Showing posts with label House. Show all posts
Showing posts with label House. Show all posts

5/27/10

Movin' On!


Just to the other side of town. :)

I am at the point where I can choose to live in a half empty house with only a computer and a lot of furniture (minus the drawers of "stuff" that are already moved) or live in a house with a TV and no furniture inside (though we do have our patio furniture moved so we can sit outside). We load up the van and take it over every night and so far we have moved most of the small things we have. We rented a small moving truck to move the big things figuring on doing it in two loads but with so much already done we may just get everything left to fit in that one small truck for one last load.

9/22/09

Blue Dog Mike Ross Real Estate Scandal?

Via TomP at dKos, Rep. Mike Ross is getting his first taste of promised push-back for going against what the majority of Americans want:
ProPublica is reporting that Blue Dog Congressman Mike Ross (DINO-AR) "sold a piece of commercial property in 2007 for substantially more than a county assessment and an independent appraisal say it was worth."

Who did he sell it to? An Arkansas-based pharmacy chain with an interest in defeating universal health care.
Ross sold the real estate in Prescott, Ark., to USA Drug for $420,000 -- an eye-popping number for real estate in the tiny train and lumber town about 100 miles southwest of Little Rock.

"You can buy half the town for $420,000," said Adam Guthrie, chairman of the county Board of Equalization and the only licensed real estate appraiser in Prescott.
ProPublica: Mike Ross Raises Eyebrows With Healthy Haul

But it's not just $420,000. There is an extra almost 1 million dollars that went to the Rosses in the deal. The total value of the transaction is between $1 million and $1.67 million.
Any other Blue Dogs or Money Party candidates in Congress want to reconsider selling out Americans to the health insurance and pharmaceutical corporations? If we don't hear from you, you will very likely hear from us...

Update: Rachel Maddow gives the story a little love:



Crooks and Liars has a statement from Ross on this "Gotcha Politics" traditionally called bribes.

2/16/09

2008 Bankruptcies Skyrocketed in Connecticut

According to The New London Day, 2008 bankruptcies across the rest of the nation too:
Filings for one of the most common forms of personal bankruptcy have increased by more than 60 percent in 2008 in Connecticut, according to a report released Monday by The Warren Group.

According to the report, Chapter 7 filings of the U.S. bankruptcy code increased 66 percent last year, from 3,417 in 2007 to 5,676 in 2008 and more than doubled since 2006. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the most common option for individuals seeking relief from debt, wipes away most debt after non-exempt assets are used to pay off creditors.
When combined with Chapter 13 filings, which permit repayment of debt, filings are up 51 percent in the state since last year.

Oh yeah... Chapter 7 bankruptcies are down compared to 2005 levels courtesy of what was little more than the "indentured servitude act - 2005" making it near impossible to get out from underneath debt. You can thank the entire bank loving Congress for that. There are way too many Democratic members in the House and Senate that deserve special attention on this to bother list, never mind the ever-screwing-us-over Republicans.

Tell me something, all you Senators and Representatives, are you proud of this and do you think about this as you hand over TRILLIONS of our tax dollars to these corrupt and incompetent robber baron banks? And how do you live with yourselves knowing that we know you are robbing us?

Politicians and bankers... Criminals with a fancy title.

1/28/09

Alan Grayson On Oxy-Rush

Via DownWithTyranny, and frickin' hilarious:
The members of Congress I was able to coax into commenting didn't just talk about Limbaugh locution. Alan Grayson, the outspoken member from Orlando, as usual, wasn't mincing words: "Rush Limbaugh is a has-been hypocrite loser, who craves attention. His right-wing lunacy sounds like Mikhail Gorbachev, extolling the virtues of communism. Limbaugh actually was more lucid when he was a drug addict. If America ever did 1% of what he wanted us to do, then we'd all need pain killers."

Yeah. Some Politicians know what they are doing.

1/26/09

Not Just Yeah...

But Hell Yeah!

You go on this one, Senator Feingold... Couldn't agree more.

1/13/09

The Tennessee GOP is stunned and freaking out!

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

No one saw this coming!

The Republicans -- who had just finally won control of the State House for the first time in 40+ years – were suppose to elect their Speaker of the House today. And failed!

Anaxamander has the details in his/her diary. The Tennessee State House has 50 Republicans and 49 Democrats. Well, Rep. Kent Williams (R-TN) got the support of all 49 Democrats plus his own vote to put himself in the Speaker’s chair.

The TNGOP is freaking stunned and freaking out!

Sorry... Couldn't help myself. :D

10/31/08

Note To Chris Healy and Chris Shays

Healy is, still, clearly "Fat, drunk and stupid" if he thinks anyone is buying the Republican snake oil he sells. CT Bob has an "Obama endorsing Himes" ad at the top of his Blog, but if you scroll down you find this tear on the perpetually drunk with stupidity statements of Chis Healy that have come to represent the idiotic thought process of Republicans everywhere:
Yeah, it's just noise when Chris Shays tries to hitch his wagon to the Obama juggernaut in his mealy-mouthed ads. If the senator's endorsement means so little, why does Shays use the phrase "The hopefulness of Barack Obama" in his ads? Healy continues:
"Barack Obama talking about Jim Himes, whom I doubt he's ever met, it won't draw flies."
Uh, Chris, I hate to break it to you, but if you pull your head out of your butt long enough to look at Jim's website or catch his ads on TV, you might see this:

Oh well Chris, maybe you can photoshop your buddy Mr. Shays into the image where Jim Himes is standing right next to Barack Obama.
Unlike the spastic and erratic John McCain... Barack Obama actually takes the time to vet candidates BEFORE he endorses them. And, clearly, the Connecticut Republican party would do well to take away the keys from their 3 time DUI leader that has been integral in driving the local GOP into the ditch.

