Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid withdraws controversial $1.2 trillion spending bill, says he’ll work with Republican leaders on smaller, short-term budget extension
~9pm cst He didn’t have the votes per Greta & Rove. He blamed the GOP BUT the only thing bipartisan thing was those voting AGAINST it! ~JP
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, bowing to Republican opposition to a 1,924-page $1.2 trillion spending measure packed with earmarks, withdrew the bill and said he would work with Republican leaders on a smaller, short-term budget fix to avoid a looming government shutdown.
The government already is operating on a temporary stopgap measure, set to expire at the end of Friday. Republicans had insisted on having the massive spending bill read aloud – a move that would have delayed a final vote until next week.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has offered a one-page stopgap bill that would fund the government for just the next two months. Reid said he would with McConnell to finalize such a measure.
Republicans had strongly condemned the $1.27 trillion omnibus spending bill, which would fund the government through Sept. 30, for its $8.3 billion worth of earmarks — some of which belong to Republicans.
Defenders of earmarks point out that the money for congressional earmarks represents a tiny portion of the bill — less than 1 percent — and that lawmakers know the needs of their states and congressional districts better than administration bureaucrats. And just because something is in the president’s budget doesn’t mean that it’s not pork.
“If you look up earmark in the dictionary, it means ‘to designate or set aside.’ It is not ‘in addition to,’” said Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah. “If the Congress does not exercise its constitutional authority to designate where the funds will go, the administration will usurp that authority and you will get every bit as much pork barrel spending.”
Such arguments, however, have been drowned out by protests from Tea Party activists and other opponents of the projects, who make fun of earmarks like $100,000 obtained by Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., to renovate the Edgar Allan Poe museum in the Bronx, a cottage where the poet lived for the final three years of his life.
Other senators with earmarks in the bill after voting last month to ban them include Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Kay Baily Hutchison, R-Texas; Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
Even avid earmarker Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee — who obtained almost 300 earmarks totaling more than $500 million — hasn’t explicitly come out in support of the bill, though he’s widely expected to vote with Democrats later this week to advance it.
So is Ohio Republican George Voinovich, who’s responsible, along with Democratic homestate colleague Sherrod Brown, for 77 earmarks totaling $94 million.
In this new music video, for the song “Mr. Big Shot” by Pilot Rai, we feature leading members of the Global Banking Cartel: Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner and Jamie Dimon. We also feature the cartel’s puppet president, Barack Obama. Video includes an exclusive audio clip from a censored interview that David DeGraw did with a leading US media outlet.
Ben Bernanke is wanted for violating the US Constitution, committing acts of financial terrorism and crimes against humanity. As a leading member of the Global Banking Cartel, he is considered a highly dangerous enemy combatant. Citizens of the United States hereby demand that he be properly detained under the laws and customs of war.
Health Care Battle Takes Center Stage in Sunshine State
Florida court hears both sides of health care law debate
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Attorneys for 20 states fighting the new federal health care law told a judge Thursday it will expand the government’s powers in dangerous and unintended ways. The states want U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to issue a summary judgment throwing out the health care law without a full trial. They argue it violates people’s rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties.
“The act would leave more constitutional damage in its wake than any other statute in our history,” David Rivkin, an attorney for the states, told Vinson.
President Barack Obama’s administration counters that Americans should not be allowed to opt out of the overhaul because everyone requires medical care. Government attorneys say the states do not have standing to challenge the law and want the case dismissed.
Vinson, who was appointed to the bench almost 30 years ago by President Ronald Reagan, heard arguments Thursday but said he will rule later.
In a separate case, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson earlier this week became the first federal judge to strike down a key portion of the law when he sided with the state of Virginia and ruled the insurance requirement unconstitutional. That case is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Two other federal judges have upheld the insurance requirement.
In Florida, Vinson questioned how the government could halt the massive changes to the nation’s health care system that have already begun. Rivkin told him the constitutional violations are more important.
The judge questioned the Obama administration attorneys about whether the government is reaching beyond its power to regulate interstate commerce by requiring citizens to purchase health insurance or face tax penalties.
“A lot of people, myself included for years, have no health insurance,” said Vinson, who described being a law student and paying cash to the doctor who delivered his first child.
“It amounted to about $100 a pound,” he said, laughing.
Vinson also grilled government lawyers about their contention that people can be required to have health insurance because everyone needs medical care. Under that logic, he said, Americans could be forced to wear shoes or buy groceries or clothes.
But administration attorney Ian Heath Gershengorn said health insurance is different because it covers catastrophic injuries and chronic diseases.
“Those costs, when they come, are unpredictable and substantial,” he said.
Gershengorn also defended the administration against the states’ claim that it was coercing them into participating in the health care overhaul. The states say the have no choice but to go along with the federal program because billions in Medicaid dollars are at stake.
Gershengorn said the states see huge benefits from Medicaid and the federal government is covering the bulk of the health care overhaul costs.
The other states involved in the lawsuit are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Al-Qaida is preparing a series of attacks on Western targets, especially in the United States, during the Christmas season, Middle Eastern and European officials say.
