Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is He Kidding Or Just Unclear On The Concept?

You don't have to be a Yankees fan (which I am) to have heard the recent brouhaha over Alex Rodriquez (I'm a Derek Jeter fan myself), and his acknowledgment that he used steroids back in 2001 - 2003. It is disturbing, of course - I deplore the use of steroids in baseball (though at the time A-Rod used, there was no penalty for testing positive). It cheapens the game, is horrible on the bodies of these athletes, and sets a BAD example for our youth. I hope he is telling the truth that his use was limited to those two years, and that his apology is sincere.

I bring this up because this issue was raised to Obama the other night at the big White House press conference. His response:
The president's strongest answer was in response to the evening's fluffiest question, about Alex Rodriguez's confession that he had taken steroids. After an honest baseball fan's lament ("it tarnishes an entire era"), Obama jumped to a larger point that transcends sports--the lesson in A-Rod's downfall for the young: "There are no shortcuts; that when you try to take shortcuts you may end up tarnishing your whole career." (Emphasis mine.)

I about fell out of my chair laughing. Obama claims there are "no shortcuts"??? His ENTIRE political career has been one of "shortcuts"! He gets everyone else thrown off the ballot so he can run unopposed for the IL Senate. While in the IL Senate, the primary legislation that passed with HIS name on it was thrown on there by "kingmaker," Emil Jones. Obama did little, if any, of the work for the legislation passed in his name. His handlers exposed SEALED information on his Republican opponent in his run for US Senate, thus ending up with Alan Keyes thrown on the ballot at the last minute. And, he did not even complete his first term as US Senator! (All of the above information, and more, can be found HERE.) Could Obama BE any more duplicitous?

Well, it turns out the answer is yes! It seems that Obama is claiming there is NO pork in this humongous stimulus package he is traipsing around the country trying to sell. Perhaps he is unclear on the definition of "pork." Given how much pork Obama tried to get for IL while a US Senator, $740 MILLION, you would think he would know what it was. And he's supposed to be so smart and everything. But he claims that there is NO pork in this stimulus package. None. That's what he said. And right after he said that while in IN, he gave examples of some pork that would benefit IN! I'm not kidding:
OBAMA: "Not a single pet project," he told the news conference. "Not a single earmark."

THE FACTS: There are no "earmarks," as they are usually defined, inserted by lawmakers in the bill. Still, some of the projects bear the prime characteristics of pork — tailored to benefit specific interests or to have thinly disguised links to local projects.

For example, the latest version contains $2 billion for a clean-coal power plant with specifications matching one in Mattoon, Ill.*, $10 million for urban canals, $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid cars, and $255 million for a polar icebreaker and other "priority procurements" by the Coast Guard.

Obama told his Elkhart audience that Indiana will benefit from work on "roads like U.S. 31 here in Indiana that Hoosiers count on." He added, "And I know that a new overpass downtown would make a big difference for businesses and families right here in Elkhart."

U.S. 31 is a north-south highway serving South Bend, 15 miles from Elkhart in the northern part of the state.

* Remember, that coal plant was shut down for being "inefficient," and they want to throw $2 BILLION at it.

There are numerous examples of the pork stuffed into this stimulus package, and I have detailed some in previous posts. But you can click HERE for a reminder. But there most definitely IS pork in this package, despite Obama's nonsensical claims to the contrary.

And speaking of pork, how about this little payback for ACORN? Ah, yes. ACORN - the organization under federal investigation for voter fraud. But hey - they did their job, and accomplished their goal, so no doubt, Obama has to "show them the money" (and this isn't the first time ACORN has found its way into one of these bills spending OUR money):

Bear in mind, your taxpaying dollars have already been shelled out to ACORN, despite the numerous investigations into its wrong doing over voter fraud/voter registration fraud. Yes, just as a reminder, back in April, ACORN and La Raza were the beneficiaries of $100 MILLION of your dollars in another Housing bailout. I'm sure ACORN and La Raza thank you. I'm CERTAIN Obama thanks you, since he most definitely benefited from the work of ACORN this past year. I'm going to bet Obama wouldn't consider this pork, either...

I realize I should have offered this warning earlier, but if you have high blood pressure, you may want to skip the following video of Senator Chuck Schumer, a senator I USED to like, but how can you respect someone who says this:

You know what is surprising about this? That Senator Schumer seemed to have no qualms about insulting American citizens who actually do care how our taxpaying dollars are being squandered on pet projects and paybacks. His arrogance is staggering, referring to us as "the chattering class" simply because we do not want to have our great-grandchildren paying for some 36 hole Frisbee golf course, or billions to an organization under federal investigation, or inefficient power plants, or any other of the numerous pet projects tucked into what is SUPPOSED to be a JOB stimulus package. "Chattering class" indeed.

