Saturday, July 31, 2010

House Passage of Melancon Amended Bill to Provide $1.2 Billion for Gulf Restoration Praised

/PRNewswire/ -- Five conservation groups praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a bill July 30 that includes an amendment authored by Congressman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) that would provide up to $1.2 billion in funding for Gulf Coast restoration projects. The amendment provides funding for a "Gulf Coast Restoration Program" in Title V of the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources Act (CLEAR Act/H.R. 3534). The amendment is fully paid for by a portion of BP's penalties for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA), so it doesn't increase the deficit.

"The BP oil spill has imperiled the Gulf Coast and its impacts will be felt for years to come by the communities, wildlife, and the environment," said a joint statement by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Environmental Defense Fund, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, National Audubon Society, and National Wildlife Federation. "Much of the oil in the marshes simply can't be cleaned up. Congressman Melancon's amendment recognizes that the long term solution to cleaning the marshes is to bring self-sustaining health back to this ecosystem through long-term investments in restoration. We thank Louisiana Congressmen Melancon and Steve Scalise (R-La.) for working together to ensure bipartisan support for this amendment, and we're grateful to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV) and the House leadership for their help to pass the amendment."

HR 3534 creates a restoration task force, comprising the five Gulf Coast governors and representatives of relevant federal agencies. Nine months after the legislation's enactment into law, the task force must submit a detailed Gulf of Mexico Restoration plan. Upon completion, the plan will be submitted to Congress, which will then fund listed projects. The funded projects will be large-scale restoration projects, endorsed by the Gulf Coast governors and federal agency heads.

"These projects will benefit all regions of the Gulf Coast and provide a restoration framework that will restore water quality, protect people, wildlife and reintroduce resilience into the coastal wetlands in the face of the oil spill," the groups concluded. "Nearly five years ago, our nation learned during Hurricane Katrina the important role Gulf Coast wetlands play in protecting people and communities from devastating storms. Now, in the face of the BP spill, America has come to understand the importance of a healthy Gulf ecosystem to wildlife, the economy, and the culture of the region."

Community News You Can Use
Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rep. Chris Smith's New Bill is Necessary to Restore Abortion Funding Neutrality

/PRNewswire/ -- D.C. Family Research Council Action today praised U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) for introducing bipartisan legislation to codify federal abortion funding restrictions that have been greatly undermined this year. With passage of a health care law that will fund and subsidize abortion, and with efforts by pro-abortion senators to open up military bases to abortion, Rep. Smith is introducing legislation to enact a government-wide abortion funding ban.

Family Research Council Action Senior Vice President Tom McClusky praised the bill with the following comments:

"In the last year, we have seen President Obama and pro-abortion congressional leaders make repeated attempts to eviscerate the long-agreed line on federal funding of abortion. They began by enacting the abortion funding health care law and are now advancing an abortion agenda that includes turning our military hospitals into abortion facilities.

"The American people have responded swiftly and emphatically that their hard earned dollars should not be used to pay for other peoples abortions. We applaud Congressman Smith and numerous Members on both sides of the aisle for responding to the concerns of the American people by introducing a measure that applies an abortion funding ban across the federal government.

"The American people, regardless of their views of abortion's legality, should not be forced to pay for someone's abortion. The Smith bill would protect the American taxpayer and restore the traditional ban on government funding of elective abortion.

"Despite recent claims by the Department of Health and Human Services that it will not fund abortion, even the non-partisan Congressional Research Service agreed yesterday that there is no statutory prohibition on funding abortion in the high risk pools. Both pro-life and pro-abortion groups agree that the courts are likely to require federal abortion funding unless the law says differently which is why passage of Congressman Smith's abortion funding neutrality bill is so essential.

"We applaud all the Democrats and Republicans cosponsoring the Smith abortion funding ban, and urge all Americans to support this commonsense effort to restore government funding neutrality on abortion," concluded McClusky.

