Isaac's Blog

June 22, 2006

From the politics dept.  

Line-item veto

Its about time. Something has to be done about the pork slapped everywhere. At least with this in play, they wont try and slide things into good bills and the veto wont even have to be used. Call it the semi-nuclear option for pork.

Update: House Approves Weaker Version of Line-Item Veto Power

House to Vote on Weaker Version of Line-Item Veto Power
Thursday, June 22, 2006

WASHINGTON � The House moved toward giving President Bush greater power to strip bills of "pork barrel" spending projects Thursday in a weaker version of the line-item veto law struck down by the Supreme Court in 1998.

The idea was advancing amid debate about lawmakers' penchant for stuffing parochial projects into spending bills that the president must accept or reject in their entirety. Lawmakers have rallied to support each other's projects when challenged in recent House votes.

In a test vote, the House advanced the measure for debate, 228-196. A final vote was to come late Thursday.

The bill would allow the president to single out items contained in appropriations bills he signs into law, and it would require Congress to vote on those items again. It also could be used against increases in benefit programs and tax breaks aimed at a single beneficiary.

Under the proposal, it would take a simple majority in both the House and the Senate to approve the items over the president's objections.

The hope is that wasteful spending or special interest tax breaks would be vulnerable since Congress might vote to reject such items once they are no longer protected by their inclusion in bigger bills that the president has little choice but to sign.

This legislation would give the president and Congress an important tool to reduce unjustified earmarks and wasteful spending items that are frequently incorporated into large, essential spending measures," said a White House statement.

"This bill gives Congress another set of eyes to review spending," said Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.

The bill is a far weaker version of the line-item veto that Republicans in Congress gave President Clinton in 1996. That bill allowed Clinton to strike items from appropriations and tax bills unless Congress mustered a two-thirds margin to override him.

The Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional two years later because it let the president single-handedly change laws passed by Congress.

It's not clear that the new spending control tool would be very effective. Congress easily mustered the two-thirds margins needed to override Clinton's 1997 vetoes of military construction projects. More recently, lawmakers have united to reject attacks by a lone conservative, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., to strip from spending bills the very kind of projects the new line-item veto is aimed at attacking.

Still, the plan is eagerly embraced by Republicans and their core conservative political supporters and is a way to demonstrate election-year resolve on spending.

For their part, Democrats acidly noted the vote took place the same day the House was to vote on a 10-year, $283 billion partial repeal of estate taxes on the heirs of millionaires. And the number of pet projects slipped by lawmakers into spending bills has exploded under GOP control of Congress.

"You control all mechanisms of spending. You control the House, you control the Senate, you control the presidency and you need help before you spend again," said George Miller, D-Calif. "What is this, Comedy Central?"

But Miller and scores of other Democrats opposing the bill Thursday if fact voted for almost identical legislation in the 1990s when it was proposed as a milder alternative to other line-item veto bills.

Democrats offered but were denied a vote on an alternative that among other provisions would have reinstated lapsed pay-as-you-go rules that require tax cuts or additions to federal benefit programs be accompanied by revenue increases or spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

The Senate plans to press ahead with a far more sweeping plan to overhaul the government's arcane budget process. On Tuesday, the Senate Budget Committee approved a plan to revive the old Gramm-Rudman mechanism of setting hard deficit targets and requiring across-the-board cuts if Congress can't meet them on its own.

The Senate plan also contains the new, watered down line-item veto, and is expected to bog down quickly when brought to the floor. But so far, Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is resisting the idea of subsequently advancing the line-item veto plan on its own.

June 19, 2006

From the misc dept.  

1988 Bayliner Capri Cuddy

So I recently acquired a used boat. It hadn't been used/fired up in about 4 years. After fixing the trim switch, getting a new distributer cap, cables, a coil, and fuses.... the baby purrs nicely. Now, where shall I take this 3.0L/150hp to open her up and see how she handles it? :)

Anyone know where to find a new "live fish holding tank" for this sucker?

From the g33k/audiovideo dept.  

Samsung HL-S5679W

damnit, still number 28 in line. 27 other patient geeks infront of me.

June 12, 2006

From the weather dept.  

Alberto, the beginging to a fun season

The first named storm of the year is upon florida.

NHC/NOAA Alberto page

Its gonna be a fun packed season!

June 8, 2006

From the politics dept.  

al-Zarqawi Killed

Its about friggin time too!

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Killed in Bombing Raid

BAGHDAD, Iraq � Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader who led a brutal insurgency that included homicide bombings, kidnappings and beheadings, was killed in an airstrike on a building north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials announced Thursday.

Officials said the terror leader's identity was confirmed by fingerprints, facial recognition and known scars

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said Zarqawi was killed along with seven aides Wednesday evening at around 6:15 p.m. local time in a bombing raid on a building in a remote area 30 miles northeast of Baghdad in Diyala province.

Loud applause broke out at a press conference in Baghdad as Al-Maliki, flanked by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, announced that "Zarqawi was terminated."

U.S. President George W. Bush said Zarqawi's death "is a severe blow to Al Qaeda and it is a significant victory in the war on terror."

"We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continuing patience of the American people," he said in an address from the White House.,2933,198651,00.html

June 7, 2006

From the wtf/florida dept.  

Doesnt it cost more than 21 cents to make a press release?

Man Gets 21 Cents In Robbery

MILTON, Fla. -- A robber escaped without even getting a quarter.

Investigators in Milton are searching for a man who made off with 21 cents after robbing a convenience store this weekend.

The robber entered a Tom Thumb store around 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

According to a spokesman for the Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office, the man was wearing a ski mask and carrying a box cutter.

June 6, 2006

From the g33k/audiovideo dept.  

Samsung HL-S5679W saga continues....

"Available in August" is a new update samsung has posted on their website. One can only hope. I was 36 in the preorder line 4 weeks ago, we're now 28. yey.

From the wtf/florida dept.  

I wanna be left behind for my birthday mommy

Parents Realize Next Day They Left Son At Chuck E. Cheese

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A 6-year-old Florida boy who was accidentally left behind by his family after they celebrated his birthday at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant will temporarily remain in state custody.

A judge said the state Department of Children and Families will likely determine Tuesday whether Michael Emanuel can live temporarily with a relative.

Emanuel's family said they accidentally left him Saturday night and didn't notice he was missing until the next day. Each relative thought the child was with another family member.

Employees at the Boca Raton restaurant called police and the child was taken into state custody.

An attorney for the boy's mother told the judge there were 12 youngsters at the party and as they all piled into cars to leave, the boy was simply overlooked.

Only in florida.

June 5, 2006

From the g33k/audiovideo dept.  

Samsung HL-S5679W 56" LED DLP

Our Hitachi CRT has horrible burn in. We called up our warranty to get it serviced. Turns out they dont want to fix it because it would cost more than the tv. They paid out the original cost. Yey. so we took this "extra" money and combined it with the money we saved up for a new tv knowing this tv was crapping out... so we're upgrading Samsung HLS5679W! It was suppose to be out 5/22/06, so we preordered on 5/2/06. But then they pushed it back to "sometime in July", but then its "sometime in September" Finally, a press release. This tv better friggin rock, and it better drop in price for this wait damnit.