If you’re going to publicly attack the president, it helps to get your facts straight.
Late last week, Texas Congressman Jeb Hensarling ran down President Obama for ballooning the federal deficit.
The dispute began when Obama showed up at a GOP congressional retreat in Baltimore last week for an extended give-and-take. In a rambling question to the president, Hensarling acknowledged that Republicans had run up large deficits when they were in charge, but he claimed, as the Hill newspaper put it, “yearly deficits Democrats complained about under George W. Bush had now become ‘monthly’ deficits” under Obama. In other words, he contended Obama had multiplied the deficit by a factor of 12.
Here was Obama’s response: “That’s factually just not true. And you know it’s not true.”
I recommend you watch the entire video of the exchange here.
Later, Hensarling sent out a press release that altered his numbers a little. Citing Congressional Budget Office figures, Hensarling now says Obama is equaling the annual Bush deficit every fiscal quarter. In other words, Obama has quadrupled the annual deficit.
I’m not surprised anymore when I read a news report that Boeing Co.’s “virtual fence” is behind schedule and experiencing “technical glitches.”
Originally, we were told the virtual fence would be finished along the southern border by 2011. It’s now been pushed back to 2014 because of technical glitches.
The Associated Press reports today that Washington has spent $672 million on the “virtual fence” which consists of cameras, ground sensors and radar, along the southern border.
The worst part is the radar can’t “distinguish between vegetation and people when its is windy” according to the article. This is just about every day, at least along the Texas-Mexico border. Also by the time the camera operator picks up the satellite image of whatever object appears suspicious the object is already gone.
Boeing is blaming the technical issues on the government’s misguided belief back in 2005 (when they started this boondoggle) that the fence could be put together easily with off-the-shelf components. Five years later and $672 million later they are still trying to cobble something together that works.
My guess is if the government fires Boeing at this point they will take their proprietary equipment with them and D.C. will have to start all over again.
Sounds like Boeing has a pretty good stimulus package.
With Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison continuing to founder, we appear to be witnessing one of the most spectacular political implosions in Texas history. It’s hard to fathom now, but last February, one widely circulated poll showed Hutchison leading Gov. Rick Perry 56 percent to 31 percent among likely Republican voters.
That’s damn near 2-to-1. Yesterday, Rasmussen’s latest numbers showed that the senator’s support had been cut nearly in half from that high point a year ago. After her second anemic debate performance, she’s down to 29 percent, with Perry holding steady at 44 percent and Debra Medina registering 16 percent — a 12-point climb from December, thanks mostly to the libertarian’s sharp turns in the two televised debates.
And get a load of this, people: Perry leads Hutchison by five points among likely Republican women voters. What was inconceivable three weeks ago is now in the realm of possibility: Not only could Medina, a lightly funded candidate running her first race against two money-drenched warhorses, force a runoff by denying Perry 50 percent on March 2—she could be the second-place finisher.
If Medina captures just half of the undecided folks in this poll—11 percent said they hadn’t made up their minds—and continues to gather momentum while Hutchison fades, the gap could be closed in a month. Funnier things have happened, especially in volatile political times like this.
Just since Rasmussen’s latest poll, on Jan. 18, Hutchison has slid by four points while Medina picked up four. Another five-point change both ways would bring them even. A growing number of Republicans are clearly beginning to view Medina, not Hutchison, as the best alternative to the perma-governor.
As Rasmussen notes, “Medina is much more competitive when those with strong opinions are considered.” Twenty-four percent of Republicans said they had a “very favorable” opinion of Perry, 18 percent of Hutchison and 16 percent of Medina. One thing’s easy enough to predict: Medina’s voters will turn out with all the force they can muster. They have something to vote for—something pretty darn radical, it’s true, but there’s no denying that Medina is crystal-clear on where she stands and what kind of change she’d try to make as governor.
Hutchison, meanwhile, has given her natural base—more moderate Republicans—no reason to get their butts off the couch and vote. She continues to play on Perry’s (and now Medina’s) political field, trying to pick off conservative voters by talking up a gimmicky “Property Bill of Rights,” assailing the dead Trans-Texas Corridor, and claiming that she—personally—quadrupled the number of Border Patrol agents. (Apparently senators are more powerful than we knew!)
Funny: When Hutchison said she couldn’t resign her Senate seat because it was her duty to stay in Washington and defeat health-care reform and cap-and-trade, she was staking a claim to be a serious powerhouse on Capitol Hill. It was going to be Hutchison vs. Obama, the senator implied. If she came back to run full-time for governor, we’d soon be sliding down that slippery slope to socialism. She had to save America!
Hutchison was, of course, laughably overstating her influence in the Senate. But how much power is she going to wield after she’s embarrassed herself with a sub-30-percent showing against Rick Perry, who’s never been especially popular, and this unknown character named Debra Medina?
Somehow, I don’t think President Obama will be quaking in his wingtips when Sen. Hutchison limps back to Washington.
In the past two years, I’ve watched State Board of Education meetings for many hours. I’ve heard State Board members utter some of the most ridiculous statements likely ever to pass the lips of a government official in a public meeting. I thought I’d reached a point at which State Board members—no matter how nonsensical their statements—couldn’t faze me anymore.
But David Bradley, bless his heart, proved me wrong.
Bradley, a Republican Board member from Beaumont, recently provided Texas Tribune reporter Abby Rapoport with what has to be the quote of the year.
In a story entitled “No Experience Necessary,” the Tribune points out that State Board members have little experience with high finance and yet they help oversee Texas’ $23 billion public-school fund.
In defending the Board, Bradley, who chairs the finance committee, argues that expertise is over-rated. To make his point, he employs this priceless analogy:
If you sit on the mental health commission, do you have to be retarded? If you sit on the [Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission], do you have to be a drunk?
I would like to gingerly point out that—beyond the general ludicrousness of this statement—there is no such thing as the “mental health commission.” Bradley also seems to confuse mental illness with mental retardation, which are two distinct and very different conditions.
Give him some credit, though. Given the way the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has been actinglately, Bradley might be on to something.