Big surprise (not): GOP senators block jobs bill for teachers, cops and firefighters

Senate Republicans CONTINUED THEIR EFFORT last night to make sure that the economy doesn’t improve while Barack Obama is president:

For the second time in 10 days, the Senate on Thursday rejected Democratic efforts to take up a jobs bill championed by President Obama.

The vote to advance the bill was 50 to 50. Democrats needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster.

This time, the bill was narrowed to provide $35 billion to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters. To offset the cost, the bill would impose a surtax of 0.5 percent, starting in 2013, on income in excess of $1 million.

By the way, it apparently didn’t matter to the Senate obstructionists that  75 percent of the general public and 63 percent of rank-and-file Republicans supported this jobs plan, as we see HERE.



  1. Its a good thing they did block it. This bill would do nothing to actually help the economy grow. It was nothing but a payoff to the various public sector unions. Even the White House said the bill would only “support” the jobs for only one year. Further, some Democratic Senators even rightfully pointed out there was nothing in the bill to guarantee the money would actually go towards teachers and first responders.


    So what happens next year? We have to spend another 1/2 trillion to continue to “support” them? No thank you. Various state and and local legislatures all over the country are in financial trouble due to excessive union demands. The solution is to renegotiate their contracts to make them feasible within existing budgets. Or better yet, ban collective bargaining outright, the successful outcome of which has been proven in Wisconsin and Ohio.

    I’m not against government spending to help the economy, but the extreme cronyism the Democrats have displayed is a disgrace. They blew 1/2 trillion clams on Solyndra. We all want a “green” economy, but forcing the issue in the manner the Democrats do only makes things worse. If you want to spend money, get rid of federal union mandates, and invest in the country’s decaying infrastructure.

  2. Neftali: It all boils down to the determination among Republicans to block anything that might improve the economy on Obama’s watch. The fact that a few blue dog Democrats went along with the GOP is meaningless. It still takes 60 votes to overcome the Republican filibuster. The tail wags the dog.

  3. Neftali: If you want to see how incredibly dysfunctional the U.S. Senate has become in the past few years, read this piece from last year by George Packer:


  4. Jennifer

    I could care less since I have work. However, most teachers have gone to school using grants that the gov’t will have to eat if they aren’t employed. Each teacher was given up to $6,000 if they stated they would go to work in low income neighborhoods. If they cannot find work the agreement is that the gov’t will eat the loan. Well they are about too. Who cares if America goes to hell in a handbasket with the GOP routing for job creation in the farm sector. Woo hoo! The poor can make $24 a day. Wait for the food price increases and the GOP will blame Obama for the laws requiring a minimum of 60 votes to pass a bill. Sad that since most Americans aren’t educated and don’t care about what’s going on. We are fastly becoming a 3rd world uneducated country.

  5. That’s just it, it wouldn’t have improved the economy. Rubio was correct in calling it “Stimulus 2.0” Besides, it didn’t stand a chance in the House anyway. So your dog tail analogy has no relevance here.

  6. The Senate gridlock is actually a good thing. Justice Scalia explains:

    “Unless Americans can appreciate that and learn to love the separation of powers, which means learning to love the gridlock which the Framers believed would be the main protector of minorities, [we lose] the main protection. If a bill is about to pass that really comes down hard on some minority [and] they think it’s terribly unfair, it doesn’t take much to throw a monkey wrench into this complex system. Americans should appreciate that; they should learn to love the gridlock. It’s there so the legislation that does get out is good legislation.”


  7. Milton Waddams

    Might want to check your math on Solyndra. It was 500 Million, not Billion. Still a wasteful, politically connected boondoggle, but not as big as you said.

  8. Neftali: It’s fitting that you got Scalia’s pile of crap from a Web site called “Hot Air.”

    The current gridlock in the Senate stems mostly from the Republicans’ record-high use of filibusters, which in turn arises from the GOP’s stated goal of doing whatever is necessary to guarantee that Obama doesn’t succeed. Nothing else matters to these demagogues. Nothing.

  9. Neftali: By the way, the gridlock in the Senate usually takes the form of a filibuster (or an implied threat to filibuster). But no matter Scalia’s suggestion that Senate gridlock was built into the system by the Founding Fathers, there’s no specific provision in the Constitution for filibusters. The only supermajorities prescribed for the Senate in the Constitution are those involving treaties, expulsions and constitutional amendments.

