Tuesday, March 31, 2009

That sound you hear is 1000 GOP bloggers crying.

From The Hill:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) backed the plan for GM and Chrysler put forth yesterday by President Obama, the candidate Romney may face in the 2012 presidential election.

"I think a lot of people expected the president just to cave, write a check, and just hope for the better," Romney said Tuesday morning on CNN. "I think he's expressing some backbone on this."
Now, to back up a bit, Romney has long been a favorite of the online GOP chattering class. Personally, I don't get it. The guy had every advantage in the world for the 2008 primaries and still got trounced. He simply lacks the ability to connect with voters.

But I digress.

Romney has been getting a decent amount of press lately as the person best suited to carry the conservative mantle into 2012.

But this latest proclamation is already strike two since Obama took office.

Strike one? Earlier this month, Reason Magazine touted Romney's health care program in Massachusetts as a failure:
There is both good news and bad news for advocates of market-based approaches to health care.

The good news is that there is a growing recognition across the political spectrum that Massachusetts’ experiment with TonySopranoCare – otherwise called universal health coverage -- is unworkable and unsustainable.

Three years ago the Bay State started forcing individuals and employers to purchase health coverage on the threat of penalties and fines. At the same time, it mandated insurance companies to sell Cadillac coverage (complete with in vitro fertilization and hair prostheses) to everyone regardless of health status. The first inflated demand for health care. The second diminished supply because not too many health care underwriters can do business under the prescribed conditions. The upshot? Massachusetts’ delivered a captive market to a cartelized insurance industry – something that some of us had predicted at the outset would lead to spiraling health care costs.
So as Governor, Romney devised a universal health care system that is now being touted as a failure by both the left and right. And we now learn he has no problem with the President of the United States playing the role of de facto CEO of Fortune 500 companies.

Romney as a conservative is a sham. Eventually, some will learn to accept it.

"...and Barney Frank knows a lot about pay for performance."

This column comes from 3BP contributor, Thanksforyourtaxes. His experience on the Hill and now doing congressional affairs at a local DC think tank provides us some good insight, but not as much as his ability to cut the bullshit and tell us what he really thinks:

Rep. Frank has laid another whopper on us. As detailed in "Beyond AIG":
The “Pay for Performance Act of 2009” states that the government can impose controls over employee pay for ANY company that accepts federal tax payer dollars (or ‘investments’).
I know your first response: “What the F%*&?!”

But beyond that, just how is this ‘performance’ measured? The answer, unfortunately, is the U.S. Department of the Treasury. How do they think Geithner or anyone in the frighteningly understaffed Treasury are going to be able to better hire/fire/promote/pay any employee of any corporation?

Because they love big government. Why has this not made huge news like the bonuses Senators agreed to pay AIG employees? I just don’t get it.

Wait a second, though. This could be a good thing. Why would any company in their right mind take federal dollars to stay afloat? Everyone in the company would benefit from Chapter 11, more or less, rather than the government coming in and saying “you can make this much, you can make this much.” Soon everyone will know what the GS13-45-ER222 government pay scale is exactly.

The fact is, your tax dollars are already bailing out government employees every day. I have an idea, as the DJ mentioned yesterday, let’s start looking at the ‘performance’ of government employees! After all, these are people who work at the pleasure of the taxpayer, right? As it stands, you can't be fired from a government job.

Let's test this ‘pay for performance’ idea on government employees. (out of the kindness of our heart, we'll start them all with a clean slate, despite years of data showing their inefficiencies) Someone offer up a bill expanding 'pay for performance' to federal employees. That way we can make really gauge the salaries of some crazy NASA scientist that spends his work days protesting global warming and promoting some altogether massively inefficient transportation system; or some HHS employee downloading porn on his desktop.

Let's give Barney Frank a chance to clean up what he should be making accountable -- the government.

Patrick Ruffini likes himself.

Ruffini is one of the more prominent GOP bloggers.

Maybe this is why. From his twitter feed:

There is no reason for this post. I just found it funny.


Monday, March 30, 2009

It's yours, whether you like it or not.

Obama has involved himself in the first election since he won the grand prize last November.

Tomorrow, Jim Tedisco, the Republican, takes on Scott Murphy, the Democrat, in the NY-20 congressional special election to replace Sen. Gillibrand. NY-20 is a swing district. While there are more registered Republicans, Gillibrand, a Dem, has won the past two elections and Obama won by 3 points.

So, even without Obama's involvement, one could say this is the first true gauging of the Obama presidency.

But what is curious about this race is the President's hesitancy to join the fray until late.

His involvement includes only one television ad recently released over the weekend(with a surprisingly small ad-buy), and an e-mail to his network of supporters.

The reasons for his tardiness could be many, such as wanting to hold off until he was confident in a Murphy win, and in turn able to consider the Democrat's victory an exclamation point to his agenda so far.

Or, polling could state that Obama isn't popular among independents right now, and strategists decided it was best to hold off on committing the President's political capital. That way if they lose they can try to spin it as "he never put his full strength behind the campaign due to his focus on the White House agenda".

It could be any number of things, all of which are impossible to predict without more information, such as internal poll numbers.

But at the end of the day, whether the President likes it or not, this special congressional election is a referendum on him -- no matter how he tries to spin it.

Does that mean it's as big a deal as the 2010 midterms? Oh hellllllll no. But it will be a story in the mainstream media and it will be framed around the status of Obama's political capital.

Unfortunately, based on the latest public poll numbers -- that's good news for Obama.


Once again, Gov. Strickland's 'crouch under the desk and hope nothing bad happens' strategy is flying in his face.

It turns out his fellow Democrats have decided to pick up his fumble on education and do their best to get things moving again.
Many changes to Gov. Ted Strickland's school-funding plan are in the works. A revamped version probably will help many poor districts, while lessening the impact of a property tax change that otherwise would provide big benefits to high property-value districts such as Columbus.


Through weeks of examination, including more than 50 hours of House committee testimony from 320 witnesses, Strickland's "evidence-based" funding model has been taking on water through a number of holes.

"There are a lot of good things in it, and there are some things that we feel ought to be changed," said Matt Bunting, treasurer of Athens schools. His district would get almost no new money in the next two years under Strickland's plan, which phases in funding over eight years.

"We need to speed up the phase-ins that help some of the poorer districts and slow down the phase-in for some of the wealthier districts," Bunting said.
In 2006, Ted Strickland said if he didn't fix education, he would consider himself a failure as Governor.

Since the Democrats in the Statehouse now feel the need to take over his plan, perhaps we can make this call a little earlier than we anticipated.

Thanks for nothing, Guv.

"You're feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?"

As we all know by now, Obama recently forced out the General Motors CEO, Rick Wagoner. By doing so, he's put himself in a bit of a pickle. I'll let Mickey Kaus detail it for you.
After visibly defenstrating GM CEO RIck Wagoner, and moving to replace the board of directors, won't Obama now "own" the GM problem? If the company shuts down in the near future, costing tens of thousands of blue collar jobs, it will be under executives implicitly or explicitly chosen by Obama. It will be Obama's failure, not simply GM's failure, no?
He nails it. Now where Obama should be worried is that his decision was nothing more than, as 3BP contributor Chobemaster puts it, window dressing. By simply forcing out the current CEO rather than demanding a complete restructuring, Obama is doing nothing to remedy the issue.

