“By offering Republicans olive branches during his address to Congress on Wednesday, Obama has set up a win-win situation. If GOP lawmakers embrace compromise, a healthcare bill would pass Congress easily. But the more likely scenario is that Republicans will continue to oppose Obama’s plan, and the president later this fall will be able to note he tried to strike a deal with the GOP but could not.
That will set up a Democratic argument that Senate leaders have been forced to use a partisan budget tool known as reconciliation to pass a health bill through the Senate by a simple majority, instead of 60 votes. Under the budget plan they passed earlier this year, Democrats could invoke the reconciliation process on Oct. 15.”
Under this theory, Obama benefits by painting Republicans as bitter obstructionists — a theory bolstered by Rep. Joe Wilson’s recent “You lie!” comment.
I think the Democrats will opt for reconciliation or the so-called nuclear option, and while I view that as Obama’s big gamble rather than a win-win strategy, sometimes big gambles pay off.
“Over the last several months, through ongoing communication with our regional offices, it is clear that ACORN’s affiliation with the 2010 Census promotion has caused sufficient concern in the general public, has indeed become a distraction from our mission, and may even become a discouragement to public cooperation, negatively impacting 2010 Census efforts,” read a letter from Census Director Robert M. Groves to the president of ACORN.
“Unfortunately, we no longer have confidence that our national partnership agreement is being effectively managed through your many local offices. For the reasons stated, we therefore have decided to terminate the partnership,” the letter said.
Good news. I hope it’s a permanent parting of the ways.
UPDATE: Jake Tapper reports the BigGovernment undercover videos were the “tipping point” that led the Census Bureau to terminate its relationship with ACORN:
“Census Bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner said officials in the bureau, which is part of the Department of Commerce, had been concerned with news reports about ACORN for awhile and “had been monitoring them.”
Buckner said recent videotapes posted on BigGovernment.com and broadcast on Fox News — showing a young man and young woman pretending to be a pimp and prostitute, declaring themselves such and apparently able to secure the help of ACORN employees in Washington D.C. , and Baltimore, in obtaining housing – was “the tipping point.”
Just one day after ACORN fired two Baltimore employees — presumably for counseling a fake pimp and his prostitute regarding ways to cover up illegal activities — ACORN fired two more employees who were similarly exposed in Washington DC:
“O’Keefe, the filmmaker, was accompanied by 20-year-old Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute. On a videotape of their visit to ACORN’s Washington’s office, they are seen receiving guidance to establish the woman as the sole proprietor of a bogus company to mask the nature of her business.”
Here are the YouTube posts from Washington DC:
ACORN expressed concern over illegal activities, but also described the incidents as part of a political smear campaign designed to discredit it:
“The group’s leaders said Friday they were “appalled and angry” at what their staffers had done, but insisted the videos were part of a political “smear” campaign and not representative of the institution as a whole.
“But that does not excuse the behavior of the employees,” wrote ACORN’s president Alton Bennet and executive director Mike Shea. “We have fired them and are initiating an internal review of practices and reminding all staff of their obligation to uphold the highest legal and ethical standards.”
Reading his story is a reminder that Allahpundit — as significant as he has been to the blogosphere — would not exist as we know him but for those despicable al-Qaeda attacks eight years ago. The man has great skill, and I am glad to have gotten to know him a little through Twitter. Yet I am reminded today that a part of me wishes there was no reason or need for an Allahpundit.
As is my custom on this date, I present below the column I wrote for National Review Online in September 2004, the third anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Brave Americans who were schoolchildren on September 11, 2001, are today fighting the very same enemy that attacked us that day. Sometimes we need to be reminded why this is so.
There are thousands of stories to be told about those who died on September 11. This is one.
By Jack Dunphy
At the corner of Hudson and Harrison Streets, in the TriBeca section of Lower Manhattan, there stands a neighborhood bar called Puffy’s Tavern. If it has been modernized at all in the last 50 years the proprietors have gone to great lengths to conceal it, for to walk through its doors is to pass into some long-ago, gentler time. Puffy’s is a “joint” in the best sense of the word, a place where pretense is neither offered nor tolerated. One of the few signs of modern life to be found within its walls is the bulletin board near the bar, on which are displayed photographs of some of the many celebrities who have planted their famous keisters on the stools and bent their elbows at the old, mahogany bar. But near the photos of Julia Roberts and Renée Zellweger and the like are some of the not-so-famous—the regular folks who stop in for a cold one or two after work each day before heading to the Subway toward home.
Last year, on September 11, I was looking at those pictures with Greg Sullivan, a sergeant for the New York Police Department. “That’s my little brother Patrick right there,” he said, pointing at one of the ten or so men in one photo. The picture was taken at a wedding in the summer of 2001, and in it the men are standing shoulder to shoulder and smiling at the camera. Even frozen in the two dimensions of a photograph, they are plainly the sort of bright and brash young men whose very bearing says “Wall Street” to anyone familiar with the term. They are young men enjoying life, especially life in New York, to the fullest. “Just about all those guys are dead now,” Greg said. “They worked with Patrick, and that day they died with him.”
I know that conventional wisdom is that it was wrong for him to yell “You lie!” at Barack Obama. Ed Morrissey said so; Dennis Miller said so; I assume most other conservative commentators said the same thing (while noting that Wilson was correct).
We can spend all day pointing out how Democrats have done similar things (and if they’re going to falsely claim that they haven’t, we have a duty to point out that they have). And I understand the argument that, if yelling becomes acceptable, Republicans will probably bear the brunt of that rule more. But put all that aside for a second.
All he did was yell out the truth.
I don’t know, it’s just hard for me to get too upset about that. Sometimes you have to yell out the truth.
Plus, it’s nice to have a guy named Joe Wilson who cares about the truth, for once.