Friday, June 08, 2007

Quotable Quotes

"By a nearly 5-to-1 margin, voters believe that Members of Congress are more interested in their own careers and agenda rather than the public good." -- Scott Rasmussen


Yep, that Rasmussen. Not that you'd really need to read his editorial (although you really should) to realize how accurate the quote I pulled is. All you'd need to do, if you could stomach it, is watch (as I did via C-SPAN) our wonderful Senate in action. The utter disconnect between its members and the public over the immigration reform boondoggle Reid and Company tried to ram through is just one example.

Although Harry Reid whined repeatedly after the second cloture vote followed the first in failure and he pulled the bill, that "the other side" should have tried to amend the bill rather than from the start work solely to sink it. That makes great sound bites but it's just not the truth. Not that the truth is of any importance in the Senate.

Tuesday through Thursday, a constant complaint was . . .

I don't understand the inner workings on the Senate but as best I can tell ALL amendments to bills have to be filed . . . somewhere or with somebody. Somebody (in the case of the immigration bill it was Reid and Company) goes through them and picks out which ones they want to be "brought to the floor" for debate and vote.

. . . a constant complaint was that senators had either been told not to file amendments, to wait and file them later (at some never-specified and still unknown time), and that only a few of those that had been filed were being brought to the floor.

One amendment that somehow escaped limbo and was debated (and subsequently voted down) had been filed by Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina). DeMint's amendment would have required all those receiving a Z Visa under the guest worker program to have and maintain at least a high-deductible health insurance policy. The average cost for a high-deductible policy, he said, was $116 monthly and in fact, he'd just purchased one for his daughter for $64 a month.

The rationale behind the amendment, DeMint explained, was quite simple. With hospital emergency rooms being required to treat everyone who comes in whether they can pay for their care or not and with so many people who lack insurance for whatever reason using emergency rooms as their primary physician, it makes sense not to add to the deficits they are already experiencing, especially when it comes to the high-cost care and procedures that states and local communities are now having to pay for.

Next up was good ol' Ted Kennedy who blusters, stumbles and babbles in opposition to the amendment. Guest workers won't be paid enough to afford insurance health, he sez, and besides, they won't need individual policies once they've enacted Universal Health Care.

DeMint restates his case.

Teddy, once again approaching hysteria, counters that some would be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions.

DeMint replies that if someone is so unhealthy as to be uninsurable, they shouldn't be in a guest worker program to start with.

And as I mentioned above, this amendment was voted down.

Later, speaking in support of a different amendment, good ol' Teddy sez the guest worker program will elevate salaries paid to Americans doing the same job, because the bill requires that its participants be paid the prevailing wage.

(Silly me. I thought the prevailing wage was the hourly equivalent to what union members were paid as determined by the Department of Labor, and guest workers were needed to do the jobs Americans wouldn't do.)

Meanwhile, Senator Salazar (R-Colorado) insisted that we try to imagine what OUR lives would be like without the "undocumented immigrants" we take for granted. Without them who, he wants to know, would maintain our lawns, care for our children, or change the bedding at the resorts we go to.


The 17th amendment needs to be repealed.

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