Krauthammer: The Fierce Urgency of Pork

From the very first paragraph, it’s a home run:

“Catastrophe, mind you. So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared ‘we have chosen hope over fear.’ Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.

In truth, I was going to wait to include this fabulous piece of writing in this weekend’s stable of Assigned reading but, at the end, Charles Krauthammer’s Washington Post commentary is just too darned good to sit on for a day. Of all the pages and pages of text and gallons and gallons of ink earmarked for articles on this so-called “stimulus” package, this is by a long shot the best of them all.

Krauthammer always has a way with words, and this legislative disaster sure does make an easy target, even for amateurs like me, but this article truly is extraordinary.

In the meantime, let’s be sure that we’re still calling our representatives and especially our senators, flooding their voicemail boxes, their e-mail in-boxes, and even those little boxes under the front of their fax machines, with polite but forceful arguments insisting that they do the right thing for America and vote NAY on this gi-normous, 900-plus billion dollar piece of pork.

I’ve included a sampling of Krauthammer’s stellar commentary below, but please–PLEASE–read the whole thing and pass it along to everyone you know. The sample:

And yet more damaging to Obama’s image than all the hypocrisies in the appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama’s name, was not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.

It’s not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections, one of which would set off a ruinous Smoot-Hawley trade war. It’s not just the waste, such as the $88.6 million for new construction for Milwaukee Public Schools, which, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have shrinking enrollment, 15 vacant schools and, quite logically, no plans for new construction.

It’s the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended on the grounds that a national emergency requires an immediate job-creating stimulus — and then throwing into it hundreds of billions that have nothing to do with stimulus, that Congress’s own budget office says won’t be spent until 2011 and beyond, and that are little more than the back-scratching, special-interest, lobby-driven parochialism that Obama came to Washington to abolish. He said.



  1. WeThePerpleNews says:

    Spread the word PLEASE

    ‘Fairness’ fan’s husband makes money in ‘libtalk’
    Bloggers question ‘conflict of interest’ in radio agenda

    Sen. Stabenow’s husband walks, prostitute jailed
    Woman’s attorney: ‘There is a disparity between wealth and poverty’
    –Detroit Free Press

  2. Gail B says:

    No one under age will be reading this comment section.

    Jeff, that was out-damn-standing! Thanks for that, too!

    I went to the website, copied and pasted both pages to an email, and sent it to The Patriotic Resistance folks (who had just sent me an email on the Stimulus Package). Also sent it to every person I know who thinks conservatively (and one “still struggling” Democrat). I cleaned it up from all the ads so that they would not be distracted and could forward to their contacts. I will send you a copy of it so that you can forward it, too.

    Hey, y’all–check over at the right and order some nice roses from Jeff’s brother, to send to your mother, wife, or sweetie!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve called and called
    my state official’s. Eventually I was able to leave a NO Stimulus
    Then I called the RNC
    202-863-8500 spoke to
    a person leaving my opinion that the bill is NOT good for us, our children, or grand-children. The person
    politely took note of my opinion and replied,
    “Thank You”, is there
    anything else I can help you with?
    When I called the DNC
    at: 202-863-8000 I was
    directed to a chairman
    to whom I made my remark then I was dis-connected.
    Oh well, I hope they
    got my message…Dan

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have bugged my Senators and Reps to death but by cracky I will never stop!!! Is anyone else outraged by the way Obama/Soetoro continues to belittle anyone who doesn’t agree with his (Pelosi’s)fraudulent Stimulus? I am a white 55 year old female and I have never been so disgusted! The past 17 days I have seen exactly what I suspected would be the end result of this man…thug in a suit, oh but not when he is sitting in the whitehouse with the heat turned so high people are sweating! I hope he has nightmares about all the folks in the midwest that are still without electricity and those that are dying daily because they can’t get warm!

  5. tm says:

    I wish more of our Repubics up on that very large trahs heep of a hill would stand as firm as Mr.Krauthammer has.

    The grand poobah from the Chairman’s channel NBC, MSNBC
    Named To Obama’s New Economic Advisory Board
    (this is the same poobah that drove GE stock down by 68% and also has still continued to deal in Iran)

    Can we Impeach him yet ?