There is a huge difference between Jim Himes and Chris Shays, no matter how much the rubber stamp Republican, Shays, would like you to believe the opposite of reality:

There's no Republican in the House who has tried this exact same tactic more forcefully than Chris Shays of Connecticut. Shays is the last Republican member of the House from the 6-state New Hampshire region and his Connecticut congressional district has a PVI of D+5, the bluest district in America represented by a Republican.

Like his close ally, Joe Lieberman, Shays has managed to stay in office by persuading Democrats that he isn't really that Republican. His voting record, however, paints a very different picture. When Bush and the Republicans needed his vote-- no matter what the harebrained scheme they were pushing, he was always there for them. Take Iraq, for example. "Mr. Moderate" participated in 63 roll calls regarding Iraq since he voted 4 times on October 10, 2002 to authorize the use of force there. And "Mr. Moderate" voted against the Bush-Cheney agenda in Iraq exactly... 3 times, once to require competitive bidding on oil contracts when Cheney was caught trying to steal all of Iraq's oil, as did more than 4 dozen other Republicans, once to turn an Iraqi reconstruction grant into a loan (which was supported by 84 Republicans), and once on an inconsequential and unsubstantive budgetary matter. This week Shays, who is co-chairman of McCain's pointless Connecticut operation (he is polling just 36% against Obama) released an ad, very much like Gordon Smith's, trying to capitalize on Obama's immense popularity in Connecticut. Take a look-- and then consider donating to Blue America endorsee Jim Himes' campaign to replace him.

And Senator Obama's response?
"In this race, the good people of Connecticut should know that Barack Obama supports Jim Himes and believes Himes is the candidate who will bring the change American families need to Washington."

You want real change...

Not a desperate to hang onto his seat Republican like Chris Shays that is running from the McCain campaign that he has failingly chaired in the state of Connecticut. Both the national and the local Connecticut Republican party have proven, over and over again, that they are a top down driven failure. And none of them are willing to take responsibility for any of their own failures.

Republicans blame Obama for policies and ideas that are as American as apple pie. They blame those evil liberals and progressives for pointing out hypocritical Republican voting records. They blame their own ownership society that is ruining middle class Americans. They blame the economy that they ran into the ground with their free market run amok deregulation. They blame failed foreign policies that they created and chose to support. They even try to blame Bush for implementing their own ideas. And, now, some of these Republicans blame the incompetent and erratic McCain campaign and, even more so, the entirely absurd choice of Palin... The candidates they chose as their standard bearers and have failingly led the charge for themselves.

Not one of these Republicans are honest enough to look in the miror and see the failure that was and always will be theirs to own.

And that is what they try to call change?

That is Republican politics per usual... Connecticut and the rest of this nation cannot afford to remain on the same course that Republicans have, yet again, chosen. Their divisive political games and outright lies on the campaign trail to nowhere have caused nearly as much harm to America as their disastrous policies have. America needs real change.

Real change will come from electing Jim Himes.

8/15/08

Pelosi Questions Lieberman's Leadership Position

Via scarce and Crooks and Liars, House Leader Nancy Pelosi wonders aloud in a radio interview - on San Fransisco KGO's Ronn Owens Show - about possible repercussions in the Senate for Joe neocon Lieberman's most recent republican regressions in his eternal warmongering quest:



Apparently, The Lieberman Limbo may result in his being banished to political limbo with the rest of the (R)idiots permanently:
It appears that Connecticut's junior Senator, Joe neocon Lieberman, can and will continue to try and set the bar lower:
"In my opinion, the choice could not be more clear: between one candidate, John McCain, who’s had experience, been tested in war and tried in peace, another candidate who has not," Mr. Lieberman said. "Between one candidate, John McCain, who has always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not. Between one candidate who’s a talker, and the other candidate who’s the leader America needs as our next candidate."
Just because Obama hasn't joined the neoconga line with you on the failed side of American party politics does not give you the right to question his patriotism.

Though I must admit that the pitiful desperation in your message suits you, Joe.
Kicking the warmonger, Joe neocon Lieberman, off of the Homeland Security Chair would do a lot towards securing our nation long into the future. Even better would be to get him off of the Homeland Security Committee altogether.

Hopefully Joe will retire after he becomes politically obsolete.



7/24/08

Chris Shays: Running Up YOUR Tax Burden

Anderson Scooper at 4th street news has an interesting post up on Chris Shays politcal courage in standing up for tax cuts for the rich and against helping the middle class:
"Shays' stated views on which taxes should be lowered: slightly decrease corporate income taxes, slightly decrease the capital gains tax, (meaning even further), and greatly decrease the inheritance tax, which I take to mean doing away with it altogether.

