Congress

“We shouldn’t be partisan, We should solve problems.”

Those were the words of President Obama in an interview with WSB-TV.  He was talking about the debt ceiling and budget negotiations, but that quote really stuck out to me.  You see, I agree with the statement.  However, I have to wonder if President Obama does.

This is the same man who told congressional Republicans that he won and that they should get over it.  For the record, there was no question that he won.  They were talking about how Republicans had issues with TARP II.  Glad to see he wasn’t being partisan then, but just solving problems.

I guess he wasn’t being partisan when he passed a massive health care overhaul that 54% of the American people didn’t want in the first place.  That number is virtually unchanged even now.  I’m sure though that it wasn’t partisanship, but solving problems.  What was the big problem facing the nation when health care reform was passed?  Oh yeah, the loss of so many jobs…most of which weren’t in health care in the first place.

The truth of the matter is that President Obama, like every president I can remember before him, is partisan.  So are the guys on the other side of the table.  It’s politics and that’s just how it works.  Do I agree that it shouldn’t be about partisanship?  Oh yeah.  It absolutely should be about solving problems…but that’s where the partisanship kicks in.

Congress raiding our Oil: About to require the sale of U.S. SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) to fund additional spending

Today, as part of H.R. 2354, Congress is requiring the sale of $500 million of Strategic Oil Reserves - and then requiring any money from those reserve sales be used to fund additional spending as part of the general treasury.

This sets a terrible precedent, threatens our national security and is in all likelihood not entirely legal.

On the floor of the house today Congressman McClintock called it a scandal - and we agree. This is nothing more than accounting tricks and blatant disregard for the very idea behind the Strategic Oil Reserve.

The vote is tomorrow, spread the word.

The Imperial Presidency, Round #43917

So Senator Mitch McConnell has released a “solution” to the debt ceiling crisis. Jason has already jumped on this topic, but I feel the need to add my own two cents. For me, the crucial portion of this non-solution is that it gives additional power to the White House, and perpetuates a seeming tradition of Congress abdicating responsibility that we’ve seen over the past decade.

The entire deal punts the debt and spending over to the President. Essentially, he decides to raise the debt limit. While Congress can pass a “bill of disapproval” with a two-thirds majority, the President can simply veto, which would then require a 2/3 vote to override. The plan would also require the President to make spending cuts roughly equal to the increase in the debt limit (as I understand it.) Yet there is no enforcement mechanism that I can see to ensure he does so. What would Congress do if he raised the debt limit with no corresponding cut in spending? Stamp their feet? It might be all they can do.

Haven’t we seen enough power consolidated in the Oval Office yet?

I mean, the President can assassinate people with a drone without so much as a whoopsie-daisy; have anyone imprisoned on suspicion of terrorism and interrogated; can have a lovely jaunt off to war and only send Congress a politely-worded letter; formulate budgets and tax policy while merely requesting Congressional approval; through executive agencies and department make and enforce law without a vote; and now we’re going to give him the power to unilaterally raise the debt limit with requirements that are so wishy-washy they make Natty Light look good?

Some Tips on Discretion and Common Sense

I have watched (somewhat in disbelief) the episode with Congressman Weiner unfold.  When discussing it with friends, I initially argued that somebody smart enough to get elected to Congress would be smart enough to not to post those certain types of photos online – or at the very least would be clever enough not to do it from his official Twitter account.

But I was wrong.  As my dad would say, common sense is apparently not too common.

In case there are others who insist on misbehaving online and who could benefit from a lesson in common sense, here are some things you should consider to obfuscate your real identity:

Podcast: Post-HCR Threats, “Control the People,” ObamaCare Impact, Nullification, Hank Skinner case, Guest: Jeff Scott

This week, Brett was re-joined by Jason and UL contributor, Jeff Scott, also from the Jeff Scott Show.

This week’s topics include:

Bayh’s Retirement Not Hurting Democrats As Much As Most Think It Will

After absorbing the news from every outlet on earth yesterday, even our own editor’s take, on the “surprise” retirement of Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh, I have to say that analysts are not considering all the “good” that can come from his retirement from the U.S. Senate.  It seems that everyone predicts a Republican to pick up his seat in November.  Lately, I have been among the few to see some things that ebb against the accepted flow in analyzing races and situations.  This is another such ebb.

I think the reason that Bayh waited until Presidents’ Day to announce his retirement was to prevent someone relatively unknown, like Tamyra d’Ippolito, from garnering the nomination without a primary election AND without their seal of approval by collecting the requisite signatures necessary to get on the primary ballot.  The Democrats have an opportunity to select a candidate, since it seems that d’Ippolito did not achieve the 4500 signatures necessary to get on the ballot.  If she had, that is the WORST CASE SCENARIO for Democrats.  By waiting, Bayh almost assured that the state Democrat Party could spend time vetting, choosing and fundraising for someone “moderate” enough to win the state, but “progressive” enough to fully support the agenda of the party for the next six years.  While d’Ippolito likely fills out the latter, there is no chance she can accommodate the former.

Podcast: Congressional Pay, Debra Medina & Glenn Beck, Tea Party Convention, DC Snow, Guests: Valerie Meyers & Luke Brady

After taking a week off, Jason and Brett host Georgia Congressional candidate Valerie Meyers (you may recall her Liberty Candidate interview with us) and United Liberty administrator and contributor Luke Brady on this week’s show.

They discussed:

Is The PAYGO Rule Fiscally Responsible?

On Thursday, the US Senate voted to restore pay go rules on a party line vote. President Obama praised the restoration of the PAYGO rule. Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan used the vote as a club to attack Republicans. Republicans opposed the restoration of pay go calling it a backdoor attempt to raise taxes. However, the PAYGO rule is at best a dual edged sword. While PAYGO is an excellent for controlling and limiting deficit spending, it does very little to limit the size and growth of the Federal government.

The PAYGO or “pay as you go” rule simply calls for any increase of mandatory spending or reduction in revenue (ie. taxes) must be offset by decreases in discretionary spending or increases in revenue (taxes). Mandatory spending is things like Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, pay for Federal employees, paying debt, and other welfare programs such as Food Stamps and Veterans benefits. Mandatory spending is nearly 60% of the Federal budget. Discretionary spending is everything that Congress has to pass legislation to authorize.

How PAYGO Is Fiscally Responsible:

Podcast: Liberty Candidate - Jake Towne (Pennsylvania’s 15th District)

Continuing the Liberty Candidate Series, Brett interviews Jake Towne, discussing his campaign, positions on issues, and his candidacy.  Towne is running for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District as an unaffiliated candidate.

This special edition podcast is the fourth in a series devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide.  Towne talks about his fiscal economics-driven campaign against an incumbent Republican in Pennsylvania (in a seat previously held by Pat Toomey).

You can download the podcast here. The introduction music is “Silence is Violence” by the always lovely Aimee Allen.

You can subscribe to the RSS of JUST our podcasts here, or you can find our podcasts on iTunes here.

Podcast: Liberty Candidate - Rob McNealy (Colorado’s 6th District)

In a special podcast, Jason and Brett interview Rob McNealy, discussing his campaign, positions on issues, and his candidacy.  McNealy is currently a Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Congress in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.

This special edition podcast is the third in a series devoted to showcasing liberty candidates nationwide.  McNealy talks about his liberty-focused campaign against an incumbent Republican in Colorado (Tom Tancredo’s former seat) and a pro-war Democrat.

You can download the podcast here (38 minutes/35 MB). The introduction music is “Silence is Violence” by the always lovely Aimee Allen.

You can subscribe to the RSS of JUST our podcasts here, or you can find our podcasts on iTunes here.


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