The New Imperial City.

Height of Power: The Washington Fiefdom Looms Larger Than Ever

This is most obvious in economic affairs, an area in which the nation’s great regions have previously enjoyed significant autonomy. But already the dukes of Wall Street and Detroit have submitted their papers to Washington for vassalage. Soon many other industries, from high-tech to agriculture and energy, will become subject to a Kremlin full of special czars. Even the most haughty boyar may have to genuflect to official orthodoxy on everything from social equity to sanctioned science.

At the same time, the notion of decentralized political power – the linchpin of federalism – is unraveling. Today, once proudly independent – even defiant – states, counties and cities sit on the verge of insolvency. New York and California, two megastates, face record deficits. From California to the Carolinas, local potentates with no power to print their own money will be forced to kiss Washington’s ring.

Americans may still possess what the 19th-century historian Frederick Jackson Turner described as “an antipathy to control,” but lately, they seem willing to submit themselves to an unprecedented dose of it.

Stalin The Intellectual

Book Review – ‘Inside the Stalin Archives – Discovering the New Russia,’ by Jonathan Brent – Review – NYTimes.com

After exploring his personal library with its copious annotations, Brent concludes that Stalin was as much intellectual as brute and calls him “an idealist in the sense that he believed completely in the primacy of ideas.” Brent has a point; Stalin believed in his ideas to the death, or as he put it: “mercilessly destroy anyone who, by his deeds or his thoughts — yes, by his thoughts — ­threatens the unity of the socialist state.”

So much for the idea that intellectuals are superior to the rest of us.

Something to keep in mind when someone tells you about the power of ideas.

More Payouts For Supporters In Stimulus Bill

Congressional Democrats’ “Stimulus” Bill Includes Taxpayer Funding for Contraceptives, Abortion Industry | Republican Leader John Boehner

Washington, Jan 23 – Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the massive spending plan written by congressional Democrats isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – in particular, the vast majority of the spending in the plan won’t have an impact on our economy for years, at best. And just yesterday, the House Ways & Means Committee learned that no one seems to know how many jobs would actually be created by the trillion dollar spending plan, even though the legislation is slated to be on the House floor next week.

Now comes the latest revelation about the congressional Democrats’ “stimulus” plan: it includes taxpayer funding for contraceptives and the abortion industry. Specifically, a provision in the legislation clears the way for expanded federal funding of contraceptives through Medicaid for those who aren’t even poor. Here’s how:

A Clinton-era program allows states to seek a waiver to offer Medicaid “family planning” services – even for those who are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. If they seek the waiver, the federal government matches the state funding with $9 for every $1.

Yesterday, during consideration of the congressional Democrats’ spending bill by the House Energy & Commerce Committee, the panel eliminated the waiver requirement. The result? All 50 states will now offer Medicaid “family planning” services (including contraception) with the federal government offering the same $9 to $1 match (pages 231-240).

Regardless of where anyone stands on taxpayer-funding for contraceptives and the abortion industry, there is no doubt that this once little-known provision in the congressional Democrats’ spending plan has NOTHING to do with stimulating the economy and creating more American jobs. House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) expressed dismay at the provision allowing for taxpayer-funded contraceptive services at a press briefing after a meeting at the White House earlier today:

“I’m concerned about the size of the package and I’m concerned about some of the spending that’s in there. How you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives – how does that stimulate the economy? You can go through a whole host of issues that have nothing to do with growing jobs in America and helping people keep their jobs.”

As the American people learn more about the congressional Democrats’ massive spending plan, the clearer it has become that the legislation is woefully insufficient in bringing our economy back to life and creating new jobs. With this revelation about the congressional Democrats’ plans to force taxpayers to subsidize contraception and the abortion industry, the American people are right to ask: just what else is in this legislation?

My problem with this is that the Democrats are telling us that this legislation is needed to stimulate the economy and most of it is just free money for Democrat’s favored programs.

Whatever you may think of contraception and abortion, I think we can agree that providing funding for it does nothing to stimulate the economy or create jobs.

This is the same old “bait and switch” game that politicians have been pulling for years.

But judging from the remarks Obama made about not listening to Rush Limbaugh, he has just found a new way to say “My Way Or The Highway.

Fine, let them pass it on a party line vote. Then they own it and all it’s debt.

No, It Didn’t.

FDA allows first test of human stem cell therapy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the way for the first trial to see if human embryonic stem cells can treat people safely, a company involved in the controversial research on Friday.

Geron Corp, a California biotechnology company, said it plans a clinical trial to try to use the stem cells to regrow nerve tissue in patients with crushed, but not severed, spinal cords.

This article gives the impression that something happened that would not have happened if Obama had not signed an Executive Order.

That’s not true. Research using embryotic stem cells has never been banned. It was just restricted to existing lines on embryotic stem cells and the Federal government was banned from providing money for it.

Research on stem cells, both embryotic and adult, has been going on for some time. The only advances I have read about have come in the adult stem cell research.

The tests they are doing have already been done with adult stem cells and could have been done just as easily under the Bush administration. In fact, in order for them to announce this today, it had to have been in the works for some time. The FDA has never made a quick decision in all the time it has existed. If they did now it would be an example of political interference, which is not healthy.

Sounds Like “My Way Or The Highway” To Me

PREZ ZINGS GOP FOE IN A $TIMULATING TALK – New York Post

WASHINGTON — President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

In other words, the Republicans can only get along by becoming Democrats?

Yeah, that’s inclusive all right.

Last I heard they were excoriating President Bush for this attitude.

The Epic Poetry Of Hawk of Iowa.

The Idiossey

Now behold him, brave Obamacles,
Who strides triumphant down Pennsylvania Avenue,
With Victimia at his side in a gown of golden brocade,
Hewn from the finest hotel draperies.
Behold his ascent to the marble dais to swear his oath,
Which Justice Roberts flubs; so dazzled is he
by our hero’s pure magnificence.

And behold the crowd whose number has grown to a million,
Mocking limping Chimpos as he flees to Brazos exile,
Tossing their sandals at his edifice, only to stop to hail the conquering hero.

“All hail Obamacles!” they cry, “Master of Bullshit,
Vicelord of the Chicagomon, Slayer of Hildusa,
Vanquisher of Palina. You are our new and shiny hope,
a true god amongst mortals.”

Democrat Congress Not Interested in “Bipartisanship” With Republican Minority.

Stimulus Plan Meets More GOP Resistance

Just days after taking office vowing to end the political era of “petty grievances,” President Obama ran into mounting GOP opposition yesterday to an economic stimulus plan that he had hoped would receive broad bipartisan support.Republicans accused Democrats of abandoning the new president’s pledge, ignoring his call for bipartisan comity and shutting them out of the process by writing the $825 billion legislation. The first drafts of the plan would result in more spending on favored Democratic agenda items, such as federal funding of the arts, they said, but would do little to stimulate the ailing economy.

The GOP’s shrunken numbers, particularly in the Senate, will make it difficult for Republicans to stop the stimulus bill, but the growing GOP doubts mean that Obama’s first major initiative could be passed on a largely party-line vote — little different from the past 16 years of partisan sniping in the Clinton and Bush eras.

Well, what did they really expect?

When the Republicans were in charge the Democrats kept up a steady stream of blockages every way they could. Did they really expect the Republicans to just roll over?

Yeah, they probably did. Going on the record of the past two years, they’re probably justified.

But hopefully the Republicans can find enough backbone among them to oppose this laundry list of failed Democrat programs.

The media routinely condemned the Republicans during their control of Congress for not pursuing “bipartisanship” with the minority Democrats. I assumed (probably wrongly) that the same standards apply now that the Democrats are back in the majority.

Before you get real upset with the Republicans blocking legislation creating “jobs” you might find this interesting.

Yeah, that’s right. They don’t even know whether this bill will have any impact at all on the economy or job creation.

Yeah, I know that the Republicans spent like sailors on Soi Cowboy, but we fired them. Remember? Are we going to allow the new management to do the same thing to us? Who do we put in charge then?

Did Anyone Really Think That Things Weren’t Going To Work Like This Anymore?

Political Interference Seen in Bank Bailout Decisions – WSJ.com

Troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston didn’t look much like a candidate for aid from the Treasury Department’s bank bailout fund last fall.

The Treasury had said it would give money only to healthy banks, to jump-start lending. But OneUnited had seen most of its capital evaporate. Moreover, it was under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives’ use.

Nonetheless, in December OneUnited got a $12 million injection from the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. One apparent factor: the intercession of Rep. Barney Frank, the powerful head of the House Financial Services Committee.

Mr. Frank, by his own account, wrote into the TARP bill a provision specifically aimed at helping this particular home-state bank. And later, he acknowledges, he spoke to regulators urging that OneUnited be considered for a cash injection.

So, the same liberal icon that is at the bottom of the Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac corruption is helping his other ‘friends?”

I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you!!