.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Oops! Wikipedia Pronounced Rush Limbaugh Dead

(Radar Online) - Looks like the folks at Wikipedia were prepared for the worst when it came to Rush Limbaugh. Actually they were a little too well prepared.

Shortly after the news broke that the conservative political radio talk show host was hospitalized, Wikipedia updated his page – and pronounced him dead.

Gingrich Blames Political Correctness For Security Failure

"The entire administration approach is fundamentally wrong."

Video: Michelle presents the 2009 “Cone of Shame” awards

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - A salute not to the most evil or corrupt behavior of the year but to the most … cringeworthy. Just as with last night’s movie post, I’m going to think of a half dozen examples as soon as I hit “publish,” but at the moment the beer summit and Sanford’s soap opera seem right on the money. Lame, touchy feely, and riddled with poor political calculation: They were a magic combo. We shall not see their like again, my friends. At least not until, say, January.

Elsewhere, the boss is posting a 2009 “best of” list. She’s on the money there, too.

Michelle Malkin on Gitmo, Yemen, and Flight 253 intel failures

MSNBC Reflects: Last Decade Sucked Except For Obama's Election

Video: Taylor Marsh, Matt Lewis agree … ObamaCare is a disaster

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - It’s the end of the year, and we should focus on what unites us, right? Increasingly, ObamaCare has begun to fill that role. Matt Lewis of Politics Daily debates Taylor Marsh, but only in the narrowest sense of “debate.” They may have different reasons, but they both agree that ObamaCare is a disaster and should be killed by the Senate at the earliest possible moment:

Ah, the sweet smell of unity. It seems almost churlish to quibble, but Taylor seems to have an issue with the definition of “monopoly.” The private insurance industry has plenty of competitors within it, although in some states only one or two insurance companies operate (and even then, private employers self-insuring provide some competition to keep prices lower). The solution to the narrow range of choices in some states is to remove the artificial barriers to interstate competition so that consumers can choose from hundreds of different companies and thousands of different policies, not to have the government that regulates the industry crowd out the companies that compete in it.

Connecting farmers and markets

DANBURY (By Lisa O'Donnell, Winston-Salem Journal) - Larry Roark hopes that this spring he will spend more time tending to the fruits and vegetables on his small farm than waiting for customers to arrive at area farmers' markets.

Roark is one of about 20 farmers in Stokes, Rockingham and Caswell counties participating in Piedmont Local Food, a new program that will match farmers with restaurants and other customers who want locally grown food. Although not all of the details of the program have been completed, the idea is to launch a Web site for farmers to sell their produce. It should be up by March.

Farmers would drop off the orders at a central location. The produce would either delivered or available for customers to pick up.

White House Visitors Log: ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis In Obama Residence Week Before Sting Videos Launched

(Big Government) - This afternoon, on arguably one of the slower news day of the year, the Obama White House released another document dump of “visitor records.” According to the White House, today’s batch total more than 25,000 records, covering meetings between September 16-September 30th.

You can scroll through the list of records on the White House site OR you can download the raw data. Interestingly, the full download uncovers almost 30,000 records, including many from outside the mid-September time-frame detailed on the White House site. In other words, only the records from the specific two week time period are viewable on the White House site. Many other visitor records were released today…they are just much harder to find.

Like, for example, the visitor records for Bertha Lewis.

Commissioners vote to buy land for community college--Opposition arises in the form of an email

(By Leslie Bray Evans, The Stokes News) - The prospect of a stand-alone community college in Stokes County inches closer. On Monday night, Stokes County Commissioners voted unanimously to purchase property on which to locate the proposed facility. The land at 1141 Dodgetown Road in Walnut Cove would also be used to house Stokes County’s Early College High School.

The total price for the two tracts which total approximately 46 acres is $317,124.

The motion to buy the acreage was put forth by Commissioner Leon Inman and seconded by Commissioner Stanley Smith. Before the vote was taken, however, Commissioner Dr. Ron Carroll spoke up.

Rush Radio Fires Up In Triad Today

Triad (digtriad.com) - The Piedmont Triad's new and exciting radio station for 2010 will launch today at Noon with a live 3-hour broadcast of the Rush Limbaugh Show from the EIB Network. Guest host Walter Williams will discuss the events of the day and field calls from loyal Ditto Heads.

Following the Rush Limbaugh Show, the station will debut the brand new "Morning Rush with Bill and Pam" at 3p! Long time WMAG personality Bill Flynn is the new morning host for Rush Radio 94.5, and will be joined by veteran Talk radio personality Pamela Furr. They will give Triad listeners a sample of what they will hear Monday-Friday mornings from 5:30-9a, and talk live on the air with local callers.

The station can be found on line, click on 94.5.

The Politics of Incompetence

(By The Prowler, The American Spectator) - On December 26, two days after Nigerian Omar Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to use underwear packed with plastic explosives to blow up the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight he was on, and as it became clear internally that the Administration had suffered perhaps its most embarrassing failure in the area of national security, senior Obama White House aides, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and new White House counsel Robert Bauer, ordered staff to begin researching similar breakdowns -- if any -- from the Bush Administration.

"The idea was that we'd show that the Bush Administration had had far worse missteps than we ever could," says a staffer in the counsel's office. "We were told that classified material involving anything related to al Qaeda operating in Yemen or Nigeria was fair game and that we'd declassify it if necessary."

The White House, according to the source, is in full defensive spin mode. Other administration sources also say a flurry of memos were generated on December 26th, 27th, and 28th, which developed talking points about how Obama's decision to effectively shut down the Homeland Security Council (it was merged earlier this year into the National Security Council, run by National Security Adviser James Jones) had nothing to do with what Obama called a "catastrophic" failure on Christmas Day.

Sen. Hutchinson: 'No Place in Constitution' Gives Congress Power To Mandate Health Insurance

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Tex.) said there is "no place in the Constitution" that gives Congress the authority to mandate that Americans buy health insurance, as the Senate health care bill requires.

Fox News: Rush Says Medication for ‘Back Problem’ May Have Affected Chest Pains

HONOLULU (Fox News) — Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh was taken to a hospital after suffering chest pains and was resting comfortably Wednesday, his radio program said in a statement.

"Rush was admitted to and is resting comfortably in a Honolulu hospital today after suffering chest pains," the statement said. "Rush appreciates your prayers and well wishes and will keep you updated via rushlimbaugh.com and on his radio program."

Kit Carson, Limbaugh's chief of staff, said he had no further information on Limbaugh's condition.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Edwards scandal: It’s come to this

(National Enquirer) - In a shocking turn of events, Elizabeth Edwards is meeting her cheating husband's love child for the first time, and she's insisting that he pay his mistress nearly $18,000 a month in support, The ENQUIRER has learned.

While she's heartbroken over John Edwards' “second family,” Elizabeth is determined that the disgraced presidential candidate avoid an ugly court battle with his mistress Rielle Hunter, insiders say.

“Elizabeth feels that above all else, John and Rielle need to put their differences aside,” a close source told The ENQUIRER.

Sources: Limbaugh Hospitalized In Honolulu

Conservative Radio Show Host Suffering From Chest Pains

HONOLULU (KITV Honolulu) - Conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh was rushed to a Honolulu hospital on Wednesday afternoon with chest pains, sources told KITV.

Paramedics responded to the call at 2:41 p.m. at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

Limbaugh suffered from chest pains, sources said. Paramedics treated him and took him to Queen's Medical Center in serious condition.

He was seen golfing at Waialae Country Club earlier this week. The country club is next to the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

The radio show host had been in the islands during the holidays. Coincidentally, his visit comes at a time when two of the nation's most powerful Democrats, President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are also staying in Hawaii.

In 2001, Limbaugh received a cochlear implant after he suddenly lost hearing due to autoimmune inner ear disease. Limbaugh underwent treatment in 2003 for an addiction to prescription painkillers, including Lorcet, Norco and hydrocodone.

Chris Matthews: Alinsky 'our hero'

MSNBC host hails radical community organizer

(By Aaron Klein, WorldNetDaily) - Just five days after affirming on air that he is a liberal, MSNBC host Chris Matthews exclaimed that radical community organizer Saul Alinsky is one of his heroes.

Stated Matthews: "Well, to reach back to one of our heroes from the past, from the '60s, Saul Alinsky once said that even though both sides have flaws in their arguments and you can always find something nuanced about your own side you don't like and it's never perfect, you have to act in the end like there's simple black and white clarity between your side and the other side or you don't get anything done.

"I always try to remind myself of Saul Alinsky when I get confused," Matthews said on his "Hardball" show, speaking to guest Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, on the topic of President Obama's health care plan.

Soles won't seek re-election to state Senate

RALEIGH (AP) - North Carolina's longest-serving state senator won't seek re-election next year as he faces potential criminal charges over a shooting at his home in August.

Sen. R.C. Soles said in a statement Wednesday he won't seek a 22nd consecutive term. He was first elected to the General Assembly in 1968.

State prosecutors announced this month they plan to seek an assault charge against Soles after a grand jury found probable cause he acted criminally when he shot a former law client.

Soles made no reference to the case in his statement.

Soles is the latest powerful Democrat leaving the Senate.

Outgoing Majority Leader Tony Rand is to resign Thursday to head the parole commission. Finance Committee co-chairman David Hoyle also won't seek re-election.

Tony Rand ends 27 years in Senate

FAYETTEVILLE (The Fayetteville Observer) — Cumberland and Bladen counties will be without their most powerful advocate in Raleigh, starting at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The office of state Sen. Tony Rand on Tuesday released his letter of resignation from the Senate, where the majority leader has been a formidable presence for most of the past 27 years. Rand, 70, a Fayetteville Democrat, has maintained since the surprising announcement of his departure last month that he wants to try something else.

Perdue Needs More Than Wishes

(By John Hood, Carolina Journal Online) - Gov. Bev Perdue made several mistakes, ranging from minor communication miscues to very public swipes at fellow Democrats, that should have been headed off at the staff level.

Why the Democrats will lose the House in 2010

(By James Pethokoukis, Reuters) - The trend is not the Democrats’ friend. At least not in 2010. The party of the sitting president almost always suffers losses in midterm congressional elections. To that time-tested dynamic now add voter angst about high unemployment, big deficits and controversial legislation. Expect Senate majority leader Harry Reid to lose his effective 60-seat supermajority and Nancy Pelosi to hand the House back to the Republicans. Here’s why 2010 is looking like 1994 all over again...

Ben Nelson to Run Television Ad Defending Health Care-Abortion Compromise

Lincoln, NE (LifeNews.com) - One day after a new poll showed him tanking with Nebraska voters because of his decision to compromise his long-held pro-life views and become the 60th vote for the pro-abortion health care bill, Sen. Ben Nelson will run a television commercial during a college football bowl game to defend his decision.

Former deputy arrested

Brian Barker, son of former Forsyth sheriff, accused of soliciting minor for sex act

(By Wesley Young, Winston-Salem Journal) - A son of former Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Barker was arrested in Guilford County yesterday on a felony charge of using a computer to solicit a sex act with a minor.

Brian D. Barker, a former deputy sheriff who served under his father, was arrested shortly after noon by an undercover Guilford County sheriff's deputy.

The Guilford County Sheriff's Office said that Barker had been chatting online since June with the undercover deputy, whom he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

Authorities said that Barker arranged to meet the undercover deputy yesterday and was arrested without incident. According to records, Barker was arrested at a location on Koger Boulevard in Greensboro.

Former police officer charged on 15 counts

Indecent-liberties case a shock, Walnut Cove official says

DANBURY (By John Hinton, Winston-Salem Journal) - A former part-time police officer in Walnut Cove has been charged with 15 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, authorities said yesterday.

Michael Louis Mabe, 51, of 1247 Hanging Rock Road in Danbury was arrested Dec. 21 by the Stokes County Sheriff's Office, arrest warrants say. Mabe is accused of taking indecent liberties with a girl from June 1, 1987, to Dec. 31, 1989.

