Hate to ruin your weekend, but…

Hate to ruin your weekend, but…

Read this piece from Veronique de Rugy at Reason Magazine about what exactly our legislators voted on yesterday.

It
will turn your stomach, at the very least. With the economy falling
down around our ears, these pork-loving, cynical, selfish bastards
larded up a spending bill with some provisions that will easily make
the Hall of Fame of Wasteful Spending.

A partial list:

  • $24 million for United States Department of Agriculture buildings and rent
  • $176 million for renovating Agricultural Research Service buildings
  • $290 million for flood prevention
  • $50 million for watershed rehabilitation
  • $1.4 billion for wastewater disposal programs
  • $295 million for administrative expenses associated with food stamp programs
  • $1 billion for the 2010 Census
  • $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
  • $650 million for the digital TV converter box coupon program
  • $2 billion for Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program
  • $10 million to combat Mexican gunrunners
  • $125 million for rural communities to combat drug crimes
  • $1 billion for the Community Oriented Policing Services program
  • $1 billion for NASA
  • $300 million to purchase scientific instruments for colleges and museums
  • $400 million for equipment and facilities at the National Science Foundation
  • $3.7 billion to conduct “green” renovations on military bases

Again,
for dimwitted lefties who may be lurking out there, some of this
spending is no doubt needed – but has absolutely no business being
attached to this bill. Why can’t some of these programs be funded
through normal legislative channels? Because the whole Congress knows
they would never be able to spend the amounts earmarked in this
stimulus package or even pass some of these spending provisions at all
unless we had a president out there deliberately and cynically ginning
up fear in order to scare people and thus justifying its passage as a
result of a national emergency.

And that’s not all:

The
conference report dedicates 30 percent of all discretionary spending to
33 new programs totaling $95 billion and expands 73 programs which are
normally part of the regular appropriations process by $92 billion.

That’s
33 new government programs brought into existence that, like almost all
government programs, will take on a life of its own and we will be
funding them long after you and I have let this planet for more
hospitable climes.

Also, that’s another 73 programs getting
money in this stimulus that should have gone through the regular
appropriations process but didn’t because Democrats wanted to spend
more money on them than they could possibly get going through channels.

That
kind of thing happens occasionally. Bills will have riders attached
that have little to do with the nature of the spending but is stuck in
there by some member as the result of a favor. But it has never been
done to this gargantuan extent nor with such blatant disregard for
rules and procedures.

Finally, de Rugy shows us some things that were put back in conference that the senate had taken out:

So
now funds can go to museums, stadiums, arts centers, theaters, parks,
or highway beautification projects. Most significantly, this reopens
the door for many of the projects on the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ wish list of “shovel ready” projects
that includes many items that are nothing but waste and pork, such as
doorbells, construction of dog parks, replacement of street lights, and
money for a “mob museum.”

“No earmarks”
doesn’t mean that Democratic mayors aren’t salivating over the prospect
of getting their hands on this cash for their little pet projects. The
only people who will benefit by that kind of spending are the political
supporters and cronies of the big city mayors. 

I am suffering
from “outrage fatigue” this morning. And after reading de Rugy’s piece,
I feel like getting sick to my stomach. The rank cynicism it took to
write this bill and then sell it as a panacea for what ails us is
perhaps the greatest betrayal of the public trust in my lifetime.

I only hope there are American historians a hundred years from now to write about it.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/hate_to_ruin_your_weekend_but.html

Obama’s Broken Promises Were Entirely Predictable

Obama’s Broken Promises Were Entirely Predictable

Posted By Nicholas Guariglia On February 14, 2009 @ 12:00 am In . Feature 01, . Positioning, Media, Money, Politics, US News | 29 Comments

Barack Obama swept into office with the limelight at his back. For nearly two years of campaigning, Obama led a nationwide movement for change and became a phenomenon, breaking all sorts of political barriers along the way. People of all demographics used Obama as a vessel in which to invest their hopes and dreams. But today, just three weeks into his presidency, Mr. Obama is on the verge of losing the country’s confidence and the large reservoir of national goodwill afforded to all incoming presidents. There are several reasons for this, all of which should be and have already been explored. I would hate to say “I told ya so,” but …

What could anyone have possibly expected from a young, overtly leftist Chicago upstart who had accomplished precisely nothing of significance throughout his short career — and yet still promised the world, and more, to his loyal adherents?

Consider his campaign pledges: It wasn’t too long ago that Obama promised to “tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over.” Ah, the corporate lobbyist, every candidate’s favorite whipping boy. “They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president,” Barack once [1] swore to his sea of idolizing worshipers.

That was then; this is now. President Obama has allowed [2] seventeen exceptions to the no-lobbyist rule. And remember that “sunlight before signing” [3] pledge, giving citizens enough time to read a bill — and offer their opinions on it — before it is signed into law? Well, that’s gone to the [4] wayside, too.

