Friday, January 02, 2009

Federal Commission Proposes Higher Fuel Tax – New Punishment for Consumers – The cause and effect on Congressional power

In 2007, gasoline prices soared, hitting consumers hard – forcing most to cut back on spending in order to afford, not only the drive to work, but the rising costs of food and other goods affected by transportation costs. During the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain and Hillary Clinton proposed a “Gas Tax Holiday” to ease consumer woes – this was shut down by the Democrat controlled congress based on fears that the loss of Federal Gas tax income which is earmarked for federal highway projects, would result in road construction layoffs.

The Federal Tax Rebate issued in early 2008, was intended to stimulate the economy, however, many used the funds to pay down debt associated with the rising cost of fuel. On the campaign trail, Obama urged consumers to invest in Hybrid’s, in order to cut dependence on foreign oil , and allow the US to become energy independent by 2015. The logic of hybrids – conserve energy and lower fuel costs being the main theme.

In May, 2008, oil prices were at climbed to $124 per barrel - the rise blamed on speculators and the Bush Administration. Consumer habits changed, and in part, resulted in a lowering of oil prices to the current level of $42.54, or the lowest level since 2004
The subsequent result of a drop in consumer spending as well as lower oil prices has resulted in a drop in tax revenues which are used to fund infrastructure projects. As a result, consumers can anticipate an increase at the pumps – and it is consumer habits that are, somehow, to blame.

In order to the infrastructure to be maintained (and include the increased “Big New Deal” infrastructure project by Mr. Obama to “stimulate the economy”), The National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, has suggested an increase in the Federal Fuel Tax or “fee”. Those who live in the Bay State, understand that taxes being unpopular are often referred to as “fees”, (or another word for “tax”).

Logic follows that should the federal gas tax rise to meet the demands of current and projected projects, consumers would be forced to make further cuts in their spending habits at a time when the nation’s retailers are are facing bankruptcy and looking to the Federal government’s Bailout program as an option.

One obvious suggestion to increase government income would be to further reduce government waste,something likely not to occur given the increase in the size of government programs (new “state owned” industry), and the Democrat controlled House and Senate. It may serve those currently in power to recall 1994, when the GOP swept into Congress and enacted popular tax cuts - this occurred due to a President Bill Clinton and the Democrat controlled Congress suggesting a rise in the gas tax. Should the incoming administration and in-concert legislature consider further rises in consumer taxes or “fees”, one can bet the house that there will be a change in leadership in 2012.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Iran – Supplying Hardware and Now Software to Hammas to Attack Isreal - Where’s the outrage?

It is a fact that Iran has, in the past, supplied Hamas with
rockets and “militants” that were trained in Iran.
Some analysts refer to this “supply” of weapons to Hamas as a “proxy” war being waged by Iran and Syria. The world view, is that somehow, Israel must be to blame, regardless of the rhetoric from Iran’s leader, which suggests that Israel should not exist and apparently Iran will do anything possible to see that happen.

Understanding that the economic crisis is global, it is no wonder then, that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is now seeking, suicide bombers, to get the job done? The Boston Globe picked up this intel from the AP. From the AP report, it appears that the Top Theologian has influenced student groups to call for suicide assists in Gaza. Iran’s quirky President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has not issued a statement on this revelation, no doubt, preferring the use of more accurate weaponry to that of unreliable, but non-the-less, terrifying “human bombs”.

It continues to boggle the mind that these types of incidents are either ignored or excused by many in defense of those living in “Palestine”. If those pundits and world leaders were truly concerned about the “Palestinian’s”, they would move mountains in order to protect them from these types of “assists”, instead, offering education (a career as a suicide bomber is not desirable, for instance), and possibly some old fashioned “shop” or “cooking” classes, while blasting and condemning those who would use innocents from another “nation” in order to pull off a hare-brained military objective (Iran). Instead, the world continues to “protest” against Israel . Is it possible for so many to be collectively ignorant? Or, are they merely misinformed by anti-Semitic sentiment rising from the world press, the United Nations and bodies of that ilk?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

GOP So-Called “Social Conservatives”, Led by Current Chair Duncan - Undermine Steele’s Bid for RNC Chair

The Washington Times , in an exclusive report, outlined the machinations of current North Dakota chair, Gary Emineth to force current GOP party chair Duncan, to hold a special meeting of the entire 168 member committee, prior to the regular meeting on January 28th, to coincide with a meeting of select “social conservatives”.

