Tag Archives: US Senate

Very satisfying

I think it’s safe to assume we’ll not be bothered anymore by the odious Liz Cheney. Seems nobody cares what she thinks.

Cheney, like her father, is an unapologetic neoconservative who favors muscular use of American military power overseas, a policy that does not sit well with many grassroots conservatives, particularly in the libertarian-leaning West.

 

Three weeks of bombing; missed every target

The final vote in the Senate was 81-18, with 27 Republicans voting yes.  Here are the Republicans who voted no (from NRO Online):

Senators David Vitter (La.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), John Cornyn (Texas), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Dean Heller (Ariz.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Tim Scott (S.C.), and Pat Roberts (Kan.). Senator Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) did not vote.

So what’s the message going to be on talk radio tomorrow?

And the balance tips . . .

Frank Lautenberg just died. He was the oldest Senator, the last WWII vet still serving, and he was a Democrat.

lautenbergChris Christie gets to appoint the interim replacement. And of course, he’ll appoint a Republican. But it may not be a smooth transition (like we really need this?):

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) can appoint a replacement for Lautenberg,  meaning Senate Democrats lose a reliable vote as they take on tough issues like  immigration reform this summer.

However, there is some question over whether Christie’s appointment would  face a special election in November — as Democrats claim — or would serve out  the remainder of Lautenberg’s term. Democrats are expected to file a legal  challenge on this issue in New Jersey.

Since it increasingly seem likely that the planned debt ceiling confrontation may be a dud after all, here comes a whopper, just in time, to raise the political hackles.

The new Joe McCarthy, just like the old Joe McCarthy

TedCruzIf Elvis has any mercy left to spare us, then this guy will burn out before he has a chance to do anything like the damage done by the paranoid, alcoholic junior Senator from Wisconsin. Pure Maoists, both of ’em.

. . .  with his latest attack on Hagel, Cruz has gone too far. Cruz has every right — indeed, he has an obligation — to question Hagel vigorously. He has a right to demand relevant information. He has a right to vote against Hagel; indeed Republicans are now filibustering the nomination.

But he doesn’t have the right to smear Hagel, with no supporting evidence, with insinuations that the nominee received money from foreign governments or extremist groups.

“We do not know, for example, if he received compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme or radical groups,” Cruz told the Senate Armed Services Committee before it voted Tuesday to approve Hagel’s nomination. “It is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea.”

The “only reasonable inference” to draw from Hagel’s refusal to provide additional financial information, he said, is that “there was something in there that they did not want to make public.”

 

Hi.

Much been happening around here? I just took a quick look at activity stats and it seems I’ve some catching up to do. Perhaps you’ve noticed the unbloggy bug is going around (election season withdrawal?); I got hit hard but am getting back up on my feet.

One thing I did observe over these recent days is that poor old Grampa McCain  is still railing at anyone and everyone to ‘get off my lawn!’.

But the Sunday gasbags must like that;  he remains the reigning champion for appearances at those (sooo tired) secular services –  I believe it’s 88 times on Meet the Press alone.

I think the old dear needs people to believe that Vietnam Iraq was a necessary and just war.

My way! My way!

So, Harry Reid wants to amend the filibuster rules and Mitch McConnell is shocked, shocked I tell you because Harry dares to propose that the majority should rule on this matter.

In his Wonkblog at The Washington Post today, Ezra Klein takes a look (great read) and notes that while McConnell weeps upon the sacred steps of the Senate decrying any changes to the rules (as did the Dems before him) and claims the filibuster to be a historical sacrament . . . well, here’s some real history:

The American system of government was built to protect minority voices, but the Founding Fathers explicitly rejected designing the Congress around a supermajority requirement. In Federalist 22, Alexander Hamilton savaged the idea of a supermajority Congress, writing that “its real operation is to embarrass the administration, to destroy the energy of government and to substitute the pleasure, caprice or artifices of an insignificant, turbulent or corrupt junta, to the regular deliberations and decisions of a respectable majority.”

I got off your lawn John; now what do you want?

Miss Graham’s dream of advancing to chief scold are foiled again, as current and senior scold Sen. John McCain abandons Arizona altogether and takes up permanent residence on the floor of the US Senate.

Benghazi forevah!

They’ve nominated this guy for the United States Senate

He is expected – or had been expected – to win the Senate race in Missouri over incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

So, Congressman, would you allow abortion in the case of rape?

