The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s All Stars.

On the earmarks in the $410 billion House spending plan:

It is one thing to swallow 8,000 earmarks. It is another for the president to stand up in the Congress last night and to pretend he’s a champion of those who fight earmarks.

What he said last night was “The stimulus package I passed has no earmarks,” and the next sentence he said was “And the budget next year has no earmarks.”

Now, he left out the sentence in the middle, which was that “The budget I’m going to submit in two days has 8,000 of them, including an earmark for the reduction of pig odor in Louisiana,” which could be a worthy cause. I’m not sure.

It is the most egregious sleight of hand, because a viewer had no idea what was left out here. And it is the hypocrisy that I think is disturbing.

The president’s calculation obviously is “I will give the gluttons in the House and Senate their earmarks this year, and I will impose on them austerity and chastity next year and all the out years.”

I will believe it when I see it….

I want to issue a correction. The earmark on the study of pig odor was not in Louisiana. I misread the state initials. It is in Iowa, and I will not further editorialize on that issue.

On Janet Napolitano not mentioning terrorism in her first testimony to Congress:

It’s astonishing. Her department was established because of a terror attack. And it fits with the speech that we heard last night by the president in which he spoke for almost an hour, and he had only one reference to terrorism in a clause bracketed with poverty and oppression. And he called them “challenges,” not even threats.

This is an administration that does not want to use the words “War on Terror,” and that has an attitude of terrorism as a law enforcement issue.

As we heard from Catherine Herridge, if you call the Defense Department about the terrorists in Guantanamo, they will refer you about their disposition to the Department of Justice, which is now in charge, meaning a terrorist is not a ward of the Department of War, the Pentagon, but of the Department of Justice.

We have gone from a model of war in this decade and reverted to what happened in the ’90’s, looking at terror as a matter of law enforcement.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


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