Secret Service Pays Joe Biden Rent to Stay on His Property

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I don’t know, maybe it’s not uncommon — but for one of the guys in the “we all have to have some skin in the game” administration it seems like his little contribution could be to let the people who protect him and his family stay nearby for free. But that’s not the case:

The U.S. Secret Service does more than protect Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — the agency also pays him rent.

Since April, Mr. Biden has collected more than $13,000 from the agency charged with protecting the lives of he and his family, for use of a rental cottage adjacent to the waterfront home he owns in a Wilmington, Del., neighborhood.

Mr. Biden, listed not as vice president in federal purchasing documents but as “vendor,” is eligible for up to $66,000 by the time the government contract expires in the fall of 2013, the records show.

Hopefully voters end the contract early — January of 2013 to be exact.

Reminder: President Obama has tasked Joe Biden with hunting down misspent tax dollars wherever it exists. Maybe Pluggers could let the Secret Service crash at his cottage FoC and put the savings toward the debt — just a thought.

Update: Just got this Tweet: Required of course by Federal regulations, otherwise free rent may be perceived as a bribe to the security forces

Perceived as a bribe… to do what? Not save your life?

You can tell politicians write the laws: “And if our security detail stays on our property they have to pay us rent out of public funds, otherwise it might look like a bribe…”

Marco Rubio’s Terrific Senate Floor Speech, Including John Kerry Debate Goodness

I’m hooked on this Marco Rubio dude… I wrote about his appearance a couple of weeks ago on Face the Nation, and now he’s outdone himself with today’s Senate floor speech.

Pay attention especially at the 7:40 mark for John Kerry to ask for Rubio to yield some time to ask him some questions, and Rubio does yield (which you don’t see every day, but you could tell Marco was welcoming the opportunity for a one-on-one with Kerry, and Kerry might now regret asking the questions). Rubio hit Kerry’s questions out of the park. Rubio has more discipline than I do, because his responses contained nary a “have you paid your friggin’ luxury taxes yet, Thurston?”

I’m going to go out on a short limb and predict I’ll be voting for this guy for president some day:

“I would love nothing more than compromise — but compromise that’s not a solution is a waste of time.”

Not to mention money… lots of money.

We’ve talked about it here many times. What good is “compromise” if it simply means going to hell in a slightly slower handbasket? Even worse, often it results in a faster handbasket. Rubio nailed it.

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

I’ll Be Darned: Harry Reid Moving the Goal Posts Again

Initially, Harry Reid wanted to extend the debt ceiling enough to get to the end of 2012 (so it’s not an election issue).

Now magically that’s become spring of 2013:

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on Friday his budget legislation would increase the nation’s borrowing authority until March, 2013 and reiterated that he would not accept a short-term debt limit increase as Republicans are insisting.

Earlier in the day, Reid called on Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to sit down with him to work out a compromise for cutting federal spending and raising the debt limit by the August 2 deadline.

Of course Reid wants to sit down with McConnell — he’ll want to build McConnell’s plan into his own bill (reminder: it’s been a couple of weeks since Boeher said the McConnell plan “might look pretty good a couple of weeks from now”).

It’s been said before but bears repeating — President Obama might end up with the ability to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling through 2012 and beyond. Since most of the alleged “cuts” are pushed off well into the future, the government might basically have $2.4 trillion to play with heading into the 2012 election, and the “cuts” that pay for it won’t hit until some of them are out of office (if ever). This is something that must have Obama salivating:

Reid would have President Obama request a $2.4 trillion debt-limit increase in two installments of $1.2 trillion each. The requests would be subject to congressional resolutions of disapproval, but these would do little to restrict the president.

Obama could veto any resolution of disapproval, and it would take a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress to override him.

By the way, $2.4 trillion would be the largest debt ceiling increase ever. It was raised a record $1.9 trillion only 18 months ago.

Somehow they’re managing to sell this as “cutting the size of government”?

The Tea Party types in the House did the right thing. The problem is that there aren’t enough of them… yet.

Update: This is truly hilarious… Harry Reid spent the week whining about Republican “obstructionism,” but now he’s filibustering his own bill:

Senate Republicans want a 60-vote threshold for a debt-limit bill to pass the chamber, but it’s actually Democrats who are enforcing the filibuster on their own legislation, insisting on delaying a vote until 1 a.m. Sunday morning.

Tea Party Goes from Hobbits to Terrorists in Just One Day

Yesterday Tea Partiers in Congress were Hobbits, and today they’ve moved down a notch to terrorists.

I just read an op-ed at Politico that is so over the top that I was convinced it had to be one of those pieces that uses absurdity to point out the absurd, so I kept reading and reading to get to the part that lifted the lid and exposed the satire. That part never came.