“…First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

New Republican candidate with some chops. I’ll keep an eye on him and I think I’ll donate to the Democrat

Meet Ted Cruz. The new Marco Rubio, but smarter. He’s a Harvard educated Tea Partier and once clerked for William Rehnquist. Slightly contradictory but hardly insubstantial credentials.

The story is at Politico;  here’s some commentary from Think Progress, which is not enthusiastic:

. . .  his considerable intellect is rivaled by his very poor judgment. Here are just five of the most revealing windows into Cruz’ Tea Party worldview:

1) Believes George Soros Leads A UN conspiracy To Eliminate Golf: . . . Cruz lays the blame for this global anti-golf conspiracy at the feet of a well-known Tea Party boogieman — “The originator of this grand scheme is George Soros.”

2) Wants To Gut Social Security: In an interview with the Texas Tribune Cruz labeled Social Security a “ponzi scheme” and outlined a three-step plan to gut this essential program. (And, surprise!, he wants to privatize it.)

3) Wants To Party Like It’s 1829: The Constitution provides that Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land,” and thus cannot be nullified by rogue state lawmakers. Cruz, however, co-authored an unconstitutional proposal claiming two or more states could simply ignore the Constitution’s command and nullify the Affordable Care Act so long as they work together. . . Cruz falsely claimed that states do not need to meet these Constitutional requirements to undermine laws they don’t like.

4)  Is An Islamophobe:  . . .  claimed that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in this country.

5) Campaigned On How He Helped Texas Kill A Mexican: “Cruz fought all the way to the Supreme Court” after “the UN and World Court overruled a Texas jury’s verdict to execute an illegal alien.”. . . the case Cruz won had nothing to do with whether Texas had the authority . . . it concerned whether Texas could defy a treaty requiring it to inform foreign nationals who are arrested of their right “to request assistance from the consul of his own state.” Even North Korea honored this treaty that Cruz fought to undermine.

So, more good fun ahead.

 

My people might do the right thing for the wrong reason

FOX News reports (yeah, I know) that Pelosi has said she might let all the Bush tax cuts expire if the House Republicans don’t agree to the Obama plan. They say that in the Senate, Democrat Patty Murphy has suggested the same thing.

Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress only want to pass that partial, one-year extension. Republicans only want to pass an extension that continues those rates for everyone. Each side is accusing the other of threatening to trigger tax hikes in 2013.

Right now, both parties want to do the wrong thing. So let’s allow the tick-tocking clock to make the decision for us. Let the damn things expire.

I dearly hope this happens. Letting those cuts expire for everyone – even us little guys – is the best way to bring the deficit under control. We can deal with the tax code and the social security cap later, but for now, letting the taxes revert to 2001 levels might be the least painful way to address our debt.

Now, just to be annoying, Let me add that I actually also believe we should be investing right now in infrastructure – borrowing for that is as cheap as it will ever be.

Let the economists explain if that’s contradictory or not. Borrowing cheaper money today and paying off yesterday’s more expensive debt, which continues compounding at a higher rate, seems to be a good idea.

Meanwhile, let the tax cuts expire. Please.

Will FOX News give Jon Stewart his own show?

I just picked this up at Talkandpolitics  (where he’s blogging up a storm today!) – Shepherd Smith and Chris Wallace on FOX News acknowledging Jon Stewart and agreeing with him on the disgraceful behavior of the Republicans in the US Senate, who stopped an effort to provide health care to 9/11 first responders.  I know Smith is only FOX News lite, but Wallace is the real thing and though he is a bit reluctant at first, he finally jumps in with full blown condemnation.

It passed. Can Lt. Dan Choi have his job back please?

DADT is no longer the law of the land. It’s over. The Senate just decided that with 65 votes. About frackin’ time.

UPDATE: Just called a 68-year old friend and told him it was now safe to go back into the Army. (Though I’m guessing that Vietnam was enough for him. He did his part.)

One reason why

A tidbit from EJ Dionne in his column today pointing to one of many things that are out of whack:

“When our republic was created, the population ratio between the largest and smallest state was 13 to 1. Now, it’s 68 to 1. Because of the abuse of the filibuster, 41 senators representing less than 11 percent of the nation’s population can, in principle, block action supported by 59 senators representing more than 89 percent of our population. And you wonder why it’s so hard to get anything done in Washington?”

Whenever I hear anyone go all rhapsodic about ‘middle america’ and ‘coastal elites’ and ‘real americans’ or when I hear talkers rail against the power of those big states . . . to them, either it doesn’t occur (most likely) or it doesn’t matter that those cities are where a majority of Americans live; those big States are where a majority of Americans live. Just like this Presdident and this congress are who the majority of Americans voted for.