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Barack, Bailouts, & Boneheads January 23, 2009

Posted by Kate Ryan in Barack Obama, Economy, National Politics, Obama Administration, Republicans, US Senate.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

GITMO Prisoner
GITMO Prisoner

On Tuesday the inauguration of President Barack Obama made hearts soar and all of us feel good about being Americans again.  On Wednesday, however, it was back to business as usual, especially among our Republican friends and colleagues.  Senator John Cornyn threw a road block up to the voice vote approving Hillary Clinton’s nomination as Secretary of State – apparently so he could make a big ruckus, but vote “yea” the very next day.  Meanwhile, Cornyn and his buds held up the nomination of Eric Holder as Attorney General because holder refused to guarantee that there would be no torture prosecutions.  On “Hardball with Chris Matthews” yesterday, Senator Kit Bond of Missouri – who opposed torture – apparently opposes torture prosecutions because “good people” wouldn’t work for the CIA if they thought they would be prosecuted for doing something illegal. 

The President then signed four executive orders yesterday closing down the prison (or terrorist training camp) at Guantanamo Bay, banning torture, and temporarily halting terror prosecutions of the Gitmo prisoners.  This caused a firestorm of controversy on the Republican side of the aisle with a “not in my back yard” cry like ones usually seen from Walmart protesters.  Of all the current prisoners in Gitmo, about 20 are deemed too dangerous to let go, and would have to be transferred to supermax federal prisons.  There are currently three that would be adequate – in Fort Leavenworth, Charleston, and San Diego.  Republican Senators Brownback and Roberts of Kansas, Bond of Missouri, and Congressman Duncan Hunter of California  pitched a collective fit.   Immediately, Hunter introduced legislation in Congress to prohibit transfer of these prisoners to San Diego.  In a related bit of madness, Kit Bond told Chris Matthews on “Hardball” that if the “San Fransisco liberals” (take THAT, Nancy Pelosi) want to close Gitmo, they can reopen Alcatraz and put the prisoners there.  Isn’t it funny how all these law and order Republicans think that our Federal prisons aren’t secure enough for these prisoners?

Then there’s the President’s economic stimulus package.  Introduced on Wednesday, it is already facing some stiff opposition in both chambers of Congress.  Republicans are slamming the package for “unacceptable deficits”.  You know, these are the folks that took a budget surplus and turned it into the biggest deficit this country has ever known.  And the Iraq and Afghanistan war spending isn’t even counted!  When did these tax and spend Conservatives get religion on deficits?  What’s more, Republican Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana was on the news complaining that the bill is loaded with pork-barrel spending.  By it’s very definition, economic stimulus spending IS pork-barrel spending.  Pence cited as an example a $200 million earmark for the National Park Service for upgrades and repairs to the National Mall.  Did you see the mall this week?  It is a national disgrace (more on this topic later).  The National Park Service has been asking for private donations to fix over $200 million in deferred maintenance for years.  It is unbelievable that the idiot Republicans in Congress would want the world to see the  horrible shambles we have let it fall in to.

And speaking of shambles, let’s talk about the boneheads in New York and their handling of the Senate replacement for Hillary Clinton.  For many weeks the media has been breathlessly reporting that the choice would be Caroline Kennedy.  Gov. David Patterson of New York wasn’t going to play that game.  Patterson coyly hinted that Kennedy would get the job, he pulled back, he hinted some more, and apparently pulled the rug out from under her late Wednesday in favor of appointing  Democratic Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand of Albany, NY.  While I was no fan of Caroline Kennedy, I find her treatment by the Governor to be pretty reprehensible.  The power players in the NY Democratic party will not forget this when Patterson runs again – and will support Andrew Cuomo.  You heard it here first – Cuomo will win.  That is a more godlike name in New York than Kennedy OR Clinton.



1. The Intellectual Redneck - January 25, 2009

Do all our Congressmen and Congresswomen own bank stock? Nancy Pelosi wants more TARP money than the 700 billion already wasted

2. coffee - January 23, 2009

Obama is smart on so many levels for ordering the closure of Guantanamo. It has been a long time coming

3. Gilmour Poincaree - January 23, 2009

A bunch of hypocrites … and we are watching them closely …

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