TheDC Morning – 11/10/10

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1.) Obama keeps taking money out of Jeff Bingaman’s pot! He won’t stop! — A leaked White House memo outlining Obama’s advisors’ chief concerns with the green jobs portion of the stimulus bill has really upset Sen. Jeff Bingaman. According to the memo, money that had already been spent was subsidizing projects “that would have happened anyway and thus fail to advance [Obama’s] clean energy agenda,” reports The Daily Caller’s Jonathan Strong. “The memo was seen by many on Capitol Hill as throwing the renewable loan guarantee program under the bus, suggesting in its tone the money should be ‘reprogrammed’ – diverted – to a rival cash grant program to sweep the money out the door more quickly.” This rubbed Bingaman the wrong way, as the program which made taxpayers the guarantors a “loan program that eliminates the risk for banks and other large creditors of renewable energy projects” was one of his pet projects. “They keep taking money out of the pot and not putting it back,” said a Bingaman flack. “It has really annoyed Chairman Bingaman.” You hear that? BINGAMAN ANGRY!

2.) New book reveals Fannie Mae’s similarity to programs in neopatrimonialist third-world kleptocracies — “All the Devils Are Here,” Bethany McLean’s and Joe Nocera’s history of Fannie and Freddie’s role in the financial crisis, won’t be released until Nov. 16, but already folks are poring over advanced copies and finding horrible, sickening facts and anecdotes about the most shameless government-backed enterprise to infect America’s financial sector in, well, forever. According to the book, Fannie Mae enmeshed itself in the political process by establishing “make voters feel good” offices across the country. “There was a certain formula to these offices. They were staffed by someone close to power–the son of a senator, a governor’s assistant, a former congressional staffer. They held ribbon-cutting ceremonies, always with a politician present, to announce, for instance, that Fannie was going to put millions into a senior citizen center. There were as many as two thousand ceremonies a year in partnership offices all over the country.” The book also details a long history of cooperation between the GSE’s and chairs of the House banking committee, which means Rep. Spencer Bachus will be in great company should he win his committee chairmanship from the high priests of the GOP.

3.) Federal official irritated that Republicans do not want to make federal ‘salaries more comparable with those in the private sector’ — “The number of federal workers earning $150,000 or more a year has soared tenfold in the past five years and doubled since President Obama took office,” finds a USA Today study. “Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who will head the panel overseeing federal pay, says he wants a pay freeze and prefers a 10% pay cut,” as opposed to an across-the-board increase of 1.4% for the federal government’s 2.1 million employees. Colleen Kelley, head of the National Treasury Employees Union, says the raise “‘is a modest amount and should be implemented’ to help make salaries more comparable with those in the private sector.” Public servants, my ass (and yours, apparently).

4.) The Child Nutrition bill IS ALIVE! — If you thought that Michelle Obama’s school lunch reform act was dead, because no pol was willing to cut the food stamp program in order to train lunch ladies as surrogate moms, THINK AGAIN! “Reps. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts have said they will support House passage of a $4.5 billion child nutrition bill that passed the Senate earlier this year,” reports the AP. “Backed by some anti-hunger groups, the two lawmakers led opposition to passage of that version before the election because it is partially paid for with $2.2 billion taken from future funding for food stamp programs.” But now the White House says it will find other programs to trim, because Barry will never hear the end of it if Michelle does not get her carrot-vending machines to cure all the fatties of being gross-looking and sad.

5.) Jim DeMint courts coveted libertarian vote — Haha. Just kidding. No one gives two dog droppings about libertarians, especially not Sen. Jim DeMint. Hot Air’s AllahPundit posts a video in which DeMint says, “You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative,” a claim that would shock the knickers off Milton Friedman’s dead body, if only he could hear things way deep down in the earth. As AllahP interprets it, DeMint’s message is this: “His idea… is that God and government are forever jockeying for position as moral beacons in the public’s imagination. The bigger government gets, the smaller God gets, and vice versa, so if you’re eager to shrink state bureaucracy and promote self-reliance, expect people to react by looking elsewhere for moral guidance — like, say, back to traditional Judeo-Christian values. Thus are all fiscal cons also social cons, whether wittingly or not.” That is some math! Perhaps DeMint has never heard of libertarians? Not too long ago, after all, he’d never heard of Robert Novak!

6.) Obamacare focuses on fast-food menus and other nanny-state nonsense at the expense of dialysis disaster — “In 1972, after a month of deliberation, Congress launched the nation’s most ambitious experiment in universal health care: a change to the Social Security Act that granted comprehensive coverage under Medicare to virtually anyone diagnosed with kidney failure, regardless of age or income,” reports Pro Publica. “Now, almost four decades later, a program once envisioned as a model for a national health care system has evolved into a hulking monster. Taxpayers spend more than $20 billion a year to care for those on dialysis…yet the United States continues to have one of the industrialized world’s highest mortality rates for dialysis care.” Interestingly enough, this is not a huge secret, and yet dialysis reform is nowhere to be found in Pres. Obama’s massive health-care bill. Perhaps because it reflects just how piss-poor the government is at running a socialized health-care system: “Neither government controls nor market forces have kept costs from ballooning or ensured the highest-quality care. Almost every key assumption about how the program would unfold has proved wrong.”

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Julia McClatchy (admin)