So, just what was in this bill:
The Senate passed a defense appropriations bill Saturday as the chamber’s Democrats cleared the decks for its healthcare reform legislation.
The $636 billion Pentagon budget and added unrelated amendments including extension of unemployment benefits for fiscal year 2010 passed the Senate overwhelmingly with a vote of 88-10. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) was joined by nine Republican senators in opposing the bill.
The vote came after a contentious cloture motion on the defense spending bill passed early Friday as Democrats accused Republicans of slowing the defense bill’s progress in order to impede their healthcare reform package. Only three Republicans voted to move forward with the defense bill then, which helped beat back a GOP-engineered filibuster.
Despite the legislation funding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the tune of $128 billion, much of the debate on the defense bill has centered around the Democrats’ reform push for the healthcare reform legislation instead. In an effort to finish the healthcare bill before the end of the year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been keeping the Senate in session late at night and through the weekend. GOP senators, in turn, have said that Democrats are pushing the bill too quickly before it can be properly considered.
Well, yeah - I don't think one has to be a Republican to speculate as to WHY the Democrats are in such a hurry that they cannot take more time for, I dunno, READING THE DAMN THING first, or forming committees to study the long range impact, particularly cost, etc. But hey, that may just be too reasonable for them:
“The majority knows that the more time the public has with the bill, the more they know about it, the less they will like it,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on the Senate floor Saturday before the defense vote. “This is a rush.”
Democrats countered by saying their colleagues across the aisle have concentrated on delaying their bill and have not come up with their own plan to change the healthcare system for the better.
“That is what they have to offer to the American people. Not ideas, not solutions, but delay,” said Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) in response. He then went through a variety of reforms the Senate healthcare bill would achieve.
The successful passage of the defense bill in the Senate now clears the way for Democrats to finish their work on the healthcare reform bill. The House had already easily passed the defense bill on Wednesday with a 395-34 vote.
Oh, Dick (Durbin, that is), why play the blame game in an attempt to not be held accountable for your role in this unwanted, short-sighted, payout to insurance companies and Big Pharma?
Well, I imagine we'll be debating this for some time to come, this whole Health Care issue, and how it will REALLY affect us. Once they have it all written down, that is.
But even an article on the Defense Appropriations bill is more about the so-called Health "care" bill than Defense. There is a reason for that I think (SATIRE ALERT).
Believe it or not, there is one thing Obama WON'T sign in the Defense Appropriations Bill. Frankly, I don't understand it one bit. This, to me, looks like one of the all-time coolest, most awesomest, niftiest defensive creations EVER. Oh, if only the following was from a real news organization as opposed to The Onion:
Am I right, or am I right? Totally wicked awesome, isn't it? Too bad they had to take out the pool, though. Ah, but it is not to be, sadly. One damn thing Obama won't spend our money on. Oh, he'll fly back and forth to Copenhagen for a CLIMATE summit after just having flown to Europe a week or so before - talk about your carbon footprint (remember, it isn't just Air Force One that goes on these trips), but will e allow the Dragon Tank? Noooooooo. Sheesh!
Hopefully, this attempt at levity has brought a bit of a smile to your face, and given you a break, if just for a moment, from the other bullshit which, sadly, is all too real. There will be time enough to discuss it again, but I, for one, on this Solstice Eve, could use a bit of humor. Hope you enjoyed the respite, too!