As I write this, the U.S. national debt is 12,385,926,000 and counting. And when watching the debt clock, the millions digit goes about as fast as the dollar when you are pumping gas.
So in order to understand how much a trillion actually is – let alone 12 trillion – let’s put this into perspective.
Having done all the calculations myself, I then came across DefeatTheDebt.com, an amazing website that had apparently already done all the work far better than I could. And for my fellow critical thinkers, you can even verify their findings.
But it took from George Washington to Ronald Reagan before our debt reached $1 trillion. Now it’s over $12. Our society won’t last long if our politicians keep spending money that we don’t really have.
Of all the incredible things they put up, what really gets me is that if I spent $10 million dollars a DAY, it would still take me 273 YEARS to spend one trillion dollars. And that’s without a few trillion dollars of revenue coming in each year. Knowing that, how in the hell has Congress managed to spend $12 trillion dollars more than what taxpayers already give them???
In: Economics · Tagged with: Congress, fraud waste and abuse, national debt
The Center for Responsive Politics has released a report on the personal finances of Congress. 237 members, or 44% of the legislative branch has a net worth of over $1 million.
Something to bear in mind, however, is that their residences are not counted.
In: Politics · Tagged with: Congress
IED attacks in northern Iraq are down from 6,000 in July of 2007 to 500 in July this year. In fact, 75% of IED attacks are discovered before they detonate. Now insurgents are placing fake roadside bombs just to keep up appearances.
The US military just wrapped up the least deadly month since the beginning of the 5 year war in Iraq. Only 13 US troops were killed, compared to 80 in July of 2007.
Al Qaeda in Iraq’s leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri left Iraq for Afghanistan in June along with 15 other senior leaders.
In: Military, National Security, Politics · Tagged with: al Qaeda, Congress, Democrats, Iraq, The Surge
Originally Published at Family Security Matters on 14 July, 2008
For the last year, Democrats like Representatives Louise Slaughter and Dennis Kucinich have been trying to revive the Fairness Doctrine. They are not alone. They have the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with Senators Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, and Dianne Feinstein, all of whom have come out in support of reviving the Fairness Doctrine.
What is the Fairness Doctrine? It is archaic rule that forces television and radio stations to air both sides of controversial issues. When it was enacted in the 1940’s, there were very few radio stations, so there was a threat of a media monopoly. Today, however, there are over 14,000. In addition, we can also chose from millions of satellite radio, internet radio, and television stations. With this many media outlets, the threat of a monopoly has vanished. (more…)
In: Politics · Tagged with: Broadcaster Freedom Act, Congress, Fairness Doctrine, free speech
This article is from the February 2008 Unto the Breach Newsletter
With low approval ratings in the White House and historically low ratings in Congress, America is fed up with the status quo in Washington. One of the things turning the public against the politicians is the prolific use of earmark spending. Bills are being loaded down with billions of dollars of taxpayer money to fund projects to the benefit our congressmen and women. There is little to no accountability or transparency to this “pork barrel” spending. Although our federal deficit is growing out of control, Congress seems fit to insert tens of billions of dollars of earmarks into legislation each year. Unto the Breach has lined up a panel to discuss earmark spending.
Chris Carter (Crush) is a conservative internet radio host, blogger, and the editor of the Unto the Breach Newsletter.
Barry Davidson is a writer of fiction who expanded his writing styles to include political and satire writing. He has several short stories and poems published, and is currently working on a book of poetry for regular people as well as pursuing a career in politics.
Mike Duminiak is a Conservative Constitutionalist who believes that local and State governments which are closer to the people can better meet their needs and remain under their control as opposed to the distant and insulated national government controlled by lobbyists and special interest groups. (more…)
In: Politics · Tagged with: Congress, corruption, Democrats, earmarks, Nancy Pelosi, Republicans
Out of 3,379 at bats in his career, second baseman Duane Kuiper managed to hit only one homerun. Not exactly Hall of Fame numbers, but when compared to Congress, Kuiper looks more like Mickey Mantle.
When Kuiper got his shot in the majors, manager Frank Robinson told him, “I’ll give you ten at-bats. If you hit more than two balls in the air, I’ll send you back to triple-A.” For twelve seasons, he kept the ball on the ground. When American voters gave the majority to the Democrats after twelve years in the minority, we were promised many wonderful things (See the House Democrats’ Top 100 Broken Promises). Besides raising the minimum wage, what exactly have they accomplished?
Congress has not got around to passing any of the twelve annual spending bills for the last fiscal year, which ended on October 1st. They weren’t even able to vote on the defense authorization bill before they went home for their summer recess. Of the forty pieces of legislation intended to withdraw the troops from Iraq voted on by the 110th Congress, only one has made it to the President’s desk, and President Bush vetoed it. For all their grandstanding anti-war drama, the only thing they have accomplished is to give the President what he wanted in the first place. What a waste of time.
