March 14, 2008
POLITICS: You Say Quid, I Say Quo
So what would you say if I told you that a Congressional Republican had quietly procured an earmark funnelling $1 million in taxpayer money to his wife's employer, a year after that employer had followed his election by giving her a raise that more than doubled her income? You might think of the various Republicans who were hounded from office for such behavior - or less - or even those like Duke Cunnigham who went to prison for it.
So what would you say to this?
He is in trouble, this has yet to see broad distribution. Instead the focus is on his fumbled response to the his Pastor. 20 yrs membership with no disavowal, Clinton can bludgeon him, if he scraps his way to the general 527s will eat him alive.
I hope nobody here has friends at BSC, cause the gig is up. Run on the bank, see you in the next life Bear.
Earmarks, or the Ted Stevens Bridge to Bankruptcy, as I like to think of them, are absurd. Also, sadly, a long standing tradition of pork barrel misery. The big problem is that they are legal.
Obama is no saint, and one assumes he has vices, like all good congressmen who get what they can for their district (which is why people hate Congress, but really do love their Congressperson. I don't want a saint for President. Lincoln did say that someone with no vices had little virtue. So is the best you can come up with is that he legally siphoned money for his district?
Here is what McCain would say: "I refuse to get earmarks for my district. It's corrupt." And if I am Obama, I would say, " Well, you are reporting that Al-Qaida influence in Iraq, where our biggest earmark (call it an assmark) goes, is down. Except before we went in, it was zero. I guess my judgement was better."
Oh, Crank, you righties are just getting so desperate. What about Bush/Halliburton? 1 million dollars is nothing compared to all of the money we're spending on this ILLEGAL war in Iraq, blah, blah, blah...
Did I miss anything? I just wanted to get that out of the way before the apologists came on.
This is precisely the kind of behavior that makes earmarks so odious. Much less significant conflicts of interest would jeopardize my job at the defense contractor for whom I work. This is big.
Obama securing funding for his wife's employer isn't automatically a bad thing - it is a hospital, after all. But I don't really think there's any way to put a non-suspicious spin on Michelle Obama suddenly being more than twice as valuable to her employers as soon as her husband became a Senator.
Yes, hospitals do good for society. So do defense contractors and pharmaceutical companies. It doesn't make them immune to self-interest in begging at the federal trough.
"Except before we went in it was zero" It is always fascinating the amount of amnesia liberals develop to reach their positions and how they have to somehow always convert the situation to being the fault of the US.
It was the Clinton administration in its indictment (LOL a friging criminal indictment) of Osama Bin Laden that referenced Iraq/Saddam Hussein co-operation. Guess you forgot that right? Maybe Cheney and Rove travelled through time and changed history.
BTW-didn't every major news outlet run stories during the Clinton Adminstration of Iraq/ Al Quaida co-operation-don't remember that either, huh?
Also I guess you don't remember Iraq/Saddam Hussein providing support to Al Quaida groups in the Kurdish region or the Philipines ? And Zarqawi didn't come from fighting the US in Afghanistan, wasn't treated in Iraqi hospitals and did not start organizing Al Quaida cells before the US attacked-none of that happened, right?
These people want to fight and kill Americans-the fight was brought to their backyard and they have been decimated. If our soldiers weren't killing them in the Mideast, we would be fighting them in our Midwest, our malls and our streets. There has been no terrorist attacks here in the US since 9/11-but liberals don't see any connection between the actions taken-militarily, surveillance, interrogations, etc and that result. Everything is a failure right?
It's best just to ignore the comments by the crazy liberals as you can't argue with people whose heads are in the clouds....
Are you saying that even though every major news outlet was citing ties between the world's worst dictator and AQ for years, the Bush administration still took their eyes off the ball and allowed 9/11 to happen?
Wow, that's some indictment of the Bush Admin. Knowing this, how can anybody not think they're either incompetent beyond belief or were in on it?*
BTW, there have been plenty of terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11/2001. The Anthrax Attacks and Malvo, for 2.
*The 2nd most delusional group of people in the world are those who think the US government was in on the 9/11 attacks.
The most delusional people in the world are those that think the US government would never kill 3000 Americans for political gain.
Again see my prior comments regarding amnesia.
I noticed that you did not address or try to counter any of my points.
