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There's good news and bad news in the mess that Congress is now in. First, the bad news. We're facing another potential government shutdown over really extreme, stupid, Republican ideological shit. Here's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talking about that on the floor Wednesday.

Now the sort of good news part of that. There are dual, but combined, fights playing out now: first over the payroll tax cut extension, including the unemployment benefits extension and the Medicare reimbursement "doc fix," and a whole host of crappy, ideological Republican bullshit provisions; second, over the omnibus government funding bill, which also includes a host of crappy, ideological Republican bullshit provisions. Had the crappy bullshit provisions in the House payroll tax cut extension bill not been quite as crappy and extreme as they are, the slightly less crappy and extreme provisions in the funding bill might have been ignored by Democrats and just accepted.

Those crappy omnibus provisions include:

whether to bar the District from spending tax money on abortions for low-income women. Also at issue are whether to include language to reverse a decision by Obama to make it easier for Americans to visit relatives in Cuba and whether to include a provision to block new standards for incandescent light bulbs.
Yes, light bulbs. None of these are make-or-break issues, unless of course you are a low-income woman in Washington, D.C., have relatives in Cuba, or actually care about saving money and energy on your lighting and would like to think that America is participating in the new millennium along with the rest of the industrialized world. They are all typically stupid, petty, ridiculous Republican hobby-horses that Democrats might have just thrown their hands up over in disgust and let slide just to get this shit over with.

But the great big gift to polluters that the House payroll tax cut extension package is, along with the major cuts to middle class America it would exact in exchange for the tax cut, makes the whole damned package of Republican bullshit unacceptable to Democrats. Which is a good thing. Taking a stand against destructive stupidity is always preferable to giving in to it.

Meanwhile, the federal government is preparing for a shutdown.

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Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 01:41 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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