Wells Fargo cancelled a planned sales incentive and reward trip to Las Vegas last month as the outcry over companies plans to spend TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds on “excessive” indulgences swelled to epic levels. No banks receiving TARP funding should have meetings that involve travel or hotel expenses, because they’re spending the taxpayer’s money. This is the stern message that we keep hearing from the media as the historic vote on the “stimulus” package looms on the horizon this evening.
The Drudge Report quoted Texas representative John Culbertson who said, “Nancy Pelosi needs the vote to be done for the weekend, so she can head out for her European Vacation,” and everything seems set for the historic vote casting the boulder rolling down the hill of trillion dollar annual operating deficits.
The Democrats, unable to garner ANY Republican votes, have a small problem. Of course it’s fortunate that the recount in Minnesota got Al Franken elected. This creates a 60 person “super majority” in the Senate that stops any attempts that might be made at the old fashioned “filibuster,” a blustery effort to speak for as long as is necessary to secure debate and discussion on a topic that requires it. Without Franken, we’d have to have political debate and public hearings on all topics, and lord knows if we don’t get these pork laden legislations out within minutes (especially the stimulus bill which expires the same day as the milk I bought Saturday), they might burn in the oven (Sorry, I think I am thinking about my pillsbury crescent rolls). The problem is that Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown’s Mother passed away last week.
My condolences to Senator Brown and his family. Also some suggestions. As a Senator, he could ask his family to delay the funeral services until late Sunday. I’m only suggesting this because the government (yes, the same government that’s telling all the big companies to stop spending taxpayer dollars foolishly) is going to send a military jet to ferry him back and forth to Ohio because he can’t fly back and forth in time for the vote, while making his Mom’s funeral on time with commercial air transportation. Delta has a flight from Cincinnati at 12:40, arriving in the capital at 2:01PM, with a 6:10AM, arriving at 7:54AM on Sunday. Even if the Senator is in Columbus, he’d be available for a 11AM funeral without incident. It’s a 7 hour drive to Columbus. How many small businessmen have made the all-day drive to get back for a kid’s soccer game the next morning. The whole thing is beyond comprehension.
If this delay idea doesn’t work, perhaps he can call someone on the telephone to cast his vote for him. Can’t a Senator “trust” other Senators to vote as instructed? I transfer money from one bank account to another by phone. Also the internet. It’s more recently invented, but has government level encryption (Al Gore invented it so it’s environmentally friendly also) and you can do a bunch of secure things on this world wide web thingy. If that doesn’t work, Verizon does this call in thing to vote on “American Idol,” and I’m sure they’d set up a special text number to tabulate his vote. Whatever they do, they have no reason to fly this man to Washington and back to vote on the stimulus package. It’s not going to change the direction of the river we’re rafting on.
Be mindful, be careful and good luck!