Hello Monday! By the way, it’s just about time to start shopping for Christmas…
It’s time for another odds and ends edition from the past weekend! When there are several stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into one column and call it “Potpourri” or “Odds & Ends” or something catchy to get your attention.
Today’s topics include:
- TWW Christmas Party
- Omnibus Bill
- Omnibus & Sen. Tester
- Omnibus & Sen. Daines
- The Debates
- Gas Prices
- Happy Birthday
TWW Christmas Party:
I had a great Christmas Party here at The Western Word (TWW) Friday afternoon. Here at TWW, the staff celebrated the holidays with a turkey and American cheese Lunchable and downed it with a couple mini bottles of wine.
I thought about having a gift exchange, but since there’s only me I just purchased something I wanted from the dollar store and called it even.
Weird is one word to describe the voting on the $1.1 trillion Omnibus spending bill that was passed by Congress on Friday. The Associated Press reported:
The House voted 316-113 to pass the spending portion of the package on Friday, when it won support from Republicans by a 150-95 margin. Democrats followed Pelosi’s lead and backed the bill by a 166-18 margin.
In the Senate, Republicans were evenly split with 27 of them voting in favor and 26 against the bill. Presidential contender Marco Rubio was absent. Only six Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders, another presidential hopeful, voted against the measure.
This bill was a classic case of the Republicans in Congress getting schooled. Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are just better at their jobs than Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan.
Roll Call has posted an article titled, “Races Where Spending Bill Vote Could Be an Issue.” Read it HERE.
Omnibus & Tester:
It’s pretty awkward when you vote against a bill, but try to take credit for some of the things in the bill that you did not support. That little detail did not stop Montana’s senior U.S. Senator, Jon Tester (D), from sending out a press release touting the good things in the bill that he voted against.
Tester opened his press release with this:
Senator Jon Tester secured multiple provisions for Montana veterans and national security priorities in a year-end spending bill that was passed by Congress today and is on its way to the President’s desk.
In the third paragraph he came clean and told readers he did not vote for the bill:
Tester supported the year-end spending bill until it was attached at the last minute to a tax package that will increase the national debt by more than $680 billion over the next decade, not including additional interest payments that will be required.
This is the reason why politics is so screwed up these days. Opponents can say that Tester voted against Malmstrom AFB, veterans, and children of military families. They would be correct.
Tester has used the same tactics against his opponents during campaigns.
Omnibus & Daines:
Montana’s junior U.S. Senator, Steve Daines (R), also voted “No” on the Omnibus spending bill, but he’s not quite as seasoned at peddling the bull%^$# as Tester, yet.
Daines’ press release had this headline, “Daines Votes Against Trillion Dollar Backroom Spending Deal” but he added, “I am pleased to see that several Montana priorities I worked for were included in this final package.” He then went on to name some of those “priorities” that he liked.
I’ve learned from my years in politics that people call deals they don’t support “backroom deals” but you never hear them say that about bills they support.
It’s a lot like sausage making.
All I can say is the fake Republican Presidential debate on Saturday Night Live was much more entertaining than the real Democratic debate earlier Saturday evening.
You can see the SNL Republican Debate skit HERE.
Bloomberg Business reported that the average price of gasoline at the pump has dropped below $2 a gallon for the first time in more than six years as global oil supply continues to surge.
I checked GasBuddy for Montana this morning and the lowest price was $1.89 per gallon in Glendive, but most prices were in the $1.98 – $2.04 range.
Happy Birthday, dad – I miss you.
## MERRY CHRISTMAS/HAPPY HOLIDAYS ##