Friday, February 6, 2009

Republican Senators to Watch on the Stimulus

Democrats are focusing on the votes of the following GOP Senators in order to pass the pork-laden $780 to $827 billion spending bill the president is pitching as a stimulus package:

Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania;

Olympia Snowe of Maine;

Susan Collins of Maine;

and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

Specter is up for re-election in the next cycle. His vote on the stimulus will probably determine his future in the Senate.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama Stimulus Harmful Says Congressional Budget Office in Latest Report

The Washington Times reported Thursday that President Obama's economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.
This begs the question: Who in Washington is telling the American people the truth? Is it a novice with no executive experience or is it a group of experts in the Democrat-run Congressional Budget Office?

Read it.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thief in Chief: AP Claims Copyright Infringement of Obama Image

We all have probably read or heard stories about Vice President Joe Biden's schoolboy plagiarism. So it probably comes as no surprise to some that his boss has also been involved in some intellectual indiscretion.

The Associated Press reported today that the Warholesque red, white and blue and poster of Obama underlined with the caption HOPE is based on an Associated Press photograph taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington.

AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Shepard Fairey, a Los Angeles based street artist,who designed the poster disagrees.
"The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission," the AP's director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.

"AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey's attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution."

"We believe fair use protects Shepard's right to do what he did here," says Fairey's attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP."

Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for and how the original is affected by the new work.

[. . .]

Fairey also used the AP photograph for an image designed specially for the Obama inaugural committee, which charged anywhere from $100 for a poster to $500 for a poster signed by the artist.

Fairey has said that he first designed the image a year ago after he was encouraged by the Obama campaign to come up with some kind of artwork. Last spring, he showed a letter to The Washington Post that came from the candidate.

"Dear Shepard," the letter reads. "I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign. The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can help change the status quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign."

At first, Obama's team just encouraged him to make an image, Fairey has said. But soon after he created it, a worker involved in the campaign asked if Fairey could make an image from a photo to which the campaign had rights.
Obama's vetting problems seem not to be isolated to just his appointments.

Read it.

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Scaremongering Obama Warns of Catastrophe if Spending Bill Delayed

President Barack Obama sais Wednesday that the recession will turn into a "catastrophe" if the economic stimulus is not passed quickly.
Obama rejected several criticisms of the plan: that tax cuts alone will solve the problem, or that longer-term goals such as energy independence and health care reform are not also critical to address at the same time. The White House released some of Obama's remarks ahead of an event on executive compensation limits.
Obama referenced his win in November while arguing that wary lawmakers must get behind his approach without further analysis.

A growing number of economists and lawmakers are questioning how a massive government spending bill will ever be able to fix the economy.

Many conservative Americans find themselves now asking what Republican presidential candidate Mitch Romney, a proven business leader who has hands-on experience rebuilding failed businesses, would be doing as president to fix the economy.


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Obama Reads While 250,000 Freeze in Kentucky

Eerily similar to the September 11, 2001 photos of President Bush reading at Booker Elementary while the terror attacks were being carried out, President Barack Obama, and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, read to second graders at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, Tuesday, February 3, 2009, while Kentucky suffers through its largest natural disaster, which has left hundreds of thousands without power in sub-freezing temperatures.

Monday, news services reported the national death toll hit 55 for last week's Midwest ice storm, with 24 dead in Kentucky alone. In a letter to President Barack Obama Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said 10 of the deaths were from carbon monoxide poisoning and at least nine others from hypothermia.

Gov. Beshear ordered the activation of all Kentucky Army National Guard units and some Air National Guard units as the state continues to struggle with a crippling ice storm, the largest callup in state history.

It was also reported Tuesday that over a quarter of a million people were without power in the region with temperatures expected to dip into the teens overnight.

President Bush at Booker Elementary on September 11, 2001.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

International Obamalove Fades After EU Throws Fit Over "Buy American" Plan

The European Union warned the United States yesterday against plunging the world into depression by adopting a planned “Buy American” policy, intensifying fears of a trade war, according to the UK's Times Online.

The EU threatened to retaliate if Congress forged ahead with sweeping measures in its $800 billion stimulus plan to restrict spending to American goods and services.

Obama tonight gave a strong signal that he would remove the most provocative passages from the Bill.

Read it.