  6. MUJERLATINA says:

    Meanwhile, while this farsical ‘stimulus’ is being bantered back and forth in the Senate tonight, and Obama claims the country will slip over the abyss if the Bill not passed, he and Michelle-0 are where???? Out at the Kennedy Center watching the Alvin Alley Dance Troupe!!! What hypocrisy. If he’s so worried about us ‘folk’, shouldn’t he be making a little sacrifice and staying close to home? Unbelievable.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Its heartening to know how much of the message has gotten through. Just tonight some “gang” (Leiberman’s word) offered thier “compromise” version…only $780,000,000,000 of pork instead of the $920,000,000,000 in the original. Wow…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Is it too late to hound Collins, Snowe and Spector”s emails this weekend? Isn’t there a chance that they could still change their minds?

  9. tm says:

    February 06, 2009
    Categories: White House

    Reporter restrained after Panetta hearing
    Following Leon Panetta’s confirmation hearing Thursday, several reporters approached the CIA director-designate in the hallway outside room G-50 in the Dirksen Building.
    There, CongressDaily reporter Chris Strohm — upon asking a question — was physically restrained by a man who accompanied Panetta at hearings both days.
    Strohm, when reached by phone Friday, said he was unsure of the man’s role.

    “I felt this hand grab my right arm and push me aside,” Strohm said.

    By his account, Strohm told the man, “Please don’t touch me” more than once. Eventually, the man let him go.

    Tim Starks, a reporter for Congressional Quarterly, said he witnessed Strohm approach Panetta and ask a question, just before the man began “grabbing him by the arm and moving him away.”

    “I said to the guy, ‘That’s not the way you do it,’” recalled Starks.

    Starks said that he’s covered the CIA for years and had never seen a reporter strong-armed that way before, adding that the agency is typically respectful of journalists.
    Reflecting on the incident, Strohm played it down somewhat, saying that he’s “had worse happen” while reporting.
    A staff assistant at The Panetta Institute said they are not addressing any media inquiries before Panetta’s confirmation. The White House declined to comment.

    After today’s hearing, there was no similar incident: Panetta briefly answered questions from reporters.
    By Michael Calderone 06:19 PM

    The beginning of Brown shirts…..Gitmo will now be re-opened for journalists and conservatives. Conversations and negotiations will be held with tyrants and terrorists only

    Can we Impeach yet ?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I always enjoy reading Charles Krauthammer’s editorials and watching him on Fox in the evenings on the panel he appears on. Wish I could put things in writing as eloquently and easy to read as he does (and as you do, Jeff).

    I was watching O’Reilly last night when BO came on from the spa where the dems were meeting. Did it bother anyone else by the way he responded and the look on his face when he said how “nice” Air Force One was. I was truly sick to my stomach. Glad we could pay for him to go to his partisan party. He is so damned arrogant.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have contacted both Texas senators and they are voting no on the stimulus. Looks like it may be too late as they are reporting that at least 3 Repubs are going to vote yes.

    ps – I like my word verification, brocon (same as our government)!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Is this what we have to look forward to – the 56 million who voted against The O do not exist . We are invisible to the Reids and Pelosi s- And John McCain tonight on the Senate floor was the man I voted for !
    IF he had only had the fire in September . Now the question is what do we do to prevent catastrophe and fight the damage – where do we look in history for hope to correct what is going wrong and how do we coexist with such hypocracy !!We are here but not part of it !? discouraged american mom of 4
    I pray for a heart to change and remember we the people before the vote – is it done or can someone change their mind?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I emailed Collins and Specter even though they aren’t from my State. I am praying so hard tonight that they will buck-up and stand for what is right! Come on America!! Keep calling and emailing!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Spector, Collins, and Snowe are finished in the Republican party if they sign off on this bill.

    I heard McCain on CSPAN after the alleged “compromise” was found, it was the most emotional speech I’ve ever heard him him make. He wasn’t very happy that his fellow Senators went behind the party’s back and agreed to this POS.

    My guess is that this isn’t over yet.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hey, it’s nice to know our leaders are vigilant and on the job. Thanks especially to the three republicans who have reportedly capitulated and gone over to the Dark Side and made this financial disaster possible.

    Cheerful thought: The senate and house versions of this mess will have to be reconciled. I bet that stimulating pork bill will balloon back to near $850 billion or so by the time that’s done.


  16. cher-pa says:

    Just as we thought,a-hole Arlen Specter is going to vote for the stimulus package.Makes me wonder what kind of stimulus Obama gave him.Jeff you are doing the right thing by getting the hell out of this corupt state.Im just sick about this.

  17. Kris says:

    Tried for two days to get through to Specter's office – busy lines. So emailed him to vote NO on this stimulus; NO on nomination for Deputy Attorney General – child pornog. backer; NO on Immigration Bill.

