• Right Place Photo Caption Contest Hall of Glory Top 25

    meister.jpeg About Me
    BlogmeisterUSA's Guidelines for Commenting
    My Blog at Newsbusters
    My Writings at Family Security Matters
    My Writings at The American Thinker
    I Also Blog at Lifelike Pundits
    National Summary Interviews Me
    Read "The Americans" by Gordon Sinclair
    PELOSI_DEMOCRAT_TREASON-1.jpg More About the Fighting 101st Keyboardists

February 21, 2008

Dear Rep. Murphy: About those Rebate Checks...

Just received an e-mail from my House Representative, Chris Murphy, about those WONDERFUL rebate checks we're going to be getting later this year. From his message:

I know that all the newspapers and cable news shows are constantly filled with reports of the partisan bickering in Washington. But more often than you may think, Democrats and Republicans manage to get together to pass real, meaningful legislation that helps American families. Last year, we passed the biggest increase in federal student loan program since the G.I. Bill, the largest new investment in veterans health care since the VA was created, and the first increase in the minimum wage in a decade. And now, 2008 has started out with the swift, bipartisan passage of an economic stimulus bill designed to kick-start a slowing economy.

The centerpiece of the bill is tax rebate program by which 1.5 million Connecticut families will receive up to $600 per individual, $1,200 per married couple, plus $300 per child.

The law also provides rebates for low-income earners and seniors who may not pay income taxes, and disabled veterans.

We also included help for families who are facing foreclosures by increasing affordable refinancing opportunities and liquidity in the housing market.

And small business owners are granted investment incentives for plants and equipment to spur job creation.

Here's what I wrote back:

Regarding the "rebate" checks" designed to kick-start the economy: wouldn't it be a better idea to permanently cut government spending so that you can permanently cut taxes? That way, more money will be in the taxpayers' pockets ALL THE TIME, and we won't have to go through this charade every time Congress decides to make it look like they're doing something other than holding meaningless, publicity-laden hearings on things they have no business looking into like steroid use in baseball. (Amazing how it always seems to happen during a presidential election year.)

By the way, what happens if we spend our checks on products not made in the US? Not much of an economy booster if you ask me.

Our Founding Fathers would be appalled to see how out-of-control and self-serving our government has become. However, as they're just a bunch of dead white men, I expect their wisdom is just so much dust to be swept away.

I eagerly await your canned response written by a staffer.

UPDATE (5:00 PM): Below is my canned response, easily determined in that it did not respond to my explicit concern, but duly notes Murphy's disappointment that the bill didn't fork out as many freebies as he wanted it to! As RV points out in the comments, politicians like to play Santa Claus every once in a while (with OUR money) to keep themselves in office. Bread and circuses, doncha know.

The only thing surprising about this reply is that I received it the same day I sent my missive.

Dear Ms. Meister,

Thank you for contacting me about the economic stimulus package. I appreciate your correspondence and hope that you find this response helpful.

As you know, the stimulus package passed by Congress represents an effort to help jump- start our flagging economy and cushion the impact of the ballooning credit crisis. The final version of the package included targeted financial assistance for individuals, small business tax relief, and new resources to combat the subprime mortgage crisis. I was also heartened to see the additional inclusion of benefits for low-income seniors, disabled veterans, and their families. With these added benefits, twenty million low-income senior citizens and a quarter-million disabled veterans of our armed forces will receive much-needed assistance, helping provide some security for these most vulnerable of populations.

I was, however, disappointed that the final compromise proposal rejected the addition of increased assistance for unemployment, low-income heating, and Medicaid. Still, the package adheres to a minimally-increased spending level of $151.7 billion and remains targeted and temporary, so as to provide an important one-time influx of capital rather than a fiscally irresponsible long-term expansion of spending. This relief package is obviously just a small part of a much larger effort that we must make to combat a diverse array of economic challenges, from skyrocketing energy costs to the dollar's flagging value overseas. This measure is by no-means the be-all and end-all of the systematic reforms needed to restart the engines of American progress, and I can fully appreciate that, for many Americans, it will not begin to provide the kind of relief they truly need. We still have much work ahead to renew and reinvigorate the American dream.

