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Today in Washington – May 12, 2010

Solicitor General Elena Kagan will be making some house calls for one-on-one courtesy meetings with Senators.  I can’t tell you how many times over the past two days I hear conservatives say “yeah, Kagan is bad, but if she is defeated or withdrawn, we will get somebody worse.”  As many teams are finding out right now in the NBA and NHL playoffs, never look past the team you are playing today to prepare for an opponent in the next round you may not face.  LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavs is finding that out the hard way right now – Go Celtics.

Today in the Senate will continue amending the Financial Deform bill,  S.3217 — ObamaBailout 2.0, and votes are expected throughout the day.  According to Congressional Quarterly (Subscription Required) other issues coming up today are a House vote on satellite TV, an African rebel Army bill and a science/technology bill.  The House will mark up the 2011 DOD Authorization bill in committee.  The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Global Warming legislation will also be high on the agenda of Washington insiders. 

Issues to watch today:

  • Elena Kagan – The White House propaganda machine is in full force and they want you to believe that the left is upset with the nomination of Elena Kagan to make her look more centrist to Senators.  Politico reports today “if President Obama wanted to energize the dispirited left wing of his party, he picked the wrong woman: Chicago federal judge Diane Wood was the darling of many progressives. Liberals are likely to rally around Kagan when she comes under attack – but the left’s response so far has been mixed, muted and skeptical. So slim is her public record, higher-ups at MoveOn.org have been prevailing on lawmakers to grill Kagan about her views during private one-on-one meetings to ensure she’s not a stealth conservative, according to staffers.”  Is there any reasonable belief that Kagan is a “stealth conservative?”  It is more likely that Kagan is a stealth left winger who will be a rubber stamp for Obama Administrative challenges before the high court.  You have to remember that Kagan is Obama’s Solicitor General right now and there is not much of a paper record to judge Kagan’s views on her judicial philosophy.  If President Obama nominated her, he is confident that she is not a “stealth conservative.”  Sadly, it appears that these private, non-transparent, one-on-one meetings with liberal Senators will lead to private assurances from Kagan that she is a staunch liberal.  If liberal Senators do not come out of these one-on-one meetings with concerns — then conservatives should be concerned.
  • Don’t Drill Baby Drill- The Kerry-Lieberman Global Warming bill dramatically scaled back compromise language negotiated by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to open up more offshore oil drilling.  The Hill reports today that “the authors have included new protections to appease several coastal-state Democrats who ramped up their opposition in the wake of last month’s spill, including a provision that allows states to veto drilling plans under certain conditions.”  The released draft “requires greenhouse gas reductions while offering major new incentives for nuclear power, coal, natural gas and offshore drilling.”  This bill has moved to the left and it seems difficult for the Senate to pass a Global Warming bill in the wake of the ClimateGate and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
  • Financial Services Deform – Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) amendment to end government support of government sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, failed on a 43-56 vote.  How a comprehensive financial reform bill can pass without addressing the crony capitalism, private profits and taxpayer funded debt, of Fannie and Freddie shows that the elite in Washington will do anything to protect one of the enterprises that helped cause the 2008 meltdown on Wall Street.  Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) is working on a managers package of secretly negotiated amendments to the bill for consideration at the end of the process. Complete work on the bill is not expected to meet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) deadline of this Friday and this bill most likely will still be on the Senate floor next week.

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