Wednesday, December 03, 2003

pinions of buddy don:
could ye earmark that fer me?

spend spend spend! could ralph nader have been rite whenever he sed thar wuznt inny diffents twixt them dimcrats n publicans? how bout these earmarks:

  • In the defense spending bill for fiscal 1995 - the last time spending bills in the House were written by a Democratic majority - there were 219 earmarks totaling $1.1 billion for military research and development. The defense bill for the 2004 federal budget year, which began Oct. 1 - written by Republicans - had 1,299 such projects worth $4.4 billion.

  • NASA earmarks grew from two worth $48 million in 1995, to 104 worth $254 million in the bill covering fiscal 2003, which ended Sept. 30.

  • Earmarks for the Commerce, State and Justice departments grew from 45 worth $104 million in 1995, to 966 worth $1.04 billion in 2003.

  • The labor-health-education bill had no earmarks in 1995, following a long-standing tradition. There were 1,857 earmarks in the 2003 measure worth $896 million

changin the tone in washington

member this: "In 1995, soon after the Republicans gained the majority, Speaker Newt Gingrich declared his intention to make sure that votes would consistently be held in the 15-minute time frame. The "regular practice of the House," he said would be "a policy of closing electronic votes as soon as possible after the guaranteed period of 15 minutes." The policy was reiterated by Speaker Dennis J. Hastert when he assumed the post."

but with the tone in washington changed, we git this: "Early last Sunday, starting at about 3 a.m., the House of Representatives began its roll call on the Medicare prescription drug plan -- the most significant vote of the year. The House votes by electronic device, with each vote normally taking 15 minutes. After the allotted time, the bill, supported by the president and the Republican leadership, was losing. The vote stayed open. Before long it became clear that an absolute majority of the House -- 218 of the 435 members -- had voted no, with only 216 in favor. But the vote stayed open until Republicans were able to bludgeon two of their members to switch sides. It took two hours and 51 minutes, the longest roll call in modern House history."

corse, it used to be lack this: "In the 22 years that Democrats ran the House after the electronic voting system was put in place, there was only one time when the vote period substantially exceeded the 15 minutes. At the end of the session in 1987, under Speaker Jim Wright of Texas, the vote on the omnibus budget reconciliation bill -- a key piece of legislation -- was one vote short of passage when one of the bill's supporters, Marty Russo of Illinois, took offense at something, changed his vote to no, and left to catch a plane to his home district in Chicago. He was unaware that his switch altered the ultimate outcome. Caught by surprise, Wright kept the vote tally open for an extra 15 to 20 minutes until one of his aides could find another member, fellow Texan Jim Chapman, and draw him out of the cloakroom to change his nay vote to aye and pass the bill. Republicans went ballistic, using the example for years as evidence of Democrats' autocratic style and insensitivity to rules and basic fairness."

glad that tone thang is all better now.

rtb growth rate at 54% per year

id lack to welcum the latest rocky top brigadeers: tennessee ruck from china joins with his blog, voluntarily from china, smijer is an almos forgotten Dean supporter, n my own cuzin janet made the big time with her blog, the dagley dagley daily. welcum all! that brangs the total to 77, up 7 in the past 2 munths, makin fer a unsustainabull growth rate of 54% per year!

also, notice the new flag barry frum inn of the last home made fer us all. ye kin steal it frum this site lessn ye druther steal it frum barry or south knox bubba.

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