Obama plan has nothing to do with stimulating our economy

$150 million for honeybee insurance? Are you kidding me?

This bill has been all about party building for DEMs by Obama as a thanks for electing him. Clinton tried the same thing.

Hard core GOP nuts like me were willing to give Obama an opportunity to do what’s right for America, but he chose what is best for the DEM party first. He would have won GOP support with federal funds for real “shovel ready” projects, but less than 20% of the bill is even about infrastructure.

So many of the inclusions are about general bugetary items for established federal institutions and programs and should never have been part of a stimulus package to begin with. Considered singulary by GOP legislators, they may have been voted through as legit budget items. So why the anxiousness by DEMs to move through pork barrel spending that have nothing to do with stimulating our economy?

Obama and his DEM colleagues are not stupid and have to know this.
So whats it really about? Eleven DEMs voted against the Pelosi-Obama bill along with all GOP members of the House. Wouldn’t there have been at least one or two GOP pols who would have felt the Pelosi-Obama package would help the economy?

There are no other reasons except those that serve DEM pols and Obama personally.

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The Good News from the Pelosi Package

No GOP votes and 11 Democrat votes from Blue Dogs. To be sure, the left will use that as they will but the numbers don’t lie. Some voters from the great middle will take note and realize that there was something dreadfully wrong about the bill. It may serve as a dual awakening of sorts. For Obama it may be his lesson that he won’t be able to sustain his facade of bipartisan ship. Senate Dems may see that this bill is worse than flawed and agree to cut out the fat that serves as party building for themselves.

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This post was written by bobsikes on January 29, 2009

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METS: Are the Mets making a stealth effort to get Manny Ramirez?

And do Jerry Manuel’s comments let the cat out of the bag?

“But that’s [general manager] Omar [Minaya], that’s the Wilpons, their thing,” Manuel said to a group of reporters yesterday at the Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen in Manhattan, where he was helping unload supplies for City Harvest, a group that provides supplies for the needy around the city. “I’m like the fans: If we get him, cool. If not, we’ll deal with it. We have a pretty good team.”

Manuel managed the White Sox when Albert Belle and Frank Thomas were there, so he’s accustomed to dealing with star players who can be difficult to handle. Manuel said that Ramirez’s bat would take care of any perceived problems.

David Wright’s statement of support and Jeff Wilpon’s denial leave it less than certain what the Mets will do, and it could be part of the sort of high stakes poker played by Scott Boras. It’s a sure bet that Boras would love to draw the Mets into a bidding war with the Dodgers for Ramirez while at the same time getting the Mets to resign Oliver Perez.

At any rate, I admire the Wilpons and Minaya from not getting into a bidding blitz. The beginning of spring training is over the near horizon and will seem like its upon us after Sunday’s Super Bowl. It’s easy to see why the Mets can feel they can stand pat with the players they have. Aside from his curious acquisition of multiple left-handed light hitting outfielders, Minaya’s done well. He took care of the last two innings in a manner which exceeded expectations and the pieces are there to refit the bullpen in a new, more confident image.

But virtually nothing was done for the line-up and the bench. Alex Cora is a net equal to Damon Easley and there are way too many lefty-hitting outfielders to choose from. It appears that fo the right side the club is depending on Fernando Tatis to have the same kind of year along with the development of Nick Evans power.

Its not hard to see what the acquisition of Ramirez would mean in the fourth hole batting in front of Wright and Delgado. Let’s face it, Ramirez is the most dangerous right handed hitter to play in the big leagues since, well, maybe never. The size of ballparks has changed in the NL and teams can get out slugged more frequently than in previuos years. No wonder teams carry 13 pitchers.

But maybe its that the Mets do not have the money to compete as they once did before Jack Madoff. With the first morning of pitchers and catchers maybe two weeks away, the cards that the Mets have are playing will be flipped up on the table. If neither Ramirez or Perez or at least a Ben Sheets is not signed, then it will be clear the poker hand they had wasn’t very good.

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MSM covers for Obama as Axelrod, Emanuel and Jarrett served with supeonas

From Doug Ross via American Thinker:

David Axelrod, Obama’s “Karl Rove” and the biggest surprise on the list. Obama’s team issued a report in December that said his staff had no “inappropriate contact” with Blago, so the inclusion of Axelrod is a bit of a shock.

