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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Nice Thought. But It Won't Work.

Who could argue with this sentiment?
Perriello challenges the untouchable
By Luanne Traud, Roanoke Times

Tom Perriello isn't behaving like a freshly minted member of Congress. New back-benchers generally hope that one day, they, too, might rise to prominence. But first they need to demonstrate they are reliable, loyal party stewards so that they can gain the right assignments and, eventually, when they've put in the time, rise to chair an important subcommittee.

Perriello's independent streak has no time for rank-and-file allegiance. He has made haste to challenge entrenched House practices.

He's already pushed for transparency that requires members to post on their Web sites requests for earmarks. And now, he has signed on as an original cosponsor of a bill that would prohibit members from taking campaign contributions and awarding earmarks to the same people.

It's a courageous move, made all the more so because Perriello isn't just challenging the opposition party but is taking on power brokers within his own Democratic Party. Few are more powerful, more wedded to earmarks, more capable of dealing out harsh punishment to those who buck them than John P. Murtha. [link]

Perriello may be "independent." Though there's been no indication of it in his voting, which is where it counts. But he's also pathetically naive. He thinks he can stop John Murtha from rewarding constituents with earmarks who donate to his reelection campaigns? Has he never heard of PMA?

For those not familiar with the now-defunct Washington lobbying group, PMA took on clients that were seeking federal contracts (and earmarks), took handsome payments from those clients with the promise to lobby on their behalf before specific congresspersons, do just that, and donate large piles of cash to those same congresspersons (including - famously - John Murtha). So Perriello's effort that "would prohibit members from taking campaign contributions and awarding earmarks to the same people" is already being gotten around by the use of a middleman. Yesterday it was PMA; if Perriello's naivete becomes law, tomorrow there'll be a host of PMA's.

Contributor → PMA → Congressman → Contributor.

So what would Perriello's legislation have accomplished?

No, the better way to approach the problem would be to shine the light of day on the corruption (as well as the glaring waste) and resolve to throw the bums out. It's amazing what a few upsets on election night will do to get career politicians to listen. Think gun control and Jack Brooks.

You can't fault Tom Perriello for trying. After all, he's new to this and doesn't know any better. But someone should inform the rookie that he's barking up the wrong tree. His effort to stop his compatriots from earmarking? As the saying goes, that dog won't hunt.

Quote of the Day

From the Washington Times:
Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter will not be missed when he retires after this term. He wrote few memorable opinions. He enthusiastically, but without distinction, joined those justices who embraced whatever justifications were handy to support ever-more-liberal policy outcomes. The nation deserves better from his replacement.
"Souter the extremist," May 4, 2009

While The Media Remain Captivated ...

... the American people become increasingly disillusioned with Mr. Hope & Change:
From Rasmussen's Daily Tracking Poll:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 35% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-two percent (32%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of +3.
Just wait till the rest of the country finds out what this lightweight is really all about.

On The Press & The Chrysler Bankruptcy

Mickey Kaus:

Does the Sunday New York Times read the Saturday New York Times?

Read? Rather bold assumption that.

At Least He'll Be Entertaining

There is much talk these days about the fact that the Republican Party needs to broaden its base. Grow its tent. Expand its horizons.

But if accepting buffoons like this contemptible twirp into the ranks of party leadership is the key to success, I'd suggest the GOP stick to its present course and let the Democrats be the party of deviants and fools:
Democrat joker Al Franken to hand Obama control of Senate
By Sarah Baxter, Times of London

A comedian who had a walk-on part in the Rutles film spoof of the Beatles is poised to deliver a 60-seat super-majority to the Democrats in the Senate as President Barack Obama consolidates his grip on the levers of power.

Al Franken, 57, a satirist turned Democrat politician, is expected to be proclaimed the winner of the protracted race for the US Senate in Minnesota, in time to give Obama a free hand to appoint a Supreme Court replacement for retiring Justice David Souter without fear of Republican blocking tactics.

If Franken wins, Obama will hold an unassailable majority after Senator Arlen Specter’s sudden defection from the Republicans to the Democrats last week. A 60-seat majority would deprive the Republicans of the ability to scupper appointments and legislation by filibustering. [link]
The Dems have had to put up with the antics of towering figures like Maxine Waters and Barney Frank for years. Now comes Mr. Bubbles. The circus has truly come to town.

The hits just keep on comin'.