What have they had time to work on? Congress was able to get around to their impeachment resolution of Vice President Dick Cheney. They got rid of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (for what?). They found time to craft a dangerous resolution condemning Turkey for an alleged genocide that happened almost a century ago against Armenians. They found time to promote their alternative foreign policy by bungling Middle East diplomacy with Syria’s dictator Bashar Assad. They also found time to censure radio host Rush Limbaugh for something he didn’t even say.
While Congress’ approval ratings are currently setting new all-time lows, Kuiper was good enough to stick around for twelve seasons. What he lacked for in power he made up in other aspects. He was a solid contact hitter and a sure-handed fielder. He was one of only three players in the 20th century to hit two bases-loaded triples in one game, showing that you don’t have to swing a big bat to drive in runs. Congress has been swinging for the fences lately – trying to undermine the Bush administration at all costs. This may look good to their far-left constituents, but how does it look to the American voters?
Kuiper still has the seat that his homerun ball bounced off of, the bat, and the ball in his attic. What will the 110th Congress have to show for their time in office? We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
©COPYRIGHT 2007 UNTO THE BREACH MEDIA
In: Baseball, Politics · Tagged with: Congress, Rush Limbaugh
Politics seems to find its way into everything. In this day and age, even science and natural disasters have become partisan.
For the left to survive, it must rely on a vast population of victims, and what better place to find victims than in a natural disaster (Or a man made disaster, since Bush and Cheney created Hurricane Katrina and steered it into New Orleans)? Forest fires, bridge collapses, hurricanes, mine collapses – instead of working together and learning from mistakes, they want to take advantage of tragedies to demonize their opponents.
Opportunistic Democrats see the California wildfires as a great chance to appeal to their base. While we may see a tragedy – thousands of homes destroyed, deaths, almost a million evacuees, Democrats see an opportunity to score political points. Look at Katrina – the largest and fastest relief effort in U.S. history. Almost 100,000 aid workers were on scene within three days. The National Guard and the Coast Guard rescued 50,000 people in one week. By September 8, the waterborne rescuers from across the country had saved 20,000 more. But instead, we heard of the failure of the federal government and how Bush hates black people. Sure, there were things we need to improve on that happened in all levels of government, but there is much more to the story than blaming the Bush administration.
The government has responded very well to the wildfires, so Democrats must go to plan B. California’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi was on Hardball with Chris Matthews, where he said, “I got some doubt about the value of President Bush coming out here . . . I know – okay, President Bush comes out, we’ll be polite. But frankly, that’s not the solution. How about sending our National Guard back from Iraq? So that we have those people available here to help us?”
California Senator Barbara Boxer weighed in also, “…the ability of the state’s National Guard has been compromised because too much of their equipment and personnel is in Iraq.”
The opportunity to condemn the War in Iraq is sure to appeal to their base, whether it is true or not. The thing is, not having all of your National Guard units on hand because they are deployed is not the factor Garamendi and Boxer want you to think it is. Forest fires are not stopped by a show of military force – what exactly will a mechanized infantry battalion do to stop a fire that has scorched hundreds of square miles? This is just an attempt to score points with their anti-war base that is fuming at the Democrats for not pulling the troops out of Iraq.
2007 is one of the least active hurricane seasons in thirty years, so the left is scrambling for something else to link to their manmade global warming cause. When answering a reporter’s question about his energy bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “As you know, one of the reasons we have the fires burning in Southern California is global warming.”
When another reporter followed up on Reid’s global warming remark a few minutes later, he backtracked: “No. Here’s what I – I didn’t say the reason the fires were burning in Southern California was global warming…” It sure sounds like you did, Senator.
It would be interesting to listen to Reid explain how global warming relates to arsonists, arc-welders, and downed power lines that investigators have linked to causing these fires.
Forest fires have been around ever since the invention of trees. This is nothing new, and global warming is not to blame. Southern California is a desert. The Santa Ana winds that are feeding the fire are in fact later than usual this year, and their intensity is average. It is not the fault of George Bush and the Republicans. Believe it or not, raising taxes will not solve the problem.
Solutions that would help lessen the severity of these wildfires are actually contested by litigious environmentalist groups. The Forest Service estimates that half of their time and approximately $250 million is spent each year in preparation for court battles with activist groups. Some neighborhoods have been saved from conflagration due in part to “fuel breaks.” When not preparing for the courtroom, the Forest Service is busy working to save nature and mankind from wildfires. Fuel breaks are areas of forest where dead trees are removed, low-hanging branches are trimmed, and brush is thinned. The Forest Service cannot eliminate the threat of these fires, but forest thinning and fuel breaks can prevent them from growing out of control. How much wildlife is killed or displaced when hundreds of thousands of acres burn? Now how much wildlife would have been spared if the forest was managed? It sure seems as though they are shooting their cause in the foot.
