With Arlen Specter now a D, Dems at brink of 60

The news that reshapes Washington.

From the Washington Post:

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

Specter’s decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next senator from Minnesota. (Former senator Norm Coleman is appealing Franken’s victory in the state Supreme Court.)

“I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary,” said Specter in a statement. “I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.”

He added: “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”

President Obama was informed of Specter’s decision at around 10:25 a.m., according to White House officials, and reached out to the senator minutes later to tell him “you have my full support,” and we are “thrilled to have you.”

185 comments Add your comment

Fly-On-The-Wall

April 28th, 2009
12:47 pm

Watch the Republicans cry that it shouldn’t be legal to do this. Of course they wouldn’t include the times that Demos back in the 90s switched over to the Repub party.

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 28th, 2009
12:56 pm

I take the cynical view. I see another career politician doing what he thinks is necessary to continue his career. It’s doubtful to me that ideology has anything to do with it. Sort of the same thing Sonny did here in Georgia.

It’s up to the people of Pennsylvania to keep him or not.

Wes

April 28th, 2009
1:03 pm

It’s kind of a shame that he had to go for a party at all. I suspect that the people of Pennsylvania would have elected him no matter what. Lieberman basically did that when he ran last time.

Besides both parties seem to get in the way of governing more than they help.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 28th, 2009
1:04 pm

Sadly, Arlen says he won’t change his vote on EFCA. That may still
cause him to lose in PA dem primary.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 28th, 2009
1:07 pm

How long does Michael Steele have? Lost Tedisco and Specter….

I’m telling ya’ make Coleman chair of the RNC.

Daedalus

April 28th, 2009
1:10 pm

Based on the response fromt he GOP to Specter’s (and the last two moderate Republicans in the Senate from Maine) support for the stimulus bill — its hard to blame him.

The GOP is rapidly become a southern, angry, white male party.

Its a pity because there are many conservative ideals that deserve consideration — but when the party takes its cues from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh that they must oppose everything Obama does to preserve their (dwindling) chances in future election and stifle internal debate — they make it harder for those ideas to get heard.

When the Georgia GOP’s Chip Rogers recently opined that talk of secession was a valid response to the recent elections — its clear that the GOP is losing it.

ByteMe

April 28th, 2009
1:11 pm

And now the political calculus gets interesting.

What do you think the Republicans will offer Lieberman?

Copyleft

April 28th, 2009
1:12 pm

I’m looking forward to the spin the right-wing media will try to put on this, somehow claiming it as a “victory for the Republican Party.”

Will they take the “drive out the sane moderates” angle and pursue another purge, making their tent smaller and smaller until the entire national convention can fit in a Motel 6?

Or will they just bray “Now that they’re unstoppable, the Dems are bound to screw everything up and overreach, and then America will HAVE to vote for us!” That’s one inspirational platform, all right: Hoping the Other Guys Screw Up.

Either way, it’ll be fun to watch. Get a comfortable seat and a tall, cold drink, America!

Susan Myers

April 28th, 2009
1:17 pm

Has Sheyawn Hannity’s head exploded yet?

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
1:19 pm

Spector was originally a Democrat, and was a registered Democrat when he first ran for district attorney in the 1960’s, though he ran as a Republican because the Democrats had their own nominee. Much like Michael Bloomberg in New York, who was a registered Democrat and merely switched parties because the Democratic machine in New York already had their own nominee.

I am not surprised. The Republican Party has been threatening Spector with ejecting him for not abiding by the Southern Leadership’s extreme right wing agenda. Spector has always been more the Linconesque populist Republican as opposed to the far right, pro-corporate wing that is prevalent in the Republican party these days.

This will hold up George Voinevich’s retirement a bit, because if Voinevich retired and they do not appoint a replacement but wait to hold a special election, the figures for filibuster change, and then it taked 59 votes to overcome a filibuster attempt because when there are two empty seats, the percentages change from 60/40 to 59/58 to overcome a filibuster.

I doubt that Spector will lose the Democratic Primary. Its a sure thing that a deal was struck to get him to switch party affiliations and that deal included his getting the nod from the Democratic Party as their nominee of choice.

