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Act of Congress

Act of Congress

By Robert G. Kaiser

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Ear to the Ground
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Super Saturday for Obama

Posted on Feb 9, 2008
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

Sen. Barack Obama talks to supporters at a rally in Bangor, Maine, on Saturday.

Amid speculation that a long road might be in store for Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the tide turned in Obama’s favor Saturday with Nebraska and Washington state caucus victories and a big win in the Louisiana primary.

NY Times via MSNBC:

Senator Barack Obama won decisive victories over Senator Hillary Clinton in Washington, Louisiana and Nebraska on Saturday, giving him an impressive sweep going into a month when the Democratic nominating contests are expected to favor him.

The successes come just as Mr. Obama is building a strong advantage over Mrs. Clinton in raising money, providing important fuel for the nominating contests ahead. Still, the results were expected to do little to settle the muddle in the delegate race that resulted after the wave of contests last Tuesday in which the two candidates split up states from coast to coast.

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By lilmamzer, February 11, 2008 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

“American Jewry” has as much right as any other American ethnic group to lobby in any way it wants to so long as its methods are legal.

In what way is the organized and collective voice of American Jews illegal?

And what would you do to the American Jewish community to silence their voices if you don’t like what they have to say?

Your words carry the vague stench of veiled threats and intimidation. Do you have the balls to be more explicit or are you just another <strike>Truth</strike>CrapDig paper tiger bigot?

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By Aegrus, February 11, 2008 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

Just like I said, this campaign is pretty much over. Obama will continue to win all the way to the white house.

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By jdogg333, February 11, 2008 at 2:04 am Link to this comment


That’s not very nice waxman. I think it’s because you love TEH BLOCK LETTERZ. Just sayin….....

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By GW=MCHammered, February 10, 2008 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, the deal is we may have our first black or woman president soon? Hmm. After surviving $atan for 8 years??? ‘Kay .....

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By Louise, February 10, 2008 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

I cant speak for GrammaConcept, but I don’t need to calm down, ‘cause I’m not upset. smile
[and I doubt she is]

Confusion sometimes is quite intentional. Gets people searching for stuff which all to often proves to be biased or lacking in total fact. Or to rely on an editorial opinion which may be based on fact, but not totally factual. Or to make a rational decision based on irrational or incomplete data.

One easy way to solve the problem folks, and GrammaConcept provided us all with the appropriate link:

So, if anybody out there honestly wants to know the voting, authoring of bills, legislative sponsoring or co-sponsoring record of the candidates who are Senators, you can find it all there! And the great thing about it is, the info is free of press, pundit or campaign commentary.

Just raw data.
Boring raw data.

Which is probably why most never bother.

So once again, I think we should all thank GrammaConcept for raising the issue and for providing the link.
And apologize to her for putting her on the defensive. Cripes how many of us have made an honest mistake because of someone else’s honest mistake?

Quite unlike someone who deliberately miss-states hoping to create an issue, or muddy the waters.

But then again, who has searched and found proof of, or discrepancy in GrammaConcepts post, hmm?

So much work, so little time.

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By bert, February 10, 2008 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Did you mean to say that during the Clinton administration (and previous admonistrations, too…I am not picking on President Clinton) the U.S. was one of the few nations NOT to sign a ban on the use of land mines? I did some volunteer lobbying of U.S. Senators and Congressmen on behalf of Physicans For Human Rights to get them banned. I don’t think the U.S. has ever signed that international treaty.

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By Louise, February 10, 2008 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

No need to apologize.
You provided some valuable info, and a verifiable link if anyone wants to take the time to actually study the actual documentation!

I think we all owe you a bit of gratitude, if not an apology for repeating and miss-repeating you!
Thanks! wink

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By Louise, February 10, 2008 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

GrammaConcept said:
“During the first eight years of his elected service (Illinois State Senator) he sponsored over 820 bills.
In his first three years in the U.S. Senate, he has authored 152 bills”

[As also noted by Frank]

You said:

I said:
“Oh my goodness waxman, she did not!”

Because she DID NOT indicate all those bills were in the U.S. Senate.

So, I really have nothing to be sorry for except maybe you forgot what you said, and didn’t understand what I said. And I am sorry about that.

Sometimes aspirin helps a headache. smile

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By Maani, February 10, 2008 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment


I will give you one possible answer re why Obama seems to be winning so many states.  Note that I say at the outset that what I am about to say applies to SOME of the states he has won, but not all.

In states as far-flung as Idaho, Kansas and Missouri, Obama won largely (though admittedly not solely) as the result of the youth vote: i.e., college and university students.  This is borne out if one looks at the vote district by district in those states.

