Blog Archives

George McGovern has died…

Last week or so I wrote about former Senator  George McGovern who had been admitted to a hospice with a deadly disease. Now, at 90 years old, McGovern has died.

McGovern ran for President 3 times and was nominated once, but lost to Richard Nixon. He was a North Dakota’s Representative to the U.S. House from 1957 to 1961 and a U.S. Senator from 1963 to 1981. For 24 years he was one of the leaders of the Democratic Party.

 

What is it about Republicans and their need to create wars?

Here’s where to look for a World News Daily article by Jamal Abdi: New Senate Push to Pledge Unconditional Support for Israeli “Preventive” War on Iran.

Before reading it, here’s the first couple of sentences:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is planning to press the Senate next month to pledge U.S. troops, money, and political support to Israel should Bibi Netanyahu launch a preventive war on Iran.

Graham claims his effort would merely make explicit that the U.S. has Israel’s back. But when your friend is drunk, you don’t hand them the keys. If Graham has his way, he will hand Bibi the keys and lend him our car, while the rest of us ride shotgun.

If this gets you at all nervous about creating a new major mideast war at the behest of Israel (and Lindsay Graham), then get ready to write your senator.

 

The next time Romney says Obama did nothing to create jobs, introduce him to Mitch McConnell…

 

Thanks To Connecticut Against Linda McMahon

The President’s Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012 would have spent $1 billion over five years to put veterans to work tending to federal lands, and in the nation’s police and fire departments. Created by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), it was based on FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Republicans say they opposed the bill because there is no proof that it would work. Forty Republican members of the United States Senate betrayed veterans when they decided that denying President Obama a victory was more important than spending $1 billion to create jobs for vets.

It doesn’t matter to most Senate Republicans that the CCC put 2.5 million people to work. When confronted with an actual jobs program for America’s vets, including the 220,000 who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the majority of Republicans claimed the plan, which was already offset, was too expensive.

This is all part of Mitch McConnell’s stated goal to let Obama accomplish nothing. In so doing, he has made America worse. Here’s hoping vets in Kentucky make sure he loses the election.

 

What is it about Republicans and Rape?

Tom Smith is running for Senate against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. When the Akin/Ryan/Rape business came up he was interviewed by Mark Scolforo of the Associated Press. Catch this:

SCOLFORO: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?

SMITH: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose the way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.

SCOLFORO: Similar how?

SMITH: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.

SCOLFORO: That’s similar to rape?

SMITH: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.

Perhaps Republicans have no real idea what Rape is… a violent and immoral crime. For the state to have control of a woman’s decisions related to the use of her body is equally as violent, whether psychologically or physically, and just as criminally immoral.

At least we know now that birth out of wedlock is “similar” to rape.

I hope you Pennsylvania folks keep a very good Senator that you are lucky to have… Bob Casey.

(Special thanks to Wonkette for the transcript.)

Wow! Charlie Crist Endorses Obama!

 

Charlie Crist, former Republican Governor of Florida and now an Independent, has endorsed Barack Obama in an article in the Tampa Bay Times. This could have a major effect on more centrist Republicans at the convention and reduce the influence of the Tea Party. Here’s part of the article:

 

As Republicans gather in Tampa to nominate Mitt Romney, Americans can expect to hear tales of how President Obama has failed to work with their party or turn the economy around.

But an element of their party has pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they’ve proven incapable of governing for the people. Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion, even for rape victims.

The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve.

Pundits looking to reduce something as big as a statewide election to a single photograph have blamed the result of my 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate on my greeting of President Obama. I didn’t stand with our president because of what it could mean politically; I did it because uniting to recover from the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes was more important than party affiliation. I stood with our nation’s leader because it was right for my state.

President Obama has a strong record of doing what is best for America and Florida, and he built it by spending more time worrying about what his decisions would mean for the people than for his political fortunes. That’s what makes him the right leader for our times, and that’s why I’m proud to stand with him today.

 

Crist’s endorsement has raised a lot of controversy in the press and everyone wonders how effective it will be.