Paul

April 28th, 2009
1:19 pm

Isn’t this the same thing Colin Powell said – that the Republican Party has moved too far to the right? What’s interesting is so many disaffected Republicans (what was it, 200,000 Reps in Pennsylvania changed to Democrat) see the Democratic Party as a viable alternative. It was just a few years ago that if you dared challenge the very liberal orthodoxy you were drummed out – witness Lieberman.

So, what’s changed? I’ll offer more people see Pres Obama as more of a moderate figure. Even if his actual policies are not, when stacked up against the Democratic Party leadership of Pelosi, Reid and all, and given their disputes on the size of the stim package, handling Iraq and Afghanistan, not going for prosecutions, keeping a lot of the Patriot Act (wiretapping and all that) – well, I’ll offer that when compared to the farfarleft of the Dem leadership Pres Obama appears much more moderate.

So the disaffected switch. But they vote for representatives and senators. And those Dems answer to Pelosi and Reid- not exactly (well, Pelosi) the most tolerant of people. So we’ll see how it goes.

Interesting, too, there’s not a viable third party option. Of course, the two parties have structured it that way, so we’ll continue the “which of these two you gonna ask out” dating option.

Midori

April 28th, 2009
1:20 pm

let the G-O-Pig gnashing of teeth BEGIN!!

Susan Myers

April 28th, 2009
1:21 pm

Where are all the right wingers this afternoon?

Blue dog got their tongues?

Susan Myers

April 28th, 2009
1:26 pm

“I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.”

Therein lies the reason Sen. Specter would have lost his seat in the GOP primary. No room for independent thinkers in today’s Republican party.

Great move. Win-win for both Specter and the Democratic party.

gttim

April 28th, 2009
1:27 pm

Merely a ploy to maintain his position and power. He was going to lose the GOP primary. Now we just have to make sure he loses the Dem primary. We don’t want him. We want a true and dependable progressive vote in that seat.

Dave R

April 28th, 2009
1:29 pm

Not a surprise, Susan. Nothing much here. Specter wasn’t very reliable when it came to the Republican agenda, so no loss.

Non-story, except that he has a better shot to get re-elected.

Copyleft

April 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

“Non-story,” Dave R? Really? So you’re unaware of the filibuster-proof majority this means for Democrats in the Senate, which in turn opens up a TON of legislative possibilities?

This is a “non-story” to you? Man, you need to broaden your awareness a bit… try reading something other than Drudge and TownHall, for example. The truth is out there! Don’t be afraid!

booger

April 28th, 2009
1:34 pm

The dems and repubs average IQ just increased 10%.

Taxpayer

April 28th, 2009
1:34 pm

A Zell Miller moment in reverse. Too bad the GOP bought into that line from Saxby that they needed him to keep the Democrats from getting 60 votes in the Senate. Now, the GOP is stuck with Saxby the Socialist.

Joe Matarotz

April 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

A filibuster-proof majority means the Democraps will have no means of restraint for carrying out their agenda. If you think they’re spending money like drunken sailors now, just wait. They will have the ability to bankrupt the planet. This is scary, scary shiznit.

Susan Myers

April 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

Copyleft,

Dave R seems to live in his own manufactured little world.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

A March 25, 2009 Quinnipiac University poll showed Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter running more successfully as a Democrat for reelection and receiving a 71 – 16 percent approval rating from Democrats.

Overall Pennsylvania voters have a 45 – 31 percent favorable opinion of Sen. Specter, but he gets a 47 – 29 percent unfavorable score from Republicans. He gets a 60 – 16 percent thumbs up from Democrats.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
1:37 pm

With Franken this gives the Democrats 60 seats. The date that the Minnesota Supreme Court hears the Coleman appeal has been set for June 1st and after that all Coleman has left is the U.S. Supreme Court but even Coleman’s attorney has said that this is unlikely to happen as the Supremes are likely to simply take the same position they took in Bush v. Gore in 2000 that it is an issue of states rights to decided how they are going to run elections in their own state.

say what?

April 28th, 2009
1:38 pm

Fine dems, y’all take him! Specter has been a RINO for far too long now and it’s high time he let everyone know where he really stands so he can quit embarrassing real conservatives. The fact that specter hasn’t stepped up and helped the right is reason enough for him to go.

Only reason him and the other democrats out there keep referring to the GOP as an “angry white male party” or a party with “no room for independent thinkers” is because true republicans and conservatives know where they stand and don’t shift their principles with public opinion every other day. After all, “independent thinker” is just a fancy way of saying “liberal repeater”.
And while it’s not good that this could bring the dems close to a filibuster-proof majority, the silver lining is that a democrat-controlled congress who can push their agenda through without debate will only expose their socialist propagandist agenda even faster. Heck, might help them go away even faster!

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
1:40 pm

I hope the Democrats simply do what the Republicans did after the 2000 election and simply exclude Republicans from having any part in the committees making decisions. The Democrats were quite incensed at this because when they had a majority when the Senator from Vermont left the Republican Party, they basically made rules that allowed the Republicans to take part in decision making, when Republicans did not return the favor when they took the majority.

The latest method by which Obama intends to create health reform in the United States is a good sign because he is using a procedure by which the Republicans cannot filibuster this legislation. He has given them a few months to either get on board, or get out of the way.

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
1:41 pm

Good lord, I take a nap and wake up to a world where hell hath frozen over.

Maybe I should go back to sleep and see what else happens.

Specter to switch parties? My eyes! My eyes!

Actually, I hate this kind of crap. A few years back when the Dems were the toxic party, there were all kinds of switchovers. People knew they couldn’t win with that albatross around their neck and they switched over.

Why can’t people just stick to their guns and their party – why not take back your party Arlen?

Jennifer E

April 28th, 2009
1:43 pm

Listening to Fox on my satellite radio, they are spinning themselves into a tornado. It is hilarious. They are just mad because now they have to stop talking about the president’s plane flying over NYC yesterday! They have been acting like President Obama was flying it himself.

Anyway, good call by Sen. Specter, with only 21% of voters willing to identify themselves as Republicans, it doesn’t take a genius to make this move.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 28th, 2009
1:43 pm

say what…

There is another option I suspect you don’t want to consider.

60 Dems plus Snowe and Collins now, and 2 or 3 more seats in 2010,
will bring this country into the 21st century.

Americans will be delighted and the Republican party will go the way of the Whigs and the Mugwumps.

booger

April 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

Ms. Meyers,

First thing I think of when I hear the word Democrat is “Independent Thinker”

ty webb

April 28th, 2009
1:47 pm

Bosch,
nice post. I couldn’t agree more.

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
1:48 pm

Daedalus,

The two lovely ladies from Maine (Snowe and Collins – [sigh]) – who are personal heroes of mine – would never do such a thing. They are true women who are the only reasonable voices the GOP has in the Senate at this time.

KCJ

April 28th, 2009
1:48 pm

Jennifer E,

You mean Obama wasn’t flying the plane? LOL

Broke

April 28th, 2009
1:48 pm

I like what Hillbilly said about him being a career politician watching out for his career. Kind of funny how all of the people that are elected can relate to us “common” folk. We already know they think we have body odor and need to be herded into a room so they cannot smell us.

Basically.. if you voted for anyone that is in office right now.. You are a MORON..

Reebok

April 28th, 2009
1:48 pm

Republican Step 1: Scream that this shouldn’t be legal, talk about how Specter was never a ‘real’ republican, hint darkly at terrible secrets he’s keeping, and throw around phrases like ‘traitor,’ ‘benedict arnold,’ and ‘betrayal.’

Step 2- Try to recruit some Dems to jump to the GOP.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

What conservatives mean by “Socialist propaganda” is doing what both the election mandated as well as polls indicate. Things like a national health plan have the overwhelming support of the vast majority of the electorate according to polls, and it is the Republicans who continually get in the way of what the majority of American voters have wanted for more than a decade. In the latest poll taken, a bit less than a third of all Americans oppose a national health plan. 49 percent want national health that covers ALL health care, another ten percent want national health that will cover only emergency or critical health care with 32 percent still beleiving that health care should be left to private insurance companies. So 59 percent of Americans want some form of national health insurance.

Republicans are now basically getting in the way of what the majority of the electorate wants on many issues.

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

ty,

Did that hurt much? :-)

Just kidding.

ty webb

April 28th, 2009
1:50 pm

All this reminds me of the line from “The American President”(Not the biggest fan of the movie), “I was to busy trying to keep my job that I forgot to do my job”

Susan Myers

April 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

First rule. The 180 degree rule.
Whatever a GOP operative says, the truth is opposite.

Second Rule.
The GOP propaganda machine will always spin the facts.

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

Reebok,

Actually, I don’t think this should be legal. I think if you were elected as a Republican or a Democrat or a Space Alien from the Zithist Party from the Planet Bjork, you should carry out your term as such. If you want to switch parties then do it when you are running for re-election – and vote your conscious or what your constituants (?sp) want instead of what your party tells you too.

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

Planet Bjork – anybody get that? She’s one weird chick.

Paul

April 28th, 2009
1:55 pm

NJ

[[the Supremes are likely to simply take the same position they took in Bush v. Gore in 2000 that it is an issue of states rights to decided how they are going to run elections in their own state.]]

?!!? I believe the Supremes overturned the state and said voters have the right to have their votes considered equally throughout the state.

Bosch

If all this happens during a nap – hey, could you go to sleep for the rest of the day? No telling what would happen!

Oh, had a t-shirt idea downstairs.

DB, Gwinnettian

April 28th, 2009
1:55 pm

Sadly, Arlen says he won’t change his vote on EFCA.

But has he promised to vote against cloture? That’s the real issue. I suspect that vote just became a whole lot less reliable.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
1:55 pm

What has changed is that while the Democrats have moved to the center since they reinvented themselves in the early 1990’s (Clinton was not the choice of the long time Democratic leadership), the Republicans have moved to the far right, very far away from the position of the vast majority of the electorate.

For all their whining about Obama and his socialist programs, Obama is the quintessential centrist. His largest error is his efforts to save Anglo/American free market capitalism rather than to completely scrap it. No “Socialist” would take hundreds of billions of dollars and give it or loan it to large banks and automakers.Give it to the “capitalists”.

They would simply scrap the entire system, raise corporate taxes through the roof so no large business could succeed and only small businesses, those that provide most jobs in the United States, could thrive.

Wes

April 28th, 2009
1:56 pm

All the Democrats might want to temper your enthusiasm for the moment. I know that a lot of the things that Republicans wanted went by the wayside when they took power. They came in talking about term limits, smaller government, and pro-life. They gave us career politicians, huge debt and abortion that is legal in all 50 states. Given that health providers and insurance companies gave a lot of money to both sides I’d hold off on celebrating health care just yet. The same Specter that voted against the card check might not be quite as reliable a Democrat as you’d think.

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
1:56 pm

“I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans”

And please tell us – what is that philosophy exactly? Does anybody know what the political philosophy of the parties are anymore?

DB, Gwinnettian

April 28th, 2009
1:58 pm

If you want to switch parties then do it when you are running for re-election

Given that the 2010 primaries are only a year away, that’s basically what he’s doing anyway.

LAB

April 28th, 2009
1:59 pm

republicans (I refuse to dignify them with a capital R, even if starting a sentence with the word) will no doubt rage, spew, and foam at the mouth about this news, but they will not recognize that it is because of their tendency to rage, spew, and foam at the drop of a hat that was the reason Specter left in the first place.

Being in the gop is like having an abusive boyfriend, screaming, “B*tch, you better come back to me and let me beat you up, or so help me, I’m gunnah beat you up!”

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

Paul,

I could go to sleep right now and sleep the rest of the day. Hey, guess what? I found out my liver works yesterday – that’s always good news.

I saw your t-shirt idea – I got so wrapped up with the Specter news I forgot to mention it. I’m tellin’ ya’ with our t-shirt ideas and my new keyboard cleaning system (I figured out it’s more of a “system” than a tool) we are on the brink of riches beyond our wildest dreams!!!

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:02 pm

It has never been illegal to switch parties in midstream nor should it be. Spector went back to his own state before switching parties and what he gathered from his visits back home is that a large number of his constituents have SWITCHED parties and are rather intensely opposed to the extreme right wing positions being taken by the Republican leadership. His constituency abandoned the Republican Party, and the Republicans no longer represent that constituency.

The same sort of thing should be illegal when it comes to voting on legislation. If it sould be illegal to switch parties midstream it should be illegal for Democrats to vote AGAINST something that the majority of their party supports, as did many conservative Democrats with the presidents stimulus package, or as Lieberman did when he voted FOR funding the Iraq War instead of against it.

