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Moderate Republican Senators Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe are indicating they will defect from GOP ranks and vote in favor of President Obama's $825 billion porkulus bill ($1.1 trillion counting interest), thus giving Obama the 60 vote supermajority he needs to pass it. That makes the Congressional Republican tally on Obama's porkulus package - 219 against, 3 in favor (and Collins is wavering). Hurrah ! It's bipartisanship !
According to the NY Times, Obama congratulated the three Republicans for their "patriotism":
Mr. Obama called Ms. Collins and Mr. Specter, as well as Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, another Republican expected to support the deal, to acknowledge they were acting against pressure from their party and, one official said, to thank them for their patriotism in helping advance the bill at a critical time.
Is anyone else tiring of our President calling agreement with his policies "patriotic" and "unifying", while disagreement is characterized as "divisive" and "petty politics" ? I know I am, and he's been in office for only three weeks. Obama is not the nexus of all that is good and righteous. Obama's VP, Joe Biden, called it "patriotic" to pay more in taxes a few months ago, during the presidential campaign. Big Brother knows best, even when Big Brother was the one who screwed things up in the first place.
In another example of the new politics, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) wants to cap the compensation of all CEO's. There is legislation in Congress to accomplish the task:
“There’s deeply rooted anger on the part of the average American,” the Massachusetts Democrat said at a Washington news conference today. He said the compensation restrictions would apply to all financial institutions and might be extended to include all U.S. companies.
Let freedom ring ! Do I smell the rotting corpse of wage and price controls rising from the grave ?
You may remember Barney Frank as one of the facilitators of the Fannie/Freddie meltdown, which is responsible in part for the current economic crisis. I'd like to cap him (his pay, that is). Here's Barney in '05, when regulation was being proposed by Republicans to reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
"These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."
It doesn't seem like Republicans were exaggerating the problem now, does it Barney ? It's worth mentioning once more that Barney Frank is the head of the HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE, more commonly known as putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
I'm wondering, what kind of compensation should we be paying to a Congress that has us in debt up to our eyeballs and spinning down the economic toilet ? After all, they do work for us, though you'd never know it by their actions. Maybe we should take away their salaries and put it toward the debt. That sounds "patriotic" to me. Maybe we should only pay them when they run in the black, just like Congress and Obama suggest Wall Street should do. Maybe that would get our pols to be fiscally responsible for once in their lives. Nothing else seems to work. Let's put them on commission. No reduction in the federal debt, no pay.
Then there's Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), who a few months ago wanted to nationalize the oil industry because it was making more profit than Democrats liked. Now, Ms. Waters wants to takeover the banks:
"If it was left up to me ... I would nationalize the whole [mortgage] industry." --Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Are you starting to get an idea of how these people think ? Anything that gives more power and control to the federal government is GOOD, and anything that doesn't is BAD.
But don't call them socialists. Heaven forbid. That's just crazy talk.
Also prepare yourselves for TARP II, which is said to be bigger than TARP I (which didn't work), and bigger than Obama's stimulus bill (which will have minimal impact). It's a brave new world, and money doesn't matter anymore. The numbers being tossed around are so large that a "billion" sounds like chicken feed nowadays. It isn't.
Stick 'em up. It's patriotic.