- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 29, 2009

You betcha

Is Sarah Palin’s foray into social media worth the read? Surely there is some clever ghostwriter penning her missives on Facebook, which is monitored by the press and picked apart by fact checkers on gaffe patrol.

Well, go ahead. Read. Enjoy. Mrs. Palin really writes her own entries, and she’s sincere about them.

“I’ll use Facebook to remind Americans that I’m hearing them. They’re coming up to me, and they’re whispering to me or they shout it loudly, and they say, ‘We’ve got to get this country back on the right track,’” she told Fox News.

“Yes, those are my messages. And I just want to let the American people know what was going through my mind. And I hear you. I’m there with you. I want to do something,” Mrs. Palin added.

Double trouble

Stupefying amounts of money and extreme drama can turn political process to chaos. After months of debate and obfuscation over health care reform, who knows which end is up? Who knows what the meaning of “is” is? At this point, the Democratic Party is petrified that the bill could fail. But Democrats are also woozy over the idea that the bill could pass as well.

“Democrats so fear the consequences of failing to pass Obamacare that they’ve convinced themselves that embracing $370 billion worth of tax increases and more than $400 billion worth of Medicare cuts is good for them,” says the National Review’s Rich Lowry. “This will long make for a compelling case study in the Annals of Abnormal Political Psychology.”

The fiscal pain of a $1 trillion deficit may not guarantee fiscal gain.

“If Democrats can’t afford failure on this course, what makes them think they can afford success? They created a hellish dilemma for themselves by refusing to scale back their bill once it became persistently unpopular,” Mr. Lowry continues. “Take half a loaf, disarm your critics, call it victory. How complicated is that? As President Ronald Reagan said, ‘There are simple answers, just not easy ones.’ And it wouldn’t have been easy to wean the Democratic core from its perfervid dream of nationalized health care.”

His advice?

“If President Obama meant his major promises about health care, he’d start over,” Mr. Lowry notes. “When they elected Obama, most voters wanted competence, bipartisanship, sobriety, and responsibility. On health care he’s 04, but the only option the Democrats have is to keep going. In fear of death, they’ll risk suicide.”

Byrd watching

C-SPAN got all Hollywood over the moment, and there was gushy applause in the press as Sen. Robert Byrd ascended into a congressional pantheon of sorts. The West Virginia Democrat recently became the longest-serving lawmaker on Capitol Hill, racking up over five decades on the job. He was a senator even before President Obama was born.

Time may fly when you’re having fun. But are you doing good?

“Perpetual re-election, based far more on seeding home districts and states with taxpayers’ money than promoting and protecting the Constitution and the liberties it guarantees, becomes the life’s work of many lawmakers. This sordid convention has no place in a nation established as a haven from heavy-handed government,” noted a recent Investor Business Daily editorial.

“But rather than make the argument that the founders intended for the legislative branch to be run by citizen lawmakers and not professional officeholders, we offer Sen. Robert Byrd as a prime example of why term limits should be considered.”

The publication is critical of Mr. Byrd’s informal titles, including “King of Pork” and “Big Daddy,” pointing out that he was the first lawmaker to bring $1 billion in pork barrel spending to his state. But Big Daddy ain’t alone, they warn.

“Congress has long been filled with incumbents who use other people’s money to stay in office. Re-election rates are over 95 percent in the House since 1994, 87 percent in the Senate. Any discussion of term limits should begin with this dynamic at the forefront.”

Days of yore

On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress established a “Committee of Secret Correspondence” to provide European nations with a Yankee interpretation of events in the colonies, and to possibly secure financial aid for a potential war effort. The major players: Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison, John Dickinson, John Hay<$> and Robert Morris.<$>

The United Nations voted to partition Palestine and create an independent Jewish state 62 years ago today. In keeping with a campaign promise, President Eisenhower journeyed to Korea on this day in 1952, seeking a solution to the Korean War. In addition, President Lyndon B. Johnson set up the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy on this day 46 years ago.

And for no reason in particular, we report that Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on this very day five years ago. Go ‘Zilla.

Poll du jour

38 percent of American voters say the Obama administration is more “transparent” than the Bush administration.

9 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent of voters overall say the Bush administration was more transparent than the Obama administration.

72 percent of Republicans and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

19 percent of voters overall say the transparency of both administrations is “about the same.”

19 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Zogby poll of 2,293 likely voters conducted Nov. 4 to 6.

Follow Jennifer Harper at twitter.com/harperbulletin.

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