e-News November 20, 200911/20/09
1. The Week Just Past
2. Our Troops Wait
3. Kudos of the Week: New Jersey’s General Ray Odierno
4. Focusing on Jobs: It’s about time!
5. Claiming Jobs where None Exist
6. New Waves of Red Ink
7. Spending goes the wrong way under the Pelosi Health Care bill
The Week Just Past
“The week after the Obama Administration’s irresponsible decision to prosecute the self-proclaimed mastermind of the murderous September 11, 2001 attacks in federal criminal court in New York City, Attorney General Holder defended the decision.
“In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Holder was asked what the Justice Department would do if somehow Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was acquitted or released on a technicality. His exact words: ‘I have told prosecutors in New York that failure is not an option.’
“Well, history is littered with examples of failed prosecutions in high profile cases, even when failure was ‘not an option.’
“The decision by the Obama Administration to move terrorists from our very secure facility in Cuba to the U.S. is bad enough. But to bypass existing military commissions and bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his cohorts to U.S. soil for a federal criminal trial is even worse. It is wrong on many levels. That action gives these jihadists the same status as common criminals and, in effect, criminalizes America’s war on dangerous terrorists who seek to kill Americans both here and abroad and damage our homeland.
“In addition, the Administration is providing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed with the world’s largest stage from which to continue to spew his hate and incite further violence.
“Additionally, I am convinced that this action will jeopardize our national security by threatening to expose our intelligence-gathering methods and techniques and those in the intelligence community who work to protect us.
“This decision is further evidence that the White House is reverting to a dangerous pre-9/11 mentality – treating terrorism as a domestic law enforcement issue and hoping for the best.
“We need to learn the lessons of the past. To paraphrase the words of the 9/11 Commission, chaired by our own former Governor Tom Kean, “before September 11, 2001, al Qaeda was at war with us. We were not at war with them.”
Recommended Viewing: Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) and Attorney General Eric Holder at Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Hearing:
Recommended Reading: Jeff Jacoby’s column in Wednesday’s Boston Globe: “In N.Y. trial, a treasure trove for terror”
Our Troops Wait
At the same time the President is taking decisive action in orchestrating “show trials” in New York City for admitted terrorists, he is proving incredibly indecisive on providing support for our soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan.
The President told interviewers in China this week that he was “very close” to a decision about troop levels in Afghanistan and would make an announcement “in a few weeks.”
The President’s hand-picked commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, presented him with a new strategy and recommendations for additional forces last summer.
And the world is watching – friends and foes alike. In the words of an expert on counter-insurgency who just returned from Afghanistan, “Right now we're sending kind of a message of indecision."
Talk about an understatement.
Kudos of the Week: To New Jersey’s General Ray Odierno
Americans should not forget all the troops serving on the so-called "Bad War” front in Iraq. In particular, we owe a debt of gratitude to General Ray Odierno, Commander of Multi-National Force Iraq and a graduate of Morris Hills High School and West Point, for his leadership in Iraq and for helping design the successful “surge” strategy.
Focusing on Jobs: It’s about time!
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated this week that she hopes that the House will vote before the end of the year on legislation intended to create more jobs.
It’s about time! American families are hurting!
Since the recession's start in late 2007, the number of lost payroll jobs totals 6.9 million. A third of today's jobless have been unemployed for more than six months. That is nearly double the share of the jobless population just one year ago and a post-World War II high.
While the official unemployment rate stands at 10.2 percent, the unemployment and "underemployment" rate now exceeds 17 percent -- this includes the officially unemployed plus all part-time workers who have want full-time jobs, as well as demoralized job-seekers who dropped completely out of the job hunt.
What's most ominous is not today's job market; it's the outlook. Most economists predict any recovery, which may or may not be sustainable at this point, will, at best, be “jobless.” That is, most forecasters expect a weak recovery which will only gradually dent unemployment.
And Rodney reacted to news that President Obama will soon hold a ‘jobs summit’ at the White House:
“Want businesses to start hiring? Stop threatening them with massive tax hikes, like those included in Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill.
“Worried about continued unemployment? Stop talking about job killing energy taxes like those included in the “cap & trade” bill.
“Think Congress should focus on jobs? Stop wasting month after month arguing over a health care plan that families, workers, and seniors in this country do not support.”
Claiming Jobs where None Exist
And the Administration wonders why people are skeptical about its claim that it has ‘saved or created’ hundreds of thousands of jobs through its so-called ‘stimulus’ bill.
According to the Administration’s own website, www.recovery.com, 384 jobs have been saved or created in New Jersey’s 44h Congressional District with just $2,027,303 in federal stimulus spending.
New Jersey only has 13 Congressional districts.
The website also reported that over $5 million in ‘stimulus’ funding was spent in the state’s 15th district.
“These are isolated incidents of bad information, but there seems to be an unacceptable trend developing. The Administration has a serious responsibility to ensure that the data it releases is accurate and reliable," Rodney said. "Whether the numbers are good news or bad news, the American people deserve an honest accounting.”
Recommended Reading II: Dana Milbank’s column on President Obama’s trip through Asia in Thursday’s Washington Post:
New Waves of Red Ink
The United States reached another regrettable milestone this week: The U.S. National Debt topped the $12-trillion mark!
Divided evenly among the U.S. population, it amounts to $38,974.34 for every man, woman and child.
This latest milestone in the ever-rising debt comes less than eight months after it hit $11 trillion for the first time.
Record federal spending has driven the federal deficit for the just-ended 2009 fiscal year reached an all-time high at $1.42-trillion – more than triple the previous year's record high!
Costs go the wrong way under the Pelosi Health Care bill
Although the news did not capture much attention in the ‘mainstream media’, Capitol Hill was buzzing this week about the new analysis of Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill by the nonpartisan experts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The report shows that Speaker Pelosi’s bill (H.R. 3962) will actually increase health care costs by $289 billion!!
This report – compiled by an agency of the Obama Administration itself - seems to discredit the assertions we have heard about how a 2,000 page, $1.3 trillion health care bill will somehow lower costs.
And New Jersey’s seniors should pay attention to another frightening finding in the CMS report, which said “…Medicare would be cut by “more than one-half trillion dollars… possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries.”
Although the House has already passed this bill before these new numbers were released, we can hope that members of the Senate will vote against any health care bill that does not actually lower health care costs.
Recommended Reading III: Sunday’s Wall Street Journal editorial, “The Rationing Commission. Meet the unelected body that will dictate future medical decisions”