When a bridge collapses in Minnesota, politicians rush to the scene (even before the bodies are recovered) to call for new taxes to repair our failing infrastructure. Never mind that there is already taxes in place for that very reason – but politicians would rather spend the money that was intended for repairing bridges on sexy mass transit programs and bicycle trails. That, they think, is what wins the hearts and minds of their constituents, not replacing rivets and trusses.
When coal miners are killed in a cave-in, liberals criticize the coal industry. That’s right, they attack the very Americans who risk their lives for energy that is not as attractive as wind farms or solar panels.
When a deranged boy walks around a college campus, killing students, liberals cry for gun control legislation, as if that would make us safer.
The good thing is that politicizing disasters can be a double-edged sword. Blaming the Bush administration during Hurricane Katrina did not get the Democrats the result they hoped for. Republicans are sweeping into power in Louisiana. 36-year-old Republican Bobby Jindal was just elected Governor and five out of six state seats up for election are expected to be won by Republicans when votes are counted next month. There were failures of government in the response to Katrina, but most of the blame goes falls on local and state governments. Apparently, the voters in Louisiana figured that out.
Without something to show voters what they have done (like withdrawing from Iraq), Democrats must keep our focus on the Republicans. Turning tragedies into political opportunity is disgraceful, but unfortunately, it is par for the course from today’s Democrat Party.
Chris Carter is the host of “Unto the Breach with Crushing Chris Carter.”
COPYRIGHT 2007 CHRIS CARTER
In: Politics · Tagged with: Congress, Democrats, Harry Reid, Natural Disasters
Congress has asked for more documents on the firings of the eight U.S. attorneys from the White House. The Bush administration has turned down the request. In return, the House and Senate Judicial Committees have given them until next Monday to explain their case for denying the information.
In case you missed the boat, as the Democrat-controlled Congress has, the President can dismiss any or all of the U.S. attorneys at any time he wishes. Bush could fire all the attorneys for being Bears fans if he wanted to, and Democrats could not do anything about it.
Congress has had its sights on the Bush administration since taking office at the beginning of the year. White House Spokesman Scott Stanzel said, “They’ve launched over 300 investigations, had over 350 requests for documents and interviews and they have had over 600 oversight hearings in just about 100 days,” Stanzel said. The White House has handed over 200,000 pages of documents to Congress. That’s impressive! Where has that gotten them?
The Democrats are skeptical of the numbers Stanzel provides, but do not provide a correction. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “His numbers are as faulty as the intelligence they used to make their case for war.” Ouch!
Congress has “a lot to show in terms of activity and requests and letter-writing, and that sort of thing, but not much to show in the way of real legislation,” according to Stanzel. The American public agrees – it’s no wonder Congress has a record-low 24% approval rating.
Chris Carter is the host of “Unto the Breach.”
COPYRIGHT 2007 CHRIS CARTER
In: Politics · Tagged with: Congress, Harry Reid
Let’s compare two things: firefighting and the war in Iraq.
We will use a large abandoned warehouse for our example. This building is part of a historic downtown area that is of great importance to the city. The fire department arrives and begins to attack the fire. The firemen are doing everything within their power to control the blaze, but despite their best efforts, the building is doing nothing but deteriorating. As the fire rages on, the heavy timbers supporting the structure are burning away. The floors and walls are beginning to show signs of collapse, which could trap the firemen inside. The chief makes the call to pull his men out. Reluctantly, the firemen back out of the warehouse.
There is no chance now of the warehouse being saved. But what happens next? The neighboring structures are now in danger as the flames blow out of every side of the warehouse. Unlike the warehouse, these adjacent buildings are occupied. The fire department has to stop the fire from spreading from one building to the next, which could destroy the entire downtown area if left unchecked, as in the great fires of San Francisco and Chicago. (more…)
In: Military, Politics · Tagged with: Congress, firefighting, General Petraeus, Iraq, John Murtha
Recently I watched the movie 300. As I watched, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the circumstances in the movie and those we face in today’s world.
The Persian Empire had stretched north, east, and south to the seas, and King Xerxes set his sights on Europe to the west. The Persian army was estimated to be somewhere between several hundred of thousands and millions of troops. Xerxes’ first stop was Greece, and many Greek states had surrendered to the Persians already.
What was at stake? Democracy. Constitutional reform by Athenian philosopher and politician Solon around 600 B.C. laid the basis for evolution from monarchies and oligarchies to more democratic forms of government.
In 501 B.C. another Athenian, Cleisthenes, further reformed the democratic movement. Democracy was on the rise in Greece, and Xerxes and his Persian horde were threatening to wipe this new form of government off of the map.
If you are unfamiliar with the Battle of Thermopylae, which the movie 300 is based on, in 480 B.C., six to seven thousand Greek soldiers led by Leonidas and his 300 elite Spartan soldiers made a heroic stand in the pass of Thermopylae in 480 B.C.. The Greek traitor Ephialtes led a force of Persians to a hidden path around the pass in order to surround the small force. Once Leonidas realized that he was about to be surrounded, he released the other Greek soldiers, leaving only his Spartans and about 400 Theban soldiers. The Spartans were wiped out, but not before they held out for over two days and killed many thousands of the Persians. Had Ephialtes not turned to the enemy, the pass would have held even longer. The stand at Thermopylae bought the Greek army enough time to regroup and defeat the Persians.
Had Leonidas and his Spartans not fought the Persians in Thermopylae, the Greek army would not have been able to defeat the Persians, and who knows where that would have left democracy. But because of their sacrifice over 2,000 years ago, we have the rights and freedom that we enjoy today.
I found several similarities between the events of 480 B.C. and 2007 A.D.
First, the majority of the Greek city states failed to recognize the significance of the upcoming battle. The Carneian festival, the major religious festival for Sparta and other Greek states, was underway. Also, the Olympic games took place at the same time. Most Greeks gave a higher priority to these festivals, and the states that did send troops refused to send any more than a trivial advance guard. Also, many Greek states had already surrendered to Xerxes, not unlike Spain and other nations that have withdrawn their troops from the battle following threats and attacks from terrorist groups.
As was common back then, Leonidas had to consult the Oracle of Delphi, who issued prophecies from the god Apollo. The Oracle told Leonidas that either Sparta would be destroyed, or the king would die. So against the will of his people, Leonidas selected the Spartans with sons old enough to take over the household, and marched to battle.
To compare to today, President Bush recognizes that Islamic extremism must be defeated, while the vast majority of the free world does not. Today’s public opinion is largely against Bush and “his war.” Many Americans now believe this war is unnecessary, and that it was launched on poor intelligence.
Second, the traitorous characters Theron and the Ephors took bribes from the Persian Empire to sabotage the Greeks. Their actions could have spelled disaster for Greek civilization had Leonidas and other states (call them the Coalition of the Willing, if you will) not made their stand.
The liberals draw many similarities to these corrupt characters. The media is delighted to show footage from the enemy of American soldiers being shot by insurgents. They refuse to call our enemy terrorists, preferring more endearing titles such as “freedom fighters.” The media refuses to report any good news on how the military is restoring utilities, providing medical clinics, capturing scores of insurgents, and destroying massive amounts of weapons and explosives. Instead, we are fed a solid stream of Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and the latest roadside bomb and suicide bomber casualties.
Democrats also draw comparison. Most recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid celebrated their respective Emergency Supplemental Funding bills that instead of being quickly passed so that our fighting forces could be funded for another year, Democrats played politics with the bill, loading it with billions of dollars of pork, hurdles for the Iraqi government, and a withdrawal deadline.
Democrats have done little to show how they support our troops. Their idea of supporting the troops is surrendering to al Qaeda in Iraq, leaving the Middle East in turmoil, abandoning our allies, and turning their backs on the progress and the sacrifice that has been made. For historic examples of how the Democrats support our troops, see Somalia and Vietnam.
Third, the traitor Ephialtes in a way reminds me of Republicans who have abandoned their party to join the liberals. Every bill there seems to be several, including the Emergency Supplemental Funding bill. Were it not for these moderates, I fully believe that Republicans would control both houses of congress for years to come. Remember that conservatism works every time it is tried.
The majority of the free world refuses to recognize the threat to our civilization. Militant Islam is spreading throughout Europe and is causing sweeping changes in their governments. Now, the enemy is setting their sights on the United States, the protector of democracy. Like Leonidas and his Spartans, we must take a stand, even if the rest of the world will not.
Consider Somalia and Afghanistan, the shining beacons of Sharia Law. After years of control by Islamic warlords and Sharia Law, these countries have returned to the seventh century. Here is a great example of how barbaric this system is: recently a woman in Saudi Arabia was abducted at knife point by five men and gang-raped fourteen times. The rape victim’s sentence: ninety lashes for getting in a car of a man that she was not related to. If that is the kind of legal system you want, then by all means stand fast. Allow our beautiful country to fall victim as well. But enjoy your god-given rights and your freedom, bought with American blood, while you still can.
In the meantime, we the people, still hold the power over our government. Educate yourself and vote. Your vote does count. Contact your representative and let them know how you feel about a particular issue. Remember, the Democrats feel they were brought into power on the basis that the country wanted out of Iraq. If you do not contact your representative, how will they know any different? The next time someone spouts anti-American rhetoric, stand up and debate them. Perhaps you might influence them, or maybe someone who is listening. Now is the time for you to act, unless you want the United States (and democracy) to fall just like the great empires and civilizations of the past. Be a Leonidas. It is up to you to make a stand.