It’s Palin doing the pallin’ around with terrorists

Countdown’s Keith Olbermann points out in a Special Comment that while John McCain might want to use Sarah Palin to hit Barack Obama below the belt and accuse him of terrorist associations, he overlooked the unfortunate fact that “pallin’ around with terrorists” is one area where Palin has more experience.

KEATING ECONOMICS: John McCain & The Making of a Financial Crisis

Published in: on October 7, 2008 at 3:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

When Reality Meets The Political Roadblock

We CAN have national security and protect American civil liberties, but it takes work to balance the tensions between the two. .

Christy Hardin Smith

Published in: on June 22, 2008 at 10:08 am  Comments (1)  

Time Magazine uncritically prints Nancy Pelosi’s “justifications” for the FISA “compromise”

It’s hardly news that Time Magazine’s principal function is uncritically to amplify false claims from government officials, but this article by Massimo Calabresi — entitled “Behind the Compromise on Spying” — is such a masterpiece in spouting simplistic government propaganda and rank falsehoods that it is revealing on numerous levels.

Published in: on June 22, 2008 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  

The Sad, True McCain Record on Veterans

McCain Refuses to Support Sen. Jim Webb’s and Chuck Hagel’s new GI Bill.

The bill, officially called the “Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007”, would establish a program of educational assistance for members of the Armed Forces who serve in the Armed Forces after September 11, 2001.

Sen. Jim Webb has called on McCain to sign on as a co-sponsor to his GI bill

The bill has 51 co-sponsors – including 9 Republicans – but needs 60 co-sponsors to make it filibuster proof.

McCain Voted Against $19 Billion for Military Hospitals, Choosing Tax Cuts for Wealthiest Earners over Veterans.

In February 2006, McCain voted against an amendment that would have provided for at least $19 billion for military health facilities, paid for by eliminating tax cuts for the wealthiest earners.
*Senate Amendment 2735, Amendment failed.

McCain Voted Against Legislation to Provide $2.8 Billion For Medical Care for Veterans.

McCain voted against a 2006 Democratic amendment that would have provided $2.8 billion to increase veterans’ medical care.
*Senate Amendment 149, Amendment failed.

McCain Voted Against Establishing $1 Billion Trust Fund to Provide Improvements to Military and Veterans’ Health Facilities

McCain voted against an Amendment to establish a $1 billion trust fund to provide improvements to health facilities that treat veterans and military personnel paid for by allowing dividends and capital gains tax breaks, for those with incomes greater than $1 million to lapse on December 31, 2006.
*Senate Amendment 2735

McCain Chooses Corporations Over Veterans, Voting Against Adding $1.5 billion to Veterans’ Medical Services in 2007 Budget by Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes.

McCain voted against an Amendment offered by Democrats to increase medical services funding to veterans by $1.5 billion in 2007, to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.
*Senate Amendment 3007

McCain Voted Against Mandatory Funding of $6.9 Billion in 2007 Budget and $104 Billion Over Five Years for Veterans’ Health Care.

McCain voted against a Democratic amendment to provide a mandatory stream of funding of $6.9 billion in Fiscal Year 2007 and $104 billion over five years for veterans’ health care; paid for by restoring the pre-2001 top tax rate for incomes over $1 million and closing various corporate tax loopholes.
Senate Amendment 3141

September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments.

The legislation would have provided minimum periods between deployment of units and members of the Armed Forces deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
*Senate Amendment 2909

April 2006: McCain one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430 million for Medical Services for the Department of Veteran Affairs for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.

Despite his vote against, it passed overwhelmingly, 84-13 (3 not voting). All 13 voting against were Republicans.
*Senate Amendment 3642

October 2003: McCain voted against an amendment offered by Senator Dodd that called for an additional $322 million for safety equipment for troops in Iraq.
*Senate Amendment 1817

April 2003: McCain voted against an amendment that would have provided more than $1 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.
*Senate Amendment 452

August 2001: McCain voted against increasing the amount available for medical care for veterans by $650 million.
*Senate Amendment 1218

Published in: on April 9, 2008 at 4:12 pm  Comments (4)  

Buffett backs estate tax, decries wealth gap

Billionaire Warren Buffett on Wednesday endorsed the estate tax as a check on wealth accumulation, while two senior U.S. senators said they want the tax repealed.

Revisiting a long-standing debate over the controversial tax, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing where Chairman Max Baucus said he supports ending the estate tax, although he said he did not expect this to happen any time soon.

Published in: on November 14, 2007 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

The strong and tough Democrats

The capitulation on FISA is as politically self-destructive as it is unconscionable on the merits.

