President Obama has a year-end vacation scheduled in Hawaii starting this week. He may delay the vacation for a day or two, but don???t assume that his job as leader of the free world will get in the way of golf with fat-cat campaign donors and reelection photo-ops of him surfing. Expect Obama to put even more pressure on Congress to pass legislation quickly so he doesn???t miss any vacation time at one of the most exclusive vacation spots for the rich and famous.
Yet this is a difficult and heart-wrenching time for many Americans. The 8.6% of Americans who are unemployed, the 20% to 25% who are underemployed (working part-time but would like full-time work) and the 315,000 people who dropped out of the workforce last month won???t be vacationing during the Christmas season. More likely, they???ll be looking for a job and trying to find ways to feed the family.
Now that it is evident that the liberals will lose control of the Senate and maybe the presidency, they have completely flip-flopped on the filibuster. The Senate blocked the nominations of anti-Second Amendment nominee Caitlin Halligan to be a circuit court judge for the District of Columbia, and Richard Cordray to be the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through the use of a filibuster. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) told Politico that ???what goes around, comes around.???
Liberals are using these failed nominations as an excuse to set the table for a renewed use of the filibuster in 2013. Scott Lilly of the Center for American Progress wrote in a 2010 paper that ???the Senate needs to adopt modest procedural changes to its rules curbing some of the filibuster???s worst abuses, and making the Senate not only more responsible in performing its work, but at the same time more deliberative.??? Expect this talking point to be tossed aside if Republicans take power in 2013 and adopt the recommendations of the Left to reform the filibuster.
Killing the Keystone XL Pipeline
President Obama is so committed to killing the Keystone XL Pipeline that he is willing to veto a tax cut that saves an average of about $1,000 per American family if conservatives in Congress make building the pipeline an amendment to the tax-cutting legislation. He is also willing to block his own proposal to extend unemployment benefits if the Keystone job-creating provision is added to legislation extending unemployment benefits.
The Keystone XL Pipeline would create thousands of jobs and help the United States reduce dependency on Middle Eastern oil. But, President Obama is blinded by his “venture socialism” experiment that uses your tax dollars to fund wind farms, solar-panel companies and other green jobs for companies controlled by his pals. The $7 billion project to build the pipeline has been called a ???no-brainer??? by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, yet our President seems too paralyzed by his hatred of the oil industry to allow this job-creating idea to move forward.
Abortion Drug Blocked
Secretary of the Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius rejected a recommendation by the Food Drug Administration (FDA) to make the morning-after pill an over-the-counter drug. The drug is available by prescription, but some at the FDA thought that girls as young as 11 could responsibly use the drug without a doctor???s advice. Liberals were outraged by the decision.
It will be interesting to see whether this was a mere election-year ploy to protect the Obama campaign from attacks by social conservatives.
Congress Loses Confidence in Obama Justice Department
Obama???s Justice Department was under fire last week over how Operation Fast and Furious allowed major arms traffickers to sell guns to Mexican drug cartels. This operation led to the killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and to a large number of deaths on the Mexican side of the border. The whole rationale for this program was to impose new gun-control initiatives.