The Blame Game

As you know by now, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the $700 billion bailout yesterday.

In the House, a simple majority rules. Bills can pass by a one vote margin. The Democratic Party has the majority in the House which is comprised of 435 members. 235 are Democrats, 199 are Republican, and 1 seat is vacant. In order to pass this bill today, the Democrats simply needed 218 votes.

Since the vote failed earlier today in a vote of 205-228 (1 member did not vote), I have heard talk from all of the major news outlets that the Republicans were responsible for the failure of this bill.

How did the Republicans kill this bill? That argument just isn’t logical at all.

Sixty-five Republicans voted FOR the measure. Because of those 65 votes, the Democrats simply needed 153 votes from their own party, yet only 140 of them thought voting for the measure was a good idea. Along with 133 Republicans, 95 Democrats voted to kill the bill.

Without any help from Republicans, Nancy Pelosi needed 92.7% of her colleagues to vote for the bill. Because of the number of Republicans that voted for the bill, that number lowered to 65.1%. She ended up with 59.6%. Forty percent of her own caucus voted against her. This vote was an epic fail for the Speaker of the House and it showed the true measure of her leadership.

The American people did not want this bill and I commend the 228 Representatives who stood their ground and actually represented the people.

Visit the U.S. House website to see how your Representative voted.

All The Wrong Reasons

With Congress and the President ready to toss the pending “Bereft Banker BailOut” at our feet, I thought I would see what Republican House members were saying and doing.

In a closed-door session with House Republicans Sunday evening, Minority Leader John A. Boehner called the $700 billion financial rescue deal a “crap sandwich” — then said he plans to vote for it.

Things are not looking good if the Minority Leader of the House refers to the pending legislation as a “crap sandwich” and then says he’s still willing to vote for it. Shouldn’t our Congressmen be voting for the the right solution rather than the best solution they could come up with before some imaginary deadline?

With support from Cantor and Ryan in hand, party leaders – in conjunction with the White House – were expected to start leaning on other members to back the bill.

When you hear that Republicans need to lean on other Republicans to convince them to back a bill, you know the bill is a bad idea. You lean on people when they want to force them to do something. If it was a good idea, wouldn’t they be backing it willingly?

Minority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.), who negotiated the terms of the tentative agreement for House Republicans, met Sunday afternoon with a bloc of retiring GOP lawmakers in an effort to secure their support for the plan, members familiar with the discussions said.

During that session, Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood, who has battled with party leaders over the years, told his colleagues that they should support the team because none of them would have to face voters in November.

He told his colleagues to support the bill because they are retiring and wouldn’t have to face voters in November. If that isn’t the clearest signal that this bail out bill is still a bad idea, I don’t know what is.

A Lot Of Talk About Nothing

The price of oil is still high and our nation’s economy is on shaky ground. Aren’t you glad that your members of Congress are there in Washington, D.C. to take care of things before they get out of hand?

On Monday, the following items were on the legislative agenda in the House despite the fact that gas prices are still out of control and our economy could implode at any moment:

H.Res. 1287 – Commending the Honor Flight Network, its volunteers, and donors, for enabling World War II veterans to travel to our Nation’s capital to see the World War II Memorial created in their honor

H.R. 6897 – Filipino Veterans Equity Act of 2008

S. 1315 – Veterans’ Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007, as amended

H.R. 160 – Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act

H.R. 2933 – Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2008

H.R. 4828 – Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park Boundary Expansion and Redesignation Act of 2008

H.R. 5853 – Minute Man National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act

H.R. 6176 – To authorize the expansion of the Fort Davis National Historic Site in Fort Davis, Texas

H.R. 6159 – Deafy Glade Land Exchange Act

H.R. 5335 – To amend the National Trails System Act to provide for the inclusion of new trail segments, land components, and campgrounds associated with the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

H.R. 3336 – Camp Hale Study Act

H.R. 3849 – Box Elder Utah Land Conveyance Act

H.R. 3299 – To provide for a boundary adjustment and land conveyances involving Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado

H.Res. 1374 – Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Grand Coulee Dam and recognizing its critical role in the national and economic security of the United States

H.R. 6685 – To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide an annual grant to facilitate an iron working training program for Native Americans

H.R. 1907 – Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program Act

S.J.Res. 45 – Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact

H.R. 5352 – Elder Abuse Victims Act of 2008

H.R. 6853 – Nationwide Mortgage Fraud Task Force Act of 2008

H.Res. 1438 – Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Azorean Refugee Act of 1958 and celebrating the extensive contributions of Portuguese-American communities to the United States

H.Res. 1464 – Recognizing and honoring the 50th anniversary of the founding of AARP

H.R. 6890 – To extend the waiver authority for the Secretary of Education relating to elementary and secondary education hurricane recovery relief

H.Res. 1463 – Recognizing the benefits of service-learning as a teaching strategy to effectively engage youth in the community and classroom, and supporting the goals of the National Learn and Serve Challenge

H.R. 642 – Honorable Stephanie Tubbs Jones College Fire Prevention Act

H.R. 6370 – The Oregon Surplus Federal Land Act of 2008

H.R. 6524 – To authorize the Administrator of General Services to take certain actions with respect to parcels of real property located in Eastlake, Ohio, and Koochiching County, Minnesota

H.Res. 1466 – Honoring Dr. Guion S. “Guy” Bluford, Jr. and the 25th Anniversary of his Historic Flight as the First African American in Space

S. 2606 – To reauthorize the United States Fire Administration

H.Res. 1390 – Expressing support for the designation of a 4-H National Youth Science Day

H.R. 6323 – To establish a research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program to promote research of appropriate technologies for heavy duty plug-in hybrid vehicles

H.Res. 1471 – Honoring the 50th anniversary of the successful demonstration of the first integrated circuit and its impact on the electronics industry

Note: None of these legislation items had any relevance to our nation’s energy situation, nor the economic impact of the events unfolding on Wall Street.

The following items were on the legislative agenda in the House on Tuesday, while gas prices were still hovering around $4 per gallon and firms on Wall Street prepared for the biggest bailout since the Great Depression :

H.R. 5244 – The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008

H.R. 6984 – The Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2008, Part II

H.Res. 1473 – Recognizing the 150th anniversary year of the founding of Macy’s, Inc. as an American entrepreneurial success story and the role Macy’s Inc. plays in supporting America’s small businesses and vendors

H.R. 5443 – United States-Republic of Korea Defense Cooperation Improvement Act of 2008

H.R. 6646 – To require the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to provide detailed briefings to Congress on any recent discussions conducted between United States Government and the Government of Taiwan and any potential transfer of defense articles or defense services to the Government of Taiwan

H.Con.Res. 255 – Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the U.S. commitment to preservation of religious and cultural sites and condemning instances where sites are desecrated

H.Res. 1227 – Condemning sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and calling on the international community to take immediate actions to respond to the violence

H.Res. 1314 – Remembering the 75th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933 and extending the deepest sympathies of the House of Representatives to the victims, survivors, and families of this tragedy

H.Res. 1402 – Supporting a transition to democracy through free, fair, credible, peaceful, and transparent elections in Bangladesh

H.Res. 1435 – Recognizing the 70th anniversary of the 1938 occurrence of Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass

H.Res. 1451 – Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Establishment Resolution

H.Res. 1461 – Recognizing the Tenth Anniversary of the terrorist bombings of the United States embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dares Salaam, Tanzania

H.Con.Res. 371 – Strongly supporting and immediate and just restitution of, or compensation for, property illegally confiscated during the last century by Nazi and Communist regimes

H.Res. 1361 – Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should lead a high-level diplomatic effort to defeat the campaign by some members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to divert the United Nation’s Durban Review Conference from a review of problems in their own and other countries by attacking Israel, promoting anti-Semitism, and undermining the Universal Charter of Human Rights and to ensure that the Durban Review Conference serves as a forum to review commitments to combat all forms of racism

H.Res. 1369 – Recognizing nongovernmental organizations working to bring just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians

H.Con.Res. 374 – Supporting the spirit of peace and desire for unity displayed in the letter from 138 leading Muslim scholars, and in the Pope’s response

H.R. 5834 – North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2008

H.R. 758 – The Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007

H.R. 6908 – The Health Insurance Source of Injury Clarification Act of 2008.

