FINALLY, SOME GOOD economic news. The economy grew at 5.7% in the fourth quarter, and I hope somehow this can be maintained. We will see. Lots of analysts with lots of reasons; what is important is if this can continue and if it will mean more hiring in the first part of 2010.
OUR VERY ARTICULATE President yesterday in Tampa, Florida on the Middle East: ” The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries.” No Teleprompter was present, which perhaps explains his clarity and elequence.
SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE! The Department of Justice has apparently been asked by the White House to consider other locales for the KSM trial then NYC. Maybe Gitmo? No, I forgot, that’s closed. What? It’s still open? But it’s January, 2010 and he promised it would be closed by the end of the year in January, 2009. Isn’t that the first thing he did after being sworn in?
THE STATE IS GETTING $590 million for high speed rail between Seattle and Portland. Well, not exactly. The money is to help improve Amtrak’s on-time performance between the two cities. Only 2/3s of the trains run on time and Amtrak wants to boost that to 90%. That’s right, half a billion dollars just to make more trains run on time. Washington Policy Center has more at http://washingtonpolicyblog.typepad.com
FOR THE TUESDAY HEARING ON SB 6396, the so-called assault weapons ban, 313 people signed up to testify, 298 against, 14 for and one undecided.
WELL, THE PRESIDENT said my or mine 18 times and used I 88 times. AP found ten stretches of the truth, and I found at least two more they missed. He said that economists on both left and right supported the stimulus bill, but I don’t know of a single one on the right and I would like him to name one. And, he mentioned the Department of Justice cracking down on voter intimidation, but failed to mention that they dropped the case against the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia, one case millions of Americans saw thanks to TV coverage and You Tube. Why was that case dropped Mr President?
THEN, HE SHOWED JUST how ill-informed he is when he scolded the Supreme Court for their decision in Citizens United vs FEC, issued last week. It does not allow foreign corporations to make political contributions and it did not change the limit on how much can be given directly to a candidate in a Federal election. It does not reverse a century of law and judicial decisions. Justice Alito was correct in mouthing ‘you’re wrong’ to him. He used to teach Constitutional Law, or so he claims, but I don’t think it is our Constitution he was teaching. I sit on the board of directors of Citizens United, so I know a bit about the case. Mr, President, wrong again.
AND, I WAS NOT SURPRISED by his calling for an end to partisan haggling but then bashing Bush. Or taking credit for ending the war in Iraq, but giving no credit to the surge. Remember when he and Reid and so many others in 2006-7 claimed that the war was lost? When he blames Bush for the financial mess and the spending, he shows his ignorance about the Constitution again, since he is either unaware or forgot that the Democrats took Congess in 2006, that all spending bills originate in the House, that Bush couldn’t spend a dime without Democratic approval? Do those in Congress since 2006 bear any of the responsibility? Mr President, wrong again.
DESPITE ALL THE TALK ABOUT WHAT a great orator he is, are there any memorable phrases from any of his speeches? (” Yes, we can” doesn’t count). This guy is stuck on himself and his ideology. Last night was the perfect chance to be humble, admit some mistakes were made and alter course. Instead, it’s all about him, he blames everyone else and puts his ignorance on display. He is going nowhere fast, his domestic agenda is in tatters and even the Obama girl has given up on him. Mr President, wrong again.
I WILL BE ATTENDING the Roanoke Conference this weekend in Ocean Shores. It’s a first time gathering of Republicans and I will be mcing some of the events. I will fill you all in on Sunday night or Monday. Have a great weekend.
PS – BTW, DID anyone watch the GOP response delivered by Governor McDonnell of Virginia? Thoughts?
To answer the several inquiries about why I thought it was inappropriate for the police chief of Bellevue to testify before the Senate on the assault weapons ban in uniform, she represents the city when in that uniform and the city has no official position on the issue. In addition, she said she was there as a civilian, not as chief, so she should have been in civilian clothes on her own time. I believe that to appear in uniform is misleading.
TONIGHT, WE WILL SEE if the President has learned anything from the last three elections ( Mass, NJ and Virginia ) or if he is truly an idealogue who is self-delusional. We will see if he changes course toward the middle, like Bill Clinton did after a series of reversals, or if he is convniced that his mission to shift American left must continue, come hell or high waters, damn the voters and reality, full speed ahead.
We will see if he gives us a speech like his Ohio town meeting last Friday, where he mentioned taxpayers twice, tax cuts twice, small business eight times, and himself 132 times. We will see if he can, with a straight face, call for a spending freeze that has so many exemptions and conditions, that’s there’s no ice, not even slush in it. We will see how many times he blames Bush, or talks about the last decade, or mentions that what propelled Scott Brown into office propelled him. We will see how many jobs he claims his spending has saved or created – after all, his spokesmen gave three widely different numbers on Sunday. We will see.
SALES OF NEW HOMES fell unexpectedly in December, according to reports today. There’s that word again. Unexpectedly to whom? And, what will the President tell us unexpectedly tonight?
THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION took a second look at the CBO’s projections of our budget deficits for the next ten years, a report released earlier this week. The CBO was bad enough, but what Heritage found was 1.) without significant change in our Federal spending habits, there will not be a Federal budget deficit under $1 trillion dollars in the next ten years and 2.) our national debt will be $22 trillion in 2019, or 98% of GDP. This is not unexpected, but it is unsustainable. Check out www.heritage.org for more details. The report is by Brian Riedl.
PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLED the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team last night prior to their game. He talked to the coach and the players. Kentucky was #1 and undefeated this year, and favored last night, but they they went out post-call and lost. Did they not learn from Corzine, Deeds and Coakley? To the Colts and Saints, if he calls you before the Super Bowl, don’t take it.
CONGRESSMAN PAUL RYAN, Republican from Wisconsin, is releasing the Republican alternative to Obamacare today. Again. We’ll see if the press notices or reports. Ryan is one of the outstanding Republican members, keep an eye on him in the future. And, more on health care, National Review Institute commissioned a poll of 1,000 likely voters nationwide. A modest bill which limits liability lawsuits, allows purchase of insurance across state lines, creates a pool for those with pre-existing conditions wins hands-down 61%-21%. You’ll find those options in Ryan’s proposal. And, 62% believe that Obamacare will raise their insurance costs. The recently released CNN poll on Obamacare found opposition 20% higher than support. And, NPR released a poll yesterday that showed, for the first time in years, the Republicans up by 5% in the generic Congressional ballot. We’ll see if any of this impacts the President’s speech tonight.
ONE LAST NOTE: the Bellevue police chief showed up at the Senate hearing on the assault weapons ban bill in Olympia yesterday in uniform, but said she was there as an individual, not representing the city. If you live in Bellevue, heck, even if you don’t, a call to the mayor, suggesting the inappropriateness of it all might be appropriate.
I will be on the David Boze show, tomorrow, Tuesday the 26th, at 3:30, 770 KTTH. And, on Wednesday night the 27th, I am hosting a viewing party of the President’s SOTU at the Bellevue Marriott Courtyard on NE 8th at 110th NE, right in Downtown Bellevue. NO charge, cash bar, even some munchies. Starts at 5, I am working with Americans for Prosperity on this, they have a webcast for you at 5, the President is at 6. Hope you can make it, would love to see you there. AFP wants some reaction from all of you average Americans. BTW, check out their website, www.americansforprosperity.org, its a great group, you should join ( its free ) and get involved.