Community News You Can Use
Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

FAMM Hails Elimination of First Mandatory Minimum Since Nixon Administration

/PRNewswire/ -- Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed landmark legislation to dramatically reduce the sentencing disparity between federal crack and powder cocaine sentences and to repeal the five-year mandatory minimum for simple possession of crack cocaine. The bill, S. 1789, already won unanimous approval from the Senate in March and now goes to the White House for President Obama's certain signature. Its passage marks the first time that Congress has repealed a mandatory minimum drug sentence since the Nixon administration.

"Members of both parties deserve enormous credit for moving beyond the politics of fear and simply doing the right thing," said Julie Stewart, founder and President of FAMM. "For those of us who have been pushing for reform for nearly 20 years, today's vote is phenomenal. To see members of Congress come together on such a historically partisan issue like this during an election year is heartening.

"The 100-to-1 disparity was an ugly stain on the criminal justice system," Stewart continued. "Nobody will mourn its passing - least of all, the thousands of individuals and families FAMM has worked with over the past 20 years that have been directly impacted.

"I am hopeful that the forces of reason and compassion that carried the day today will prevail again soon to apply the new law retroactively to help those already in prison for crack cocaine offenses," Stewart concluded.

While S. 1789 will not eliminate the mandatory minimum for trafficking crack cocaine, it will substantially reduce racial disparity in cocaine sentencing. The infamous 100-to-1 sentencing ratio will be reduced to 18 to 1. Moving forward, 28 grams of crack cocaine will trigger a five-year prison sentence and 280 grams of crack will trigger a 10-year sentence. Once enacted, the law could affect an estimated 3,000 cases annually, reducing sentences by an average of about two years and saving an estimated $42 million over five years. The bill does not provide any relief for people in prison serving crack cocaine sentences because it does not provide for retroactivity. The bill also provides for enhanced sentences for drug offenses involving vulnerable victims, violence and other aggravating factors.

For more detailed information about the history of the federal crack disparity and the changes that will result for S. 1789, go to the following link at FAMM's web site:

Families Against Mandatory Minimums is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization supporting fair and proportionate sentencing laws that allow judicial discretion while maintaining public safety. For more information on FAMM, visit

Community News You Can Use
Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Historic Internet Gambling Regulation Bill Overwhelmingly Passes Committee with Bi-Partisan Support

/PRNewswire/ -- Today the House Committee on Financial Services took a critical step forward in passing Internet gambling legislation by voting to approve the Internet Gambling Regulation and Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), legislation introduced by Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA). The legislation, which passed by a 41-22 vote would regulate Internet gambling activity in the U.S. and require licensed operators to put in place safeguards to protect against underage and problem gambling.

"The Committee's bi-partisan vote to approve Chairman Frank's legislation is nothing short of historic," said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. "With Congress bitterly divided and only a handful of bi-partisan bills coming out of the Financial Services Committee, we're pleased Committee members from both sides of the aisle were able to come together to advance this important legislation."

During today's mark-up there were several amendments introduced from both sides of the aisle. Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) offered, and the Committee approved, an amendment that would further strengthen the legislation's already strict consumer protections, including a requirement for licensed operators to have each customer choose his or her loss limits before being able to play on-line. Rep. Campbell's amendment also requires licensees to protect customers by ensuring the customer privacy and security and protecting against fraud and money laundering.

Chairman Frank's legislation, introduced in May 2009, would establish a regulatory and enforcement framework for licensed gambling operators to accept bets and wagers from individuals in the U.S. Beyond an array of required consumer protections, the legislation reinforces the rights of each state to determine whether or not to allow Internet gambling activity for people accessing the Internet within the state and to apply other restrictions on the activity as determined necessary.

As a companion to Rep. Frank's bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2010 (H.R. 4976) introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) in March 2010, would ensure the collection of license fees and taxes on regulated Internet gambling activities.

