Congratulations, fellow Americans! As of August 19 you are finally working for your own benefit instead of the government’s. According to Americans for Tax Reform’s Center for Fiscal Accountability, the 2010 Cost of Government Day — “the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state and local level” — fell on August 19.
Earlier in the week, The New American reported that despite his inaugural promise to shutter the prison at Guantanamo Bay “as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order, some 19 months later the facility remains open."
During the last sixteen years, the leaders of majority parties in the houses of Congress have been defeated twice: Speaker Foley in Washington in the 1994 election and Senate Majority Leader Daschle in the 2002 election. Senator Reid from Nevada may be the next member of Congress to discover that clout in Washington does not reflexively translate into electoral victory back home.? “Bringing home the bacon,” the ability of senior members of Congress to raid the public fisc for dubious projects back home, has long been considered a key advantage of incumbency (regardless of whether the member of Congress is a Democrat or a Republican.)?
The natural yen of our government to collect information on its citizens and to create command centers to review that information has continued to grow since September 11, 2001. Some of these efforts focus purely on terrorism, but others extend broadly into every area of American life, and seldom are they efficacious.
Wary of the increasing influence of Shariah law and its international adherents, lawmakers in several states are taking preemptive measures to protect their jurisprudence and infrastructure from what they see as the frightening ascendancy of a pernicious dogma.
Andrey Ternovskiy, one of Russia's wunderkind Internet entrepreneurs, is being courted by venture capitalists the world over. To get access to cash he needn't leave Moscow, but he doesn't want to do business with the billionaire oligarchs tied to the Russian Mafia and Putin's KGB-FSB machine in the Kremlin.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, considered a rising star and possible presidential contender in the Republican Party, is advising Republicans to back away from their heated opposition to a Muslim center two blocks from New York's "Ground Zero." Christie has called on both parties to stop making the issue a "political football."
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll finds that “pessimism over Social Security is at an all-time high as six in ten Americans who don’t already receive benefits through the program say they never will.” Specifically, “63 percent of Americans say the program won’t last another 70 years.”
Charles Rangel, a longtime liberal Democrat from a northern industrial state (New York), a congressman who chairs the immensely powerful House Ways and Means Committee, faces almost overwhelming evidence of corruption and abuse of power. Although many of his constituents think of Rangel highly — because of all the favors he has been able to do for them over his long tenure in Congress, he faces a tough reelection fight. Still, Rangel intends to fight to keep his seat in Congress.