Author Topic: The US Congress; Congressional races  (Read 294549 times)


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The US Congress; Congressional races
« on: May 05, 2007, 03:45:16 AM »
The following article helped me realize we need a thread specifically for the doings/shenanigans of our elected representatives


Air Force Might Cut Pay for Surge  |  By Christian Lowe  |  April 25, 2007
The Air Force’s top officer said Wednesday that if nearly $1 billion in personnel funds taken from the service to pay for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan isn’t restored by the end of the summer, Airmen and civilian employees might not get their pay.

Due to a congressional delay in approving a wartime supplemental funding bill this year, the Pentagon pulled about $880 million from the Air Force’s personnel accounts to make up for a shortfall it warned lawmakers would come in mid-April.

Poll: Should Air Force personnel be used to man Army billets in Iraq?
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael “Buzz” Moseley said at a breakfast meeting with reporters today that the money is coming out of the military personnel account earmarked for the last four months of the year.

“Somebody’s going to have to pay us back,” Moseley said. “You have to pay people every day when they come to work.”

“A: it’s the right thing to do, and B: it’s kind of the law,” he added.

Alert: Tell your public officials how you feel about this issue.

The shortfall could delay permanent change of station moves, temporary duty expenses and other pays that “take care of people,” he said.

On April 15, the Army announced it would have to cut training, depot repair, and maintenance of non war-related gear because funding for the surge in Iraq, combat operations in Afghanistan and other Global War on Terrorism costs was running dry.

The Army also requested that about $1.6 billion be diverted from the Air Force and Navy personnel accounts to help put the wartime funding tab in the black.

With Congress locked in a political battle with the Bush administration over withdrawal deadlines and troop rotation schedules, the $100 billion wartime spending bill to pay for operations through the end of the fiscal year has yet to be signed into law.

Though both the Senate and House have submitted the supplemental bill to the floor for a vote this week, President Bush has vowed a veto over withdrawal deadlines inserted into the law.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace has said if the wartime funds aren’t in place by mid-May, even more drastic cuts will have to be made, including reductions in training for forces on their way to Iraq, which will force the Pentagon to extend the deployments of units already there.

“The comptroller now has a check that they’re going to have to give us back to pay for [personnel] as we get closer to the end of the summer,” Moseley explained, putting the screws to Pentagon and administration budgeteers to recoup the loss.

“I don’t want to have any concerns about getting that money back,” he said. “It would be a breach of faith to take mil-pers money out of a service and then fast forward a couple of quarters and then just say ‘eat it.’”

Moseley said he’ll resist providing Airmen to man jobs the Army and Marine Corps can’t fill due to high operational tempo and increased demand, insisting his service is “drawing some red lines” to deny ground commanders’ requests.

About 20,000 Air Force personnel have filled shortfalls in the ground services’ manning – dubbed “in lieu of taskings” – including convoy and base security operations and even detainee handling jobs. As early as 2005, Air Force security personnel began augmenting Army detainee-handling troops at Camp Bucca prison near Baghdad and have continued to man prison jobs in Iraq.

“We don’t guard prisoners, we don’t even have a prison,” Moseley said. “To take out people and train them to be a detainee-guarding entity requires time away from their normal job.”

Some U.S.-based Air Force commands have as many as 25 percent of their personnel deployed to Iraq and are still executing their home station duties. For example, the San Angelo, Texas-based 17th Training Wing has its crash, fire, and rescue teams and security force units deployed “and we’re still operating the wing,” Moseley said.  

Moseley said he’s happy to provide personnel with job skills the Air Force has in abundance, including drivers and information technology specialists. But “I am less supportive of things outside of our competencies,” he said.

“We’ve drawn some red lines on some of the ‘in lieu of’ taskings to get away from the tasking of our folks that is incredibly outside the competencies.”

« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 03:51:41 PM by Crafty_Dog »


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Broken government
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2007, 11:19:38 AM »
The NYT should investigate this instead of Rupurt Murdoch.   But then it doesn't fit into their agenda:

From Dick Morris whose work in this area is quite eye opening.  Except for appearances on OReilly I am not sure anyone else is listening:


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IPT: Islamist Fellow Traveler Rep. Bill Pascrell
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 03:52:32 PM »
IPT Featured Article: Islamist Fellow Traveler: Rep Bill Pascrell

Steven Emerson, Executive Director

April 23, 2012

Articles by IPT | IPT in the News | IPT Blog | Profiles | Multimedia | Donate |
Contact Us

Islamist Fellow Traveler: Rep Bill Pascrell
An IPT Series

IPT News
April 23, 2012






Be the first of your friends to like this.

Executive Summary

For more than a decade, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., has routinely coasted to
re-election over token opposition in the Democrat-dominated 8th Congressional
District. This year is different, and the eight-term congressman -- a close Capitol
Hill ally of Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
-- is fighting for his political life.

After the New Jersey Legislature eliminated fellow Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman's
neighboring district last year, he decided to run against Pascrell in the new,
heavily Democratic 9th Congressional District. Before redistricting, the two men
(both of them liberals first elected to Congress in 1996) were considered political
allies. With the primary less than two months away, they have been transformed into
bitter opponents.

Rothman supporters are emphasizing his strong support of Israel, contrasting it with
that of Pascrell -- one of 54 House members who joined Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.,
in sending a January 2010 letter to President Obama denouncing Israel and Egypt for
blockading Hamas-ruled Gaza. The letter accused Israel of imposing "de facto
collective punishment of the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip."

Former AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said the differences between Rothman and Pascrell
on Israel couldn't be clearer. Pointing to the letter to Obama, Block told the New
Jersey Jewish Standard in January that Pascrell (whose hometown of Paterson includes
large Arab and Muslim populations) had "actually sided against American support for
Israel's right to defend herself against weapons smuggling and attacks by

Thus far, there are no public-opinion polls measuring whether the perception that
Pascrell is hostile to Israel is damaging him politically. But Orthodox Jewish
leaders in the district have launched a campaign to persuade registered Republicans
to change their registration to Democrat in order to vote for Rothman in the June 5
primary. Earlier this month, a local newspaper reported that since New Year's Day, a
net total of 900 voters registered as Republican or unaffiliated had switched their
registration to Democrat, with less than 200 switching the other way.

As this report details, the Gaza letter is just one of many troubling things in
Pascrell's record. Others include:


Collaborating with CAIR. Despite its established roots in the Islamic Association
for Palestine, a Hamas front group, Pascrell speaks with pride about his connections
with CAIR. The organization's website includes a glowing testimonial from Pascrell
in which he "personally commend CAIR for its work on issues including civil
liberties" and calls it "the preeminent organization representing the concerns of
Muslim Americans."


*Whitewashing the radical record of Imam Mohammad Qatanani. Qatanani, imam at the
Islamic Center of Passaic County, was targeted for removal from the United States
for failing to disclose his Israeli court conviction for membership in Hamas.
Qatanani has also made comments condemning Christians to eternal hellfire and
advocating support for the children of suicide bombers. Pascrell lobbied against
Qatanani's deportation from the United States and submitted a court affidavit
calling the imam "peace-loving and magnanimous."


Refusing to condemn anti-Semitic slurs by his political supporters. In February,
Arab-American activist Aref Assaf, a Pascrell supporter and contributor, suggested
that Jews who support Rothman are putting Israel's interests over those of America.
Pascrell refused to condemn Assaf. Earlier, the congressman refused to condemn one
of his fundraisers, Lebanese-American businessman Sami Merhi, who had likened
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Hitler while speaking at a Pascrell


Disparaging law-enforcement efforts to acquire intelligence on radical groups.
Although he has refused to criticize political allies for anti-Semitic remarks,
Pascrell has not hesitated to attack law enforcement agencies like the New York
Police Department based on incorrect information. He criticized the NYPD for using
"religious profiling" in conducting surveillance at New Jersey mosques and suggested
the NYPD had conducted surveillance without communicating with New Jersey officials
-- despite considerable evidence to the contrary.


Ridiculing the existence of a jihadist threat. At a House Homeland Security
Committee hearing on radicalization last year, businessman Melvin Bledsoe testified
about his son's transformation from a normal American teenager into a jihadist.
Pascrell mocked the premise that Islamist terror deserved any special concern,
saying that "some pretty bad people" are Catholics. He belittled Bledsoe's call for
American unity against jihadist recruitment, denying that any divisions exist.

"When you say 'the other side,' I don't know what the hell you're talking about,"
Pascrell said.

Main Story:

Islamists on Capitol Hill have few better allies than Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. A
former mayor of Paterson, Pascrell, 75, is in his eighth term representing Passaic
County in New Jersey's 8th Congressional District. He is an outspoken critic of
congressional efforts to investigate Muslim radicalization in the United States and
a top ally of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Redistricting has placed Pascrell in the new 9th Congressional District with fellow
Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman, prompting a tough June 5 primary. Like Pascrell,
Rothman (whose old district was dismantled in redistricting) is a liberal Democrat
who entered Congress in 1997.

But the two men have very different records on Israel. Rothman is a strong supporter
of the Jewish state.

Pascrell, by contrast, was one of 62 lawmakers, including them Rep. John Conyers,
D-Mich., Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Rep. Loretta Sanchez D-Calif., who signed a
January 2009 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggesting that Israel was
to blame for denying critically needed aid to Palestinian residents of Gaza. CAIR's
New Jersey chapter (CAIR-NJ) issued an "Action Alert" urging supporters to thank
signers of the letter for "their support of human rights" by "address[ing] the
humanitarian crisis in Gaza."

The letter neglected to mention the role played by Gaza's ruling Hamas regime in
creating the humanitarian crisis by provoking war with Israel and exacerbating the
situation through its extensive use of civilian human shields.

Pascrell was one of 54 House members (including Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith
Ellison), who signed a one-sided letter in 2010 to President Obama accusing Israel
of imposing "de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents of the Gaza

The Hill reported that after Pascrell signed the 2010 letter, Rothman (at that time
a political ally) defended his colleague's record on Israel. These days, Rothman and
his supporters are singing a different tune about Pascrell.

Although Pascrell has portrayed himself as pro-Israel, his efforts to do so in the
current campaign have been marred by missteps. He won the endorsement of New Jersey
real-estate mogul David Steiner, who formerly served as president of the American
Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), only to learn that Steiner resigned in
disgrace after exaggerating the organization's power to choose President Clinton's

"I'm not sure why Pascrell proactively calls attention to how little support he has
within the pro-Israel community," one New Jersey Democrat told the Washington Free
Beacon. "First, he bragged about the endorsement of a one-term, 80-plus year-old
congressman (former Democratic Rep. Herb Klein) and now the endorsement of a former
president of AIPAC who embarrassed AIPAC so much when he was president that they
forced him to resign."

Pascrell's bid for Jewish votes has been further undercut by his refusal to denounce
local Arab-American activist Aref Assaf, who responded angrily to reports that
Orthodox Jewish Republicans might change their party registration in order to vote
for Rothman in the Democratic primary.

"As total and blind support for Israel becomes the only reason for choosing Rothman,
voters who do not view the elections in this prism will need to take notice: Loyalty
to a foreign flag is not loyalty to America's," wrote Assaf, president of the
American Arab Forum (AAF) which posted the op-ed on its website.

Rothman supporters demanded that Pascrell disavow Assaf's comments, but he refused.
Assaf subsequently termed complaints about his column "Islamophobia" and "deplorable
blanket racism." He published another op-ed on the primary suggesting Pascrell was
under fire from "Jewish sources" because he is not regarded as "a perfect example of
an Israeli loyalist."

"While some of Rothman's supporters put the flag and the security of another country
above ours, we place America first and unconditionally," Assaf wrote. "While they
put Israel first, we place America second to none."

Asked about Pascrell's refusal to repudiate Assaf's comments, veteran Democratic
Party activist Joshua Block didn't mince words.

"The unwillingness to directly confront and condemn this anti-Semitic invective and
bigotry is despicable," said Block, a former spokesman for the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). "Silence in the face of this kind of hate speech
says it all."

But Passaic County Democratic Party leaders view the matter differently. On March
24, party executive leaders unanimously endorsed Pascrell. He "was the best choice
and had the most experience on the diverse issues that affect Passaic County," said
county Democratic Party Chairman John Currie.

Assaf is not the first political ally Pascrell has refused to condemn for making
anti-Semitic comments. Speaking at a Pascrell fundraiser in 2002, Lebanese-American
businessman Sami Merhi likened then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Adolf
Hitler and said he "can't see the comparison" between the 9/11 hijackers and
Palestinian suicide bombers.

When Merhi ran for a seat as Passaic County freeholder in 2006, senior New Jersey
Democrats like Sen. Robert Menendez repudiated his remarks and said they couldn't
support his candidacy. Pascrell called the comments a "mistake," but refused to
abandon Merhi, a friend who has raised money for the congressman's previous

"He's a well-vetted candidate," Pascrell said of Merhi. "I believe he's a good man,
and he'll represent all the people of Passaic County."

But Pascrell's support wasn't enough to save Merhi. One week after endorsing his
nomination, the Passaic County Democratic screening committee reversed itself,
voting 20-3 to withdraw its support.

"Political lynching of Arab Americans is now an accepted practice," Assaf said.
"Every Arab American is now Sami Merhi."

Assaf accused a Jewish official who supported Merhi's ouster of seeking "to
transform (sic) the conflict between Arabs and Jews from the streets of Jerusalem to
the streets of Passaic County."

Connections with Assaf and CAIR are not just an embarrassing problem for Pascrell.
Gary Schaer, a prominent Democratic state assemblyman whose endorsement prompted 15
local Orthodox synagogues to back Rothman, blasted Assaf last month for impugning
the motives of Jewish voters.

But as recently as December, Assaf and Schaer were on much friendlier terms. They
appeared together at CAIR-New Jersey's annual banquet, where Assaf made a "special
presentation" to Schaer -- giving him the "CAIR-NJ 2011 Public Leadership Award" for
"his dedication to protecting the civil and religious rights of all citizens."

While he has avoided repudiating anti-Semites and conspiracy mongers, Pascrell has
shown less reticence about criticizing the New York Police Department (NYPD) for
using "religious profiling" in surveillance at New Jersey mosques. He suggested the
NYPD had conducted surveillance without communicating with New Jersey officials
despite considerable evidence to the contrary.

Considers CAIR "Preeminent"

Pascrell is a leading congressional ally of CAIR, which has established roots in the
Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), an organization found to be a front group
for Hamas. Prosecutors designated CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in prosecuting
senior officials with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF).
CAIR was designated because of its associations with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood's
Palestine Committee.

The Palestine Committee was created to provide Hamas with financial and political
support in the United States, prosecutors said. Five senior HLF officials were
convicted of all charges for funneling approximately $12 million to Hamas and
sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 to 65 years.

The FBI cut off contact with CAIR in 2008 based on evidence in the HLF case, writing
that "until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR
or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison

But longstanding concerns about CAIR's radical record haven't prevented Pascrell
from forging close ties with the organization.

CAIR's website contains this glowing testimonial from the New Jersey lawmaker:

"With over 30 CAIR Chapters spread throughout the United States and Canada it is
clear that CAIR has become the preeminent organization representing the concerns of
Muslim Americans. I want to personally commend CAIR for its work on issues including
civil liberties and opening dialogue with various communities in America."

Pascrell was one of 23 members of Congress who printed proclamations in the program
at CAIR's 12th annual national banquet in November 2006.

He was one of nine members who printed proclamations at CAIR's 2008 national
banquet. "Since 2003, the Council on American-Islamic Relations' New Jersey Chapter
has encouraged progressive dialogue throughout my district and throughout many New
Jersey communities. The New Jersey Chapter's hard work does not go unrecognized by
this office," Pascrell wrote. "I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations … to
wish you the same success in the future you have had in your past."

Pascrell joined three other members of Congress in publishing proclamations at
CAIR's 2009 national banquet.

In March 2007, Pascrell created a stir after he reserved a conference room in the
U.S. Capitol for a CAIR panel discussion entitled "Global Attitudes on Islam-West
Relations: U.S. Policy Implications." The panel included Steven Kull, director of
the Program on International Policy Attitudes, who analyzed polls on relations
between Muslims and the West, and CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Pascrell spokesman Caley Gray said the forum "opens up an important dialogue about
global public opinion concerning the United States."

"We see it as a simple room request," said Gray. "We did receive a room request and
evaluated it and approved it."

Not everyone on Capitol Hill regarded it as an ordinary request. "It does happen all
the time, but usually it is the United Way or some constituent group or Mothers
Against Drunk Driving, not a group with supposed ties to terrorism -- in the Capitol
no less," a Hill staffer said at the time.

"We know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism," said New York Democratic Sen. Charles
Schumer, a member of the party's Senate leadership. Schumer criticized CAIR for
having "intimate links with Hamas."

In February 2004, CAIR's New Jersey office issued a statement praising Pascrell and
Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., for condemning New York Republican Rep. Peter King's
assertion that most American mosques were controlled by radicals.

Pascrell and Corzine both spoke at the Annual Community Brunch held by the American
Muslim Union (AMU) on Feb. 21, 2004, which was cosponsored by 10 other
organizations, including CAIR-NJ and the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC).

Magdy Mahmoud, co-founder and president of CAIR's New Jersey chapter, was another
cosponsor of the AMU brunch, Joel Mowbray reported in the Boston Sun the following

Mahmoud served on the executive board of the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA)
from 1993-98 and directed MAYA's chapters committee. During Mahmoud's tenure, the
organization hosted a 1995 event in Toledo where Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi praised
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

"Our brothers in Hamas, in Palestine, the Islamic resistance, the Islamic Jihad,
after the rest have given up and despaired, the movement of the jihad brings us back
to our faith," Qaradawi declared.

In the same speech, Qaradawi advocated the killing of Jews. He said that "the
balance of power will change, and this is what is told in the Hadith of Ibn Omar and
the Hadith of Abu-Harairah: 'You shall continue to fight the Jews and they will
fight you, until the Muslims will kill them. And the Jew will hide behind the stone
and the tree will say: Oh servant of Allah, Oh Muslim, there is a Jew behind me.
Come and kill him!' The resurrection will not come before this happens. This is a
text from the good omens in which we believe."

Qaradawi vowed that Muslims would conquer Europe and the United States. "Islam will
come back to Europe for the third time, after it was expelled from it twice,"
Qaradawi said. "We will conquer Europe; we will conquer America! Not through sword
but through Da'wa [proselytizing]."

The Dar-ul-Islah Islamic Center also sponsored the brunch. Co-founder Waheed Khalid
has defended Hamas and declined comment when asked whether he believed the Protocols
of the Elders of Zion were forgeries. Asked about Hamas activities by the Bergen
Record in 1998, Khalid replied: "They are trying to get the occupiers out of their

Mohammed El-Mezain, one of the five HLF officials convicted in 2008, co-founded the
Islamic Center for Passaic County in 1989 and served as its first imam. According to
a memorandum written by former FBI Assistant Counterterrorism Director Dale Watson,
Mezain (serving a 15-year prison term for his HLF conviction) claimed in a 1994
speech at the mosque that he raised $1.8 million in the United States for Hamas.