Generating significant attention are the economic benefits of online gambling regulation. According to a Joint Committee on Taxation tax revenue analysis, regulated Internet gambling is expected to generate as much as $42 billion in federal government revenue over its first 10 years. Additionally, a recent analysis by H2 Gambling Capital predicts that Internet gambling regulation would create as many as 32,000 jobs over its first five years. There would also be additional economic benefits associated with jobs creation.

"The momentum of today's vote and growing bi-partisan support for online gambling regulation demonstrates to congressional leaders in the House and Senate that this issue is a priority and should be addressed," said Waxman. "Leaving in place a failed prohibition should no longer be the government's misguided policy approach, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable as they continue to find a way to gamble online in a thriving underground marketplace."

The legislation has drawn the support of 69 bi-partisan co-sponsors. Support for the legislation was also announced last week by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services Roundtable and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

Community News You Can Use
Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Massachusetts Senate Sends National Popular Vote Bill to Governor

(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Popular Vote convincingly earned second passage in the Massachusetts Senate Tuesday, placing the bill before the Governor for signature and enactment. If signed, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be the sixth state to enact the legislation that guarantees the presidency to the candidate who wins the most votes in all fifty states.

“On the heels of our huge bi-partisan win in the New York Senate, this continues our momentum on behalf of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who support this legislation.”

“We are pleased with the decisive legislative vote from the house and senate bringing Massachusetts that much closer to giving voters a stronger voice in electing the President of the United States,” said John Koza, Chairman of National Popular Vote. “On the heels of our huge bi-partisan win in the New York Senate, this continues our momentum on behalf of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who support this legislation.”

National Popular Vote recently passed the New York Senate with 22 of 27 Republicans and 30 of 32 Democrats voting in favor of the bill. The Massachusetts House and Senate moved the bill with overwhelming majorities.

“We want to extend a warm thank you to the supporters of our legislation and encourage others to closely consider our bill,” said Koza. “We will continue our state-by-state efforts to give every voter – right, center and left - a stronger and more relevant voice in electing the President.”

National Popular Vote legislation replaces current winner-take-all rules, where presidential candidates receive all of a state’s Electoral votes for winning the most popular votes in a given state. Winner-take-all rules result in a system where candidates campaign only to closely divided “battleground” states, while ignoring two-thirds of the states often termed “fly-over”.

When states totaling 270 Electoral Votes pass the legislation, National Popular Vote will award a majority of Electoral Votes to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in all fifty states, guaranteeing the presidency.

“We want to create a system where candidates campaign for every vote, not just battleground votes,” concluded Koza. “National Popular Vote does that while preserving the Electoral College and the intent of the Founding Fathers.” For more information visit

Community News You Can Use
Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Governor Cuts State Services Again in Beginning Days of the Fiscal Year

The Office of Planning and Budget is withholding four percent of funds from already stressed state agencies, and has asked agencies to propose budgets for cuts of four, six, and eight percent on top of this year's large cuts. The Georgia Budget &Policy Institute's latest report, Georgia Once Again Faces Budget Shortfall: Governor Orders Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Additional Budget Cuts, details the financial impact of these three levels of cuts.

Georgia is in the first month of its 2011 fiscal year, yet it is already facing a potential budget shortfall of between $413 million and $613 million. This shortfall is on top of the $2.5 billion in budget cuts already implemented since pre-recessionary FY 2009. This budget gap is due to several factors:

1) the U.S. Congress has not extended the enhanced Medicaid match which would have provided Georgia $375 million;
2) the state transferred $37.7 million in Education Stabilization Recovery Act funds budgeted for FY 2011 into FY 2010; and
3) there is a projected shortfall in the State Health Benefit Plan of as much as $200 million.

The education QBE funding formula is exempt from the withholding allotment. In addition, the Department of Education has been instructed to submit a FY 2011 Amended Budget proposal with a two percent QBE budget cut.

Lawmakers had already cut the fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget by over 12 percent since FY 2009, despite a growing population, increasing infrastructure problems, and significant needs for services from those families hardest hit during the recession.

"Particularly concerning is the fact that vital state agencies that educate and protect our children, protect the health and safety of vulnerable Georgians, and plan the state's economic development have already faced crippling cuts," said Alan Essig, the Institute's executive director and author of the latest policy report.

"Most of the additional cuts can be avoided if Congress passes the enhanced Medicaid funding which our state is counting on."

Even if congress approves the enhanced Medicaid match, all Recovery Act state stabilization funds expire the end of June. According to the Georgia State University Fiscal Research Center the state of Georgia will be facing a structural deficit of between $1.8 billion and $2 billion in FY 2012.

"We have high expectations that the recently formed Tax Council will develop recommendations to solve Georgia's immediate fiscal crisis as well as fix Georgia's long-term structural deficit," said Essig. "Its decisions affect Georgia's economy and its people."

Also, read an update of an analysis by Deputy Director Sarah Beth Gehl that details tax legislation passed during the 2010 legislative session, Adding Up the Fiscal Notes 2010: Governor Vetoes Revenue Drains on Future Budgets, but Signs Bill That Reduces Low Income Tax Credit.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Friday, July 23, 2010

NACD Concerned with Toxic Chemicals Safety Act

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) is deeply concerned with the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act (H.R. 5820) and the impact it will have on the entire United States economy. H.R. 5820 mandates a series of new standards and regulations that would be simply unworkable for chemical distributors and their customers, increasing costs for consumers while sacrificing jobs.

"NACD had hoped that lawmakers would work towards creating a true risk-based system that would continue to encourage innovation and growth in our nation's chemical industry while emphasizing the safety of our nation's citizens," said NACD President Chris Jahn. "While NACD appreciates the introduction of H.R. 5820 as one step in this process, the legislation introduced unfortunately creates a system far too burdensome and unworkable for the chemical distribution industry and its customers."

"We applaud Congressmen Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) for taking this step towards modernizing our nation's chemical management system, and thank them for reaching out to industry groups like NACD," said Jahn. "However, we hope that is just a first of many steps that will continue in this Congress and the next towards reforming our nation's chemical safety laws."

In particular, NACD is greatly concerned with the treatment of mixtures and products containing mixtures, as well as a lack of adequate protection of confidential business information.

"As a result of H.R. 5820, not only would chemical distribution companies be significantly impacted, but their customers as well," said Jahn. "NACD members distribute products to over 750,000 industrial customers, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care, food and beverage, and textiles. All customers of chemical distribution companies would feel the negative effects of this legislation."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Statement by President Barack Obama on Signing the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010

Today, I signed the unemployment insurance extension to restore desperately needed assistance to two and a half million Americans who lost their jobs in the recession.  After a partisan minority used procedural tactics to block the authorization of this assistance three separate times over the past weeks, Americans who are fighting to find a good job and support their families will finally get the support they need to get back on their feet during these tough economic times.  Now it’s time for Congress to act on more proposals that support our economic recovery, including passing critical aid to our states and support to small businesses.  Small businesses are the engine of job growth, and measures to cut their taxes and make lending available should not be held hostage to partisan tactics like those that unconscionably held up unemployment insurance.

President Barack Obama

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

House Financial Services Committee Schedules Mark Up of Internet Gambling Regulation Bill

/PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, the House Committee on Financial Services announced that the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), legislation introduced by Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) that would regulate gambling in the United States, will be marked up on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 10:00 am in Room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The mark up, which comes on the heels of Wednesday's hearing on the legislation before the full Financial Services Committee, is a critical next step for the bill to become law.

"This mark up demonstrates that Congress is serious about moving Chairman Frank's bill forward and establishing a strict regulatory framework for Internet gambling activity," said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. "The passage of this legislation would be a win-win as it will protect consumers, create an estimated 32,000 new jobs over five years and provide federal and state governments with as much as $72 billion in new revenues over ten years."

