The House Minority Leader, John Boehner, gave what was undoubtedly the best speech of his life last night. A last ditch effort to convince Dems to vote against Obama-care, the GOP leader summarized poignantly the awful-ness that was the bill…
Much more on the epic day in Washington and the delightful news of Joe Mauer’s new deal with the Twins on an all new TWG Podcast later tonight...
The TWG Podcast surpassed 5,000 listens this week. Here’s Goose with a celebratory look back and some favorite moments…
The Top 5 Most Listened to Podcasts….
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There’s a new kind of flip-flop in Washington. The power flip flop. One day the Republicans are flying high with their man on Pennsylvania Ave and good footing in both houses. The next, Democrats are on top with a majority in the houses and their man in the Oval office. Then an election spins out of control and into the headlines in Massachusetts and suddenly the top dogs are scrambling to keep their footing again. Up and down and in and out, Republicans and Democrats all vying and campaigning to win their seats and stay in power.
Which, for me, begs the question, are the politicians in Washington too busy being representatives of their parties to be representatives of the people?
Consider. In Massachusetts there was a mad scramble of last minute campaigning by the Democratic party to try to save Ted Kennedy’s seat from the hands of an upstart Republican. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both put in appearances to this end, though in vain. Why? To get a Democrat back into the house. The desires of the people of Massachusetts seemed irrelevant (note: this is the second time in this paragraph that I have spelled that state correctly on the first try without the assistance of spell check), for when the desires of the people seemed to challenge the power of the party, the party flexed its muscles against them.
Last I checked the purposes and desires of our founding fathers, the goal of representative government was to represent the people of the nation, not some power hungry political party. The shift has been subtle, but its effects can no longer be ignored. No wonder the people of this country, and particularly young people, are disillusioned, cynical and frustrated about the government. They feel like they have no voice in the goings on of our country, and it is beginning to seem that this perception is not far off.
What a radical day it would be if a Democrat or Republican began to run for office in a particular state or district and then dropped out on the grounds of “I cannot accurately represent the needs and desires of this constituency; my opponent will do a better job of that for these particular people than I” instead of scrambling, biting and clawing to win a seat for their party, regardless of the good of the people.
Obama ran under the banner of “change” and said he would be a new day for the American government, would encourage bipartisanship, would consider all interests, and even a few weeks ago derided the “permanent campaigning” of Washington politics. A funny thing from the mouth of a man who scant days before had himself been campaigning for Coakley. He has not brought change to Wasington. He is a democrat, representing the democratic party, and trying to work with republicans representing the republican party.
All America wants to know is when someone will show up in Washington who wants to represent people instead of a party.
We now have a good amount of hours between us & President Obama’s State of the Union. With these have come time for pondering just what the address meant, how it was received, and what the future holds. Here now, are the GooseRadio contributors, with their lively post-game reactions to the speech. Also, check out our live blog play by play of the address, and a thoughtful response from the other side of the aisle.
Alex Whitworth – So, it’s not that Americans don’t want national health care, it’s that the great orator didn’t communicate effectively? Sure, that makes sense. You know what? Scratch that, it’s Dubya’s fault. The last eight years…
Tim Shaw – Do supreme court justices have to go to some kind of scowling school? If it’d only been the conservative wing that didn’t like getting called out, that’d be one thing, but Sotamayor and Ginsberg were not amused.
Goose Nissley – I think the Supreme Court scowl is going to get a lot of coverage! I was a bit taken aback by the combativeness in his tone. He tried to continue proffering hope and unicorns in a more intense, almost scowling at times, way. It was a new, and I don’t think very effective, Obama.
Marshall – I agree wholeheartedly. His message was lost in a partisan display of disingenuous-ness. He pointed fingers and then said there was too much finger pointing. The few good points about increasing exports and job creation was lost on a totally hope-less denunciation of everyone not Obama. Or Michelle. I think what we have here is a failure to communicate.
David Gregory – *response not printable on family friendly website*
Carl O’Brien – As Mr. Bennett said, “He simpers and smirks and makes love to us all…” but there was very little substance to all his flatteries. He cracked-wise, flattered those on Main Street, and flirted with Blue Collars while attempting to save us from the highwaymen of the banking business. He made lots of promises but did not speak as to how these promises would come about. How will you increase export? How will cutting discretionary spending cut the deficient when the money saved equals to 1% of the national debt? I heard no answers to the nation’s problems, just a lot of “hope.”
Ryan Howard – Hmm… I, for one, am skeptical that this performance is up to the high and exacting standards of the Tonight Show. I know you’re trying, Mr. O, but some of your stuff is just falling flat.
There’s definitely some quality stuff here, like when you say you believe “the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America’s businesses,” but that earlier bit, when you’re asking for applause? Not as classy.
I think my favorite bit was when you said that China and India have good economies partially because “they’re making serious investments in clean energy.” It might be a bit too highbrow for primetime, though. I’m just not seeing your intended demographic knowing that those two countries snubbed world attempts to push cap and trade on them in Copenhagen last year.