In February 2003, the ICPC reportedly hosted Islamist militant Abdelhaleem Ashqar,
later sentenced to 11 years in prison for criminal contempt and obstruction of
justice after refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating Hamas
support in the United States.

Pascrell described as "pure crap" allegations that any cosponsors of the February
2004 community brunch were radical Islamists or linked to terrorist organizations.
Asked by Mowbray if he believed that he was providing legitimacy to radical
organizations by appearing at the event, Pascrell replied: "I'm not going to deal in
rumors. The rest is crap. I know these men as fine family men."

A Pascrell spokesman later clarified that his boss was not referring to Alaa
al-Sadawi, former imam at El Tawheed Islamic Center in Jersey City (another sponsor
of the event), who was convicted in 2003 and sentenced to five years, three months
in prison for attempting to smuggle $659,000 to Egypt. Sadawi raised money for the
Global Relief Foundation, designated a terrorist financier by the Treasury
Department for its links with al-Qaida. (He later pleaded guilty to lying in order
to obtain U.S. citizenship).

"That guy should be in jail," the spokesman said of Sadawi. "But you can't hold the
members of the mosque responsible for his actions."

Another imam at the Islamic Center of Passaic County, Mohammad Qatanani, was accused
of lying on his U.S. immigration documents when he failed to disclose his confession
to Israeli authorities that he was a member of Hamas, and his Israeli court
conviction for membership in the terror group. A federal immigration judge ruled in
favor of Qatanani in 2008, but the Board of Immigration Appeals overturned part of
the order the following year, holding that Judge Alberto Riefkohl had erred in
downplaying Israeli evidence showing Qatanani's links with Hamas.

Qatanani spoke at a November 1999 IAP conference. Mousa Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas
official, gave the organization $490,000 and is a former IAP board member. Evidence
at the HLF trial showed the IAP played a central role in the Muslim Brotherhood's
Palestine Committee -- in essence Hamas' U.S.-based infrastructure.

In a September 2004 article in the New Jersey Herald-News, Qatanani advocated
supporting the children of suicide bombers. During the HLF trial, he publicly prayed
for the Hamas-linked defendants and delivered a sermon condemning Christians to
eternal hellfire. In another sermon, Qatanani suggested that all of Israel, Jordan,
Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza were part of "Greater Syria" and that fighting to
conquer these lands is a divine commandment for Muslims. These sermons were
available in English on the mosque's website.

None of this stopped Pascrell from praising Qatanani and lobbying on his behalf.
When the imam faced deportation, Pascrell submitted a court affidavit calling
Qatanani "peace-loving" and "magnanimous."

"As a religious leader, Imam Qatanani has had an enormously positive impact in my
district," the congressman wrote. "Our community would suffer a serious loss should
he be required to leave."

Hours after federal immigration Judge Alberto J. Riefkohl's 2008 ruling that
Qatanani could remain in the United States, Pascrell joined Gov. Chris Christie and
other officials in paying tribute to the imam. At a breaking of the Ramadan fast in
Paterson that evening, Pascrell gushed about Qatanani.

"You put so much time into bringing peace for all of us," Pascrell told him. "Thank
you imam, for all you've done for America since you've come here."

Others attending the celebration included Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano
and Weysan Dun, FBI special agent in charge of the Bureau's Newark office; the
director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security; and various sheriffs and
county prosecutors.

The Board of Immigration Appeals overturned part of the order the following year,
holding that Judge Riefkohl had erred in downplaying Israeli evidence showing
Qatanani's links with Hamas. Qatanani remains in the United States pending the
outcome of deportation proceedings.

A Reliable Ally for Islamists

In 2008, Pascrell defended controversial New York City subway ads promoting Islam
financed by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). The ads featured phrases
like "Head Scarf?" and "Prophet Muhammad?" on one side, with the words "You deserve
to know" and "" on the other.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., cited the high-profile role in promoting the ad campaign
played by radical Imam Siraj Wahhaj (a former CAIR advisory board member and a
frequent speaker at the group's events) in urging transit officials not to run the

Wahhaj was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1995 federal trial of Omar Abdel
Rahman (AKA "the Blind Sheik"), who was convicted of conspiring to bomb New York
landmarks and is serving life in prison.

Wahhaj testified in defense of the sheik, who he called a "respected scholar" and
"bold, as a strong preacher of Islam." Abdel Rahman was convicted of charges that
included conspiracy to bomb the New York FBI headquarters and to assassinate
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

Wahhaj has also called for the establishment of an Islamic state in the United
States and urged Muslims to get involved in American politics because "politics are
a weapon to use in the cause of Islam."

After King pointed to Wahhaj's radicalism, Pascrell expressed disappointment that
"any public official" would oppose the subway advertisements. Wahhaj's ad campaign
"is exactly the kind of dialogue we need," one that would "bridge the gaps in our
collective knowledge," Pascrell said.

CAIR's New Jersey chapter sent out a July 31, 2008 action alert urging American
Muslims and "other people of conscience" to thank Pascrell for "standing up to those
who seek to marginalize the American Muslim community."

Pascrell can sound strident when the facts don't completely match his political
narrative. When ABC Television announced plans to broadcast a "docudrama"
criticizing the Clinton administration's handling of the al-Qaida threat, Pascrell
denounced the film at a September 2006 Capitol Hill press conference, suggesting it
was little more than fiction aimed at advancing the Republican Party. He said the

9/11 Commission

found no evidence of "retreat or negligence" by the Clinton administration.

Pascrell neglected to point out that the commission's report was sharply critical of
both the Bush and Clinton administrations' handling of the threat. It found that the
Clinton administration had as many as four chances to capture or kill bin Laden from
December 1998 to July 1999 but failed to act.

At a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on radicalization within the Muslim
community last year, witnesses discussed the dramatic increase in jihadist terror
plots on American soil. Pascrell attacked the premise that radical Islamic terror
deserved any special focus, stating that "some pretty bad people come out of
Catholic churches."

One witness at the hearing was Melvin Bledsoe, whose son, Carlos (AKA Abdulhakim
Mujahid Muhammad) was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for shooting to
death one soldier and wounding another outside a Little Rock, Ark. military
recruiting center in June 2009.

Melvin Bledsoe testified about his family tragedy -- specifically about his son's
transformation from a normal American teen-ager into a jihadist. The elder Bledsoe's
call for Americans to unite against jihadist recruitment efforts drew a sharp rebuke
from Pascrell, who denied any divisions existed. "When you say 'the other side,' I
don't know what the hell you're talking about," Pascrell told Bledsoe. "We are all
in this together."

There is no public polling data to indicate whether Pascrell faces any political
backlash for collaborating with CAIR or treating with contempt a father who lost his
son to Islamic radicalism. But there are indications that Pascrell's pro-Islamist
views could be helping attract more Jews into the Rothman camp in this
Democrat-dominated district.

The website reported earlier this month that voter registration data
from six Passaic County towns in the new district show that since New Year's Day
(shortly after Rothman announced he would run against Pascrell) more than 900 voters
previously registered as Republican or unaffiliated switched to the Democratic Party
in those towns, with less than 200 switching from Democrat to Republican.

In an effort to continue this trend, a recent letter paid for by the Rothman
campaign urged Orthodox Jewish Republicans to switch their registration so they
could vote for him in the June primary.

A Pascrell spokesman suggested Rothman's efforts to encourage GOP party-switching
constituted disloyalty to the Democratic Party, terming it "a slap in the face." But
many in the local Jewish community may conclude that Pascrell's own behavior (and in
particular his refusal to repudiate anti-Semitic slurs from prominent supporters
like Aref Assaf) may be spurring Jews to cross party lines to vote against him.

In an op-ed last month, Assaf suggested that opposition to Pascrell from the local
Jewish community threatened to undermine what had been a "cordial and cooperative"
relationship with Paterson's Arabs and Muslims. He hinted that Jewish opposition to
the congressman would be regarded as evidence of anti-Muslim bigotry.

Assaf claimed that Pascrell "is being condemned for failing to be 100 percent on the
side of a foreign country (Israel)" and for "sleeping with a suspect community
(Arab/Muslim) whose vote will most likely determine the outcome of the elections."

"Sadly, politics, money, lobbying and disinformation are about to spoil whatever
semblance of friendship and hope there are," he added. "The turf war has begun, and
while we did not start it, the community of Arabs and Muslims in the district gave
Pascrell victory. Jewish and now some mainstream newspapers have framed the June 5
primary as a litmus test for the survival of Israel."

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The incumbent death matches
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2012, 06:17:16 PM »

Two down. Nine to go.
Tuesday’s Pennsylvania showdown between Democratic Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz marks the beginning of a seven-week period of primaries that will feature a handful of the rarest and most exotic political contests: the incumbent vs. incumbent primary death match.


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 03:53:16 AM »
Sorry for the weirdness of the lines through the words in much of my post from IPT.  I've no idea why that happened.


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 08:44:18 AM »
Imagine Obama winning and the Dems getting back the House.  Now that's exciting.   :-D

Boehner: "One in three chance' House Republicans could lose majority"


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 09:08:29 AM »
"Imagine Obama winning and the Dems getting back the House.  Now that's exciting."

Yes.  Exciting.  Like a bungee jump into the canyon without a cord.

Actually Republicans will be taking the Senate so it would be more of the same in terms of divided government and deadlock.  

More of the same on a path to disaster is disaster.  Exciting.

I would consider a financial wager with you on this scenario you find possible, the likelihood of the American people sending Barack Obama a new term and a mandate to do more of the same.  Meaningless though I guess because neither of us would have in that circumstance the ability to pay.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 09:10:02 AM by DougMacG »


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 10:37:03 AM »

Didn't you say you would have voted for McCain if not for Palin?
So you want a socialist one world government with regulation of everything?

