Weekend Political News

Nate Beeler cartoon via TownHall

Here’s some of the latest news from Washington you may have missed over the past couple of days. Most of this comes via Weasel Zippers:

WZ: GOP Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn Introduce Bill to Defund NPR, PBS…

Two Republican senators on Friday introduced a bill to stop taxpayer subsidies to public radio and television.

Since 2001, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has received nearly $4 billion in taxpayer money for National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said with the nation on the brink of bankruptcy, some decisions to cut spending are difficult — but not this one:

Do not back down on this, Repubs.

WZ: House Republicans Say They Will Shut Down Gov’t by Voting Against Spending Bill Unless Planned Parenthood Is Defunded…

A pro-life leader in the House says he and many other Republicans will vote against legislation to fund the government through September if a series of anti-abortion riders, which already passed the House, aren’t included in the final bill.

“I’m going to push so hard to make sure those are all in there,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) told The Takeaway. “You can’t back off, from a human rights perspective. If you do so you facilitate the demise of hundreds of thousands of children.”

Gateway Pundit: Obama Vows to Veto Any Bill That Defunds Planned Parenthood

This week Obama announced that he would veto any bill that did not fund Planned Parenthood.
Life News reported:

President Barack Obama would veto the House-approved long-term spending bill for the federal government that contains the Pence Amendment, a measure that would de-fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Because of that provision and other pro-life riders that stop abortion funding globally and in the District of Columbia, the Washington Times indicates “Obama has issued a veto threat on that bill, saying House Republicans’ cuts are unacceptable.”

Senate Dems Say They Are Going to Fight GOP’s Attempts to Defund Obama’s Army of “Czars”…

Senate Democrats are willing to fight to keep President Barack Obama’s policy “czars” in the White House.

As they rolled out their stopgap 2011 fiscal spending plan Friday, Senate appropriators drew a line in the sand over a House attempt to oust Obama’s senior advisers on policy issues including energy and health care out.

Senate Appropriations Committee Democrats blasted the language as “an intrusive micromanagement of the president’s White House staff via appropriations.”

An amendment attached to the House continuing resolution last month from Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) would cut the salaries for nine so-called policy czars, White House advisers who aren’t subject to Senate confirmation. The rider was adopted by a vote of 249-179.

Hey Dems, stick your fingers in the wind on this one – see what the voters think.

WZ: Obama’s Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Tells Unions Battling WI Gov. Scott Walker, “Let’s Keep Fighting”

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis took part in a Communications Workers of America conference call Wednesday night in which she expressed her strong support for unions fighting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget. “Let’s keep fighting,” Solis told CWA president Larry Cohen and thousands of CWA shop stewards listening to the call.

“I’m very excited to hear about the enthusiasm that’s going on in Wisconsin and around the country,” Solis said. “I am so inspired and proud of all of you, especially those who went down to Wisconsin and also around the country.” (Listen to audio of the call here.)

It’s all about the boodle, right Hilda?

WZ: Busted: Sebelius Admits They Double-Counted $500 Billion to Both Fund ObamaCare and Sustain Medicare…

That’s right, folks: another part of the ObamaCare fraud involved double-counting half a trillion dollars. Shimkus said he was “shocked” to learn this. “We knew the health care law’s actual cost was much greater than originally told to the public,” he declared. “And now, the truth is slowly coming out in administration reports and testimony.” In other news, Shimkus was equally “shocked” to discover there was gambling going on at Rick’s Café.

Repeal it already.

Remember the impressive gains Obama made among Evangelical voters in 2008? Those people are no longer fooled…

WZ: Poll: Stepping in Dog Poo Now More Popular With Evangelical Christians Than Obama, 6% View Him Favorably, 94% Unfavorably…

Drew at AoSHQ: Looks Like Obama’s Rationier In Chief Is On His Way Out…Eventually

Remember Donald “I love the UK’s National Health Service” Berwick? When last we saw him he received a recess appointment to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services which basically put him charge of a huge swath of US health care spending (CMS’ budget is larger than the Department of Defense).

To keep his job beyond the end of the year* Berwick had to be renominated and confirmed by the Senate. This week 42 of the 47 Republican Senators (more on that below) sent Obama a letter asking that the nomination be withdrawn. In light of that opposition, it looks like the Democrats will be throwing Berwick under the bus at some point.

RedState: Reid’s Obstructionism May Cause Government Shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may cause a government shutdown.

Senator Reid is employing a procedural strategy to deal with the House-passed long-term Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 1, that may make it more likely that the federal government will shut down when the government runs out of money on March 18. Remember this when we get closer to March 18 and both parties blame each other for failing to pass an appropriations bill to fund the government through September 30 of this year (the end of Fiscal Year 2011).



5 Dem Senators Not Seeking Re-election in 2012

The five, according to The Politico, are Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii Democrat, Jim Webb of Virginia, and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.


“It certainly suggests that the pathway to get to 51 is achievable,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said Thursday. “I think depending on what happens in the next couple of years and depending on what retirements we have, a lot of these Democrat seats that are opening up, I think there are some opportunities for us — and I hope if we can get the right candidates in the races and resource them, we’ll have a shot at changing the equation.”


There are still a handful of Democratic senators who have yet to make their intentions clear, including Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. Nebraska is a heavily Republican state where Nelson is the only Democrat in the congressional delegation, and the GOP swept Wisconsin in 2010.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a clean sweep in 2012? It’s looking increasingly doable.
Hat tip: Charles B.



Tea Partiers To Clean Up Mess Left By Protesters In Madison (UPDATE: Painter’s Union Offered To Help, too)

Officials had estimated that it would cost 7.5 million to clean up the mess left by pro-gov-union protesters.

It could cost as much as $7.5 million to repair damage protesters have done to the Capitol Building marble say officials in Madison. Fixing posters to the marble with tape and glue appears to have done the bulk of the damage.

During testimony Thursday, a representative from the Attorney General’s office said a contractor estimated it would cost $500,000 to remove all of the posters and garbage. He says it would cost $6 million to restore the marble inside of the Capitol building and another $1 million to touch up the marble outside of the building.

Officials with the Department of Administration say the marble must be restored immediately. They say normally, tape isn’t used on the walls of the Capitol by rule because of the historic nature of the building. Easels are normally used for signs.

Six million dollars to touch up marble? I’m guessing the cleaning is to be done by unionized labor at that price.

Tea party supporters in Wisconsin have offered their services to do the “$500,000” worth of cleaning inside the Capitol for free. They’ve created a Facebook group  to organize the event called “It’s Time to Take Out the Trash!”. They will be in Madison on Sunday to clean-up the  huge mess left by the pro-union protesters over the past two weeks.


Although this post wasn’t supposed to be more about the tea partiers than about the cost of the clean-up,  some commenters seem fixated on the “high-end” estimate made by state officials.

So I feel it’s necessary to mention that  they have indeed come out with a revised estimate since that initial report:

MADISON – State officials have the revised the estimated price tag of cleanup at the Capitol.

Yesterday, officials said the job could cost more than $7 million dollars. Now they’re saying it could cost as little as $350,000.
The concern is over reside left behind by protestors inside the historic building over the last three weeks, specifically, adhesive from posters taped to the Capitol’s stone, marble and wood surfaces.
Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch is now saying that was a high-end estimate.
Still, the head of a masonry company that has done work to the Capitol in the past, says $7 million dollars wasn’t so far off the mark. Jim Durham of Quarra Stone says you can’t just use household cleaners in the historic building:
“It’s going to soak up hand prints, oil from your skin. It’s going to soak up the adhesives of the tape.”
A painter’s union has stepped up and offered to clean up the Capitol for free.

The painter’s union deserves major kudos for offering their help for free, too. Especially since it seems the work they will be doing is the more expensive labor.

See also:

American Power: Wisconsin Protests: It’s an Occupation, Not a Sleepover

Linked by Michelle Malkin in Buzzworthy, and Doug Ross, and Moonbattery, and Hollywood Republican, thanks!

Watch Fox video at Breitbart TV.