Monday, February 9, 2009

"The Fierce Urgency of Pork"

So the Senate has hammered out their version of the stimulus bill. Despite their claims, they have actually added $7 BILLION to the House Stimulus version. Now, the two will get together and haggle out the differences. Great. Sure will be interesting to see what stays in the "Stimulus Bill" and what the final amount will be. Meaning, it sure will be interesting to see what PORK is left in this bill after the two houses get together.

And it is to the pork included in both the Senate and House packages that Charles Krauthammer addressed so well in this article, The Fierce Urgency of Pork. Uh, yes. That certainly seems to be what Obama is peddling. It is HOW he is peddling it that caught Dr. Krauthammer's attention:
"A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe."
-- President Obama, Feb. 4.

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.

Uh, yeah. There again, many of us knew that the Hope-y Change-y Rainbow Unicorn was a crock from the very beginning. I wonder how Oama's followers felt about him using the word, "catastrophe"??? Oh, they probably found some way to make it okay in their brains that this is a far cry from much of his campaign rhetoric. Whatever. Kind of like they did when it came to many of the people Obama nominated to be in his Administration:
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.

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.

Well, I think that pretty much sums it up. Shrug of the shoulders is about all we're going to get from those who were SO certain Obama was going to bring real change to Washington, D.C.

How about this, then:
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.

It's the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended on the grounds that a national emergency requires an immediate job-creating stimulus -- and then throwing into it hundreds of billions that have nothing to do with stimulus, that Congress's own budget office says won't be spent until 2011 and beyond, and that are little more than the back-scratching, special-interest, lobby-driven parochialism that Obama came to Washington to abolish. He said.

Anything, Obama followers? Anything?? *Crickets* That's just sad, really. You bought his stupid message based on NOTHING but a clever marketer, and leave us with this crap:
Not just to abolish but to create something new -- a new politics where the moneyed pork-barreling and corrupt logrolling of the past would give way to a bottom-up, grass-roots participatory democracy. That is what made Obama so dazzling and new. Turns out the "fierce urgency of now" includes $150 million for livestock (and honeybee and farm-raised fish) insurance.

Thanks tons for that.

Krauthammer concludes:
The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington. By the time the stimulus bill reached the Senate, reports the Wall Street Journal, pharmaceutical and high-tech companies were lobbying furiously for a new plan to repatriate overseas profits that would yield major tax savings. California wine growers and Florida citrus producers were fighting to change a single phrase in one provision. Substituting "planted" for "ready to market" would mean a windfall garnered from a new "bonus depreciation" incentive.

After Obama's miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell -- and that this president told better than anyone.

I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks.

Well, maybe for some in the media to finally open their eyes, but as long as his followers are content for Nancy Pelosi to concoct a "Stimulus" bill that gives money to every little pet project House members can think of, and as long as they are willing to look the other way when people like Geithner take over the IRS, well, I think it may take longer yet before they wake up fully to reality. But I hope Dr. Krauthammer is right. I hope, too, that our elected officials will cut out the crapola that is in this bill, and do right by US, and not their pet projects or to appease Obama.

All I can say is, I am more than ready for the awakening.


Mary Ellen said...

I've been reading a few of the old blogs that I used to go to, before the primary election when our party split and those that went the Obama way decided I was a racist. It's amazing how silent they all are regarding the stimulus bill and all of Obama's "screw ups". Now they are blogging about Michael Phelps and the weather. There are a few who are "disappointed" in Obama and the Democratic leadership, but they will forgive them because, "at least he's not Bush".

Morons...Obots are a bunch of morons who are willing to set the bar so low for Obama that he can just slither under it like a snake.

TypewriterStreaming said...

"The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington..."

What??? - I'm shocked, shocked I tell you. Obama???? Influence peddling??? That's not what Tony Rezko said.

What a bunch of boobs. Really. what rock was Charles under during the PUMA revolt??
Now, now - now???? this is news???

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, ME -

Interesting - I was curious as to what those folks were saying now. How is it that they still cannot see that Obama IS Bush?? How much do you want to bet that his "town hall" in IN today was chock full of hand-picked Obamaphiles? Can you IMAGINE if Bush had tried to nominate the kinds of people Obama did to his Admin what we ALL wouyld have been screaming? GEITHNER??? I still cannot get over that a man who evaded paying his taxes not once, but multiple times, is NOW IN CHARGE OF THE IRS!!!!

And what are they saying abt Obama trying to take control of the Census away from the Commerce Dept? It is code for it to be under the jurisdiction of that Dept, and NOT under whoever happens to be in the White House at the time for OBVIOUS reasons - it is supposed to be non-partisan. Once again, fr all of those morons who thought Obama wasn't a part of Chicago-style politics, open our damn eyes already!! Sheesh.

You are right on - they already set the bar lower than it has ever been having someone so incredibly unqualified to hold that post in there just based on some rhetoric HE DIDN'T EVEN WRITE!!! How stupid is THAT??? Holy cow.

I look at these people EXACTLY the same as I did Bush supporters. They are cut from the same cloth.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, Typewriter -

I know - Charles would come out with things once in a while, but he seemed to have jumped on the Hope-y Change-y bandwagon for a while, too. Thankfully, he has awoken from his stupor.

But still, there are people like John King, who, while interviewing the gov of SC, Mark Sanford, said to him that most people want this stimulus package, and what made Sanford right on it. Way to inject partisan hackery in there, John - most of the PEOPLE don't want that pork-laden BS that will send our debt SOARING into ranges that are just inconceivable. So, there are people still peddling away for Obama and his crap policies, acting like he has a clue what he is doing.

All I can say is, Hillary would have known what to do on DAY ONE. And she NEVER would have allowed Nancy Pelosi to put forth this pork-infused piece of crap that our grear grandchildren will be paying for just so Obama could pay off some of his supporters. Never.

She was the choice of the people - and she would have made choices best for us. Not this guy the DNC stuck us with for the next 4 yrs (unless someone can find his damn birth certificate already)...

Shane Mehling said...

Hey, could you fix the blatant typo in your header? I mean seriously, at least make an attempt at seeming professional.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Shane, thanks so much for the heads up, especially for the polite tone you used.

I suppose you wouldn't care that blogger allows only a limited number of characters, and it was an oversight while trying to fit in the important components.

As for being "professional," how professional is it to insult someone you don't even know over a simple typo? Nice, really nice. Thanks for dropping by.

SFIndie said...

Good morning, Rev,

Speaking of the unstimulus bill, did you catch Uppity's post this morning about the changes to health-care that got slipped in? The whole OpEd she quoted from is at

It's downright scary.