- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ICEBERG AHEAD

What no one seems to discuss is, “Where is all this bailout money coming from?” David Boaz writes at www.cato.org.

“Much of it is just being created on the balance sheets of the Federal Reserve, which portends rising inflation. Certainly, its too much to be paid for in taxes, even in the fondest dreams of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Is Bernie Madoff advising the Treasury these days?” Mr. Boaz said.

“How much money is it? CNN Money estimates that the federal government has now committed $10.5 trillion. Christopher Barker at the Motley Fool concludes that ‘the combined total of existing, announced, and potential outlays from the Federal Reserve and U.S. government agencies that are directly attributable to the financial crisis will breach $13 trillion!’

“This is nuts. Would [former Treasury Secretary Henry M.] Paulson and [Fed Chairman Ben S.] Bernanke have acted differently last April if theyd known where we would be in a year? … Or if theyd read some history; when governments start handing out money to troubled institutions, there will be no limit to the number of troubled institutions. And in barely a year, you get small auto-parts companies coming to Washington saying that if automakers and large suppliers are getting government help, they should too. President Bush and his Treasury secretary started this process, but Obama and the Democrats own it now. Do they have a plan that doesnt end in inflation and bankruptcy?”



FALLING NUMBERS

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approval ratings have plummeted in the wake of her feud with the CIA over who knew what and when about enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorists.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday found that the approval of how Mrs. Pelosi is doing her job as speaker has dropped from 51 percent in January to 46 percent in March to 39 percent now, the Hill newspaper reports.

That’s the lowest rating for a House speaker since 1995, when Republican Newt Gingrich became a political lightning rod, depicted by a national newsmagazine as the conservative Gingrich Who Stole Christmas. His approval rating fell into the low 30s. Later, in March 1997, his approval rating dropped to 25 percent.

In the new survey, conducted Thursday through Sunday while Mrs. Pelosi was embroiled in controversy over how much she was told about waterboarding of terrorism suspects, 48 percent of respondents said they disapproved of her performance.

TERSE VERSE

Mike Huckabee, the Republican former governor of Arkansas who ran for president last year and is now a talk-show host for the Fox News Channel, used his Web site (www.mikehuckabee.com) to post the following poem about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

Here’s a story about a lady named Nancy

A ruthless politician, but dressed very fancy

Very ambitious, she got herself elected Speaker

But as for keeping secrets, she proved quite a “leaker.”

She flies on government planes coast to coast

And doesn’t mind that our economy is toast

She makes the Air Force squire her in their military jets

There’s room for her family, her staff, and even her pets.

Until now, she annoyed us, but her gaffes were mostly funny;

Even though it was painful to watch her waste our tax money.

But now her wacky comments are no laughing matter;

She’s either unwilling to tell the truth, or she’s mad as a hatter!

She sat in briefings and knew about enhanced interrogation;

But claims she wasn’t there, and can’t give an explanation.

She disparages the CIA and says they are a bunch of liars;

Even the press aren’t buying it, and they’re stoking their fires.

I think Speaker Pelosi has done too much speaking;

And instead of her trashing our intelligence officials, it’s her nose that needs tweaking.

If forced to believe whether the CIA and her colleagues in Congress are lying;

Or it’s Speaker Pelosi whose credibility and career is dying.

I believe in the integrity of the men and women who sacrifice to keep us safe;

Not the woman who has been caught flat-footed, lying to our face.

I say it here, and I say it rather clear -

It’s time for Nancy Pelosi to resign and get out of here.

BLAGO’S PLAN

“In the days following his arrest on corruption charges last December 9th, [Illinois] Gov. Rod Blagojevich did his best to appear busy,” David Bernstein writes in Chicago magazine.

“He visited his 16th-floor suite at the Thompson Center [in Chicago], once even showing up in a jogging outfit. He signed bills, issued press releases, expunged criminal records. And he hardly wasted an opportunity to sling mud at other local Democrats, taking particular delight in sullying the veneer of President-elect Barack Obama and his Chicago team headed for the White House,” Mr. Bernstein said.

” ‘Give me a chance to call in witnesses like Rahm Emanuel, the presidents chief of staff, who said there was nothing inappropriate in his conversations with me,’ Blagojevich said on NBCs ‘Today’ show, during one in a round of interviews he gave in the weeks before he was ousted from office. ‘Give me a chance to bring in Valerie Jarrett,’ now a White House senior adviser. When Greta Van Susteren of Fox News asked if he would try to call Obama as a defense witness, the governor replied, ‘I would not rule anything in or rule anything out.’

” ‘His whole thing was - dirty everybody up, show that everybodys just as dirty as him,’ says one former aide to Blagojevich. ‘He never wanted to go down alone.’

“Whether the ex-governor succeeds in soiling others will be determined in the coming months, as federal prosecutors press their case against him. An indictment handed down in April charged Blagojevich and a small circle of aides and colleagues with wide-ranging corruption, including the notorious effort to personally profit from filling Obamas vacated U.S. Senate seat. More charges may follow as the investigation continues.”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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