Thank you America…Love, Maine

On Wednesday, the Senate overcame a filibuster for a bill that would send $26 billion to the states to “prevent teacher layoffs and help states with Medicaid costs”.  The bill will now pass the Senate this week.  As a result, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D. Ca.) has quickly called all House members back from their “summer vacation” to a special House session set for next Tuesday so that the House can pass the same bill.

Most thought this bill was dead in the water, but, not so.  The final vote was 61-38, with 2 Republican Senators changing their votes at the last minute.  Why, you ask?

By now you are all familiar with the Louisiana Purchase, and the Cornhusker Kickback, that, charitably, annoyed many Americans.  Now, we have the Maine ________.  (Fill in the blank, as most of you are far more clever than I am.)

To win the [2 Republican] Maine senators’ support, Democrats dropped plans to cut $107 million in funds expected to go largely to Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics Corp. facility that builds Navy ships in Maine.

I’m guessing, by now, all Senators, regardless of their party affiliation, know that if they hold out long enough, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. Ne.) will give them pretty much whatever they want to secure their votes.  So, Senators Collins and Snowe (R. Me.) held out, and got what they wanted.

If that doesn’t annoy you, perhaps a headline in today’s Boston Globe will.

[Massachusetts Governor] Patrick prepares plan to restore budget cuts.

So, Massachusetts, as are many states, is living well beyond its means, but they need not worry, Uncle Sam will rescue them.

Yet another example of this administration seemingly avowed purpose of rewarding bad behavior…with your money.

16 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Whew!  I thought for a moment that they were voting their consciences or something.  Now we know it is just crass vote buying through redirecting federal money to the state.  They are just typical hacks.  No, wait.  They are easy hacks.


    Taking federal money to prop up fiscally irresponsible states is like throwing a drowning man an anchor instead of a life vest: there are strings attached, but they aren't enough to keep you afloat.

  2. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    What is WRONG with Snowe & Collins?  WHAT?  There are some women in positions of power who should just admit that for about one week a month they're incapable of making a rational decision.  Yes, I know, I know….that's sexist….but if I can admit it about myself, then I am certainly qualified to identify it in OTHERS!  These two should just do what Jeffords (VT) did back in 2001.  These two bumbling fools are NOT republicans!  They are clearly way too liberal to be carrying the (R) next to their names.  Just switch parties, already.

    They sold out their state…and they didn't even sell it out for very much!  And is one capable of voting the opposite of the other, or are they conjoined twins when it comes to voting?

    • chris-os
      chris-os says:

      Strip the R from their names!
      What ARE they doing-they are just supposed to vote “NO” and forget about their constituents in Maine who have paid their fed taxes-getting something back for their people is not what the new GOBP agenda is about!
      Forget that this bill is about preventing the layoffs of police, firedfighter and teachers. (You can home school, got to walmart and buy a fire extinguisher and then to hoffman’s to buy a gun!)
      Throw those women out-of the party of “NO”!

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        Or maybe the feds could take fewer taxes and stop redistributing them to buy votes and power.


        Didn't you read the story?  The money was earmarked for a General Dynamics Corp. facility (oooo!  Big bad corporation!), not police, fire and teachers.


        I wonder when the police, fire and teachers are going to get tired of being used as pawns in political games?  Probably as soon as they believe that those layoffs will actually happen.


        Forget the "party of no"; think about the party that has held the purse strings of government since 2006, coincidentally the same period that the economy began to tank, and the party that is punching holes in the S.S. America…..

  3. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    “Didn?t you read the story?? The money was earmarked for a General Dynamics Corp. facility (oooo!? Big bad corporation!), not police, fire and teachers.”
    Didn’t you read what they voted yes for? $26 billion to cash strapped states. CBO says bill will cut deficit by $1.4 billion-it’s PAID for!

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      The most cash strapped states being the Democrat controlled ones.  Propping up bad government just perpetuates bad government.  Are you really going to believe politicians?  How is the "stimulus" plan working?  "Help states with Medicaid costs".  There's a pip.  Who is cutting Medicaid?  Who runs Medicaid?  Who continually promises to cut the "fraud, waste and abuse" in Medicaid?


      The money came from the states in the first place.  I reiterate: the feds should stop taking so much money from the states, particularly if they are going to redistribute it to the states but in doing so, reassert their power and buy votes.


      Nothing is "paid for" in government unless it is paid for by us.