Glenn Greenwald (more…)

Published in: on August 7, 2007 at 1:57 am  Comments (1)  

Ruling Limited Spying Efforts

Move to Amend FISA Sparked by Judge’s Decision

A federal intelligence court judge earlier this year secretly declared a key element of the Bush administration’s wiretapping efforts illegal, according to a lawmaker and government sources, providing a previously unstated rationale for fevered efforts by congressional lawmakers this week to expand the president’s spying powers.

Published in: on August 3, 2007 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush won’t let aide Rove testify to Congress

Citing executive privilege, President George W. Bush on Wednesday rejected a subpoena for his close adviser Karl Rove to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee in a probe over fired federal prosecutors.

The committee had subpoenaed Rove to testify at a hearing on Thursday morning in its investigation of the firing last year of nine federal prosecutors, which critics said was prompted by partisan politics.

Published in: on August 2, 2007 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Occupation On The Home Front

Welcome to Bizarro Congress. The past six months have been stuffed chockfull of triumphs and disappointments for the Democratic Party: bills denouncing the Iraq War, bills prolonging the Iraq War, bills calling the troops home, bills providing the funds to keep the troops in Iraq for up to three more years. The strange news? They’re all the same bill.

by Maya Schenwar

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 9:22 am  Leave a Comment  

House Votes 411-8 to Pass Ethics Overhaul

Far-Reaching Measure Faces Senate Hurdles

By Jonathan Weisman

The House gave final and overwhelming approval yesterday to a landmark bill that would tighten ethics and lobbying rules for Congress, forcing lawmakers to more fully detail how their campaigns are funded and how they direct government spending.

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 8:48 am  Leave a Comment  

U.S. Attorney Became Target After Rebuffing Justice Dept.

By Amy Goldstein and Carrie Johnson

The night before the government secured a guilty plea from the manufacturer of the addictive painkiller OxyContin, a senior Justice Department official called the U.S. attorney handling the case and, at the behest of an executive for the drugmaker, urged him to slow down, the prosecutor told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

Published in: on August 1, 2007 at 8:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Congress should impeach Mr. Gonzales

“Americans have been waiting months for Mr. Bush to fire Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who long ago proved that he was incompetent and more recently has proved that he can’t tell the truth. Mr. Bush refused to fire him after it was clear Mr. Gonzales lied about his role in the political purge of nine federal prosecutors. And he is still refusing to do so….

Published in: on July 29, 2007 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Senate on Iraq: No ‘Phony Debate’

On reading the July 21 editorial “The Phony Debate,” it became clear why The Post’s editorial writers have been such eager cheerleaders for the Bush administration’s flawed Iraq policies — the two share the same disregard for the facts en route to drawing dubious conclusions.

by Harry Reid

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Leahy issues subpoena for Rove

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday issued a subpoena for top White House adviser Karl Rove to compel him to testify about the firing of several U.S. attorneys.

By Klaus Marre

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Lawmakers Grill EPA Chief on Calif. Law

By ERICA WERNER

WASHINGTON (AP) – The head of the Environmental Protection Agency refused on Thursday to say whether he knew the Transportation Department was lobbying against a California global warming law.

“I defer to the Transportation Department,” EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson repeated three times in a row in response to questions from Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Leader Reid confesses Levin-Reed Amendment leaves troops in Iraq

I attended the MoveOn.org rally on Tuesday night where Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid discussed how they were going to “end the war” and “bring our troops home” with the Levin-Reed Amendment. When I asked if they meant all the troops, I was quickly told to, “shut up” and muscled aside by security. A fellow Marine Mom was treated in much the same manner and we couldn’t get over how much like the Republicans the “Anti-Escalation” folks were acting.

Tina Richards

Published in: on July 27, 2007 at 11:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Congress must reassert the balance of powers

The White House, by proclaiming that it will not let the Justice Department pursue contempt charges against a former White House official who failed to comply with a congressional subpoena for information regarding the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, has declared the executive branch to be superior, rather than co-equal, to the other two branches of government. Congress must look for other avenues of redress to protect its oversight role.

Published in: on July 25, 2007 at 11:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Just What the Founders Feared: An Imperial President Goes to War

The nation is heading toward a constitutional showdown over the Iraq war. Congress is moving closer to passing a bill to limit or end the war, but President Bush insists Congress doesn’t have the power to do it.

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Congressman Denied Access To Post-Attack Continuity Plans

By JEFF KOSSEFF

WASHINGTON — Constituents called Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.

