A defining moment

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A day after saying he "absolutely" stood by Cabinet nominee Tom Daschle, the nominee quickly withdrew and President Obama took to the media to say that he messed up.

It takes a big man to do that, and we appreciate the president's candor.

He needs to be just as candid and courageous when it comes to his stimulus package - which, it is clear, has been hijacked by pork-producing Democrats in Congress.

Yet, the president who

promised to end business as usual in Washington has been oddly supportive of the perversion this bill has become. We fear the president's continued allegiance to an increasingly discredited "stimulus" package may end up being an infinitely bigger mistake than his support for Daschle.

Both he and the country may pay for it in the end.

In an interview with CBS's Katie Couric, the president made bizarre allowances for some of the outrageous spending in the House-passed bill - such as $6.2 billion for home weatherization.

"What would be a more effective stimulus package than that?" Obama said of the weatherization line item. "I mean, you're getting a three-fer. Not only are you immediately putting people back to work, but you're also saving families on your energy bills and you're laying the groundwork for long-term energy independence."

Wow. Now, that's a stretch.

He also says, "the package that passed out of the House I think in a lot of ways has been unfairly maligned. If you look at the over-arching package, it's got no earmarks in it." Note to presidential self: Wasteful spending doesn't have to be called "earmarks" to be wasteful.

Then there's the Senate version of the stimulus bill - which initially included a $246 million tax break for Hollywood producers to buy motion picture film. Unbelievable. Senators finally took it out, after noticing that movie box office receipts totaled $1.03 billion last month alone.

Also tucked into the Senate bill:

$650 million to help Americans buy TV converter boxes;

$1 billion for the 2010 Census;

$200 million for computer centers at community colleges;

$75 million for "smoking cessation activities";

$25 million for tribal substance abuse reduction;

$850 million for Amtrak;

$2 billion for a next-generation coal plant in Illinois that was defunded last year for being inefficient;

and hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of millions for federal agencies and buildings.

Let's at least be intellectually honest: Those aren't job-producing strategies; they're just spending.

President Obama says he told Democratic leaders, "Let's improve (the stimulus package). Let's make this a package that is big enough for the moment, and is really focused on the American people."

He's not being listened to. It's focused on government, pure and simple.

Of course, to convince his fellow Democrats of the bill's shortcomings, he needs to see them himself. And he doesn't appear to: "I also want to make sure that people don't get some notion, which I think has been systematically promoted out there," he said, "that this is full of silly spending, 'cause it's not."

Few Americans agree with the president on that: Public support for the package has plunged to 38 percent in a Gallup Poll.

"With more money at stake than the entire cost of the Iraq war," writes the San Francisco Chronicle, "the stimulus is meeting greater resistance and generating more controversy than Democrats envisioned ..." Meanwhile, the paper says, the package "is a defining moment for President Obama's young administration."

Indeed it is.

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Cheech1
0
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Cheech1 02/05/09 - 04:08 am
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This is just more evidence

This is just more evidence that he is a puppet for Pelosi/Reid - not a Presidential leader. This isn't a surprise to almost half of the nation .... the other half don't read news and/or unbiased commentary.

_SisterAbdullahX_
3
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_SisterAbdullahX_ 02/05/09 - 04:54 am
0
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Let the rationalizing begin.

Let the rationalizing begin.

bone
23
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bone 02/05/09 - 05:03 am
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they'll be taxing my

they'll be taxing my underwear soon. good grief, when will it shop?

reader54
310
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reader54 02/05/09 - 05:14 am
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Does anybody know where the

Does anybody know where the $350 billion went that Bush and cronies doled out?

HotFoot
17
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HotFoot 02/05/09 - 05:28 am
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I don't see how the home

I don't see how the home weatherization allocation is "a stretch". The homes down here, at least the older homes, don't have the insulation they should have. It would be great if people had an incentive to update leaking windows and lower their utility bills. As for the census, Bush badly underfunded it and preparation is so far behind schedule, it's a wonder it can be pulled together at all. By the way, if I'm not mistaken, the Constitution mandates a census be taken every ten years. It needs to be funded. I'll agree there is some crap in the bill--and I hope it is edited out--but not everything listed here is as ludicrous as the AC would have you believe.

