Inside the Beltway: A heaping helping of 'liberal pork'


Gee, it seems like old times — and not necessarily good old times. Let us return to the days of the massive health care law that emerged on March 10, 2010 — also known as “Obamacare” and weighing in at 906 pages. Let us remember House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s observation about the legislation, which few lawmakers had actually read. She had advice.

“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” Mrs. Pelosi said at the time.

A repeat performance of such thinking could be underway at this very moment, some say. Democrats are hustling along a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill meant to ease the nation’s woes during the pandemic.

“I hope that everybody in America is taking a look at some of the liberal pork in this bill, and what Democrats are trying to do all in the name of COVID relief. And boy, we need to rush this thing through. Didn’t we hear this before? You know, you have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it?” asks House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, offering both sarcasm and reminiscence during an appearance on Fox News.

“You’re going to be finding out a lot of things that are very disturbing. Less than 10% of the money in this $1.9 trillion bill is for public health,” he said.

The jumbo package is brimming with “liberal priorities that have nothing to do with providing COVID relief to struggling students, families, and small businesses,” Mr. Scalise noted, adding that the real must-haves in a proper public health push should include a national vaccination program, illness tracking, and COVID-19 testing.

This is expensive legislation, But it is not as expensive as the $3.9 trillion, 1,815-page “Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act” — or the “HEROES Act” of 2020. That was the most expensive legislation passed by the U.S. House in history — and it too prompts a walk down memory lane. This time we shall return to 2009 and revisit a comedic plea which still applies. What was one of the most popular mottos on bumper stickers and T-shirts that year?

“Please don’t tell Obama what comes after a trillion.”


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appears to be determined to rid the Big Apple of anything related to former President Donald Trump, and is now terminating three city contracts with the Trump Organization that allow for the operation of a historic carousel and the beloved Wollman and Lasker ice skating rinks in Central Park.

Mr. de Blasio stated that the city would no longer be associated with Mr. Trump.

“The president incited a rebellion against the United States government that killed five people and threatened to derail the constitutional transfer of power. The City of New York will not be associated with those unforgivable acts,” the mayor said in a statement.

“The Wollman Rink was the one that then-New York Mayor Ed Koch tried and failed to renovate for years at great public expense. Trump took over the project and at his own expense got the rink operating for the public in just six months. The Trump Organization has operated it since, returning most of the profits to public works,” counters Stephen Green, a PJ Media columnist.

“But we can’t have that anymore because Orange Man Bad. Actions like de Blasio’s are about establishing in the public mind by fiat what they can’t establish legally — that Trump ‘incited’ an insurrection. There was no incitement. There was no insurrection. Trump called for a peaceful protest but got a riot,” Mr. Green continues.

“Look, the New York City government can do or refuse to do business with anyone they like, for whatever reason they choose, provided they don’t break any existing laws concerning discrimination, unionization, etc. If the Left can do this to a billionaire-turned-president, it doesn’t take much to imagine what they could do to much smaller fry — which is pretty much literally everyone else,” Mr. Green observes.


The aforementioned Mayor Bill de Blasio can’t seek a third term in office. Competition is already rigorous among those who would like to replace him.

One of them is Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. Yes, the red beret-wearing public safety icon is running for mayor. He has just gotten the significant endorsement of the Republican Party of Staten Island, and is contemplating the implications.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Staten Island Republican Party. This is the body that rescued this city twice, first with Rudy Giuliani and then with Mike Bloomberg,” Mr. Sliwa says.

“Right now, with our city facing a crime crisis and the precipice of fiscal calamity, I’m looking forward to working with Republican leaders from all over the city to save it,” he adds.


Here is some must-see TV for those seeking reassuring sensibility and insight. A new biographical video of extraordinary scholar, economist, philosopher, columnist and author Thomas Sowell has quickly racked up over 3.4 million views on YouTube.

“Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World” is a finely-tuned 60-minute documentary on Mr. Sowell hosted by Jason Riley, a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board, and produced by the award-winning Free to Choose Network.

“This one-hour program features insights from Sowell and interviews with his close friends and associates, revealing why the intensely private Thomas Sowell is considered by many to be ‘one of the greatest minds of the past half-century’ and ‘the smartest person in the room,’” Mr. Riley says in advance production notes.

Watch the video at the organization’s website ( or YouTube. Yes, viewing is free.


36% of U.S. adults “strongly approve” of the way President Biden is handling his job as president; 5% of Republicans, 30% of independents and 77% of Democrats agree.

13% overall approve “somewhat” of the job Mr. Biden is doing; 5% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 12% of Democrats agree.

4% of U.S. adults “somewhat disapprove” of the job Mr. Biden is doing; 5% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 0% of Democrats agree.

33% of U.S. adults “strongly disapprove” of the way Mr. Biden is handling his job; 75% of Republicans, 30% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

14% overall don’t know; 9% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,056 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 11-14 and released Feb. 17.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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