    The number of filibusters has skyrocketed in recent years. In all of the 19th century, there were only 16 of them. In the first half of the 20th century, just 66. In the 1960s, 20. In the ’70s, 52. In the ’80s, 90. In the ’90s, more than 200. There has been far more than that in just the past five years, since the Democratic victories in the 2006 elections.

  10. Pat – You’re drinking too much progressive kool-aid. Let’s look at the history of cloture votes:


    Yes, the 110th & 111th Senate went a little overboard with over 135 motions filed. No question. But Democrats had a near super-majority, and it went to their head thinking they were elected to turn this country into a Socialist state. Republicans were in the right to stand up for the people and squash the far left agenda whenever possible.

    But this year with a more balanced Congress (I’m assuming this is up to date, the web site doesn’t exactly specify when it was last updated), the number of Cloture motions is on par with the normal historical trends since 1993. (Again, let’s assume another 36 motions in 2012, plus a few extra, puts us around 80 for the entire 112th Congress)

    So as you can see, contrary to what you alleged, its nothing personal against Obama, but rather the number of cloture votes for this Senate is about the norm based upon current rules.

  11. Update – It looks like that web site is up to date, as can be verified here:


    So again, nothing personal against Obama. Just following the standards of the past 20 years.

  12. Neftali: “Socialist state”? “Far left agenda”?

    Who’s really drinking the Kool-Aid? You sound like a Limbaugh dittohead.

    The fact remains that the GOP has gone filibuster-crazy. The overwhelming majority of Americans favor the Obama jobs bill, but the Republicans will do anything to deny this president any victory with regard to the economy. Their Tea Party masters demand it. And you apparently agree with them.

    Socialist state. That’s a rich one. You don’t even know the meaning of socialism.

  13. Jennifer states the republican position perfectly. “I could care less since I have work.” In other words, I’ve got mine, so screw you!

  14. When you have the Federal government directly trying to take control over 1/5th of the economy, as was the case with the original health care bill passed in Pelosi’s house, that is very much a direct march toward Socialism.

    Only the delayed confirmation of Al Franken in the Senate prevented overall passage. By the time he was confirmed (July 7th, 2009), Ted Kennedy was already too ill to vote and he passed away a month later (August 25th, 2009). Of course the Democrats in Massachusetts got a taste of their own medicine when they couldn’t appoint a replacement because of the rules they put in place for then Governor Mitt Romney. Of course, early next year is when Scott Brown was elected and the whole thing was halted for a while. Finally a bill that was a bit more bi-partisan was signed into law, not the unholy Goliath that was originally passed in the House.

    The jobs bill may be a “victory” for the Democratic party and their union buddies, but its not a victory for the country. Its an improper re-allocation of resources. Its a union payoff. Nothing more, nothing less.

  15. “Socialist state. That’s a rich one. You don’t even know the meaning of socialism”.

    Definition of SOCIALISM
    : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and ADMINISTRATION of the means of production and distribution of goods


    Yeah, Pat, I think that pretty much describes our federal government, judging by it’s size, powers of control, laws and regulations, and desires of it’s ruling class to gain even more power and control over our lives. How about, just FOR ONCE, we try to have a little bit smaller government, that has a teeny tiny bit less control over all of us.

  16. Pat’s just upset that the taxpayers won’t be contributing to Obama’s election with taxes used to provide jobs to the unions. Also these jobs are funded for only a year, and guess where the union dues go..
    Or maybe he is in agreement with Senator Reid
    “It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about,”


  17. Jerry Critter: What struck me most about Jennifer’s comment was her use of the popular misstatement “I could care less.” I’m sure she meant that she COULDN’T care less.

    “I could care less” means that you do, in fact, care.

    “I couldn’t care less” means that you don’t care at all.

    A mildly vulgar variation on this popular misusage goes like this: “I give a s–t.”

  18. I get a kick out of the clowns in this thread who think Obama’s been pushing socialism. Terry C goes so far as to imply that we have government ownership of the means of production. Come on! Obama’s getting more contributions from Wall Street than all of his would-be Republican challengers combined. A socialist? Don’t make me laugh.

    These people should read this piece by a real socialist, who says Obama “not only is not a socialist,” but “may in fact not even be a liberal. Socialists understand him more as a hedge-fund Democrat — one of a generation of neoliberal politicians firmly committed to free-market policies..”