 

Thanks to Victoria Lamb Hatch for a clarifying statement on Republican actions…

I often quote other articles on this blog, but rarely do I repost other reader’s comments on posts. However, I was reading a Think Progress article on the Republican proposal to cut social programs but leave military funding alone and found this comment by Victoria Lamb Hatch:

Let’s see — we need to trim the budget. What to cut, what to cut? (thinking)

Should we eliminate military equipment that even the Pentagon says they don’t need? No.

Should we close some tax loopholes that benefit mostly the rich and large corporations? No.

Should we eliminate tax subsidies that go to corporations making billions of dollars in profits? No.

Should we take away school lunches from low-income children, and gut programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and other social services that benefit people who are struggling? Of course. They can’t afford high-priced lobbyists.

I can remember a time when I believed the GOP to be a party with a political ideology that differed from mine. Now I just see them as hateful and cruel.

See what I mean? A clear statement that you can carry to the bank.

If we don’t make cuts across the whole spectrum AND return to taxes on corporations and the wealthy to bring back our economic health, then we might as well toss the two-party system into the trash.

The House has voted to take away your privacy – what do you do now?

Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed CISPA – the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act – by a vote of 248-168. CISPA now goes to the Senate.

CISPA gives the government, including military spy agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), virtually unlimited powers to capture our personal informationmedical records, private emails, financial information — all without a warrant or proper oversight.

Tell Your Senators: Stop CISPA.

And this is not just a Democrats vs. Republicans thing…Civil liberties groups and progressives unanimously opposed the bill, but so did Ron Paul.

President Obama warned the House that he will veto the bill because it does not protect our privacy, but they ignored his warnings.

Let’s hope he doesn’t have to. Get word to the Senate now.

Why do they call these “Debates?”

I spend a lot of my time lately watching the House of Representatives on C-Span and the Senate on C-Span 2. In the last few weeks as the subject of the deficit and the National Debt dominate the programming when the two houses are in session (rarely on Mondays or Fridays while they are “traveling”).

So, on the three days a week that they are working, what do our “representatives” do?

Take away the committee hearings, many of which are not available to us, although C-Span works very hard to show as many as possible, and we are left with something they call “debates.” I don’t know about you, but I was in the Debating Club as a teenager and I have a pretty good idea of how a debate is structured. These alternating speeches by members of either house are really a series of statements conveying the points of view and policies that their parties have frozen into unchangeable position.

This is upsetting, because if one member comes up with a new idea, or an explanation of how history shows one action working and another failing… the great benefit of actual experience… the conclusion of the speech does not bring forth a discussion on those points from the opposition. Instead, we hear another speech ignoring the opposition’s points which, at its conclusion, faces the same ignorance by the other side.

So these alternating presentations do nothing to allow one side to convince the other of the value of a position. THEY ARE NOT LISTENING TO EACH OTHER! I have no idea why they go on with this farce… much less why they do it in front of us. the frustrated public that actually does listen, contacts their representatives’ offices, but rarely gets changes that they are looking for… often in large majorities of responders.

To top it off, the Congressmen and Senators of each side take their points of view, often very different, and constantly say “this is what the majority of Americans want.”

I’ll bet the majority of Americans would really like them to listen to each other and to the public and come up with real solutions to real problems.

I rest my case.

Jobs Bill Killed!

This was sent to me this morning in John Case’s Daily Mailing:

Another Jobs Bill Killed via Open Congress : Blog by Donny Shaw on 6/23/11

On June 6th, the Senate opened debate on the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011, a bill to reauthorize and expand a long-running and consistently successful job-creation agency, the
Economic Development Administration. The EDA has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, and this reauthorization bill was introduced with bipartisan co-sponsorship and passed out of committee without any dissent from Republicans. But after two weeks of debate, the bill was unanimously filibustered by Republicans and has now been pulled from the floor.

Like the last jobs bill to die in the Senate, the bill was bogged down and ultimately killed by dozens of controversial and unrelated amendments that were submitted to it. Senate rules do not requireamendments to be germane to the bill they are submitted to, so individual senators can choose to use any bill to force a vote on any of their pet issues. By the time the EDA bill was killed, 99 amendments had been submitted, and the list read like an overview of current hot-button political topics. The amendments included everything from raising the debt ceiling, to repealing health care reform, repealing financial regulatory reform, expanding offshore oil drilling, and more.

