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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Senate’

I’m pissed off.

I’m pissed off at health care reform. I’m pissed off at this endless process of emotional highs and lows and exhilaration and dejection and history and infamy.

I’m pissed off that President Obama “thanked” the independent senator from Connecticut even though the senator nearly killed health care reform this week.

To that point, I’m pissed off at Joe Lieberman. I’m pissed off at his childish, vengeful, opposite-day hackery. I’m pissed off at his giant pie-shaped head and his passive aggression. I’m pissed off that he enjoys government-run Medicare benefits while opposing government-run insurance for the rest of us.

I’m pissed off at the Senate. The whole Senate. The rules, the senators, the color of the walls, the fact that a doof like Chuck Grassley can actually be elected to it. Multiple times. I’m pissed off that even though we finally have a 60 seat supermajority, it’s dysfunctional and Harry Reid is in charge of it. I’m pissed off that senators of both parties receive government-run primary care from the Office of the Attending Physician, while denying it to everyone else.

I’m pissed off at cable news and the establishment press for focusing more on The David Letterman & Tiger Woods Underpants Party than the substance of health care reform.

I’m pissed off at Rahm Emanuel and I’m pissed off at the “scary profane a-hole” mythology that’s built up around him, and how he only seems to use his powers of intimidation to bully the left.

I’m pissed off at the Republicans. I’m pissed off at their ongoing self-contradictions and lies and bumper sticker sloganeering. I’m pissed off that around 55 Republicans are on Medicare, yet they oppose government-run health care for the rest of us. I’m pissed off at Tom Coburn’s bulbous Dirk Diggler haircut.

I’m pissed off at having to compromise while a handful of lopsidedly powerful conservadems get whatever they ask for.

I’m pissed off at the Senate health care reform bill. I’m pissed off at the House health care reform bill. I’m preemptively pissed off at the conference report, too, and I don’t even know if we’ll even get that far.

And I’m pissed off that my progressivism leads me to the unavoidable conclusion that if we don’t pass health care reform now, innumerable bad things will continue to happen due to the fact that there’s a very serious health care crisis in America. I’m pissed off that I can’t, in good conscience, allow my anger to coerce me into believing that we should “kill this bill.” I’m pissed off about that, too, because I know what could have been, and yet I have no other choice but to settle for what is. For now.

But being pissed off doesn’t make this reality any less real.

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Despite Predictions, Opposition Never Materialized

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, June 18, 2009

Despite predictions that the “emergency” war funding bill would face a battle in the Senate similar to the one it saw in the House of Representatives, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill with no new alterations, at a vote of 91-5.

Sen. Gregg with President Obama

Earlier in the week the House of Representative passed the bill 226-202, and that was only after weeks of haranguing Democratic Congressmen who opposed the bill to change their vote in the name of loyalty to President Obama. Even then, many expressed dissatisfaction with the bill.

Not so in the Senate, where there was considerable complaining that the bill contained a lot of superfluous funding for things that had nothing to do with the war but the only serious challenge came when Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) tried to strip a $1 billion provision. When that failed, what remained of the opposition seemed to dry up entirely. The five no votes included 3 Republicans, Sens. DeMint, Enzi and Coburn, Independent Sen. Sanders, and Democratic Sen. Feingold.

That $1 billion was set aside for a “cash for clunkers” program to subsidize the purchase of new cars. The measure was unsurprisingly praised by the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers. Other complaints, including the massive loan guarantee to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had been expected to be a major issue, as it was in the House of Representatives, but at the end of the day it doesn’t appear to have cost the bill any votes.

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