Sissy Saxby

April 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

Georgia’s representatives in Washington just got even more irrelevant.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

Yeah. Reagan never would have become president had it not been for all the “Reagan Democrats” who voted against their party, or the Democrats who switched parties mid stream.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:05 pm

And this is really why Republicans have been losing elections. Either the Reagan Democrats have passed away, or they have decided that the Republican party has simply become too radically right wing and abandoned it.

RealityKing

April 28th, 2009
2:06 pm

Obviously Specter’s spending habits proved hed wasn’t a true republican, as well as Ms. Snow…

Susan Myers

April 28th, 2009
2:06 pm

Republicans made their bed, now they are wetting it.

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
2:06 pm

Yes, Olympia Snowe knows:

From the NY Times:

“On the national level of the Republican Party, we haven’t certainly heard warm, encouraging words about how they view moderates, either you are with us or against us,” Ms. Snowe said. She said national Republican leaders were not grasping that “political diversity makes a party stronger and ultimately we are heading to having the smallest political tent in history for any political party the way things are unfolding.”

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:07 pm

Well things in Georgia are changing as they usually do in most states. The changes occur at the lower levels of government, local and then move on to higher levels. I was rather stunned when one of the most conservative areas in the region here elected a Democrat to the state legislature and tossed out the Republican. A sign of things to come.

RealityKing

April 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

Specter is selling his soul to win his next election in PA. Sure glad he doesn’t represent me..

RealityKing

April 28th, 2009
2:09 pm

Now is the time to seperate the savers from the big spenders anyways. Going to need that list when America wakes up to the historic debt being racked up with each and every passing day..

Logical Dude

April 28th, 2009
2:10 pm

i like it when someone bucks their own party. This at least shows some independent thought. If you ONLY vote your party line, then you do not think about the country as a whole, and feel that party is more important than country.(or state, or county, etc)

RealityKing

April 28th, 2009
2:10 pm

1 billion spent per day for Obama first 100, with nothing to show for it. What a legacy!!

Ricardo

April 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

Senator Reid should now assert Reconciliation, a simple majority rule, until Senator Franken is seated. Republicans should drop the courtroom delays now and maybe Reconciliation will be the leverage to do this.

demwit

April 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

What do you call a republican with brain cancer?
A new democrat.

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

Does anybody know what the political philosophy of the parties are anymore?

In a nutshell, the philosophy of both parties is, we’re good, they’re bad. Vote for us so we can stay in power. We’ll do or say anything that makes them look bad or us look good. Now you little people go away and we’ll let you know when you need us.

Doggone/GA

April 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

“Specter is selling his soul to win his next election in PA”

I’d say he’s saving it.

Hillbilly Deluxe

April 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

oops…..when we need you.

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

N.J.,

I couldn’t disagree more. I think people should vote their conscious or how their constituents want – simple as that. If people actually did that, we wouldn’t have the dysfunctional Congress that we currently have. Instead they vote along party lines because they know to not do so will cost them their job – which again, is a symptom of how dysfunctional most of them are.

booger

April 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

NJ,

In case you haven’t noticed, Obama got control of these companies you say he “gave” money to. He’s Fired the CEO of GM and has given Geitner the power to take over any bank he sees fit. He is in the process of making the rules for banks to loan money. He has decided to basically put an end to the oil exploration business in the US. He essientially runs the largest insurance company in the country, and is determined to take control of the entire medical industry.

I have lived in two European countries which are loosely refered to as Socilist or European stye socialist. Their govt’s do not have near the control that Obama has claimed.

SV

April 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

Where’s Whiner Andy? Maybe he committed suicide or something?

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

Republicans should not talk of spending habits when the vast majority of the national debt has been increased by Republican spend and borrow policies. Reagan started it, shortly after a Democratic Congress voted a “balanced budget amendment”. It has been the Democrats who have been insisting on a “paygo” policy” for about 30 years and the Republicans who have opposed it. You didnt even HEAR Republicans complaining about the size of the national debt until a president decided to start spending on Americans rather than multinational corporations, the centerpiece of the Republican platform, while multinationals barely provide any American jobs, and pay little if any taxes.

