Keyword: Congress (page 2)

Maybe a Do Nothing Congress Is Exactly What We Need! Email Print

Since the Democrats won a majority so razor-thin that an ailing Senator's hospitalization caused Dick Cheney to briefly believe he was part of the legislative branch, the threat of filibusters and the reality of failed cloture votes has kept the Democrats stymied. Perhaps it is time to consider a new tactic, truly becoming a do-nothing Congress.

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President Bush's "China Problem" Email Print

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) has introduced a bill calling for UNFPA funding and presidential accountability for refusing to release these congressionally appropriated funds--as Pres. Bush has done for the past six years.

By Dr. Lawrence Smith, Population Institute, at RH Reality Check.

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Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 123 Email Print

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. After much pressure from readers, this email newsletter is now going the blog route. I update the blog once a week focusing on both national issues and issues of interest to particular regions or states. In general, NYC, California, New Jersey, Virginia and the Midwest get special attention simply because those are the areas where I seem to have the most readers.

This week I discuss the Democratic fumble in Congress, yet another example of Republican Corruption (in Kentucky), discuss American Muslims (something to shit our pants over or well-integrated and hard-working Americans) and present some interesting aspects of unemployment figures. If you visit my blog, PLEASE don't forget to click on an advertiser or two since that helps me keep the blog going. It really makes a difference! As usual I also highlight local events and organizations for several states. And, if you want more political and social discussions, please check out our offerings on Culture Kitchen.

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Futility In Washington, Death In Baghdad Email Print

Watching congress do whatever it is that they do is like watching my screen saver, a lot of movement, a bit of color, a little cheap entertainment but ultimately a waste of time.

I would like to have 10 percent of the monetary value of the man hours expended by members of the House, the Senate, and their respective staffs that was piled atop the redolent heap of history's wasted gestures in the recent exercise in futility that was the fight over the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill.

Republicans joined with Democrats in making a spectacle of themselves as ineffectual windbags without a cause, proving publicly, once again, that most of them have no respect for this republic, it's people or the business they are paid so handsomely to conduct.

Knowing that the eminently hardheaded little man who occupies the big house on Pennsylvania Avenue would veto any bill which included deadlines for troop withdrawals, and knowing that the same cynical little man would use the pork content of the bill against them, they made him a gift of a bill that he could veto and look "presidential" while doing it. They gave Bush exactly what he wanted.

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Take my Husband, PLEASE!!!!! Email Print

Hello everyone!  It has been a while since I last wrote a diary.  I miss it, and the connections with all of you, and I am going to make sure I get to write more often.  For those that don't know, I am Sherri Welsh, and my husband is Barry Welsh.  He blogs too as many of you know, and those that don't can Google or You Tube to learn about him.  He was the man that stood up and challenged Mike Pence two years ago (we started the campaign in 2005).  If you don't know the name Mike Pence, here are the latest links.

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Al Gore's Plan Goes Far Beyond What Congress Envisions Email Print

I have to be honest and state that even though I am so very grateful to Mr. Gore for appearing in front of these committees, I am very skeptical about what will come from it from the other side of that table as the only thing many of them seemed concerned about were the coal and nuclear lobbies that support them.

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Al Gore On Capitol Hill Is The Defining Moment Of His Life Email Print

For thirty years Al Gore spent his time in a beltway uncaring about a crisis that has now begun to take its toll on our only home. For thirty years he was excoriated, discredited, and made to look like a crackpot by those who placed their own self interests over the continued health and sustainability of this planet. For thirty years this man has passionately dedicated his life to warning people regarding what our behavior is doing to this Earth and that we better wake up before it is too late.

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VA refuses to address medical problems related to MKULTRA experiments Email Print

As most of you know I am one of the 7120 enlisted men of the Army and Air Force that was used at Edgewood Arsenal in the chemical weapons and drug experiments that this nation conducted in violation of the Nuremberg Codes of 1947, the tests took place from 1955 thru 1975.

This diary prepared by TxSharon tells my story and this article by E Pluribus Media tell the facts behind the program.

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Make Your Voices Heard Email Print

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The topic below was originally posted in my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal on January 11th.

It's not possible to be a little bit pregnant. Yet the Bush Administration prosecuted the Iraq War as if they were awaiting the results of a pregnancy test. Under Donald Rumsfeld the Pentagon tried to win on the cheap. Without boots on the ground however order could not be established after Saddam fell.

In 2004, President Bush ridiculed John Kerry during his re-election campaign for suggesting more troops were required. In his twenty minute speech Wednesday night the President finally acknowledged an insufficient number of troops resulted in chaos. Iraq was a war of choice and Bush waged it with timidity while claiming the fate of western civilization was at stake.

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Can President do what he wants if he thinks Congress has voted the wrong way? Email Print

OK - I'm now officially at the end of my rope. Tony Snow, during a White House press briefing, when asked about Congress pulling the plug on funding for the president's "surge" said the following:

"The President has the ability to exercise his own authority if he thinks Congress has voted the wrong way."

Say WHAT???????????

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He Went To The Mountain And Found a Molehill Email Print

The midterm election is barely over and the religious far right is already acting out over incoming Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison's stated intention to be sworn in using the Koran rather than the Bible.

Ellison, the first member of the Islamic faith to be elected to the United States Congress has served in the Minnesota Legislature. His desire to use the Koran at his swearing-in ceremony has apparently caused great consternation and hand wringing among some of the luminaries of the religious and not so religious right. Fox News' Sean Hannity, famous for making mole hills appear as mountains could not pass up an opportunity to dig in to this nonsensical non issue last week.

