Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

THE UNITED STATES SENATE PASSES THE HEATHCARE BILL…………

Early this morning the Democrats….alone…passed the historic Healthcare Bill by a 60 to 39 margin in the United States Senate……..President Obama spoke after the vote……

The President mentioned  that the bill was……“the most important piece of social legislation since the Social Security Act” was adopted and that it represented “the toughest measure ever taken to hold the insurance companies accountable.”

The bill would require most Americans to have health insurance, would add 15 million people to the Medicaid rolls and would subsidize private coverage for low- and middle-income people, at a cost to the government of $871 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

While the Senate Bill must be reconcile the bill with the passed House version…..the Democrats with majorities in both houses, will control the process……and there still will be issues to deal with from different factions within the party……

The occasion brought frail, 92-year-old,  Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)  to the Capital to cast his vote. And proclaim…This is for my friend Ted Kennedy,” Mr. Byrd said. “Aye!”

Vice President Joe Biden also was present in the chamber when the votes where cast……

While there still is considerable gripping going on…the fact remains that this country is on the heels of a major change in the way it offers its citizen healthcare…..And while everyone wanted their idea of a plan…the final bill contains  afar less ambitious measure……stay tuned for the winner and losers stories…you know the media…….

December 24, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

The President, and his family, will probably go to Hawaii for the Holidays……

The islander’s are happy and proud to have them make their annual trip to there for the holidays…..

The Secret Service and White House advance teams, along with the White House Staff and Press Pool probably can’t wait to head out to the island…..tough duty, huh?

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Family, Media, Men, Politics, Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the Afghan Surge…..

I have heard two things this morning on the Presidents up coming surge in Afghanistan…and bothy trouble me…..

One…..The surge is being mentioned as a short-term solution with the pull back date being the selling point…..If Obama sticks with this policy he’s wasting his time…..The bad guys can read….As in Iraq….They will just take a vacation and come back rested when the troops go home…bad policy….

Two…While giving McChrystal the troops he wanted I hear White House Press Secretary Gibbs announcing…’No Nation Building”…huh?

If there is no Nation building…there will be no be no permanent peace…we will be like the old Soviet Union campaign there…Afghanistan as it is today is corrupt, poor undeveloped nation…our concept of the place only exists in a few big cities…..if the country is left to fend for its own a year or two from now it will descend back into a feudal third century country with a few major cities….

I hope I’m wrong..but a quick fix over there is a recipe for failure coming out the gate……

 

December 1, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments

Empty promises from the Presdient?

President Obama is in Asia this week..and the news from the first part of the trip is that Obama, unlike the previous president, wants to make up with everyone and open American trade….while that plays very well to the media …the fact remains that any trade deal must be approved back home….and that ain’t gonna be easy…

This country is coming out of a recession gingerly…And this country has a 10.2% unemployment rate….

No sitting Congress is going sign off a trade agreement that sends American jobs overseas….free trade isn’t in the US Congress’s dictionary these days……

Several countries have had fruitful talks, and agreements signed in principal with the executive branch, only to have them stopped dead in their tracks at the Capital Doors….

So a word to the wise…you guys in those countries shouldn’t get too excited about the deals the White House is pitching…because they can’t close the deal, only the US Congress does, and they will be in no hurry,  untill the American economy gets better….

November 14, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Politics, The Economy, Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Does the Secret Service have too much on it’s plate?

Back in September I did a book review on the Ron Kessler book about the United States Secret Service…….in reading the book it became apparent to me that the Service was in a bad place……taken from Treasury, where it was born and was the top dog…it has been relegated to the bottom of the food chain at the Homeland Security Department a huge agency…..now the agency has another problem……..it was formed last century as agency to protect the nation’s currency and grew to take on enforcing federal laws and statues against other financial crimes, which fit it’s being home in the Treasury Department.   But its move to Homeland has accompanied its huge growth in its dignitary protection function which has begun to diminish it investigative mission…….

There are now questions about what the agency should be doing as its mission and how it should be organized.…..The Service like any agency always is fighting a rear guard action to protect its turf….In the Kessler book it is mentioned that the Service has been in skirmishes with the FBI over enforcement (every federal agencies has)….while they where in Treasury there really was no leg for the FBI to stand on…the Service was Treasury , but with the movement out of that Department they have become protection oriented.

After a study of the problem by the Congressional Research Service there is a discussion in Congress and the agency what should be done…..Should the agency send some of staff and functions back to Treasury?…Should the agency do just protection?  Giving the FBI its investigate responsibilities?

The picture in the future is uncertain….. Since Congress has just given the agency the additional task of monitoring mortgage fraud, and added more money for the agency for protective functions in the future…….

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Law, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does the Secret Service have too much on it's plate?

Back in September I did a book review on the Ron Kessler book about the United States Secret Service…….in reading the book it became apparent to me that the Service was in a bad place……taken from Treasury, where it was born and was the top dog…it has been relegated to the bottom of the food chain at the Homeland Security Department a huge agency…..now the agency has another problem……..it was formed last century as agency to protect the nation’s currency and grew to take on enforcing federal laws and statues against other financial crimes, which fit it’s being home in the Treasury Department.   But its move to Homeland has accompanied its huge growth in its dignitary protection function which has begun to diminish it investigative mission…….