The legislation, introduced by Chairman Frank in May 2009, would establish a framework to permit licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S. In addition to mandating an array of consumer protections, the legislation reinforces the rights of each state to determine whether or not to allow Internet gambling activity for people accessing the Internet within the state and to apply other restrictions on the activity as determined necessary. Since its introduction, a bi-partisan group of 69 co-sponsors has signed onto the legislation. A recent analysis by H2 Gambling capital predicts that Internet gambling regulation would create as many as 32,000 jobs over its first five years.

In May 2010, the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing to discuss a companion piece of legislation to the Frank bill introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2010 (H.R. 4976). This legislation would ensure the collection of license fees and taxes on regulated Internet gambling activities. According to a tax revenue analysis conducted by the Joint Committee on Taxation, regulated Internet gambling is expected to generate as much as $42 billion in federal government revenue over its first 10 years.

"During this difficult economy, the revenue and job creation potential that regulated Internet gambling provides will go a long way to help states and families alike balance their budgets," said Waxman.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kelly Nguyen Thanks Supporters for Hard Work

The Committee to Elect Kelly Nguyen would like to thank all the supporters who have donated their time and resources to spreading the message of limited government in Georgia’s 5th Congressional district. With Kelly receiving 40.4 percent in last night’s Republican primary election, the hard work of our volunteers showed at the polls.

The Kelly Nguyen campaign centered on the US Constitution and limited government. Kelly Nguyen advocates a return to a sound monetary system and an end to corporate bailouts and stimulus packages. She also supports ending the IRS and conducting a fully transparent audit of the Federal Reserve System.

“We made a great showing at the polls yesterday and it proves that the ideas of limited government and the Constitution are still popular in Georgia,” Nguyen said this morning. “We gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from this experience and we are glad we ran a fair and open campaign,” she added.

Since qualifying for the Republican ballot over two months ago, Kelly and her volunteers have met many of the 5th District’s voters. “We have knocked on doors in the District almost every day since qualifying, and it has been a privilege to meet so many warm and friendly people,” Nguyen said.

Campaign manager Travis Jones also believes the campaign has ended well. “We ran a strong campaign with many dedicated volunteers backing our efforts. We learned far more than we expected and we made some great friends along the way,” Jones said.

Jones also expressed his gratitude to the campaign’s volunteers. “Above all, I want all the people who donated their time and resources to know how grateful we are for their contributions. In the end, this was only possible thanks to their hard work and we are grateful for their dedication,” he said.

Kelly Nguyen echoed Jones’ comments. “As we wrap up the campaign, I want all the volunteers and contributors to know this was only possible with their help. I will be forever grateful for their dedication to the campaign and its ideals.”

For more information please visit

Committee to Elect Kelly Nguyen
P.O. Box 5703, Atlanta, GA 31107
Tel: (678) 694-7219 |

Senator Rogers - First Elected Official in Georgia to Sign ATR Letter Urging President Obama to Stop Plan to Regulate the Internet

“If Obamacare, cap & tax, filing suit against the state of Arizona, $1.3 Trillion annual deficit, and Elena Kagan weren’t enough, now the President has decided to use the FCC to attempt and regulate the Internet. Will this madness ever stop?” said Senator Chip Rogers, Republican Majority Leader of the Georgia Senate. “The Internet has become one of the greatest tools of information and efficiency in human history. It has done so precisely because government does not regulate it. All Americans, regardless of political party, must tell the Obama administration this plan goes too far. Keep government hands off the Internet.”

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR)are leading an effort to have all elected officials sign a letter opposing the Obama administration plan to regulate the Internet.


We the undersigned, representing millions of American citizens, write in strong opposition to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) effort to regulate the Internet.

Over the past 25 years, the Internet has flourished in large part due to the extremely limited role that government has played. In less than a decade, the private sector has expanded broadband Internet access to over 95 percent of American households. Since 2004, the price to access the Internet has dropped by 23 percent, while during the same period overall consumer prices have trended upward.

Despite universal acknowledgement that Americans enjoy a free, open, and vibrant Internet, the FCC is relentlessly pursuing a massive regulatory regime that would stifle broadband expansion, create congestion, slow Internet speeds, jeopardize job retention and growth, and lead to higher prices for consumers.