    Read the whole thing here:


  19. Pat Cunningham says:

    “Terry C goes so far as to imply that we have government ownership of the means of production. Come on! Obama’s getting more contributions from Wall Street than all of his would-be Republican challengers combined. A socialist? Don’t make me laugh”.

    Pat, your level of reading comprehension is down today. I never mentioned in my post the following: Democrat, Republican, Obama. Where do you see these words? And the highlighted word in the Merriam-Webster definition of socialism is ADMINISTRATION. And if you don’t think all of our government agencies, laws, regulations, and controls (often by handing out money to their pet projects and punishing others they don’t like)amounts to control of the means of production and distribution of goods, then you are the left-wing nut job you so heartily rail against (or is that right-wing nut job, so hard to tell the difference these days).

  20. Terry: Don’t try to weasel out of what you said.

    You offered a definition of socialism as “collective or governmental ownership and ADMINISTRATION of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

    That’s “ownership AND administration,” not “ownership OR administration.”

    And then you went on with some nonsense about how our government fits your definition of socialism. You, too, sound like a Limbaugh dittohead.

    You and your fellow red-baiters in this thread remind me of the rhetoric Mitt Romney was peddling a few months ago about how “we are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy.”

    PolitiFact put the lie to that crapola:


  21. We Are All Socialists Now

    United States Abandoning Capitalism for Socialism

    Socialism Viewed Positively by 36% of Americans

    Bob Cesca: Tea Party Republican Governors Embrace Socialism

    Since I mention Republican’s once, might as well mention Obama once:

    55 Percent of Likely Voters Find ‘Socialist’ an Accurate Label of Obama?

    And, from the horses mouth:

    Socialist Party USA: Statement of Principles
    THE SOCIALIST PARTY strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control — a non-racist, classless, feminist, socialist society in which people cooperate at work, at home, and in the community.

    Seems like a lot of people are noticing our large federal government is taking away more of their money and other freedoms (yes, having money = freedom) in recent years (recent being more than Obama’s three, up to and including 100 years).

    If you dispute this, Pat, please show me your data and links to our newfound SMALLER, less intrusive, less regulatory federal government in the last 30 or so years.

  22. Terry: What a wacko you are!

    You don’t even recognize the sarcasm in the Bob Cesca piece to which you’ve linked.

    And the two polls you cite have got nothing whatever to do with whether our federal government has become socialistic. The one that says 55 percent of likely voters apply the socialist label to Obama is especially stupid. You know, we’ve also had polls in which large percentages have said Obama is a foreign-born Muslim. But that didn’t make it true.

    If you honestly believe that our government has become a socialist regime, you’re not nearly as smart as I used to think. As I say, you sound like a Limbaugh dittohead and a fan of Glenn Beck.

    What are you going to come up with next? Something about water fluoridation?

  23. I think you hit a nerve, Pat.

  24. Pat Cunningham says:

    “What are you going to come up with next? Something about water fluoridation”?

    “Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream.”

    What I recognize, Pat, is that all SUCCESSFUL politicians are liars and whores. This is the nature of the beast. Your constant bear- baiting of conservatives/republicans on your blog is just as humorous as anything Beck or Limbaugh say. It makes for good entertainment, even if none of you can be taken seriously. I know that no government run by so-called “Republicans” or “Democrats” in the last 80 years gives a damn about the little people. You seem to think Republican whores have a lock on trampling the “little guy” who you claim to support. If you truly cared about the average American, you would stop with all the pedantic posts against Republican politicians and attack ALL of them. You might be surprised how many of your “right-wing nut jobs” readers (who seem to be about 80% of all your readers) might enjoy the refreshing change of pace.

  25. Terry: I’m not so sure that 80 percent of my readers are right-wingers. Don’t go by the preponderance of comments. I’m acquainted with certain liberals who visit here regularly but rarely, if ever, submit comments.

    Of one thing I’m fairly certain: The vast majority of readers, be they lefties or righties or middle-of-the roaders, don’t comment. By the same token, I rarely, if ever, submit comments to any of the numerous blogs I visit regularly.

    This blog has registered more than 1.3 million page-views since January of 2008, and I’ve received more than 80,000 comments. But it’s almost impossible to correlate the one number with the other. Most of the page-views, of course, are repeat visits. And most of the comments are from repeat commenters.

    Nor do I know for sure the percentage of page-views from outside the Rockford area. But I’ve found that comments come from far and wide. There have even been a few from Europe. Some of our regulars, past and present, are from distant states.

    When one of my posts gets picked up or linked to by some other blog, the traffic in comments picks up. But lots of them are one-timers.

