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Learning Obama’s New Language

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When is an earmark not an earmark? Apparently when the president chooses to redefine the term so that he can live up to a promise that his colleagues in Congress aren't about to let him keep.

Traditionally the definition of an earmark (AKA pork spending) has been any item included in a bill which is specifically designed to benefit a constituency or supporter of one of the bill's authors or sponsors. President Obama unequivocally promised that there would be no earmarks in the stimulus bill, so when it emerged from the Senate 500 pages longer and full of funding for pet projects to satisfy every Democrat interest group and every powerful Senator's home district or big contributor, there was only one solution. Show the true meaning of "change" in the Obama lexicon and change the definition of an earmark.

When asked at his press conference how a bill filled with hundreds of pages devoted to billions of dollars of spending on unnecessary pork projects which create no jobs and will not stimulate the economy could be described as being without earmarks, President Obama responded by redefining the term. He said, "I describe earmarks as the process by which individual members insert pet projects without review." So if the pet project was in the bill already as it was being read and voted on by the Senate, then it is inherently not an earmark, because it has been reviewed. Functionally it's still identical to any other pork project, but having been reviewed it no longer counts. Come on, pull the other one.

This kind of self-serving willingness to redefine things to suit his interests seems to be a pattern with President Obama and many of his supporters. They have already successfully branded what is essentially a spending bill as a stimulus bill, even though there's precious little actual stimulus in it. They are attempting to redefine censorship as fairness. They have labeled large-scale welfare payments in the spending bill as tax cuts even when they go to people who pay no taxes at all. They're calling tyranny of the majority bipartisanship. We're only a few weeks in. The list will grow like Pinocchio's nose.

Anthony Burgess and George Orwell would be proud. They're inventing a new language for a new era. They're redefining the world by reshaping the vocabulary used to describe it. It's all doublethink and bolshy chepooka and straight out of Saul Alinsky's handbook, but one thing is crystal clear. The new definition of change is hypocrisy.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • It seems that a previous President had a similiar problem with definitions, and therefore “changed” them to suit the situation. Like oral sex is not sex!

  • Hope and Change?

    Not Pork?
    North Dakota has an unemployment rate of 3.4%. Obama likes to give his speeches in towns where it runs from 10 – 15, I believe.

    I wonder what it is the government plans on using 300 million dollars worth of them for. Are they to be used to shuttle political elites around the Hill? Or Barrys mother inlaw? It seems someone was taking care of their state though the unemployment rate doesn’t seem to suggest it needs it right now.

    Although the origins of the provision are unclear, it could be a boon to North Dakota-based NEV manufacturer Global Electric Motorcars, a division of Chrysler.

    Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) posted a release on his official Web site last year announcing a Global vehicle the feds purchased for use on the Capitol grounds.

    Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which produced the spending part of the stimulus.

    Hope and Change…”Pork the other Dark Meat”

  • Good job, Dave. Now remember that definition when Obama starts labelling the Israeli regime as a government of the wrong side of history, and eventually – as he will – blames Jews for this and that.

  • The Obnoxious American


    Glad to see you are starting to come around on this one….

  • Hope and Change?


    “You mean you are denying the fact that the Jews arent to blame “for this and that”?” King Barry Obama

    Hope and change…fucocktun!

  • OA,

    Glad to see you are starting to come around on this one….

    I never liked Obama. I would have liked to like him, but I knew what a scumbag he was from the gitgo.

    But he is such a useful scumbag. When cowardly Israeli politicians (like Netanyahu or Livni) kiss his ass, they will come up with an awful stink on their lips – awful enough to get miluímnikim to kick the bastards out and establish a revolutionary Jewish government here.

    In other words, he is a real enemy who will manifest himself as such in the near future. And it is so much better to deal with a real enemy than a false friend.

    Our friend Mr. Nalle does not really like Israel. But every time he rips into Obama like a tyrannosaurus tearing into a brontosaurus, I’ll be cheering him on and holding his coat.

    In the meantime, OA, if I were you, I would check out Melanie Phillips in the Spectator to see what is in store for Jews in America….

  • Your’e making strange bedfellows, Ruvy. It might come back and bite you in the butt.

  • The Obnoxious American

    I never liked Obama. I would have liked to like him, but I knew what a scumbag he was from the gitgo. “

    I know, but you did pretend to like him for a while. My comment was really more in jest, in an I told you so sort of way.

    Anyway, you don’t like Livni or Netanyahu? What party do you support?

  • Clavos

    Actually, OA, long before the election even, Ruvy was making dire predictions as to what would happen to US if barack were to be elected.

  • OA, I don’t want to hijack Dave’s fine hatchet job on Obama. Read my views here. I voted my conscience in the pouring rain in Ma’ale Levona, and put the pétek containing the letter ‘tet’ in the envelope for ha’iHúd ha’leumí – National Union and its leader, Ketzele.

  • You still should be wary, Ruvy, of the company you keep. Once a betrayer, always a betrayer.

  • What are you trying to warn me of, Roger? Just come out and say it….

  • Hope and Change?

    Heres a sample of King Barrys

    From change.gov – Barrys website he promises…

    End the Practice of Writing Legislation Behind Closed Doors: As president, Barack Obama will restore the American people’s trust in their government by making government more open and transparent. Obama will work to reform congressional rules to require all legislative sessions, including committee mark-ups and conference committees, to be conducted in public. By making these practices public, the American people will be able to hold their leaders accountable for wasteful spending and lawmakers won’t be able to slip favors for lobbyists into bills at the last minute.

    But we get is….

    Republicans have caught the Democrats in a midnight “stimulus” power play that seeks to cut Republican conferees out of the House-Senate negotiations to resolve a final version of the Obama “stimulus” package. Staff members from the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) met last night to put together the “stimulus” conference report.

    What Barrys says seems to be the exact opposite….

    Hope and change..another pile of Democrat lies!

  • Dave ascribes to Obama some of his own qualities:

    This kind of self-serving willingness to redefine things to suit his interests

    … could easily apply to several dozen articles he has written, including this one.

    The right-leaners on this site have virtually all claimed at some point within the last 3 months that they are keeping an open mind about Obama, and are going to give him a “fair chance.” Ha!!??

    When is a fair chance not a fair chance?

    These same writers and commenters have then proceeded to criticize 100%, without exception:

    all the words out of the president’s mouth,
    every cabinet appointment,
    every executive order,
    every proposed piece of legislation.

    On one level it’s funny, but it’s also frustrating and infuriating when it comes to having any actual conversations/discussions.

    For several years you complained that the “Bush haters” reflexively despised everything that president did.

    How is what you’re doing any different? Aren’t you just “haters” too?

  • Handy, this is the first thing I’ve written directly criticizing Obama in any way, and I’ve written quite a few articles since he was inaugurated.

    And I’m hardly suggesting that he be impeached or put on trial for warcrimes. I’m just pointing out a little self-serving hypocrisy. Just showing that the gods have feet of clay.


  • Hope and Change?

    No hamdy when we attack King Barry we are Patriots…when the Democrats attacked Bush they were…er…um…you know…just hateful morons!

  • Zedd


    After eight years of George Bush who stunned us with each parting of the lips, the nerve.

    You guys cheered on as this country was barreling down hill and now you dare parse. Really????

  • “This kind of self-serving willingness to redefine things to suit his interests seems to be a pattern with President Obama and many of his supporters.”

    It’s a pattern of those in charge. Do you have a link to the article where you point out Republicans doing the exact same thing? I hope so because hollow indignation is rather tiresome.

  • A very astute comment, El Bicho.

    I’d like to add that, just perhaps, it may not be a “self-serving” interest, that possibly, just possibly, Obama may have the nation’s interests at heart. (No different, perhaps, as some might argue, may have been the case with Mr. Bush.)

  • Dave’s Disingenuity, part 5307:

    Dave says he has not attacked Obama. But he has spent several million words attacking the stimulus bill, which is the principal legislative product of the Obama administration.

    And he [in an amazingly one-sided, propagandistic, slanderous piece] attacked Eric Holder as Attorney General before he was even nominated, much less confirmed. [I look forward to Mr. Holder’s sterling performance and its demonstration that your article was irrelevant.]

  • Hope and Change?

    Using Handyguys logic….next hell be accusing Dave of being a racist because he dare question King Barry!

    Hope and Change…Could all of King Barrys believers really be this stupid?

  • Dave was also highly critical of Kevin Bacon, who was in Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks, who was in Castaway with a volleyball, which was spiked by Misty May-Treanor, who spent time at the ’08 Olympics with President Bush, who transitioned power to President Obama.

    “next hell be accusing Dave of being a racist because he dare question King Barry!”

    Probably not.

  • Dave, you have said more than once that the stimulus bill contains little if any ‘pork’ in the generally accepted sense of that term. Yet in this article you go back to referring to the bill as filled with unnecessary pork projects.

    An earmark is generally unrelated to the main subject of a bill. And most earmarks are pork, and most pork consists of earmarks.

    You may choose to continue to pretend that this is a pork bill or that it is filled with earmarks. But what it actually contains is the type of spending Obama wants it to contain, not a motley “Christmas tree” of legislators’ pet projects. It is stimulative, just maybe not the type of stimulus you prefer.

    Upgrading the energy efficiency of government buildings, for example, creates engineering and construction work for somebody to do, and offsets some of its cost by saving taxpayer money that would be spent on inefficient heating and cooling.

    And apparently the bill will now be passed and signed very soon. So hopefully we can move on to another topic.

  • They ignored your sense of humor, Matthew. They’re still at it.

  • bliffle

    All this anti-Obama talk is simply intended as a smokescreen to distract people from the failures and abysmal record of George Bush.

    And not just Bush, but the fervent supporters of his warped ideas.

    It should be apparent to all that Messrs. Nalle, Clavos, OA, Maurice, etc., stand exposed as frauds. The economic policies they so avidly advocated have been tried to the greatest extent and have proven faulty. They have collapsed. The economy is stark evidence of the intellectual failures of those guys.

    No one should pay heed to what they say now. It is simply to cover their embarrassment and attempt to shift the blame to other people. In a word, it is cowardly.

  • I’m not certain (yet)whether Maurice should be included in the bunch. Other than that, on point as usual.

    It makes one wonder, though. Why spend that much energy on such a futile exercise?

  • Lumpy

    if you cintrol the terminology you control the debate. classic soviet style propaganda science.

  • They made the same point on the other thread. But it’s true of regimes.

  • lumpy

    what worries me most right now is this attempt at super gerrymandering by politicizing the census.

  • bliffle

    For several years now the supporters (named above) of Bush and his warped ideas have bullied opposition aside, even claiming that opposition was disloyal, and even traitorous, in order to run over people and enforce their views.

    They have had every opportunity to exercise their ideas. They had the Presidency, the Senate, the Congress and the Supreme Court.

    They commandeered every facet of the government. No faction in our history has ever had so much power.

    They f*cked up.

    It should be apparent to everyone that they f*cked up.

    There is no mystery about it.

    And, to tell the truth, they were bound to f*ck up because THEIR IDEAS WERE NO GOOD. They never were any good.

    But the Bush claque would never entertain a different idea. They simply sneered at their opposition.

    And so, now, instead of standing up like men and saying “we screwed up”, they try to shift blame to others.

    Need one point out that Obama, the man they would attempt to shift blame to, has already demonstrated his manhood by admitting he screwed up on a nomination?

    No, because the hectoring voices of the nitwits still carrying the taint of Bush and his blindness cannot deal with it.

    They have NOT learned from their mistakes, so what hope is there for them in the future?

  • I think the content of #40 should be fairly apparent to all enlightened minds. I just don’t seen any point trying to reach those who are unreachable.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    bliffle –

    Spot on!

    And what would have happened if (horrors!) McCain had won and the Republicans continued their reign of error?

    You already know…but for the sake of the other readers, he would NOT have been anywhere near as bipartisan as Obama’s tried to be, and he would have continued the no-tax-but-spend-till-you-die economic illogic of the conservatives…and THEN when America would finally fall into a depression with the specter of hyperinflation rearing its hoary head, McCain, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and all the Cons would STILL blame the liberals.