Incidentally, you can go over to Powerline and see the new report that shows connections between Saddam's Iraq and 5 different Al Quaida factions including 2 that made up the core. Additionally,no one ever asserted that Iraq was in on 9/11 (Bush on a number of occasions before the Iraq war explicitly stated that there was evidence that Iraq was involved-again lefties never remember that, but somehow remember him saying the exact opposite which never was said), what was asserted was that Iraq supported/assisted many terrorist organizations including Al Quaida-which is obviously true.
Anthrax attacks were limited and not by Al Quaida, probably a lone nut and the Malvo shooting case was not an Al Quaida operation-do not be obtuse.
With your quote are you saying that the US was responsible for the 9/11 attacks-yes or no-also look at my first post and my mention of how the left has to twist everything to make the US bad guy-thanks for confirming my point.
Dinner time-See ya
Correction-explicitly stated no evidence
Thanks for clearing that up. Those were both terrorist actions on US soil, even if you don't count them as such. What you meant to say was "There have been no terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11/2001, if you don't include the ones I don't count."
I like that. As a Red Sox hater, I can still say they haven't won a World Series since 1918! (Since I don't count the 2004 or 2007 World Series').
No, I don't think the US was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Although I'm not naive enough to think they wouldn't try if they thought they could get away with it. (3,000 American citizens? Be realistic: they'd kill 3 million American citizens for political gain if they think they can get away with it).
I did re-read your earlier post. You certainly make a good case that the Bush Administration dropped the ball badly in protecting the country on 9/11. Perhaps the real reason they stonewalled the 911 Commission was to skirt accountability (there's that word the Right makes believe they love, again), and not because they're responsible.
Also, do you think the US supports/ assists terrorist organizations? Yes or no? (Be honest when you answer).
BTW, don't go the Clinton "well" too often to make your point. He was a terrible President. Not W or Reagan terrible (how could he be?), but terrible nonetheless.
Finally, Re: The Pentagon report which contradicts Powerline. Why does the Pentagon hate America?
Our daily dose of the Crank's Crazy Criticism of Obama. Good to see he's meeting his quota.
What's next? Obama occasionally leaves the toilet seat up? Obama missed a dental check-up in 2004 but failed to report it? John McCain is a better backgammom player than Obama, therefore making him better qualified to hold office?
Crank, it just gets sillier by the day. I repeat my standing request, which I promise I'll continue as long as you play this intellectually honest charade: Just come out and say "I am a Republican. I will always support the GOP candidate over the Dem. My 'critique' of Obama has nothing to do with Obama, per se, I just want him to lose because I want a GOP President."
C'mon man, you can do it. You'll feel much better knowing you're being honest.
intellectually honest charade
Oops. Meant dishonest, obviously.
Note to self--->Must proofread, must proofread, must proofread . . .
It's important to remember that no liberal has ever done anything really wrong (because liberals oppose evil Republicans).
Pay off witnesses? Accept millions in bribes? Sell national security secrets? Use the FBI and IRS to harass opponents? Violate privacy rights in FBI files? Use army tanks to kill children? Leave a woman to die in your car? No big deal.
None of that is wrong. Being a Republican is wrong.
Ah, the daily silliness of completely ignoring the substance of an Obama fault and instead merely pointing out how "silly" it is for someone to point it out.
Mike: Maybe this story isn't the biggest deal when viewed in context. And it's certainly nothing like the stories HRC has been involved in. But the problem is that your candidate holds himself out as near-perfect, as being a different type of politician, as being somehow capable of truly uniting a democracy of 300 million people that hasn't been unified since, well, never. It wasn't even unified in 1789. And it's these supposed attributes and traits that make him so popular in many circles. But the truth is that it is all a bunch of crap--he's no different. And it's stories like this that prove and they need to be pointed out. Because God knows the MSM is going to downplay them or outright ignore them.
Like the way the MSM downplayed and ignored Whitewater for 8 years?
Sez who? I'm not an Obama fan. In fact, I'm not crazy about him at all. I think he's pretty much full of sh*t.
GOP Chicken Hawks
George W. Bush, yesterday:
""I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."
"It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks," Bush said."
George W. Bush, back when he actually had a chance to serve in combat:
"I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment, nor was I willing to go to Canada, so I chose to better myself by learning to fly airplanes."
Curiously, the romance seems to have been lost on him when his own life could have been on the line. It's only when he's imagining other people's lives at risk that it all seems so exciting and romantic.
As a veteran, I can only shake my head when I read the latest quotes from our lame duck commander-in-chief. Too bad the GOP couldn't think of anyone with a triple-digit IQ to represent their country. ENVIOUS? SLIGHTLY YOUNGER? EMPLOYED? Not for long, he won't be... it's so odd to hear this kind of talk from someone you know would get his butt whipped by Ann Richards.
