December 13, 2007

Drudge: ‘Hell Day as Press Turns Vicious’ on Federal Budget

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:13 pm

This is up on Drudge at the moment:

DrudgePressVicious121307

Yes, the viciousness is being directed at Democrats for not being spendthrift enough.

It’s too early to tell whether President Bush and congressional Republicans have outmaneuvered the Democratic congressional majority, but it’s looking that way. Old Media doesn’t like it, and their inability to successfully buck up their side, one bit.

In the Washington Post’s “Dems Blaming Each Other For Failures,” Jonathan Weisman and Paul Kane are clearly critical:

When Democrats took control of Congress in January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to jointly push an ambitious agenda to counter 12 years of Republican control.

Now, as Congress struggles to adjourn for Christmas, relations between House Democrats and their colleagues in the Senate have devolved into finger-pointing.

….. In the past few weeks, the House has thrown wave after wave of legislation at the Senate — on energy, Iraq war policy, the housing and mortgage crisis, and middle-income tax cuts offset largely by tax increases on the wealthy.

Most of it has died quietly, a predetermined fate that both sides could foresee before the first vote was cast. Yet they went ahead anyway.

The Wall Street Journal may have a reputation for leaning right, but that’s because of its editorials, not its day-to-day reporting. David Rogers’ “Intraparty Feuds Dog Democrats, Stall Congress” (link appears to require subscription) is a case in point, as he rips the Dems’ inability to get along (bold is mine):

Democrats took control of Congress last January promising a “new direction.” A year later, the image that haunts them most is one symbolizing no direction at all: gridlock.

Unfinished work is piling up — legislation to aid borrowers affected by the housing mess, rescue millions of middle-class families from a big tax increase and put stricter gas-mileage limits on the auto industry. Two months into the new fiscal year, Democrats are still scrambling just to keep the government open.

President Bush and Republicans are contributing to the impasse, but there’s another factor: Intraparty squabbling between House Democrats and Senate Democrats is sometimes almost as fierce as the partisan battling.

A commenter at a different post informs me that this is probably an alltime record for budget delay. What I believe is the previous record, the infamous Clinton-Gingrich showdown in 1995, occurred during November of that year.

In the WaPo’s “Democrats Bow to Bush’s Demands in House Spending Bill,” Weisman, who in August 2005 infamously managed to turn news of a strong Employment Situation Report (+207,000 jobs) into a mini-diatribe on Iraq, calls out the Democrats for “surrender” (bold is mine):

Democratic leaders tried to put the best face on their surrender on domestic spending levels, promising that the final bill will reflect their priorities, if not their preferred funding — “the president’s number, our priorities,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She noted that the bill would increase funding for children’s health programs, nutrition and medical research at the National Institutes of Health.

Alexander Bolton at the Hill, in “Dems Cave on Spending,” also appeared quite frustrated (bolds are mine):

Senate and House Democrats backed down Wednesday from a spending showdown with President Bush.

The Democrats’ capitulation Wednesday on the total domestic spending level is the latest instance of Bush prevailing on a major policy showdown.

The new majority might have realized it couldn’t just keep coasting forever if Old Media had spent the year critically evaluating their performance instead of continually singing their praises and/or making excuses for it.

If the endgame outcome turns out to be as good for the President as now anticipated, maybe, as a show of gratitude, he should make sure that Old Media reporters are on the White House Christmas card and gift lists.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Carnival Barking, and Carnival Catch-up (121307)

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 3:49 pm

Ohio Politics Carnival 95, assembled by Jill at Writes Like She Talks, is here. Jill, you’re no stinker, nor is the Carnival.

Catching up from the previous week, Ohio Politics Carnival 94, assembled by “The venerable Ms. Lisa Renee” (apt appellation courtesy of Jill) at Glass City Jungle, is here.

Boring Made Dull’s Econ and Social Policy Carnival XXXIX is here.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (121307)

“The coalition of labor, social service, trial lawyer, and political organizations” described in the Toledo Blade really ought to name itself The Committee to Ruin Ohio As Known (CROAK).

Among other things, their “Healthy Families Act,” which may appear on the 2008 ballot if the General Assembly, as expected, doesn’t act on it this year, will “Require businesses with 25 or more employees to allow full-time workers to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave to care for themselves, children, spouses, or parents.”

How potentially destructive this could be has been discussed previously here and here.

If this is to make any sense (I don’t think it does, unless you like mediocre Western European-like economic growth), it has to be debated and done nationally. Otherwise, more employers will flee Ohio to business-friendly states, fewer will expand their operations in Ohio, and fewer will start up in Ohio.

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No way I’m ignoring this — John Kerry was against the Kyoto Protocol (in 1997, as part of the 95-0 Senate advisory vote) before he was for it while in Bali this week.

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This may be theI paid for this microphonemoment of the 2007-2008 primaries. Actually, if you watch the vid at the link, you will see that Reagan said, “I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green.”

