Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obama headed for a one-term presidency?

Democratic pols like Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York think voters don’t care about pork in the stimulus bill, but lots of now-former Republican members of Congress know better.

Earmarks are indeed, in Sen. Tom Coburn’s evocative term, “the gateway drug to federal spending addiction” and the basic ingredient of the culture of corruption in Washington that has driven the approval rating of Congress into the single digits.

Growing public awareness of the deeply porkified content of the stimulus package is the chief driver behind the plunge in a mere two weeks from modestly strong initial approval to only a third of those surveyed continuing to support passage.

That awareness is also why Rasmussen Reports this week found a virtual dead heat between the two parties in the generic congressional voting survey, with 40 percent saying they plan to vote Democrat in their congressional balloting and 39 percent going Republican.

“This marks the lowest level of support for the Democrats in tracking history and is the closest the two parties have been on the generic ballot,” Rasmussen said of a survey that points to the party most likely to gain a majority in the next election. This may be the best single piece of electoral news the GOP has received in three years.

Read the whole thing.

It's Lincoln's 200th Birthday

Since his death by an assassin's bullet, politicians of various stripes have been attempting to cloak themselves in his greatness. The current president is rapturously compared to the Great Emancipator because...umm...well they are both kinda tall and thinish...ummm...thats about it I guess. No doubt the media will diligently remind us today of the profound significance of having a (half) black president from Illinois on this joyous anniversary.

We should not allow the intellectual corruption of the chattering classes dissuade us from our appreciation of the the greatness of Lincoln however. No doubt they will focus on trivialities with the sole goal of ennobling our current commander in chief. They day however belongs to a far better man. That is no knock on Obama, you can count the men better than Lincoln on a hand that is missing several fingers. He spoke to our national soul. His words are the poetry of modern democracy.

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."
Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865.

More importantly, he saved the Union. Think on that for a while. None of this would be here...but for his resolve. Without Lincoln we would not have been able to assist the democracies of europe in the their moments of peril during the twentieth century. Dictatorships would be the order of the day, with the few remaining islands of freedom desperately trying to hold out just a little longer.

We who are today free, throughout the world, owe a debt to this man. Our world is one where liberty is (for the most part) advancing not retreating. That is not to say it was all the work of one man. Others with names like Roosevelt, Churchill, Truman, Reagan,Thatcher and dare I say it....Bush ...have been willing to make the sacrifices required to preserve freedom and extend it's reach. We should thank god for their vision and fortitude. Their perseverance in the cause of liberty, while others counseled retreat or surrender, literally saved the world.

New York Ponders a New Rent Control Law.

The always delicious Megan McArdle puts it like this:

In times like this, it’s easy to believe that if you laid all the economists in the world end to end, they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion. But here’s one of the things that basically everyone, left to right, agrees on: rent control is the surest way to destroy a city’s housing stock short of aerial bombing.

Gaza War Leads to a Drop in Suppor for Hamas.

There is a commonly held view that taking military action against terrorists has the counterproductive effect of strengthening their popular support. Recent polling data suggest that Israel’s recent action in Gaza had precisely the opposite effect. It turns out that military defeat (Israeli forces killed hundreds of Hamas fighters and damaged its infrastructure, while taking few losses of their own) actually lowered Hamas’ support among Palestinians.

The article is here.

True Cost of Stimulus: 3.27 Trillion.

All of the major news outlets are reporting that the stimulus bill voted out of conference committee last night has a meager $789 billion price tag. This number is pure fantasy. No one believes that the increased funding for programs the left loves like Head Start, Medicaid, COBRA, and the Earned Income Tax Credit is in anyway temporary. No Congress under control of the left will ever cut funding for these programs. So what is the true cost of the stimulus if these spending increases are made permanent?

Read the whole thing.

Joaquin Phoenix On Letterman...

I think the clip speaks for itself.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hard times for CAIR.

You'd think the Council on American-Islamic Relations would be savoring the results of an election that favors its agenda. Instead, it's having to do major damage control.

The marginalization of CAIR, which has enjoyed astonishing access to official Washington, comes after the successful prosecution of leaders of a U.S. Muslim charity that funneled millions to Hamas terrorists. CAIR and its co-founder Omar Ahmed were named unindicted co-conspirators in that Holy Land Foundation case.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, moreover, was caught on tape participating in a meeting with Hamas leaders to disguise payments as charity. During the trial, the FBI described CAIR as a front group for Islamic extremists.

It just gets worse for CAIR. Former clients of the group are suing it for fraud. The Muslims say CAIR, which claims to be an advocate for Muslim rights, extorted thousands of dollars from them in a scam in which CAIR said it would help them get U.S. citizenship.

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tomorrow's That Never Were.

Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

I don't think I ever realized how deliciously violent this song is.

Sticking It to Rahm.

"Rahm told the president that he can take care of Congress," a senior Republican reported to me. "He said, ‘These guys will roll over, they're afraid of being called the party of No. Believe me, I know them. They'll be easy.’"

The day before the vote, Emanuel sent the president to the Hill to meet with the House Republicans for a generous 90-minute question-and-answer session that was well-received by the members. "He's charming," was the universal verdict, one prominent Republican told me. “The president was patient, he gave us plenty of time. But he didn't convince anyone. After he left, we looked at each other, and said, ‘How can they stick him with this garbage?’”

Read the whole thing.