I had really hoped to get some thoughts out regarding priorities in this election this past week, but between the disaster caused by hurricane Sandy (including impacts to family and friends in the region) and finishing up fall chores, it just would not happen. After the election and before the convening of the next Congress in January we will speak to the legislative priorities that must be addressed in Washington (beyond the typical lame-duck activities that will go on at the end of this Congress). -Ed.
Today some brief thoughts about how the victors of the 2012 election will spin our confidence in them into mandates. We often hear how such-and-such an office-holder has a “mandate” from their constituents, typically based on real issues discussed …
James Joyner at OTB, this morning brings news abot the latest action of Eric Holder’s Justice Dept:
Attorney General Eric Holder has dropped the case against Ted Stevens, NPR’s Nina Toalatenberg reports.
A jury convicted Stevens last fall of seven counts of lying on his Senate disclosure form in order to conceal $250,000 in gifts from an oil industry executive and other friends. Stevens was the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, however, he lost his bid for an eighth full term in office just days after he was convicted. Since then, charges of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing and prompted defense motions for a new trial.
According to Justice Department officials, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to drop the case against
Thank goodness there must have been SOME voice of reason in the US House today regarding the switch to digital television transmission and the shutting down of analog transmissions. Although the special rules required a 2/3 vote to approve, at least the House did not roll over and give in like the idiots in the Senate on Monday night (who voted for this travesty unanimously).
Why is this bill a problem?
Well, we understand and accept the fact that, ahem, 4% of households have not yet switched to the digital format (most simply needing a $50 converter box that the government has been providing a $40 coupon for now for over a year now. Evidently, part of the issue is the sudden delay in sending …
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This year, the US Senate seat currently held by Tom Harkin is up for grabs. I say “up for grabs” in an attempt to relieve us of the idea that the incumbent has no chance to be unseated.
Harkin has been in the US Senate now for 6 terms (24 years). Without a doubt, he has done some good things while in Congress. Probably the most positive, and the one he speaks of the most, is his authoring of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has also been a big supporter of farmers and Iowa’s universities.
Harkin is also known in the state, like Neil Smith (former Congressman from Iowa) was, for bringing a large amount of money back into the state, to the …
I am not surprised at the guilty verdict handed down against US Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on seven counts of making false statements. And nor should anyone else. I stated earlier in the year that Alaskan Republicans needed to find another candidate, but they failed. It amazes me that people like Ted can imagine that they are not only above the law, but that in the midst of failure they should continue on with their struggle for power when they should be focusing on dealing with the issue at hand… planning a appeal. From The Hill:
The senator vowed to “fight this unjust verdict with every ounce of energy I have” and said he would return home to defend his seat.
“I am innocent. This
Our US Senators have approved a version of the $700 Billion Bail-out Bill that provides some new features:
- New tax breaks for businesses
- Raising the FDIC deposit insurance limit from $100,000 to $250,000
Normally, I am all about tax breaks for businesses. I think that is one of the best ways to stimulate growth.
And without a doubt, raising the FDIC limit will help so many… almost rich people. Okay, pretty much just really rich people. I don’t even know anyone that has close to the $100,000 limit in a protected bank instrument, so I’m having a hard time understanding who benefits from this. Maybe someone like Warren Buffet or Dan Rather, but not anyone I know. I take that back, Buffet would have that …
Last week I started taking my bicycle to work. It’s about 7.5 miles as the crow flies, and my shortest (and most difficult) route is about 8.5 miles… the longest (and easiest) route is 13 miles. Downtown Des Moines is at a slightly lower elevation than the suburb of West Des Moines where I live, so mornings aren’t too bad, just a one tough hill, and afternoons, when taking the longer route, is okay except for one really big hill.
I realize that this is not a big deal… the point is NOT that I’m doing anything that great.
But I am saving about a gallon of gasoline each day I do this. That’s about $3.50 a day. At least that covers my coffee money.…
Down! Not alot, but it dropped another $.75 today to $114.45 a barrel.
Meanwhile, the Republican Protest against the Democratic No-Vote Vacation continued into its second full week, with activity at Capital Hill and at town halls throughout the country. House Republicans want everyone (that means you and me) to contact their Democratic representatives and tell them to demand a vote on the American Energy Act (H.R. 6566) immediately.
Politico reports that Democrats are now demanding that House Minority Leader John Boehner apologize for remarks he made on Friday about Nancy Pelosi… regarding the public’s “hanging” her if she does not address the energy topic.
Boehner’s staff later replied with this message:
“Leader Boehner used a figure of speech to reflect the frustration Americans feel every
The Republican Protest of the No-Vote Vacation continues today, with no end in sight. CSPAN showed the following press conference (video courtesy John Boehner’s office) featuring House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), Mike Pence (Indiana), and Jon Porter (Nevada). Excellent, concise, brought a solid message back from their constituents, and continuing the push forward. Worth the 13 minutes to watch:
The best part of the message was the encouragement to all of us to call our congressmen. Call (202)224-2121 and ask to be connected to your congressman/woman. Call and speak to Pelosi as well. Let your them all know you want them back to work in Washington right now to get this energy legislation voted on. And let them know that if they don’t vote …
Although we may all support the notion that one is innocent until proven guilty, we (and Stevens) have a responsibility to ensure that we not only keep our noses clean, we do all we can to avoid the appearance of impropriaty. The fact that Ted managed to get himself in a situation where the FBI and prosecutors are ready to bring him down means that either Ted is guilty, or exceptionally stupid.
The opportunity we have now in Alaska is that there is a primary scheduled in August for the Republican Senatorial Seat, which Stevens’ has held longer than any other sitting Senator, and frankly the Republican voters of Alaska need to make a statement to the entire country that Republicans will not tolerate unethical …