Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ALG on National Debt Topping $14 Trillion: Use Debt Ceiling Increase to Cut Spending by $800 Billion

January 4th, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement on the national debt topping $14 trillion:

“This is where we are. With the national debt topping $14 trillion, it stands at 95 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, which is almost a full year of all goods and services the entire economy can produce. As it approaches the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling, incoming House Speaker John Boehner has a decision to make. Attaching $100 billion of spending cuts to that vote may sound nice, but it isn’t one-tenth enough of what needs to be done.

“Instead, House Republicans should use that leverage to extract at least $800 billion of across the board cuts, bringing the budget to 2007 spending levels of $2.7 trillion. Then if lawmakers wished to keep entitlement and defense spending where they currently are, they would have to find about another $200 billion of cuts or so to make from the discretionary budget. And then after that, keep cutting until the budget is balanced, no more debt needs to be contracted, and the debt can finally begin to be paid off.

“The way to begin to do that is to attach the $800 billion of spending cuts to the debt ceiling increase legislation. That includes ending the bailouts, ‘stimulus’, and selling government ownership of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The House will have done its job and increased the debt ceiling to help refinance current debts. Then Harry Reid and Barack Obama will have the choice to make: Accept the spending cuts or block the debt ceiling increase and default. The burden will be on them, and the blame will be on them should they fail to raise the debt limit. Those are the terms of the American people.

“The alternative is to just kick the can and raise the ceiling without any cuts or too little cuts attached, and watch as the debt becomes larger than the entire economy this year or next. As the Federal Reserve becomes the government’s top lender, printing hundreds of billions of dollars just to refinance the debt. And, as the national credit rating is eventually downgraded. The dollar will continue to sink, interest rates will have nowhere to go but up, and the ultimate collapse that occurs will be on the heads of every politician who refused to cut spending when they had the chance.”
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Obama’s Appeasement to the South

By Bill Wilson

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made headlines on January 3rd when she met with Hugo Chavez, a photo-op coup for the Venezuela dictator that recently expelled U.S. envoy Larry Palmer for allegedly being “disrespectful”.

In reality, Palmer was voicing U.S. concerns that Columbian drug cartels are being financed by Venezuela. Now, Clinton has been reduced to meeting with the despot and either objecting to his despotism — in a respectful way, of course — or worse, not at all.

Of course actions speak much louder than words. Merely denying, however, the visa of the Venezuelan diplomat and then meeting to shake hands hardly begins to deal with the growing dangers posed by authoritarianism to the region.

Little more than a year has passed since the U.S. Senate confirmed Arturo Valenzuela to the post of Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. At the time, Americans for Limited Government objected to the appointment because of Valenzuela’s incredibly weak record defending liberty in the region.

Get full story here.

Got that Covered

ALG Editor's Note: William Warren's award-winning cartoons published at GetLiberty.org are a free service of ALG News Bureau. They may be reused and redistributed free of charge.
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Video: The Week Ahead

Video by Frank McCaffrey
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EPA’s Texas Power Grab

By Paul Driessen and Willie Soon

ALG Editor’s Note: A federal court has issued a temporary injunction on the EPA’s action to regulate Texas’ carbon emissions.

Any Texas granddaddy will tell you he’s seen it all, when it comes to weather and climate extremes. Tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, blizzards, droughts, flash floods, and storms that bring unique combinations of wind, dust, thunder and hail.

Any Lone Star citizen will point out that Texas is America’s leading producer of crude oil, natural gas and (heavily subsidized) wind-based energy. It has the second largest workforce and gross state product in the USA, produces more electricity than any other state, and refines one-fourth of our petroleum – for a country that is 85% dependent on fossil fuels.

Mess with Texas, and the damages will reverberate throughout our nation.

