A "super-Congress" is being proposed by Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. The left-wing Huffington Post summarizes the plan — which they claim is also supported by Republican House Speaker John Boehner — this way:

"Legislation approved by the Super Congress — which some on Capitol Hill are calling the 'super committee' — would then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it couldn't be amended by simple, regular lawmakers, who'd have the ability only to cast an up or down vote. With the weight of both leaderships behind it, a product originated by the Super Congress would have a strong chance of moving through the little Congress and quickly becoming law."
 

The National Governors Association Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 15-17, was a smashing success — at least from the viewpoint of China's Communist Party officials and its state-controlled mega-corporations. A major component of this year's annual NGA confab was the first-ever U.S.-China Governors Forum, which brought the U.S. governors together with four of their Chinese counterparts, the governors of Zhejiang, Anhui, Yunnan, and Qinghai  provinces. Leading the official Chinese delegation was Zhao Hongzhu, Communist Party Secretary of Zhejiang Province.

Secretary Hongzhu told China Daily that the summit exchange was "direct, practical and effective." According to China Daily, billions of dollars in trade deals were signed:

When Standard and Poor’s moved up their timeframe for a downgrade on U.S. sovereign debt from three to five years to just 90 days, Dave Beers, Director of the Sovereign Debt Division explained that the rating of U.S. debt is not on the verge of falling because the debt ceiling debate in Congress hasn't been resolved:

The debt ceiling is not the central preoccupation that we have. We put the United States on credit watch because we’re growing less certain that this political debate can be resolved. This was not merely about the debt ceiling.

The problem with the U.S. is that there is no strategy. There is a debate about what the strategy would be. But there’s nothing close to a consensus.

With the landing last week of America’s last space shuttle, the nation stands at a critical point in the history of space exploration. For some, the last flight of Atlantis — a mission officially designated as STS-135, was “bittersweet,” as one writer termed it. The landing of Atlantis may presage a difficult era in the “Space Age,” or it may herald the beginning of the end of the government’s virtual monopoly on mankind’s exploration of the heavens.

As reported previously for The New American, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has been marked by significant controversy regarding both the future of his agency, and the future of manned space flight. The Obama administration quickly killed George Bush’s “Constellation” program, which had set a return to the Moon and an eventual mission to Mars as part of U.S. space policy. However, NASA’s new, Obama-era goals quickly put the Moon and Mars back on the timetable — but pushed them farther away. Meanwhile, NASA’s budget remains fundamentally stable, despite the end of a shuttle program which had previously consumed a substantial portion of the budget. As Mike Wall recently wrote in an article for Space.com:

UPDATE, August 2, 2011: The House passed the bipartisan debt ceiling deal (S. 365) 269 to 161 on August 1. The Senate passed S. 365 by 74 to 26 just after noon today. President Obama has already signed it into law.

 

JBS CEO Art Thompson's topics this week -- Norwegian Mad Bomber a Christian? Think not! China continues to buy America as we buy Chinese; Latin America continues its march into communism.

President Obama’s open letter to the American people published yesterday in USA Today challenges them “to do something big and meaningful" and stand behind his efforts to raise the debt ceiling.

This debate [over the debt ceiling] offers the chance to put our economy on stronger footing, and [to] secure a better future for our children. I want to seize that opportunity, and [to] ask Americans of both parties and no party to join me in that effort.

Obama's letter is carefully crafted to persuade the average reader that the country’s present perilous financial condition was not caused by the Ruling Class at all but by all citizens working out their daily lives.

A lot of good people who believe, as I do, that we need to balance the federal budget have fallen for a very bad idea. I’m referring to the notion that a balanced budget amendment will somehow help solve the fiscal disaster our country faces.

I just got a promotional email from Regnery Publishing, one of my all-time favorite book-publishing companies. I can’t count the number of truly important titles it has issued, from Witness to the whole “politically incorrect guidelines” series. My shelves are filled with things it has done, including numerous best-sellers.

But the most recent email I got from Regnery stopped me short. The subject line read, “Amending the Constitution Is Our Only Hope.”

House Speaker John Boehner walked away Friday from debt ceiling negotiations with President Obama, saying that the White House had “moved the goalposts” in their weeks-long effort to come to terms acceptable to both Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate.

In his letter to members of the House, Boehner said, "During these discussions ... it became evident that the White House is simply not serious about ending the spending binge that is destroying jobs and endangering our children’s future… In the end, we couldn’t connect. Not because of different personalities, but because of different visions for our country."

The first time I recall having exercised my right to vote was in 1992, when I was 20 years old. From that time to the present, I have never voted for any candidate who wasn’t a Republican. In spite of this, I refuse to identify myself as a Republican, and as any reader of my work knows all too well, I am at least as critical of Republicans as I am of Democrats and leftists. Truth be told, it is probably the case that I am disposed to be even more critical of Republicans and establishment or movement rightists than I am of their Democratic and leftist peers, for the audiences for which I am accustomed to writing consist of people who know that Democrats are their foes. Of Republicans, on the other hand, things aren’t usually so clear.

I realize that politics is indeed the art of the possible, and that the artist who is the politician must possess the will to compromise and the practical wisdom to know when to do so. It also must be admitted that, although it is without exaggeration that it has been said by some that our two national parties differ in degree, not kind, the Republican Party is less prone to accommodate leftist sensibilities than is its main competitor. What this means is that from a conservative perspective, the GOP promises to be less destructive to the nation than the Democratic Party. 

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