Cheech1
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Cheech1 02/05/09 - 05:45 am
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transplant - The problem is

transplant - The problem is that it's not a "stimulus" bill, it's a spending bill. Be honest and call it what it is. These items have been on the Dim wish list for decades, they finally have their chance to fund them (maybe). But it's a spending bill plain and simple.

HotFoot
17
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HotFoot 02/05/09 - 06:01 am
0
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Good point, PTHS. I confess

Good point, PTHS. I confess I'm not thrilled with what the Democratic leadership has done with the stimulus bill, and I hope that Pres. Obama does what he can to amend it. However, the home weatherization provision, with which the AC takes such issue, isn't a bad stimulus measure.

pofwe
5
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pofwe 02/05/09 - 06:31 am
0
0
Does it not disturb you to

Does it not disturb you to watch our elected officials clammer for money that does "NOT" even exist? But these "legalized 'con-artists'" that we have elected will print $1's, $2's, $5's, $10's, $20's, $50's, and $100's by the billions without anything of value, (neither gold nor silver), to vouch for the legitimacy of our currencies. Can't anyone beside my dumbarse self see the writing on the wall? I'm contented with where I have laid-up my treasures. It ain't no stinking bank or money market accounts.

Martinez
154
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Martinez 02/05/09 - 06:50 am
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I have to agree on the whole

I have to agree on the whole "Stimulus" versus "Spending" argument. At the same time, I don't think the last "Stimulus" bill, or few for that matter, were good either. I admittedly might be more open minded about said "Stimulus" package if I didn't keep hearing report after report on how the bailed out banks have been spending their money. In theory, I agree a "Stimulus" is needed.... on paper though I don't think either President, Bush or Obama, figured out the magic formula for how to do it effectively.

Tujeez1
0
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Tujeez1 02/05/09 - 07:02 am
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If You are choking on this

If You are choking on this wad of PORK, maybe you ought to go back and see what the dems tacked onto the Bills requested by President Bush to Render AID after the hurricanes or fund the war on terror. Maybe those figures will put you over the top.

Tujeez1
0
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Tujeez1 02/05/09 - 07:05 am
0
0
Do They Call it a"Defining

Do They Call it a"Defining Moment" when you get finished using the toilet and look in there and see what you've just put out? ANSWER: YES, and this Package of POOP will be VERY SIMILAR TO THAT!

Tujeez1
0
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Tujeez1 02/05/09 - 07:06 am
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The only question now

The only question now is........Will it float or will it flush!!!!

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 02/05/09 - 07:19 am
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Another barry hussein

Another barry hussein appointee finding himself in trouble by taking millions. Inexperience = bad choices and mistakes.

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 02/05/09 - 07:31 am
0
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Are you saying now that these

Are you saying now that these people that weren't qualified in the first place for loans and have these homes - we are now suppose to pay for their weatherstripping? When are people going to become responsible for their own actions?

I4PUTT
5
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I4PUTT 02/05/09 - 07:43 am
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I am proud that President

I am proud that President Obama admitted he made a mistake choosing Daschle. I would be much prouder if he would be that honest about this spending bill and Treasury Secretary Geithner. And it would have been even more impressive had he been honest the moment the tax issues with Daschle, Geithner and others was brought to light. Instead, he continued to support these folks until the political damage to him was apparent. Transparency and ethics still ain't his strong suit, but he does have an opportunity to astonish all of America. Why not just walk over to the Senate, scrutinize the current spending bill, draw a line through all the non stimulative BS and ask the Senate to start from there. His really pretty speeches got him this job. Only substance & character can get him reelected. Based on his past performance in government service, I think this snake oil performance will be over in about 4 years. Hopefully He will prove me wrong because God knows, we desperately need someone of good character to lead this country out of this economic mess.

christian134
1
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christian134 02/05/09 - 07:57 am
0
0
And this is new News

And this is new News Chronicle?...I think not...We as well as this newspaper knew what was about to come so the only ones surprised would be the blind and deaf followers...Joy on top of joy the ride is just beginning....

sprintman
0
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sprintman 02/05/09 - 08:05 am
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The chronicle is a soapbox

The chronicle is a soapbox for the far right wing. Nobody but the kool aid drinkers and the neo cons. Take their articles seriously.

christian134
1
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christian134 02/05/09 - 08:11 am
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Love your euphemisms

Love your euphemisms sprintman...

justthefacts
24009
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justthefacts 02/05/09 - 08:12 am
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Approx $300 million to

Approx $300 million to Hollywood? Stimulus or payback?

