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Dick Shelby is a National Laughing Stock

Gail Collins writes: Normally, a senator who’s feeling testy will just put a hold on one presidential nomination, the way Jim Bunning of Kentucky did last year when he stopped action on the confirmation of a deputy U.S. trade representative because he was upset that the Canadian Parliament was considering a bill to ban the sale of cigarettes with candy flavorings. … Senator Christopher Bond of Missouri had a hold on the nomination of Martha Johnson to be the leader of the General Services Administration since last summer because he was ticked off with the G.S.A. over construction of a new federal building in Kansas City.

I sincerely hope the professional gabbers seize on Senator Dick Shelby’s unrequited, forbidden love for Northrop Grumman and mercilessly ridicule him. How is holding up the working of the Senate to demand more political pork for Alabama going to be justified to his Teabagger masters? Even more importantly, wouldn’t be nice if this was the final straw that broke the back of the filibuster?

Twists and Turns

Gail Collins writes:

Normally, a senator who’s feeling testy will just put a hold on one presidential nomination, the way Jim Bunning of Kentucky did last year when he stopped action on the confirmation of a deputy U.S. trade representative because he was upset that the Canadian Parliament was considering a bill to ban the sale of cigarettes with candy flavorings.

I am not making that up.

Senator Christopher Bond of Missouri had a hold on the nomination of Martha Johnson to be the leader of the General Services Administration since last summer because he was ticked off with the G.S.A. over construction of a new federal building in Kansas City.

The agency kept saying it had responded to Bond’s questions, although perhaps the staff was slow in getting back to him since there was nobody in charge. But Bond held firm until the Democrats forced a vote this week. That naturally involved a great many delays, postponements, overrides and a passionate if incomprehensible speech by Bond, the highlight of which was: “Please bear with me. I know this is confusing.”

Then after many, many months of waiting and several days of total gridlock, Johnson was approved, 96 to 0.

That was a normal Senate procedure. Now Shelby has upped the ante with a blanket hold on everybody. His incredibly grave reasons were the desire to see that a defense contract for a new tanker is awarded to a bidder who will do the assembly work in Alabama. Also, he feels that a new F.B.I. facility for testing explosive devices should be conveniently located in Huntsville.

“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,” said a spokesman for the senator.

[Click to continue reading Gail Collins – No Holds Barred – NYTimes.com]

Zanzibar

Obstructionist, Party of No, these epithets are too mild for the Republicans in the Senate; Mouth-Breathing Idiots might be accurate, but doesn’t quite have the necessary zing. Got to think of a better phrase for these idiots – what say you?

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