Saturday, October 29

Exxon Record Profits is Great News!

Despite the fools in the media, and all around the country, that may be calling Exxon's record profits "absurd" and "profiteering," allow me to do a quick Economics lesson 101. Profits attract competition. Competition brings prices down. Competition improves the market, product quality, and benefits everyone overall. So, why are they complaining? Because for some people, it's easier to complain about the evil corporations, than to know the facts and speak truth. I think people like to complain about this sort of thing out of self-righteous pride.

Taxing the energy industry is NOT going to help anyone. While it will hurt the energy industry, the true victims will be the consumer, who will face higher prices. Let Exxon enjoy its profits. I would welcome further deregulation, encourage further competition, and facilitate the building of new refineries. Let's send the extremist enviro-nazis back to the looney bin they came from. Maybe then we can start seeing some progress in this nation in the area of energy. It is absurd to me that in a modern, creative, nation as ours, we are having so much trouble getting low-cost energy. It certainly is not the energy company's fault.

Put the blame where the blame goes--over regulation motivated by extremist environmental interests and socialist-based ideals. They don't work, and they don't help anyone. It just doesn't make sense.

Economist Carol Dahl, an energy economics professor at the Colorado School of Mines commented in a Friday Denver Post article saying, "If you have a commodity in short supply, and if you let the market function, that will raise prices and help allocate supply. It's a way for the market to get to equilibrium."

In other words, what she is saying is that if it wasn't for the higher prices, you would be getting long lines at the pump, and shortages all over the country. The energy companies did their job, the price fluctuations did their job, and as a result, there was little-to-no interruption of fuel supply nation wide. That is a good thing and it is how it's supposed to work.

Values Voting or Evangelical Identity Politics

Is this the choice? I don't think that the evangelical activists are really interested in access, and willing to sacrifice their values for it. I would tend to think that more people respect their values than the media or the polls show, giving these "voices" like Dobson much more access.

While this sort of access may surprise some in the mainstream media, it doesn't surprise most American's who hear their own sentiments being voiced on the radio and TV. Read the American Daily's opinion piece regarding the evangelical's support for Miers and the choices being made. It is good food for thought.
At issue is not just the effectiveness of evangelical activism – although the fact some Christian Right leaders are such an easy sell may explain why only two of the seven Republican-appointed justices are solidly anti-Roe – but its central purpose. Are evangelicals values voters or just another group practicing identity politics?

Christian conservative leaders are about to get another chance. By the time this appears, the president will have selected another, perhaps stronger, nominee. But the day of reckoning has only been delayed. In this and other debates, evangelicals must ask the activists who speak on their behalf whether they place their principles, rooted in faith, above their access to Washington power-brokers.

Thursday, October 27

Wilma breaches Havana's defenses

Update: More from Peter Krupa on the AP reporting from Cuba.
I wouldn't be too surprised if this story was written by a government lapdog. It's pretty obvious that a native Spanish speaker wrote it (you can call a flood an "inundation" in English, but it's not exactly common). Plus it has all the typical "isn't Castro great?" touches you find in the Cuba News Agency and Ahora.cu.
HT: Babalublog.com
***

The BBC News is reporting that "hundreds of people have been rescued from homes in Cuba's capital, Havana, after sea defenses succumbed to flooding brought by Hurricane Wilma." The story reports that some residents are saying that the devastation is the worst since the "storm of the century" in 199.

Meanwhile, the murdrer dictator, always ever hungry for some public attention, offered Mexico aid. At the same time, there are reports that electricity was shut down in Havana as a "precaution." It seems like the hurricane gave the Castro regime an excuse to save some cash, and hide their incompetence.
...Fidel Castro appeared on television late on Sunday to appeal for calm.

Electricity was then cut off for the capital and some western parts of Cuba as a precaution.

Other areas of Cuba have also been affected by the storm. Cuban television said sea water had penetrated up to a kilometre (half a mile) inland in some southern communities while tornadoes have destroyed homes in the west.
I'm just waiting to hear how Castro is going to blame the Bush administration for this one.

Miers: Withdrawn

It's all over the news. I heard it this morning on Fox, and then Laura Ingraham was talking about. I have to say, I am releaved. She did the noble thing by withdrawing. It is my hope the president will follow through with a stronger, originalist and couragous nominee. There is no need for stealth candidates.

