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Monday, December 19, 2005

Republican Horrors for the Holidays

Scrooge1_1This Washington Post article details the horrors contained in the "defense spending bill" and a budget bill filled with stealth attacks on ordinary people and wildlife. The bills were passed during an all-night House pressure session by Republicans still enamored with voodoo economics and drilling the hell out of one of the last pristine wildlife refuges in the nation. Quote:

"I don't know what the poor, the elderly, the disabled or our foster children have done to Republicans to deserve this. And I don't know why the Republicans would wait until the pre-dawn hours of the morning, just a few days before Christmas, to show just how mean-spirited they can be, but they've given us a clear view of Republican economics at work," fumed Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.).

Oreillymad_1 To help pay for the continuing massive tax cuts for the richest segments of the investor class, as well as out-of-control, no-bid military spending, Republicans pushed through a budget that cuts Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, foster care aid, child support enforcement and other positive, human needs-based programs to the tune of almost $40 billion. Merry Christmas ordinary Americans, as Bill O'Reilly is so fond of spinning. According to the WP article:

Tens of thousands of low-income Americans are likely to lose health coverage under the measure, and many millions will face premiums, deductibles and co-payments for the first time, said Jocelyn Guyer, senior program director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

And by jamming an inappropriate measure into the so-called defense spending bill, Republican oil company shills gained approval for opening the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

I can't wait to see how the rightwingnut pseudo-religious types will sell these moves as supportive of "family values" and "biblical morality." When in doubt, trash the environment and gouge our poorest and most at-risk citizens to maximize your butt kissing of rich elites. Does the bible recommend this kind of selfish, corrupt brutality, or is it just God talking directly to Hastert and Dubya?

Of course it could have been worse:

In late-night budget negotiations, the total savings from the budget bill fell by nearly $1 billion after Republican leaders -- at the insistence of Ohio lawmakers -- dropped a measure that would have lowered subsidies for medical oxygen tanks delivered under Medicaid.

Negotiations on these travesties now move to the Senate. If this isn't a place and time for Democrats to take an unrelenting stand against the Republican Party's morally bankrupt actions and unfair tactics, I don't know what is. Repubs are banking on the expectation that Dems won't dare to hold up the defense spending bill because it includes war spending, bird flu funds and hurricane relief measures. I'd say it's time to call their bluff and spend the Congressional recess explaining in no uncertain terms why it had to be done. Dems Senators, including our own Senator Jeff Bingman, took a strong stance by holding up the extension of the Patriot Act the other day. Let's hope they take a similar tack with these horrors.

December 19, 2005 at 02:51 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


Let's hope the Dems in the Senate can persuade the moderate Repubs to stand tall against both these bills. NOW or never.

Posted by: Old Dem | Dec 20, 2005 10:20:27 AM

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