Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Doom and Gloom Redux: Much Less Gloom

I was planning on doing a review of my new Kindle tonight, but I'm already up way too late, so I'm pushing that off 'til Wednesday and moving Wednesday's post to tonight. Got it? Okay then.

Back in my Doom and Gloom post I made a few predictions about the lame duck Congressional session. Now that it's over, I thought it was time to take stock and see how it panned out. In order:
  • All of the Bush tax cuts will be extended: This happened, but surprisingly enough it went down as less a total capitulation and more as a negotiated settlement that sorted out the problem of expiring unemployment benefits.
  • DREAM and DADT will be killed in favor of the new START treaty: This sort of happened, in that DREAM and DADT in their original incarnations both failed. However, a last-ditch push by Joe freaking Lieberman of all people got DADT passed as a standalone bill, with a surprisingly comfortable majority in favor of it.
  • Republicans will run out the clock on new START: Did not happen. Some of the leadership continued to make a stink about it, but not enough of one to keep the rank and file from voting however they wished when the treaty came up for ratification.
  • The food safety bill will die in a procedural clustersnuggle: I wasn't paying as much attention to this as I was to everything else, but the procedural SNAFU was sorted out.
So, huzzah! Compared to what I was expecting things went very well. I was amazed at how quickly the tax cut debate was resolved: there'll be trouble down the line, still, but for now the compromise is (arguably) a good thing. The passage of DADT was a pure win, and so was the ratification of START. DREAM is probably dead for the immediate future, which is a shame; hopefully something similar will come up in a more comprehensive immigration reform bill down the line.

Going forward, I'm hoping Congress continues its recent spurt of productivity through 2012; which is to say, I'm hoping that Congress doesn't deadlock and shut the government down in 2011, and gets some more appointments sorted out. Filibuster reform wouldn't be a bad start; I love Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and I'm all for requiring an actual filibuster when a Senator wants to filibuster something. Also, gentlemen, let's drop this anonymous holds nonsense, okay? It's a stupid, ugly practice with no redeeming value that makes the Senate look bad. No more.

Okay then. Sleep now.

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