GOP Bill Hikes Minimum Wage to $84.25/hr.

By Scott Ott, Editor-in-Chief, News Fairly Unbalanced. We Report. You Decipher. (2007-01-10) — Republicans in Congress, in a last ditch effort to provide economic justice to America’s working poor, today introduced a bill that would raise the national minimum hourly wage from $5.15 to $84.25. The bill, offered just hours before the Democrat-led House attempted to raise the rate to $7.25, is roughly based on what Congressmen earn for working 40 hours per week for 50 weeks per year, although the actual working part is optional in Congress. Under the terms of the GOP-sponsored measure, the minimum wage would also track Congressional pay, which typically includes an annual cost-of-living-it-up increase. “Hiking it to $7.25 won’t make a dent,” said one unnamed Republican House member, “But at $84.25, we’ll eliminate poverty.” Lawmakers believe the bill is a win-win, since every other working person in the country will now expect a pay raise to keep his wages an appropriate distance above minimum. Republicans said the new minimum wage would also produce a windfall of tax revenue as millions of Americans move from paying no federal income tax, straight to the highest tax bracket. The additional tax money would be earmarked for education, according to the text of the bill, “to teach America’s children the fundamentals of economics in a capitalist system.”

Bush Sends Jack Bauer to Iran Talks
(2007-01-15) — President George Bush, under pressure from the Iraq Study Group to open negotiations with Iran, today named a lead negotiator whom he said is already on the way to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Jack Bauer, a freelance intelligence contractor and former agent with the Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU), has been dispatched to Mr. Ahmadinejad’s office for a “diplomatic listening session” aimed at determining the best way to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and shipment of arms to terrorists in Iraq. “For some reason, people like to talk to Jack Bauer,” said Mr. Bush. “He’s a straight-shooter, good at establishing mutual understanding and I think he and President Ahmadinejad will come to a rapid agreement on terms favorable to global peace and security.” Although Iranian government officials said no negotiations with the U.S. had been scheduled, Mr. Bush described the talks as a “unilateral diplomatic initiative that will be under way before they know it.”

Obama Already Learning from Exploratory Committee
(2007-01-16) — First-term Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, today said he’s excited about the formation of his presidential exploratory committee, and has already learned a lot from the process.“This morning, I got a call from the chairman of my exploratory committee,” said the 45-year-old lawmaker. “He says they’ve already discovered that the presidency is a big, important job and that the president lives in a special place called The White House.” Mr. Obama said the exploratory process has also revealed that the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the head of the executive branch of government. On February 10, the senator plans to make a formal declaration, in his home state of Illinois, of everything the exploratory committee discovers. “I’ve already learned so much,” he said. “I can’t wait to share with the rest of the country what presidents do, and what they wear and other things that we haven’t even explored yet.”