Thank you again for contacting me about this matter. I appreciate hearing from you and assure you that I will always do my best to represent the views of my constituents in Congress. In the future, please do not hesitate to call at (202) 225-4476 or contact me through my website at www.chrismurphy.house.gov, where you can sign up to receive updates through MurphMail, my electronic newsletter.

Every Best Wish,

Christopher S. Murphy
Member of Congress

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 01:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Government

October 07, 2007

More SCHIP Sh*t

Sorry for the expletive, but this really is a load of horse manure.

Don Surber has the scoop on this one...a family that the Dems trotted out as the reason why President Bush was a big ol' meanie for not expanding SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) lives in a 3,000 foot home in a ritzy Baltimore suburb, and their three children attend an expensive private school.

LOL quote from Surber:

Interesting that public schools arent good enough for their kids but public health insurance is.

Be sure to read the comments section; one of the commenters finds out more about the school these kids go to. Very "la de da."

I live in a house that's about half the size of theirs and needs loads of repairs that I can't afford right now and send my kids to public school: but I have health insurance through my work. It takes a lot out of my paycheck -- money that could definitely be spent in a million other ways, but knowing my family is covered if someone is in an accident or becomes seriously ill is important. My husband works as an IT contractor and has no insurance benefits, so we're very lucky that I have a job that does.

Spend your money how you'd like...but don't cry when you don't have enough left for things like health insurance for your family and expect the taxpayers to foot the bill. I'm sick of the whole nanny state mentality that seems to be taking over this nation.

On a tip from Kitty!

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 06:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Government

September 04, 2007

Katrina: Dollars and (Non)Sense

Last week, we observed the second anniversary (or would that be deathiversary?) of Hurricane Katrina. President Bush went to New Orleans and expressed all the right sentiments, blah blah blah. Pop quiz: Who wants to bet that once Bush is out of office, all this Katrina whining will cease?

It's been two years, and much of New Orleans is still a major mess. But let's face it, it was a mess before Katrina...Katrina simply gave some an excuse to put the blame for it on someone else than local leadership for a change.

John Hawkins expressed it very well last week in his Town Hall column:

Moreover, people lose their homes in this country every day of the year. If it isn't a hurricane, it's an earthquake. If it isn't an earthquake, it's a tornado. If it isn't a tornado, it's a fire. If it isn't a fire, it's a flood. Yet nobody sits and frets about John Doe, age 58, who lost his house in a flash flood two years ago or Jane Doe, age 60, who had her house blown away by a twister back in 2005.

But, we're all supposed to eternally sit around and weep tiny little tears of sadness for the people who really took it on the chin in a hurricane because they chose to live in a city shaped like a soup bowl on the coast. Let me tell all the citizens of New Orleans something that should have been told to them 18 months ago: it's time to stop playing the sympathy card and get over it.

Nobody is owed a living for the rest of his life because he had a bad break two years ago. Yet, we still have people affected by Katrina who have FEMA paying their rent. How sad and pathetic is it that these shiftless people are still leaching off their fellow citizens? Since when is being in the path of a hurricane supposed to give you a permanent "Get Out of Work Free" card?

As a fun little project (courtesy of husband-dude), let's take a look at how much federal money has been thrown at New Orleans as compared to what was thrown at San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake (note: this does not take into account charitable donations by private citizens):

Read More "Katrina: Dollars and (Non)Sense"

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 08:49 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Government

August 27, 2007

Gonzalez Resigns

That's the word today:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, ending a months-long standoff with Republican and Democratic critics who called for his ouster over the Justice Department's botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firing of U.S. attorneys, officials said Monday.

Finally, a "victory" Democrats can get behind! Who's next on their hit parade?

UPDATE: From an e-mail I sent to Cookiewrangler on the subject:

You know, I dont know enough about Gonzalez to judge whether he was a good choice for AG or not. However, the witch hunt by the Dems that ended with him resigning will only embolden them to ratchet up the pressure on the Bush administration over what amounts to piddly nonsense when we have real problems to worry about: illegal immigration and Islamist terrorism, to name the top two on my list. And all of this gotcha cr@p simply takes important time and resources away from those struggles. Its time the American people put their foot down and told our politicians, Enough already!

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 09:13 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Government

June 28, 2007

House Seeks PAY RAISE???

gall (n): impudence, effrontery.

