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111th US Congress: Version 4



 
 
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  #61  
Old April 13th, 2010, 8:08 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Only if you're looking to nail the Administration on something.
Nail the Administration - hold them accountable for their promises... Yea, I can see how those are intertwined....

Quote:
Talking points, talking points...

The "2,000-page" bill, if produced in straight narrative format, turned out to be a few pages smaller than Sarah Palin's book. Not exactly a tome. You're familiar with how legalese is written. There's so much white space you could write another book in the margins.
If it was sooooooooo well understood then why are sooooo many things coming back to bite Congress on its collective backsides? Like double digit increases in health insurance premiums, forgetting to cover pre-existing conditions for children, dumping Congress into the ranks of the uninsured.....the list goes on and on and on.

Perhaps that's why 58% of the nation, according to Rassumssen, support repealing the HCR bill.


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  #62  
Old April 14th, 2010, 1:04 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

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If it was sooooooooo well understood then why are sooooo many things coming back to bite Congress on its collective backsides? Like double digit increases in health insurance premiums, forgetting to cover pre-existing conditions for children, dumping Congress into the ranks of the uninsured.....the list goes on and on and on.
[staff edit] We knew we weren't going to get a perfect fix with this piece of legislation, knew we'd be spending the next few years "getting it right," just as we did with Medicare and Social Security.


[staff edit]

Quote:
Perhaps that's why 58% of the nation, according to Rassumssen, support repealing the HCR bill.
We've had this conversation before! I think Chris has even posted with you about Rassmussen's polling standards. I'm aware there is considerable confusion among the electorate about the health care law, but Rassmussen would not be the pollster I'd turn to to see just how bad it is.


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Last edited by Hes; April 14th, 2010 at 2:48 pm.
  #63  
Old April 14th, 2010, 1:41 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

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We knew we weren't going to get a perfect fix with this piece of legislation, knew we'd be spending the next few years "getting it right," just as we did with Medicare and Social Security.
I don't know who Luntz is or what his talking point are. [staff edit]

Quote:
We've had this conversation before! I think Chris has even posted with you about Rassmussen's polling standards. I'm aware there is considerable confusion among the electorate about the health care law, but Rassmussen would not be the pollster I'd turn to to see just how bad it is.
Why is it that polls which present data that shows how unpopular the Democrats initiatives are with the American people are cast aside in lock step by you as "questionable"? Even sources which don't kiss the backsides, drool, and fall over in awe over the Administration are routinely cast aside. Why is it that it's the Democrats who cast aside sources without presenting anything to counter the evidence or data presented?

You got a problem with my data? Present data which counters Rassmussen's poll.


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Last edited by Hes; April 14th, 2010 at 2:49 pm.
  #64  
Old April 14th, 2010, 3:11 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Closed until I or another Admin can review.


  #65  
Old April 21st, 2010, 5:49 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

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Closed until I or another Admin can review.
Review's been done. Reopening. Behave.


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  #66  
Old April 25th, 2010, 3:58 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

I've really been enjoying the recent Republican version of a chicken in every pot (or doctor's office) as a healthcare solution. How tone deaf can a person be? Sue Lowden was actually given a chance to recant, and instead she doubled down by insisting it would work. I was just trying to picture me offering my doctor a sack of potatoes when my appendix ruptured.

Never mind the ludicrous idea about livestock or produce; most doctors won't haggle over money, either. And what kind of position does that put someone in when they need the care and then have to hope they can bargain the doctor into accepting them?

Back when a farmer could give a chicken to the local doctor, the doctor wasn't earning an upper class income. The rural doc was just scraping by himself.

Maybe Harry Reid has a chance after all.


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Last edited by ComicBookWorm; April 25th, 2010 at 9:45 am.
  #67  
Old April 25th, 2010, 8:14 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Despite a House Foreign Affairs Committee vote and an explicit promise to do so, Obama has weaseled out of calling the Ottoman slaughter of Armenians what it was -- genocide.

NYT

I use the term weaseled advisedly as he used weasel words.


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  #68  
Old May 17th, 2010, 3:16 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

If we needed an illustrative example of why only 11% of the American public thinks the Congress is doing a good job, this has to be it:

The Hill
House Democrats had to scrap their only substantive bill of the week Thursday after Republicans won a procedural vote that substantively altered the legislation with an anti-porn clause.

Democrats had labeled their COMPETES Act -- a bill to increase investments in science, research and training programs -- as their latest jobs bill. It was the only non-suspension bill Democrats brought up all week.

But the Republican motion to recommit the bill -- a parliamentary tactic that gives the minority one final chance to amend legislation -- contained language prohibiting federal funds from going "to salaries to those officially disciplined for violations regarding the viewing, downloading, or exchanging of pornography, including child pornography, on a federal computer or while performing official government duties."

That provision scared dozens of Democrats into voting with Republicans to approve the motion to recommit. After it became clear the GOP motion was going to pass, dozens of additional Democrats changed their votes from "no" to "yes." In the end, 121 Democrats voted with Republicans -- only four fewer than the number of Democrats who voted with their party.


