November 25, 2003

i don't like the drugs, but the drug companies like me.

well, the good news is that the energy bill is dead in the water... for now. i'm sure they'll try again next year, because god knows i can't sleep at night until a company that turns decomposed turkey carcasses gets their deserved one million dollars from the federal government.

the bad news is that the medicare bill is going through. true, if i had to choose only one to die, i'd probably pick the energy bill, but it's not like this slobbering festule of a bill is much better. nothing like getting it into law that medicare can't negotiate for bulk rate prices on drugs. way to go, aarp! of course, if they hadn't turned themselves over into the gop's whore, when a lot of their members didn't support it, this wouldn't be happening.

and it was a bit slimy the way it went through the house:

The Senate adopted the plan on a 54 to 44 vote after a debate as acrid and partisan as deliberations in the House four days earlier. The House passed the measure, 220-215, just before dawn on Saturday after the longest roll call in its history, while GOP leaders leaned on rebellious colleagues for three hours to secure the razor-thin victory. The Senate's vote was less theatrical, coming after Democrats failed on Monday at two parliamentary maneuvers intended to block the legislation.

'longest roll call in history?' try extending the vote for three hours while somebody woke bush up so he could make some calls and put pressure on lawmakers. if the democrats had done this, we'd be hearing all about the 'rule of law,' etc. but instead, it's just a statistic for the congressional record book.

and as for the senate, the democrats who voted 'yes' were:

Baucus, Mont.; Breaux, La.; Carper, Del.; Conrad, N.D.; Dorgan, N.D.; Feinstein, Calif.; Landrieu, La.; Lincoln, Ark.; Miller, Ga.; Nelson, Neb.; Wyden, Ore.

a few of those names aren't really that big of a surprise, and everybody else cried the usual protestation of 'it's not a perfect bill, but we'll fix it later, and seniors need a drug benefit.' this was also the anthem of those godawful aarp commercials that ran on monday. well, golly gee, but the benefits don't kick in until 2006. surely that's time enough to craft a bill to your liking.

and john kerry and joe lieberman were no-shows. yes, i know you're running for president, but do your damn jobs. especially you, john kerry, for staying in washington the night of the debate because of the medicare bill and being beamed in via satellite. you were opposed, and you didn't vote.

what is fairly clear is that daschle is losing control. by not keeping things together, he's handed the republicans a great issue for 2004. 'hey, old people, see, we're doing things for you!' and when those benefits kick in two years later and folks find out that they're not all they're cracked up to be, it's too late. daschle also supported the energy bill (there was some stuff for south dakota in there, by god). nancy pelosi is holding up well in the house; now it's time for someone to come in and do the same in the senate.

Posted by kilgore at November 25, 2003 09:27 PM | TrackBack
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