Posts Tagged ‘Bad Dude’
During U.S. President Barak Obama’s bus tour through rural America, a common theme of overregulation has been brought to the president’s attention. The president was confronted by farmers and ranchers worried about the excess of burdensome, costly and scientifically unfounded regulations. President Obama advised the audience Wed., Aug. 16, 2011, in Atkinson, Ill., not to believe everything they hear and blamed lobbyists for getting “all ginned up.
The president went as far as calling some rumors of regulations “frankly unfounded,” without specifically addressing any regulations or the administration’s regulatory review promised earlier this year.
Foglesong said the tour across rural America was not a listening session. In fact, he says the president dismissed legitimate concerns of this administration regulating farmers and ranchers out of business
“Either the president has no clue what regulations his bureaucratic agencies are proposing or he simply doesn’t care,” said Foglesong. “Burdensome, costly and scientifically unfounded regulations do not create jobs. I was naïve to think a tour in rural America might make a difference.”
The president touted free trade agreements as a way to create jobs. In fact, Foglesong said the president is right. For every $1 billion worth of agricultural good exported, 8,000 jobs are created. However, the president has yet to send the agreements to Congress.
“For more than five years, trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea have collected dust while our competitors sign, seal and deliver on trade deals,” said Foglesong. “If the president is serious about jobs and stimulating the economy, then he needs to send the trade deals now. Instead of passing blame, the president needs to lead.”
Oppose Fred Upton as chair of Energy and Commerce Committee
As Congress reconvenes and the House GOP eyes its new majority, they first take on some important internal elections to name powerful Committee Chairs. One race is a particular threat. Fred Upton is considered a front-runner to become chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he would dictate the GOP’s legislative policy regarding energy issues such as cap-and-trade, oil drilling, and so-called “green” initiatives.
The bad news? On these issues, Fred Upton is FAR out of step with the Tea Party, the GOP and America as a whole.
• Upton was one of only 38 House Republicans to support the Democrats’ Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 that removed millions of acres of federal lands from oil and gas leasing, thus driving up energy costs for consumers.
• Upton was one of only 20 Republicans to vote against an amendment that would have reduced the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 funding to 2008 levels.
• Upton teamed up with Democrat Jane Harman to pass an invasive energy bill which mandates that only politically-favored “environmentally-friendly” light bulbs be used. That’s right, this guy thinks the Constitution gives him the power to tell you which light bulb you can use.
• You asked for it! A much, much longer list of Upton”s many, many votes for bigger and more intrusive government.
- Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, from California’s 8th Congressional District
- Became Speaker of the House in January 2007
- Member of the Progressive Caucus
- Attacked the War in Iraq on the day Baghdad was liberated because it was “too costly.”
Nancy Pelosi has represented California’s Eighth Congressional District (which includes most of San Francisco) in the House of Representatives since 1987. Her Congressional seat has been held by Democrats, without interruption, since 1949. Pelosi is a member of the socialist-leaning Progressive Caucus, to whose executive committee she was named in 2002. In January 2007 she became the first female Speaker of the House in American history.
Pelosi was born in March 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland, the youngest of six children. Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., served as both a U.S. congressman in Maryland and as the mayor of Baltimore.
In 1962 Pelosi graduated from Trinity College in Washington, DC, and then interned for Democratic Maryland Senator Daniel Brewster before moving, with her husband, to San Francisco in 1969.
Following her relocation, Pelosi became increasingly involved in politics. In 1977 she was elected Democratic Party chairwoman for northern California. Around that time, she befriended Phillip Burton, the Democrat congressman representing California’s Eighth District. When Burton died in 1983, his wife, Sala, succeeded him in office. Three years later she was diagnosed with cancer and chose Pelosi to be her successor within the party, thereby assuring Pelosi the backing of the Burtons’ political allies.
Mrs. Burton died on February 1, 1987, just a month after she had begun her second full term in office. In a special election to determine who would fill Burton’s now-empty House seat, Pelosi narrowly defeated San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt and took office on June 2, 1987. Since then, she has been re-elected every two years.
In 2001 Pelosi became House Minority Whip. The following year, she was named Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, thereby becoming the first woman in American history to lead a major party in the U.S. Congress.
