Right Thinking From The Left Coast
We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time. - Vince Lombardi

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Putin, Nyet

It seems there’s trouble in Putinland:

Thousands of people have held rallies across Russia protesting against what they describe as the government’s mismanagement of the economy.

The biggest demonstration took place in the eastern city of Vladivostok, where protesters demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

In the capital Moscow, police arrested a number of people at an unauthorised gathering by a radical party.

Meanwhile, government supporters also held their rallies across the country.

Protests on such a large scale were unthinkable just a few months ago as the economy boomed with record high oil prices and as the Kremlin tightened its grip over almost all aspects of society, the BBC’s Richard Galpin in Moscow says.

But now with the economy in deep trouble, there is real fear amongst ordinary people about what the future will hold, he says.

He adds that unemployment is rising rapidly, as are the prices of basic food and utilities.

So what happens next? More crackdowns, Soviet-style repression, and even more economic problems? And then what? This is not good.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 01/31/09 at 08:13 PM in Europe and the UK  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

This Bonus Is For You

Being a government contractor is good work if you can get it:

U.S. Senator Kit Bond shifted in his chair at a 2005 congressional hearing, poised with a question on national security. He turned to Treasury Secretary John Snow, who was seated at a witness table.

Was Snow sure, asked Bond, a Missouri Republican, that a Treasury Department computer on order for $8.9 million would help detect terrorist money laundering?

“Yes, absolutely,” Snow said.

A year later, in July 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department abandoned the project. The computer didn’t work. The department had spent $14.7 million — a 65 percent increase above the original budget — for nothing.

There was a final ignominy: Under the terms of the contract, Electronic Data Systems Corp., the vendor, collected a bonus of $638,126.

As the federal government’s $700 billion bailout of banks sputters, there’s an object lesson for the new administration of President Barack Obama: Federal departments, including Treasury itself, routinely squander tens of billions of dollars a year in taxpayer money as they farm out public business to private corporations.

Obama, like presidents before him, said during his bid for the White House that he wanted to curtail waste in government. With contracting, he faces a mismanaged system that accounts for almost 40 cents of every federal dollar spent outside of mandatory obligations such as Social Security and Medicare.
....

In many cases, bureaucrats are motivated to give millions of dollars in bonuses to contractors no matter how poorly a company performs because generosity with taxpayer money may help them land better-paying jobs after they leave the government.

Contractors on dozens of jobs at federal departments collected more than $8 billion in what federal auditors said were unwarranted bonuses from 1999 to 2005.

This stuff has been going on for a long time, and it’s happened under both Republican and Democratic administrations. This is partly why I can’t get myself as worked up over Obama’s spending plans as some others are. He’s a bit player in the grand scheme of things. The system was around long before he came along, and it will most likely still be there after he’s gone.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 01/31/09 at 03:07 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

A Parade Of Conspiracies

Leave it to the folks in the Middle Eastern press to “Warn” Obama of who will ultimately do him in:

No one can stand in the face of [the American Zionist lobby’s] unlimited greed. They want everything: wealth, power and advocates. And if the president does not work to their benefit, they will “politically assassinate” him or bring his life to an end. This is exactly what happened to late Democratic president, John Kennedy, in the ‘60s. So, we do not have to feel exceedingly optimistic.

And that’s from Egypt, an American “Ally.” I think many in the Islamic media and governments (not to mention Russia) are genuinely flummoxed that this guy with the middle name Hussein is now President of the evil racist Great Satan. It must be a fluke, they reason, therefore he will eventually be gotten rid of by the Great Zionist Conspiracy that really runs everything. We’ve proven the propagandists wrong, and this is all they’re left with.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 01/31/09 at 02:42 PM in The Press Machine  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

George, The Kenyan One

I’m sorry.  I’m sure there’s some amusement value in Barack Obama’s half-brother getting arrested on drug charges.  What is it with these Democrats and their brothers?  But the whole “Obama lets his brother rot in crime and poverty” line never resonated with me in the first place.

Still, there’s some comfort in seeing the tradition of Billy Carter and Roger Clinton maintained.

Update: Of course, it could be worse.  With the Bushes, we elected the embarrassing brother.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/31/09 at 06:32 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Poling The Failed State

Funny how Iraq has slipped from the news as things have improved.  You wouldn’t know it, but they’re having elections today.  And it’s not going badly.

Iraqis are electing new provincial councils in the first nationwide vote in four years, with the Sunni minority expected to turn out in strength.
After a slow start, correspondents said voting was brisk, including among Sunni Muslims, who largely boycotted the last elections.

The vote is seen as a test of Iraq’s stability ahead of a general election due later this year.

Security is tight and thousands of observers are monitoring the polls.

Up to 15 million Iraqis are eligible to vote.

“This is a great chance for us, a great day, to be able to vote freely without any pressure or interference,” a Baghdad voter identified as Hamid told Reuters news agency

There has been some violence and eight candidates were killed.  But I don’t think there’s any question that this is a good day for Iraq and could possibly lead to a brighter future if Iraqis become more involved in politics than violence.

If ... and while the fragile peace is kept by US soldiers, it’s still an if ... if Iraq emerges from this in any reasonable form, it has to go down as one of the few positive aspects of the Bush presidency.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/31/09 at 06:20 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Bipartisan Skirmish

I have to agree with Matt Welsh:

I guess it helps to not have an electoral dog in the hunt, but this focus on the politics of stimulus opposition strikes me as bizarre. First of all, it’s January. There is no election anytime soon. Secondly, while polls for the stimulus have been more favorable than they have been for the always-unpopular bailout, the numbers ain’t that great for this giveaway, either. And I guess what I’m more interested in is whether throwing $819 billion (not including interest) at various pet projects, localized bailouts and targeted tax breaks is actually good policy. On that, I find House Republicans more convincing than the Dems, even if (as Larison and others rightly point out) it also reminds us of “how gutlessly the Republican leadership acquiesced to whatever the Bush administration wanted and how they only managed to discover some interest in resisting massive expenditures when someone from the other party is in the White House.” Better late than never, etc., especially if you don’t confuse newfound opposition with anything like reliable principle.

The other factor at play here, which Democratic ears seem unable to detect, is that Obama is skillfully turning the meaning of the word “bipartisan” into “the coalition that agrees with my magnanimous self.” All this “political suicide” talk serves his conscious goal of peeling off enough scared and/or squishy Republicans to turn his already impressive majority into something positively Reaganesque. So that he can even more smoothly carry out the urgent bipartisan business of installing Big Labor in the West Wing.

Republicans told us for years that Democratic opposition to War on Terror legislation would cripple them in elections.  It didn’t quite work out that way.  Even if an economic recovery is on the way, it will not be obvious until at least late 2009 and possibly not until 2010.  It’s possible that there will be little political price to pay even if this goes badly for the GOP.

Moreover, just focusing on the politics, the Republicans need to set a tone early in this administration of principled opposition.  They have to put some space between themselves and the Democrats, especially on fiscal issues.  If America gets to 2010 or 2012 and is faced with an electoral choice between Democrats and Democrats, they’ll vote Democrat.  That’s not to say the GOP needs to be nasty or pointlessly oppose the President, as the Democrats did with Bush.  There are issues on which they can work with the President.  But there’s a huge difference between working together and rolling over.

For me, opposing the stimulus is simple.  I think it’s lousy legislation that has the potential to create $300 billion in new spending constituencies, federalize education and healthcare and tighten the people’s relationship with their government.

Cooperating could, possibly, pay off in 2010.  But long term, it’s a strategy that will only serve to further empower the Democrats and bury the idea of limited government for good.

I can not countenance that.  I think we’ve enough of short-term thinking from this party.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/30/09 at 10:55 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Steele Machine

Well, this is a step in the right direction:

It’s official. The new face of the National Republican Party is Michael Steele, a 50-year-old African American, the first in the history of Abraham Lincoln’s party.

At a time when Barack Obama is serving as the first African American president in history, the move is an interesting play to corral minority voters who will be crucial to a Republican comeback.

But Steele is actually a Republican. A foe of abortion, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and native of that state regaled the Republican Convention in St. Paul, Minn., last year with his calls for offshore drilling. He got the whole convention floor to chant, “Drill, baby, drill,” a call that echoed on the campaign trail whenever vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin referred to it.

I disagree with Steele on quite a bit.  But I liked him when I lived in Maryland and I like him as the head of the GOP.  And not just because he’s black. Here’s an op-ed he wrote in the wake of November catastrophe:

Most Americans today see a Republican Party that defines itself by what it is against rather than what it is for. We can tell you why public schools aren’t working, but not articulate a compelling vision for how we’ll better educate children. We’re well equipped to rail against tax increases; but can’t begin to explain how we’ll help the poor. We exclude far better than we welcome.

Things were different as recently as 20 years ago. Back then, Ronald Reagan made it cool to be a Republican—it wasn’t just his specific policies, but the timeless truths he so eloquently gave voice to, and upon which his policies were based. That’s the Republican Party we must re-establish.

We must articulate a positive vision for America’s future that speaks to Americans’ hopes, concerns and needs. It’s time to stop defining ourselves by what we are not, and tell voters what we believe, how we’ll lead, and where we’ll go; how we Republicans will make America better; how we’ll make their families more prosperous, their children better educated, their parents more secure, and all of us healthier, safer and stronger.

Granted, you could run anyone from Barry Goldwater to Jesse Jackson on that rhetoric.  But he seems to have a glimmering, a faint understanding of what Republicans need to be doing.  They don’t need to be screaming empty rhetoric about Reagan and tax cuts.  And they don’t need to be compromising with the Democratic shark to get bitten in half rather than swallowed whole.  What they need to be doing is applying conservative principles to modern issues.  Tax reform and free trade to boost our economy, rather than deficit spending.  A carbon tax to deal with global warming instead of command-and-control Washington diktats.  Freer access to insurance rather than expansion of SCHIP.

In fact, I think Mike Steele would be the perfect person to execute an idea I’ve had simmering in my brain for a long time.  I think the Republicans should set up a shadow government, much like the shadow government that exists in Britain.  For every action that Obama takes, the Republicans could respond by articulating the action they would take if in power.  We’d see a series of statements like so:

While we still question the theory of manmade global warming, we agree with the President that the nation needs to decrease its use of fossil fuels and gradually move to better, cleaner energies.  However, we respectfully disagree with his plan to have the Federal government pick and choose technologies, to lavish subsidies on politically-connected interest and create a cap-and-trade system that we fear will become a mire of influence peddling.  Instead, we propose a carbon tax—balanced in the budget by a cut in marginal rates and business taxes.  This will make fossil fuels slightly less palatable and give the market a nudge toward finding better energy while still retaining the freedom the market needs to explore all possible solutions.

Or for the issue most in mind right now:

We agree with the President that our economy needs a stimulus from its government to avoid an ever-worsening cycle of fiscal contraction. However, the present package seems focused on special interest spending.  We believe this will be ineffective in stimulating the economy and potentially hazardous as it continues to increase our already formidable debt.

We are willing to countenance spending if measures are taken to help struggling businesses—and not just politically connected businesses.  We propose that we allow America’s business to opt out of the current byzantine tax system into a revenue-neutral flat corporate tax.  Such a tax would free them from the burden of tax compliance and allow them to make business decisions for business reasons rather than tax reasons.  We further propose that the Democratic party give a long-overdue approval to the Colombia FTA, which will open a new market for America to export its goods to.

Anyway, it’s just a little dream I have.  And I think Steele would be perfect for it.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/30/09 at 08:34 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Most Ethical HHS

Oops.  I can’t copy and paste from ABC’s blog.  The gist of the story is that Tom Daschle was lent a car and a chauffeur for several years and did not declare it as income.  What is with these Democrats not paying their taxes?

I’d be more than happy to see Dachle go down in flames, given his support for socializing medicine through the back door with such things as a Federal Health Board.  That’s the Board that would make healthcare decisions in place of you doctor..  But I do wonder if it’s worth expending the political capital.  Obama can find anyone to socialize medicine for him, possibly someone less buffoonish.  Hell, he could do it through the backdoor in an economic stimulus package.

Still.  I have to wonder how many more of these ethical violations are going to turn up.  First Geitner, now this.  It’s not taking the Dems long to get back to their old bad ways.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/30/09 at 07:53 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

‘We’ll Keep Shooting Ourselves In The Foot Until It Hurts”

While we’re on the subject of Republican stupidity, there’s this to ponder:

Republicans in Washington and New Hampshire are mounting a full-court press to keep Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) in the Senate and out of the Obama administration, aides and senators said Friday.

But if he does take the commerce secretary job, they want a commitment that New Hampshire’s Democratic governor will appoint a Republican senator so the party holds at least 41 seats, the minimum needed to sustain filibusters. No such commitments have been made, even as Granite State Republican sources tell Politico they are worried Gregg will take the Cabinet job if offered it by Obama.

“I think it would be a loss to the Senate of a great mind and somebody who I think we need a lot as we chart our way through economic challenge,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told Politico on Friday.

I hope the governor of New Hampshire tells them to stuff it. What if the Democrats said the same thing? Ben Smith adds more:

“bipartisanship" is as much a brand as any conceivable Washington reality. These House Republicans, as is traditional when a caucus shrinks, are more conservative, and in safer seats, than their predecessors. The notion that they’d wind up anything other than extremely rare allies of the Democratic President was always unlikely. Obama doesn’t need their votes. But his visible, cable-television-grabbing bipartisan gestures are aimed at cementing his hold on that brand, and ensuring when Republicans and Democrats go their separate ways, Republicans are seen as the partisan ones.

It’s not a particularly novel tactic, but it places the House Republicans in an uncomfortable spot. As Chris Cillizza wrote in a very smart piece today, their party is in danger of being defined as pure, intransigent, Rush-Limbaugh-style opposition, and Obama’s visit to the Hill may give their image a further shove down that road.

This is why Obama can (for now) steamroll over any Republican opposition. With conciliatory gestures from Rick Warren to Judd Gregg, Obama can make the argument that he, at least, doesn’t play favorites. To put it another way, remember how so many (including those who commented on this very blog) rightfully said that the Republicans lost by being unwilling to budge on social issues? Economic issues can be the same thing. Or, as John Cole says:

I understand the psychological need for the Republicans to feel relevant, and I understand their opposition to spending, but really, we would be so much better off if the Republicans just took a little breather, got themselves pulled together and composed, and stopped being the crazy uncle at the holiday dinner ranting insanely about everything. These guys need to get their act together and figure out that the “loyal” in loyal opposition is fealty to the country first, and not the party.

If they really understood that, their guy might have won, and be the one making budget decisions right now.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 01/30/09 at 05:48 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

SCHIPS In The Night

Speaking of things conservatives should be opposed to, here’s the Galen Institute on the passage of SCHIP:

The bill changes the rules of the game, making it much easier for states like New York to put children from families making up to $84,800 a year on this publicly-funded program.

In addition, generous “income disregards” will be allowed, which means that a family can subtract things such as rent or mortgage payments, heating, or food costs from its income in calculating eligibility. That means that children in families making well over $100,000 a year will be eligible for SCHIP.

If your goal were to get as many people on public coverage as possible and to have children grow up thinking they get their health insurance from the government, this would be a good way to start.

Of course, if Hawaii is any indication, it may not last. But here again is something where the Republicans could be working to reduce the cost as long as the bill is in effect. But I don’t think they’re that smart.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 01/30/09 at 05:33 PM in Health Care  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

We All Help The Terrists

Bruce Schneier says everybody needs to calm down.

Let’s all stop and take a deep breath. By its very nature, communications infrastructure is general. It can be used to plan both legal and illegal activities, and it’s generally impossible to tell which is which. When I send and receive email, it looks exactly the same as a terrorist doing the same thing. To the mobile phone network, a call from one terrorist to another looks exactly the same as a mobile phone call from one victim to another. Any attempt to ban or limit infrastructure affects everybody. If India bans Google Earth, a future terrorist won’t be able to use it to plan; nor will anybody else. Open Wi-Fi networks are useful for many reasons, the large majority of them positive, and closing them down affects all those reasons. Terrorist attacks are very rare, and it is almost always a bad trade-off to deny society the benefits of a communications technology just because the bad guys might use it too.

Communications infrastructure is especially valuable during a terrorist attack. Twitter was the best way for people to get real-time information about the attacks in Mumbai. If the Indian government shut Twitter down - or London blocked mobile phone coverage - during a terrorist attack, the lack of communications for everyone, not just the terrorists, would increase the level of terror and could even increase the body count. Information lessens fear and makes people safer.

None of this is new. Criminals have used telephones and mobile phones since they were invented. Drug smugglers use airplanes and boats, radios and satellite phones. Bank robbers have long used cars and motorcycles as getaway vehicles, and horses before then. I haven’t seen it talked about yet, but the Mumbai terrorists used boats as well. They also wore boots. They ate lunch at restaurants, drank bottled water, and breathed the air. Society survives all of this because the good uses of infrastructure far outweigh the bad uses, even though the good uses are - by and large - small and pedestrian and the bad uses are rare and spectacular. And while terrorism turns society’s very infrastructure against itself, we only harm ourselves by dismantling that infrastructure in response - just as we would if we banned cars because bank robbers used them too.

We need to ban society. Obviously it provides all the tools terrorists need. Then we will be safe from ourselves.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 01/30/09 at 05:20 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Smart Opposition

Another view of how Republicans could take advantage of the Mother of all Stimuluses:

After all the Republican soul searching in the wake of two devastating elections they unify around small government and tax cuts.  Truly innovative.

Now imagine if the GOP did not have such a knee-jerk opposition to spending and actually thought strategically.  The lede could have been “Republicans voted against the measure because it did not include enough large infrastructure projects and lacked imagination.” Instead of fighting Dems on the dollar amount of spending, knowing that we would lose that fight in any event, we could have stood with Obama and called for large high-tech infrastructure projects that would employ large numbers of minorities in construction and white collar suburbanites in development.  These projects (high speed rail corridors as an example) would also capture the imagination of the green close-in suburbs that are turning viciously against the GOP and have the strategic benefit of jamming up the young Dem members (Webb/Warner/Hagan/McCaskill) who depended on these voters for their victories.

As I noted below, we live in different times. There’s blind opposition, and then there’s smart opposition. As long as the money is going to be spent anyway, why not work with Blue Dog Democrats and use the money for something that will actually create jobs and maybe do something useful for a community? The larger number of voters who live in suburbs and cities that are turning Blue no matter how much Republicans might wish otherwise would appreciate it and remember those Republicans that helped them get jobs in the Worst Recession Ever. And the Republicans could actually maybe start winning elections again.

Or we conservatives could be just as obstinate as leftists and nothing would get done, and millions of people would still be out of work. But hey, at least we’d be broke and jobless on principal!

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 01/30/09 at 05:00 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Splitting the Partisan Hairs

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Obama’s biggest problem is going to be his own party.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she didn’t come to Washington to be “bipartisan”, one day after shuttling through an $819 economic stimulus bill without a single Republican vote.

“I didn’t come here to be partisan, I didn’t come here to be bipartisan,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference. “I came here, as did my colleagues, to be nonpartisan, to work for the American people, to do what is in their interest.”

Pelosi expressed no regrets over passing the stimulus measure without any GOP support. Republicans followed their leaders in objecting to the bill on the grounds that it was put together without GOP input, and that it would not do enough to stimulate the economy.

...

And she quickly defended her handling of the bill, which was criticized by Republicans and some Democrats as too one-sided.

“We reached out to Republicans every step of the way, and they know it,” Pelosi said. “They know it.”

“They were part of the original bill,” she added. “Some of the tax provisions were their suggestions. They had what they asked for in terms of committee markups. They had a rule on the floor that gave them plenty of opportunity to make changes. They just didn’t have the ideas that had the support of the majority.

“When you can’t win on policy, you always turn to process, and then you turn to personalities,” Pelosi said.

In contrast to her claim that her intent was to take a nonpartisan approach to passing the stimulus bill, a top aide to the Speaker struck a sharply partisan tone earlier in the day when he accused the GOP of acting in a “partisan and irresponsible manner” in objecting to the bill.

“There’s a pattern here of Republican economic mismanagement and Democrats stepping up to do what’s needed for the good of the country while Republicans acted in a partisan and irresponsible manner,” Brendan Daly, Pelosi’s top spokesman, wrote in a memo distributed to reporters Thursday morning.

Remember how Pelosi defines “non-partisanship”: everyone lays down and gives the Democrats everything they want.

I realize the GOP has little to stand on here, given the way they—Delay especially—treated the Democrats.  But I thought the Democrats were supposed to be better people, supposed to be all lovey-dovey and “nonpartisan” and cooperate and if we had disagreement we’d all sit around in a circle and talk it through and go out for sundaes afterward with the hot butterscotch on the side in case anyone is allergic.

Hurriedly ramming a package through Congress that shells out mountains of borrowed cash to special interests wasn’t exactly what the country was thinking of when they voted for “change”.  The Democrats call this “doing what’s needed for the good of country”.  I call it turning the pork barrel over and eating from the other end.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/30/09 at 09:11 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Fuzzy Math Of The Shock Doctrine

You remember that idiotic book The Shock Doctrine?  It posited that conservatives take advantage of economic crises to advance a free market agenda.  I introduce you to the real Shock Doctrine, the economic stimulus:

Critics and supporters alike said that by its sheer scope, the measure could profoundly change the federal government’s role in education, which has traditionally been the responsibility of state and local government.

Responding in part to a plea from Democratic governors earlier this month, Congress allocated $79 billion to help states facing large fiscal shortfalls maintain government services, and especially to avoid cuts to education programs, from pre-kindergarten through higher education.

...

In recent years the federal government has contributed 9 percent of the nation’s total spending on public schools, with states and local districts financing the rest. Washington has contributed 19 percent of spending on higher education. The stimulus package would raise those federal proportions significantly.

The Department of Education’s discretionary budget for the 2008 fiscal year was about $60 billion. The stimulus bill would raise that to about $135 billion this year, and to about $146 billion in 2010. Other federal agencies would administer about $20 billion in additional education-related spending.

“This really marks a new era in federal education spending,” said Edward Kealy, executive director of the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition of 90 education groups.

This also exposes the lie that is the number $819 billion.  Raise your hand if you think the Democrats, after raising the DOE budget to $146 billion, are going to cut it back to $60 billion.  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  If we even assume the same level of funding through the first five years, that adds over $200 billion to the price tag of the stimulus.

I blame Bush!  No, really:

Those increases respond to longtime demands by teachers unions, school boards and others that Washington fully finance the mandates laid out for states and districts in the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, and in the main federal law regulating special education.

“We’ve been arguing that the federal government hasn’t been living up to its commitments, but these increases go a substantial way toward meeting them,” said Joel Packer, a lobbyist for the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union.

SCHIP, education, state budgets.  The floodgates were opened and now the Democratic flood is pouring through.  And, as we’ve all learned, once you create a government program, it never goes away.  There are emergency measures that FDR passed for the Great Depression that are still in place.  The emergency phone tax to fund the Spanish-American lasted 108 years.

The projections that the stimulus will peak in 2010 and slowly decline are pure garbage.  Are the Democrats going to cut infrastructure spending and throw construction workers out on the street?  Are they going to cut the education budget back to its 2008 levels?  Are they going to cut the states off from aide?  No, no and no.  Once you create a budget line item, you create a constituency who will fight tooth and nail to keep it.

The stimulus bill peaks at a cost of about $300 billion in 2010.  If you really want to know how much it’s going to cost, estimate that spending will at least stay at that level and probably rise.  That puts the ten-year cost at $3+ trillion.  That may sound crazy.  But, considering the new budget line items we’re creating, it sounds about right.

It’s no wonder the Democrats want to pass this bill quickly.  They’re hoping we won’t realize what’s happening.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/30/09 at 06:02 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, January 29, 2009

59-0

Incidentally, Blago is gone for good. Not a single senator supported him.

Nor should they have.

To be honest, I’m kind of going to miss they easy blog fodder he was providing.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/29/09 at 08:40 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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