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Monday, June 30, 2008

Mitch McConnell: In Case You Missed It.

In Case You Missed It

"I want you to think about this," Barack Obama said in Las Vegas last week. "The oil companies have already been given 68 million acres of federal land, both onshore and offshore, to drill. They're allowed to drill it, and yet they haven't touched it – 68 million acres that have the potential to nearly double America's total oil production." Wow, how come the oil companies didn't think of that?

Perhaps because the notion is obviously false – at least to anyone who knows how oil and gas exploration actually works. Predictably, however, Mr. Obama's claim is also the mantra of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, Nick Rahall and others writing Congressional energy policy…

Democrats are in a vise this summer, pinned on one side by voter anger over $4 gas and on the other by their ideological opposition to carbon-based energy – so, as always, the political first resort is to blame Big Oil. The allegation is that oil companies are "stockpiling" leases on federal lands to drive up gas prices. At least liberals are finally acknowledging the significance of supply and demand.

-Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2008
(click to read full story)

There was a remarkable exchange on the floor of the Senate this past Thursday between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It offers pretty stunning evidence of how personally petty Reid is, as well as his penchant for defining “partisanship” as anything that keeps him from getting his way.

…The Senate was voting on a Medicare bill bloated with new spending. The bill was also an attempt to prevent cuts in payment rates to doctors who treat seniors on Medicare, and Democrats wanted to pay for that by taking the funds from Medicare Advantage, a private fee-for-service plan. The president would likely have vetoed the bill in its current form and Senate Republicans opposed the gutting of Medicare Advantage, so Senate Republicans blocked the bill. The trouble is that if the Senate doesn’t resolve the issue very soon, doctors will stop receiving Medicare funds. So Republicans proposed a 30-day extension to allow more time to hammer out a compromise. Democrats blocked the proposed extension…

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “I have said we are all here by virtue of being elected by our respective States. I had out here earlier today our Velcro chart, 79 filibusters. Is it any wonder that the House seats that came up during the off year — Hastert’s went Republican, a Republican district that went Democratic; a seat in Louisiana that was a longtime Republican seat went Democratic. Is it any wonder that the State of Mississippi sent us a Democratic House Member? It is no wonder because they see what is going on over here. . . . Mr. President, I am sure it was a Freudian slip — 59 Democrats voted for this. But next year at this time, there will be 59 Democrats at least.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.6233, 06/26/08)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Here we are a few days before the doctors receive this unconscionable cut, and the majority is saying it is more important to play politics with this issue, to brag about the fact there are 59 Democrats who voted to go forward, to talk, of all things, during the Medicare debate about who won special elections for the House of Representatives in Illinois, Mississippi, or Louisiana. What in the world does that have to do with the subject matter?

The subject matter before us is not playing political games. . . . And the reality is that the refusal of the majority to approach this issue on a bipartisan basis, as has been typically done in the past, will lead to a Presidential veto, a reduction in the reimbursement rates for doctors, an expiration at the end of the week. There is a way forward to get back together like we have typically done on this, and that is to approve a 30-day extension.

-National Review Online, June 30, 2008
(click to read full story)



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