In Denver, last August, standing in front of those stage-set columns to accept the Democratic Party nomination, Barack Obama delivered a speech that included the following promise (boldface is mine):
I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less – because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.
Today, Obama returned to Denver, and with elaborate ceremony signed the $787 billion “stimulus” bill passed last Friday by Congress, which runs to more than 1,070 pages. That left fewer than 96 hours between passage and signing (thus also violating his promise about posting legislation for five days on the internet before signing, to allow for transparency and comment).
When did Obama even find time to skim this monster bill? Let alone go through it “line by line?”
Obama enjoyed an intervening weekend heavy on R&R. Carbon-emissions-notwithstanding (personally I don’t care how much carbon he emits, but Obama wants all the rest of us to sacrifice on this front), on Friday Obama flew with his family and entourage to Chicago, where he helicoptered in from the airport, to spend time at his Chicago mansion and — as The New York Times put it — see a few friends and “reconnect to the rest of the country.” Over the weekend, he took Michelle out for a Valentine’s dinner at a South Side* restaurant. He got a haircut. He spent two hours playing basketball. He watched the N.B.A. All-Star game. He also gave his weekly video address. He then flew back to Washington, and on Tuesday flew to Denver.
Unless Obama was reading the bill over his Valentine’s dinner, and had it taped to the basketball backboard, when did he go through it line by line?