Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baiting Socialistic Republicans, Spending Stimulating Earmarks

Eugene Robinson
Michael Kinsley

"You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point." - Michael Steele

Boy, we sure live in a silly world, and this world of politicians is especially weird and perverse. I want to do some stories on the Democrats, such as Nevada's Senator Harry Reid bringing home $1.5 billion in pork projects, or California's ex-Governor Grey Davis laughing his butt off at Arnold Schwartzenegger, but the really out there stories come from the right wing of the Republican Party.

During the Presidential campaign Republican strategists thought that labeling Barack Obama a Socialist would strike fear into the hearts of voters. It seemed to work on the Southern redneck contingent quite well, and became a regular talking point with radio talk show hosts. The verbal trick here is to say it with a sneer on your lips like you had just tasted raw crow...

The TARP and auto bailouts were also cast as socialism, forgetting that they were a Republican plan pushed through by Democrats in deference to George Bush and Henry Paulson. Now, we have Republicans, who have identified themselves with the terrorist group Taliban, actually promoting a socialistic idea, the nationalization of banks. Bloomberg News reports: "Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who sits on the Senate Budget Committee, said he wouldn’t reject the idea of nationalizing U.S. banks.

“I’m very much afraid that any program to salvage the banks is going to require the government,” the South Carolina senator said today in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” program. “I would not take off the idea of the nationalizing the banks.”  
I guess its time to rethink the platform of limited government... and nationalizing a bank is actually a first step in getting its affairs in order to sell it off, as in bankruptcy...

I want to ignore John McCain whining on the news channels lately, and keep my thoughts of him when he gave that elegant concession speech. Too bad it's turned into bitterness.
One of the best ideas that John McCain tried to popularize was the need to stop the use of earmarks. It resounded better among the public than it did among his fellow Congressmen, who love earmarks because it is the smell of money to them yet the smell of rotting pork to the rest of us. Every project has money passed from the client through the hands of lobbyists to the politician, usually in the form of campaign contributions. 

During the last 20 years, Republicans sought to make the lobbying industry into a conservatives only playground, culminating in Grover Nordquist's K Street Project, which aimed to force businesses to behave as conservative loyalists. The recent Jack Abramoff scandal put an end to their dominance and showed how it has corrupted politicians, that is, if you think of bribery, drugs, and prostitution as something  corrupting. Then, its just business as usual...

Now that the Democrats are solidly in power, the lobbying industry is seeking to embrace change you can believe in: "Lobbyists heading into the Obama administration have captured plenty of attention lately, but the revolving door also is spinning the other way as the president’s former aides cross over to the dark side: K Street.

The latest news is that the political director for Barack Obama’s campaign, Matthew Nugen, is joining Ogilvy Government Relations as a “strategic adviser.” His announcement follows that of Bryan Cave’s hiring of Jeff Berman, who directed Obama’s national delegate operation, and former Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle’s ignominious return to the law and lobbying shop Alston & Bird.

To be sure, it’s a turn of the revolving door that’s slower and quieter than the movement from K Street to the new administration, where lobbyists are required to obtain waivers and sign ethics pledges before taking their jobs."

Late night jokes from last Thursday:

"Well, it's Thursday. You know what that means? Another Obama Cabinet member nominee has quit." --Jay Leno

"Michigan Congressman John Dingell has set the all-time record as the longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He's been there 19,421 days. That's the longest a member of Congress has ever been in one place well, if you don't count federal prison." --Jay Leno

"I tell you, the economy is in bad shape. In fact, airlines are now charging extra if you want peanuts without salmonella." --Jay Leno

"Happy birthday to Abraham Lincoln, who was born 200 years ago today. And to mark the occasion, former Vice President Dick Cheney, earlier today, went into a theater and shot a guy." --David Letterman

"Don't you have a feeling it's going to be a long time before we have a vice president who shoots a guy in the face? Just doesn't happen that often." --David Letterman

"John McCain's in the news. This week, Sen. John McCain sent out an e-mail to his supporters announcing that he’s running for re-election in 2010. Yeah. Isn't that incredible? John McCain knows how to use e-mail." --Conan O'Brien

"It's a great day for America, everybody, but a very tough day for the President. Another Obama Cabinet pick has withdrawn his name from contention. Obama 's nominees are dropping faster than babies out of that octuplet mother." --Craig Ferguson

"It's Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday, and to honor the occasion, the U.S. Mint is releasing a new penny that shows Lincoln's house. That's appropriate because that's about how much a house is worth these days." --Craig Ferguson

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