Feel free to contact Senator Schumer and tell him how you, one of the "chattering class," feel about his contention that we do not care about the pork in this bill HERE. We, the "chattering class," actually care about the course our nation is on, and the path down which it is currently being steered. It's about damn time our representatives act like they care, too, especially when they are spending OUR money. We the "chattering class" care, all right - a lot. And we care when a US Senator dismisses our concerns about a tremendously flawed bill as if we should have nothing to say about it. That is not just hubris, that is condescension and arrogance toward the very people who gave this man a job. Senator Schumer has sure shown HIS true colors, and they are not pretty...Let him hear about it.


Mary Ellen said...

Oh yes...the "chattering class", no arrogance there, eh? They are so entrenched in their elitism, they have no idea what they sound like.

Another example of this elitism, I was watching Chris Matthews yesterday (for about 4 minutes, which was all I could take) and he was blathering on and on about how great it was that Obama was going out and speaking to...get this..."the street people". I couldn't believe he said that! I don't have an exact quote and I checked to see if the transcripts from yesterday's show was up yet (it's not), but it went something like this, "Isn't it great that Obama is going out and talking about (he may have said "selling") the stimulus package to the street people. You know...the people in the street."

I wish I had a pencil and paper in hand in order to get the whole thing, but it smacked of elitism. I guess Matthews doesn't think of himself as one of those "street people".

I'm sure the transcript from that show will be up soon and I doubt they'll try to hide it because they are so into themselves they don't realize how insulting they are being to us "street people". Honestly, when he said that I felt like Oliver Twist or something. "Please mister, may I have some of that pork you're dishing out?"

Oh and A-Rod? Ugh...that just pisses me off. You know how much I love baseball and I'm so sick of hearing these guys who are making millions of dollars a year after getting to where they are by taking steroids and walking over the backs of real athletes by pumping up illegally to get the big contracts. I don't accept his "apology" and I hope is career is over. I also pray that the White Sox won't grab him and stick him on our roster...that would make me re-think my season tickets.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, ME -

How is is that Chris Matthews has a job? I mean, really - I have NEVER gotten the appeal of that guy. He says the absolute STUPIDEST things, and tries to act like he's the smartest kid in the class afterward. It's ridiculous!

And STREET people? Okay. WTH is the mater with him? And what does that say abt MSNBC that HE is one of their FEATURED "journalists" (and I use that term VERY loosely when it comes to him). Holy smokes.

A-Rod - I know. Allegedly, he only used them for two years, and he obviously does have tremendous natural talent. And that's just the thing - he DOES have tremendous natural talent. I appreciate that the expectations of him may have been daunting, especially to a younger person who was a bit caught up, but still. Unfortunately, the sport is just riddled with people who use (and honestly, that whole report was SO biased - they mainly targeted Yankees players, and one other team. Since Mitchell is a BOARD MEMBER of the Red Sox, they didn't look at them at ALL. Pathetic.). It makes me sick.

I don't know what the Yankees are going to do - obviously, it was before he ever came to the team, but I wonder if he lied abt his previous use? That might be reason enough to violate his contract...

Spring Training is almost here. I am SO glad. I need me some baseball...

Arturo Ui said...

Your whole section on Obama's bio is filled with many unsubstantiated assertions. It would be helpful, for example, if you offered some evidence that Obama's "handlers" actually exposed Jack Ryan. Just because Obama has been lucky in his opponents doesn't prove the deeply nefarious acts you so easily assign to him.

Mary Ellen said...

Amy- I know, I'm counting the days until Spring Training and the games begin. Regarding the drug was being done on every single team and anyone who says it wasn't...bull.

Chris Matthews is a twit and the sad thing is, this is journalism these days,nothing but opinion,no fact, no journalistic integrity. This is difficult for me to say, my daughter is a journalist. She reports mainly on City Council stuff, that's her beat, but I feel so bad for her with the media being what it is today. Besides the newspapers all taking a dive and her job not being secure, I can't I KNOW she wouldn't report something in a skewed manner in order to protect her job. She's already talking about getting out of journalism and going into some type of consulting career or possibly getting a law degree. I can't blame her.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Arturo, perhaps you don't understand that if you click on the TITLE of the article in my post, you will actually get the article I reference. You don't even have to search for anything - I put it all right there, including the info that Obama's handlers exposed the sealed court documents on his Rep. opponent.