Redneck Convert

April 28th, 2009
2:19 pm

Well, if this don’t make you want to break off and form the Southren States of America I don’t know what will. It’s bad enough we took a butt whoopin last election. Now we got people in Congress that don’t even want to be part of us anymore. When I get home tonight I’m hiding my anti-tank weapon and two machine guns that I use for hunting and self defense. And I’m putting even more money in my cement vault so this Pelousy woman can’t get her hands on it. This Texas Gov. is right. We need to break off from the U.S. of A. again.

Midori

April 28th, 2009
2:20 pm

Planet Bjork – anybody get that? She’s one weird chick.

Bosch, you rat!!

i thought that was ‘our’ secret!! :)

Paul

April 28th, 2009
2:21 pm

Bosch

Good news on the liver. Just heard from a friend the other day – spouse had a growth on the liver. They’re waiting to hear if it’s malignant or not. Nasty stuff.

I think you’ve broken the code – ya gotta have a ’system.” There’s more money to be made if it’s part of a ‘process.” Hey, maybe we could get that guy who hawks the shamwipes or shammierobes or whatever they are..

I’ve a feeling Specter’s not gonna vote party line as much as some who’re hoping for a veto-proof majority would hope -

I Report/ You Whine

April 28th, 2009
2:22 pm

How will we ever tell the difference?

Ricardo

April 28th, 2009
2:24 pm

The spinners at FOX don’t give a whit about how much money the Democrats spend (though that is what they will tell you). They are scared to death about the appointment of judges! Obama now has clear sailing.

demwit

April 28th, 2009
2:26 pm

Whoops my bad…

What do you call a republican with HOGgkin’s disease?
A liberal democrat.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:32 pm

As far as nothing to show for it, there are companies all over the country reopening their doors when they had to shut down and lay off hundreds of workers all over the country.

One example:

…reopened Chicago window factory that had been a symbol of the plight of the American worker but now is touted as an example of economic reinvigoration thanks to the federal stimulus.

A California company has reopened the former Republic Windows and Doors factory that received national attention last year when workers briefly occupied the building after the former owners gave them just a few days notice before Christmas that they were shutting down.

The new owner, Serious Materials, has started rehiring some of the more than 200 laid-off workers to make energy-efficient windows at the plant.

This is happening all over the country. Small businesses are retooling and reopening using money from the stimulus package.

All over the northern and midwestern states, there are two seasons, winter and construction season. Unemployment in the construction industy nationally is much higher than the average unemployment, 20-25 percent, depending on the states you look at and millions of construction workers have already been hired and are waiting for May and june to come rolling around to start work on the many infrastructure projects that were stopped in mid construction and are now ready to be finished with stimulus money.

The national organizations that represent construction workers are all very vocal about the massive effect that stimulus is already having on their industry and their workers:

Grateful construction workers have shovels ready as Minnesota digs into first stimulus-fueled road projects

Derek Asrouch’s shovel is ready. A crane he’s been helping to repair is ready, too.

Asrouch, a member of Operating Engineers Local 49 who usually works for Brooklyn Park-based Egan, believes that because of the federal stimulus package, he almost certainly will be working this summer.

Which highway construction companies will be getting work on 14 different “shovel-ready” projects will be announced Friday, when Minnesota Department of Transportation officials award contracts to the lowest bidders.

http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2009/03/12/7336/grateful_construction_workers_have_shovels_ready_as_minnesota_digs_into_first_stimulus-fueled_road_projects

Or even more locally in Georgia:

Stimulus creates local jobs weatherizing homes

Philip Pennyman warmed his wife and three children with logs in the fireplace last winter because he couldn’t afford to use the furnace.

Rob Brondell burned through his retirement savings because he’d lost his job.

Their lives intersected in a beneficial way through the federal stimulus plan. Brondell found work weatherizing homes — including Pennyman’s — while Pennyman qualified for the government-funded improvements. He said he can’t hold a job because of an incident that left him wheelchair-bound three years ago, and said he stopped using heat after his electric and gas bills reached $700 one month.

“They said I was losing a lot of energy,” Pennyman said, as he watched a half dozen workmen scurry about his ranch-style house in south DeKalb County on Wednesday. He used to be able to poke a finger between the outside door to his master bedroom and its frame, but now it was sealed tight against the wind.