As a side note, it's interesting that Shays wants to increase spending across the board, except for agricultural spending and a national missile defense.

Combining the two, does that make Chris Shays a borrow and spend Republican? It sure seems to!"
Is there any other kind of republican these days? As for Jim Himes position on this? He put out his Middle Class Tax Relief plan on July 22nd:

Today in Stamford, Jim Himes announced a plan for middle-class tax relief plan that will help middle-class families in three important ways: by expanding college tuition tax credits to make college affordable again, by creating a new tax credit for first-time homebuyers to make it easier for families to buy their first home, and by expanding the saver's credit to help middle‐class families build wealth for the future. The plan would restore opportunity and the American Dream for middle-class families by helping them afford college, buy their first home, and save for the future.

Read the full plan here: (pdf)




7/16/08

Bush Impeachment Will Go To Committee

And this time it doesn't look like they are sending it there to bury it:
Kucinich Says Unidentified Foreign Official
Wants to Speak at Impeachment Talks

An unidentified government official of a U.S. ally wants to participate if and when Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich makes his case to impeach President Bush before the House Judiciary Committee, according to the Ohio Democrat.

The House voted, 238-180, on Tuesday to send Kucinich’s latest impeachment effort (H Res 1345) to the Judiciary Committee.

Chairman John Conyers Jr. said he will hold a broad hearing on the general topic of abuses of power by the Bush administration.

“There’s never been one [hearing] that accumulated all the things that constitute an imperial presidency,” Conyers said, explaining that the anticipated hearing would review more than a year of committee inquiry into such matters as the firing of U.S. attorneys, the leak of the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Plame and the information provided to Congress in the run-up to the Iraq War.
Read on... But before you go to read that, why is torture not on that list? It should be.

7/11/08

Robocall Watch CT-05 Edition

Apparently a Republican attack dog, Freedom Watch, is planning on running a robocall campaign against House Rep. Chris Murphy:
Freedom’s Watch, the conservative advocacy group that has vowed to spend millions against Democratic congressional candidates this fall, will be running robocalls this week in 16 congressional districts where Democratic incumbents seem vulnerable or where an open seat has given rise to a competitive election.

The robocalls will focus on the issue of high gas prices.

No Nutmeggers... It's not the Enron-esque practices of the oil industry, where the oil industry owns leases on millions of acres of undeveloped oil and refuse to develop them, or unregulated market speculation, nor the lack of refineries needed to actually meet today's demand. And it's certainly not the result of illegal invasions and occupations.

It's that pesky 5% to 10% in taxes (depending on your state) that are the direct result of gas more than doubling in price at the pumps.

And Freedom Watch is out to piss you off with those insane Republican robocalls full of complete and total BS.

Previously brewed in New Milford:

Republican Lies About Offshore Drilling

environmentalist from dKos cuts through the GOP's BS concerning offshore drilling:
First of all, there is no "ban".

"Ban" is just more GOPer-speak. In reality, there is a moratorium on drilling in certain coastal areas. Other areas are not only open to drilling but leases and drilling permits have already been issued.

And they are not being drilled.

In fact, only 17% of the leased areas [are] in production. So, with about 33 million acres of offshore areas already available to drill and not being drilled, why does the oil and gas industry need to have access to still more? The fact is that nearly 25 BILLION barrels of oil off the coast of the United States is currently available for drilling...and industry is not drilling it.

Not to mention natural gas. Most of the natural gas occurring offshore (over 328 TRILLION cubic feet – an eleven year supply at current consumption rates) is currently available for leasing and development.

And they’re not going after it.

This is the story throughout the country, more than 44 million acres of onshore public lands are leased for oil and gas development and yet most of it is not being drilled. All told (onshore and offshore), 68 million acres are leased and sitting idle. Over 10,000 permits are currently 'stockpiled' by industry. But still they want more.

Between 1999 and 2007, the number of drilling permits issued for development of public lands increased by more than 361%. And did you see your gasoline costs drop? How about your electricity costs? Propane? natural gas? Uh...no. There is absolutely no correlation between the industrialization of public lands and the price of fossil fuels.

It has been estimated that if all of those currently inactive leases were drilled, the USA would produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas EVERY DAY, accounting for a doubling of US oil production and a 75% increase in US natural gas production. The Minerals Management Service tells us that about 80% of fossil fuels available in offshore are currently available for development.

What's going on here is yet another cynical attempt by the GOP and the oil and gas robber barons to increase and assure huge industry profits at the expense of the American people. These companies don’t want to drill these areas. They want to hold them as [assets] to limit the amount of oil and gas on the market so that prices rise still further - and they make more money.

Republicans and the oil industry are lying to America out the ying yang on this. Surprised? I didn't think so...


6/17/08

CT BOB interviews Rep. Chris Murphy

From Bob Adams, aka Ct Bob:
Congressman Chris Murphy from the 5th CD joined me for an interview on Saturday morning. The video covers topics such as the 2006 election, the Supreme Court, the Constitution, current bills before the House, and Chris's impressions from his first term in Congress. The entire interview runs 22 minutes.

6/11/08

What Will Lunatic Shays Say About This?

Given his knowledgeable background in sports, as evideneced by his statements at the baseball/steroid hearings, I am looking forward to hearing Chris Shays comments on this blockbuster basketball news:

NBA referees rigged a 2002 playoff series to force it to a revenue-boosting seven games. That's what a former referee at the center of a gambling scandal is alleging. Without identifying anyone or naming teams, disgraced referee Tim Donaghy (DAHN'-uh-gee) also claims the NBA routinely encouraged refs to ring up bogus fouls to manipulate results but calls against star players. Speaking before the start of the NBA finals Game 3 featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, NBA commissioner David Stern calls the allegations baseless



Will we get to hear him be outraged about this serious sports issue instead of the minor issue of people dying in Iraq?

Previously brewed in New Milford:
The Twisted Republican Perspective

Nearly 4,000 dead American soldiers and over 29,000 wounded

U.S. Casualties By Calendar Year
YearUS DeathsUS Wounded
20034862,416
20048498,002
20058465,947
20068226,400
20079016,084
200856231
Total396029080

And the senile old fart, Republican John McCain, thinks debating his age will distract us?
McCain campaign manager Rick Davis today sent an unmistakable message to Barack Obama over the Illinois Democrat's effort to stoke the obvious age contrast between himself and the 71-year-old McCain: Bring it on.
Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis...
We maintain a daily count based on news reports. It is not intended to be complete. There is no agency that keeps track of accurate numbers of Iraqis killed. JustForeignPolicy maintains a running estimate based on the Lancet study with the rate of increase derived from the Iraq Body Count.

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator
And Republican Senator Arlen Specter is intent on hunting down football tapes?
"There was confirmation that there has been taping since 2000, when Coach Belichick took over," Specter said.

Specter said Goodell gave him that information during the 1-hour, 40-minute meeting, which was requested by Specter so the commissioner could explain his reasons for destroying the Spygate tapes and notes.

On the home front, the country is getting flushed down the toilet by failed conservative policies run amok:
The U.S. economy is faltering. Family debt is on the rise, benefits are disappearing, the deficit is skyrocketing, and the mortgage crisis has worsened. Conservatives have attempted to deflect attention from the crisis, by blaming the media’s negative coverage and insisting the United States is not headed toward a recession, despite what economists are predicting.
And Republican Rep. Chris Shays is in a steroid induced stupor:
Once again, Chris Shays embarrasses the state of Connecticut with one of the most embarrassing tirades to date. Our congressman from the fourth district took grandstanding to a whole new level with his browbeating of Roger Clemens trainer Brian McNamee during today's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on steroids in baseball.

After hearing Shays refer to McNamee as a "drug dealer" and spewing out what can only be described as complete nonsense, WFAN's sports radio personality (and former Shays supporter) Chris "Mad Dog" Russo saw the light.

Living up to his famous nickname, Russo took Shays to the woodshed and became Jim Himes' biggest supporter...all in the classic Mad Dog fashion that's made Russo famous.


It is obvious that the only campaign platform these spineless GOP candidates have to run on this election cycle is to avoid and deflect from every issue that is really important to this nation. These Republican children need to grow up and take responsibility for the failures they have created. There is no doubt about this fact:

The GOP has lost all perspective of reality.

And anyone would have to be a fool to vote for any of them...

[update] Changed video to add extended version of ctblogger's uploaded video. Original video is here... And normally I wouldn't ask this BUT... Help Connecticut Bob shut up:
"Shays struck out swinging with his ridiculous tirade. His wild pitch embarrassed everyone in the 4th District. Help Jim Himes hit a grand slam by contributing to Jim's ActBlue fund.

If you do, I promise I'll stop with the stupid baseball references."
JK Bob :)

4/9/08

The Extreme Ignorance Of Chris Shays

Via Connecticut Bob:
Yesterday Rep. Chris Shays admitted he never read the document that the Bush administration used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Over five years later, Mr. Shays still hasn't gotten around to it.

Let the congressman tell you in his own words in this brief video...
Probably the most important vote he has ever had to make in his political career and he couldn't bother to read the actual reports on the situation? 5 years later and he still hasn't managed to read the report?

ctblogger at MLN had an update to add to this:
Make sure to share this with your local print and broadcast media outlets. That Shays failed to read the intelligence before leaping into the Iraq war – even though he insisted at the time that he had to vote against his constituents because, in his words, "I know too much about this threat" – is genuinely newsworthy.

3/19/08

If you are currently stuck in a foreclosure battle...

Do you think the judge should know about this:
Yesterday, the FBI disclosed that it has launched criminal investigations against 17 companies “in the fallout of the subprime mortgage collapse.” Two Justice Department officials have confirmed that Countrywide Financial is one of the companies under investigation.
Ya know... Courts might not want to be rushing to judgments in these cases. There is nothing routine about what is going across America in this mortgage crisis. The article discusses some of the problems they see:

While the bureau will not comment on the companies that are under investigation, two Justice Department officials confirmed to ABC News reports in last week's Wall Street Journal that Countrywide Financial is under investigation.

FBI and Justice Department officials declined to comment on any open cases after the recent troubles of investment bank Bear Stearns, which JPMorgan Chase bailed out earlier this week by purchasing the company.