So why is the US Environmental Protection Agency sending federal agents to Texas — to arrest the state’s economy for the “crime” of emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)? Texas is also challenging EPA over other arbitrary new air pollution standards, but that’s another article.
Cowboys and cowgirls recognize CO2 as the plant-fertilizing “gas of life” and CH4 as natural gas and cow farts. Scientists will tell you carbon dioxide is 0.0387 percent of Earth’s atmosphere and methane is 0.000179 percent. Anyone with an eighth grade economics education or ounce of common sense knows CO2 is what results when CH4 heats homes, generates electricity, fuels cars and factories, and makes our health, welfare and living standards possible.
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China Claims New Nuclear Technology

Scientists in China say they have discovered a way to reprocess spent uranium. The Guardian reports:
China’s ambitions to lead the world in nuclear power were boosted today by reports that its scientists had mastered a key technique in the reprocessing of spent uranium.
State media claimed the technology overcame a supply bottleneck and ensured China would have sufficient nuclear fuel for at least 3,000 years.
The breakthrough would be a boon to the domestic industry, which is in the early stages of what looks likely to be the most spectacular burst of reactor-building in world history.
Due to surging demand for energy and growing concerns about pollution, China’s nuclear-power generating capacity is projected to increase up to tenfold in the next 10 years. By 2030 China could be on course to overtake the US as the world’s leading atomic energy producer.

Ron Franklin calls Jeannine Edwards “Sweet Baby” and then “A**hole”

It was off air, but still ESPN broadcaster Ron Franklin and Jeannine Edwards exchanged some heated words which ended in this exchange:
“Listen to me, sweet baby, let me tell you something,” Franklin reportedly told her.
“Don’t call me sweet baby, I don’t like being talked to like that,” Edwards responded.
Franklin then said, “OK then, listen to me, a–hole.”
After Franklin’s remarks were reported to management, he was pulled from the Fiesta Bowl broadcast on Saturday.

UFC Fallout: Chael Sonnen Pleads Guilty to Federal Money Laundering Charge

Did I do that! Chael Sonnen has pleaded guilty to one count of federal money laundering for his part in a shady real estate deal in 2006, according to a press release by U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon. Sonnen struck a plea deal that would likely keep him out of prison.

Sonnen is expected to receive two years of probation when he is sentenced on March 28, just a little less then a month after he comes off his fighting suspension by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for unauthorized uses of testosterone therapy which expires on March 2nd.
As part of his plea deal, Sonnen agreed to give up his Realtor’s license and pay a $10,000 fine [OrgeonLive]
“Sonnen submitted a false letter and Sales Agreement Addendum instructing the title company to pay loan proceeds to a plumbing company for repairs to the home. In fact, Sonnen knew and had negotiated with Rosabal that no repairs would be performed on the home and the funds designated to the plumbing company would instead be paid to the buyer as a cash incentive to purchase the home. This agreement was not disclosed to (the mortgage company). Once the loan was funded, the title company paid over $69,000 to the plumbing company [Crown Plumbing, a company owned by Sonnen's mother] and the plumbing company, in turn and at Sonnen’s direction, paid $65,000 to the buyer of the home.”

By CagE

States Will Push Tough Immigration Laws In 2011

Fed up with the federal government’s perpetual failure to secure the southern border, state legislators across the country will begin the New Year with aggressive efforts to curb illegal immigration.

Dozens of state lawmakers throughout the nation have already started drafting measures designed to contain the devastating impact of illegal immigration, according to several news reports. Local governments are so desperate for relief that the possibility of a costly legal challenge is not deterring them from their campaign to crack down on illegal immigration.

Elected officials in at least six states have already confirmed plans to introduce bills similar to Arizona’s, which bans “sanctuary city” policies, makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. without proper documentation and requires police to check the immigration status of people stopped for questioning. Others have announced measures to limit access to public benefits for illegal aliens and to punish employers who hire them.

Oklahoma may enact a measure that allows authorities to seize and keep the vehicle of anyone who harbors an illegal immigrant and Missouri, Mississippi and Nebraska are among states where legislators will offer bills similar to Arizona. In several other states, lawmakers plan to push for laws that require employers to verify the immigration status of their workers.

Newly elected governors in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida vowed to enact tough immigration control laws during their high-profile campaigns and Georgia’s governor-elect (Nathan Deal) also wants to revoke birthright U.S. citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants. Commonly known as anchor babies, the number of children born to illegal aliens has nearly doubled to 4 million in the last few years and U.S. taxpayers spend tens of billions of dollars annually just to educate them.

