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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 10:50 AM
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The Obama Fairytale Didn't Last Long...

Here's what Krauthammer had to say this morning: A truly excellent and insightful column.

The Fierce Urgency of Pork

"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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Charles Krauthammer - The Fierce Urgency of Pork

Don't believe everything you think
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 11:19 AM
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That is because you are one of them. Try discussing the same topics as a conservative and see what peoples reactions are. I grew up accross the river in NJ and make several trips a year up there to see friends and family.

You just seem to associate with birds of a feather that are akin to you. I prefer to expand my personal experiences a little bit more, hence my patience with liberal enablers here on this board.

You obviously prefer to live in a vacuum of self reinforcing dogmatic pablum. Probably peeves you to no end living in Kentucky with all that folksy common sense going on around you.
There you go making assumptions again.

Many of the folks that I hang with in NYC are either pretty conservative Wall Street type economists or upper level management at various media companies who are anything but "birds of a feather". When you add in the Muslims, Hindi and Asian folks to the group, who tend to be somewhat agnostic to our Left/Right differentiation I find that I get a very good blend of folks.

As for Kentucky, apparently you are unaware of the political mix. Or the social mix. Most from the North aren't. But we are back to those assumptions of yours again, aren't we.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 02:07 PM
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Very sad article but he does have a myopic perspective that any grieving parent would naturally have.

It skews his objectivity.
There really never was any hope that you'd take the article for what it is. You should re-read it,,,,,slowly. Perspective, it's all in how you look at it.
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 04:41 PM
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There really never was any hope that you'd take the article for what it is. You should re-read it,,,,,slowly. Perspective, it's all in how you look at it.
bear doesn't even "pre-read" our thoughtful posts. He just fires-off a dismissive reply based on who we are and what he assumes we are going to say. So don't take it personally! He is a Kookberger!!

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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 04:53 PM
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There really never was any hope that you'd take the article for what it is. You should re-read it,,,,,slowly. Perspective, it's all in how you look at it.
So tell us "for what it is". What is the perspective of the article if not that of a still grieving father who had an opportunity to pen his thoughts? If he had been the father of one of the 4000 US Troops killed would we be talking about this article?

His thoughts are simply subjective. There is nothing wrong with that.

McBear,
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 04:58 PM
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See what I mean...?

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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 09:40 PM
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Stimulate the economy, not government

Commentary: Stimulate the economy, not government - CNN.com

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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
There you go making assumptions again.

Many of the folks that I hang with in NYC are either pretty conservative Wall Street type economists or upper level management at various media companies who are anything but "birds of a feather". When you add in the Muslims, Hindi and Asian folks to the group, who tend to be somewhat agnostic to our Left/Right differentiation I find that I get a very good blend of folks.

As for Kentucky, apparently you are unaware of the political mix. Or the social mix. Most from the North aren't. But we are back to those assumptions of yours again, aren't we.
No assumptions made on my part, just my own experience combined with the half baked, good intentions that you keep espousing here.

I lived in the NYC metro area for the better part of 20 years, I interned on Wall St (actually Broad st) for several summers, and I am still very much in contact with many people who still live and work there.

You obviously want to characterize Manhattan and your circle of friends and Associates as more conservative than what reality would have us believe. I think that is because in comparison to you the people you associate with are more conservative than you. You just happen to be raging liberal that is one order below Feel The Love in your political view point.

You at least refrain from calling people racial epithets disguised as humor.

Who's John Galt.

"Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes" - Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 2

If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel. --Benjamin Netayahu
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 09:47 PM
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He wasn't running down America, just the previous Administration and the NeoCon's xenophobia toward them. It is two completely different things.

NeoCon's like to say Liberals are "running down America" because it deflects the harsh light that we are putting on the NeoConservative issues.
UMmm, NO! He's just running down America, he himself is a 13%er.

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