Missouri is a good case in point.  As you know, Obama won Missouri by a single percentage point.  But if you look at it district by district, an interesting pattern emerges.  Hillary won 108 out of 116 districts, and they tied in one.  Which means Obama actually won outright in only 7 out of 116 districts.  But if you look at those seven districts, they are the very districts that have the large colleges and universities.  All the other demographics are about “equal,” including race (i.e., the districts he won were NOT primarily black).

The same is true in both Idaho and Kansas, where Obama won the popular vote by a huge margin.  Yet those votes were, again, primarily the result of the college/university demographic.

This is not to take anything away from Obama re his victories in other states where this may not be the case.  But as noted, it is one reason why Obama is winning so many states.


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By jackpine savage, February 10, 2008 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Sometimes i think that our government makes itself confusing on purpose, Gramma.  I say no sweat; its easy to make mistakes because raw information is easy to misunderstand or spin.  I appreciate the attempt to bring actual information to these discussion, rather than spinning possibilities until we all get dizzy and sick.  Then we give up and walk away, which is exactly what the political establishment wants us to do.

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By GrammaConcept, February 10, 2008 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Apparently my friend got some confusing information as well…..I genuinely don’t know what to say other than to offer MY SINCERE APOLOGY for apparently wasting anyone’s time and thoughts with unbalanced and questionable information…

One thing I do know for sure…:
I will never again post something, or anything, that has not come authentically from MY OWN insight or research…..This has always been my standard; I am again quite clear ...

Please forgive me, all?....I am factually confused now too….But, I do know how I feel regarding this issue, And these candidates….

As they say these days….my bad…..(I think?)

We Strive On, eh…..

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brewerstroupe's avatar

By brewerstroupe, February 10, 2008 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment the autumn of 2006, there was a chance to take a step in the right direction: Senate Amendment No. 4882, an amendment to a Pentagon appropriations bill that would have banned the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas.

Senator Obama of Illinois voted IN FAVOR of the ban.

Senator Clinton of New York voted AGAINST the ban. ary-vs-obam.html

IDF commander: We fired more than a million cluster bombs in Lebanon

“What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs,” the head of an IDF rocket unit in Lebanon said regarding the use of cluster bombs and phosphorous shells during the war.”

The Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, David A. Harris, puts to the lie the nasty bit of propaganda by US “Left” Zionists who downplay the role of the Jewish Lobby in securing whole-hearted US White House and Congressional support for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon. . . . “In the recent conflict with Hezbollah, once again the United States demonstrated its willingness to stand by Israel, provide vital support and withstand the pressure of many US allies who would have wished for an earlier end to the fighting even if it meant keeping Hezbollah largely intact and in place . . . Whatever the primary factor, there can be no doubt that American Jewry is an essential element of the equation (yoking the US to Israel). This is all the more reason why American Jewry need to work day in and day out to ensure that the mutually beneficial link [sic] goes from strength to strength.” (Jerusalem Post, August 25, 2006)

from Obama’s South Carolina victory speech:

“We’re up against the belief that it’s all right for lobbyists to dominate our government, that they are just part of the system in Washington. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we are not going to let them stand in our way anymore.”

Anyone else get it??

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By seenmostofit, February 10, 2008 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Bert, now Grannny and Louise calm down, do
you not realize Waxman is pulling your leg?? You should stop putting out wrong information though.  Don’t depend on DEAR FRIENDS to do your leg work for you.

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By jackpine savage, February 10, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Well there are quotes in ghost-written books “by” the Clintons wherein, Karl was invited for a long talk about politics because they “admire” him and what a heckuva job he did in 2000.  (See previous Truthdig post)

But i’m not sure that there’s a conspiracy going on here.  Clinton’s name recognition gives her a huge edge in the big state primaries.  Obama has taken the route open to him, and he’s built on the 50 state strategy that Dean put into place after 2004.

She has not clobbered him in those big state primaries, something she needed to do.  We can be fairly sure that any decent Dem nominee will win the traditional strongholds of the East Coast, the West Coast, and the Great Lakes.  These, so far, are where Clinton has had the most success…following standard Democratic strategy.

Obama probably would not win a lot of those southern and and western caucus states in the general.  He could take one or two (which would be a step in the right direction for the Dems).  The more salient point is that he might force the Republicans to actually put money, time, and effort into places that have been theirs by default for so long.

I think that what we’re seeing in the nomination contest is less evil and more a Clinton miscalculation early on.  It was supposed to be over by Super Tuesday, and it seems as though they didn’t plan for anything except the best case scenario…kind of like how we invaded Iraq.

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By bert, February 10, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Let’s compare apples to apples (U.S. Senate to U.S. Senate) rather than comparing apples to oranges (IL Senate to U.S. Senate.)

According to GovTrack Senator Clinton has sponsored 354 bills since Jan. 2001. Of those 307 never made it out of committe, and 2 ended up successfully passing. She cosponsored 1723 bills.

