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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, July 16, 2005

News from the Swamp...

From the Federalist Patriot

Swamp News on Supreme Court

"In the Executive Branch, President Bush has spent this week working the phones and holding meetings with Senate leaders over potential nominees to fill the most recent vacancy on the Supreme Court. He has in fact so far talked with 60 senators, which makes this consultation one for the books for its openness and candor. Still, Vermont Senator Pat Leahy and his buddies are convinced it's not enough. "There has to be more consultation," whined Leahy.

Let's be clear: Despite what Senator Leahy thinks, the President is not obligated in any way to share names or consult with senators before he announces his appointee. Apparently, New York Senator Chuck Schumer missed this civics lesson, too. "For consultation to work...the president should suggest some names and get the opinion of those of us in the Senate." He then suggested a meeting at Camp David or a dinner at the White House. Here in our editorial shop, we think Chuck is just angling for some free chow. Still, it got us to wondering: If the President did indeed feed these folks, would they finally quit their caterwauling?"

Swamp News on John Bolton
"While the ruckus over the pending O'Connor vacancy continues to consume the Swamp, the fate of John Bolton remains unanswered. Bolton has signaled that he would accept a recess appointment as ambassador to the Untied Nations, even if it means a truncated term that ends in December 2006 and could weaken his effectiveness."

Swamp News on Federal Budget Deficit
"Elsewhere, in another vindication of President Bush's tax cuts that isn't likely to be reported on the six o'clock news, the Congressional Budget Office noted that the federal-budget deficit will shrink by close to $100 billion from fiscal year 2004. A jump in individual and corporate tax revenue -- imagine that! -- is the cause, but economists are quick to note that this alone will not eliminate the deficit entirely. Spending has to come down as well if permanent gains are to be realized. Still, it's a far cry better than what Taxachusetts John had in mind."

On this issue, King Banaian at SCSUScholars posts :
"The economy is awash in tax revenues both at theFederal and state levels. This is the problem we always find with budget deficit forecasts: They do not reflect correctly the part of the deficit that is due to the structure of the budget versus the deficit caused by low output. Two good years of economic growth have helped greatly in getting Mr. Bush's modest proposal to halve the budget deficit (as a share of GDP) become reality, as Jed Graham notes, but things could be a lot better.
while the economy's momentum has led to a surge in tax revenues, progress in reducing the deficit depends on spending restraint. On that front, some remain disappointed.

At the moment, Congress is spending the money almost "as fast as it comes in," Riedl said.

Through the first nine months of fiscal 2005, federal spending rose $128 billion, or 7.4%, to $1.85 trillion. Spending on defense and nondefense has risen at similar rates, CBO says.
(Here's CBO's latest projection.) The standardized budget deficit for 2005 is projected to be $310 billion. If we come in at $325 it means the rest has to come from government reductions in spending or tax increases. Thus the debate on whether the current wave of tax collections is evidence of supply-side economics or just fortuitous timing."

Swamp News on Border Patrol

"We were encouraged last year when the Senate vowed to fund 2,000 additional Border Patrol agents and space for 8,000 more illegal-alien detainees. Thursday, however, the Senate reneged. The upper chamber's passage of the Homeland Security spending bill funded only 1,000 new agents and space for only 2,240 additional detainees. Last-minute amendments to restore funding to promised levels both failed -- thanks in part to a vote cast by Hillary Clinton, who made her latest political splash with tough comments against illegal immigration. John Kerry, who once illegally crossed into Cambodia, and possible '08 presidential contender Joe Biden, also voted against the amended increases."

HeavyHanded provides you with the list of senators who voted FOR the funding of 2000 additional border patrol agents and additional space for detaining illegal aliens. They are:
Allard (R-CO), Allen (R-VA), Bennett (R-UT), Bingaman (D-NM), Brownback (R-KS), Bunning (R-KY), Burns (R-MT), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cornyn (R-TX), Craig (R-ID), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Dole (R-NC), Domenici (R-NM), Ensign (R-NV), Enzi (R-WY), Frist (R-TN), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hagel (R-NE), Hatch (R-UT), Hutchison (R-TX), Isakson (R-GA), Kyl (R-AZ), Martinez (R-FL), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Murkowski (R-AK), Roberts (R-KS), Salazar (D-CO), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Sununu (R-NH), Thomas (R-WY), Thune (R-SD), Warner (R-VA).

Swamp News on Eminent Domain
New and notable legislation: Rep. Denny Rehberg introduced the Private Property Protection Act (HR 3083), a response to the Supremes' draconian Kelo v. City of New London decision of three weeks ago. The bill would prohibit the federal government from using eminent domain for economic development as well as prohibit state and local government from using federal funds in such instances. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave introduced HR 1678, which would extend higher expensing limits for small businesses another two years."


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