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Topic: Cap and Trade

Cool It, the Movie

Posted on Nov. 22, 10 | 06:45 PM by David Keating | Topic: Cap and Trade
I've got to hand it to Bjorn Lomborg, author of the book “The Skeptical Environmentalist.”  He's done it again, bringing calm analysis to a politically charged subject in the new documentary film "Cool It," which went into wide release over the weekend.

While you likely won't agree with everything in the film, keep in mind its audience for how to spend hundreds of billions -- the European Union, not Congress.

No, what is truly amazing how it can make writers at newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post reflect on the facts about climate change and reconsider Al Gore's scary documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

By the second half, however, Ms. Timoner has found her footing, and the film really digs in. Debunking claims made by “An Inconvenient Truth” and presenting alternative strategies, “Cool It” finally blossoms into an engrossing, brain-tickling picture as many of Al Gore’s meticulously graphed assertions are systematically — and persuasively — refuted. (I was intrigued to hear Mr. Lomborg say, for instance, that the polar-bear population is more endangered by hunters than melting ice.)
      The New York Times Critics Pick Movie

"Cool It," in other words, is an attempt to rehabilitate Lomborg's image. But it also presents an alternative to solutions like cap-and-trade legislation. Several alternatives, in fact. If it's propaganda, it's surprisingly effective.

With the charismatic, articulate (and, yes, kind of hunky) Lomborg in front of the camera for much of the film - along with a parade of scientists who support his views - "Cool It" makes a convincing case that there are better things we can do than drive a Prius. Not that there's anything wrong with that, he says; it's just not going to solve much.
   The Washington Post

With its follow-the-money mind-set, the documentary works its way through problem and solution many times over, always in a brisk, no-nonsense way. By bringing in a diverse group of big thinkers to take part in a very animated, sometimes agitated, discussion, the filmmaker has succeeded in bringing what could have been a very dry mountain of data, theories and experimental research to vibrant life.

Timoner came to the project a skeptic herself, and that serves the film well. Though the charismatic Lomborg is very much the center of the storm, she lines up an impressive number of experts from the environmental and scientific research community to stand on either side of the divide. Nearly every assertion Lomborg makes is met by a devil's advocate — though the late Stephen Schneider, Nobel winner, MacArthur fellow and long a professor of environmental biology at Stanford University, carries much of that load. Still, there is little doubt from the beginning who will win the final round.
     The Los Angeles Times
The movie is a lot better than the trailer, and is worth seeing.  Be sure to invite your liberal friends who loved Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."

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Top 150 Most Vulnerable House Democratic Seats -- Final Update

Posted on Nov. 02, 10 | 05:21 PM by David Keating | Topic: Cap and Trade
Charlie Cook yesterday updated his race ratings in 16 House races, and then after I posted what I thought was the last update, Stu Rotheberg last night updated two more races.  Both updates were in the Republican direction.

There are now 102 Democratic seats that can be classified as highly vulnerable, meaning no better than "lean Democratic."

Here are the current estimates by category:

    * 59 seats are very slightly to safely Republican.
    * 21 are toss ups.
    * 22 are leaning Democratic.

To provide more detail, 32 seats are lean to solidly Republican.  Another 27 are toss-up/tilt Republican.  20 are pure toss-up.  Only 1 is toss-up/tilt Democrat.

Another 18 seats (down 4) are rated likely Democratic by at least one of the four, and in 8 cases two or more of the prognosticators.

Below is the list of the 150 Democratic seats most likely to switch.


I'm tracking four prognosticators who rate House races who I think do the best job -- Cook, Rothenberg, Sabato and CQ. My list of the Democratic seats most likely to switch is based on the most aggressive prognosticator in assessing the race in favor of the Republican.  I have marked down Sabato to toss-up/tilt R if he is the only one at lean Republican.   That's because Sabato forces his final picks out of the toss-up category, so to make his estimates comparable to the other three, I make that adjustment.

In the event of a tie between races, the prognosticator average breaks the tie and if the ranking is still tied, my computer rating of the voting behavior of the seat breaks that tie.  Seats not considered in play by the four prognosticators are ranked based on my computer ranking of the seat's voting behavior and quality of the Republican nominee's campaign.

This analysis does NOT predict how many seats will flip to Republican.  It just lists those that are at least somewhat competitive.  It is likely that only a relative few of the seats listed after ranking #102 will flip to Republican.  Don't expect more than at most a handful, if any, of the races labeled long shots to come in.

This list also does not include Republican seats in play.  There are three that are likely to flip or leaning to the Democrats -- DE-AL (Castle, open), LA-2 (Cao), and IL-10 (Kirk, open).

Rank 2010 Incumbent District Nominee Rating
1 Melancon LA3 Jeff Landry Safe R  
2 Gordon TN6 Dianne Black Safe R  
3 Ellsworth IN8 Larry Bucshon Likely R  
4 Tanner TN8 Stephen Fincher Likely R  
5 Snyder AR2 Tim Griffin Likely R  
6 Moore, D. KS3 Kevin Yoder Likely R  
7 Kilroy OH15 Steve Stivers Likely R  
8 Markey CO4 Cory Gardner Likely R  
9 Grayson FL8 Dan Webster Likely R  
10 Halvorson IL11 Adam Kinzinger Likely R  
11 Dahlkemper PA3 Mike Kelly Likely R  
12 Edwards, C. TX17 Bill Flores Likely R  
13 Massa NY29 Tom Reed Likely R  
14 Kosmas FL24 Sandy Adams Likely R  
15 Boyd FL2 Steve Southerland Likely R  
16 Shea-Porter NH1 Frank Guinta Likely R  
17 Kratovil MD1 Andy Harris Lean R  
18 Driehaus OH1 Steve Chabot Lean R  
19 Kagen WI8 Reid Ribble Lean R  
20 Teague NM2 Steve Pearce Lean R  
21 Marshall GA8 Austin Scott Lean R  
22 Kirkpatrick AZ1 Paul Gosar Lean R  
23 Nye VA2 Scott Rigell Lean R  
24 Berry AR1 Rick Crawford Lean R  
25 Titus NV3 Joe Heck Lean R  
26 Perriello VA5 Robert Hurt Lean R  
27 Stupak MI1 Dan Benishek Lean R  
28 Baird WA3 Jaime Herrera Lean R  
29 Hodes NH2 Charlie Bass Lean R  
30 Sestak PA7 Pat Meehan Lean R  
31 Spratt SC5 Mick Mulvaney Lean R  
32 Boccieri OH16 Jim Renacci Lean R  
33 Davis, L. TN4 Scott DesJarlais Toss Up/Tilt R  
34 Pomeroy ND1 Richard Berg Toss Up/Tilt R  
35 Herseth Sandlin SD1 Kristi Noem Toss Up/Tilt R  
36 Foster IL14 Randy Hultgren Toss Up/Tilt R  
37 Salazar CO3 Scott Tipton Toss Up/Tilt R  
38 Hall, J. NY19 Nan Hayworth Toss Up/Tilt R  
39 Mitchell AZ5 David Schweikert Toss Up/Tilt R  
40 Kanjorski PA11 Lou Barletta Toss Up/Tilt R  
41 Murphy NY20 Chris Gibson Toss Up/Tilt R  
42 Murphy, P. PA8 Michael Fitzpatrick Toss Up/Tilt R  
43 Obey WI7 Sean Duffy Toss Up/Tilt R  
44 Hill IN9 Todd Young Toss Up/Tilt R  
45 Carney PA10 Thomas Marino Toss Up/Tilt R  
46 Mollohan WV1 David McKinley Toss Up/Tilt R  
47 Schauer MI7 Tim Walberg Toss Up/Tilt R  
48 Minnick ID1 Raul Labrador Toss Up/Tilt R  
49 Childers MS1 Alan Nunnelee Toss Up/Tilt R  
50 Adler NJ3 Jon Runyan Toss Up/Tilt R  
51 Hare IL17 Bobby Schilling Toss Up/Tilt R  
52 Space OH18 Bob Gibbs Toss Up/Tilt R  
53 McNerney CA11 David Harmer Toss Up/Tilt R  
54 Kissell NC8 Harold Johnson Toss Up/Tilt R  
55 Rodriguez, C. TX23 Quico Canseco Toss Up/Tilt R  
56 Klein FL22 Allen West Toss Up/Tilt R  
57 Bishop, S. GA2 Mike Keown Toss Up/Tilt R  
58 Bright AL2 Martha Roby Toss Up/Tilt R  
59 Owens NY23 Matt Doheny Toss Up/Tilt R  
60 Taylor MS4 Steven Palazzo Toss Up  
61 Arcuri NY24 Richard Hanna Toss Up  
62 Heinrich NM1 Johnathan L. Barela Toss Up  
63 Schrader OR5 Scott Bruun Toss Up  
64 Delahunt MA10 Jeff Perry Toss Up  
65 Skelton MO4 Vicky Hartzler Toss Up  
66 Giffords AZ8 Jesse Kelly Toss Up  
67 Boucher VA9 Morgan Griffith Toss Up  
68 Donnelly IN2 Jackie Walorski Swihart Toss Up  