The Emineth-led members wanted the special meeting of the full membership to be held on the same day that a rump group of about 86 self-described conservative members of the committee, styled as the Conservative Steering Committee, had scheduled a meeting.

The petition to Mr. Duncan was quite explicit: "In order to afford an opportunity for all members of the Republican National Committee to participate in an official closed meeting of the Republican National Committee for the expressed purpose to hear presentations from all persons seeking election as officers of the Republican National Committee, petitioners hereby request that the Chairman issue a call, today, for a special meeting of the Republican National Committee on Jan. 6, 2009."

The Steering Committee said its purpose was to interview all six candidates for national chairman and decided which of them are acceptably conservative.

The haggling over dates ensued; Duncan chose the 7th “out of consideration for the committee members”, while Emineth protested vehemently.
The crux of the matter is that, Duncan chose a date, allowing for an early meeting of a select group of self-styled Republican stalwarts to meet privately to choose who might best be chair. Michael Steele, who is running for Party Chair, and most obvious choice to lead the RNC into the 21st century has been criticized by these members are being a bit too moderate for their tastes. The crime - Steele has met with those Republican organizations that are both pro-choice and pro-homosexual rights. He also is the GOPAC chair, a rousing public speaker and just the ticket to get the party back to basics. Steele, not unlike Mike Huckabee, whose political aspirations were undermined by alleged “conservatives” because he was endorsed by a teacher’s union, or worse, allowed for one voter-approved tax increase while Governor (for 10 plus years) of Arkansas, is now facing the same old guard that just won’t let go.

It has more to do with power than any actual convictions on the part of these “Republican’s”, and should they succeed, it will ultimately lead to a greater division between Grassroots Conservatives and the GOP Leadership, and a loss of the base which will paralyze the Party. The individual members of this body must realize that the old game plan has not worked out as well as they had hoped, and qualified candidates, whether they are running the party or running for office, are few and far between.
Those who have the power to vote, in all Republican’s names, should carefully weigh whether they are voting in their own self-interest (maintaining power for the Beltway), or in the interest of the party and their constituents (Saving the Party).

The six candidates for Party Chair will participate in an American’s for Tax Reform sponsored debate on January 5th on C-SPAN – If the meeting is held on the 6th, all members will be present, and however, if it is held on the 7th, as Duncan has proposed (self-servingly), then only that “select group” will meet. The full-member committee would be more disposed to Michael Steele’s bid, and the smaller “ad hoc” committee would favor yet another “typical Washington” player.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Israel Retaliates - Once Again the World’s Pariah

One has to wonder at the “chutzpah” of “world leaders”, when it comes to Israel’s defense of its own sovereign territory. When Hammas, which is tied to Iran, begins to lob rockets into Israel’s back yard, there is barely a peep of condemnation nationally , yet when Israel defends itself – all bets are off. Immediately following September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on the United States, one could easily sympathize with the Israeli people ; after all, did they not go through the same thing, day in and day out, year after year – all due to Islamic militants, fueled by the UN and other “interested parties”, into consistent attacks on Israel?

Who are the Palestinian’s? Historically, Jerusalem is at the center of the present day conflict, initially settled by the Jews, overtaken by the Romans; developing into a Judeo-Christian-Pagan territory until the Muslim’s attacked in the 600’s (see Crusades). In the 1700’s Napoleon entered Jerusalem followed by the Turks (Ottoman Empire) – Arabs fled to neighboring states. After World War I, Britain and France divided the Empire and in 1917, Britain produced the Balfour Declaration effectively establishing a Jewish State. There was incessant rioting by Arabs through the following decades, and in 1947 the United Nations involved itself by a Resolution Partitioning the State of Israel and creating an Arab State – which was soundly rejected by - the Palestinians.

The rest, as they say, is more history, with consistent attacks on Israel, by “Palestinians”, in other words, a religious and territorial war, with no end in sight. The conflict would be resolved, should someone (anyone) can get the Palestinian Leadership (fueled by radical Clerics from Iran, who would prefer to see “Israel Wiped of the Map”) to play nice. The only other viable option is for Israel to defend itself, thumb its nose at “world opinion”, cruise through and over the created “Palestinian State”, and establish order.

One would think that the Palestinians would like to live in peace, with the increased opportunity to better themselves, instead of living in virtual ignorance and squalor (What the Hammas Leadership prefers). In keeping the populace brainwashed, by training them to hate the Jewish State and to become suicide bombers at an early age, the only rational way to stop this insanity is to close those schools, remove those who would continue this poisonous doctrine and finally bring an end to the insanity. There has, to date, been little outcry regarding the abuse of Palestinian children – no condemnation by the United Nations, with one exception: Israel!

Therefore, as the world bodies, presidents, dictators, are so removed from the conflict that they cannot offer a viable solution, they should keep out of it and/or actually support Israel when they are fired upon first. In addition propose the re-education of the Palestinian people, world history, perhaps instated of suicide bombing should be part of any school and early childhood education curriculum. Once that happens, peace may be a prospect, (sans any crazy Ayatollahs), industry and commerce can once again be built up and the bans and restrictions on Palestinian goods, imposed by Israel in self-defense, would bring prosperity to the Palestinians. In the end, the only two-nations (or states) that can ultimately decide this are Israel and “Palestine”, not the United Nations, Iran, Europe or the United States.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Harry Reid in the Hot Seat – 2010 Election – Shades of Tom Daschle - Maybe

Harry Reid (D-NV), current Senate Majority Leader, is concerned that the RNC may actually try to dethrone him in 2010. In a recent Las Vegas Review Journal article, Reid noted he is trying to raise a paltry $50,000 by midnight,December 31 – he currently has $2,750,000 in elections funds, most of the money coming from the gaming industry. This amount of cash on hand is a small sum to wage a “war” should the RNC launch a serious attack. Compared to John Kerry (D-MA), who recently won re-election, and is in “safe” state for Democrats - he has a decent $4,260,597 on hand with top donors: University of California, Harvard, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Kerry and Reid are powerful Democrats, however, Kerry enjoys the “myth of Massachusetts”, whereby the RNC believes that the state is a lost cause (without taking into account the 51% of voters who identify themselves as unenrolled.) Although the DNC is singing a similar song in Nevada, (they have a 100,000 voter registration lead), it is still a “swing” state, (as Massachusetts could be if given the right attention).

According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s office : 2008 Nevada Active Voter Registration tables show the Democrats with a total of 537,642 enrolled, versus 435,068 Republican’s enrolled – there are 1,222,249 registered voters, of which, 186,021 are “Non-Partisan” with the balance Green, Independent, Libertarian, Natural Law or “other”. It will be the effective “courting” of those 186,000 non-partisan voters that will make or break Nevada and Harry Reid. (The same way Republican’s manage to get into the Governor’s office in Massachusetts.)

Ried is concerned that he raise these funds, because with the deadline for political contributions closing on Dec. 31st, and the FEC report that follows may be used as a quide by some who would harm Harry - it’s all about appearances. In the Review Journal Reid Stated: "Republicans and the media, both in Washington and Nevada, will use this number to gauge the strength of my campaign,". Reid is fighting back: he has set up a website: Giveem , and according to the Mercury News Reid has started his 2010 campaign by soliciting donations using “I’m the Republican’s number one target”. as an incentive for donors.

The question remains, can Harry Reid, who’s overall popularity in the State of Nevada is at a 51% disapproval rating stave off a possibly active state GOP? Harry Reid's seat, not unlike John Kerry in MA, who had a 56% “replacement rating” according to a Suffolk University Poll, (Add to that: 51% of the state’s electorate unenrolled.) looked as if it were in jeopardy - yet the RNC walked away from Massachusetts. Apparently - this media driven “heavily Democratic state” and John Kerry’s “war chest” weighed in more than possibly picking up a badly needed Senate Seat with the 51% of unenrolled who put Mitt Romney in the Governors’ Mansion (Granted, on his own dime.) The RNC looked the other way and John Kerry’s easily won re-election.

Therefore, Harry Reid should look to Kerry, Massachusetts and the national RNC - if there is a sign that the RNC will put up a fight, of if they field a candidate who has Romney like funds; Harry Reid will be nothing more than a footnote in DNC History.

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