Commentary transcriptions are generally posted the day after air date.
I’m seeing a lot of year-end news stories, lauding the outgoing Congress as the most productive in history. Of course, that depends on how you define “productive.” A lot of Americans think “destructive” would be a better term. And here’s just one of many reasons why. CNSNews.com tallied up their spending and found that the 111th Congress ran up more new debt than the first one-hundred Congresses combined. They also added over $1.2 trillion more debt than the second-biggest spending Congress of all time. That was the 110th, also under Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. In just two years, the outgoing Congress added over $3.2 trillion to the national debt.
If you’re one of those men who’s afraid to get married, maybe this will make you commit. The Pew Research Center reports that while marriage used to provide more financial benefits to women, it’s now giving a bigger economic boost to men. More women than men are going to college, and that’s led to them having better-paying jobs than their husbands. Under the latest available figures, the median household incomes for married men, married women and unmarried women were all 60 percent higher than in the 1970s. Among unmarried men, income was just 16 percent higher. We might have to rewrite the old saying: Behind every successful man is a woman…earning a bigger paycheck.
There’s some new high-tech help on the way for sleep apnea sufferers. Inspire Medical Systems in Minneapolis is testing what they call a “pacemaker for the tongue.” It’s an implant that detects when a sleeper inhales and zaps the nerve that controls the tongue just enough to keep it from falling back and cutting off his air. It’s still in the experimental stages, but one man who’s testing it says he’s getting a good night’s sleep for the first time in his life, and doesn’t even realize it’s on.
I’m Mike Huckabee, and I hope you’re enjoying this holiday week, and taking advantage of all the after-Christmas sales. It’s funny that even stores that say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” always start their after-holiday sales on December 26th. You’d think they’d wait until January 2nd, the day after New Year’s Day and the finale of Kwanzaa, just to make sure they’re starting after ALL the holidays are over.
Between all the gifts and relatives and eggnog, the White House hopes you didn’t notice that before the outgoing liberal Congress members’ well-dented chairs were even cold, the executive branch had already started trying to negate the last election with a blizzard of new regulations and executive orders. Couldn’t pass a cap-and-tax bill? No problem: the EPA will just regulate CO2 emissions. That’s already sparking lawsuits in energy-producing states like Texas, and will likely lead to higher energy bills and even more exporting of our industries to nations like China with lax pollution laws. The FCC is already trying to usurp the power to regulate the Internet. 220 million acres of land, mostly in the West, are suddenly being made eligible for federal protected wilderness status, to cut the states out of having a say on whether they should be developed.
A lot of folks in the Northeast probably won’t be dreaming of a White Christmas again for a long time. Some parts of the Northeast got up to two feet of snow over the past two days. It was enough to cancel thousands of flights and shut down roads, trains and subway stations. 400 passengers on a subway train leaving JFK Airport got stranded for nearly 11 hours without heat or bathrooms. If they’d stayed at the airport, at least the TSA screeners could have rubbed their hands all over them to keep them warm.
Merry Christmas Eve, America. This is Mike Huckabee. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that so many of you have embraced my books, “A Simple Christmas” and “Can’t Wait Till Christmas.” Last year, I asked you to share your own favorite simple Christmas memories. You responded with so many heartwarming, surprising and hilarious stories that I thought they deserved an encore. Besides, we’ve added so many new stations this year, and so many new listeners, that I think they deserve a chance to enjoy them, too. So, today and tomorrow, I’ll once again share some of your great Christmas stories with all our listeners.
Happy holidays, America! This is Mike Huckabee. Today, I’m gonna share some of our listeners’ favorite simple Christmas memories. I hope you’ll enjoy these stories, and find them as moving and inspiring as I did. Coming up right after this, a story that reminds us of how fast things can change. A listener named Cynthia writes… In the days before e-mail, satellite communication, and affordable international phone calls, I, an all-American female, was teaching in a foreign land and looking forward to celebrating Christmas there with other expatriate teachers and friends of our host country.
Happy holidays, America. This is Mike Huckabee. Last year, many of you were inspired by my book, “A Simple Christmas,” to send me your favorite Christmas memories. Your stories were so terrific, I couldn’t think of a better gift than to share them again this year. Coming up, what Christmas means to a Navy officer, far from home…
Yesterday, a federal judge in Virginia became the third to rule on the Obamacare mandate forcing Americans to buy health insurance, but the first to declare it an unconstitutional expansion of federal power. Which makes sense, because if Congress can force you to buy health insurance for the good of the nation, then why not order you to buy a GM car and a few Treasury bonds, too?
Yesterday, the Senate held a test vote on the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years. It passed overwhelmingly, so that means any holdups or changes are going to come in the House. Democrats have to decide if they really want to run out the clock on this session and stick all Americans with a New Year’s Day gift of a big tax hike. In case they’ve forgotten, there was an election last month. If they don’t like the tax deal President Obama was able to get in December, then they’ll really hate the one that would replace it in January.
Yesterday, President Obama signed the $4.5 billion child nutrition bill that’s been his wife Michelle’s personal crusade. The bill provides more meal money for poor schools, and places tougher federal health standards on school meals. And that makes sense. If they government is going to provide children with food, they would to at least make sure that they're not just giving them empty calories.
Friday, political junkies got to see something they haven’t seen in a while: a good, old-fashioned filibuster. Not one of those wonky procedural kind, but a real filibuster. The Senate’s only avowed Socialist, Bernie Sanders, just stood up and wasted everyone’s time, talking on and on for five straight hours. And without even a throat lozenge. Now, there’s a real politician for you!
President Obama gave a press conference last week, where he proved that when it comes to triangulation, he must’ve flunked geometry. The idea of reaching a compromise deal with opponents is give a little, get more than you give, make both sides think they won, and come out looking like the reasonable one. Instead, he struck a deal that made Republicans grumble and Democrats revolt, then poured more kerosene on the fire with a press conference where he called the Republicans hostage takers and the Democrats selfish whiners. It must’ve become obvious to White House aides that they needed emergency reinforcements from a master of triangulation and schmoozing.
We all love a White Christmas, but this is overdoing it. As I warned you Friday, much of the upper Midwest is under heavy snow. Highways are closed all over. 1,600 flights were canceled just in Chicago alone. And if you tune in to Monday Night Football and wonder why the Vikings and Giants are in Detroit, it’s because snow collapsed the roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome. No, I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to put an inflatable roof on a stadium in Minneapolis. Luckily, nobody was inside, but the video cameras were on. Go to the Internet and you’ll see some amazing footage of an avalanche dropping straight down onto the 20-yard line.
Christmas has officially arrived in the nation’s Capital. Last night, President Obama and his family lit the National Christmas Tree. It’s a 42-foot Colorado Blue Spruce. And of course, Santa Claus is in Washington. He’s handing out goodies 365 days a year, over in Congress. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * President Obama might have found some more common ground with Republicans: now, they both have a reason to curse the Democratic Congress. After Obama risked his political capital to strike a tax deal with Republicans, the House Democratic Caucus voted to reject it. It was a closed door meeting, but Nevada Rep. Shelley Berkley wants it made clear that the lone no vote was hers, so duly noted.
Some good economic news: Americans are spending a little more this Christmas, and they’re not putting it on plastic. The Fed reported yesterday that household wealth in the U.S. rose by $1.2 trillion in the third quarter. That’s because even with the tight economy, Americans are managing to pay down their credit card balances. Wow! So you mean it’s possible to pay debts without higher revenues, just by spending less? Somebody needs to put this secret on Wikileaks so Washington can find out about it!
More and more, the Obamacare bill is starting to resemble a piñata full of spiders. Nobody checked to see what was in it when they bought it, and now, all sorts of horrible stuff is crawling out of it. But of course, Congress had to pass it…for the children. So what’s it doing for children? Well, first, insurers and unions started cutting off coverage for children that would become unaffordable under it. Now, the New York Times reports that drug companies have begun notifying children’s hospitals nationwide that under the new law, they’ll no longer qualify for discounts on drugs used to treat rare medical conditions.