With DC Fashion Week wrapping up yesterday, and Congress back in session, one thing is clear: federal government shutdowns are the new black. This time, the dysfunction is caused by disagreement over how to replenish the coffers of FEMA, whose resources have been stretched thin by God's anger/an active hurricane season…
The Senate is scheduled to vote Monday on a Democratic-sponsored measure to provide $3.65 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the disaster fund. But the bill is expected to fail because it does not include spending cuts demanded by Republicans.
Lawmakers expressed hope Sunday that they could reach a bipartisan agreement rather than face a repeat of the rancorous summer battle over raising the nation's debt ceiling. But negotiations are likely to continue until the 11th hour.
Since "Government Shuts-down Due to [Whatever]" is going to be an exciting fill-in-the-headline game for months to come, here's a handy guide to the latest edition of Why We Can't Have Nice Things:
How did the latest crisis begin? As Michele Bachmann jocularly explained, God sent a hurricane barreling along the Eastern seaboard as punishment for profligate government spending. Democrats responded by trying to authorize even more spending, so that FEMA could provide emergency relief to affected families while also supporting fire-ravaged Texas and tornado-tossed Missouri. To which House Majority Leader Eric Cantor responded, why would we want to further anger the Lord when we could offset emergency spending with cuts to Democratic priorities? And so Congress did its usual awesome job of doing nothing.
But Members of Congress are going to resolve this like adults, yes? You are hilarious! Senators Mark Warner and Lamar Alexander, help us set that special tone of hand-wringing about civility followed by childish recriminations…
Two veteran senators agreed Sunday morning that the latest budget standoff in Congress is not what the country needs, but the Democrat and Republican each made sure to point out that the potential government shutdown was the other party's fault…
To blame, in Warner's view: "A small group within the House, the Tea Party crowd."
Not quite, according to Alexander. "I'll give the Senate Democratic leader most of the credit," Alexander said. "He manufactured a crisis all week about disaster when there's no crisis."
So federal employees are going to be furloughed over what amounts to a rounding error in the budget? Maybe. A more likely possibility involves the Obama Administration using creative accounting to keep FEMA functioning through the end of this week, forestalling the crisis. Alternatively, enough Democrats or Republicans could cross party-lines to adopt a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded. For a month and a half.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Democrats, Eric Cantor, FEMA, House of Representatives, Lamar Alexander, Mark Warner, Natural Disasters, Republicans, Senate
Sen. Lamar Alexander responds to Donald Trump's scathing attack on his political future…
"I hope it doesn't affect my chances to be his vice presidential pick."
Will it? Find out Sundays this summer on NBC!
(via Political Wire)
Tags: Donald Trump, Lamar Alexander, Primaries, Quote Unquote, Republicans, Senate, Tennessee
Donald Trump sure does want everybody to believe that he's a real Republican candidate and not just some rich reality TV guy who barks out insults and firing people anytime somebody throws a camera in front of his face.
That's why he simply could not let this slight from a Sen. Lamar Alexander stand…
Real estate magnate Donald Trump fired back at Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.,Tuesday after the senator said the entrepreneur has no business being president.
"There's always someone like Donald Trump who runs who has absolutely no chance of winning," Alexander said over the weekend. "I mean, he's famous for being famous. He may be good in business but he's not going to be president."
"He's not a very effective senator," Trump told Fox, before laying down the gauntlet. "The people of Tennessee are very smart. And they don't like being ripped off by everybody that touches this country. And I have a feeling that maybe he won't be there so long."
There! That oughta do it. Now will you start taking him seriously?
Tags: Donald Trump, Lamar Alexander, Primaries, Republicans, Senate, Tennessee
So, now that health care reform has passed the House, and the Earth has not been swallowed by a giant space worm as was foretold by conservative shaman (yet), a lot of people are now speculating on what speculations people will be speculatively speculating upon going forward.
Conservative columnist David Frum has been perhaps the most pessimistic seers of things to come, calling it the GOP's Waterloo in a much-linked about response…
No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the "doughnut hole" and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents' insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there — would President Obama sign such a repeal?
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.
Which is weird, because radicals usually lead people to extremely popular and well-understood successes. Probably why they're called "radicals."
Not all conservatives share Frum's gloomy disposition about the bill's passage. Other have a totally different gloomy disposition, one about people's ability to put two-and-two together…
Republican leaders dismissed any suggestion that the bill would hurt the party over the long term.
"Someone at Harvard or in San Francisco might think that, but not the rest of the country," said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee.
Sen. Alexander is probably right. With all due respect to Mr. Frum, you'd really have to be an east coast, socialist, atheist, academic egghead or a west coast, liberal, bathhouse-going-to, homosexual pervert to see through the Republicans' brilliant plan of saying 'no' to everything. Real Americans would never catch on to that game plan.
Tags: David Frum, Health Care, House of Representatives, Lamar Alexander, Republicans, Senate
The Colbert Report 2010 Midterm Health Care Vote Information Nerve Center (Plus Also Charlie Cook Talking About Stuff)
Welcome to the nerve center of pulling facts out of Stephen Colbert's hindquarters…
The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30pm / 10:30c.
Tags: Democrats, Eric Cantor, Glenn Beck, Health Care, House of Representatives, Lamar Alexander, Mitch McConnell, Senate, Video