Consider his tone and lack of bipartisanship: Obama’s election was supposed to end the “politics as usual,” filled with “divisiveness” and all other sorts of bad things. It was on Inauguration Day, as I recall, when Obama [5] proclaimed “an end to the petty grievances … that for far too long have strangled our politics.” We should “set aside childish things,” Obama suggested, and “choose our better history.”

So much for that. The first thing President Obama did was allow Nancy Pelosi to write the egregious “stimulus” bill, effectively making it her own personal wish list. When opposition to the bill began to mount, Obama brought Republicans to the bargaining table — only to snicker “I won” [6] to their faces.

Additionally, President Obama’s recent [7] speech to House Democrats was as snide and sarcastic of a national address as you will ever see. It was laced with flippant, partisan attacks on those who dared to question the logic of this massive bill. His administration went on the [8] offensive, campaign-style, impugning the motives of those who have philosophical problems with the stimulus — what he calls “bickering” — while discarding any semblance of bipartisan spirit or grace under pressure.

Consider the dialogue: Gone is the pie-in-the-sky talk about post-partisan politics, transcending space and time, and all that other nonsense. We just passed a spending bill which will — using contemporary monetary standards — cost more than Bush’s Iraq war and Roosevelt’s New Deal combined. It is, by far, the largest spending bill in American history. We could buy real estate on Mars for a fifth of the cost.

One would think Obama, who promised a new era of dialogue, would at least appreciate the historical magnitude of such a gargantuan bill — and conduct himself in accordance. After all it will be Sasha and Malia’s children who will pay off this government-induced debt. Even the bill’s advocates begrudgingly admit that.

Rather, we’ve seen our new leader act more like the teacher’s pet that finally gets detention, or the all-state quarterback who is finally benched for missing practice: self-righteous, arrogant, indignant, shocked, and incredibly thin-skinned. Martha Zoller and Jennifer Rubin [9] each hit the nail [10] on the head: if President Obama were as good at explaining the stimulus package as he is complaining to others about the stresses of the job, he wouldn’t feel the need to resort to testy pompousness. Obama has thus far proven to be better at displaying his obsession with talk radio personality Sean Hannity — he mentions him every chance he gets — than explaining, in a rational and coherent manner, how the Democratic pork-pet projects in his spending bill will save our economy. That’s the reality, and that’s sad.

Consider the language of fear: There is another sad element to President Obama’s dialogue, and that is his odd blend of draconian terminology and juvenile platitudes. Obama has [11] said it is “inexcusable and irresponsible” not to pass the bill as soon as possible, [12] or else there will be a “catastrophe” which will [13] cause an “irreversible” recession — all if he doesn’t get his way! What a far cry this is from Reagan’s wish that he “appealed to [our] best hopes, not [our] worst fears.”

Far from titillating or stoking our hopes, Obama has employed that much-maligned “language of fear” — of which he accused his predecessor — [14] time and again, attempting to scare the populace into accepting this ludicrous bill. As Charles Krauthammer [15] put it, “So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared ‘we have chosen hope over fear.’ Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.”

Consider the intellectual dishonesty: Seemingly stunned by his initial inability to bend Washington to his will, Barack has resorted to playground logic to defend his economic proposals. “If nothing is done, this recession could linger on for years,” [16] he forecasts. Well, then … that pretty much wraps up the debate, now doesn’t it? If bad things will happen when nothing is done, then good things might happen if something is done, right?

This kind of threat-forecasting and platitude-dribble is for the sandbox, not a national economic discussion. When Obama talks on and on about “the same failed policies” that “got us in this mess,” this is emotional, populist gibberish — not objective economic contemplation. Where are the philosophical distinctions, the economic arguments, the logical rationalizations?

If this stimulus bill is so urgent, why aren’t most of its provisions — those few which are not absurd and actually have something to do with economic recovery — going to be implemented until years from now? How will these fantastical programs save us from irreversible economic disaster? How will this bill be different from Japan’s experiences with [17] multiple stimulus packages, all of which pretty much failed? And what’s up with that sneaky de facto health care nationalization plan in the bill, going under the public’s radar?

President Obama hasn’t answered or addressed any of this. But he has attacked Rush Limbaugh. This kind of childish behavior is supposed to be beneath the office which Obama now holds. But for Barack, it isn’t.

Consider his executive leadership: Nearly every one of President Obama’s cabinet appointments has undue baggage and closet-skeletons. Attorney General Eric Holder is best known for his role in pardoning Marc Rich. Mark Gitenstein was a corporate [18] lobbyist from 2000 until 2008. David Ogden’s best known for defending child pornography.