According to GovTrack Senator Obama has sponsered 129 bills since Jan. 2005. Of those 120 never made it out of committee, and 1 ended up succesfully passing. He cisponsered 545 bills.

You can vist GovTrack and see the entire list of bills by title and issue.

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By waxman, February 10, 2008 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

louise, WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!SHE DID SAY u.s. SENATE… say i’m sorry and can’t READ EITHER…..............

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By bert, February 10, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

It seems like Barack Obama has discovered a system to game the arcane and Byzantine Democratic Party primary process. The strategy is to win in caucus states as opposed to primary states. Historically and generally fewer people vote in caucus states. And in caucus states insider party leaders and activist vs. general population tend to dominate.

This strategy to win caucuses rather than primaries is having the effect of preventing either candidate from attaining an early lead and thus being able to position them against the Republican nominee in the November election.

What, or who, is causing Democrats to become less united and to take our eye off November?

Has anyone else begun to wonder why there are so many red states going for Obama? Has anyone else begun to wonder why so many Independents have been going over to a Democratic candidate? And why are there so many Republican crossover votes in a Democratic primary?

I realize that Obama’s adoring throngs will say this only proves that he can win. It only proves he can win votes from red states, Republicans, Independents, as well as Democrats.

I am not so sure.

Are Republicans really finally starting to see the light?

I doubt it. Maybe some Republicans truly support Democrats this year. They have a lot to be disgusted with in the Bush administration. But historically cross over votes are not so prevalent, especially in primaries.

This year is different. And I wonder why.

It is almost as if a covert campaign is underway to steal another Presidential race and the White House from the Democrats yet again. But this time instead of stealing states (FL, OH) an entire primary system is being stolen. Another general election may be about to be hijacked.

And of course the media has played along just as they did in the run-up to Iraq, just as they did with the swift boating of John Kerry, and just as they did with the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Like slobbering Pavlov dogs the MSM provides poll driven, misogynist, soap opera in place of objective reporting and investigation.

And who could mastermind such a devious plot against Democrats? Who could undermine our Democratic primary? Who could mastermind a plot so evil and so devious that we would not even know it for what it is? Who else could take the party of inclusion and divide us along black/white, male/female, and young/old lines? Who else could prolong the primary season making it impossible to begin planning the November election? Who else could cause bitter debate about regular delegates and super delegates? (Who ever herd of super delegates before this year?) Who else could so fracture the party and mortally wound us making likely win in November into a sure win for Republicans? And who else could make it look like we were doing it all to ourselves?

Yes, who could choreograph such a finely tuned pas de deux?

Well, none other than that evil, Machiavellian mastermind of dirty tricks, Karl Rove? Did anyone think last spring when he retired that he would sit quietly on the sidelines in the 2008 election? We all wondered what he was really up to. Maybe now we know.

Could this nightmare of a scenario we find ourselves in all be the doing of Karl Rove?

It is a thought worth pondering and thinking about as we hurl breakneck speed toward a brokered convention and another loss of the White House.

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By waxman, February 10, 2008 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

thank you for the must be a very learned bloke to know all this….now please tell me, how do you unring big bens bell ????

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By GrammaConcept, February 10, 2008 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Dear Friends,
I did not do the ‘leg work’...However, I did receive it from a trusted friend..

We surely do live in amazing times..

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By Frank, February 10, 2008 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Waxman, allow me to highlight two lines from ‘Grammaconcept’ again:

  “During the first eight years of his elected service (Illinois State
Senator) he sponsored over 820 bills.”

“In his first three years in the U.S. Senate , he has authored 152 bills and
 co-sponsored another 427.

In light of these two statements, it was obvious to me that the last sentence of the post was a typo. Of course recognizing it required a small bit of reasoning. It also takes a small bit of reasoning to know when to use capital letters. On the other hand, if it is simply a matter of your caps-lock button being broken or missing, then I apologize for assuming you to be daft in that regard.

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By Louise, February 10, 2008 at 9:50 am Link to this comment


Oh my goodness waxman, she did not!

Maybe you need to go back and look again. Maybe you can convert it all to caps so it’s easier for you to read. Not sure how to do that, but a real winner should be able to figure out how, right? smile

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By jackpine savage, February 10, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Gramma, thanks for doing that leg work! 

I was particularly intrigued by the bill that Sen Clinton sponsored to give aid to land-mine victims.  It sure seems like it would be easier to vote to ban land-mines than it would be to aid the victims of them after the fact. (which doesn’t mean that they still wouldn’t need aid…only, well you all get the point)

I’ve noticed that since last night, the comment threads on the internet have been rather lopsided.  Perhaps some supporters of Sen Clinton are seeing the writing on the wall.  Her campaign is now fighting a rearguard action, while Sen Obama’s is clearly on the ascendancy.  The only real question, is how long will she fight on?

