Yesterday, the House of Representatives took a break from its longstanding policy of not debating any jobs-related legislation and approved a series of trade pacts that had been under consideration since the Bush administration…
Congress resoundingly approved long-stalled trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama late Wednesday, authorizing the most significant expansion of trade relations in nearly two decades…
The South Korea deal has the potential to create as many as 280,000 American jobs, according to a recent assessment by the staff of the U.S. International Trade Commission, and to boost exports by more than $12 billion. Several major labor unions have warned that any gains will come at the cost of layoffs among American workers because of heightened competition from South Korean imports. The South Korea deal is widely hailed as the most consequential trade pact since the North American Free Trade Agreement was ratified in 1994.
But those controversial jobs figures, which are disputed by the AFL-CIO and various groups that are skeptical of free trade, belie the true importance of this legislation. How vital were these measures? Well, there were several dozen roll call votes in the past week. Michele Bachmann participated in precisely zero. Which brought the number of votes the "Congresswoman" has cast since August 1st to…zero. But on Wednesday, Christmas came early to the south side of the Capitol, and miracle of miracles, Bachmann's Bizarro Iron Horse streak of 88 consecutive missed votes came to an end with her votes in favor of the trade deals.
To be fair, showing up to vote is a huge drag. Between campaigning for re-election or seeking higher office, raising money or attending lobbyist-funded junkets, writing to irate constituents or sending creepy texts to strangers while using their niece's chat avatar, few Members of Congress have the time to actually do their jobs. And by few, I mean one…
On the other hand, Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., has not missed a vote during his tenure in the House dating back to Jan. 4, 2007. Altmire’s impressive streak is now beyond 4,300 straight votes.
Of course, racing back to Washington to cast vote after vote is totally rewarded by constituents and the judgement of history. After all, every schoolchild knows the story of William Natcher, a Kentucky Democrat who cast 18,401 consecutive roll call votes from his election to the House in 1954 to his death in 1994. He's more famous than Cal Ripken, Jr. and Lou Gehrig, right? Right?
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Colombia, House of Representatives, Jason Altmire, Michele Bachmann, Panama, South Korea
Arizona's recent bid to lead as America's biggest racial profiler has already received backing from Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, and the Northern Mariana Islands, among others. But now seven of Mexico's fellow Latin American countries have followed its lead with motions in supports of lawsuits challenging Arizona's immigration enforcement law SP1070…
Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru filed separate, nearly identical motions to join Mexico's legal brief supporting the lawsuit filed by U.S. civil rights and other advocacy groups….
Mexico says the law would lead to racial profiling and hinder trade, tourism and the fight against drug trafficking.
You know what that means, don't you? It's time for Migration Madness, the tournament in which political entities slug it out in the headlines for the title — no, the legal right, actually — to have or not have Constitutionally unsound racial profiling implemented within the United States.
And, no that we know which governing bodies have qualified, we can finally draw up the tournament seedings, which are based upon several factors, including country ranking, win-loss war record, ethnicity, and whether or not I think a country had a funny name. Continue after the jump to see how it shakes out…
Tags: Alabama, Arizona, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Florida, Guatemala, Immigration, Michigan, Mike Cox, Nebraska, Nicaragua, Northern Mariana Islands, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia
The Post in Which I Inform You That I've Been Gone for Two Weeks and Present You with a Video of George Bush Being Heckled
Hi, Internet! I'm back! You did know that I was gone didn't you? Like, for the entirety of 2010 so far. Right? You were aware of that, I assume. (I'm going to assume that for for the benefit of my own fragile ego.)
Anyway, I just flew in from Bogotá, Colombia, and boy are my arms tired (from carrying all of the drugs hidden in my luggage that I was muling into the U.S. for a paramilitary organization). I'm still struggling to figure out what's going on in the U.S. these past two weeks. Did we solve racism? I'll bet we did.
While I acquaint myself with the new American utopia that has surely been created in my absence, please watch this clip of a douchebag with a video camera verbally assaulting a douchebag who used to be President of the United States (thank god we're past all that, right?)…
Assholes. They're just like us!
Tags: Colombia, Food, George W. Bush
As Dennis reported earlier, yesterday afternoon president-elect Barack Obama paid a visit to the White House and met with ex-president-to-be George W. Bush.
Hours later a tantalizing leak emerged from the meeting: According to some loose-lipped sources, Obama nobly urged Bush to help the U.S. auto industry, and Bush was all, "Maaaaybe, if you stop gettin' in the way of my Colombia Free Trade Agreement, heh heh heh."
For today's indignant denials, let's turn to White House press secretary Dana Perino…
"They did speak about a range of issues, both domestic and international, and they did spend some time talking about the economy." she said. "But in no way did President Bush suggest that there was a quid pro quo when it came to Colombia free trade agreement or the other free trade agreements."
Mrs. Perino also played down rumors that Mr. Bush was angry over the leaks coming from the Obama transition team.
"I've also gotten several requests wanting to know if there is irritation at the White House towards the Obama team, and you're not going to hear that from me," Mrs. Perino said.
Of course not.
The White House already leaked it to Matt Drudge.
Tags: Barack Obama, Colombia, Dana Perino, Economy, George W. Bush, Matt Drudge, White House