Daily Archives: December 19, 2010

So the Senate is at work AGAIN today… on a SUNDAY… Don’t you feel bad for them?


I guess I don’t either. I spent an hour or so watching them debate the START treaty this afternoon… actually debating an amendment or two which are NOT going to get on the bill (they’ll be voting on amendments at 3:00… that’s when I’ll turn it on again)… and was amazed at how frightening it is to have politicians control nuclear weapons. I had to turn the TV off while Senator Kyl was trying to find things to blame Obama on in this treaty… and, of course, to complain about being forced to work when they should be home celebrating Christmas.

Will they get this through by tomorrow or Tuesday? We’ll see. The Republicans are great stallers here and want to take up as much time as possible (and there are some judicial appointments that are taking up space in the Senate minutes as well) and perhaps we will have to leave until the January term begins and the Dems have less Senators and no control on the House. As Driftglass told Bluegal on their on-line broadcast Wednesday, the Republicans are hostage taking thugs that will use all kinds of crap to make important legislation either die or get watered way down. They hold our security hostage and the Dems and Obama are knuckling under. Do you hear the alarm going off?

I didn’t notice if Manchin has shown up today, but I’m not sure it matters. I hate to say it, but I think everything has been pre-decided.  We’ll find out when the votes are over, but I don’t think we’ll be surprised.

Anyway, I hope you are having a nice Sunday and, if you prefer the Senate to a football game or an afternoon movie, I hope you are entertained… and not taken in.

Zappa: Best Conductor Ever!

Frank’s musicians comment on Zappa’s Conducting:

– and –

From October 1969, Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd do INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE:

Have a nice Zappadan Sunday.

Looks like Joe Manchin is taking it from GOP and the Press (and Me) for skipping the Senate votes on DADT and The Dream Act…

… it seems he had a “family party” in Charleston, WV (about an hour away by regular United Airlines flights), that he couldn’t miss last night. So he didn’t join with the other Senators, and ALL the other Democrats, who put the important votes ahead of their own personal lives to serve the people who elected them.

Of course, according to the Sunday Gazette-Mail:

In statements issued Saturday, Manchin said he would not support either the immigration bill or a repeal of the military ban on openly gay service members.

He was the only Democrat to oppose reversing the military’s policy when the Senate voted on the issue earlier this month. He said Saturday he still has “concerns over timing and implementation” of lifting the ban.

Perhaps it is just as well that he wasn’t there… and you can see why the GOP (who tried to recruit Manchin to party-switch after the election) was pissed that he wasn’t there to vote.

I said during the election when I voted for Manchin that I really didn’t have any other choice… the Republican running against him was a loony toon and the Independent candidates were unsupported enough that voting for them would have assured Republican victory. Manchin is pretty conservative… supports the coal mining industry, pollution or not, Mountaintop Removal or not… and in any other state he would be considered a Republican. So we ended up with our Governor at the time, Joe Manchin, finishing Robert Byrd’s term.

Well, he is up for a full-term election in 2012 and I hope we get at least ONE more  effective Democrat to primary against him. This being West Virginia which, with the exception of the Eastern Panhandle, where I live, and a few other locations, is a pretty conservative state, this is not going to be easy. Look for contenders to start crawling out of the bushes now, especially if Manchin pulls more Senate absences like he did last night.



Sara Payne Scarbro, Manchin spokeswoman,  said the family event was in the Pittsburgh area, where Manchin’s daughter, Heather Bresch, lives. It seems to me that Pittsburgh is also an hour’s flight out of DC.

Maybe one more Republican will be ashamed enough of their killing this bill last week that they will come in next week…Maybe.

This is disgusting. For ten years the First Responders, suffering from and often dying from 9/11 injuries and exposure, have been unfunded. This has to end.
clipped from abcnews.go.com

Democrats Confident that 9/11 Health Bill Will Pass.

The first responders still suffering health effects more than nine years after the Sept. 11 terror attacks could get a “Christmas miracle” this year, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said today.
Senate Republicans last week derailed a bill that would provide $7.4 billion in health care and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors, but Gillibrand today voiced confidence that the Senate will pass the bill in the next week, now that lawmakers have agreed on how to pay for the measure.
“We have the votes we need,” Gillibrand said today at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “We’ve had indications from several Republicans that they very much want to vote for this bill.

“They would like to vote for a stand-alone bill,” she said. “There is general agreement on a new pay-for that we’re going to offer, so the hope is to get to the bill as soon as the START bill is completed.”

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