Archive for December 22nd, 2010
The START Treaty, an arms control act between the U.S. and Russia, was ratified in the Senate with 13 Republicans joining the Democrats. From the LA Times:
Under the treaty, Russia and the United States agree to limit the number of nuclear warheads to 1,550 each, down from the ceiling of 2,200. The pact also establishes a system for monitoring and verification. The treaty was signed by Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on April 8.
Also from the LA Times:
The partisan politics of ratification were clear in the debate. In his comments, Cornyn mentioned the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Obama in the early days of his administration. The citation praised Obama for creating a new climate in international politics, Cornyn noted.
“You ask what is the relevance of this to consideration to the START treaty,” Cornyn chided. “I fear that the New START treaty will serve as another data in a narrative of weakness, pursuing diplomacy for its own sake or indulging in a utopian dream of a world without nuclear weapons divorced from hard reality.”
Cornyn closed by urging defeat of the START agreement to prove that the era of “unilateral American concessions is over.”
That’s right, we’re making unilateral concessions, like requiring Russia to also reduce their nuclear weapons. Wait. What?
And it’s so scary to only have 1,550 nuclear warheads. How can we ever destroy the world with only 1,550 nuclear warheads. Wait. What?
I think the main problem Republicans are having with this bill is that it’s yet another lame duck victory for President Obama and Democrats. Man, if only the Democrats had pretended they were a lame duck group the last two years, who knows what they could have accomplished?
Enjoy it while it lasts.
Update: It has passed. Success.
It appears as if a deal has been reached to pass the health care bill for first responders. This makes it likely the bill itself will be passed soon.
In order to satisfy guys like Coburn (who refused to meet with responders), they had to cut the funding from $7.4 billion to $4.3 billion. They also had to change the funding for the bill from a tax on foreign corporations to fees to countries that provide goods and services to our government overseas.
It sucks that it had to come to pleasing guys like Coburn in order to do what is right, but it looks as though they will finally get it done.
Enjoy the victory (hopefully).
Fox News has stepped up its coverage of the first responders bill (though only Chris Wallace and Shep Smith are willing to say Republicans are blocking the bill). Yesterday Shep Smith, who has shown he will say what he thinks, named Republicans that were unwilling to explain their stance against this bill. Today he went after Tom Coburn for still wanting to block it.
It seems that Jon Stewart has succeeded in making this an important issue. From Smith’s show yesterday:
We called a lot of Republicans today who are in office at the moment. These are the ones who told us ‘no’: Senators Alexander, Barrasso, Cornyn, Crapo, DeMint, Enzi, Grassley, Kyl, McConnell, Sessions, Baucus, Gregg, and Inhofe. No response from Bunning, Coburn, Ensign, Graham, Hatch, and McCain.
“…both sides didn’t come to the same page after the tax deal went through. Both sides came to the same page when Jon Stewart did an entire hour, his last hour of the year, on this, and brought on people who were dying. And it took that to get this done.”
Kudos to Shep for covering this as it should be covered. Let’s hope this gets fixed soon.
Enjoy a fantasy novel to escape the doldrums of winter.
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