But in an interview with the Reuters news service Tuesday, Neil Power, section chief of the FBI's Economics Crimes Unit, alluded to a possible probe, saying, "Common sense would indicate that we would look at something that big."

"The problem is that banks weren't doing their due diligence," Power said.

It would seem to me that a lack of due diligence on the part of the banks would make them more responsible for any foreclosures on people that should not have had mortgages offered to them in the first place. We expect Joe and Suzy Sixpack to be a little bit ignorant in how these things work and the risks involved but banks should bear a greater responsibility since this is their field of expertise. It seems to me that anyone being foreclosed on in these kind of situations (ARMs, balloon payment mortgages, etc.) should be looked at as somewhat of a victim to a crime.

Also being looked at are hedge funds, like Bear Sterns, and their investments and transactions surrounding all of this. There are some emails that suggest some serious problems in Bear Stern's management. It is also a seemingly ever changing investigation:

Though the list of companies under investigation has grown, one FBI official said the number of firms under investigation is "fluid," as some of them may not pan out, some of them might close and more firms could come under scrutiny as these long-ranging investigations continue.

The FBI Criminal Investigative Division currently has 1,253 mortgage fraud investigations into all types of mortgage fraud and schemes around the country, including illegal property flipping, home equity schemes and check fraud cases.

Currently in the works is some possible relief for those that are suffering under looming foreclosures:
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) are introducing legislation “aimed at stabilizing financial markets by helping as many as 2 million homeowners avoid foreclosure.” The separate bills look to give the Federal Housing Administration “a key role in helping to renegotiate distressed mortgages and would provide up to $300 billion in guarantees to new lenders.”
Hopefully this is not too little too late and - unlike handing out corporate welfare to the likes of Bank of America, Countrywide and Bear and Sterns - this will offer some real help to the American people that need it.

[update] via C&L, America is becoming a tent city nation:
Why doesn’t our media cover stories like this? They talk about the economy and mortgage crisis, but they aren’t showing the real effects of it. Instead we have to rely upon foreign news to hear about tent cities popping up in America, full of citizens that once owned their own homes.

3/3/08

Telecom Immunity and Chris Murphy

We already knew that he Rep. Chris Murphy opposes immunity for the telecoms but just to be on the safe side, and with another vote in the House coming up that includes immunity in it, I had to give a call. The gentleman that answered Rep. Murphy's phone (Call NOW! 202-225-4476) assured me that Chris Murphy would not support any legislation that included immunity.

The only reason I am posting on this is the fact that we need to remain vigilant on this issue. You know for a fact that there are a few in the right wing noise machine that are cranking out phone calls, Emails and faxes (never mind the GOP's failed fearmongering campaign) trying to persuade Representatives across the country to toss the Constitution in the garbage.

Fortunately the majority of Americans are against immunity for telecoms for the obvious reasons that it is illegal and unconstitutional, and I made certain to point that out in my phone call. Make sure that your voice is heard loud and clear.

You can find contact information for your Congressional Representative here. There is also a petition you can sign on to over at PFAW.

2/16/08

Republican Children Walkout From Congress

If you missed this on Valentines day, the childish Republicans walked away from doing the job they were elected to do. Why? Because the GOP is full of members that are childish and stupid, of course!



Via Paul Kiel at TPM Muckraker:
Surprise!

When the Dems finally made a move to get a vote on the contempt resolutions against White House officials for ignoring subpoenas in the U.S. attorney investigations, the Republicans had a walkout all planned out. As Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) gave a speech haranguing the Dems for "political grandstanding" at a time of dire threats to national security (because work on the surveillance bill has still not been completed). They then filed out onto the steps, where a podium was waiting to complete the photo op.

No political grandstanding, indeed.
I guess these republican children have a problem with the more criminal elements of the GOP machine actually being held responsible for their actions?
The Republicans refused to deal with two of their own being slapped with contempt charges:
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to cite Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff, and Harriet E. Miers, a former White House counsel, for contempt for refusing to testify about their participation in the firing of federal prosecutors.

The measure calls for House officials to seek enforcement of the contempt citation by the courts if, as expected, the Justice Department declines to act on the resolution.

The vote was a lopsided 223 to 32 in favor of the contempt citation, after most Republican members walked out to protest what their leaders called a political move.
Call the whambulance.
This is no different than the supremely stupid and childish walkout of the New Milford Republican BOE members last September:

This last couple of weeks a huge pile of steaming Republican childishness has played out and many in the town have been talking about it:

The five Republican members who walked out of a Board of Education meeting last week say they are disturbed that the action has been misconstrued and politicized when it was a legitimate protest of what they considered to be an improper, imprudent and even disrespectful action.
Like walking out on a vote is not improper, imprudent and even disrespectful action, never mind that it is as childish as taking their ball and going home in the middle of a game because they are losing.

Flying in the face of their own reasoning, they can't seem to even decide whether they walked out because of too much debate, or not enough:
"We simply, quietly, left the meeting at the end when there was nothing further to discuss. We had already discussed it three times, and our input was ignored. There was no reason to stay," said member Julie Turk of the minority Republicans' decision to leave before a second vote on hiring a director of human resources to replace the former director of operations.

snip

But some of the board's GOP members -- the school board has seven Republicans and five Democrats -- were disturbed that so little time had been given to such a key position, which will command a salary in the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Make up your minds little GOP children... Did you decide to walk out on your job because:
  1. Republicans think there is nothing left to discuss.
  2. Republicans think there needs to be more time to discuss this.
  3. Republicans think there needs to be more time to discuss that there is nothing left to discuss.
And never mind all of the other reasons that they threw at the fan. Several more inconsistencies fly back in their face in that one article. The supposed and incoherent apologies lead one to realize your mea maxima culpas. Simply being wrong, both in thoughts and actions. Get a load of another childish GOP response:
"They changed the rules so they could put something through that had already failed," McLachlan claimed.
What rules did the Board change? Something was brought up in a vote that was a 5-5 tie without all of the board members present in August. A sub-committee, including republicans, originally recommended returning to the issue. Does McLachlan have a problem with putting a vote to the full board just because of the inevitable 7-5 result?

What rules were changed? Don't just pull out "The republican victim card" and leave it out there without any backup. And just because someone too childish or incompetent to do their job and vote on this issue calls it bullying does not make it so, regardless of how the village idiot celebrates the idea:
"Kudos to Joe Failla, Julie Turk, Robin Ruggiero, Bill McLachlan and Joey Vita for having the gumption to stand up for what they believe in, against the odds and the "bullying" as one Member calls it."
Whom, exactly, is guilty of bullying? As a commenter over at your own Blog (Jay Lewin - Juice Box Republicans) notes:
"Interesting that the Operations sub committee "unanimously" OK'd bringing the issue back to the board. That sub committee includes Mr. Failla & Mrs. Turk. Why did they OK this on 9/4, and then reverse course to fight it on 9/11? Hmmmmmmm..."
Kudos for what. Jay? For recommending returning to this issue and then walking out on the vote when it does come up? (The GOP must be guilty of bullying themselves , either that or bullshitting themselves, 'cause we aren't buying it.) And for ignoring the reality of what most of the town's people recognized this childish tactic to be? Is there any doubt why one of New Milford's Board of Education members jumped the Republican ship of fools?

For the coming election, Traisci-Marandola said, she was rejected by the party's leaders for a re-election bid because she did what she promised, although it meant spending money.

Even with that rejection, Traisci-Marandola said she intended to retain her party affiliation.

Yet what she called this past "week of nonsense" has changed her mind. She said she intends to become a Democrat and support that party's slate for the November election.

snip

Traisci-Marandola said she was "appalled" that five of her fellow Republicans -- including appointed member Joseph Failla, endorsed for a four-year seat, and William McLachlan, endorsed for a Town Council seat -- orchestrated a walkout at last Tuesday's school board meeting.
This walk out was a pitiful example of Republican kids behaving badly and the nonsensical apologies and their apologists passing out the Koolaide are as sad as the the original actions. They are just playing little childish games and, in a typically GOP fashion, wasting the tax payers time occupying a job they are unwilling or unable to do in a manner respectful of Democracy.

2/14/08

The Twisted Republican Perspective

Nearly 4,000 dead American soldiers and over 29,000 wounded

U.S. Casualties By Calendar Year
YearUS DeathsUS Wounded
20034862,416
20048498,002
20058465,947
20068226,400
20079016,084
200856231
Total396029080

And the senile old fart, Republican John McCain, thinks debating his age will distract us?
McCain campaign manager Rick Davis today sent an unmistakable message to Barack Obama over the Illinois Democrat's effort to stoke the obvious age contrast between himself and the 71-year-old McCain: Bring it on.
Hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis...
We maintain a daily count based on news reports. It is not intended to be complete. There is no agency that keeps track of accurate numbers of Iraqis killed. JustForeignPolicy maintains a running estimate based on the Lancet study with the rate of increase derived from the Iraq Body Count.

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator
And Republican Senator Arlen Specter is intent on hunting down football tapes?
"There was confirmation that there has been taping since 2000, when Coach Belichick took over," Specter said.

Specter said Goodell gave him that information during the 1-hour, 40-minute meeting, which was requested by Specter so the commissioner could explain his reasons for destroying the Spygate tapes and notes.

On the home front, the country is getting flushed down the toilet by failed conservative policies run amok:
The U.S. economy is faltering. Family debt is on the rise, benefits are disappearing, the deficit is skyrocketing, and the mortgage crisis has worsened. Conservatives have attempted to deflect attention from the crisis, by blaming the media’s negative coverage and insisting the United States is not headed toward a recession, despite what economists are predicting.
And Republican Rep. Chris Shays is in a steroid induced stupor:
Once again, Chris Shays embarrasses the state of Connecticut with one of the most embarrassing tirades to date. Our congressman from the fourth district took grandstanding to a whole new level with his browbeating of Roger Clemens trainer Brian McNamee during today's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on steroids in baseball.

After hearing Shays refer to McNamee as a "drug dealer" and spewing out what can only be described as complete nonsense, WFAN's sports radio personality (and former Shays supporter) Chris "Mad Dog" Russo saw the light.

Living up to his famous nickname, Russo took Shays to the woodshed and became Jim Himes' biggest supporter...all in the classic Mad Dog fashion that's made Russo famous.


It is obvious that the only campaign platform these spineless GOP candidates have to run on this election cycle is to avoid and deflect from every issue that is really important to this nation. These Republican children need to grow up and take responsibility for the failures they have created. There is no doubt about this fact:

The GOP has lost all perspective of reality.

And anyone would have to be a fool to vote for any of them...

[update] Changed video to add extended version of ctblogger's uploaded video. Original video is here... And normally I wouldn't ask this BUT... Help Connecticut Bob shut up:
"Shays struck out swinging with his ridiculous tirade. His wild pitch embarrassed everyone in the 4th District. Help Jim Himes hit a grand slam by contributing to Jim's ActBlue fund.

If you do, I promise I'll stop with the stupid baseball references."
JK Bob :)

1/31/08

Blumenthal investigating sub-prime mortgage crisis

Blumenthal is looking into the sub-prime mortgage crisis as millions of Americans are looking at losing their homes, a little less than a half a million of them in Connecticut:
It is estimated that more than $100bn (£50bn) was been wiped off the balance sheets across the financial sector, in losses and asset writedowns. Share prices have also fallen heavily.

The SEC is already conducting a clutch of civil investigations into the scandal.

Some US states have launched their own legal action. Yesterday, Connecticut state attorney general Richard Blumenthal said his office has issued subpoenas to all major rating agencies and bond insurers in a widening probe of industry practices related to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

He said this includes MBIA and Ambac, the two monoline insurers who guarantee municipal loans whose shares plunged last week over concern they do not hold enough capital to guarantee their ratings, after getting caught in the sub-prime chaos.

Blumenthal also told Reuters that Connecticut was cooperating with the state of New York over its investigation.

Senator Chris Dodd had some words on this:
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $146 billion economic stimulus package on Tuesday. Parts of the package would allow the Federal Housing Administration and housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help prop up the mortgage market.

These measures "will enable homeowners with larger mortgages to refinance, lower their monthly payments, and avoid foreclosure," said Rep. George Miller, a California Democrat, after passage of the package.

Sen Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, urged the Senate to take similar action swiftly and spend billions of dollars more to help distressed homeowners.

"Unlike past recessions and slowdowns, the epicenter of this economic crisis is the housing crisis," the Connecticut Democrat said on the Senate floor.

"Reckless, careless, and sometimes unscrupulous actors in the mortgage lending industry essentially allowed loans to be made that they knew hard-working, law-abiding borrowers would not be able to repay," said the former presidential candidate.

He accused the Federal Reserve and the Bush administration of doing "absolutely nothing" to stop these practices.
Imagine that? Preznit bush doing nothing to help the little people. How republican of him!

1/28/08

Thank you Senator Dodd!

Via Missy's Brother at My Left Nutmeg, Americans thank Senator Chris Dodd for working to protect The Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the FISA battle:



The rest of Congress could learn a thing or two about leadership from Senator Dodd, and we thank him for his efforts in protecting our freedoms. Keep up the good work!

Previously brewed in New Milford:

Illegal Surveillance and the Telecoms - Just the Facts

Via PFAW:
  • In December 2005, the New York Times reported that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans have had their phones wiretapped by the National Security Agency (NSA) without any judicial review. But the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), passed by Congress in 1978, prohibits domestic spying unless a warrant is first issued by the FISA Court. By authorizing government spies to bypass the process mandated by FISA, President Bush authorized them to break the law.

  • The so-called “Protect America Act,” which passed in August, made the situation worse by sanctioning a legal infrastructure under which American citizens might unwittingly be subject to daily, repeated invasions of privacy or violations of other constitutional rights. These liberties are not abstract or optional. Freedom from government spying on our private lives is at the core of what it means to be an American – the kind of personal liberty that hundreds of thousands of Americans have died to protect.

  • All parties involved must be held accountable for any illegal activity, including telecommunications companies (telecoms) that satisfied government requests for information about private communications. FISA currently provides sufficient mechanisms to allow telecoms to proceed lawfully with such requests. Every American should have the confidence that our judicial system will ensure that telecoms will not be permitted to circumvent this established process and undermine our fundamental right to privacy.

  • It is unacceptable that the FISA reform being debated now seeks blanket immunity for the telecoms’ alleged complicity in the Administration’s actions. If the telecoms never have to testify, Americans may never know the true extent to which they have been targeted for surveillance. We have a right to know what’s been done and how far the overreaching went.

  • In protecting the telecoms, the Administration is protecting itself. At a minimum, the Administration should not be given the power to bury the secrets of its domestic spying program by keeping the telecoms out of court. Telecom immunity not only has the potential to excuse illegal activity, it also precludes the public from getting access to information and prevents Congress from conducting effective oversight.

  • Immunity compromises will not serve the interests of the American people. Substituting the government as the defendant in telecom lawsuits will only further rob Americans of their day in court by forcing them to sue a government that may use the power of the executive, state secrets, and other “privileges” to withhold information. Reimbursing the telecoms for their legal costs through indemnification rests financial burden on the taxpayers – essentially Americans paying for spying to which they object.

