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January 28, 2009 [LINK / comment]
Appointed senators: vulnerable?
President Obama is the first sitting senator to be elected president since John Kennedy in 1960, and he has brought along three of his colleagues with him into the Executive Branch. It's an extraordinary situation in which four Senate vacancies have been created. The Washington Post reports that Republican strategists are optimistic about their chances of regaining three of those seats in the next election. Here are the seats in question, with the new "replacement" senators and their better-known predecessors:
- Roland Burris / Barack Obama (IL)
- Edward Kaufman / Joe Biden (DE)
- Kirsten Gillibrand / Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY)
- Michael Bennet / Ken Salazar (CO)
The choice of Kirsten Gillibrand (a conservative "Blue Dog" Democrat from rural upstate New York) dismayed urban liberals who hoped that Caroline Kennedy would carry forth her family's banner. "Sweet Caroline" withdrew abruptly earlier this week, possibly because of rumors reported by Bill O'Reilly that she had had an affair. Too bad. The Post article mentions that Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is proposing a constitutional amendment to require a prompt popular election for replacement U.S. senators. We can call it the "Blagojevich Amendment."
This may be a bit macabre to consider, but two more senators -- Ted Kennedy (MA) and Robert Byrd (WV) -- are ailing and may not last much longer either. In that case, there would be six appointed senators at the same time, probably a record.
The gargantuan "economic stimulus" bill has attracted most of the public's attention lately, but George Will comments on a smaller, but no less sinister initiative: the reauthorization by Congress of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), for which funding was doubled. Will calls this "mission creep," and notes,
Grace-Marie Turner, a student of health-care policies, says this SCHIP expansion is sensible -- if your goal is quickly to get as many people on public coverage as possible and to have children grow up thinking that it is normal for them to get their health insurance from the government. That is the goal.
Stimulus dirty details
It has occurred to some people that it might be a good idea to actually look at what is in Obama's stimulus package before passing it. That's the idea behind readthestimulus.org; via Instapundit. Now seriously, how many people are actually going to spend more than a few minutes pondering what's actually in there?
All across the fruited plain, meanwhile, citizens are moaning, "Is this going to be on the final exam?"
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 29 Jan 2009, 12: 12 AM
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January 5, 2009 Illegal immigration: no problem
January 10, 2009 Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap
January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day 2009
March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
March 14, 2009 Mexican Army counterattacks
March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
April 8, 2009 Fujimori is convicted, again
May 3, 2009 (Very) Big Spring Day, 2009
June 12, 2009 Tiger Stadium memorial update
June 16, 2009 Home runs in New Yankee Stadium
June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
July 9, 2009 Conservative defeat in Mexico
August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
October 16, 2009 Health care polemics heat up
November 4, 2009 Republicans sweep Virginia races
November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
December 23, 2009 Musings on health care "reform"
December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
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