Tea Party wallpaper, Soundbites Win Elections and Graph Reading is Fundamental

Tea party wallpaper

Kyl’s Earmark Hypocrisy: Requested $118 Million For Earmarks In Budget, But Railed Against Them In Stimulus

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) requested $118 million in earmarks in fiscal year 2008. On Fox News Sunday yesterday, host Chris Wallace pressed Kyl about his earmarks, saying it is an example of how Republicans have “lost credibility on the issue of spending restraint.” “Who are you to lecture the Democrats on spending?” asked Wallace.

Nothing to be particularly outraged about here. Kyl’s thinking and what he tells voters back in Arizona is pretty typical in its lack of truthiness. Could he have made a career in Washington without telling the lies required to win votes back home. Probably not. That is partly Kyl’s fault and partly voters for not doing some fact checking about how Kyl conducts his political career. Clearly he is not bothered by his lack of principles. What was mildly refreshing about this interview is that Kyl so much as admits that he has no principles and couldn’t get elected if he did,

In the past, Kyl has admitted that his earmark criticism is “symbolic” and that he complains about “wasteful Washington spending” for political reasons because “the consultants who look at the polls tell us that if there’s anything that drives American taxpayers crazy it’s that phrase ‘wasteful Washington spending.’”

Kyl is on record, year after year, during the Bush administration complaining about government spending. He is rather accomplished, with the media’s help, of creating the impression that “wasteful” spending and the standard bearer of fiscal conservatism John Kyl are mortal enemies. Kyl has relied on, and has been rewarded by voters who never check what he says against his actual voting record. The phrase ‘borrow and spend’ Republicans was invented because of Conservatives like Kyl and his hero George W. Bush.

Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is the John Kyl of Utah, GOP senator Orrin Hatch’s charity tied to massive pharmaceutical donations

A charity founded by a senior Republican lawmaker who was a key ally to the pharmaceutical industry received more than $170,000 in 2007 from drugmakers, far in excess of campaign finance rules had the money been donated to him directly, leaked documents show.

The senator, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), founded Utah Families Foundation, the recipient of the gifts, though he doesn’t serve on the foundation’s board. But his son is now the chief lobbyist for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the industry’s lobbying group.

[  ]…The same year Utah Families Foundation received massive gifts, Sen. Hatch voted on a bill relating to Medicare Part D. Hatch voted against a bill requiring that the government negotiate discounted prices from drugmakers, a measure the industry vehemently opposed. In 2005, Hatch also voted against a measure that would have allowed Medicare to negotiate bulk prices for prescription drugs.

Bush liked to site, without irony, that Medicare reform was one of his great accomplishments. By taking out the competitive price component, for long time Bush supporters like Eli Lilly, Bush actually made Medicare more expensive. In yet another chapter of what would Republicans be saying if a Democrat did the same thing – probably shrill shouts of creeping socialism.

The right-wing Powerline blog is trying, in what reads like a very half hearted attempt, to portray President Obama as veering too far left,  Voters Skeptical of Dems’ Leftward Lurch

There is strong evidence, however, that the American people are not excited about the Dems’ leftward lurch. Last week, President Obama gave his first State of the Union address to an adoring Congress and unveiled his administration’s first budget. What happened? His approval rating declined. (emphasis mine)

Here’s the graph that Rasmussen  has up. Might be a little difficult to see, especially if you’re high on the kool-aid, but there is a little dip upward at the end. John isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he can read a graph. He could have gone over to Gallup where it says in nice bold print that after President Obama’s speech on the economy his public support went up a few percent. Obama’s approval is as good as or slightly better then Bush 43 after he took office in 2001 – Bush got a great bump after 9-11 as the country, regardless of politics rallied behind him. Powerline should skip Bush’s second term. If we use the patented Powerline Logic, the country veered strongly left in 2006,

As the second half of his second term approaches, President Bush’s job performance continues to receive poor reviews from the American public. In 21 of 27 states surveyed by Rasmussen Reports recently, the percentage of those who disapprove of the President’s job performance outweighs the percentage of those who approve…

I’m not a big fan of polls. They’re useful to political strategists on both sides – messages are tuned accordingly. When you get the trends from over the course of a year then you’re on more solid ground as far as whether the president might be out of touch with voters. Bush was out of touch for at least six of his eight years in office. What is remarkable about President Obama’s numbers is that we’re in the middle the worse financial crisis since the Great Depression, we still have two wars going and 2.5 million homeowners are projected to go into foreclosure in 2009 . Taxes and wars are very contentious issues, as they probably should be, but for all the frequently bitter disagreements the nation may have about how to handle the a fore mentioned problems, the majority of the public is being patient, willing to give the new administration time to work things out.

A humor break courtesy a Conservative site called Confederate Yankee

While we seem to have a tea party movement growing nationwide as people voice their dissatisfaction with our power-mad, spending-crazed government by calling on the symbolism of the acts of Patriots in Boston Harbor more than two hundred years ago, I suspect those protests are hiding a deeper resentment and fears about the competency and goals of our federal leaders. (emphasis mine)

May 27, 2003, Bush Quietly Signs Bill to Allow Federal Borrowing to Grow by Nearly $1 Trillion ( 2003, Republicans control Congress and White House)

Without comment or ceremony, President Bush on Tuesday signed a bill allowing a record $984 billion increase in the amount the federal government can borrow, to a record $7.4 trillion.

The increased federal borrowing will enable the government to pay for the $350 billion economic stimulus package that the GOP-led Congress passed last week at Bush’s behest.

Bush will hold a signing ceremony at the White House on Wednesday to celebrate passage of that legislation, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer announced. The package includes $330 billion in tax cuts and $20 billion in aid for states.

Passage of the bill raising the nation’s debt ceiling came last Friday, only hours after the tax-cut bill was approved. Congressional Democrats had sought to spotlight the federal IOUs that have resumed piling up under President Bush.

But Republican leaders maneuvered to get the debt-ceiling measure passed quickly, and with little fanfare.

The Senate gave the bill final congressional approval by 53-44 on Friday.

Republican leaders did not bring the measure to the Senate floor until the House had left town for a weeklong Memorial Day recess.

The House had avoided a direct vote on the debt limit by reviving a rule that made its approval of a borrowing increase automatic when Congress finished its annual budget last month.

After running annual surpluses during the last four years of the Clinton administration, federal deficits have returned. This year’s is expected to well exceed $300 billion, a record, and huge future shortfalls are expected with no end in sight.

Bush’s signing of the bill — announced in a statement with a single sentence — will enable the government to borrow money until sometime next year.

The current $6.4 trillion limit was breached earlier this year.

Failure to extend the borrowing limit could have led to a first-ever federal default — something neither party wants to explain.

Its not particularly courageous, but you can hardly blame Republican for pretending, having had full control of the the government, they failed to govern with even a modicum of responsibility.

Black and White Pier wallpaper II