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December 21, 2005


Great post Ron.

I thought the WH had stopped pouting (secretly perhaps) and decided to pass a shorter than three months extension to PATRIOT? Or has that been updated since?

I'll be happy to get the sane Repubs in ones and twos for the next while, until we get to (say) the Alito vote, where they will have all realized their world won't end of they cross their (mis)leaders and ought to vote for this country, not their expedience.

Will Dino Rossi be running against Senator Cantwell?

EW -- PATRIOT Act extension still at impasse.

voice -- Cantwell has an opponent (McGavick), and I figure Rossi is washed up (though some think he'll be back in 2008 for another run at Gregoire).

Thanks RonK. I always enjoy your posts (and all the posts on this site).

Oh, and Happy Baby Jesus Day, Merry Buddhistic Karma Nirvana Devoid Of Samsara Fleeting Moment, 10,000 Blessings Towards The Maya Mind, or whatever the hell we're supposed be glad tidings people with these days. As long as I don't have to eat fruit cake, I'm keepin' the tedium to a medium.

as did Mary Landrieu (LA) for oil and Katrina interests

I don't question that you have it right, but please explain for the slower among us: how does shifting oil drilling to ANWR help restore the Gulf Coast economy?

What is the lon-standing tradition for blue state Hawaii to support Bridge to Nowhere, red state Alasks?

No blessings for the Saturnalians? I always had you pegged as one of them Intoleranters, RonK.

Soooo, some good news and some bad news, which is better than we've become accustomed to in the past five years, so huzzah.

By the way, boosting the efficiency that the average vehicle in America consumes by a piddling 1.76 miles per gallon would do away with the need for drilling ANWR with its estimated mean of 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

emptypockets -- Oil state elected's have oil industry voters, oil industry donors, and hang together as a voting bloc ... just like rival farm states, for instance, find each other realible allies.

Mike -- the otherwise-isolated AK and HI have scratched each other's backs since before statehood, which was itself a package horsetrade: GOP AK for Dem HI. (Inouye and Stevens have been there from the beginning.)

MB -- The big hurts got laid on the hurtin'est, by that Reconciliation piece. They hurt a lot of people in a lot of states in a lot of ways, including Katrina survivors and their caregivers, teachers, foster parents, etc etc.

And 8 hours later, the Senate is back in! Stevens looks terrible, Cantwell has a bill at the desk, and Frist asks its immediate consideration.

Instant analysis: Stevens doesn't like the compromise (whatever it is), and he's throwing monkeywrenches left and right.

Seeks a ruling that the revised conference report violates Rule 28 ... and insists on a quorum call.

He's in full-on Grinch mode, and EVERYBODY is gonna pay!

RonK, keep this reader's digest version of the proceedings going, if you would, it's much needed & much appreciated.

and lo, hannuka harry reid did witness a miracle that a defense bill expected to be passed in less than one night did last a full EIGHT nights, and it was good.

Unfortunately, nobody on either side stood up and said "here's what's in the deal".

DiFi asked for attention on port security issues, and settled for a promise of item early next year.

Ted Kennedy gets 15 minutes to take a shot at the pharma provision.

PATRIOT Act to be extended 6 months.

Stevens is up. The ANWR money is out, comm spectrum deals also out, defunding some LIHEAP, first responders, border security, Katrina relief.

Stevens: "I'm going to go to EVERY ONE OF YOUR STATES, and I'm going to TELL 'EM WHAT YOU'VE DONE!!!"

and lo, there is no ANWR oil, but Sen. Stevens burns on and on.

Meanwhile, back at the White House (via YRHT):

Last minute opposition from the Bush administration stalled legislation to create a federal corporation that would buy homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to the bill's sponsor.


On Saturday afternoon, Baker thought he had achieved the breakthrough needed to pass his bill during a hastily called meeting with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala. Baker sold his bill as the best way to avert thousands of mortgage foreclosures in Louisiana .

Although staffers on the Senate Banking Committee had been raising questions about the bill, Shelby assured Baker and Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who helped set up the meeting, that he wouldn't stand in the way if top GOP leaders signed off.

"In our minds, that was the last obstacle and we were ready to pop the champagne," said a Baker aide.

But the Senate GOP leaders wanted the White House's okay.

Despite a carefully orchestrated effort, which included frantic weekend e-mails and phone calls to the White House from long-time Bush supporters Joseph Canizaro, developer and leader of Mayor Ray Nagin's Bring New Orleans Back Commission and Donald "Boysie" Bollinger, president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards, as well as former Democratic Sen. John Breaux, White House officials balked.

Merry friggin Christmas, NOLA.

Stevens: "one of these senators said something so bad I'm not even gong to ACCEPT his apology now. I'm going to go home. ANd I'm going to THINK about this."