Mabe resigned as an auxiliary police officer the day he was arrested, said Homer Dearmin, the town manager of Walnut Cove.

Tolly Carr fills in at Charlotte TV station

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Tolly Carr, a former morning-news anchor at WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, is filling in this week as an anchor on Fox News Rising, a morning show on WCCB-TV, a Fox station in Charlotte.

Carr served just over two years in prison for running over and killing a Winston-Salem man while driving drunk in March 2007. A passenger in Carr's pickup was also injured.

In August 2007, Carr pleaded guilty to felony death by motor vehicle and felony serious injury by a motor vehicle. He is scheduled to start making payments in May to the family of Casey Bokhoven, the man who was killed. Carr and the family settled a wrongful-death lawsuit against Carr last year. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Ken White, WCCB's news director, could not be reached for comment on Carr's status with the station.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

'Best Job in the World' Winner Stung by Deadly Jellyfish

(Fox News) - The British winner of the so-called "Best Job in the World" has been stung by a potentially deadly jellyfish.

Ben Southall said he had experienced a "crazy 24 hours" after the tiny irukandji struck off the coast of Queensland in Australia.

Where is the national GOP in the Massachusetts special election?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Normally, when a special election occurs to fill a seat in Congress or especially the Senate, the national parties throw resources and attention onto the race. The lack of competition for attention allows the national parties to transform the elections into national referendums of sorts, and the party out of power usually has an opportunity to exploit the lower turnout to steal a march on the governing party. So why have the national GOP and party leaders gone AWOL in Massachusetts, where Scott Brown will battle Martha Coakley for Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Senate?

City of Bozeman, Montana spends fed stimulus money on tennis courts...

(Bozeman Daily Chronicle) - The Bozeman City Commission authorized spending $49,140 in federal stimulus money on Monday to install new tennis courts at Bogert Park.

The new courts are likely to be ready in June, Parks and Cemetery Department Superintendent Thom White said.

The commission approved a contract with Dermco-LaVine Construction in Minneapolis for the courts during a noon meeting on Monday. The company will put in rubber-tiled courts at the park, located along South Church Avenue.

PAPER: Sen. Dodd slashed aviation security funding for pet constituency...

(By Mark Hemingway, Washington Examiner) - Now that our attention is focused on airline security measures thanks to the failed airline attack on Christmas Day, it's worth mentioning that one Senator took money away from aviation security to line the pockets of a constituency that supported his presidential campaign in a big way.

Back in July, Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., proposed an amendment reducing aviation security appropriations by $4.5 million in favor of firefighter grants -- a notoriously inneffective program. In fact, the money was specifically "for screening operations and the amount for explosives detection systems." The amendment was also sponsored by Sen. Lieberman, D-Conn., and Sen. Carper, D-Del., but Dodd deserves to be singled out here because the firefighters union is a pet constituency of his. In 2007 he campaigned all through Iowa with the firefighters union. It was one of the few distinguishable features of Dodd's ill-fated presidential bid.

Republicans deserve blame for Democratic excesses

(By Byron York, Washington Examiner) - Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken won his seat by 312 votes out of nearly 3 million cast, which means that if just 157 Franken voters had chosen Republican Norm Coleman instead, Franken would not be in the Senate.

What if that had happened? Or what if the Bush Justice Department had not wrongly prosecuted Republican Sen. Ted Stevens on corruption charges, leading to his conviction just days before voters went to the polls? Or what if a conservative third-party candidate had not funneled thousands of votes away from Oregon Republican Sen. Gordon Smith?

If any one of those races had turned out differently, there would be one more Republican in the Senate, and we might not be facing a far-reaching, coercive and cripplingly expensive makeover of the nation's health care system. But the close ones went the Democrats' way, which -- along with the defection of former Republican Sen. Arlen Specter -- gave Democrats the 60 votes needed to stop GOP filibusters all by themselves.

Sarah Palin's Daughter Seeks Full Custody of Baby

Sarah Palin's oldest daughter appears to have lost her bid to keep a bitter legal dispute with the father of her 1-year-old son confidential.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Sarah Palin's oldest daughter appears to have lost her bid to keep a bitter legal dispute with her 1-year-old son's father confidential.

An Alaska judge last week denied Bristol Palin's request to keep the legal proceedings of her custody dispute with Levi Johnston closed.

Palin, 18, filed a petition in early November seeking sole custody of her son, Tripp, and child support payments. She had argued that the scrutiny the case could attract would turn it into a "media circus" that potentially could cause her son embarrassment as he grows older.

Inevitable: Hopenchange finally coming to … the Food Network

No channel is safe.

Allahpundit: In which one of my favorite gags about The One’s media ubiquity is rendered instantly obsolete. I may have to retire that joke entirely for the simple reason that there’s no such thing as an Obama-free zone on cable anymore. You’re probably safe with G4, but so help me, one of these days I’m going to turn on “Cheaters” and he’s going to be there subbing for Joey Greco. “Do you want to confront him?” “Yes, Mr. President.”

In his defense, this episode of “Iron Chef” does sound sweet.

Charles Krauthammer Rips Obama's "Flaccid, Meaningless" Words On Iranian Revolution

Monday, December 28, 2009

TMZ Falls For JFK Photo Hoax

Photo that "could have changed history" actually from a Playboy shoot

(The Smoking Gun) - In a colossal screw-up, the gossip web site TMZ.com today published a photo purporting to show John F. Kennedy frolicking on a yacht with a harem of naked women--except that the image actually appeared as part of a November 1967 Playboy photo spread, The Smoking Gun has learned. The TMZ hoax was billed as an "exclusive" featuring a photo that "could have altered world events" had it surfaced prior to his presidential campaign. "It could have torpedoed his run, and changed world history," the site added. In reality, the photo appeared in story about Playboy's "Charter Yacht Party: How to Have a Ball on the Briny with an Able-Bodied Complement of Ship's Belles."

