31 January 2009
Mr Obama urged the newly elected councils to "get seated, select new governors, and begin work on behalf of the Iraqi people who elected them".
On a different note, the promise of the Obama campaign to retire Hillary Clinton's debt has gone unfulfilled. The new Secretary of State still has a nearly $6M debt to vendors. It's a little awkward for a Sec. State to explain and enforce US policy overseas when she can't pay up. I hope this is one campaign promise that the President does keep. He certainly owes her that much.
30 January 2009
Please do not reply to this e-mail. If you need to send another message to Senator Nelson, please use the form on his Web site: http://billnelson.senate.gov/
Thank you for contacting me about the economic stimulus package.
The American people are hurting. They are losing their homes, their jobs, their businesses and their life savings. Economists across the political spectrum agree that the government needs to take bold and immediate action to stimulate the economy and curb the risk of a protracted economic recession.
The economic stimulus package will provide critical tax relief, shore up unemployment benefits and food stamps, improve access to health care, and promote energy independence. I believe the stimulus package is narrowly targeted to spend and invest in ways that will get the economy moving again.
I understand your concerns about the stimulus package. Last year I voted against spending $700 billion to bail out Wall Street because the bill lacked meaningful relief for homeowners facing foreclosure and didn't include adequate protections for American taxpayers. I am committed to reducing wasteful spending and improving transparency in Federal funding. For too long have we ignored the consequences of a burgeoning Federal deficit.
As Congress considers measures to put the economy on the right track, I will be sure to keep your views in mind. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.
P.S. From time to time, I compile electronic news briefs highlighting key issues and hot topics of particular importance to Floridians. If you'd like to receive these e-briefs, visit my Web site and sign up for them at http://billnelson.senate.gov/
29 January 2009
The whole thing reminds me of a report on NPR yesterday about increasing numbers of women turning to independent businesses, especially Mary Kay and Avon. As the daughter of a former Mary Kay rep., and a user of both businesses, I found this interesting and timely.
Here's an excerpt:
We've looked it over, and even we can't quite believe it. There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.
In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make "dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy." Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There's another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And even many of these projects aren't likely to help the economy immediately. As Peter Orszag, the President's new budget director, told Congress a year ago, "even those [public works] that are 'on the shelf' generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy."
28 January 2009
25 January 2009
So what do you think? Is this the kind of change the voters were hoping for?
In the meanwhile, the proposals for a 'Bad Bank,' to absorb all bad (or potentially bad) holdings by major banks (in the hopes of freeing up the credit markets) have now risen to as high as $6 trillion. These allocations would be on top of the stimulus proposals (running between $700 billion and $1 trillion), and on top of the allocations from last year. At this rate, the debt burden from the 2008 - 2010 fiscal years won't be paid for at least six generations. That's not the kind of change I'm hoping to pass on down to my child and future generations.
20 January 2009
I find myself thinking of Fred Barnes article in the Weekly Standard, titled "The Only Thing We Have to Fear." The article focuses on the big concerns that many of us have with the policy proposals that came out during the Obama campaign and subsequently. The first 'thing to fear' caught and held my attention throughout the rest of the article; we're afraid he doesn't know what he's talking about. Not in a general sense - he's a smart person and an excellent speaker. No, we are worried that he doesn't understand the fiscal and policy fallout that will occur if he enacts all he has said, and that he doesn't even have a solid plan in place (witnessed by the many changes to numbers of jobs, financing of the stimulus plan, tax rates, etc.). The rest of the article continued to ring true for me.
However, the main concept in the article; that we should be afraid; is not helpful and is unhealthy. It's our job as conservatives of all stripes to respect the office (and the man if possible), and provide opposition and challenge. Letting ourselves become paralyzed with fear will not help the party to rebuild, will not help advance our cause, and will make us seem like whiners, rather than an intelligent opposition. So don't be afraid, but be wary, cautious and willing to see if just maybe some of our worst fears are ungrounded.
19 January 2009
18 January 2009
I hope I wasn't the only one disappointed by the pre-inaugural concert broadcast today on PBS on HBO (huh?). Not the music - most of that was pretty fun; it was the thematic sense gained from the music, speeches, prayer (by the lovely Gene Robinson), etc. The theme seemed to be one of, heah! Everything's good because we've intelligently elected the next Messiah, who has arisen to make all well. It all culminated with Pete Sieger singing "This land is your land ..." It's a song I enjoy, but was proclaimed to be the greatest song ever written about America. Help! Get me out of this time-space warp please!
On a happy note, the Steelers are hanging on to a razor-thin lead in the AFC championship. Just four minutes to go, and we're back in the Superbowl! Wait, no, we just won! Another touchdown with 4:24 to go. I love the long-haired dude whose name I can never remember, and I love Ben!