Monthly Archives: February 2010

My new hero


I just went out to bring the garbage cans back from the end of  the driveway. I could see my breath.

This is south Florida.

Bunning’s got his. So what’s the problem.

Right now, Claire McCaskill and Dick Durbin having a hell of a time on the Senate floor arguing with Sen Jim Bunning (R-Ky). McCaskill just read out the names of the GOP Senators who voted for Medicare Part D in 2005 – completely unfunded and without a concern of any kind for paying for it.  I’m not even sure what the issue is yet, but this is quite unusual. And f-u-n.

Ah – here we go: the matter on the floor has to do with renewing unemployment benefits for 30 days and COBRA for 30 days. Bunning has held up this routine legislative issue for 90 days because he wants it ‘paid for’. The benefits expire Sunday night. So they’re talking. This is a good one.

McCaskill is comparing the $300 million in tax cuts for the rich on the credit card to withholding unemployment with a demand to pay for it.

Hey Sen. Bunning, hell of a place to put your foot down on deficit spending. HR4691 is the bill for 30 day extension. Don’t know if I’ll stay up late enough to see what happens.

UPDATE: This story was prominent on a lot of blogs and newsites this morning. Even Time Magazine‘s Swampland noticed it. So what I caught on CSPAN last night was indeed unusual. Glad I got to hear it.

They do NOT want to do anything. And that is that.

Ezra Klein at The Washington Post today:

This morning, Lamar Alexander said that reconciliation has never been used for anything as big as health-care reform. Health-care reform has a 10-year cost of about $950 billion. The Bush tax cuts, which passed through reconciliation, had a 10-year cost of about $1.8 trillion. Lamar Alexander voted for them.

He engaged in something we used to call reporting. Which is why he checked, instead of turning to the guy at the next desk and saying: “Alexander just said reconciliation hasn’t been used for stuff this big. What do you have to say about it?”

(Perhaps he’s live-blogging the summit.) Here’s something else he said today:

Lamar Alexander and Barack Obama just had a contentious exchange on this point, so it’s worth settling the issue: Yes, the CBO found health-care reform would reduce premiums. The issue gets confused because it also found that access to subsidies would encourage people to buy more comprehensive insurance, which would mean that the value of their insurance would be higher after reform than before it. But that’s not the same as insurance becoming more expensive: The fact that I could buy a nicer car after getting a better job suggests that cars are becoming pricier. The bottom line is that if you’re comparing two plans that are exactly the same, costs go down after reform.

You can find a full rundown of the report here.

Going to miss the ‘summit’

Well, mostly going to miss it. Watching now, but have to head out to a meeting. May I say – and I’ve never noticed this before – Nancy Pelosi is a terrible speaker. She is not clear and she misspeaks.

Obama didn’t name a single congressional Republican in his opening remarks. Alexander named a half dozen Dems. Pelosi – so far – has not named a single GOP congress critter. Just sayin’.

And, as usual, I wish they would all leave the sad, sad stories outside the door. Bleh! We have heard these before.

UPDATE:  I missed a lot and when I got back, CSPAN had moved to the House and the Senate. The ‘summit’ is on CSPAN 3 which is a premium channel down my way. MSNBC has hockey. FOX is covering it maybe a little here and there. Which left me with the dreaded Wolf Blitzer and possibly the very worst panel in CNN history.

Donna Brasile. Candy Crowley. Mary Matelin. Gloria Borger. (David Gergen was there, but he’s pretty much turned into a place holder.) The only one missing was Bill Bennett.

They’re running very little live summit now – they have calculated, incorrectly, that they are far more interesting – especially when they guess about what’s being said because they can’t watch what’s being said when they are busy talking about what they think is being said. CNN has not figured out something that seems basic to me – the people who are watching the summit on CNN want to see the summit. Not Candy Crowley.

Hope they remember what they’ve come for

So the girls and boys are all lined up outside Blair House in their prom dresses and tuxes. Word is that half of them aren’t happy with their dates. No one is wearing a corsage or buttonairre so I guess those have gone out of style. There’s no curfew and while there will be no drinking inside, I imagine a few bottles await the prom goers later today.

I understand they’ll be carrying their Blackberrys. So some of them will be tweeting while others are talking. I think they need a good fifth grade teacher in there to slap those things right out of their hands. Our Congress Critters are of course quite free to carry on and tweet away, so that teacher should then fix them with the schoolmarm glare –  and the message in the stare would be – you are being RUDE. Very very rude.

I wonder if, while tweeting, they’ll manage to notice that today is the 139th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

Thank you Jesus!

GM will shut down the Hummer line. Which is cool, since we own GM and all and we’re trying to pass legislation to limit carbon emissions.

It was always the silliest car and when I saw them parked in the supermarket lot . . . . lots of laughs. Kind of  like how early tv reporters wore safari hats when they reported from anywhere in the southern hemisphere.