H.R. 6469 – The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Organ Transplant Authorization Act of 2008

S. 1760 – The Healthy Start Reauthorization Act of 2007

H.R. 1532 – Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Act of 2007

H.R. 2994 – National Pain Care Policy Act of 2007

H.R. 5265 – Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research and Education Amendments of 2008

H.R. 6901 – Meth Free Families and Communities Act

H.R. 2583 – Physician Workforce and Graduate Medical Education Enhancement Act of 2007

H.Res. 1042 – Supporting the We Don’t Serve Teens Campaign

H.Con.Res. 393 – Supporting the Goals and Ideals of National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

H.Res. 988 – Designating the month of March 2008 as “MRSA Awareness Month”

H.Res. 1381 – Expressing the sense of the House that there should be an increased Federal commitment prioritizing prevention and public health for all people in the United States

H.R. 1014 – Heart Disease Education, Analysis Research, and Treatment for Women Act

H.R. 6353 – Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008

H.R. 6983- Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008

H.R. 4544 – Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008

H.R. 6950 – Stephanie Tubbs Jones Gift of Life Medal Act of 2008

H.R. 3018 – Family Self-Sufficiency Act of 2007

H.R. 6894 – Defense Production Act Extension and Reauthorization of 2008

H.R. 6965 – To extend the authorization of the national flood insurance program

H.R. 6897 – Filipino Veterans Equity Act of 2008

H.R. 160 – Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act

H.R. 2933 – Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2008

H.R. 4828 – Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park Boundary Expansion and Redesignation Act of 2008

S.J.Res. 45 – Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact

H.R. 5352 – Elder Abuse Victims Act of 2008

H.R. 642 – Honorable Stephanie Tubbs Jones College Fire Prevention Act

S. 2606 – To reauthorize the United States Fire Administration

H.R. 6323 – To establish a research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program to promote research of appropriate technologies for heavy duty plug-in hybrid vehicles

Note: Like Monday, none of these legislation items had any impact on our nation’s energy situation or the pending implosion of Wall Street.

Today, Wednesday, the Democratic controlled House is going to take the first step toward the light at the end of the tunnel. There is word today that they will drop the provision continuing the moratorium on offshore drilling from the Conitnuing Resolution. Word has it they will also begin debating the $700 billion corporate bail out. We’ll see. Here’s what’s on the agenda today:

H.Res. 1489 – Same Day Consideration Rule – Waiving a requirement of clause 6(a) of rule XIII with respect to the consideration of certain resolutions reported from the Committee on Rules

H.R. 2638 – The Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009

H.R. ___ – Energy Production and Conservation Tax Relief Act of 2008

S. 3001 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 as Amended

H.Res. 1421 – Solemnly commemorating the 25th anniversary of the tragic October 1983 terrorist bombing of the United States Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon and remembering those who lost their lives and those who were injured

H.R. 7005 – The Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008

H.R. 7006 – The Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008

H.R. 6849 – To amend the commodity provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 to permit producers to aggregate base acres and reconstitute farms to avoid the prohibition on receiving direct payments, counter-cyclical payments, or average crop revenue election payments when the sum of the base acres of a farm is 10 acres or less

S. 2324– Inspector General Reform Act of 2008

H.R. 6406 – To elevate the Inspector General of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to an Inspector General appointed pursuant to section 3 of the Inspector General Act of 1978

H.R. 6847 – To designate the “First Lieutenant Noah Harris Ellijay Post Office Building in Ellijay, Georgia

H. Res. ___ – Providing for agreement by the House of Representatives to the Senate amendment to the bill, H.R. 2095, with an amendment

H.R. 6999 – The Integrated Deepwater Program Reform Act of 2008

S. 3009 – J. James Exon Federal Bureau of Investigation Building

H. Res. 1376 – Commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Okeechobee Hurricane of September 1928 and its associated tragic loss of life

S. 2162 – Veterans’ Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008

S. 3023 – Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008

H.R. 6980 – To authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase the amount of the Medal of Honor special pension provided under that title by up to $1,000.

