The DC Morning – August 6, 2010

Obama White House hemorrhaging economic ‘experts’Senate Dems now bribing industrial farmers in order to save Blanche Lincoln
Scottish doctor exaggerated Lockerbie bomber’s poor healthBack in Denver, teachers are probably burning Michael Bennett’s pictureWill Charlie Rangel be the only guest at Charlie Rangel’s birthday party?
Tennessee gubernatorial candidate pledges to change the face of American politics

1.) Another stimulus architect flees White House in dead of night — Christina Romer, the chairwoman of Pres. Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, is heading back to Berkeley just a few months after OMB Director Peter Orzsag left to spend more time with his love child. The National Journal has an anonymous source saying Romer “doesn’t feel that she has a direct line to the president. She would be giving different advice than Larry Summers [director of the National Economic Council], who does have a direct line to the president.” This same source also goes on to say, “You have to wonder why Summers isn’t the one that should be taking the fall. But Larry is a pretty good bureaucratic infighter.” The AP, on the other hand, has a different, supposedly more trustworthy anonymous source refuting the claims. “One administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal relations at the White House, played down that notion, noting that Romer met with the president daily to chart the government’s response to the financial meltdown. The official said Romer and Summers often emerged as strong allies.” The White House has no clue who will replace Romer, who is such a strong ally that she apparently didn’t give two weeks notice.
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2.) Sen. Blanche Lincoln convinces Democrats to choose corporate farms over small businesses — ” Large-scale farms would disproportionately benefit from a $1.5 billion disaster aid package for which Sen. Blanche Lincoln says she’s secured funding,” reports the AP. “Lincoln, who is in a tough re-election fight in Arkansas, has said she’s received assurances from the White House that the Agriculture Department would fund $1.5 billion administratively for farmers who lost crops in 2009. Democrats agreed to cut the aid from a small business lending bill last week.” According to the Environmental Working Group, a tree-hugging nonprofit, farmers in Arkansas would receive as much in disaster aid as they do in subsidies, meaning that “the biggest prospective recipient, Ratio Farms of Helena-West Helena, Ark., stands to receive $787,000 in disaster aid under the plan, on top of $874,000 in subsidies the operation collected last year.” Lincoln has denied the charges: “Payment follows production, and if we’re going to feed the 6.6 billion people on the face of this earth, I think we need everybody that farms out there. … We’re feeding and clothing the world and it’s important that we make sure we keep our domestic producers competitive.” Congress also plans to ramp up funding for the Arkansas public education system, where they are clearly not teaching the accurate definition of words like “competitive.”
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3.) Doctors knew all along Lockerbie bomber wasn’t that sick — “Scotland released the convicted Lockerbie bomber from prison in August 2009 on the grounds he likely had three months to live, even though there was no consensus among specialists treating his prostate cancer that his prognosis was so dire, according to publicly available documents and people familiar with the case,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “The prognosis was made by Andrew Fraser, a doctor who administers Scotland’s prison health service, and became the sole medical basis for Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s controversial decision to set Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi free.” Megrahi was released to Libya one year ago this month, where he spends his days munching on dried figs and shopping at outlet malls.
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4.) Sen. Bennett screwed Denver’s school system — Facing a budget gap of $400 million in its pension fund, two years ago Denver Schools Superintendent Michael Bennett “essentially made the same choice some homeowners make: opting for a variable-rate mortgage that offered lower monthly payments, with the risk that they could rise” in order to plug the hole. But according to the New York Times, this deal has been a hot poker in the various orifices of the school system ever since Bennett left for the Senate. In just the last two years, Denver has paid $25 million more in interest than it originally anticipated. Now, like a cat in a bathtub full of children, the city wants out. But according to the NYT, “to unwind it all, the schools would have to pay the banks $81 million in termination fees, or about 19 percent of its $420 million payroll.” And to think, they got into this mess to save money!
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5.) No one wants to be with Charlie Rangel on his birthday — Poor Charlie: “It was supposed to be the grandest New York political party of the year: a rousing birthday tribute to the powerful dean of the state’s Congressional delegation, Representative Charles B. Rangel, a Democrat from Harlem.” But now, nobody is coming! According to the NYT, “One New York representative said he could not make it because he had to march in a local firefighters’ parade. Another said that, as much as she wanted to go, she had to visit family out of town. Yet another just sent his regrets, saying he would be traveling that day — in Connecticut.” James Carville said he had to wash his hair that night. Bill Clinton is skipping the party in order to make a last-minute trip to Arkansas–and he was the guy who actually appears in the video invitation! Remember kids: If you sell your soul to Satan, no one will ever fete you.
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6.) Basil Marceaux loves America more than you ever will — Move over Alvin Greene: Tennessee Gubernatorial candidate Basil Marceaux has ideas that are infinitely more, uh, “differently special” than using action figures to stimulate the economy. The Chattanooga resident and frequent inmate of the Chattanooga jail says that if elected, he will pass a law that would allow Marines to arrest anyone who breaks the Constitution, ban gold-fringed flags, and push for the legalization of marijuana. For, as Marceaux told Politico, the U.S. should “allow some type of marijuana use because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s giving back to the Lord.” Amen, Brother Marceaux! Marceaux for governor in 2010!
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