AP story via Breitbart:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite low approval ratings and hard feelings from last year's elections, Democrats and Republicans in the House are reaching out for an approximately $4,400 pay raise that would increase their salaries to almost $170,000.

The cost-of-living raise endorsed Wednesday evening gets lawmakers back on track for automatic pay raises after a fight between the parties last year and again in January killed the pay increase due this year. That was the first interruption of the annual congressional pay boost in seven years.

They have the crummiest job rating ever, and they're asking to get their automatic pay raise reinstated?

This part is rich:

Most members support the pay raise as a means of retaining experienced lawmakers and of making sure that Congress is not simply dominated by wealthy people. Many lawmakers maintain homes both in the expensive Washington housing market and back in their districts. On most days, they meet with lobbyists making far more than they do.

Take a look at these congressional perks and tell me if you think these guys are suffering.

If I do a rotten job at work, I don't get a raise. In fact, I may get fired. If Congress does a rotten job, they can still vote themselves a pay raise. Something's wrong here.

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 08:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Government

June 21, 2007

House Republican Moves to Rein In Pelosi's Travel to Terror-Sponsoring Nations


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will not be permitted to use State Department funds to travel to nations that are known to have sponsored terrorism if a Republican amendment to appropriations legislation passes the House on Thursday.

The amendment to the $34 billion State and Foreign Operations bill, offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), prohibits funds to be used to travel to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.

King believes Pelosi violated

the Logan Act, a 1799 law signed by President John Adams that prohibits unauthorized U.S. citizens from interfering with relations between the United States and foreign governments.

Will it pass? Who knows? But I'm glad someone decided to take some action.

h/t: Drudge

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 04:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Government

April 03, 2007

Republicans Make Trip to Syria

Hmmm...apparently a few Republicans made a trip to Syria, something that is just coming out now. They were there shortly before the much brouhahaed arrival of Nancy Pelosi.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt of Haleyville, a Republican, was one of three congressmen to visit Syria last weekend, a trip that is getting new scrutiny since President Bush has criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for visiting Damascus a few hours later.


Aderholt was with Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia and Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania on a Middle East trip that included stops in Damascus and Israel. According to a statement, they met with government officials, businessmen, religious leaders and other members of Syrian civil society, including opposition leader Riad Seif.

"We came because we believe there is an opportunity for dialogue," according to the statement.

There has been a lot of criticism of Nancy Pelosi and her contingent. But hey, there's plenty to go around. What are these guys thinking?

The visit by Pelosi is likely more damaging to President Bush's credibility due to her position as House Speaker. Her high profile is also the likely reason that her trip has received wide coverage while that of the three Republicans (I haven't heard of any of them before this) has been virtually ignored.

From what the article linked above says, it doesn't seem that these three guys had plans to meet with President Assad. So I suppose we have to give them credit for that. But come on! When congressmen and senators begin acting like foreign policy experts, especially when a sitting president has cut off diplomatic relations with a particular country, it erodes America's credibility. It doesn't matter if the junketeers are from the same party as the president or not.

These three should be held up to scrutiny as well.

UPDATE: It would be helpful to know exactly why these guys made the trip...are they looking to act as negotiators, or are they simply "fact finding," like so many congressmen and senators like to do on our dime? As I mentioned above, it doesn't seem as though they had plans to talk to the big kahuna with a "message" from Israel. Yet it's troubling that they went to Syria at all. These are questions that should be answered.

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 08:55 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Government

March 30, 2007

HR 1401

I've written about this on American Thinker today. However, let me point out an error in my own writing here (I've informed the editor at AT about it, and hope he will run the correction).

The link I provided for HR 1401 says that Republicans cast the "nay" votes, while the text in my article says that Democrats voted "nay." Embarrassed? You bet. I definitely regret the error. But my criticism that anyone would object to the provisional language that passengers reporting suspicious behavior be protected from lawsuits still stands.

This is what's great about the Internet. My goof was pointed out to me by a reader, and for that I am appreciative.

UPDATE: Donald W., the reader who pointed out the error, wrote again with more clarification. Here's the text of his e-mail:

I don't see this as a goof. Your point was correct, but it seems the
link or the source you cited possibly had an error.

