Congress: Same Old Same Old?

Congress heads back today for the ol’ “Lame Duck” session. Democrats in the senate will want to push some things through while they are in the majority; Republicans will want to wait because they will control the senate when the new congress takes over in January.

Then the Republicans will want to protect their majority for the 2016 election.

In other words, it will be the same old same old in Washington for the next two years. As I have written several times in the past, it’s all about the next election in Washington and the election in 2016 is a Presidential election. Neither side will want to make a mistake that will cost them the White House or control of the senate.

One thing they could address is campaign finance. Money flows to both sides pretty well.

CBS News recently reported, “The midterm election this month was the most expensive in history and $145 million came from anonymous donors.”

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TESTER: Senator McDreamy no more

To say the last week has been tough on U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) would be an understatement. There has been a lot of commentary on the web about Tester’s week.

What basically started the whole shebang is when Tester voted against the Dream Act in the Senate. This angered the progressive left and led the founder of the Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas, to tweet on December 17, “Jon Tester to vote against DREAM. Good luck getting reelected, asshole.”

There were other comments found throughout the web about Montana’s junior senator, such as: “I thought he was different” and “This saddens me” to “How does he sleep at night” and finally someone just wrote, “Tester is a pig.”

It’s tough when someone you work so hard to get elected fails you, but Tester feels he has to move to the center to even have a slim chance of getting re- elected. There are just a few politicians who don’t change to get reelected. Sadly for the left, they found out Tester is not one of them.

This is something I predicted would happen with Tester. Back in November, I wrote:

The campaign plan for Tester is to move to the center and distance himself from the Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and the Nancy Pelosi regime. Besides that, we’ll see many television spots with the famous Tester tractor in the background…

Obama, Reid and Pelosi all supported the “Dream Act.”

Tester had previously angered the people on the right with excessive spending (after vowing to stop the runaway spending) and being against earmarks before he was for them. Then he tried to get a bill that was never debated or voted on in the Senate or House slipped into the Omnibus bill.

Tester has no political friends at this time – nobody to stand up for him – and this is a tough time to be without friends when you are approaching an election.

Tester attempted to take the negative attention off him by introducing an “Airport Body Scanner Privacy Bill” in the lame-duck congress. The bill probably has little, if any, chance of passing in the late stages of the 111th Congress. Sadly, the media failed to ask him why he waited until the lame-duck session to introduce the bill or if it has any chances of passage at this late stage.

The bill will have to be reintroduced in the new Congress.

Meanwhile, it’s probably time to bring in the tractor for a photo op – and to shoot another video of Tester getting a haircut.

Prediction: The folks on the left are going to have more days like the “Dream Act” days with Senator Tester, as he has to act like an independent or moderate to have a chance of reelection. With their anger over his recent votes, the support they gave to Tester in 2006 will probably not be nearly as energized in 2012.

Start Treaty: Senate Should Delay the Vote

The United States Senate (the lame-duck version) will probably vote on the new Start Treaty sometime this week (It will need two-thirds of the Senators present voting for it to pass, which is normally 67 Senators). Supposedly this would be a first as no major treaty has ever been ratified during a lame-duck session.

It appears Montana’s two U.S. Senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester, will vote for it.

It’s easy to say that a vote for the new Start Treaty by Senators Baucus and Tester is basically a vote against the future of Malmstrom AFB, but on a much bigger scale, it is a vote against the future security of our Nation.

The Treaty needs more debate and there are several questions that need answered.

It appears we have given up the farm in these negotiations. President Obama’s goal is to do away with nuclear weapons. This New Start Treaty gets the ball rolling, first by cutting the number of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) from the present 450 ICBMs to 420, and maybe even less – maybe even a whole base or two will get the ax.

Currently, there are three ICBM bases left (Minot in North Dakota, F.E. Warren in Wyoming, and Malmstrom in Montana). They have 150 ICBMs each, which totals 450. In 2007, Tester and Baucus allowed 50 missiles to be taken from Malmstrom to bring the base down to its current level of 150. Local military supporters basically turned the other cheek.

ICBMs are an important leg of the strategic triad that works.

Since the 1960s, ICBM missile sites have dotted the landscape across these states. They are relatively cheap to maintain. These missiles are a deterrent to an attack from Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, or any other nation who feels the need.

Some people who follow this issue believe the New Start Treaty actually allows Russia to increase their nuclear stockpile while the United States will be required to reduce theirs. Some people believe it prevents the United States from deploying a missile defense (why are defensive weapons even being considered in this Treaty?) Others believe the verification portion of the treaty is harmful to the United States.

There are just too many issues with the New Start Treaty for the Obama Administration to push it through the lame-duck Senate the week before Christmas.

Instead of trying to ram this through like they did the healthcare bill, it would be in the United States best interest if they would hold off on this vote until questions are answered and most everyone feels it actually is in the best interest of the United States.