Tea Party Republicans Vow to Attack Deficit Spending ‘Once and for All’ in Next Session

Republicans elected to Congress with the help of Tea Party support pledged Sunday to devote themselves to balancing the budget over all else when they start their new jobs on Wednesday.

In the lead-up to the next session, Tea Party freshmen and activists have expressed disappointment at the legislation passed by Congress in the waning days of the post-election lame-duck session. The bipartisan package to extend the Bush-era tax cuts was seen by some conservatives as a flawed deal that failed to bury the estate tax and make permanent the income tax rates of the past decade. At the same time, critics assailed the package for containing billions in new deficit spending.

Tea Party candidates said Sunday they hope to change the culture of spending in Washington as they prepare to get sworn in this week. They said Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, earmarks and other items will all be on the table for serious reform. They warned their more experienced colleagues to hold back on the deficit spending once they come into office.

“It’s time to once and for all … stop perpetually spending money we don’t have and sending the bill to unborn generations of Americans,” Sen.-elect Mike Lee of Utah told “Fox News Sunday.”

Lee said the $858 billion package passed by Congress at the end of 2010 demonstrated the need for a balanced-budget amendment, which he said he will propose.

“It certainly is disturbing that we have to add an additional trillion dollars to our debt in order to preserve tax cuts without which our economy couldn’t survive right now,” he said. “Congress has long abused the authority to incur debt in the name of the United States. And we need to restrict that.”

Allen West, an incoming GOP congressman from Florida, said the problems facing Washington are big, but not “insurmountable.”

Read more here.

Progressive/Marxists Target filibuster to ease way for Obama agenda

With a new Senate coming in, the left has once again begun targeting the Senate’s filibuster rule, which in effect requires a supermajority of 60 votes to pass anything to which an impassioned minority objects. This applies to not just laws but the Senate’s confirmation power, and given the number of Obama judicial appointments pending, the loss of the filibuster could facilitate the seating of more radical federal judges, and maybe even another Supreme Court justice or two.

For this very reason, a propaganda campaign is underway to persuade the public that the filibuster should go away — at least until we get a Republican president and Congress in charge. After the public and media have been softened up, then the Democrat majority in the Senate can propose a rules change.

Contributing to the propaganda campaign today are the Los Angeles Times and “Professor” of History at UCLA Joyce Appleby. Unfortunately, the veneer of academic respectability brought to project by the professor is far too thin to be persuasive. Consider this argument:

This unfettered speechifying was allowed until 1917, when at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson, the Senate adopted a rule that a two-thirds vote could end debate. Still, Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) was able to filibuster for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.Eighteen years later, senators revised the rules, dropping the necessary vote for cloture, or cutting off of debate, from 66% to 60%. This change also introduced the “invisible filibuster.” Senators need not actually stand up and talk to filibuster; they just needed to indicate their intention to do so.

I know she’s supposed to know what she’s talking about when citing the past, because she’s a history professor, but the good professor doesn’t in this instance. Strom Thurmond was Democrat when he filibustered in 1957. Democrats want to pretend otherwise, and I guess Professor Appleby prefers pretend history to the real thing.

Cliff Thier, adds:

Total repeal of ObamaCare becomes very doable in 2 years if the Democrats in the Senate are foolish enough to follow the good professor’s advice.
With Republicans controlling the House there is much less damage Senate Democrats can do if they end the filibuster. They’d have free rein to approve Obama appointees and judges of course, but he’s ignoring the Senate anyway for his executive appointments. Hard to see how he could make any worse appointments than Cole to Justice, anyway.

I wonder what period or region the professor specialized in. I can only hope that it was the history of transgendered Muslims in India in the eleventh century and not the history of American legislatures.

Daughter, wife of AZ official accused in sex case

The daughter of a county supervisor has been arrested on suspicion of sexual misconduct with the same teenage boy that her mother is accused of sexually abusing over a three-year period, police said Thursday.

Rachel Katherine Brock, 21, was arrested Wednesday on three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of transmitting obscene material as part of an ongoing investigation surrounding her mother, 48-year-old Susan Brock.

Both women were being held without bond at the Maricopa County jail.

In Rachel Brock’s initial court appearance, acting attorney John Rock argued that the judge should free her on bond because there appeared to be no physical evidence to support any of the charges. Rock also said the teen would have been asked if he had been a victim of any other sexual abuse when Susan Brock was arrested in October.

“It appears that he’s given contradictory information,” Rock said. But the judge wasn’t persuaded.

