*The NY Times finally releases its expose on David Paterson, which has been relentlessly hyped by leaks, perhaps driven by the Andrew Cuomo camp (Cuomo undoubtedly wants to avoid another racially divisive primary; certainly Rick Lazio thinks the Times is flacking for Cuomo). The story is decidedly underwhelming if you’re looking for sexy details, but fairly damning nonetheless in its portrayal of a governor who’s just not that on top of things. It’s impossible to avoid the fact that being functionally illiterate (Paterson, who of course is blind, does not read Braille) is a serious impairment for a governor.
*Mickey Kaus explains through the example of the weatherization program how the political power of unions – specifically the Davis-Bacon Act – has crippled even the best-intentioned plans to use stimulus money to put people immediately to work.
On a related note, Francis Cianfrocca notes the New York Times’ compliants about job-creation programs that are aimed at private sector jobs rather than the public sector. Robert Gibbs, at Wednesday’s press briefing, implicitly admitted the same thing – the main benefit of the stimulus has gone to government workers (this is aside from the fact that in many cases, governments just gave raises to existing workers rather than hiring new ones):
Q Robert, following on that, one of the criticisms Republicans keep harping on is that the President promised that the jobs that would be saved or created would be about 90 percent private sector, and Republicans keep pointing out that it’s woefully inadequate in that department; it’s mostly been government-related jobs, public sector jobs, not private sector jobs. And it’s important obviously to save public sector jobs as well. It’s nowhere near what the President promised. How do you account for that?
MR. GIBBS: Well, look, I don’t have the latest figures in front of me. Obviously a big chunk of jobs that did result in unemployment last year — the biggest chunk was teachers, which, regardless of what category you put that in, I think there are very few parents in this country that don’t value a good teacher.
Q On the stimulus, I want to give you a chance to respond to something that Michael Steele, the RNC chairman, said this morning about the Recovery Act, and I’m quoting him directly here now: “The other fiction we need to dispense with is this ‘saved and created’ nonsense.” I’m still quoting: “I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what that looks like. And if I can’t put my fingers on it, if I can’t touch it, and if I can’t get up at 6:00 in the morning and go to work there, then it’s not happening. And that’s the reality of a lot of people right now.”
MR. GIBBS: Well, I can find a school that Chairman Steele can go to at 6:00 a.m. and put his fingers on — (laughter) — an elementary school teacher who — (laughter) — no, no, no, hold on, come on. A little bit of decorum — that he can look at as somebody who, as a result of the economic downturn did not lose their job as a result of the recovery plan.
That’s your Obama Administration economic growth strategy, folks. And yes, it ties into the repeated remarks over the years by President and Mrs. Obama denigrating private sector employment and bemoaning that more people don’t go to work in “public service” jobs (whose salaries must be funded by private sector workers), and into Obama’s proposal to forgive student loan debt for public service workers, giving yet another leg up to public sector employment. That’s why what Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey in standing up to the public sector’s ‘government of the government, by the government, for the government’ mindset is so important. Christie’s a great spokesman on this issue because he worked as a government lawyer – and lawyers are the one profession in which government workers make only a fraction of the salaries they could earn in private practice.
*Weather is not Climate. Michael Fumento and James Taranto have some fun at the expense of those on the Left who have ignored that point in the past and now have to face public mockery from those parts of the country experiencing an unseasonably cold or snowy winter. Of course, the Anthropogenic Global Warming crowd stubbornly clings to the argument that any weather – warmer, colder, stormier, less stormy – is proof of the theory, but he who lives by the anecdote dies by it as well.