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“While most states are experiencing debilitating budget deficits, Virginia is “feeling flush” after turning a $1.8 billion deficit into a $403.2 million budget surplus at the close of the fiscal year. In a celebratory speech before the Virginia legislature Thursday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) credited higher tax revenue, state agencies’ fiscal responsibility, and serious budget cuts for the state’s ability “to balance the books.”
McDonnell’s victory tour continued with a stop on the Fox Business network to tout “fiscal prudence and conservative budgeting” as “the key” to his surplus. When enamored host Gerri Willis asked him whether Washington “could learn something from Virginia,” McDonnell replied he hoped his fiscal responsibility in Richmond “would be a model for Washington”.
McDonnell’s “prudence” would be a shining example for the federal government if he hadn’t relied on one important contributor: the federal government. According to a Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis report released this week, last year’s Recovery Act provided $2.5 billion in stimulus relief to “maintain crucial services for [Virginia] citizens” and “help close the state’s budget shortfall in 2010-2012.” Virginia legislators relied on $1.3 billion in enhanced Medicaid funding, $1 billion in funding for K-12 and higher education, $39 million for public safety, and $200 million in general support to reduce “what would otherwise have been a $5.4 billion budget hole.””
“Last month, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) became the first congressman in his party to hint at impeaching President Obama for purportedly violating his oath of office by not completely securing the border. Since then, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has joined Smith in declaring that Obama has violated his oath of office.
ThinkProgress caught up with Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) at a town hall meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska last week to get his take on the matter. Fortenberry, who lacks no conservative credentials with an 87% lifetime conservative rating from the American Conservative Union, was unwilling to join his colleagues. Not only did he argue that Obama had not violated his oath of office, but he also recoiled at the notion that his colleagues would make such incendiary comments:
TP: I had a quick question about immigration policy in particular. There’s a lot of hot feelings out here about it. Do you think that if President Obama doesn’t address the issue, that that would be a violation of his oath of office?
FORTENBERRY: Well, I don’t think it’d be a violation of his oath of office. The problem is, like I was asked today earlier, when is the immigration reform going to happen? […]
TP: I know Congressman Lamar Smith has come out and said that Obama is permitting illegal immigration is coming really close to a violation of his oath of office.
FORTENBERRY: Lamar said that?”
“The two main candidates in Australia’s cliffhanger election began scrambling Sunday to win the support of three independent lawmakers and a newly elected Greens party representative. By late Sunday, neither the governing center-left Labor Party nor the conservative opposition had captured enough votes to claim a majority in the 150- member House of Representatives, where the government is formed. Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her conservative rival, Tony Abbott, began what many analysts expect to be a lengthy period of negotiations to win over the three independents and one Greens representative who hold the balance of power in the House. Australia has not had a minority government since 1940. “
“In southern China, making fake shoes has become a very big business. Chinese authorities are slow to enforce the law, and it’s becoming harder and harder to tell which shoes are real.”
“As its population threatens to turn from an asset into a burden, India seeks ways to encourage delayed childbirth.”
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