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WASHINGTON (AP) — Back home, tea partyers clamoring for the debt-ridden government to slash spending say nothing should be off limits. Tea-party-backed lawmakers echo that argument, and they’re not exempting the military’s multibillion-dollar budget in a time of war.
When the Founding Fathers issued the Declaration of Independence, they proclaimed: "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, have made it clear that they are willing to operate without such authority in order to pass their "cap-and-trade" energy-tax legislation. For the sake of our representative government, they must be stopped.
HONOLULU | Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey has warned Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele that his plans to align the Republican Party with the "tea party" movement will fail unless Mr. Steele proves his bona fides on taxing-and-spending issues. Mr. Armey told The Washington Times that he had told the chairman that if the Republican Party wants to earn the trust of skeptical tea partiers, it must show it is serious about "not lying to its voters" on those issues as it did in the George W. Bush administration.
<p>Could've been shot <br /> Inside the Beltway has received New Year's greetings from Lawrence Lindsey, former economic adviser to President Bush, who, due to a sluggish economy, was abruptly shown the door in the middle of the holiday season. <br /> "But then, this was not a normal holiday season for us," Mr. Lindsey writes from Walt Disney World in Florida, where his family went into seclusion with Goofy, Daffy and Donald Duck. <br /> "Some of you may have assumed that our stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge was a sign that Washington was starting to bug us," writes the president's fall guy. "Washington is enough to make anyone go ape after a while." <br /> But Mr. Lindsey stresses that Mr. Bush told him it was nothing personal. After all, he quotes the president as saying, "You helped me win a tough election; you developed an economic plan that was needed and effective; you provided sound advice to me during very tough times. In short, you did your job with distinction and class, and I am most grateful." <br /> Besides his three children, Mr. Lindsey says his wife, Sue, "is quite happy to have me at home more. At the holiday senior staff dinner at the White House she was seated next to the president and thanked him for sending me back home. She followed that up with, 'Stalin would have shot him.'" <br /> Next up for Mr. Lindsey is establishing a consulting business, teaming up with his former deputy Marc Sumerlin, who departed the Bush camp by his own choosing in August. <br /> "Hopefully I will be able to really take advantage of the new lower tax rates," Mr. Lindsey points out. <br /> Saddam's bomb maker <br /> It might not be the actual smoking gun President Bush needs to start an overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, but Saddam's bomb maker will appear on national television tonight to tell the American public everything he knows about Iraq's deadly arsenal. <br /> Khidir Hamza spent 20 years developing Iraq's atomic weapons program [the one Saddam says doesn't exist] and tells all in the new book "Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda," co-authored by Jeff Stein, veteran Washington reporter and editor of Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security. <br /> The story and its evidence are unlike any coming out of Iraq, for two reasons: Mr. Hamza knows so much firsthand, and he is one of only a few who has lived to tell it. <br /> For those who haven't read "Saddam's Bombmaker," the History Channel will summarize the book tonight from 10 to 11. <br /> It begins with the weapons developer's harrowing escape from Iraq and his first encounter with skeptical CIA agents. He then spills Iraq's beans, painting an unprecedented portrait of Saddam - his unrivaled power, drunken rages, murder of underlings and his women. <br /> You might even spot a smoking gun or two. <br /> Long war <br /> A search is under way for Vietnam veterans who died as a result of their service but who do not meet the government requirements for having their names added to the 58,229 inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, or the Wall. <br /> These additional "heroes" will be honored at the Fifth Annual In Memory Day ceremony at the Wall on April 21. More than 800 fallen veterans were recognized during past ceremonies. <br /> "Each year, thousands of service members and civilians die as a result of Agent Orange exposure or other physical and emotional wounds from the war," explains Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which was responsible for building the Wall. <br /> Family members and friends should obtain an application to submit names no later that Friday, Feb. 28, by calling 202/393-0090 or by visiting www.vvmf.org. <br /> West Virginia calendar <br /> Faced with a Medicaid-driven budget crisis, West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise is demanding cheaper "Canadian prices" on pharmaceuticals sold in his state. <br /> But observers here in Washington say if Mr. Wise, a Democrat, looked further at the Canadian system, he'd realize that Canadian-style health care is a prescription for disaster. <br /> Which is why Citizens for a Sound Economy tomorrow will send "Canadian Healthcare First Aid Kits" to all of West Virginia's legislators and the governor, hoping it will stop Mr. Wise's plans. <br /> We're told the first-aid kit includes a "five-year calendar," so West Virginia citizens can schedule their emergency surgery at a pace consistent with the delays Canadian citizens must endure; and a bandage, aspirin and Alka-Seltzer, to hold them over while they wait. <br /> *John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or email@example.com.</p> <p>GRAPHIC: Lawrence Lindsey says his wife thanked the president for firing him because he can spend more time with family. [Photo by AP] </p>
<p>Before members of Congress leave for the Christmas and New Year's holidays, they are to take a test in economic literacy: their vote on extending the tax cuts President Bush proposed and Congress voted for in 2003, including the current maximum 15 percent long-term capital gains tax rate. </p> <p>The tax cuts worked very well in revitalizing the economy, which has been growing almost 4 percent yearly. Millions of new jobs were created, resulting in nearly full employment. This has been particularly remarkable given the unprecedented economic battering from the hurricanes. </p>
<p>Slough (meaning muddy field), England, is not a lovely place. It is east of London, a bit beyond Heathrow Airport -- a glum commuter town. The BBC, in a made-for-television social experiment, "Making Slough Happy," is trying to make Slough a happier place by giving the town group therapy, bizarre as that may seem. </p>
<p>After Hurricane Katrina, very few members of Congress have stepped forward with a meaningful plan for paying what's already an astronomical tab, other than driving America deeper into the red. While the hurricane relief debt steadily climbs, only a few members have dared suggest this spending be offset by reducing ever so slightly some of the taxpayer billions spent on pork-barrel special interest programs. </p>
<p>Do you think your tax money should be given to international bureaucrats who give destructive advice to American policymakers? Well, that is what is happening -- and worse yet, some unthinking souls in the news media and Congress have treated some of these detrimental recommendations with undeserved deference. </p>
<p>Do you know why the retiring Federal Reserve chairman is praised so highly? He made fewer mistakes "pricing" the U.S. dollar than some of his recent predecessors. The "price" referred to is the short-term interest rate -- the rate the Fed charges banks that borrow from the Fed. </p>
<p>STRASBOURG, France.- Is it a sensible idea to move the site of government every three weeks? This is precisely what the European Union does every month, since much of its government moves back and forth -- with great wagon trains of trucks carrying government papers (and the luggage of the European parliamentarians) -- between this picturesque city in the Rhine Valley and Brussels, Belgium. </p>