As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure “bubbleroom” in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents. On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

This is a unique way of looking at things

This morning, John Yoo, a Berkeley law school professor and former lawyer for the Bush administration, writes* on the WSJ op-ed page that the Democrats’ attack on Bush’s assertion of executive privilege shows a blatant disregard for the Constitution. And he says that President Clinton’s “personal recklessness” — he asserted the privilege during the Monica Lewinsky scandal — “undermined executive privilege for all future presidents. (via WSJ blog)

(more…)

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Five Minus Four Equals Al Qaeda Squared

Someone is not telling the truth and it is incumbent on Congress to get to the bottom of this nonsense.

by Larry C Johnson

Published in: on July 22, 2007 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Conyers: 3 More Congress Members and I’ll Impeach

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has said that if three more Congress Members get behind impeachment he will start the impeachment proceedings.

Published in: on July 21, 2007 at 11:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Senate tied in knots by filibusters

Margaret Talev |
WASHINGTON — This year Senate Republicans are threatening filibusters to block more legislation than ever before, a pattern that’s rooted in — and could increase — the pettiness and dysfunction in Congress.

Published in: on July 21, 2007 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush’s magical shield from criminal prosecution

Glenn Greenwald
The Bush administration decided to announce to Washington Post reporters Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein its view that it has the power to block the Justice Department, and its U.S. Attorneys, from criminally prosecuting Executive Branch employees who refuse to comply with Congressional subpoenas, notwithstanding a statute enacted by the American people through their Congress requiring such prosecution where Congress issues a contempt citation. We do not know who specifically in the administration announced this obviously radical position because the Post courteously granted them a shield of anonymity to hide behind. (more…)

Published in: on July 21, 2007 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

I Did Have Sexual Relations With That Woman

By FRANK RICH
Published: July 22, 2007

IT’S not just the resurgence of Al Qaeda that is taking us back full circle to the fateful first summer of the Bush presidency. It’s the hot sweat emanating from Washington. Once again the capital is titillated by a scandal featuring a member of Congress, a woman who is not his wife and a rumor of crime.

[need access?]

Published in: on July 21, 2007 at 10:50 pm  Comments (3)  

Barbaric! Let that word resound!

Sen. Byrd: Dogfighting Is “Barbaric”

West Va. Democrat Says “Hottest Places In Hell” Reserved For Promoters

Published in: on July 20, 2007 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Senate Debating All Night on Iraq

“We have no alternative except to keep them in session to explain their obstruction,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 8:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

If the Democrats Want to Win…

By taking impeachment and an Iraq War fund cut-off off the table, Democratic leaders have handed George W. Bush victory in his showdown with Congress even as the battle is supposedly just being joined.

If the Democrats really want to prevail over Bush — both on his Iraq War policy and his assertion of expansive presidential powers — they have no choice but to consider an appropriations bill that limits war spending to what’s needed for an orderly withdrawal and to commence impeachment hearings against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Published in: on July 17, 2007 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

They’re learning democracy from us all right

How dare the Iraqi parliament take off a month in the middle of a war? Especially when our troops don’t get a recess in the heat? I agree. But then how is it okay for the US Congress to take their August recess?

Iraq War Costs US $12 Billion Monthly-Iraq’s UN Ambassador Oblivious

Published in: on July 16, 2007 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush Has Photos of Pelosi

By David Swanson

Bush has photos of Pelosi doing… WHAT?

Here’s the situation Nancy Pelosi finds herself in. A full 54% of Americans and 76% of Democrats want Dick Cheney impeached. Cheney’s 13% favorability makes him the least popular president or vice president ever. The Washington Post reports that Republicans are turning against Cheney. By failing to act, the Democratic Congress has made itself less popular than Bush.

Published in: on July 15, 2007 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

PBS’ Bill Moyers w/ John Nichols and Bruce Fein on Impeachment

Here’s the LINK to watch Bill Moyers’ introduction report on Impeachment with John Nichols and Bruce Fein.

To watch the discussion with John Nichols and Bruce Fein, go here and tap “Watch video.” There’s a second part, too.
The full transcript of the show.

Bill Moyers Shames Corporate Media and Speaker Pelosi over Impeachment
By Dave Lindorff

Published in: on July 15, 2007 at 3:58 pm  Comments (1)  

House Passes Responsible Re-Deployment From Iraq Act

The House has passed the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act by a vote of 223-201. This marks the largest vote in favor of redeployment to date.

The legislation, sponsored by Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, would begin the responsible redeployment of U.S. troops within 120 days and complete redeployment by April 1, 2008. The President would have to report to Congress why troops should remain in Iraq for limited purposes such as to fight terrorism or to train Iraqi forces.

Published in: on July 14, 2007 at 11:02 pm  Comments (105)  

White House Denies Request for Documents in Ex-NFL Player’s Death

The White House has refused to give Congress documents about the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman, with White House counsel Fred F. Fielding saying that certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting “implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”

Published in: on July 14, 2007 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Harriet Miers’s Contempt of Congress–

Are Conservatives About To Neuter Congress, While Claiming Full Legal Justification for this Separation-of-Powers Violation?