Why don't they just keep this guy away from microphones unless he's got a speech prewritten and can actually get through it?
But I digress.
Alex is right, Obama deserves annoyances like this b/c he props himself up as the closest thing to perfection since Roger Clemens. Oops. And Crank is rockin' the Obama rhetoric and stepping up for his team. Sorry Mike, he's not coming back until November.
But is anyone really shocked - SHOCKED by this kind of thing anymore?
We all know Obama's a human being who happens to be smack dab in the middle of the most corrupt and powerful sandbox anybody's kids have ever played in. And I must admit that while the story doesn't please me, it certainly isn't so offensive as the still smelly blunder and plunder from the Cunningham and DeLay camps. Or anything involving Hallliburton, for that matter. Or the Hsu scandal of last fall, to cite an egg on the Democrat's faces.
At the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves if we are really so mad about such creative financial maneuverings.
Because they just keep happening. We have to get to a point in this country where there are mainstream, effective, vital, electable, marketable, intelligent moral political leaders who are not for sale to the highest bidder and going to have the stamina to knock out seventy-hour weeks for months at a time. They need to be surrounded by others of the same abilities and character. They don't seem to be coming from either party in great numbers these days.
Pundits and hacks, indeed.
How many babies have been allowed to be aborted by those 'personally opposed' to abortion for political gain?
Crank, I thought you were above petty attacks. When she received that raise did her responsibilities change or did other Directors get similar raises? The article has left out so many facts and done no research it makes you wonder why you would link to it. This is ah ha reporting of the facts. Please stop Crank I beg, you're losing all credibility
Just a quick google search to her wikipedia page settles this...
Michelle Obama didn't just get "a raise" or handed a trunkful of cash—she got a new job!...
In 1996, Obama served as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, where she developed the University's Community Service Center. In 2002, she began working for the University of Chicago Hospitals, first as executive director for community affairs and, beginning May, 2005, as Vice President for Community and External Affairs.
Maybe, just maybe, this cum laude Princeton and Harvard educated lawyer is a successful person in her own right and actually earned her fucking living?
Would it sit better with you morons if she inherited a beer distributer or was simply a high-paid lobbyist?
Yes, and the people who promoted her were undoubtedly unaware that her husband, who had given the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention on national television in prime time the previous summer, had just been elected to the U.S. Senate and was suddenly in a position to steer large amounts of taxpayer dollars their way.
And Obama was undoubtedly unaware, when he steered such large amounts of taxpayer dollars their way, that this was his wife's employer and the #1 source of his campaign contributions as a State Senator.
And I'm sure you would give the same benefit of the doubt to, say, Don Young or Duke Cunnigham.
As to Mike's point...I'm familiar with the drill by now: it is, of course, irrelevant, illegitimate and proof of possible mental illness to criticize the following subjects:
+Obama's qualifications or experience
+His record in public office
+His current policy proposals
+His past policy positions
+His statements on the campaign trail
+His character or ethics
+His close personal advisers or confidantes
+His professional campaign staff or advisers
+His supporters or image
+His campaign tactics
Did I miss any subjects that are off-limits?
Hey Crank, we are asking for criticizism that is honest and fair that has substance not subtle hearsay. I am waiting for you post on his Church. But if you do that why not follow that up with one on Hagee for McCain or how about the current President visiting Bob Jones University.
Let's see. Which of the following would I -- or have I -- said should be "off-limits"
+Obama's qualifications or experience. No, this is important.
+His record in public office. Uh-uh.
+His current policy proposals. Nope.
+His past policy positions. Hardly. Very relevant.
+His statements on the campaign trail. Depends what these "statements" relate to.
+His character or ethics. In theory, no. But in application this actually tends to be, "Obama is a no-good Dem, so he's bad."
+His close personal advisers or confidantes. Yes, this is one I'd say is pretty silly to dwell on.
+His professional campaign staff or advisers. Same.
+His supporters or image. Ridiculous. Now we're into the full-on "Crank Silliness."
+His campaign tactics. No, this is legit.
Crank, once again: be intellectually honest and admit it has nothing to do with Obama. Admit you'd slag any Democratic candidate because you want nothing short of GOP victory in November. No shame in saying so.
Mike, if that's your criticism of our host here, it might be worthwhile to consider that the reason he busts on your candidates is because they are buffoons, cheats, ciphers or just plain unqualified.
