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Cracker Squire


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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

There was a time in the U.S. Senate where you had both sides sit down in a room and see what you could do to work things out.

From The New York Times:

Congress departed on Friday for a two-week break, leaving behind a stack of unfinished work as a major farm bill became the latest victim of a stalemate that has bedeviled Congress all year.

Typically a bipartisan bonanza for rural America, the agriculture policy measure was stalled by a Republican filibuster that summed up the dismal state of relations in Congress. The bill joined an income-tax repair, a children’s health insurance program, energy measures, terrorist surveillance and Pentagon policy — not to mention financing for every agency except the Pentagon — as issues needing attention next month.

“The atmosphere is so partisan, so polarizing and so poisonous that it’s impeding our ability to solve the problems of our nation at a monumental, consequential time,” said Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine.

The Senate spent much of the last two weeks essentially paralyzed because of a dispute over whether Republicans would be allowed to offer politically tinged amendments on immigration and taxes in the farm bill debate. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, used a procedural tactic to bar such amendments. Republicans balked, refusing to allow progress on the bill even though it is a crucial measure to many farm state Republicans.

Democrats said they intended to make the case to rural Americans that the Republicans had abandoned them, and they promised to paint Republicans as obstructionists for routinely filibustering consensus bills.

Republicans who have been calling for a repeal of the alternative minimum tax, which threatens to ensnare millions of new taxpayers this year, blocked a Democratic effort on Thursday night to allow a series of votes on the tax. Democrats fume that Republicans demand action only to block it and then accuse Democrats of not acting.


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