Pennyman and Brondell are benefitting from $8 million in grants that the Clarkston-based Partnership for Community Action is expecting from Washington over the next three years. Agency president Mohammad Saleem said the stimulus should allow him to increase the number of houses he weatherizes in DeKalb and three nearby counties from about 240 a year to nearly 700.

The federal stimulus is designed to create jobs and reduce the nation’s energy dependence.

“There is a high demand,” Saleem said of the weatherization work. “We could never do enough, so this stimulus will definitely help.”

http://www.ajc.com/traffic/content/metro/dekalb/stories/2009/04/20/weatherizing_stimulus.html

Dave R

April 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

Susan, in case you haven’t been paying attention (and isn’t that a redundant statement), there as been NO filibustering minority in the U.S. Senate on important votes.

That is why Specter is no loss for the GOP, and why this is a non-story.

A poor senator for years on crucial votes, and cozied up too much to folks like Kennedy. No loss for the GOP at all.

And booger, talk to us about “Independent thinking” regarding Democrats when they don’t vote in lock-step with their party line. Then, I’ll believe it.

And NJ? The GOP is just trying to stop the wholesale slaughter of the U.S. Constitution. We are NOT a democracy where the majority rules. We are a Constitutional Republic – a nation of LAWS and not of MAN. Of course, with your earlier fiction regarding the Founding Fathers, you wouldn’t understand that.

getalife

April 28th, 2009
2:34 pm

RW extremists are driving sane Americans away.

Bosch

April 28th, 2009
2:35 pm

Midori,

Sorry. I was in shock at the time. Won’t happen again. :-)

Paul,

That Shamwow guy is weird. He’s got freaky eyes. Not him – how about the OxyClean guy? He’s obnoxious and has a terrible dye job, but he’s pretty intense when it comes to selling cleaning products.

Or…..Tricia Helfer? Hmmmm?

booger

April 28th, 2009
2:37 pm

NJ,

From the treasury dept. yesterday. The US will borrow 361 billion dollars this quarter. They will be required to borrow 500 billion in the month of July alone which is more than has ever been borrowed before in an entire year.

I don’t like spending. I didn’t like it when Bush did it but his spending was childs play compared to what is happening now.

Death to America Dems win.

April 28th, 2009
2:38 pm

Well, I guess the blame America crowd finally won. Death to America. Now we are at the mercy of Europe with the spine-less party at the wheel. Good bye, Great America. Good bye.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:38 pm

The Southern States of America. I find that amusing from a region that virtually exists on federal funding. The net wealth of the entire south would drop by 20 percent if it had to pay for what exists here on its own tax steam.

The only region of the country that gets back more from the federal government than it pays to the federal government is the south. For every dollar it sends in taxes to Washington, it gets back 1.19.

The first thing that would occur is that local taxes would have to be raised, significantly, in order for most of the state to function and even more, for most businesses to stay open.

Soothsayer

April 28th, 2009
2:40 pm

Timeline: Bush’s Eight Years in Office

Lest anyone forget. This is a great interactive webpage. Click on the major tabs or the individual dots. Especially the 3rd dot from the left.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:40 pm

One in four dollars spent in every locality in Georgia are federal dollars sent to the state in the form of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Without that money most small businesses in Georgia would collapse.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:41 pm

And that one in four dollars is above and beyond the federal dollars returned directly to the state for local projects like road building etc.

Dave R

April 28th, 2009
2:42 pm

And yet, NJ, you never have figured out why that is about the South. A couple of states in particular.

And in case you haven’t figured it out, our costs for government would be significantly lower in the Southern States of America.

Keep trying, NJ. One of these days, you’ll be right. Of course, you’d have to try thinking for yourself instead of posting others writings first.

Swami Dave

April 28th, 2009
2:44 pm

With what will soon be a filibuster-proof majority, the collectivists of the Democratic Party will either own the success or failure of the outcome. Since Spectre has already been voting with the Democrats to raise taxes & open the flood gates of wasteful spending, this situation has effectively already been underway prior to the announcement.

Collectivism is an abject historical failure in every instance that it has been tried. It limits achievement and simply spreads misery where ever it it implemented.

Apparently, those cheering for the promise of security and control are getting what they wanted to replace their fear of freedom and opportunity.

We will see how it works out.

-Swami Dave

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:46 pm

Love that timeline. For all those who assert that Bush was good for getting rid of unemployment, his entire presidency saw a continual rise in unemployment every month of every year.

