As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Everything Is Good For Republicans

I'm trying to unwind the CW logic in this paragraph:

"The obvious winner here, of course, is Obama, who will get the first big victory of his four-week-old presidency. Other winners are Collins/Snowe/Specter (who proved that they will control what passes in the 111th Congress), Harry Reid (who got the 60-plus votes he needed), Joe Lieberman (who helped behind the scenes with Collins), White House aide Phil Schiliro (who played an unsung role on the Hill), the Republican Party (which demonstrated unity after its big losses in November), and No.2 House Republican Eric Cantor (who raised his profile during the debate, although he took a BIG hit yesterday for that profane AFSCME video his office released)."

"The losers, in our opinion, are Nancy Pelosi (some House priorities lost out in the end) and governors (who didn't get all the money they wanted and will have to make some tough cuts before a re-election year)."

You can say what you want about the stimulus bill, although if David Sirota is calling it a success, it can't be the most reactionary thing in the world. I think most progressives see this as a down payment with a lot of noble parts to it and a minimum of the worst corporate tax cuts (they really gutted the "net loss carryback" tax break), and while the inclusion of the AMT patch makes this essentially a $720 billion dollar bill, with some perspective that's a big number, with a core that is quite progressive:

Aid to the Poor and Unemployed

$40 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, and increase them by $25 a week

$20 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 14 percent

$3 billion in temporary welfare payments.

$14 billion to give one-time $250 payments to Social Security recipients, poor people on Supplemental Security Income, and veterans receiving disability and pensions.


$46 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair

$8.4 billion for mass transit

$8 billion for construction of high-speed railways and $1.3 billion for Amtrak

$4.6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers

$4 billion for public housing improvements

$6.4 billion for clean and drinking water projects

$7 billion to bring broadband Internet service to underserved areas.

Health Care

$21 billion to provide a 60 percent subsidy of health care insurance premiums for the unemployed under the COBRA program

$87 billion to help states with Medicaid

$19 billion to modernize health information technology systems

$10 billion for health research and construction of National Institutes of Health facilities.


$54 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid to school districts, with up to $10 billion for school repair;

$26 billion to school districts to fund special education and the No Child Left Behind law for students in K-12

$17 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $500 to $5,350

$2 billion for Head Start.

$13 billion to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.

So, then, how are Republicans "winners" in this thing? They put out a parade of misinformation and lies that the public eventually saw through, and eventually they arrogantly refused to do anything to aid the struggling economy as if they were all Hoover reincarnated. Only to the Village would that be seen as a victory.

Amusing, too, that the rare Democratic hissy fit is the only chink in the Republican armor, as if they will bother to remember the Eric Cantor AFSCME thing a week from now.

The idea that Collins/Snowe/Specter "control" what passes Congress, too, and that it's a given and there's nothing that can be done about it, also kind of amusing. Also the way the Village likes it. Wouldn't want the dirty hippies running amok.

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