What earmarks? Don’t see any.

Barack Obama is amazing.  Today he signs a massive $410 billion spending bill containing thousands of earmarks with hundreds of millions for pet projects and President Obama simply sits on the sidelines, dismissing these earmarks as last year’s business.  He, of course, swore during the campaign to keep them out of budgets he signed. This one contains 7,991 earmarks totaling $5.5 billion, about 40 percent of them requested by Republicans.

 This 1,132-page document — which of, course, everybody who’s voting has read – gives generous boosts to programs popular with Democrats.  The Agriculture Department, for example, gets a 13 percent increase in spending while the money-losing Amtrak passenger rail system gets 10 percent more.  Congress gave itself a 10 percent increase, as well.  Congress now costs us $4.4 billion, more than 20 percent of what it costs to run Georgia.

“With the stock market plunging, unemployment at a 25-year high, and millions struggling just to pay their mortgages, the bill sent over from the House included an across-the-board 8 percent increase in spending over last year — twice the rate of inflation,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.  McConnell, who had $76 million in earmarks in the bill, worked with Democrats to develop the budget, but wound up voting against it.

An amendment by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas to reduce spending on 122 programs that had already  been funded in the $787 billion stimulus bill was rejected, as indeed were all amendments proposed by Republicans.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatened to put the spending bill aside without action by the House if a single Republican amendment was accepted by the Senate.  Bipartisanship reigns.

The spending bill also contains major policy changes, including the likely end of the D.C. voucher program that gives an option to the parents of 1,700 poor children. It also shuts down a program opposed by Big Labor that allowed Mexican trucking companies to operate beyond U.S.-Mexico border zones. 

State and local governments and families tighten their belts — but not Congress and not federal agencies. Obama will sign this bill, his pledge on earmarks notwithstanding.  It should be vetoed.

57 comments Add your comment

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 11th, 2009
7:32 am

Good morning all. One of our fellow bloggers last week quoted noted ditherer Ralph Waldo Emerson’s chestnut about “consistency being the hobgoblin of small minds.” Thus, as Obama is so much smarter than the rest of us, we should not expect any sort of intellectual activity that we would describe as ‘rational” – The Empty Suit is well beyond that stage.

We do not accuse the One Whom We Have Awaited of lying in his promise to abate earmarks – such an allegation would be base in discussing The Holy One. Surely all can see that this year is last year, and next year will not be this year. Even friend PoFo could not have phrased it so brilliantly. And always twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom.

Stimulus after stimulus, all funding government at ever-higher levels, and constricting the productive economy ever more, may be having an effect. I think I heard the stock market is now at its highest level ever. And unemployment has plunged to the lowest recorded levels in history.

The only thing generally wrong with the Obama signing statement is that it is not April 1. Rush need not hope any longer – it is a fait accompli.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 11th, 2009
7:33 am

In addition to the AJC, I read an obscure alternative paper each morning, The Wall Street Journal. The top essays in that paper today are “causation of the housing bubble” and “treatment for the collapse in value of mortgage securities.” Rational policymaking requires understanding what specifically went wrong with former policy.

As to the “bubble,” Alan Greenspan argues that the Fed’s admittedly “easy” money policy 2001-2007 had no significant role in the housing bubble. To the “cure,” Warren Buffet advocates suspension of the regulator use of “mark to market.” We examine separately.

Chairman Greenspan’s argument, reduced to its simplest element, is that the Fed’s management of the short-term Fed funds rate was irrelevant to the decoupled longer term securities rates that funded mortgages. Lest we dismiss that as a hyper-technical and self-serving analysis, there is historical truth for his distinction.

The US had comparatively unprecedented inverted yield curves in 2005, i.e., long-term rates were actually lower than short-term rates. That is peculiar, as investors almost always require a premium for locking up their funds for a longer period.

To put the argument at a personal level, if an investor has a choice between a 4% cd for 24 months, or a 3.5% cd for 10 years, a normal investor will almost always choose the former, as there is no premium for accepting the longer-term risk. The market was otherwise in 2005, and this was after a long period of effective parity.

