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Gathering Impressions

Folks, Hoopus will be at the Taylor/Kahn press conference later today and we will have more information in a post on the hire either late today or tomorrow.  In the meantime, let me continue to urge you to tune into CSPAN coverage of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill.  Screw any other show you have seen on the major networks.  I kid you not that this is the greatest television you will see all year. 

Yesterday, in an attempt to slow down the movement of the bill, senior GOP lawmaker (and former Energy Committee Chair) Joe Barton and his fellow Republicans attempted to attach hundreds of amendments to the legislation as well as submitting numerous requests to read the 900+ page document. 

In response to these developments, Democratic Chair Henry Waxman hired a...wait for it...speed reader to act as clerk just in case Republicans followed through on their numerous requests for additional readings:

Things became so contentious during the hearing that, at one point, Chairman Waxman took to calling a GOP Congressman who introduced a bill that would define "woody biomass" from "federal forests" as "renewable energy" (i.e. cutting trees down on national parks) as "Mr. Woody".  Amazingly, this tactic seemed to work as the rep from Oregon withdrew his woody request. 

Oh, I should also mention that there were 15 arrests.  Best. Markup. Evah.

UPDATE: I found a fantastic description of Joe Barton from Matt Taibbi's book The Great Derangement:

In the congressional witches' coven of influential blowhard Republican conspirators--a powerful league of villains that at the time included Republican House leaders like Jim Sensenbrenner, Roy Blunt, David Drier, Dennis Hastert, Mike Oxley, and Tom Delay, among others--Barton plays the role of the silver-tounged, laid-back, backwoods southern cop, forever knocking out the taillight of progress.

While other Republican leaders tend to favor a public style of fist pounding hysterics and outright verbal abuse, Barton will respond to a committee objection to this or that billion-dollar oil company handout by simply leaning back in his chair, smiling, and shrugging.  Shucks, we did the best we could for ya...There jes' wasn't anythin' we could do...I's real sorry, ma'am, but we just had to kill the s$*t  out of your bill.