Currently viewing the tag: "Restoring"

As ThinkProgress and others have noted, the 2011 budget proposed by House Republicans — as well as the three-week continuing resolution they just passed — eliminates critical funding to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that will hamper the agency’s ability to track and respond to tsunamis. The agency said the cuts “will take away [our] ability to upgrade tsunami models and will put considerable stress on watchstanders ability to react.”

The cuts were roundly pilloried in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But last week, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) — a Tea Party favorite and rigid ideologue on budget cuts — said he still favors the reduction, and dismissed calls to restore the funding because “we often over-react” to natural disasters.  TP has the story and video:

KING: The tsunami warning centers, it’s really — the timing of that really puts attention on the subject matter. I don’t know that I would go back and look at that. I would ask people to come forward with the facts on this — how badly do we need them and do the tragic events in Japan give us a different perspective. I would look at it from a different perspective. I don’t know I would at this point know say that I’d be willing to make that change. I think we often over-react to emergencies, especially natural disasters, before we assess the limit of the damage, and particularly with the nuclear part of this.

Then, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) also defended the cuts, saying “All of us need to be tempered by the fact that we’ve got to stop spending money we don’t have.” This follows a similar pattern of other conservatives trying to ignore the tragic reality of the events in Japan in service of their political goals. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said yesterday that reaction to the nuclear power crisis there is “overblown,” and Bill O’Reilly said the “worldwide media is hyping the nuke situation in Japan a bit too much.”

- A TP cross-post.

JR:  E&E News reported on Thursday, “GOP budget cuts could hurt tsunami, weather warning systems — Locke” (subs. req’d):

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke warned House Republicans today that their proposed budget cuts could jeopardize the operations of federal warning systems for storms, hurricanes and tsunamis.

The Republican-authored House appropriations bill, H.R. 1, which would fund the government through the rest of this fiscal year, would cut $ 454 million, or 16 percent, from 2010 levels from a Commerce Department account that funds weather, satellite and tsunami warning systems and fisheries and ocean research.

“Obviously, we’ll always try to prioritize, and we’ll try to be as efficient as possible,” Locke told the House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee. “But you just can’t change the math.”

Locke said that if the tsunami program were kept intact, there would be cuts to other programs, such as hurricane forecasting….

Since a tsunami smashed Indonesia almost six years ago, NOAA has increased the number of detection buoys from six to 39 and expanded the early-warning system that Locke credited for NOAA’s ability to issue a warning about the Japanese tsunami 9 minutes after the earthquake last Friday.

But seven of the 39 buoys are now down for maintenance, Locke said. And the House spending bill puts their repair in doubt, he warned.

“Right now, we’re not even issuing contracts for the maintenance or upgrading of the buoys that are out of commission,” Locke said.

President Obama has requested $ 8.8 billion for the Commerce Department, which includes NOAA, in his 2012 proposed budget. That’s $ 822 million more than Congress approved for the agency in fiscal 2010. Much of that money would go toward a weather and environmental satellite program for NOAA’s National Weather Service that has already been delayed because of budget issues.

“There’s a public safety aspect to the Weather Service,” Locke said. “It’s like a police department or fire department of a local community. When you make cutbacks, there will be consequences. You can’t foresee those now, but you know that response times will be down. You’ll have less police officers on the street to respond to reports of crime.”

Locke’s warning comes as some lawmakers are pushing for expanded tsunami-detection systems.

“From what we saw in Japan and what we’ve seen in other parts of the world, it’s no longer a luxury,” New York Democrat Jose Serrano said. “It’s a necessity.”

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Climate Progress

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As ThinkProgress and others noted last week, the 2011 budget proposed by House Republicans — as well as the three-week continuing resolution they just passed — eliminates critical funding to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that will hamper the agency’s ability to track and respond to tsunamis. The agency said the cuts “will take away [our] ability to upgrade tsunami models and will put considerable stress on watchstanders ability to react.”

