Harry Reid

We normally don’t agree with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on anything. So when Harry Reid is right about something, it deserves some attention. Watch Reid call President Hu of China, who is attending a state dinner at the White House tonight, a dictator:

Predictably Reid backpedals a little, but he is correct. China has been ruled by the Communist Party since 1949 and, while recent regimes have not been as murderous as the founder of Communist China, Mao Tse Tung, who between 1949 and 1976 caused the death of 40 to 70 million people, China is still ruled by a single party, which is engaged in genocide in Tibet and represses many of its people including 2010 Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo.

China has been very successful economically by largely replacing communist economics with capitalism, so successful, that China today is in fact America’s banker owning a large portion of American government debt. China is also a rising military power building weapons that could become a threat to American military superiority. It is forming alliance and building basis to expand its power into the Indian and Pacific Oceans. And China continues to repress its people’s freedom including freedom of speech and religion.

We have hoped in vain for thirty years that economic liberalization will be followed by political liberalization. This has not happened. Formerly communist Eastern Europe has followed the opposite, and much more successful path: a change in the political system has been followed by economic liberalization and growth in wealth.

Our dependence on China for financing our debt is unfortunate and there are no quick short-term solutions. Our uneasy relationship with China is likely to continue. We need to remain alert to the potential threat China will pose to the United States in the decades to come.

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The Lame Duck Congress is going into overdrive to pass legislation, Democrats didn’t have the courage to bring up before the election and now want to jam through before they lose power in the new House and are weakened in the Senate.

One such attempt failed this week: a trillion dollar omnibus spending bill that was supposed to make up for Congress failing to pass a budget for the fiscal year that started October 1. Fortunately, Senate Republicans stood firm and Harry Reid had to withdraw the bill.

Time for the Lame Duck Congress to go home.

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The lame duck Democrats in Congress are frantically scrambling to pass items from their radical agenda that they failed to pass for the past two years when they were in control. Issues that they couldn’t get to while they had power are suddenly emergencies that have to be dealt with now: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (gays in the military), the DREAM Act (amnesty for illegal aliens), a pork-barrel loaded omnibus spending bill for 2011 and the START II Treaty with Russia.

Hugh Hewitt has written an excellent column, The Congress That Needs To Go Home, on the need for the lame duck Congress to end its session and go home:

This failed Congress needs to close up shop and go home. They have become the unwelcome house guest, staying and staying and indifferent to every hint the host can give to clear out. They are the neighbor across the hall who thinks nothing of knocking with an inane request in the middle of the night. They are the guy in the next room at the hotel who left his television on but fell asleep so you can listen to Sports Center all night through while he sleeps.

This Congress needs to go away. That which it did, it shouldn’t have done. That which is didn’t do, it can no longer do well.

Clear out. Vamoose. Scram.

Go play in the street.

Instead Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are desperately hanging on to the last moments they have control of Congress all the while blaming Republicans for their own failures. A silver lining in their ridiculous behavior is that it may discredit lame duck session of Congress to the point where they will not occur in the future. See Why the Lame Duck Congress Should be a Dead Duck .

To tell Congress how you feel about the lame duck session go to Lame Duck Hunting Petition and speak out.

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In the coming weeks the lame duck Congress will try to pass legislation rejected by the American voters on Nov. 2. Congressmen and senators who lost their seats in the election have a few more weeks in which they will try to impose their will on the American people.

Why do we have lame duck sessions and can they be abolished? Betsy McCaughey recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal about how lame duck sessions where supposed to be abolished in 1933:

Lame duck sessions were unavoidable before jet planes. The framers of the U.S. Constitution provided 17 weeks for newly elected members to travel to the capital and take their seats on March 3. That was the 18th century.

In 1933, Americans ratified the 20th Amendment to eliminate lame duck sessions. It set Jan. 3 as the day newly elected members would take their seats. That still left seven weeks after the election, but no one imagined that the old Congress would return to the capital during that time.

For a half-century, the 20th amendment worked. Except during World War II and the Korean War, Congress did not reconvene after November elections. But for the last two decades, lawmakers have hurried back to the capital after Election Day to deal with spending bills and controversial legislation they deliberately had avoided before the election.

There are two urgent matters before the Congress: the federal government’s authority to spend will end at the end of this week. Although many of us hate to see the debt ceiling raised again, it is a reality we will have to live with until we are able to pass large spending cuts. With two wars, a dangerous situation in North Korea and other essential government functions at risk, the lame duck Congress needs to pass a limited extension of spending authority for a couple of months. The new Congress can then start attaching spending cuts to future increases in the debt ceiling.

We are also faced with a large tax increase January 1 when the Bush tax cuts expire. The lame duck Congress should extend the current tax rates indefinitely. If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid cannot bring themselves to allow a vote on this, Republicans should block any scheme that raises taxes on a weak economy and take up the matter in January when they can retroactively keep the current tax rates.

Beyond this, the lame duck Congress should do only one thing: adjourn.

Democrats want the lame duck Congress to vote on all kinds of legislation they failed to pass in the past two years. This includes the DREAM act, which gives in-state tuition to illegal aliens, abolition of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gays and a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. President Obama even wants the Senate to ratify the START II disarmament treaty with Russia without giving the Senate time to do its usual due diligence when ratifying treaties with foreign powers. None of these issues are urgent and they should be debated and voted on by the new Congress.

Republican should block all of these last-minute efforts of Democrats to ignore the election results. They can quote President Obama who responded to Republicans wanting their ideas incorporated in Obama’s bills. He simply responded: “We won.” Yes, and now the opposition to Obama socialism has won and shouldn’t be willing to compromise and let a Congress with members that have been kicked out by the American people pass legislation rejected by the voters.

In January, the new Congress should pass a law that simply states that Congress will not reconvene after the November, 2012 election. Let’s make this lame duck session the last.

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Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is deluding herself about why Democrats lost the election. She blames 9.5 percent unemployment as the sole cause for the loss. Well, yes, high unemployment certainly didn’t help, but it was the policies of the Obama administration and Pelosi’s House Democrats that have damaged our economy and suppressed job growth. Voters rejected Obamacare, stimulus spending and the vast overreach of the federal government that has been building up for some time and reached a new peak with the Obama administration.

Much to the joy of Republicans, Nancy Pelosi is going to stay on as Democrat Minority Leader in the House. Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama are the three politicians most visibly associated with the failure of the past two years. Having Pelosi around for the next two years continuing to support failed policies and demonstrating the arrogance of the Left is bound to help keeping American voters focused on the need to hand the Democrats another resounding defeat in Congress and the White House in 2012.

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