Less than a week ago…

The Republicans were cruising to a huge election victory, not only in Wisconsin but nationwide. They rode the semi anti-incumbent, less government, fiscally responsible tea-party express to major victories. They promised to control spending, create jobs and lessen government!

What a difference a week makes:

* As Zach points out, Scott Walker is already on the verge of breaking his main promise of stopping the train.

A spokeswoman for Talgo, the U.S. unit of the Spanish firm Patentes Talgo, said that Walker told company officials that his decision to stop a proposed Madison-to-Milwaukee passenger rail line is “not final.”

* Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, self professed voice of the people, in he middle of a recession, has decided his main job is to make sure President Obama a one -term president.
Surely the man of the people was listening to the “tea partiers” and will work on ending earmarks. He Yet McConnell is already back tracking on that promise, as he is already saying how “complicated” it is to end earmarks.

* Paul Ryan was called out, for refusing to give specifics on how exactly he will be cutting government spending.

* Spencer Bachus, let it be known that Goldman Sachs would be off limits, a potential Republican chairman of the House financial services committee, has fired the first salvo in a battle with regulators – warning them against harming US banks by curbing their trading activity.

* And in a very telling story in the Financial Times today, the anti “tea party” message is loud and clear.

* Joe Barton, who is vying to become chairman of the energy and commerce committee, said in a letter to Facebook that he was ready to put privacy policies “in the crosshairs” in the next Congress.

* Frank Maisano, an energy specialist at Bracewell & Giuliani, a lobby firm, said environmental concerns about hydraulic fracking, which is used to access natural gas, have hampered support for the industry among influential Democrats, such as Henry Waxman who chaired the energy committee. But Mr Maisano believes the new Republican majority would strongly support natural gas production. He added that Republicans could also seek to “break some of the shackles” of the federal loan guarantee programme, which he said had bogged down attempts to revive the nuclear industry.

* Lawmakers failed to pass new drilling legislation that had been proposed in the wake of the BP oil spill even before Republicans won back the House. Chances of such regulations passing now have been greatly diminished.

* Howard McKeon, a California Republican who is expected to be named the new chairman of the House armed services committee, said after the election that more money was needed in the defence budget.

* One food industry lobbyist said the new Republican majority could also put pressure on the FDA to stop increasing its budget for food safety inspections – doubled since 2006.

And the list goes on and on and on, and its not even a week out. It will be interesting to see if the “tea party” really meant what they said or if they truly just stood for getting Republicans elected. It will be interesting to see how serious the Republicans are about balancing the budget and getting Americans to work, orif they just want to privatize everything they can and cash out(like Sarah Palin). At the moment though, the republicans who rode the anti-government wave, are doing a tap dance like I have not seen in years!

PS; This story came out after I wrote this: Tea Party Hero Rand Paul, might have had the biggest flip flop in history.

Father and son, age 47, have different styles. Asked what he wanted to do in Washington in a Wednesday morning television interview, the senator-elect said that his kids were hoping to meet the Obama girls. He has made other concessions to the mainstream. He now avoids his dad’s talk of shuttering the Federal Reserve and abolishing the income tax. In a bigger shift from his campaign pledge to end earmarks, he tells me that they are a bad “symbol” of easy spending but that he will fight for Kentucky’s share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it’s doled out transparently at the committee level and not parachuted in in the dead of night. “I will advocate for Kentucky’s interests,” he says.

So you’re not a crazy libertarian? “Not that crazy,” he cracks.


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