Monday, August 31, 2009

Cybersecurity Act of 2009 a Test in Presidential Power

If it isn't health care reform, it's something else. Now it comes in the form of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, or S.773.

The controversy raised with this is that it gives the President control to shut down the internet if certain emergencies arise. On pages 43-44 of the 51 page bill states:

"The President - (2)may declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network;"
Some will see this as a non-issue. Others feel that it is a total violation on their freedoms. Those who seem most bothered by it, feel the President is creating too much power.

However, the President is doing his hardest to stimulate the job market with anything and everything he can get his hands on. Yes, even with the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 he will try to create jobs. On page 41 the bill says:

"Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the President, or the President's designee, shall report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology of the feasibility of- (1)creating a market for cybersecurity risk management, including the creation of a system of civil liability and insurance (including government reinsurance)"
One decent thing in the bill overshadowed by the extended power of the President if this passes. While the debate over health care reform is still so rampant, there is great attention that should be paid to the other bills that surface during the debate.


Failure is Instructive

There are few times when someone is able to hit the nail on the head, and at the same time explain something in such a simple way that nearly everyone should understand. That is something Dave Ramsey is very good at.

Recently, Dave Ramsey talked about the instructive power of FAILURE. With that, we will let Dave tell it to you. Please take the next nine or so minutes to hear what he has to say. You will, like many others, find yourself nodding your head yes and at times laughing.



Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cash for Appliances and the New Green Agenda

Now that the government run Cash for Clunkers program has ended, the continuing push for the new green agenda will be in the form of a Cash for Appliances program.

While the government touts the cash for clunkers program as a success, with a reported 700,000 new vehicles sold, there seems to be an underlying plan with the Obama administration. A plan seemingly focused on furthering the green agenda, not only by removing thousands of gas-guzzling vehicles, but now with the introduction of removing energy-hogging household appliances.

Help would come in the form of rebates valued from $50-$200 from the Department of Energy that has already been approved for $300 million from the stimulus plan earlier this year. While you will hear that this will only help the economy, it's what they fail to tell you up front.

Those unsuspecting individuals that bought vehicles under the clunker program are only now finding out that their rebate will be taxed as taxable income.

However, the debate over the green agenda raises some concern with people. It's not the fact that everyone wants to waste energy, but more so that the government is stepping in and throwing so much money around. People are realizing the amount of wasteful spending and are getting frustrated.

First, it was the banks. Second, the auto industry. Third, the auto industry again. Billions of hard-working taxpayer money has been tossed at these faltering companies.

Two companies that seem to be doing quite well are the two appliance super-companies, Whirlpool and GE. Whirlpool is the leading company, while General Electric draws unwanted attention pulling them to the number two spot.

Unlike the auto industry, the top two appliance makers are American and look to be the top winners with this new program. Another reason Americans are a little upset with the cash for clunkers program was that American auto makers failed to make the top three autos sold under the program. First and second were filled by Toyota, third was Honda, fourth was Ford, and fifth was Hyundai.

General Motors and Chrysler were the two that could have benefited the most, but failed to make the grade again.

The positive side the the clunker program is that it did spawn traffic to dealerships, but there is fear surrounding dealers that the little traffic they do have will become stagnant. A similar feeling could be faced by appliance stores at the end this new program, and quite possibly before it even gets going.

Some are quick to see that some things are too good to be true, while others are slower at noticing.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nation Mournes at Passing of Ted Kennedy

Massachusetts longtime Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy has passed away at the age of 77 after battling a brain tumor.

For more coverage:

Remembering Ted Kennedy

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy Dies After Cancer Battle

A statement from the Kennedy family:

"We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all."


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Health Care Reform A 'Moral Obligation'

Today, President Obama worked at pitching health care reform with religious leaders in various communities of faith in a conference call.

With huge opposition, Obama turns to a group of religious leaders in an effort to rethink how to sell the proposed health care reform. President Obama claims the opposition is distracting the country from its "core ethical and moral obligation."

In his effort to sell his health care, Obama has teamed up with Fatih in Public Life. A group directly affiliated with ACORN.

They have started an enormous effort, 40 Days for Health Reform, to flood televisions with advertisements, prayer vigils, rallies, and also ministering debate in Sunday sermons.

The advertisements are produced by AKPD Message and Media, founded by White House senior strategist David Axelrod. The media firm looks to receive, along with GMMB, $12 million by Health Economy Now and Americans for Stable Quality Care, a coalition that includes PhRMA.