It reminds me of an old episode of the Simpsons:

Kent Brockman: With our utter annihilation imminent, our federal government has snapped into action. We go live now via satellite to the floor of the United States congress.

Speaker: Then it is unanimous, we are going to approve the bill to evacuate the town of Springfield in the great state of --

Congressman: Wait a minute, I want to tack on a rider to that bill: $30 million of taxpayer money to support the perverted arts.

Speaker: All in favor of the amended Springfield-slash-pervert bill?

[everyone boos]

Speaker: Bill defeated. [bangs gavel]

Kent Brockman: I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work.

Exchange that word "democracy" for "government" in the last sentence and you've just hit on why government doesn't work.


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  #69  
Old May 18th, 2010, 6:35 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
I've really been enjoying the recent Republican version of a chicken in every pot (or doctor's office) as a healthcare solution. How tone deaf can a person be? Sue Lowden was actually given a chance to recant, and instead she doubled down by insisting it would work. I was just trying to picture me offering my doctor a sack of potatoes when my appendix ruptured.

Never mind the ludicrous idea about livestock or produce; most doctors won't haggle over money, either. And what kind of position does that put someone in when they need the care and then have to hope they can bargain the doctor into accepting them?

Back when a farmer could give a chicken to the local doctor, the doctor wasn't earning an upper class income. The rural doc was just scraping by himself.

Maybe Harry Reid has a chance after all.
I would take a chicken and offer it as payment. Test out Lowden's bizarre suggestions.


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  #70  
Old May 18th, 2010, 1:44 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Wow, talk about a flip! The latest AP-GfK poll shows a 45%-40% preference for a Democratic majority in Congress after November's midterm elections. In April, the numbers were nearly reversed: 44%-41% Republican.

The news for incumbents is not good. Only about a third of the electorate wants to see their own representative or senator get another term in office.

AP"Compared with the last AP-GfK poll in April, the survey showed Republicans losing some support among married women, a key component of many GOP victories. Democrats picked up ground among young and rural voters.

"I'm a new Democrat," said Harley Smithson, 51, of Baltimore, who said he had recently switched from the GOP. "I want to be with a party that's for something instead of against everything."

"Congressional Democrats win approval from only 37 percent, though congressional Republicans score an even drearier 31 percent. Democrats and Republicans are about evenly trusted to handle the economy, an issue Democrats once dominated and one that is crucial at a time when the country's job situation, though brightening, remains grim.

"Only 36 percent said they want their own member of Congress to win re-election this fall, a noteworthy drop from the 43 percent who said so in April and the lowest AP-GfK poll measurement this year. Much of the restiveness seems to be among Republicans: While Democrats were about equally divided on the question, Republicans expressed a preference for a new face by a 2-to-1 margin."


It's way too early to get excited about these results, but they are certainly encouraging. I have a strong suspicion that Democrats are going to talk up the economic mess Republicans made, ala the quote from President Obama in my siggie, with particular emphasis on the improvements noted recently while acknowledging that the situation remains pretty grim. As the President notes, the car is "out of the ditch," but there's still a lot of work to do to get it running again.

Incredibly, the one in four who say they support the tea party movement are more eager to see their representative kicked out than the general population. Two-thirds of tea party supporters say they want a new person representing them in Washington, compared with half of everyone else.

Poll"The Republican Party has more or less left me," said Mike Miller, 40, of Republic, Mo., a tea party backer who wants a new member of Congress. "Everybody's shifted to the left."


The Republican Party has shifted to the left???


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  #71  
Old May 18th, 2010, 2:28 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
It's way too early to get excited about these results, but they are certainly encouraging. I have a strong suspicion that Democrats are going to talk up the economic mess Republicans made, ala the quote from President Obama in my siggie, with particular emphasis on the improvements noted recently while acknowledging that the situation remains pretty grim. As the President notes, the car is "out of the ditch," but there's still a lot of work to do to get it running again.
Ah yes - the standard democratic answer - Blame Booosh!

Kinda hard to argue that the economic mess was made by the Republicans when Democrats have controlled Congress since 2007 and have enough votes to override just about anything the GOP attempts. Equally difficult to argue that the economy is out of the ditch with unemployment stagnate at almost 10% and much higher among some populations and in some regions. Toss in the fact that this year's deficit is almost quadruple Bush's last deficit, and that whole fiscal responsibility thing goes right out the window.


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  #72  
Old May 18th, 2010, 2:53 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

We are not getting the same old same old again right? Republicans bad! Nooo democrats just as bad!

Let's look to the future aka how the Congress can work together in solving and preventing economic crises. When looking at the crisis and and it's causes it might be better to look beyond party politics. Because everyone knows that ain't gonna help the discussion one bit.


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  #73  
Old May 19th, 2010, 9:34 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Wowzers! It does look like incumbents may be in trouble come November.

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) was unable to take out challenger Bill Halter, a progressive, and the two face a run-off election in a few weeks.

Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), another progressive, has beaten Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter. I'm delighted about this one on a personal level.

Rand Paul, the tea party candidate and son of Rep. Ron Paul, has beaten to Republican establishment candidate for a chance at winning Senator Jim Bunning's seat.

Rep. Mark Souder, a conservative Republican from Indiana, acknowledged having an affair with a staff member and will leave Congress on Friday.

ETA:

Also in Pennsylvania, Democrat Mark Critz beat Republican Tim Burns for John Murtha's seat in the House. That's a pretty conservative district and Critz is a solid progressive.


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Last edited by purplehawk; May 19th, 2010 at 9:40 am.
  #74  
Old May 19th, 2010, 10:50 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

... and what's interesting is that it doesn't hit one party - it seems to be hitting incumbents whatever side they are on, with successful challengers further away from the middle.


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  #75  
Old May 19th, 2010, 6:09 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

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Originally Posted by Klio View Post
... and what's interesting is that it doesn't hit one party - it seems to be hitting incumbents whatever side they are on, with successful challengers further away from the middle.
I'm glad you mentioned that. I think America is getting tired of the same old same old. Party lines don't matter. We want something different.


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  #76  
Old May 19th, 2010, 11:04 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

The US electorate will never get anything different without reform of how Congressional campaigns are funded.


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  #77  
Old May 20th, 2010, 12:43 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

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The US electorate will never get anything different without reform of how Congressional campaigns are funded.
That's true. They know it. We know it. But they are never really going to take the necessary steps to fix it, not if "fixing it" means they might not get reelected next time up. That Citizens United ruling from the Supreme Court doesn't help, either.


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  #78  
Old June 1st, 2010, 7:02 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) apparently thinks the offer of an advisory position to Rep. Joe Sestak, as an inducement to persuade him not to run a primary challenge against Sen. Arlen Specter, is an "impeachable offense."

Sestak's statement:

Sestak"Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background.

"He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I'd say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.

"There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families."


The White House account is consistent with Sestak's.

Mike Mukasey, former AG under Bush, embarrassed himself calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the matter:

Mukasey"People were railing on me for months, demanding a special prosecutor for this, a special prosecutor for that. But here's a case where ... well, he hasn't said what happened."


That's right. It was quite odd watching Mukasey build up to the point that something really smelly happened here, and when he gets to the point in the sentence where he has to define the illegal behavior, he just stammers that he doesn't know what happened.

Something to consider from Jon Chait: "A job offer is not a quid pro quo to get somebody out of a race. It is getting someone out of a race. Accepting one job means you cannot run for another. It happens all the time - the White House appointed John McHugh Secretary of the Army, in part to get him out of New York's 23rd Congressional District. It offered Judd Gregg a cabinet slot in order to get him out of the Senate. This is neither illegal nor immoral, nor especially unusual."

Can't we wait to start blathering about appointing a special prosecutor until there's at least a possibility of underlying illegal behavior? This hasn't caught on inside the beltway, thank goodness, although I have no doubt that it will if Republicans gain a majority in the House in November. Then, there's this:

The Killer:    


    



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  #79  
Old June 1st, 2010, 11:38 pm
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

I don't know whether the offer of a job in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania primary constitutes an impeachable offense or not. The law in that area is rather specific, but that depends on whether the position offered was compensated or not.

18USC-600Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment,
position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit,
provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of
Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such
benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any
political activity or for the support of or opposition to any
candidate or any political party in connection with any general or
special election to any political office, or in connection with any
primary election or political convention or caucus held to select
candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this
title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.


If Sestak was offered a paid position in exchange for dropping out of the Democratic primary, then it does appear that the law was broken by whomever conveyed the offer and / or ordered that the offer be made. That's pretty clear. Whether the offered positions were or were not compensated is unknown.

The White House investigating itself and reporting that it broke no laws doesn't really have much weight as there isn't much else they can say. The counsel's carefully crafted response leaves more questions unanswered than answered - like what was offered, how often was it offered, and who directed that offers be made.

Investigating that sort of this is typically the job of a special prosecutor, not the White House's attorney.

I don't think the President was involved - there's been nothing to indicate that he was at all, so this impeachable stuff is probably bluster. But someone on his staff had to be involved for President Clinton to have offered executive branch or advisory positions to Sestak. That's what a special prosecutor would need to determine.


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Last edited by monster_mom; June 1st, 2010 at 11:41 pm.
  #80  
Old June 2nd, 2010, 1:34 am
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Re: 111th US Congress: Version 4

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Investigating that sort of this is typically the job of a special prosecutor, not the White House's attorney.
And Reagan and Hayakawa?

The problem I have with this has more to do with the disparate standard the GOPers seem determined to apply to President Obama and his administration. There have been any number of instances in which they've attempted to make something he did, or was planning to do, as being outside the ordinary. Porter Goss was tapped as CIA Director while still serving in Congress, making way for Pete Hoekstra to take over as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and for Bush family favorite Connie Mack to assume Goss' seat. No one said a word about it.


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