I worry that it will be too long.  Is she willing to throw the Democratic Party under the proverbial bus to keep her personal dream alive?

Today will be important.  If Sen Obama can manage a relative tie in Maine and then take two of three on Tuesday, i have to think that the super delegates will shift en masse.

It is truly time to move on, but i still worry that Sen Clinton will drag this fight out to the bitter end, which will probably destroy whatever legacy President Clinton has left.

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By waxman, February 10, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment


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By Louise, February 10, 2008 at 9:14 am Link to this comment


Ya think? Then how about this waxman. How about YOU spend the next few hours researching their repective records and give us YOUR version of the facts!

The link is right there ... Courtesy of GrammaConcept.

And by the way, THANKS GrammaConcept!

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By Frank, February 10, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

waxman, your figures for Hillary are made up, whereas the figures for Obama are from the official Illinois legislative record and the US congressional record.  Do you have anything other than your caps-lock to support your rant?

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By waxman, February 10, 2008 at 7:22 am Link to this comment


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By weather, February 10, 2008 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

as long as we continue to ‘outsource’ voting measurements to Israel - we’ll never have anything like a true election.

Sarkozy/Berlisconi(3x) the pieces are in place.

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By Johnny Smith, February 10, 2008 at 4:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Five of Clinton’s bills are more substantive.:


18. Assist land mine victims in other countries


This one is almost TOO funny. The USA, during the Clinton administration, was one of the only countries to sign a treaty to ban land mines. Hillary herself was all too eager to vote NO on a ban of cluster bombs in heavily populated areas!!

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By jdogg333, February 9, 2008 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment

Holy caps lock. Are you yelling at Cyrena? Or do you love block letters? Just askin…..

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By Nathan, February 9, 2008 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many of the comments I see about Obama and Clinton seem to imply that they are just different shades of the same thing. I don’t see this. Clinton is a longterm politician with a history in Washington. Obama is not. Clinton is a millionaire with a history of being a millionaire. Obama is not. Clinton has lived in privilege for decades. Obama has not.

They are both Democrats and they both feel the same about some policies, but the are not the same kind of PEOPLE. They come from different perspectives because their histories are so different.

Yes, Clinton has more “experience,” but it’s precisely this experience that can make her the poor choice when you need something new. Obama really IS something new. Yes, when you get something new you take a bit of a chance. But it’s the ONLY way you ever get something new.

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By GrammaConcept, February 9, 2008 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

of the Democratic candidates from the Library of Congress…

On Legislative Experience:

These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress


Senator Clinton, who has served one full term (6 years), and another

year campaigning, authored and passed into law, twenty pieces of

legislation in her six years…

1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.

2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.

3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.

5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.

6. Name post office after Jonn A. O’Shea.

7 . Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.

8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.

9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of

his death.

10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning
the championship.

11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men’s Lacrosse Team on
winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American
Revolution Commemorative Program.

13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.

14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express
condolences on her death.

15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who
lost their lives on duty.

Five of Clinton’s bills are more substantive.:

16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.

17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11

18. Assist landmine victims in other countr ies.

19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.

20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected

in the wilderness preservation system.



Senator Obama’s list is too substantive, so this is 
mainly categorized…

During the first eight years of his elected service (Illinois State
he sponsored over 820 bills.

He introduced:

233 regarding healthcare reform
125 on poverty and public assistance
112 crime fighting bills

97 economic bills,
60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills
21 ethics reform bills
15 gun control

6 veterans affairs, and many others..

In his first three years in the U.S. Senate, he has authored 152 bills and

co-sponsored another 427.

These include:

**the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 (became law)
**The Lugar- Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons
Reduction Act, (became law)
**The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate

**The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, (became law),
**The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, (In
committee) and many more.

In all since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and
co-sponsored another 1096.


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By Kiwi, February 9, 2008 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

Couldn’t agree more. A lot of people in the rest of the western world are feeling a lot happier too. As you say we might just survive this decade
after all.

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By waxman, February 9, 2008 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment


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By cyrena, February 9, 2008 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

I’m so delighted I can hardly contain myself.

Hot damn!!My fellow citizens have wised up, and they know what’s at stake here, for all of us.

We might just survive this decade after all. Whew…things are finally starting to take on a slight tinge of hope. Or, at least the odds are improving.

Now, if we can just get him installed in the office, so he can get to work.

And, if we could somehow find a way to look up Dick Bush, for the rest of the year, that will lessen the chances of sabotage, and the continuing destruction.

Obama’s already gonna have some serious work as it is. Sure hope he’s got an ace team of helpers lined up. He’s gonna need them.

He’ll be a great crew chief though.

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