I saw a note that Senator Charles Grassley, 87, has tested positive for CCP virus. He is in quarantine. God speed his recovery.

He missed his first Senate vote in 27 years. After 8,927 consecutive votes.

It isn’t clear, but I think Judy Shelton’s nomination to the Fed was put on hold because Grassley’s vote would not be available. He must be on the Senate floor to cast a vote.

You have to wonder why it is, when all manner of people whose identity isn’t checked at all get ballots in the mail because of a pandemic, that Senators can’t vote over a secure face-to-face video connection. If you think about it, Grassley is pretty easy to recognize, and the NSA could agree not to hack the transmission. Grassley could even have some staffer hold up a copy of the Washington Post in the background to provide a time stamp and proof of life.

It would be different if a filibuster still required someone to stand and speak continuously, and if a filibuster was even in the offing. Neither is the case. So, as long as he is as mentally capable as Joe Biden, Grassley should be able to vote on Senate matters remotely. Some few of which are still important to the country.

What if a dozen Senators, or more, are capable of voting but denied the opportunity? Lacking a provision to continue the Senate’s business during a pandemic is a national security threat. Then again, so is the willy nilly mailing of ballots.

Senator Tom Coburn on the Health Care Bill

Voting Against Government-Run Health Care

This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.

This process was not compromise. This process was corruption. This bill passed because votes were bought and sold using the issue of abortion as a bargaining chip. The abortion provision alone makes this bill the most arrogant piece of legislation I have seen in Congress. Only the most condescending politician can believe it is appropriate to force Americans to pay for other people’s abortions and to coerce medical professional to take the lives of unborn children.

The Congress also not merely ignored, but disdained, the overwhelming opposition of Americans to this bill. These corrupt looters need to be taught a lesson. And I don’t mean a vote. I mean incarceration alongside former Representative William Jefferson, their clumsy mentor and spiritual guide.

Read the whole thing at the link above.

Air Obamica?

Camille Paglia thinks that despite looking weak, unfocused and incoherent on the stimulus bill, President Obama has had a good start. And she says the stimulus screw-ups are caused by his advisers and Democrat allies, in any case. She is not impressed with the “infestation of the new appointments list by Clinton retreads and slippery tax-dodgers,” though.

The things Obama did well apparently include not being obviously embarrassed to be with military types (while Bill Clinton was) and refraining from appointing Michelle to reform health care (again in contrast to Clinton).

That this passes the Paglia test as a successful first fortnight for the Obama administration is telling, I think. At least Paglia is not likely dreaming about having sex with the President as are New York Times reporters. We do not know Paglia’s attitude toward Michelle, however.

The best bit, though, is this comment about Debbie Stabenow and her philandering husband, former Air America honcho Tom Athans:

One of the nuggets I’ve gleaned from several radio sources is that Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who has been in the aggressive forefront of the campaign to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, is married to Tom Athans, who works extensively with left-wing radio organizations and was once the executive vice-president of Air America, the liberal radio syndicate that, despite massive publicity from major media, has failed miserably to win a national audience. Stabenow’s outrageous conflict of interest has of course been largely ignored by the prestige press, which should have been demanding that she recuse herself from all political involvement with this issue.

What are the chances Stabenow will admit her conflict of interest?

World’s greatest deliberative body? ROTFLMAO!

How Did the Bailout Bill Get So Long?
The original bill was just three pages long, now it’s up to 450 – in a week. How did they read it all? Who wrote it? WTF does it condemn us to?

They don’t know, either.

Senate Folds Mental Health Parity Into Wall Street Bailout Bill

Seems appropriate. They should have done the mental health thing before the bailout vote, though.

Bailout bill: rum, racetracks and wool research
Nelson says bailout money could come from China

I’m all for drunken Chinese racing-sheep research.
(Note to bettinak, See? Borrow from the ChiComs. Probably better if we’d just printed it.)

By the way, when did the House become the chamber of serious deliberation and sober second thought?

And as I go to post this, I note this from James Taranto:

By a vote of 74-25, the U.S. Senate last night approved a bill aimed at “providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers”–popularly called the bailout.

Or, as it is formally known, the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007.

When the House rejected the same measure Monday, it was known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The Providence Journal explains what happened:

In part, it has to do with the U.S. Constitution. Article 7, Section 1 says tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives.

In order to improve chances that the bailout bill, which the House defeated on Monday, would be approved this time around, the Senate tacked on several popular provisions, such as extending the life of business tax cuts that were set to expire and changing the alternative minimum tax, a much-loathed part of the tax code intended to ensure that the well-to-do pay their fair share but that in recent years has increasingly affected the middle class.

And an element of the tax package was legislation advanced by [Rhode Island’s Rep. Patrick] Kennedy that requires health-insurance companies to offer coverage of mental illness on a par with that of physical illness.

Once the Senate added those provisions to the rescue bill, it qualified as a tax bill, which the upper chamber is constitutionally prohibited from originating.

In order to get around the Constitution, the leaders turned to the time-honored stratagem of finding a live but dormant House bill–Kennedy’s mental-health parity bill–to use as a shell.

“They take out the entire text” of Kennedy’s old bill, “and then, by amendment, they substitute the other bill,” said Don Ritchie, an assistant Senate historian.

So the bailout ended up attached to a measure that extends benefits to people suffering from depression and is named after a lawmaker who died in a crash. Never let it be said that the U.S. Senate lacks a sense of humor.

It’s time for a revolution.

Thanks, Senator. That clears things up nicely.

You must read this account of Chuck Schumer’s answer to a question by David Gregory: “But how can the public really buy the Democrats support the troops but don’t support the mission? How can you do both?”

Schumer Lets Slip: ‘We Support The Troops’ a Sham

Never Forget

These are the Senators who prevented a decision regarding filibuster against judicial nominees.

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.,
Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii,
Mary Landrieu, D-La.,
Joe Lieberman, D-Conn.,
Ben Nelson, D-Neb.,
Mark Pryor, D-Ark.,
Ken Salazar, D-Colo.

Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I.,
Susan Collins, R-Maine,
Mike DeWine, R-Ohio,
Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,
John McCain, R-Ariz.,
Olympia Snowe, R-Maine,
John Warner, R-Va.

The Republicans betrayed their leadership, their comrades, and their President.

The Democrats simply drew straws and kept straight faces..

This is a list of fourteen Senators whose opponents deserve support.

Of this whole sorry crew, Joe Lieberman is the only one who isn’t a complete waste of skin.