Friday, February 5, 2010

Senator Richard Shelby wants Democrats to cry “Uncle”

That loud squealing noise you heard all day was not a stuck pig hiding under your porch. Instead that was the collective cry of the left, crying foul over Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) placing a "blanket hold" on 70 of Obama’s nominations. Shelby placed the holds because he claims funding for a pair of, what he deems crucial, military projects in his state. Shelby claims that these projects directly affect national security.  Here are the projects, from TPM:
Sen. Shelby has placed holds on several pending nominees due to unaddressed national security concerns. Among his concerns is that nearly 10 years after the U.S. Air Force announced plans to replace the aging tanker fleet, we still do not have a transparent and fair acquisition process to move forward. The Department of Defense must recognize that the draft Request for Proposal needs to be significantly and substantively changed.
Sen. Shelby is also deeply concerned that the Administration will not release the funds already appropriated to the FBI to build the Terrorist Explosives Devices Analytical Center. This decision impedes the U.S. military, the intelligence community, and federal law enforcement personnel in their missions to exploit and analyze intelligence information critical to fighting terrorism and ensuring American security worldwide. The Obama Administration wants to read terrorists our Miranda rights and try them in U.S. courts but is impeding the processing of evidence that could lead to convictions. If this administration were as worried about hunting down terrorists as it is about the confirmation of low-level political nominations, America would be a safer place. 
Truth be told, it looks like these projects could be either a national security issue or pork projects. I will let you judge for yourself.

There are basically three things I get out of this.

1.Why wasn’t these hardball tactics used before Al Franken became the 60th vote? Really, even though three Republicans voted for the Stimulus, had one Republican pulled this maneuver maybe those three would have been persuaded to trade the nominations for the stimulus. It seems like a real waste of a nuclear type tactic for such a small issue.

2. Troglo Pundit makes an excellent point, that these holds sure as hell had better not be for pork projects:
Hey, these might be good programs. Needed programs. It may be that they are fundamentally necessary to national security and defense, and that they simply can’t be done anywhere else.
That better be the case. This better be the result of shifty, poke-you-in-the-eye-just-because-you’re-not-on-my-side hardball politics on Obama’s part. I mean, these projects better have been cancelled or moved for political reasons – notfor budgetary or other practical reasons.
Because otherwise, this looks like that same ol’, same ‘ol earmark politics that got everybody ticked off in the first place. That got Republicans thrown out of office the last two elections. That Republicans should have learned to avoid by now.

3. Democrats are bitching about the senate rules that allow these holds to be place, but as William Jacobson from Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion points out, there are senate rules to remove them. The problem here is that the rules requires 60 votes and that means Democrats now have to engage the very Republicans they pissed on all last year. That old saying comes to mind, “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar”.

Via: TPM
Via: TPM

1 comment:

Janelle said...

One bill at a time, written by the individuals we elect to make decisions, would banish the practice forever.
Or slow it down, considerably.

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