Congressman Joe Barton
Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) is the recipient of the first of what hopefully will be many awards of the 908 Straight St Know Your Enemy Award.
I’ve been harping for a long time that elected Democrats are NOT just honorable people who view the world differently than I do. They are the enemy of the American Dream and they are far more dangerous to our national security than Al Qaeda could or ever will be. It’s about time we – and especially our elected Republican representatives – started treating them that way. I am beyond sick to death of hearing people like Orrin Hatch and John McCain talk about “…my friend – and he IS my friend – Senator Kennedy [or any other elected Dem]…” Note to Republican House Members and Senators: if you’ve “friends” on the other side of the aisle, either get new friends or find a new job.
Anyway, with respect to Congressman Barton, he is the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He will, hopefully, be the Chairman of that committee in the new Congress. He’s drawing a very nice line in the sand with what appears to be a pretty big backhoe according to the Washington Post.
If the Obama administration was hoping to see hints of bipartisanship from the Hill, it might want to skip over the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Joe L. Barton (Tex.), has a slide presentation that he’s e-mailing to colleagues, pledging to do for the administration what Gen. George Patton and company did for Germany.
I love the guy. In a manly sort of way of course. And he goes on to lay out the organization for the Congress that really appeals to me…
“Speaker Boehner is our Dwight Eisenhower in the battle against the Obama Administration. Majority Leader Cantor is our Omar Bradley. I want to be George Patton – put anything in my scope and I will shoot it.”
Call John Boehner today and support Joe Barton for Chairman of Energy and Commerce at (202) 225-6205 or send him a fax at (202) 225-0704.
Interesting way to start an after-holiday Monday, but let’s first review a salient fact: Unions, in particular government employee unions, are the foundation of the Democratic Party. They, through extortion of dues from US taxpayers, provide a major piece of the funding necessary to advance socialism through the Democratic Party in the US.
OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way, this headline greeted me when my computer came to life this morning: Citing deficit, Obama to freeze federal worker pay
TheBoyPresident™ has run up several trillion dollars in new debt in the last 18 months, a big piece of it aimed at keeping government union workers employed, albeit at the state level, and he’s expanded federal employment like no President in recent – or even my – memory. He gets a message on November 3 that the common folk aren’t too happy with his policies and one of the things they’re really not happy about is the featherbedded payrolls and the cost of employees at all levels of government.
Fact Two: somebody is going to have to take a chain saw to government payrolls at all levels. That would include shutting down entire units (Departments of Education, Energy and Commerce at the Federal level for starters), cutting pay levels and requiring serious employee contributions toward benefits like health care and retirement. TBP™ isn’t likely to be person to do that.
So, TBP™ needs to do something to relate to the commoners so we don’t have a recreation of either the townsfolk storming Frankenstein’s castle or the French Revolution. He’s going to take on the government employee unions. Top line from the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will announce a two-year pay freeze for federal employees Monday, a move White House officials say is the first of many difficult decisions that must be made to reduce the nation’s mounting deficit.
The White House said Monday that the freeze would apply to all civilian federal employees, including those working at the Department of Defense, but would not affect military personnel. The freeze is expected to result in more than $5 billion in savings over two years, according to Jeffrey Zients, a deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget.
That would make only a small dent in the $1 trillion-plus budget deficit. But with voters voicing their anger over Washington’s spending during the midterm elections, even a symbolic gesture could demonstrate the White House got the message.
So Federal employees are going to be asked to make “a sacrifice”. Heh. Fully loaded unemployment is running at about 18%, there is a fight brewing in Congress over extending unemployment benefits beyond two years and the bloated, overpaid Federal payroll is going to have to “sacrifice”. According to the article, Federal employees received a 1.9% increase this year. There is no mention, and I have no interest in looking up what the COLA might be next year. But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that it’s twice this year’s increase. Federal union workers will be giving up a four percent increase for a couple of years. They get to keep jobs that, on average, pay about twice what comparable jobs pay in the private sector. Are they being asked to contribute to their retirement? How about increasing their contribution, if any, to their health insurance premiums? Well, the article doesn’t address those issues specifically, but I’m betting nope and nope.
And how is this being received? Thank you for asking…
John Gage, president of the 600,000-member American Federation of Government Employees, called the decision “a slap at working people.”
“Working people’s wages are not the issue with this deficit or what is going on in our country,” Gage said. “To symbolically hit at federal employees I think is just wrong.”
Gage said the White House was using federal workers as scapegoats for the nation’s deficit problems. He said the move would not really save as much as the White House claims because federal employees often get just a fraction of projected raises. Federal workers received a 1.9 percent pay increase this year.
So, let me get this straight. The White House is projecting a $5B savings over the next two years. The Union guy says it’ll just be a fraction of that. Oh, and did we mention that the freeze doesn’t effect bonuses or step raises? Nope.
I can’t wait to hear the caterwauling from the Left side of the Congress. And I really can’t wait until we’ve got an opportunity to put the adults back in charge.
John Danforth. Former US Senator from Missouri. He’s sort of a Republican. Kinda. His record in office and since he left would probably classify him as just a tad to the left of RINO.
You can read about his views in a 2005 NYT Editorial, Onward, Moderate Christian Soldiers. The crux of the article is this…
By contrast, moderate Christians see ourselves, literally, as moderators. Far from claiming to possess God’s truth, we claim only to be imperfect seekers of the truth.
I’m highlighting this not because of Danforth’s theological position. (He is an ordained Episcopal Priest.) I’m highlighting it because if you’ve followed Danforth’s career at all, you’d recognize it as his philosophy of life. Fundamentally, he stands for nothing. He wants to find ways to bridge gaps, excluding and judging no one. His use of Scriptural analogy to make his point is, frankly, offensive.
So, what’s all that got to do with anything? Thank you for asking.
Danforth most likely has his panties in a wad over the Tea Parties and the apparent resurgence of conservatism in the country and it’s impact on who’s serving in Congress. And who’s likely to be serving. Like Dick Lugar. Emphasis on “Dick”.
Lugar is getting some heat over his his actions in the lame duck. Today’s Old Blanched Wench has a report on Dickie’s travails…
Now, in the heat of the post-primary lame-duck Congressional session, [Lugar] is defying his party on an earmark ban, a bill that would create a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, a military spending authorization bill and an arms control treaty with Russia.
He even declined to sign a brief supporting state lawsuits against President Obama’s health care law because he saw it as political posturing.
Bottom line, fiscal policy as usual, he’s supporting the Dream Act which will back door citizenship status to millions of illegal aliens (note to NYT “editors”: they aren’t “immigrants”, and what part of “illegal” gets past you every time this subject comes up?). Oh, and he doesn’t like political posturing over health care. Among other things.
Lugar has basically had no life outside of the US Senate. He’s served five terms. And he’s planning on running again. And, well I’ll let the NYT tell you…
Now Mr. Lugar’s willingness to buck his party is leading to talk that he will face a primary challenge from a Tea Party candidate when he runs for re-election in 2012. It is a possibility that Mr. Lugar, who said the current environment in Washington was “disappointing” and “without a doubt” the most polarized he had seen since joining the Senate in 1977, understands clearly even as he declines to modify his positions.
Disappointing? Polarizing? Heh. What I will find disappointing will be to discover that the good folks in Mr. Lugar’s home state of Indiana aren’t vetting possible primary challengers and working on a solid plan to beat Dick in 2012. He’s old. He needs to retire. Or just go away. Please note folks, Dick won’t be going away quietly. You can bet he’ll be more than willing and able to spend $20MM in a primary fight and he won’t be pulling a MikeCastle™ and making arrogance his signature trait in the ’12 primary. So for goodness sake, don’t expect to win with a Christine O’Donnell clone. Or JD Hayworth, who I’m sure would be willing to move to Indiana to run. Find a real candidate. One with statewide credibility who will run a solid campaign and who can attract the kind of money necessary to beat a motivated incumbent, which Lugar certainly will be.
Oh, and as for Danforth being half right? Again, from the Wench…
“If Dick Lugar,” said John C. Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, “having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption.”
Mr. Danforth, who was first elected the same year as Mr. Lugar, added, “I’m glad Lugar’s there and I’m not.”
Well Mr. Danforth, I may not be happy about Dickie being in the Senate but I’m absolutely happy – giggly even – that you’re long gone. And not coming back. Have a nice retirement and I hope you and Dickie can have a great time fishing after the 2012 primaries.