This problem of non-controversial bills being killed by controversial amendments has its roots in a deal on procedure that Democratic and Republican Senate leaders agreed to at the beginning of this session.
In exchange for Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] keeping bills open to amendments, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [R, KY] and his caucus agreed to not mount filibusters of bringing bills to the floor as a matter of routine. As a result, the Democratic majority has been able to hold debates on their legislative agenda, but the Republicans have also been able to turn every debate into an attempt to repeal health care reform.

The Senate Majority Leader has almost complete control over what bills get brought up for debate, so it is the case that most Republican issues stand no chance of being voted on this session outside the amendment process. But the Senate can’t vote on every contentious political topic for every bill, so Reid has to make a decision when to cut off the amendment process and start moving towards passing the underlying bill. In this case, Reid allowed two Democratic amendments and two Republican amendments to be voted on before filing a motion to end debate and move forward towards passage. But since most senators didn’t get to have their pet amendments voted on, they voted against
 he motion to end debate and essentially forced a filibuster. Even Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK], an original co-sponsor of the bill, voted for the filibuster.

And so gridlock prevails, even on the one issue that everyone claims to care about — job creation. Just another example of why Americans have less confidence in Congress than any other institution in American society.

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So the next time Mitch McConnell complains about Obama not doing anything to create jobs, send this article to his office and ask “Why?”

Why I love (and support) Bernie Sanders…

As the debate over deficits ramped up in Washington today, Sen. Bernie Sanders laid out the compelling case not to slash programs for working families. Any deficit reduction package must rely on new revenue for at least half the reduction in red ink, he added in a major address in the Senate. Sanders spoke at length about what caused deficits (wars, Wall Street bailouts, tax breaks for the rich) and how to shrink them (more revenue from the wealthiest Americans to match spending cuts). He urged fellow senators not to yield to Republican congressional leaders who “acted like schoolyard bullies” when they walked out of budget negotiations. And he urged President Obama not to accommodate them again on the backs of working Americans, the poor and the Elderly. He summed up the situation in a letter to the president that had been signed by more than 18,700 people by the time he completed his speech.

Sign the letter »

I’m a West Virginia Senior and my Congresswoman, Shelley Moore Capito, Voted Against ME…

U. S. House Republicans Pass Budget Hurting Seniors

Capito Votes with Party, Abandoning WV Seniors

Shelley Moore Capito

Today, West Virginia Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito sided with House GOP leadership and voted to dramatically cut Medicare – the long-running health care program for seniors.

She has it upside down!

The cuts would radically change Medicare by turning it into a voucher program. These cuts would reopen the prescription drug “Donut Hole” forcing seniors to pay more for their medicines.

“It is outrageous for Capito to vote for these radical cuts,” said West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio. “These cuts to our seniors will cause great hardship in West Virginia. These cuts will mean thousands of dollars to our seniors – forcing many to choose between health care and food. Shelley Moore Capito needs to stand up for West Virginians instead of the House Republican leaders’ radical agenda. I commend Democratic Congressman Nick Rahall for speaking out against this bill.”

Here’s what Capito did to screw her Senior constituents like ME:

End Medicare As We Know It. “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

Republican Plan Brings Back “Donut Hole” Coverage Gap for Prescription Drugs. (this is extremely important to me as a Senior who takes 1 different pills a day and two different insulin shots) Ryan’s plan brings back the coverage “gap in Medicare prescription drug” benefit. [Associated Press, 4/06/11]

Congressional Budget Office: GOP Budget Raises Health Costs for Retirees. “Most future retirees would pay more for health care under a new House Republican budget proposal, according to an analysis by nonpartisan experts for Congress that could be an obstacle to GOP ambitions to tame federal deficits. […] The budget office gave two reasons future retirees can expect to pay more. First, private plans would cost more than traditional Medicare because of such factors as higher administrative costs. Second, the federal contribution would grow more slowly than health care cost inflation, leaving a bigger gap for beneficiaries to pay.”  [AP, 4/6/11]

