A new Gallup poll found a record-breaking 81 percent of Americans dissatisfied with the U.S. government’s performance, as the economy remains stagnant and the country’s fiscal integrity wanes. The polling company noted: Americans’ various ratings of political leadership in Washington add up to a profoundly negative review of government — something that would seem unhealthy for the country to endure for an extended period. Nevertheless, with another budget showdown looking inevitable and a contentious presidential election year getting underway, it appears the ratings reviewed here could get worse before they improve. A relatively new trend, American discontent with the way Congress and the White House govern, has significantly deepened. In 2003, 59 percent of Americans approved of the federal government’s overall performance, while only 39 percent disapproved. An analysis of the past few years presents an upward curve in dissatisfaction with the federal government, particularly as war in the Middle East endures and as the U.S. economy remains stale.
Does anxiety over what some fundamentalists believe is the coming "biblical apocalypse" motivate Republicans to vote for a particular candidate? According to a recent op-ed published in the New York Times, the answer is yes. The author of the piece, Matthew Avery Sutton, is an associate professor of history at Washington State University and is the author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America. In his article, Sutton claims that a “small but vocal minority” of Republicans associate the recent economic crises, the rise of “radical Islam,” and diverse natural disasters with the “last days” of the earth and as such they are searching for the candidate they believe will lead them safely through this eschatological maelstrom. How does religion, particularly the branch of Christianity called “fundamentalism,” influence presidential politics? According to Sutton: Christian apocalypticism has a long and varied history. Its most prevalent modern incarnation took shape a century ago, among the vast network of preachers, evangelists, Bible-college professors and publishers who established the fundamentalist movement. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and independents, they shared a commitment to returning the Christian faith to its “fundamentals.”
Americans have invested in homes in many ways for a long time. During the frontier days of the West, families would homestead property and so through grit and endless work transform a patch of prairie into a home, a barn, a farm, and an investment. Federal policies have gutted much of that wealth. Environmental regulations have interfered with the sensible activities of farmers (as if Big Government had a greater long term interest in the preservation of the land than those who lived and worked on it). Farm subsidies, beginning with the disastrous New Deal, contorted rational economic decision-making by farmers and induced them instead to enter the Never-Never Land of government subsidies, so that in Iowa — a politically potent state because of its early role in the primaries — the wasteful use of corn to produce ethanol is still sacrosanct. Federal estate taxes, too, have forced families to sell farms which their grandfathers intended to remain in the family forever. Stocks and bonds have historically been another long-term investment for millions of Americans. Long before the Roaring Twenties, middle-class Americans saw the virtue of creating a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Innovators such as Edison and Bell, geniuses of management such as Carnegie and Ford, and people with just great business ideas, such as Sears, created vast amounts of commercial wealth and then converted that potential wealth into usable cash by liquidating their stock holdings and selling them on the market.
A Louisiana woman suffering from cystic fibrosis is being hailed throughout the world for her decision to deliver three healthy triplets, rather than abort them as doctors had advised her. Identical triplets Dakota, Savannah, and Brooklyn recently celebrated their first birthday because their mother, 21-year-old Kandace Smith, refused to “terminate” them as she was counseled by her doctors, who told her “she was too small and weak to bear even one child, much less triplets,” reported Beliefnet.com. Cystic fibrosis is a serious hereditary disorder that affects the lungs, making it difficult to breathe and often leading to early death. Smith was told that she would likely never be able to have children. “I couldn’t believe that I was actually pregnant,” she recalled to the British newspaper the Daily Mail, “and when the scan showed there were three heartbeats I nearly passed out. I didn’t actually believe it was possible — and there were three babies in my womb.”
Rick Perry’s suspect record as governor of Texas, his love for doling out public funds to illegal aliens, his fondness for lining the pockets of his political allies, and his neo-con attitude toward the perpetuation of foreign wars should be enough to dissuade constitutionalists from voting for the Republican presidential hopeful. As if that weren’t enough, Perry’s recent debate performances may be driving the final nails in the governor’s presidential prospects. Those once considering voting for Rick Perry are now tying their hopes to one of his colleagues after the erstwhile “front runner” has proven himself not only incapable of parrying the barrage of attacks coming at him from his competitors. Herman Cain, the reputed winner of the most recent televised job interview, told Fox News that Perry’s performance was “was not up to primetime.” Surprisingly, Perry himself is copping to the charges of bending under the pressure of the long presidential campaign. At a conference of GOP activists in Michigan, Perry admitted that his debate performances were consistently sub par and less impressive than those of his Republican rivals.