Iraqi authorities said Wednesday that captured insurgents confessed that al-Qaida is plotting suicide attacks in the United States and Europe in the coming weeks. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari called the confessions indications of a “critical threat.”
After Saturday’s bombings, the ISI warned that if NATO countries didn’t withdraw their troops from Afghanistan “immediately and unconditionally,” that they “should expect that we will strike at the heart of Europe.” The ISI also said that the bombings were “only the beginning of a new era of our jihad.”
If the insurgents’ claims are true, they could indicate another page in the ISI’s violent history. It has claimed credit for numerous bombings in which hundreds were killed and injured in Iraq this year alone. In 2007, the group’s former leader, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, was the first to threaten to kill Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist known for his depictions of the prophet Mohammed, offering a $150,000 reward for his death. Vilks was referenced in an email sent 10 minutes before Saturday’s bombings. The email, received by a Swedish news agency, warned “our actions will speak for themselves. As long as you don’t stop your war against Islam and degrading the prophet and your stupid support of that pig Vilks.”
Meanwhile, a court in London was told Wednesday that Pakistani Abid Naseer planned to bomb the heart of Manchester, also as part of a wider al-Qaida plot. “The conspiracy extended to planning attacks in the UK, Norway and the United States of America,” said David Perry, a lawyer representing U.S. authorities. Previously, U.S. and Norwegian authorities linked the Manchester attack to a plot to bomb the New York City subway and an unspecified target in Norway. Attorney Melanie Cumberland noted that Naseer is a “significant threat” and is motivated by “deeply held religious beliefs.”
Nasser was arrested last year as part of a British counter-terrorism operation. He was ordered deported, but won an appeal arguing he might face torture or death if he returned to Pakistan. Britain was unable to come up with enough evidence to charge Nasser, but he now faces extradition to the United States based on material support and explosives charges. “The allegation is that the defendant was an al-Qaida operative who participated in a conspiracy to attack Western interests by the use of explosive devices,” said Perry.
Wednesday’s reminders of al-Qaida’s intentions to launch many attacks in several Western countries ring true to al-Qaida’s recent message. In the second issue of al-Qaida’s English-language magazine, Inspire, the terrorist organization urged supporters to target any “countries that support Israel or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” The most recent issue of Inspire notes that al-Qaida’s strategy is shifting towards a using higher number of small scale attacks, a “strategy of a thousand cuts,” rather than fewer grander attacks.
The Saturday Stockholm suicide bombing – allegedly only one of many planned al-Qaida attacks in the U.S. and Europe – may be an example of how al-Qaida is putting this plan into effect.
Despite promises from President Obama last year and again last month that he opposed reckless omnibus spending bills and earmarks, the White House and members of Congress are now supporting a reckless $1.1 trillion spending bill reportedly stuffed with roughly 6,500 earmarks.
This resulted from a Mom in Alabama asking her high school son to help with a commercial for the Tea Party she was involved in organizing. Boy, does it slam the message home. Very impressive.
Here is her note:
“I asked Justin if he could help me make a commercial for my group’s Tea Party. He sat down at the laptop for about an hour, and then brought this to me and asked, ‘is this okay, Mom?’ After I finished watching it, my stomach was in my throat. Everyone that I have sent it to has really enjoyed it, so I wanted my friends to see it. I am so proud!”
A very powerful video…turn up the sound & sit back…!!!
On Dec. 16, 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea into Boston Harbor to protest against a government unrepresentative of the people. Today, as the Congress rushes towards a vote to thrust us deeper into debt and burden us with earmarks and pork barrel spending, we hope they’ll think about the Boston Tea Party and all of its implications. Whether Congress remembers the country’s history or not, Tea Party Patriots do, and we are watching them. ~ Tea Party Patriots
But, our task is different. “It is not about fixed bayonets but fixed principles; not about bullets but ballots. Our task is not to overthrow; it is not revolution; it is renewal and restoration of those self-evident truths of constitutional government at the heart of America.”~Heritage
We then were ordered by our commander to open the hatches and take out all the chests of tea and throw them overboard, and we immediately proceeded to execute his orders.
Victory in the French and Indian War was costly for the British. At the war’s conclusion in 1763, King George III and his government looked to taxing the American colonies as a way of recouping their war costs. They were also looking for ways to reestablish control over the colonial governments that had become increasingly independent while the Crown was distracted by the war. Royal ineptitude compounded the problem. A series of actions including the Stamp Act (1765), the Townsend Acts (1767) and the Boston Massacre (1770) agitated the colonists, straining relations with the mother country. But it was the Crown’s attempt to tax tea that spurred the colonists to action and laid the groundwork for the American Revolution.
The colonies refused to pay the levies required by the Townsend Acts claiming they had no obligation to pay taxes imposed by a Parliament in which they had no representation. In response, Parliament retracted the taxes with the exception of a duty on tea – a demonstration of Parliament’s ability and right to tax the colonies. In May of 1773 Parliament concocted a clever plan. They gave the struggling East India Company a monopoly on the importation of tea to America. Additionally, Parliament reduced the duty the colonies would have to pay for the imported tea. The Americans would now get their tea at a cheaper price than ever before. However, if the colonies paid the duty tax on the imported tea they would be acknowledging Parliament’s right to tax them. Tea was a staple of colonial life – it was assumed that the colonists would rather pay the tax than deny themselves the pleasure of a cup of tea.
