From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

A small group of moderate senators including Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) reached the deal that appeared to assure Senate passage of an economic stimulus bill yesterday after more than 10 hours of near-constant private meetings.

Specter was in the middle of the action, with many critical talks occurring in his private “hideaway” office on the first floor of the Capitol.

Nobody involved was really happy, but there was a consensus that the group did not want to say no to the president or an anxious nation.


In announcing that a tentative deal had been reached, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) credited Specter and Sens. Susan Collins (R., Maine), Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) and Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) with saving the package.

“But for them we would not be here,” Reid said, yielding the floor to the Gang of Four to detail the agreement.

Original DVD cover.

Specter said that based on the calls his office had received, supporting the stimulus legislation is a “very unpopular vote.” Some calls, he said, thought the bill had “too many expenditures” and others said not enough money was being spent.

Indeed, some conservative Republicans have vowed to punish Specter, who is running for reelection next year, if he votes for legislation that they consider wasteful.


Parts of the bill “give me heartburn,” Specter said.

He outlined some of the $145 billion in spending reductions made to get to the consensus bill – for example, child care was allotted $2 billion initially, but $1.4 billion in the tentative deal. Many people are unhappy with such reductions, “but absent this bill, they get zero,” he noted.

“There are reasons to argue that it’s a bad bill,” Specter said, “but I do not believe that there is any doubt that the economy would be enormously worse off without it.”

From USA Today:

WASHINGTON — On a day when new unemployment statistics showed that 11.6 million Americans are out of work, Senate Democratic leaders announced they had struck a compromise to advance an economic stimulus bill.


“In the Great Depression, the president and the Congress stood by,” said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. “Here, now, the U.S. Congress led by President Barack Obama is not standing idly by.”

Baucus and other Democrats said that at least three Republican senators will vote for the revised version of the stimulus, giving leaders enough support to overcome a Republican filibuster. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said a vote may come on Sunday.

Republican leaders said they had not seen the specifics of the compromise but said they were concerned that the measure is still too large and that it is unlikely to jumpstart the troubled economy.

“Most of us are deeply skeptical that this will work,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said of the stimulus plan. “And that level of skepticism leads us to believe that this course of action should not be taken.”

Democratic leaders said the cost of the revised stimulus bill is $780 billion, but that did not include at least two amendments that have already been approved by the Senate. One of those includes a $15,000 tax credit for home buyers that added $19 billion to the price tag.


Of the reductions made to the bill, $85 billion came from spending measures and $25 billion came from rolling back proposed tax cuts, said Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. Roughly half of the spending cuts were made in education proposals, he said.

The three Republican senators who plan to support the measure are Olympia Snowe of Maine, Susan Collins of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Collins and Specter spoke in favor of the agreement on the Senate floor Friday night.


Even if the measure is approved Sunday the legislative battle is far from over. House and Senate negotiators are expected to meet in a conference committee next week to reconcile differences between the two versions of the bill.

As new figures from the Labor Department showed that the unemployment rate had jumped to 7.6%, Obama began sharpening his rhetoric to encourage the Senate to act. He said that voters in November’s election rejected “partisan posturing” and “the same tried and failed approaches.”

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel appeared on Capitol Hill as senators met behind closed doors to negotiate the trims. He left shortly before the compromise measure was announced.


Filed under 2008 election, Arlen Specter, Barack Obama, Ben Nelson, Democrats, Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, humor, Joe Lieberman, Mitch McConnell, movies, Olympia Snowe, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate Finance Committee, snark, Susan Collins, Wordpress Political Blogs

36 responses to “Stimu-less

  1. Gagk! Phfft! Spftt! Gagk! Spftt! Spftt! Spftt! Pffewwwy!
    Oy Gutt!! Dat’s dissgusting!!

    And what is that putz Liebermann doin’ back there with Arlen? Wait; I don’t really want to know.

  2. there, there, michael hart. let me get you a glass of water. you probably just have a bit of agita like ol’ arlen.

  3. nightowl724

    The title! It rocks!

    Collins reminds me of Lily Tomlin on your cov…

    Stimulus. I think the Dems aren’t doing such a great job of controlling the message or the outcome – again.

    How and why does this keep happening?

  4. nightowl,
    the title is one i pulled out of my as…. brain at the very last minute before posting.

    i think susan looks more like cheetah than lily tomlin.

    the reason that the dems keep losing the message game is that corporations still control the media, and the dems are either cowards or stupid. they keep bringing knives to a gun fight. when will they learn that the rethugs aren’t nice, so they don’t need to be nice either. call them out like barbara boxer called out lindseypoo when she asked him on the senate floor when he got that worked up and theatrical (is it really a surprise that lindseypoo is theatrical?) when chimpy sent them a huge spending bill. don’t send out people like kerry or dianne feinstein to do the talking. kerry is boring, and feinstein is as inspiring as cream of wheat.

  5. nightowl724

    Have you seen the new videos on the stimulus package from the Prez and Kaine? They were sent out in an email from the Obama team.

    IMHO, they’re “not great” an “awful,” in that order. Kaine doesn’t even answer the questions asked…

  6. jeb

    Exactly Nonnie. Any spending bill Bu$h sent up got no debate and sailed through as the Rethugs threw their favorite pork on any of his spending. Now, all of a sudden they’re fiscally prudent and concerned about the economy?!

    Yes, I wanted the legislative branch to step up and bring back checks and balances for the last eight years but this is just rotten political posturing and rife hypocrisy. Just as the mega CEOs don’t get it with their perks and packages as their empires crumble, these morons still worry only about their political fortunes and not what’s best for the nation. Country first indeed!

  7. nightowl,
    i hadn’t seen them before now, and i can’t honestly say i watched them this time. i tried to, but i kept zoning out. every watch lost? these reminded me of the films from the dharma initiative. what people want to hear is that the dems are pissed off, because the banks ripped off the american taxpayers, and they are going to try to get some of the money back. in addition, the banks will get no more money until they agree to lower the exorbitant interest rates they are charging on credit cards. from now on, all the money will go to help the people, not huge corporations. sometimes, that means lending money to the corporations, but if they do get money, they will have a long list of rules they have to live by. etc., etc., etc., as yul brynner would say.

    there was no passion in either video. the people are pissed off. they want the people who are representing them to be pissed off, too.

  8. nonnie – you kill me with your skills! May I just say this “debate” over the stimulus package is driving me crazier?

  9. silly lisa! i would never kill you.

    this isn’t a debate about the stim package. it’s a street fight, and the dems don’t seem to know how to fight dirty. 😡

  10. I haven’t gotten Stranded Wind to take the under on five months to the first riot while I take the over. That said, I haven’t really been looking for him.

  11. after 5 months, people will be too weak from hunger to pick up pitchforks and torches, neon vincent.

  12. i like how you said they didnt want to say no to an anxious nation

    the whole friggin country wants something to be done — but the douchebags in the senate like Kyl (who is the new head asssssssshole) are still more concerned about make rich white guys rich

    and spector can go f- himself

  13. How many hugs do I get when this Generational Theft Act fails?

  14. Friend of the court

    Howdy Buffy, long time, no see. Why do tax cuts always fix everything? It doesn’t put any more money in the pockets of people who have lost their jobs. <<<<>>>> = hug.

  15. Heeeeeeeey there Friend of the Court!

    As briefly as possible, tax cuts are the same as giving money except it forces the bloated fed to downsize. A double win! They don’t want to do that now do they? Too many unions and special interest to pay off.
    Tax cuts also free up capital so business owners (small and huge) can grow hence create jobs.
    Oppressive tax policy “punishes” them for being successful. Logical? No…

    How does giving Timmy Trailerpark $400 to buy Pabst and Marlboro’s stimulate anything other than a domestic dispute?

    This reparations bill would have glided by our side had it not been bloated with far left pay offs, ie global warming propaganda, union kickbacks and other assorted whack jobbery…

    Thanks for the hug, now give me back my wallet<<—- 🙂

  16. Friend of the court

    Was that your wallet? I thought you were just glad to see me.
    Timmy needs a job, not a tax cut. Manufacturing has moved out of the neighborhood. Reducing labor costs is a major aim of all business, big and small. There comes a point, however, when all those unemployed labor folks can’t buy goods and the stores board-up the doors.

  17. Friend of the Court,
    You flatter me thinking my “you know” is anywhere near the size of my wallet. As you know, us right wingers are fabulously wealthy but lacking “you knows”… we also dine on live baby kittens when no one is looking, but anyways…

    Yes Timmy needs a job, we dangerously assume Timmy would show up to said job when its easier to check the mail every month,,just something to think about…

    I’ll finish with a blanket statement sure to rile a few Raisin feathers, free markets work, entitlement culture doesn’t…. we need only look at Europe to verify….

  18. dcAp,
    the rethugs are only anxious about keeping their ever decreasing base happy. they have to keep their rich buddies in the money so they will donate to their campaigns, and they can keep their seats.

  19. buffy the logic slayer! (thank you, fotc, for buffy’s new name!)
    no matter what the question, the rethugs have tax cuts as the answer. if tax cuts do the trick, then why is the economy tanking? your hero, ronald reagan, had massive tax cuts. what happened? in 1982, he had the biggest tax increase ever!

    how are tax cuts going to help all those people who are now unemployed? what taxes are you planning on cutting when people no longer pay taxes?

    i won’t answer any further, because we have gone around and around on this, and we get nowhere. you’re wrong, and it doesn’t matter if you repeat the same crap over and over and over again. it’s still wrong.

  20. fotc! 😀
    i’m so happy to see you!! i’ve missed you and thought you had given up raisins for lent or something. how are you?


  21. Friend of the court

    I’m good. Been sort of busy with work and school. On the way out the door to celebrate the BD of a friend from HS. Maybe we will get a panhandler to score us a pint of rum to take to the A&W. 😉 I’ll let you know how it goes.

  22. fotc,
    are you in your new permanent digs yet? hope you have fun at the bd party. don’t drink too much (i mean the a&w root beer. you don’t want to get too gassy).

  23. Alright, you all seem to have consumed enough Kool aid to rule tax cuts out of any solutions, whats the thoughts on the Fair Tax? A consumer based tax.

    And please, read up on it before you go all knee jerk on me.

    No one on the right wants anyone to live in poverty, we just don’t like supporting baby murder and dead beats.

  24. baby murder is allowing sick kids to die, because their parents can’t afford to take them to the doctor or can’t afford to feed them a healthy diet or can’t move to a neighborhood where there are no drive-by shootings.

    i am not ruling out tax cuts. i am just ruling them out for people who don’t need them and for corporations that rip off consumers on a daily basis.

  25. Oh Nonnie, I must expose my horns… I have three angels myself and I’m not rich. But those you speak of….. where is the personal responsibility of the individual before they DECIDED to have a child?
    Having sex is a DECISION! Having a child is a DECISION! Society is responsible for others bad DECISIONS?

    Hugs<—– ?

  26. buffy,
    i am not going to get into the abortion debate with you. i don’t regard a bunch of cells as a human being, you do. we are not going to get past that, so i will not try. i respect those who disagree with me, and i would advise them that, if they do not believe that abortion is okay, then they shouldn’t have one. however, they cannot make that decision for anyone else.

  27. Non,
    Still you fail to address the personal responsibility of an individual to understand the consequence of their behavior.
    If Juanita Dahood gets pregnant over and over again, why should my tax dollar pay to kill a baby? Or equally as heinous, pay for the child’s upbringing, should she choose to have him/her? Because Juanita chose to “get around?”
    If one doesn’t believe abortion is okay, why should they be forced to fund them via taxation?
    I’m a little more socially liberal than the average right winger, but you have to draw a line somewhere or you have… well, MTV and Lifetime…..

    My wingnut stripes are earned more on the fiscal and defense side. I love the smell of burning terrorist in the morning….

  28. wouldn’t it be nice if we all lived up to our personal responsibilities? here’s a flash for you–we don’t! none of us do. we also don’t all agree on where our tax money goes. i don’t like a nickel going to faith-based initiatives. guess what! too bad for me!

    i don’t understand what you’re saying. if a woman knows she can’t afford to raise a child and has an abortion, you disagree with that. however, if she has the baby, you don’t give a damn what happens to the kid, because the kid of an irresponsible person does not deserve a decent upbringing. do i have that right? of course, if you don’t want to pay for the care of the baby when s/he’s still a child, you can pay for room and board for her/him when s/he is in prison later on.

  29. Eh, I see your point non, ….
    wanna fight? 🙂 KIDDING
    I just wish there were more emphasis placed on raising decent moral children instead of force feeding them Hanna Montana and Paris Hilton, then offering them free abortions and strawberry flavored condoms… I guess I long to live in the 50’s…

    What about the Fair Tax?

  30. i don’t know a lot about the fair tax, so i can’t answer you without doing some research. i think there should be a flat tax across the board. i think that would be the most fair.

    I think your guy Kucinich is a fan of it

  32. llabesab

    There’s more “Stimulus” in a skirt slightly above the knee than the entire 1217 pages of the so-called Stimulus package.

  33. wow! you’ve read through all 1217 pages already, llabesab? i’m impressed!

  34. I guess nonnie you thought the spending was an effective idea?

  35. buffy,
    it’s a helluva lot more effective than tax cuts for the rich.

  36. lol okay…
    we shall see, I’m gonna jot down that you said that … 🙂