We oppose the FCC’s effort to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which was written during the depression era to regulate telephone monopolies – 60 years before the Internet was ever conceived. These proposed regulations would permit the FCC to dictate how the networks that serve as the backbone of the Internet are managed, thereby removing incentives for further investment and opening the door for price setting or future regulatory action. It could also remove the ability for parents to prevent inappropriate material from entering the home. This regulatory “reclassification” would effectively turn innovative private Internet services into a public utility.

Earlier this year, a U.S. Court of Appeals found that the Commission was attempting to “shatter” the bounds of its legal authority by trying to enact Net Neutrality regulations without Congressional authority. We view this renewed effort by the FCC to reclassify the Internet under Title II as even more unfounded and onerous.

By pursuing Title II reclassification, the Commission is turning its back on years of precedent set by multiple U.S. Congresses, presidential administrations, the FCC’s own rulings, and the U.S. Supreme Court, which all found that the Internet should remain unregulated. Even more disconcerting, the Commission’s actions show complete disdain for strong bipartisan opposition voiced by a vast majority in Congress and the American people.

Placing the nation’s 21st century communications system under a pre-World War II law is the wrong approach to continuing broadband Internet expansion and adoption. The Internet has never been a regulated utility and we urge you to keep it that way by rejecting so-called “Net Neutrality” regulations on the Internet and the proposed Title II reclassification.


Sen. Chip Rogers serves as Senate Majority Leader. He represents the 21st Senate District which includes portions of Cherokee and Cobb counties. He can be reached at his office at 404.463.1378 or by email at
Community News You Can Use
Click to read MORE news:
Twitter: @gafrontpage
Twitter: @readmylipstick
Twitter: @artsacrossga
Also check out :
Twitter: @hhpotterystudio

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Westmoreland: Government Overreach Keeps Economy, Jobs in Tank

Representative Demands Democrats End Business-Killing Policies

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland demanded President Barack Obama and his Democrat majorities in Congress end the spending and tax policies that have put the brakes on private-sector job creation, especially among Georgia’s small businesses. Today’s release of new state unemployment numbers – Georgia’s jobless rate remained at an astonishing 10% last month – supports Westmoreland’s call for a fiscally-conservative approach to the economy.

“Freeing small businesses from the burdens placed on them by Washington is needed before we’ll really start adding jobs in the private sector,” said Westmoreland. “We have to get credit flowing and end all these tax increases and new mandates that keep these businesses from expanding and adding to their payrolls.”

Job recovery may take up to a decade if we continue at the current pace, according to one report from the House of Representatives – causing this economic recovery to take two years longer than the recovery following the Great Depression.

“Democrats in Washington have put so many restrictions on businesses and have hurt working families with new taxes and more debt to shoulder that I don’t see how we can take much more before we get to the breaking point. It’s no wonder the job recovery is so slow,” added Westmoreland.

One idea Westmoreland would like to see implemented immediately is an extension of current tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year. However, Democrats have resisted those tax-cutting efforts. As a result, Americans are facing a $3.8 trillion tax increase this coming January that will affect everyone who pays income taxes.

“Democrats have tried to torch our economy in the last 18 months, but they aren’t finished yet. We have to put a stop to everything that’s wrong in Washington before we’ll see real job growth,” concluded Westmoreland.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Three in Five Americans Give President Obama Negative Ratings on Afghanistan

/PRNewswire/ -- With the recent change in military leadership for Afghanistan there is a hope by the White House and others that this will help to change the direction of the war as well as attitudes toward it. President Obama probably also hopes this helps change opinions on his handling of the situation in Afghanistan, as just three in ten (29%) have a positive opinion of how he is handling it, while six in ten (59%) have a negative opinion. In January, almost four in ten Americans (38%) had a positive opinion of President Obama's handling of the war while 53% had a negative opinion.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,227 adults surveyed online between June 14 and 21, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

The general sense toward the situation in Afghanistan is also negative. Just one in ten Americans (10%) think the situation in Afghanistan is getting better, almost the same as in January (11%). Three in ten (29%) believe the situation is getting worse while half of Americans (49%) say there is no real change. And President Obama cannot count on people within his own party to support him on this issue. Half of both Republicans (51%) and Democrats (50%) say there is no real change in Afghanistan.

