Well, the Senate passed the $700 billion bailout. It remains to be seen if the House will pass it. Heck, the last time they voted on it, 12 of the 37 Democrats on the Finance Committee voted against the bailout bill. Five Democratic committee chairs voted against it. Rumor has it that freshman Democrats were told to go ahead and vote against it, so that their upcoming election campaigning would be easier. And it failed to pass, and the Democrats blamed the Republicans… in spite of the fact that the Democrats could’ve passed it without a single Republican vote.
After the stunt Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pulled the other day, it’s amazing that the Democrats and Republicans are even willing to be in the same room. In case you missed it, she made a speech right before the vote:
$700 billion. A staggering number, but only a part of the cost of the failed Bush economic policies to our country. Policies that were built on budget recklessness when Pres. Bush took office, he inherited Pres. Clinton’s surpluses – four years in a row budget surpluses on a trajectory of $5.6 trillion in surplus. And with his reckless economic policies, within two years, he had turned it around. And now 8 years later, the foundation of that fiscal irresponsibility, combined with an “anything goes” economic policy, has taken us to where we are today.
They claim to be free-market advocates, when it’s really an anything goes mentality. No regulation, no supervision, no discipline. And if you fail, you will have a golden parachute and the taxpayer will bail you out.
Those days are over. The party is over in that respect.
Democrats believe in a free market. We know that it can create jobs, it can create wealth, many good things in our economy. But in this case, in this unbridled form, as encouraged and supported by the Republicans — some Republicans, not all — it has created not jobs, not capital, it has created chaos.
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders had gone on NPR to explain how they were going to use the economy and the bailout bill to beat the Republicans over the head in the elections next month.
Yeah, that’s really bipartisan. That’s the way to encourage Republicans who are deeply ambivalent about the bailout bill to hold their noses and vote for the thing, by taking the opportunity to bash the president and gloating that, no matter how bipartisan they try to be, you’re going to thrash the Republicans with the bill. “Well, fine, if that’s how it’s going to be, we’ll hold out for a better bill that reflects more of what we want to see in it.”
Hopefully, Speaker Pelosi will try to show some restraint in the name of leadership and bipartisanship (which she insisted would be her focus when she was elected Speaker) when the bailout bill comes back before the House.
And then there’s the Vice Presidential debate tomorrow night.
I would have to agree with those who have complained that Gov. Palin has looked- to put it mildly- increasingly stiff in her interviews. O’Reilly commented tonight that she looked like Reagan looked after his handlers tried to stuff him full of information. He seemed somewhat concerned that she wasn’t answering questions to a level she seems capable of, but mostly, O’Reilly focused on the handlers’ gaffs.
Interestingly, I got an e-mail from the website Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President begging the handlers to back off and “Please let Sarah be Sarah!” There was the Gov. Palin we saw at the convention and the Gov. Palin we saw on the documentary footage Fox has been showing (shot this spring by an Israeli filmmaker doing a series on remarkable women). And then there’s what we’ve seen lately.
However, on a positive note, Adam Brickley also wrote that there are signs that the handlers are getting smacked down and we might see more of the Sarah Palin we liked when we first saw her.
Now, the question is, is this what is driving the disgruntlement lately with Palin? Kathleen Parker, a conservative commentator, called for Palin to bow out for the sake of the country. She said she’d liked Palin initially, but had come to feel uneasy about her. However, since Parker has also described herself in her columns as “personally pro-life” but publicly “reluctantly pro-choice”, it is unclear what bearing that has on her opinion of Sarah Palin, who does not think murder is a personal decision.
Is Parker really upset by Palin’s interview performances, or is Palin’s unabashedly pro-life position grating on Parker’s conscience? Is Parker, who was pro-Palin before she became anti-Palin, creating an acceptable way out for herself like the one she’s suggesting for Palin? “Well, I liked her initially, but she didn’t do amazingly well in the interviews, so now I have an excuse to dislike her besides her public pro-life positions, which I disagree with.”
It seems that a lot of the criticism is coming from people who don’t want to say that their issue with Gov. Palin may be rooted in abortion. If that’s your issue, why not say it? I think they know that their lie that “most Americans are pro-choice” isn’t true, or at least isn’t true to the level of accepting completely unlimited, taxpayer-funded abortions that the Democrats are pushing.
Yes, others have criticized Gov. Palin’s performance in the interviews. (Others have countered that the Gibson interview was edited to make Palin look bad. (read the whole transcript here)) Then again, a lot of people are intent on making Gov. Palin fit their preconceived notions that conservative, pro-life, non-Ivy League women are stupid.
Meanwhile, where the heck is Sen. Biden?
All the buzz has been about Gov. Palin; almost nobody is talking about Sen. Biden.
For interest’s sake, we can only hope he goes and says something really dumb, like the comment about FDR getting on the TV at the beginning of the Great Depression, in 1929. (Considering that the TV wasn’t commercially available until the late 1930′s and Sen. Biden was born in 1942 to a financially struggling family, you’d think he would remember when TV’s were not common.) Or saying Hillary Clinton would’ve been a better VP pick. Or, from the primaries, the comment about Sen. Obama, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” Oops. (Although I would have to agree with Biden’s comment that, “I think [Obama] can be ready, but right now I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.”)
Meanwhile, the bishop of Scranton has released a statement clarifying (again) that pro-abortion politicians are in grave sin. He also mandated that all parishes under his jurisdiction must read this letter instead of giving a homily or sermon and that it should be printed and included in all parish bulletins. As was to be expected, the first few hits on Google were disgruntled people complaining that the bishop shouldn’t be telling Sen. Biden how he should write policy.
If abortion (45 million dead in this country alone, and counting) isn’t an issue that the bishops can talk on, what is? It isn’t like the bishop is telling Sen. Biden to write a law to mandate that everyone go through Catholic marriage prep classes before getting married or to make the “Hail, Mary” the state prayer.
The bishop is saying that murder is wrong, even when we pretend that the murdered weren’t really human enough to deserve protection.
There are pro-life atheists (I marched next to one at the March for Life in 2007; we had a nice talk), pro-life Protestants (quite a few of them, actually), pro-life Muslims, pro-life Jews… this is not a Catholic issue, this is a human issue. Just like the Church has something to say about the rights of workers (Pope Leo XIII was one of the first mainstream voices to support the idea of unions in Rerum Novarum), the environment, the death penalty, war and peace, and other social issues “acceptable” to the left wing, it also has something to say about abortion.
I’ll let the bishop have the final word:
Being “right” on taxes, education, health care, immigration, and the economy fails to make up for the error of disregarding the value of a human life. Consider this: the finest health and education systems, the fairest immigration laws, and the soundest economy do nothing for the child who never sees the light of day. It is a tragic irony that “pro-choice” candidates have come to support homicide – the gravest injustice a society can tolerate – in the name of “social justice.”
Even the Church’s just war theory has moral force because it is grounded in the principle that innocent human life must be protected and defended. Now, a person may, in good faith, misapply just war criteria leading him to mistakenly believe that an unjust war is just, but he or she still knows that innocent human life may not be harmed on purpose. A person who supports permissive abortion laws, however, rejects the truth that innocent human life may never be destroyed. This profound moral failure runs deeper and is more corrupting of the individual, and of the society, than any error in applying just war criteria to particular cases.
Furthermore, National Right to Life reports that 48.5 million abortions have been performed since 1973. One would be too many. No war, no natural disaster, no illness or disability has claimed so great a price.
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