The JFK Photo That Could Have Changed History

(TMZ) - TMZ has obtained a never-before published photograph which appears to show John F. Kennedy on a boat filled with naked women -- it's a photo that could have altered world events.

Dodd likens Senate to Revolutionary war heroes...

Hannity: Parker Griffith discusses his leaving the Democrat Party

Hannity: Michelle Malkin discusses Health Care Deals

Greta Interviews Bart Stupak over White House Bullying

Michelle Malkin: ObamaCare is a tipping point in the Democrats' culture of corruption

Andrea Mitchell Hails 'Obama Doctrine,' Smears Palin as Segregationist

(By Brent Baker, Newsbusters) - As the lone journalist on Sunday's Meet the Press roundtable (with Newt Gingrich, Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick), NBC's Andrea Mitchell insisted the “Obama Doctrine” has “borne fruit,” but “it is not perceived yet” -- though the President has already “united the world behind the United States.”

Citing all those who “camped out” for the Sarah Palin book signings, Mitchell denigrated her appeal as evidence of how “they are so hungry for a symbol for anyone who can give them answers” it shows “there's an anger out there” she hasn't seen since George Wallace in 1968. And that, she maintained, “is the angry populism which is not fact-based, it's just furious at everybody; angry at Democrats, at Republicans.” (Apparently, favoring conservative policies and rejecting liberal big government spending is “not fact-based.”)

State GOP aims to get gains over Democrats

Democrats say they've been good stewards for state

RALEIGH (AP) - North Carolina's awful economy and a new chapter of campaign and ethics investigations made governing difficult for Democrats in 2009. Those same troubles threaten to shift the state's political landscape away from Democrats if the issues stick around for most of 2010.

State Democrats contend their tough decisions on North Carolina's budget headed off worse problems, but Republicans say they think that those decisions and investigations of former Gov. Mike Easley and other Democrats give them an opportunity to run the majority party out of power in November.

"The cycle of corruption in this state, in which the Democrats have been largely if not wholly responsible for, and the billion-dollar tax increase in the middle of the recession -- those are going to be the two cornerstones of our message in 2010," said state GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer. "I think North Carolinians are ready for a sea change."

Sen. McCaskill: Congress' Power To Mandate Health Insurance Like States Mandating Auto Insurance

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) did not say where Congress gets the constitutional authority to require Americans to buy health insurance but said the issue was like states mandating that people who drive cars have auto insurance.

Newt Gingrich: ObamaCare Most Corrupt Legislation I've Seen

Charles Krauthammer's Year-End Analysis Of Obama

Texas Spends Upwards of $2M in Stimulus Cash to Caulk Seven Homes

(Dallas Morning News) - The state received millions of federal dollars from the economic-stimulus package to help poor Texans cut their energy bills, but by the end of last month, just seven homes had been weather-treated under the program. The state has spent $1.8 million of $163 million available over the past four months, with most of it going to administrative costs, such as the salaries of state workers.

Was Sen. Baucus Under the Influence During Floor Remarks?

"Where's the courage?"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Remembering the Gipper...

"The Nativity story of nearly 20 centuries ago is ... is the fulfillment of age-old prophecies and the reaffirmation of God's great love for all of us. Through a generous Heavenly Father's gift of His Son, hope and compassion entered a world weary with fear and despair and changed it for all time. On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ with prayer, feasting, and great merriment. But, most of all, we experience it in our hearts. For, more than just a day, Christmas is a state of mind. It is found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate. It is present when men of any creed bring love and understanding to the hearts of their fellow man. The feeling is seen in the wondrous faces of children and in the hopeful eyes of the aged. It overflows the hearts of cheerful givers and the souls of the caring. And it is reflected in the brilliant colors, joyful sounds, and beauty of the winter season. Let us resolve to honor this spirit of Christmas and strive to keep it throughout the year."
Ronald Reagan

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Washington's Pet Insurance Industry

(By Paul Howard, National Review Online) - University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein has an excellent article in the Journal today explaining how the complex insurance provisions of the Reid bill will either strangle the insurance industry or turn it into a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Government, Inc. Professor Epstein concludes that:

The inexorable squeeze between the constricted revenue sources allowable that insurers get under the Reid bill and the extensive and uncertain new legal obligations it imposes is likely to result in a massive cash-flow crunch that will drive the firms in the individual and small-group health insurance markets into speedy bankruptcy. The Supreme Court should apply the constitutional brakes to this foolhardy scheme if Congress doesn't come to its senses first.

The odds of Congress coming to its senses are slim to none. One can only hope that SCOTUS takes up the issue in short order. Professor Epstein's full analysis is available from the Manhattan Institute here.

An Individual Mandate and the Moral High Ground

(By Scott Harrington, National Review Online) - Advocates of Democrats’ health-care-reform agenda commonly stress that universal health insurance is a moral imperative — and that opposition is therefore immoral. But the House and Senate bills would force many people with relatively low incomes to buy expensive health insurance. They would also force many younger people and people with healthy life-styles to pay higher premiums to subsidize lower premiums for middle-aged and older people and people with unhealthy lifestyles. What’s moral about either requirement?

Now Is the Time to Fight

(By Jeffrey H. Anderson, National Review Online) - Harry Reid had the Senate meet for 25 consecutive days for the first time since the United States was deciding whether to enter World War I, and he held the Senate's first vote on Christmas Eve since the 19th Century. Such is the zealotry of those who champion the cause of government-run health care. Gaining control over what will soon be one-fifth of our economy is apparently so important that it requires a Christmas Eve vote — for a bill that would essentially start about four Christmases from now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Sign of the times

A welcome sign recently posted in front of a homeless camp in Colorado Springs, CO, says it all.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO): Someone has put a lot of thought into a welcome sign that may surprise you, it's in front of a homeless camp off I-25 in Colorado Springs.

Its message, "Welcome to Obamaville, Colorado's fastest growing community." Despite repeated calls no one could answer the question, who put up the sign?