AARP: Budget Undermines Vital Programs for Older Americans. “Among its provisions, the proposal would drive up costs for people in Medicare, take away needed coverage for long-term care from millions of older and disabled Americans and reduce critical help for seniors facing the threat of hunger.”  [AARP press release, 4/7/11]

GOP Budget Would Almost Double Healthcare Costs For Seniors. “The Republican congressman’s proposal to privatize Medicare would mean a dramatic hike in U.S. healthcare costs for the elderly, an independent analysis finds. Seniors would pay almost double — more than $12,510 a year.” [LA Times, 4/7/11]

And Capito keeps sending me e-mail about all the great things she is doing for West Virginians! Whenever I send her e-mails about the things I’d like her to support, she follows the Tea Party Line instead. All it means is I’ll work twice as hard to get her out of office… if it means using this blog and my radio show weekly on WSHC.

Shelley, you suck!

Bernie Sanders on the Republican Budget Proposal

He makes it SO clear! Everyone should hear him. The Republicans are building a world for the Rich by funding it with the scraps the Middle Class has been left with. And after that, what will we be left with? Does NOTHING sound familiar?

Take 12 minutes and listen to Bernie:

Show support for the Wisconsin 14…

Andrew Leonard pointed out in a Salon article today that the real value of the 14 Democratic State Senators in Wisconsin who are carrying out their Northern Illinois stall is that they have given the whole country time to see what is really happening in the US Economy. Here’s a clip from his article:

Andrew Leonard in Salon:

The question of who has won or lost Wisconsin, ultimately, will await the next election. But after mulling Hall’s McClatchy article, it’s clear that no matter what the outcome, those renegade senators did achieve a very real thing. They gave the entire nation the time to take a close look at what’s happening — to really examine the figures on pension funds and the role of unions, both private and public, in the U.S. economy. We have the chance now to compare the Republican political agenda with reality. Will we take it?

If you want to thank these heroes for their ongoing stance in support of collective bargaining with public employee unions… with the preservation of unions themselves… here are their e-mail addresses. Let them know they have the support of the majority of Americans.

Sen.carpenter@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.coggs@legis.wisconsin.gov,
Sen.Cullen@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.erpenbach@legis.wisconsin.gov,
Sen.hansen@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Holperin@legis.wisconsin.gov,
Sen.jauch@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Larson@legis.wisconsin.gov,
Sen.lassa@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.miller@legis.wisconsin.gov,
Sen.risser@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov,
Sen.Vinehout@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.wirch@legis.wisconsin.gov

Republicans lose…

But they’ll bring it up again…

This from the Herald Mail:

clipped from www.herald-mail.com

As expected, the Senate has rejected a Republican attempt to repeal the year-old health care law.
The ultimate fate of the controversial law is expected to be determined by the Supreme Court.
But congressional Republicans emboldened by gains in last fall’s elections have made a priority of trying to wipe it off the books. All 47 members of the GOP rank and file voted for repeal. There were 51 votes to leave it in place, 50 Democrats and one independent.
Earlier, the Senate voted to repeal a small part of the law in an attempt to lessen paperwork requirements for businesses. Obama has already invited lawmakers to take that action.
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Republicans Hide Health Care Law Benefits From Their Constituents

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Two days after a Republican Florida federal court judge voided the entire health care law, the multi-front Republican war against it continues in the Senate, where members will vote today on whether or not to just repeal it, full stop.
Simultaneously, Republican members are trying to sneak grenades into the heart of the law, crafting modifications which they admit are meant to destroy it.
But that presents them with a conundrum when they head back to their states and districts and face constituents who stand to benefit from the law right now — seniors who are entitled to free checkups, and young adults, who can now stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26, for example.

“I’m a practical guy. I believe redoing the bill and replacing it is the best for everybody. Until that day comes, if you have a legitimate need under the current structure, I’ll help you meet it,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “It’s like the stimulus funds — I voted against it but, you know.”

There hasn’t been such partisan warfare about a bill or law since, perhaps, Republicans (and a few Democrats) passed Medicare Part D — the prescription drug benefit — back in 2003.

In a fight that in some ways mirrored the health care reform debate Democratic principals trashed the bill and the legislative process until the moment it became law. There was no talk of “death panels” but it was no secret that Democrats hated that bill, wanted to do it themselves — make sure it was paid for, close the doughnut hole, and otherwise improve it.

