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16 Jun 2011 20:41


Biz, U.S.: Amendment killing ethanol subsidies passes — but bill may not

  • The best way for ethanol to survive is to stand on its own two feet, without spending something we don’t have to get something we’re going to have anyway.
  • Sen. Tom Coburn • Making an argument against handing out ethanol subsidies — which cut gas prices but also cost the federal government $6 billion per year. An amendment to kill the subsidies passed both the House and Senate. In the case of the Senate, it was a straight-up bipartisan vote: 73-27. And a number of groups — including environmental groups — note that the subsidies are no longer needed because the federal government already requires refineries to mix ethanol and gasoline. However, don’t get too excited, budget hounds: The amendment is tied to an economic development bill that likely will not pass. source

01 Mar 2011 10:57


Politics: Tom Coburn: Overlapping programs make legislators look stupid

  • It makes us all look like jackasses. Anybody that says that we don’t look like fools up here hasn’t read the report.
  • Sen. Tom Coburn • Expressing his frustration over the the Government Accountability Office’s report that suggests that there are large amounts of overlap in the federal government, and that by cutting them, we could save billions of dollars each year. Coburn, who pushed for the report as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, says that any changes to the budget should get rid of wasteful or duplicative programs. Coburn’s office counts 33 areas where programs overlap and hundreds of individual programs, by the way. source

16 Jan 2011 14:03


Politics: Tom Coburn has date for the State of the Union: Chuck Schumer

They’ll be paired, “Odd Couple”-style, in an attempt to be more civil. “We don’t sweep differences under the rug,” Chuck said. “Tom and I have real differences, but we can do it civilly.” source

26 Dec 2010 23:36


Politics: Max Headroom: Tom Coburn explains his beef with spending

  • In recent weeks, Tommy Boy Coburn has been making his hack-slash budget views very known. In the last couple weeks, his meddling has even led to the omnibus spending bill (which would’ve, among other things, paid for health care) getting pushed back. He’s been putting attention on earmarks and other major factors, so when Coburn showed up on Fox News Sunday today, it’s obvious what he was there for. He wanted to get his two cents in on wasteful spending. Here’s the key part (which we skipped ahead for), where he talks about redundancy. Is he right? Is the redundancy what’s killing us? And why did Tom Coburn grow a beard, anyway, guys?
  • A little out of breath Poor Martin Savidge. Beyond the fact that he was working at CNN on Christmas Day (the worst of the worst shifts, by the way), he appears to have leapt into his chair almost too quickly, completely unable to keep up with his lines We can’t judge. We’d blow this, too.
  • Hockey confuses Rachel Maddow It’s the holidays; even Rachel Maddow is allowed to let the seriousness fade away for a few days and take it easy. So, she has a question … what the heck is this waffle-throwing phenomenon with the Toronto Maple Leafs? And why does she need to care?

23 Dec 2010 13:21


Politics: Tom Coburn: The Senate’s only beard isn’t Joe Miller’s, guys

15 Dec 2010 21:43


Politics: Tom Coburn making big deal out of relatively small earmark issue

  • $2.2
    the amount Senator Tom Coburn – the guy who held up the food safety bill – says Senate leaders are putting aside in earmarks; Politico dug these numbers out of his database
  • $1.1 
    the size of the total omnibus spending bill the Democrats are trying to push through; just pointing out for comparison’s sake, because it’s good to note source
  • » OK, Tom, you’ve made your point: Democratic and Republican leaders alike in the Senate are taking a lot of federal money and giving it to the states. But you’re trying to deceive us. Here’s why; see, a trillion dollars is a thousand billion by our last count. And Tom, who’s anti-earmark, is pointing out how wrong it is for Senate leaders to throw roughly two-thousandths of the entire spending bill back to the states, $2.2 billion which would get spent by the federal government otherwise. (The total amount, $8.3 billion, is still absurdly tiny in comparison to the entire spending bill.) To put it another way, Tommy Boy’s trying to make hay out of an issue that’s actually needle-sized. You know what the real problem is? The hay. Not the needle. (And in case you’re wondering, these earmarks were made earlier this year, before the current anti-earmark vibe hit.)

02 Dec 2010 21:52


Politics: Deficit committee may not have needed votes by tomorrow

  • Our debt crisis is a threat not just to our way of life but to our national survival. And the threat that we face is so real and so close that we do not have further time for gridlock or inaction. It’s necessary that we take strong, aggressive action now.
  • Idaho Sen. (and deficit committee member) Mike Crapo • Revealing that he, along with Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, would be voting in favor of the deficit committee’s proposal Friday. That means that, along with retiring Sen. Judd Gregg, three Republicans would be voting to send the proposal for a vote in Congress. Problem is, that brings the grand total up to around nine votes. Fourteen of the nineteen members need to vote yes. At least three other  Republicans (including our boy Paul Ryan) and one Democrat (Max Baucus) will vote against it. But that may not matter, according to committee co-chairman Alan Simpson. “Whether we get two votes or 18, this baby ain’t goin’ away,” he said. He’s right; the ideas will remain no matter what happens. source

30 Nov 2010 11:08


U.S.: Lame-duck Senate passes food-safety bill with bipartisan love

  • good A food-safety regulation bill, made necessary in the wake of multiple salmonella crises, passed the Senate with bipartisan support.
  • bad The bill may not benefit organic or small-scale farmers, who could be treated to similar levels of scrutiny to the agricultural giants.
  • worse The bill was held up for months by GOP Senator Tom Coburn, who apparently thinks you should eat contaminated peanut butter. source

03 Aug 2010 10:27


Politics: Monkeys on cocaine? The GOP narrows down bad stimulus projects

  • What a beautiful scene, right? Too bad it’s no longer open to the public. The Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center at Mount St. Helens was closed back in 2007 due to staffing issues – but, as the GOP is quick to remind you, it’s getting new glass windows anyway thanks to the stimulus. It’s just one of the recipients Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain pointed out in their list of the 100 worst stimulus projects. Our personal favorite? Monkeys on cocaine. source

29 Jun 2010 09:09


Politics: Unlike health care, Robert Byrd didn’t live to vote for finance reform

  • The Senate just lost a key vote for the measure. When Sen. Tom Coburn made a remark that seemingly suggested he hoped Robert Byrd wouldn’t live to see the health care vote, it drew the Democrats in a tizzy. When Robert Byrd died just before the financial reform vote, it left Democratic leadership in a complete bind – now they have to find someone to replace Byrd’s vote, and hope that other Democrats don’t fall out of rank. Will it happen? source