It was unclear whether Rachel Brock had a permanent attorney. Susan Brock’s attorney, Pheron Hall III, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.

Rachel Brock is the daughter of Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock, and Susan Brock is his wife of 28 years. The family lived together in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler but Fulton Brock filed for divorce after his wife’s arrest.

Rachel Brock is accused of committing numerous sex acts with the teenage boy between February 2007 and August 2008, and sending him nude photos and a video of herself masturbating; none of the acts involved intercourse. The boy was 14 at the time, and Rachel Brock was 18, classifying the crimes as dangerous crimes against children.

Police said that between August 2007 and October of this year, the teen met Susan Brock for sexual trysts. Susan Brock reportedly provided the boy with cell phones, and police seized text messages reportedly recording sexual exchanges between the two.

Chandler police Sgt. Joe Favazzo said it appears that Susan and Rachel Brock didn’t know about each other’s relationship with the teen.

“You have a situation where you have a mother who’s abusing a juvenile victim, seemingly unknowingly to the daughter, or vice versa, and the daughter is also abusing the same victim,” Favazzo said. “I just can’t imagine a mother and daughter having this conversation, and the investigators say they don’t have anything indicating the two of them knew about it.”

Read more here.

Arms Treaty Nonsense

The New York Times editorial “The Next Treaties” contains two statements of mind-numbing stupidity:

First: “The United States and Russia…cannot credibly argue for restraining the nuclear ambitions of Iran, North Korea and other wannabes unless they keep working to bring their own numbers down.”

This argument is widely circulated among Democrats, nuclear freeze activists, and other idiots, despite the fact that it is absurd. Does anyone seriously imagine Kim Jong Il or Ahmadinejad abandoning their nuclear programs because of the START treaty? The logic behind this thinking is that if you believe that the United States is simply one country of many, no more exceptional, probably worse than the rest — as our President seems to — then who are we to expect Iran and North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons if we don’t first give up ours?

Second: “One of their most urgent tasks is slashing — or better, doing away with — their tactical nuclear weapons. These smaller arms, with a 300- to 400-mile range, have no military utility or deterrent value.”

No military utility or deterrent value?

The Times summarizes the situation: “The United States has about 500 tactical nukes, including 180 in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey…Russia’s arsenal is much larger – between 3,000 and 5,000.” Russia continues to build them, and they have moved many to their western borders where they are within striking range of European capitals. Why would the Russians build something that has no value?

The Times continues its analysis:

Whether Russia would give up its “advantage” in tactical weapons is hard to gauge. Moscow had said it wouldn’t negotiate until Washington removed all of its tactical weapons from Europe. More recently, Russian officials appear more open to discussions.

Ah, yes, more discussions. We have 180, they have 3800, and we have to get rid of ours?

Note the scare quotes around “advantage” — since tactical weapons have no value, having more of them isn’t really an advantage in Times-think.

Where’s Barack?

Report Says Obama Spends Nearly 50% of Time Traveling

Maybe the president doesn’t like Washington, D.C. Maybe he really likes Air Force One. But whatever the reason, recently compiled statistics show he spends a lot of time on the road: 48 percent of his time, to be exact.

CBS News’s Mark Knoller, who regular compiles White House statistics, released numbers on Friday showing that the president has spent nearly 50 percent of his presidency outside Washington, D.C. As of January 2, Obama has been president for 712 days, reports the Washington Examiner. For 339 of those days — about 48 percent — Obama has been MIA from Washington.

“According to Knoller, Obama has spent 176 days on domestic trips, 70 days on foreign travel, 58 days on vacation, and 35 days at Camp David,” The Examiner’s Byron York writes. And “you can add a couple more vacation days to the total before the president returns from his break in Hawaii.”

Knoller’s numbers also show Obama enjoys recreation. He’s played 57 rounds of golf since taking office (29 of them in 2010) and gone on 28 basketball outings (20 of those coming in 2010).

As for the president’s low approval ratings, they’re not for lack of effort. As York points out, “of Obama’s 712 days in office, just 45 days have passed without a presidential public appearance or statement of some sort.”

York’s conclusion: “So as he begins his re-election campaign, Obama can travel even more and engage the people more. But that won‘t change the fact that many voters simply don’t like what he has done.”

Read more here.

Bomb Hits Egypt Church at New Year’s Mass, 21 Dead

A powerful bomb, possibly from a homicide attacker, exploded in front of a Coptic Christian church as a crowd of worshippers emerged from a New Years Mass early Saturday, killing at least 21 people and wounding nearly 80 in an attack that raised suspicions of an Al Qaeda role.

The attack came in the wake of repeated threats by Al Qaeda militants in Iraq to attack Egypt’s Christians. A direct Al Qaeda hand in the bombing would be a dramatic development, as Egypt’s government has long denied that the terror network has a significant presence in the country. Al Qaeda in Iraq has already been waging a campaign of violence against Christians in that country.

Police initially said the blast came from an explosives-packed car parked outside the Saints Church in the Mediterranean port city. But the Interior Ministry later said it was more likely from a bomber who blew himself up among the crowd.

Both tactics are hallmarks of Al Qaeda and have been rarely used in Egypt, where the government crushed an insurgency by Islamic militants in the 1990s. Though the government of President Hosni Mubarak denies an Al Qaeda presence, Egypt does have a rising movement of Islamic hard-liners who, while they do not advocate violence, adhere to an ideology similar in other ways to Al Qaeda. There have been fears they could be further radicalized amid growing sectarian tensions between Egypt’s Muslim majority and Christian minority.

Nearly 1,000 Christians were attending the New Year’s Mass at the Saints Church, said Father Mena Adel, a priest at the church. The service had just ended, and some worshippers were leaving the building when the bomb went off about a half hour after midnight, he said.

“The last thing I heard was a powerful explosion and then my ears went deaf,” Marco Boutros, a 17-year-old survivor, said from his hospital bed. “All I could see were body parts scattered all over — legs and bits of flesh.”

Read more here.

Charge NYC Union Leaders with Negligent Homicide

Well, it turns out that the slow snow removal process in New York City was the act of childish adults protesting budget cuts.

According to the New York Post:

“[Unionized city workers] sent a message to the rest of the city that these particular labor issues are more important,” said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was visited yesterday by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed the shameless plot.

On Wednesday, MYFOXNY.com reported that two people died, including a new born baby, because emergency crews couldn’t navigate the unplowed streets.

Plain and simple: the union leaders who called for the job action should be charged with negligent homicide. Let them prove that their actions did not result in the unfortunate deaths of these New Yorkers.

For too long, Big Labor has been allowed to hold taxpayers hostage in order to get their way at the bargaining table. And this time, their utter selfishness may have contributed to the deaths of two innocent people.

Read more here.

No Medicine for You

If you have a Health Savings Account or Flex Spending Account with money in it, your task today, the last day of 2010, is to go to the drug store, whip out that card, and buy as much over-the-counter medication as you think you might need in 2011. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket starting tomorrow.

For reasons not entirely clear except to those who wrote the 2010 health care bill, as of tomorrow it will be illegal to use an HSA or FSA to buy over-the-counter drugs without a doctor’s prescription.

Wait… that can’t be right. The whole point of over-the-counter drugs is to let people medicate without a prescription. The government wouldn’t make you go to the doctor’s office and get a prescription just so you can use your tax-free medical savings account to buy aspirin. Would it?

Yes it would. Or, to reinterpret a campaign slogan: Yes, they did.

Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts are designed to reduce health care costs by empowering consumers. They allow users to save money tax-free and spend it on allowable medical purchases.

An FSA is designed to pay for expenses not covered by your insurance. You fill it with pre-tax contributions, then use it to pay for expenses such as dental treatment (typically not covered by regular health insurance), eyeglasses or office co-pays. Any money not spent by the end of the year is lost.

Read more here.

Website aims to be Facebook for gays in military

Launched just over a week ago at outmilitary.com, the site comes on the heels of President Barack Obama signing a new law repealing the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule, established in 1993, that prevented gay men and lesbians from openly serving in the armed forces.

To date, Out Military — a sort of Facebook for gay and lesbian military men and women — has only 53 members, but its backers think that will change in the months ahead as the law’s repeal takes effect.

Currently, the U.S. military is drafting rules to implement the new policy, and a specific date for implementation has not been set. Even so, some members say they aren’t waiting and do not fear the possibility of losing their military job.

“It gives people a social platform to communicate,” Kristin Orta, a private first-class serving with the Florida National Guard, said about the site, which she joined last week after seeing an ad on Facebook.

Orta, who enlisted in August, said joining the military during the U.S. congressional debate on repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” was a coincidence. She called the repeal a step in the right direction of allowing members to serve openly.

Read more here.