  • Congress should err on the side of our Constitution and not bow to political pressure by signing off on telecom immunity. Americans deserve nothing less.

Now... There is one aspect of this that gets overlooked by many. BooMan makes a reasonable case that the entire lawsuit issue for telecoms is completely bogus:
There is no reason to immunize the telecom corporations because they are already immunized if they had a good faith reason to believe they were following the law. The only reason to immunize them is to prevent the truth about the extent of the lawbreaking from coming to light.
Even if this were not the case and they acted in bad faith the matter of lawsuits was already settled in the market place:
It has nothing to do with lawsuits and everything to do with covering the asses of the politicians that have acted criminally by illegally spying on Americans. Don't let them switch the topic to something as piddly as minor lawsuits that will cost telcoms a minuscule slice of their profits:

The Bush team argue impending financial doom for the telecom industry should lawsuits be permitted to continue. However, at this time, the financial impact is speculative (pdf file) with a market that “seems unconcerned” about the lawsuits filed against telecoms:

For example, when the complaint in Hepting v. AT&T Corp. was filed and when AT&T’s motion to dismiss the suit was denied, AT&T’s stock price remained essentially unaffected. The entirety of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulatory system requiring public filings and disclosures is premised on the idea that, when the relevant information is available publicly, the market is the most effective indicator of the value of a corporation. That the stock price of AT&T was unaffected by the suit indicates the market’s determination that the company’s financial footing remains sound, despite the potential liability.

Moreover, telecommunications carriers have survived enormous payouts in class action suits in the past. For example, in September of this year, Sprint received preliminary approval from the court for a $30 million class-action settlement. And in 1994, AT&T agreed to pay a $100 million settlement. Just as they have for the other risks incumbent in their business, telecommunications carriers have liability insurance to protect them in the event of an adverse civil judgment. And if, at some point in the future, a series of judgments comes to present a threat of widespread bankruptcy in the telecommunications industry, the government may take action at that time. But any preemptive liability shield is premature and unneeded.

Thus, should the telecom lawsuits proceed and if damages are awarded by the courts and if the damages are not covered by telecom liability insurance, and if Congress then determines that a bailout is needed for the industry, then Congress has the authority to legislate funding to the industry, thus preserving the plaintiffs’ right to a judicial remedy and the public’s right to a transparent government. As Sen. Feingold notes:

If the companies engaged in such widespread illegal conduct that the damages would be enormous, Congress can intervene to limit the damages. That’s a far more appropriate response than simply giving the companies a free pass for any illegal conduct.

Moreover, if the concern is financial liability, why is the immunity so broad that “cases will be dismissed even if they do not seek money damages but only declaratory and injunctive relief.”
The lawsuit distraction is just that... A distraction from the real issue of the bush illegally spying on Americans.
And even if the matter was not already settled in the market place... As Russ Feingold said, "Congress can intervene to limit the damages." Do not let them distract you from the fact that the bush administration was illegally spying on Americans, and not just after 911 but before that, according reports:
A former telecom executive told us that efforts to obtain call details go back to early 2001, predating the 9/11 attacks and the president's now celebrated secret executive order. The source, who asked not to be identified so as not to out his former company, reports that the NSA approached U.S. carriers and asked for their cooperation in a "data-mining" operation, which might eventually cull "millions" of individual calls and e-mails.

Like the pressure applied to ITT a half-century ago, our source says the government was insistent, arguing that his competitors had already shown their patriotism by signing on. The NSA would not comment on the issue, saying that, "We do not discuss details of actual or alleged operational issues."
Any reasonable person would realize that invocation of 911 by anyone is completely bogus when the illegal spying was, in fact, started before that date. Equally important here is the fact that it was not just Foreign calls that were being monitored, BUT all of the traffic on their networks:
Although the president told the nation that his NSA eavesdropping program was limited to known Al Qaeda agents or supporters abroad making calls into the U.S., comments of other administration officials and intelligence veterans indicate that the NSA cast its net far more widely. AT&T technician Mark Klein inadvertently discovered that the whole flow of Internet traffic in several AT&T operations centers was being regularly diverted to the NSA, a charge indirectly substantiated by John Yoo, the Justice Department lawyer who wrote the official legal memos legitimizing the president's warrantless wiretapping program. Yoo told FRONTLINE: "The government needs to have access to international communications so that it can try to find communications that are coming into the country where Al Qaeda's trying to send messages to cell members in the country. In order to do that, it does have to have access to communication networks."
And when I say all of the traffic, I mean telephone calls, both local and foreign, as well as all internet and Email traffic:
Conventional wisdom has long been that the bulk of the surveillance operations -- groundbreaking because they lacked judicial oversight -- involved primarily telephone calls. However, officials say the Bush administration's program frequently went after e-mail and other Internet traffic.
These actions by the bush administration go far beyond being simply criminal. They are an attack on the The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

What part of these oaths do the politicians that swear to them fail to understand here?
  • Presidential Oath:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

  • For Congress Members:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."
Many of these politicians' actions are not simply impeachable offenses for a failure to uphold their oaths of office, but exhibit a heretical acceptance of criminal actions and contempt for the founding documents that could only be described as treason.