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On the Hill, it's TGIF: Thank Goodness It's Funded. After yesterday's budget vote, it looks like the government will be able to scrape by for another 21 days. But unlike the last three resolutions, this one had an air of finality about it. Both sides are tired of funding Washington on an installment plan and seem ready to drop the gloves in the fight they've been postponing. To make any headway on a long-term plan, Republicans and Democrats will have to overcome some major differences. For starters, the two sides are about $50 billion apart on government cuts. As far as liberals are concerned, the quarrel is not just over how much is being cut but what is being cut. When reporters asked Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) whether he would be willing to defund Planned Parenthood, the answer was "not only no, but 'hell no.'" "It won't," Reid vowed, "be part of an agreement." In the Senate, 19 Democrats have said they're willing to kamikaze the entire budget just to keep Planned Parenthood's gravy train on track. In a letter to Vice President Joe Biden, they offer their "support" in "rejecting the ideological, divisive riders passed by the House of Representatives, which serve only a purely political agenda."

Speaking of a purely political agenda, the Left's will be on full display if it follows through with the threat to shut down Washington over abortion funding. Maybe then Americans will get a true picture of how much these leaders will sacrifice to protect Planned Parenthood. "If that's the case," said Father Frank Pavone, "then shut it down. When a government funds massive child-killing, it has betrayed its very purpose anyway."

As far as Republicans are concerned, the Democrats forfeited the right to decide what's in the budget when they didn't pass their own. If Sen. Reid wants to stand with an organization that ignores child sex predators and statutory rape, accepts racist donations, overcharges for birth control, hides pimps, lies about its services, and fights laws that protects children, then he shouldn't be surprised when he's standing alone.

Meanwhile, as Reid's army was activating for abortion, Republicans dropped a bomb on the Left's communication system. By a 228-192 vote, the House passed a bill that would address National Public Radio (NPR) by banning federal funding for anything but administrative purposes. Under the legislation, local stations could no longer pay NPR dues or buy programming with federal dollars. The President was unhappy with the decision. In a statement, the White House reiterated that "The administration strongly opposes HR. 1076..." (I'll bet it does. The President could use the government-subsidized airtime to rally his base.) While this bill wouldn't completely defund NPR--only an amendment to cut the Corporation of Public Broadcasting would--it sends a message about the Left's propaganda machine. Government-controlled radio mea ns a government-controlled message. And as its own executives pointed out, NPR doesn't need the money.


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