S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Upcoming legislative issues -- Congressional leaders, Senate Democrats will meet with President-elect Barack Obama Tuesday to iron out concerns over the proposed stimulus package. Stimulus specifics include a round of tax cuts, but not an earlier jobs-credit proposal, increased aid to students and schools and doubling the energy tax credits. To quote Glenn Thrush at

The Senate trip comes amid increased jockeying between the transition team and Hill Democrats over the details of three monumental legislative issues -- the composition of the roughly $775 billion stimulus package, the fate of Obama's controversial $300 billion middle-class tax cut and his push to quickly pass the second $350 billion tranche of the highly unpopular bank bailout.

Bipartisanship? At President-elect Obama's behest, our current president (OCP) has agreed to request the remaining $350 billion from the TARP bailout fund. Congress has fifteen days to object to the request or it will go through. It will be interesting to see whether the new administration will be able to clear up any of the financial mess left by the Republicans' disbursement of the first $350 billion.

Hearings -- Tuesday also will see Hillary Rodham Clinton's confirmation hearing to become the new Secretary of State. Memeorandum's story is that Clinton [will] emphasize 'smart power.' Politico headlines: "Land mines ahead for Hillary." The headline exaggerates the danger that Clinton will encounter very difficult questions by the committee members. At the same time it looks as if Illinois senator designate, Roland "Burris may breeze into [the] Senate," without the involvement of the rules committee after all, and as he said, "without creating a scene." ProPublica headlined: "Senate Dems Cave, Burris to be Seated." It is not clear yet what will happen to Minnesota's Al Franken.

Individuals will leave 2010 openings -- One of my favorite Republican senators, George Voinovich of Ohio, announced that he will retire at the end of his term in 2010, according to Yahoo! News, ". . . like 3 other GOP senators#." Others include Sens. Kit Bond of Missouri, Mel Martinez of Florida and Sam Brownback of Kansas. In an interesting aside, BuzzFlash: reveals that this is the "Oldest. Congress. Ever*" (1/6/09).

Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are "betmo*" and Jon#.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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