Archive for the ‘pork’ Category

Obama And The Fine Art of Political Nuances

March 7, 2009

We expected more from Barack Obama, maybe because he told us we could and should expect more.  And the media got behind him like nobody before, building expectations to astronomical heights.

Obama reiterated remarks from his presidential campaign just last week, saying:

“Given this reality, we’ll have to be more vigilant than ever in eliminating the programs we don’t need in order to make room for the investments we do need,” Obama said. “I promised to do this by going through the federal budget page by page, and line by line.  That is a process we have already begun, and I am pleased to say that we’ve already identified two trillion dollars worth of deficit-reductions over the next decade.”

Page by page and line by line: except for the 9,000 some earmarks in the omnibus spending bill now stalled in Congress.

This is not nuanced at all: it is a lie.  An Obama lie.  A Presidential lie.

It is brazen, as the Washington Post chose to label Obama for a Charles Krauthammer op-ed on Friday.

About as nuanced as Roland Burris and Rod Blagojevich.

Brazen is the opposite of nuanced.

But the media, enamored with Obama, has mostly elected to ignore such brazen language and conduct.

Bill Clinton was slightly more nuanced: “I did not have sex with that woman.”  Of course, that depended upon what one’s definition of sex is.

“That depends on what your defition of is is.”

Slightly more nuanced than Obama, anyway.

http://dcapritto.wordpress.com/
2009/03/07/72/

Monica Lewinsky?

International relations is the arena of understanding different peoples and cultures and one might expect that Barack Obama, with his wide ranging international background, along with America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with her vast international experience, might understand international nuance.

Yet on Hillary’s first outing with one of America’s most difficult adversaries, she delivered a gift bearing an incorrect translation: an insult because it represents a lack of proper care in even properly translating one word.

What do we pay that big crowd at the State Department for, anyway?  Too expensive and porky, if they can’t get one word properly translated.  But I’m picky.

Barack Obama made a similar gaffe with America’s top ally, Britain, by presenting Gordon Brown at the White House with gifts not deemed suitable for the international stage.

Barack gave Gordon CDs, including the movie “Star Wars.”

Then, instead of a formal head of state side-by-side news conference with Gordon Brown, an event the Brits really desperately wanted, President Obama provided a very less formal (and some say demeaning to the Brits) sit down chat with Mr. Brown and the media.

This was a kind of White House bait and switch for Mr. Brown and his countrymen.

You can bet that at the top of the UK government, behind closed doors, someone said something like “That black Yank doesn’t get it.”

Which means he is too arrogant and brazen and not really nuanced at all.

Which is not al all helpful in international relations….

Good nuanced protocol and honesty costs nothing.  But casting them aside often has very real costs….

Related:
Brit View of Obama on Inauguration Day

President Barack Obama meets with British Prime Minister Gordon ... 
President Barack Obama meets with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2009.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Related:
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/obama-
budget-reflects-campaign-promises-2009
-02-28.html

Fine Art Of Protocol, International Relations Lost On Obama?

Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama 

In The White House, Protocol Not Just For Computers
.
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Obama Forges New Path in Protocol

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
(Now we can add stupid….)

Hot Air:
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/07/grea
t-news-obama-fumbled-brown-visit-because-he
s-in-over-his-head/

Charles Krauthammer called President Obama’s explanation of the current economic “catastrophe,” a word Obama himself coined, “the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people. ”

The “day of reckoning” has arrived. And because “it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we’ll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament,” Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.

Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.

At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the banking industry.

Read the rest:
Obama’s Brazen Deception: Why The Stock Market Won’t Recover Soon

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009. White House nuance….(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Advertisements

Obama’s Economic Strategy Akin To LBJ’s Vietnam Fiasco: “Pour In More”

March 6, 2009

With America embroiled in its biggest disaster of the 20th Century, the Vietnam War, the President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, decided that he himslef should micro-manage the entire war effort, after his heavy reliance upon Defense Secretary Robert McNamera.

McNamera and his top advisors were called “Whiz Kids;” and they embraced a new thinking called systems analysis.

McNamera’s charts and graphs were never wrong: until Communists overwhelmed Vietnam in 1975.

The Team LBJ startegy for a time in Vietnam could easily have been called “Pour in More.”

LBJ also decided, despite the costs of the war in Vietnam, he could still execute his vast social reforms in the “Great Society.”

