Posts Tagged ‘Ben Nelson’
Finally, the Senate has passed an extension of help for the unemployed. Republicans and Democrat-in-name-only Ben Nelson had come together to block the extension, which they were able to do in part because of the death of Senator Byrd.
After months of blocking aid to suffering Americans in the name of deficit reduction, at the expense of both American families and the actual economy, Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine finally joined Democrats in overcoming the filibuster. Now those in need can help both themselves and the economy. Let’s just hope in November when Republicans try and pretend they are there for the average, working man we all remember just how false that is.
Enjoy Inception, it’s amazing.
Republicans and Ben Nelson have blocked an extension of benefits for over a million people who have lost their jobs. Because, you know, screw them, I guess?
This, and other actions, has some wondering whether the GOP wants things to get worse so that they have a better November. Things are turning around, but if they do they might not win as many elections. This is pretty cynical, but this has been their strategy the whole time. Regardless of what Obama and Democrats propose, say no. I wouldn’t have guessed blocking help for the unemployed would be a part of this strategy, but here we are.
I wish Democrats would have made Republicans filibuster.
Enjoy Ghana’s demise.
I haven’t been incredibly excited to write about much that has been going on recently. We all know the oil spill is horrifying and will have huge consequences. The little girl worried about her mother’s lack of papers was at once cute and sad, but that will be reported on too much and exploited. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) has never used an ATM card, which is sort of funny, but it isn’t all that interesting. Senate candidate Rand Paul (Ron Paul’s son) said something he probably shouldn’t have (that could be interpreted as private businesses should be able to discriminate) but it probably won’t affect his campaign and he doesn’t support overturning the Civil Rights Act, saying he supports 9/10 of it.
There’s some news in a nutshell, and I feel confident our readers already were aware of each of these stories (which is why I didn’t put a link for each). Though I often write about things everyone is aware of, I normally have something to say or am curious what others think. But this just hasn’t been true for a few days. Though I haven’t been inspired to write by much news, I feel I need to post something, so here are some thoughts.
- First of all, I just want to thank everyone who has participated in the blog over the years (you too, Dr). I’ve bee thinking about this recently, and I believe we’ve all been participating in the exercise of examining issues from all angles. We may not always agree or change each others’ minds, but I feel confident we all learn simply based on the conversations we have. Hopefully this has also fostered more understanding for those with which we disagree.
- David Ortiz is back. Look out, American League, here come the Red Sox.
- The Celtics are a team possessed. They look like they’ve shed several years over the last two series. Look out, Lakers.
- My puppy hates when I write because it involves ignoring her. Indiana Jones Feser cries for a large part of my writing time. Hopefully you appreciate these posts more knowing the pain they bring my canine friend.
- Dr and I need to get some primary coverage going, so look for that.
- I should also probably post about the Euro diving. (Maybe I had more to write about than I thought. It’s always just a matter of looking harder.)
- Better Off Ted, one of the most amazing shows most people never watched, has officially been canceled. Do yourself a favor and purchase the first season on DVD and the second when it comes out.
- Has anyone seen Robin Hood, is it worth the 2.5 hours?
- If you want to hear one of the best albums of 2010, I recommend The Wild Hunt by the Tallest Man on Earth.
- If you have any requests for me to write about, feel free to ask.
Just to make this post seem a little meatier, here is a song from The Wild Hunt:
And here is video of Rand Paul on Maddow:
I don’t think he ever actually answers the question, but you can see what he’s driving at. I will say if he wants to address this issue on an academic level, I believe he is mistaken. Saying businesses cannot discriminate is not related to individuals’ First Amendment rights. He may have noticed that the First Amendment is running strong decades after the bill was passed. Stopping a restaurant from denying entrance to black people is not going to infringe on anyone’s right to speech. His argument would rest upon the idea that discrimination equals speech. Discrimination is activity, not speech. You can still have a white power parade, but you cannot commit acts against blacks. But I do appreciate that he wants an intelligent discussion on the issue.
Enjoy the ramblings.
Ben Nelson, as most people know, traded his vote for reform in exchange for a lot of federal money for Nebraska, which is his home state.
The bill calls for the expansion of Medicaid to include more families near the poverty line (to 133%). Up until 2017 the federal government is in charge of covering it. After that point states must start helping. Except for Nebraska, that is.
Nelson got some other concessions, but this is the one that people are upset about. He claims it isn’t a special deal for Nebraska, but that seems disingenuous at best.
I’m just not sure why Nelson is so afraid of this. He keeps trying to frame it as though he did what is best for the country, though that argument doesn’t seem to hold much weight.
Now don’t get me wrong – I think what he did was slimy and a big reason Americans hate government. I wish he would have just decided what was right (preferably that our system needed reform) and made his decision. He took a different route and used his vote to get what he wanted. It’s wrong, but it happened. Now that it’s done, I’m not sure why he isn’t trumpeting it in his home state.
His ads here in Nebraska are about how he thought he was doing what was right. That’s well and good, but I don’t know why he doesn’t just come out and say, “I did it for Nebraska.”
This type of deal is why most Americans hate Congress but love their senators and representatives. This will make people from other states (SD) wary of Congress, but it should make Nebraska feel as though Nelson at least has their best interest in mind.
The frame could even work for Republicans, which he normally has to win at least a chunk of. He could make the argument that it was going to pass eventually, so he at least made it so their state would get some benefits without the cost. They may not like reform, but at least Nelson is saving Nebraska some money. This is a stronger argument than Nebraska Junior Senator Mike Johanns has, which is that Nelson is embarrassing Nebraska.
I am no fan of Nelson’s. I spent all summer trying to convince him that Nebraska wanted reform (back when we were still working on the public option). It was frustratingly pointless. We knew he loved the power he had and that he would use it. Now he has. He should just claim it and use it.
I understand you can’t necessarily just come right out an say these things, but insinuating something like this would be more believable than pretending you didn’t sell your vote. Stand up and proudly claim, “I sold my vote for Nebraska!”
I’m not sure if that made perfect sense. It was just a thought I had while watching football.
Enjoy the playoffs.
Tom Coburn attempted to shut down NSF funding of political science research (and I destroyed him here) but the Senate said “No!” by a count of 36-62 (with two no votes). You can click here to check out how everyone voted.
Or I can just tell you about states of interest. Tim Johnson voted against the amendment and John Thune voted for it. I really hoped Thune would vote against it just because it was so silly, but it fell pretty much on party lines. An interesting exception is that Ben Nelson (D-NE) voted for it while Mike Johanns (R-NE) voted against it. Yet another instance of Nelson making me regret ever volunteering for him (he’s a pretty evil lesser of two evils).
Another disappointing yea was Jim Webb. I thought he was my man. Lieberman voted nay, which was a nice change from my constant anger at his decisions and reasoning.
But a big woo-hoo for political science.
Enjoy this sweet, sweet victory.
Update – The Senate has included the public option with an opt-out clause in their bill. Public Option in Senate Bill
Democrats remain optimistic about the public option, and even John McCain accepts that it will pass. The main question now is what form it will take.
It is starting to seem likely that an opt-out clause will be included. This would allow states to opt out of the public option. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) seemed to favor this option. It is likely because this would allow him to appease both Democrats and his more conservative constituency.
It is also likely that there will eventually be a vote on the public option trigger based on economic conditions, which is an idea favored by the lone Republican that may vote in favor of the plan, Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
Regardless of where you stand on the public option and which type you like, there are a lot of interesting possibilities and parliamentary maneuvers coming. Which plan would be the most likely to get sixty votes in the Senate? Just how badly do they want Snowe on board? Will Blue Dog Democrats in the House have a bigger say than the more liberal contingent? It will be interesting to see how this shapes up.
Enjoy the myriad possibilities.
Senator Schumer (D-NY) might have found a compromise on the public option. It will get conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson on board because this proposal would allow states to opt out.
I’m not sure of many of the details, but this could work. I wonder what the consequences of this would be. If some states don’t have the option, how many people would vote with their feet?
Enjoy a Huskers statement at Missouri. I’m pumped.
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