Now, that doesn't mean 3BP thinks the President should be in the business of hiring and firing of private sector CEO's, but if you're going to dip your wick, at least do something that could help change the way GM does business. Instead, GM will continue to fail, and thanks to the President's political capital being invested in the company, he will continue to bail it out.

A vicious circle. With our tax dollars.

But this isn't the first time the federal government has used taxpayer dollars to get their way.

Over the years, the federal government has given just enough to schools to make them addicted to the teat. It has gotten to the point where the school system is so reliant on federal dollars, that any withdrawal would be met with a fierce political fallout.

No Child Left Behind finally introduced some accountability into the system. Schools were required to provide some evidence of production in return for the dollars. The ultimate punishment for repeated failure to improve was, you guessed it, the wholesale firing and replacement of school administration.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? But, there are distinct differences -- 1) these firings are codified into the law and are enforced as such...in other words, not done at the will of a single individual(i.e. President Obama and the CEO); and 2) schools that receive federal dollars are not private entities.

The fact is, by making private companies reliant on the taxpayer dollar for their survival, we are moving closer and closer to a system similar to what we've done to our schools where there is little incentive to innovate and improve.

NCLB is a law that few are happy with. Conservatives want the feds out of education, and Dems don't like the accountability. But long ago we put ourselves into a situation where, for now, it's the only option we have.

The massive bailouts were the same kind of first step towards government takeover of aspects of the private sector. Obama's firing of the GM CEO is the second...

I don't want to know what's going to be third.

h/t: Dougpowers.com on the new GM logo.

You're not fired.

It is easier for the President of the United States to fire the CEO of General Motors than it is to get a federal employee fired.
"Very few federal employees -- in the hundreds, not the thousands -- are ever fired on the basis of poor performance," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University.

That's out of a federal workforce of 1.86 million, he said.

"If you want to fire an employee, you're taking on a task that is very intense and difficult, and biased in favor of protecting employees, and it can take a year or more to complete," Light said.
Does anyone see anything wrong with this?

Bye bye, Mohammed! Have fun storming the cas...:bang!:

A would-be suicide bomber accidentally blew himself up on Thursday, killing six other militants as he was bidding them farewell to leave for his intended target, the Interior Ministry said.

"The terrorist was on his way to his destination and saying good-bye to his associates and then his suicide vest exploded," a statement from the ministry said.
Keep up the good work, fellas.

Someone is going to beat up Bill Maher.

I don't know who. I don't know when. But if this doesn't deserve a smackdown of some sort, I don't know what does.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thanks for swinging by....

The past couple of days have seen a bustling of activity here on 3BP.

Special thanks to Hotair, Ace of Spades, MyPetJawa -- among others, for linking to our "Obama's Shattered Dreams" video. In just a couple days the video has over 7,200 views. Expect even more video commentary and exposition from us in the future.

We try to update 3BP a few times a day during the week, focusing mostly on the analysis of national issues from a political perspective. For those fellow Buckeyes out there, we're also covering quite a bit of Ohio politics and are looking forward to a Kasich/Strickland matchup in 2010.

In the meantime, bookmark the site and come back frequently. We may not do this blogging thing professionally, but we have a good time staying involved in the process.

Thanks for checking the place out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

So much for your promises...

This week America was finally clued into yet another of Obama's broken promises -- and this one was a doozie.

Middle class tax cuts were one of the centerpieces of Obama's Presidential campaign. Well, it turns out even centerpieces have expiration dates.

3BP takes a look...

When will he learn?

Today Wal-Mart announced they are firing, effective immediately, 650 people who work at their optical lab in Lockbourne, Ohio.

And still, Governor Strickland doesn't get it.

He refuses to even suggest a plan to develop incentives for businesses to stay in Ohio, or entice businesses to come to Ohio.

Until that happens, jobs will continue to leave the Buckeye State.

It's very simple, Gov. And if you haven't learned it by now, then Ohioans will start looking for someone that has.

I'm impressed.

I'll admit, I was very anti-Twitter for many a month, despite friends pushing me to join the movement. I never really saw the point of knowing every single move my friends were making.

But, I started to peek around a bit and discovered it was a great way to get a little more plainspeak from major journalists and breaking news before it hits the mainstream. I added myself to the twitter-nation and today it actually paid off a bit.

I noticed Jake Tapper was tweeting(is that right? I'm still working on twitter lingo) from the President's Afghanistan event. It seemed like a good opportunity to communicate some points to Jake that 3BP contributor Chobemaster and I were discussing, namely the hypocrisy in Obama's claim that his mission to increase the troops in Afghanistan is neither new nor narrow. To my surprise, Tapper responded:

The point of all this?

Twitter works. It enables anyone with an internet connection the opportunity to directly share your opinions with the messagemakers of the mainstream media and the politicians developing policy. And, provided you make a point that interests them, communicate back and forth on the point of debate.

Now, the Twitter Nation is still full of people that simply use it follow their friends and keep abreast of whether they are sitting in their office or taking a break to go to the crapper. But there really is a higher purpose behind it. Give it a shot.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The best 63 seconds from South Park in years....


Simply brilliant.

The neverending campaign...

Obama's online town hall is going on right now.

And he's turned the White House into a campaign-style stage.

He's also spent the first 10 minutes doing the exact same thing he did on Tuesday -- talk to a teleprompter.

I hate reruns.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gerrymandering: The Game!

Ohio Secretary of State and Senate hopeful Jennifer Brunner today announced a fun new game to help distract Ohioans from the ever-increasing ineptitude of Ohio's elected leadership.
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has announced the schedule and Web site for a competition that allows Ohioans to submit proposals for redrawing congressional districts more fairly.

Beginning Friday, Ohioans can go to http://www.ohioredistricting.org to sign up to participate and be trained on using the necessary software.
3BP has gleefully entered the contest. Click here for our submission -- dedicated specifically to Secretary of State Brunner.

Dude. Whoa.

Tomorrow morning the White House is hosting a internet forum where the President answers questions submitted by anyone who wishes to register at the WH website.

Ya think the potheads are making some kinda concerted effort to be heard? This is exactly what I saw when I first logged on.


UPDATE: I decided to go ahead and submit my own. Here it is. Remember, vote early, vote often.

UPDATE II: Miracle of miracles. Obama acknowledged the potheads. But not with an answer they'll like.

It's ok, they're not awake yet, anyway.

Where to start...

What a mess.

The Dayton Daily News reports on a new poll, and I use that word loosely, commissioned by a coalition of human services groups in Ohio and conducted by a far left-wing polling group called Hart Research Associates.

How left-wing? Well, their clients include all far-left Democrats and left-wing political organizations like Emily's List.

Unfortunately, the DDN is reporting this story as a poll "showing support for higher taxes".

Now, I'll agree that, technically speaking, this is a poll so far as they called Ohioans and asked them questions and published their answers. But so far as accurately framing the issue, they couldn't have done a worse job.
If given a choice between cutting services for the sick, hungry and abused or raising taxes on businesses and wealthy families, Ohioans are all for boosting taxes.
Push poll, anyone?

