e-News January 15, 20101/15/10
- The Week Just Past
- ‘The Recession is Over’?
- The Backroom Wrangling Heats Up
- Disclosing Sensitive Security Information
- Good Idea of the Week: Saudi Detainees Stay Put
- Eye on China
- Haiti’s Disaster: How to Help
- RodneyPlans Public TownMeeting
The Week Just Past
“At this writing, rumors are swirling around Washington that the closed-door negotiations on health care may be about to produce a ‘deal’ between the Obama Administration and the Congress’ Majority Leadership. If this is true, the President, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are one step closer to changing the practice of medicine and patient care in America forever!
“Of course, we don’t know details of the backroom talks, because no Republicans, reporters, or representatives of the public are actually in the room!
“First, what we do know is that two of the keystones of any Pelosi-Reid package will be a $500 billion cut to our senior citizen’s Medicare program and new and massive tax increases on individuals and businesses, small and large.
“Second, I cannot think of a worse time to raise job-killing taxes than in the midst of a serious economic downturn.
“Over the course of the past year, the Administration and the Congressional Majority Democrats have perpetuated an environment of uncertainty with the threat of more onerous regulations and red tape, skyrocketing budget deficits, and tax increases that will prevent private sector jobs from being created.
“To put things in perspective, consider that return to a 5 percent unemployment rate means that America will need to produce over 250,000 jobs each month for the next five years – an impossibility unless Congress changes course. Remember, last month, 85,000 Americans lost their jobs.
“And where will the jobs come from? A November 2009 study using Census Bureau data found that since 1980 nearly all net new jobs have come from businesses that are less than five years old. In other words, they were created by so-called ‘start-ups.’
“I wonder how many entrepreneurs will even consider starting or expanding a business in the face of the push for government-run health care, new taxes, new burdensome regulations and onerous new insurance requirements?”
The recession is over?
Despite proclamations from President Obama’s key advisors that “the recession is over,” the latest news on the economy was not good this week. Retail sales dropped again in December. First time claims for unemployment rose more sharply than expected. Credit for business is still very tight.
The “recession is over?” Tell that to families struggling all across New Jersey!
Recommended Reading: “Stimulus cash doesn't create local jobs” by the Associated Press:
The Backroom Wrangling on Health Care Heats Up
President Obama and Speaker Pelosi’s and Majority Leader Reid’s negotiators continue to race the clock in the hope of ramming a final health care agreement through Congress by the end of January. But they appear to be encountering stiff resistance from many of their own Democratic rank-and-file members, partly over a Senate plan to slap new taxes on certain private health insurance plans including those held by middle-income workers and possible higher taxes on stock and bond dividends, which will particularly harm the nest eggs of New Jersey’s older residents.
Recommended Reading II: The Tuesday piece in the New York Times on the inexcusable delay in the Obama Administration’s appointment of a director for the agency that runs Medicare: “Lack of Medicare Chief Is a Strike Against Reform”:
It is hard to believe that such an important post has been officially vacant for over a year as CMS proceeds to institute drastic reimbursement cuts on physician practices, especially for cardiologists. In addition, CMS is preparing to impose dozens of new mandates in the context of the proposed health “reform” bills.
Noted with Concern: Disclosing Sensitive Security Information
Rodney has long argued that military tribunals are better equipped than U.S. civilian courts to prosecute terrorists due to concerns about the release of information that is either classified or sensitive to ongoing military or intelligence operations.
The New York Times reported this week that an attorney for a Tanzanian man charged in connection with the 1998 bombings of two U.S. Embassies in East Africa and a former bodyguard for Osama bin Laden released information that “was apparently not supposed to have been revealed in open court.”
As the Obama Administration prepares to prosecute 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his terrorist conspirators in a New York City federal court, Rodney has called on the President to reverse his decision and utilize the military commissions process, which was updated by the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2009, to prosecute terrorists captured in the war on terrorism.
“The military commissions system is designed consistent with the laws of armed conflict,” Rodney said. “It is designed to provide due process to the accused while shielding the classified intelligence and counter-terrorism operations and those individuals who perform them while protecting the security of our communities every day!”
Good Idea of the Week: Saudi Detainees Stay Put
The Obama Administration disclosed this week that it has no plans to transfer any Guantanamo detainees to Saudi Arabia in the foreseeable future.
Eye on China
The recent worldwide headlines about China contain an unmistakable message: The People’s Republic of China is on the move! The Financial Times reported China’s banks have eclipsed their U.S. rivals. The Washington Post wrote that China has just surpassed Germany as the world’s top exporter. And the BBC told us that China has now overtaken America in car sales.
And then on Monday, China said that it had successfully tested that nation’s first land-based missile defense system, after years of condemning the United States for developing its own missile defense system.
This week Google warned that it “may pull out of China because of a sophisticated computer network attack originating there.” In recent months, U.S. government, military and major corporate networks have suffered similar attacks.
China recently signed a major trade agreement with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). The Obama Administration and Congress have yet to act on ANY trade pacts, even those already signed by our country!
Of course, the larger issue is China’s obvious intention to become more of a major player on the world’s economic and military stage than it is today, while continuing to deny human rights to their own citizens.
Their economy is growing faster than any in the West. The growth in their Army, Navy and Air Force and their capabilities – the growth they actually admit to – is breathtaking!
Many observers fear that the Obama Administration is downgrading the China threat/challenge (choose one, please) to justify last year’s and future cuts to key defense programs, like missile defense, Navy shipbuilding and Air Force fighter aircraft.
The United States ignores or denies these trends at OUR peril and the peril of our children and grandchildren.
“I am deeply saddened by the tremendous loss of life and suffering that has followed this week’s strong earthquake in Haiti. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. I am gratified that the United States and our allies and so many faith-based, charitable organizations are providing assistance to help prevent additional loss of life and deliver relief to those in need.
“I have visited Haiti in the past and know that this tragedy only compounds the poverty and misery that already exists there.”
How to Help
Americans are being encouraged to support relief efforts through charitable cash donations. Both the White House and the State Department are facilitating donations to the International Red Cross through their websites.
Here are links to the Center for International Disaster Information's (CIDI) Guidelines and FAQ, which will be helpful in answering questions.
The FBI has warned of many “scams” related to Haitian earthquake relief, according to the Washington Post:
RodneyPlans Public TownMeeting
Rodney has scheduled another in his ongoing series of public town meetings on Saturday January 23. All area residents and concerned citizens in the 11th Congressional District are invited to participate.
“I hold town meetings on a regular basis because there is no better way for a Member of Congress to know what is on the minds of his or her constituents than by reaching out to residents to listen to their concerns and address their questions in a face to face town hall meeting,” he said.
Rodney will provide an update on his work in Congress, including his efforts to oppose tax hikes and large federal spending increases, promote homeland security, support America’s military service members and their families.
The Town Meeting will be held:
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
WhippanyPark High School
165 Whippany Road, Whippany, NJ 07981
Seating may be limited. Persons with disabilities requiring unique arrangements should call 973-984-0711.
Constituent service staff will be available to address individual concerns.