Monday, February 16th, 2009

So we were told that the state of the economy is so dire that members of Congress could only have 11 hours to read the stimulus bill before voting on it.

Now that it passed, Obama’s going to take a long weekend before signing it into law.

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34 Responses to “Urgency”

  1. #1 |  CombatRob | 

    Somebody’s got to read the bill, Radley!

  2. #2 |  freedomfan | 

    Let him take the full ten days. Maybe Congress will adjourn in the meanwhile and we can dump this porker before its damage sets in. There would be no shame in not signing a bad law.

    Of course, brief reprieve aside, it will be signed. It was never important that the bill be a good law, just that it made those who voted for it feel good about themselves and allowed them the false pretense that they were doing something positive for the country. If the opposition has any brains, it should hold a press conference to highlight another onerous program funded or supported by this bill every week until the 2010 elections.

    No one who voted for this should be able to get away with saying they “had to do something“. They didn’t and doing the wrong thing is always worse than doing nothing. And, their supposed good intentions are utterly irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if they meant well. Voting for bad legislation is a reason to be voted out of office, regardless of intentions.

  3. #3 |  freedomfan | 

    BTW, I think there was a purpose to all of those incompetent weasels voting for this without reading it: Plausible deniability.

  4. #4 |  Andrew Williams | 

    Maybe during this long weekend someone who actually understands economics could talk to him and explain what this is a REALLY bad idea.

    Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

  5. #5 |  NutellaonToast | 


    Christ, and you people said we were deranged for not liking Bush.

    But yeah, no, you’re right. Doing nothing would be totally awesome. Doing nothing is what got us into this shit, so naturally that’s the way to get out! Stop clock is always right, eh?

    Seriously, stop pretending that you think. You don’t. You just scream “OH NOES, GOVERNMENT” whenever a legislator spends a penny and call it “freedom.” Yeah, freedom to be impoverished.

    God, you libertarians are ridiculous. At least the regular Repubs believe in SOMETHING.

  6. #6 |  CombatRob | 

    Point of clarification: a legislator does not “spend” a penny. They “take” a penny by force and give it to something they “think” is better.

  7. #7 |  Big Chief | 

    Hey Nut (#5) – that SOMETHING you and your fellow republocrats and demopublicans believe in is “gubmint”. Like a drooling load of troglodytes you continue to put faith that them thar gubmint boys kin fix anythin’. What a moron you are!

    There are things government really can’t fix. This is probably one of them. The only thing they should do is fix the creations of government that helped create this problem – Fannie, Freddie, the government planning bills, and the Fed. Anything else they do, including this bill, is not going to help and will probably hurt. It won’t have any impact until the economy starts to recover on its own. Then it will help slow down the recovery by misallocating resources and perhaps drive us back down, as FDR did so well in the 30’s.

    This was caused by nothing??? If it was, then this nothing you speak of may be able to fix it as well. It’s obviously a magic substance for you believers in da powa uv da gubmint.

    So get thee hence, back to the hallucinogenic haze from which you came. Leave this board for those who have something useful to say. Or to use your own parlance, I’ll get da gubmint to banish ya!!!

  8. #8 |  KBCraig | 


    Which legislation is that, Nut? The House version? The Senate version? The enrolled version? The version they started arguing about weeks ago, or the version that was finally printed just hours before the vote?

    The version actually voted upon, or the version that is “improved” by unelected, unaccountable, anonymous “staffers” before it is actually signed into law?

  9. #9 |  Remfin | 

    Uhm, do you even read your own stuff or is this a case of a co-blogger and unsigned posts? You just bitched the other day that Obama wasn’t waiting the five days he promised, and now you’re bitching that waiting four days (longer if it happens later in the day) is too long?!?

  10. #10 |  Bernard | 

    Rem, it’s hard to see what you’re struggling with here.

    Breaking a specific campaign promise to make government more accountable by making a public record of all legislation for 5 days before it gets voted on is a bad thing. It limits the ability of Joe Public to raise concerns with their elected officials before those elected officials vote on the bill in question.

    Giving the elected officials themselves only 11 hours to study a bill that is by some distance the biggest, most expensive and most important (whether for good or, more probably, bad) bill in living memory is also unfortunate. The excuse that Things Must Be Done Now To Avoid Disaster (a plea which I thought had beem trademarked by Bush) is completely blown apart by the fact that he’s now taking his sweet time to sign it.

    It’s pretty clear to me and I don’t see any contradiction between the two positions. What part of the reasoning don’t you understand?

  11. #11 |  Remfin | 

    The part where you are claiming Obama broke a campaign promise. Obama never made any such promise. You can read right on his webpage where he promised five days before he’d sign non-emergency legislation. How Obama could possibly make Congress wait five days to vote on something…

    This is attacking Obama coming and going for a promise he didn’t make, while ignoring he’s fulfilling the promise he did make.

  12. #12 |  Stimulus Bill Urgency | 

    […] Radley Balko: So we were told that the state of the economy is so dire that members of Congress could only have 11 hours to read the stimulus bill before voting on it. Now that it passed, Obama’s going to take a long weekend before signing it into law. […]

  13. #13 |  Whim | 

    NO Congress Critter had actually read the final bill before it was voted on.

    I go along with FreedomFan that the GOP should hold a daily press conference each day between now and the 2010 elections to highlight the ruinous, dumb-headed spending splurge imbedded in this Spending Bill.

    Select a different earmark to discuss daily.

    Should make for great TV viewing, riduculing this ruinous spending spree.

  14. #14 |  thomasblair | 


    Five working days. When he signs it on Tuesday (or Monday), it will have been some fraction of a single working day. The enrolled version didn’t pass the Senate until 10p on Friday night. Weekends and Holidays aren’t working days.