The womanizing Bill Richardson had to withdraw his name because a [19] federal grand jury wants to see him for illegal “pay-to-play” violations. William Lynn III, a recent lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon, will be number two at the Pentagon. William Corr lobbied as an anti-tobacco activist as late as last year. All of this violates Obama’s own ethics rules regarding lobbyists.

Leon Panetta is a fine man, but is he qualified? Do Rangel, Dodd, and Frank — those brilliant overseers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — really deserve presidential exemptions regarding their tax excesses? General Zinni’s been wrong about Iraq for over a decade, but did he and his family deserve to be snubbed and treated in such a [20] dishonorable fashion by the Obama administration? Do I even need to bring up the hypocrisy and audacity of appointing tax policy advisors — Geithner, Daschle, Solis, Killefer, etc. — who cheated on their taxes worse than a gypsy playing a blind man in Scrabble?

President Obama seems to think that just because he wasn’t vetted by the national media prior to his election, his administration doesn’t have to vet its cabinet nominees. Individually, these missteps wouldn’t be news. But the sum total of their parts leads one to believe there is a pattern — just as there was in Chicago with Wright, Ayers, Rezko, Pfleger, Mansour, etc. — and if it weren’t our country, it’d almost be comical. Hardly anyone today, and certainly nobody a year from now, will be able to listen to President Obama’s campaign pledges about transparency, ethics, and change and keep a straight face.

As a reader phrased it in an email, this administration has thus far had all the grace and ease of a teenager learning how to parallel park. Perhaps this is what on-the-job training looks like? He’s losing the message war because he’s not leading the debate. And he’s not leading the debate, may I surmise, because he does not have requisite leadership qualities for an executive. Sure, he’s brilliant at rallies. But so is Bon Jovi.

Consider the future: Iran has launched its own [21] satellite into orbit and is mocking Obama as a weak leader for wanting to have a dialogue with them. North Korea has withdrawn from its non-aggression treaty and is preparing another missile test. Somalia is in tatters. Yemen has [22] released 170 al-Qaeda terrorists. Pakistan has released [23] mad nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan from house arrest. Russia is blocking supply lines into Afghanistan.

During last year’s campaign, critics of Barack Obama contended he was too inexperienced, too leftist, and in a sense, too good to be true. He was, we observed, just another politician — in fact, one uniquely entrenched with Chicago corruption and archaic tax-and-spend philosophies. In other words, a less noble Jimmy Carter.

Less than a month into his presidency, this view of President Obama has been vindicated — until he proves otherwise. Hang on to your hats (and wallets); it might be a long four years.


Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obamas-broken-promises-were-entirely-predictable/

Hey! Let’s give a friend of Reverend Wright a job in the White House.

Hey! Let’s give a friend of Reverend Wright a job in the White House.

Ed Lasky

Reverend Jeremiah Wright may be gone but he won’t be forgotten. That’s because President Obama has named Otis Moss, Jr. – father of the current pastor of Trinity United Church – to sit on the brand new Advisory Council for the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Moss co-wrote a book with Wright and has penned articles for  Trinity United publications.

Excerpt from the Weekly Standard article:

Even more interesting, perhaps, is Moss’s own rhetoric. He is a political preacher and has said, “If you are preaching a gospel that has nothing about politics, nothing about economics, nothing about sociology, you are preaching an empty gospel with a cap and shoes but no body to it.” His sermons at Olivet are hard to come by. But from public lectures, one concludes that, while his style is more subdued than Wright’s (or his own son’s) and his themes more benign, there are still plenty of comments that call into question his suitability for government service. Take, for instance, this observation made at Yale in October 2004:

You have heard that it was said, “God bless America.” But I say unto you, Pray for all of the Osama bin Ladens and the Saddam Husseins. .  .  .

I say unto you, Be kind, be as kind to Castro as you are to the Saudi family and the leaders of China and Russia. This, however, is difficult in a society .  .  . when we are afflicted or infected with hubris. It’s almost an incurable disease–incurable not because of despair, but because of arrogance.

And yes, there is the usual blather and exaggerated rhetoric we became so fond of with Wright:

I know where the weapons of mass destruction are, and they are not the ones we went looking for in Iraq. I know where they are, and you know where they are! According to statistics, AIDS is a weapon of mass destruction. Miseducation and no education are weapons of mass destruction. Forty-four million people without health care is a weapon of mass destruction.

By the way, Otis Moss III( his son who took over at Trinity United )wrote in a church bulletin: that American entertainment companies operate with contempt for the black community. Seems I have heard this comment before, usually with an elaboration regarding the heritage of Hollywood execs. This was the same church bulletin that featured an op-ed written by a Hamas leader.

Black liberation theology has an undercurrent of anti-Semitism. Jim Wallis-as I have written about a few times-is no friend of Israel’s.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/hey_lets_give_a_friend_of_reve.html at February 14, 2009 – 10:14:25 AM EST

Hey! Let’s give a friend of Reverend Wright a job in the White House.

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