Tag Archives: Congress
Tribal women in line to vote.
Today concluded the first of five phases of the Indian election, where 60% of voters turned out to the polls. (Refer to my earlier post for the basics of the Indian political system.) The states where voting began were Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Lakshwadeep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Â Thousands of troops have been deployed to the states to
With month-long elections in the world’s biggest democracy, it can’t be expected for the process to without a few kinks — or violence. Maoist insurgents in central and eastern India, with landmines and rocket bombs, killed 17 people in 14 attacks at poll stations across India. The Naxalites, the Maoist insurgents, have been battling with the Indian government forever and a day.Â One would think with so many troops deployed, even localized events like this could be avoided.
Currently, it seems as though the current Congress (I) Party and the Bharataya Janata Party will get the majority of votes, while some smaller ethnic and minority parties will take a smaller piece of the pie. Regardless, after the election, new coalitions will have to be stitched together to keep the Indian government in functioning order. The Congress Party, as a reminder, is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s party and India’s explosive economic growth is attributed to them. On another note, the Congress Party has often been criticized for its handling of the 11/26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year. BJP, on the other hand, tends to take hardline stances on terrorism, while inciting friction between Indian Muslims and Christians.
With this only being the beginning, it will be interesting to see the elections pan out. (A whole month of election day coverage? Yes! I know you’re pumped!) Have any questions? Field them here! I’ll definitely do some research and incorporate it into any future blog posts.
Today is April 15. Not only is it my dog Buddy Chou’s birthday, but it is also Tax Day. It’s the day we forfeit our hard earned salaries for the better of our country. In return, we all get representation in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Well, most of us do. Residents of the District of Columbia do not get this right. That’s correct; DCers pay thousands of dollars in taxes each year but still get no representation in Congress. That is literally taxation without representation. TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. Hold up. Isn’t that what people in the 1700s had a huge problem with? They were paying their government yet did not get a vote in anything or anywhere. So, they fixed it. Yay! However, this concern still lingers in Washington D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat from Washington, D.C., has taken it up as her job to get D.C. residents their right to a representative. “Defenders of the Constitution” believe residents of D.C. do not deserve this right because seats in Congress are reserved to representatives of states. Technically, Washington, D.C. is not a state. Is that a fair argument? I’m not buying it. They are paying taxes. They live in America. They deserve the right to have representation in Congress. Are residents of D.C. any less Americans than, say, Californians? Definitely not. (more…)
Congress is supposed to be a collegial place where we expect lawmakers to work together to do the best thing for the country. Supposedly at least. Yet, a Politico article today took the level of discord to a new level:
Peril awaits any first-term lawmaker who ventures to the House floor unprepared for a duel, but Ohio Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy had a particularly rough go of it the other day.
Kilroy took the floor to support an amendment to a popular public-service bill â€” only to face an ambush from Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who hit her hard for her vote on an unrelated American International Group measure.
It wasnâ€™t an accident.
Foxx is part of a team of Republican members that House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has put together to create embarrassing, YouTube-worthy moments for vulnerable Democratic freshmen.
Cantorâ€™s floor staff has created a photo album to help identify the 42 most vulnerable Democrats. The aides send daily e-mails to the members of the attack team and alert lawmakers when these targeted members are speaking on the floor. They even draft quick scripts to help focus the questioning.
This is just bullying at its finest. They can’t do anything in the policy process and are instead picking on the new kids. This is what the Republican Party has been reduced to. It would be sad and pitiful were it not so wildly infuriating. When called upon it, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx from North Carolina said:
Foxx said sheâ€™s surprised that her encounter with Kilroy has gotten so much attention.
â€œAs just a country woman from western North Carolina, Iâ€™m surprised theyâ€™ve paid so much attention to me,â€ Foxx said.
â€œI just thought she should be held accountable for her vote,â€ Foxx said.
The mock humility is absurd. It’s almost kind of nice at this point. If ever you may be slightly frustrated with the Democrats or may not be infuriated, all you have to do is look at what Republicans are doing. This one is just ridiculous
Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-MN-Crazy Town) once again makes a name for herself for being crazy crazy crazy. Watch the clip above and realize that any University undergrad has a better understanding of the American Constitution and the power of the Federal Government in times of crisis. She is dumb. If the Republican Party insists on being the party of blind opposition and ignorance they will never emerge from the “wilderness” Tom Delay, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove rammed their party into in the last eight years.