H.R. 160 – Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act

H.R. 2933 – Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2008

H.R. 4828 – Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park Boundary Expansion and Redesignation Act of 2008

S. 2606 – To reauthorize the United States Fire Administration

H.R. 6323 – To establish a research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program to promote research of appropriate technologies for heavy duty plug-in hybrid vehicles

H.Con.Res. 255 – Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the U.S. commitment to preservation of religious and cultural sites and condemning instances where sites are desecrated

H.Res. 1451 – Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Establishment Resolution

H.Res. 1461 – Recognizing the Tenth Anniversary of the terrorist bombings of the United States embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dares Salaam, Tanzania

H.R. 758 – The Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007

H.R. 6469 – The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Organ Transplant Authorization Act of 2008

H.R. 1532 – Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Act of 2007

H.R. 2994 – National Pain Care Policy Act of 2007

H.R. 5265 – Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research and Education Amendments of 2008

H.R. 6901 – Meth Free Families and Communities Act

H.Con.Res. 393 – Supporting the Goals and Ideals of National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

H.Res. 988 – Designating the month of March 2008 as “MRSA Awareness Month”

H.R. 1014 – Heart Disease Education, Analysis Research, and Treatment for Women Act

H.R. 4544 – Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008

H.R. 6950 – Stephanie Tubbs Jones Gift of Life Medal Act of 2008

H.R. 3018 – Family Self-Sufficiency Act of 2007

Note: When does Congress actually do anything? For the past three days all I have heard is ‘bah blah blah’ and a lot of political grandstanding. When are they actually productive? With the exception of a couple items on the agendas shown above, this entire week has been a complete waste of taxpayer time.

I was watching earlier and saw the stack of papers also known as the Continuing Resolution. Republican Minority Leader John Boehner asked if anyone on the floor had actually read it. I doubt they have. They say that the provision continuing the moratorium on offshore drilling is not included. I will believe it when I see it.

Meanwhile, we’re still paying $4 per gallon for gasoline and our 401k’s aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Keep up the good work, guys!

Holes In The Bucket

How much is $700 billion?

The U.S. Congress is considering a ‘bail out’ package today to ‘save our economy’. I’m not so sure passage of this bill would save our economy. In fact, I think passing this bill will only postpone the inevitable and do more irreparable harm to our country.

$700 billion is a lot of money. I don’t think the American people have any idea how much 700 billion is. Let’s think about it for a moment.

More than 22,196 years have passed in 700 billion seconds.

The sun is 93 million miles from Earth. If you traveled to the sun (and back) 3,763 times you still wouldn’t have gone 700 billion miles.

There are 1,300 kernels of corn in one pound. 700 billion kernels of corn would weigh 538,461,538 pounds. How many people could you feed with all that corn?

The U.S. imported 3.66 billion barrels of oil last year. It would take 191 years like last year to import that much oil.

The GMC Sierra Pickup in my driveway was roughly $35,000. I could buy 20 million of them with $700 billion. In fact, if I had $700 billion I could buy 4,375,000 homes like the one I own now.

More importantly, however, is the fact that $700 billion amounts to an additional tax burden of $2,300 for every man, woman, and child in America. Our national debt is already sitting at nearly $10 trillion. Every man, woman, and child in America already owes $32,760 for that debt. Should we really be adding this much to it?

Why should we have to pay out of our pockets because of mis-management at Wall Street investment firms? Why should we have to pay out of our pockets because lenders relaxed the rule and made loans to people who could never repay the loans? Why should we have to pay out of our pockets to bail out those would could not manage their own money?

