You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Over the last couple of days, evidence has piled up about how the Democrats would govern if they gained control of all the branches of government. They would put themselves first.

We started learning about Charlie Rangel’s living arrangements in Harlem. Rent-controlled apartments are hard to find in the Big Apple, but not for the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He was able to get four of them in a sweetheart deal that saves him about $30,000. The abuse was so egregious that he was forced to complain about himself to the ethics committee.

He is asking for their guidance on a matter that, just on the face of it, looks inappropriate and probably illegal.

We then learned that all public officials who are attending the Democratic National Convention are giving themselves a sweetheart deal when it comes to filling up their gas tanks. All these highfalutin Democratic members of Congress, who refuse to pass legislation to lower gas prices, have neatly exempted themselves from paying gas taxes at the convention.

The Rocky Mountain News ran this little item:

“The committee hosting the Democratic National Convention is using the city's gas pumps to fill up on fuel, avoiding state and federal highway taxes, officials said today.

" ‘There's something there that just doesn't seem right to me because, in a sense, you're saying then that the officials who pass the laws are not willing to live by them, and that concerns me,’ Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz said.

“The issue came up during the council's weekly meeting with Mayor John Hickenlooper when the Public Works Department requested authorization to be reimbursed by the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee for use of ‘fueling facilities, fuel and car washes.’

" ‘By doing it this way, by running it through our Fleet Maintenance, that means that that fuel does not pay state or federal highway taxes,’ Faatz said.”

My friends, you cannot make this up.

And now, we hear that Barack Obama, making his way in Europe amid a media lovefest, according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel, has decided to skip — at the last minute — a trip to Rammstein and Landstuhl U.S. military bases in southwest Germany. Landstuhl Military Hospital is where many of the wounded in Iraq go to recover from their injuries. The spokesman for the hospital had no explanation as to why Obama canceled the trip, but speculation is that he needed more time to prepare for his big campaign speech in Berlin.

If you are on a congressional delegation trip to Germany, going to Landstuhl is just about a requirement. For somebody of Obama’s stature as a rock ‘n’ roll star, to skip that visit is not only a missed opportunity for him. It is also a missed opportunity for the soldiers, who could give Obama their perspectives on the war. It is really a shame that he won’t make the trip to thank the troops for their service to the country.

But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Politics must come first.

And finally, another item about our friend, Mr. Obama.

The Chicago Tribune’s John McCormick reported that when Obama replaced his Boeing 737 campaign plane with a Boeing 757, he noted the new aircraft had "a giant flag painted on its tail."

But Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet now notes that Obama's 757 has been repainted "with the Obama sunrise logo on the tail."

I guess the American flag is not nearly as impressive to Obama supporters as the Obama sunrise logo (whatever the hell that is).

Like I said, you cannot make this stuff up.


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