Posted on Monday, July 21, 2008 by Samuel
Gary Bauer writes in his July 21st End of Day Report:
I’m glad to report that at least one senator understands the need to prioritize spending. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is one of the best friends the American taxpayer could ever hope to have. He has taken on pork-barrel spending in the Senate, earning the ire of both political parties in the process. In an unusual move, Senator Coburn is using the Senate’s arcane rules to his advantage by holding up dozens of bills with billions of dollars of pork barrel, special interest spending projects. By one count, he has temporarily blocked passage of 70 bills amounting to at least $44 billion in spending.
One bill would allocate $400 million over five years to pay for American college students to study overseas. Another bill Senator Coburn has held up is the Global Poverty Act. According to the Heritage Foundation, the Global Poverty Act would be an additional tax equivalent to just under one percent of our gross domestic product (roughly $100 billion a year) to fund a massive foreign aid program administered by the United Nations. If enacted, the bill would quadruple the amount of money American taxpayers currently spend on foreign aid, and it would subjugate the direction of these assets to U.N. bureaucrats, rather than our own officials.
While Senator Coburn has unapologetically stood up for the American taxpayer, he can only do so much on his own. The Senate’s liberal leadership has devised a scheme to bundle many of the bills he has held up into one package, known on Capitol Hill as the “Coburn omnibus.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said he plans to bring the “Coburn omnibus” to the Senate floor before the August recess. If these bills were debated one at a time, Senator Coburn would likely succeed in demonstrating how frivolous much of this proposed spending is. But bundled together, the Senate leadership may succeed in steamrolling Senator Coburn and other fiscal conservatives. As John Fund of the Wall Street Journal put it, many senators “will be torn between supporting their colleague in his fight against excessive spending or risking losing projects for their state. Mr. Reid’s move is a clever way to force [senators] to choose between their self-proclaimed principles and pork.” And keep in mind, my friends, what it says about the Senate’s priorities if it chooses in the final days of this month to debate more spending rather than to solve our energy crisis.
That’s where you come in! If you believe your senators should put the principle of fiscal discipline ahead of pork-barrel spending, call them at 202-224-3121 and urge them to oppose the “Coburn omnibus.” If you believe that your senators, before they go on a month-long recess in August, should reorder their priorities and lift the federal ban on offshore oil drilling in order to bring down gas prices before they spend another dime or raise another tax, call them and demand that they oppose the “Coburn omnibus.”
You can visit Gary Bauer’s web site at American Values.
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Posted on Monday, July 21, 2008 by Samuel
The secular progressives in Congress say they believe that high gasoline prices are bad. Their constituents are angry over gasoline prices that are exceeding $4.00 a gallon. These progressives complain about the high gas prices but they really don’t want to do anything to help fix the problem. Instead of changing irrational policies they point fingers at everyone but themselves.
David Freddoso writes that, “Their presidential nominee, Barack Obama, lamented in mid-June that high gasoline prices have hurt Americans, but he later gave a much more accurate representation of the party line: ‘I think that I would have preferred a more gradual adjustment,’ he said in an MSNBC interview. It should be noted that the Kyoto treaty calls for emissions reductions some 15 or 20 times as great as those induced by higher gas prices. Its goals would presumably require much higher gasoline prices – perhaps $7 or $8 a gallon, or even more – over a very long period of time.”
Many in the US Senate and House refuse to vote for drilling off-shore and in ANWR because this would defeat the purpose of their radical environmentalist allies. They are caught between their environmentalist campaign contributors who are well-funded and have a loud voice in Washington, and their constituents, who they are really supposed to represent – but are only working people with very little money to contribute to a re-election campaign. In the meantime gas prices continue to rise, food costs rise, and everything that requires transportation continues to become more expensive. However, this may not be a big deal to senators and congressmen who receive a $180 thousand salary plus expenses, don’t pay social security, many of whom are already millionaires, and some whose wealth has actually grown significantly while in service to their country.
The progressive congressmen who are suppose to be our representatives are resorting to deceptive tactics to give the false impression that they are indeed concerned about high gasoline prices. They have proposed such absurd ideas as suing OPEC, cracking down on speculators, and nationalizing the oil industry. They have also brought the “use it or lose it” law to the House floor which charges that 68 million acres under lease by the oil companies contain 4.8 million barrels of crude. The Democrats’ bill threatened to confiscate the non-producing leases. They pretend not to know that the Secretary of the Interior already has the authority under current law to revoke leases that are not exploited within five years. Upon questioning, it was revealed that the 4.8-million-barrel number was made up out of thin-air by Democratic staffers without the involvement of government scientists. The bill failed to attain the two-thirds majority it needed, and would have been totally useless anyway.
The majority of Americans want to drill wherever and whenever. If the Democratic radicals in Congress continue to resist, the only choice is to vote them out of office. Perhaps the voters’ reactions to the high price of gas will make our representatives more aware that the needs of the people in the states they represent are more important than the pseudo-scientific ideals of radical environmentalism. To turn our backs on fossil fuels and rely completely on new technologies would be a disaster for our economy. How sad it is to think of the greatest democracy in the history of the world being brought to its knees because we actually believed it was so important and that we could reduce the earth’s temperature by one degree. Or perhaps, like Al Gore, many of our lawmakers have invested heavily in green technologies and carbon credit companies. What do you think?
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Posted on Monday, July 21, 2008 by Samuel
The cultural Christian believes he is open-minded; not double-minded. He believes that Christianity is true as long as it does not conflict too much with his own ideas. He is religious, but cautious about how others see him. He is inconsistent in many ways.
He bases his personal righteousness on works that look good. He believes in salvation by approval. That is, he acknowledges that Christ died for his sins. He believes that his understanding of the Bible is true, and he takes his family to church. He remains, however, a stranger to the spiritual life of a true Christian. He looks like a Christian, talks like a Christian, but has never experienced the saving power of Jesus Christ. He lives for the good opinion of others and to please himself.
The cultural Christian’s philosophy is to avoid conflict, discomfort, and pain. When he reads the Bible, he reads only those parts that suit his disposition. He does not care to study or understand sound doctrine. He reads mostly Eckhart Tolle, books like The Shack, and feels comfortable taking spiritual advice from someone like Oprah. In fact, his “so-called” Christian beliefs have been formed more by these sources than the Bible.
He is a child of the world, rather than a child of the Word. He chooses the broad road rather than the narrow way. It is inconceivable to him that God would allow him to spend eternity in Hell. That just would not be fair. He has created in his own mind the image of a god that conforms to his expectations, but his god is false and bears little resemblance to the God of the Bible.
Cultural Christians are often called “liberal Christians.” I have heard that there is a movement by some cultural Christians to call themselves “progressive Christians.” Nevertheless, it is still the same old recycling of the Gnostic heresy which claims to be the secret key to the Bible, God, and salvation. What is this secret key? In one form or another, it is always simply making “your Christianity” up as you are guided by your feelings. Unfortunately, for many, the God of the Bible condemns this and calls it “idolatry.”
We all need to ask ourselves this question: “Does this description sound like me?” It is an important question because possessing a cultural Christianity will not get you into the kingdom of God.
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