In all, more than 1,000 immigration-related bills will be introduced this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states as well as its commonwealths and territories. In each of the last two years, the figure reached about 1,500 and is expected to grow this year amid fury over the federal government’s inaction.

GOP prepares to swing a meat clever at the budget

WASHINGTON — The incoming Republican majority in the House is moving to make good on its promise to cut $100 billion from domestic spending this year, a goal eagerly backed by conservatives but one carrying substantial political and economic risks.

House Republican leaders are so far not specifying which programs would bear the brunt of budget cutting, only what would escape it: spending for the military, domestic security and veterans.

The reductions that would be required in the remaining federal programs, including education and transportation, would be so deep — roughly 20 percent on average — that Senate Republicans have not joined the $100 billion pledge that House Republicans, led by the incoming speaker, Representative John A. Boehner, made to voters before November’s midterm elections.

Even if adopted by the House, the Republicans’ budget is unlikely to be enacted in anything like the scale they envision, since Democrats retain a majority in the Senate and President Obama could veto annual appropriations bills making the reductions.

But the effort is more than symbolic: in particular it could give House Republicans increased leverage in budget negotiations with the White House this winter and spring, when the administration must get Congress to raise the federal debt limit or risk a government financing crisis.
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Governor of Pakistan's Punjab Assassinated Over His Support For Christian Woman Convicted of Blasphemy

Salman Taseer

In November a Christian woman was sentenced to death in Pakistan after being convicted of insulting the Prophet Mohammed. It was unusual because Asia Bibi was thought to be the first woman on death row for the offence. On the other hand, it is all too common for members of Pakistan’s religious minorities to be convicted on trumped up charges of blasphemy.

The law is nasty and dates to the reign of General Zia, who led Pakistan through a process of Islamisation. It is one of the laws that no-one has dared undo for fear of unleashing a religious backlash.
President Zardari, for one, has assured Bibi’s supporters that he will pardon her if the Lahore High Court fails to overturn her conviction. But he told them he won’t revamp the laws, fearing a rightwing backlash if he tries to reform blasphemy legislation.

This is the problem that grips Pakistan. No-one dares challenge the clerics. The government in Islamabad claims to be progressive and forward looking. It says the right things. But when it comes to speaking up against the country’s conservative religious orthodoxy it falls short, unwilling to offer a secular, or moderate Islamic view.

Salman Taseer was one of the exceptions. He took Asia Bibi’s case to the president and pressed hard for an overhaul of the blasphemy laws, efforts that brought him death threats. His assassination today will further deter members of the liberal elite from tackling the real challenges that face Pakistan.

Without his steel it will become harder to taken on the militant threat that feeds on a mainstream narrative that the West is evil and that any reform is a retreat. We will be left with a government that kowtows to the US is private while publicly decrying the use of drones in its skies; that daren’t reform its blasphemy laws; and that throws in the towel to the people that Salman Taseer called “lunatics”.
“I’m surprised by the huge support I’ve got. I have a lot of support for changing the blasphemy laws – except for this small fringe of lunatics that have singled me out,” he said, when I interviewed him recently. “People were afraid to discuss it before, but now everyone is talking about this inequality.”
“These people won’t stop me.”

Rob Crilly is Pakistan correspondent of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph.

Selena Gomez Caught Kissing Justin Bieber, Gets Death Threats

We can already hear the hearts of breaking everywhere. The two have been rumored to be dating for months, but Gomez would shoot down the talk, saying she sees him as her little brother.

Bieber would leave it open for speculation though. When asked by MTV News, he just said, “She’s really cool. She’s an amazing person.”
Selena Gomez is dating Justin Bieber!
Selena Gomez is dating Justin Bieber!

But after a photo said to be of Bieber and Gomez kissing was said to be fake by a rep, new photos of the teen couple surfaced, showing them getting cozy while in St. Lucia. The photos show the two stars hugging, kissing, and one with Bieber’s hand on her backside.
Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Caught Kissing
Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Caught Kissing

As expected, the claws are already out from Bieber fans. Some took to Twitter to call Gomez a pedophile because of the newfound proof of their relationship. She’s 18, he’s 16.
Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Caught Kissing
Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Caught Kissing

But we’ll see how the two young stars play this one out. No more brotherly talk, Selena. More like kissing cousins.