Category Archives: Congress

Obama, Congress, and Deficit Spending

Props to Senator Jim Bunning, for exposing the slip-shod manner that the Democrats even went about changing the law in order to borrow and spend billions. The billions would have been spent on supporting the chronically unemployed (instead of retraining them), repairing the failing infrastructure of the 1950s (instead of building high speed rail), and other Old Left policies long on economic distribution and short on investment.

Jim Bunning, you are my hero of the day. Good show!

Props to Reid

I realize it’s fashionable among conservative bloggers to bash Harry Reid (D-NV, the Senate Majority Leader) for whatever reason, but the recent attacks on him for refusing to seat Roland Burris (D-IL) are inane.

The Constitution gives each House of Congress the authority to judge its own members. From Article I, Section V, of the US Constitution:

Section 5: Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.
Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.
Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.
Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

That some “conservatives” are now criticizing Reid by relying on an activist decision by the Warren Court should be a warming that many so-called “conservatives” are just Republican Party hacks who jump at any opportunity to embarrass the Democrats.

Hopefully after Governor Blagoevich (D-IL) is impeached, the next Governor can appoint someone appropriate to the seat. I have previously suggested that Tammy Duckworth is sufficiently Obamariffic for our age, and his scathing review of her by Firedoglake emphasizes my view. Anyone Firedoglake despises can’t be all bad!

Turning off the Lights

Courtesy of Slashdot, this is funny:

The Crypt: House Dems turn out the lights but GOP keeps talking – Politico.com
Update 3 – Democrats just turned out the lights again. Republicans cheered.

Update 4 – Republican leaders just sent out a notice looking for a bullhorn and leadership aides are trying to corral all the members who are still in town to come speak on the floor and sustain this one-sided debate.

Also, Republicans can thank Shadegg for turning on the microphones the first time. Apparently, the fiesty Arizona conservative started typing random codes into the chamber’s public address system and accidentally typed the correct code, allowing Republicans brief access to the microphone before it was turned off again.

“I love this,” Shadegg told reporters up in the press gallery afterward. “Congress can be so boring…This is a kick.”
» Continue reading House Dems turn out the lights but GOP keeps talking

Update 4 – The scene on the floor is kind of crazy. Normally, members are not allowed to speak directly to the visitor galleries, or visitors are prohibited from cheering. But in this case, the members are walking up and down on the floor during their speeches, standing on cheers, the visitors are cheering loudly. Some members even brought in visitors, who are now sitting on the House floor in the seats normally filled by lawmakers, cheering and clapping. Very funny.

If only politics were always this fun!

Pelosi tries to censor… Congress on the ‘Net!

An important post from my friend Mark Safanski:

zenpundit.com » Blog Archive » Nancy Pelosi vs. Social Media, Free Speech and Democracy
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would like very much to reimpose the old, so-called, “Fairness Doctrine” that once censored conservative opinion on television and radio broadcasting, is scheming to impose rules barring any member of Congress from posting opinions on any internet site without first obtaining prior approval from the Democratic leadership of Congress. No blogs, twitter, online forums – nothing.

This was first reported to me by Congressman John Culberson (R-Tx) and I asked for approval to cite him and for any media links to this story. He provided the following link of regulations proposed by the Chair of the Congressional Commission on Mailing Standards (PDF) Congressman Michael Capuno (D-Mass) that was sent to Rep. Robert Brady, Chairman of the House Committee for Administration. The net effect of the regs would be to make it practically impossible for members of Congress to use social media tools to discuss official business or share video of the same with the public while creating a partisan disparity in what little approved messages might be permitted. It would be a very considerable error to assume that the House leadership intends to let dissenting Democratic members post any more freely than Republicans.

Mark is out front on this one. I don’t see anything from other blogs, but Safranski’s serious and knowledgeable, so this is for real.

Stop Pelosi! Free the Congress!

The Sysadmin Industrial Complex goes to Washington

Barnett, T.P.M. (2007). I was — quite literally — a night deposit at the FDIC. Thomas P.M. Barnet :: Weblog. September 7, 2007. Available online: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2007/09/i_wasquite_literallya_night_de.html.

From Tom’s blog:

I am the first to quasi-testify to the panel. We meet in a HASC room with me at the center of the U (open end) and the seven of them surrounding me. Cooper asks me to start off and I do an impromptu summary of both books and my thinking in general, highlighting on the SysAdmin-Leviathan split, AFRICOM, and the Dept of Everything Else. Asked for some focal points on incremental change, I cite: 1) Africom’s stand-up, 2) the possible creation of a civilian reserves corps, 3) the rise of the SysAdmin industrial complex through the lens of Lock-Mart’s acquisition of PA&E (I use Dan [tdaxp’s] concept a lot in discussions with people), and the likely suggestion of the HELP Commission (where I testified a long while back) regarding the splitting off of USAID from State (fingers crossed!).

It’s an honor!

(And “Sysadmin Industrial Complex” rolls off the tongue easier than “Military Industrial Complex “anyway!)

Disagreeing with South Dakota Politics

I like South Dakota Politics, a lot, but after checking the blog on my reader I find two posts to especially disagree with.