    Plus, I can’t even find the full text of the enrolled version. If you know where it is, please post a link.

  15. #15 |  thomasblair | 

    He already broke his 5 day review period with his signing the SCHIP bill. I assume he’ll defend this by saying that it is emergency legislation.


  16. #16 |  Satori | 

    In all fairness, after a bill comes out of conference, it usually takes a day or two for the Enrollment Clerk to make sure all the changes are properly reflected in the text of the final bill, especially if there are a lot of amendments (which there were). The 10 days don’t start ticking until the White House receives the bill. If Congress informed the White House that the bill won’t be ready to sign until Tuesday, there’s really nothing Obama can do about that.

  17. #17 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Passing it gets it out of the spotlight. The longer the delay in passing it, the longer it would be the top story of the day in the media (and the longer public attention would be focused on all the embarrassing frivolous spending).

    A politician’s promise is only good if there is a steep monetary price to be paid for breaking it. It’s not like we’re going to see hundred of special interests suddenly stop bidding on Presidential favors just because he broke a promise to the folks who matter least in the formulation of government policy.

  18. #18 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Uhm…we got to $10 trillion by doing nothing?

  19. #19 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #7 Big Chief

    There are things government really can’t fix.

    Yep. Most things in fact.

    Gubmint’s much better at breakin’ stuff. Almost ever’thin they touch, in fact.

  20. #20 |  dsmallwood | 

    is the bill available online? perhaps this ‘delay’ is his effort to make the bill visible to the public?

    if its not, then this is the worst political move he’s made

  21. #21 |  Christopher Monnier | 

    I see Radley’s point, but I agree with Remfin. Obama does seem to be waiting five-ish days before signing the legislation. And however unlikely it is, maybe Obama is actually reading the whole thing?

  22. #22 |  David | 

    Christ, and you people said we were deranged for not liking Bush.

    Just a point of clarification. “We” never said anything of the kind. That was a Republican criticism of anyone who dared disagree with their fearless leader’s brilliant policy. As in, “the only reason someone would oppose X is Bush derangement syndrome”, certainly not because they’ve disagree about the policy itself. It was untrue then, and it’s untrue now.

  23. #23 |  bobzbob | 

    “Gubmint’s much better at breakin’ stuff. Almost ever’thin they touch, in fact.”

    If you are going to complain about the government breaking things you should at least have the deceny not to be a hypocrit and complain about it over the internet- which is purely a government invention.

  24. #24 |  Rick Caldwell | 

    @bobzob #23

    Not true. The internet was first created in the 1950’s by Project RAND, to facilitate collaboration between researchers in Pittsburgh and Sullivan, Illinois. You’re thinking of ARPAnet, which, though used by the Department of Defense, was created by MIT and UC Berkley, and ran on protocols created by the RAND project.

  25. #25 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Bob, is anything you write actually correct?

  26. #26 |  Rick Caldwell | 

    To add to my last comment, the TCP/IP internet protocol suite that facilitates the interconnectivity between networks was created at Stanford University. This is what we use and think of as the internet today. Still not a government creation.

  27. #27 |  Rick Caldwell | 

    Lastly, the hypertext protocol that makes the internet usable by people other than geeks like me was created first (sort of) by IBM, then by Project Xanadu. Tim Berners-Lee created HTML, and formed the World Wide Web Consortium. Though they do standardize WWW protocols and languages, they are entirely private. Not a government creation, by any stretch of the imagination.

  28. #28 |  Z | 

    All this talk about porkulus etc is very touching and if the GOP had a shred of credibility left as fiscally conservative small government advocates I would even pay attention to them.

  29. #29 |  Robin | 

    “(the internet) is purely a government invention.”

    #23 bobzbob, It’s just unacceptable that you not only believe this, but seem to have taken it for granted, that of course the government invented the internet. I mean, I’m genuinely distressed right now.

  30. #30 |  Shygetz | 

    ARPANET was formed at government insistence with government funds. Project RAND was set up by the US Army Air Forces and did all of it’s early work on the Internet under government auspices with government funds. X.25, the first publically available internet, was formed by an intergovernmental agency. Vinton Cerf’s pioneering work in TCP/IP was prompted by and funded by DARPA. The NSF, NASA, and the DOE brought TCP/IP into usage in the successors to ARPANET. But of course the government played no important role in the invention of the internet.

    I swear, some libertarians remind me of YECs to an eerie extent.

    Commercial industry did play an important innovating role in the Internet–in transferring the government-made technology into the hands of the masses. But to pretend that the Internet was not a product of government demand, government funding, and (to a large extent) the expertise of government employees is just blatant revisionism.

  31. #31 |  Shygetz | 

    Oh, I forgot Mosaic, the first graphical web browser. Wholly funded by the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991. You know, the Gore Bill.

  32. #32 |  Dave Krueger | 

    If complaining about the government ineptitude over the internet makes one a hypocrite, then I consider myself to be among extraordinary company.

  33. #33 |  Robin | 

    Shygetz–You’re right. I did a little wikipedia search of my own, and learned a lot regarding government involvement in the development of precursor technologies that led to the internet. Of course, military, NASA, etc, technologies are in all kinds of things, everywhere. And of course the internet wasn’t, at one point, just “invented”; there isn’t a prototype stashed in someone’s garage. By YEC, do you mean Young Earth Creationist? Do you think that there’s less idolatry or fanaticism among other political affiliations?

  34. #34 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » Lunch Links | 

    […] call for restraint, or who suggested that perhaps Congress and the public should be given more than 11 hours to review the bill in its final version before it was voted on were cast off as petty obstructionists? […]