There is also a lack of confidence in long term success. Over half of Americans (55%) are not confident that U.S. policies in Afghanistan will be successful. One-third (34%) are not sure if these policies will be successful and only 12% are confident in the success in Afghanistan. Democrats are slightly more confident than both Republicans and Independents (17% vs. 10% and 8%).

Bringing troops home from Afghanistan

The timeframe for when U.S. troops should come home has been debated since American forces were first sent to Afghanistan. After the surge of troops was implemented, President Obama announced that some of those troops would begin coming home in the summer of 2011. American opinion is divided on this timetable. One-quarter of U.S. adults (25%) say all U.S. troops should come home now while 22% believe there should be no timetable for troops to come home. One in five Americans (19%) believe this is a good timetable for U.S. troops to come home, while 17% say some troops should come home before 2011 and 14% are not sure.

There is a slight shift of opinion in this since the beginning of the year. In January, over one-quarter of Americans (27%) believed there should be no timetable for U.S. troops to come home, while less than one-in five (18%) believed all U.S. troops should come home now.

There is also a large difference of opinion by political party. More than two in five Republicans (43%) believe there should be no timetable for troops to come home while 17% believe all troops should come home now and 9% believe summer of 2011 is a good timetable. One-third of Democrats (33%) believe summer of 2011 is a good timetable for troops to come home while one-quarter (26%) say all U.S. troops should come home now and 7% say there should not be a timetable.

Osama bin Laden

One view that hasn't changed so far this year is the belief that Osama bin Laden is still alive. Almost four in five Americans (78%) believe he is still alive with almost one-quarter (23%) saying he is definitely alive and 55% saying his is probably alive. The same number of Americans believed this in January of this year. Just one in ten U.S. adults (9%) say he is not alive while 13% are not at all sure.

So What?

The situation in Afghanistan is one other issue the Obama White House has on its plate for the unforeseeable future. When the focus shifted to Iraq, a lot of attention slipped away from Afghanistan and it became the "forgotten" war. With the situation in Afghanistan becoming more unstable, attention is now refocused there and Americans are going to expect something to change. If not, the same negative feelings they once felt towards Iraq will continue to emerge, and deepen, towards Afghanistan.

  "Now turning to Afghanistan, overall, how would you rate the job
   President Obama has done in handling Afghanistan over the last
                          several months?"

  Base: All Adults

                     April  Sept  Nov   Jan   June       Political Party
                      2009  2009  2009  2010   2010
                                                     Rep.    Dem.   Ind.
                       %      %     %     %     %      %       %      %
  Positive (NET)        51    36    31    38     29     12      47     27
    Excellent           10     5     4     7      3      1       7      2
    Pretty Good         41    32    26    30     26     11      40     25
  Negative (NET)        36    54    60    53     59     79      41     62
    Only fair           26    35    33    31     33     36      32     32
    Poor                10    19    27    22     26     43       9     31
  Not sure              13    10     9     9     12      8      12     11

  Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

                                  TABLE 2
                         SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN
          "Do you think that the situation in Afghanistan is...?"

