Archives for the Month of July 2009 on Through the Magnifying Glass

House Dems muzzle GOP on sensitive issues

In their zeal to protect their members from politically hazardous votes on issues such as gay marriage and gun control, Democrats running the House of Representatives are taking extraordinary steps to muzzle Republicans in this summer's debates on spending bills.

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Even some Democrats are chaffing at the heavy-handed clampdown on debate. Abortion opponent Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., on Thursday lashed out at his party's leaders for denying him and others a chance to vote on restoring a long-standing directive by Congress blocking taxpayer-funded abortions in Washington, D.C.

At issue are 12 bills totaling more than $1.2 trillion in annual appropriations bills for funding most government programs—usually low-profile legislation that typically dominates the work of the House in June and July. For decades, those bills have come to the floor under an open process that allows any member to try to amend them. Often those amendments are an effort to change government policy by adding or subtracting money for carrying it out.

The tradition has often meant laborious debates. But it has allowed lawmakers with little seniority to have their say on doling out the one-third of the federal budget passed by Congress each year. It was a right the Democrats zealously defended when they were the minority party from 1995 through 2006.

A wonderful endorsement Vice-President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that the health care plan must become law in order to avoid bankruptcy.

Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.”

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Keep spending, spending into oblivion.

Ron Paul - Audit the Fed!

Ron Paul mentioned again on the Tech Ticker about his "Audit the Fed" legislation which has received quite a lot of support in the Congress.

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"Why is Congress so sympathetic to transparency?" Paul wonders. "The American people are demanding it. They've awoken and said 'we want to know what's going on with our money. Why are you bailing out the rich guys?' The timing is right. The conditions are right."

"Imagine if we had all the records that showed every communication between the Treasury and the Fed and Goldman Sachs?" Paul muses. "That would be really something. That's why they're ganging up [to oppose the audit]. They're a lot more powerful than I am. I have no clout whatsoever."

Ron Paul - Healthcare is "not a right"

Ron Paul was interviewed on the Tech Ticker about current healthcare legislation.

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As far as the Texas Congressman is concerned, healthcare is not a right. "I don't have a right to medical care," he emphatically states. In his view, the constitution only guarantees citizens "life, liberty and (the right to) keep the fruits of my labor."

Gotta love Hulu for Dave Matthews Band

Ants Marching - my all-time favorite DMB song

Why do Republicans think Palin is the one?

From Frank Rich, NYT:

In the aftermath of her decision to drop out and cash in, Palin’s standing in the G.O.P. actually rose in the USA Today/Gallup poll. No less than 71 percent of Republicans said they would vote for her for president. That overwhelming majority isn’t just the “base” of the Republican Party that liberals and conservatives alike tend to ghettoize as a rump backwater minority. It is the party, or pretty much what remains of it in the Barack Obama era.

USA Today has a similar story too.

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There are probably several Republicans who are much better than Palin. Looking to Palin to save the GOP in 2010 is a serious mistake.