His invited guest was a guy named Dennis Prager who I am told has a right wing talk-show in Los Angeles, I envision the type of show that Donald Fagin sang of in "Night Fly."

"So you say there's a race of men in the trees, I wait all night for calls like these." Donald Fagin

I will probably never understand what motivates these people to worship the symbols and trappings of a particular religious faith rather than the substance, the core, the Deity. I would think it should be obvious to the fateful that it is Nature's God that is the object of worship not the icons, the bones of the Saints, nor the pot shards of religious history.

But no, this crowd lives on symbolism, Jesus on the dashboard, eat a flag for breakfast, pray loudly in the streets and beat your breast in public so that you may be seen as pious, among the pious. of (In spite of Christ's admonition against such behavior)

Religion aside it is a bit disturbing that after so many years and so much debate that they are still unable to read and understand The Constitution of the United States of America.

It seems to me that somewhere in that document it is clearly stated that the Constitution itself is an establishment of the People of the United States, yes now I remember clearly, it's in the preamble:

"We the people of the United States, in order to for more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

It might be noticed that there is no mention of God, Allah, Yahweh, Jesus, Buddha, nor any others among history's pantheon of available deities. Also notice that there is no mention of God as the establishing authority as the Jimmy Swaggart, Falwell, Robertson, Parsley, Tammy Faye shoofly pie, down home revival wing of American thought would have us believe.

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Icarus says "bipartisan," Americans say "Bye partisans!" Email Print

When you examine the data, there is only one word that accurately describes the midterm results.  The word is MANDATE.  When you look at the turnovers at the federal and state level, it wasn't even close.  Republicans got ZERO. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Nuthin. Not.A.Single.One.

55% of Americans voted against Republicans running for Congress.
59% of Americans voted against Republicans in Senate contests.
62% of Americans voted against Republicans running for governor.

Adding insult to injury, Independents broke 3 to 2 for Democratic candidates.

This thumping will leave a mark.   Bush might have avoided Icarus' fate if he had spent more time in the reality-based world.  The Decider Icarus can make all the noise he wants about bi-partisan intentions.    No one is listening.   Here's the beauty of this victory: Armed with a popular mandate that spans the nation, our job is simple.  We have to keep the Corrupt Bastards grounded in  reality.   Below the fold are a few suggestions that should help put cement shoes on the neo-cons, their apologists, shills, and cronies.

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This Is How We Roll Email Print

It was predictable as clockwork.  Even while the votes were being tallied, Tom Delay was on the air saying that the Democrats were going to have a lame duck majority.  Despite Bush's stumbling words of "bipartisanship," his first action was to try and shove John Bolton's nomination back through the pipe.  And now insiders like James Carville are trying to stave off irrelevance by joining themselves at the hip with Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly to pick at the Democratic victory.

Republicans will be doing everything they can to make Democrats look as ineffective as Republicans themselves have been over the last twelve years.  Unfortunately for  the would-be congressional monkey wrench gang, they've spent the last decade putting in place rules and procedures that make the minority party all but irrelevant.  They can shout all they want, but their voices are going to sound funny coming from that deep, deep well of impotence.

Nice as it is to see the Republicans hoist on their own hubris-powered petard, we have to do more than just enjoy the irony if we want to still be laughing at Delay in 2008, 2010, 2012.  We have to not only pass bills, we have to do so in a way that fundamentally changes... well, everything.

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The Second Hundred Hours Email Print

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (ah, that was fun to write) has put forward a "hundred hour plan" for the first weeks of Democratic control of the house.  During the first hundred hours, Democrats will:

  • Raise the minimum wage.

  • Put in place an ethics plan that "breaks the link" between lobbyists and legislation.  

  • Protect the nation by implementing the recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission.

  • Eliminate the clause that prohibits the government for bargaining over drug prices.

  • Promote stem cell research.

  • Cut interest rates for student loans.

  • Roll back subsidies for oil companies.

  • Protect Social Security.

It's a good start, and if we do this, it will show not only Democrats, but Independents and Republicans that this congress puts the people first.  However, if you don't mind, Madam Speaker, I have some suggestions for the first hundred hours... and the second.

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Polls: Strong Chance of Democratic Senate Email Print

With consensus wisdom already handing the House to the Democrats, polls are still indicating that a Senate pickup for the Democrats is a totally reasonable outcome of tomorrow's elections.

At a glance, the polls below (coupled with the historical tendency of 1) undecideds tend to break for the challenger, and 2) an incumbent held under 50% in the polls is in serious trouble) suggest:

Democrats Safe: Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania

Democrat Lean: Missouri

Toss-Up: Maryland, Rhode Island, Virginia

Republican Safe: Tennessee

In an anti-Bush, anti-Iraq, anti-Republican, anti-incumbent election cycle -- like this one is, the Toss-ups are truly the challengers to lose.

Look for a Democratic Senate come January 2007.

As you peruse the polls below, you might notice that many of the races are statistically too close to call. That means two factors will take over in the final hours:

1) GOTV efforts which have been highly touted on both sides of the aisle.

2) Voter enthusiasm. Who will be more likely to turn their opinions into actual voting. Democrats or Republicans?

Connecticut: Lieberman will take this one, holding large leads over challenger Ned Lamont. Independent Lieberman will caucus with the Democrats.

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