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Flotsam and Jetsam

From the file marked “reasons why unions don’t want secret ballots,” we see this Los Angeles Times story: “A Bay Area officer of the scandal-clouded Service Employees International Union has collected double salaries, one as a city transit worker and the other from a charity that receives much of its funding from the labor organization and corporate interests, records show. In addition, the nonprofit paid more than $16,000 in rent for the officer’s home in 2007, the most recent year for which the charity’s tax return is available, according to his son, who is also on the charity’s payroll.”

Next time someone tells you the tax system in America is unfair you should agree. And show them this chart.

Can we save $80B a year by converting to electronic health records, as the president claims? No. It’s a made up number. We’re getting “politics out of science” but not out of math apparently.

And with the disastrous roll out of card check, maybe the unions should ask for their money back: “The nonpartisan watchdog Center for Responsive Politics reports that the main Democratic sponsors of the Employee Free Choice Act — Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) — both collected over $1.7 million in union contributions over the last two decades.”

This takes the cake: “Delaware Sen. Tom Carper backs the bill but doesn’t want to get rid of the secret ballot. ‘I think that invites intimidation,’ he said.” So what exactly is he for? Scary that these people are running the country, isn’t it?

It is not just Republicans who are grousing about the administration: there is “a growing number of nervous Democrats on edge or at odds with some of the Obama’s administration’s plans on the economy.”

And economists don’t like Obama or Geithner: “President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner received failing grades for their efforts to revive the economy from participants in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.”

Earmark hypocrisy? As John McCain explains, it’s very easy to get rid of earmarks — if you want to.

The headline says it all: “Obama decries earmarks, signs law with 9,000 of them.” Which explains why he signed it in private.

The Republicans and the New York Times  are both giving Obama a hard time for signing the omnibus spending bill. I guess New Politics means to do something outrageously irresponsible (e.g. the stimulus, the omnibus bill) and then have a dog-and-pony show (e.g. fiscal responsibility summit) promising not to do it again.

A vast “co-ordinated echo chamber.” It is apparently cooked up in an 8:45 a.m. call each day. (Maybe conservatives should get up early and do lots of whacky stuff before 7 a.m., confounding their opponents who haven’t yet figured out the line of the day.)

Jeffrey Goldberg, in the nicest way possible, says Chas Freeman and his supporters hanged themselves with their own whacked-out rhetoric.

A Republican wins the open seat on the quite powerful Fairfax Board of Supervisors in Northern Virginia. In Blue Virginia, land of Obama where Republicans are has-beens? Hmm.

David Broder thinks Freeman is low key. Plus he speaks Chinese. What a loss, Broder moans. (Where will the viewpoint of a raving paranoid come from without him?) But Broder makes clear: the White House wanted no part of Freeman. Someone there has more sense than Broder.

The problem with Obama’s Rush Limbaugh gambit, says Karl Rove: “Misdirection never lasts long. Team Obama can at best only temporarily distract the public; within days, attention will return to issues that clearly should worry the White House.” Crisis time will really hit when they run out of things to have summits about. (A “Summit On The Impact Of Summits”). This is why they put off the puppy purchase until spring — better be one cute pooch.


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