The Senate passed Porkulus III by a vote of 70-28 with 13 Republicans demonstrating their party’s new found fiscal conservatism by crossing over to vote with every Democrat present for the bill. Like the first Porkulus signed by George W. Bush in 2008 and the Porkulus II passed last year, Porkulus III forks over billions of borrowed dollars to fund various special interest projects and tax gimmicks in the name of “creating jobs”.
The gimmicks funded in this lastest round of Porkulus include a tax holiday for the remainder of the year on Social Security payroll taxes, but only if the company hires someone out of work for more than 60 days. In addition, Porkulus commits to billions in in more mass transit spending and more highway projects (ie. more pork barrel spending).
The Senate’s version of Porkulus must be sent over to the House where it must be reconciled with the House’s much more expansive $154 billion Porkulus bill. However, the Senate plans to pass more items in the House’s bill one at a time so that Senate Majority Harry Reid and other Democrat leaders can find out how much the prices of the votes of “fiscally conservative” Republicans are.
Included are proposed Senate bills giving away corporate welfare to ethanol producers, which is expected to be supported by farm state Republicans. In addition, there is another planned Senate bill to keep Americans out of work longer by extending unemployment benefits and COBRA.
The RINOs who supported Porkulus III today are:
Podcast: Scott Brown, SCOTUS, Citizens United, Air America, “Birther” Bill, Guests: Eric von Haessler & Mike Hassinger
In my opinion the term “Tea Party” or “Tea Party Candidate” and the whole “Tea Party Movement” is irrelevant. It means nothing! It hasn’t meant anything meaningful for a long time.
Perhaps this is too radical a statement for most people, but ask yourself this: Do Ron Paul and Sean Hannity have the same political views? The clear answer is no. Hannity supports supply-side economics, Paul Austrian. Hannity supports our current foreign policy (including Guantanamo Bay, torture, and our foreign presence in over 100 nations) while Paul supports a foreign policy of non-intervention. Hannity supports Bush regardless of the argument, while Paul will criticize both parties about their big-government policies. Hannity and Paul have completely different political ideologies when they are examined.
Here’s the problem: the tea parties were not entirely made up of libertarian uproar about BOTH parties, but instead have become a combination of libertarians, paleo-conservatives, and of course neo-cons. Ever since I saw Sean Hannity have a live show at a tea party and talk up the tea parties, I knew that there was a serious misinterpretation about what the tea party movement is and what the true identity is.
We can talk all day about how the “tea party” candidate Doug Hoffman was lifted up by conservatives across the nation. But now we have Scott Brown being lifted up as the “tea party” candidate. I have to give credit to The Humble Libertarian as they pointed out that Scott Brown might be against government controlled health care, but he most certainly is not a libertarian by any stretch of the imagination. Comparing Brown to the libertarian candidate Joe Kennedy:
I just read Matt Wittlief’s thoughts on Scott Brown, and since I have only tweeted about the Massachusetts special election and talked about it on the radio, I must be falling behind as a “political blogger” myself. I started this as a comment, but my opinions turned this into a post itself.
As I see it, the GOP needed solidarity in the Senate (41 votes) to derail ObamaCare, and Scott Brown is that 41st vote for ObamaCare in 2010. I have said it before, and I will continue to say it, Scott Brown is nothing more than a “short term compromise.” His positions are not that different from Coakley, when you compare them across the board for all three candidates that ran. He also supported RomneyCare in Massachusetts a few short years ago. His support of government intervention into the marketplace is unquestionable, and he confirmed it with his comments on Wednesday, that every libertarian that tweets or is on Facebook cited.
I suppose I wouldn’t be much a of a political blogger if I didn’t comment on the Scott Brown election. It’s certainly the hottest topic in politics today and will have implications on policy and action in Washington until November. In order to take a closer look at the real story behind the election, I’ll turn to the data. Rasmussen Reports conducted exit polling last night and I’ve broken down some of the results in the table below.
Source: Rasmussen Reports
At the White House website, the biography of Bill Clinton illustrates the successes of his administration, most notably:
During the administration of William Jefferson Clinton, the U.S. enjoyed more peace and economic well being than at any time in its history.
It’s true. The Clinton years were some of the most prosperous years that the United States has ever seen. Was that the result of massive government spending and initiatives? Of course not. Clinton’s first major initiative - health care reform - failed, resulting in a Republican takeover of Congress and Clinton shifting to rhetoric such as ”the era of big government is over.”
The actual successes of the Clinton years were very right wing ones - welfare reform, free trade agreements and a robust innovative economy fueled by the ingenuity of software entrepreneurs. Spending was down, and Bill Clinton left office with a huge surplus. This was certainly the result of a lack of spending from the federal government, a foreseeable result of having two diametrically opposed political parties in power at once. The fact that the low-spending Clinton years (years in which the government actually shut down for nearly two months) resulted in economic prosperity, while high deficit eras like the pre-war terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Bush-Obama years resulted in depression and recession, makes one of the strongest cases for libertarianism.
It’s coming down to the wire in Massachusetts. Scott Brown and Republicans can sense victory. While Martha Coakley and Democrats are scrambling to fix a terrible run campaign and a serious flawed and unappealing candidate.
Coakley, who is trailing Brown in her own internal polling, continues to make gaffes. Embarrassingly calling baseball great Curt Schilling, who is campaigning for Brown, a Yankee fan. For those of you not up on baseball, Schilling pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 2004 to 2007 and led them to World Series victories in 2004 and 2007 (who forgets the infamous bloody sock?). A huge mistake in the heart of the Red Sox Nation.
I’ve been called a lot of things… [b]ut never, and I mean never, could anyone ever make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn’t know what the hell is going on in your own state maybe you could.
In analyzing the data from the latest polls coming from Massachusetts with regard to the upcoming special election on January 19th, I have some things to note.
- Rasmussen polled 500 likely voters on January 4, releasing their results the following day.
- The Boston Globe polled 554 likely voters January 2-6, releasing their results this morning.
- Public Policy Polling polled 744 likely voters January 7-9, releasing their results last night. (full .pdf of the results available there)
Beginning linearly with the commencement of the polls, the Boston Globe began first, though it concluded on the 6th. It was not released until this morning, but I think that its results were not influenced by Rasmussen’s numbers, as Rasmussen conducted their poll in the midst, releasing the results toward the end. They also included Joe Kennedy as an option, whereas neither of the other polls did. Who knows why it took the Globe four days to release their results, but I think for the time their polling spanned, it is likely accurate.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) isn’t too concerned about New Hampshire residents who are losing access to the doctors they had and liked. Instead of keeping her August 2009 promise that Obamacare would let her constituents “keep their doctor and their insurance plan,” she now says that they’ll just have to pay more.
“One of the things that we’ve heard from people in New Hampshire, which I share, is concern about the limited [provider] network,” Shaheen said in an interview with Concord-based WKXL on Friday. “Like the governor, I’ve expressed my concern about to Anthem and what I was told was they’re trying to keep rates that, and that was their reason for limiting the network.”
“But, unfortunately, the state insurance commissioner said that their limited network met the adequacy requirements for the state law,” she noted. “So I think what I’m hoping to do as part of this letter and at looking in legislation is to see if we can get a look through the federal Department of Health and Human Services about the adequacy of the networks that exist.”
There is only one insurer, Anthem, participating in New Hampshire’s Obamacare exchange, which is run through the federal website, Healthcare.gov. As has been the case in other areas of the country, insurers have offered plans with skimpy provider networks as a way to cut back on costs, which, in many cases, has left people without access to their doctors.