He was wrong.

Robert McNamara
McNamera pours in more troops…..

President Obama, a man not short of brainpower and hubris, might be falling into the LBJ trap.

Obama is currently relying upon economic advisors and economic advice that could possibly be totally wrong for the nation.  Keynesian economics, as many say, is an unproven theory: and far from a certain fix.

And “Pour in More” doen’t seem to be working just yet.

Worse still: those that predict economic recovery, like businesses in a position to hire and those able to express confidence in economic growth by investing, are not pouring in anything.  They are bailing out.

As Warren E. Buffett has said: “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”  He said this about the young lions of  economic thinking around just now, like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

He could have said the same thing about Robert McNamera.

And Obama’s move to execute a broad social agenda including health care reform, energy use overhaul and other spending efforts, might just remind some of the LBJ dilemma.  Obama is waging a war to revive the economy; yet he insists upon also setting America upon a totally new direction that will cost unknown trillions — even as he allows business as usual pork spending and waste to be executed in Congress.

Related:
Households, Businesses Have Stopped Spending; Now It’s Congressional Responsibility Time

Stock Markets: When Will the Bull Return?

http://throwingstones.wordpress.com/20
09/03/05/moderates-uneasy-with-obam
a-plan-manu-raju-politicocom/

 Unemployment Highest Since 1983; Business Leaders Have No Confidence in Obama Economic Plan, Team

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/06/cube-s
teak-americans-vs-the-wagyu-beef-white-house/

Venezuela’s Chavez Urges Obama, U.S. Down Socialist Path

Treasury island: Geithner’s lost crew 

Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

 NYT: After March 6 Economic News, “2009 is Probably a Lost Cause”

Obama’s Brazen Deception: Why The Stock Market Won’t Recover Soon

March 6, 2009

Forget the pork. Forget the waste. Forget the 8,570 earmarks in a bill supported by a president who poses as the scourge of earmarks. Forget the “2 trillion dollars in savings” that “we have already identified,” $1.6 trillion of which President Obama’s budget director later admits is the “savings” of not continuing the surge in Iraq until 2019 — 11 years after George Bush ended it, and eight years after even Bush would have had us out of Iraq completely.

By Charles Krauthanmmer
The Washington Post
.
Forget all of this. This is run-of-the-mill budget trickery. True, Obama’s tricks come festooned with strings of zeros tacked onto the end. But that’s a matter of scale, not principle.

All presidents do that. But few undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama’s radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.

The logic of Obama’s address to Congress went like this:

“Our economy did not fall into decline overnight,” he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care and education — importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co
ntent/article/2009/03/05/AR200903050
2951.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Realted:
Stock Markets: When Will the Bull Return?

 Households, Businesses Have Stopped Spending; Now It’s Congressional Responsibility Time

Senate Halts Obama Spending; At Least For The Week End

March 6, 2009

The United States Senate came to its senses Thursday and refused a $410 billion measure that would have funded U.S. government operations until the end of this fiscal year in September.  The “omnibus” bill, containing some 9,000 “earmarks” that critics call pork-laden, could not get enough votes in the Senate to pass.

This means a special continuing resolution will have to be passed today to keep the U.S. government operating at last year’s levels.

The omnibus will be considered again starting Monday.

After the more than $700 billion stimulus, the debate on health care, foreclosure bailout, bank bailout, the troubles of such giants as AIG and GM, lawmakers can apparently see that spending money we don’t have will now be the legacy of this administration and this Congress…

Add in a revolution in the energy sector, “cap and trade,” new taxes, and a tanking stock market and well, maybe the Senate is waking up….

Related:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090306
/ap_on_go_co/congress_spending

Related:
Obama Urged Investors to “Buy,” But Stocks Dive Again Thursday

NYT Urges Obama To “Bail Out” Third World Too

 Most Americans Now Say America Could Go Bankrupt

 Obama Can’t Revive Economy With Socialism

American Workers, Businesses Cut Back; Obama Launches Spending Spree

Presidency of Fear

Obama’s Brazen Deception: Why The Stock Market Won’t Recover Soon

 Obama plan to prevent foreclosures won’t help many California homeowners

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/05/fi
nally-a-show-of-cojones-senate-gop-forces-
delay-on-omni-pork-bill/

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, has criticized a $410 billion omnibus spending bill as being bloated with earmarks.  Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times

We note that the New York Times blamed the lack of a vote on the omnibus on Republicans in their headline and first paragraph; admitting later that Republicans are joined by some Democrats who oppose this bill…..