  Base: All Adults

                 July May August April Sept Nov Jan June    Political Party
                 2005 2007 2008 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010
                                                         Rep.   Dem.   Ind.
                   %    %    %     %     %    %   %   %    %      %      %
  Getting better   17   12    11    12    8    6  11   10    9     11     11
  Getting worse    30   26    37    28   42   47  32   29   34     24     34
  No real change   37   36    35    45   41   39  46   49   51     50     45
  Not sure         16   26    18    16    9    8  11   12    7     14     10

  Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

                                TABLE 3
   "How confident are you that U.S. policies in Afghanistan will be

  Base: All Adults

             July May  August April Sept Nov  Jan  June     Political Party
             2005 2007   2008  2009 2009 2009 2010  2010
                                                         Rep.   Dem.   Ind.
               %    %     %     %     %    %   %     %     %      %      %
  Confident    25   22     17    27   14   12   15    12    10     17      8
   confident   45   41     54    40   55   61   53    55    65     44     61
  Not sure     30   37     29    33   31   28   32    34    26     39     31

  Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

                                  TABLE 4
                         TROOP SURGE IN AFGHANISTAN
   "President Obama recently announced that some of the troops that were
       part of the surge in Afghanistan will start coming home in the
                     summer of 2011. Do you think...?"

  Base: All Adults

                                              Jan June      Political Party
                                              2010 2010
                                                        Rep.    Dem.   Ind.
                                               %    %     %       %      %
  All U.S. troops should come home now.         18   25    17      26     31
  There should be no timetable for U.S.
   troops to come home.                         27   22    43       7     24
  This is a good timetable for U.S. troops to
   come home.                                   20   19     9      33     15
  Some U.S. troops should come home before
   2011.                                        18   17    15      21     14
  Other                                          4    3     4       1      3
  Not sure                                      12   14    12      12     13

  Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding

                          TABLE 5
                      OSAMA BIN LADEN
  "Do you believe that Osama Bin Laden is still alive?"

  Base: All Adults

                              Jan   June      Political Party
                              2010   2010
                                           Rep.   Dem.   Ind.
                                %     %      %      %      %
  Alive (NET)                   78     78     86     77     75
       He's definitely alive    23     23     22     24     22
       He's probably alive      55     55     64     53     54
  Not alive (NET)               10      9      7      9     11
       He's probably not
        alive                    8      8      6      8     10
       He's definitely not
        alive                    2      1      1      1      1
  Not at all sure               12     13      7     14     14

  Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 14 and 21, 2010 among 2,227 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Libertarians pleased by ruling on gun rights

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gun control in the McDonald v. Chicago case, Libertarian National Committee Chairman Mark Hinkle issued the following statement June 30:

"We are very pleased that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment protects individuals from state governments wishing to violate their right to own handguns.

"Libertarians have always firmly supported the individual right of self-defense.

"Now there is some hope that Chicago's horrible violent crime problem can be reduced by law-abiding citizens who will now be able to deter and resist criminals. More guns = less crime.

"It is disturbing that four justices voted to uphold Chicago's gun ban. Their position is an attempt to pursue a policy goal from the bench, not to apply the Constitution -- and to make matters worse, it is a policy goal that would be very harmful to the people of Chicago, and potentially to everyone in America.

"This ruling follows the District of Columbia v. Heller ruling, which overturned D.C.'s ban on handguns. That case was originally brought by Dick Heller, Libertarian Party member and treasurer of the D.C. Libertarian Party.

"We hope that this ruling will lead to further court decisions that reduce the government's ability to infringe on gun rights with burdensome restrictions and red tape.

"Republicans and Democrats both deserve blame for violating gun rights. While Republicans often position themselves as Second Amendment defenders, it is worth noting major examples to the contrary:

"Republican 2008 presidential nominee John McCain received an F- rating from Gun Owners of America;

"Republican president George W. Bush supported a program called Project Safe Neighborhoods that sought to toughen and federalize prosecution of gun control laws;

"When he was running for Massachusetts Governor in 2002, Republican Mitt Romney said, 'We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them; I won't chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.';

"In 1991, former Republican President Ronald Reagan announced his support for the Brady federal gun control bill."

The Libertarian candidate for New York Governor, Warren Redlich, has commented that the ruling will affect New York gun control laws. On June 28 Redlich wrote, "This landmark ruling will require New York State to take immediate action to amend its gun laws so they do not violate the constitution. It is a striking victory for gun owners and for anyone who believes in the fundamental rights the constitution provides."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage