That’s right.  Barack Obama  said, ” “America has a debt problem. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”  Of course, he was Senator Obama then, back when the Senate actually had a budget. 

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Obama also pointed out that “It took 42 presidents 224 years to run up only $1 trillion of foreign-held debt. This (Bush) administration did more than that in just five years.”  Of course, in just four years, President Obama has added $6 Trillion of debt.

Obama was right.  We have a debt problem, but he’s made it a lot worse as President.

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously declared President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board to be unconstitutional.  Of course, this is because the President made these appoints while the Senate was IN SESSION.  This means that hundreds of decisions made by the board are invalid because the board lacked a legal quorum.  The administration will certainly appeal, but it’s hard to see how they win this one.

In an interesting bit of political manuevering, the House passed a bill to suspend the debt ceiling until May AND require the Senate to submit a budget or receive no pay.  (The Senate has not released a budget in over 3 years.)  More info here.

Great arrangement and performance of the National Anthem at President Obama’s second Inauguration.

Update: Verite? It seems Beyoncé lip sync’ed.

Chicago has some of the most progressive, and restrictive, gun control laws in the country.  When the city’s gun ban was ruled unconstitutional, the city revised gun ordinances to restrict who can own guns and require all guns to be registered.  Additionally, gun owners must get a city permit and a state firearms identification card.  There are also rules for gun storage and transport.

Despite these restrictions, Chicago had 506 homicides  last year, the majority involving handguns.  This murder rate, according to Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, “…is reflective of the gang violence and proliferation of illegal guns that have plagued some of our neighborhoods.”  Neither Chicago’s tough gun laws, nor President Obama’s gun control proposals, could have stopped these murders on the streets of Chicago.  (They probably would not have prevented the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn. either.)

If progressive gun control laws do not prevent such violence, what would?  This is, of course, difficult to answer.  Some would say self-defense via gun ownership is the answer. But others point to the societal causes of crime and violence as the true target of any solutions.  Lee Habib argues that we must deal with the crisis of a generation of young black (and hispanic) males who have no fathers to provide guidance and teach self-control.  Tom Bevan asks President Obama, in his unique position as the first African-American president, to come to Chicago and  stand as a role model against the influence of nihilistic gangs and the violence-glorifying media of Hollywood movies and video games.  Spencer Leak, director of a funeral home on Chicago’s South Side, cites a lack of “religious upbringing” as a major factor.  Certainly unemployment and poverty must be dealt with if we hope to reduce crime and offer alternatives to criminal lifestyles.

What is clear is that we cannot simply regulate ourselves out of this problem.  As a former Speaker of the US House of Representatives put it: “If gun control works, Chicago ought to be safe.”