It's simply intellectually dishonest to present this issue as an either/or in the way they have characterized it. Are those the only options?

Unfortunately, the writer of the DDN piece refuses to highlight any other alternatives. Here's a hint, DDN.

But 3BP did come up with a few of their own poll questions that Hart is more than welcome to use for their next joke....er, poll.

  • Would you prefer raising taxes on the super wealthy, or would you rather watch a room full of puppies die a slow, agonizing death?
  • Would you rather rip your fingernails out with a spork, or slightly raise fees...er, taxes on Nazi sympathizers?
  • Do you prefer increasing the tax on the pollution-creating, Obama-hating, AIG-supporting super wealthy, or slowly de-evolving into a sub-species, slime-oozing ball of goo?
Higher taxes, you say? Shocker.

Now, what is the motivation for commissioning such a poll? Clearly, the desired result was a story that said, "Ohioans want higher taxes".

But we need to start with the premise that, without considering other variables, Ohioans prefer lower taxes to higher ones. Also, we need to consider that higher taxes under a Strickland Administration are altogether certain to happen. The question is when.

As Tom Suddes of the Dispatch wrote on Sunday:
If Strickland tries to raise taxes in 2009 to fund a budget for the two years starting July 1, he risks losing his re-election bid. [...] Trouble is, what Ohioans don't pay in 2009 and 2010, they might have to pay in 2011. That doesn't help Republicans in 2010, but it's perfect for Democrats.
Basically, he states if there isn't a massive change in how things are run, taxes must be raised in Ohio. If not now, it must be done after Kasich and Strickland face-off in 2010.

So we know Gov. Strickland is trying to hold off from raising taxes. He's trying to maintain an image of being fiscally responsible with Ohio's budget -- and moreover, being responsible with taxpayer dollars. And that includes not taking more of it.

If a perception is created in Ohio that its citizens are ok with raising taxes, and its Governor is able to play the good moderate by putting it off despite Ohio's so-called willingness to do so, he is able to stick to the center in 2010 against a candidate known best for his fiscal sensibilities.

Strickland is smart, but hopefully the rest of Ohio's media doesn't fall for this ruse.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Doofus in DC...

3BP hasn't done this in awhile, and honestly is pessimistic whether a presser with the Prez will be worth it...but we're liveblogging this thing. Let's see how ticked off it makes us.

9:00 - All done. Thanks for following everyone. Time for some coffee.

8:59 - Nina Easton on Fox calls out Obama on the health care/deficit point I made earlier.

8:58 - Watch Krauthammer on Fox for a good post-presser analysis. That will be the one to hear.

8:57 - This WAS a question about Israel and Palestine, right?

8:57 - No, Mr. President, we didn't expect Iran to give away their Nuke efforts. We did expect them to say Death to America. Which they did.

8:56 - "Inheriting naughty problems..." Did I hear that right?

8:55 - Pretty damn boring for the only real foreign policy question of the night. Nothing about the increased aggression from Russia and China? Even with Biden's pre-election prediction of Obama being tested? Nothing about Iran? Really, MSM?

8:52 - Israel/Palestine question is the last one. Meh.

8:51 - Great follow-up by the Times' kid.

8:50 - "If the science determines we can avoid [using embryonic stem cells], then great." There's your challenge, America. Let's show him.

8:49 - Props to the Times reporter bringing up adult stem cells and their success vs. embryonic stem cells. Too bad it was phrased in a way that will let Obama weasel out of acknowledging it.

8:47 - Washington Times question? Oooo. That's a surprise.

8:46 - Ann Compton brings up race. This is just pathetic.

8:44 - What do you say to homeless children? Here, Mr. President. Use this.

8:43 - "Evidence suggests that charitable giving tax won't damage donations." I'd LOVE to see that evidence.

8:42 - Thinking back to the Ed Henry response...I wonder if it takes the President two days to understand everything. How the spork works...how to work without a teleprompter, etc. etc.

8:40 - Mike Allen of Politico couldn't look more nervous. Hysterical.

8:38 - I'm better at this than Bill Schneider.

8:36 - "Why did you wait days to express that outrage?" Blam.

8:35 - There is not a runaway deficit in your budget because of health care alone. Hopefully the press doesn't let him redefine the debate in this way.

8:33 - We know it's hard. No one is claiming otherwise. We're just asking for some responsibility.

8:32 - Calllllled out by Ed.

8:31 - Obama calling on the smaller market media outlets. Clearly chosen because he knows what kinda question they will ask. Smart politically, but rascally.

8:29 - Kevin from Stars & Stripes: Your suit is awful.

8:28 - He named the President of Mexico. Show-off.

8:27 - Lourdes getting the call from the "probably didn't win an Academy Award" seats.

8:25 - "This budget is no big deal in regards to the deficit because we'll have other budgets."

Uh, what?

8:24 - Good followup, Chip. Don't count on an answer.

8:22 - Girlfriend: "Zzzzzzz."

8:21 - Folks are gonna to rip apart the 'cut deficit in half' comment tomorrow.

8:21 - Blame the other guy, eh? Man up, Mr. President.

8:20 - Wow. This guy picks up where Judd Gregg left off on Sunday. Wish he would have mentioned Gregg.

8:20 - Couldn't hear Tapper's followup, but Obama looked away hoping to avoid it. Wuss.

8:18 - Obama totally sidestepped Tapper's question. Color me shocked. I think that looks mauve.

8:16 - Tapper asks about phasing out the middle class tax cut. Gonna be interesting to see if Obama allows a follow-up.

8:15 - The Tapp Man! Woo!

8:14 - Chuck, shush.

8:13 - By the way, Chuck Todd....that was such a lame question. Obama is doing a good job of unnecessarily overanswering it and filling the 60 minutes.

8:12 - He nailed it. The American people already are sacrificing.

8:11 - True, Mr. President. You're asking me to sacrifice the money in my paycheck.

8:10 - F Day I C. What is that?

8:08 - The government not having control of AIG is why things got worse? The line of thinking is downright scary.

8:07 - Apparently the AP requires 80s hair to be a reporter.

8:07 - The girlfriend is sitting next to me and just asked why he's looking down.


8:05 - The teleprompter.

8:04 - Anyone else laughing at the fact that the teleprompter for this opening statement is in the back of the room(out of public view) rather than to his sides.

8:02 - A reporter onsite tweets that unlike last time, reporters were not warned ahead of time that they'd be called upon.

8:01 - An 8 minute opening statement. Cool. That means we can start with a pee break.

8:00 - I'm wondering what it will look like to see a teleprompter walk down the red carpet.

7:59 - The WH is gonna have an online town hall later this week. Borrrrriiiinnnnng.

7:58 - I'm watching this on Fox. Like everyone else.

Boom Goes the Dynamite


Failing Econ 101

Special thanks to Chobemaster, Petr Weifen and mula bocf for their assistance with this post.

