Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Throwing Down The Gauntlet And Keeping Their Word

Yesterday it was reported that the Senate GOP handed Harry Reid an ultimatum: revoke the congressional ban on offshore drilling, expand the drilling in the OCS, or face filibuster after filibuster. In essence, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has had enough of Harry Reid's fecklessness, and he has decided to play hardball.

This morning the Democrats tried to push through a bill against oil speculators, which failed miserably:

U.S. legislation to rein in excessive energy speculation failed a key procedural vote on Friday to move forward in the Senate, and now lawmakers will set aside the bill to consider other legislation.

The House of Representatives may take up its own anti-speculation bill next week, and then lawmakers will get ready to leave for their month-long recess in August.

Sixty "yes" votes were required in the 100-member Senate for the bill to move forward, but the measure received only 50 "yes" votes and 43 lawmakers were opposed.

Senate Democrats said the legislation was needed to give the government new powers to curb speculators, whom many lawmakers accused of being behind the run-up in crude oil and gasoline prices.

Senate Republicans strongly opposed the speculation bill, arguing the legislation should be modified to also boost U.S. oil production by allowing more offshore drilling and developing vast oil shale fields in the West.

The GOP has dared the Democrats to ignore the electorate, and in doing so they are focusing on the number one issue this election. While oil prices have gone down -- dropping $20 in two weeks, and all due to the president lifting the executive ban on drilling and exploration -- they are still too high, and need to be lowered. The Democrats could guarantee themselves obstruction-free majorities in the fall if they would heed the will of the people. But they are simply too beholden to the radical environmental lobby to think that clearly.

Captain Ed Morrissey adds a bit of humor to this. What happens when Harry Reid does not get his way? He acts like a petulant brat, and lashes out at the press in a typical mean and nasty fashion:

At a "pen and pad" — a more casual, off-camera chat with reporters — Reid attacked and scolded correspondents in attendance, telling them he's "really disappointed" in how they have been writing his energy plans, which include a bill to reign in speculation in the energy futures markets.

According to two Senate Democratic aides, Reid and other Democratic leaders were particularly stung by an article Thursday in The New York Times. It followed on several other reports that have highlighted Democrats' attempts to fend off defections from their ranks to GOP-sponsored amendments, measures that would permit new drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf and in the West for oil shale.

Democrats have been hard-pressed not to join such measures with oil and gas prices at record levels. ...

Senate GOP Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., told reporters in a separate off-camera briefing that Reid is "incorrect. If he actually said that, there's a misunderstanding."

Kyl said it was "very clear" to him that only two amendments would be permitted for Republicans, which is leading to a complete breakdown of floor action on the Reid bill.

Kyl pointed to a speech this morning by the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, who echoed Reid's position that two amendments would be offered to Republicans on this energy debate.

Reporters tried to pin Reid down Thursday on the amendment issue.

In the exchange, Reid told one reporter she should "watch the [Senate] floor more often. ... You might learn something."

Another reporter explained she had watched the Senate proceedings and said it was not clear he was ... offering separate amendments, to which Reid asked the reporter if she "spoke English."

"Turn up your Miracle Ear," Reid added.

This is the Senate Majority Leader. You stay classy, Harry.



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