Dec. 6, 2013
Dec. 2, 2013
Rabbi Moshe Grylak: Attack on Chanukah's scholar-warriors an affront to all people of faith
U.S. boxes in Israel, not Iran: Surrender in Geneva
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Vanessa Bayer & Jacob, the Bar Mitzvah Boy; Adam Levine, nickname "the Bear Jew," is People's Sexiest; Eastwoods Need to Say "Kinehora!"
The Kosher Gourmet by Kim Ode:
Fried and gone to heaven: Dense, fried Slovenian doughnut-like rolls, krofi, on Chanukah is a treat you'll want to eat all year long
: Tracking babies' eyes, scientists find signs of autism in 2-month-olds
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Hunger Games: Jewish Connections; A 'Minyan'of Jewish Celebs Recite the Gettysburg Address On-line; Walter Matthau's Reaction to JFK's Death
Nancy A. Youssef :
Christians too afraid to complain as treatment in new 'democracy' worsens
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Jewish MLB managers; Past and Present; Movie News and Dancing W/the Stars Shocker; Paula Abdul's Israeli bat mitzvah and bio facts rarely reported
Jewish World Review
Dec. 15, 2011
19 Kislev, 5772
Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and the Malfunction Minuet
It has become commonplace to say that Washington is broken, but rarely does one get to see all the broken parts perform live and in concert as they did on the Senate floor Wednesday morning.
There and then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, executed a veritable Dance of Dysfunction, a bravura Promenade of Pathology. Facing yet another deadline for a government shutdown, this one just over 36 hours away, the two leaders decided that the most constructive course of action would be to stand 10 feet apart in the Senate well and trade televised insults for 20 minutes without looking at each other.
“Americans can’t understand the Republicans’ obstructionism,” Reid announced. “Republican leaders have spent weeks drumming up support for Tea Party legislation they knew was dead on arrival in the Senate.”
“Our friends across the aisle have no plan and, some might suggest, no desire to pass a payroll tax cut extension,” McConnell retorted. “Instead, we’ve wasted week after week after week, one senseless show vote after another.”
Reid drummed his fingers and tugged his ear. “Madam President, my friend is living in a world of non-reality,” he said. “My friends on the other side of the aisle obviously want to have the government shut down. . . . That presumptive Republican nominee, Newt Gingrich, tried that once. It didn’t work so well.”
Back and forth went the allegations, personal and vitriolic: “useless partisan charade. . . an about-face from just a few hours before. . . extreme right wing. . . designed solely to score points on millionaires. . . I’m not sure what the majority leader just said.”
McConnell tapped his knuckles on his desk. Reid gritted his teeth. “I don’t care what. . . Mitch McConnell says,” Reid announced. He claimed that Senate Republicans were “embarrassed or ashamed” of what House Republicans had done.
“Speaking of embarrassment,” McConnell said, tucking a hand in his pants pocket. “In three years this Democrat Senate hasn’t passed a budget.”
“Talk about a diversion,” Reid answered acidly. “My friend, the Republican leader, has talked from the very beginning of this Congress, his No. 1 goal is to defeat Obama for reelection. That’s not looking so good. Romney is stumbling.”
McConnell objected to Reid’s proposal for the day’s votes. Reid objected to McConnell’s proposal and then, in an overabundance of pugilism, objected to his own proposal. “We’ll both object, just for good measure,” he said. “Bipartisan objection.”
At least they can agree on something.
This descent into the Jane-you-ignorant-slut style of legislative debate was brought about by a collision of two year-end pieces of legislation. Democrats are refusing to pass a gargantuan spending bill that would keep the government running, in an attempt to extract concessions from Republicans on a separate matter: the payroll-tax cut. Republicans, in turn, are refusing to negotiate a compromise on the payroll-tax cut until the Democrats pass the spending bill.
Pretty much everybody in both parties wants both the spending bill and the payroll-tax cut to pass, yet they are unable to stop themselves from their usual, moronic brinkmanship, which now jeopardizes both items. Lawmakers had better hope that the 12 or so percent of Americans who still approve of Congress weren’t watching C-Span2 on Wednesday, because even that level of support would be in jeopardy.