By John W. Dean

Published in: on July 14, 2007 at 9:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Senate panel moves to cut off funding for Cheney in flap with Dems over executive order

“Neither Mr. Cheney or his staff is above the law or the Constitution,” Durbin said. “For the vice president to believe that he has no responsibility to meet this requirement of the law is a dereliction of duty.”

Published in: on July 11, 2007 at 11:34 am  Comments (1)  

Senator Vitter a client at Canal Street brothel

On Monday, Vitter apologized after it was revealed his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service in Washington D.C. operated by the so-called “D.C. Madam.” In an e-mail Monday night, Vitter apologized for a “very serious sin in my past.”

Published in: on July 11, 2007 at 11:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Leahy: White House “Contemptuous Of The Congress”

Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, ripped into George W. Bush on Monday after receiving a letter from White House Counsel Fred Fielding stating that Senate subpoenas for documents and staff testimony in the Justice Department political firings would be met with silence and a specious claim of executive privilege.

Published in: on July 10, 2007 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Franken Leads Incumbent in Fundraising

Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken raised nearly $2 million in the latest reporting period, pulling in more money than both his Democratic rival and the Republican incumbent, Sen. Norm Coleman.

Published in: on July 10, 2007 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Congress Returns, Ready to Take on Bush

Congressmen returning from their Independence Day
break are ready for battle with the White House,
with Democrats decrying President Bush’s commutation of former aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison sentence and fighting Bush’s latest claim of executive privilege.

I wish them Godspeed if they actually do.

Published in: on July 10, 2007 at 7:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Postal Rates Increase for Magazines

From National Public Radio, July 9, 2007
By Joel Rose

The cost of getting a magazine to your mailbox is rising. Just how much depends on which magazine. Small publications say they’re shouldering more than their share of the rate hike. They contend the biggest titles are getting a break. They’ve convinced Congress to hold hearings on the matter.

To listen to the segment, click here. (Audio 6:15)

Published in: on July 9, 2007 at 11:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lawmakers to work on closing Gitmo

Members of Congress plan to push measures to stop funding for the Guantanamo Bay detention center and grant new legal rights to detainees when Congress returns this week. “As long as Guantanamo stays open, it undermines our defining principles as a nation of equal justice under law,” said Rep Jim Moran, D-Va., author of a funding proposal that would give the Bush administration six months to close the Cuban facility.

Published in: on July 9, 2007 at 10:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Senators Say They Will Call On Patrick Fitzgerald To Testify

Today on CNN’s Late Edition, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Arlen Specter (R-PA), the committee’s top Republican, announced that they were interested in calling Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to testify about the CIA leak investigation.

Published in: on July 9, 2007 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bush denies Congress access to aides

President Bush directed former aides to defy congressional subpoenas on Monday, claiming executive privilege and prodding lawmakers closer to their first contempt citations against administration officials since Ronald Reagan was president.

Published in: on July 9, 2007 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Congress needs to hold Cheney accountable

President Bush let Scooter Libby, the one man who was convicted for the lies around the Iraq war, go free.

And the obstruction of justice doesn’t stop there. The Senate recently subpoenaed documents from the Vice President’s office around the illegal wiretapping program and so far he has not complied. It’s clear this administration thinks it’s above the law. That’s un-American, and I think it’s time for Congress to hold them accountable.

I just signed a petition urging Congress to force Vice President Cheney to respond to its subpoenas. If he doesn’t, Congress has to begin impeachment proceedings against him. Can you join me by clicking the link below?

Sign the Petition

Thanks!

Published in: on July 3, 2007 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Washington Democrat adds voice to Cheney impeachment drive

A Democratic Congressman from Washington state became the latest Member of Congress to add his voice to the calls for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Published in: on June 30, 2007 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Congress Needs to Stop Playing in Bush’s Court

There are two ways to look at the growing confrontation between Congress and the White House over access to information.

Published in: on June 29, 2007 at 6:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Big Oil Flexed, Coal Companies Pressured, the Senate Caved, You Could Lose

Tell your representative to fix the energy bill.

Published in: on June 28, 2007 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Time Is Right for New Pentagon Papers

Of the Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Mike Gravel is probably the least well recognized. His dark-horse candidacy may be the butt of jokes on the late-night comedy shows, but that doesn’t faze former Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg: “Here is a senator who was not afraid to look foolish. That is the fear that keeps people in line all their lives.”

by Amy Goodman

Published in: on June 27, 2007 at 3:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Out-Of-Afghanistan Rumblings On The Hill

Roxana Tiron, The Hill

When they won control of Congress in November, Democrats pressed their case to withdraw troops from Iraq and refocus on Afghanistan, but some are growing impatient with U.S. operations in Afghanistan as well.

Published in: on June 26, 2007 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment