CHRISTIE: “If you think that’s a confrontational tone, then you should really see me when I’m pissed. You know, I love when people say they don’t want to have an argument. That’s what we were sent here for.
They believe in certain things. They believe in bigger government, higher taxes, and more spending. Here it is [holding paper]. Bigger government, higher taxes, more spending.
I believe in less government, lower taxes, and in empowering local officials who are elected by their citizens to be able to fix their problems. That may lead to a disagreement or two.
Now, I could say it really nicely. I could say it in a way that you all might be more comfortable with. You know, maybe we can go back to the last administration where I can say it in a way you wouldn’t even understand it. But the fact of the matter is that this is who I am, and this is who the people elected.”
“Every country around the world is in a similar position, even the United States; the world’s largest economy has a very large fiscal deficit. And one of the concerns in financial markets is clearly – how will this enormous stock of public debt be reduced over the next few years? And it’s very important that governments, both here and elsewhere, get to grips with this problem, have a clear approach and a very clear and credible approach to reducing the size of those deficits over, in our case, the lifetime of this parliament, in order to convince markets that they should be willing to continue to finance the very large sums of money that will be needed to be raised from financial markets over the next few years, at reasonable interest rates.”
In addition, the Treasury Department announced yesterday that the April deficit numbers were more than twice as high as expected:
“The United States posted an $82.69 billion deficit in April, nearly four times the $20.91 billion shortfall registered in April 2009 and the largest on record for that month, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.
It was more than twice the $40-billion deficit that Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast and was striking since April marks the filing deadline for individual income taxes that are the main source of government revenue.
Department officials said that in prior years, there was a surplus during April in 43 out of the past 56 years.
The government has now posted 19 consecutive monthly budget deficits, the longest string of shortfalls on record.”
What’s Attorney General Eric Holder’s position on the Arizona immigration law? He’s critical of it even though he admits he hasn’t read it:
“Despite repeatedly voicing concerns about Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law in recent weeks and threatening to challenge it, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday he has not yet read the law — which is only 10 pages long.
“I have not had a chance to — I’ve glanced at it,” Holder said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing when asked had he read the state law cracking down on illegal immigrants.
On Thursday, Holder said he plans to read the law before reaching a decision on whether he thinks it’s constitutional.
When asked by Rep.Ted Poe, R-Texas, how he could have constitutional concerns about a law he has not read, Holder said: “Well, what I’ve said is that I’ve not made up my mind. I’ve only made the comments that I’ve made on the basis of things that I’ve been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, television, talking to people who are on the review panel…looking at the law.”
As a lawyer, Holder knows better than to speak out on a law without even reading it or understanding what it says. Clearly he’s a politician first and a lawyer second, and that’s not what an Attorney General is supposed to be.
But the Obama Administration isn’t serious about immigration laws as shown by this LA Times story about U.S. Customs and Border Commissioner Alan Bersin — an Obama appointee and former U.S. Attorney — who was “scolded” by a Senate committee for not filling out and keeping I-9’s for his household employees. His excuse? He didn’t know the law.
“This YouTube clip from the Attorney General’s testimony today will be the most painful two minutes of video you will ever watch. Mr. Holder would obviously rather get a root-canal than utter the words “radical Islam” (despite the fact that his description of the American people as “a nation of cowards” on race and of Bush officials as war criminals seemed to roll of the tongue without much difficulty).
You’ll be pleased to discover, via the AG, that there is an infinite variety of reasons why Muslims commit terrorist attacks. Those reasons, of course, have nothing to do with Islamic doctrine, which is why, even as we speak, agents are struggling to understand what might possibly have driven Faisal Shahzad to try to blow up Times Square. (I guess Mayor Bloomberg will be pleased to know that opposition to the healthcare bill hasn’t necessarily been ruled out yet.)”
Can it get any worse than this? (Don’t answer that.)
Only Congress could make a decision about paying government workers who watch porn a close call:
“Democrats had labeled their COMPETES Act — a bill to increase investments in science, research and training programs — as their latest jobs bill. It was the only non-suspension bill Democrats brought up all week.
But the Republican motion to recommit the bill — a parliamentary tactic that gives the minority one final chance to amend legislation — contained language prohibiting federal funds from going “to salaries to those officially disciplined for violations regarding the viewing, downloading, or exchanging of pornography, including child pornography, on a federal computer or while performing official government duties.”
That provision scared dozens of Democrats into voting with Republicans to approve the motion to recommit. After it became clear the GOP motion was going to pass, dozens of additional Democrats changed their votes from “no” to “yes.” In the end, 121 Democrats voted with Republicans — only four fewer than the number of Democrats who voted with their party.
The Democratic leadership ultimately pulled the bill, which I’m sure is a relief for some SEC workers.
Hot Air notes another Obama campaign pledge has gone under the bus:
Great news: Obama “firm pledge” on taxes now a “preference”
Peter Orszag delivered the change in nomenclature on Barack Obama’s tax policy to a group of reporters at a Thomson Reuters breakfast yesterday, and the Daily Beast’s LLoyd Grove couldn’t quite believe his ears. He pressed the OMB Director for clarification, and got more obfuscation instead (via Instapundit):
Remember President Obama’s supposedly inviolable pledge—repeatedly uttered during the 2008 campaign and at countless town meetings since the inauguration—that he would never raise taxes on middle-class citizens who earn $250,000 a year or less?
This morning at a Manhattan breakfast sponsored by Thomson Reuters, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag threw that pledge out the window. Instead, he described Obama’s “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge as a “stance” and a “preference” that is subject to study by the president’s newly formed bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.
“The president has been very clear about what he prefers,” Orszag said under questioning from Thomson Reuters’ Chrystia Freeland. “That was his stance during the campaign, and he still believes that’s the right course forward. But he has also been very clear that we shall let the commission go do its work.”
The pool of people who will benefit from Obama’s policies, as opposed to his promises, is getting smaller and smaller.
Byron York raises questions about Elena Kagan’s decisions when she worked for the Clinton Administration:
“In 1995 and 1996, future Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was involved in a bizarre controversy in which the Clinton White House was accused of siding with an eco-terrorist group locked in a standoff with federal agents deep in the woods of Oregon. The incident led to an investigation by House Republicans, who concluded that a staffer on the White House Council on Environmental Quality tipped off the environmental radicals to impending action by U.S. Forest Service law enforcement agents — a leak that Forest Service officials believed endangered the lives of their agents on the ground.
Kagan, at the time an associate White House counsel, had no role in leaking the feds’ plans to the radicals, but House Committee on Natural Resources investigators concluded she shirked her responsibility by not searching for the source of the leak or pushing for punishment of the leaker.
“Nothing was ever done by Elena Kagan to learn the details about the leaks, or to identify the leaker and ensure that proper punishment occurred,” the committee’s 1999 report concluded. In fact, investigators found evidence suggesting that Kagan, in internal White House discussions, defended the alleged leaker.”
Leakers are brave whistleblowers to many liberals, but the law doesn’t always see it that way. Questioning Kagan to find out whether she acted like a lawyer or a liberal in that investigation will help us decide whether she is qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice.
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