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Flotsam and Jetsam

Organizing for America — a funded organization with paid staffers — got 214,000 pledges. The tea parties got a whole lot more – to turn out, on a workday no less.

In case you needed another reason not to support NPR, here it is.

Not a good factoid for Democrats in Connecticut: “Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd appears to have looked everywhere but his home state to fuel what pundits anticipate will be one of the most hotly contested races in the nation in 2010. The five-term incumbent reported raising just $4,250 from five Connecticut residents during the first three months of the year while raking in $604,745 from nearly 400 individuals living outside the state.” Only five?

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell lengthens his lead over all potential Democratic opponents and is the only one with a positive favorable/unfavorable rating. The president’s popularity in Virginia has dropped eight points since February. But it is April and the election is a long way away.

Uh oh: “More than a dozen defense contractors with business before U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), a member of the powerful House Appropriations defense subcommittee, have donated thousands of dollars to Moran’s younger brother Brian, a candidate for governor of Virginia.”

A worse uh oh: “Steven Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration’s auto task force, was one of the executives involved with payments under scrutiny in a probe of an alleged kickback scheme at New York state’s pension fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

Tom Donnelly reminds us those snipers who killed the Somali pirates were standing on a billion dollar destroyer. He comments on the defense budget cuts: “Gates has rightly been emphasizing the need to ensure that irregular warfare concerns have ‘a seat at the table’ in Pentagon program deliberations. But it’s increasingly clear that, given the large-scale cutbacks directed by President Obama, Gates’ rhetoric is becoming an excuse for budget cuts rather than an argument about the nature of the threats we face. If the administration’s commitment to irregular warfare were genuine, it would not have been content to simply confirm the land-force expansion plan completed under President Bush, but would, as Sens. Joseph Lieberman and John Cornyn have advocated, continue to grow the Army.” Read the whole the thing.

It seems that objectionable language about rightwing extremists in the DHS report was flagged, but the report was rushed out anyway. Shouldn’t someone get fired? (h/t Glenn Reynolds). That said, it appears that the firestorm, the apology, and the criticism by a prominent Democratic congressman show respect for civil liberties is alive and well.

Shocked — shocked — to find there isn’t much fraud prevention at the World Bank. “In the U.S., the Obama administration recently asked Congress to approve a three-year $3.7 billion contribution to the bank’s IDA program. A Democratic congressional staffer said it was too early to tell whether the report would make passage more difficult.” Because why would it matter if our money is being wasted or used for nefarious purposes, right?

Charles Krauthammer deconstructs Obama’s budget “sting,” noting: “The heart of Obama’s health-care reform is universality. Covering more people costs more money. That is why Obama’s budget sets aside an extra $634 billion in health-care spending, a down payment on an estimated additional spending of $1 trillion. How does the administration curtail the Medicare and Medicaid entitlement by adding yet another (now universal) health-care entitlement that its own estimate acknowledges increases costs by about $1 trillion?”


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