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Apr 03 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Late again, I know. Put it this way: when the bookcase you bought claims it comes with “easy-to-follow assembly instructions,” it doesn’t. I think it would’ve gone faster if I hadn’t looked at the instructions at all. But it is fabulous. And with that, the last of the books are shelved. Most of my artwork is on the walls. And I can take a few moments to laugh me arse off at Con antics.

When it comes to playing Chicken, it’s best to dodge when faced with hundreds of thousands of angry constituents and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. Governor Mark Sanford almost got squished, but he finally gave up the grandstanding:

He did his best to resist economic recovery efforts in his state, but for now, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) is backing down from his hard line.

Gov. Mark Sanford will comply with a midnight Friday stimulus deadline and become the last governor in the nation to seek millions of dollars in federal economic-recovery funds for his state, aides said late Thursday.

Sanford will continue contesting $700 million in education and law enforcement money for South Carolina, but his 11th-hour move to meet the deadline buys time for schools fearing mass teacher layoffs and draconian cuts.

Sanford’s month-long fight over stimulus money placed South Carolina in the national spotlight and put him at loggerheads with President Barack Obama.

And that, in all likelihood, was the point.

This is a point any Republican voters might want to keep in mind when they head to the polls in the primaries. Then again, they probably think that some complete asshole playing politics with people’s jobs, homes and food is just peachy-keen. The rest of us, alas for him, aren’t all that impressed.

We’ve got a couple of Dems trying to out-Con the Cons:

Last night, the Senate passed President Obama’s budget in a 55-43 vote. While not a single Republican broke with their party to vote yes on the measure, two “moderate” Democrats — Sens. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) — voted no. Nelson defended his vote in a prepared statement:

The administration inherited a lot of red ink in this budget, along with our ailing economy. But this budget still has trillion dollar-plus deficits in the next two years, and adds unsustainably to the debt. These are tough times, and the federal government needs to take a lesson from American families and cut down on the things we can do without.

I respect the Administration offering an honest budget…but it just costs too much.

Similarly, Bayh issued a statement saying he opposed the budget in an attempt to be the voice of “fiscal responsibility“:

[U]nder this budget, our national debt skyrockets from $11.1 trillion today to an estimated $17 trillion in 2014. As a percentage of our gross domestic product, it reaches a precarious 66.5 percent. The deficit remains larger than our projected economic growth, an unsustainable state of affairs. This budget will increase our borrowing from and dependence upon foreign nations. I cannot support such results. We can do better, and for the sake of our nation and our children’s future, we must.

But if Bayh and Nelson are really concerned about the cost of the budget, why then did they also vote yesterday in favor of a $250 billion tax cut for the rich? As the AP explains, Bayh and Nelson along with eight other “moderate” Democrats broke with Obama and voted to reduce estate taxes from which 99.7 percent of Americans were already exempt.

Touching how concerned they are for obscenely rich people, innit? Methinks they are in the wrong damned party.

Oh, and the Cons’ alternative budget? Ha. Ha ha ha:

A few highlights of note:

* The ridiculous House GOP alternative budget was brought up for a vote. Every Democrat voted against it, but among Republicans, it was 137 to 38. In other words, the proposal unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was so extreme, about one-fifth of the House GOP caucus voted against their own budget.

* John McCain’s equally foolish budget alternative was also defeated. Every Democrat voted against it, but among Senate Republicans, it was 38 to 3. In other words, in the midst of an economic crisis, 93% of the Senate GOP caucus voted for an insane five-year spending freeze. Seriously.

Well. I count – lessee – 41 temporarily semi-sane Cons in Congress. Better than I expected. Nice to see that there are still depths of crazy that some Cons refuse to sink to.

Maybe getting his budget alternative got Grampa McCrankypants all hot under the collar, but he really should’ve been thinking of the demographic makeup of Arizona and his desire for reelection before he started calling Hispanics “you people:”

On March 11, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), John Thune (R-SD) and Mel Martinez (R-FL) met with a group of Hispanic business leaders in the Capitol’s Strom Thurmond Room as part of an effort to reach out to Hispanic voters. National Journal is reporting that several participants in the meeting said McCain got “angry” while talking about immigration. At one point, McCain reportedly began referring to Hispanics as “you people“:

“He was angry,” one source said. “He was over the top. In some cases, he rolled his eyes a lot. There were portions of the meeting where he was just staring at the ceiling, and he wasn’t even listening to us. We came out of the meeting really upset.”

McCain’s message was obvious, the source continued: After bucking his party on immigration, he had no sympathy for Hispanics who are dissatisfied with President Obama’s pace on the issue. “He threw out [the words] ‘You people — you people made your c
hoice. You made your choice during the election,’ ” the source said. “It was almost as if [he was saying] ‘You’re cut off!’ We felt very uncomfortable when we walked away from the meeting because of that.”

Ooo, that’s gonna smart come election day.

Speaking of people who probably shouldn’t be expecting reelection, check out Joe “Master Flip-Flopper” Cao:

Earlier this week, Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA) suggested to The Hill that he might “buck his party” and vote in favor of President Obama’s budget. The suggestion appeared eerily similar to his earlier suggestion that he might break with his party and support Obama’s economic recovery package. But then — as now — Cao couldn’t find the political courage to follow through when it came time to vote. Last night, along with the rest of the House Republican Conference and a handful of “moderate” Democratic members, Cao voted no on Obama’s budget. When he was first elected, Cao claimed he would be an independent voice on Capitol Hill. Now we know better.

Something tells me the people of Louisiana wanted a little steak with their sizzle. And now, even the sizzle’s sounding awfully lame.

And, finally, a spit-take moment: the right wing is wanking over diplomatic protocol. Seriously. And yes, these are the same people who thought Bush was a great stateman.

All you can do is laugh, really.

1 comment

  1. 1
    Cujo359

    Is it time to start a campaign to elect 80 Democratic Senators, so that we have half a chance of getting legislation passed?

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