Monday, August 03, 2009

With Congress on Vacation, Let's Survey the Damage So Far

After a busy weekend it's time to assess where we are at the beginning of a new month.

Is Congress on vacation yet?

Some folks bemoan a "do-nothing" Congress; I pray that this becomes one. When Congress is on recess we "only" have to worry about the president and his executive branch commissars, which is plenty.

Before the House left on Friday it managed to pass HR 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act, an onerous collection of new regulations that will give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more regulatory power over small farms. Written by and for corporate farming interests, in the wake of scandals involving tainted spinach, Mexican peppers and peanut butter (all, by the way, attributable to Big Ag, not small farmers), it will make it more difficult for America to produce her own food. It passed 283 to 142 after being fought in the Energy & Commerce committee. It now goes to the U.S. Senate.

Here is a brief description of its contents:
This bill proposes greater FDA regulatory powers over the national food supply and food providers, namely granting it the authority to regulate how crops are raised and harvested, to quarantine a geographic area, to make warrantless searches of business records, and to establish a national food tracing system. Concurrently, the bill would impose annual registration fees of $500 on all facilities holding, processing, or manufacturing food and require that such facilities also engaged in the transport or packing of food maintain pedigrees of the origin and previous distribution history of the food.
Note the "warrantless searches of business records" and the "quarantines" of entire geographic areas. Joe Stalin couldn't have written this better. Just another big step on the road to Corporatocracy and Socialism. Of course, it you don't care whether there is adequate food to eat, you may not be interested.

ObamaCare cleared the crucial committees in the House necessary to set up floor debate in September. Meanwhile congresspersons appear to be reluctant to schedule too many town hall meetings with constitutuents after the first round of such sessions took place this weekend. Arlen Specter and Kathleen Sebelius look rather sheepish in THIS VIDEO when riled Pennsylvanians take them to task.

Speaking of video, there is an embarrassing video of The One, first assuring the American Medical Association that he believed in private medical insurance, and then a two-year-old clip of his address before an SEIU forum where he explains that he wants a "single payer system" -- government run, of course -- "by the end of my first term." It continues with a 2003 address in which he admits he is a "proponent of a single-payer health care plan." He admits it may take some time to implement it, but that is his goal.

So the question becomes, Do you believe the Obama of 2003 and 2007, or the one who is trying to eliminate opposition for a massive bill that would include a public option?

Careful, comrade! You are being monitored.

More broken promises may be in the works. Two of the administration's key players told interviewers Sunday that a middle class tax increase is a possibility. Tax Cheat Timmy said that "we will do whatever is necessary" to fund ObamaCare. Lawrence Summers, the chief economic adviser to Obama, had similar remarks.

So much for that "No New Taxes" pledge for 95 percent of Americans, right?

Harry Reid declares that the U.S. Senate is the most productive since the FDR era -- that's Franklin D. Roosevelt for you young whippersnappers who attend government schools. If by productive you mean spent a record amount of cash we don't have, then I guess he's right.

All in all there is plenty of damage to assess even with Congress on the hustings, raising campaign cash every penny of which, I do believe, they are going to need to contend with the rising anger of Americans.

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