Release the CRS!

December 30, 2009

There are a lot of worthless government programs out there, but the Congressional Research Service is not one of them. Congress has to deal with plenty of disparate topics, and would still have to even if Congress was limited to things they actually should worry about. Needless to say, Congressmen are not going to be experts on all subjects they’ll be voting on. And while they can always direct their staff to collect information, that could lead massive redundancy if every member of Congress ordered a separate report for something… Besides, then you have to worry that one or two politically motivated members of your staff will bias the report in a particular direction. Better to have one central, nonpartisan source for this sort of thing. Which is exactly what the CRS is. According to their website:
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40 in 2010: CO-07

December 21, 2009

(In order for the Republicans to take back the House in 2010, they need to net 41 seats. It’s a long shot, but it is possible. By my count, there are 92 Dem-held seats that the Republicans have at least an outside chance of winning. That number will change as we get closer to election time, of course. But for now, I’ll be highlighting some of these seats from time to time.)

One of the most important parts of getting a wave election is to attack as many places as possible. Make the other party defend more seats than they want to. Obviously, part of this is simply to spread out the other party’s resources, but on the flip side it spreads out your party too. Given the RNCC’s fundraising so far, that’s not necessarily a good thing. But the other reason to do this is that a long shot still has a chance of winning. With more challenges, you create more momentum. With more momentum, you have a chance to win. I doubt the RNCC is looking much at this seat; nobody seriously thinks they’ll win it. But they seem to have a strong candidate, so why not make the Democrats sweat a bit?

Colorado 07
Location: The suburbs of Denver. It basically surrounds Denver on three sides, and then a long rural section in the northeast. Mostly urban, and supposedly purple.
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Common sense says that Coburn was right to do this

December 16, 2009

The world, or at least the blogosphere, is abuzz today about Sen. Tom Coburn’s demand to have Sen. Sanders 760 page amendment read on the Senate floor. According to the normal rules, this should happen for all bills and amendments, but the requirement is routinely waived with unanimous consent. Needless to say, that means one ornery Senator (or two, as DeMint joined him) can force the read, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. This went on for a few hours before Sanders pulled his amendment (ranting the whole way). Here’s DeMint’s statement (H/T Hot Air)

“Democrats are playing a bait and switch trick — wasting our time debating a bill they’ve rejected while writing a new one in secret. Right now, behind closed doors, Democrats are writing a brand new bill, thousands of pages long, and want to rush it through before Christmas.”

“Americans are tired of watching their leaders in Washington pass bills they haven’t even bothered to read,” said Senator DeMint. “If Senator Reid won’t slow down this debate, we will do it for him. This bill allows the federal government to take over our health care system, and it must be stopped. We will use whatever procedural tools are necessary to defeat this bill.”

Now, despite the fact that this is being referred to as a stalling tactic by just about everyone (and, well, it is), in truth this is simply common sense to us, the measly little common people. So however much that certain Leftists rant and rave about how nutty this move is or how partisan it is or how improper this move is, that’s not going to resonate. If I’m going to vote for something, I want to know what I’m voting on. And if someone just comes up with a 700 page amendment out of the blue, I want to know what’s in it. Now, I’m not going to be naive; we know all 40 Republicans would vote against this no matter what (as would many Democrats). But the way Congress should work is that they would vote based on what’s in the bill. And yes, we know from the gist of it that the Reps would not vote for it based on the bill, but in theory one could try to improve the amendment. But again, that requires actually knowing what’s in it. And if you don’t have time to read it beforehand, then by all means, demand it be read on the floor.
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