At first I was happy and surprised and then I was sad and not surprised.
At first, the Republican controlled Senate found the scruples and the testicular fortitude to vote down a bill supporting oil exploration and drilling in the National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. This provision was embedded in a larger bill which provided funding for our troops in the Middle East warzone and for hurricane Katrina relief money. You know - the money that mostly goes to the no bid contracts in the Gulf. The same money that FEMA doesn't spend on getting trailer homes for many of the displaced families in the Gulf. Yeah - that money!
Well, anyway - the Senate found the where-with-all to vote against the passage of this bill. Collectively, they didn't like the part about the oil drilling. Now, some people might be surprised that they voted down one of W's pet projects. After all, there's billions of dollars to be made sucking that black gold out of the ground. All by Halliburton, probably. But they voted against it. Of course, now, when it comes to reelection time the hardcore Bush lovers on the right side of the isle are going to call all of the Republicans that voted against the bill - "Unpatriotic!" They are going to say - "these people voted against money for our boys in the war!" - "They voted against the war on terror!" Some red state voters are going to agree. However, I think everybody on the hill knows that W is a Lame Duck, and a Lame Duck with 75% of his presidency ahead of him. Some of these Senators know a sinking ship when they see one.
So, even though the drilling language is going to be 'tweeked' and stuck elsewhere, I fully expect Halliburton trucks to be plowing through the homes of red crested squirrels and long haired elk in Alaska within six months. But at least the Senate had balls for a few minutes.
Then I was sad.
Then Tricky Dick Cheney cast the deciding vote in a bill to make aggressive cuts in Medicare and student loans - all in an effort to save $40 billion. I find that laughable. "Hey Dick! Hey Dick! If you really cared about saving taxpayers money and avoiding excessive spending - you should have told W to keep our troops out of Iraq! If Saddam was such a brutal bastard, one of those Shiites I see on the news every night should have put a hollow point through the back of his head 10 years ago!" Saddam served a useful purpose over there - he was an arrogant, but needed buffer between Iran and Syria and the oil fields of Saudi Arabia - plain and simple. Now Bush has toppled his regime and that buffer is gone, so we have to fight, and fight, and fight, and die and fight and die and fight.
Don't get me wrong, I truly believe Saddam was an ass-clown, but he was their ass-clown, and now, our ass-clowns have knocked him off his seat of power, so we have to not only pay for our troops and our war effort but we also have to rebuild the country that we blew up when this whole shit storm started. If we had just wiped the entire Taliban off the map, rained down cruise missiles on the Pakistani mountains where that punk ass Osama is hiding. We would have been fine. We'd still have $400 Billion dollars in the U.S. Treasury, we could give a shit less about Saddam and dare I say, W's approval rating would probably be over 60%. But the Bush White House wanted to blow as much money as the could.
Now Dick Cheney and the Senate want to make old people and college kids pay the price for their fiscal irresponsibility. Shame on you! Shame on you all.
Remember when America used to be great? Remember when the President would get a little chunky lovin' from his 20-something intern? Remember when gas used to be $1.39 a gallon? I'm glad you remember those times, because until we get a Democrat back in the White House - it ain't gonna be happenin'.