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/0
6/us/politics/06spend.html?hp

Obama stimulus is “welfare spendathon”

February 15, 2009

The largest one-year increase in government handouts in American history.

A “welfare spendathon.”

The process?  Shameful.

Representative Says Stimulus “Stinks,” Details “Intentionally Hidden from Lawmakers, American Voters”

A return to rewarding no work with other workers’ hard earned pay. In massive amounts.

And pork.  Pork some say Americans don’t care about.  But I care about my money going to waste. I hate pork vendors.  Which means most Democrats.

Schumer Says Americans Don’t Care About Pork Spending

And I care about my money going to China.  And oil rich emirates where no men work….

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

It’s the stimulus.  The Obama stimulus.  The Democrats’ stimulus.

Oh, and three doomed Republican senators.  Snowe, Collins and Specter.  They joined the welfare Democrats, the Schumer poksters, the “we don’t care,” the idle, the “we don’t pay taxes.”  Those that gloat.

Pardon me if I’m angry.  I’ve always paid my taxes.  Probably overpaid.

Tim Geithner?  No.  Dashcle? No.  Obama?  Uncertain.

But we sure raided the Traesury big time this time.  Didn’t we?

“If this is going to be bipartisanship, the country’s screwed,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, told ABC’s “This Week.” “I know bipartisanship when I see it.”

The president says Air Force One is a “spiffy ride.”

It’s my aircraft and my fuel, pal.  I paid and can prove it.

U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One ...
U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One in Washington enroute to Chicago to spend the President’s Day holiday weekend with his family at their home there February 13, 2009.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/13/air.force.one/
index.html?eref=ib_topstories

We’ll, he’s living on my money.  We both have to get used to it.  We don’t have to like it…..

Now I am the schmuck.

How do you feel?

******************

The new administration’s economic stimulus plan may undo reforms that cut the dole queues, critics say

RONALD REAGAN started it, Bill Clinton finished it and last week Barack Obama was accused of engineering its destruction. One of the few undisputed triumphs of American government of the past 20 years – the sweeping welfare reform programme that sent millions of dole claimants back to work – has been plunged into jeopardy by billions of dollars in state handouts included in the president’s controversial economic stimulus package.

As Obama celebrated Valentine’s Day yesterday with a return to his Chicago home for a private weekend with family and friends, his success in piloting a $785 billion (£546 billion) stimulus package through Congress was being overshadowed by warnings that an unprecedented increase in welfare spending would undermine two decades of bipartisan attempts to reduce dependency on government handouts.

Robert Rector, a prominent welfare researcher who was one of the architects of Clinton’s 1996 reform bill, warned last week that Obama’s stimulus plan was a “welfare spendathon” that would amount to the largest one-year increase in government handouts in American history.

Douglas Besharov, author of a big study on welfare reform, said the stimulus bill passed by Congress and the Senate in separate votes on Friday would “unravel” most of the 1996 reforms that led to a 65% reduction in welfare caseloads and prompted the British and several other governments to consider similar measures.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new
s/world/us_and_americas/article573
3499.ece

***********

Related:
 Obama ‘Business as Usual’ Despite Pledges

GOP Lawmakers Feel “Screwed”
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02
/15/obama.gop.stimulus/index.html?sec
tion=cnn_latest

Missing from Congress’ stimulus negotiations: transparency

 Stimulus Proves Obama (And The NYT) Have No Idea What “Bipartisanship” Means; Or Could Care Less

Obama Team: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
2/15/taxpayer-revolt-porkulus-pro
test-in-seattle/

http://alphainventions.com/

McCain as Worthless Old Man:
http://suzieqq.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/shrum
-on-mccain-he-has-gone-from-being-an-angry-o
ld-candidate-to-being-an-angry-old-defeated-candidate/

Stimulus: “Obama is popular but has no clout”

February 14, 2009

Leading liberal and conservatives columnists and TV talking heads agreed tonight that for President Barack Obama the economic stimulus is a “Short term gain but a long term loss.”