As the President thinks health care is a moral and ethical issue, many are in a stir as the line between the separation of church and state is severely questioned. Argument coming due to a conference call from President Obama to religious group leaders asking them to use their platform to further a political agenda.

Even more of a moral and ethical issue when many look at the bill as elderly genocide, or a way for the government to take over another industry and control more. For many, the issue isn't health care reform. It's health care control.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Health Care Reform - Townhall of Sorts

It seems to be the most talked about topic anywhere you turn. Health care this, townhall that. The problem for a lot of people is that they don't have time to get out and ask questions or visit townhall meetings. Or, they are in an area that is represented by someone who doesn't want to bother with all the drama.

That's what this is. This is YOUR chance!

This is YOUR chance to speak. Take just a second and ask a question, or voice a concern. If you see a question asked by someone else, and you can help them answer it, then do it. If you participated in a townhall, or anything else related to health care reform, then share it here.

If you have family or friends that are just as concerned as you, then share this open thread with them. This is YOUR chance!

I am not an expert on the issue, but I am just as concerned as the next guy. I can't answer every question, or respond to every post, but I will do my best to follow this thread.

Now, please be kind and respectful.

If you need to reference the bill, here it is: HR 3200


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Medvedev Statement To Ukrainian President

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev criticizes Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, claiming his policies have reached new lows.

Tuesday, Medvedev posted a new video blog about a letter sent to Yushchenko about concerns over relations between the two areas. Medevedev states that their relations have reached new "unprecedented lows."

This comes as Russia has removed its ambassador from the Ukraine and would not send its new ambassador, Mikhail Zurabov, until there are "positive dynamics" in bilateral relations.

Tension between Russia and Ukraine range over many issues, namely the recent re-arming of Georgia and their borders between South Ossetia and Abkhazia. August marks the one year anniversary of the territoral war where hundreds were killed and many people displaced.

Russia is making accusations that both the U.S. and the Ukraine are backing Georgia and its stance. "Delivery of weapons from the United States is continuing," stated Deputy Foreign Minister Grigori Karasin.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cash For Clunkers; Wrong In So Many Ways

Some see the Cash For Clunkers program as a good thing, while others take time to read and understand what is happening.

On the outside, this plan seems like a winner for all who participate. Dealers, salvage yards, and soon-to-be new owners alike. Those looking to buy a new car or truck are given an incentive to go ahead with the purchase. New car dealers are glad to see their showrooms full of prospective buyers. Salvage yards are chopping at the bits to get their hands on the 'clunkers' to stock their shelves with parts.

The problem isn't always between the lines. Unassumingly, it is right in front of your face. For those looking to see of they qualify for the program, the website opens your computer to the government and becomes part of their computer system, for both foreign and domestic use. It is in plain sight when you are taken to the privacy act statement.

In between the lines, you will pay for the $3500 or $4500 'rebate.' Take a second and remember back when you got a 'check' in the mail only to later that year find out that you had to pay taxes on it. If it sounds to good to be true, it might be right? Those unsuspecting people will be faced with a large bill come tax time.

As stated in Department of Transportation Docket No. NHTSA-2009-0120, on the bottom of page 7 and continuing on the top of page 8, says: "The use of the term “rebate” in the name NHTSA has chosen for the program is not intended to have any effect on how CARS transactions are treated under State or federal tax laws. The CARS Act provides that the credit is not income to the purchaser, but does not address any other possible tax issues. NHTSA lacks expertise and authority in tax matters and makes no attempt here to provide any guidance on those matters."

Simple put, they don't know how to properly tax the individual. But, left to an already bankrupt Obama Administration, they know how to tax people. If they don't know how they will do it right now, they will figure it out by the time tax season hits.

With government officials already left to scramble on their inability to loosen the housing market, few are left to wonder if this will be the final straw to the next collapse. Foreclosures were first, could repossessions be next?


Bill Clinton Visits North Korea

In a surprise trip to North Korea, former President Bill Clinton visited Kim Jong Il in an attempt to bring home Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two American journalists being detained.

Touted by many as an 'international rock-star,' Clinton was the choice in thise secret mission. Okayed by the Obama Administration, his visit is important in so many ways.

Not only to bring home the two American Current TV journalists, Clinton's visit is a testing ground to dialogue on numerous future talks between North Korea and the United States. Nuclear disarmament would be among the biggest concern.

Clinton's reception was greeted warmly, with the two talking over dinner.

However, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, "I think we're obviously talking about something that's extremely sensitive."

Gibbs also stated, "We will have more to say on this hopefully later on."