After the landslide Democrat victories in the November 2006 mid-term elections, Pelosi was elected to be Speaker of the House. When she first assumed the post in January 2007, she stated, “I accept this gavel in the spirit of partnership, not partisanship.” She further voiced her belief that the recent election results reflected American voters’ overwhelming disapproval of the Iraq War:
“The election of 2006 was a call to change – not merely to change the control of Congress, but for a new direction for our country. Nowhere were the American people more clear about the need for a new direction than in Iraq. The American people rejected an open-ended obligation to a war without end.”
Also in January 2007, after President Bush announced his plan to increase troop levels in Iraq in an effort to stem the violence there, Pelosi, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, condemned the plan:
“There is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution. Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain. Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror.”
Contrary to Pelosi’s prediction, the troop surge proved to be immensely successful in restoring peace to Iraq. Nonetheless, in February 2008 Pelosi declared the surge to be a “failure” that had “not produced the desired effect.”
In April 2008 Pelosi traveled to Damascus to discuss foreign policy issues with Syrian President Bashar Assad. She made this trip against the wishes of President Bush, who said that it sent “mixed messages” and undermined U.S. policy in the region. “Photo opportunities and/or meetings with President Assad lead the Assad government to believe they’re part of the mainstream of the international community,” Bush explained. “In fact, they’re a state sponsor of terror.” Bush was referring to the fact that Syria was: (a) allied militarily with Iran; (b) hosting a number of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders within its borders; (c) supporting the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq; and (d) generating unrest in Lebanon.
Former State Department official Robert F. Turner saw Pelosi’s Damascus trip as a felonious violation of the Logan Act of 1798, which calls for a prison sentence of up to three years for any American, who, “without authority of the United States,” tries to influence a foreign government’s behavior vis a vis any “disputes or controversies with the United States.”
“We came in friendship, hope,” Pelosi said of her trip. She then told reporters: “[Our] meeting with the president [Assad] enabled us to communicate a message from [Israeli] Prime Minister Olmert that Israel was ready to engage in peace talks as well.” But in fact, Olmert had conveyed no such sentiment. Israel’s position remained what it always had been: its participation in peace talks with Syria was contingent upon the latter ending its support for terrorism.
In July 2008 Pelosi characterized President Bush as “a total failure” who had lost “all credibility with the American people on the war, on the economy, on energy, [and any other issue].” Congress, she added, had been “sweeping up after his [Bush's] mess over and over and over again.”
After Pelosi’s election as Speaker of the House, the public approval rating of Congress dropped to a mere 14 percent by July 2008, according to a Gallup poll. This was the lowest rating the Gallup organization had ever recorded for any Congress.
From 1979 to 2003, Pelosi made $56,410 in contributions to the campaigns of various political candidates and causes. Some $45,910 of that total went to Democrats, and $10,500 went to special interest groups. Among the more notable recipients of Pelosi’s donations were Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Richard Durbin, and Tom Udall.
Pelosi’s family has a net worth of more than $25 million, making her one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
Following is an overview of Pelosi’s policy positions and voting record on key pieces of legislation during her years in the House of Representatives:
Abortion and the Rights of the Unborn: In November 1995, September 1996, March 1997, April 2000, June 2003, and October 2003, Pelosi voted against legislation to ban (except where the mother’s safety might require it) the late-term abortion procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion. In September 1995 she voted against banning the use of federal funds for abortions at U.S. military facilities. In June 2000 she voted in favor of permitting federal funds to pay for abortions at U.S. prison facilities. In February 2004 she voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which proposed to make it an added criminal offense for someone to injure or kill a fetus while carrying out a crime against a pregnant woman. In April 2005 she voted against notifying the parents of minors who have obtained out-of-state abortions. In December 2006 she voted NO on the Abortion Pain Bill, which sought to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.
In an August 2008 appearance on the television talk show Meet the Press, Pelosi was asked when she believed human life begins. She responded:
“I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition … St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”
Marriage: In July 1996 and July 2006 Pelosi voted against bills defining marriage strictly as a legal union between one man and one woman. In September 2004 she voted NO on a bill to prohibit same-sex marriage.
Welfare: Pelosi voted against the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, which ultimately succeeded in moving large numbers of people off of public assistance and into jobs.