The highlights:

It has become commonplace to call the tea party faction in the House “hostage takers.” But they have now become full-blown terrorists.

They have joined the villains of American history who have been sufficiently craven to inflict massive harm on innocent victims to achieve their political goals. A strong America has always stood firm in the face of terrorism.
[…]
As we stumble closer to Aug. 2, it has become clear that many in the tea party are willing to inflict massive harm on the American people to obtain their political objective of a severely shrunken federal government. Their persistence in rejecting compromise, even as the economic effects of the phony crisis they have created mount, has taken their radicalism beyond tough negotiating, beyond even hostage-taking.
[…]
Terrorism is a tough term, but, unfortunately, it describes tea party tactics precisely. Their first step was to vow not to vote to raise the debt ceiling.
[…]
Rather than reject the unthinkable, the tea party harnessed this potential harm as its weapon of mass destruction.
[…]
The challenge for America is to stand firm in the face of terrorism, no matter the source.

Tea party members must reassess their distorted vision of patriotism and join true patriots in Congress in raising the debt ceiling promptly until 2013

It’s called the “political process” Sparky, get used to it. Boy, the left loves rabble-rousing holdouts when it comes to laying on the tracks to stop conservative legislation, but when the roles are reversed, suddenly the stubborn ones are worse than Al Qaeda.

The entire article is a caricature of itself — almost Onion-worthy.

But it all made sense when I read the bio of the author:

William Yeomans, an American University law professor, served as Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a Justice Department official.

And if anybody is fit to judge the morals and ethics of others, it’s somebody who worked for Ted Kennedy.

Reuters: US Economy ‘Perilously Close to Flat-Lining’ (Unexpectedly, of Course)

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According to Democrats, a foundering economy like this can be righted with tax increases:

(Reuters) – The U.S. economy came perilously close to flat-lining in the first quarter and grew at a meager 1.3 percent annual rate in the April-June period as consumer spending barely rose.

The Commerce Department data on Friday also showed the current lull in the economy began earlier than had been thought, with the growth losing steam late last year.

That could raise questions on the long held view by both Federal Reserve officials and independent economists that the slowdown in growth as the year started was largely the result of transitory factors.

Growth in gross domestic product — a measure of all goods and services produced within U.S. borders – rose at a 1.3 percent annual rate. First-quarter output was sharply revised down to a 0.4 percent pace from a 1.9 percent increase.

And of course what MSM story about the economy would be complete without the “unexpectedly” part?

Economists had expected the economy to expand at a 1.8 percent rate in the second quarter. Fourth-quarter growth was revised to a 2.3 percent rate from 3.1 percent.

Jerry Rice blames Bush.

And check out how Hope & Change is going for African-Americans in the city that’s hosting the Democrat National Convention next year:

According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, in Charlotte, N.C., the unemployment rate for African-Americans is 19.2 percent. If you add in people who have given up looking for jobs, that number exceeds 20 percent, which, according to economists Algernon Austin and William Darity, has effectively mired blacks in a depression.

The Congressional Black Caucus has been leaning on President Obama to address the epidemic of black unemployment on his watch. So far, the president has resisted the notion of job programs specifically targeting African-Americans. His position is that a rising tide will lift all boats.

I differ with that last sentence. Obama’s philosophy isn’t “a rising tide will life all boats” — it’s “a lowering tide gives plenty of excuses to implement massive wealth transfer programs.”

John McCain References Tea Party ‘Hobbits’

Do you think John McCain actually wonders why he lost in 2008 or does he still really not get it?

McCain has taken to the Senate floor to accuse Conservatives of “deceiving” Americans in their insistence upon pushing to attach a balanced budget amendment to any increase in the debt ceiling. This, according to McCain, is deceptive because there is simply no way such a bill could survive in Congress. Nancy Pelosi’s over there telling seniors that the Boehner plan might kill them and it’s the GOP freshmen who are being deceptive?

Here’s McCain reading, and agreeing with, a Wall Street Journal editorial that references “Tea Party Hobbits”:

McCain also led a RINO charge against Tea Party freshmen in Congress for insisting on a BBA, saying they just don’t know how things work because they’ve “only been here a few months.” The problem isn’t freshmen Tea Party members of Congress — the problem has been caused by people who have been in Congress for 25-plus years. John McCain should go look in the mirror if he wants to see one of the reasons this debate is necessary today.

What’s baffling is that McCain supports the Boehner bill, which Harry Reid has said is dead in the Senate. Reid has 53 “no” votes lined up. How come Tea Party freshman are dumb for not supporting the Boehner bill that won’t pass and yet McCain is insightful and experienced for supporting the same bill… that won’t pass? Notice at no point does McCain talk about what he believes is right for the country, only what he thinks they can manage to ram through the process. This is also part of the reason we’re in a hole. All politics, little principle.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin — one of the “hobbits” who McCain somehow still thought worthy of sharing the ticket with him — has a reminder for Tea Party freshmen: For Such a Time as This

The GOP “hobbits” who are holding out are reportedly being taken to the woodshed because the House Repubs don’t yet have enough votes.

Update: Heh: John McCain as Gollum.

(h/t The Blaze)

The Nancy Pelosi Delusional Overstatement of the Day

Botoxi the Clown — aka Nancy Pelosi — on today’s vote on the Boehner budget bill:

“What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget,” she said. “We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”

What a delusional megalomaniac — but that’s our Stretch.

Besides, we don’t want life as you know it, Nancy, lest you wonder why you’re not holding the gavel anymore.

The Boehner bill is up for a House vote at 6:30 pm today. Harry Reid has promised that the Senate will kill that bill (“new tone” violation #4,493) before the night is out, assuming it passes the House.

Adios, Eh! George Lopez to Move to Canada if Sarah Palin is Elected President

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Another attractive feature of a possible Palin presidency would be that the US might be able to get rid of a lot of over-rated Hollywood lefties. But I thought that with Bush too but it turns out most of them lied about leaving.

In any case — run, Sarah, run!

Comic-turned-TV presenter George Lopez has vowed to banish himself to Canada if Sarah Palin ever becomes president of the United States.

The former Alaskan governor previously ran for the vice-president position during John McCain’s Republican bid for the White House in 2008, and became a controversial figure due to her right-wing stance and apparent lack of foreign affairs knowledge.

Palin has not ruled herself out of potentially running for the top job next year, but Lopez, who is a Democrat and longtime campaigner for Latino rights, is adamant he will move north if she ever is made leader of the U.S.

Over at Weasel Zippers, ZIP reminds Lopez that Canada’s Prime Minister is a conservative and their Parliament has a conservative majority. But Lopez probably already knew that because he’s so much smarter than Sarah Palin.

George, a lot of people might want to leave the country if your guy is re-elected, but they can’t afford to go anywhere except the unemployment office. Try and show a little empathy.

Ring Tone Interrupts FLOTUS Fundraising Speech

I’m not saying God had a hand in this, but it’s possible:

A woman’s cell phone ring tone to the song of “Crazy” went off about 25 minutes into Obama’s presentation and the owner scrambled to turn it off quickly.

The only way that could have been funnier is if the ring tone tune went like this: “Da da da da daaaa – I’m lovin’ it!

I wonder if the owner of the phone got “the look.”

By the way, the server is back up. It was down (again) for several hours overnight and earlier today — I think things are corrected now… until the next SNAFU.

Sure, Obama Administration — Bring on That China-Style High Speed Rail System!

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In 2008, then-candidate Obama praised China’s “vastly superior” infrastructure and expressed a desire to rapidly bring that style of high-speed rail system and other infrastructure “improvements” to the United States.

Later, the administration even dubbed Joe Biden as the “Conductor or the train to the future” (if that isn’t disturbing, nothing is).

So how’s China’s high speed rail system working out?

The collision is the latest setback for China’s bullet- train program. The $34 billion Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line, the world’s longest, has suffered major delays from storm-related electrical breakdowns at least three times since it opened on June 30.

“In so many areas, there is the lack of an adequately trained — and perhaps more importantly, experienced — workforce, along with tried-and-tested management oversight at the operational level,” Bill Barron, a visiting scholar at the Division of Environment at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said in an e-mail. “Given the pace of expansion, how could there be?”
[…]
In addition to technical faults, China’s spending on its railways has generated accusations of graft.

Liu Zhijun, an advocate of bullet trains, was fired as railway minister in February for “severe” disciplinary violations as part of a corruption probe, Xinhua said. Su Shunhu, deputy chief of the transportation bureau of the Ministry of Railways, is under investigation on suspicion of taking bribes, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on July 22, citing an unidentified ministry official.

“I don’t think China should develop this high-speed, high- cost system,” Jiaotong University’s Zhao said. “The last railway minister did not follow any scientific development approach and this is the result. This is not only a technical problem but a management problem.”

Sure, let’s bring this superior transportation system to the states!

Actually, among too many politicians, the potential for graft is a selling point instead of a liability, which makes it an even worse idea.

Speaking of graft, there’s one thing American politicians will never import from China, and that’s their method for dealing with corrupt public officials.