Business Week recently seized on a facebook group that has turned into a bit of a phenomenon -- the Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy group.
In just two short months, Robert Applebaum has become something of a spokesman for a generation of people burdened with student loan debt. Applebaum, a 35-year-old attorney in New York, started a Facebook group in January called "Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy," fed up with news reports about bank executives spending millions to redecorate their offices and receiving hefty bonuses. "I wanted to rant, so instead of sending an e-mail to a couple of my friends, I decided to start a Facebook group."


By the end of the second week 2,500 people had joined, and the group now has more than 138,500 members, many of whom are pressing their representatives in Congress for legislation that would forgive student loan debt. "It's just snowballed," says Applebaum.

Student loan repayment can be difficult for young people starting off their careers and has become even more challenging now with the economic downturn, as recent graduates lose their jobs or struggle to land one. Groups like Applebaum's on Facebook, and other organizations such as StudentLoanJustice.org, are part of a new movement advocating for an overhaul of the country's troubled student loan system. Frustrated with often unaffordable monthly payments, loans that are nearly impossible to discharge, and restrictive loan repayment plans, student borrowers are pushing the government and private loan companies to devise new solutions.
Devise new solutions? Is that really what they are saying?

No, it isn't.

Look at the name of the group. They want to stop paying their student loans. It's that simple.

Now, I get their motivation (secondary to wanting free money, of course). They believe younger people would take the money to be spent on paying their loans and instead spend it into the economy.

Would it really help? In the article, it's stated that outstanding loan debt is at $131 billion. Now, let's say about $90 billion of it is spent into the economy within a year. Based on 2007 numbers, $90 billion would account for only %1.5 of total consumer spending in this country. How much of a real effect would that have on stimulating our economy?

Now, onto the most important point -- how would the government forgive the debt?

There are only two possible mechanisms of "forgiveness":

1. Federal government borrows money itself and pays off the lenders.

2. Federal government declares the debts satisfied by fiat, as if discharged in a bankruptcy, let's say.

It's pretty obvious why #2 is bad -- the losses would be concentrated in the financial sector, which can hardly take another hit. It's asinine to legislate losses for them while we're also bailing them out and constructing toxic asset relief plans...it would end up being a messier, more expensive version of #1 anyway.

In regards to #1, with the massive borrowing we are already doing, this is just more of the same...where does the capital come from? Ignoring inflation generally, and the increased cost of capital for business expansion specifically that come from massive new borrowings and inflated rates, just the principal itself has to come from somewhere. What are the options?
  • China, perhaps? If so, this is capital they won't end up using to buy American products or invest in advancing the Chinese as consumers -- and, in turn, not helping the U.S. economy.
  • Domestic investment in treasuries? Anything invested in treasuries is NOT spent in new plants, new technology, new products (i.e. jobs). And since jobs requiring degrees are more of America's job growth sectors than those that do not, we end up making it harder for these debt-burdened college students, as well as college students who have worked harder or made do with less, to get jobs.
And what about principle? What about responsibility?

Personally, I still have student loans to pay out the wazoo. Going to a small, private liberal arts college will do that. But that was my choice and I made it with the understanding that I'd have to pay back whatever loans I took out.

If we do this, where does it end? The slippery slope is downright frightening.

But I do have a suggestion.

A facebook Breast Augmentation Loan Forgiveness Group.

You're welcome, fellas.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The war is over.

Per the Obama Administration, the Global War on Terror is over.

It is now called the "Overseas Contingency Operation".

The end of the Global War on Terror -- or at least the use of that phrase -- has been codified at the Pentagon. Reports that the phrase was being retired have been circulating for some time amongst senior administration officials, and this morning speechwriters and other staff were notified via this e-mail to use "Overseas Contingency Operation" instead.

"Recently, in a LtGen [John] Bergman, USMC, statement for the 25 March [congressional] hearing, OMB required that the following change be made before going to the Hill," Dave Riedel, of the Office of Security Review, wrote in an e-mail.

"OMB says: 'This Administration prefers to avoid using the term "Long War" or "Global War on Terror" [GWOT]. Please use "Overseas Contingency Operation.'"
Well, that was quick.

Code Pink, you are hereby relieved of duty. Congrats on the win.

I bet our guys in Iraq and Afghanistan will be happy to put their lives on the line everyday for a frickin' contingency operation.

It's official. The White House is being run by hippies.


Thanks to Meman, we have the following example of a downright pathetic display of the Obama Sheeple Phenomenon.

MSNBC's Newsvine regularly polls their readers online regarding the issues of the day. The results from Friday and Monday were too funny to not highlight.

On Friday...Is it right to place a massive tax on bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers?

59.9% Yes
31.9% No
8.2% Maybe

Then today, after Obama goes on the record opposing the tax... Is Obama right to oppose the bonus tax?

59% Yes
23.3% No
17.8% Maybe

Uh-oh. It's happened again.

My best friend.

You ain't seen nothing yet.

In a Quinnipiac poll that came out last week, we learned that support for Ohio Gov. Strickland's education policy had gone from 42-22 to 31-29(with 40 undecided) in just over a month.

That's an 18 point swing.


And it's going to get worse.

Late last week, three of Ohio's biggest newspapers took Strickland to the woodshed on education. From the Columbus Dispatch:
Word that Gov. Ted Strickland's "evidence-based" plan for Ohio's schools might not fit with the new school buildings that taxpayers have paid $6.5 billion to construct is one more sign that the plan isn't well-thought-out.

That's not to say that the governor's staff didn't put a lot of effort into it. It prescribes in detail exactly what all schools need to have and to do to be successful.

But the staff employed the wrong kind of thinking: prescriptive instead of empowering, focused on inputs rather than results.
From the Akron Beacon Journal:
The challenge Ohio must meet (a challenge reiterated by President Barack Obama) is to create incentives for excellent education, in public as well as charter schools. It will be Ohio’s loss if Strickland’s charter school proposals result in slowly but effectively starving to death excellent schools along with the mediocre and the failures.
And finally, the mightly Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Strickland should think twice before ordering every child out of these little lifeboats, because some of them would certainly be forced back aboard sinking ships.

When it comes to understanding the importance of charter schools to many Ohio students, Strickland clearly has a lot to learn. He should ask the president for some tutoring.
And all this from a Governor who back in 2006 said if he didn't solve the education crisis in Ohio, that he would consider himself a failure.

I can see the commercials already...

In fact, this is a good start:

"I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany."

A brief respite...

After that last post, I need a little pick-me-up.

Here's a bear giving a pole dance on a tree.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Please tell me this is b.s.

A news source called Monsters & Critics is reporting that President Obama has sent a letter to former French President Jacques Chirac stating:
I am certain that we will be able to work together, in the coming four years, in a spirit of peace and friendship to build a safer world.
Now, I'm going to pray for three things right now:
  1. That this isn't true.
  2. That President Obama doesn't think Chirac is still President of France.
  3. That the President simply enjoys working with former world leadeOH WHO IN THE HELL AM I FRICKIN' KIDDING!??!!?!?!?!
What in the hell is going on in the White House?!?!? If this is true, and I refuse to believe it is until something more mainstream confirms it, the level of ineptitude is at a staggering level at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Democrats and the mainstream media made fun of Quayle's 'potatoe'. They complained about W stumbling over his words.

What about mixing up world leaders? What about snubbing our greatest ally?

