June 26, 2009

HopeChange: Corruption Edition

Conyers abandons plan to probe ACORN:
'Powers that be decided against it,' he says

Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, whose testimony about ACORN at a March 19 hearing on voting issues prompted Mr. Conyers to call for a probe, said she was perplexed by Mr. Conyers' explanation for his change of heart.

"If the chair of the Judiciary Committee cannot hold a hearing if he want to [then] who are the powers that he is beholden to?" she said. "Is it the leadership, is it the White House, is it contributors? Who is 'the power?'"

Good questions. Who whould be the likeliest suspects?
Capitol Hill Democrats had bristled at proposed hearings because it threatened to rekindle criticism of the financial ties and close cooperation between President Obama's campaign and ACORN and its sister organizations Citizens Services Inc. and Project Vote.

Yeah, that would seem right. But where did they get the leverage to push over the always-aggressive and not-easily-muzzled Conyers? HERE, maybe?

(Judge Cohn, BTW, is 85 years old and was appointed by Jimmy Carter. I smell conditional leniency in the air.)

The most transparent administration in history!HopeChange™!!!

June 24, 2009

The Obama Show

Stay Tuned for More of 'The Obama Show'
After the obligatory first question from the Associated Press, Obama treated the overflowing White House briefing room to a surprise. "I know Nico Pitney is here from the Huffington Post," he announced.

Obama knew this because White House aides had called Pitney the day before to invite him, and they had escorted him into the room. They told him the president was likely to call on him, with the understanding that he would ask a question about Iran that had been submitted online by an Iranian.

Well, it was supposed to be a question submitted by an Iranian. No telling with a Potemkin press. The most transparent administration in history! HopeChange™!!!

June 21, 2009

Best Line of the Day...

...comes from Patterico.

How You Know We're Not Really In A Budget Crisis...

Because if we were, Obama wouldn’t be spending money on stuff like this:

The federal government is spending $423,500 to find out why men don’t like to wear condoms . . .

I’ll tell you for half that.

June 18, 2009

HopeChange! PollThug Part Deux

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Demands Answers on Voter Intimidation Case Dismissal
The Justice Department’s lawyers gathered evidence, obtained the affidavit of former civil rights advocate Bartle Bull, and filed a complaint. When the defendants did not respond and the court invited the Justice Department to file a default judgment, the case was inexplicably withdrawn.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has now taken up the issue and sent a letter to Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, demanding an explanation.

...The Commissioners write that the previously announced efforts by the Justice Department to play an aggressive role in enforcing voting rights “ring hollow if they are not accompanied by swift, decisive action to prosecute obvious violators.” The Commissioners ask that the Civil Rights Division advise the Commission of the rationale for dismissing the charges against defendants and of its evidentiary and legal standards for dismissing certain charges in cases of alleged voter intimidation.” They further ask for information on “any similar cases in which CRD has dismissed charges against a defendant.”

Previous post.

Hope! Change! HopeChange™!

June 16, 2009

HopeChange! Chicago-Style

Will Democrats cover up the AmeriCorps mess?
In dismissing Walpin, the president seemed to trample on the law -- a law he himself had co-sponsored as a senator -- that protects inspectors general from political influence and retribution. In addition, it appears that at least part of the reason Walpin was fired was for the tenacity he showed in investigating misuse of AmeriCorps money by a friend and supporter of the president, Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California. Walpin got the goods -- evidence of Johnson's serious misuse of federal dollars -- and the inspector general ended up getting fired for his troubles.

To asnwer the title question, of course they will.

The most transparent administration in history....

BONUS Chicago-Style!

Senator questions firing of 3 inspectors general
Removal of 2 inspectors general prompts questions


White House refuses to answer Senate questions on AmeriCorps IG firing

HopeChange! Transparency Edition

Obama blocks list of visitors to White House
Despite President Barack Obama's pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com's request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies.

The most transparent administration in history!

June 13, 2009

HopeChange! Health Care Reform Edition

House Health-Care Proposal Adds $600 Billion in Taxes
Health-care overhaul legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said.

...Asked whether the cost of a health-care overhaul would be more than $1 trillion over a decade, Rangel said, “the answer is yes.” Some Senate Republicans, including Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, say the costs will likely exceed $1.5 trillion.

...Rangel said that while House Democrats will likely release more details about health policy changes in their legislation next week, the package of offsetting tax increases and spending cuts likely will come later. Democrats, he said, want to put forth the more-positive aspects of an overhaul first.

Of course. Tout the "benefits" first without mentioning the price tag until you think you've made the sale and gotten their signature on the loan papers. I thought health care reform was supposed to get costs under control! Anyone care to explain how injecting an additional $150B/yr into the system will reduce costs? When most recent estimates of insuring the uninsured were less than half that figure?

And I'm sure that seniors are going to be just thrilled about the $400B cuts to Medicare.

UPDATE: Confused? This article explains it a bit better. The idea is to cut spending on the poor and elderly, while eating taxing the rich. (Yes, you read that first part correctly.) This is supposed to provide enough in "savings" and new revenue to pay for the proposal. Apparently health care for the poor will magically cost less if we pay less for it, with no cost-shifting effect like that we've seen continuously over the last few decades. Similarly with prescriptions for the elderly. And we already knew the rich have enough money to pay for everything, right? Right?

More UPDATE: The CBO reports that the Kennedy-Dodd bill would generate over $1.0T in new deficits over a decade, while only covering one-third of the uninsured. Last I looked, cost estimates to insure ALL of the uninsured were under $100B/yr.

June 03, 2009


Frank Schaeffer, son of Francis Schaeffer and with him one of the founders of the modern pro-life movement, has some words for the movement he left:
My late father and I share part of the blame for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, the abortion doctor gunned down on Sunday.

...the same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as "murderers." And today, once again, the "pro-life" leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words.

The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I'd like to say that I, and the people I worked with in the pro-life movement, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words.

I am very sorry.

Some of us have been saying this to people in all parts of the political spectrum for years now. I hope a few people will now be shocked enough to start listening.