Sen. Kent Conrad (D-LAME DUCK, ND): We did too pass a budget!

No, Sparky, you didn’t.

The Democratic Senator from North Dakota is taking the position that The Budget Control Act (the formal name for the agreement that raised the debt ceiling) totally counts as a budget.  While the idea of a federal budget that only takes twenty-eight pages to describe is actually kind of intriguing to me, the fact remains that the summary tables of an actual federal budget are larger.  More to the point, in a budget you get an idea of:

  • How much money is coming in;
  • From where it’s coming in;
  • How much money is going out;
  • And where the money is going.

Guess which of the two documents has that information?  Spoiler warning: it’s not the document that Senator Conrad is touting as being a budget. Continue reading Sen. Kent Conrad (D-LAME DUCK, ND): We did too pass a budget!

BREAKING: Kent Conrad (D, ND) to retire.

Admittedly, this revelation is coming from Chris Cillizzia, so take it with a grain of salt – but it’s hardly unexpected news; the Senator almost certainly feels like he has a target on his back these days*. This immediately makes the seat a strong Republican pickup prospect: Senator Conrad was in that seat largely out of personal popularity, and is unlikely to pass that popularity along.

Still, this is a bit of a pity: I was looking forward to having Senator Conrad explain why he took that sweet, sweet Countrywide mortgage deal. We never got a good answer on that, after all. Unless this retirement news is meant to explain things, to those skilled at reading between the lines?

Via @davidhauptmann.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

Continue reading BREAKING: Kent Conrad (D, ND) to retire.

Sen Kent Conrad (D, ND) & I agree!

Reversing the fiscal insanity that’s been unleashed upon us by the Democratic party would be a good thing, even if it means that some politicians lose their jobs.  I am completely in favor of this policy.  I think that I want to take this policy in hand and make sure it’s eating properly.  In fact, I have a list of Senators whose firing in 2012 would be an excellent start along the lines that Conrad has proposed: Continue reading Sen Kent Conrad (D, ND) & I agree!

#rsrh ‘This is the bill that never ends…’

The trick to this is to sing it in the standard “head slightly tilted, voice slightly off-key, smile slightly unnerving and eyes staring at somebody’s left cheek” fashion.

This is the bill that never ends
Yes it goes on and on my friend.
Some people tried pushing it
Not knowing what it was
And they’ll continue pushing it
Forever just because… Continue reading #rsrh ‘This is the bill that never ends…’

Unintended consequences in health care rationing.

This Jim Geraghty post about the travails of Rep. Waxman, and this Leon Wolf one about the travails of Senators Dodd and Conrad, reminded me that I wanted to point two things out to our Democratic colleagues.

  1. If you hadn’t ignored the fact that two of your Senators were involved in long-standing real estate shenanigans, you might not be facing a situation where one of them is currently destroying the narrative of health care rationing;
  2. If you hadn’t encouraged the Speaker of the House to encourage putting in charge of the Energy committee somebody who hates seeing more of it produced, the equivocators on that committee might not be so frantic about having to vote for a health care rationing bill.

Karma.  It’s what’s for dinner.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) breaks with House Democrats on reconciliation.

While in the process of idly mentioning that the deficit’s going to be worse than originally indicated, Senator Conrad (D-Countrywide) says something very, very interesting:

Conrad also said he did not plan to include any instructions in the budget plan he is crafting for health care or the greenhouse gas initiatives. Such instructions written into the budget would give it a privileged status and make it easier to become law, but likely spark a nasty fight with minority Republicans.

This is in reference to “reconciliation,” which is a process by which the Democrats would be able to put specific legislation into bills that could be passed by a simple majority in the Senate, instead of the 60 vote system that we’ve effectively evolved over the years. The House is currently threatening to impose it over health care, if those awful Republicans don’t ‘see reason’ (translation: ‘do what the Democrats say’): we have a deadline until September. Continue reading Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) breaks with House Democrats on reconciliation.

Hi, Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). Enjoying your Countrywide mortgage?

You know, the one that’s just like the ones that your fellow Democrat Chris Dodd (D-CT) got?

Report Details Countrywide’s Efforts to Benefit VIPs

WASHINGTON — – Executives at Countrywide Financial, one of the biggest names of the housing boom, routinely violated internal company policies to provide below-market rates on home loans to the politically connected and powerful, according to a congressional report to be released Thursday.


Recipients of special loans included senators and other officials, prominent businessmen, congressional aides, celebrities and journalists, including Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, Jackson’s daughter and others.

Via Jeff Goldstein. Continue reading Hi, Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). Enjoying your Countrywide mortgage?