You want a President who is as John Bolton points out is quite confortable with the retreat and minimalization, marginalization of the US?


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The fight for the US Senate: On the Reservation with Pocahontas Warren
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 09:30:43 AM »
There is an upside down race in the fight for the US Senate, the so-called Ted Kennedy seat is a left state seat held by a Republican (Scott Brown), so it is an obvious pick up opportunity for the Dems to offset likely losses elsewhere.

Elizabeth Warren is the perfect candidate, an articulate leftist and Harvard professor.  She should be able to mail it in and win.  But...

This accomplished white woman, it turns out, needed to compensate for a past of discrimination against her for her 1/32nd Cherokee Indian heritage.  Who knew?

Ripped in a local paper:

White and wrong: On the reservation with Elizabeth Warren
By Howie Carr  Wednesday, May 2, 2012

We all know about “undocumented workers.” Now we have Elizabeth Warren, the undocumented Indian.

Funny thing, I think Ted Williams was one-fourth Mexican. He was white. Johnny Bench is one-eighth Indian. I always think of him as white. And then there’s Pochantas Warren, the blue-eyed, one-32nd Cherokee (or so we’re told) who went from the Southwest Conference to the Ivy League over the course of a decade in which she was claiming to be a “minority professor.”

But once she’d parlayed the racial-spoils racket all the way to a tenured position at Harvard Law, she decided to ... pass, as they used to say in the old South. Once she’d reached the pinnacle of her trade, she ditched the fake-Indian routine. Maybe White Eyes Warren saw the smoke signals and figured out that someone was going to call her out on her ancestry. She was right.

Still, all’s well that ends well. She has her $1.7 million wigwam in Cambridge. Greedy Wall Street lawyers slurp top-shelf firewater at her $1,000-a-head Manhattan fundraisers. Maybe someday she’ll even smokum peace pipe with Tim Geithner.  (more at the link)


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 11:05:42 AM »

That shiksa has a lot of chutzpah!!!  :lol:


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Elizabeth Warren
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 07:07:22 PM »

I find this discussion very interesting.  Race discussion has changed a great deal, and indeed now we are to the point where such a fraction of ancestry is laughable (and I admit to a chuckle to begin with).  Upon further review, though, I am reminded that the issues around Plessy dealt with a man 1/8 black.  I am also reminded that Langston Hughes once wrote that "“That one drop of Negro blood—because just one drop of black blood makes a man colored. One drop—you are a Negro!”  This used to be used in a manner to legally ostracize a vast body of people.  And now the same claim is made to demean the career arc of a congressional candidate. 

Also, it seems that for most scholarships awarded to Native Americans, there is 1/4 requirement ( 

And, more on Warren: (it seems to be true) and (and she still can't explain it well). 


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 09:03:51 PM »
I remember a college course noting that the "one drop" logic actually imputed greater power to the non-white component than the white component  :lol:

Of course the spectacular cynicism on display here by Warren is extraordinary.


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"for most scholarships awarded to Native Americans, there is 1/4 requirement "

That nixed the Warren plan I had for my daughter (blue eyes, red hair) to change her middle name to 'running bear' for her college applicaitions.

I heard some other middle names suggested for Warren: 'wounded economy', 'running joke', 'broken left wing', 'Pinocchio-hontas', 'running joke'.

What past discrimination did she need her leg up from?

Latest story, she did that to make friends.  

It reminds me of former Washington DC  Mayor Marion Barry's outreach program to destitute prostitutes, reaching into his own stash of crack cocaine and sharing, to help the poorest among us.

She deceived to get hired and to get tenure as a Harvard Professor.  She got tenure, then dropped the minority status.  How does one drop their blood content status?

Most Harvard Law professors went to Harvard Law School.  Most of the rest went to other top Ivy League schools.  One, Warren, went to Rutgers, a FINE school, but not equal to Harvard. When Warren was hired, there was a huge push on to hire more minorities.  Blonde, blue eyed minorities?  Is that what Derrick Bell was fighting for?

Victimless crime?  

Like Hillary's dirty commodities trades.  No one was hurt... except the people those profits rightfully belonged to.

No one was hurt by Warren's deception, except for the person who deserved that job.  Except for the students who deserve the best possible professor.  Except for the integrity of the process, compromised.  Except the reputation of the institution, stained.  


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2012, 04:53:39 PM »
News outlets report Dick Lugar losing the Indiana primary.


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 06:01:24 PM »
Gun rights groups are taking some of the credit, Lugar's record on gun rights being rather terrible and the challenger's record being rather sound.


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2012, 08:31:39 AM »
Readily granted Lugar had a genuine serious interest in foreign affairs, but things such as Baraq's START Treaty were errors, one of many.  Others include rather terrible stands on guns and gun rights-- a matter not addressed in this piece.


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races: Lugar
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2012, 09:51:51 AM »
I think the roll call piece sums it up pretty well.  He was a pretty good Senator who had his moments. He was fairly conservative when he wanted to be.  Not an Olympia Snowe at all, but Indiana is not Maine.  Reaching across the aisle to him meant leftward to 'get things done', but not to his constituents on his right who are mostly up in arms about the things that got done.

The last 6 years have been a disaster that incumbents even in opposition need to answer for:  Did you do everything you could do to stop this?  I have been mostly blaming Barack Obama as Senator and President and the Pelosi-Reid congress for the current situation.  Crafty has often put some blame on people like Speaker Boehner and asked where the Republican congressional leadership is on issues of urgency and survival.  Lugar was one of those senior statesman who either failed to speak out or failed to be persuasive in doing so.  Where was he when the Republicans were in power as the voice of reason to stop the runaway growth of government and spending? Where was he before the crash blowing the whistle on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for both the corruption and the abandonment of market principles that would bring down our prosperity?  Where in the aftermath of the 2010 tea party revolution, when the Dems lost 63 seats and control of the House, was he when the parties fought to the death over spending and then locked in emergency spending as permanent and raised spending another 5%?  Even if he was ostensibly on the 'right' of these issues, where was the passion to get bad policies stopped?  Missing.  A 20 point loss says that at least the primary voters in Indiana are looking for more.  Give someone else a try.

President Obama's praise for Lugar reaching across the aisle looks like a back stab considering Lugar's reach gave them R votes for Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayer and Kagen when Sen./ Obama the uniter couldn't even bring himself to vote for Chief Justice John Roberts.  

People say statesman.  He is calm with wisdom on some areas of foreign policy but largely silent on crucial economic issues IMO. I post speeches on the Senate floor of Marco Rubio and show a statesman.  There aren't many Marco Rubios for charisma, so I offer exhibit B, Ron Johnson junior Senator of Wisconsin of ordinary talent but far more active and persuasive IMO.  I realize Lugar is 80 and maybe his reticence to speak out is age related but I don't recall much previous passion either.  He wasn't outraged when HW Bush broke his no new taxes pledge and hasn't been outraged at very much since.

The following is taken from the websites of his opponents articulating their gripes.  As Crafty intimates, they lead with guns, but I don't think that is the core of it.

Top Twenty Reasons to retire Lugar in 2012
The Tea party wants you to know that we are not “inarticulate”, that Hoosiers who oppose Lugar are not “dupes”, and that we are ready to “get real” working to defeat Lugar in 2012.
While there are hundreds to choose from the Jay County Tea Party selected these as the top twenty worst Lugar Votes.
1. 1993 – Lugar voted to unconstitutionally ban semi-automatic handguns and rifles.
2. 2004 - Lugar voted to unconstitutionally ban semi-automatic handguns and rifles.
3. 2002 – Lugar voted to ban political speech during an election in the unconstitutional McCain Campaign Finance Reform.
4. 1993 – Lugar voted to confirm extreme left wing judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg to the Supreme Court.
5. 2009 - Lugar voted to confirm extreme left wing judge Sonya Sodomayor to the Supreme Court.
6. 2010 - Lugar voted to confirm extreme left wing judge Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.
7. 2003 – Lugar voted for the Climate Stewardship Act, a cap and trade bill that would have at least doubled Indiana electric Rates.
8. 2005 - Lugar voted for another democrat cap and trade bill that would have at least doubled Indiana electric Rates.
9. 2006 – Lugar voted to give amnesty to illegal aliens in the McCain comprehensive amnesty bill.
10. 1982 – Lugar voted for a tax increase that, when it was passed, was the largest tax increase in history.
11. 1990 - Lugar voted for a tax increase that, when it was passed, was the largest tax increase in history.
12. 2007 – Lugar voted to give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens.
13. 2010 – Lugar voted against auditing the Federal Reserve.
14. 2008 – Lugar voted to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
15. 2008 – Lugar voted for TARP
16. 2008 – Lugar voted against ending earmarks.
17. 2009 – Lugar voted to bail out the car companies.
18. 2009 – Voted against returning 350 billion in unused TARP money to the Treasury.
19. 2010 – Lugar Voted for the Dream Act illegal alien amnesty bill.
20. 2010 – Voted for the START unilateral disarmament Treaty.
Honorable Mention
In 1993 Lugar sponsored a universal health care bill with an unconstitutional individual mandate.
In 2009 he was one of the deciding votes against concealed carry reciprocity for Indiana license holders.
Also in 2009 he voted to continue the total ban on handguns in Washington DC.
Lugar voted for over three trillion dollars in deficit spending under Bush
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 10:31:43 AM by DougMacG »


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WSJ on Lugar's defeat
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2012, 11:48:38 AM »
Richard Lugar has been a fine Senator for 36 years, but his final primary campaign days help explain why he won't be returning for six more years in 2013. As he attempted to defeat a conservative challenger on Tuesday, the 80-year-old Indiana incumbent resorted to the hoariest status quo gambit of scaring seniors on Social Security.

