January 26, 2010

Lickety-Split Links (012610, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:38 am

Ed Morrissey’s reax to yesterday’s news that a $25 million no-bid contract went to a Democratic Party donor:

Barack Obama repeatedly blasted the Bush administration for its supposed predilection for giving war contracts out on a no-bid basis to political cronies, and promised to change things once elected as President. And he has — he’s changed the recipients.

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Pete DuPont at the Wall Street Journal: “An Economic Time Bomb” — “Even if Congress does nothing, tax hikes will hit hard a year from now.”

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Nice catch (and update) by Sabrina Eaton and the Cleveland Plain Dealer for exposing the astroturfing on steroids of “Ellie Light.” Patterico, his commenters, and other bloggers also deserve props for expanding the list of Light’s let-through letters. “Light,” or whoever he/she is, has succeeded in having a letter praising President Obama published in over 40 places (that’s as of about 36 hours ago; the detected number could be much higher by now), in each case pretending to be a local resident.

Since many of these “letters,” including the one to the Plain Dealer, are really e-mails, it seems that recipient publications could be looking into Ellie’s IP address and figuring out who this person is. Someone should, and should tell us.

Update: In a vid at the PD of a Fox News appearance, Andrew Breitbart said yesterday that the number of Light sightings in 61, and the Light has masked her IP, betraying a degree of sophistication that would not normally be expected of a lone ranger.

Update 2: A Sunday Patterico post identified two types of astroturfing –

  • “Donald Trump Astroturfing: A letter published in multiple places from one person claiming to live in multiple cities.” Examples: “Ellie Light,” “Mark Spivey.”
  • “David Axelrod Astroturfing: Identical letters published in multiple places claiming to be from different people.” Patterico devoted yet another post to examples of this form, and traced one to the Democratic Party.

Bottom line:

A Centralized Body determines a message. Minions repeat it. And readers are tricked into thinking that the message is individualized.

Frankly, at least half of the pro-Obama and leftist letters to the editor I’ve read in USA Today over the past several years seem to have been canned by leftist propaganda mills.

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“U.K. Economy Emerges from Recession.” I would expect that it’s subject to revision as our GDP is, so Brits shouldn’t be relieved just yet. Growth was a non-annualized 0.1%, trailing expectations of +0.4%. Gordon Brown’s green economy has had little success in generating spendable green.

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Also in the WSJ“Public Employee Unions Are Sinking California.” Steven Greenhut’s money paragraph:

Approximately 85% of the state’s 235,000 employees (not including higher education employees) are unionized. As the governor noted during his $83 billion budget roll-out, over the past decade pension costs for public employees increased 2,000%. State revenues increased only 24% over the same period. A Schwarzenegger adviser wrote in the San Jose Mercury News in the past few days that, “This year alone, $3 billion was diverted to pension costs from other programs.” There are now more than 15,000 government retirees statewide who receive pensions that exceed $100,000 a year, according to the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility.

No wonder so many Not-So-Golden State residents are voting with their feet.

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So now the President wants a 3-year discretionary spending freeze. He ripped the idea (“using a hatchet instead of a scalpel”) when John McCain suggested it during the 2008 campaign.

Besides, having spent fiscal 2009 and 2010 ratcheting such spending up to unprecedented levels, saving $250 billion over 10 years is hardly impressive. $25 billion a year is about 0.7% of the government’s annual spending of about $3.5 trillion. In the fiscal year ended September 30, 2007, the last budget year under a Republican Congress, total spending was “only” $2.7 trillion.

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2 Comments

  1. It would be interesting to see which candidate for President was endorsed by the papers which have published E. Light’s letters.

    Comment by mike — January 26, 2010 @ 9:41 am

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom_Blumer, ohioBNN. ohioBNN said: BizzyBlog: Lickety-Split Links (012610, Morning): Ed Morrissey’s reax to yesterday’s news that a $25 million no-bi… http://bit.ly/6OYU9y [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention BizzyBlog -- Topsy.com — January 26, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

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