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said, “Obama contradicted everything he said he stood for” during the process of making the stimulus.

“He did not work toward bipartianship and got not one conservative Republican vote.”

Krauthammer said “the president showed he would enact legislation by ramming it down throats,” a reference to the language President Obama used at last Monday’s press conference.

He also criticized the ugly process used to make the stimulus bill and the speed of the legislation; much of the blame for which lies with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, flanked by House ... 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, flanked by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Md., left, and Rep John Larson, D-Conn., right, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 13, 2009, after the House passed the stimulus legislation.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“Not one House member or Senator read this package and understands it,” Krauthammer said.

Liberal Juan Williams said, “I agree with Charles that ‘haste makes waste’ but in this economic situation haste was necessary.”

Conservative Fred Barnes said, “The president got no help from Republicans.”

Barnes said, “The president obviously wasted his time in Peoria, Fort Myers, and Elkhart….And he wasted his time holding a cocktail party and a Super Bowl party.”

Barnes said Obama was popular “but has no clout.”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/13/
the-house-dems-who-voted-no-the-sena
te-vote-underway/

http://willobrien.wordpress.com/2009
/02/13/three-lessons-for-managers-fro
m-president-obama/

.
http://johnbrodigan.com/2009/02
/13/kill-the-rinos-really/

.
“We’re not moving quickly because we’re trying to jam something down people’s throats. We’re moving quickly because if we don’t, the economy’s going to keep getting worse.”

That’s what President Barack Obama said late Thursday (Feb 5) at a spa in Williamburg, VA.

Related:
Stimulus: Obama May Need To Make a Deal

What he clearly meant to say was “We’re trying to move quickly because quick action will pay dividends not because we’re trying to jam something down people’s throats….”

If we don’t what?  Jam this down people’s throats?  The President of the United States used that turn of a phrase?  Just like he hauled “catastrophe” out of the verbal closet this week?

The great communicator is in danger of becoming Joe Biden: a guy you don’t want off the script, off the telepromter.

It won’t matter that “I won.”

No clout….

 ‘Catastrophe’ Obama Is Angry; And We Might Be Too

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Leadership and clout?  Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Schumer Says Americans Don’t Care About Pork Spending

February 10, 2009

The reason we have wasteful spending, spending that is not targeted and huge debts is often just this kind or arrogant, irresponsible attitude and the legislation that comes as a result:
http://www.youtube.com/wat
ch?v=JEfICUoWKBw

http://michellemalkin.com/200
9/02/10/schumer-the-american
-people-really-dont-care-abou
t-pork/

There seems to be a huge lack of trust on one side of America.  People don’t trust guys like Schumer who act irresponsibly and with distain.  He isn’t even good at keeping how he realy feels a secret. Or he feels he can just mock Americans who want a better place for their children and grandchildren.

I don’t want the state running my life because Schumer represents the state.

People have lost trust in bankers, Wall Street and guys like Bernard Madoff.

Schumer and Madoff are in the same league it seems to me.  They live high on other people’s money and then spit in our eyes.

And guys like me have lost our taste for the mainstream media that is fawning over Barack Obama. He’s ramming a new way of running the country down our throats and not even being seriously questioned….

Geithner Announces Bank Moves; Wall Street Sells Off

 Stimulus Makes Sure Feds Watch Your Doctor’s Medical Solutions For You

Federal Government Takes Over American Life

Stimulus: A long way from the best it could possibly be

February 10, 2009

In Elkhart, Ind., on Monday afternoon to rally support for an $800 billion stimulus and recovery package — and in his first prime-time press conference Monday night — President Obama said that he couldn’t guarantee that every item voted by Congress will work exactly as planned. But he warned that doing nothing could not be an option.

Editorial
The New York Times
He is absolutely right that Congress needs to quickly pass a stimulus bill, and the Republicans who have been blocking action are courting disaster. But a bill that is merely better than nothing won’t be nearly good enough. The economy is too fragile. And the numbers are too huge.

When members of the House and Senate sit down this week to craft a final version of their differing bills, they must include the most-effective provisions — those that provide powerful stimulus and help those Americans who are most in need.

There is a decent deal to be had in negotiations. Whether Congress and the administration get there will depend a lot on Mr. Obama’s leadership and his insistence on a better bill.