69 Connolly VA11 Keith Fimian Toss Up  
70 Wilson, C. OH6 Bill Johnson Toss Up  
71 Bishop NY1 Randy Altschuler Toss Up  
72 Critz PA12 Tim Burns Toss Up  
73 Costa CA20 Andy Vidak Toss Up  
74 Larsen WA2 John Koster Toss Up  
75 Grijalva AZ7 Ruth McClung Toss Up  
76 Chandler KY6 Andy Barr Toss Up  
77 McIntyre NC7 Ilario Pantano Toss Up  
78 Pingree ME1 Dean Scontras Toss Up  
79 Oberstar MN8 Chip Cravaack Toss Up  
80 Etheridge NC2 Renee Ellmers Toss Up/Tilt D  
81 Peters MI9 Rocky Raczkowski Lean D  
82 Walz MN1 Randy Demmer Lean D  
83 Sanchez, Loretta CA47 Van Tran Lean D  
84 Boswell IA3 Brad Zaun Lean D  
85 Kind WI3 Dan Kapanke Lean D  
86 Loebsack IA2 Marianette Miller-Meeks Lean D  
87 Kennedy, P. RI1 John Loughlin Lean D  
88 Himes CT4 Dan Debicella Lean D  
89 Shuler NC11 Jeff Miller Lean D  
90 McMahon NY13 Michael Grimm Lean D  
91 Altmire PA4 Keith Rothfus Lean D  
92 Maffei NY25 Ann Marie Buerkle Lean D  
93 Murphy, C. CT5 Sam Caliguri Lean D  
94 Sutton OH13 Tom Ganley Lean D  
95 Perlmutter CO7 Ryan Frazier Lean D  
96 Braley IA1 Benjamin Lange Lean D  
97 Carnahan MO3 Ed Martin Lean D  
98 Ortiz TX27 Blake Farenthold Lean D  
99 Michaud ME2 Jason Levesque Lean D  
100 Hinchey NY22 George Phillips Lean D  
101 Frank MA4 Sean Bielat Lean D  
102 Matheson UT2 Morgan Philpot Lean D  
103 Holden PA17 Dave Argall Likely D  
104 Yarmuth KY3 Todd Lally Likely D  
105 Rahall WV3 Elliot "Spike" Maynard Likely D  
106 Bean IL8 Joe Walsh Likely D  
107 Cardoza CA18 Michael Berryhill Likely D  
108 Holt NJ12 Scott Sipprelle Likely D  
109 Wu OR1 Rob Cornilles Likely D  
110 Ross AR4 Beth Anne Rankin Likely D  
111 DeFazio OR4 Art Robinson Likely D  
112 Tierney MA6 Bill Hudak Likely D  
113 Cooper TN5 David Hall Likely D  
114 Lujan NM3 Thomas E. Mullins Likely D  
115 Kucinich OH10 Peter Corrigan Likely D  
116 Smith, Adam WA9 Dick Muri Likely D  
117 Tsongas MA5 Jon Golnik Likely D  
118 Barrow GA12 Ray McKinney Likely D  
119 McCarthy, C. NY4 Fran Becker Likely D  
120 Pallone Jr. NJ6 Anna Little Likely D  
121 Dicks WA6 Doug Cloud Long Shot  
122 Peterson MN7 Lee Byberg Long Shot  
123 Boren OK2 Charles Thompson Long Shot  
124 Cuellar TX28 Bryan Underwood Long Shot  
125 Miller, B. NC13 Bill Randall Long Shot  
126 Dingell MI15 Rob Steele Long Shot  
127 Price, D. NC4 William "BJ" Lawson Long Shot  
128 Doggett TX25 Donna Campbell Long Shot  
129 Courtney CT2 Janet Peckinpaugh Long Shot  
130 Filner CA51 Nick Popaditch Long Shot  
131 Kaptur OH9 Rich Lott Long Shot  
132 Weiner NY9 Bob Turner Long Shot  
133 Capps CA23 Tom Watson Long Shot  
134 Thompson, B. MS2 Bill Marcy Long Shot  
135 Schwartz PA13 Carson Dee Adcock Long Shot  
136 Polis CO2 Stephen Bailey Long Shot  
137 Cleaver MO5 Jacob Turk Long Shot  
138 Hinojosa TX15 Eddie Zamora Long Shot  
139 Inslee WA1 James Watkins Long Shot  
140 Israel NY2 John Gomez Long Shot  
141 Castor FL11 Mike Prendergast Long Shot  
142 Costello IL12 Teri Davis Newman Long Shot  
143 Carson IN7 Marvin Scott Long Shot  
144 Richardson CA37 Star Parker Long Shot  
145 Schakowsky IL9 Joel Pollak Long Shot  
146 Kildee MI5 John Kupiec Long Shot  
147 Tonko NY21 Theodore Danz Long Shot  
148 Higgins NY27 Lenny Roberto Long Shot  
149 Gonzalez TX20 Clayton Trotter Long Shot  
150 Sarbanes MD3 Jim Wilhelm Long Shot  
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116 House Democratic Seats Now in Play