In one of his final TV ads, the Lugar campaign showed an older woman in a red sweater drinking tea while text on the screen declares that "Richard Mourdock has a plan to cut every senior's Social Security by nearly $2,500 a year."

Granny then elaborates: "He's not thinking, is he? No idea of consequences, what this means to people. He's going to ruin people, I mean, some can't get along without Social Security, every penny of it. I guess he wants to be as opposite as he can, believing that will get him votes. The scary thing is, is what if it does? Heaven help us, because Mourdock won't."

Down in the polls among Republicans, Mr. Lugar was making a last-ditch attempt to attract Democrats and independents to save him by voting in the GOP Senate primary. His campaign based the ad on the fact that Mr. Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer, had endorsed Paul Ryan's House budget. So the Senator took a demagogic shot at the one serious attempt to reform entitlements that everyone knows must be reformed.

 Columnist Kim Strassel makes sense of Republican challenger Richard Mourdock's blow-out victory over Indiana Senator Dick Lugar. Photo: Getty Images
.This isn't "statesmanship" of the kind that the Washington elite attribute to Mr. Lugar. It's a desperate attempt to hold onto a job by spreading fear. In short, it is the kind of politics as usual that prevents serious reform of government.

In the event, Mr. Lugar lost with only 40% of the vote, which is hard to do if you are an incumbent, especially one as personally well-liked as the six-term incumbent has been. As recently as 2006, Mr. Lugar won with 87% of the vote. But in recent years, he failed to see that Republican voters want their representatives in Washington to provide more forceful opposition to President Obama's agenda.

None of this is to erase Mr. Lugar's contributions over the years. We'd cite his timely intervention to persuade Ronald Reagan to ease Ferdinand Marcos from power in the Philippines without bloodshed in 1986 and the Nunn-Lugar program to chop up Soviet missiles. Note, however, that these are foreign policy achievements and this election year the voters are focused on America's domestic problems.

The Beltway class is aflutter that Mr. Lugar's defeat has put another safe GOP Senate seat in play, and perhaps it has. Mr. Mourdock will face Democratic Representative Joe Donnelly in November, and at a minimum Republicans will have to spend more money than they had planned if they want to prevail.

Mr. Mourdock has already won two statewide races, however, and he is a serious man with a grasp of the issues. He is not another Sharron Angle or Christine O'Donnell, the tea party candidates who lost seats in Nevada and Delaware that Republicans should have won in 2010. Mr. Mourdock's backers at the Club for Growth and Freedom Works now have an obligation to support him in the autumn.

The lesson of the Lugar upset, however, is not that the provincial yahoos defeated a statesman. It's that a Senator who had served for nearly four decades lost touch with how much voters want to change Washington.


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Warren found listed as a minority professor at second law school
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2012, 05:10:18 AM »

"The revelation that a second school listed Warren as a minority raised further questions about her claim to Native American heritage and whether it was reasonable for her to represent herself as a minority. Republicans, including Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) campaign, have questioned whether Warren used the claim to further her career — an allegation Warren has repeatedly denied."


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races: The Cherokee Professor
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2012, 06:54:56 AM »
The lies (She joined minority groups to make friends?) keep the story relevant and the search for its basis.  Certainly she now uses her status as Harvard law Professor to gain credibility, so any funny business about how she got there has relevance.  There is the hypocrisy of supporting affirmative action while undermining it.  In theory, some real native American woman should have had that job.  In racism is her unspoken rationalization that there is no real Cherokee that could do her job as well as she can, an argument against affirmative action in the first place.

A second institution says she used it for advancement.  She should admit being a dishonest cheater and get back to the business of advancing more great programs like affirmative action.

Instead of being Cherokee because one great great grandparent was one (actually a Swede), the search for that led to the finding that her great great grandfather was rounding up Cherokee people for removal from their homes and forced relocation, sometimes fatal, in the infamous Trail of Tears.  No worries.  She has denied that.
Our own local gaffe machine, Republican Michele Bachmann is renouncing her Swiss citizenship.  Her dual citizenship became known because she told a Swiss audience about it, while running for reelection in the north suburbs of Minneapolis.  Exhibiting focus she learned from Newt?


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races - Warren
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2012, 10:48:18 AM »
I hate to beat the Elizabeth Warren story to death but the story keeps adding twists and turns.  My understanding now: besides that claiming minority was only 1/32nd, then that 1/32nd was false, then that the great great grandfather married to the non-Cherokee they made us go back and find actually was involved with rounding up Cherokee for removal from their homes...

Now it looks like a genealogist committed a fraud on the matter for the cause

The one document that said Cherokee does not say Cherokee.  Who knew?  More importantly, who asked them to say it said what it didn't.

"the original claim of a marriage certificate listing Warren’s great-great-great grandmother as Cherokee demonstrably was false, as is the revised claim that there was an “electronic transcript” of a marriage application reflecting Cherokee heritage."

When I joked about renaming my daughter 'running bear' for her college app, it was a JOKE not perpetrated fraud backed up by a false claim of a reputed genealogist.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 10:58:31 AM by DougMacG »


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2012, 02:00:42 PM »
Once upon a time that would have been embarassing and led to being shunned by decent people from across the spectrum , , ,


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The L thing again
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2012, 02:57:30 PM »
"Once upon a time that would have been embarassing and led to being shunned by decent people from across the spectrum , , ,"

Agreed.  I don't know when such outright fraud/lying became acceptable.

If we cannot trust our leaders than what hope is there for us?   

To think this Harvard lawyer at 400K per annum committed frauded her application and now runs for the Senate - what kind of example is this for our children?

No shame no apology no withdrawal from the Senate race, no resignation as law professor just obfuscation and persistent lying.

I don't buy the common declaration that "they" (politicians) lie and therefore that seems to excuse any of them that do.

Why can't we hold them to higher account?

I have notcied a few people actually using th L word on TV recently.  That used to be a no - no.  I guess this is progress? 


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Elizabeth Warren, keeping the scandal alive.  Ever hear of admitting wrong?

This is today??

“You know, I’m proud of my Native American heritage,” Warren said. “I’m proud of my family. It’s now the case that people have gone over my college records, my law school records, every job I’ve ever had to see that I got my work. I got my jobs because I do my work. I work hard. I’ve been a good teacher.”

Hard work, good teacher, does not make you Harvard Law Professor.  We have those at the local schools.
Wasn't there a Dem candidate in 1988 who plagiarized and lied about his background - was out of the race by this point.  Never to make tomake anything of himself again. 
Oh yeah, Joe Biden:  The Write Stuff?
Why Biden's plagiarism shouldn't be forgotten.

By David Greenberg|Updated Monday, Aug. 25, 2008, 

Slate:  "the unusually creepy kind" of plagiarist.
Biden announced his candidacy in June 1987, and was considered one of the potentially strongest candidates in the field. However, in September 1987, newspaper stories stated he had plagiarized a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock. Other allegations of past law school plagiarism and exaggerating his academic record soon followed. Biden withdrew from the race later that month.,_1988


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2012, 07:32:47 AM »
The silence from Harvard is deafening.

Shoudn't the school be formally outraged?


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NE Senate Race
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2012, 06:34:08 AM »
A state senator who had been stuck for weeks in third place in polls has won the GOP nomination for a U.S. Senate seat from Nebraska, continuing a pattern of challengers successfully taking on prominent Republicans in party primaries.

State Sen. Deb Fischer capped a remarkable surge by capturing the Senate nomination on Tuesday. She will face Democrat Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska senator and governor, in the November election.

Ms. Fischer beat state Attorney General Jon Bruning, who had long been the front-runner, by 41% to 36% with all precincts reporting. Mr. Bruning had won statewide election three times before and raised far more money than Ms. Fischer.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Ms. Fischer last week, and a political action committee backed by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts spent $200,000 over the weekend on ads criticizing Mr. Bruning and promoting Ms. Fischer.

The result was a setback for powerful conservative groups that backed the third major candidate in the race, state treasurer Don Stenberg.

Mr. Stenberg, who had 19% of the vote, positioned himself as the tea party-style challenger to Mr. Bruning. He benefited from roughly $2 million spent on his behalf by Club For Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund and FreedomWorks, but he faded at the end.

With the retirement of Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska is considered one of the GOP's best opportunities to pick up a Senate seat. Mr. Kerrey may be the one Democrat who gives his party even a small chance of victory.

Ms. Fischer's surprise win comes a week after an Indiana primary that saw state Treasurer Richard Mourdock upset veteran Sen. Richard Lugar. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah was forced into a June runoff election with former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist.

Democrats hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, but they are defending more seats than the Republicans. That leaves the two parties in a close fight for the majority, with a chance that the election will yield a 50-50 Senate, requiring the vice president to break ties.

It isn't clear what accounted for Ms. Fischer's last-minute surge, but many voters were apparently turned off by the harsh battle of words between Messrs. Bruning and Stenberg.

The platform of Ms. Fischer, whose family owns a ranch, echoes that of many other Republican candidates. It calls for reducing the size of government, repealing the federal health-care law and balancing the budget.

Democrats said her victory could play into Mr. Kerrey's hands. Ms. Fischer has never run for statewide office, they noted, and her record has received little scrutiny, leading Mr. Kerrey's supporters to question whether she is prepared for the challenges of a major campaign.

Mr. Kerrey was a Navy SEAL in Vietnam whose right leg was amputated after a war injury. He owns a chain of restaurants and fitness clubs in Nebraska. He was elected governor in 1982 and senator in 1988.

