Monthly Archives: February 2009

Is there an earmark in your future?

Even Obama has an earmark in this spending bill:

Big story just breaking… Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel each have at least one earmark in the omnibus spending bill before Congress.

Update: The story also includes the discovery of the name Obama in the section of the bill dealing with education money.

Update II: CQ Politics has posted the story noting that President Obama appears because the bill “is an accumulation of leftovers from 2008 — spending measures that weren’t enacted before the 110th Congress expired.”

Crafty fellows and gals.


Next hypocrite?

Dilbert rocks!

Nowhere stimulus?

La. Gov. Bobby Jindal is up for tonight as post-mortem Republican commentator after Big O.  He’s a hot item and has some quite good things to say.

“We want the president to succeed,” he [told fellow governors yesterday]. “But let’s be clear we have a completely different philosophy about the best way to succeed.”

He poked some holes in the gigantic stimulus bill just passed by Congress and said it was clearly filled with attempts to create “temporary two-year work programs rather than real jobs.”

Recalling the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” pork-barrel earmark in Alaska, Mr. Jindal called the president’s major initiative “a stimulus package to nowhere.”

“If you want to build a road to connect an industrial site with its market, fine. But don’t just build it to build it,” he [said].

This from John Fund in’s Political Diary today.

Slumming with the stars

Salman Rushdie has it right about “Slumdog,” which he says “piles impossibility on impossibility,” among other ridiculosities placing characters at the Taj Mahal, 1,000 miles from the previous scene.

Well it is an adventure story, light on probability but heavy with shock effect.  When has that not been a winning formula?

But I missed the Taj Mahal scene, partly because I had enough of the impossibilities, partly because the sound effects (at Oak Park’s Lake Theatre, packed for the occasion) were deafening, and partly because the subject matter constituted an emotional beating-up that I was not in the mood for and trust I never will be.

Indeed, my life partner and I split somewhat after the blinding-with-acid scene, which was not my idea of fun, though hundreds on the scene disagreed, remaining in their seats.

Neither did Rushdie like the cinema-adapted “The Reader” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” telling an Atlanta audience they suffered the fate of movie adaptation that does no justice to the book.

The first he called a “leaden, lifeless movie killed by respectability.”  The second “doesn’t finally have anything to say,” he said.

He’s probably right, but he might also have noted the orgy of self-congratulation nicely noted by a Detroit News man:

The tearful moments and peer hugging reeked of over-indulgent self-congratulation and carried all the sincerity of a corporate love-in. After each award, the stage looked like a crowded bus stop for famous people.

It’s a problem with industry and professional groups.  The Chicago Newspaper Guild did a lot of that in years gone by, when winners sometimes took a long time telling why they won, careless about the chances of breaking one’s arm while patting oneself on the back.

Carol, how come you do us like you did, did, did?

Quite a tease by Carol Marin and the S-T copy desk in her column-cum-headline, “Too late for ex-Burris backers to cut and run.”  She limits her critique to the most recent backing Burris received to get him into the Senate so he could “stand strong with the president on behalf of the stimulus package.”

Apart from that standing-strong nonsense — against what pressure to vote otherwise? — what about the backing Burris got over many years as pure black hack, emphasis on black as his pretty-much sole qualification, getting into two state offices, slated and endorsed over many years?

For a minute there, I thought Marin was going to lay into the establishment, giving us a truly revolutionary look at Illinois politics.  Instead, myopia.

Pioneer Press, I hear you calling . . .

Pioneer Press telemarketing called again, 9 a.m. or so, even after I was told the glitch would be fixed (yesterday).  Caller i-d tells me it’s 847 486 6822 that’s calling and being not there when I pick up the phone. 

So I called it back and was given the option of saying (on recording) that I do not want to be called, this per recorded instructions. 

Did so and hope it works.  Another thing: I’ve been a subscriber to Oak Leaves for decades.  Maybe that’s why they hang up on me when I answer their calls. 

Pioneer Press calling . . .

Pioneer Press marketing keeps calling me, but when I pick up the phone, no one’s there.  So I called to ask what’s going on.

Cody, nice young fellow, cites a glitch — I didn’t catch the details — and says it won’t happen any more.  Let’s hope so

T’row da bum out!

Senator Tombstone has served his purpose: supplying the crucial Dem vote for the Big Bailout-slash-Stimulus bill.  Now he has to go:

Sen. Dick Durbin, the senior senator from Illinois, says Sen. Roland Burris’ testimony is unsatisfactory and incomplete.

So much for loyalty to black friends.

He wasn’t kidding

He came to Rosa’s house and said, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

[Rahm] Emanuel is a multimillionaire, but lived for the last five years for free in the tony Capitol Hill townhouse owned by [Rep. Rosa] De Lauro and her husband, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg.

During that time, he also served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – which gave Greenberg huge polling contracts. It paid Greenberg’s firm $239,996 in 2006 and $317,775 in 2008. (Emanuel’s own campaign committee has also paid Greenberg more than $50,000 since 2004.)

And that ain’t all.  There’s the Freddie Mac connection too.  Rahm, we hardly knew ye . . .


Run, do not walk to this WaPo site, whose videos give you the scoop on Obama’s David Plouffe off the record, senators wearing hearts on sleeve for Hillary C., and other stuff.

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