burned a Koran under the supervision of the evangelical preacher Terry Jones."
Spero News reports:
 "Msgr. Anthony Rufin, Bishop of Islamabad / Rawalpindi, strongly condemns the latest attack on the Christian community of Pakistan and once again distances the church from the burning of the Koran in the United States. 'We have already explained – says the prelate - we are Pakistani Christians, not Americans. We have repeatedly reiterated that we should not be equated to the Americans. '

"The prelate calls to take urgent action and anticipates the intention to arrange a meeting with Christian leaders, from the Anglican Church and other Protestant denominations to examine the current situation 'of minorities. The young Pakistani Christians, in fact, do not see any reason for hope in the future."

Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson is featured in the latest ad by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.  Facts about Planned Parenthood from the ad:
  • Planned Parenthood is Americas largest abortion provider
  • 98% of their services for pregnant women are abortions
  • Planned Parenthood receives $360 million in taxpayer money every year


    Also from the "this makes me sick" file, Chris Wallace interviewed Newt Gingrich on Sunday and questioned him about his apparent hypocrisy on moral issues.  Wallace noted that at the same time Gingrich was leading the charge for President Clinton's impeachment, Gingrich himself was cheating on his second wife with his current wife, Calista (Gingrich's first marriage also ended as a result of his infidelity).   Here is part of the exchange:
     WALLACE: There is something else that bothers people. You were leading the charge to push Bill Clinton from office for lying about an affair and yes, he lied in a court proceeding, in a deposition, where he was sworn to tell the truth, whole truth, nothing but the truth. At the same time, you were leading that charge, you were having an affair. Isn’t that hypocrisy?
    GINGRICH: No. Look, obviously it’s complex and obviously I wasn’t doing things to be proud of. On the other hand, what I said clearly — and I knew this in part going through a divorce. I had been in depositions. I had been in situations where you had to swear to tell the truth. I understood that in a federal court, in a case in front of a federal judge, to commit a felony, which is what he did, perjury was a felony. The question I raised was simple: should a president of the united states be above the law? [...]
    WALLACE: I’ll ask you man-to-man. did you think to yourself I’m living in a really glass house? Maybe I shouldn’t be throwing stones?
    GINGRICH: No. I thought to myself if I cannot do what I have to do as a public leader, I would have resigned.
    Well that explains it perfectly!!  Gingrich's experience in divorce court gave him the special knowledge and understanding that was essential in the impeachment process.  What would the nation have done without a cheater and philanderer at the helm in the House that year?  Watch the slimy interview for yourself if you can stand it:


    "Congressman Allen West (FL-22) will introduce today three separate pieces of legislation to cut wasteful defense spending.  The legislation will be voted on by American citizens through the YouCut project.
    “The Federal Government has a spending problem,” West said. “While the Democrats continue to propose to add trillions of dollars in new spending and new taxes, I am keeping my promise to my constituents to responsibly cut government spending in order to get the American Fiscal House back in order.   
    As I have stated, all government programs must be thoroughly scrutinized, including the Department of Defense. After serving 22 years in the United States Army, I am aware of areas where saving money is very possible.  These cuts are aimed at wasteful Defense Department spending and will not affect the overall mission of our men and women in uniform in protecting our national security.”
    West spoke to a group of bloggers at CPAC last month and when the former Army Lt. Col. was asked whether cuts in defense spending were on the table, he answered that there was definitely wasteful spending to be cut and said, "I know where the bodies are buried."  I believe him!

    Here's a chart from the CATO Institute showing per capita defense spending for the U.S. and other NATO countries.  Let's hope West can get some of his proposed cuts through. 


    Oh, Lebron!!  First, props to the Cavs for their 102-90 victory over the Miami Heat.

    LeBron James (R) is fouled by Cleveland Cavaliers' Daniel Gibson during the first half.
    ------------->>>(AARON JOSEFCZYK, REUTERS) <<<-------------
    Also, props to my cousin for some great pics!!

    LeBron James was missing from the player introductions (and the accompanying boos from Cavs fans).  He said he was "in the bathroom."  Uh huh. 

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