Wow what changes in DC

WASHINGTON ? President Barack Obama's ban on earmarks in the $825
billion economic stimulus bill doesn't mean interest groups, lobbyists
and lawmakers won't be able to funnel money to pet projects.
They're just working around it ? and perhaps inadvertently making the
process more secretive.
The projects run the gamut: a Metrolink station that needs building in
Placentia, Calif.; a stretch of beach in Sandy Hook, N.J., that could
really use some more sand; a water park in Miami.
There are thousands of projects like those that once would have been
gotten money upfront but now are left to scramble for dollars at the
back end of the process as "ready to go" jobs eligible for the stimulus
The result, as The Associated Press learned in interviews with more than
a dozen lawmakers, lobbyists and state and local officials, is a shadowy
lobbying effort that may make it difficult to discern how hundreds of
billions in federal money will be parceled out.
"'No earmarks' isn't a game-ender," said Peter Buffa, former mayor of
Costa Mesa, Calif. "It just means there's a different way of going about
making sure the funding is there."
It won't be in legislative language that overtly sets aside money for
them. That's the infamous practice known as earmarking, which Obama and
Democratic congressional leaders have agreed to nix for the massive
stimulus package, expected to come up for a House vote this week.
Instead, the money will be doled out according to arcane formulas
spelled out in the bill and in some cases based on the decisions of
Obama administration officials, governors and state and local agencies
that will choose the projects.
Or maybe this little LIE by Obama.
CNN's Campbell Brown is disappointed by Obama's moves to make William
Lynn deputy defense secretary.
*(CNN)* -- Just a couple of nights ago, we heaped praise on the new
president for announcing what he called a new era of openness, where in
his administration, transparency would rule the day.
And the lobbyists that he was so critical of during the campaign? Well,
he told us they will now face even tougher new restrictions.
*President Obama:* "The executive order on ethics I will sign shortly
represents a clean break from business as usual. As of today, lobbyists
will be subject to stricter limits than under any other administration
in history. If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will
not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you
lobbied during the previous two years. When you leave government, you
will not be able to lobby my administration for as long as I am president."
That's what he said two days ago. But as we first told you Thursday, and
sadly we are learning more about this Friday, President Obama already
wants an exception to his own rule.
You see, what happened is, there is this former lobbyist for a big
defense contractor called Raytheon. His name is William Lynn.
President Obama wants him to be deputy defense secretary. So, the Obama
administration wants a waiver to its own rule.
That basically means they are saying, we will mostly put tough new
restrictions on lobbyists, except when we won't.
Really? Is this how it is going to be?
Please, please don't make us all any more cynical than we already are,
Mr. President.
Reply to
Steve W.
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I just heard a statistic today that I thought was interesting ......
Of the 1,800,000 people who attended the 2009 Inauguration, in Washington DC, only 19 missed work.
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"Lynn had been undersecretary of defense (comptroller) for four years and before that had been director of program analysis and evaluation in the office of the secretary of defense, where he oversaw the department's strategic planning process."
That's a very impressive resume. Can you name someone more qualified?
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Cydrome Leader
Not his job, it's Obama's job. I bet there are dozens of people with similar resumes who aren't working both sides of the fiscal fence. But the honest ones are probably Republicans, so they aren't in consideration. And Obama made the rules - for everyone but him, apparently.
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I"m not opposed to earmarks - the congressmen have some idea of what needs to be done in their districts, but the earmarks need to be clearly identified as earmarks for some period of time before a bill is passed to allow interested parties to review them and comment about the wasteful ones.
Recission ought to be restored to the presidents again. It was taken away in the Nixon era, possibly unconstitutionally, but it was never challenged.
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GeoLane at PTD dot NET
"ff" wrote in news:_kgfl.2980$%54.2532
Minnie Mouse
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