At the time, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was ranking minority member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee‘s HealthSubcommittee. He was one of the Medicare bill’s most vocal critics, but he changed tone after his constituents served to benefit from it.
Sherrod Brown, member of the United States Senate.

Sherrod Brown

“I worked with senior centers. I recall I sent out missives of some kind… to seniors and senior groups to make sure that

they could benefit from this under the law, but again, making sure that the drug companies and insurance companies watching them, that they weren’t gaming the system with higher premiums and taking people off formularies, and all the things that the drug and insurance companies are pretty good at doing.”

.In Republican Ohio today, Brown sees a different dynamic. 

“All I can see is a bunch of conservative Washington politicians who have been benefiting for their whole political careers… from tax-payer financed health insurance taking benefits away from seniors and taking benefits away from families,” he said.

blog it

 

Well, let’s see where the vote goes today… then maybe we can get on to funding the FAA.

So the Senate is at work AGAIN today… on a SUNDAY… Don’t you feel bad for them?

No?

I guess I don’t either. I spent an hour or so watching them debate the START treaty this afternoon… actually debating an amendment or two which are NOT going to get on the bill (they’ll be voting on amendments at 3:00… that’s when I’ll turn it on again)… and was amazed at how frightening it is to have politicians control nuclear weapons. I had to turn the TV off while Senator Kyl was trying to find things to blame Obama on in this treaty… and, of course, to complain about being forced to work when they should be home celebrating Christmas.

Will they get this through by tomorrow or Tuesday? We’ll see. The Republicans are great stallers here and want to take up as much time as possible (and there are some judicial appointments that are taking up space in the Senate minutes as well) and perhaps we will have to leave until the January term begins and the Dems have less Senators and no control on the House. As Driftglass told Bluegal on their on-line broadcast Wednesday, the Republicans are hostage taking thugs that will use all kinds of crap to make important legislation either die or get watered way down. They hold our security hostage and the Dems and Obama are knuckling under. Do you hear the alarm going off?

I didn’t notice if Manchin has shown up today, but I’m not sure it matters. I hate to say it, but I think everything has been pre-decided.  We’ll find out when the votes are over, but I don’t think we’ll be surprised.

Anyway, I hope you are having a nice Sunday and, if you prefer the Senate to a football game or an afternoon movie, I hope you are entertained… and not taken in.

From Andrew Leonard in this morning’s Salon:

clipped from www.salon.com
 

Democrats concede: the tax cut deal passes

Angry House members bow to the same political reality that forced Obama to bend the knee…
 

Pelosi

So this is what bipartisan unity looks like. Rush Limbaugh and Nancy Pelosi agree on at least one thing — they really, really didn’t want to pass Obama’s tax cut deal. But in the end, House Democrats bowed to the same reality that brought the White House to the bargaining table — after the thumping of the midterm elections, they had no leverage to cut a good deal.So after a very long day, with the clock about to strike midnight on the east coast, Democrats and Republicans joined together to approve the deal, by a handy margin, 277-148 The final vote was not, however, as overwhelming as the Senate’s 81-19 total. 111 Democrat representatives dissented, and they did not look like happy campers, as the stood, arms folded across their chests, as the final votes were tallied.

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Excuse me while I puke… this sucks!

Staying out of the weather and watching the Congress…

It’s been snowing steadily since nine this morning and, while the dogs love walking around in it, I’m looking for reasons to stay inside today. One of those reasons is to watch the Senate debate the START treaty, which is not even close to the action in the tax cut extension debates earlier on, and flipping back to the House of Representatives who nearly completed debate on the rule for taxes when Rep. McGovern (D-MA) pulled the bill off the floor. Lawmakers are uncertain if they have enough votes to bring the tax bill to the floor.

Before the debate on the tax bill starts, the House first needs to pass the rule on how the debate and votes will go, with a simple majority vote. If the rule passes, the will be three hours of general debate and one amendment to change the inheritance tax provisions in the bill. For the last two hours, though, nothing has happened and the House is now out. The Democrats were supposed to go into a closed meeting, but the word from CSpan is that the Closed Meeting has been delayed. Whether or not they come back this evening, I don’t know.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which the House voted to end yesterday, went the to Senate and lost. The Senate has failed to get past a roadblock on a bill that would repeal the policy banning gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. The procedural vote failed, 57-40, and was mostly along party lines. Sixty votes were needed to move forward.

All in all, it has been pretty dismal in Congress today.

Overnite: Patty Murray is victor in Washington state… Opponent Rossi concedes.

This was good news. Adding one more Democrat to the Senate majority makes us, thankfully, not dependent on Joe Lieberman

At a news conference last nite, Murray thanked Dino Rossi and his family, saying he had been gracious in defeat. Murray said her priorities in a fourth term will include securing tax cuts for the middle class and helping the Boeing Co. win a lucrative Air Force refueling tanker contract:

“Now we have to get to work. I want to make sure Washington state has what it needs to get its economy back on its feet.”

The only state not finalized on the Senate is Alaska, but that will not help the Democrats. It will be a slap in the face to Sarah Palin if Murkowski‘s write-in campaign beats Tea Party candidate and Palin endorsee Joe Miller. It looks like that will happen by a large margin.

The Denver Post has called Bennet (D) over Buck (R)…

I went to sleep late last night not knowing the results of this one in Colorado. The Denver Post and the NY Times both called it for Bennet this morning.
clipped from www.denverpost.com
Updated: 11/03/2010 08:30:04 AM MDT
Appointed U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet will be elected to the U.S. Senate after pulling ahead of challenger Ken Buck this morning.
Long after most Coloradans — including the candidates and their supporters — had gone to bed, returns from Denver and Boulder moved Bennet past Buck and into the lead, 47.5 percent to 47.1 percent.
A recount would be required if the difference between the two candidates’ vote totals is less than one-half of 1 percent of the highest vote total, or about 3,900 votes based on current tallies.
Bennet leads by nearly 7,000 votes with an estimated 30,000 still to be counted in Boulder County.
The result carries implications for the balance of power in the Senate — which, with the Democrats’ loss of the House, looms crucial for President Obama’s ability to continue his agenda. Although Republicans needed a net gain of 10 seats to assume the Senate majority, late returns had them narrowing the gap but falling short of gaining control.
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Want to know your Senator’s record on Support for the Arts?

The Senate Report Card has been made available by The Americans for the Arts Action Fund and it is quite revealing. Statistics cover the previous year (which is why Robert Byrd…one of only three Democrats on the Failing list… appears, and why Scott Brown in Massachusetts has an incomplete) and are quite revealing.

Go HERE to see the list and grades.

How the Senate Voted Last Year (Thanks to Congress.org)

Here are the most asked-about votes of 2010 with links to how your lawmakers voted:

1. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Reconciliation
Passed (56-43, 1 Not Voting)

The Senate passed the final version of a bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system in March using a procedure known as reconciliation, which allows the Senate to bypass a filibuster with a simple majority.

The bill mandates that individuals buy health insurance with exceptions for certain religious groups and those who cannot afford coverage. Those who do not buy insurance will be subject to a tax.

Under the bill, beginning in 2014 insurance companies cannot deny coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions, and cannot drop coverage of people who become ill. In addition, a section of the bill makes the federal government the sole originator of student loans.

2. Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
Agreed to (60-39)

The Senate passed the final version of the financial regulation reform legislation in July. The bill creates new regulatory procedures to assess risks posed by large financial institutions and facilitate the orderly dissolution of failing firms that pose a threat to the economy.

It will also create a new federal agency to oversee consumer financial products, bring the derivatives market under significant federal regulation and give shareholders and regulators greater say on executive pay.

3. Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act
Agreed to (61-39)

The Senate passed this bill in August to provide $16.1 billion to extend increased Medicaid assistance to states and $10 billion in funding for states to create or retain teachers’ jobs. The cost of the programs will be offset by changing foreign tax provisions, ending increased food stamp benefits beginning in April 2014 and rescinding previously enacted spending.

4. Nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court
Confirmed (63-37)

The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in August. The former dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan had served as Obama’s solicitor general since March of 2009 and was the first woman to hold the position. She replaced Justice John Paul Stevens, who had been appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1975.