There are now questions about what the agency should be doing as its mission and how it should be organized.…..The Service like any agency always is fighting a rear guard action to protect its turf….In the Kessler book it is mentioned that the Service has been in skirmishes with the FBI over enforcement (every federal agencies has)….while they where in Treasury there really was no leg for the FBI to stand on…the Service was Treasury , but with the movement out of that Department they have become protection oriented.

After a study of the problem by the Congressional Research Service there is a discussion in Congress and the agency what should be done…..Should the agency send some of staff and functions back to Treasury?…Should the agency do just protection?  Giving the FBI its investigate responsibilities?

The picture in the future is uncertain….. Since Congress has just given the agency the additional task of monitoring mortgage fraud, and added more money for the agency for protective functions in the future…….

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Law, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More troops are going to Aftghanistan already…….

It seems that the President in ordering 21,000 combat troops for Afghanistan this spring, set in motion the movement of another 13,000+ support troops into the country…..

Whenever the United States military, be it Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines move into an area…they bring along support troops……whether it’s cooks, quartermasters, drivers,  mechanics, or weathermen they go wherever the combat troops go …..but as Iraq has shown, while they are stationed in the rear, out of the action zone…sometimes the non-action zone, doesn’t exist……support troops for all of the services, not just the Marines are being given more basic training, to defend themselves, since the incidents in the beginning of the Iraq war showed that, any soldier (male or Female) may find themselves in a firefight, anywhere in-country…..

The tallying of these extra troops was not announced, but the President,  as the Commander in Chief , was aware of the whole number, before signing off on the request……indeed, General McChrystal’s new request for troops will likely include more support troops also…….which brings up the time table of deploying McChrystal’s new increase of troops, which is straning the Army and Marines to uncomfortable levels……

There are a lot of combat and support soldiers moving into the Afghan campaign …and there will be more……..

From Iraq to Afghanistan…..the war continues moving…….

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FOX News as an arm of the Republican Party?

Anita Dunne, The White House Communication Director pushes back at FOX News and its ideological slant……..She talks to CNN’s Howie Kurtz…and she’s adamant that the White House looks at Fox News Channel as an adversary (and attached to the GOP) ……She  goes right back at Kurtz on the air…giving issues, situations and times that FOX has (in her mind)  not been truthful in reports on the President, his policies, and his administration…….

When pressed, Dunne advises that the president has, and will continue to appear on the channel…but the President, and Dunne are careful in who they will deal with over at FOX… and always considers that an appearance there is tantamount to sleeping with the enemy….

Dunne does speak highly of several people at the channel  including Major Garret, the FOX Congressional reporter, and separates individuals from the channel, in general……

October 11, 2009 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan…………

Any war planning for Afghanistan is going to have to include Pakistan, also….I know the White House knows, and is acting on this….But most Americans probably have no concept of this…..

I see the United States as successful in Iraq because of the surge, and the fact that the Iraqi’s themselves, are at least trying to get their act together…..I see the major problem for President Obama in Afghanistan as the fact there is hardly any infrastructure, and army…I see the problem in Pakistan as the bad guys trying to do the same thing they tried in Iraq…….terrorizing the population…..

With the US pushing the bad guys east into Afghanistan, and further into Pakistan (some where already there moving back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan), things are already getting hot in Pakistan……yesterdays brazen attack on the military headquarters, was for psychological effect…..And the hostages have been quickly rescued…and this was a warning to that countries peoples, that siding with the US, and it Allies, will bring trouble down on them….

With all this mind, do not forget that Pakistan has nukes……they are under the control of the army….But they remain there nevertheless…..

President Obama …the CIC, must take all of this into account………but we’re not finished

There is India to consider……

Once the bad guys get a hard time in Pakistan..they they will be running to the border of India….another country with nukes, and Pakistan’s arch problem elder…..The two countries have had a checkered history , and have been flexing at each other for long while…..all this the United States must  consider when dealing with the problems, and solutions presented by Gen. Stanley McChrystal for the area……

No wonder it’s taking such a long time……

October 11, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran………..

The President and the administration has employed the old carrot and stick strategy with the Iranians since Obama has arrived in DC…while some progress seems to have been made in this weeks meetings in Geneva…one should always be wary of the Persian’s who have been around for a long, long, long time…… I am talking about that nation’s political and military apparatus …..

While we all are concerned about Iran’s nuclear weapons…and the threat they would pose….I buy into the theory floating around that the people of Iran might hate their government, but are proud of its pursuit of a nuclear capability………

Along with this fact, I am also weary of the fact that the Iranian’s have been, and are continuing to, stall the West, while working hard at continuing development at any number of nuclear facilities…….I hope the everyone isn’t getting played…..

The stick remains sanctions (which are probably very spotty), inspections and the threat of letting the Israeli’s loose…….The carrot is, sanctions going away, some sort accommodation with the West, and a world wide view that they aren’t so bad……And maybe a supervised civilian nuclear program…..

One thing I can say with certainty…President Obama will do everything he can… to go the extra mile…to turn the other cheek, to get some sort of an agreement…talking to them…not just at them…….

What a welcomed change from the past eight years………..


October 1, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment