From US News: Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi tops the list, with $470 million in earmarks for himself and his colleagues. Next up is Cochran's seatmate—Republican Roger Wicker, hitting the scales at $390 million. Two Democrats—Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Tom Harkin of Iowa—come in at Nos. 3 and 4, before Republican David Vitter of Louisiana rounds out the top five. Of the top 10, six are Republicans. When measured by individual earmarking, Democrat Bob Byrd of West Virginia rises to the No. 1 position, but three in the top five are from the GOP, including Richard Shelby of Alabama at No. 2, just a few million dollars behind Byrd. Additionally Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson: 22 earmarks totaling $96.1 million
Republicans are continuing to try to sweep their history of irresponsibility, especially the last eight years, under the rug and convince the American people that they are committed to fiscal responsibility, but their record on earmarks and the amount of earmarks contained in the appropriations bill make it clear that Republicans are just using this as another political ploy.
What Republicans won't admit is, most earmarks are justified. Anti-government types always single out one or two examples of outrageous earmark spending as if it represents ALL earmark spending. These Congress people are there to represent their districts and states to the federal government. This often means fighting for EARMARKS = federal dollars coming back to their districts in the form of projects that hire people, keep them in a job or build something that will benefit the community through things like tourism.
In the meantime, the yahoos on Wall Street are also attempting to blame President Obama for the mess Wall Street made themselves!
Is Obama responsible for the meltdown of the Dow? The consistently wrong-headed Wall Street Journal's editorial page says so, as does Republican Fox News, CNN's reliably demagogic Lou Dobbs, and now CNBC's Jim Cramer, who bloviates nightly about stock picks, says Obama is pushing a "radical agenda" that's destroying investor's wealth. My friend Larry Kudlow, who rants nightly about nearly everything, says Obama is destroying capitalism. CNBC reporter Rick Santelli's ballistic nonsense about Obama's mortgage plan made him a pop-populist icon for a week or so.The argument that Obama is somehow responsible for the collapse of Wall Street is absurd.
First, every major policy that led to this collapse occurred under George W's watch (or, more accurately, his failure to watch). The housing and financial bubbles were created under Bush and exploded under Bush. The stock market began to collapse under Bush.
Second, it's inevitable that stocks, led by the bloated financial sector, would lose their remaining hot air as the new administration begins "stress-testing" the big banks, many of which are technically insolvent. After all, their share prices were built on a tissue of lies and dreams. Other sectors whose values were similarly distorted and distended by years of financial deception and regulatory disregard, such as housing and insurance, will also have to return to the real world before they can recover. Which could mean more stock losses.
Finally, none of the financial wizards who are now charging Obama with leading America into the abyss has offered an alternative plan for getting us out of the mess that, not incidentally, many of these same wizards happily led us into. For years, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the financial gurus of cable news cheered as Wall Street leveraged its way into oblivion. This bizarre charge wouldn't be worth mentioning were it not a market test for a more intense attack from Wall Street and Republican media outlets next year as the nation moves into the gravitational range of the 2010 midterm elections. Republicans have made no secret of their wish to blame Obama for the bad economy, and to stir up as much populist rage against his so-called "socialist" tendencies as politically possible. History shows how effective demagogic ravings can be when a public is stressed economically. Make no mistake: Angry right-wing populism lurks just below the surface of the terrible American economy, ready to be launched not only at Obama but also at liberals, intellectuals, gays, blacks, Jews, the mainstream media, coastal elites, crypto socialists, and any other potential target of paranoid opportunity.
Robert is right! We are already seeing many of the ANTI websites and Dobbs, Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh blaming "illeeeeegals" for many of our country's economic woes! It is important that all of us keep this in mind the next time we hear the Republicans, cable news zealots or Wall Street pushing blame for our economic crisis on Obama or on any of us when instead they should be pointing the finger right back at themselves. Additionally, they are demonizing the Stimulus Bill and Obama's policies preferring Obama and our country FAIL! We cannot be tempted to jump on their bandwagon and instead remember who caused this mess and we have to allow our President and the Administration time to help us move forward. Afterall, it took over a decade for our country to get out of the last Great Depression. We should at least allow our President until 2010 before we see significant progress.