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They’ll either come out the other side as the heroes or go down in flames.  The stimulus bill passed in the house with all of the Republicans voting no and a handful of Blue Dogs.  This after numerous concession were made in terms of stupid tax cuts when even the most strident of free market ideology economists will tell you that the multipliers of infrastructure building spending get much bigger bangs for the buck in terms of jobs creation.

Some of the talking heads are arguing that it’s a ploy to get even more concessions when it comes up for a Senate vote, since Republican Olympia Snowe has signaled her support.  Sounds like sort of a good cop/bad cop approach, so she can promise some Republican support when the compromise package comes up in order to reconcile the more conservative Senate bill.

Personally, I think the Democrats should just figure they aren’t going to get Republican support, remove the tax cuts (that’s not what we need right now) and pump back up the money for schools, mass transit, and alternative energy spending.  The Democrats will get the blame anyway if it doesn’t improve the economy within the year, so they should just do it!  At least they restored some of the mass transit funds of the original proposal.

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On a different issue, now confirmed Attorney General Michael Holder is denying Sen. Kitt Bond’s statements to the press that Holder had promised not to prosecute anyone for torture.  Bond is avoiding the press.

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Addendum: Atrios sums up the politics of the vote pretty well.

If I were advising the Republicans I would’ve told them to vote against the stimulus package. I would tell them to make the point clearly that if they were in charge, the bill would be a different bill. They’re a competing political party and they need to, you know, highlight the fact that their vision for America is actually different. I appreciate that members of both parties don’t always toe the line completely, but on a bill as big as this it makes perfect sense for it to play out as it did.

Of course the flip side is that Dems should’ve pushed the best plan that could pass the Senate instead of pushing some pointless fantasy about bipartisanship.

And Dick Armey is, well, as much of an asshole as he’s ever been.


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Second addendum: From Daily Kos, “So now they’re fiscal conservatives.” Some graphs and numbers of interest.

Have you noticed that in recent years the grocery stores put up Valentines Day displays almost immediately after Christmas?  Well, instead of giving your partner stale Russell Stover crap, here are a couple of productive alternatives.

The first is a fundraiser for the Arcata and McKinleyville (ArMack) High School orchestra.  Thanks to Bodie.

Hello All,

Hitting you up (for the very last time) to see if you are interested in a Valentune this year.

Times:   Thurs 2/12  3:30 to 9 PM
Fri  2/13  3:30 to 10 PM
Sat 2/14  9 AM to 10 PM

Prices:  $15 for a Song & Card,  $ 5 Each additional song, $5 floral bouquets, $1 chocolate

Songs:  1) L.O.V.E.  (L is for the way you look at me, Nat King Cole) 2) 8 Days a Week (Beatles) 3) When I’m 64 (Beatles)  4) The Way You do the Things You Do ( the Temps)  5) The Way you Look Tonight ( first sung by Fred Astair in the movie Swing Time, not to Ginger, but dreamily thinking of her. )  6)  You’ve got a friend in me ( Randy Newman -good for the office crowd) 7 ) If Not for You (Babe I couldn’t find the door, Bob Dylan, (for the stoners))

As Carol remembers, this is the 14th year for Valentunes, especially lucky for romantic swains, Feb 14th, 14th year….

The trip this year is to New York NY.  ArMack was adjudicated and accepted to compete at *Carnegie Hall*.  Pretty exciting. Among the competition, Santa Monica High, which has I think 3 orchestras. Santa Monica was voted the “Best High School level orchestra in the Nation” in 2005.  Carol is nervous, and is using her inestimable powers of persuasion to encourage students to increase their practice (chuckle). The trip is expensive, more so than London 2 years ago, and the orchestra could really use the community’s support & donations.

Joyce Jonte donated the art work for the poster which can be viewed at
http://outerarcata.net/armack/valentunes.html

Let me know if you are interested. You can order through me or phone
822-5453 or 825-9514. Thanks, Larella

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And back down here, from Lisa Luv:

Please help spread the word.  Earth Club is having their 7th annual Chocolate Auction the day before Valentine’s Day. We can’t afford a big ad in the paper.

It will be held at the Healy Senior Center in Redway.  Feb. 13th. Door opens at 5:30pm; auction starts at 5:45pm sharp.  It is a lot of fun.  This year the kids are really excited.  We have a real auctioneer and great chocolate goodies (not stale Russell Stover crap – EVK) to be auctioned off.

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