I remember when Bush decided that it would be a better idea to measure worker productivity by “WEEKLY” measures rather than hourly productivity because for the first time in Post WWII history the hourly productivity of the largest European nations passed American productivity, in some cases considerably.

Dave R

April 28th, 2009
2:49 pm

And that change in U.S. productivity would be the fault of Bush in . . . what way, NJ?

Try thinking. It can work for you.

BDAtlanta

April 28th, 2009
2:49 pm

Might have to tune in for a bit of Hannity today on the way home.

Hehehehehe.chortle.snort

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
2:51 pm

We have been at the mercy of the outside world ever since Reagan became president. You only just now noticing it. It was Reagan who started the American trade deficit with China as well as the massive borrowing to sustain military spending.

It was the Republicans who created this “America on credit” and the Democrats who insisted on a paygo budget. Republicans were all applauding when Bush said that a large deficit and national debt does not matter at all when you compare the size of that debt to GDP and then he ran up the national debt almost equal to GDP. Even FDR never did that. At the highest under FDR national debt at its highest was 43 percent of GDP. Bush left office with a national debt of 10.5 trillion dollars with a 13.8 trillion GDP.

Soothsayer

April 28th, 2009
2:52 pm

The Bush Administration’s Dirty Legacy

Don’t forget what Bush and the Republicans did to our environment. Another timeline.

demwit

April 28th, 2009
2:52 pm

640,000 Americans were laid off last week.., Boozo from NJ.

Susan Myers

April 28th, 2009
2:56 pm

Dave R,

Methinks thou dost protest too much.

muahahahhahahah!

RealityKing

April 28th, 2009
2:57 pm

9.8 trillion dollar national deft when Bush left office. 65% of the GDP.

But somehow.., Obama and his drunk liberal spenders have already jacked that up to 11.3 trillion/ or 78% GDP, in only his first 100 days. The math is as simple as the wall liberal democrats will find themselves slamming America into.., with nothing to show for it at the end.

Eat drink and be merry liberals. Your ideals are about to die an ironically useless death..

booger

April 28th, 2009
3:03 pm

NJ,

And where do you think that one in four dollars is coming from, Obama’s piggy bank.

All govt. money comes from private industry mostly taken from industry in the form of tax. The govt. doesn’t create products or services which they sell. When the small business gets their one dollar back it came from someone else in private business.

All of these stimulus projects you are so proud of are being financed not by Obama, but by the evil world of private enterprise. Obama just collects the money from them and redistributes it. This is why its called redistribution of wealth.

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
3:06 pm

Sorry, on the day that Bush left office the national debt was 10.5 trillion.Bush added a half trillion in his first two years and a half trillion every year after that, your 9.8 trillion excludes the amount Bush kept hidden on the Iraq War

These are the REAL figures:

National debt on January 20, 1981, the day Reagan took office, was just under $1 trillion.

National debt on January 20, 1993, the day Clinton took office after 12 years of Republican Presidents, was $4.19 trillion.

National debt on January 20, 2001, the day George W. Bush took office, was $5.23 trillion.

National debt on January 20, 2009, the day George W. Bush left office, was $10.63 trillion.

Sources?

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

http://zfacts.com/p/480.html

The 2009 Budget, this years, is still Bush’s Budget, The one passed before Obama took office. This Budget Bush asked for in 2009 was for 3.1 TRILLION dollars so Obama’s 2010 budget is rather not all that much higher than the one Bush sent to Congress for 2009.

Dave R

April 28th, 2009
3:06 pm

Another comment sure to go down in the annals of Susan Myers history.

Just as valuable as her “casualty” figures for the Iraqi war.

And let’s not forget her “Bush ordered the torture of prisoners in Abu Graib” line. Still haven’t seen that memo ordering Lynndie England to leash-up a couple of naked Iraqis, Susan. But of course, the White House ordered them to do it, and then let them go to prison, right?

Too much tin foil IS harmful to your health, Susan.

Mrs. Godzilla

April 28th, 2009
3:06 pm

Can we get just a bit more melodrama from the right please?

N.J,

April 28th, 2009
3:07 pm

The difference between the Obama and the Bush budgets? Obama spending in the U.S. on Americans, Bush spending in Iraq on Iraqi’s