  4. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Am sick of Snowe and Collins, they also voted to confirm Kagan. But, if its true that Senators can sit back and wait to get their wishes and MA is looking to restore cuts, does that mean Senator Brown will be voting YES for this bill???? What else do they want besides aid to MA General? I am so sorry I went to MA to make calls for him. I've been able to forgive him before, but this is the last straw!

  5. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    See, it's okay to help some of the wealthiest people on Earth, they're deserving, but not the states that don't want to layoff teachers and cops.

    Even if it reduces the deficit!

    Snowe and Collins=despicable for voting for a bill that helps their state -throw them out-just vote no!

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Which wealthy people are you talking about?  We all objected when Kerry tried to dodge his taxes on his yacht.


      Again, the "layoff teachers, police and firemen" is a classic straw man concocted by politicians that don't want to make any hard choices.  Taking money from the feds, who originally took it from us, simply diverts and diffuses the blame: pretend to lay off essential services so you can maintain your cadre of hacks and budgets.


      How do you reduce the deficit by spending more and more money you don't have?


      If Snowe and Collins were so concerned about their state, i.e. the cops, fire and teachers, why did they have to be bribed with even more money?   Altruism has a price, apparently.  Dems jumped on because it perpetuates their power, and, as I have already mentioned, bails out the states in the worst fiscal shape: those run by Democrats.


      When the Medicaid cuts are passed to the states, expect another round of "threatened" essential state workers.



      • chris-os
        chris-os says:

        First, the bill calls for $26 billion to bolster state budgets-$10 billion of which is earmarked to prevent teacher lay-offs.

        Second, the CBO says this reduces the deficit by $1.3 million. (You know, the CBO, the office you alternately quote or deride depending on their findings).

        Third, Collins and Snowe voted to move forward once this bill was fully paid for.

        How does this reduce the deficit-duh, maybe because the people who would be laid off without this bill, ummm, would go on the unemployment rolls? Maybe loss of tax revenue from them ,…ummm, do you think that they just go off into the woods and die?



      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        Again, "fully paid for" rears its ugly head.  How is that happening again?  More taxes?  So they didn't dangle the funding for the iron works in front of them?  Cornhusker kickback ring a bell?  Others?


        The CBO is alternately right and wrong.  What can I say?  They said that Øbamacare wouldn't affect the economy either.  You quote Moodys a lot, but they have been fantastically wrong about the economy on many occasions.  They work with the figures they get from the pols.  GIGO.


        Earmarking.  Yeah, Social Security "Trust" fund money is earmarked too.  It doesn't change the fact that they used teachers as layoff victims (yet again), and that the new money from the feds will just free up money for the pols pet projects and entitlement programs they will use to buy votes.  As a teacher, I can tell you the states are routinely screwing the teachers and ignoring the contracts.  This will change nothing or very little.


        Your basic assumption is that you believe the politicians; that they were going to really lay anyone off, and that the money will go where they say it will go.   Scare tactics used to build support for more spending.


        You are descending into reductio ad absurdum arguments.

  6. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    "Again, “fully paid for” rears its ugly head.  How is that happening again?  More taxes?"

    Yeah, what we need is the Repubs proposal to extend and expand the Bush's tax cuts for the rich…

    tax-cuts for companies shipping American jobs abroad…

    $7 trillion over the next 10 years added to the deficit.

    How is that happening again?


    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Maybe you should worry less about "tax cuts that aren't paid for" (but stimulate growth) and more about "spending that isn't paid for" (which creates deficits).


      And the $7 trillion is hogwash: the president only wants to "tax the rich" (people over $250K) which will supposedly generate about $750 billion, not chump change, but nothing like $7 trillion.  And that assumes that it won't drive "the rich" out of country, literally or businesswise.   There is a tipping point.  Why do you think NY dumped the proposed tax on hedge funds?


      Now answer my Snowe/Collins comment.

  7. David R
    David R says:

    I agree that this business as usual stinks, but, if in the same shoes, CT voters would make heroes out of the pols who were able to save local jobs. I am for examining our bloated and inefficient defense budget, but there are two problems: corporate cronyism that results in huge contracts for unnecessary military hardware, and working people who suffer if projects like those proposed for Bath Iron Works are scuttled. Our defense spending is the biggest jobs program in the world, reigning it in will not be easy. Bi-partisanship is needed, but corporate beneficiaries know "divide and conquer" works best to preserve their interests.

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