Ingraham was commenting this morning on a Miers speach that is cause for concern, and makes the withdrawal even more so welcome. Here are her comments.
Now that Harriet Miers has withdrawn, we have to learn the lesson of the last three and a half weeks. In the text of a 1993 speech she delivered to a Dallas women's group, Harriet Miers sounded more like John Edwards than John Roberts: "We undeniable [sic] still do have a justice system that does not provide justice for all as provided by the Pledge of Allegiance. One justice for rich, one justice for poor. One justice sometimes for minorities, one for whites." On judicial activism, she punts, writing: "When you hear Courts blamed for judicial activism or intrusion where they don't belong...stop and [sic] examine what the elected leadership has done to address the issue at hand...." This speech lacks a clear logic, reasoning, or attention to basic grammar and punctuation. We can't believe that President Bush never read this speech. This speech is not anything that could ever be written by a judicial conservative with a firm grasp of the principle of judicial restraint.

Tuesday, October 25

Migrations Seen as Opportunity for Evangelization

Vatican Agencies issues a joint letter on the issue of immigration and evangelization.
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 25, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Church must make of migrations a vehicle for dialogue and proclamation of the Christian message, say a pair of
Vatican dicasteries.

The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for
Migrants and Travelers made that point in a joint letter dated Oct. 7.

The letter, addressed to those in charge in dioceses of the pastoral care of
migrants, is signed by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the congregation, and
Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the pontifical council.

Both acknowledge that "the present migrations are the greatest human movement of all times."

The letter seeks to promote application of the 2004 Vatican instruction "Erga
Migrantes Caritas Christi" (The Love of Christ toward Migrants), written to respond
"to the new spiritual and pastoral needs of migrants."

The cardinals encourage readers to discover "in the new document pastoral and
missionary suggestions and guidelines, fruit of the universal Church's experience,
in the service of people involved in this phenomenon."

According to the document's data, migrations affect at least 175 million men, women,
children and elderly people, "who live outside their own country of origin as
economic immigrants, refugees or asylum seekers, which is equivalent to 2.9% of the
world's population."

Army helps curb illegal immigration

Here is a great report by the Associated Press on the Army Times web site. As the story says, this helps free up resources from the Border Patrol. It's about time the government started taking this problem seriously and started enforcing existing immigration laws. I am not saying I think all the immigration laws are right, but we are a nation of order and law.

The second step is to begin looking at our immigration process and fixing it taking into account the realities of our economy. Hat tip to RedState.org Red Hot.
COLUMBUS, N.M. — The U.S. Border Patrol is getting help from the Army to slow illegal immigration along New Mexico’s southern border.

Armored vehicles from a reconnaissance squadron based in Fort Lewis, Wash., were stationed along a 20-mile stretch of N.M. 9 between Columbus and Playas on Thursday, watching for illegal immigrants.

Some of the vehicles with the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment were equipped with mounted machine guns and long-range surveillance equipment.

Border Patrol spokesman Doug Mosier said the surveillance mission isn’t unusual and was planned last year.

“These military resources provide more eyes and ears as force multipliers to help us with our mission,” Mosier said.

The operation is the latest in a series of steps to tighten security between Deming and Lordsburg, the busiest route in New Mexico for illegal immigrants and smugglers. Other steps include the addition of more Border Patrol agents and the temporary assignment of state police officers to the Columbus area.

Quote of the Day: A College Student is a College Student

I personaly can't touch that stuff! It's nasty! I guess in this way, Latinos are not all that different from the rest of the bunch. This comes via IconCulture:
48.7% of Latino college students polled would rather live off Ramen Noodles than eat the food served at their campus.

ICARAMBAU MAGAZINE 9.10.05

South FL Expected to be Without Power for up to 2 Weeks

I just called my relatives in FL. Everyone is doing fine, and thankful the weather was cool last night. Weather forecast is that its going to warm up tomorrow, so the suffering starts. They are being told they may be without power for up to two weeks, as it seems a main station was damaged. So, its more than just downed power lines.

Other than a smashed car, lost roof shingles, and a lost shed, not to bad. It seems Florida just can't get out of the way of these storms in the last couple years. It is one of those times I am glad to be out of FL, and living in Colorado. But, then again, we have our blizzards, hail, and thunder.