    Some good news here:

  18. cher-pa says:

    The following is the e-mail sent to Arlen Specter. Senator Specter, It came as no surprise to me that you would turn your back on the constituents of our state.You can try and rationalize your decision to us,But when it comes down to it you sold us out. I have sent e-mails and called YOU, because my state rep happens to be John Murtha,and talking to him is like talking to a wall.I have always been a proud american that respects everything RED,WHITE and BLUE,But today i realized my country and all it stands for had died.The state of Pennsylvania has become the laughing stock of the country AGAIN thanks to turncoats like you.

  19. plankchapel says:

    Have some email addresses, fax and phone numbers of all the Senators at Contact Senators”! That should make everybody who voted for the stimulus really happy! Don’t forget to bookmark it! Have a feeling you’re gonna be needing it.

  20. Linda [sick to my stomach] says:

    REMEMBER those who turned their back on America; remember those who went along with this socialistic and communistic plot to take over your freedoms and your country. If we still have a right to vote in 2010, vote carefully and wisely. Get all of these turncoats to our once-was-great America out of political office. Do not give up your fight; continue to bombard these people with your emails and voicemails. Write your newspapers; call your radio stations. They MUST know that they cannot get away with lying to, cheating, and stealing from the American public. Hang tight – we will need it. February 6, 2009 – bye, bye American pie.

  21. Linda says:

    Here you go: Freedom of religion – almost gone:

    Freedom of speech – next with the "fairness doctrine" reinstatement;

    Abolishment of the Second Amendment with the appointment of the radical left Attorney General.

    Need I continue? One by one they will fall. Mr. Hussein Obama did not study constitutional law to uphold the Constitution; he studied it to learn how to bring about its destruction.

    You watch – they will erode your Constitution and one by one your our freedoms will fall if you do not rebel against what is going on. DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    the republicans that went to the dark side, when elections come should be kicked out of the party

  23. Anonymous says:

    Does anybody know yet if the 3 Billion earmarked for ACORN has been cut out of the package yet?

    Thank you.

  24. Kris says:

    BTW, if this stuff goes down as is, DON’T STOP calling and emailing. Let them know that they are OUT of there next time around. They’re too used to getting away with it and seem to believe that after the deed is done everything will just go back to business as usual.

  25. Kris says:

    Apparently the GOP turncoat Senators compromised and got the “stimulus” passed?:

  26. Anonymous says:

    There are three republican senators indicating they will vote for the stimulus bill. Everyone here should send each of them an email letting them know you oppose this plan. We should also let them knw that even if we’re not their constiuent we will finacially support their opponent during the next election cycle if they contiue to support this plan. Those senators are:

    Arlen Specter
    Susan Collins
    Olympia Snowe

    Contact information for each of these can be found at

  27. Gail B says:

    There’s hope, folks–

    There are 20 states (and climbing) which are crafting legislation for state sovereignty. World Net Daily has a story on that.

    Also, I heard on talk radio news during the night that the Senate is expected to vote on the Pork Bill on Tuesday, February 10. Plankchapel has a link to Senate (and their staff) contacts with email addresses, telephone, and fax numbers. Click on the link, bookmark it, and USE IT!

    The fellow who invented the Magic Jack will probably see an increase in demand for his product for free long distance through a computer! (I hope they are made in the USA!)

    I listened to a psychiatrist or psychologist (don’t remember which) on talk radio the other night speak on anger when communicating with another. It’s better to remain calm and civil when addressing matters of differences because it does not put the other person on the defensive and it makes you sound more in control of yourself in delivering your message.

    Boortz (still on talk radio–I do not watch TV) last night discussed the Fairness Doctrine in the rerun of his morning program. He said that the liberals do not have programs because they cannot get advertisers to back them. The Fairness Doctrine would enable the liberals to demand equal time…”We interrupt the Rush Limbaugh show to bring you this message in rebuttal of what he has said against such-and-such.” This will put a burden on the station because of the records they will have to keep on time spent this way and time spent the other way, etc. Listeners will get tired of it, and the audience will drop. Advertisers will drop, and the stations will drop the syndication until there is no more Rush Limbaugh (Hannity, Herman Cain, Neal Boortz, etc.) show. Boortz said he hopes they hold a Congressional hearing on it because they will drag everybody to D.C., and the owners of his radio station (he said) are Democrats. As long as the conservatives are on the air, there are advertisers, and everybody makes money. Seems like that would be a boost to the economy. Take them off, and people lose money right on down the line.

    Conservatives have tried to get the message across that, the more control we allow our top-heavy government, the less freedom we have as citizens. I believe Obama and Pelosi have scored a home run in getting this message across to the American citizens, and the Senate hasn’t even passed the Pork Bill yet.

    Keep praying, keep calling, and don’t give up hope. Add your state-level representatives to your calling list in support of the Soverneighty legislation. If they haven’t already started something, ASK for it! The Pork Bill is what triggered the legislation so far, because the states are tired of the federal government overstepping its authority. This is every bit as important as protesting the Pork Bill!

    I apologize for the length of this, but I’ve been awake most of the night and had a lot to bring to the table. Will be away from the computer today.

    At some point, I’m going to write Pelosi a letter, after a pot of coffee! She sounds like a Communist to me. At the least she has made me ashamed of her as a woman with power. She’s killing chances for other women to surface.

    God bless everybody, and may God bless America, that She comes through this as a recognizable republic known as the United States of America.

  28. Gail B says:

    One more thing–The REASON that this Stimulus Package was SO important to Obama is that, if it does not make its way through the House and Senate and reached his desk, it would have been a terrible blow to him and the perception of his ability to govern. The money going to the states was included so that he would get the support from the governors for financial help with their state budget deficits.

  29. Gail B says:

    Pork Bill vote expected to be at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, I’m now told. Senators are on the floor speaking today (Saturday).

  30. Anonymous says:

    Obama was elected to bring change from the economics of the Bush administration and he is listening to the very same economists and following the same failing policies of the Bush administration.

    As a mathematician, I see Obama’s disconnect with logical thought as his most annoying flaw.

  31. EMPIRICUM says:

    Where is DR. EDWIN VIEIRA, JR. and his “USURPER THEORY”? Where is the military? Who is going to “arrest” the Usurper? The whole nation is waiting!

  32. goddessdivine says:

    Love Krauthammer. He’s brilliant. Excellent piece.

    It’s interesting how Bush was blamed for feeding on the fear of another terrorist attack; yet hear Mr. Obama is feeding on the fear of ‘the sky is falling’. Unbelievable. He’s practically getting a free pass.

  33. Anonymous says:


    I tried to call Mr. Specter’s Washington office and unfortunately his voicemail is full. I hope it is full of voicemails from all of the other Pennsylvanian republicans who are furious with his choice.

    I only wish I could send him 900 billion emails to show him how I feel about what he is helping to do to our country and our children.


  34. Ian Thorpe says:

    Perhaps Obama is just being pragmatic in giving away all the pork. In a Muslim nation it can’t be eaten so it would only go rotten and stink the place out.

  35. Ian Thorpe says:

    I was just over at Texas Darlin blog Jeff and saw this. I haven’t a clue what its about so it was like a tantalus to me.

    resolutions of independence in 10 states

    Be great if you could give us a clue what is going on. I can’t comment without more uderstanding but if there is anything in TDs suggestions I can see the logic for states like Calif. Texas and Alaska – specially Alaska with their resources.

  36. Jeff Schreiber says:

    I’m looking into it, Ian. Short on time at the moment. Much schoolwork to do.

    Perhaps, if I find what I’m looking for, I can get something up in the Weekend Reading on Sunday.

    – Jeff

  37. vcw39 says:

    The resolutions of independence in 10 states (and growing) is a concurrent resolution claiming sovereignty under the tenth amendment to the constitution of the united states over certain powers, serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates and providing that certain federal legislation be prohibited or repealed. Look at the Texas darling website and then look at the Montana listing which is mostly about the right to bear arms (2nd amendment). This is an interesting look. From what I have been reading the Governor and the people in the states have the right to oppose any Presidential or Congressional measures that might harm the state.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Snowe, Specter and Collins can no longer call themselves Republicans if they vote for this bill.
    They are more interested in getting re-elected than following party doctrine and principals.

    The entire northeast has gone Democrat.

  39. Ian Thorpe says:

    Thanks for throwing some light on that. As I said it makes a lot of sense economically for certain states with large reserves of natural rsources.

  40. starboardhelm says:

    Krauthammer nails it on the head. As the Church Lady used to say, “Now isn’t that conveeeenient!” Convenient for the democrats that the very spending that will pay back their supporters is just the very spending they think we need to keep our economy from even a deeper crises. I want to shout to congress “Don’t just do something! Sit there!”. Are there any democrats that are rational? That might see what a huge mistake this is and vote against it? This ‘stimulus’ is like trying to teach kittens to swim by tying them in a sack with rocks and throwing them in the river.

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