Stevens bid 'em adieu, and the (Cantwell version) Conference Report takes a roll call. Looks like ANWR and spectrum sales are out, pharma indemnity is in?

Donations to buy Stevens some tickets to the blue states? Kennedy should present him with a ticket to Massachusetts and dare him to do it.

The vote looks to be close ... maybe a cliff-hanger. What next?

OK, the Cantwell modification -- removing ANWR -- will pass, then tehy'll vote the whole package out.

CAntwell resolution passes 48-45, removing ANWR, and bring up the Defense Appr. Conf. Rpt.

Landrieu takes 30 seconds, confirms $29B still in bill for Gulf Coast.

thanks, RonK. excellent post.

On passage, Senators voting in the negative - none. Probably a few cut out early. Can't see Stevens, but he voted "aye". Everybody look happy: "God bless us, every one".

And now the hot potato is in Hastert's lap.

Defense Authorization Conf Rpt is now agreed unanimously.

Now on to Tax measures, where House & Senate are a bit out of sync and now trying to move it to conference with some controversy re AMT etc. KB Hutchison asks unanimous consent on House version of AMT relief - Baucus objects - looks like they'll work something out.

A lot of moving parts now - trying to cram two weeks year-end business into two hours. Judicial confirmations. An attempt to cure some of the hurts inflicted by the budget deal (McConnell objects).

Landrieu with banking relief provisions for distressed Gulf Coast property holders.

We'll see how Hastert juggles his hot potatoes later. He may have to wehel and deal, or bring 'em all back in, or even kick the can into next year.

Oh, wait. They're trying to keep the House out all through January, in hopes the DeLay case is over by February.

Whatever. I'm calling it a night.

Maybe some of us will meet Senator Stevens at the airport.

Thanks Ron for the updates. Great job. Didn't Stevens say he would quit if ANWR didn't pass? Or was that the bridge to nowhere? Will we be so lucky?

He is welcome to come to CA and plead his case. Every other car in the Bay Area is a Prius. We don't need either his Arctic Refuge oil or our own offshore oil. If everyone got 2 mpg more, we wouldn't need ANWR.

Will the House accept the defense bill sans ANWR? I'd like to see Pombo skunked. And i think they think they can paint all the Dems as soft on security. The Dems really need to position themselves as the law and order or Rule of law party.


The Inouye and Stevens have been there since statehood thing seemed too good to be true, so I checked.

Wikipedia says statehood was in 1959; Stevens was appointed to the Senate on Bob Bartlett's death in 1968.

Inouye was elected to the House in 1959, to the Senate in 1963.

And people say blogs need editors. They have fans! A concept the press might be getting interested in.

Y'know Mimikatz,

In my little corner of MI, I'm beginning to see Priuses about 1/6 cars. Priuses. Foreign built AND efficient.

Well, granted, it's not your typical corner of MI (and I did find the parking lot in my town yesterday with the same ratio of Hummers, so I suppose it might just be the parking lots I frequent). But what will Stevens do when even MI turns to conservation?

For more background on Stevens and a picture of him, an 82-year-old Senator of the United States, appearing at work wearing a necktie with a cartoon of the Incredible Hulk on it, see here. From RonK's description sounds like he lived up to it: "GRRR..STEVENS MAD... STEVENS SMASH!"

texas dem -- In this case "there" is shorthand for "there since before there was any there there": there in political leadership during the respective territories statehood movements. Much deeper roots than merely those of old Senate chums (though the AK-HI alliance will likely outlive both men). Shorthand becasue I've explained this about a dozen times lateley, in varous fora.

BTW, the late Sen. Warren G Magnuson (D-WA) was godfather to both states (and to some extent, both careers).

mimikatz -- Stevens wont go after your petroleum supply. He'll go after your bridges to somewhere, or comm's for your first responders, etc. In WA he'll target staffing at our Canadian border, Puget Sound cargo security, maritime regs, and maybe the entire Alaska cruise ship trade.

Ron--I just meant we in CA were being consistent--we have better fuel economy to go with our protection of the coastline. Not only do we have out own stricter standards, but people here really do buy more fuel-efficient cars (even in LA), almost all Japanese, although the Ford Focus and the little Chevy are making an appearance. So Californians aren't likely to feel that the delegation let us down, which I took to be the implication of Stevens' remarks.

I'm sure there will be retribution, but it cuts both ways IF we can get at least one House in 2006.

Eh, I almost put a caveat that I might not have understood you correctly. That's what I get for sticking my nose in.

texas dem -- Thank you, and thank all of you who stick your noses in here to keep us on our toes.

In this case "all" is shorthand for "all but a short list of trolls, spammers, hijackers, evolutionary dead ends, etc., etc., ...".

BTW, the late Sen. Warren G Magnuson (D-WA) was godfather to both states (and to some extent, both careers).

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