I guess I have two words of advice: bone up on your delivery, and maybe stick to cable, where you can be a little more edgy. Who knows? Maybe in a few years, Comedy Central will invite you to a roast.
Mark Seignious – I’m late to the party once again… is Obama president? When did that happen? State of the Union? He probably said the word “I” like 130 times probably…
It is difficult to take talk of bipartisanship and “not a perpetual campaign” seriously, when Obama travels to Massachusetts to campaign for faltering candidates of his party.
Check out other offerings & bios from and about each of these good folk on the Contributors page.
To make a law, a bill must be passed by both the House and Senate and signed by the President. This is what we all learned from the School House Rock song, right? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. Both chambers want their say in a bill. If the House writes and passes a bill, the senate usually isn’t willing to just rubber stamp it into law. The senators want their own concerns addressed. So after the house passes a bill, the senate will usually write an entirely separate bill. Now we have a problem: no single bill has been passed by both chambers, so despite the fact both have passed a bill, nothing can yet be presented to the president. Here comes the fun part. Both bills are sent to a conference committee which creates a third bill. Now both houses vote on this, and then the president can sign it into law.
The Democratic “health care” “reform” bill is at the proper stage for conference committee. One bill has passed the House, and a second has passed the Senate. But Democrats can’t do this, because a committee bill would have to pass the Senate again. As of tonight, that’s not going to happen. The Republicans have picked up seat number 41 with the election of Scott Brown. This allows them to filibuster, or to essentially prolong debate on the bill indefinitely. Not only that, the fact that Brown was elected by Massachusetts is quite probably going to shake either Nelson or Bayh or Webb into the no camp. Remember: Obama’s been telling the Dems for months that the only way they can save their careers is to vote yes on Obamacare. Clinton has prolcaimed that the major Democratic defeat in 94 was caused, not by the same manner of voter disgust over Hillarycare as we see over Obamacare, but rather, by Congress’s inability to pass a bill. If that were true, we’d have a Senator Elect Coakley tonight instead.
If the Senate can’t be counted on to pass another bill, the only option Democrats have is to have the House pass the Senate bill which had already been passed verbatim. Through a process called reconciliation, which is immune to the filibuster but can only address strictly budgetary issues, the senate can pass modifications to the taxes planned to pay for this, but otherwise, the House has to accept everything the Senate gave them, or the bill is dead.
Is this going to happen? House leadership says yes. The average house Democrat, by all accounts, is much less optimistic. When the bill passed the house, it passed by 5 votes. One of those was the lone Republican, Joseph Cao, whom no one expects to vote for it again. Now if even two more Democrats flip, that means the bill will fail by one vote (because every vote which flips from yes to no subtracts one from the yes column and adds one to the no column, bringing the columns nearer by two).
Now, about twenty or so Democrats voted against the first bill, for various reasons. The House contains a coalition of “Blue Dogs,” or conservative Democrats. But these have been derided over the past three years as being all bark and no bite. It’s been argued that Pelosi is allowing these two dozen or so to vote no such that their largely conservative constituencies won’t vote them out, but if she needs the votes, she can get them. Nonetheless, if these representatives were allowed to vote no to save their jobs earlier, and now seeing Massachusetts have even more reason to fear for their jobs, one would have to be a pretty serious ideological liberal to flip one’s vote now.
So, for what it’s worth, I think this bill is dead. And I’m hoping to see one of the market-driven reform bills that have been written by the Republicans replace it after the Republicans either retake the house this November, or at least make the gains necessary to prevent the Dems from suppressing it like they have suppressed a half dozen palatable alternatives already.
About two hours after the election was called, I read that Barney Frank, who is no Blue Dog, has stated that the Democrats are not going to be able to continue as if the Massachusetts election hadn’t happened, and will have to try to pass a revised version of the current bill through the Senate. If the House leadership can’t get Frank on board with the pass-the-Senate-bill-verbatim strategy, it’s not going to happen. The day after the election was called, we have Obama himself making similar, if cryptic statements. Democratic leadership has awoken to the fact they overstepped with Obamacare, and do not intend to destroy their party with what everyone would now see as cheap antics. There is still talk of a compromise which would be diluted so that it can get the approval of Senate moderates, but such, if even possible, would require foundational and revolutionary changes such that it wouldn’t even be the same bill, I think I’m justified in reiterating, this bill is dead.
Sometimes the sheer magnitude of the numbers is hard to grasp when it comes to just how much the Obama-stration (Ok to shorten administration?!… let’s keep going with that) is spending. Here’s an outstanding analogy from the noble proprietor of The Politcal Math Blog…
Gracious thanks to GooseRadio Facebook friend Aaron for drawing our attention unto these moving pictures.
To All My Democrat Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010 , but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.
To My Republican Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Here’s wishing we could claim this as ours, but it’s actually an email forward that’s been going around with multiple claimant authors. Thanks to GooseRadio Facebook Friend Andrew for bringing it to our attention.