The winter of America’s discontent. Dissatisfaction with both political parties runs deep. Tim Rutten sums it up.
The discontent is palpable and building. The Tea Party phenomenon is not the only expression of that displeasure. Behavior in Congress, and especially the Senate, is viewed with growing disgust. Tim Rutten writing for the Los Angeles Times sites polls and describes the gathering storm quite nicely. Walt
………Significant healthcare reform is all but dead for this session, and the chances of substantively addressing the regulatory breakdown that allowed Wall Street’s irresponsible speculation to precipitate the worst global financial crisis since the Depression seem to recede with each passing day. So too the prospects for passage of further stimulus measures to remedy the crisis of unemployment and underemployment that continues to ravage the lives of families in states from Michigan to California.
In the face of these daunting issues, what was it that preoccupied the Senate on the eve of its long weekend recess? The legislative drama du jour is the standoff between the White House and Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), who has put a personal hold on more than 70 executive branch appointments until the Obama administration agrees to fund a couple of pork-barrel projects he has earmarked for his state. One involves tens of millions of dollars for an FBI laboratory focusing on improvised explosives — something the bureau doesn’t think it needs. The other involves contract specifications for an aerial tanker that Northrop Grumman and Airbus would manufacture in Alabama, if they win the deal. (Boeing also is competing for the plane, which it would build in Topeka, Kan., and Seattle.)……..