Tag Archives: Senate
Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.
~ Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) announcing his decision to switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, thus giving the Democrats 60 seats once Al Franken is seated.
What does this mean for the filibuster? Very little. Senator Ben Nelson and Specter are still going to moderate votes in the Democratic Caucus, but it will make it easier for Specter to vote with the Democrats. He will no longer have the scorn of an entire caucus when he makes tough choices on bills like the stiumlus.
What this does signify is a massive blow to the Republican Party. This is strong evidence that the Republican Party has relegated itself to being a Southern Regional Party… far too conservate for even mainstream Republicans. To those who think 2010 will be a rough year for Democrats… think again.
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…)
Senator David Vitter (R-LA) made headlines in 2007 when he admitted to hiring prostitutes from the infamous “D.C. Madam.”Â Vitter is now back in the news–this time for a incident involving a missed flight at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.Â According to Roll Call newspaper, Vitter was running late to catch a United Airlines flight back to Louisiana.Â When he arrived at the gate, the agent had already finished boarding the flight and had closed the jetway door.Â Roll Call’s anonymous source tells the newspaper that Vitter attempted to board the flight anyway.Â He allegedly opened the jetway door (which set off an alarm) and yelled at the gate agent.Â When the agent left to call security, Vitter disappeared.Â The TSA is investigating the incident.
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.
The Kentucky 2010 Senate race just got even crazier.
The seat that is up for election is the one that Jim Bunning currently holds. He is in his second term, and is planning on running for a third in 2010. However, the Kentucky Senate President, David Williams, said he would be interested in running and met with some national committee that helps potential candidates. Jim Bunning then announced that, if Williams ran against him, he would sue, since he had leant money to a few state Senate races a few years ago. Apparently Williams had agreed to repay Bunning by holding a fundraiser for him during the 2010 election season. This brought up massive questions about how Bunning was using his money and if it was legal. He also made the “I will sue” statement within only a few days of saying Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was going to die within the next nine months.
Just when he thought it was safe to be the junior senator from Illinois, Roland Burris found a way to screw things up again. According to the Los Angeles Times, Â Burris acknowledges that at the request of the former governor’s brother he tried to raise $15,000 for the embattled governor. However, he later said it would be inappropriate for him to be donating to Blagojevich. After this relevation, both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times are calling for Burris’ resignation.Â U.S. Senate Ethics Committee is looking into the case as well. I didn’t like Burris from the start. He was a self-absorbed politician (remember the tombstone?) that hadn’t done any good for our state in years. Then, since no one wanted the tainted Senate seat, he was the first one to put his hand up when the offer came to his desk. Harry Reid said that he would seat Burris under one condition; that he tell the truth in his Senate testimony. According to this, he didn’t. That said, Roland needs to step down. If that was the only precondition, then he has failed at that and does not belong in the Senate. However, I doubt he will ever step down. Burris’ ego is to big for him to do something like that.
Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter is up for re-election in 2010. Â One person that has already thrown her hat in the ring to run against Vitter is Stormy Daniels. Who is this woman? Well, Stormy is a porn star. Friends drafted her to run against Vitter through a Craigslist contest. Apparently she has the most experience and potential out of all the porn stars that were in the running. However, Stormy isn’t sure whether or not she wants to run. I know the College Democrats don’t normally campaign for Republicans, but wouldn’t this be an awesome campaign to work for?
There once was a time when my state had a seat
In need of some filling, so up rose the heat.
And while Kennedy gets the most press
There are others willing to take the test
Yet Maureen Dowd barely gives them a bleat.
Last week Governor Gladiator (Granholm) announced the creation of nearly 7,500 jobs in the State of Michigan and billions of dollars that are going to be invested in these new jobs.
Also, last week President Bush bypassed the Southern Resistance (Senators Corker, McConnell, and Shelby) and created his own auto industry bailout. Funny thing was, the bailout turned out to be almost exactly like what the Senate would have passed two weeks ago. This will aid the industry in these next couple of months and hopefully usher a new era of strength in the American auto industry. You have to give it up to the UAW, the Big Three, Democrats, and President Bush (gasp) for working together and seeing the need to stand with the American worker.
One more thing on the Southern Resistance – (more…)