TheDC Morning – 11/17/10

1.) Murkowski’s back and porkier than ever — Former RINO poster child-turned-write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski celebrated her victory over actual GOP nominee Joe Miller yesterday by announcing that she would continue to waste taxpayer dollars as if it were her job. “I hope to be able to figure out a path forward so that a young state like Alaska can maintain its [amount of] federal dollars as other states have had in helping build their infrastructure,” said Sen. Murkowski, who is forming an alliance with the other monarchically oblivious RINOs despite Sen. Mitch McConnell’s inspiring volte-face. Murkowski’s statement leaves some questions unanswered. For instance, where would the infrastructure go? Who would use the infrastructure? Polar bears? Seals on snow mobiles? Sigh. None of this actually matters. Only, like, two Democrats would ever vote for a binding resolution against earmarks, and even Sen. Jim DeMint says that it is OK to use earmarks in an emergency.

2.) Flipside: Democrats will cling to earmarks like Linus clings to blanket — “The move by the Senate GOP leaves Senate Democrats as the only faction of Congress in a position to try to save the practice — and their position doesn’t seem very strong, since it’s difficult to see how Boehner and McConnell would allow any earmark-laden bills to pass,” reports the AP. The manner in which leading Democrats have responded to the possibility of a vote on a binding resolution on earmarks–the possibility of a possibility, in other words–says much about Democratic politics in the year 2010. “I have an obligation to the people of Nevada to do what is important to Nevada, not what is important to some bureaucrat down here (in Washington) with green eyeshades,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the AP. “So I am not going, personally, going to back off of bringing stuff back to Nevada.” There is some straight-up gangster pride in that statement, like in Goodfellas when Henry Hill says, “By the time I grew up, there was thirty billion a year in cargo moving through Idlewild Airport and believe me, we tried to steal every bit of it.”

3.) FDA kills jobs to placate nanny state numbskulls — “U.S. regulators are poised to ban the sale of caffeine-containing alcoholic drinks amid rising safety concerns, in a blow to several small but fast-growing drinks companies,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “Four Loko, Joose and other fruit-flavored, alcoholic beverages will no longer be able to contain caffeine under a series of regulatory actions expected from the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies this week, according to U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D., N.Y.) and people familiar with the matter.” The background on this: Some underage college kids did some stupid stuff on Four Loko (like dying), and because no one under the age of 21 has ever died from alcohol, Four Loko and all the rest must either be banned. The drink-makers have agreed to take the uppers out of their swill in order to get the feds off their backs, and they even expect to remain competitive despite the fact that they will have lost the competitive advantage over much cheaper and equally crappy beverages MD 20/20, Colt 45, Olde English, Cobra, Magnum, and Schlitz. If the FDA makes a move to ban the combined sale of rum and diet coke, several sources told The DC, the streets will run red with blood.

4.) Liking Palin is not the same as wanting her to be president — “Perhaps the least known aspect about Sarah Palin’s relationship with the Tea Party is that though almost all in the movement love her and support her, many of them simultaneously have serious reservations about whether they want her to run for president,” reports TheDC’s Jon Ward, who over the course of several months spoke to Tea Partiers in more than a few states. “Many in the grassroots think Palin is an outstanding spokesperson for Americans who do not feel like they have power or a voice and are dismayed at the direction the country is going in. They revel in her anti-establishment, anti-elite attitude, and cheer her on as she mocks and criticizes the Washington political class. But their enthusiasm often falters when it comes to 2012.”

5.) Ray LaHood going off the rails on a crazy train — “Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said using a cell phone while driving is so dangerous that devices may soon be installed in cars to forcibly stop drivers — and potentially anyone else in the vehicle — from using them,” reports TheDC’s Jeff Winkler. “There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we’re looking at that,” LaHood said during an appearance on MSNBC. “I think the technology is there and I think you’re going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones. We need to do a lot more if were going to save lives.” After that: Radios. Also, fast food. Actually, is it a good idea to have these metal deathtraps careening down our streets in the first place?

6.) John Podesta hates checks and balances — “Former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff John Podesta, now the head of the Center for American Progress, called on President Obama to push forward with his agenda using federal agencies and executive branch power Tuesday, even though Democrats were dealt a blow in the recent midterm elections,” writes TheDC’s Matt Boyle. “While that’s an important conversation,” Podesta said about the new situation in the House, “it simply ignores the president’s ability to use all levels of his power and authority to move the country forward.” What does Podesta think Obama should do? He should forget about cooperating with other parts of government and make better use of his expanded executive authority! “One of the best ways for the Obama administration to achieve results of that nature, in the short term, is through substantial executive authority to make and implement policy.” Who was it that said there’s not much difference between the expansion of executive authority of the last two years and the previous eight? Whoever it was, good on you for being so cynical and so right!

VIDEO: Tina Fey fans outraged that they didn’t get to see one of her jokes bomb

Julia McClatchy (admin)