She is dumb.
Here is Bachman commenting on the Cap and Trade proposal (which the Republicans have branded an energy tax):
â€œI want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us â€˜having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,â€™ and the people â€“ we the people â€“ are going to have to fight back hard if weâ€™re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.â€
There is a difference between being hte LOYAL opposition and just being in opposition. Historically, the opposition is still loyal to the nation and occupies a place to keep the majority party in place. Bachman is intent on ruining Obamas program and any chance for success since the Republican Pary refuses to put forward any comprehensive alternatives to Obama’s plan.
Michelle Bachman is a dumb person. There. I said it.
President Obama announced recently that the food safety system in our country is a “hazard to public health” and needs to be reformed. We all know that the latest of a series of problems with the food safety system was with the salmonella outbreak in peanut butter. However, the industry recently sided with the government.Â
The cereal manufacturer Kellogg met with Congress today to “urge Congress… to revamp how the government polices [the industry].” According to the article, Kellogg lost $70 million from having to recall products because of the salmonella outbreak. The head of the company wants the government to make companies have safety plans written out and have the federal government conduct yearly health inspections of “facilities that make high-risk foods.”
I am glad that a manufacturer stepped up and asked Congress to pass health safety laws. While Kellogg could probably get away with major health violations under the current system, it shows that they care and want to protect the consumers rather than only worrying about profit. It was great that Kellogg did this, and I hope other industries back Kellogg up on this decision.
There has been long speculation that Sen Arlen Specter (R-PA) may leave the Republican party due to a likely primary challenge from the right from ultra-conservative Club for Growth President Pat Toomey (who would get destroyed in a general election). Mathmatically, it doesn’t make sense for Specter to continue as a Republican. With his vote for the stimulus package and likely vote for EFCA, the Democrats in Pennsylvania love him, but the Republicans will never give him the nomination again. And so it seemed that the only way for Specter to remain in the Senate is to leave the Republican party. (It’s important to note here that in Pennsylvania you cannot run for one party’s nomination and then, if you lose, run in the general election as an independent, a la Joe Lieberman).
This has all been speculation, until today. Earlier, Specter made some interesting comments about possibly running as an independent in 2010. The Hill reports:
He said in an interview with The Hill that the role of the Republican Party in Washington is too vital for him to switch to the Democratic side.
â€œIâ€™m staying a Republican because I think I have a more important role to play there,â€ he said. â€œI think the United States very desperately needs a two-party system. … And Iâ€™m afraid that weâ€™re becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party.â€
At the same time, Specter said he is open to the possibility of running as an Independent with the understanding that he would caucus with Republicans, just as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) did with Democrats in 2006.
Though he left that option on the table, he suggested it would be a last resort.
This position is noticeably different from before, when he wouldn’t even entertain the notion of not running as a Republican.
So, what do you all think? Should he run as a Republican, Independent, or a Democrat? Or maybe not run at all? And if he runs as an independent, with whom should he caucus?
For full disclosure I’m not an economist, I don’t even play one on TV, but what follows is my best efforts to understand the economic crisis and two easy ways to make it worse.
The Senate approved the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act (S. 160) last Thursday, by a 61-37 vote. If the bill becomes law, it will grant the District of Columbia one voting representative in the House of Representatives and one additional representative to Utah.Â The bill is a political compromise that balances the heavily-Democratic District’s seat and with one for Republican-leaning Utah. Currently, the District of Columbia – the so-called “capital of the free world” – is denied representation in Congress.
Unfortunately, an amendment proposed by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) to weaken the District’s gun control laws was added to the legislation on the Senate floor.Â The amendment would legalize semi-automatic weapons and high-powered assault rifles in the city.Â It would overturn the District’s current gun control laws, which were enacted by the city’s democratically-elected legislature and enjoy widespread support in the city.Â Supporters of the amendment argue that citizens need guns to defend themselves in their homes.Â Semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, however, are certainly not necessary for self-protection and legalizing them will only undercut law enforcement efforts in the District and potentially endanger the city’s residents, as well as its brave and dedicated police officers.
Thursday’s Senate vote was a significant step towards granting American citizens living in the District of Columbia the same democratic rights as citizens living elsewhere in the country.Â The House will likely take up consideration of its version of the bill sometime this week.Â It will probably pass the bill without the gun amendment, leaving open the possibility that the gun amendment could be dropped in conference committee.Â President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.