Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Morning Coffee Reading for August 9, 2011

Here's your morning coffee reading for today:
  • First, some website notes. I've added an "Events" tab at the top right of this website with lots of great upcoming events for conservatives. Make sure to check it out, and if you have an event you'd like to submit, please contact me at sarahrumpf at gmail dot com. 
  • Also, if you haven't already, please sign up for the free email subscription to this blog, "Your Daily Dose of Sunshine." You'll get an email in the afternoon with a digest of the day's posts (no more than one email a day, and only on days with new posts). I won't spam you, I promise. :)
  • Self-proclaimed "Charlie Crist Republican" George LeMieux has been tying himself in knots trying to distort Adam Hasner's record. One of LeMieux's favorite smears is to claim that Hasner isn't really a fiscal conservative. PolitiFact Florida discussed LeMaestro's distortions in detail, going so far as to call him "hypocritical:"
PolitiFact Florida | George LeMieux attacks Adam Hasner's "over $92.2 million in earmarks"
...the amount of local funding Hasner requested for his district was in the bottom half of lawmakers in four out of six years, though it jumped to the 60th percentile in 2006, the year before he served as deputy majority leader, and the 86th percentile in 2007, the year before he took the top seat...

[W]e feel we should at least mention that LeMieux has a record of voting for earmarks while he was in the U.S. Senate...Earmarks bound for Florida were already packed into appropriations bills before LeMieux took over for [Mel] Martinez. LeMieux voted for several such bills. He also actively lobbied for local stimulus projects...

Meanwhile, as the Florida economy faltered, Hasner cut his own local funding requests in 2008 to a single item — $385,000. That put him last among more than 100 lawmakers who made local funding requests. And he was in the leadership when the decision was made to stop such requests altogether. Hasner’s campaign, for the record, thinks it’s unfair to call Community Budget Issue Requests "earmarks," which campaign spokesman Douglass Mayer said evokes last-minute congressional handshake deals.

"The difference here is transparency," Mayer said. "CBIRs are submitted with full accountability and voted on in the light of day. Earmarks are snuck in the backdoor of the federal budget process to avoid accountability."
...On the numbers, LeMieux is right -- from 2003-08 Hasner requested $92.2 million for projects through a process called Community Budget Issue Requests. But we think there are a couple of caveats worth noting.
First is the CBIR process itself -- which was open and transparent. Legislators made requests for dollars in writing and were forced to explain what the money would be used for. Second, it's important to note that Hasner wasn't particularly aggressive in requesting money through CBIRs and more than 100 House members asked for more than he did in 2008. Lastly, it strikes us as hypocritical for LeMieux to attack competitors over earmarks when his own record — where it exists — shows votes and personal lobbying for local spending.
  • DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been caught abusing her "franking" privileges, which allow members of Congress to send mail to their constituents at taxpayer expense for "matters of public concern," not nasty partisan politicking, which is what she was doing:
The Shark Tank | Wasserman-Schultz Ignores House Franking Rules with Taxpayer-Funded Mailer
  • File this under "Stupid Is As Stupid Does" aka "Your Tax Dollars At Work." The  government-sponsored "Department of Innovation" (a program of the Smithsonian Institute) has launched a new blog, and a new logo. Look carefully at the gears, and try to mentally picture them moving. Yep, that's right. Our government created a logo with images of gears that cannot possibly turn. What a perfect metaphor.
Don't miss Michelle Malkin's comments on this: Michelle Malkin | Government logo fail of the day
Gateway Pundit: Awful...Newsweek's Sexist Bachmann Cover So Nasty Even NOW Issues a Statement
  • Your #facepalm moment of the day: Salon writer Sue Sanders wrote a column on Sunday anguishing that her daughter might not blindly follow her parents' liberal politics, and essentially admitting that she became a Democrat to rebel against her daddy:
Salon | What if my daughter grows up to be Republican?
  • Some good advice for Republican members of Congress from RedState's Erick Erickson:
RedState | The GOP Should Be Mindful of August And Take Back Up Holding The Line
  • Finally, one more little gem from RedState, some juicy little facts about the comparison between Rick Perry and Barack Obama:
RedState | Your Exciting Facts of the Day

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