The Obama’s – In an interview with Barbara Walters Michelle said she prioritizes herself over everything else and Barack admits he is lazy.
AARP – Congressional Republicans are pushing the IRS to investigate the AARP’s tax exempt status since they earn revenue from insurance companies.
Obama Approval Numbers – Obama’s approval numbers are up this past month, meaning people have sided with his handling of payroll tax debate over Republicans.
Federal Pay – According to a USA Today article “Newly hired federal workers are starting at much higher salaries than those who did the same jobs in the past, a lift that has elevated the salaries of scientists and custodians alike.”
Obama’s Green Plan – According to a Washington Post article: “Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.”
Iraq Violence – From the AP: “An Al Qaeda front group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks that ripped through markets, cafes and government buildings in Baghdad on a single day last week, killing 69 people and raising new worries about the country's path.”
Payroll Tax Deal – The deal DOES INCLUDE a tax hike. Under the new law, an additional income tax will be imposed on those taxpayers who receive more than $18,350 in wages during that two month period. The tax is an amount equal to 2% of the amount of wages received during the two-month period in excess of $18,350 (and not greater than $110,100).
Ben Nelson – The Democratic Senator from Nebraska will retire when his term completes this year. This is a very winnable seat for the GOP.
California – The state passed 750 new legislative laws in 2011 alone. That is over 2 new per day! This is excessive governing and it is not hard to understand why California has one of the highest unemployment and debt per capita rates in the nation.
Economy – More than 100 Sears and Kmart stores nationally will close its doors.
Debt Ceiling – When Washington politicians head back to work to start the New Year, Obama will seek a 1.2 trillion dollar raise in the debt ceiling.
National Labor Relations Board – The controversial Craig Becker’s term has run out leaving only two members on the board. This is good news because without a quorum they cannot interfere in the private sector.
Iran – From Reuters: The US Fifth Fleet said this past week it will not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran threatened to stop ships moving through the strategic oil route.
Ethnic Studies – From the AP: Judge Lewis Kowal's ruling, first reported by The Arizona Daily Star, said the Tucson district's Mexican-American Studies program violated state law by having one or more classes designed primarily for one ethnic group, promoting racial resentment and advocating ethnic solidarity instead of treating students as individuals.
Wealth - Both The New York Times and The Washington Post had separate reports last week about the widening wealth gap between members of Congress and the people they represent. Almost half of all congress people are millionaires and their median net worth has climbed to $913,000, compared to $100,000 for the rest of America households.
My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)