Valerie Jarrett, Blago’s “Senate Candidate 1”, a real estate management executive and political hack of the first order. Her ties to failed and fraudulent real estate deals in Chicago were the subject of numerous investigations and should have instantly disqualified her for any public office.

Rahm Emanuel was already deeply involved in the case with some reports describing as many as 21 conversations with Blago’s office during the period in question.

Ross’ lede was fabulous:

“And on the fifth day supeonas were served to Obama’s senior staff.”

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Lowering the bar for future Presidentia nominees

From Jennifer Rubin:

It is worth noting that the Senators who blithely vote to confirm Panetta — and whomever else the popular new President sends up — are setting the bar for future presidents and their nominees. From Geithner we learned that lack of candor and chiseling the Treasury aren’t disqualifiers for a top economic post. From Eric Holder we learned that poor judgment and fibbing to Congress are no barriers to becoming Attorney General. And from Panetta we are learning that “expertise” is in the eye of the beholder and entirely optional for key national security slots.

This of course assumes that DEM senators end their hypocricy and would conduct themselves in such a way which allows this.

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Kirk Radomski’s not telling the truth about Dwight Gooden

The late Tommy Mckenna took the urine sample from Dwight Gooden in the clubhouse at Huggins-Stengal Field in old downtown St. Petersburg, Florida one morning in March of 1987, It was the fateful test that revealed Gooden had been using cocaine. It had been part of his contract at the time. He could have said no, not today, but he gave Mckenna the specimen. Days later his public battle with cocaine would become public. Doc had to know at the time the test would be positive. McKenna maintained for many years afterwards that Gooden’s willingness to take the test had been a cry for help.

Gooden returned to the Mets in June after serving a suspension. As part of his return, he was required to take mandatory tests administered by the commissioner. Tests were adminsitered both on the road and at home. A witness for the ballclub was required along with the commissioner’s adminsitrator. From the years 1987 through the end of the 1991 season that person was either me or my boss, Head Trainer Steve Garland. We signed a document after Gooden supplied the sample in our presence. No person would have been able to swith a sample afterwards as they were sealed in our presence and we signed the sealed packaging afterwards.

I was let go after the 1991 season and Gooden’s time with the Mets ended after the 1994 season – Garland’s last. Sam McCrary served as assistant – a man I know well. Although I was not there, I’m comfortable in saying that Garland – or Gooden for that matter would have allowed anyone besides Garland or McCrary to witness Gooden’s drug test for the ballclub. That person would never have been a man who served as a clubhouse attendant as Kirk Radomski is quoted as saying in an interview with ESPN.

Garland was extremely protective and fond of Gooden. I shared those same feelings and I imagine that McCrary was the same. He also cared for Gooden in the minor leagues. Needless to say, its unlikely that Garland would ever have anyone besides himself or McCrary to witness Gooden’s test.

While it is true that Gooden sadly lapsed into cocaine uee during the 1994 season that resulted in a positive test administered by the commissioner’s office, Radomski’s interview opens a can of worms of ramifications of which are impossible to calculate. He’s lost his credibility. As he’s not telling the truth about Doc Gooden, its easy to ask whether of not he’s telling the truth about about anything else.

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A word on teen auto fatalities from my hometown paper

We’ve had an alarming number losses of some wonderful teenagers in out little town over the last five years. Just this last Thanksgiving one of our senior football players died in a crash. Please read this in it’s entirity. Here’s the major points:

• A 16-year-old at the wheel has a higher rate of involvement in fatal crashes. A 16-year-old makes driving errors, exceeds speed limits, runs off roads and rolls his or her vehicle over at higher rates than older drivers.

• They’re riding with other teens. Forty percent of 16-year-old drivers involved in deadly single-vehicle crashes in 2003 had one or more teen passengers. Teens’ risk of dying nearly doubles with the addition of one male passenger, the insurance institute says. The risk more than doubles with two or more young men in the car.

• They’re in teen-driven cars after dark. Teen drivers are three times as likely as drivers 20 and older to be involved in fatal crashes between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., the institute says, and 16-year-olds die at night at twice the rate as in the daytime.

• The young driver loses control. Driver error is involved in 77 percent of fatal crashes involving 16-year-old drivers but in less than 60 percent of crashes with drivers 20 and older. About a third of all 16-year-old drivers and a quarter of 17-to-19-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes rolled their vehicles. Rollovers often occur when a driver overcorrects and runs off the road. Inexperienced teens are most likely to do so.

• They’re in an unsuitable vehicle. Because they’re in the age group most likely to be involved in a crash, teens should occupy vehicles least likely to roll and most protective when they crash, highway safety experts say. Yet teens often wind up in small cars that are especially vulnerable when hit by larger vehicles.

• They drive in more dangerous regions. Eight of the 10 states with the highest teen-driver fatal crash-involvement rates are in the South.

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Obama shows weakness in Limbaugh quip to congressional REPs

It took less than a week before Barack Obama showed weakness. By evoking the name of radio icon Rush Limbaugh to Republican congressional members, the new president displayed not only a lack of sophistication in philosophy but also in personal weakness.

To play the Limbaugh card to the face of Republican legislators demonstrates just how little he respects and understands positions contrary to his own. Its one thing to associate the radio giant with voters but quite another to believe that seasoned and hardened pols march in lock step to what Limbaugh says on the radio. This was a disturbing lack of savvy in this demonstration and revealed desperation when faced with anything but adulation.

Those GOP members of congress must have left unimpressed, but also concerned that the new president has a tendency to see things through an extremely narrow set of core perceptions. It signals that he will seek out the extreme left of his party at signs of pressure. But it indicates, too, that he may also lash out unnecessarily in a manner which favors our enemies. The later should be of the greatest concern to the people of our nation no matter their political leanings.

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“a massive transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected”

This marvelously blunt point comes from Instapundit via Mark Steyn.

And why might two of the right’s most respected writers say so?

This from another noteworthy online reporter, Jim Geraghty

Here are the types of spending priorities you find in an examination of the text of the Economic Recovery Bill:

An additional $300 million for roads on Indian reservations.

An additional $100 million for the Lead Hazard Reduction Program.

An additional $44 million for “construction, repair, and improvement” of Department of Agriculture buildings, and an additional amount for “Buildings and Facilities” and an additional $209 million for work on “deferred maintenance at Agricultural Research Service facilities.”

An additional $245 million to “maintain and modernize the information technology system at the Farm Service Agency.”

An additional $1 billion (with a B) to the Census Bureau for “Periodic Censuses and Programs.”

An additional $650 million for the Department of Commerce’s Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Program, to be used for “coupons and related activities, including but not limited to education, consumer support and outreach, as deemed appropriate and necessary to ensure a timely conversion of analog to digital television.”

An additional $400 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for “operations, research and facilities.”

An additional $150 million to NASA for “aeronautics.”

An additional $4.5 billion (with a B) to improve, repair and modernize Department of Defense facilities, restore and modernize Army barracks, and invest in the energy efficiency of Department of Defense facilities.

An additional $1.7 billion (with a B) for projects to address critical deferred maintenance needs within the National Park System.

An additional $50 million to the National Endowment for the Arts “to be distributed in direct grants to fund arts projects and activities which preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn.”

Recall that all of this is “additional” funding on top of what was appropriated to these programs last year.

Geraghty’s pork barrel pay-offs disguised as stimulus totals is $4,639,000,000 – sans the 4.5 billion that went to DOD housing upgrades! That’s right: BILLION. And that’s just what Geraghty found. It does not include the $100 million John Boehner found for condoms.

If the Democrats and Obama are sincere, then their focus is on construction, but not infrastructure. The NEA thing is clear political patronage for DEMs rich lefty pals. But why all the focus on construction of federal buildings? Why not infrasctructure -roads, bridges, airports, harbor upgrades- of which has both short-term and long-term benefits? If they’re sincere, then they are fools for not knowing the difference.

So what if its the other option and they are not sincere? Is it that its a pay-off to federal employees whom are typically DEM voters. Or is it that Robert Reich let out of the bag yesterday, and they want to target contractors of the DEMs choice for their own future benefit i.e. votes (union) and contributions i.e. well you get the rest.

“….a transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected”

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The alarming prosecution of Geert Wilders in Holland

See Atlas Shrugs who reports on stories like few online do.

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This post was written by bobsikes on January 23, 2009

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