Posted on Oct. 12, 10 | 11:07 AM by David Keating | Topic: Cap and Trade
You may have seen my write up of the 150 Democratic seats most likely to switch.  It's based on four top prognosticators and those four listed 111 in play.

Well last night, four more seats got added by Charlie Cook, going from Solid Democrat to Likely Democrat -- TX-27, NM-3, MA-4 and AZ-7.

These were ranked 112, 138, 142 and 149 on my list, so I think my list is doing a decent job of  early radar for seats likely to be listed in play by the prognosticators.

I'll have an update on my top 150, hopefully later today.  I was about to post it, but then a slew of new updates came out.

I'm sure some other seats will get added, or would bet a lot they will.

Keep in mind, a likely Democratic seat still means it is very likely the Democrat will win.

Some people have noticed the FiveThirtyEight projections.  While I think it does a good job, its statistical model is not well suited to what may turn out to be a Black Swan election.  Eventually FiveThirtyEight will pick up these shifts, so It is best thought of as a trailing indicator.  I'm trying to make my list a leading indicator.

The seats now listed in play are given the following chances of flipping by FiveThirtyEight:  1.4%, 1.4%, 0% and 0.7%.

My top pick for the next "surprise" seat in play?  MA-6.  FiveThirtyEight says the Republican has a 0.2% chance of winning.  I bet those odds will go up considerably in the coming weeks.

UPDATE:  I'm sorry, but I just realized that the note that my list of races in play where I noted the rankings of 112, 138, 142 and 149 was based on a spreadsheet on my computer that I had not posted yet.  Those races had moved onto my radar on my spreadsheet prior to Monday night's Cook updates but I had not had time to post them yet.

I have an update ready to go once Andy can format the table for me in HTML.  This of course likely means that another set of updates will come out by the other three prognosticators.

Also, I miscounted.  There are now 116 seats in play among Democratic seats.  This post was earlier labeled as 115.

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I See Dead Policies

Posted on Oct. 06, 10 | 10:19 AM by Michael Frese | Topic: Cap and Trade
Yesterday, driving near a hospital Sherry and I saw a car driven by a man in medical scrubs with  the vanity plate ICDDPPL.  I think the reference is to the tagline of M. Night Shyamalan's directorial and Joel Haley Osment's acting breakouts in Sixth Sense: "I see dead people."  I didn't start laughing until it hit me that he was probably a pathologist who did autopsies.

Political pathologists are everywhere these days.  Here's Gloria Borger, getting the death of progressivist agenda mostly right, except that she doesn't see it as that.

