When President Barack Obama discussed earmark reform last week, he favorably cited the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as an example of legislation devoid of any congressional earmarks. But this gargantuan $787 billion “stimulus” plan that he championed is not devoid of new spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the bill's total cost.
We Americans are expected to play by the rules — to obey traffic regulations, pay taxes, observe zoning ordinances — in short, to abide by the law. If we don’t, we may find ourselves fined or even jailed. Our federal government is also expected to abide by rules — in its case, the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution specifies which powers the federal government may exercise, and forbids any others. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution is explicit: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Governor Mark Sanford (R) of South Carolina has been a vocal critic of President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, and in the process has become one of the most prominent fiscal conservatives in the country. Recently, he made national news when he announced his plan to accept the stimulus funds but sought a waiver from the president to use 25 percent of it to pay down state debt rather than spend it on suggested programs (the other 75 percent is determined by formulas). If Obama doesn’t grant the waiver, Sanford has said he will reject the funds.
Candidate Barack Obama pledged to get the United States out of Iraq, one of the two costly wars of occupation in which the United States is currently engaged. His campaign website boasted: “Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months."
On March 10, President Barack Obama spoke in generalities about his plan to improve the nation’s public schools. His plan can be summarized fairly easily: merit pay for teachers who excel, more early childhood educational opportunities (expand the Head Start program), entice schools to set higher standards by giving awards from a $5 billion fund to states that are successful at improving schools, reduce dropout rates, scold adults so that they go back to school for higher educations, expand charter schools, get rid of bad teachers, and require kids to spend more hours in school.
The U.S. Congress has moved to lift some of the punitive economic measures the United States takes against Cuba. President Obama supports a partial lifting of the restrictions, though he has said he would not support normalizing relations with Cuba unless that country holds democratic elections — a qualification that we don’t apply to other countries such as China.
"Second verse, same as the first," go the lyrics to a '60s Herman's Hermits song about Henry VIII and repetition ad naseum. And so it goes with a new wave of Republican rumblings about a second Obama-era stimulus package that Democrat Nancy Pelosi and company are now publicly pondering.
On both sides of the aisle, lawmakers are beginning to express doubts that more bailouts will solve the nation’s economic problems and have labeled their frustration “bailout fatigue.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not one of them.
The U.S. Supreme Court almost vindicated the trial rights of persons seized within the territorial United States by vacating an appellate court judgment in the case of al-Marri v. Spagone. The case involved legal U.S. resident Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar who has been detained without charges since 2001.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order on March 9 that reverses the current ban on federal funding of human embryonic stem-cell research. The move overturns an August 9, 2001 executive order issued by President George W. Bush that restricted federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research to the existing 60 cell lines derived from human embryos destroyed long ago.
The big push to “supersize” and transform the International Monetary Fund (IMF) into a global Federal Reserve System has been developing in elite political and economic circles for months. The campaign is now intensifying in the final weeks leading up to the London Group of Twenty (G20) Summit in April. Op-eds in major newspapers, speeches by leading politicians, and papers and roundtables by globalist think tanks are all pushing the same ideas, to wit: