Congress has set aside $136.5 million to pay for such items as booze, balloons and security at the Dem and GOP conventions this year. This comes from the same congress that was outraged over $823,000 being spent on a 2010 conference at a Las Vegas-area resort that a GSA admin was pushed to resign.
The figure includes $100 million Congress provided to pay for security at the conventions, plus $18 million for each party to pay for balloons, signs, alcohol, flags, lanyards and other expenses through a program designed to reduce the influence of campaign contributions. Senator Tom Coburn, pointing to lawmakers’ promises to cut the $1.2 trillion budget deficit, said the parties should forgo the taxpayer funds.
I always liked Coburn. Too bad there aren’t more like him, because both parties are going ahead with the plans.
Rasmussen finds that only 25 percent of likely voters think the financial bailouts were a good idea. A full 56% think they were out-and-out a bad idea. [Note: the 19% who are still undecided on the issue should have their voter registration cards taken away. How can you not have an opinion on this vital issue by now?
Unsurprisingly, political insiders don’t share this view:
There also continues to be a strong divide between the Political Class and Mainstream voters. While a strong majority of Mainstream voters are still against both of the bailouts, at least half of the Political Class think they were a good idea.
This dichotomy is supported by a recent Politico poll:
Only 27 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, compared with 61 percent who think the nation is on the wrong track. Likewise, when asked whether the national economy is heading down the right or wrong track, just 24 percent chose the right track, compared with 65 percent for the wrong track.
Yet among the 227 Washington elites polled, more think the country is on the right track, 49 percent, than the wrong track, 45 percent. On the economy, 44 percent of elites think the country is on the right track, compared with 46 percent who believe it is not.
Politico also found that compared to mainstream Americans, the political elites were more supportive of Obama, less supportive of Palin, and tended to think of the Tea Party movement as a “fad”. And that’s just sad.
Further, a Bloomberg poll shows that 7 out of 10 Americans see even more joblessness and an increasing deficit, believing that the country is mired in recession.
Seven of 10 Americans say reducing unemployment is the priority. At the same time, the public is skeptical of the Obama administration’s stimulus program and wary of more spending, with more than half saying the deficit is “dangerously out of control.”
If Obama’s “stimulus” had actually created jobs instead of rewarding failure, the recession might be in the rear view mirror and public opinion would be much different. Instead, 70 percent think the economy is still in recession and 13 percent think we are headed for a double-dip. Meanwhile, real unemployment hovers just short of 22 percent.
Amity Shlaes compares today’s economy with that of 1932, the end of Hoover’s presidency and just when things started getting better. She notes that although there are factors that differenciate the two, there are a number of similarities. Read the whole thing, but here’s the money quote:
The takeaway from 1932? Resetting the euro’s criteria for existence and member countries’ obligations when it comes to bailing out one another should happen sooner rather than later. Democrats and the president should ignore unions and cut trade deals with Latin America. John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, supported tax cuts. Obama can too, or at least block rate increases. The president might also want to suppress his lawyer- Keynesian reflexes and reconsider policy when it comes to wages. But the 1932 crisis talk actually impedes such consideration.
If anyone believes that these can take place in today’s partisan environment just hasn’t been paying attention. Get settled folks, this recession isn’t going away any time soon.
Technorati Tags: Bankrupting America, Bailouts and Other Bad Ideas, Stimulus and Other Failures, Rising Unemployment in America, Unions and Other Drags on the Economy, Political Elites and Other Yammerheads, Barack Hussein Obama the Dangerous Choice
The latest Gallup poll suggests that the Republican victories in New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races are indicators of the future rather than one-offs, as Democrats claim.
Roughly a year before the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans seem well-positioned to win back some of their congressional losses in 2006 and 2008. Independents are increasingly coming to prefer the Republican candidate for Congress, and now favor the GOP by 22 points. Political conditions could still shift between now and Election Day to create a more favorable environment for Democratic candidates, but a Republican lead on the generic ballot among registered voters has been a sign of a strong Republican showing at the polls in the coming election.
Now if only we could get a poll that suggests that Republicans and Independents were turning to conservatives.
Hat tip to Noel Sheppard, who wonders How Will Media Report GOP Beating Democrats in New Gallup Poll?
Hugh Hewitt applauds Mitch McConnell’s performance during the Dem’s all-night stunt:
After Democratic leader Harry Reid’s MoveOn.org all-night session Tuesday night, a move that resulted only in helping unify the weak-kneed Republicans who were peeling away from continued support of the Petraeus surge in Iraq, McConnell, the Republican leader, served notice to anyone watching C-SPAN that he now runs the Senate.
Read it all as Hewitt goes on to invent the word “mitchslapped”. Heh.
Conservative Jonah Goldberg writing in the liberal LA Times on the subject of the over-the-top poisonous rhetoric that dominates our political circus:
At Sunday’s trial lawyer conference, for example, Barack Obama proclaimed that “people are tired of ‘Scooter’ Libby justice.” Clinton’s pardons for loyalist Susan McDougal, billionaire tax-evader Marc Rich and bomb-setting Puerto Rican nationalists apparently have slipped down the memory hole. For eight years, the right screamed bloody murder about Clinton’s overreaching. He minted new executive privileges, “accidentally” rummaged through the FBI files of political opponents and sought electronic wiretapping powers — during peacetime — that today are denounced during the war on terror. Some on the right feared we were on a slippery slope to tyranny. Liberals often chortled about such right-wing paranoia.
Dems to Jump Left Again: Reid promises to tie timetable to next military appropriations bill before 4 July break:
Reid spoke Tuesday on the phone with a group of liberal bloggers he acknowledged helped drive the anti-war debate.
“I understand their disappointment,” Reid said. “We raised the bar too high.”
Tough to disappoint to barking base.
Earmark War Looming! Republicans want to hold Democrats to their earlier promises of making earmarked spending more transparent. Democrat chair of the House Appropriations Committee promises to kill all pet projects (Dem and Repub alike) if Republican leaders “demagogue” the issue.
Hmmm. I don’t remember Republicans rushing out to make earmarks more transparent, or any fewer, when they were in charge. Too bad. If they had, maybe they’d still be in charge.
CAIR Membership Down 90% Since 2001:
The number of reported members spiraled down from more than 29,000 in 2000 to fewer than 1,700 in 2006. As a result, the Muslim rights group’s annual income from dues dropped from $732,765 in 2000, when yearly dues cost $25, to $58,750 last year, when the group charged $35
Hopefully the downward spiral will continue.
“Hamastan” — Hamas has taken control of the northern part of the Gaza Strip as Palestine sinks into civil war. Isn’t it a wonder that liberals are quick to blame the “neo-Cons” for pushing Iraq towards civil war, but won’t own up to their own complicity in Palestinian troubles after celebrating terrorist victories in open elections?
“The streets of the Gaza Strip are full of hundreds of gunmen belonging to Fatah and Hamas,” said Ayman Abu Sharkh, a lawyer from Gaza City. “People are afraid to leave their homes, because this is a real war and they are killing each other mercilessly. We never imagined that the day would come when we would see Palestinians slaughtering each other in the streets.”
Hmmm. Doesn’t come as a surprise to me.
Neo-Samurais? If we have neo-Cons, does Japan have neo-Samurais?
An ultranationalist, [Parliamentary candidate Yuko Tojo] seeks to restore Japan’s honor by scrapping its pacifist constitution and enacting a full-fledged military, giving the country the clout she says it deserves. . . .
Her views are part of a resurgent right-wing fringe in Japan that espouses a hard line in territorial disputes with the country’s neighbors and a rose-tinted view of its past militarism.
For lying and obstructing justice, Lewis “Scooter” Libby was fined $250,000 and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, with another two of probation following his release.
Giuliani’s Firm Gave to Dems: Here’s a shocker (not): Rudy Giuliani’s law firm has a very generous PAC. It gave away nearly a quarter-million dollars to federal candidates in the 2006 mid-term election, 40% of which went to Democrats (including two under investigation for ethics violations).
MoveOn’s Tea Party: Last week Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid capitulated to reality, withdrawing the timetable for surrender in Iraq from the war appropriations bill, but weakly tried to spin the move to his favor with verbiage for which I derided him. It has also raised the ire of the inappropriately-named MoveOn.org. Because Reid called the Iraq bill “weak tea” before he voted for it, the far-left group is asking members to send tea bags to Reid’s office to register their displeasure with Reid for voting for the funding.
Why is it that references to Fred Thompson invariably call for him to either declare his candidacy or get out, while Gore is running a “stealth campaign“?
ABC to Air Counter-Gore Documentary: ABC has finally announced that it will run The Great Global Warming Swindle, a British documentary that refutes Gore’s convenient lie. If you don’t want to wait until it runs on ABC in July, you can watch it in full on Google Video.
A nice article by John Podhoretz says, in part:
Maybe that’s because the case against Scooter Libby is so astoundingly petty that arguing over it is like arguing over scraps.
Having begun his investigation with the possibility of bringing down the Bush administration due to the possible commission of a national-security felony, Fitzgerald has wound up trying to argue that the incomprehensible notes and Swiss-cheese recollections of reporters are indisputable facts.
Marketing Stunt Terrorizes Boston. Chaos Ensues! Mayor Furious!
Boston authorities shut down a highway and turned out the bomb squads on fears of terrorism after spotting a “slew of blinking electronic signs” on bridges and other high-profile spots across the city.
Yep, that dangerous looking milkshake in LED looks like a terrorist to me!
Of course, the signs turned out to be nothing more than a creative advertising campaign for “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” a cartoon about a group of mystery-solving fast food items to be shown on Cartoon Network TV. Still, the mayor is threatening to sue Turner Broadcasting.
BTW, which Aqua Teen Hunger Force character are you? (I’m Master Shake)
Al Franken to run for Senate
Speaking of terror, rumor has it that failed radio mogul Al Franken is going to run for the US Senate in Minnesota, taking on incumbent Norm Coleman.
The news was not unexpected. Franken has been calling members of the Minnesota congressional delegation for their input on a run and he announced this week he would be leaving his show on Air America Radio on Feb. 14. He told listeners he would be making a decision on a race soon.
The only stunning news in all this is that Franken still has listeners.
BTW, Franken’s political action committee is the “Midwest Values PAC”, which (according to OpenSecrets.org) seems to rake in the most money from NY, CA, OR, WA, and in general every but the Midwest!
Look at the size of that tumor. It’s huge!*
A woman kept telling the doctors that her weight gain wasn’t due to her eating habits. Diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, Taquela Hilton finally got a doctor to listen after at least 12 years.
The result was an operation that removed a 93 pound benign tumor – an ovarian cyst.
* Said in your best “Tiny Elvis” voice
Idiotic Headline of the Day
Bush, Dems Have Different Economic Views
Hey Planet Earth, Put a Cork In IT!
Volcanic pressure in Indonesia has been pushing out mud since May of last year, displacing 10,000 people and closing 20 factories. And it doesn’t show any signs of slowing.
To stop it, geophysicists are going to drop 4,000 concrete balls that have been chained together in sets of four into the volcano’s mouth. Even they don’t think they can stop the flaming-hot mud’s progress all together, but hope to create enough “friction” as the mud has to navigate through the barrier to significantly slow the flow. Says one “scientist”:
It will make the mud tired. We’re killing the mud softly.
Uh-huh. Sounds more like using BB’s to stop a fire hose to me. This is the volcanic force of the planet Earth we’re talking about here — the same forces that move tectonic plates around.
When the United States gets a surplus of milk, our government turns to subsidies to prop up the dairy farmers. In Japan, an innovative liquor store owner turned his region’s excess milk inventory into beer, soon to be marketed under the brand name “Bilk”.
I wonder how it’ll taste on cereal?