    Anything, ANYTHING to avoid bearing the responsibility for the continuing trainwreck of the Reaganomics generation.

  • What other readers? I think we already have a close-nit community.

  • I might put it in a more even-handed way: it’s our turn to screw things up for a while.

    But the paranoia of the right is rather striking. Even when they controlled all the branches of government, plus a vocal media base on talk radio and Fox Noise, they were constantly whining about the ‘liberal media.’ [And labor unions. Oh, and Acorn, always that all-powerful Acorn. Jeez.]

    Now it’s the Fairness Doctrine myth, and a new one to me, the Super-Gerrymandering via Census scare.

    Republicans have been at least as adept at gerrymandering as Dems for a very long time now. It’s quite disgraceful on both sides. But to pretend there is some secret plot afoot is not a good stance whereon to begin a rational discussion.

    This paranoid view of the universe seems pretty wack to me, but whatever floats your boat, fellas.

  • Arch Conservative

    It’s no use trying to reason reason with so many that are steeped in so much false hope and false promises of real meaningful positive change Nalle.

    It’s quite apparent that the Obamabots are going to ignore and/or deflect all criticism of the Obama administration by continuing to blame everything on Bush. NOt that it is that unreasonable to assert that the effects of the Bush presidency are still being felt….It’s just that these are the same people who claimed we didn’t need to discuss Clinton anymore the day Bush took office. So if 911 was all Bush’s fault by that logic anything bad that happens in Iraq or the economy during the next four years is all Obama’s fault.

    The other tactic employed will be to call anyone levelling criticism at Barry a racist. Anything but real scrutiny of his performance…….

    One thing is sure though. If this trojan horse spending bill called a “stimulus package” fails to impact the economy in any significant positive way (which it will) during the next 12- 15 months, the Dems are going to pay a hefty price in the 2010 elections

    Considering what a nasty socialist [edited] Nancy Pelosi has been during her brief reign of terror I’d say wresting the speaker mantle away from her is not near enough payback. No…if the GOP truly wants to repay Nancy for her leadership they should do something really awful like ban Botox.

  • Actually, OA, long before the election even, Ruvy was making dire predictions as to what would happen to US if barack were to be elected.

    Actually, Clavos, I was making dire predictions of what would happen to your country no matter who was elected. McCain would have been no better than Obama for your country; and the kicker is that neither of them have the brains or balls to actually pull your nation out of the shit-hole dug for it by the international financiers.

    Dave is right in that this is not a stimulus package – it’s a pork-barrel bill rolled out the old-fashioned way – like only a corrupt Chicago politician could do it. And Obama is nothing but a corrupt Chicago politician. It’s nice that you Americans voted a black man into office. But you would have done far better with Alan Keyes than with this prick. At least Alan Keyes is honest and has integrity – and can produce a birth certificate upon request.

    Before long all you folks who were singing Obummer’s praises will be hoping for a change that you can believe in.

  • Clavos

    Gotcha, Ruvy, but please, I didn’t vote for him.

  • Irene Wagner

    “…will be hoping for a change that you can believe in.” They might well be, Ruvy.

  • Arch Conservative

    I didn’t vote for him either and I didn’t vote for John “I”m just two missed lithium doses away from climbing a tower/tall building, gun hand hand to start shooting” McCain.

    I voted for Chuck Baldwin and those of you that voted for either McCain or Obama can bet your roody poo candy asses that he would never even dream of pulling some bullshit like this so called stimulus package.

    Oh and another thing ………..I’m sick and fucking tired of hearing these inane comparison of Barry and Lincoln. Lincol played a role in freeing the slaves. Barry is going to play a role in enslaving future generations of Americans to the chinese and rampant islamofacism.

  • Lumpy

    bliffle. the bush era is over. you can ‘move on’ now.

  • The conservatives are sure growlin’ and snarlin’ tonight, baby. Such a ruckus.

  • Irene Wagner

    And why shouldn’t they be, handyguy? It’s their turn, after all. (Mine was pun-appreciation not growling, btw.)