Barack Obama appointed Nancy Killefer as his "chief performance officer." It will be her job to find government waste to cut. Obama hopes to cut much of an expected $1.2 trillion federal deficit. (Most of this deficit takes the form of new bailouts and stimulus packages and can be cut anytime — but that's not "waste" in the mindset of the incoming Obama administration, which is pushing for both more bailouts and stimulus.) Killifer's problem, as aptly described by David Greising in the Chicago Tribune: "Name a government function, and there is likely a critic who sees nothing but waste, countered by an advocate who will defend every penny spent."
Socialism, once abhorrent to most Americans, is increasingly being embraced by them. But is more socialism likely to reinvigorate the U.S. economy and help Americans?
Oil prices dropped from $141 per barrel to below $40, but experts say that this decline is going to end in 2009, according to 24/7 Wall Street. When oil prices tumbled, OPEC made an attempt to reduce production, calling on OPEC nations to produce less, but its efforts were largely unsuccessful because, it is speculated, some OPEC nations bucked the cartel and kept production high, maintaining falling prices. About the only thing that kept the prices at U.S. pumps from falling even lower than they did is that some California refineries shut down for routine yearly maintenance.
Don’t let Walker take away our rights.” That claim is repeatedly heard in Wisconsin as public-union workers try to recall Republican state Senators who voted for Governor Scott Walker’s plan to require the workers to contribute more to their retirement and healthcare costs and limit their ability to use “collective bargaining” to increase pay and benefits.
“The only way to fully restore America’s economic strength is to make long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world,” said President Barack Obama in his Address to the Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.
This remark by President Obama sounds like something a concerned American citizen who is struggling to keep his financial head above water might say. A “hurray” moment? Maybe not.
The BBC reported on April 14 that one city in Egypt, Damietta, still has zero unemployment in these difficult economic times. That’s surprising, but what makes this even more surprising is that the city specializes in manufacturing furniture, often high-end furniture, for export. This isn’t just micro-manufacturing in a small town either. It is estimated that there are over 60,000 furniture shops in the city.
A chain letter that I’ve received four times already about provisions of the cap-and-trade bill that passed the House and is awaiting Senate approval paints a pretty dire picture: “Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act. H.R. 2454, the ‘Cap & Trade’ bill.”
Broken down into its most simple explanation, cognitive dissonance is when one spouts diametrically opposite ideals with equal conviction — something akin to passionately and wholeheartedly exclaiming, “I hate cats!” right after yelling, “I love cats!” Since I read and write about politics as a way to make my living, I hear and read an exceptionally large number of political pundits — amateurs and professionals alike — who suffer from cognitive dissonance.
I find it interesting that many people believe they have a right to demand “rights” — such as jobs, welfare, and healthcare — in the United States even if they are present here illegally. Disregarding for now the rightness or wrongness of their claim of rights, I begin to wonder, “Where will their rights end?” If the only real claim that people have to being entitled to stuff, stuff that must be paid for by other people who are forced by government to “donate” cash to the cause, is that they reside in the country (again, illegally) and that it’s unfair for them to go without something that others have, then doesn’t it seem that there ought to be many more rights?
According to an article at MSNBC.com entitled “Doomsday Clock set back one minute,” the Doomsday Clock, an “end-of-the-world clock, set up in 1947, ... meant to convey how close we are to the end of the world via catastrophe caused by nuclear weapons or climate change, among other factors,” had its hands moved on January 14 from five minutes before midnight (“midnight” means catastrophic destruction) to six minutes before midnight.