It is inconceivable for the Fed to conduct an “easy money” policy that would bring long-term rates lower than short-term. With an inverted curve, the market is forecasting deflation, seemingly irreconcilable with “easy money.” The only plausible explanation I ever heard for the phenomenon was that Chinese investors were looking for long-term investments to hide funds from their government. I am embarrassed to be reduced to a conspiratorial xenophobic argument, but I have no other.

Much of that long-term funding wound up in the US mortgage-backed securities market, as that was (historically) the most stable long-term securitized private investment. Chairman Greenspan’s argument is unsatisfying – we all prefer to blame a faceless demon for distress beyond our control – but it has a ring of truth. The Fed may be innocent.

Far happier is that Warren Buffet has embraced one of my two September 2008 resolutions to the seized-up financial markets. Last year we suggested that all would end happily if the government would do nothing more than (1) guarantee inter-bank obligations, and (2) suspend the “mark to market” rule.

Faithful students of the economy recall that, instead of the jbmlaw plan, the Bush administration teamed with Congressional Democrats to conduct a wild spending spree (“TARP”), alas only partially effective. TARP is now succeeded by the Obama administration’s even wilder spending sprees (“Stimulus” and “Continuing Budget Resolution,”) doomed to be even less effective as they are untargeted. Today’s news carries a note that Speaker Pelosi suggests there is need for another “stimulus” program. What do you call someone who keeps doing the same thing hoping for a different result?

“Mark to market” is one of those eye-glazing accounting issues for people outside the industry. The rule says that bank books should reflect component assets at whatever price the market values them, without regard to the actual performance of the assets. In the case of mortgage securities, currently there is no market for those securities at any price – thus a value of zero – due to fears of undiscoverable subprime customers.

Broadly 95% of mortgages continue to perform as agreed, thus there is a disconnect between market value and income value of the securities. The lack of marketability is crucial to banks, as securities transactions are the primary method of liquidity management for banks. This lack of liquidity is one element that led to financial seizure in the credit markets. The common government-slang term for those unmarketable but performing securities is “toxic assets.”

Mr. Buffet’s extended conversation with CNBC Monday produced enough headlines (mostly over his condemnation of Obama administration policies) that his “mark to market” comments have been broadly overlooked. Nevertheless, Mr. Buffet apparently sees the same things as I, (a) that mindless regulatory enforcement of the accounting construct manufactures false failures in the financial industry, (b) with typical ripple effects beyond those failures. Good to see that Warren is almost as sharp as your humble correspondent.

Glenn

March 11th, 2009
8:00 am

Gotta wonder what was earmarked for Georgia. Has the AJC reported on this? Because I’d entertain the thought of organizing an effort to attack any projects or programs earmarked for Georgia this year, perchance to kill the things in their cribs. Were such an effort successful, like-minded folks in other states could be challenged to follow suit.

Anybody know of a good, conservative communications firm?

Chris Broe

March 11th, 2009
8:10 am

Rag, you type like Rose Mary Woods, man! Listen, Everyone! Rag is teasing the lurkers by making them think he can type 500 words in five seconds, like Napolean Dynamite.

That said he tries to make some salient points, and My mother thanx him, my father thanx him, my wife thanx him, (if she were still with us: now she belongs to the angels), and I thank him.

I met my wife at Hoolihan’s, and we danced for hours. In all of our 26 years of marriage, we never danced together again; we both hated dancing, we only danced when we met because we both just wanted to get laid. We were inseparable after that. I never met anyone with absolutely no respect for authority like my wife. She didn’t respect parents, teachers, police, politicians, God, her customers (art brokers), boyfriends, or anything or anybody. I thought I was a badass, but I was not worthy. We didn’t have a perfect marriage, (she didn’t respect husbands either – I was the 3rd).

Over the years, I estimate that my wife sold nearly 50 thousand paintings. We worked side by side, producing and marketing and paying taxes on the artwork. To pass the time, we’d riff comedy material and she wasn’t just an artistic genius, but a comedic upstart. Her line, “Volvo with a gun rack” made it all the way into Robin William’s act in his 2002 HBO special. I opened with that line for five years, from 1991 – 2001, and it NEVER failed to produce a really big laugh. (robin william’s didn’t get a laugh with it because he used it wrong). I truly was not worthy of her, and I married WAY over my head. She often expressed regret at having married me, but fortunately we had a child and she wouldn’t separate father and daughter.

The world is minus one artist. Deal with it.

Big Bucks GOP

March 11th, 2009
8:35 am

Your boy Saxby is up to his ears in earmarks as usual, how about reporting on what he spent the money we are going to borrow from the Chineese.

Bill Shipp

March 11th, 2009
8:37 am

House Speaker Glenn Richardson has just unveiled a new vision for Georgia that would surpass previous endeavors and might even make a little money.

Richardson would make Georgia the marriage capital of the nation almost overnight. Atlanta could become Las Vegas East, without quite as many home foreclosures but with a lot more churches.

We’ve been given only a peek at Romeo’s great cash project. Last week, in a rare appearance in the well of the House, Richardson delivered a rip-roaring argument for allowing the state’s constitutional officers to perform legal wedding ceremonies.

The marriage measure sailed to passage in the House with only one dissenting vote. Spoilsport Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, cast the lone “nay.”

If the Senate signs off on the House action, Georgia will have more politician-parsons than any state east of the Ozarks. Just look at who would be given the legal right to hitch man and woman into legal matrimony: the current governor, the former governor, the lieutenant governor, House Speaker, House Speaker pro tem, Senate president pro tem, attorney general, secretary of state, state school superintendent, commissioners of labor, insurance and agriculture, and, of course, the state House clerk.

This new battalion of marryin’ folk could set up booths on every corner of every county seat. Georgians and out-of-state tourists could customize their marriage ceremonies to fit their personalities. One might tap Gov. Sonny Perdue for the honors, and the governor might throw in a bass-fishing trip as a free prize.

Not many people know that Georgia once hosted a thriving marriage mill industry. One such mill was located near Folkston to make it easy for Florida couples to sneak across the line and tie the knot. The other mill, at Ringgold, was located near the Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina state lines. That made the Georgia stop super-convenient for mountain couples with a sudden yen to get hitched.

Alas, Georgia’s blue noses crusaded against the mills, labeling them illegal, immoral and perhaps unconstitutional. Like the roadside clip joints and pet bears and possums, wedding centers vanished from the landscape. Not a word has been heard about them – until now.

One might think the General Assembly would be working overtime in this especially crucial session. But no, that is not the case. Between planning marriage chapels and selling bass tackle, Georgia lawmakers have had little to do but twiddle their thumbs and watch the mailbox, awaiting the arrival of government bailout money.

Of course, they could have occupied their time otherwise, with items such as:

► Fixing the state laws that allowed subprime loans and set off an unprecedented wave of bankruptcies and foreclosures.

► Investigating Georgia Power to determine why the company wants Georgia taxpayers to pay for a nuclear power plant seven years before it is built.

► Calling for a referendum on casino gambling in several border counties. (Just think of the new revenues that would generate.)

► Reorganizing Georgia’s state budget writers. Last year’s team missed Georgia’s total estimated income and appropriations by 37 percent.

► Creating a special ethics commission to oversee Gov. Perdue’s method of estimating the annual revenue. Any project with “ethics” in the title always makes the legislators look good, and they don’t have to work much to win praise.

We could think of a thousand other projects to keep state officials busy while they waited for the Obama bailout. When the bailout train finally does roll into the station, our lawmakers will have to get down to hard labor and forget wedding chapels for the moment. The lawmakers will need to work around the clock reorganizing Georgia’s budget so we can spend our way out of debt. For this crowd, that should be just as easy as a walk down the aisle.

Redneck Convert

March 11th, 2009
8:39 am

Well, the price of Skoal went up again and what I want to know is who put that in this Obama budget? Anyhow, if earmarks was hogs we’d all need noseplugs just to walk outdoors. This budget is a disgrace, and it don’t even include the money to run a entrance ramp to GA 400 from Simpsons Trailer Park.

I see Raghead beat out Wooten again for most words. It beats me how he can read all the good Conservative writters in the papers and come out with something that looks like he spent all night on it when Wooten ain’t even put out the column yet. It’s pretty clear he’s cut out for the law. He probly can’t clear his throat without needing 3,000 words to do it.

I’m real sorry to learn this a.m. this Chris Broe lost his wife. I knowed she was sick but until today I didn’t know she died. I’ll get all the folk down at the Church of Holiness to put in a prayer for him. I know I’d have a hard time making it without the missus. Have a good day everybody.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 11th, 2009
8:39 am

Dear PoFo @ 8:10/9:10, I know you do not wish sympathy, but we will all miss your muse. Congratulations on a great 26 years – many are never so blessed. I am grateful that your wife’s physical misery has ended, and you have our prayers/wishes for your own psychic recovery.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 11th, 2009
8:48 am

Good morning Redneck @ 8:39, in my field we measure verbiage by dollars rather than by the numbers. I am an industrial-strength producer.

RadianChalant

March 11th, 2009
8:54 am

The Conservatives complain about all of the spending from the Obama administration, yet the Conservatives are including tons of earmarks of their own. The budget is supposedly only 8% higher than the last federal budget. Hey people, the costs of everything is going up and up, so the budget has to go up also to even cover the same expenditures as in the previous year. Let President Obama work in peace, but let him not just accept every bill that shows up on his desk. The President will do fine; just give him some time.

Chris Broe

March 11th, 2009
9:06 am

Rag’s point could be summed up in one sentence, “You cant make a silk parse out of a sow’s earmark”.

Rag’s problem in communication is a common one. He’s like a modern day Shubert, who used to worship Beethoven from afar, only catching fleeting glimpses of his hero across a town square, or down the street. Shubert wrote masterpiece after masterpiece during his life, and his symphonic range was astonishing. He died young, thinking himself unworthy. But he achieved everything that Beethoven achieved in music: A distant second to Mozart. Okay, rag isn’t like Shubert, I just like to tell that story.

The point about Rag is that he cannot understand the writing 101 class that I give freely everyday to one and all: Subject matter dictates tone. Tone dictates structure.

Now what does that mean? Subject matter in Rag’s first comment is Obama’s inherited economy, and he properly assumes the tone of the bitter sarcasms and the learned attitudes inherent in any partisan truth. But his structure doesn’t match the tone. What is structure? Structure is like the gravitational constraints on an architect who wants to design a weird modern building. He has to trust the math. He cant invent irrational numbers or assume that there is a final digit for Pi. Thus, Rag’s premise, that any new president is responsible for the status quo on inauguration day, wont support any poetically phrased prose. Lets take a closer look:

He opens with Emerson. New rule: Never quote Emerson. First, you’ll miss Emerson’s point, although you may come close. Second. Never riff on a genius. Never. I knew this one guy who though he could edit Mark Twain. I warned him. He scoffed. I think he’s dead.

I’m being cruel to be kind but I will illustrate my point with some history that I’ve recited many, many times over the years on this blog, and which Richard Belzer used in a tribute to Carlin last month. . Mark Twain said (and I quote), “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter–’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

PS. Forget the second comment from rag. To the extent that a lurker would wade into Rag’s second comment, after reading the first, is the extent to which they are an imbecile. Judge yourself today by that extent. You know the truth. You are applying this litmus test to yourself long after you waded into rag’s second comment.

One Paragraph. Moron.

Two Paragraphs. Mongoloid Idiot.

Three Paragraphs: Imbecile.

The whole thing: Rag himself has many aliases.

Jklol

Glenn

March 11th, 2009
9:30 am

PoFo,

I’m very sorry to read of your wife’s death. Your occasional references to her always were uniquely touching, and appreciative of her uniqueness. Please accept my sincere condolences, even though you don’t want to.

Chris Broe

March 11th, 2009
9:33 am

and lets get another thing straight: I appreciate condolences. I don’t want them expressed because dusty, glenn, Andy, corporal, redneck, getalife and @@ will then impersonate me dissing the commiserations. You people are a total embarrassment. I cant imagine what the lurkers must think. But let them know now. That a new era is upon us. The unrefined grist that the AJC presents as candidature for the new conservative writer is a test to see if anyone understands the real application protocol: Whoever shall grasp the Pen from the Conservative Rosetta Stone is mightier than King Arthur and Excalibur!

That edit will be the winner.

Jklol

I know I have a tendency to swoop in and total obliterate a blog. I know the jealousies and bitterness that accompany the coveting of writing prowess. Just yesterday, I read the New York Times review of Jane Fonda’s return to Broadway, and I was jealous and bitter because I’ll never write like that. I barely understood it; I only understood it to the extent that I knew that I am unworthy. So, I emailed dusty’s and @@’s last 500 comments to this wonderful writer and just hope that they somehow clobbered him or her.

Jklol

Rush Limbaugh for President

March 11th, 2009
9:40 am

Good morning all. I am glad to see Rag is on the job. His blinding brillance is exceeded only by his dearth of objectivity and carefully crafted intellectual dishonesty. He carefully left out that Buffet said that patriotic Republicans and Democrats should get behind the President. Buffet is for the mark to market rule to ensure a company’s balance sheet can be trusted. He is also for some easing of the regulatory side of it for banks to help lighten the reserve requirments. You either can’t hear or you totally misrepresented what he said.Buffet see nothing like you, he actually supports Obama.

By the way, the the ditherer’s chestnut is actually ” a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Key word being foolish. Words do matter.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 11th, 2009
9:51 am

Dear Glenn @ various other times, your note at 8:00/9:00 was prescient. Drudge reports that Mark Sanford is formally rejecting portions of the “stimulus” monies. You and Mark are on the same wavelength.

JLK

March 11th, 2009
9:56 am

Chris Broe, thanks for sharing that at 8:10! Delightful! I feel honored.

Glenn

March 11th, 2009
9:56 am

What Ragnar protests, I think, is the Obamaphiles’ blatant play for “dehobgoblinization”, one of the late Mr. Buckley’s favorite coinages.

Incidentally, I never liked Emerson’s aphorisms. For me, he was a belletrist, best understood, as Chris Broe points out, in the context of his windy essays taken whole. He wrote at a stand-up desk, to discipline his tendency to wordiness. Still, it’s fascinating to see him attempt to streamline antebellum English — a project undertaken with greater success by Lincoln, Whitman, Melville and Emerson’s protoge, Thoreau. But for their many modernizations, even Twain later would have sounded like Poe.

In his first two paragraphs of the day, by the way, Ragnar reads distinctly like the actual Twain, whereas in his most recent post, Chris Broe sounds, unfortunately, more like me.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 11th, 2009
9:59 am

Dear Prez @ 9:40/10:40, I make no pretense at objectivity, leaving that form of dishonesty to our leftists. But I respectfully believe I report correctly on the mark to market.

You are correct that Warren likes the “mark to market” for benefit of investors – surely we see the clamor for financial stocks now – but you dishonestly conceal his firm affirmation that regulators need to disregard “mark to market” for all regulatory decisions. As that element of financial stability is the sole reason for my advocacy of suspension of mark to market, Warren and I are closer in sync than you and he.

As to his “support” of Obama, I acknowledge he affirmed his support for Obama while eviscerating every policy so-far advocated by The Empty Suit. Support like that is reminiscent of Harry Reid’s advocacy for Bush policy is Iraq.

Dusty

March 11th, 2009
10:04 am

Dear Chris Broe.

I don’t care what you say. You fantasize enough about your own words to take care of that. But I am sorry to learn that your wife has died. Must have been an exciting marriage. Hang in there! You are funny…sometimes…not to mention that you were more wordy than Ragnar today. We do excuse you for that …today only.

Glenn

March 11th, 2009
10:23 am

*”Surely all can see that this year is last year, and next year will not be this year.”*

Ragnar,

That witty and winning line reminds me of the time the Speaker of the California Legislature, facing constitutional deadlines, pronounced an edict stating that, “for purposes of legislation, Tuesday shall be a Thursday”. We used to call it “tesseracting”.

Funny people, politicians. Except when they hook up with a Goebbels, a Beriya or a Chou En-Lai.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 11th, 2009
10:37 am

Dear Glenn @ various times, you have insight into some of the overlord personalities. Do you know anything about this “intelligence” guy Charles Freeman? He sounds like a real piece of work.

Glenn

March 11th, 2009
11:14 am

I’m enamored of your final point, Mr. Wooten, that while families are belt-tightening until their heads turn blue, Washington is on a spending spree. At lunch yesterday in Gainesville I overheard an elderly gentleman speak with amazement of how impolitic this is, of how it just won’t play at the kitchen table.

I side with the Teamsters, though, on circumscribing Mexican trucking in the U.S. Mexican trucks should be contained within the break-bulk zones. The trucks are not maintained to our standards, and are a road hazard. We haven’t the resources to inspect them all, and Mexico hasn’t the will to do so.

Glenn

March 11th, 2009
11:20 am

Ragnar,

I knew nothing of him until the recent stories appeared. Let me look into his background a little.

Glenn

March 11th, 2009
11:44 am

Ragnar,

I just looked up the fellow’s resume. Nauseating. There’s a certain breed of polecat in the Fever Swamp that specializes in selling out the U.S. to hostile foreign interests. This guy Freeman definitely is of that low subspecies. My guess is that Feinstein objected to his lucrative flacking for China, while others on the Committee may have noted that as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia he seems to have done nothing to warn of the dangers of Wahabbi militancy orchestrated by the Kingdom.

I see that he has some choice words for Israel. Oy vey.

Terry

March 11th, 2009
12:15 pm

It is indeed depressing to see how someone who is supposed to be “informed” and “objective” can ramrod this kind of nonsense to his readers. The bill passed today was to continue keeping the government running for the rest of FY-09. It is not the FY-10 budget, where we are promised more scrutiny against earmarks. Anyone with any sense can go to whitehouse.gov and read what the budget entails. If he did not sign it today, the government would have closed-down COB today. If your congresspersons or senators did not budgetize earmarks for Georgia, so be it. The less the better. Consider yourselves privileged. The author obviously has no knowledge of the federal budget process and is not informed.

Glenn

March 11th, 2009
12:48 pm

The President had 50 days to insist on a porkless bill. He didn’t do it.

Wooten is a Hack

March 11th, 2009
12:50 pm

Jim Wooten’s article looks like it took about 2 minutes to write. If he had bothered to mention the specific Republican earmarks it might have taken 4 minutes. He is getting paid for his pathetically simple minded school yard rants when most of the people on this blog can write circles around him.

MacArthur O. Means

March 11th, 2009
12:57 pm

I live closer to Chattanooga than Atlanta and my wife thinks its stupid I watch WSB news in the morning instead of a closer station. The answer is simple, really – Karen Minton and Carol Sbarge. Delicious.

fearless fosdick

March 11th, 2009
1:05 pm

Jim I hate to tell you this (not really!) but your opinions have become totally irrelevant. Outside of the Pompous Ragnar, Glenn, and the bobble headed one Dusty nobody bothers with you anymore. Witness your measley 27 posts against Bookman who has a morning post that had 105 responses, and an afternoon post where 164 people have opined. Why wait pull the plug now!

Dusty

March 11th, 2009
1:40 pm

Dear Fearless Fosdick,

I see you are still a purely comic character without character. To compare Wooten’s blog to Bookman’s is like comparing filet mignon to sardines. You’ve got the sardines over at Bookman’s, lotsa them. The steak is here.

Please stay at Bookman’s. When we want to smell fishy, we will call you.

David S

March 11th, 2009
2:38 pm

Rag is plain ignorant.

Without the presence of the Federal Reserve in the marketplace there would never have been the available money to create the stock market, dot com, real estate, or any other bubbles that we have faced since their creation. Certainly other players manipulated their investment products to entice the gullible, but once again, not one of those malinvestment opportunities would have been available in a market limited by sound money.

The true culprits were gathered together on that fateful night in November 1913 on Jekyl Island. The conspiracy to rob the american economy, sow the seeds of expansive and oppressive government (fueled by deficit spending), and empower the banking system once again to pull all of the levers of power was launched in that fateful Geogia location. Unfortunately those bankers and president Wilson are long gone so their treasonous crimes will go unpunished.

So long as we allow spin artists to deflect blame away from the true monster that is destroying this country and allow the blame to fall on groups acting in their own self-interest but deceived by the Fed’s manipulative market signals we will never come together to get rid of the Federal Reserve and restore sound money policies to this nation and this government. Without such monetary reform, we are all doomed to permanent enslavement to a system that is being run for the benefit of banks and the entrenched government, and not the american people.

A government forced to live within its means by the implicit restraints of a sound monetary system based on gold or other commodity would be in no position to afford these kind of earmarks or the ridiculous deficit spending that is robbing ours and the next dozen generations blind.

David S

March 11th, 2009
2:45 pm

As for the earmarks, if the congress doesn’t decided where the money will be spent, then the president gets to decide where 100% of the budget money goes. Does that actually sound like a better situation – especially given this president?

When all of the businesses and individuals in your district paid $100 million in taxes, wouldn’t there be an expectation on their part that some of that would come back to them for local projects? Especially since a bunch of that money is from federal highway tax dollars?

The system is way messed up. The government shouldn’t take the money from us in the first place. Once they have taken it, it is the responsibility of my congressman to try and get it back for our district. Not the ideal situation, but until the taxation ends, that is the best way to keep the idiots in washinton from wasting it on “shovel ready” stupidity at the capitol.

Wooten is a Hack

March 11th, 2009
2:52 pm

Dusty, Wooten is for the shallow, one dimentional, simple minded ideologs who masquerade as intellectuals. No one has all the answers so by pretending you do you show your emotion drives your thoughts and that your intellect does not guide your emotion.

Wooten is a mile wide and an inch deep. You fit in perfectly

Shawny

March 11th, 2009
3:07 pm

Steny Hoyer puts out an op ed today on why earmarks aren’t that big of a deal. He says it is only 2% of the bill. Wouldn’t you like another 2% raise? If you could cut your entire personal spending by 2% per year, couldn’t you make progress against your personal debt? Then why is it ‘no big deal’ to through in another 2% on top, Steny says.

That kind of thinking is why we do not want to depend on govt for anything. They can’t do anything responsibly.

I like this short piece about Obama breaking his promise: http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/03/our-view-on-ear.html

Why, Mr. Obama, do you say one thing, then do something entirely the opposite?

Dusty

March 11th, 2009
3:53 pm

Well, Mr. 2:52

Thank you for parading as an intellectual to tell us how we are parading as intellectuals. You remind me of those clowns who change IDs to suit each rant and rave. Keep parading, honey, we love a parade.

Wooten brings to our attention a bill that enslaves Americans to debt for decades. It is loaded with “pork”, favors and resurrected past losses to Democrats. He notes that Obama cannot see such items now that he is elected. Obama’s sight was better when he was running in the elections. But he forgets what he said!

Jim Wooten quite properly reminds us of what is coming down the pike. In fact, I think it has already hit us. That does make me a bit emotional. I’m not in debt and I do not want the country swallowed by debt.

Maybe you should get emotional instead of Demo dead to facts. Right now you seem blind in Obama’s headlights. Roadkill aint pretty!!

fed up

March 11th, 2009
5:04 pm

Hey 2:52, you’re a real funny guy (?). Have you looked at Bookman’s blog lately? The latest was something like “good news, okay not really make something up”. That’s really intellectual. At least Wooten gives us something that’s really happening to debate about rather than Bookman’s which promote name calling and vicious attacks. Bookman then calls out anyone who doesn’t agree with his ideas but lets anyone who does agree with his idealogy say whatever they want. Why don’t you go on over there under your real name and blog away.

JWG

March 11th, 2009
11:05 pm

If enough right-wings hacks report that Obama promised to end earmarks, then it must be true, right?
Wrong. McCain promised to end earmarks, Obama said he would reform the procedure, he never promised to end earmarks altogether. . It has been reformed a great deal. The earmarks used to be secret, so there was no accountability. Somebody has to decide how the money gets spent. It’s wrong if elected officials do it, but okay if a bureaucrat does? 40% of the earmarks were for republicans who make up roughly 40% of Congress.

Sharecropper

March 12th, 2009
6:48 am

Don’t be ridiculous. Shut down the government in the midst of our crisis that threatens to destroy us? And McConnell voted against it? Did he remove his more than 50 million in earmarks before he cast a vote he knew would lose? How many earmarks did your pet lapdogs in Georgia put in there? You people are massive hypocrites. If politicians don’t want earmarks, the solution is so simple: don’t insert them into budget bills that have to be passed. Don’t put them in at all. Why is that concept so hard for Wooten?

Jaye

March 12th, 2009
7:53 am

Obama is President Passive. Mrs. Pelosi is the one wearing the Armani pants in that administration.

Atlas Shrugging

March 12th, 2009
7:55 am

Hey Dick..you forgot to mention that the 164 blogs on the Bookman post are primarly comprised of idiotic rhetoric between 4 05 5 left and right wing nuts..much like this post.

Chris Broe

March 12th, 2009
8:02 am

Who would blog at 3:52 am in the exact same tone she would post at 3:52 pm?

We're Doomed

March 12th, 2009
8:10 am

This Clown we have in the White House is going to bankrupt this country. One day real soon this nation is going to wake up and say, “My God, what have we done by putting this clown in office?”.

Churchill's MOM

March 12th, 2009
8:11 am

Jim are you on strike? Looks like the Liberal Press is after our girl again.

Levi, Bristol break up

It’s true. You probably don’t believe it.

A source close to Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah, mother to Tripp and her fiance, Levi Johnson, father of Tripp, told People the couple broke up a few weeks ago.

The mag reports:

“It kind of just happened,” says the source, referring to the split. “I thought they would stick it out. But I think they can work together to raise Tripp.”

“I’m not sure what caused [them to break up] – it’s common knowledge,” says another source who knows the family.

Despite the breakup, Levi still sees the couple’s son. Levi’s dad, Keith Johnston, told PEOPLE recently that his son is a devoted and “proud father.”

“As for how she is holding up after the split, the source tells PEOPLE: “Bristol’s doing okay. Tripp is fine.”

Big Bucks GOP

March 12th, 2009
8:17 am

Throngs of onlookers turned out Thursday morning to seek a glimpse of
Bernard L. Madoff as he arrived in federal court in New York to plead
guilty to operating a vast 20-year Ponzi scheme.

And there is a strong chance that he will not return home, The New York
Times’s Diana B. Henriques writes. Once Mr. Madoff makes his plea, the
legal burden shifts, and his lawyers must then persuade the court that
he should remain free until his sentencing, perhaps more than two
months away.

Meanwhile, the government’s investigation will continue, and the
fallout from the fraud will reverberate for years.

Big Bucks GOP

March 12th, 2009
8:18 am

India’s fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services closes registrations for
potential bidders on Thursday, kicking off a process to sell a majority
stake in the company caught in the country’s biggest corporate scandal

Big Bucks GOP

March 12th, 2009
8:18 am

A representative for the California Media Workers Guild said the union
is trying to cobble together an investor group to buy The San Francisco
Chronicle from Hearst, which has threatened to shut down the
money-losing newspaper.

Big Bucks GOP

March 12th, 2009
8:19 am

Andrew M. Cuomo, the attorney general of New York, claimed on Wednesday
that Merrill Lynch misled Congress over the timing of its plans to
award billions of dollars in bonuses last December.

Big Bucks GOP

March 12th, 2009
8:20 am

Bank of America’s finance chief, Joe Price, said this week that he and
most of his industry failed to foresee the economic meltdown in part
because they relied on backward-looking models.

Big Bucks GOP

March 12th, 2009
8:21 am

Baugur Group, the Icelandic retail investor that crashed along with its
nation’s banks, said Wednesday it would file for bankruptcy after a
court called time on its efforts to reorganize.

Big Bucks GOP

March 12th, 2009
8:22 am

The Securities and Exchange Commission aims to issue a proposal in
April to restore the so-called uptick rule and will look at other ways
to address short-selling in the stock market, the agency’s chairwoman,
Mary L. Schapiro, confirmed on Wednesday.