Commentary Magazine


Topic: Jim Manley

Re: That Explains It

Sen Harry Reid blew up the bipartisan jobs bill. In its place he offered a slimmed down $15B bill. One hitch: he doesn’t have the votes to pass it. The Hill reports:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) lacks the votes to begin debating his targeted job bills, according to sources monitoring the legislation.

Reid needs 60 votes to open debate on the $15 billion jobs bill up. The vote is scheduled for Monday, when lawmakers return from the Presidents’ Day recess.

“I understand Reid does not have the votes for cloture on Monday on his jobs bill,” one source said.

Oopsy. It seems as though Reid didn’t think even one move ahead when he substituted his jobs proposal. Now his chief blame passer, Jim Manley, says it is all in the Republicans’ hands. Hmm. There seemed to have been one deal there which did enjoy Republican support — so how is it now the GOP’s fault if Reid has no passable piece of legislation? Bemoaning the loss of a bio-diesel tax credit that was included in the bipartisan package, Sen. Chuck Grassley let Reid have it, declaring that “the industry is hemorrhaging jobs and we can do something to stop it . .  . Yet Senator Reid decided that it was more important to play political games than actually saving and creating jobs in the private sector.”

There is a comic quality to all of this. But the ramifications are very serious and real for the Democrats. Perhaps the White House could actually draft and send up its own bill, showing that it can lead rather than simply decry the partisan deadlock. But that’s really not their thing, is it? They are too busy puffing up the fake jobs numbers from the disastrous original Obama stimulus bill. Well, if the stimulus had done what the Obami had promised it would, perhaps a Son of Stimulus would not be required. It seems as though in this administration spinning past failures fills the time, while Democratic leaders are not making progress on the issues that trouble most Americans. You think the voters will notice? So far, only 6 percent of Americans think the first stimulus worked. Maybe the White House’s time would be better spent helping Harry Reid do his job.

Sen Harry Reid blew up the bipartisan jobs bill. In its place he offered a slimmed down $15B bill. One hitch: he doesn’t have the votes to pass it. The Hill reports:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) lacks the votes to begin debating his targeted job bills, according to sources monitoring the legislation.

Reid needs 60 votes to open debate on the $15 billion jobs bill up. The vote is scheduled for Monday, when lawmakers return from the Presidents’ Day recess.

“I understand Reid does not have the votes for cloture on Monday on his jobs bill,” one source said.

Oopsy. It seems as though Reid didn’t think even one move ahead when he substituted his jobs proposal. Now his chief blame passer, Jim Manley, says it is all in the Republicans’ hands. Hmm. There seemed to have been one deal there which did enjoy Republican support — so how is it now the GOP’s fault if Reid has no passable piece of legislation? Bemoaning the loss of a bio-diesel tax credit that was included in the bipartisan package, Sen. Chuck Grassley let Reid have it, declaring that “the industry is hemorrhaging jobs and we can do something to stop it . .  . Yet Senator Reid decided that it was more important to play political games than actually saving and creating jobs in the private sector.”

There is a comic quality to all of this. But the ramifications are very serious and real for the Democrats. Perhaps the White House could actually draft and send up its own bill, showing that it can lead rather than simply decry the partisan deadlock. But that’s really not their thing, is it? They are too busy puffing up the fake jobs numbers from the disastrous original Obama stimulus bill. Well, if the stimulus had done what the Obami had promised it would, perhaps a Son of Stimulus would not be required. It seems as though in this administration spinning past failures fills the time, while Democratic leaders are not making progress on the issues that trouble most Americans. You think the voters will notice? So far, only 6 percent of Americans think the first stimulus worked. Maybe the White House’s time would be better spent helping Harry Reid do his job.

Read Less

Flotsam and Jetsam

Katie Couric will interview Obama live from the Super Bowl because we haven’t seen enough of him, and what he really needs is to communicate more with the American people. Well, that’s apparently what they think inside the White House cocoon. More cowbell!

Mickey Kaus thinks Obama’s excuse mongering about the health-care bill (“we were just about to clean those up [objections to the bill], and then Massachusetts’ election happened”) is a “stunning admission of incompetence.” So maybe the president does have a communications problem, after all. If you can’t read a calendar or follow election polls, you should keep it to yourself.

The Hill: “The House is unlikely to extend President George W. Bush’s cuts for taxpayers earning more than $250,000, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Wednesday. … Allowing the tax breaks to expire at the end of the year will spark election-year criticism that Democrats are raising taxes. Congress approved the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Democrats are worried about losing seats in November’s midterm election, but Hoyer discounted the idea of his party losing seats solely because of a tax increase.” Well, he’s right — there is also all the red ink, ObamaCare, cap-and-trade, and the sleazy backroom dealings.

Foaming at the mouth and comparing Republicans to Hitler is not such a winning TV-ratings combination anymore. Andrew Malcolm tells us: “Olbermann’s showboat is sinking. Listing in you-know-which direction. It’s as if he thinks talking LOUDER will keep his low cell battery from dying. Worst, Olbermann’s network president, Phil Griffin, is publicly praising him, always an ominous sign in television.”

Dana Perino reminds us: “The context in which the Bush administration was operating is important. President Bush authorized detaining terrorists as enemy combatants in November 2001, two months or so after 9/11. The Shoe Bomber was arrested in December 2001, only a month after President Bush’s order. At that point, there was no system in place to handle enemy combatants. … Perhaps the more interesting context is how months after the administration announced a High Value Detainee Interrogation Group they could not meet after Abdulmutallab’s attempt because … it hadn’t even been set up yet.”

Karl Rove points out: “The budget is filled with gimmicks. For example, the president is calling for a domestic, nonsecurity, discretionary spending freeze. But that freeze doesn’t apply to a $282 billion proposed second stimulus package. It also doesn’t apply to the $519 billion that has yet to be spent from the first stimulus bill. The federal civilian work force is also not frozen. It is projected to rise to 1.43 million employees in 2010, up from 1.2 million in 2008.” And it seems that the mainstream media and the public are increasingly on to this sort of stunt. That may account for all the Democratic retirements: “Democrats are in the midst of the painful realization: Mr. Obama’s words cannot save them from the power of bad ideas.”

But Obama is telling Senate Democrats that “I think the natural political instinct is to tread lightly, keep your head down and to play it safe.” Translation: go ahead, pass ObamaCare, and join Martha Coakley, Jon Corzine, Creigh Deeds, Chris Dodd, and Byron Dorgan. The president tells them “the answer is not to do nothing.” I think “nothing” is looking like the best of bad options for the beleaguered Senate Democrats, who are now contemplating a serious reduction in their ranks.

The gamesmanship finally ends: “Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown will be sworn in Thursday, according to Jim Manley, the spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Brown’s lawyer today asked that the election results in his state be immediately certified so that he can be sworn in right away. Initially Brown was scheduled to take office next week, but has since decided he wants to vote on upcoming nominations for solicitor general, the General Services Administration and the National Labor Relations Board.” That probably means that Harold Craig Becker’s nomination is in trouble.

Katie Couric will interview Obama live from the Super Bowl because we haven’t seen enough of him, and what he really needs is to communicate more with the American people. Well, that’s apparently what they think inside the White House cocoon. More cowbell!

Mickey Kaus thinks Obama’s excuse mongering about the health-care bill (“we were just about to clean those up [objections to the bill], and then Massachusetts’ election happened”) is a “stunning admission of incompetence.” So maybe the president does have a communications problem, after all. If you can’t read a calendar or follow election polls, you should keep it to yourself.

The Hill: “The House is unlikely to extend President George W. Bush’s cuts for taxpayers earning more than $250,000, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Wednesday. … Allowing the tax breaks to expire at the end of the year will spark election-year criticism that Democrats are raising taxes. Congress approved the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Democrats are worried about losing seats in November’s midterm election, but Hoyer discounted the idea of his party losing seats solely because of a tax increase.” Well, he’s right — there is also all the red ink, ObamaCare, cap-and-trade, and the sleazy backroom dealings.

Foaming at the mouth and comparing Republicans to Hitler is not such a winning TV-ratings combination anymore. Andrew Malcolm tells us: “Olbermann’s showboat is sinking. Listing in you-know-which direction. It’s as if he thinks talking LOUDER will keep his low cell battery from dying. Worst, Olbermann’s network president, Phil Griffin, is publicly praising him, always an ominous sign in television.”

Dana Perino reminds us: “The context in which the Bush administration was operating is important. President Bush authorized detaining terrorists as enemy combatants in November 2001, two months or so after 9/11. The Shoe Bomber was arrested in December 2001, only a month after President Bush’s order. At that point, there was no system in place to handle enemy combatants. … Perhaps the more interesting context is how months after the administration announced a High Value Detainee Interrogation Group they could not meet after Abdulmutallab’s attempt because … it hadn’t even been set up yet.”

Karl Rove points out: “The budget is filled with gimmicks. For example, the president is calling for a domestic, nonsecurity, discretionary spending freeze. But that freeze doesn’t apply to a $282 billion proposed second stimulus package. It also doesn’t apply to the $519 billion that has yet to be spent from the first stimulus bill. The federal civilian work force is also not frozen. It is projected to rise to 1.43 million employees in 2010, up from 1.2 million in 2008.” And it seems that the mainstream media and the public are increasingly on to this sort of stunt. That may account for all the Democratic retirements: “Democrats are in the midst of the painful realization: Mr. Obama’s words cannot save them from the power of bad ideas.”

But Obama is telling Senate Democrats that “I think the natural political instinct is to tread lightly, keep your head down and to play it safe.” Translation: go ahead, pass ObamaCare, and join Martha Coakley, Jon Corzine, Creigh Deeds, Chris Dodd, and Byron Dorgan. The president tells them “the answer is not to do nothing.” I think “nothing” is looking like the best of bad options for the beleaguered Senate Democrats, who are now contemplating a serious reduction in their ranks.

The gamesmanship finally ends: “Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown will be sworn in Thursday, according to Jim Manley, the spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Brown’s lawyer today asked that the election results in his state be immediately certified so that he can be sworn in right away. Initially Brown was scheduled to take office next week, but has since decided he wants to vote on upcoming nominations for solicitor general, the General Services Administration and the National Labor Relations Board.” That probably means that Harold Craig Becker’s nomination is in trouble.

Read Less




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