Archive for ‘US Senate’

December 30, 2012

Clearing the tabs…12/30/2012

by thoughtfulconservative

Secretary of State Clinton hospitalized. I guess it turned out to be more than “Benghazi flu” after all… Prayers for Secretary Clinton and her health.

How to prepare financially for 2013 despite fiscal cliff. Step one: Don’t panic. Step 2: Prepare for the worst. That’s when I panic. Step 3: Turn investments into cash…Yeah, right.

Farmer cites religious issues in raw milk case. May be behind a “pay wall.” Sorry.

Immigration reform could get overshadowed in Congress. By what? Oh….yeah…forgot.

Red-light cameras run up $7.6 million in fines in first year. Look for this revenue stream to come to a community near you soon.

French court throws out Hollande’s tax on rich. America should be so lucky.

And last but certainly not least, Obama signs FISA warrantless wiretapping program extension into law. It’s nice to know that while the government might not be able to pay its bills, it will still be able to spy on its citizens. Kohl, Johnson and Sensenbrenner all voted “Yes.”

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July 12, 2011

The McConnell Plan

by thoughtfulconservative

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a new plan to allow the president to demand up to $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority by the summer of next year in three separate submissions.

via McConnell: Give Obama New Powers on Debt Limit.

You can find the details here.

Basically it

allows the president to demand up to $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority by the summer of next year in three separate submissions.

House and Senate could disallow these requests in 15 days and the president could veto any “disallowals.”

The Heritage Foundation argues against it. The Wall Street Journal seems to like it. Zogby says voters will blame the president.

Republicans had already been called out by The Economist:

IN THREE weeks, if there is no political deal, the American government will go into default. Not, one must pray, on its sovereign debt. But the country will have to stop paying someone: perhaps pensioners, or government suppliers, or soldiers. That would be damaging enough at a time of economic fragility. And the longer such a default went on, the greater the risk of provoking a genuine bond crisis would become.

The Journal op/ed sees what’s happening:

Mr. Obama is trying to present Republicans with a Hobson’s choice: Either repudiate their campaign pledge by raising taxes, or take the blame for any economic turmoil and government shutdown as the U.S. nears a debt default. In the former case Mr. Obama takes the tax issue off the table and demoralizes the tea party for 2012, and in the latter he makes Republicans share the blame for 9.2% unemployment.

The McConnell Plan avoids both of these.

It may work…

June 13, 2011

Tim Sullivan sure sounds like he’s running for something.

by thoughtfulconservative

In an address to civic leaders last Wednesday, Sullivan revealed that he had more success finding trained workers in Texas than Wisconsin.

A delegation of senior Texas government authorities met Sullivan at the airport, including the mayor of the town of Kilgore. In a one-hour lunch, they matched Bucyrus with a ready-to-occupy factory with every possible amenity.

More important, they asked Sullivan exactly what sort of workers he needed. Sullivan said 80 with specific skill. The state gave Sullivan a guarantee that the workers would be waiting when the doors opened at the expansion site in Kilgore. State officials customized a recruitment, training and certification program. One year later, when the expansion site in Kilgore opened its doors, the 80 welders were waiting. [Emphasis mine]

Impressive. He then contrasted that to what he found in Milwaukee:

What pained Sullivan most, the CEO said, was that the Milwaukee Area Technical College also said it would customize a welder training program for Bucyrus. But MATC never gave a guarantee as Texas did, Sullivan said. Nor did MATC deliver. Some didn’t finish training. Others were certified but failed a drug test.

But he didn’t blame MATC alone:

About 50,000 working-age residents in the city of Milwaukee cannot read beyond the third grade, Sullivan told M-7. In Wisconsin, meanwhile, some 710,000 working-age people did not finish high school.

Milwaukee is not alone in this:

According to federal data cited by the M-7, 32% of manufacturers nationally report unfilled jobs because they cannot find qualified workers. The nation has nearly 300,000 open positions in manufacturing.

So is he running?

On the subject of politics, Sullivan continues to hold open the option that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat that long-serving Democrat Herb Kohl now occupies, following Kohl’s announcement that he won’t seek re-election. Asked for his political affiliation, Sullivan replied: “I have none.”

We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess. But Sullivan is clearly eager to work on education reform:

Sullivan disclosed his investment in Texas, he said, to build his case for wholesale reform of Wisconsin’s job training and education system. Radical action is needed, he warned the M-7.