Republican Representative Darrell Issa has been portrayed by the media as being one of the more fiscally conservative members of the House. A recent revelation contradicts that portrayal, as it has been discovered that Issa has been trying to redirect federal money for green jobs in his own district in California. In January of 2010, Issa sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu asking for his support on a federal loan for an electric car maker. The letter read, “Awarding this opportunity to Aptera Moters will greatly assist a leading developer of electric vehicles in my district.” The letter surfaced after Issa was harshly critical of the Obama administration for its crony capitalism on behalf of two companies: Solyndra and Lightsquared. With Solyndra, there have been high-profile hearings on the $535 million federal loan guarantee to the California solar power company that declared bankruptcy last month. In the case of LightSquared, House Armed Services Committee Republicans are expressing support for an "aggressive investigation" into why the company received regulatory approvals from the FCC despite well-documented concerns that its planned satellite-terrestrial broadband network would interfere with GPS — including national security.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other House leaders paid tribute to Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) on September 22, despite the fact that he was overwhelmingly censured by the House less than a year ago for ethics violations and has a history of courtship with Soviet and Communist subversive activities. In December 2010, when the House was controlled by the Democratic majority of the 111th Congress, Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly voted 333-79 to censure Congressman Rangel with regard to unpaid taxes on property he owned in the Dominican Republican, other hidden assets, and for improper use of the his campaign office to raise funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York — all of which are clear violations of House rules. Congressional leaders, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Speaker of the House John Boehner still felt it prudent to honor the former head of the Ways and Means Committee with a special reception and the unveiling of a portrait in the Longworth House Office Building.
Liberals are doing such a good job of bashing Barack Obama, we conservatives can just stand aside and watch. And isn’t it fun? The most dramatic rejection of Obama’s policies occurred in New York’s 9th congressional district last week. Republican businessman Bob Turner defeated his Democratic opponent, State Assemblyman David Weprin, by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent. This was a special election to fill the seat vacated by Anthony Weiner, who resigned in disgrace over a sexting scandal. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz tried to put an optimistic spin on the outcome by saying, “It’s a very difficult district for Democrats.” Come on, Debbie, try another one. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district by a margin of three to one. The seat had been in Democratic hands since 1923. Turner very wisely made the election a mandate on Obama’s failed policies. When he did, a majority of voters gave the President a decisive thumbs-down.
The United Nations is preparing for what is sure to be a contentious showdown, as on September 23 the Palestinians sought recognition from the world body as an independent state. Fox News reports: Earlier in the week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rebuffed an intense, U.S.-led effort to sway him from the statehood bid, saying he would submit the application to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon as planned. A top aide, Mohammed Ishtayeh, said Thursday that Abbas asked Ban and the Council's Lebanese president this month to process the application without delay. ... To be sure, Abbas’ appeal to the U.N. to recognize Palestinian independence in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip would not deliver any immediate changes on the ground: Israel would remain an occupying force in those first two territories and continue to severely restrict access to Gaza, ruled by Palestinian Hamas militants. Abbas told the Palestinians, “We’re going without any hesitation
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a stopgap spending bill because Democrats bemoaned the spending cuts and Republicans believed the bill did not cut enough. After a few tweaks, the stopgap bill managed to pass in the House on Friday morning by a narrow vote of 219-203. However, as expected, the United States Senate blocked the bill in a party-line vote of 59 to 36, potentially sending the House leadership back to the drawing board. On Wednesday, House Republicans suffered an embarrassing 230-195 defeat, as 48 Republicans voted against the bill, angry that it would permit spending at the same rate approved in last month’s debt deal between Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Obama. Fox News notes that the bill's defeat on Wednesday is indicative of the “tenuous grip that Boehner has on the chamber.”