The cuts were roundly pilloried in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But this morning, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) — a Tea Party favorite and rigid ideologue on budget cuts — said he still favors the reduction, and dismissed calls to restore the funding because “we often over-react” to natural disasters:

KING: The tsunami warning centers, it’s really — the timing of that really puts attention on the subject matter. I don’t know that I would go back and look at that. I would ask people to come forward with the facts on this — how badly do we need them and do the tragic events in Japan give us a different perspective. I would look at it from a different perspective. I don’t know I would at this point know say that I’d be willing to make that change. I think we often over-react to emergencies, especially natural disasters, before we assess the limit of the damage, and particularly with the nuclear part of this

Watch it:

Yesterday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) also defended the cuts, saying “All of us need to be tempered by the fact that we’ve got to stop spending money we don’t have.” This follows a similar pattern of other conservatives trying to ignore the tragic reality of the events in Japan in service of their political goals. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said yesterday that reaction to the nuclear power crisis there is “overblown,” and Bill O’Reilly said the “worldwide media is hyping the nuke situation in Japan a bit too much.”

ThinkProgress

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Outstanding piece:

Conservative ideas are responsible for the two great urban-policy successes of the last quarter-century: the breathtaking drops in crime and in welfare dependency since the early 1990s. You’d never know it from members of the opinion elite, however, who have rarely recognized these successes, much less their provenance. So let’s recapitulate an epic battle about the foundations of social order, a battle that had not just a clear winner but also a clear loser: the liberal policy prescriptions for cities that many opinion makers and politicians still embrace. New York has been at the center of this battle because so many of the bad ideas that wreaked havoc on cities hatched there. Fortunately, so did many of the antidotes.

Read the rest here.

Liberty Pundits Blog

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Outstanding piece:

Conservative ideas are responsible for the two great urban-policy successes of the last quarter-century: the breathtaking drops in crime and in welfare dependency since the early 1990s. You’d never know it from members of the opinion elite, however, who have rarely recognized these successes, much less their provenance. So let’s recapitulate an epic battle about the foundations of social order, a battle that had not just a clear winner but also a clear loser: the liberal policy prescriptions for cities that many opinion makers and politicians still embrace. New York has been at the center of this battle because so many of the bad ideas that wreaked havoc on cities hatched there. Fortunately, so did many of the antidotes.

Read the rest here.

Liberty Pundits Blog

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CBO games.


As Republicans in the House fight to repeal ObamaCare, the administration and its allies have fought back by claiming that ending the health-care law will increase the deficit.  They point to final CBO scoring which showed a slight reduction in deficits over the first ten years of the program.  Today, two former CBO officials and [...]

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Hot Air » Top Picks

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By Roger Pilon

Today POLITICO Arena asks:

In light of today’s reading of the Constitution in the new House, what misinterpretations of the Constitution do you regularly see in American politics? And are House Republicans implying that the previous Democratic majority did not have a firm grasp of the government’s founding document?

My response:

Thanks to the Tea Party, as I wrote in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Congress seems to be rediscovering the Constitution — or at least many House Republicans seem to be. When members read the document aloud today, apparently for the first time in the nation’s history, they’ll be throwing down a marker: “We take the Constitution seriously, and intend to abide by its principles.” If true, how refreshing.

This is not a partisan matter. As many Republicans have said — albeit, some only after November’s elections — both parties for years have ignored the Constitution’s limits on political power. To confirm that, we need look no further than to James Madison, the principal author of the document, who assured skeptical ratifiers in Federalist 45 that the powers authorized by the Constitution were “few and defined.” That hardly describes today’s federal behemoth.

Thus, the main “misinterpretation” has been over the very idea of constitutional limits — particularly as inherent in the doctrine of enumerated powers, the principle that “We the People” gave Congress only 18 enumerated powers. The Commerce Clause, for example, was written mainly to ensure interstate commerce unfettered by state interference, not to enable Congress to regulate every aspect of life. And the General Welfare Clause was meant to limit Congress’s taxing power pursuant to its enumerated ends to objects of national, not particular, concern: it wasn’t meant to enable Congress to redistribute private wealth at will.

The great change came during the New Deal, of course, after FDR’s infamous Court packing threat, when a cowed Court began turning the Constitution on its head. But don’t take my word for that constitutional legerdemain. Here’s Roosevelt, writing to the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in 1935: “I hope your committee will not permit doubts as to constitutionality, however reasonable, to block the suggested legislation.” And here’s Rexford Tugwell, one of the principal architects of the New Deal, reflecting on his handiwork some 30 years later: “To the extent that these new social virtues [i.e., New Deal policies] developed, they were tortured interpretations of a document [i.e., the Constitution] intended to prevent them.” They knew exactly what they were doing.

So when today’s liberals tell us the Constitution authorizes the vast federal programs that now reduce so many Americans to government dependents, they reveal their historical ignorance — or their political ambition. And they’re reduced to the silliness we saw in Tuesday’s New York Times, where the Times editorialists ranted against today’s constitutional reading as “a theatrical production of unusual pomposity.” Illustrating their own penchant for pomposity, they then dug into their bag of adjectives and let loose: “a self-important flourish,” “their Beltway insider ritual of self-glorification,” “a presumptuous and self-righteous act,” “an air of vacuous fundamentalism,” ”all of this simply eyewash,” “a ghastly waste of time.” They must have been emotionally drained when they finished their screed.

The Constitution is not a blank slate, details to follow, as decided by transient majorities. Were it that, it never would have been ratified. After all, we fought a revolution to rid ourselves of overweening government, and fought a Civil War to institute at last the grand principles of the Declaration of Independence. Nor will those principles be restored in a day. But today’s reading will start a debate that is sorely needed, at the end of which one can hope for restoration.

Toward Restoring Constitutional Government is a post from Cato @ Liberty - Cato Institute Blog


Cato @ Liberty

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style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 10px;"> href="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/marriage.jpg"> class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43085" title="marriage" src="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/marriage.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="242" />

When a news outlet heralds the message that “4 in 10 say marriage becoming obsolete,” one can be sure that no one has surveyed the kids.

Today the Pew Research Center, in href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2031962,00.html">conjunction with Time Magazine, formally released the results of a poll that, in the words of one Associated Press writer, underscores the existence of “rapidly changing notions of the American family.” It’s an ideological spin on what is in fact a slowly evolving situation that culture shapers and policymakers could and should be doing much more to address.

The core statement about the coming obsolescence of marriage is rooted in Pew’s href="http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/poll-4-in-10-say-marriage-becoming-obsolete/19723552">benchmark finding that only 28 percent of U.S. adults believed marriage was obsolete in 1978, whereas 39 percent hold that belief today. That is indeed a significant increase, but it is incremental—about one-third of a percentage point per year. Interpretations of the Pew report are taking a decidedly ideological view on other topics as well, including the finding that about 29 percent of children under age 18 now live with parents who are divorced or never married. That number is up fivefold from 1960, but it is a long way from making a majority. id="more-46895">

Marriage is certainly hurting as an institution, but its reported death, like Mark Twain’s, is an exaggeration, and its revival is certainly an imperative. Marriage can become obsolete only in a society where the needs of children have become passé. That is because marital status is href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703618504575459994284873112.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion">strongly tied to educational achievement and financial success, and the alternatives to raising children in an intact, married household show elevated rates of adversity on so many outcome measurements.

Consider just one: the incidence of abuse and neglect of children by family structure. The latest href="http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/abuse_neglect/natl_incid/nis4_report_exec_summ_pdf_jan2010.pdf">national incidence report from the Administration on Children and Families found that children living with their married, biological parents had the lowest rates of abuse across all of the categories of maltreatment studied. In fact, the report, released just this year, found that, “compared to children living with married biological parents, those whose single parent had a live-in partner had more than 8 times the rate of maltreatment overall, over 10 times the rate of abuse, and nearly 8 times the rate of neglect.”

Differential outcomes for children hold up across other href="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/01/Marriage-Parentage-and-the-Constitution-of-the-Family">measurements, including rates of juvenile delinquency, school dropout, having aspirations for and attending college, avoiding early sexual experience and pregnancy, and enjoying marital happiness as adults.

Rather than indulging “Brave New World” euphoria about evolving family styles, culture shapers and policymakers should be doing more to reverse the incremental declines of the past three decades and restore a culture of married families. For example, no action government could take would be more crucial to successfully addressing href="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/09/Marriage-America-s-Greatest-Weapon-Against-Child-Poverty">child poverty than promoting marriage among poor (and, increasingly, underemployed) middle-income Americans. Poignantly, the same reports showing that Americans in these income groups are experiencing less marital success also show that they revere marriage and desire the long-term href="http://www.familyscholars.org/assets/Why-Marriage-Matters-summary.pdf">emotional, economic and personal security it manifestly brings.

Reshaping public policy and encouraging more constructive media messages are hard work. Among the immediate steps that need attention are href="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Commentary/2010/07/Its-Time-for-Another-Run-at-Welfare-Reform">welfare reforms that address not just one but all 70 of the federal government’s anti-poverty programs, restoration of the href="http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2005/fall_childrenfamilies_haskins.aspx">Healthy Marriage funding (which was submerged into another stale job-training initiative by the Obama Administration), and the extension of the href="http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/09/obama-tax-hikes-mcconnell-grassley-tax-hike-prevention-act-would-help-taxpayers-and-economy">marriage penalty tax relief that, like half of the child tax credit, is set to expire this coming December 31.

Government has little role in what appears on the nation’s television screens, but the absence of positive depictions of intact, married family life on the airwaves remains a shocking dereliction by the nation’s broadcasters. The hunger exists: Consider the most popular show today on The Learning Channel—its series on the href="http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/duggars/">Duggar family of Tontitown, Arkansas. The Duggars and their 19 children have a fascinated and devoted following. Their joy and togetherness are captivating to millions of viewers. But in this case 19 are not enough—one television program is not enough.

Nearly 70 percent of children are still being raised by the married parents who conceived them, but very little of their real experience is shown on commercial broadcasting. Given this fact, it’s a sign of the family’s href="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2004/01/The-Fundamental-Institutions-President-Bush-on-Marriage-the-Family-and-Faith">durability and resilience that the number of children being raised in intact households remains as high it is—despite an array of cultural and welfare-triggered assaults.

It will take more than another bleak assessment of the nation’s families, abetted by a spin-doctoring media machine, to bring down this cornerstone of civil society. But it will also take much more than we are doing now to restore the married family to its full health and promise.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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Barack Obama promised transparency. He is about to get a dose of sunshine
American Thinker Blog

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 On a special edition of Sunday’s Hannity show, FNC host Sean Hannity informed viewers that Restoring Sanity Rally participant and singer Cat Stevens - who converted to Islam in the 1970s and changed his name to Yusuf Islam - several times declared that Salman Rushdie should be killed after Iranian leader, the Ayatollah Khomeni, issued a fatwa on the British author in 1989 for publishing his book the Satanic Verses.

A recounting of Stevens’s history of verbal attacks on Rushdie at hotair.com includes both video of a Stevens appearing on a British television program, and a New York Times article quoting from the program.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, October 31, Hannity show on FNC:

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NewsBusters.org - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

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Reporting from New Jersey, on a fireball candidate for Congress, black tea party patriots, and more.
American Thinker Blog

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Crowd counts are hard and notoriously subject to spin, but this comparison of aerial images from the conservative blog Verum Serum is a pretty good illustration of the varying sizes of the "Restoring Honor" and "One Nation" rallies this year.

Which reminds me of something recently said to me about the Stewart/Colbert event:

It’s just like everything they do – it’s really for the joke,” said one person familiar with the planning of the October 30 event…

Glenn Beck makes a big deal out of how, ‘whatever you believe, all these people are really passionate about the issues, and look at this amazing turnout. We’re going to show you how ridiculous Glenn Beck is because we’re going to put two comics up there and they’re going to have more people.

The gauntlet’s been thrown. Looking forward to the aerial photos.





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Sometimes a picture is worth more than 1,000 words. From Milton Wolf.com:

Washington rallies, conservative vs. liberal


Big Government

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The Republican Pledge to America released last nearly perfectly addresses the problems being created by the current leadership of our federal government. Its first sentence, making the point that Nobel Laureate economist Friedrich Hayek made fifty years ago in his The Constitution of Liberty, America is an idea, is something of major import that has been forgotten in this era of using government in an attempt to escape individual responsibility.

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The reference to the Declaration of Independence contained in the rest of the Pledge should be obvious to us all, but unfortunately our education system is today more about garnering largesse for political unions than about educating our children on what ideas form the basis of our country.

The current jobs recession and the financial crisis that created it are the result of those in charge of an expanded federal government attempting to make the world in their own vision—in this particular case the vision that everyone has the right to own a home.

The response of those in power to the economic decline-from the TARP program, the stimulus bill fiasco, the cash-for-clunkers program, the first-time home buyers program, financial regulation, ad infinitum- has been to create massive uncertainty of what the rules of the game are. Combined with the takeover of the health care industry, we have created a situation where we no longer have what Hayek termed the Rule of Law.

Instead we have the arbitrary rule of whoever has power. This regime uncertainty, as Robert Higgs has called it, is the primary reason that we have nearly 15 million unemployed and another 8.9 million working part-time who would rather have full-time employment. The most important aspect of The Republican Pledge is that it provides the certainty of limited government that allows the market economy to provide opportunity and an elevated standard of living for all Americans.


Big Government

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Glenn Beck or Barack Obama:

Part of moving forward is returning to the time-honored values that built this country: hard work and self-reliance; responsibility for ourselves, but also responsibility for one another. It’s about moving from an attitude that said, ‘What’s in it for me,’ to one that asks: ‘What’s best for America? What’s best for all our workers? What’s best for all of our businesses? What’s best for all of our children?’"

I think this — from Obama’s speech today — is meant as a challenge to Beck, the more liberal and communitarian approach to restoring America. But platitudes can be so hard to distinguish.

(h/t Matt Negrin)





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Saturday, August 28, 2010, my husband, two daughters, and I attended the Restoring Honor rally in Washington D.C. It was a wonderful experience for us all. The crowd was huge (500,000 + people), very peaceful, and individuals were kind and patient. You might think that the important part of the weekend was the three and a half hours (or more) that we spent together during the rally. When I was sitting under the bright, hot sun with my friends from Texas, I thought so too. But I was wrong…

DC Rally

During the first leg of our trip from D.C. to Chicago, our two daughters, ages 22 and 16, sat next to an African-American gentleman wearing an Obama inauguration t-shirt. After take-off, he mentioned to them that he had travelled to D.C. to attend Al Sharpton’s Reclaim the Dream rally. Our older daughter told him that they were in D.C. for the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor rally, and the conversation took off from there.

The gentlemen told my daughters that he went to the Restoring Honor rally with several friends because Al Sharpton told them that we were holding a negative protest that was against MLK’s message and against those who had gathered for Rev. Sharpton’s rally. He said that when he and his friends arrived that they didn’t see anything that they expected, so they stayed a bit to listen. They realized that Restoring Honor was not anything like what Rev. Sharpton told them to expect. They then returned to the Sharpton rally to try to tell several people that what Rev. Sharpton was saying about our rally was not true. He saw that our rally was not a political or hateful rally, and that it was not meant to divide Americans. He tried to get a message to Rev. Sharpton prior to his speech, but either he didn’t get the message or he ignored the message. Rev. Sharpton went forward with his original speech as planned.

This kind gentleman then told my daughter some things that amazed us. He told them multiple times that he was a Democrat, and that the tide had turned since MLK’s day, and that the civil rights movement had not changed with it. He asked the girls to watch Al Sharpton on CNN. He thought that Sharpton looked ridiculous on CNN because it was the perfect opportunity to say that he was sorry for his criticism of the Restoring Honor rally. Then they discussed the media. He and the girls agreed that the lack of truth in the media and the lack of individuals’ willingness to do their own research would be our country’s downfall. He followed up by saying that Glenn was something special and possibly the modern day MLK. He said that from now on when Glenn spoke he would take the time to listen, and that Glenn or someone like him would be the next great President. The girls told him that they felt sure that Glenn would never run.

The girls asked if he would come to the rally if we had another one. He said maybe, it depended on what was going on in his life but, he would be with us in spirit for sure.

During the last few days I talked with folks and I came to understand two things:

First, the event wasn’t for or about 9-12ers, Tea Partiers, or those of us who have become politically active during the last year and a half. It was for ALL of America — every single person that we hope will be inspired to put God, integrity and honor first in their lives. It was for the majority of Americans who may even be watching from the sidelines, but who believe that the priorities of Faith, Hope (Trust), and Charity.

Second, there is REAL hope that Americans of all ethnicities and faiths can peacefully unite around our common desire for truth in our lives and in our country. We cannot give up and we must continue to build relationships, one person at a time through kitchen table conversations. We must help every American know that they are not alone and that there are many folks who will unite with them around our honorable founding principles.

Pretty strong stuff. Our 16 year old told me that the weekend experience changed her life.


Big Government

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