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 02/05/09 - 08:12 am
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If nothing else, try taking

If nothing else, try taking what is happening seriously. Socialism at it's finest. Pay attention. Substance and character isn't going to be necessary AGAIN since he will promise those with their hands out and they will blindly follow.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 02/05/09 - 08:27 am
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I heard Sen. Thad Cochran of

I heard Sen. Thad Cochran of hard-hit Mississippi opine that a stimulus package will pass the Senate. It looks like cracks in the national Republicans stonewall have begun to appear especially after Republican governors are behind the spending bill. "Washington passed a $700 billion TARP bailout for Wall Street with feverish haste, but struggles to pass an $800 to $900 billion stimulus package for everybody else" writes Chris-in-Paris in AMERICAblog. Reader54 and sprintman make good points. Thank Goodness this stimulus package will have oversight and accountability on how the money is spent. I was glad to hear that the House passed the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that will cover 4 million uninsured children. That spending certainly gets recycled into the economy rather quickly like the expansion of the food stamp program and the extension of unemployment benefits. Barack Obama is overcoming great inertia and is now getting the ball rolling. Roll on, Buddy!

teharper428
2
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teharper428 02/05/09 - 08:28 am
0
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Now is the time to save

Now is the time to save billions by making 2 million homes and 75 percent of federal buildings more energy-efficient, and to double our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy within three years. (from Op Ed piece by Pres. Obama in today's WaPost)
Seems common sense to be a win-win plan, it puts people to work, saves the gov't and homeowners on their energy bills and makes us less dependent on foreign oil.

christian134
1
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christian134 02/05/09 - 08:48 am
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And they will follow blindly

And they will follow blindly now to the shearing pens convertedsoutherner...Just stay strong and keep praying for the best...

KSL
140232
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KSL 02/05/09 - 08:52 am
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What is to keep people who

What is to keep people who have insurance on their children from dropping it now for the freeby? That's exactly what happened in Hawaii.

justthefacts
24009
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justthefacts 02/05/09 - 09:07 am
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ksl, wonderful question.

ksl, wonderful question. Answer, nothing.

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 02/05/09 - 10:01 am
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And they walk among us. The

And they walk among us. The pork, payback stimulus, barry hussein socialist plan. pelosi, reid and others getting the pork from past, present and future years. Even IL is expecting stimulus money to help pay for their $6billion shortfall in paying their bills. Stimulus for what?

Riverman1
90455
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Riverman1 02/05/09 - 10:05 am
0
0
These people are going to

These people are going to manage all that money? They need gift subscriptions to H&R Block the way they pay their taxes. What happened to the first $350 billion? No one knows. Fox news is suing the government demanding an accounting.

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 02/05/09 - 10:06 am
0
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barry hussein trying to get

barry hussein trying to get money to IL to pay them back for getting him out of IL. Quinn says giving money to IL, in the stimulus, will be good for the state

Rhetor
1037
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Rhetor 02/05/09 - 10:39 am
0
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There is no question that the

There is no question that the pork needs to be removed from this bill. At this point, the Democrats and Republicans in Congress are all pursuing their silly agendas and they are not thinking about what is best for the country. The Democrats are, as usual, adding pork, and the Republicans are, as usual, against everything.

convertedsoutherner
2
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convertedsoutherner 02/05/09 - 11:02 am
0
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When do people start taking

When do people start taking responsibility for themselves, their actions and their property?... change/hope, hope/change and change you can believe in has now become "I'm sorry", "I regret" and "I screwed up". Clueless and classless. pbo - a man we are told to be proud of and respect doesn't seem to be showing ALL that brilliance and intelligence that his followers were promoting - just the wealth envy to divide the people. Be careful what you want/wish for because you may not like what you end up with. That seems to be what's coming to fruition.

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