    One curiosity: Most of the erstwhile regulars who have been banned from this blog for one reason or another (there have been about 20 of them, maybe a few more) have been from other locales.

    Oh, and you’d be amazed at the number of comments that never get published because of vulgar language or blatant, over-the-top racism. Obama and his wife inspire a lot of that kind of thing. And it goes well beyond the N-word.

  26. “Don’t go by the preponderance of comments.”

    Earlier this month, you didn’t mind surmising that most of of your “readers” were Republicans based on a preponderance of comments:

    “If the comment threads on this blog are any indication, most of our Applesauce readers are conservatives and thus presumably Republicans (or at least Republican leaners).”


    Of course, that was in an effort get a “few laughs” at their expense based on their predictions as to who would win the Republican nomination.

    Now that Terry suggests most of your readers are from the right, you’re opinion about the political leanings of your readers suddenly changes. Pontificating to the masses must be so much easier when you don’t feel the need to be consistent.

  27. Pat Cunningham says:

    “Nor do I know for sure the percentage of page-views from outside the Rockford area. But I’ve found that comments come from far and wide. There have even been a few from Europe. Some of our regulars, past and present, are from distant states”.

    Well, then how about running a survey? You could put it in the right (or left) column and run it continuously for a week or so, extending over all of your blogs (not tied in to just one that many people might miss). If you don’t have the software for it, check with someone at the paper, they should have some appropriate survey software available (and the results might even help the Register-Star learn something about their readers).

    P.S. It would be interesting to see how many of your far-flung readers (or ranters) are local boys like me who live in those other corners of the universe.

    P.P.S. Go Harlem Huskies!!! (we also love our football here in Texas). I would say Go Bears, also, but that’s a given.

  28. Jaybo: So, you’ve caught me in a trivial inconsistency. Pin a rose on your nose.

    But then, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

  29. Terry,

    While I am not from Rockford, I did live there for nearly 8 years before migrating back to the better side of the Cheddar Curtain.

    By the way, you nailed it with your comment about Pat’s hypocrisy and this blog. Very much like the 99% protesters who want to march on the rich, but conveniently ignore the influence of George Soros and Wall Street on the President.

  30. Ah! doc plays the George Soros card, the favorite bugaboo of wingnuts and Beckheads.

    What’s next, doc? Some theory about the plot to sap your kind of your precious bodily fluids, no doubt.

    Anyone who clings to that Soros stuff is not to be taken seriously, which is why respectable conservatives shun such nonsense.

  31. So who contributes more, Soros or the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers have more money together than Soros, but that doesn’t mean they contribute more.

  32. So George Soros isn’t a megabillionaire Wall Street hot shot?

    Of course he is.

    He is probably one of the most succesful hedge fund managers of all time. He should be the main target of the 99%ers as should our President.

    It is all just so deliciously hypocritical and typically liberal.

  33. doc: What in the hell is your thing with George Soros? What’s the freaking point? You heard his name from your fellow wingnuts, so you figure he’s some kind of trump card you can play.


    Arguing with you is like playing chess with a pigeon. It’ll knock over the pieces, crap on the board and fly back to its flock to claim victory.

  34. You don’t like to be wrong do you Mr. C. ?

    I don’t have any problem with George Soros or anybody else who has earned a legitimate living. I don’t think he has broken any laws and I suspect he worked damn hard to earn his billions.

    It is the 99%ers that should be mad at him, after all, he is probably in the .0001%.

    Why won’t you just admit that they are misguided hypocrites Mr. C. ?

  35. Doc: Forget it, PC won’t admit anything. A lefty group is never going to direct its anger at George Soros, Russell Simmons, Michael Moore or any other lefties who made piles of money through capitalism. Pat won’t admit that – he’d rather give you the Alinksy ridicule treatment and pretend that you would not know of George Soros unless someone planted his name in your ear. Meanwhile, if one of PC’s favorite bugaboos, the Koch Brothers, so much as sneeze, he will create a blog entry. So while PC drops the names of the Koch Brothers at a seemingly constant pace, he will admonish you that respectable conservatives shun nonsense such as George Soros. (As if PC even believes there is such a thing as a “respectable conservative”).

    To further PC’s chess analogy – arguing with him is like playing chess with a monkey – you get him to checkmate, and he swallows the king.

  36. *Alinsky

  37. Pat: What in the h@ll is your thing with the Koch brothers?

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