Senate stuffed Fiscal Cliff deal with $76 Billion in corporate pork

The president wanted the corporate pork and he got it, and most Senate members probably didn’t even know it was there. Can’t say the same for the 85 Republicans in the House that voted for it:

WASHINGTON EXAMINER – The “fiscal cliff” legislation passed this week included $76 billion in special-interest tax credits for the likes of General Electric, Hollywood and even Captain Morgan. But these subsidies weren’t the fruit of eleventh-hour lobbying conducted on the cliff’s edge — they were crafted back in August in a Senate committee, and they sat dormant until the White House reportedly insisted on them this week.

The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, which passed through the Senate Finance Committee in August, was copied and pasted into the fiscal cliff legislation, yielding a victory for biotech companies, wind-turbine-makers, biodiesel producers, film studios — and their lobbyists. So, if you’re wondering how algae subsidies became part of a must-pass package to avert the dreaded fiscal cliff, credit the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s lobbying last summer.

Some tax lobbyists mostly ignored the August bill “because they thought it would be just a political document,” one K Streeter told me. “They were the ones that got bit in the butt.”


This scene from First Contact metaphorically sums up how I feel about my country right now without coming right out and saying it. I’d show the video but I can’t find this exact sequence. If you’ve seen the movie I think you’ll understand:

[Enterprise bridge]

DANIELS: They’re on the move again. The Borg just overrun three of our defence checkpoints. They’ve taken over decks five and six. They’ve adapted to every modulation on our weapons. It’s like we’re shooting blanks.
PICARD: We’ll have to work on finding another way to modify our weapons so they’ll be more effective. In the meantime, tell your men to stand their ground.
PICARD: Fight hand-to-hand If they have to.
WORF: Wait! Captain, our weapons are useless. We must activate the autodestruct sequence and use the escape pods to evacuate the ship.
CRUSHER: Jean-Luc, if we destroy the ship we destroy the Borg.
PICARD: We’re going to stay and fight.
WORF: Sir, we have lost the Enterprise. We should not sacrifice…
PICARD: We have not lost the Enterprise, Mister Worf. We are not going to lose the Enterprise. Not to the Borg. Not while I’m in command. You have your orders.
WORF: I must object to this course of action.
PICARD: Your objection is noted.
WORF: With all due respect, sir, …I believe you are allowing your personal experience with the Borg to influence your judgement.
PICARD: You’re afraid. You want to destroy the ship and run away. You coward.
CRUSHER (OC): Jean-Luc…
WORF: If you were any other man I would kill you where you stand.
PICARD: Get off my bridge.
LILY: So what do we do now?
CRUSHER: Carry out his orders. Dyson. Kaplan. Start working on a way to modify the weapons systems.
LILY: Wait a minute! This is stupid. If we can get off this ship and blow it up, let’s do it.
CRUSHER: Once the Captain has made up his mind the discussion is over.

(Lily goes after Picard)

[Enterprise observation lounge]

LILY: You son of a bitch.
PICARD: This really isn’t the time.
LILY: Okay. I don’t know jack about the twenty-fourth century but everybody out there thinks that staying here and fighting the Borg is suicide. They’re just afraid to come in here and say it.
PICARD: The crew is accustomed to following my orders.
LILY: They’re probably accustomed to your orders making sense.
PICARD: None of them understand the Borg as I do. …No one does. No one can.
LILY: What is that supposed to mean?
PICARD: Six years ago, they assimilated me into their collective. I had their cybernetic devices implanted throughout my body. I was linked to the hive mind, every trace of individuality erased. I was one of them. So you can imagine, my dear, I have a somewhat unique perspective on the Borg and I know how to fight them. Now if you will excuse me I have work to do.
LILY: I am such an idiot. …It’s so simple. The Borg hurt you, and now you’re going to hurt them back.
PICARD: In my century we don’t succumb to revenge. We have a more evolved sensibility.
LILY: Bullshit! I saw the look on your face when you shot those Borg on the holodeck. You were almost enjoying it!
PICARD: How dare you!
LILY: Oh, come on, Captain. You’re not the first man to get a thrill from murdering someone. I see it all the time.
PICARD: Get out!
LILY: Or what? You’ll kill me, like you killed Ensign Lynch
PICARD: There was no way to save him.
LILY: You didn’t even try. Where was your evolved sensibility then?
PICARD: I don’t have time for this.
LILY: Oh! Hey! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt your little quest. Captain Ahab has to go hunt his whale.
LILY: You do have books in the twenty-fourth century?
PICARD: This is not about revenge.
LILY: Liar!
PICARD: This is about saving the future of humanity.
LILY: Jean-Luc, blow up the damn ship!
PICARD: No! …No!

(Picard breaks the starship display cabinet with his phaser rifle)

PICARD: No! …I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We’ve made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again! The line must be drawn here, …this far, no further! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done.
LILY: You broke your little ships. …See you around, Ahab.
PICARD: ‘And he piled upon the whale’s white hump, a sum of all the rage and hate felt by his own race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it.’
LILY: What?
PICARD: ‘Moby Dick.’
LILY: Actually, I never read it.
PICARD: Ahab spent years hunting the white whale that crippled him. A quest for vengeance, …but in the end it destroyed him and his ship.
LILY: I guess he didn’t know when to quit.

[Enterprise bridge]

PICARD: Prepare to evacuate the Enterprise.

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