This is like Schwartz going from dare to triple dog dare in one fell swoop.

President Sarkozy, if this is in fact true, we're sorry.

UPDATE: It's real. Crap.

UPDATE II: After more thought, let's give Obama the benefit of the doubt on this one. He knows Sarkozy is President. He meant to tell Chirac that he wanted to work with him over the next four years.

But why? Why have your first outreach be to a former President before a current one? What possible benefit can there be? One thing is beyond question, this is a snub to Sarkozy.

And that makes absolutely zero sense to me.

My sweet one.

3BP's latest production takes advantage of a great interview Sen. Judd Gregg gave this morning on CNN's Late Edition. Gregg, as you recall, was Obama's 2nd pick for Secretary of Commerce before the Senator reluctantly changed his mind and went back to Congress. This gave Gregg the unique position of being able to provide a critical perspective of the Obama Administration as someone who once was identified by the President as the best person to oversee U.S. Commerce.

Take a look:

h/t: Hotair.com

Friday, March 20, 2009

You might be next.

Ohio is closing in quickly on double digits.

For unemployment.

Word is that the latest figures show things are getting worse for Ohio. Today, 3BP learned that the state's unemployment rate was 9.4 percent in February, up from 8.8 percent in January, according to data released this morning.

And Governor Strickland still thinks the only tax breaks Ohio needs are enticements to get Hollywood movies produced here.


UPDATE: Nice timing by Kasich's people to get this video out. Here we have John explaining exactly what Ohio needs to do in order to recharge the economy and bring jobs back to the Buckeye State.

God Save the Queen -- with two for one coupons at Walmart.

BNO News broke word this evening that President Obama will have a private audience with Queen Elizabeth on April 1st at Buckingham Palace. In hopes of repairing the damage done when he gave Prime Minister Gordon Brown 25 DVDs that don't play in British machines, 3BP has compiled -- with great help from fellow Buckeyes -- a number of gift suggestions for the President to present to the Queen.

  • Does Buckingham Palace have a gift shop?
  • Upper 6 Reds tickets
  • A laminated copy of his tournament picks.
  • Jarts.
  • A shrubbery.
  • Lottery Tickets
  • Lingerie
  • A pair of Mickey Mouse ears
  • A turban
  • A 14K gold herringbone gold chain
  • Autographed picture of Big Ben (Roethlisberger)
  • A teleprompter
  • A big gold bling "E" on a chain
  • Princess Di bobblehead
  • A Snuggie
  • A Chia Pet
  • The clapper
  • The Commonwealth of Massachussetts
  • 25 of the latest Betamax releases
  • Commemorative Executive Order nullifying Treaty of Paris
  • Rand McNally map of Illinois
  • Hair Band gift club. First up: Warrant - Cherry Pie
  • A yardstick
  • Gift basket of body lotions and massage oils from Bath and Body Works
  • A couple of those classy and always popular talking fish mounted on plaques
  • "Sham-WOW"
  • $50 Target gift card.
Mr. President, you're welcome.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


That sound you heard was Secretary Geithner throwing himself in front of a bus.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday that he takes responsibility for knowing the stimulus legislation had a loophole that would allow bailed-out insurance giant American International Group to keep its bonuses.
These are the kinds of things that are used as excuses for ousting a Treasury Secretary.

Is that totally fair? I'm not convinced. Geithner has been in over his head and it's hard to say whether it's due to his own incompetence or because he simply never had any senior staff to help him out. The Obama Administration has left him dangling in the wind without any Deputy Secretary, Undersecretary or Assistant Secretaries. This is like a CEO of a major company trying to run his entire operation without any VPs. It's doomed to fail.

Stay tuned.

133 days.

133 days since Barack Obama won the election and began his transition efforts. One of, if not the most important aspects of transition is nominating and getting Senate approval for your political appointees.

The President has 487 positions to fill. The below graphic, courtesy of the Washington Post, will show you how far he has come in 133 days.

133 days. 6.2% have been confirmed. All that with a solid Senate majority.

The ineptitude of this Administration knows no bounds.


Someone must have unplugged the Teleprompter. There is no way this would happen under the watch of TOTUS.
While not exactly a film buff, Gordon Brown was touched when Barack Obama gave him a set of 25 classic American movies – including Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins on his recent visit to Washington.

Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem.

The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words "wrong region" came up on his screen. Although he mournfully had to put the popcorn away, he is unlikely to jeopardise the special relationship – or "special partnership", as we are now supposed to call it – by registering a complaint.

A Downing Street spokesman said he was "confident" that any gift Obama gave Brown would have been "well thought through," but referred me to the White House for assistance on the "technical aspects".

A White House spokesman sniggered when I put the story to him and he was still looking into the matter when my deadline came last night.

Mary Jo Kilroy had a bad day.

3BP is getting youtube happy.

Democrat Fantasy Politics

You've seen these, right?

Well, 3BP decided to start their own series.

First up?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Going viral.

3BP has taken another 15 minutes out of their day to throw together their 2nd attempt at a viral video.

The first one has garnered over 2,200 views....so we're not doing too shabby.

Unfortunately, this one is on a much more serious topic.


Everyone is doing it.

I figured since the President had the time to put together his own bracket and share it with the world, the least I could do is share mine.

But more as a service -- if you want to win your bracket, pick the opposite of me.

You're welcome.

Correcting the record...

We all know how dangerous the blogosphere can be when it comes to spreading rumor and innuendo. We all can get away with using 'unnamed sources' a lot more than mainstream media. And once something enters the blogosphere it has a tendency to take on a life of its own, whether true or not.

On Sunday, Buckeye State Blog, a left-leaning Ohio-centric blog, reported on a story found in the Star Beacon up in Ashtabula. Their complaint centered around this 'quote.'
“I am convinced (teachers) are a lot more concerned about their own situation rather than the situation of our children,” Kasich said.
Their analysis, if you want to call it that, as written by angryteacher reads as follows:
Really, John? Is that why I don’t get to pee until after school? Is that why I risk bodily injury to break up fights between students, because I care more about my own situation? Perhaps that’s why I come to school early and stay late and give up my lunch period to work with kids that need to pass the state achievement tests that politicians like you mandated? Maybe that’s why I come to school even when I’m sick because I know even if I’m sick, I can teach loops around a healthy substitute. Come shadow me for about two weeks. I can do your job (not that I’d want to), but you can’t do mine. I'm not concerned about my own agenda.
Well, I hate to break it to the BSB writer, but Kasich wasn't referring to "teachers", as identified in the Star Beacon. In reality, he was referring to Teacher Unions. (you can look for a correction in the online version of the Star Beacon soon)

Now, we can debate about the political activism and influence of Teacher Unions versus whatever benefits they provide their members, but one thing we can be sure of....Kasich was not saying teachers look out for their own best interests before their students.

Once the Star Beacon makes their correction I'll look forward to angryteacher's retraction...but I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Plummeting to Earth.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, that is.

While his numbers are still decent, the drop is noticeable and troubling for the current Administration. Via the Dayton Daily News:
"...voters disapprove of Strickland’s handling of the economy, 45-39 percent. In a poll released Feb. 5, voters approved of Strickland’s handling of the economy, 44-37 percent."
That's a 14 point swing in just over a month. And it's going to get worse.

