Daily Archives: February 7, 2018

(Update) A budget deal, but can it pass? Demand a DACA vote in the House

In an eleventh hour deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to fund the government and set spending levels for defense and nondefense programs over the next two years. Senate leaders agree to two-year budget deal:

The legislation would avert a government shutdown on Friday, when federal funding is due to expire, and boost defense and nondefense programs.

It also lifts the debt ceiling to March 2019 [which was to have been the next manufactured crisis for GOP hostage taking in a few weeks.]

The deal is backed by McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and will almost certainly be cleared as part of a stopgap funding measure by the Senate before a Feb. 8 deadline to prevent a shutdown.

It is not entirely sure the package will win enough support to pass the House, however.

As anticipated, GOP fiscal hawks revolt against Senate budget deal:

House conservatives on Wednesday revolted against a massive bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling and bust spending caps, complaining that the GOP could no longer lay claim to being the party of fiscal responsibility.

* * *

The swift backlash from fiscal hawks means that Ryan and his leadership team will need dozens of Democratic votes to help get the caps-and-funding deal through the lower chamber to avert a government shutdown set for midnight Friday.

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Lock Your Love on the Avenue

 

Lock your Love — Feb. 10, 2 to 6 p.m. on 4th Avenue

“Every time you purchase an item from a Participating Merchant (on 4th Avenue) or buy a lock from one of the nonprofit groups set up by the Lock Your Love Sculptures, you’ll receive a sticker for our Valentine card. Get three stickers and you could be on your way to win a wonderful prize!

Take the completed card to Haggerty Plaza, 316 N. 4th Ave., between 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 10th and you’ll receive a key for a chance to open a Golden Lock. If your key opens 1 of 7 Golden Locks, you win a prize! There will be 7 nonprofit organizations stationed along Fourth Avenue selling locks for $5.00 each to place on a sculpture and Lock Your Love on the Avenue.

Everyone can participate in some wonderful Karaoke at Haggerty too!!!

Only one Golden Lock prize is allowed per person.”

https://www.facebook.com/events/2018474955095256/

Carolyn’s note: over the years I’ve been reporting on the HeART sculptures planted in metal containers up and down 4th Avenue shopping district. You can lock your love on these sculptures, but they are getting filled up with all kinds of metal locks. Most sculptures are heart shaped, but some in shape of the AIDS logo, for All Souls Day (a skull), or the Ben’s Bells design.

Happy Valentine’s Day on February 14, 2018.

Brinksmanship in Congress with only one day to a government shutdown

So the GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” went ahead with his kabuki theater plan to pass his fifth temporary spending bill (CR) that everyone knows was DOA in the Senate. He no doubt wants credit for his farce. House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money:

House Republicans passed a spending package on Tuesday night that pairs a full year of defense funding with a temporary patch for the rest of the government, even as Senate leaders pursue a different plan to avoid a shutdown when funding runs dry on Thursday.

The continuing resolution (CR), which passed the House 245-182, would fund the Defense Department for the rest of fiscal 2018 and keep the rest of the government’s lights on until March 23. It also includes two years of funding for community health centers and extends several expiring health care programs.

But the defense-CR package is unlikely to fly in the Senate, meaning senators will need to rewrite the stopgap measure and “ping-pong” it back to the House.

Spending bills are supposed to originate in the House, but since that clown show is held hostage by the House GOP Freedom Caucus who are not serious about governing responsibly, the serious work of keeping the government functioning is being done in the Senate. Senate leaders see two-year budget deal within their grasp:

Top Senate leaders were working Tuesday to finalize a sweeping long-term budget deal that would include a defense spending boost President Trump has long demanded alongside an increase in domestic programs championed by Democrats.

As negotiations for the long-term deal continued, the House passed a short-term measure that would fund the government past a midnight Thursday deadline and avert a second partial shutdown in less than a month.

The House bill, which passed 245 to 182, would fund most agencies through March 23 but is a nonstarter in the Senate because of Democratic opposition.

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Space X successfully launches Falcon Heavy Rocket

Permanent musical accompaniment David Bowie- Space Oddity Original Video (1969).

For here am I sitting in my tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 4.51.47 AM

This is so cool! The Jetsons predicted that we would have flying cars by now, and here it is. SpaceX successfully launches the world’s most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy, as it sends a Tesla on a path near Mars:

SpaceX successfully launched what is now the world’s most powerful rocket Tuesday, a towering behemoth known as the Falcon Heavy that tore through the sky with the thundering force of 18 Boeing 747 jetliners.

Lifting off at 3:45 p.m. from the same launchpad that sent the crew of Apollo 11 to the moon, the rocket sent up a mountain-sized plume of smoke and a rattling roar across Florida’s Space Coast, where thousands gathered to watch. The mission represented the first test of the massive rocket, powered by 27 engines in three first-stage boosters that are essentially strapped together.

The maiden flight also marked the first time a privately financed venture ever attempted to launch a rocket so powerful that it was capable of hoisting a payload out of Earth’s orbit. As a promotional stunt, SpaceX founder Elon Musk loaded the Falcon Heavy with his own cherry-red Tesla Roadster carrying a spacesuit-clad mannequin named “Starman” in the driver’s seat. Musk said he planned to send the convertible, built by another one of his companies, into an orbit around the sun that would take it near Mars.

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