Mr. Kerrey has been emphasizing his pattern of reaching across party lines, while Republicans are painting him as a carpetbagger, noting that he lived in New York for a decade while serving as president of the New School in Manhattan.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney won Tuesday's Republican presidential primaries in Nebraska and in Oregon. In Nebraska, the presumptive GOP nominee had 71% of the vote with 93% of precincts reporting, with Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich—all of whom have stopped campaigning—winning the remainder. In Oregon, Mr. Romney had 73% of the vote with 59% of precincts reporting.

The Associated Press also declared Oregon Democratic incumbent Peter DeFazio has won the Democratic primary for his seat in the state's 4th Congressional District. Congressman DeFazio, seeking his 14th term, was facing Oregon State University graduate student Matthew Robinson. Mr. Robinson is the son of Art Robinson, a Cave Junction, Ore., candidate who ran against Mr. DeFazio as a Republican candidate for Congress in 2010 and is again his party's candidate to unseat Mr. DeFazio in November.

In a statement the DeFazio campaign said: "Oregon voters saw through Art Robinson's stunt and soundly defeated his son's bizarre bid for the Democratic nomination." With 57%of the vote tallied Tuesday night, Mr. DeFazio had 90%, to 10 percent for Matthew Robinson, a nuclear engineering student. Matthew Robinson changed his party affiliation to run against Mr. DeFazio.

Write to Naftali Bendavid at


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MN R's pick Libertarian Kurt Bills for Amy Klobuchar's Senate seat
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2012, 09:31:32 AM »
One term state representative Kurt Bills, a high school economics teacher, beat the party favorites easily on the second ballot with 64% of the vote at the state convention over the weekend.

Dem Incumbent Amy Klobuchar, an ideological clone of Hillary and Obama, is a considered a 100% bet to win reelection, so not much is risked in choosing the unknown.  I had no awareness of him before hearing this surprise result and viewing the speech linked below.  I did not attend but can tell that to go up from 53% on the first ballot to well over the 60% required for endorsement on the second ballot in a 3 way contest means that he spoke very persuasively from the podium and won votes from across the (far right) spectrum.  He instantly won the endorsement of his rivals.  "Whatever our differences are, they pale in comparison to what we have in common."

Even if he loses, it will still be interesting to see what he can do to advance limited government principles in one of the bluest states.  In his issues statements he is more clear than other libertarians about supporting the Reagan principle of Peace through Strength, but also has a Ron Paul skepticism for nation building operations.  Not exactly my view but perhaps more in tune with independent voters at the moment.  With fewer interventions, the US could fund a very strong, well-equipped military within reasonable budget constraints.

I predict he will start this race trailing by more than 20%, making victory in Nov. all the more impressive!

Watch a local convention speech.  I don't see a teleprompter or see him even glance at notes or a hesitation about what he wants to say. This is worth 7 minutes of your time!

He makes a great delivery; could make Newt look like a timid debater, lol.  A great point he makes is that with teaching high school kids you've got 30 seconds at most to get their attention, so he has been preparing for this contest for 15 years.

Or go to about 6:45 of his acceptance speech:
"These are not extreme views.  They are views that win. We believe in liberty.  We believe in limited government.  We believe in free enterprise.  We believe in family values and the sanctity of human life.  And we believe that Washington needs a good dose of Econ 101."

Give money at or give it to your own candidate, but now is the time to do something.  Find your candidates and get behind them.

People like Kurt Bills from MN and the newcomers from Nebraska and Indiana joining people like Marco Rubio  and Ron Johnson from Wisc can help keep President Romney.


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TX Senate Race: Cruz
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2012, 06:20:33 AM »

The Tea Party's Senate Insurgency Hits Texas GOP primaries in Indiana and Nebraska have gone to conservative upstarts over establishment picks. Will the Lone Star State's Ted Cruz complete the trifecta?

Will the tea party deliver another knockout to an establishment Republican on Tuesday? Tea-party groups like FreedomWorks have recently contributed to upsets in Indiana and Nebraska. The next victim of conservative voters' rage against the GOP machine may be Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is seeking his party's nomination for the U.S. Senate.

A year ago, when Kay Bailey Hutchinson announced she would not run for re-election to the Senate, Mr. Dewhurst—who has managed the Texas Senate with an iron fist for a decade—was all but measuring the curtains for his new office in Washington, D.C. But that was before former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz threw his hat in the ring.

Now, in the final frantic days of the primary race, Mr. Dewhurst has dumped another $6 million of his own money into his effort to ward off Mr. Cruz (after an initial amount of at least $2 million). Mr. Dewhurst is stalled at 40% support among likely Republican voters, according to a University of Texas poll, with Mr. Cruz gaining ground at 31%. Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and former Texas football star Craig James trail further behind. If Mr. Dewhurst fails to win more than 50% on Tuesday, he's headed to a runoff in late June.

"If we can get Dewhurst in a runoff, we win," Mr. Cruz predicts. A former state solicitor general and clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the 41-year-old Mr. Cruz has become a conservative cause célèbre. "First Class Cruz" was the title of a National Review magazine cover story last year, and columnist George Will calls him "as good as it gets."

Mr. Cruz is a staunch defender of states' rights, or what he calls the "forgotten Ninth and 10th amendments." He was the lead lawyer representing Texas before the Supreme Court in Medellin v. Texas (2008), after the International Court of Justice had tried to override Texas's justice system, and in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) he wrote the amicus brief on behalf of 31 states challenging a gun-control law on Second Amendment grounds.

He favors school choice, personal accounts for Social Security and a "low uniform tax rate—either a flat tax or the FairTax," he says, and his goal in the Senate would be to "cut federal spending as much and as quickly as possible." He's contemptuous of congressional Republicans who suggest that some of the popular features of ObamaCare can be retained. "I will work to repeal every last word of the law," he insists.

Mr. Cruz's Hispanic surname also isn't a liability when many Republicans seem to be searching for the next Marco Rubio. Like the Florida Senator, Mr. Cruz is of Cuban descent and has a gift for communicating his conservative credentials to right-leaning audiences. (At the same time, some Texans grumble that the Princeton and Harvard Law grad has the Barack Obama disease of coming across as a slick know-it-all, "the smartest guy in the room.")

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Texas' Republican candidates for U.S. Senate Ted Cruz (left) and David Dewhurst
.Mr. Cruz is hoping to follow the political script of Mr. Rubio, who defeated a moderate Republican, Florida's then-Gov. Charlie Crist. Mr. Crist had an enormous lead in cash and endorsements until Mr. Rubio attacked his non-conservative positions on the stimulus and other issues. The Texas race presents "a sharp contrast between a timid career politician and a true lifelong conservative," says Mr. Cruz, who dismisses his opponent as "a consummate inside deal maker."

Mr. Cruz has criticized Mr. Dewhurst sharply over his 2005 flirtation with an income tax. During budget negotiations that year, Mr. Dewhurst floated the idea of a wage tax and a 4% business-profits tax, arguing that it was time for business "to pay its fair share." Texans detested the ideas, and Mr. Dewhurst backed away. He now insists that Texas will have an income tax "over my dead, cold political body," and he touts having cut taxes 51 times in office.

As Tuesday's vote approaches, the race has taken a nasty turn. Mr. Dewhurst calls his opponent "Washington lawyer Ted Cruz" and has accused him and his law firm of defending a Chinese tire company that allegedly violated the patents of a U.S. firm and then "stole American innovation and American jobs." Mr. Dewhurst is also accusing Mr. Cruz of supporting "amnesty for illegal immigrants," which Mr. Cruz calls a "scurrilous lie." Super PACs supporting Mr. Dewhurst have also attacked Mr. Cruz's law firm for raising $200,000 for Barack Obama's campaign.

Jim Cardle, a political consultant in Austin who runs the Texas Insider newsletter, says that "I hate to say it, but the Dewhurst money advantage and the deluge of TV attack ads against Cruz have been very effective. Don't forget, here in Texas we have four of the 15 most expensive TV markets, so money matters a lot."

It also helps Mr. Dewhurst that he is no moderate in the mold of Arlen Specter or Olympia Snowe, and that he has won endorsements from popular Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He's an oil and gas man who made $250 million and then turned to politics 15 years ago. For all the criticisms of his deal-making in Austin—"the Bob Dole of the Texas Senate," some say disdainfully—he presided over the Senate during a 10-year period when the Lone Star economy soared and created nearly half of all new American jobs.

"Look, Dewhurst will vote the right way most of the time," concedes Mr. Cruz, but "he will join the good old boys club in the Senate. I'm running an insurgent conservative campaign against that club." Mr. Cruz says that if he wins he'll reinforce the rabble-rousing Senate GOP caucus of Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey and Mike Lee.

This week Mr. Cruz got a timely boost from the endorsement of Sarah Palin. That's the same Sarah Palin who endorsed two underdog conservative Senate candidates before they won in the Indiana and Nebraska primaries.

Mr. Moore is a member of the Journal's editorial board.


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Re: Congressional races - Paleface Warren, more questions raised
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2012, 09:45:32 AM »
Volumes are written about how to survive scandals, Elizabeth Warren does the opposite.  Now her minority status is a symbol for liberal policy and cynical dishonesty of all politicians.  National Review below, then George Will's column follows.  The Boston Globe finally gets in, just yesterday.  Delaying a look into it just gave the story even more legs.  Last beolw, a video parody, as if she wasn't parody enough.

"Harvard Law School advertised Elizabeth Warren — blond-haired, blue-eyed, pale to the point of translucence — as its “first woman of color” enjoying tenure. It would later cite her presence on the faculty as evidence of its commitment to “diversity.” And she allowed it.>

"Ms. Warren, who checked the “white” box at the University of Texas before getting in touch with her inner Cherokee when she stormed the Ivies, owes it to the people of Massachusetts to make the records of the Harvard Law hiring committee available to voters. Harvard, though a private institution, owes the people of its home state the same. If Ms. Warren’s undocumented claim to minority status did in fact play a role in the law school’s decision to hire her as a professor enjoying a prestigious, middle-six-figures chair, that is a fact of public importance."   Excerpts, more at link.
The credibility of Massachusetts Democratic  Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren took another hit today(5/19) as Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr released evidence that appears to confirm Ms. Warren may have plagiarized at least three of the five recipes she submitted to the 1984 Pow Wow Chow cookbook edited by her cousin Candy Rowsey.

Elizabeth Warren’s identity politics

By George F. Will, Published: May 23


Blond, blue-eyed Elizabeth Warren, the Senate candidate in Massachusetts and Harvard professor who cites “family lore” that she is 1/32nd Cherokee, was inducted into Oklahoma’s Hall of Fame last year. Her biography on says that she “can track both sides of her family in Oklahoma long before statehood” (1907) and “she proudly tells everyone she encounters that she is ‘an Okie to my toes.’ ” It does not mention any Cherokee great-great-great-grandmother. A DVD of the induction ceremony shows that neither Warren nor anyone else mentioned this.

The kerfuffle that has earned Warren such sobriquets as “Spouting Bull” and “Fauxcahontas” began with reports that Harvard Law School, in routine academic preening about diversity (in everything but thought), listed her as a minority faculty member, as did the University of Pennsylvania when she taught there. She said that some in her family had “high cheekbones like all of the Indians do.” The New England Historic Genealogical Society said that a document confirmed the family lore of Warren’s Cherokee ancestry, but it later backtracked. She has said that she did not know Harvard was listing her as a minority in the 1990s, but Harvard was echoing her: From 1986 through 1995, starting before she came to Harvard, a directory published by the Association of American Law Schools listed her as a minority and says its listings are based on professors claiming minority status.

So, although no evidence has been found that Warren is part Indian, for years two universities listed her as such. She has identified herself as a minority, as when, signing her name “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee,” she submitted a crab recipe (Oklahoma crabs?) to a supposedly Indian cookbook. This is a political problem.

A poll taken before this controversy found her Republican opponent Scott Brown trouncing her on “likability,” 57 percent to 23 percent. Even Democrats broke for Brown 40 to 38. Now she is a comic figure associated with laughable racial preferences. She who wants Wall Street “held accountable” is accountable for two elite law schools advertising her minority status. She who accuses Wall Street of gaming the financial system at least collaborated with, and perhaps benefited from, the often absurd obsession with “diversity.”

How absurd? Warren says that for almost a decade she listed herself in the AALS directory as a Native American because she hoped to “meet others like me.” This well-educated, highly paid, much-honored (she was a consumer protection adviser to President Obama) member of America’s upper 1 percent went looking for people “who are like I am” among Native Americans?

This makes perfect sense to a liberal subscriber to the central superstition of the diversity industry, which is the premise of identity politics: Personhood is distilled not to the content of character but only to race, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference.

This controversy has discombobulated liberalism’s crusade to restore Democratic possession of the Senate seat the party won in 1952 with John Kennedy and held until 2010, when Brown captured it after Ted Kennedy’s death. Lofty thinkers and exasperated liberals consider the focus on Warren’s fanciful ancestry a distraction from serious stuff. (Such as The Post’s nearly 5,500-word wallow in teenage Mitt Romney’s prep school comportment?) But Warren’s adult dabbling in identity politics is pertinent because it is, in all its silliness, applied liberalism.

The New York Times Magazine’s headline on its profile of her — “Heaven Is a Place Called Elizabeth Warren” — suggests the chord she strikes with liberals. They resonate to identity politics of the sort Warren’s campaign tried when, on the defensive, it resorted, of course, to claiming victimhood. Playing the gender card, it insinuated that criticism of her adventures as a minority amounts to a sexist attack on an accomplished woman. But an accomplished woman, Susan Collins of Maine, the only Republican senator rated more liberal than Brown (who last year voted with his party only 54 percent of the time on partisan issues), called this insinuation “patently absurd.”

Barack Obama, who carried Massachusetts by almost 800,000 votes in 2008, will win here again, and a senior official of Brown’s campaign thinks that in order to win Brown must run between 250,000 and 500,000 votes ahead of Romney. In the special election in January 2010, Brown defeated a female opponent (women are 53 percent of Massachusetts voters) by 107,317 votes. He won independents 2 to 1.

The turnout this November, with Obama on the ballot, probably will be larger, less white and more Democratic. But just 0.3 percent of Massachusetts residents are Native Americans, even counting Warren.

Filings add to questions on Warren’s ethnic claims

May 25, 2012|Mary Carmichael,  Boston Globe

US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has said she was unaware that Harvard Law School had been promoting her purported Native American heritage until she read about it in a newspaper several weeks ago.

But for at least six straight years during Warren’s tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.

In addition, both Harvard’s guidelines and federal regulations for the statistics lay out a specific definition of Native American that Warren does not meet.

The documents suggest for the first time that either Warren or a Harvard administrator classified her repeatedly as Native American in papers prepared for the government in a way that apparently did not adhere to federal diversity guidelines. They raise further questions about Warren’s statements that she was unaware Harvard was promoting her as Native American.

The Warren campaign declined Thursday to answer the Globe’s specific questions about the documents.

Parody from before scandal:


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2012, 09:53:18 AM »


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races, Elizabeth Warren
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2012, 10:59:46 AM »
It should have been the smallest of meaningless mistakes but it builds and grows and spreads as she stubbornly sticks to it.  2 days ago the Boston Globe finally jumped in and said she needed address it.  Yesterday she was doubling down on her falsehood.  Today we see more from Brietbart, Crafty's post.  Her lips move and no truth comes out.  Also today she will be endorsed by her state party to run for the U.S. Senate, to seek truth and a more perfect union, ratify treaties and confirm Supreme Court Justices.  

It's only be a Massachusetts race and seat but these elections are national.  The story is about things broken in politics, like government, logic and honesty. 

Mass. Dems were thrilled to field a nationally prominent liberal with close ties to Obama to run for the 'Kennedy' senate seat.  It was the only obvious pickup in the senate for the Dems before Olympia Snowe announced she was leaving in Maine

Obama and Warren are both personally enthralled with their own personal stories.  Why would we care who their ancestors are, but Obama's must tell us his freed the Auschwitz camp - apparently fighting for the Soviets.  He put out the most autobiographies of any President in history, and that was before he was President and without even writing them.  She is at least 31/32nds Caucasian- white irish? anglo-saxon? protestant.  BORING.  The girl needed some color and a story to match it.  She needed to share old family recipes even if they just come from research aid plagiarists.

Assuming people have a short attention span and we need reform on every aspect of public policy, why would either of these people, Obama or Warren, spend a precious second talking about themselves instead of their ideas?

Did Harvard or anyone else rely on her false story to hire her, promote her, tenure her and raise her to national prominence?  We will get that information the same day we see President Obama's complete educational records.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 11:17:30 AM by DougMacG »


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Filibuster question
« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2012, 08:16:07 AM »
Normally I avoid the Bill Maher show, but, expecting fireworks, I tuned in to watch when I saw both Paul Krugman and Art Laffer would be on.  Laffer really didn't do or say that much, but I did run across an argument, pushed my Maher, that I had not seen before.

The gist of it is that due to a change in the filibuster rules, a bunch of bills that would have passed under the old rules failed to pass under the new rules (which require 60 votes).

I'm hoping BD or someone can shed some light on this.

Edited to add this from today's WSJ

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There's a growing chorus complaining that the Senate is broken, that Republicans are to blame, and that the rules of procedure need to be changed. This argument has any number of flaws, but at its core it relies on a general misrepresentation of how the Senate, and the filibuster in particular, works.

For example, here's how Politico's congressional reporter Scott Wong characterized the situation as part of a recent story on a lawsuit brought against the Senate by Common Cause to declare the filibuster unconstitutional:

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
."From 1981 to 2006, both parties used the filibuster when they were in the minority. During that period, the majority party in each Congress filed fewer than 90 cloture motions to overcome a filibuster by the minority.

"But since Democrats seized power in fall 2006, Republicans have turned to the filibuster far more frequently. The majority has averaged about 140 cloture motions in both the 110th and 111th Congress. And Democrats are on pace to repeat that feat again this Congress."

So Republicans are to blame for all those cloture petitions to end filibusters, right? Wrong. The fact that the majority has filed so many cloture petitions is as much a symptom of its own efforts to block the Senate from working its will as anything the minority has done. Consider this example.

On March 19, Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) introduced legislation (S. 2204) to promote renewable energy with the cost offset by a tax hike on large oil producers. The normal process would have been for this legislation to be referred to committee for action.

Majority Leader Harry Reid bypassed the committee process, however, and using something called Rule 14 had the bill placed directly on the Senate calendar. Two days later, he started the process to call up the bill by moving to "proceed to it" and immediately filed a cloture petition to end debate on that motion.

The following Monday, the Senate then voted 92-4 to curtail debate on the motion to proceed to the bill. The next day, as soon as the bill was before the Senate, Mr. Reid offered five consecutive amendments and one motion in order to effectively block the consideration of any competing amendments or motions.

He then filed a cloture motion to close out debate on the bill. Two days later, the Senate rejected cloture on a party-line vote and moved on to other business, leaving the Menendez bill adrift.

Now go back to the Politico story and ask yourself how exactly Republicans filibustered this bill? They didn't have time to filibuster anything, it was over so quickly. Moreover, their ability to take meaningful action was effectively nullified by four specific parliamentary maneuvers taken by Mr. Reid.

Why does the majority go to all this trouble? The simple answer is to protect its members from tough votes.