How does he do against Kasich? Well, he still whoops his butt. 51-31. The good news? Kasich has gained 10 points since the last poll in February. An interesting aside -- Kasich performs weakest in southeast Ohio, Strickland's base. But there is a chip that has yet to be played in this region and it's summed up in this March 7 headline from the Columbus Dispatch: Strickland's school-funding plan faulted in southeastern Ohio

Speaking of education, the Guv's #1 priority despite the economy being in the toilet, Ohioans are losing faith there as well.
[On February 5,] by 42 - 22 percent voters believed that the Governor's plan would improve education in Ohio. Now, it's almost a wash, with 31 percent thinking that same way, 29 percent saying no, and 40 percent not sure.
So to put this plainly -- by a majority, Ohioans disapprove of Governor Strickland in the two most important issues facing the State today -- the economy and education. And just as important, this happened without anyone but the media and individual's own experiences morphing their opinions. In other words, without an announced opponent pointing it out.

Allowing approval of Governor Strickland to fall 'on its own'(for lack of a better term) lends these beliefs to become more inherent into the voter psyche. If Strickland had an announced opponent right now, the opponent's criticism would be welcomed with a sense of cynicism by swing voters. Furthermore, Strickland could deflect the issue by refocusing the media onto Republican 'plans' for the economy and education. Finally, the media would be more focused on learning more about the new GOP nominee than targeting Strickland's failures.

Instead, voters are developing an understanding, without anything to distract them, of what Strickland has let happen to the great State of Ohio.

This poll has provided yet another reason why the political environment isn't quite ripe for Kasich to officially enter the fray.

Be patient, Ohio. It will happen.

Someone get this kid a videocamera and access to Youtube.

From News Channel 8 in Portland:
A Portland fifth grader says he won't perform in his school's talent show after the principal said he couldn't wear his costume of President Obama, the Oregonian reported Monday.

Dru Lechert-Kelly is a student at Llewellyn Elementary school.

According to the Oregonian, his parents said Dru hoped to dress-up like the president and dance to the song "I can do whatever I like" for his performance in the talent show.

But after several parents expressed concern, the principle banned the mask.

The principal has not yet said why the parents thought the mask was offensive.
Seriously. This is performance art. There has got to be some stimulus dollars out there we can get him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The White House needs a calculator.

Today, the Obama Administration made their daily message all about the $165 million in bonuses to AIG employees.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama declared Monday that insurance giant American International Group is in financial straits because of "recklessness and greed" and said he intends to stop it from paying out millions in executive bonuses.

"It's hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay," Obama said at the outset of an appearance to announce help for small businesses hurt by the deep recession.

"How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat," the president said.
Now, there are a couple of angles to view today's message from the Administration.

One, how pathetic is it that is they are getting this worked up over 0.09% of the total given to AIG? Shouldn't they be more intensely focused on how the taxpayers investment lost $61.7 billion(or, 36% of the total given to AIG, i.e. 374 times what was given away in bonuses) just last quarter?

Second, and almost as frightening, is the sheer ineptitude of the White House who just two weeks ago, after an announcement of the disbursement of $30 billion more federal dollars for AIG(207 times more than the amount spent on bonuses), said they were confident with where AIG's money was going. Today, Jake Tapper called the White House out on it by posting this transcript from that press briefing.

From ABC's Political Punch:
TAPPER: AIG, is the administration confident that it, that it knows what happened to the tens of billions of dollars previously given to AIG?

GIBBS: Is it confident -- I'm sorry?

TAPPER: That they know -- that you guys know what happened to the previous billions before you hand over this next $30 billion.

GIBBS: Yes -- yes, the -- I mean, I don't think it's a -- well, obviously, you've got a huge insurance company that is losing money, not the least of which because of its sheer size and sheer size and decrease in the growth in our economy. It experiences a far bigger drop, largely because of its size. But, again, the steps that -- that Treasury and -- and others took were to ensure a larger systemic problem wasn't one that we had to deal with here today in letting something just die.

TAPPER: But in terms of specifically the -- I guess it's like $150 billion before, you guys are confident...

Thank God for Jake Tapper singlehandedly restoring my faith in mainstream journalism.

"...64% of Iraqis call democracy their preferred form of government."


ABC News recently polled Iraqi citizens. Here are some of the eye-opening results.:
Eighty-four percent of Iraqis now rate security in their own area positively, nearly double its August 2007 level. Seventy-eight percent say their protection from crime is good, more than double its low. Three-quarters say they can go where they want safely – triple what it's been.
I wonder if Detroit is that high.
...eight in 10 favor [United States military] withdrawal on schedule by 2011 – or sooner. But at the same time a new high, 64 percent of Iraqis, now call democracy their preferred form of government.
This is a good thing. Any country that would want to be occupied would clearly have some issues yet to be dealt with.
Sixty-five percent of Iraqis say things are going well in their own lives, up from 39 percent in 2007 (albeit still a bit below its 2005 peak). Fifty-eight percent say things are going well for Iraq – a new high, up from only 22 percent in 2007. Expectations for the year ahead, at the national and personal levels, also have soared
Let's compare that with this CNN poll from Feburary 2009 that stated 75% of Americans say that things are going well for them personally. 65% of Iraqis compared to 75% of Americans. Yes, all things are relative -- but now no one can question the Iraq War success story.

Amazing, indeed.

Thank you, President Bush and all members of the US Military.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Petraeus for President?

Per The Weekly Standard, Gen. Petraeus, the architect of the US Military's surge in Iraq, has accepted an invitation to deliver the commencement address at the University of Iowa in 2010.

Now if you consider the fact that he has no past connection to Iowa, it's an interesting speech to accept, and one he had to know would turn heads.

Petraeus could be an interesting prospect if things in the region begin to sour. There is a reported schism between him and the President regarding Iraq/Afghanistan strategy, and the General would clearly be an intriguing alternative.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jon Stewart pisses me off.

But I still like him. He's funny, original and his style of humor frighteningly mirrors my own.

With that being said, the publicity he is getting from the Cramer interview this past Thursday reinforces the how faulty the perception is that qualifies The Daily Show as 'fake news'.

Meghan McArdle at The Atlantic says it much better than I ever could:
Jon Stewart also shapes peoples' decisions. Video is a medium with powerful claims to reality--people tend to think that if they saw it, it must be true. This makes it uniquely good at manipulating its audience with skillful editing. I'm very sympathetic to Stewart's deep critique of financial shows, but I don't think the way to go about it was to string together a bunch of very misleading clips. Nor to imply that Santelli, who has been vocally against all bailouts from the beginning, was merely frothing on the forclosure program because ordinary taxpayers were finally getting a taste of federal largesse. But Stewart carefully claims he's just an entertainer, so he has no obligation to hew to journalistic standards on things like quoting out of context.
I'm sorry, Jon. You can't have it both ways. You can no longer claim you provide 'fake news' and those that help shape their opinion from watching your show are idiots. Clearly, the evidence suggests otherwise. Because of your style and your message people DO shape their opinions based on your program -- and for that you need to take responsibility.