To kill time while they awaited Friday’s government-shutdown deadline, senators showcased their dramatic skills. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, chief Democratic warrior, engaged in some play-acting with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), pretending to puzzle over why Senate Republicans don’t want to take up the payroll-tax bill passed by House Republicans.
“This is a Republican bill?” McCaskill asked.
“That is correct,” Schumer replied.
“And we’re ready to vote on it?”
“And the Republicans will not let us vote on it?”
“That is correct.”
“So are we all.”
Omitted from this colloquy was another bit of confusion: Why Senate Democrats weren’t willing to vote on the spending bill, even though, as McConnell pointed out, Rep. Jim Moran (Va.), a senior Democrat on the House appropriations committee, said: “Our bill is done. It should go to the president immediately.”
Reid was holding up the spending bill to gain leverage on the payroll bill. McConnell was holding up the payroll bill to gain leverage on the spending bill. And, as usual, nothing was happening.
The deadlocked senators decided instead to have midday votes on two balanced-budget amendments to the Constitution, one proposed by Democrats and the other by Republicans. To nobody’s surprise, both failed. And, to the strains of the Malfunction Minuet, the senators continued their waltz toward Friday’s deadline.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Dana Milbank's column by clicking here.
• 12/14/11 The presidential auction of 2012
• 12/12/11 Newt's tactics comes back to haunt him
• 12/06/11 Can an anthem save Occupy non-movement?
• 12/05/11 The winner of the GOP campaign: Washington
• 11/30/11 Barney the bully: Congressman Frank's other legacy
• 11/23/11 Jon Kyl's search-and-destroy mission
• 11/21/11 Pay to play, brought to you by Washington
• 11/17/11 Big enough to save the supercommittee?
• 11/16/11 Why Newt Gingrich won't last
• 11/08/11 The 2012 campaign gets seedier
• 11/06/11 A Machiavellian model for Obama
• 11/03/11 The Herman Cain crack-up
• 11/01/11 Cain can --- he will survive
• 10/27/11 Stuntmen of the supercommittee
• 10/26/11 Democrats on the sidelines
• 10/24/11 Rick Perry's birther Parade
• 10/24/11 The birthers eat their own
• 10/19/11 The GOP's middle man
• 10/17/11 The waiting for nothing Congress
• 10/12/11 Sparsely occupied D.C.: Why the movement hasn't caught on
• 10/10/11 Can Obama strike an alliance with Occupy Wall Street?
• 10/06/11 Chris Christie, such a presidential tease
• 10/05/11 Obama and his foot soldiers go toe to toe
• 09/28/11 Cain could deliver
• 09/26/11 Republicans? Mr. Nice Guys?
• 09/22/11 Why Ron Paul is winning the GOP primary
• 09/21/11 I am a job creator who creates no jobs
• 09/20/11 Obama launches a revolution
• 09/19/11 Dems for Romney?
• 09/14/11 ‘Supercommittee’? More than stupor committee
• 09/07/11 Mitt Romney finds his (corporate) voice
• 09/01/11 The infallible Dick Cheney
• 08/31/11 This liberal says Perry is the ultimate conservative candidate
• 08/29/11 Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler
• 08/10/11 How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots
• 08/09/11 The most powerful man on Earth?
• 08/08/11 The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington
• 08/04/11 Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
• 08/03/11 Government on autopilot
• 08/02/11 Dems mourn debt deal like death
• 07/27/11 Life imitates sport
• 07/26/11 Obama and Boehner take on Washington
• 07/21/11 Why Americans are angry at Congress
• 07/20/11 The new party of Reagan
• 07/18/11 Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate
• 07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
• 07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
• 07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
• 06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
• 06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
• 06/24/11 Mission accomplished, Obama style
• 06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
• 06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
• 06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
• 06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
• 06/02/11 The Weiner roast
• 06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
• 05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
• 05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
• 05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
• 05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
• 05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
• 05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
• 05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
• 05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
• 05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
• 05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
• 05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
• 05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
• 05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
• 04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
• 04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
• 04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
• 04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
• 04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
• 04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
• 04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
• 04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
• 04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
• 04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
• 04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
• 04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
• 04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
• 04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
• 03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
• 03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
• 03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
• 03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
• 03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
• 03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
• 03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
• 03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
• 03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
• 03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
• 02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
• 02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
• 02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group