  1. SDP criticizes liberals for backing higher gas prices

    But as I wrote:

    It makes no sense to import vast amounts of oil from unstable petrokleptocracies. Oil revenues allow corrupt elites to avoid real reform and buy-off (often dangerous) special interests. It diverts capital from New Core growth economies to these backwords pits. It helps funds Islamic terrorism. It exposes us to another oil shock.

    and also…

  2. SDP says that Congress is less popular than the President

    But as I wrote:

    The reason: the American people are opposed to Congress as an institution, but are not so opposed to the President. Political science research (see, for instance, Congress as Public Enemy or Stealth Democracy) shows that Americans are opposed to the idea of a body that is dedicated to political compromise making decisions for us. We would rather our government be in the hands of experts, or people who are able to ignore politics and get things done.

Increase gas prices. Ignore Congress’s job approval.

Hate Crimes

Final vote results for roll call 298, from South Dakota Politics and South Dakota War College.

The best argument in favor of Hate Crimes legislations is that Hate Crimes Laws are actually Anti-Terrorist Laws. Terrorists, such as today’s al Qaeda and yesterday’s Ku Klux Klan kill people for the same reason that politicans pass laws: to get things done. al Qaeda wants America out of the mid-east, just as the Klan wanted America out of the south-east. This subverts the political process.

Hate violence is political violence. When a black or homosexual is murdered for being in the wrong neighborhood, this killing is done by those who wish to answer the political question, “who should live in our neighborhood?“, through violence. However, if that same person was killed by his boyfriend in a quarrel, such would be a murder among murders. In the same way, if a PLO suicide bomber kills an Israeli, the world properly calls it terror and vows to pursue the terrorist to the ends of the earth. But, if that same Israeli was killed by her boyfriend, the world calls it “crime” and expects the police to handle it in the normal procedure. For that matter, the hateful political violence of 9/11, which killed almost three-thousand Americans, is considered much more serious than vitamin deficiency, which may easily top that number.

Hate crimes are attempts to subvert the political system, while regular crimes are attempt to subvert the justice system. When a man kills a friend, he attempts to go around the law-courts in a “he done me wrong” manner. He has no larger goals, and is thus merely a law-and-order threat for the country. However, when a man killers another out of hate, he attempts to go around the Congress and legislature. He is killing for a reason.

Thus, my Representative’s (Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-SD) vote against hate crimes protections for veterans and soldiers is sickening. If I gave her and Nancy Pelosi intellectual credit, I would say that are more interested in protecting their supporters from terrorist violence than they are in reducing terrorism. However, I don’t give them credit. The Democratic-Party Congress has been a disaster. Vote Republican.

I apologize for supporting the Democratic Party

Stearns, S. 2007. Bush repeats call for war funding bill without conditions. VOA News. April 14, 2007. Available online: http://voanews.com/english/2007-04-14-voa17.cfm

What’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats in Congress? Republicans will waste everyone’s time with crazy, useless regulations. Democrats will weaken the country.

I deeply regret my hurtful advice to vote Democrat. The Democratic Party has no business having a single seat in Congress..

The latest stunt of attaching a timetable to the war spending bill is harmful and dangerous. We should leave Iraq — now. The only meaningful purpose of “the surge” is to intimidate Iran. There are easier and cheaper ways of doing this. The Iraqi Sunni Arabs will be slaughtered when we leave, but we already changed their history for the worse anyway, so why not speed the killing.

While Bush has incompetently fought the rebuilding of Iraq, has not looked weak. Every country in the world realizes that the United States of America is led by a dangerous bulldog who will tear down everything in pursuit of his goals. Frankly, there are worse reputations to have.

Yet Nancy Pelosi, that “mackerel-headed ho,” is trying her best to screw even this up. By attempting to execute foreign policy in violation of the fact that the President is the executive, she made our country appeared divided even when it came to official channels. By playing with war funding, she raises the specter of an earlier Democratic Congress’s betrayal of the Republic of Vietnam.

At this point, I do not care if decapitated boyscouts are found in the offices of the Republican Congressional Leadership. The GOP must win back the House and the Senate in ’08.

The American People Aren’t Against This Congress; They Are Against Any Congress

I’m normally sympathetic to South Dakota Politics, but their defense of President Bush’s low job approval numbers (36.5% for, 60.3% against) by comparing them to the low job approval fo Congress (35.0% for, 55.8% against) misses the mark.

SDP blogger Ken Blanchard writes:

I anxiously await Chad [of left-wing South Dakotan blog Clean Cut Kid] telling me why the bad news only counts when its bad for Republicans.

The reason: the American people are opposed to Congress as an institution, but are not so opposed to the President. Political science research (see, for instance, Congress as Pulbic Enemy or Stealth Democracy) shows that Americans are opposed to the idea of a body that is dedicated to political compromise making decisions for us. We would rather our government be in the hands of experts, or people who are able to ignore politics and get things done.

It is not surprising that the public has a low view of the Congress. But as long as abolition of Article I is not on the ballot, that really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the American people don’t think highly of Bush. And it’s pretty clear where he lost them (staying too large and too long in Iraq) and where he lost conservatives (Harriet Miers).

However, in Blanchard’s defense, Bush is not running again. He can’t. Therefore this back-and-forth about Bush is somewhat philosophical. The post-presidency has long since begun.