Friday, March 13, 2009

3BP EXCLUSIVE: Coughlin to quit run for Ohio Governor

Just over a month ago, Ohio State Sen. Kevin Coughlin announced his candidacy for Ohio Governor.

3BP, thanks to some reliable sources, is able to be the first to announce that by the end of the month Coughlin will quit the Governor's race and instead become a candidate for Secretary of State.

Back in January when Coughlin for Governor rumors first started surfacing, Buckeye State Blog proudly proclaimed this as evidence that Kasich wasn't running.

They couldn't have been more wrong. Shocker, I know.

While I'm sure Coughlin wants to be Governor, he likely entered the Guv race in hopes that the Party establishment would make financial/political committments to him in order to avoid a Primary against Kasich. I can't say I blame him. This is a tactic that has been used, with mixed success, by potential candidates for years. This time, it didn't work.

In reality, I'm sure the Kasich people never saw him as a threat. They knew he would bolt as soon as John officially entered the race. So Coughlin's move to switch races before Kasich officially enters is a good one in that it doesn't look like he is stepping on toes and doesn't force Kasich to acknowledge his deficiencies as a candidate relative to the former Congressman.

The decision to run for Secretary for State is a curious one. It has the potential to be a crowded field with State Sen. Husted, Sandy O'Brien and Rob Montgomery already expressing intention to faceoff in the Primary. But perhaps he thinks he has a better shot splitting the field rather than going one on one against powerhouse candidate Josh Mandel for Ohio Treasurer.

Best of luck to State Sen. Coughlin in his race. He's a quality candidate and a good conservative with a big future in Ohio.

"I have not heard anything from them in months and this tells me that the organization is floundering."

This morning, Kyle Sisk posted a survey of sorts of Ohio-centric bloggers and their thoughts on John Kasich's timing of his potential candidacy for Governor. I won't go point by point on all of them, mostly because the majority seemed like they were written by 8th graders, and partly because it would take too damn long.

But one really stood out. And no, it wasn't mine.

From CampaignJunkie:
I already thought he should have announced. When I spoke to him, I advised him to at least bring on a full time staff (me, a PD, and a fundraiser) and announce at the latest before the Super Bowl or IMMEDIATELY after the State of the State (like two seconds after Strickland was done - sure it wouldn't be on the top fold but right after people read about budget cuts, there is my announcement) and give me two years to run the thing and he would win. I am extremely disappointed about the organization of things at this point (and not just because I am not in charge (yet)). If I were in charge, obviously things would not be this poor, but I am not in charge so what am I going to do.


I have not heard anything from them in months and this tells me that the organization is floundering.
First, I'll give you a moment to stop laughing.

Better? Good.

CampaignJunkie, I don't know who you are, but your simplistic point of view and downright hysterical belief that you are the guy to run Kasich's operation makes me wonder...how is the campaign for College Republican Chairman coming?

But I will take a second to seriously address the "floundering" comment.

That couldn't be further from the truth. As I've stated before, Kasich has been doing exactly what he's needed to over the past year: engaging Party leaders and activists in a grand scale throughout Ohio. Just this month, Kasich is attending twelve Party functions throughout the State...only one of which is in his Central Ohio base. Based on my sources, these events are averaging about 400 attendees...some smaller, some larger. That means he is engaging the Party leaders, grassroots coordinators, fundraisers and combinations thereof by the thousands. These are very people that need to be inspired to work hard to make sure victory is assured in November of 2010. And Kasich is making sure that happens.

The question is money. Will Kasich be able to raise what is necessary? Absolutely.

Ohio Republicans haven't had a candidate they felt was a legitimate and inspirational nominee for Governor since 1994. When the time is right, they will be ready to give money. They'll be ready to knock on doors. They'll be ready to do what it takes to Recharge Ohio.

Fortunately, we have video of CampaignJunkie responding to concerns about Kasich's candidacy...

Geithner getting the heave-ho?

Of course not. But I like the fact that there are semi-legit reports of people talking about it.
A friend reports chatter within the Obama administration that Tim Geithner was a bad choice for Treasury Secretary and that Quadrangle partner Steve Rattner (currently the car czar) was brought in partly to have a good relief pitcher on hand.

This doesn't surprise us: We think that, in this crisis, Tim Geithner is clearly the wrong man for the job. But this is also only unconfirmed chatter at this point.
Is it fair that this guy is totally overwhelmed? Nope. His boss next door has been completely inept at providing him any senior support staff.

At the end of the day, it reinforces what we said all along -- Obama wasn't ready.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

RIP The Daily Show

I just watched Jon Stewart's 30 minute interview of CNBC's Jim Cramer on The Daily Show.

I think it's safe to say Stewart can stop calling his show "fake news" now.

Delegitimizing Rhodes Scholars Everywhere

Bill Clinton doesn't know what an embryo is.

The highlights?

Clinton: "...we're not taking embryos that can - that under any conceivable scenario would be used for a process that would allow them to be fertilized and become little babies..."

Clinton: "...he has apparently decided to leave to the relevant professional committees the definition of which frozen embryos are basically going to be discarded, because they're not going to be fertilized."

Clinton: "...any of the embryos that are used clearly have been placed beyond the pale of being fertilized before their use. There are a large number of embryos that we know are never going to be fertilized..."

Clinton: "...any embryos where there's any possibility, even if it's somewhat remote, that they could be fertilized and become human beings."

Just to make sure we're clear, here is the definition of an embryo from WebMD: In humans, the developing organism from conception until the end of the eighth month; developmental stages from this time to birth are commonly designated as fetal.

And to make sure we don't have a "it depends on the definition of is" moment, here is the definition of human fertilization from Wikipedia: Human fertilization is the union of a human egg and sperm, usually occurring in the ampulla of the fallopian tube. It is also the initiation of prenatal development.

h/t: JillStanek.com

Ohio: The New Switzerland

Or, at least it should be.

As we've been saying for months, and as Gubernatorial candidate to-be John Kasich has been practically yelling: Ohio needs to cut taxes.

Why? Ask the Swiss.
In a country with scant crude oil production of its own, the virtual energy boom has changed the canton or state of Zug, about 30 minutes' drive from Zurich, beyond all recognition. Its economy was based on farming until it slashed tax rates to attract commerce after World War Two.


Over the past six months companies including offshore drilling contractors Noble Corp and Transocean, energy-focused engineering group Foster Wheeler and oilfield services company Weatherfield International have all announced plans to shift domicile to Switzerland.
With the Buckeye State's awful tax environment relative to the rest of the country, businesses are leaving the State and new businesses aren't coming to Ohio. We are losing jobs. We are losing tax revenue.

As Ace of Spades so wisely says: "Switzerland's winning strategy seems to be that they recognize 20% of something is still more than 40% of bupkis."

Put this in the 2012 debate file...

The Obama Administration clearly thinks they can do anything:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance. …

No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wr
ote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

The groups also cited an increase in “third-party collections” estimated in the 2010 budget proposal — something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under “consideration.”

“A final decision hasn’t been made yet,” he said
Fast forward to 2012:

"Mr. President, in just the 3rd month of your Presidency, your Secretary of Veterans Affairs announced that your Administration was considering forcing military personnel injured in the line of duty to use their own insurance to pay for their care. Mr. President, this is indefensible."