Education: In November 1997 and August 1998, Pelosi voted against the implementation of voucher programs designed to help low-income families send their children to private schools if they wished. In November 2001 she voted NO on allowing voluntary prayer in public schools. Pelosi has received a rating of 100% from the National Education Association (NEA), America’s largest labor union.
Illegal Immigration: In February 2005 Pelosi voted against funding for “Real ID” legislation mandating higher standards for State drivers’ licenses and identification documents. In September 2006 she voted against a bill authorizing the construction of 700 miles of double-layered fencing between the U.S. and Mexico. That same month, she voted against a bill that sought to affirm the inherent right of state and local authorities to enforce federal immigration laws. Pelosi is rated 0% by the U.S. Border Control, signifying that her voting record reflects an open-borders stance.
Fossil Fuels: In February and August 2001, Pelosi voted to keep Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) closed to oil drilling. As Speaker of the House in 2008, she refused to permit this issue to be debated on the House floor. Explaining her unwavering opposition to oil exploration, she said, “I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet.” In October 2005 and June 2006, Pelosi voted against the construction of new oil refineries in the U.S.
Taxes: In March 2000 Pelosi voted NO on $46 billion in tax cuts for small businesses. In April 2001 she voted NO on eliminating the “death tax.” The following month, she voted against a tax cut package of $958 billion over 10 years. In October 2001 she voted NO on a $99 billion economic stimulus package. In April 2002 she voted against making President Bush’s 2001 tax cuts permanent. In May 2004 she voted against making permanent an increase in the child tax credit. In September 2004 she voted NO on providing a series of tax relief measures. In December 2005 she voted against retaining reduced tax rates on capital gains and dividends.
Patriot Act: In October 2001 Pelosi voted to pass the Patriot Act anti-terrorism legislation. However, in July 2005, December 2005, and March 2006, she voted against bills reauthorizing and extending the Act.
Military Affairs: Though she supported the Clinton administration’s military measures in Haiti, Kosovo, and Bosnia, Pelosi opposed the 1991 and 2003 wars in Iraq (both of which were led by Republican presidential administrations).
In October 2002 Pelosi voted against the joint congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. “This is about the Constitution,” she declared. “It is about this Congress asserting its right to declare war when we are fully aware what the challenges are to us. It is about respecting the United Nations and a multilateral approach, which is safer for our troops.”
In October 2006 Pelosi said: “If we [the U.S. military] leave Iraq, then the insurgents will leave Iraq, the terrorists will leave Iraq.” On another occasion she elaborated: “If the President wants to say the war in Iraq is part of the war on terror, he’s not right…The war on terror is the war in Afganistan…. The jihadists in Iraq [will] stay there as long as we’re there. They’re there because we’re there.”
Pelosi During the Obama Administration:
In April 2009, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a non-partisan government watchdog group, named Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as its 2008 “Porkers of the Year” because of what CAGW viewed as their consistent record of fiscal irresponsibility.
In May 2009 Pelosi became the subject of enormous controversy centering around what she knew about the CIA’s use of waterboarding as an enhanced-interrogation technique on high-value terrorist suspects. Pelosi had recently become an inveterate critic of the Bush administration’s authorization of waterboarding, a practice she claimed to have become aware of only recently. According to Pelosi, waterboarding was a form of torture that was wholly unacceptable to use under any circumstances. She said, moreover, that she favored punitive action against those in the Bush administration who had deemed waterboarding appropriate.
But then it was learned, in May 2009, that the CIA, as early as September 2002, actually had briefed Pelosi about its use of waterboarding. This revelation, in light of the fact that Pelosi had never raised any objection to the practice when she was told about it, made her appear to be a hypocrite who was now intent on punishing her political foes for having supported a tactic to which she herself had quietly assented for several years.
In a May 14, 2009 press conference on the subject of what she had known and when she had known it, Pelosi stated that the CIA had withheld information about its use of waterboarding in the September 2002 briefing, and that the Agency was now lying in its assertion that Pelosi had indeed been briefed. A reporter at the press conference asked Pelosi, “Madam Speaker, just to be clear, you’re accusing the CIA of lying to you in September of 2002?” Pelosi replied, “Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States, misleading the Congress of the United States. I am.”
