The DC Morning: 3/3/2010

Mike Riggs Contributor
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1.) Senate Dems throw party after discovering spines in Hart Building custodial closet — After months of whining about obstructionism to the press, Senate Democrats finally remembered how to use their spines and challenged Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning to a guilt-off, wherein the college basketball fan would eat a handful of EstroFem pills and listen to Sen. Baucus read aloud from the diaries of furloughed federal highway inspectors. Before Senate pages could return from CVS, however, Bunning caved, allowing for the passage of a “$100 billion-plus bill reviving popular tax breaks and extending longer and more generous jobless benefits through the end of the year.” Amped to the gills on this new feeling, Democrats stomped all over Bunning’s one caveat: “a vote to close a tax loophole enjoyed by paper companies that get a credit from burning ‘black liquor,’ a pulp-making byproduct, as if it were an alternative fuel.” According to the AP, the amendment straight-up failed.

2.) Speculators speculate on Rangel’s last day as a made man — New York Rep. Charlie Rangel “does not have the support to survive a floor vote on Wednesday,” reports the Daily Caller’s Jon Ward. Because “Pelosi’s office declined to comment” and because Rangel’s spokesman’s “cell phone voice mail was filled to capacity,” House watchers will start their day with a litany of questions: Will Rangel force a floor vote? Which rent-controlled NY apartment will he return to in order to unwind from this ordeal? Will lobbyists pay for his last breakfast as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee? And if so, will he take advantage of their deep lobbying pockets and spring for something topped with Hollandaise sauce?

3.) 9/11 Truther Woman and Bailout Hutchinson fail to beat Perry — Texas Gov. Rick Perry is one step closer to staying Texas Gov. Rick Perry after “crushing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Tea Party favorite Debra Medina” in Tuesday night’s Republican primary. The Daily Caller’s Gautham Nagesh reported that “there had been some concern that Perry’s mixed record as a fiscal conservative would prevent him from securing a majority of the vote,” but the governor’s savvy image team was able to depict Perry as a serious man and a man of the people, despite his first-class seat on the federal gravy train. According to second-hand reports, Gov. Perry’s hair was also incredibly successful in last night’s primary, and polled well among Just for Men club members.

4.) Top conservative education scholar comes out against No Child Left Behind — For years, Diane Ravitch’s support for centralized control of the nation’s education system gave legitimacy to No Child Left Behind, arguably George W. Bush’s most famous domestic policy. Now Ravitch would like to take it all back. In an interview with the New York Times, Ravitch said, “School reform today is like a freight train, and I’m out on the tracks saying, ‘You’re going the wrong way!'” This metaphor would be kind of charming, at least on a preschool level, if Ravitch didn’t then boast of having been the chief coal shoveler for the last two decades. Now people who look to experts like Ravitch in order to decide what to do with billions in education funding are confused. And once again, the nation’s children are left to fend for themselves while pols and polemicists play King of the Mountain on a massive hill made of asses and elbows.

5.) Beset on all sides by raucous laughter, Rod Blagojevich seethes with silent rage, pain — Rod Blagojevich’s speech to students at Northwestern University, where the Elvis impersonator and former governor allegedly attended some classes, was met with raucous laughter and quite possibly shouts of “Show us your tapes,” reports the Chicago Breaking News Center. “They laughed during the introductions, when a campus leader said the College Democrats invited the indicted Illinois ex-governor to speak to ‘make sure tomorrow’s leaders respect the rule of law.’ They laughed when someone insisted that tapping Blagojevich to lead an ethics discussion was akin to asking Tiger Woods to lecture on fidelity. And they laughed when he compared himself to Thomas Jefferson, Elvis and a mythical Greek figure.”

6.) D.C. gays compare waiting for shoddy government service to something that is actually much better — “At least 16 couples were waiting at a courthouse Wednesday” in order to apply for marriage licenses at the city’s marriage bureau, the AP reports. One resident, who “claimed the first spot in line just after 6 a.m.,” compared the experience to “waking up on Christmas morning,” which is an insult to both gay marriage and Jesus.

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