Until you guys nominate somebody who's actually qualified for the job, I think your case against our host here is a little weak. While it may be just because of the (D) by their name, you'll never really know as long as you keep putting up candidates based upon their gender or race rather than their quaifications.
"Spongeworthy" indeed. In what way is Barack Obama not qualified for the job? You can either list the qualifications needed for POTUS, or tell where he falls short. Either should be entertaining.
Believe me when I tell you Mike is no Obama zombie, either. Though his Hillary Derangement Syndrome might make him appear that way... :-)
Crank, unless you can establish that Michelle Obama had no business getting that job, I guess we're at an impasse. She appears to have the track record to back it up, and then some.
As for the money going to that hospital, please let's not lose sight of the fact that this was funding for a hospital and a university not a Bridge to Nowhere or a Museum of Steel Guitars or some shit...
"The request for $1 million for the University of Chicago Medical Center was to help pay for construction of a pavilion that could increase its capacity for treating patients by one-third. [link]"
Should the U-C Hospital system get NO federal $$ because she works there? She worked there before he ran for Senate...
And if this was the ONLY hospital he earmarked you might have a point...
Obama Requested $2 Million For The Thorek Memorial Hospital Cancer Treatment Center.
Obama Requested $1 Million For Alton Memorial Hospital To Support Its Riverbend Stroke Center.
Obama Requested $4 million For The Children’s Memorial Medical Center’s Electronic Medical Record Project.
Obama Requested $800,000 For A Training And Resource Center Of The Swedish Covenant Hospital
Obama Requested $2.5 Million For The Children’s Hospital Of Illinois’ Replacement Project.
Obama Requested $5 Million For Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Prentice Woman’s Hospital.
Obama Requested $10 Million Over Four Years, Beginning With $2.5 Million In FY 2006, For The Children’s Hospital of Illinois
Obama Requested $1 Million For A Community Center At The Palliative CareCenter & Hospice Of The North Shore
You might notice that the request for U-C was among the smallest... And not even a cursory acknowledgment of Obama's releasing all this info? The transparency is admirable, IMO.
Oh, and by the way, there was no "procure" here. The hospital did NOT get the funding. All your outrage for naught, Crank...
Geez, Mr. Furious. He's never accomplished a damn thing, he can't use the military without being a chickenhawk since he's never served and we all know that being a chickenhawk is a step below baby-fondling.
He skipped vote after vote in the IL legislature, he's only been a Senator for 2 years, he's never managed a business or run any government, not even a little suburb.
Face it, you nominated a blank slate because he's black and voted against the war. Period. Now it turns out he's maybe not this raical healing touchstone after all and rather than absolving you of your inner racism, he intends to make you eat it daily. Enjoy!
So Sponge the current President's track record was what before he won the first election??????????????????
Javaman, you have to wave and jump up and down...spongey's got his fingers in his ears.
He was the Governor of Texas. It is a large state, bordering Mexico.
Besides 2-term governor of a huge state where he was immensely popular, Bush also had substantial business experience. Any other holes in his resume were certain to be plugged by the retreads involved in his campaign, like Cheney. You just plain don't get that with O'Bambi.
And what's even more deliriously funny is watching you lefties put up our current President as the bar Obama must clear and then watching him fall far short. And you guys hate the President and have long derided him as a lightweight!
I'm not laughing with you, I'm laughing at you.
You did say popular, hmm popular you say. Wow. That is the sam thing your ripping Obama for.
Bush also had substantial business experience, he failed at drilling oil in Texas. Keep trying....
substantial business experience
You didn't just say that...did you?
He did, Furious. He did.
Nevertheless, Sponge, you continue to miss my point. Maybe Obama is the worst candidate in world history, and maybe McCain is the best. Maybe Bush brought more qualifications to bear in 2000 than any Presidential candidate in the history of our republic.
All I'm saying is that the author of this blog is -- and has been -- an intelligent, thoughtful, intellectually honest analyst of current events, politics, history, and policy. Yet, so far in this election cycle, he's been a straight-out GOP hack, a fact I find (as a reader, as a fan) very disappointing.
If you want to keep discussing Obama's relative merits, or continue to refer to him as "my guy," etc., be my guest. But I won't play along. Hate to break it to you big fella, but not only am I not an Obama supporter, I'm not even a registered Democrat.