Both the House version, which passed nearly two weeks ago, and the version in the Senate that is expected to pass on Tuesday, provide adequate increases in unemployment benefits and food stamps — generally the two most-effective forms of stimulus. Those items must not change appreciably.

Aid to states is excellent stimulus because the money is funneled quickly to public employees, private contractors and beneficiaries of public programs. The Senate bill falls far short. It provides $40 billion less to the states than the House’s version — money that is mainly targeted at education budgets. It shortsightedly fails to include a $10 billion provision that would allow states to temporarily offer Medicaid coverage to uninsured people who are unemployed.

Negotiators should also salvage the child tax credit, worth up to $1,000 per child. The House wants to make the credit available to all working families. The Senate would make it available only to families with wages of at least $8,100. Negotiators should split the difference. The credit is robust stimulus because the recipients are likely to spend it quickly.

There are obvious compromises that could pay for these must-haves.

Nearly $70 billion of the Senate bill is spent on providing a one-year reprieve from the alternative minimum tax. The relief is needed. It also is a measure that passes easily each year on its own. A fair deal would be to take A.M.T. relief out of the package — contingent on a promise from Mr. Obama to champion a separate relief bill as soon as possible. Or leave it in but add it on top of — not in place of — the package’s other spending increases and tax cuts.

Tax cuts aren’t the best stimulus. But the House bill’s $3 billion to improve a first-time homebuyer’s tax credit already on the books is a reasonable attempt to spur demand. The Senate’s $39 billion in tax credits for anyone and everyone who wants to buy a house goes way too far, especially since the bulk of the credit would go to people who would buy a new house anyway.

The administration is also expected to unveil on Tuesday a plan to use tens of billions from the bank bailout fund to forestall foreclosures, which would more directly address problems in the housing market. Negotiators should go with the House version.

Odds are unfortunately high that even an $800 billion stimulus package will fall short of what’s needed to combat today’s downturn, and that more will be needed later. When the Obama administration asks for more, it will need to be able to make a compelling case that the first round was the best it could possibly be. It’s certainly not there yet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/opinion/10tue1.html

What Became Of Obama’s ‘Hope?” Suddenly ‘Catastrophe’ Looms

February 6, 2009

Catastrophe, mind you. 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.

And so much for the promise to banish the money changers and influence peddlers from the temple. An ostentatious executive order banning lobbyists was immediately followed by the nomination of at least a dozen current or former lobbyists to high position. Followed by a Treasury secretary who allegedly couldn’t understand the payroll tax provisions in his 1040. Followed by Tom Daschle, who had to fall on his sword according to the new Washington rule that no Cabinet can have more than one tax delinquent.
.
By Charles Krauhammer

The Daschle affair was more serious because his offense involved more than taxes. As Michael Kinsley once observed, in Washington the real scandal isn’t what’s illegal, but what’s legal. Not paying taxes is one thing. But what made this case intolerable was the perfectly legal dealings that amassed Daschle $5.2 million in just two years.

He’d been getting $1 million per year from a law firm. But he’s not a lawyer, nor a registered lobbyist. You don’t get paid this kind of money to instruct partners on the Senate markup process. You get it for picking up the phone and peddling influence.

At least Tim Geithner, the tax-challenged Treasury secretary, had been working for years as a humble international civil servant earning non-stratospheric wages. Daschle, who had made another cool million a year (plus chauffeur and Caddy) for unspecified services to a pal’s private equity firm, represented everything Obama said he’d come to Washington to upend.

And yet more damaging to Obama’s image than all the hypocrisies in the appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama’s name, was not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.

It’s not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections, one of which would set off a ruinous Smoot-Hawley trade war. It’s not just the waste, such as the $88.6 million for new construction for Milwaukee Public Schools, which, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have shrinking enrollment, 15 vacant schools and, quite logically, no plans for new construction.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2009/02/05/AR2009020502766.html?hp
id=opinionsbox1

Killing House Stimulus Better Than Passing It, Top Republican Says

February 4, 2009

One top Republican in the U.S. Senate now says “no bill is better than this bill.”

Many Americans, close to 50%, now agree that the stimulus passed by the House is bad, polls say.

John McCain and other Republicans have an alternative plan and McCain says he has already talked to President Obama about the alternative Republican stimulus.

McCain told CBS news the House version of the stimulus adds too much debt and creates too few jobs.