Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

The Hedgehog Report Amnesty Bill Cloture Vote Prediction Contest

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

This will have to be a quick contest, but later today there is a scheduled cloture vote on the Bush/Kennedy/McCain Amnesty Immigration bill. According to just about every news article on the topic, it promises to be close. So what is your prediction on what the final vote for cloture will be?

Lieberman Votes Against Gonzales Stunt

Monday, June 11th, 2007

One interesting thing from today’s political theater over the Gonzales “No Confidence” vote was that the lone Democrat to vote against the “No Confidence” vote was none other than Joe Lieberman. Hmm…

If you didn’t read it elsewhere, the seven Republicans who voted in favor were:

Norm Coleman
Susan Collins
Chuck Hagel
Gordon Smith
Arlen Specter
Olympia Snowe
John Sununu

Immigration Bill Dead For Now

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

Good news for those of you opposed to the Bush/Kennedy/McCain Immigration bill in the Senate – it failed yet another cloture vote. From MSNBC.

A broad immigration bill to legalize millions of people in the U.S. unlawfully failed a crucial test vote Thursday, a stunning setback that could spell its defeat for the year.

The vote was 45-50 against limiting debate on the bill, 15 short of the 60 that the bill’s supporters needed to prevail. Most Republicans voted to block Democrats’ efforts to bring the bill to a final vote.

UPDATE (10:00pm): The roll call vote is up on the Senate website. Democrats/Socialsts against cloture (12): Baucus, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Dorgan, Landrieu, McCaskill, Pryor, Rockefeller, Sanders, Tester, Webb.

Republicans for cloture (7): Graham, Hagel, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, Specter, Voinovich.

I think it does say something that Bush, Kennedy and McCain couldn’t even get a simple majority, never mind the 60 votes needed for cloture.

WY: Craig Thomas Dies

Monday, June 4th, 2007

New just breaking from Fox News/AP:

Wyoming Sen. Craig Thomas, a three-term conservative Republican who stayed clear of the Washington limelight and political catfights, died Monday. He was 74.

The senator’s family issued a statement saying he died Monday evening at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He had been receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia.

A shame….

Democrats Losing Favor

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

Saturday, The Washington Post published an article on how little Democrats have actually accomplished since taking power. While it may be helping them politically, if you aren’t accomplishing anything substantive, what’s exactly the point of being in power? Do they even care? Even as bad as Republicans were in recent years, we at least got tax cuts, expiration of the useless “assault weapons” ban and two new Supreme Court Justices. CNN has an interesting new poll that shows the longer the Democrats are in power, the less people actually think it is good for the country. Here are the results of five previous poll results from CNN and Opinion Research (date shown is end date of poll).:

Do you think it is good for the country or bad for the country that the Democratic party is in control of Congress?

Date Good Bad
Nov 19 67% 24%
Dec 17 61% 32%
Jan 11 58% 30%
Mar 11 59% 29%
May 6 51% 37%

I am curious of the opinions of Democratic readers on this site and whether they are happy with what Democrats have actually accomplished since taking power. Does actually accomplishing something even matter?

Dems Back Down From Cutting War Funds

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Here was the story from the Associated Press/MSNBC at 2:47pm earlier today.

Democrats are considering cutting President Bush’s budget $142 billion request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan next year by $20 billion, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said Thursday.
….
The North Dakota Democrat said he likely will use Congressional Budget Office estimates – instead of the administration’s February budget request – as the basis for estimating Iraq and Afghanistan war costs.

Not hours later, Harry Reid pulled the plug. From CBS News/AP.

Just hours after floating the idea of cutting $20 billion from President Bush’s $142 billion request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan next year, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad was overruled by fellow Democrats on Thursday.

“It’s nothing that any of us are considering,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters.

The more you watch this debate, the more you realize how impotent the Democrats really are when it comes to the war in Iraq. Despite the President having approval ratings in the low to mid 30% range and Democrats crushing his party in the most recent election, so far the only thing they have managed to do to “stop the war” is pass an absolutely pointless non-binding resolution in the House of Representatives, where the majority can basically do whatever they want anyway. Meanwhile, Harry Reid is left whining to media that he can’t get a similar non-binding resolution passed in the Senate. John Murtha’s slow-bleed plan basically got shelved after it was leaked to the media and Democrats got spooked. Now Harry Reid, not a few hours after his own Senator called for a cut in funds, has decided it isn’t worth the fight. The truth is, as weak as President Bush may be, he still calls the shots when it comes to the war in Iraq and there really isn’t much the Democrats can do about it.