I ALWAYS substantiate my claims with verifiable sources, so your assertion is incorrect.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

One more thing, Arturo - Obama wasn't LUCKY - his team REMOVED all of his opponents on very sketchy grounds his first time around. It has been well documented - Obama himself does not deny it.

I understand it is so much easier for you to attack me than to actually look at the documentation abt Obama and how he got to where he is. But that doesn't mean it didn't happen just because you don't want to believe it did.

And really, that's just sad. Just like Bush supporters refused to acknowledge ANYTHING negative abt Bush - exactly the same.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, ME -

Well, they report to Training Camp this week - yippee!! Can't wait..

Wow abt your daughter. It is so frustrating that someone who DOES have journalistic integrity ends up wanting to get out of the business because so many others, especially those higher up, have lost any semblance of integrity.

On the one hand, I hope she stays, and insists upon real journalism. On the other, I can totally understand just wanting to get out of it and doing something else.

It totally sucks, though, that people like Matthews have become so glorified. The few times I watched Hardball - before this Primary, even - I just thought he was a blowhard. He is certainly that, and much more - and I don't mean that in a good way.

Arturo Ui said...

"I understand it is so much easier for you to attack me than to actually look at the documentation abt Obama and how he got to where he is."

I didn't attack YOU at all. Why is any question of your Obama criticisms taken so personally?

You say to click on the "title of the article" in your post to find substantiating information on how Obama's handlers exposed Jack Ryan. You have several hyperlinks in your post, which one should I click on? I did read the Houston News piece you hyperlinked. It says a judge ordered Ryan's divorce records unsealed. Was the judge one of Obama's "handlers"?

These are genuine questions, seeking genuine answers. You'll open a lot more hearts and minds assuming the sincerity of people like me, rather than just assuming I'm out to get you personally.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Arturo, you wrote: "Your whole section on Obama's bio is filled with many unsubstantiated assertions."

And: ". Just because Obama has been lucky in his opponents doesn't prove the deeply nefarious acts you so easily assign to him."

You don't think that is PERSONAL? Yeah, okay. I have written abt Obama for quite some time, and at this point, there are some things that are common knowledge, yet I continue to link to them for people. So, yes, it is personal.

And here is a link for you, of how Axelrod worked behind the scenes on this whole push by the Trib to get the records unsealed:

If I have provided hyperlinks in my story, it is to substantiate my claims. And it is the READER'S job to click on those links if s/he desires more information.

And I would be more than wiling to treat your queries as honest efforts to get to the truth if you had not begun by impugning my writing from the very first sentence. That does not seem like a "genuine" effort to engage in dialogue.

So let me be clear - Axelrod worked behind the scenes to push for the records to be unsealed in conjunction with the Chicago Tribune. While I admit I took a bit of a shortcut (since this has been discussed ad nauseum), I stand by the gist of what I wrote.

Arturo Ui said...

"You don't think that is PERSONAL?"

No, I really, really don't. Questioning the factual basis for assertions in your writing is not personal in any way, shape or form. If you submitted a paper for peer review, and your peers pointed out claims that they felt needed further factual support before the paper could be published, would you automatically consider that "personal"?

"If I have provided hyperlinks in my story, it is to substantiate my claims. And it is the READER'S job to click on those links if s/he desires more information."

I completely agree. But the hyperlink you originally provided only said that a judge had ordered the records unsealed. The NYT link re Axelrod you just posted, unfortunately, doesn't work. I think it might be missing some text in the string. I would love to read more about this issue.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Arturo, perhaps it is a difference in communication styles. I certainly understand abt peer review, but ordinarily, one doesn't claim the writer is "easily" assigning "nefarious acts," especially when documentation is provided to the actual events in question. I assume you read the Houston Press article abt Obama, how "lucky" he was (to use your word) to get EVERYONE thrown off the ballot to run unopposed, and how he did that exactly. Or how Emil Jones was his Kingmaker, slapping his name on legislation on which he hadn't worked. And on and on and on. Yet, it is just one little tidbit of information on which you are hanging, completely ignoring the SUBSTANCE of the article.

Don't know why the Times article didn't work. Feel free to do a search on it - I'm sure you can find it (or the Trib article. I think the LA Times had something, too) pretty easily. TalkLeft also had something on it at one point, too. (Interestingly, Jack Ryan's ex was Jeri Ryan, the actress.)

As for the peer review, I would suggest keeping your eyes on the prize here, not focusing on the minutia, thus missing the entire point of the piece. Just a suggestion.

Gotta run. Thanks for the dialogue.