The colonists were not fooled by Parliament’s ploy. When the East India Company sent shipments of tea to Philadelphia and New York the ships were not allowed to land. In Charleston the tea-laden ships were permitted to dock but their cargo was consigned to a warehouse where it remained for three years until it was sold by patriots in order to help finance the revolution.
In Boston, the arrival of three tea ships ignited a furious reaction. The crisis came to a head on December 16, 1773 when as many as 7,000 agitated locals milled about the wharf where the ships were docked. A mass meeting at the Old South Meeting House that morning resolved that the tea ships should leave the harbor without payment of any duty. A committee was selected to take this message to the Customs House to force release of the ships out of the harbor. The Collector of Customs refused to allow the ships to leave without payment of the duty. Stalemate. The committee reported back to the mass meeting and a howl erupted from the meeting hall. It was now early evening and a group of about 200 men, some disguised as Indians, assembled on a near-by hill. Whopping war chants, the crowd marched two-by-two to the wharf, descended upon the three ships and dumped their offending cargos of tea into the harbor waters.
Most colonists applauded the action while the reaction in London was swift and vehement. In March 1774 Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts which among other measures closed the Port of Boston. The fuse that led directly to the explosion of American independence was lit.
December 16th 1773, Patriots stood up against a government that overtaxed them, took their lives, and their freedom. This was the Boston Tea Party. Do you want to end the present day overtaxation, and unnecessary death caused by the government?
“Rise Up” was featured in the documentary film “The Tea Party Movie” ( http://www.teapartymovie.com) that chronicles the rise of the recent tea party movement (inspired by Rick Santelli and the “Rant of the Year”) and the march on Washington DC on September 12, 2009 (see: 9.12 DC TEA PARTY – MARCH FOOTAGE WITH INTERVIEWS & 9/12 Taxpayer Tea Party March on Washington, DC, and THE TEA PARTY & THE CIRCUS – Final Healthcare Reform Protest).
“Rise Up” is dedicated to all American Patriots committed to constitutionally limited government, founding principles, personal responsibility, and eliminating corruption, not just in government but also on the individual level as well. Special thanks to Glenn Beck – his words were a muse for this song as well those of as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and Bill O’Reilly, true patriots all.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty…the pursuit of happiness.” – The Declaration of Independence
Lookin’ at millions under a circus tent
Watchin’ a jackass chase a dumb pachyderm
Oh what a show!
Tappin’ on any shoulder that I can find
Of anyone on there who might change their mind
It’s time to go.
To the real world outside with those pirate ships
The drunken sailors with dirty lips
That rule the night
Shoutin’ don’t be afraid of those wicked men
There’s more of us than there are of them
Come join the fight!
Rise up and be counted
Take your part in the solution
Linking arm in arm, to arms, to arms
Lower your guns and raise your voices
Join the peaceful revolution
Shout I’m mad as hell
and I will ring the bell of freedom
Ride with me from Boston to Phili to LA
With reason come marching
With knowledge come drumming
Let everyone hear you
Each soul that is near you
The British are coming! the British are coming!
We built a house of sticks a hall of parlor tricks
But we blame it all on our politics
Oh what a shame!
Truth is the cancer ain’t just in the head
Half the body’s nearly dead
We’re all to blame
Time to pledge no more standing on one thin leg
Lack of principle’s a powder-keg
And we can’t wait
If we just say what we mean mean what we say
Take back the power we gave away
It’s not too late – Grab your tea and follow me
Rise up and be counted
Take your part in the solution
Linking arm in arm with words as arms
Lower your guns and raise your voices
Join the peaceful revolution
Have you an ear to hear, an eye that sees us
We come in the Spirit of Martin, of Ghandi, of Jesus
Holding fast to the words with the power that frees us
Rise up. Make your choices
Choose the peaceful revolution
Sell what you have to sell so the devil can tell
Then let them raise their hell
And we will ring the bell of freedom
The bell of freedom
The bell of freedom
Washington (CNN) – As the debate over how the tax cut bill will be brought to the floor and voted on was wrapping up, House Democratic leaders abruptly PULLED the “rule” from the floor because they don’t know if they have enough votes to even bring the tax bill to the floor, according to a senior Democratic leadership aide.
Before the debate on the tax bill starts, the House first needs to pass the rule on how the debate and votes will go, with a simple majority vote. Because Republicans will all vote against the rule set by Democratic leaders – Pelosi and Democratic leaders need to pass the rule just with Democratic votes.
With so many House Democrats unhappy with the tax bill, many don’t want to even bring it up, so leaders pulled the bill and are “whipping it” according to the Democratic leadership aide – counting to make sure they can even pass the rule.
UPDATE: House leadership has pulled the rule from the floor. The votes must not be there to proceed to debate allowing one amendment vote. It’s unclear right now whether the rule will be amended to allow more amendment votes, to satisfy Dems, or no amendments at all, to satisfy Republicans. Either way, this is likely a temporary setback and things are probably still on track for passage.