At a different site (http://michellemalkin.com/archives/007189.htm)
there is enough information provided to track down the details at
cspan.org and find the relevant text:


find the appropriate place in the text.

A bit farther into the text indicates that a Mr. King demanded a
recorded vote on the motion to recommit (Roll No. 200
), and in this case the
noes were all votes by Democrats.

The goof seems to be on the part of the www.govtrack.us site. I see the
AT editor has corrected the page, but it appears to be an edit, as
opposed to what I would call a noted correction (i.e., this was
incorrect, this is the correction).

I sure feel better, and I appreciate the time Donald took to write me!

UPDATE II: AT has the correct link up now. It goes to show that it's important to check and double-check so that the correct information goes out!

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 07:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Government

March 27, 2007

Congress: Supporting the Troops...As Long As Pet Projects Get Funded

It's no wonder Congress has dismal approval ratings. It seems as though the only way we can get funding for our troops overseas in Iraq is to attach pork projects. Just look at some of the attachments to the recent war funding bill that squeaked through the House:

$4.2 billion in disaster aid for farmers hurt by drought, floods and other disasters in recent years.

$6.7 billion in additional federal efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, including housing aid, public infrastructure funding and aid to Gulf Coast fishermen.

$3.1 billion to implement a 2005 round of military base closures, which helps local communities affected by military base closings paves the way for redeployment of 12,000 troops stationed in Germany and South Korea to domestic bases.

$2 billion for national security efforts such as port security, explosives detection for airline baggage and rail and mass transit security grants.

$747 million to ease a shortfall in the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care to children from low-income families.

$640 million in heating subsidies for the poor and elderly.

$500 million to combat Western wildfires.

What does any of that have to do with funding operations in Iraq? Democrats who voted "yes" claim they weren't bought, but that's kind of hard to believe when you look at the add-ons and consider that they total $21 billion.

"Wartime funding should be not used as a gravy train," said Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

Absolutely. Unfortunately, it's how Congress has behaved for years. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) says, "I think we also have to make sure that we don't lose sight of what we have to do here at home."

What we need to be doing at home is cutting government pork, not increasing it. But then, it's easy to spend money when it's not yours.

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 08:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Government

February 28, 2007

The Republic: A Tutorial

Many people get confused about what form of government America actually has. It is often called a democracy, but it is really a republic. Walter Williams explains:

Our founders intended for us to have a limited republican form of government where rights precede government and there is rule of law. Citizens, as well as government officials, are accountable to the same laws. Government intervenes in civil society only to protect its citizens against force and fraud but does not intervene in the cases of peaceable, voluntary exchange. By contrast, in a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. The law is whatever the government deems it to be. Rights may be granted or taken away.

Read the entire thing here. Short, sweet, and educational.

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 02:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Government

February 27, 2007

Bill to Make Anne Frank Honorary Citizen

Do our lawmakers have nothing better to do?

A US lawmaker has submitted a bill seeking honorary citizenship for Anne Frank, whose family sought in vain to secure refuge in the United States during World War II, his office said Monday.

The draft legislation, which has not drawn a great deal of enthusiasm from the family, was presented by Long Island, New York Democrat Steve Israel.

It's a little late, isn't it? How many other desperate Jewish families trying to get out of Europe before they were annihilated by the Nazis got turned away? Should they receive honorary citizenships too?

As a girl, I read Anne Frank's diary time and time again. Her story both saddened and inspired me, and still does to this day. We only know of her story because her father found her diary after the war and published it. How many other young girls had dreams and desires that were snuffed out by Hitler's "final solution?"

Our elected officials ought to be worrying more about those who would try to take up Hitler's legacy (i.e. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) than creating legislation that only serves to stroke their egos by making them look caring and compassionate.

Serve her memory by worrying about
threats against Jews today

h/t: With Malice Toward None

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 02:44 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Government

January 24, 2007

On the State of the Union Address

I'm not going to delve too deeply into last night's address. You can read the usual excellent commentary here, here and here.

I would like to say that I think Bush's comment about those who voted to enter Iraq back in 2002 didn't vote for failure was an excellent zinger. I also noticed that on his way out, Bush didn't shake Harry Reid's hand. (Deliberate? Not? I don't know, but it sure made me wonder.) And goodness me, how did Nancy Pelosi manage to keep that frozen "deer in the headlights" look on her face for the entire speech? (One morning radio host suggested Botox.)

UPDATE: Other mention -- who saw John McCain snoozing? Not very impressive for a candidate-to-be. And Hillary, who last year had a look on her face reminiscent of having eaten lemons before the speech, had a starry-eyed look that made me think she wasn't really listening to President Bush, but imagining herself up there in two years...heaven forbid!

UPDATE II: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review explains in an editorial why the Democrats are against Bush's new healthcare cost initiative (h/t Right Wing Nation):

Democrats oppose President Bush's health care plan to increase the number of insured Americans; it's too private and encourages the exercise of freedom.

They want to soak the rich to pay for the Big Brother of all entitlements: universal health care. That must be resisted; refer to out-of-control Medicare and Medicaid costs.

Read it all.

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 09:01 AM | Comments (97) | TrackBack (0) | Government

July 12, 2006

Crackdown on Leaks?

Peter Heokstra (R-MI) says the government is planning a crackdown on leakers of confidential information:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is preparing a crackdown on intelligence leaks to the media and will try to pursue prosecutions in some recent cases, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Hoekstra also suggested some unauthorized leaks could have been deliberate attempts to help al Qaeda.

"More frequently than what we would like, we find out that the intelligence community has been penetrated, not necessarily by al Qaeda, but by other nations or organizations," he said.

"I don't have any evidence. But from my perspective, when you have information that is leaked that is clearly helpful to our enemy, you cannot discount that possibility," he added.

In recent months, two major intelligence operations were leaked to the media: the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program and the Treasury Department's tracking of international banking transactions.

The entire article is available here.

If this is true, then I say it's about time. The left shouldn't have a problem with such an investigation, since they were so upset about the "outing" of Valerie Plame. All leaks should be treated equally, no?

In fact, they will love the opportunity for reporters Eric Lichtblau and James Risen to go to jail rather than reveal their sources a la Judith Miller.

(And martyrdom is an excellent recommendation for a Pulitzer.)

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 08:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Government

May 24, 2006

Lawmakers In a Tizzy over FBI Raid

Lawmakers on the Hill are upset over the FBI raid on Rep. William J. Jefferson's (D-LA) Capitol Hill office, which yielded cash and documents regarding a bribery investigation. Many of them see it as a violation of constitutional language and case law that protects lawmakers from being intimidated by the executive branch.

Both Democrats and Republicans are up in arms.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) complained directly to President Bush yesterday about the FBI raid, while House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) predicted a constitutional showdown before the Supreme Court.

"My opinion is that they took the wrong path," Hastert told reporters after his meeting with Bush in the White House. "They need to back up, and we need to go from there."

Captain Ed (of Captain's Quarters) has this to say:

This can't be the same Congress that issues subpoenas for all sorts of probes into the executive branch and the agencies it runs. Does Congress really want to establish a precedent that neither branch has to answer subpoenas if issued by the other, even if approved by a judge -- which this particular subpoena was?

The FBI had a valid subpoena for the information in Jefferson's office. He refused to provide it. The FBI had little choice but to go in and take it, and from the description given in the Washington Post, they took extraordinary care not to confiscate legitimate data relating to his legislative responsibilities.

Exactly. Jefferson refused to cooperate with a valid subpoena. How else was the FBI supposed to carry on with their investigation? Consult the Magic 8 ball?

This uproar, coming on the heels of Rep. Patrick Kennedy not having to take a breathalizer test after crashing his car and behaving as though he was intoxicated, gives the public a view not of a Congress devoted to the laws they themselves create, but of a Congress that believes its members to be above having to answer to those laws.

As Mel Brooks said as King Louis in History of the World Part I, "It's good to be the king."

Making a stink over a legal sweep into the office of a Congressman who is suspected of illegal activities isn't the best way to burnish Congress' ever-tarnishing reputation. Congressional leaders may want to think more about the tack they're taking on this. The people will only stand for so much.

Show Comments

Posted by Pam Meister at 08:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Government

    ENDORSEMENTS "Your stupid requirements for commenting, whatever they are, mean I'll not read you again." ~ "Duke Martin", Oraculations
    "One of the worst sites I've read." ~ Frank A. Niedospial