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Much Ado and Duckie, Too

Posted by Daniel on Friday, December 8, 2006

Two things I’ve learned about politics in the past dozen years or so:The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

  1. Expect vast amounts of nothing to get done at the end of a congressional term. Oh, you’ll see all the usual smoke and mirrors and posturing “We’re going to ram through everything our opponents have been blocking”.
  2. “Lame Duck” is not a dish served in Chinese restaurants and Tipping is not a city in China. Although, I highly doubt the current lame duck neither understands the concept of tipping, nor could point out China on a map.

In the waning days of the ConMander-In-Chief’s grip on Congress, the out-going majority is working hard (a first for them) to ram through what is being called a “catchall” trade and tax bill.

Republicans are rushing a huge bill to the floor that lawmakers would not have time to read or amend. This is a sad but fitting way to end the 109th Congress. More going nowhere legislation.

It must approve the continued funding of federal programs at fiscal 2006 levels because this Congress failed, with the exception of defense and homeland security bills, to agree on any annual spending bills for the 2007 fiscal year that began October 1.

The GOP plan is to stretch current funding amounts until February 15, leaving for the new Democratic leaders the problem of how to deal with tough spending and deficit issues.

Top Democratic leaders blasted Republicans for leaving behind more than $460 billion in unfinished budget business that promises to clutter the Democratic agenda early next year.

“They are going to leave a mess as they go out,” said Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi. “It’s been a do-nothing Congress and as they go out the door they are going to validate the decision of the American people that change was necessary.” I couldn’t agree more.

Congress also must address a package of tax breaks, many of which expired at the beginning of 2006. Included are an extension of college tuition deductions, costing $3.3 billion over two years; an option for taxpayers in states without income taxes to deduct state and local sales taxes, costing $5.5 billion; a research and development tax credit, costing $16.5 billion; and a deduction for teachers who spend their own money for classroom supplies, costing $379 million.

The tax breaks are supported by both parties, but efforts to extend them have been thwarted by moves to link them to other, more controversial, bills.

The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday introduced a multifaceted, 500-page bill that included the tax breaks, myriad trade measures including the Vietnam bill, and various health measures, among them promoting greater access to health care in rural areas and blocking a planned Medicare cut in payments to physicians, at a cost of $10 billion for a year.

The bill also encompasses a stalled plan to open more than 8 million acres along the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling and expand an abandoned coal mine reclamation program, estimated to cost up to $5 billion over 10 years.

The current lame duck congress knows that there is every chance that much, if not all, of this massive bill will fail. A last political gasp for air in what has been a self-created vacuum.

No one doubts that this is all in an effort to either pass the bill (not going to happen) and/or leave even more of a mess for the incoming Democrat majority to clean up in January.

Expect more political booby traps to be left behind by the GOP as they have to finally, after 12 years, sit their fat asses down and let Nancy take over.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Now, the main lame ducks – Bush & Cheney – still have two years to continue their journey into tragic infamy. I’ll leave Chenry alone (for now), as he’s a little busy protecting his daughter and future sixth grandchild from his friends on the religious right. You remember them.  They are those compassionate “Crirstians”  who say things such as statements from Focus on the Family that read, “Mary’s got a bastards’ bun in the oven.”

Yeah, that really sounds like something Jesus would say.

Not to mention Cheney’s denial about Iraq, and thumbing his nose at the Iraq Study Group.

And Bush…?

Well, all can be summed up thusly…Once a dipshit, always a dipshit.


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