On top of all this, Nancy Pelosi has been forced to delay the vote on the appointment of William “Cold-Cash” Jefferson to the Homeland Security Committee to make sure she has enough votes to avoid being embarrassed by a defeat of her hand-picked choice. I still think Jefferson will be approved since other Democrats don’t want to upstage their own leader less they lose out on their own preferred committee assignments by Pelosi in the future as payback, but the fact that she had to delay the vote tells you the Democrats seems to be a little off track in the early going as the majority party.

GOP To Play Hardball On Jefferson Appointment

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Nancy Pelosi is trying to place the man who was found to have $90,000 in his freezer onto the Homeland Security Committee in the US House. However, the Republicans aren’t going to let it happen without making the Democrats go on record as supporting the placement of the scandal plagued William Jefferson on this committee. From CNN.

House Republicans plan a formal objection on the House floor to the appointment of Rep. William Jefferson to the Homeland Security Committee.

House Republican Whip Roy Blunt announced the move Wednesday, a day after the House Democratic caucus approved Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s appointment of Jefferson to the panel.
….
Though committee assignments are usually passed unanimously on the floor without votes being recorded, Blunt, R-Missouri, said he will object and ask for a recorded vote.

Good for them. Personally, I figured there had to be a system in which committee assignments were approved by the US House as a whole, but I guess I never really thought too hard about it. Being the minority in the US House is just about useless for the minority party, but at least the Republicans can force the Democrats go on record as supporting the Jefferson appointment. Will it matter in the end? Probably not. Every other Democrat who relies on Nancy Pelosi for their own appointments to particular committees isn’t going to want to be on record against Pelosi lest they lose their chance to get a prized committee assignment of their own from Pelosi in the future. But it is just another glowing example of the hypocrisy I detest so much from politicians (a la Al Gore’s skyrocketing energy use) of Democrats who complained about the ethics of Republicans, only to turn around and ignore it when it is one of their own.

Of course, Jefferson is innocent until proven guilty, but honestly, has anyone come up with any reasonable explanation of what Jefferson was doing with $90,000 in his freezer?

Talk About Holding A Grudge

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Do you think John Kerry has gotten over his defeat to President Bush yet in 2004? Not quite. From Fox News/AP.

A Senate hearing that began with glowing tributes to a St. Louis businessman and his qualifications to become ambassador to Belgium turned bitterly divisive Tuesday after he was criticized for supporting a controversial conservative group.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., grilled nominee Sam Fox about why he donated $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 presidential race. The group of Vietnam veterans made unsubstantiated allegations against Kerry _ then the Democratic presidential nominee _ and charged that Kerry did not deserve the medals he won in the Vietnam War.
….
Fox said he didn’t recall who asked him to give to the group and blamed partisans on both sides for contributing to so-called 527 groups that are not subject to conventional campaign finance rules.

“So is that your judgment that you would bring to the ambassadorship, that two wrongs make a right?” Kerry asked.

“I did it because politically it’s necessary if the other side’s doing it,” Fox said.

This reminds me of the time Hillary was the lone vote against Michael Chertoff to become a Circuit Court judge back in 2003 simply because Chertoff was the lead investigator into the Whitewater scandal, which occurred in 1998. The final vote on his confirmation was 88-1. Can’t they ever let it go?

Oh…The Irony….

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Some things are just too funny for words, as Drudge points out today.

HOUSE HEARING ON ‘WARMING OF THE PLANET’ CANCELED AFTER SNOW/ICE STORM

HEARING NOTICE
Tue Feb 13 2007 19:31:25 ET

The Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 14, 2007, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building has been postponed due to inclement weather. The hearing is entitled “Climate Change: Are Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Human Activities Contributing to a Warming of the Planet?”

The hearing will be rescheduled to a date and time to be announced later.

Whoops….

GA: Congressman Charles Norwood (R) Dies

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Just breaking from MSNBC/AP….