Friday, February 22, 2013

Last Call

You know, a funny thing happened on the way to that Democratic party super-majority in California...

An interesting shift in political strategy and policy negotiations was felt through the Capitol on Friday, with news that a rising star in Democratic circles will immediately resign his seat in the state Senate.

Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, cited the need to spend time with his family in a statement announcing his resignation.

"My wife and I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, from whom we have learned a great deal," said Rubio in a written statement.  "Our youngest child, who has special needs, has given me great perspective as to life's priorities and our eldest has reminded me that the most critical decisions are made at home and not under the Capitol dome."

OK, so big deal, right?  Wrong.  So very, very wrong.

There are now three vacancies in the Legislature's upper house, all Democrats who have left their elected posts early (the first two were senators who won seats in Congress last fall).  That means only 26 Democrats, one short of the supermajority. While Democrats are no doubt favorites to ultimately retain enough seats to resume their supermajority status, the temporary drop in power ends talk of any immediate actions on issues ranging from taxes to urgency measures and beyond.

So until special elections can be held to fill at least one of those three seats, a united GOP bloc in the CA State Senate can now stop any major legislation.   They went from powerless to minority veto power for just about anything.  Again.

But here's the real kicker:

His statement says he will accept a government relations job with Chevron.

You know, "government relations".  Lobbyist.  Best what, couple hundred thousand ever?  All spent for six months or so of being able to at least try to block any major environmental, energy, or tax laws?  Seems like a damn good deal to me if you're Chevron.  Well played, Evil Mustache-Twirling Dudes.  Well played.

On The Next Beltway High

Meanwhile at Beltway High, the preppie yearbook clique over at WIN THE MORNING has had quite enough of that snotty Kenyan kid.

President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.

"We haaaaaaate him.  We doodle little X's over his eyes on all his pictures, and we're totally not going to buy anything at his commnity organizer bake sale."

He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.

"Totally in our Burn Book, Barry.   You pull this crap before Homecoming, we retaliate."

That’s because Obama’s all-in on an outside strategy, doing just about everything other than holding serious talks with Republicans. In the last two days alone, he’s courted local TV anchors, called in a select group of White House correspondents to talk off the record, chatted up black broadcasters and announced plans to stump next week at Virginia’s Newport News Shipyard. Throughout, he’s talked in tough terms that signal little interest in compromise — or suggestion of backing down.
He’s navigating a thin line. Obama is convinced he’s got the upper hand on Republicans. Yet he can go only so long before he risks being perceived as a main actor in Washington’s dysfunction, threatening a core element of his political brand — and the fragile economic recovery he’s struggled to maintain.
The calls placed Thursday to Boehner and McConnell were prompted, in part, by a White House desire to inoculate Obama from that exact criticism.

"So yeah, try to win NOW mister smart eleventy-dimensional chess nerd.  We own you now.  Round up the guys, we're going to Pinkberry to celebrate."  And high fives were given all around!

And then the President of the United States burned 50 calories from laughing at this article this morning, because it's such a completely transparent attempt to not appear like a group of ungrateful emo high school twits that it pretty much reinforces every awful stereotype about Politico's brand of "journalism" (in the same way that flesh-eating bacteria is a "weight-loss aid".)  Meanwhile, these goofballs continue to believe that Republicans are serious players with a serious plan that didn't come from Doofenshmirtz Evil, Inc.

Haters gonna hate, yo.

Chris Bag O' Veto Override

New Jersey Democrats in the state legislature are planning to try to gather enough GOP votes to override GOP Gov. Chris Christie's veto of the state's law allowing gay marriage.

In early 2012, lawmakers in New Jersey successfully passed marriage equality bill, but Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed it, claiming same-sex marriage was not an issue of “gay rights.” The legislature has until January 2014 to attempt to override that veto, and Democratic leaders in both chambers announced this week that they will attempt to do just that.

The bill originally passed the Senate with a 24-16 vote, so only three more votes are needed to reach a two-thirds majority for the override. In the Assembly, however, the bill only passed 42-33, so 12 more votes are needed. Lawmakers will likely wait until after the June elections to hold the vote so that Republicans are more willing to consider a controversial vote. LGBT activists have been lobbying for more support for an override since the bill’s passage last year, primarily because they are opposed to a referendum.

So, after state elections in June, the move will be on to get an override vote before the end of the year.  It's going to take a bipartisan effort to do it, not to mention enough New jersey Republicans interested in butting heads with Christie.  I wish them the best of luck:  after a year now, New York is happily bringing in gay marriage bucks, with NYC alone racking up over a quarter of a billion dollars.  You can bet Jersey legislators of both parties want in on that cash, big time.

I wouldn't be surprised if this happens.


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