house

Earmarking: Greasing The Wheels

For decades, the term has been synonymous with Congressional corruption. Earmarks were the bane of responsible spending, the origin of billion-dollar boondoggles, bridges to nowhere, unwanted highways, and quid pro quo politics. Figures as different as Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama both parlayed their opposition to earmarking into heightened political power.

Today, there is a movement underway within the Democratic leadership to bring the practice back; Republicans, traditionally more responsible with spending, are initially showing some resistance. So who’s right and why?

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What’s Actually In The Relief Bill?

With a nearly $2 trillion price tag, what is hopefully the last COVID-19 relief bill is up for debate in the Senate today — and, probably, tomorrow and the next and…

Due to the curious process under which it’s being considered — the Reconciliation rules — there’s no chance of a filibuster on the table; on the other hand, both the complexity of the proposed legislation and certain parliamentary tricks will create some fairly significant delays. These are normal (if petty) maneuvers; more to the point is considering the complexity of the bill proper.

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Why We Don’t Have COVID Relief

The Senate has adjourned for their pre-election break following marathon sessions to confirm a new Supreme Court justice. This makes it highly unlikely that we’ll see more stimulus checks before Election Day.

But for once the blame doesn’t actually belong to the Senate, despite how bad this looks. They don’t have anything to vote on.

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It’s Not A Coup

Both the departure of Evo Morales from the presidency of Bolivia and the ongoing impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump have been called coups by loyalists.

Lest there be confusion on this point:  I could be talking about either or both of them when (more…)

And It’s Not About A Wall Either

The present situation has almost nothing to do with a border wall.

I submit that Mr. Trump is attempting to (more…)

Talks Break Down Over Color Of Wall

Tonight, angry Democrats stormed out of a meeting with the President on border security after failing to reach an agreement over the color of the new wall panels presently under construction in the Sonora Desert.

“This is an unprecedented abuse of power,” said Minority Leader Schumer.  “No president should hold the government hostage.” (more…)

Trumpster’s Heads Explode When—

I’m not going to link the original articles that I’m disagreeing with, so you’ll have a little catching up to do.  Not to worry; those that make it here are bright enough to do a bit of mental exercise.  I have faith in you. (more…)

It’s Not About The Migrants

Whether it’s the news sites or more interactive social media, we keep running into the same effect.  I know you’ve seen it, but I’ll remind you anyway.  There’s this picture of a ragged guy on the sidewalk wearing his old army jacket.  The caption reads “Take care of homeless vets before feeding refugees!”

To some this makes perfect sense; to others it’s horribly offensive.  To me it’s an obvious trick, a false dichotomy — don’t fall for it. (more…)

Comey Testifies Again; Still Says Nothing

On March 20th, I wrote an article about Director Comey’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.  The headline was, “Comey Testifies, Says Nothing”.  Today, he testified as a private citizen before the Senate, and the story is the same.  Once again, James Comey said nothing, and he said it well. (more…)

Breaking News: Comey Testifies, Says Nothing

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee today, Monday, 20 Mar 2017, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency is in fact investigating whether the Russian government attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election, and who if anyone colluded with them in their actions.  As well, he spoke at some brief length on the process involved in ordering wiretaps, stating that President Obama could not have tapped the phone lines at Trump Tower during the election.

Before I go on, let me just say that his testimony (more…)