Thursday, February 19, 2009

What A Difference Some Money Makes


And they've caved: Gov. Mark Sanford of S.C. now says he will take some StimBill money after all.



Well, at least one Tennessee Republican wants Gov. Bredesen to refuse StimBill funds. Of course, this strikes me as an empty gesture, since there's no way in hell our Democratic governor will do any such thing. Still, the political theater is amusing:
House Democrats held a press conference today to spank Rep. Brian Kelsey for sponsoring a resolution calling on the governor to reject the federal stimulus largesse. In the House this morning, Kelsey asked for co-sponsors. His evil twin, Rep. Stacey Campfield, rushed over to sign the resolution, but everyone else stared at Kelsey like he just touched down in a flying saucer.

House Democratic leader Gary Odom said the governor should accommodate Kelsey by denying stimulus cash to Kelsey's ritzy Germantown district. "We're going to communicate that to our governor," Odom said, struggling to keep a straight face. "We have many areas of this state, rural and urban, that are facing very difficult times. We certainly should not spend any money in any legislator's district when that legislator stands up and says they don't need it."


A reporter mentioned that even Rep. Beth Harwell, a moderate Republican from Green Hills, raised questions yesterday about whether the state should accept all the stimulus money. That sparked a lot of Democratic outrage about rich people and gated communities and Starbucks shops.

Hey, Beth Harwell: I live in Green Hills and I have a steaming cup of STFU with your name on it. I know of at least one "shovel ready" sidewalk construction project that got axed for lack of funds.


This is cute. A whole host of Republicans who campaigned against the stimulus package are now extolling its virtues as they plan to spend their share of the windfall.

That was entirely predictable. I guess the GOP saw opposing the economic stimulus as a win-win. They got to pretend to be all fiscally concerned, and now they get to reap the benefits of the package--benefits they denied existed when they were making their impassioned floor speeches against the bill in the first place. The only thing that's bizarre is that the Democrats didn't see this one coming.

I’m not saying these states shouldn’t get any share of the money but good lord, it’s pretty bizarre to hear folks like Kit Bond talking about all the jobs and housing the bill will create when last week they were calling it the worst boondoggle in the history of the Republic.

This must be a huge disappointment to the rank-and-file, like this fella who Tweeted:

With Sarah, Govs. Jindal, Sanford, etc., the next step should be a co-ordinated state-led refusenik action against HR1

Ha! Good luck with that. “Sarah” is looking at a $1.5 billion budget shortfall in Alaska, or haven’t you heard? Seems “Jindal, Sanford, etc.”--those Republican governors who said they’d say “thanks but no thanks” to the stimulus money--are by and large rethinking that idea:

• Sarah Palin of Alaska said the state is ready to accept the money for construction projects, but she is sharply critical of other spending on social programs. One could say something about a bridge, but it's too easy.

• Bobby Jindal of Louisiana says he is applying some serious scrutiny: "We'll have to review each program, each new dollar to make sure that we understand what are the conditions, what are the strings and see whether it's beneficial for Louisiana to use those dollars."

• Rick Perry of Texas previously co-authored an op-ed piece with Sanford in the Wall St. Journal, standing with him against the bill. But now Perry says he's examining the money to see how much he'll take, depending on the strings attached: "We need the freedom to pick and choose."

Seems it's not the money they have an issue with now, it's any "strings" that might be attached. Because heaven forbid the federal government should put any guidelines on how the money it is giving states for the specific purpose of stimulating the economy is spent.