It is in its last throes, however.  The reason for the "enthusiasm gap" that has been so much described, is partly that the right and middle are energized against the Democrats, but there's more.  Conservative and Moderate Democrats are look-away-and-cover-your-eyes embarrassed that their party's long held ideals are now exposed as so clearly flawed, and so clearly rejected by a clear majority of the American body politic.  The woman who stood up and said to Obama "I'm just exhausted of defending you," is representative of those folks.

They might be too tired to bother voting, and the more he shouts at them, the more embarrassed and tired they'll get.

[Also posted to Economic Liberty]

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Hatch: "We just voted to keep the status quo”

Posted on Sep. 23, 10 | 05:27 PM by David Keating | Topic: Cap and Trade
Politico reported that "Republican senators backed away from tougher sanctions against Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski for defying her party’s wishes in her state’s Senate race, a surprise move that could give her new ammunition in her uphill write-in bid for reelection."

You see Hatch's quote above.  You would think that given what happened in Utah this year, that more senators would have gotten the message that the status quo is not acceptable.

All in all this is very disappointing and sends mixed messages to Alaska voters, and perhaps to Republicans in Utah too. 

Murkowski's actions pose a risk that a Democrat could win the seat. 

Senate Republicans are not doing enough to back the Republican nominee and their inaction puts policy gains at risk.

Don't they care?


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Senate GOP Squishes, Murkowski Keeps Seniority

Posted on Sep. 22, 10 | 03:45 PM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Cap and Trade
GOP Senate leadership votes to let Lisa Murkowski keep her seniority in the party conference.
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House GOP Ready to Embrace Earmarks Again

Posted on Aug. 24, 10 | 10:31 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Cap and Trade
According to Republican Minority Whip Eric Cantor, the POLITICO reported today that, "Republicans may roll back their ban on earmarks, as long as the spending items have 'merit.'"

Has Cantor and House Republicans learned nothing?  Fiscal conservatives cheered them back in March when the House GOP announced their "no pork" diet.  They voted to refuse earmarks because they understood - correctly - that voters hate special interest giveaways.  House Republicans understood that one of the major reasons they lost the majority in 2006 was precisely because they abused their power by requesting earmarks.

So now they think they can take back the majority and revert to their old ways and everything will be lovey dovey with the conservative base?  

Think again.

If House Republicans take back the majority, fiscal conservatives should demand new leadership.  If John Boehner wants to be Speaker of the House, he can't just inherit the swamp that Pelosi promised to drain.  He needs to actually drain it.  And if he won't enforce a complete ban on earmarks, we need to find someone else who will.
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Young Guns but No Ads

Posted on Aug. 17, 10 | 10:52 AM by David Keating | Topic: Cap and Trade
A lot of noise this morning about the 40 districts (39 Democratic seats and 1 Republican) where the National Republican Congressional Committee has bought TV ad time.

Left out of the buzz are the NRCC "Young Guns" without air coverage:

AR2    Tim Griffin
FL22    Allen West
IL14    Randy Hultgren
NJ3    Jon Runyon
NM1    Johnathan L. Barela
NY29    Tom Reed
OH13    Tom Ganley
PA8    Michael Fitzpatrick
VA11    Keith Fimian
VA9    Morgan Griffith

In some of these districts, broadcast air buys are not that practical, especially on their limited budget. 

UPDATE:  I should add that in some other districts the race may be in the bag.

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‘No One Can Do More?’ Nevada Unemployment Hits 14%, Worst In Nation

Posted on Jun. 18, 10 | 01:40 PM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Cap and Trade
WASHINGTON – Nevada’s unemployment rate jumped to 14 percent in May, the highest of any state in the nation.  In the three years since Nevada’s Harry Reid became Senate Majority Leader, his home state’s unemployment rate has more than tripled, from 4.5 percent in January, 2007.

“Is this what Harry means by ‘No One Can Do More?’” asked Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, referring to Reid’s increasingly comic re-election campaign slogan.

“In the three years since Harry Reid became the most powerful man in Congress, Nevada’s unemployment rate has tripled from 4.5 to 14 percent, as more than 120,000 Nevada jobs have been lost.  In those 39 months, Nevada’s monthly unemployment rate has risen 32 times, including 14 of the 17 months since Reid rammed the $787 billion stimulus debacle through the Senate.”