Best wishes to everyone in the storm's path as they work towards recovery.

Monday, October 24

Dobson as a Witness Would be Political Grandstanding

Enough Said.
Dr. Dobson as a Witness? Dr. James Dobson has been witnessing for decades, but now Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) says he is likely to summon Dr. Dobson to testify before his panel as it considers the nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. "My instinct is that they'll be called. And the American people are entitled to clarification," Specter told CBS's "Face the Nation" yesterday. Specter was referring not only to the President of Focus on the Family, but also to other Evangelical leaders. The Senator may not be a regular listener to Dr. Dobson's nationally broadcast Focus on the Family program, but his staff should at least inform him that Dr. Dobson has already clarified his remarks before a radio audience of millions. Any effort to haul Dr. Dobson before the Committee should be seen for what it is--political grandstanding.

But if the Committee is intent on getting the whole story of judicial confirmations on record, they might start by examining the relationship between some Judiciary Committee members and staff and liberal outside groups. These groups sought to block Miguel Estrada's confirmation. Committee files showed that Estrada was opposed for a seat on a U.S. Appeals Court because liberals did not want an Hispanic conservative "on deck" to be named to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, that would be a clarification that Americans genuinely need.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Offers Program to Help Eliminate Corruption and Bribery in Central America

This is a great initiative, specially when you consider there is a financial incentive to it--more trade. Let's hope it makes a difference.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 21, 2005

U.S. Commerce Secretary Offers Program to Help Eliminate Corruption and Bribery in Central America

San Salvador, El Salvador -- U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez today in El Salvador announced the U.S. will help El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in their existing efforts to stamp out bribery and fight corruption by extending the Good Governance Program to the three countries. Gutierrez said the Program compliments the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

“Our Good Governance Program will complement CAFTA’s provisions by promoting private sector leadership and private–public partnerships to fight corruption and fortify the rule of law,” said Gutierrez in remarks to the American Chamber of Commerce.

“The private sector is an engine of growth and champion of change throughout the world. For that reason, we want the private sector to lead the way toward a society that values transparency, accountability, and ethical practices.”

Gutierrez called corruption, lack of transparency, and a weak rule of law “invisible taxes” that raises the cost of doing business. He said the faster the good governance climate within a country matures, the greater the likelihood that entrepreneurs will be willing to invest capital within the marketplace.

The Commerce Secretary also said he will deploy a U.S. team in coming weeks to work with the private and public sector in each country to gather recommendations to seek the best way to get the governance programs up and running over the next year.

“The biggest beneficiaries of progress on good governance issues will be the citizens of the countries making swift changes and reforms,” Gutierrez said.

The Good Governance Program is already helping eleven countries. In the last two years three Latin American pilot programs were successfully launched in Panama, Paraguay and Nicaragua.

Gutierrez is in El Salvador on the final leg of a 19-U.S. member business delegation he is leading throughout Central America, the first since passage of CAFTA in August. The mission is geared toward highlighting new U.S. business opportunities and stronger trade ties with Central America. The stops included Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

###

Reaction to Dr. Bernanke Nomination to Fed Chairman

I contacted our local economics expert, Dr, Paul Prentice, who is a UCCS Professor, and President of Farm Sector Economics, for a reaction and comments to Dr. Bernanke's nomination.

Dr. Prentice suggested readers check out Dr. Bernanke's website for insight into his qualifications through his c.v. and his publications. (http://www.princeton.edu/~bernanke/)
In my opinion, the most important qualification for Fed Chairman is understanding that the Fed's primary job is long run price-stabilization, i.e. stabilization of the value of the currency, rather than stabilizing the short run business cycle. This means that the Fed should do less fine-tuning of monetary policy in order to try to fine-tune normal economic cycles. The Fed should instead focus on more of a long run "fixed-money-rule" as proposed by Nobel economist Milton Friedman.

As a macroeconomist, Dr. Bernanke appears to be more inclined toward long run price stability, aka "inflation targeting". Not surprisingly, the market reacted favorably today to the announcement, as have I.

Sincerely,

Paul T. Prentice, Ph.D.
President
Farm Sector Economics, Inc.