To some homeless the sign's message says enough. Mark Limonez, a homeless man living in "tent city", says the sign doesn't make him feel good about trying to get back on his feet. "Guys are trying to work but there's not enough work out there, so they go pan handling or flag a sign" Limonez says, "I've never seen so many camps since I've been out in the streets - there's no money."

There are no logos on the front of the sign and no clues to where it comes from.

Carter Says Sorry to Jews, Apology Not Linked to Grandson's Political Ambitions

Jimmy Carter's recent apology to Jews for actions he acknowledged have stigmatized Israel is not timed to a decision by his grandson on whether to enter Georgia politics, the former president told an online Jewish news agency this week.

(FOXNews.com) - Jimmy Carter's recent apology to Jews for actions he acknowledged have stigmatized Israel is not timed to a decision by his grandson on whether to enter Georgia politics, the former president told an online Jewish news agency this week.

Atlanta attorney Jason Carter, 34, is debating whether to run for Georgia's state Senate from the district representing suburban DeKalb County, which has a significant Jewish population in the area around Emory University. Jason Carter, whose father is Jimmy Carter's eldest son, Jack, would aim to succeed David Adelman, President Obama's nominee to be ambassador to Singapore.

Carter told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that electoral considerations had nothing to do with his recent outreach to the Jewish community, although he did not outright deny it.

Senators Cite New Budget Letter to Argue Health Care Bill Will Hike Deficit

Republicans, emboldened by a new letter from the Congressional Budget Office, accused Democrats on Wednesday of "Bernie Madoff accounting" for double counting the savings from Medicare as a means to pay for the Senate health care bill.

(FOXNews.com) - Republicans, emboldened by a new letter from the Congressional Budget Office, accused Democrats on Wednesday of "Bernie Madoff accounting" for double counting the savings from Medicare as a means to pay for the Senate health care bill.

As the Senate prepares for a crucial vote before final passage of a massive overhaul bill that Democrats argue will reduce the deficit by $132 billion over 10 years, Sen. Jeff Sesssions, R-Ala, said the nearly $500 billion in cuts to Medicare actually will add $300 billion to the deficit

"The real score on this legislation is that it would cause the deficit to increase, and not be a surplus as the president has promised," Sessions told Fox News. "And a lot members of our Congress have said I won't vote for this bill unless it's deficit neutral. It's not deficit neutral. It will add to the debt. That's clear today."

Sen. Coburn: ‘I Despise Half the Insurance Companies My Patients Have’

"I want to fix what's wrong with the insurance industry. But the government isn't the answer...I have a whole lot more problems with Medicaid and Medicare in my practice than I do with insurance companies."

Clyburn: What Capitol Hill needs is a lot more vote buying

Culture of corruption.

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - My, how times have changed. In 2006, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats won majorities in both chambers of Congress by running against the “culture of corruption,” pledging to operate openly and honestly on Capitol Hill. Two years later, Barack Obama rode to victory by pledging to change the way Washington DC operates, declaring that he would lead the most open and transparent government ever. Now Rep. James Clyburn, as House Majority Whip the third-ranking Democrat in the House, has declared that Republicans should join Democrats in buying and selling votes rather than complain about the corruption on Capitol Hill:

U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said Republicans need to stop complaining about deals their colleagues made.

“Rather than sitting here and carping about what Nelson got for Nebraska, I would say to my friends on the other side of the aisle: Let’s get together and see what we can get for South Carolina,” Clyburn said.

Clyburn responded to the news that his state’s Attorney General, along with AGs in other states, would investigate the grubby deals made by Harry Reid to pass his ObamaCare bill. Those deals got hidden in a manager’s amendment that didn’t see the light of day until just hours before Reid presented it for a procedural vote in the Senate. They favor some states at the expense of others, which is why these AGs want to challenge both the constitutionality of the bill and shine some light on the process as well...

Palin: I told you so!

Reid protecting those nonexistent death panels?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - It didn’t take long for Jim DeMint’s outrage over highly unusual language protecting a care-rationing board to generate a response from Sarah Palin. This came just days after Politifact called her statement about “death panels” the “lie of the year,” but the attempt to rule any Congressional motion that changes the rulings of the Independent Medical Advisory Board out of order in perpetuity has highlighted once again this rationing board and its potential impact in a government-run system. And that, Palin writes at her Facebook page, was her point all along...

Video: CBS reports on vote-buying in ObamaCare bill

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - When CBS Evening News reports on Democratic corruption, we know that the story has gotten legs. Katie Couric and Wyatt Andrews throw in an obligatory “Republicans did it too” moment, but other than about fifteen seconds, the CBS pair keeps the heat on Democrats:

What Andrews misses in his tu quoque is that it was a Republican Congress that admonished Tom DeLay for attempting to trade favors for votes. The GOP may have porked up Congress for a decade and undermined their credibility by doing so, but at least they had some limits and a sense of shame strong enough to publicly rebuke their own leadership for arguably corrupt practices. Couric points out the difference without making it explicit; while Republicans admonished their own leader for these kinds of shenanigans, Democrats don’t feel a need to put on even a pretense of shame.

In other words, they’re shameless in their pursuit of power through the culture of corruption — and when even CBS notices the stench from a Democratic Congress, it must be getting very bad indeed.

Did McConnell really 'surrender' in health care debate?

(By Byron York, Washington Examiner) - Some commentators have accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of caving to Democratic pressure by agreeing to hold the vote on final passage of the national health care bill on Christmas Eve morning as opposed to the originally-planned 7 p.m. "Mitch McConnell Surrenders," reads one blog headline. "McConnell Weasels Out," reads another.

But according to a well placed GOP Senate source, it was Majority Leader Harry Reid who approached McConnell in hopes of holding the vote earlier, and McConnell, who was prepared to go ahead with the evening vote, got some key concessions from Reid in return for agreeing to move the vote up a few hours.

