Didn't we just finish an election cycle where voters made it clear they were tired of the Bush White House catering to the far right at every turn? I know that. You know that. Anti-choice lawmakers who lost their jobs to pro-choice newcomers on November 7 know that. But judging by President Bush's budget proposal, released yesterday, apparently he missed the memo from the American public.
For the sixth year in a row, President Bush chose to use his federal budget proposal as yet another opportunity to satisfy his own right-wing base rather than--oh, I don't know--tackle real problems in America like unintended pregnancy.
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In the reality-based world, anticipating future events based on past experience is considered prudent risk management. If you look at it from an evolutionary standpoint, it is a positive survival characteristic. Here's why that's important...
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One of the most eye-popping parts of Al Gore's inconvenient truth was when he boarded a crane to illustrate the unprecedented rise in carbon dioxide levels. The inconvenient truth of our economy could be equally well illustrated as the fabulously rich have gotten fabulously richer, while the working class has gotten (to name another pop culture hit) "Left Behind."
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We are behind on that point, due to lack of funding but that is not the issue today, we are looking at how much they are proposing to spend in FY 2007 for this program that was stopped in 1972. By President Nixon no less. I just knew the numbers had to be wrong more for an illegal weapons program than on veterans healthcare, couldn't be could it?
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That was the Senate passing a new supplemental spending bill for over $100 Billion to cover the costs of the war and hurricane relief. That's right.... another 100 Billion dollars! Before we invaded, people were claiming the whole war AND occupation combined would cost less than a 100 billion dollars. So how did we get stuck turning $100 billion into just another down payment? I realize all the money will not be going to Iraq, but come on... H.R. 4939 is the fifth "emergency" appropriation passed by congress since we invaded Iraq and we still don't know what happened to the money we already spent. Am I the only one who feels like a mugging victim , slowly regaining consciousness and wondering, "How the hell did we get here?"
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TOO BIG TO FAIL.
That concept is as old as Goliath, but a hell of a lot more durable. The term was popularized about 20 years ago when the Federal Reserve bailed out a Midwestern bank to (the then) unheard of tune of $1 Billion. Congress was dismayed by this largesse and promptly held hearings.
Appalled by the apparent socialist stench of this state intervention in private enterprise, the late Congressman McKinney (R-CT) uttered the now famous phrase:
"Mr. Chairman, We have a new kind of bank. It is called,
"too big to fail," TBTF, and it is a wonderful bank."
You have to admit, the idea of Congress holding hearings to learn why a federal agency bailed out a private business like that is -- to borrow a phrase from Attorney General Gonzales -- quaint. If a billion dollars of questionable spending was all it took to trigger hearings today, they would be having at least two hearings a week just on Iraq.
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Knowing that most Democrats and many Republicans would lambaste the cuts to domestic spending, especially in an election year, President Bush certainly wouldn't have wanted them to know how much more draconian his plans were for 2008 and beyond. That's why the president didn't release the details of his plans for the next five years, perhaps hoping to keep that information under wraps until after the mid-term elections.
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List of veteran and force cuts below the fold...
Let's get right down to it.
First off some good news for our troops: if the President has his way, they'll be getting a 2.2% raise. That translates to $1,188 per year for an Army captain. It doesn't quite keep up with inflation, but an increase is an increase. I applaud the raise. Increase it, and I'll throw in a free cheer, too.
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I was so pleased with what Congresswoman Pelosi had to say in opposition to this attempt to balance their budget on the backs of those who can least afford it.
She reminded us that a budget is a moral document, and she reminded us the number of faith institutions that felt as she does and as I do, and as I believe many of you do as well. This budget proposal is not moral, it is that simple.
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 - In an apparent slip, a top American intelligence official has revealed at a public conference what has long been secret: the amount of money the United States spends on its spy agencies.
At an intelligence conference in San Antonio last week, Mary Margaret Graham, a 27-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency and now the deputy director of national intelligence for collection, said the annual intelligence budget was $44 billion.
The number was reported Monday in U.S. News and World Report, whose national security reporter, Kevin Whitelaw, was among the hundreds of people in attendance during Ms. Graham's talk.
"I thought, 'I can't believe she said that,' " Mr. Whitelaw said on Monday. "The government has spent so much time and energy arguing that it needs to remain classified."
The figure itself comes as no great shock; most news reports in the last couple of years have estimated the budget at $40 billion. But the fact that Ms. Graham would say it in public is a surprise, because the government has repeatedly gone to court to keep the current intelligence budget and even past budgets as far back as the 1940's from being disclosed....
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I am Barry Welsh and I am running for Congress against Congressman Mike Pence.
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