Tags: Politics, News, Economy, Economics, Policy,

Keep Your Hands off My Bridge to Nowhere

Via the Washington Post, more on the story on the bridge to nowhere in Alaska.
Republicans in Congress say they are serious about cutting spending, but they learned yesterday to keep their hands off the "Bridge to Nowhere."

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a staunch opponent of pork barrel spending, tried to block $453 million for two Alaska bridges that had been tucked into the recent highway bill. Coburn wanted to redirect the money to the Interstate 10 bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, a major thoroughfare that was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Sen. Ted Stevens, the veteran Alaska Republican, was dramatic in his response. "I don't kid people," Stevens roared. "If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state . . . I will resign from this body."

Coburn's measure, offered as an amendment to the 2006 transportation appropriations bill, failed 82 to 15. The Senate also narrowly defeated spending an additional $3.1 billion on emergency heating-bill assistance for low-income people, a major priority for many Democrats, who said they would try to attach the increase to other bills this fall.

Although the Coburn amendment lost, it struck a chord among lawmakers as they face increasing belt-tightening pressure. Katrina and the war in Iraq have created billions in unexpected expenses, and Republicans as well Democrats would like to trim other programs to offset the cost. But yesterday's debate showed even an obscure budget item has its patrons.

Glen Reynolds at Instapundit had this to say.
If you needed any more proof that "pork" is about putting money in the hands of fatcat contributors, rather than helping constituents, this would seem to be it.

Hurricane Wilma Radar Image: Smashes Florida with 125+ MPH



The worst is past. HT: Drudge

Sunday, October 23

Hurricane Wilma Barrels Toward Florida

Just talked to my parents in Miami this evening, and as usuall, they are not worrying to much about the storm. Not to minimize preparedness, but they live in a great area that rarely floods. For the first time I ever heard, my mother is talking about getting storm shutters. Its so dificult to know whats real with the way newspapers seem to sensationalize storm news. Washington Post has more news on the evacuation efforts and preparations.
NAPLES, Fla. Oct. 23 -- After lashing Mexico's Cancun region with 135 mph winds, Hurricane Wilma turned to the northeast, gathered speed Sunday and was barreling toward Florida, where residents took shelter after days of nervous anticipation and emergency preparedness leaders made last-minute pleas to those who resisted mandatory evacuation orders.

Many residents had fled the Florida Keys and the coastal areas of Naples and Fort Myers, where evacuations were ordered. Up and down the roadways of southwestern Florida, shopping centers and fast-food restaurants were boarded up, and many neighborhoods seemed nearly deserted.

But thousands of residents were preparing to stay in their homes and ignoring mandatory evacuation orders, particularly in Key West, where some people disregarded repeated calls to leave, state and local officials said, even though the storm surge was forecast to be 5 to 8 feet above normal tide there and as high as 9 to 17 feet where Wilma makes landfall.

Compassion Must be Voluntary, Vote No for CO Ref. C & D

I found this interesting comment from a Denver Post reader reacting to Bob Ewegen's column, "People of Faith rally to C and D." The reader is right on.
In aruging for Referendums C & D, Bob Ewegen is correct that the principles of all major religions teach that we have a moral obligation to care for the poor and disadvantaged. But voting to take from some to give to others doesn't count as compassion.

Each person must decide whether and how to assist the poor using his or her own time, talent, and treasure. There is nothing wrong with collective efforts, but participation must be voluntary. The problem with C and D is that they are government solutions, founded on coercion.

Rich Cantillon, Centennial, CO.
(The Denver Post, Saturday, October 22, 2005; Page 15C)
I too have found that the arguments in favor of Referendum C & D are great arguments for compassion, but they ignore that coerced and forced compassion is no compassion at all.

Why is it that Liberals and the left just can't seem to grasp this? Worst, it seems, more and more Republicans, in an attempt to compete against Democrats for the "caring" category in politics, are falling for these sort of arguments and losing their ground as far as fiscal spending. And at the end of it all, false coerced compassion at the hands of the government is no compassion at all--its just another expensive, fat, welfare program.

Health Care Economics: How much damage can political leaders do?

The Washington Post is reporting on a Hong Kong newspaper report Saturday that China says it will close its borders if it finds a single case of human-to-human transmission of bird flu there. And so it goes--our politicians making things worst! The fact is there is a crisis in the United States in regards to the lack of vaccine makers, but its not the pharmaceutical companies' fault.
HONG KONG (Reuters) - China will close its borders if it finds a single case of human-to-human transmission of bird flu there, a Hong Kong newspaper reported on Saturday, while a defiant Taiwan said it would copy a patented antiviral drug.

Saving lives would be Beijing's top priority in efforts to contain a possible outbreak of bird flu, even if it meant slowing the economy, Huang Jiefu, a vice minister of health, was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.

The World Bank said while prevention measures would cost a lot, the economic damage from a pandemic would be far worse.
According to a WSJ Review & Outlook article, Political Virus, there are only three in this country. The government is regulating our health care to death! Now there is a real cause to be alarmed--the over-regulation of our pharmaceutical industry. If Taiwan does what it is threatening, they are only going to make matters worst--create an artificial shortage caused by central government management.

Despite these warning signals, Washington has done almost nothing. One problem is the Food and Drug Administration, which puts safety above developing rapid cures. Flu-vaccine makers face particular difficulties because they must effectively gain approval for a new product (for each new flu strain) every year. The vaccine is still grown in chicken eggs -- a process that takes up to eight months. The industry has revolutionary new technologies -- reverse genetics and mammalian cell culture -- that would dramatically reduce the time and cost of development. Europe is moving toward products using these new techniques, but the FDA refuses to adapt and allow more rapid approval.

The feds have also done their best to remove any financial incentive -- i.e., profit -- for developing new vaccines. The Vaccines For Children program, a pet project of Hillary Clinton back in her First Lady days, has been especially destructive. The program now buys more than 50% of all private vaccines, and it uses this monopsony clout to drive prices down to commodity levels.

When one pharmaceutical company offered to sell a new pneumococcal vaccine to the government for $58 a dose, the Centers for Disease Control demanded a $10-a-dose discount. Politicians want companies to take all the risk of developing new vaccines, but they don't want the companies to make any money from taking those risks. Then the politicians profess surprise and dismay that there's a vaccine shortage.

Vaccine makers are also a favorite target of tort lawyers, who've spent 20 years trying to get around the 1986 Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) -- which was specifically designed to protect vaccine makers from liability abuse. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has been trying to update the VICP for several years, and Republicans did pass a liability provision as a rider to a homeland security bill in 2002. But three GOP Senators -- Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Lincoln Chafee -- created a media ruckus and demanded that it be killed. The Senators promised more debate on the subject, yet once the headlines vanished so did their interest.

The larger point is that if politicians want private industry to develop new cures and vaccines, they can't steal their patents or confiscate their hope of making money. Private companies developed the AIDS drugs that have extended millions of lives, but countries like Brazil want to force those companies to give the drugs away at cost.

The solutions to getting more vaccines aren't complicated: Push the FDA for faster approvals, shield companies from tort robbery and get the government out of the business of buying routine vaccines. Politicians can't be held responsible for knowing when the next animal virus will strike the human race. But they will be responsible if their hostility to business leaves us unable to cope with its consequences.

BOLIVIANS DREMAND A FREE TRADE PACT WITH THE U.S.

Thoousands of Bolivians are marching demanding the opportunity to trade with the U.S. Basic economics teaches that this would make sense, and would benefit all involved. Publius Pundit has more on the story.
Now let’s face facts: Bolivians do not want communism. Most Bolivians do not want Evo Morales as their next president. Bolivians especially do not want Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez running their country as their newest satellite. Bolivia’s a nation in distress and they want to work their way out of it through free trade. Go see the local sentiment of Bolivians on Jim Schultz’s site - the tongue-lashing these local Bolivians give to the well-meaning left-leaning Berkeley gringo about his misreading of what’s going on in their country is unbelievable. Except when you realize that Bolivians also are marching in their thousands in the streets for free trade. The U.S.’s number one priority right now must be to extend a hand of equality, of better-living-through-free-trade to these gutsy Bolivians. There can’t be any more goofing off.
So much for Mr. Chavez's popularity rising in South America. It is good to see the people of Bolivia asking for what they truly know they need--the simple opportunity to compete in an open market, and produce a living for themselves.