The ‘bail out’ under consideration allows the government to “buy” the bad debt that is currently on the books of these companies that knew what they were doing. This ‘bail out’ is basically the beginning of the nationalization of our banking industry. It’s just a matter of time. These companies brought this on, and we the American people are going to end up paying for it. They gambled with their books and lost. Now they want us, the American people, to foot the bill for them and Congress is helping them.

Should we ‘bail out’ people when they make a bad business decision? Should we ‘bail out’ people that get in too deep? Should we ‘bail out’ people when their investments tank on them?

Why should we ‘bail out’ some companies and not others? What standards should be used to decide which companies are worthy of a ‘bail out’ and which ones are not?

Why not ‘bail out’ everyone struggling with their mortgage right now? Why not ‘bail out’ everyone having trouble paying for gasoline? Why not ‘bail out’ everyone that owes anyone anything?

Can we really afford all of that? Of course we can’t, and we cannot afford this bail out either.

This ‘bail out’ is a really bad idea. Bad business decisions cause businesses to fail. Bad businesses are meant to fail. They fail for a reason. I think it would be better to let these businesses fail and let the companies that didn’t cook their books or make risky investments rise above it all.

We shouldn’t work to ‘bail out’ companies that never lifted a finger to hold the bucket and bail themselves out first. I want no part of this ‘bail out’ and you shouldn’t either. All you have to do is look at the 700 billion holes in the bucket to understand why.

Joseph Biden, The Leader

Joe Biden wants you to think he is experienced enough to be Vice-President, or even President if need be. Watch this clip:

Part of what a leader does is to “instill confidence and demonstrate that he or she knows what they are talking about”.

Clearly, he has no idea what he is talking about, therefore he does not fit his own definition of a leader.

President Roosevelt did not address the American people via television after the stock market crash of 1929.

Do you need proof?

While it’s true that a couple of experimental stations were broadcasting in 1929, they were only broadcasting reflected light and sihouette images from motion pictures. The first regular broadcasts, according to Wikipedia, did not start until 1931. Oh yeah, and Franklin D. Roosevelt was not elected until 1932. Both of these facts make it quite impossible that ‘President Roosevelt’ addressed the American people via television after the market crash of 1929.

Joe Biden obviously has no idea what he is talking about. Then again, if we take Barack Obama’s 57 states into consideration, their combined version of history might be a little different than ours.

The more I hear Biden talk the more I am convinced that Barack Obama made the wrong choice.

Running Out Of Energy

If you haven’t heard already, the House of Representatives has passed an energy bill.

It won’t be too long before you see the headlines and breaking news alerts:

BREAKING NEWS — US HOUSE PASSES BILL LIFTING BAN ON OFFSHORE DRILLING. DETAILS SOON. — BREAKING NEWS

and

The US House has passed a bill which lifts a ban on offshore drilling for at least 50 miles from shore in most areas.

But don’t let those headlines, or the soundbites that you’ll hear all morning, fool you.

The bill (a gift from planet saving Speaker Pelosi) that passed, was sent to House members last night around 9:45pm, it did not go through committee, it did not have bipartisan support, and it was not the result of any compromise from either side of the aisle.

The bill that passed was brought to the House floor by Democrats, given three hours of debate, one motion to change was granted to the Republicans, and then the final vote was taken. All in the same day.

Compromise was not allowed. Amendments were not allowed. The will of the American people was not allowed.

I have never in my life been more disappointed in our nation’s legislative process than I am tonight. I have never been so disgusted by blatant abuse of power than that shown by Speaker Pelosi today and during this entire legislative session. I have never been so disheartened by the obvious partisan behavior shown by the Democrats in the House today.

I will be putting the highlights of todays shenanigans into a video tomorrow, along with more description and analysis of Nancy Pelosi’s Magic Energy Bill. This bill is a lot like those magic beans sold to a boy named Jack. The problem is, if this bill doesn’t die in the Senate or get vetoed by the President, we’re going to run out of energy long before we ever find the goose that lays the golden eggs.