Tagged: super committee

Posted: November 29, 2011 at 6:34 am

Deficit Supercommittee Secret Transcripts Uncovered

Lee State Bureau reporter Mike Dennison reported this weekend on the workings of the supercommittee tasked with finding ways to fix the federal budget. Or rather he tried to:

I’d like to tell you, with some degree of certainty, which side is more to blame for the failure this week of the deficit-cutting “supercommittee,” which included Montana Sen. Max Baucus.

But I can’t, because the panel inexplicably conducted most of its business in secret.

There is a compelling and fundamental right on behalf of all citizens to have access to vital information relating to the deliberations of publicly elected officials to cuts $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.

That’s why the Montana Cowgirl Blog uncovered the secret transcripts of the debt panel proceedings, which are presented here for your edification.  As you can see, the transcripts reveal just how heavily the U.S. Senate relies on ancient tradition, logic and most importantly, precedent. Many of its current rules, procedures, and traditions even draw inspiration from the dealings of ancient Rome.  I hope you draw as much inspiration and confidence from these passages as I have.

DEFICIT SUPERCOMMITTEE OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT

Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas (Republican and committee co-chair): I call this meeting to order.  Twelve buzzards appeared around lunchtime last Tuesday, and, as provided for in Senate Rule 2837B-2, a surprise visit by more than eight buzzards signifies that it is time to commence our work.

Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan (Republican): Thank you gentleman for the opportunity to address the body.

Aide: Reminds Upton that there is also a woman present.

Upton: (Waves hand dismissively, continues.) When I was last home in Michegan in 1994, I witnessed two eagles dueling over a dead goat. This portends ill for the continuation of the Bush tax cuts.

Sen. Max Baucus of Montana (Democrat). Aside, to an Aide: How many goats do we have in Montana?

Aide: leaves to fetch graphing calculator, returns with a printout.

Baucus:  I vote no.

Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona (Republican): We must increase military spending by at least double the amount of any revenue increases we make. This is partially to fight terrorists who want to harm our freedom, but mostly because I saw three meteors strike the moon at dawn.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts (Democrat): I disagree.  When meteors strike the moon that signifies an unhappy parent, meaning we must not cut Medicare and Social Security.

Kyl: No it doesn’t.

Kerry: Yes it does.

Kyl: LIAR!

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania (Republican): We must consult the Oracle to clarify this matter before proceeding further.  Lets adjourn for three weeks.  This work is very tiring.

Meeting Adjourns.

Posted: November 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Baucus Bumps

With the failure of the super-committee, it looks like Max Baucus’s bumpy ride is not smoothing out any time soon. He has his work cut out for him to regain some credibility with voters. He appointed himself onto the committee, a questionable decision since most observers at the time felt that there was little chance of the committee agreeing to anything.  And they were right.

Not surprisingly, Brian Schweitzer joined in the super-committee bashing-fest this morning while guest hosting an Air America radio program on AM760 out of Denver (listen online here to Hour 1, Hour 2, Hour 3).  He even conducted an on-air contest in which callers got a chance to rename the super-committee, with Schweitzer’s belt buckle as the first prize.

Baucus was at least nominally in the right place ideologically, trying to get a deal including tax increases and spending cuts. However, Baucus is one of the authors of the Bush tax cuts, a fact which he heralded often in earlier times. Thus is he sleeping in a bed he made.

Posted: November 16, 2011 at 5:39 am

New Ad Pressures Rehberg on Medicare, Medicaid Cuts

A new ad campaign goes up today pressuring TEA Party Congressman Dennis Rehberg not to cut Medicare or Medicaid, which are clearly on the Super Committee chopping block, Roll Call reports. It starts today in Billings and Missoula airing through the week. Here’s the ad:

You can watch it on youtube here.

Tom McMahon, Executive Director of Americans United for Change, the group behind the ad says:

“They say an elephant never forgets but these Republicans in Congress clearly have forgotten that the economy needs to work for everyone. No matter how they frame the cuts, Rep. Denny Rehberg and his Republicans colleagues need to realize that slashing Medicare and Medicaid will do nothing to create jobs. And you better believe Montana residents will remember those cuts. Asking our seniors and those who can least afford it to bear the burden while millionaires continue to enjoy the privilege of tax breaks – as Republicans have a history of doing – not only doesn’t make fiscal sense but it’s just cruel. It’s time for the GOP to remember their constituents and not just those that line their campaign coffers.”

Here’s the script:

SCRIPT: I’ll Remember

ANNCR:  If you vote to cut Medicare, Congressman Rehberg – I will remember it every time I visit my doctor.

CG: MEDICARE

ANNCR:  I’ll remember you cut Medicare and Medicaid every time I fill a prescription

ANNCR:   I’ll remember you cut Medicare if I fall down, or get hurt

ANNCR:  I’ll remember you chose protecting millionaires over protecting my health.

My friends will remember it too – all of them.

ANNCR:  Call Congressman Rehberg.

Tell him to protect Medicare and Medicaid