There's no doubt that McConnell, with just 40 Republican votes, holds the weak hand in negotiating with Reid. But according to the source, in exchange for agreeing to hold the vote on Christmas Eve morning instead of evening, McConnell got Reid to agree to hold a high-profile debt-limit vote next month -- just before the president's State of the Union address -- instead of burying the issue later, as Democrats had wanted. In addition, McConnell got Reid to agree to showcase a number of deficit-related Republican amendments, forcing Democrats to vote on issues they had hoped to avoid.

Related Material...

Stupak: WH Pressuring Me to Keep Quiet on Abortion Language in Senate Health Bill

“They think I shouldn’t be expressing my views on this bill until they get a chance to try to sell me the language. Well, I don’t need anyone to sell me the language. I can read it. I’ve seen it. I’ve worked with it. I know what it says. I don’t need to have a conference with the White House. I have the legislation in front of me here.”

Related Material...

National Health Service

(By Bob Buckley, WGHP) - A complaint that many opponents of a national health care plan is they don't want a system that looks like National Health Service in Great Britain.

In this edition of The Buckley Report, Bob Buckley explains what this could mean for our country.

Democratic Rep Switches to GOP

"I have become increasingly concerned that the bills and policies pushed by the current Democratic leadership are not good for north Alabama or our nation and, more importantly, they do not represent my values and convictions."

Related Material...

White House ‘Unaware’ That Mao Ornament Adorns Christmas Tree

(Capitol Confidential) - Why let a holiday season come between the White House and making some political statements? The White House pegged controversial designer Simon Doonan to oversee the Christmas decorations for the White House. Mr. Doonan, who is creative director of Barney’s New York has often caused a stir with his design choices.

Landrieu on ‘Louisiana Purchase’: ‘I Can’t Be Bought’

"It's been a very unjust criticism. The fact of the matter is, and I know people don't believe this, but I can't be bought."

Related Material...

Nebraska Governor Wants Sen. Nelson’s ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ to Be Undone

"We want all these special deals removed."

Related Material...

Matthews on Griffith’s flip: The GOP is sort of the party of the confederacy now, huh?

Allahpundit: Via Weasel Zippers. The money line: “Are you going to keep building your party with Dixiecrats, ex-Democrats, who think the Democratic party is too mainstream?” Savor that last word, as it suggests that a party pushing a signature bill that’s now -20 in net approval in some polls is the one that speaks for the great “mainstream.” The idea of a liberal silent majority goes hand in hand with the idea of the GOP as a radical collective, which is where the confederacy meme comes in here. Nothing new for “Hardball”: Kathleen Parker pushed that smear herself back in August during an especially insulting segment on why Palin fares well in the south while Obama doesn’t, but it’s a treat to see it paired this time with a blind assertion that the disintegrating Democrats are the true party o’ the people.

Video: MS-NBC looks at Reid’s ObamaCare deals?

Ed Morrissey: What makes this so remarkable is not so much that MS-NBC actually reports this, but the derision they use in doing so. Has disgust over Harry Reid’s sausage-making gotten so widespread that even a watercarrier like MS-NBC can’t avoid it? Or is this a hard-Left attempt to derail the bill for dropping the public option and Medicare buy-in? Either way … pass the popcorn, baby!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The list of payoffs that got Reid his cloture vote

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Recall the moments in 2008 when Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama campaigned on the platform of — must … control … gag … reflex — “Honest Leadership, Open Government”? This picture should jog your memories, and your own gag reflexes, especially that sanctimonious pose by Reid. The trio have managed to make themselves either satirists of the highest order or influence peddlers of the lowest while struggling to pass the second item on their legislative agenda. Politico’s Josh Gerstein reviews the ObamaCare compromise bill that Reid struggled to get past a wee-hours cloture vote in the middle of a blizzard in the Beltway. It’s an amazing list of pork and bribes, even for an old pro like Reid...

Krauthammer: ObamaCare Full Of Tricks

(The Hope For America) - He blows away the notion that it will reduce the deficit.

DeMint to force vote on constitutionality of mandate

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Sen. Jim DeMint has had a busy week already, calling attention to the possibly-unconstitutional restriction on future Congresses in ObamaCare, and the very dangerous precedent it sets for future majorities desiring to lock out later modifications or repeals of their pet projects. Now DeMint announces that he will demand a vote in the Senate on the constitutionality of the insurance mandate contained within ObamaCare — in fact, a key element of the bill. DeMint has armed himself with a detailed analysis by Heritage that shows Congress’ overreach, but is DeMint shooting at a non-existent target?

Reid on ObamaCare: Hey, sometimes you need to buy people off

“That’s what legislation’s all about. It’s the art of compromise.”

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - Via Breitbart and Slublog, a belated answer to a question I posed two days ago. Why, I wondered, hadn’t Blue Dogs like Bayh and Lincoln held out for the same Medicaid buyout for their states that Nelson got for Nebraska? Are they just suckers?

Reid’s take: Yes, they’re suckers.

“There are 100 senators here and I don’t know that there’s a senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that isn’t important to them,” Reid said. “If they don’t have something in it important to them then it doesn’t speak well of them.”

Ben Nelson: Three other senators have told me they want to be bought off too

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, who has faced a heap of criticism for appearing to trade his vote on health care for millions in federal Medicaid money, said he's considering asking that the Nebraska deal be stripped from the bill. But he said other senators are looking for special treatment in light of his success.

(FOXNews.com) - Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, after securing a sweetheart deal for his state as part of the health insurance reform bill, said Tuesday that three other senators have told him they want to bargain for the same kind of special treatment.

"Three senators came up to me just now on the (Senate) floor, and said, 'Now we understand what you did. We'll be seeking this funding too'," Nelson said.

But the Democratic senator, who has faced a heap of criticism for appearing to trade his vote on health care for millions in federal Medicaid money, said he's considering asking that the Nebraska deal be stripped from the bill.

More witness testimony blocked by most transparent administration ever

(By Byron York, Washington Examiner) - The White House counsel's office has barred congressional investigators from interviewing Jackie Norris, former chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama, about events leading to the firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin. Republican investigators from the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform have wanted to question Norris since they learned earlier this month that she met with Alan Solomont, chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that oversees AmeriCorps, on June 9, the day before Walpin was summarily fired. Solomont was heavily involved in the Walpin dismissal.

NYC mayor Bloomberg: Reid’s ObamaCare bill is a disaster for us

Gov. Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and other NY pols: Health care bill is prescription for disaster

(N.Y. Daily News) - The Senate health reform bill is packed with lumps of coal for New York's Christmas stocking.

Gov. Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and other officials warned the Senate plan would:

- Force the city to close 100 health clinics.

- Blow a $1 billion hole in the state's budget.

- Threaten struggling hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.

"It is really a disgrace and we've got to make sure that we fight before the bill is finally passed," Bloomberg fumed.

Gibbs Takes Shot at RNC Chair’s Speaking Fees

"How much did that interview cost, I wonder," WH press secretary Robert Gibbs quipped Tuesday. On Monday, The Washington Times reported that "Michael S. Steele, Republican National Committee chairman, is using his title to market himself for paid appearances nationwide, personally profiting from speeches with fees of up to $20,000 at colleges, trade associations and other groups - an unusual practice criticized by a string of past party chairmen."

Breaking: Blue Dog flips to GOP


(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Usually one does not see Congressmen or Senators flipping parties to join the minority. However, Politico’s Josh Kraushaar has a scoop that Blue Dog Democrat Parker Griffith of Alabama, a freshman in Congress, has seen enough of Nancy Pelosi’s leadership. He will join Republicans in a move that has far more symbolic than substantive impact — for now:

POLITICO has learned that Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Alabama, will announce today that he’s switching parties to become a Republican.

According to a senior GOP aide familiar with the decision, the announcement will take place in this afternoon in his home district in northern Alabama.

Griffith’s party switch comes on the eve of a pivotal congressional health care vote and will send a jolt through a Democratic House Caucus that has already been unnerved by the recent retirements of a handful of members who, like Griffith, hail from districts that offer prime pickup opportunities for the GOP in 2010.

The switch represents a coup for House Republican leadership, which had been courting Griffith since he publicly criticized Democratic leadership in the wake of raucous town halls over the summer.

Griffith’s district has been conservative for years. His predecessor, Democrat Bud Cramer, almost found that out the hard way in the 1994 Republican landslide, barely hanging onto his seat. After that scare, Cramer became a solid Blue Dog, and Griffith campaigned as someone who would follow in Cramer’s footsteps.

Lieberman: Obama Never Said Public Option Essential to His Health Reform Goals

"I believe President Obama never said a public option was essential to the reform goals he set out to achieve and that most of us have. When the president spoke earlier this year to the joint session of Congress, he said that a public option is, and I quote — ‘an additional step we can take’ end quote. An additional step, he said, but not an essential one."

Related Material...

HHS Secretary Praises Abortion ‘Accounting Trick’ in Senate Bill

(VerumSerum) - The federal government will legally compel you to contribute funds exclusively designated to pay for abortion into the new government-run system.

Video: DeMint objects to supermajority protection in Reid’s ObamaCare bill

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - At first, Senator Jim DeMint starts off with a few points of parliamentary inquiry which seem rather dull, but like any good prosecutor, DeMint is carefully building a case — and his target is a particularly noxious clause in Harry Reid’s ObamaCare bill. On page 1020 of the text, DeMint discovers that Reid has created a rule binding future sessions of Congress to a supermajority requirement to overrule the bill’s rationing board, the Independent Medical Advisory Board, whose purpose (stated on page 1001) is to “reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending.” DeMint demands an explanation of how the Majority Leader can allow legislation to alter the rules of the Senate, both on the floor and in committee. The Weekly Standard has the key portion of the transcript:

Related Material...

Rush Limbaugh's Pearls of Wisdom...

Liars and Prostitutes Pass Fraud Health Care Bill Tribute to Obama

Rush Limbaugh: Rush's first hour on Senate passage of Obamacare.

Bob Samuelson: A Nightmare for Obama?

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Green Christmas

Rush Limbaugh: MEMO
From: Santa
To: the American children, naughty and nice:

Some changes coming to Christmas you need to know about.

First, I will no longer be wearing that familiar red outfit and hat. From now on, Santa's official color will be green. And if your house doesn't have energy-efficient bulbs, I'm not stopping there. Furthermore, because I'm fighting obesity, anybody offering me cookies and milk will be passed by -- as will any home playing the song "White Christmas," which is not racially inclusive.

Next. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been dropped from the lineup. He will replaced by Al the Green-Nosed Reindeer. Please adjust your songs accordingly.

Also, California is banning flat screen TVs because they use too much energy. So this year, no flat screen TVs for anybody -- just to be fair. And kids, all toys containing plastic will be banned because some people believe the additive BPA poses a risk. There isn't any proof, but as Santa Clause, I have to keep the lawsuits away. So if your favorite toy isn't made of cloth or wood, forget it.

Finally, children. I don't know how to break this to you, but former Vice President Algore has announced that the ice caps at my home at the North Pole will soon be gone. So after this Christmas, I have to close up shop at the North Pole and look for a new home for me, Mrs. Santa, the elves, and the polar bears. So, sadly, this will be your last Christmas. Enjoy it.

Oh, yeah: Ho, ho, ho! Hubba, hubba, hubba.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
UK Telegraph: Climategate -- Al Gore spews the usual nonsense but this time no one believes him

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blue Dogs in Heat

(By W. James Antle, III, The American Spectator) - On a radio interview aired in Nebraska, Sen. Ben Nelson talked tough. He declared the abortion language in the Senate health care bill was by itself "reason not to vote for cloture" because "the long-standing Hyde rule should not be weakened in any respect." But even if that issue were resolved, there remained "other substantive issues."

Nelson had opposed both the public option and the Medicare expansion. He said he opposed the cost expanding Medicaid would impose on the states. He professed to be against any health care bill that did not lower overall costs. And he claimed he wasn't going to be bullied. Asked if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would get his precious bill passed by Christmas, Nelson quipped, "Are you talking about this Christmas or next Christmas?"