The Senate is a wide open forum where almost any issue can be raised and voted on at almost any time. This environment is a function of the Senate's tradition of unlimited debate, but it does leave members vulnerable to having to vote on difficult issues at inconvenient times, like when they are up for re-election.

In response, Majority Leader Reid has adopted the practice of blocking amendments from being offered. No amendments, no surprises, and no tough votes.

Taken alone, Sen. Reid's actions on S. 2204 are not historically unique. Every recent majority leader has used them on occasion. But what used to be relatively rare has been repeated dozens of times in recent years.

The very first bill considered by the Senate after the election of President Obama and a filibuster-proof Democratic majority was adopted under exactly the same truncated process used for S. 2204—Rule 14, cloture, block out any competing amendments, cloture. Since that time, the Senate has voted on cloture repeatedly, yet has very little to show for it: By some measures, 2011 was the least productive session in modern congressional history.

So where does that leave us?

Lawsuits like the one filed by Common Cause are frivolous public-relations efforts and will be rejected by the courts—the Constitution grants the Senate the right to craft its own rules, after all. But the possibility that the Democratic majority, threatened at the polls and frustrated by the current legislative stalemate, will move to change long-standing Senate rules to further limit debate and make it harder for senators to offer amendments on behalf of their beliefs is very real and must be strenuously opposed.

As we have seen, any systematic effort to block amendments, short-circuit debate, and force a preordained outcome turns the Senate into a legislative dead end. The salutary news is that on bills where the Democratic majority actually worked with the Republican minority to respect their rights to help craft bills and to debate and propose amendments, the Senate has been able to work its will and pass legislation—for example, the recent reauthorization of the Food and Drug Administration's user-fee program.

The Senate is the most uniquely American of all our federal institutions. It is a powerful and proud body that has protected us and our freedoms for more than 200 years. In order to work properly, however, senators must have their freedom too—the freedom to debate and offer amendments and, ultimately, vote. That is what they were elected to do, and that is how the Senate should work.

Mr. Reardon is a principal at Venn Strategies, and served on the National Economic Council under President George W. Bush. Mr. Ueland is vice president of the Duberstein Group and was chief of staff to former Senate Majority leader Bill Frist.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 08:33:41 AM by Crafty_Dog »


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2012, 03:29:57 PM »
Budgets only take a simple majority and they haven't passed one of those either.  Blame Republicans all they want but Senators like Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Jim Demint, etc did not go to Washington to support Harry Reid's agenda.  The majority needs to find common ground and attract crossover votes.  A lot of that bridge was burned in the shenanigans of Pelosi-Obamacare where they sought out no Republican vote.

The most government we should (IMHO) ever have is what 60 Senators can agree on.

Wikipedia has a nice summary of the changes in cloture.  As I understand it, a real filibuster used to require someone actually continuing the debate while less than 60 support cutting off debate and calling the question.

Dems are hesitant to reduce the power of the minority in the Senate back just months before becoming the minority.


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2012, 05:48:44 PM »

The most government we should (IMHO) ever have is what 60 Senators can agree on.

As I understand it, a real filibuster used to require someone actually continuing the debate while less than 60 support cutting off debate and calling the question.

Both of these points are excellent.  The Senate, by design, is supposed to be a slow moving, contentious body. 

And, yes, it used to be that the filibuster was rare because a senator, or group of senators, would stand in front of the Senate and orate about something (or nothing).  However, "filibuster" at this point really only means a procedural block on a particular Senate action.  Recently, these actions have included primarily bills, but also appointments and the like.  Rather than stopping Senate action cold, it only serves to cease discussion on the particular action.

I have a good article related to this, but can't find it on line tonight.  I'll look at an old syllabus for it tomorrow. 


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2012, 07:47:21 AM »

The most government we should (IMHO) ever have is what 60 Senators can agree on.

As I understand it, a real filibuster used to require someone actually continuing the debate while less than 60 support cutting off debate and calling the question.

Both of these points are excellent.  The Senate, by design, is supposed to be a slow moving, contentious body. 

And, yes, it used to be that the filibuster was rare because a senator, or group of senators, would stand in front of the Senate and orate about something (or nothing).  However, "filibuster" at this point really only means a procedural block on a particular Senate action.  Recently, these actions have included primarily bills, but also appointments and the like.  Rather than stopping Senate action cold, it only serves to cease discussion on the particular action.

I have a good article related to this, but can't find it on line tonight.  I'll look at an old syllabus for it tomorrow. 

From Madison, Federalist 62: “The necessity of the Senate is… indicated by the propensity of all single and numerous assemblies to yield to the impulse of sudden and violent passions, and to be seduced by factious leaders into intemperate and pernicious resolutions.”

Here is a link to the article:,8599,1967034,00.html.  From the article: "It has been more than two decades since the last time we saw the majority actually make the minority put up or shut up on a filibuster. In 1988, while attempting to shut down a Republican filibuster of campaign finance reform legislation, then majority leader Robert Byrd even went so far as to invoke a power that hadn't been used since 1942: he dispatched the Senate sergeant-at-arms to arrest missing Senators and escort them to the floor. Oregon's Bob Packwood was carried onto the floor at 1:19 a.m., after a scuffle in which he attempted to jam his office door and ended up reinjuring a broken finger. Byrd didn't give up until a record-setting eighth cloture vote failed to end the debate."


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Dems in close races buck Obama, Bob Kerrey's wife disses Nebraska
« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2012, 07:21:44 AM »
Polico reports that "Embattled Dems buck President Obama on taxes".  Looks to me like they are just quibbling over details, wanting to make cuts permanent for all lower brackets instead of a one year extension and getting the soak the rich definition up higher than 250k.

Bob Kerrey's wife disses Nebraska.  They are raising a 10 year old son in Greenwich Village, NYC.  She hates football.  Probably doesn't know that the largest city in Nebraska in Cornhusker Stadium on an October Saturday afternoon.

“The Midwest is a strange land for an Easterner of my ilk,”

She is "outraged...that he would choose his country over his family”

Don't worry Mrs. Kerrey (that's not her last name), he won't be representing Nebraska in the Senate, nor ever visit Nebraska if he were to win.  This will pass.


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2012, 08:03:58 AM »
"Probably doesn't know that the largest city in Nebraska in Cornhusker Stadium on an October Saturday afternoon."

Third largest.

Official census data:

Omaha, 408,958 (2010)

Lincoln, 258,379 (2010)

Memorial Stadium, with Tom Osbourne field, minimum of 81,067 every home game Saturday (317 consecutive home sellouts)


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #40 on: July 10, 2012, 08:13:30 AM »

I stand corrected!  That must be just urban myth in NE.  Of course I also got the name of the stadium wrong but to me Nebraska is just drive-through country, and a place where control of the Senate in 2013 and the Supreme Court for the next three decades might be determined.

My second try at that point:  Combine the stadium attendance with the Nebraska football television audience and see how those towns compare.  
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 08:20:29 AM by DougMacG »


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2012, 10:21:04 AM »
I don't think it is an urban myth; I think you misremember  :wink:. According to the UNL website, for example, in describing an on campus event in April, "UNLPD will be hosting a look at what a Husker Game Day is like for police. This program will give you a behind-the-scenes look at Memorial Stadium, the 3rd largest city in Nebraska on game day."

I love that you described it as an "urban myth" and then said the Nebraska is drive through country. Crack me up!


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races: Wisconsin Senate
« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2012, 07:37:34 AM »
Very good coverage of the Wisconsin Senate race at the link, very interesting:

Dem retiring.  Dems picked a far left lesbian activist from the state's most liberal city.  R's have establishment candidate Tommy Thompson a 3 term Governor and former Health and Human Services Secretary plus 3 tea party types competing for an August primary win.

As with each close race, control of the Senate is presumed to be at stake.


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Cherokee Drumbeat continues against Elizabeth Warren: Stepping Stones
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2012, 06:05:01 PM »
In this case some beautiful flute music accompanies the Cherokee message to Warren:


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races: Charlie Rangel
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2012, 08:56:39 PM »
"whatever happened in Charlie Rangel's race?  I remember reading it was very close and that the results were not immediately available"

He won his primary with a thin margin. They didn't call the winner right away.


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races
« Reply #45 on: July 18, 2012, 06:19:26 AM »
Ugh.  :cry:


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Congressional races: Elizabeth Warren, You didn't build that
« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2012, 11:18:37 AM »
I had not seen the real video of Elizabeth Warren when I posted the parody.  OMG.

Actual Warren:

"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own!  Nobody!  You built a factory out there?  Good for you!  But I want to be clear.  You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for!"

(Not to be confused with the parody:


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Re: The US Congress; Congressional races - Sen. candidate Todd Akin, R-Mo
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2012, 12:03:32 PM »
Big scandal, the woman shuts down conception during a real rape? I've had more radio access than internet this week and this was the only story.  It will hurt Republicans in more than this one race.  It plays perfectly into the war against women false accusation being propagated.

Rounding to the nearest point, abortion that  follow rape make up 0% of total abortions while convenience abortions make up 98%.  If the federal govt issue of 2012 was abortion (it isn't), the focus should be on the latter.

This guy should go just for sloppy research and messaging,  Call it a self-inflicted wound or an unforced error.  Sort of a Bachmann moment.   To take that extreme of a stand, one better have their facts and studies in order, not 'I think I read it somewhere' pass around email? 

A write-in campaign won in Alaska in 2010 with a name Murkowsky way harder to spell than Kit Bond.

GOP doesn't need a loose cannon in a swing state damaging the brand and stepping on the message nationwide in the final stretch of a crucial election.


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Sen. Feinstein won't debate challenger
« Reply #49 on: September 11, 2012, 10:04:04 AM »