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Senator Graham on the “Stimulus”: “Well, all I can tell you is that the process stinks, and the substance of the bill sucks.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

That’s Senator Graham’s concise summary of the porkapalooza package. The rest of the interview is here. My interview with Senator McCain is here, and with Senator Grassley is here.

Senator Graham’s assessment is that the president has “got his back against the wall now,” and that Senator Reid’s drive for cloture today or tomorrow is an attempt to stave off serious reform of the package. Reid will need at least two of the four Republican senators thought wobbly –Snowe and Collins of Maine, Specter of Pennsylvania and Voinovich of Ohio– but the example of the House may energize the GOP caucus to hang together and force through genuine restructuring of the package. All three of these states stand to benefit significantly from stimulus that is focused and effective, so there are excellent reasons why the GOP’s 41 should hang together on this front. Never has so much money been proposed for so many projects with so little scrutiny. All four of the GOP senators target by the White House have reputations for seriousness when it comes to legislation even if they are to the left of the GOP’s center. It seems unlikely that they will give in to the bum’s rush to get this mess of a bill through the Senate before the public has a chance to absorb the details and react to the specifics.

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“Great Powers” with Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett, Part 1

Wednesday, February 4, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The transcript of the first in a series of interviews with Dr. Barnett is here.

Order the book from Amazon.com here. The second interview, covering Chapter 3, will be next Wednesday.

Great Powers: America and the World After Bush

GOP Senators Blast Stimulus

Wednesday, February 4, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Senators Graham, Grassley and McCain all appeared on today’s program to blast the porkapalooza bill. Transcripts will be posted later, but while they each targeted different aspects of the pork volcano, each was adamant that no real negotiation was underway with their Democratic counterparts. Senator Grassley worried that three or four GOP senators were being wined and dined by the White House, but that’s hardly enough cover for a new Administration pledged to bipartisanship.

Either the GOP gets real some of their demands met, or President Obama shoulders through a non-stimulative waste of a trillion dollars that will forever mark the opening of his Adminstration as simply an encore of all the worst of past Democratic excesses in a suddenly very shop-worn wrapper marked “change.”

VDH, Lamar Alexander and Doc Coburn

Wednesday, February 4, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

VDH sums up the opening weeks of President Obama.

Here’s the transcript of yesterday’s interview with Lamar Alexander.

Here’s the transcript of yesterday’s interview with Tom Coburn.

The focus on the porkapalooza has shifted public opinion decisively, and the more we learn about it, the less the public is inspired by the new president’s plans. The message –sent and received again and again– is that this is a giant political payoff delivering hundreds of billions of dollars of wasteful spending to Democratic Party allies, a wasted opportunity to help generate business activity and real jobs. There’s time to craft a better bill and to adopt proposals that will work, but anything short of a serious make-over will be an anchor around the new president’s standing for the next many years.

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