Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, December 18th, 2009.


Newsweek’s Predictions for 2010

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big picture stuff

Newsweek‘s top ten predictions are online. Read the article for Newsweek‘s reasoning — the comments are mine — but here are the predictions.

  1. Pelosi keeps the house — Dems lose some House seats in the midterm elections but keep their majority. I say probably yes.
  2. GOP Ousts Reid — a Republican will take Harry Reid’s Senate seat. I think this is highly possible, and the Left should be finding a progressive challenger for the Dem primary. Who should be next majority leader, assuming Dems keep the majority?
  3. GOP Blocks Immigration Reform — if “reform” doesn’t involve fences and cattle prods, they’re agin’ it. Although the real reason their agin’ it is they want to keep their undocumented household help.
  4. California Stays Blue — Republican challengers for Senate seats will lose.
  5. Palin Gets a Talk Show — Bravo, Lifetime, or Fox? I say Fox.
  6. Florida Elects Sen. Crist — rightie challenges of Gov. Crist will backfire, and Crist will be elected to the Senate. We’ll see.
  7. Senator Dodd Loses Connecticut Seat — maybe the Left ought to be looking for a primary challenger there also.
  8. Obama Gets Second Court Pick — he’s bound to get another pick before 2012, anyway.
  9. Obama Does Nada on Gay Rights — probably true.
  10. Dems Steal Texas Governor’s Mansion — Houston Mayor Bill White will win the gubernatorial election by a nose. That would be sweet.
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Senate Shenanigans

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Congress, Health Care

By now you’ve probably seen the video in which Sen. Al Franken declines to allow Sen. Joe Lieberman to drone on past his 10 minute allotted time. Well, it wasn’t just Lieberman, and it wasn’t just Franken. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) similarly declined to allow Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to go over 10 minutes.

It turns out the freshman Democrat from Alaska was acting under orders of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate majority leader, who said he had grown tired of what he deemed Republican delaying tactics.

Begich, who as a junior member of the Senate is required to preside over the chamber frequently to learn its rules, had been asked to limit everyone to 10-minute speeches to speed up proceedings. Another freshman, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., treated Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., much the same way Thursday.

OK, but … so little, and so late.

For another exhibit in the “IOKIYAR” museum, see Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery in the Washington Post:

Senate Republicans failed early Friday in their bid to filibuster a massive Pentagon bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unusual move designed to delay President Obama’s health-care legislation.

On a 63 to 33 vote, Democrats cleared a key hurdle that should allow them to approve the must-pass military spending bill Saturday and return to the health-care debate. After years of criticizing Democrats for not supporting the troops, just three Republicans supported the military funding.

Proof that atheists are on to somethingEric Kleefeld reports for TPM:

The Family Research Council Action PAC held an extraordinary “prayercast” event last night, praying for the intercession of God to change Senators’ minds and stop the health care bill. …

…Co-host Lou Engle focused the event as a protest against abortion, alleging that the bill would result in government funding and promoting it, and likening their prayers to Biblical figures who worked to stop the genocide of the Jews. “But the Bible’s very clear that prayer affects government,” said Engle. “Esther’s three-day fast changed public policy; Daniel’s fast changed public policy; and it’s the same, yesterday, today and forever, and that’s why we’re here.”

Does that mean they’re going to fast until the health care bill is defeated (she said, hopefully, thinking that this could take a while)? Apparently not; they’re just going to pray a lot. Anyway, I’m saying that any self-respectful wrathful omnipotent being would have sent enough lightening bolts to vaporize the lot of them by now. Yet members of the Family Research Council are still corporeal.

On the plus side, Susie Madrak’s report on yesterday’s blogger conference call on health care (which I skipped, sorry) is reassuring.

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