In the comments section, A.M. Mora y Leon added, "These factory workers - it’s both factories and unions sponsoring it, according to the news reports - remind me of the Solidarity workers of Poland."

What's Anne Rice been up to? Getting healthy, finding God—and writing her most daring book yet

What's up with Ann Rice? There is an interesting article in MSNBC about her latest book, "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt." I'm looking forward to reading it. Coming from a stellar writer, it is good to hear she is opening up her horizon, and exploring the other side of the Spiritual world--Jesus Christ. From first impression, I would not put any faith on her doctrinal accuracy, but as a work of pure fiction, considering her ability to research, should be a facinating work. I'm curious.
"For the last six months," she says, "people have been sending e-mails saying, 'What are you doing next?' And I've told them, 'You may not want what I'm doing next'." We'll know soon. In two weeks, Anne Rice, the chronicler of vampires, witches and—under the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaure—of soft-core S&M encounters, will publish "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt," a novel about the 7-year-old Jesus, narrated by Christ himself. "I promised," she says, "that from now on I would write only for the Lord." It's the most startling public turnaround since Bob Dylan's "Slow Train Coming" announced that he'd been born again.
Amazon.com has an interesting review by Publishers Weekly.
From Publishers Weekly
Rice departs from her usual subject matter to pen this curious portrait of a seven-year-old Jesus, who departs Egypt with his family to return home to Nazareth. Rice's painstaking historical research is obvious throughout, whether she's showing the differences among first-century Jewish groups (Pharisees, Essenes and Sadducees all play a part), imagining a Passover pilgrimage to Jerusalem or depicting the regular but violent rebellions by Jews chafing under Roman rule. The book succeeds in capturing Jesus' profound Jewishness, with some of the best scenes reflecting his Torah education and immersion in the oral traditions of the Hebrew Bible. As fiction, though, the book's first half is slow going. Since it is told from Jesus' perspective, the childlike language can be simplistic, though as readers persevere they will discover the riches of the sparse prose Rice adopts. The emotional heart of the story—Jesus' gradual discovery of the miraculous birth his parents have never discussed with him—picks up steam as well, as he begins to understand why he can heal the sick and raise the dead. Rice provides a moving afterword, in which she describes her recent return to the Catholic faith and evaluates, often in an amusingly strident fashion, the state of biblical studies today. (Nov. 7)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Allard (R-CO) & Salazar (D-CO) voted to Kill the Coburn Amendments

Just a couple days after receiving a convincing letter of commitment to cutting pork from Senator Allard, both Colorado Senators Allard and Salazar voted to kill the Coburn Amendments, that would have killed $900.000 in pork spending in RI, Washington, and Nebraska. Mark Tapscott has more.
The U.S. Senate voted 86-13 against three anti-pork spending amendments offered by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK. The Coburn amendments would have repealed $500,000 previously authorized for a sculpture park in Seattle, Washington, $200,000 to build an animal shelter in Westerly, RI, and $200,000 to build a parking lot in Omaha, Nebraska, and re-directed the funds to help pay instead for Hurricane Katrina recovery.

It appears the majority of senators think it is more important to shelter dogs and cats in Rhode Island than people in Louisiana and Mississippi made homeless by Hurricane Katrina.
I may not be a politician, and some would say I don't understand the complexities of compromise, and "getting things done" in Washington, but this seems to me like politics all the way. Allard said one thing, and it seems here, voted the other way. This is the kind of thing that has the voters frustrated!

Two updates from instapundit, who has more info.

UPDATE: Via email from Coburn's office, a correction: Those were different amendments, to the same effect. The "Bridge to Nowhere" amendment is coming up shortly. I imagine it will fail too -- though I'd love to be wrong -- but I hope that this Senate action will get a lot of attention.

Meanwhile, Patty Murray is threatening people over the Coburn cuts.

I predict a revival of interest in term limits and a balanced budget amendment. But at least we've got their attention.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tapscott has updated with a list of how Senators voted, and observes about Patty Murray's threats: "Getting that defensive this quick is probably an indication of just how scared the Big Spenders in both political parties are that the Coburnites will succeed."

Senator Allard, you wrote to me with a commitment to cut spending! If you, or someone on your staff is reading this, would you care to explain your vote? I would be glad to publish it here.

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