The reporter then followed up: “And also — and doing it again now, as they’ve released this list of briefings that says you were briefed on the interrogation tactics that were used.”
“I’m saying — I’m quoting what the head of the CIA has said. This is — we don’t know if this information is accurate that he’s talking about…. But I’m telling you that they talked about interrogations that they had done and said, ‘We want to use enhanced techniques, and we have legal opinions that say that they are OK. We are not using waterboarding.’ That’s the only mention, that they were not using it. And we now know that earlier they were.
“So, yes, I am saying that they are misleading — that the CIA was misleading the Congress. And at the same time, the administration was misleading the Congress on the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, to which I said, ‘This intelligence does not support the imminent threat,’ to which the press asked the same question you just did now. ‘Are you accusing them of lying?’ I said, I’m just stating a fact….
“They mislead us all the time. I was fighting the war in Iraq at that point, too, you know, saying to my members the intelligence does not support the imminent threat that they are conceding. But what’s the point? Yes, they did. They misrepresented every step of the way. And they don’t want that focus on them. So they try to turn the attention on us.”
In December 2009 Pelosi led at least 20 members of Congress (and many of their spouses and children) on an all-expenses-paid trip to attend a global-warming summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. The delegation was so large, that three military jets were required to transport its members. A number of Senators and staffers also made the trip, courtesy of taxpayer dollars, via commercial airliners. Although Pelosi was personally responsible for deciding who went on this trip, she subsequently refused to answer any reporters’ questions regarding the cost of the trip. According to CBS News, the estimated cost of the three military jets’ flight time was $170,000. In addition to that was the cost of dozens of commercial flights, hundreds of hotel rooms (many at five-star facilities), and tens of thousands of dollars in meal and entertainment expenses. At the time, Pelosi’s home state of California had a $20 billion budget deficit.
According to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, during 2008-2009 Pelosi incurred expenses of some $2.1 million for her use of Air Force jets for travel — including $101,429 for in-flight expenses such as food and alcohol. She regularly used Air Force aircraft to travel to her district at an average cost of $28,210.51 per flight. Of 103 Pelosi-led congressional delegations during the two-year period, 31 trips included members of her family.
“You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”
In March 2010, Pelosi stated that she wished to avoid a House vote on health-care reform because the legislation would be defeated in that chamber. “Nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill,” she said. Thus she supported the so-called Slaughter Solution. Under the plan, the House would vote on a procedural motion, that is, the “rule” that is supposed to govern debate on a matter going before the House. In this case a “self-executing rule” would be used that would “deem” the Senate version of ObamaCare to have been passed. Thus lawmakers would be able to vote to approve the Senate version of the health care legislation –complete with unpopular add-ons such as Senator Ben Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback” and Senator Mary Landrieu’s “Louisiana Purchase” — and then be able to tell their constituents that technically all they had done was approve a procedural motion.
Also in March 2010, Pelosi told the American public:
“You’ve heard about the controversies within the [health care] bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting. But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”
That same month, Pelosi made reference to the fact that the health care bill she was seeking to pass was merely the first phase of a larger effort to bring about ever-greater government control over the American medical system:
“My biggest fight has been between those who wanted to do something incremental and those who wanted to do something comprehensive. We won that fight, and once we kick through this door, there’ll be more legislation to follow.”
In May 2010, Pelosi said the following about the health care bill:
“We see it as an entrepreneurial bill, a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.”
At the Catholic Community Conference on Capitol Hill on May 6, 2010, Pelosi said the following on the subject of illegal immigration:
“I would hope that there’s one thing that we can do working together as we go forward that speaks to what the Bible tells us about the dignity and worth of every person — and that is on the subject of immigration. Because I think the Church is going to have to play a very major role in how we, in how people are treated. The cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops that come to me and say, ‘We want you to pass immigration reform.’ And I say, ‘But I want you to speak about it from the pulpit. I want you to instruct your, whatever the communication is — the people, some of them, [who] oppose immigration reform are sitting in those pews and you have to tell them that this is a manifestation of our living the gospels.’”
At the same event, Pelosi suggested that her religious beliefs influenced her public policy decisions:
“My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the Word. And that Word,” Pelosi said, “is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word.”