Update: A sure sign that the Thompson “show of hands” refusal is resonating — An ABC blog entry (HT NewsBusters) is calling it a “tantrum.”

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I’m reminded by this item that all too many believe that human beings are on the whole, in tired accounting terms, liabilities and not assets. They could not be more wrong, which is why it’s useful that the world’s chief spokesperson for people as assets has spoken out against climate change (known as “globaloney” around here) “prophets of doom.”

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I was going to do more with this, but Sean Higgins at IBD Editorials brought up a subject that’s fallen completely off the political radar and appears headed for obscurity — so I’d better catch it while I can:

For years, Democrats have pushed the stem cell issue hard, making overturning the White House’s restrictions on federal funding a key part of their platform. Yet almost overnight the issue seems forgotten.

The reason is the publication last month of two scientific papers indicating that skin cells can be reprogrammed to act like embryonic cells, potentially eliminating the need for embryonic cells in the first place.

The results were splashed across major papers.

In one fell swoop the politics of the issue shifted …..

This means that, despite the protests of editorialists at the New York Times, The Toledo Blade, and a few other bitter-enders, the once supposedly urgent need for life-taking embryonic stem cell research is vanishing before our very eyes, overrun by scientific reality.

“Someone” with an abiding faith in God believed that He would provide us stem cell-related answers without forcing us to engage in carnage to get them. One can now describe President Bush’s stand early in his administration against federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) in four words: “correct,” “courageous,” and “virtually vindicated.”

Yours truly predicted this in April — well (sheepish grin :–>), sort of:

Write it down: 5 years, even 10 years from now, ESCR will still be almost nothing but promise, while other SCR will at a minimum have done another 5-10 years of blocking and tackling, and may itself achieve all the breakthroughs Hail Mary black-hole ESCR promises — *someday*. That would include pluripotency, as there are beyond-early indications that ASCRs can be trained to be pluripotent. If realized, that achievement would, and should, consign life-taking ESCR to the ash heap of history.

OK, so I was 4-plus to 9-plus years off. Clearly, my faith isn’t as strong as Mr. Bush’s.

Positivity: Twin sisters receive kidneys from same donor

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Chicago (video is at link):

Chicago-area trauma victim gives gift of life to 10-year-old girls
Updated 11:35 a.m. ET, Mon., Dec. 10, 2007

It had been snowing in Chicago when the call came from the hospital telling Rachel Dalomba that transplant teams had acquired two kidneys from a trauma victim — one for each of her twin, 10-year-old daughters.

“The snow and everything this time of year — it really felt like we were getting a great Christmas gift,” Dalomba told TODAY’s Ann Curry during an appearance on Monday.

Dalomba was recalling her thoughts last Wednesday when her girls, Nelly and Anji Polanco, got their childhoods back. At the same time, they provided a new line in the medical record books.

The transplants, performed by two teams totaling some 30 members at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, were the first time twins had ever received kidneys on the same day from a single donor.

“If it wasn’t for this person believing in organ donation, this wouldn’t’ have happened so quickly,” she told Curry from the hospital in Chicago. “I just want to thank the donor family. They’re going through a lot right now.”

The competition for donor organs is fierce because the demand is high and the supply is limited, said the head of the transplant team, Dr. Riccardo Superina.

Because of that, when two kidneys become available from a single donor, they’re normally sent to different recipients. Normally, Dalomba’s daughters would have gotten their kidneys at different times.

But as a single mother, Dalomba was in a unique situation. She told NBC News that it would have been nearly impossible to care for one daughter with a new kidney and another who had to be shuttled back and forth to dialysis while both girls were also in school.

She also wondered how she could possibly choose which of her two daughters would get a kidney first when both were equally desperate for one.

“One person trying to go back and forth with all of this would be really hard,” Dalomba said, “So they tried to have some consideration for me and asked for this exception.”

Dalomba’s daughters were diagnosed before their first birthday with cystinosis, a rare and incurable genetic condition that blocks normal production of amino acids, causing tissue abnormalities, mostly in the kidneys and eyes.

In children with the condition, the kidneys usually fail within the first 10 years of life. The girls’ kidneys had failed early this year and both were on dialysis while they continued to go to school.

Five days after the transplant, both girls were well enough to sit with Dalomba and Superina on a couch in the hospital.

“They’re doing a lot better,” Dalomba said. “They’re back to themselves. They’re happy and then grumpy back and forth.”

Although both girls will not have to worry about their kidneys beyond taking medication to keep their bodies from rejecting them, doctors will have to continue to monitor the effects of cystinosis on their eyes.

Dalomba said she was so busy getting Anji and Nelly to the hospital, she didn’t really think about what it all meant.

“I didn’t have time to be emotional,” she told Curry. “I was just very grateful and very happy and I just had to tend to the girls and make sure they were going to be okay and were going to get through it fine.”

Go here for the rest of the story.