This just gets funnier! You guys seem to think that by knocking Bush your own candidate somehow gains in stature when in fact the opposite is true. Whatever deficiencies you point out in Bush's resume, like his business failures, exist in spades on O'Bambi's. Are you all really too stupid to think this through? It's not that complicated.
Under business experience, Bush has failures and successes. O'Bambi has zippo. Bush's executive experience was substantial; O'Bambi's nonexistent. On every count, a President you all found woefully unqualified blows your candidate out of the water. So every time you knock Bush for lack of experience in any area, your candidate only looks worse.
Mike, as I said above, your opinion of our host is only that. You have not even tried to prove that he isn't just disgusted by the parade of clowns the Democrats have put forward. Maybe he's a hack, maybe not. But until the Donks nominate someone who might actually be qualified to occupy the office, you're just telling us your opinion.
Would any Obama fans like to make the case that throwing Grannie under the Byrd bus was a good move? He is 26 down in PA, time for Crank to focus on Hillary if Mike's hypothesis is correct.
One need only to observe Crank's rips into Obama about lack of experience, and his silence about McCain--the guy with so much foreign policy experience, he doesn't know the difference between the Sunnis and Shiites---to understand Mike's point.
This from a guy who acknowledges he knows way more about foreign policy than about economics. Yikes!!
It would be one thing if Crank explained his fear of Obama (and his lack of experience) as President, by acknowledging the fact we have had a President for the past 8 years who is completely in over his head. Let's face it, hiring someone with the brain of a 12-year old to be the next President would be a step in the right direction.
Alas, Crank--like so many other Conservatives--has invested too much in propping up the simpleton to provide an honest assessment.
This is hilarious. You guys just can't stop yourselves. It's like you have this unconscious compulsion to knock O'Bambi by pointing out again and again how deficient Bush is when in every case O'Bambi is far worse. Next you'll be telling us how Bush is a silly-looking president because his ears are too damn big.
Walk away from the keyboards, guys, before you embarass yourselves any further.
Robert, it's not a gaffe if it's true. I know it's contrary to your theology, but facts are stubborn things. Especially when they comport with elementary game theory as it has always been played in international relations. McCain happens to have spent enough time dealing with Iraq to know the difference between platitudes and the facts on the ground.
The Nazis and the Soviets would never have signed a non-aggression pact, right?
C'mon, Spongy. You can do better than that. Just come out and say it, you know you want to. Call him by the name, or names, you're dying to use. Have some guts.
Where's that snarlin', battlin', angry guy stuff we've come to expect? Let it out, you'll feel muuuuuuuuuch better. Here, let me do it for you. You can simply cut-and-paste. I'll even leave you a couple choices:
* * *
time for Crank to focus on Hillary if Mike's hypothesis is correct
Do you honestly have a shred of doubt? I haven't gone back & "researched it," and frankly I don't have the time to, but I bet that if you look at Crank's political posts from before Obama made his meteoric rise in the polls a few months ago, Crank railed against Hillary far more than either Edwards or Obama. Of course, Edwards & Obama are probably more "liberal" than Hill (far more in Edwards case).
But I'll bet Crank took most of his shots at Hill, not because of her politics, but because he feared her defeating the GOP candidate.
Thanks for the fact-free link.
Do you have anything (proof say, and not someone calling anyone who doesn't agree "hopelessly naive") that might back-up your claim?
The only thing I've seen is one report citing unnamed "government officials" alleging they found some documents.
Sorry. That's even less than what Powell showed to the UN in 2003 to justify the Iraq War, which convinced me (as it should any "thinker") there were nothing to the claims. BTW, it didn't convince the UN either. The only people it convinced were those who confuse sideshows with reason.
I do apologize. I wrongly assumed Obama was "your" candidate. You never really said that so I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions. I'm glad we both can at least agree on what he is full of ;)
Robert, I trust Jeff's reporting on this; he's been to Iraq three times, he's talked to the people on the ground there, he's seen the evidence.
Mike, I've taken shots at a bunch of the D candidates, usually based more on the available material than anything else (I've had posts on Edwards, Biden and Richardson), but yeah, no question that I have focused more on the frontrunner at any given time. That's just common sense. There ain't much point having a debate about Mike Gravel's fitness for the job, is there?
Of course, Obama's been a lot more fun because there's so much more new material - so much about Hillary is well-worn ground by now. And of course in terms of pure policy as well as basic competence I do think Obama would be a worse president than Hillary, for a variety of reasons, although they each have their unique hazards.
If only Scott Ritter could have received such trust.
OT: Great job on the baseball stuff.