5. 2011 Defense Authorization, Cloture
Rejected (56-43, 1 Not Voting)

The Senate rejected this attempt to start debate on the 2011 Defense spending bill, which would authorize $725.7 billion in discretionary funding for defense programs. The bill would have also repealed a 1993 law that codified the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning military service by openly gay men and women.

I don’t think Raese gives a damn about West Virginia…

…or else he wouldn’t be maintaining his family home in Florida. When are we going to let this guy know that he should go to Florida full time?
clipped from politicalwire.com

Raese’s Wife Won’t Be Voting for Him

Roll Call reports the wife of West Virginia U.S. Senate candidate John Raese (R) “is being purged from the state’s voter rolls because she is also registered to vote in Florida.”

 

Elizabeth Raese “is registered to vote in both states but has not voted in West Virginia since 1998. But in an interview this week with Time magazine, she indicated that she would be — and has been — voting in West Virginia.”

Meanwhile, a new ccAdvertising survey finds Gov. Joe Manchin (D) leading Raese, 43% to 40%.

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For our Friends in Kentucky…

I received this in the email:

Bill,

My adult son Michael committed suicide in July, after three years fighting an addiction to prescription painkillers. This is a painful story, a personal story. It’s not easy for me to share.

But I decided to share my story for Jack Conway, because I want to prevent another family from having to suffer what my family went through.

In response, Mr. Paul directly insulted me, calling my story “creepy.”

My son’s life was not “creepy.” And my baby grandson sure isn’t “creepy.” Both are blessings, as his second child due in February will be also.

When Rand Paul attacks people who are suffering instead of offering solutions, it shows he doesn’t understand Kentucky.

And that’s why I’m asking you to help me defeat Rand Paul and elect Jack Conway — someone who has tackled drug abuse as Kentucky’s Attorney General and actually understands Kentucky families.

Watch the video I did for Jack Conway today, and share it with your friends:

Sometimes I hear people say Rand Paul just has a few wacky ideas, and he won’t really hurt anyone. Well, it hurts my family — and thousands of other families in Kentucky — when Rand Paul just dismisses life-or-death issues in our state.

It’s a shame Rand Paul reacted that way, but this issue is bigger than he is. Kentuckians deserve someone in the United States Senate who understands them and who will fight for them. I know Jack Conway is that person.

That’s why I’m asking for your help to beat Rand Paul and elect Jack Conway — start by watching the video of my story and sharing it with those you know.

Thank you for hearing me out, and thank you for supporting Jack Conway.

Sincerely,

Mike Donta
Ashland, KY

We’ve been hearing lots of things about Rand Paul’s attitude toward his potential citizenry if he is elected… and it is not pretty. Kentucky has a bad habit of inflicting unusually negative Senators and Representatives on the rest of us (Mitch McConnell and his public revelation that they will only vote NO to any Democratic proposed legislation). Mike Donta’s story is one of many.

Sorry, Senator Dorgan… No Cloture on Overseas Business Bill

Requiring a 60 vote plurality to avoid filibuster on the Senate bill S.3816 to tax overseas investments to keep jobs from being taken away from our shores (see yesterday’s post “Why it’s important that we get behind Senator Byron Dorgan…“), the opportunity to correct a real problem was killed by a when only 53 Senators voted for Cloture. This fell seven votes short of allowing the bill to even be discussed by the Senate.

Along with the Republicans who all voted this out was that traitor to the Middle Class  Joe Lieberman (Asshole – CT) who is, hopefully, going to be retired at the end of his term. A vote against this bill really indicates who may be in the pockets of big corporations that refuse to pay taxes to the country they made their mark in as they give 50¢ an hour jobs to Mexicans and the Chinese. I’m beginning to think that some of the Teaparty complaints may have some validity (it’s too bad they are so stupid about so many other things.)

_____

Note: It has just been announced that former President Jimmy Carter has been hospitalized in Cleveland, OH. The former President has been on a book tour where he has been making three or more appearances a day… possibly draining on an 86-year-old.

We wish President Carter our best and hope he is back out on the tour soon.