Who won in the budget showdown?

The Republicans, according to this analysis, got the better of the budget negotiations:

HR1 was originally to seek spending cuts of $32 billion until Tea Party conservatives insisted on more than $ 60 billion. House Speaker John Boehner won more cuts than he originally sought and got the Senate to agree to votes to defund the health care reform law and groups like the nation’s largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood – once votes Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said he’d never allow to come to the floor.Back on February 3, Reid called $32 billion in cuts “extreme” and “draconian.”

At a news conference New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed, “I happen to think some of their cuts are extreme and go overboard. But every week they keep upping the ante and proposing extreme cuts.”

Over the next decade the cuts are expected to save hundreds of billions of dollars.

The deal mandates a host of studies and audits of Obama administration policies. It also blocks additional funds for the IRS sought by the Obama administration and bans federal funding of abortion in Washington, D.C.

The history of offers on this bill goes something like this. Democrats first offered no cuts, then $4 billion, then $6.5 billion, then $33 billion, then settled at $38.5 billion.

Boehner made numerous adjustments to his offer in recent days too, but started at $32 billion, then with a Tea Party push went to $62 billion, then dropped to $40 billion, then $38.5 billion.

Democrats claimed they met Republicans halfway after the $10 billion in cuts that already passed this year were approved. They settled late Friday night at three and a half times more.

Boehner came in $8.5 billion higher than the halfway point between his high offer of $61 billion in cuts and the Democrats opening bid of zero cuts.

via Who Won the Shutdown Showdown? It Wasn’t Even Close – FoxNews.com.

Stinkbug Armageddon

I hearby nominate David Williams for the Pulitzer Prize for Letters to the Editor, if there were such a thing.  He wrote this letter to our small town newspaper on a problem that plagues our state:

Folks, we are doomed. Crooked Run Farm, along with every farmer in Loudoun, now has a bigger enemy even than the developers of Purcellville. I went last Thursday to the 4-H Fairgrounds for a presentation, sponsored by Southern States, on the stink bug invasion. Starker Wright, the govt’s leading expert on agricultural pests for the East coast, came down from his West Virginia research station to give the bad news.

Starting in Pennsylvania, these Asian invaders have moved massively into Maryland, Delaware, W Virginia, and Virginia, but are spreading everywhere already, rapidly by the billions. They have learned to eat every fruit and crop imaginable, destroying them. They are hard to repel, have no natural predators in the US, and when killed by pesticides, they come back to life in a few days. Yes! They go into a kind of coma, rid themselves of the poison, and after a few days depending on the pesticide they are flying around and eating again. But this time, they are stronger from having survived the poison.

According to the USDA’s study, April 10-15 is the major time when they wake up and move out of houses back to the woods and fields. September 24 is the peak of when they return to our houses. Vinyl siding is their best habitat for wintering. Since they can go through 3 generations in a year in this climate, and have no predators or anything eating their egg masses, millions soon become billions. Several million little wasps were imported from Asia to help kill the eggs of the stink bug, but these are held up in a Delaware port while the experts try to decide if letting these pests in to control the bugs might not be a cure even worse than the problem.

Oh yeah, the USDA request for $30 million to help study these
monsters and find a way to stop them is not being met well by the deficit dummies in DC. If there ever were a time when the public good over rides individualism, this is it. This is a war to the death, and so far most people don’t realize the catastrophe that’s looming. If we have to borrow from the future to save the present, so be it. This is the way Americans have met adversity since Ben Franklin went to Paris to borrow money from the French so we could go into debt to win our independence in 1776.

And, despite folklore, killing them does not attract other stink bugs. It only seems that way because the first few you see and kill are followed by thousands which would have come along any way. The USDA is trying to find ways to attract and kill them, but they seem, so far, to be attracted to everything. So get your baddest boots on and start stomping. That may be the only barrier between us and Armageddon.

David Williams

Lincoln

Purcellville Gazette. April 8, 2011

 

Shutdown averted

Republicans and Democrats made a deal at the last minute that will keep the government running:

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have reached an agreement that would avert a federal government shutdown, yielding more spending cuts for Republicans while giving Democrats a key win on an issue related to abortion rights, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office announced Friday night.

The deal to fund the federal government for the next five months will include $39 billion in spending cuts and will drop language related to Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers still need to approve a short-term stopgap funding bill before midnight, when the federal government will run out of money and cease operations.

The stopgap bill will allow lawmakers time to craft the longer-term, complicated budget for the rest of 2011.

via Congressional leaders review draft budget agreement that would avert shutdown – The Washington Post.

The fastest-growing denomination

That would be the Seventh-Day Adventists:

Rest on the Sabbath. Heed Old Testament dietary codes. And be ready for Jesus to return at any moment.

If these practices sound quaint or antiquated, think again. They’re hallmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the fastest-growing Christian denomination in North America.

Newly released data show Seventh-day Adventism growing by 2.5% in North America, a rapid clip for this part of the world, where Southern Baptists and mainline denominations, as well as other church groups are declining. Adventists are even growing 75% faster than Mormons (1.4 percent), who prioritize numeric growth.

For observers outside the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the growth rate in North America is perplexing.

“You’ve got a denomination that is basically going back to basics … saying, ‘What did God mean by all these rules and regulations and how can we fit in to be what God wants us to be?’,” said Daniel Shaw, an expert on Christian missionary outreach at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. “That’s just totally contrary to anything that’s happening in American culture. So I’m saying, ‘Whoa! That’s very interesting.’ And I can’t answer it.”

via Adventists’ back-to-basics faith is fastest growing U.S. church – USATODAY.com.

Apparently the secret of church growth is NOT to conform to the culture.  But what people appreciate is law, law, law, as opposed to gospel.  Why do you think that is?

HT:Joe Carter

A perspective on the shutdown

Former Bush official Peter Wehner offers reasons why Republicans should not let the government shut down:

On the matter of a possible government shutdown, this needs to be said: The impasse is the product of a striking failure of governance by President Obama and his party.

Republicans are winning the fiscal debate. A government shutdown could cause a backlash.The reason we’re debating the 2011 budget several months into the fiscal year is because for the first time in almost four decades, Congress failed last year to propose a budget. Despite Democratic control of both houses and the executive branch, Congress failed to meet one of its most basic obligations. That said, those Republicans who are eager for a showdown and a shutdown of the federal government are making a serious strategic mistake.

First, the cuts and concessions Republicans have already secured will return domestic discretionary spending to pre-Obama levels. This is a fairly remarkable achievement, and conservatives would be silly to ignore it.

Second, President Obama, in matching spending cuts that Republicans asked for earlier this year, has positioned himself fairly well in terms of blaming the Republicans for a shutdown, if it happens.

Third, the difference between the two sides is less than $10 billion in a $3.5 trillion budget. This isn’t a difference over which it is worth shutting down the federal government.

Fourth, Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, submitted a budget for fiscal year 2012 earlier this week that saves more than $4 trillion over the next decade. It’s a political and intellectual document of enormous significance, easily the most comprehensive and impressive governing blueprint in generations. The Ryan plan is where Republicans should focus their energy and attention.

via Not Worth the Showdown – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

The Issues, Etc., Marathon

Today is your chance to see what everyone has been talking about: The radio show, now online, Issues, Etc. is having a 24-hour marathon, starting at 4:00 p.m. CT/5:00 p.m. ET today. The theme will be books of the Bible, and host Todd Wilken will be discussing them with a number of solid Bible scholars.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X