The Kerry-Lieberman (nee Kerry-Graham-Lieberman) bill is set to be introduced tomorrow. Given all the chaos that’s surrounded it for the last few weeks, it’s worth taking a step back and taking a broad look at the current political dynamic and the chances for a successful outcome. Here’s the one-sentence summary: chances for passage are quite slim, but not as slim as generally perceived, and ironically, the path to passage now involves the bill getting stronger, not weaker. Read on.
Will it pass?
This is what everyone keeps asking me. (And everyone keeps asking everyone else.) The smart money, of course, is on No. Generally, predicting the death of major legislation is a smart move when it comes to the U.S. Senate. And after Graham’s bailing and the oil spill, lots and lots of folks are completely convinced that the coalition’s fallen apart and the bill’s dead.
I don’t necessarily disagree that the odds are against passage. But I don’t think the chances are as bad as conventional wisdom now has it — i.e., I don’t think they’re zero. (Wo0t optimism!) Put another way: I think the chances are roughly as good as they’ve ever been in the Senate: low but non-trivial.
All of D.C. is currently engaged in the seemingly intractable project of psychoanalyzing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). What’s he thinking? What does he want? Is he in or out?
The short answer is, nobody knows for certain. Graham’s exit from the process was probably overdetermined. He was taking tons of heat from his party; his buddy McCain needed cover on immigration; he didn’t think Obama was going to do what’s necessary to push the bill; as a supporter of offshore oil drilling, he thought the BP Gulf oil disaster destroyed his Republican Attractor Beam and scuttled the bill’s chances. There’s also what people in Congressional offices delicately refer to his “personal problem” back home in South Carolina, about which the less said the better.
Long story short, he’s not coming back as a sponsor or champion of the bill. However, most people I’ve talked to think he’ll vote for it if it comes to the floor.
Is there another Republican who will step forward as the public face of the bill, a champion that will stump for, and possibly lure, other Republican votes? Uh … no. There are, however, some Republicans who are expected to vote for the bill if it goes to the floor: Snowe, Collins (unless she totally digs in her heels on her pony bill), Scott Brown, and Lemieux are the top tier, with a few longer shots like Lugar and Voinovich.
Oil spill WTF
The BP Gulf oil disaster has completely scrambled the politics of this stuff. The White House is terrified — scared they’ll be stuck with responsibility; scared their response will be seen as inadequate; and scared (believe it or not) that they’ll be seen as overreacting, shutting down all drilling and raising gas prices. No one in Congress is quite sure where public opinion will come out. And of course the spill isn’t over yet — it could get much worse!
One certain effect is that coastal state drilling opponents, who might have had a little wiggle room to compromise before, now have none. Menendez, Lautenberg, and Bill Nelson absolutely will not vote for a bill with drilling.
The smart thing would be for the bill to sim阿拉爱上海同城对对碰
★ The early morning sunlight and the memory of the past day’s thaw raised brief and false hopes. The day-old slush was still in the side street, but the the dampness only made the cold colder. The chill hurt the nose inside and out. A woman passed wearing a furry coat so ratty one had to hope no real animals had died for it. In midafternoon little flakes came down, followed soon by bigger and more numerous ones, pulses of snow crossing against the pinholes of the sunshades. By twilight little ice pellets were falling, bouncing with dry clicks off the parka or dropping straight down into the pockets. Someone in the warm-lit interior of a store looked out and made eye contact, with a smile of pity or sympathy. People tottered along on the ice crust. One winced; one laughed. Uptown ice was becoming something wetter, and a mist was forming on the air. L上海南站419千花网ittle lumps of slush broke free from high up on the bright glass of the Apple Store and plopped to the sidewalk.
Sorry, but that shower stall is occupied.
In a video posted by Stephen Paice that recently surfaced on Reddit, an Aussie man walks into a campsite shower house with the camera rolling to explain why he can’t take a shower today.