That Barack guy! He understands the meaning of the word “LOYALTY”. He may throw his pastor under the bus and his grandmother and… well, you know. But to his real friends, the ones who deliver large chucks of cash to Obama and Democrats and who are willing to do the hard, dirty and largely unappreciated work of vote fraud and thuggery-on-demand, the First Dude is loyal to a fault. I mean, just look at this group of guys in Iowa who had TheWon’s back in ’08…
And those guys would, of course, be members of the Iowa UAW.
Oh, and doesn’t that bunch of white guys look excited and happy to be there?
And when it came Payback Time, Barack came through. Remember the travails of poor General Motors last year? They were on the verge of not being able to make payroll. Now had that been MY company, I would have had to seek help through the federal Bankruptcy Courts. As GM should have been forced to do. But no, TheWon came to their rescue. Well not exactly. He came to the rescue of the UAW who most likely would have ended up on the short end in BK Court, having their contract nullified and most likely rewritten. But along came TheWon and his Car Czar. They imposed a settlement and infused GM with my money and in the process, then current GM shareholders – including lots of GM retirees – got zip. Secured creditors, who would have been protected in some fashion given their status, got zip. Bondholders, although this one is still being argued in court, got zip. The gummit got control in the form of “new” shares and the UAW got a truckload of those new shares as well, as well as virtually no meaningful changes to their contract. As usual with TheWon, he flipped convention, as well as the law, on it’s head. And he protected his friends in the process.
So, today – interesting timing huh? – it comes out that there is an interesting distribution of funds from the GM IPO (another subject altogether). From the Washington Times…
General Motors Co.’s recent stock offering was staged to start paying back the government for its $50 billion bailout, but one group made out much better than the taxpayers or other investors: the company’s union.
Thanks to a generous share of GM stock obtained in the company’s 2009 bankruptcy settlement, the United Auto Workers is well on its way to recouping the billions of dollars GM owed it — putting it far ahead of taxpayers who have recouped only about 30 percent of their investment and further still ahead of investors in the old GM who have received nothing.
The boon for the union fits the pattern established when the White House pushed GM into bankruptcy and steered it through the courts in a way that consistently put the interests of the union ahead of many suppliers, dealers and investors — stakeholders that ordinarily would have fared as well or better under the bankruptcy laws.
“Priority one was serving the interests of the UAW” when the White House’s auto task force engineered the bankruptcy, said Glenn Reynolds, an analyst at CreditSights. The stock offering served to show once again how the White House has handsomely rewarded its political allies, he said.
Union claims ordinarily do not receive such special treatment in bankruptcies.
GM stock closed at $33.45 on Wednesday. In order for the UAW will break even if they sell the remainder of their shares at about $36.00. We taxpayers will get our “investment” in GM back when the stock hits $52.00, and some estimates indicate the stock would have to hit $103.00 to break even. Don’t hold your breath.
Here’s why I love Glenn Reynolds, proprietor of Instapundit.com and a law school professor. Again, from the WaTimes article…
The White House “took a page out of the Putin political asset reallocation and reward system” when it engineered the deal, he said.
Mr. Reynolds also described the White House deal as a combination of “Boss Tweed on steroids” and “Hugo Chavez on meds,” as far as the bondholders are concerned.
And remember this as the next election cycle gins up. The unions WILL deliver for TheWon.
As a refresher, Howard Jarvis was the guy who brought us the tax revolt. He was the author of Prop 13 in California and was roundly celebrated by The Left as the Great Satin who would bring “progress” to a complete halt. The attacks on Jarvis made the war on Palin look like a spat in a playground. Mostly because Jarvis actually did something to slow the growth of liberalism in California – and I know just how hard that is to believe for those who weren’t there. Jarvis, bless his heart, was never confused with a shrinking violet. He gave back better than he got. The example I noted in Monday’s Malaise, courtesy of Wes Pruden, went like this…
He didn’t listen to the timid marketing men who urged him to soften his language, and he described the cocktail-party Republicans in opposition as “the stupidest people in the world except for businessmen, who have a genius for stupidity.” The oh-so-proper League of Women Voters, which led the prissy opposition, was “a bunch of nosy broads who front for the big spenders.” The tax issue, he said, “is Armageddon, a war of machetes. They’re going to cut off our heads, or we’re going to cut off theirs.”
On election night, after he had won 70 percent of the votes, he gloated that “now we know how it felt when they dumped English tea into Boston Harbor.” Nov. 2 of this year proved again that tea, even in blue-green California, can be 90-proof stuff.
Needless to say, Jarvis drove The Left off a cliff.
So today, we have, appearing on the Scene in Washington DC, a man who may well upstage Jarvis and do it on the national stage. And he’ll do it the same way Jarvis did it, with stunning accomplishments and with straight talk. His name is Allen West and he’s the new Member of the House representing FL22. He also happens to be a retired Army LtCol. Oh, and he’ll be a member of The Black Caucus in the new Congress and the Washington Post was kind enough to profile West yesterday to give the minority House Democrats (and that would be “minority” in every sense of the word) a little to time to find cover before West really gets rolling.
We should glace at some history to really appreciate the man Col West is. He was not your average, run of the mill career Army officer. Growing up, his dad was a WWII vet who worked in a VA hospital and his mom held a job at a Marine Corps barracks. “No question I was going into the military,” West has said. But it’s what he accomplished as an officer that makes me appreciate West. In 2003 he was stationed in Iraq and his unit captured a terrorist leader. They were reasonably sure the guy had information about planned attacks on US troops and they questioned him but got nothing. After a time, West went into the interrogation room, had the terrorist taken outside into the yard and started asking questions. The terrorist didn’t respond because he was apparently aware of the sensitivities of Americans when it comes to asking questions of prisoners. It turns out that West isn’t the sensitive type. He had the terrorist thrown down on the ground, drew his service automatic and fired a round into the ground next to the terrorist’s head. The guy gave up the plans for missions against US troops and West’s soldiers were able to round up some significant terrorist cells in their region of Iraq. Keeping in mind that no good deed goes goes unpunished…
West was charged by military authorities and forced to retire after firing a handgun near the head of an Iraqi police officer during an interrogation in 2003. The officer was suspected of having information about attacks on U.S. forces in the area. West admitted wrongdoing and paid a fine. His case became a cause celebre for conservative media personalities, and 95 members of Congress signed a letter to the Army secretary in support of him.
That little snippet leaves out the fact that there was a serious move afoot to court martial West. Reason – sort of – prevailed and he was allowed to retire.
Anyway, I’m so happy to have West in the next Congress I could just – well whatever. He is a plain spoken, focused man of accomplishment. When he ran for Congress in 2006, he got no help from the national Republican organizations, so he’s no particular friend of the NRC or the NRCC.
Allen West, a 22-year Army veteran, is preparing for Washington a bit like he would for a battlefield. His “high and tight” hairstyle will be one of the only buzz cuts in Congress. He plans to carry a camouflage bag, not a briefcase.
And on a recent morning, while others in the Republican Party’s large incoming freshman class jockeyed for office space, he declared himself largely indifferent.
“I’ve lived in tents,” said West…
West brings to the party a strong personality and, with repeat appearances on Fox News and a spot this past Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” a profile that many incoming members of Congress would covet. But he’s also an unpredictable force, inclined to be an outsider – even within the GOP.
In an interview, he said he doesn’t admire anyone in Washington.
West, 49, sees himself stepping to the front lines of an ideological war in which he is fighting liberals who want “a country that creates victims where we enslave the American spirit,” he said.
Cris Kurtz, the leader of USA Patriots, a tea-party-affiliated group in Tulsa, likened West’s influence in the movement to that of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who has sometimes bucked his party’s leadership. Kurtz described West as “awesome” after hearing him speak at a Kansas rally to support U.S. troops imprisoned for killing Iraqis in violation of U.S. policy.
“He speaks truth in boldness,”Kurtz said.
West is apparently going to be invited to join the CBC. It will be refreshing to have an honest and honorable man sitting in those meetings. And unlike the current crop of CBC members, West didn’t need a gerrymandered district to get elected to Congress, his district is 83% white.
Welcome to Congress Col West, it’s good to have a man of solid accomplishments and solid beliefs on our side. I think you’ll go a very long way.
The government of Mexico is concerned about the safety of their citizens who are illegally in the US and who will be returning to Mexico for the holidays. So they are demanding police escorts as they head home. From today’s Arizona Republic…
MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s government is telling migrants driving home for the holidays from the United States that they should form convoys for their own safety while traveling through Mexico, and an official said Monday that police will accompany convoys on the most dangerous stretches of highway.
A seemingly intractable wave of drug cartel violence has made some border highways, especially in the states of Tamaulipas, Sonora and Sinaloa, so dangerous that the U.S. State Department urges travelers to avoid driving on some of the roads.
Oh darn, I misread that. The danger ISN’T in Arizona, it’s in Mexico. Perhaps the government of Mexico – such as it is – should be spending more time worrying about keeping their citizens safe IN THEIR OWN DAMN COUNTRY rather than filing amicus briefs against SB1070 in Arizona.
On the other hand, I can see their point. Deporting illegal Mexicans back to Mexico would drastically decrease their safety.
Not to mention…
An estimated 12 million Mexicans live in the United States, and the money they send home is Mexico’s second-largest source of foreign income after oil exports.
The situation has become so bad that the State Department has prohibited its employees from traveling by vehicle across the U.S.-Mexico border.
And I expect the Mexican government will give them a police escort back to the border after the holidays. I would suggest it might be time for some drone activity on the border.
Ken Salazar does… nothing. Unexpectedly.
Our friends at the Washington Times bring us up to date on the latest in the Cabinet follies. El Presidente has, over the last week or so, made a complete fool of himself on the international stage. (Wasn’t he going to restore order in the world or something like that?) So, in an apparent attempt to divert media attention to his foolishness, Ken Salazar, our esteemed Secretary of the Interior, stepped up and took one for the team.
As you probably know, the folks in the Gulf Coast region are a tad put out because of the Bush Obama Administration’s foot dragging on approving drilling permits so the region can share in the robust economic recovery being enjoyed in other parts of the nation. Senator Landreau was irritated enough to put a hold on an Obama nominee so she could get some attention. She got it. Obama caved. Sort of. She let the nominee be voted on and she got a meeting with Salazar and his cronies at Interior. She, and the industry representatives who attended the meeting, expected action from Interior on the permits. After all, people with children are out of work. And Christmas is coming. So…
A much-anticipated meeting to smooth over tensions between Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the drilling industry appeared to falter Monday as oil and gas executives, joined by Gulf state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, described Mr. Salazar’s visit to Houma, La., as all talk and little action.
Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat, secured the meeting last week in exchange for releasing a legislative hold she had placed on President Obama’s budget director nominee. She and other advocates of offshore drilling hoped Mr. Salazar’s visit would be accompanied by a streamlined process for approving permits in the wake of the Obama administration’s decision to lift its ban on offshore drilling, which it imposed in the aftermath of the BP PLC oil spill this year.
Instead, officials said, the meeting resulted in little more than rhetoric.
“We are disappointed that the federal government gave us no commitments at this meeting,” said Jim Noe, executive director of the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition. “While candid discussions are important to frame the issues, unfortunately the time for discussion has passed for many of our most expert and productive drillers in the Gulf. For them, the continual slowdown in permitting has gone situation critical.”
At issue are tougher rules imposed by Mr. Salazar when he lifted the moratorium last month. Oil and gas officials complain that the new regulations have created uncertainty and made it next to impossible to secure new drilling permits.
The bottom line is that the agency has hired twenty more people (probably not in the Gulf) and they’re going to work with “the industry”. Assuming “the industry” lasts that long. Hey Mary… check is in the mail. Barack loves you. And he won’t – oh never mind, of course he will.
Where is Howard Jarvis when we need him?
From Wes Pruden in the Washington Times.
Howard Jarvis is the guy who wrote and pretty much personally got passed “Prop 13” in California about a million years ago. It was the opening shot (and pretty much the last one) of the tax revolt. Prop 13 limited property taxes in California to 1% of the value of the home. Needless to say, the Left went bozo claiming that the limitation on property taxes would destroy the state and they hauled out the big guns. Howard was the kind of guy who relished being hated and attacked by the Left and Wes Pruden brought him to mind today with an article about the problems being caused by Prop 26 which just passed. Prop 26 forces politicians to call a tax a tax. It’s about to raise all sorts of hell.
You should read the article to find out more about the difficulties of being a tax expanding liberal in California, but I really want to highlight Howard Jarvis. We need more people like him.
LOS ANGELES | Life is not easy out there for a liberal, or a progressive or an elitist or whatever liberals are calling themselves this morning. Particularly in California, where dreamy Democrats feel cozy and safe, supping on lotus, unmolested by reality.
The contentious campaign for Prop 26 and the eventual approval by California voters was eerily similar to the Jarvis campaign to slash taxes on homes in 1973. Jarvis, who died in 1986, was derided by Time magazine as “surly” and “arrogant” and “when the mikes were turned off, he just raised his voice so that you never knew the microphone was dead. Many times they had to call the sergeant-at-arms to persuade him to sit down.”
But Jarvis rarely sat down and gave as good as he got. He didn’t listen to the timid marketing men who urged him to soften his language, and he described the cocktail-party Republicans in opposition as “the stupidest people in the world except for businessmen, who have a genius for stupidity.” The oh-so-proper League of Women Voters, which led the prissy opposition, was “a bunch of nosy broads who front for the big spenders.” The tax issue, he said, “is Armageddon, a war of machetes. They’re going to cut off our heads, or we’re going to cut off theirs.”
On election night, after he had won 70 percent of the votes, he gloated that “now we know how it felt when they dumped English tea into Boston Harbor.” Nov. 2 of this year proved again that tea, even in blue-green California, can be 90-proof stuff.
We need Howard Jarvis. We’ve got Mitch & John. We need Howard. Desperately.
All Greened up and nowhere to go…
Hey, the economy may suck for the moment but “green jobs” are going to save us. Remember that one? Yeah. And the Washington Post is on top of the new economy!
OCALA, FLA. – After losing his way in the old economy, Laurance Anton tried to assure his place in the new one by signing up for green jobs training earlier this year at his local community college.
Anton has been out of work since 2008, when his job as a surveyor vanished with Florida’s once-sizzling housing market. After a futile search, at age 56 he reluctantly returned to school to learn the kind of job skills the Obama administration is wagering will soon fuel an employment boom: solar installation, sustainable landscape design, recycling and green demolition.
Anton said the classes, funded with a $2.9 million federal grant to Ocala’s workforce development organization, have taught him a lot. He’s learned how to apply Ohm’s law, how to solder tiny components on circuit boards and how to disassemble rather than demolish a building.
The only problem is that his new skills have not resulted in a single job offer. Officials who run Ocala’s green jobs training program say the same is true for three-quarters of their first 100 graduates.
“I think I have put in 200 applications,” said Anton, who exhausted his unemployment benefits months ago and now relies on food stamps and his dwindling savings to survive. “I’m long past the point where I need some regular income.”
You really should read the whole article. If you drink, I would recommend you imbibe liberally first. It’s amazing.
Bottom line, fossil fuels just aren’t expensive enough and the “green industries” just don’t get enough government money and we need more stringent regulations to force people to green up.
The only thing “green” about “green industries” is the color of the ink used by the Federal Reserve to print new money to fund them.
Ethanol Subsidies Greg Sargent The Plum Line…
Well, I thought this article was really good news, but probably for different reasons than Mr. Sargent had when he wrote it.
The next big GOP intra-party war: Ethanol subsidies?
By Greg Sargent
Is there a new intra-GOP war brewing — a sequel to the Tea Party’s big victory in the battle over earmarks?
Fresh off a big victory over the GOP establishment on earmarks, conservative GOP senators are opening up a new front in the battle on government spending that could be similar to the earmarks standoff: They are calling on Congress to let billions in ethanol subsidies expire.
Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, two leading conservative Senators who have pushed the GOP to be serious about its anti-spending rhetoric, told me they are calling on fellow Republicans to urge Congress to allow ethanol subsidies to expire — something that could put other leading GOP Senators in an awkward spot and subject them (in theory) to the wrath of the anti-government-spending Tea Party if they don’t go along.
This offers Dems an opening to exacerbate GOP divisions, and creates the prospect of an unusual alliance between conservative Republicans and green groups who are urging Dems to get serious about nixing the subsidies. As Steve Benen noted the other day, pushing for an expiration of the subsidies “could be a carefully-applied wedge, driving divisions between the party’s activists and the party’s corporate benefactors.”
It’s hard to know right now whether the ethanol subsidies issue has any chance of gaining the traction the battle over earmarks did. It will depend on how hard DeMint pushes the issue, and also on whether it catches fire among Tea Partyers and right wing bloggers, as the earmarks fight did. But this is definitely one that bears watching.
Yep Greg, it’s a real opening. But the opening is more like to find out if the Republican Leadership in Congress is really “listening”. Frankly, what we really need is Howard Jarvis.