A quick trip around Hannity's America...
Are there earmarks in the stimulus bill? Well, it depends which day you ask President Obama.
Just days ago he was arguing that no bill this size had ever gotten through Congress without a pesky earmark here and there, but Monday night he was singing a different tune.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When was the last time that we saw a bill of this magnitude move out with no earmarks in it? Not once. And, and when you start asking well, what is it exactly that is such a problem that you're seeing, where's all this waste in spending? Well, you know, you want to replace the federal fleet with hybrid cars. Well, why wouldn't we want to do that?
What it does not contain, however, is a single pet project, not a single earmark.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Let me guess, it depends on the definition of earmark?
Dem on Defense
Press secretary Robert Gibbs continued the administration's offensive for the pork bill, taking the case to the nation's morning shows earlier Tuesday.
After Matt Lauer pushed as hard as he could, Mr. Gibbs went to considerable lengths to defend the spending bill:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No, Matt, I think, as the president has eloquently said, let's not make the perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary.
LIBERAL TRANSLATION: After all, in a perfect world, they'd have a more capable press secretary.
GIBBS: Economists will tell us that if we wait too long, we'll miss that opportunity to get our economy going.
LIBERAL TRANSLATION: We need to jump start STD prevention and funding for dog parks and disc golf courses. That's what's going to get this economy out of the ditch.
GIBBS: Again, as he said, this bill isn't 100 percent perfect. We all may write it a little differently.
LIBERAL TRANSLATION: And by not perfect, I mean a total and unmitigated disaster.
GIBBS: But what's important is we get money into people's pockets, we start investing in our infrastructure and creating the millions of new jobs that we've seen our economy shed over the past.
MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, "THE TODAY SHOW": But don't you see any...
LIBERAL TRANSLATION: What's important is that the president not be embarrassed any further. What's really at stake here is image.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
It's OK, Robert -- I'm not a morning person either.
Doddering to Defeat
Chris Dodd has been a mainstay in the U.S. Senate since 1981, but his prospects for reelection are dimming in light of a new Quinnipiac Poll released today. A 51 percent majority of voters polled say they "probably won't" or "definitely won't" vote for Mr. Dodd when he is up for reelection next year.
The senator's fall from grace comes after he revealed that he received preferential mortgage rates from Countrywide Financial for his homes in Connecticut and Washington, D.C. because he was considered a friend of the company's former chairman and CEO.
You may recall Mr. Dodd was responsible for introducing the very bailout bill that came to the aid of lenders like Countrywide. Hey, who needs friends when you know the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee?
You may recall that on the campaign trail, Mr. Obama threw blame on the Bush administration for spawning an era of international hostility and promised a new era of global harmony. Well, the era of international cooperation he spoke of during the campaign season hasn't exactly come to pass.
As Washington Times reporters Eli Lake and Jon Ward noted, the Arab world has greeted the new administration with the following gestures of goodwill: First, Pakistan released A.Q. Khan, the scientist who sold nuclear weapons technology to U.S. adversaries including Iran and Libya. Then, Kyrgyzstan refused to renew the lease for a critical U.S. air base, Iran launched a satellite missile into space and Yemen released 170 suspected Al Qaeda terrorists from jail.
I guess Joe Biden was right when he said the world would test the new president. It remains to be seen whether President Obama will respond appropriately.
A three judge-panel tentatively ruled Monday in favor of a group of California inmates that say the prison system in the state is so overcrowded they are unable to receive proper health care. The judges in the case — who were all appointed by Jimmy Carter — include Judge Lawrence Kolton, who once ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school is unconstitutional, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who happens to be married to the executive director of the ACLU of Southern California.
A final ruling would require California to reduce its prison population by nearly 60,000 inmates. But don't worry, according to The Los Angeles Times, there won't be a mass exodus of current prisoners, the reduction will likely occur by limiting new admissions and changing rules so parole violators return to prison less frequently.
The state plans to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court when a final ruling is issued.
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