“No one could do more?” Chocola said.  “Who does Harry think he’s kidding?  Anyone in the Las Vegas phone book could have done more.”

“Nevada and the rest of the country know what creates jobs, even if Reid does not – lower taxes, smaller government, and freer people,” Chocola said.  “Sharron Angle is ready to fight to undo Reid’s legacy of joblessness and recession by working to scale back big government, cut wasteful spending, and allow entrepreneurs, investors, and families to get our economy moving again.”



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Club for Growth PAC Releases Final Tallies for NV-Sen, GA-09

Posted on Jun. 08, 10 | 03:43 PM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Cap and Trade
WASHINGTON – Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle and Georgia-09 House candidate Tom Graves head into election night leading public opinion polls, thanks to strong messages of pro-growth principles, and to nearly $1 million in assistance from Club for Growth PAC and Club for Growth members. 

Angle faces several opponents in the Nevada GOP primary, all seeking to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November.  Meanwhile, Graves faces off against Lee Hawkins in a special election runoff to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Rep. Nathan Deal. 

The following fact sheet details Club for Growth PAC and Club for Growth members’ efforts in these two races:


    Club for Growth member contributions        $153,056
    Club for Growth PAC TV advertising (ad here)    $415,105
    Club for Growth PAC mail                    $60,000
    TOTAL                            $628,161


    Club for Growth member contributions        $219,109
    Club for Growth PAC TV advertising (ad here)      $77,821
    Club for Growth PAC mail                  $36,000
    TOTAL                            $332,930

    TOTAL FOR NV-SEN AND GA-09            $961,019



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Orrin Hatch is killing me, Smalls!

Posted on Jun. 02, 10 | 04:01 PM by Michael Connolly | Topic: Cap and Trade
What is it with these guys?

Fresh on the heels of watching Bob Bennett kneecapped by conservative convention delegates for supporting earmarks, bailouts, and takeovers, Utah Republican Orrin Hatch's latest attempt to burnish his conservative credentials is to...

Criminalize lying?  Oy...

Politico reports that Hatch has introduced legislation that makes lying about military service for career advancement a federal misdemeanor.  Come on!

Ok.  Let's stipulate that people who lie about military service are losers and frauds.  Let's even stipulate, for the sake of argument, that this small-ball, feel-good non sequitur is a worthwhile idea.  Let's further stipulate that Sen. Hatch is unimpeachably sincere in his revulsion at Dick Blumenthal and in his desire to discourage that kind of resume padding from now on.

Now just look at the politics.

This is Hatch's game-changer to start remedying a Bennett-esque career of earmarks, big spending, and nonsense?  This is what he's going back to Utah, brandishing like an A+ on a spelling test, to show everyone how he gets it and isn't like that squish Bennett?

How depressing that even when their hearts are in the right place, these guys still don't get it.

Earth to congressional Republicans -- it's not 1997!  Stop with the gimmicks.  Stop with the distractions.  Stop with the majority threshold budget points of order subject to the yawn.  Stop with the, "I thank my distinguished colleague for his commendable leadership on this blah blah blah."

Here's what let's do instead: Cut some &%!$#@ spending!  Kill a few earmarks.  Zero-out some duplicative agencies and bureaus.  Sell off Fannie, Freddie, AIG, and the rest of the government owned companies.  Claw back bailout funds.  Repeal something... anything!  Of course it won't pass, but at least try!

Show us you get it.  Show us that you understand that debt is $13 trillion and no one cares about your pet causes right now.  Show us you understand that it's not about you.  Show us that 30 years in Washington hasn't turned your brains to mush.  Show us you know that leadership is about more than finger-pointing, credit taking, and blame avoidance.

I like Senator Hatch.  I've met him a few times: a true gentleman. 

Pass this thing.   Congratulate each other for having the courage to crack down on universally loathed con men.  Great.  But then let's get our eye back on the ball, huh?  If Republicans want to win back the American people's trust, they have got to get their heads in the game. 

Until then, in the immortal words of the fat kid from The Sandlot: "You're killing me, Smalls!"
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