That was last Thursday. By Saturday, Nelson caved and became the 60th vote to rubberstamp Harry Reid's health care bill. What had changed? According to the officially nonpartisan but effectively Democratic-run Congressional Budget Office, the "compromise" raised taxes and spending even more than the original legislation Nelson opposed. It also contains a Nelson-Reid abortion funding deal denounced by nearly all major pro-life leaders as a sham.

Rock the Vote Asks Supporters to Withhold Sex to Pass Health Care Reform

Just when every tactic in the book had been seemingly exhausted in the health care debate, Rock the Vote comes along with a new one: if you want health care reform, don't sleep with anyone who opposes health care reform until his or her mind is changed.

(FOXNews.com) - Just when every tactic in the book had been seemingly exhausted in the health care debate, Rock the Vote comes along with a new one: if you want health care reform, don't sleep with anyone who opposes it until his or her mind is changed.

The youth advocacy group is pushing the campaign in a Web video and pledge on its Web site, which asks supporters to "hold out" for health care.

The subtlety of the online pledge, though, is completely undone by the video, which employs zero rhetorical devices, except for a couple of bleeps, to get its message bluntly across.

The dream is becoming reality: Stokes is one step closer to a stand-alone community college

(By Leslie Bray Evans, The Stokes News) - After years of discussion about a stand-alone community college in Stokes County, the issue seems to be leaving the dream stages and becoming reality at long last. The purchase of land to locate the college will be on the action agenda at the next county commissioners’ meeting on Monday, December 28. The proposed site in Meadows would also house the Stokes County Early College High School.

“It’s geographically in the center of the county,” said Willis Overby, a former Stokes County Commissioner who was on hand to witness the historic announcement at the commissioners’ meeting on Monday, December 14.

“For our county, it’s a dream starting to come true,” said newly elected chairman of the board, Jimmy Walker.

Who's responsible for the Senate's middle-of-the-night vote?

(By Byron York, Washington Examiner) - Why did the Senate gather at 1 a.m. Monday for a vote to move ahead on the Reid Amendment to the Democrats' national health care bill? Democrats blame Republicans. "Everyone knows we're here at one in the morning because of my friends on the other side of the aisle," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said moments before the vote. On CBS Sunday, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu said, "We don't have to vote in the middle of the night, but [Republican Sen. Tom Coburn] is the one making us do it -- not Harry Reid, not the Democrats. It is a Republican obstructionist that is making us vote in the middle of the night."

Coburn has no doubt slowed debate on the bill. But the fact is, there is no reason the Reid Amendment vote could not have been held at a more reasonable hour. One a.m. Monday was the earliest moment that Senate rules allowed a vote, but there is no rule keeping the Senate from voting at some time after 1 a.m. If Reid had scheduled the vote for, say, 11 a.m. Monday, that would have been fine. If he scheduled it for 4 p.m. Monday, or 10 a.m. Tuesday, that would have been fine, too.

But Reid is determined to pass the national health care bill by Christmas, and to do so he has to get the cloture vote on his amendment done at the earliest moment. The timeline is Reid's and Reid's alone. "The bottom line is, Sen. Reid schedules the floor," says one well-connected GOP aide. "He is the only one who can schedule the floor." If Reid had scheduled the vote during business hours on, say, Tuesday, a final vote would not have taken place until the day after Christmas -- an outcome Reid apparently found unacceptable.

Will people comply with health-insurance mandate?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Now that the Senate appears to be on its way to imposing the very first federal mandate in American history for residents to buy insurance, a number of questions will need to be answered. We’ve already done more exploration on the issue of constitutionality than Congress has bothered to do, but compliance and enforcement have not received enough attention. Enforcement will come through the IRS under the current plan, as the IRS is the single most knowledgeable federal agency on health-care issues and insurance coverage probity … nah, I’m just kidding. They’re the government agency with the best experience in kneecapping, which is why the Democrats decided to hand them even more power over our lives.

But what about compliance? Nick Gillespie points to an interesting argument offered by the Obama administration on this point, reported by USA Today, that says that a natural compunction to do what’s right will ensure compliance...

Graham: Seedy Chicago Politics Passed Health Care Bill...

McCain surrogate goes after Obama politics

(By ANDREW GREINER, NBC Chicago) - The United States Senate reached an agreement on health care reform legislation this weekend, and they couldn’t have done it without a bit of Chicago grit.

At least, that’s what South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham thinks.

But it’s no compliment.

Graham, a long-time friend and adviser to President Obama’s election opponent John McCain, said the bill, which passed the Senate late Saturday night was only reached because of “seedy Chicago politics” which have been established by the new president from Chicago.

Update: Senator Denies Describing Health Bill Opponents as Racist

Washington Times reporter Kerry Picket: [Senator Sheldon] Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said he stood by his speech, but would not admit that he was accusing anyone who was against the health care bill as racist. He did reiterate that birthers are part of the group that is against the bill and are attacking president However, when I asked the Senator from Rhode Island what he meant by describing those who do not support the bill as "aryan," he responded "No, I didn't say that....again, pay attention to the speech." According to the transcript above, Mr. Whitehouse did say what he seems to be denying. Perhaps he should pay more attention to what he says on the floor.

SOLD: $100 Million Payoff for Senator Dodd...

Health bill money for hospital sought by Dodd

WASHINGTON (The Washington Post) - A $100 million item for construction of a university hospital was inserted in the Senate health care bill at the request of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who faces a difficult re-election campaign, his office said Sunday night.

The legislation leaves it up to the Health and Human Services Department to decide where the money should be spent, although spokesman Bryan DeAngelis said Dodd hopes to claim it for the University of Connecticut.

The provision is included in a 383-page series of changes to the health care bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., outlined Saturday. Scattered throughout are numerous items sought by individual lawmakers, many of them directing money explicitly to programs or projects in their home states.

NFL Lineman Loses Pants During Late-Game Tackle

"That's the second thing I've never seen..."

Related Material...