And repeat.

Clearly, the way this was leaked was to gauge public reaction in a way that would damage the President as minimally as possible. Make no mistake, this is not a proposal from the VA -- this comes straight from the Obama White House -- and we should never forget that.

UPDATE: How long til we see this one again?


Uh oh.

Sec. Geithner is testifying in front of the Senate Banking Committee starting at 10am.

Everyone grab some popcorn and watch the Dow do its best impersonation of an Olympic downhill event.

UPDATE: Here is a pic of where we were at just prior to 10am. We'll revisit at the end of the day.

UPDATE: Up 239! It's a miracle! Actually, apparently better than expected retail numbers released today gave the Dow a boost. Shocker -- The consumer lifts the economy moreso than the government.

A little perspective...

I know us Republicans are trying to rejoice with every little bit of good news we can find...and there is very little these days, but unfortunately I have to call out Jim Geraghty at CampaignSpot over this one:
According to a poll released Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Mike Castle has more support today than Attorney General Beau Biden, should the two run in 2010 for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Beau's father, Joe, just before he was sworn in as vice president.The survey, conducted by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling, of 782 Delawareans found 44 percent support Castle while 36 percent favor the younger Biden.

It's early, obviously, but you have to figure Beau Biden's name recognition in the state is pretty darn high . . .
Yes, Beau Biden has high name recognition. But this statement infers the poll makes a statement about the GOP in general versus the Obama/Biden Administration. That does a disservice to Mike Castle. Castle has been elected to statewide office in Delaware going all the way back to 1980 when he was elected Lt. Governor. Since then he has served as Governor and US Representative(he represents the whole state). Hell, just in 2008 he received 61% of the vote when in the same election, Obama/Biden received 62%.

Delaware voters have respected Mike Castle and his service for years. Him leading the son of the VP, unfortunately, is no surprise.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jim for linking back to 3BP. He states:
True enough. But I, and many others, figured this Senate seat could virtually be put in Joe Biden's will as a family heirloom. If the Democrats had to spend money to keep a seat in Delaware, it would be an unexpected bit of good news. Of course, all of this depends on Castle deciding he wants to give up a safe House seat for a possible Senate seat...
Here we agree. If Castle doesn't run, this seat clearly becomes a family heirloom. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Move over, Huey Long.

"[A demagogue is] one who will preach doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots." -H.L. Mencken

Really, Mr. President? All Republicans do is say no? Are you sure they didn't provide alternatives to your Stimulus Shit Sandwich?

Doesn't look that way, does it?

The Kennedy School for Defensive Underwater Driving

I'm SOOOO glad our tax dollars are paying for this:
BOSTON – More than one out of every five dollars of the $126 million Massachusetts is receiving in earmarks from a $410 billion federal spending package is going to help preserve the legacy of the Kennedys.

The bill includes $5.8 million for the planning and design of a building to house a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate. The funding may also help support an endowment for the institute.

The bill also includes $22 million to expand facilities at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum and $5 million more for a new gateway to the Boston Harbor Islands on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a park system in downtown Boston named after Kennedy's mother and built on land opened up by the Big Dig highway project.

Courtesy of the Orange Ninja, 3BP already has an exclusive look at one of the first planned pork projects -- The Kennedy School for Defensive Underwater Driving:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not so stupid, after all.

Here's a followup from Katon Dawson regarding the rumor floated this morning that he wanted to oust Steele. Thanks to CampaignSpot for the info:
I support Michael Steele. Our Committee elected him knowing that he can lead us during this critical time for our Party. The people behind this anonymous rumor are clearly intent on dividing the Republican National Committee and our Party at a time when we need to be united.

I hope you're proud.

Jake Tapper and ABC News call out President Obama:
Then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., one year ago this week, swooped in from the campaign trail to — along with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — vote for an amendment to impose a one-year moratorium on earmarks for fiscal year 2009.

All three then-presidential candidates voted for the amendment,offered by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC.

It failed: 71 NAYs, 29 YEAs.

Candidate Obama said then "we can no longer accept a process that doles out earmarks based on a member of Congress’ seniority, rather than the merit of the project. We can no longer accept an earmarks process that has become so complicated to navigate that a municipality or non-profit group has to hire high-priced D.C. lobbyists to do it. And we can no longer accept an earmarks process in which many of the projects being funded fail to address the real needs of our country."

Today, of course, President Obama will sign into law more than 8,000 earmarks for FY 2009, part of the $410 billion omnibus spending bill.
Let's be sure we are clear here.

One year ago, Obama took a timeout from his campaign to crusade against earmarks under the guise of fiscal responsibility.

Today, despite his power under the Constitution to veto an earmark-filled appropriations bill, President Obama approved it.

Anyone who believed Barack Obama would usher in a new brand of politics should be ashamed of him right now.

I need a hand, here...

Can someone explain to me how these two issues can coexist? From the NYT:
Compounding the strain on the Treasury, almost all the top posts beneath Mr. Geithner are still vacant. Though he has hired about 50 senior advisers — about half the number he hopes to recruit — the White House has become so worried about potential tax problems and other issues in the backgrounds of candidates that it has nominated only a handful of people.
Christina Romer, who heads the White House Council of Economic Advisers, also said Obama has communicated clearly that attacking the deep recession is his top priority.
The economy is the President's number one priority -- so much so that he is reportedly "worn out" from how much he has focused on it.

And yet, his Administration is completely incapable of finding people to fill the slots necessary to run the very Department whose responsibility it is to develop policy that keeps our economy afloat.

Boy, sure makes me glad we hired the energetic, young kid.

The world is upside down.

I know it isn't a scientific poll....but it is MSNBC.


Great Moments in Journalism!

If you haven't read this column from Ann Coulter, make sure you do so before watching the below video.

Spectacularly stupid.

Yeah? Well I'll 'no confidence vote' you right back!
Republican insiders tell Political Wire that a no confidence vote on RNC Chairman Michael Steele is likely to be called after the NY-20 special election on March 31 -- regardless of whether Republicans win the seat or not.

Katon Dawson, who came in second in the January RNC vote, is said to be quietly organizing a vote and is getting the support of several state party chairmen who want to dump Steele.
The guy has been in charge for only 38 frickin' days. Give him time to shape the RNC in the way he deems best.

Sheezus, I wish we could stop kicking our own asses for once.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Real Speakers of Genius

It looks like Speaker Pelosi is doing her best to cut back on extravagances during our economic crisis.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly requested military aircraft to shuttle her and her colleagues and family around the country, according to a new report from a conservative watchdog group.


In one e-mail, aide Kay King complained to the military that they had not made available any aircraft the House speaker wanted for Memorial Day recess.

"It is my understanding there are NO G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable ... The Speaker will want to know where the planes are," King wrote.

In another, when told a certain type of aircraft would not be available, King wrote: "This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset Speaker."
So thank you, Speaker Pelosi. Your demand to use a G5 rather than the more chic G6 is the kind of sacrifice that will inspire Americans nationwide in these tough times.

3BP salutes you.