As chairman of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, a state advisory panel, Sullivan wants Gov. Scott Walker to change how the state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year in federal job training funds – and in the process, link the funds to reforms of local education programs. The proposals would change how workforce investment boards – regional training entities – apply for funds. They would need to justify each allocation with commitments to reform the curricula of each region’s kindergarten-through-12th public schools as well as each region’s technical colleges.

It’s a conversation that needs to take place.

I’m not one of those, “Blame it all on the teachers,” guys. Administrators, government leaders and “professionals,” must share in the blame, but those who are to blame the most are parents who are uninvolved in their children’s education and are neither demanding nor making sure that their kids get the education they need to compete in today’s society.

The reason we have breakfasts, lunches, sex-education programs, etc., is that schools are finding that parents are not doing it. And they are trying to fill a gap, however poorly we think they are doing.

Until parent involvement changes, especially in the inner city, any other reform will fall short.

 

More on Tim Sullivan:

Bucyrus CEO Discusses Possible Senate Run

“…we have got to change the way we’re doing things. This is not the way to run a country.”

Other reading I’ve done on education this week:

Montgomery’s $18 million schools ‘miracle’

5 reasons to believe progress is being made to address reading crisis

Milwaukee’s schools need creative thinking

October 8, 2010

Wisconsin Senate Debate 10-08-2010

by thoughtfulconservative

I watched the Senate “debate” tonight between Ron Johnson and incumbent Russ Feingold.

Like the governor’s “debate,” a couple of weeks back, this was not a debate like one we might have witnessed or participated in in school.

Again the candidates were asked questions and responded to them.

Also as in the governor’s debate, the Democrat trails the Republican in most polls and came out swinging.

As in the governor’s debate, the Republican didn’t make any mistakes and nothing that was not already known came out.  Consequently, as in the governor’s debate, there will be no change in the polls.

August 16, 2010

Russ Feingold – 2nd amendment advocate?

by thoughtfulconservative

That’s right. Look at how this Craig Gilbert article in Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel starts:

You won’t find too many Democrats these days attacking their conservative opponents for being soft on gun rights.

But that’s exactly what Sen. Russ Feingold did last week in a radio ad, trading fire with GOP challenger Ron Johnson over who’s a better friend of the Second Amendment.

“I have been one of the true leaders in fighting for a greater right to bear arms,” Feingold said in an interview last week.

My conservative friends are guffawing about now, and although Feingold doesn’t get good marks from the NRA, neither does he seem to get good marks from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

It seems mixed enough. he even seems to support concealed carry.

Not good enough for either side.

A maverick?

At least on guns.

Look, I’ll never vote for Feingold.

But he does seem to be a moderate on gun control.

A moderate? A DINO?

Nahhh.

January 10, 2010

Racism, Reid and Lott

by thoughtfulconservative

The major political news story over the weekend was about some excerpts  from “Game Change,” a soon-to-be released book by Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin and New York magazine’s John Heilemann. The book is slated to be published Monday (and looks as though it will be going on my reading list).

The excerpt that drew the most reaction from the right side of the blogosphere was a comment Senate majority leader Harry Reid made in private during the 2008 election campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described in private then-Sen. Barack Obama as “light skinned” and “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Obama is the nation’s first African-American president.

Reid has apologized for those remarks and President Obama has accepted his apology.

The most popular meme has be to compare Reid to Trent Lott’s unfortunate remarks at a Strom Thurmond birthday party.

To review, Trent Lott

lost his leadership post in 2002 after saying that the country would have been better off if Sen. Strom Thurmond — a segregationist — had been elected president in 1948.

So what’s the difference? Not much on the outside. But observe Lott had a record of voting against Civil Rights, for whatever reason. Reid has no opposition that I could find.

And I also found this:

Trent Lott lauded the presidential candidacy of an avowed segregrationist, suggesting that things would have gone better if that candidate had been elected. His comments were normative and, if he meant what he said, racist because they implied that segregration was preferable to integration. We condemned Lott at the time.Reid was not discussing who should be elected president. He was merely commenting on Barack Obama’s viability as a presidential candidate. His view was that Obama’s race would not hurt him with voters who might be disinclined to elect a black man because he is light-skinned and able to talk white, as they say. I strongly suspect that many politicians and pundits made similar sorts of assessments. Even if incorrect, they are not improper, provided one is assessing how others might vote, as opposed to deciding to vote one’s self.

Apples and oranges, it seems to me.

And “Action do speak louder than words.”