Thursday, December 9, 2010

Senate Republicans say NO to helping 9/11 First Responders

Senate Republicans on Thursday Prevented a measure to provide extra funds to September 11th first responders who have become sick from working at the World Trade Center site. The Bill that was voted down was called the Zadroga Bill after a New York City police officer who died from respiratory disease. The vote came out to 57-42 which allowed the Senate Republicans to hold up the bill.

Republicans vowed not to pass any further legislation until The tax cut and Government funding Bill were passed first. They also had concerns about how the government was going to come up with the estimated $7.4 billion it would take to fund the 9/11 bill. Sadder then the fact that it has been ten years and this bill still has not passed next year with the change in power it's very unlikely the Zadroga Bill will even make it to the house floor.

New york state Sen. Kristen Gillinbrand said "Frankly, it's exactly whats wrong with Washington -- an example of politics put above the people". Sen. Chuck Schumer vowed "to pursue every possible route" before the end of the year to pass the bill. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it's “a tragic example of partisan politics trumping patriotism,” and that Republicans should reconsider.

I just wrote a post about hypocrisy and here you again before the ink dries the Republicans seem to through up another example. I hate to keep on picking on Republicans but when you refuse to pass a $20 billion un employment bill or even worse a $7.4 billion 9/11 first responders bill in order to first pass a $900 billion two year tax extension things seem pretty clear to me. God forbid we have another attack I hope first responders don't second guess doing their jobs because of this lack of support.

BloomBerg - Senate Republicans Block 9/11 Bill

Government Excutive - Republicans block 9/11 health bill

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Does The U.S. Have The Balls To Deal With North Korea?

Does North Korea have war on their mind? At this point we can only speculate. There's a lot of tough talk flying around, a lot of tests, a few people killed here and there. This morning, U.S. military officials told North Korea that the United States' commitment to help South Korea maintain their independence is "unquestioned." But when it comes down to it, what sort of clout does the U.S. really carry anymore?

"I do think what that we've seen there is an example of how provocative American weakness can be," Liz Cheney, daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, told Fox News this week. "And I think that unfortunately it is policy of weakness that has expanded back into the Bush administration -- into the last years of the Bush administration," she added, taking a surprising jab at her father's tenure in office.

In 2008, President Bush removed Korea from "the Axis of Evil" distinction and the terrorist list. Even when Kim Jong-il conducted 2001 tests of the Taepodong-1 missile and told Bush that he "wouldn't hesitate" to strike the U.S. first in a military attack, we remained silent. (Click here to see a timeline of our wimpy policy with North Korea.) In the wake of rising aggression, the best we can do is send Bill Richardson on an "unofficial visit" with no real news at all? If North Korea is testing the United States, then we have failed miserably. The truth is, we're more afraid of what China could do if they happened to side with North Korea. At the moment, we're stuck at the impotent round-table of six party talks, as per China's request.

"I think that we've seen time and time again North Korea -- they test a nuclear weapon, there are no consequences, they build a reactor for the Syrians, there are no consequences," Liz Cheney said. "And what they have learned is that their belligerence, in fact, often times yields from us capitulation and concessions. I think that it's time for us to put them back on the terrorist list."

Cheney's proposed solution of putting North Korea back on the terrorist list is a mere technicality. "Sanctions" may be a bargaining chip for minor details, but aren't effective in this situation. The military drills we're conducting with Japan is a smart move. Other bold deterrents might be increasing troop levels in the South Korean peninsula, seeking a UN resolution authorizing use of force should North Korea escalate tensions again, and to encourage talks with Russia that assure North Korea that they will not have access to Russian nukes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hypocrisy at it's best the cost of extending the $3.9 trillion Bush era Tax cuts

With the end of the year looming the U.S. Congress has decided to work at a fever pitch to try and hammer out a deal to extend both unemployment benefits and the Bush era Tax cuts. In 2008 then Presidential nominee Barack Obama made it one of his campaign pledges not to extend the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans. It seems now that he might have to go back on his campaign promise in order to assure the extension of unemployment benefits to those in need.

As of today White House Deputy press Secretary Bill Burton has confirmed that negotiations are still on going and negotiators "have been making progress and the president is confident within the next couple of days" a deal will be had. Last week the house of Representatives approved President Obama proposal to extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts for those making $200,000 or less but house republicans would have none of that. On Saturday in an attempt to appease Senate Republicans the Democrats proposed setting the limit at million dollars or more before your taxes were increased but that also was not good enough for The Republicans to get on board.

The hypocrisy here is to extend the unemployment benefits its going to cost around $20 billion and to extend the Bush era tax cuts for the must wealthiest of Americans is going to cost more around $3.9 trillion over ten years. When are country was on the verge of total collapse President Obama's economic stimulus plan cost $780 billion and people were having heart attacks. We can have another three stimulus plans of $800 billion and still have a trillion dollars left over if we don't pass the tax extensions.

The Tea Party and the Republicans gained a lot of seats in the elections this November. They ran on the platform of reducing and controlling the federal deficit. The funny thing is that the majority of them support this massive unpaid increase to the national debt. The excuse they have is the same old thing you always hear the trickle down theory . I don't know about you but
over the last ten years I really have not felt anything trickling down into my pocket. The issue that annoys me the most is the Republicans can justify NOT having the money to extend the tax cuts but Democrats have to figure out where they are coming up with $2o billion to pay for unemployment benefits. You be the judge tell us how you feel about the Bush Tax Cut Extensions.

CNN- Obama: Tax Negotiations Continue