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Baghdad Bob Gibbs: White House Defends Ethics Standards

The Associated Press reported today that despite a federal investigation of one high-level nominee, the tax problems faced by a at least three high-level nominees, and at least 17 exceptions made to the no-lobbyists pledge, President Barack Obama's spokesman is defending the administration's ethical standards.
Robert Gibbs told reporters Tuesday, "The bar that we set is the highest that any administration in the country has ever set."

During a briefing filled with questions about Tom Daschle's decision to withdraw from consideration to be Health and Human Services secretary, Gibbs pointed to experts who describe the administration's ethics rules as the strongest in history.

He also said those experts recognized that Obama would need to make exceptions to his pledge to run an administration free of former lobbyists.
Read it.

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Daschle Out: Another Appointment Bites the Dust

Daschle said, 'I ... will not be a distraction.'

President Barack Obama's written statement:
“This morning Tom Daschle asked me to withdraw his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services. I accept his decision with sadness and regret….Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake, and this decision, cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country from his years in the military to his decades of public service."
Former Senator Tom Daschle's statement:
“I have just informed the President that I am withdrawing my name from consideration for Secretary of Health and Human Services….If 30 years of exposure to the challenges inherent in our system has taught me anything, it has taught me that this work will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction. Right now, I am not that leader, and will not be a distraction…”
Out Tally:

Bill Richardson: Obama pick for Commerce Sec.

Nancy Killefer: Obama pick for Performance Czar.

Tom Daschle: Obama pick for Sec. of Health and Human Services.


The Obama Circus Rolls On: New Commerce Sec. Voted to Kill Commerce

CQ Politics reported today that President Obama’s new candidate to run the Commerce Department voted in favor of abolishing the agency as a member of the Budget Committee and on the Senate floor in 1995.
Sen. Judd Gregg , R-N.H., whose nomination was expected to be announced Tuesday, also worked in the Senate to trim the department’s budget as head of the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee.

Gregg’s 1995 votes were cast for the fiscal 1996 budget resolution, a nonbinding blueprint that outlined the GOP’s fiscal priorities after Republicans won full control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

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Yet Another Tax Mess in the Obama Mix

In a report published Tuesday, the Associated Press notes Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday.

Killefer was the second major Obama administration nominee to withdraw and the third to have tax problems complicate their nomination after President Barack Obama announced their selection.
The White House said Obama had accepted Killefer's decision and that the 55-year-old executive with consulting giant McKinsey & Co., would explain her reasons for pulling out later Tuesday.

When her selection was announced by Obama on Jan. 7, The Associated Press disclosed that in 2005 the District of Columbia government had filed a $946.69 tax lien on her home for failure to pay unemployment compensation tax on household help.

Since then, administration officials have refused to answer questions about the tax error which she resolved five months after the lien was filed.
Read it.

Related Spin: Obama's performance czar has tried to improve IRS

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Wire: Obama to Cut Funding to Troops

The Obama administration has asked the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon's budget request for the fiscal year 2010 by more than 10 percent -- about $55 billion -- a senior U.S. defense official has told FOX News.
Last year's defense budget was $512 billion. Service chiefs and planners will be spending the weekend "burning the midnight oil" looking at ways to cut the budget -- looking especially at weapons programs, the defense official said.

Some overall budget figures are expected to be announced Monday.

Obama met Friday at the White House with a small group of military advisers, including Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman, and Gen. Jim Jones, National Security Council chairman.
Read it.

Also see: Washington Post: No Time To Cut Defense

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If you were to evenly spread the tax burden into one year for the Democrats' so-called stimulus bill, you would need to charge each and every American at least $2,700.00.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wire: Obama's Post-Partisan Politics DOA

French news agency AFP, reflecting an international view of American politics, has taken notice that Obama's promise of post-partisanship leadership is dead on arrival.
After Barack Obama's first big win, the White House finds itself in the odd position of denying the new president has absorbed a power-sapping defeat.

...the president appealed to Republicans to get behind his massive economic stimulus package.

The Democratic president plied Republican leaders with cocktails, sent out invites to a White House Super Bowl party and even made a rare presidential foray to Congress to woo the other side.

But when the 819-billion-dollar package came up in the House of Representatives last week, not a single Republican voted yes.

[. . .]

Republicans in the House had sound political reasons to obey their leadership and vote against the stimulus package.

They complain that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats did not get Obama's memo about bipartisanship and claim they were shut out of framing a bill they say features unnecessary spending and insufficient tax cuts.
Read it.

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