Adding to what I wrote earlier today, can we please stop treating reconciliation like some kind of unprecedented democracy-ending apocalypse?
The Republicans used reconciliation 7 times between 1995 and 2007–the latest time they used it was to pass a health care reform bill. At no point was the GOP’s use of reconciliation ever portrayed in any way as scandalous or controversial.
Nor should it have been, since reconciliation is part of the Senate rules–it’s a perfectly legitimate procedure that has been around for decades. If the GOP opposed reconciliation then they should have tried to change the standing rules of the Senate when the 111th Congress began.
There’s something inherently dishonest and shameful about complaining when someone else uses a rule that you had taken advantage of and that you let stand without objection.
The GOP’s sudden opposition to reconciliation is dishonest and hypocritical, and nobody should talk about the reconciliation process without bringing that fact up.
FL-SEN GOP candidate Marco Rubio makes a joke about President Obama’s teleprompter while reading his speech off of a sheet of paper.
UPDATE: And Sen. Jim DeMint complains about ‘the federal government.’
You know, a United States Senator complaining about the size and influence of the federal government is a bit like a Wall Street CEO complaining about the size and influence of big banks.
If DeMint wants to shrink the federal government he should start by resigning.
How much of a difference will this make for the House?
As it turns out, not much:
While the timing of his announcement was unexpected, Griffith’s party switch will not come as a surprise to those familiar with his voting record, which is one of the most conservative among Democrats.
He has bucked the Democratic leadership on nearly all of its major domestic initiatives, including the stimulus package, health care legislation, the cap-and trade energy bill and financial regulatory reform.
He was one of only 11 House Democrats to vote against the stimulus.
Goodbye and good riddance, Rep. Griffith. Enjoy being part of the ineffectual, impotent Republican minority.
UPDATE: My question is, will Griffith be able to win reelection as a Republican?
I’ll let the electoral history of Alabama’s 5th Congressional district speak for itself:
FactCheck.org takes on the ‘climategate’ nontroversy.
Unsurprisingly, they find that ‘climategate’ is nothing but a bunch of hot air–they conclude that climate change skeptics took the emails out of context and claimed the scientists said things they never actually did:
Remember how Republicans complained that the health care reform bill was too long?
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) griped that it was “longer than War and Peace.”
House Minority Leader John Boehnert (R-OH) said “[a]ll you need to know is there are 1,990 pages. That should tell you everything.”
In an op-ed on the bill, Boehnert decried “[m]assive bills unveiled in the dark of night and rushed to a vote before anyone in America could possibly know the details.”
Well, now Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) is complaining that the health care reform bill isn’t long enough:
And we talk about 2,074 pages, which seem like a lot, and it would be for a normal bill that you could debate in a limited period of time, which is what we’re being asked to do. But 2,074 pages isn’t nearly enough to cover health care for America. So why is it only 2,074 pages?
So, which is it? Is the health care reform bill too long, or not long enough? And why did the GOP change their tune?
From George Monbiot at The Guardian:
The denial industry, which has no interest in establishing the truth about global warming, insists that these emails, which concern three or four scientists and just one or two lines of evidence, destroy the entire canon of climate science.
Even if you were to exclude every line of evidence that could possibly be disputed – the proxy records, the computer models, the complex science of clouds and ocean currents – the evidence for man-made global warming would still be unequivocal. You can see it in the measured temperature record, which goes back to 1850; in the shrinkage of glaciers and the thinning of sea ice; in the responses of wild animals and plants and the rapidly changing crop zones.
No other explanation for these shifts makes sense. Solar cycles have been out of synch with the temperature record for 40 years. The Milankovic cycle, which describes variations in the Earth’s orbit, doesn’t explain it either. But the warming trend is closely correlated with the accumulation of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. The impact of these gases can be demonstrated in the laboratory. To assert that they do not have the same effect in the atmosphere, a novel and radical theory would be required. No such theory exists. The science is not fixed – no science ever is – but it is as firm as science can be. The evidence for man-made global warming remains as strong as the evidence linking smoking to lung cancer or HIV to Aids.
I wrote a little bit about the so-called ‘climategate’ story earlier, but I figure I should tackle it head-on.
Background: several thousand emails were stolen from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. A number of right-wingers and global warming skeptics went through the emails and cherry-picked parts that made it seem like some climate scientists were manipulating data to make the case for global warming.
Was that the case? Well, not entirely: