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Tag: Senate

Dems Set to Cave on Mukasey

It looks as though Michael Mukasey is one step closer to becoming attorney general, having secured the support of Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer. Judiciary Committee Chairman (and former Truthdigger of the Week) Pat Leahy, on the other hand, plans to vote no, because “No American should need a classified briefing to determine whether waterboarding is torture.”

Posted on Nov 2, 2007 READ MORE


Mukasey and Bush
nytimes.com

Bush: You Get Mukasey or No One at All

President Bush issued an ultimatum of sorts on Thursday over his embattled nominee for attorney general, Michael Mukasey, who refuses to say whether he considers waterboarding a form of torture. Bush said if the Democrats block the nomination, it “would guarantee that America would have no attorney general during this time of war.”

Posted on Nov 1, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Chides Congress for ‘Wasting Time’

Perhaps this could be a diversionary tactic:  On Tuesday, President Bush criticized the House and Senate for, it would seem, holding his administration accountable for its actions at home and overseas and looking for ways to bring our troops home.

Posted on Oct 30, 2007 READ MORE


The Senate’s Strange Double Standard

For an object lesson in the distorted values of the Senate, contrast how it is handling the Larry Craig case with how it is handling the Ted Stevens case.

Posted on Oct 17, 2007 READ MORE


Larry Craig
washingtonpost.com

Craig Plans to Finish Senate Term

Comedians can now let out that sigh of relief: Disgraced Sen. Larry Craig isn’t going anywhere. While he says he won’t run again, Craig now plans to finish his term in the Senate.

Posted on Oct 4, 2007 READ MORE


The Silent Majority

Voters put Democrats in control of both houses of Congress last fall and, for this act of civic determination, they face an infuriating conundrum. Republicans are still running things.

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE


Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton to the Rescue

The former president calls BS on the Republicans for their “feigned outrage” over MoveOn’s “General Betray Us” ad: “Come on, these Republicans that are all upset about Petraeus ... these are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam, in the same ad with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. ... And the person that rode to the Senate on that ad was there voting to condemn the Democrats over the Petraeus ad.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 READ MORE


Gen. Pace on Gays and ‘God’s Law’

While attempting to clarify his previous remarks on the immorality of homosexuality, outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace on Wednesday managed to put his foot even deeper into his mouth, saying that, while he’s willing to keep an open mind, our nation should not “condone activity [read: gay sex] that, in my upbringing, is counter to God’s law.”

Posted on Sep 27, 2007 READ MORE


Bush the Saboteur

The president’s strategy is to fake out the public so that it believes Democrats in Congress can’t perform basic governmental tasks. Is this any way to run a country?

Posted on Sep 27, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Goes Down With the SCHIP

This week’s showdown over children’s health insurance is the first skirmish in the new battle for universal health coverage. It is also the first confrontation between the president and Congress fought out almost entirely on terms set by the new Democratic majority.

Posted on Sep 25, 2007 READ MORE


soldiers
warnewsradio.org

Supporting the Troops, GOP-Style

Senate Republicans have successfully blocked a three-month expansion of troop leave, which the Democrats hoped would provide pressure to withdraw without cutting off funds. John McCain called the effort to give our fighting men and women 15 months off between combat deployments “dangerous.”

Posted on Sep 19, 2007 READ MORE


Mukasey
pbwt.com

Bush Taps Former Judge to Head Justice Department

President Bush has selected former federal judge Michael Mukasey as his new attorney general. Mukasey has a reputation for being tough and impatient, which is fortunate, considering that he’ll have only 15 months to turn around an ailing Justice Department.

Posted on Sep 17, 2007 READ MORE


The New Majority

As Virginia goes, so goes the Senate—and the nation? The decision of former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner to run for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. John Warner is more than just bad news for the GOP.

Posted on Sep 14, 2007 READ MORE


The Illusion of Progress in Iraq

Following two days of carefully staged theatrics on Capitol Hill and cable television, the essential facts about Iraq remain unchanged. Despite the big charts and the blustering fanfare highlighted by Fox News, neither Gen. David H. Petraeus nor Ambassador Ryan Crocker could convincingly claim that the American military escalation in Iraq is achieving its original goals.

Posted on Sep 14, 2007 READ MORE


Bush with veteran
AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

Letting Our Veterans Down

The sorry state of care of American veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is not accidental. It’s on purpose. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration has fought every effort to improve care for wounded and disabled veterans.

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 READ MORE


Intelligence Chief Gets His Facts Mixed Up

After German authorities foiled a terror plot earlier this month, U.S. National Intelligence Director J. Michael McConnell was all to eager to give credit to recently revised FISA rules, arguing, in effect, that potential civil liberty violations helped save American lives. Woops. It turns out that much of the information used by the Germans was obtained under the old FISA law, which McConnell continues to claim wasn’t effective enough.

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 READ MORE


From Fear to Farce

After 9/11, my husband started each morning reaching for the remote and saying, “Let’s see if they caught Osama.” This greeting began as an expectation, evolved into a lingering hope, and finally deteriorated into irony.

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 READ MORE


Feingold

Feingold Sheds the Kid Gloves

Sen. Russ Feingold didn’t wait long after the obligatory declaration of respect to lay into Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker during Tuesday’s testimony before the Senate. One particularly contentious moment occurred after the senator asked, “When can we expect the troop deaths to decline in Iraq?”

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 READ MORE


RFID chip
Amal Graafstra / amal.net

California Senate Nixes ID Implants for Workers

The California state Senate, anticipating a worst-case employment scenario that would make George Orwell and Karl Marx spin in their graves, passed a bill Thursday that prohibits employers from requiring that their workers be tagged with an implanted identification device similar to the kind that has become popular among pet owners to ID their lost animals.

Posted on Aug 31, 2007 READ MORE


Craig Goes Down the Tubes

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Posted on Aug 30, 2007 READ MORE


Ted Stevens
engadget.com

More Trouble for Sen. Stevens

AP is reporting that Sen. Ted Stevens may have broken the law by not declaring a gift from a longtime aide. Earlier this week, the FBI and IRS raided Stevens’ Alaska home as part of an investigation into the Republican senator’s relationship with a local contractor who admitted to bribing Alaskan lawmakers.

Posted on Aug 2, 2007 READ MORE


cheney
AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

Cheney a ‘Big Fan’ of Gonzales

Although Alberto Gonzales’ critics might say otherwise about the attorney general, Vice President Dick Cheney (pictured) thinks Gonzales is a real standup guy.  In an interview with CBS, Cheney insisted that Gonzales has been telling the truth in his face-offs with the Senate Judiciary Committee and said he’s a “big fan” of the beleaguered attorney general.

Posted on Jul 31, 2007 READ MORE


Sen. Stevens’ Home Raided by FBI

The FBI has raided the home of Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate’s history, who famously described the Internet as “a series of tubes.” Agents were apparently searching for documents related to a contracting company that may have profited from relationships with prominent lawmakers.

Posted on Jul 30, 2007 READ MORE


Children’s Healthcare Is a No-Brainer

Republican and Democratic senators have reached agreement on a measure that would boost healthcare coverage for millions of poor children, but President Bush has vowed to veto the win-win legislation.

Posted on Jul 24, 2007 READ MORE


Daily Show Still

‘Daily Show’ Slams a Night of Bad ‘Burlesque’

“The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart and John Oliver take down the most recent Democratic disappointment: the Senate’s all-night session. Oliver, political theater critic for the show, gives his most scathing review to date.

Posted on Jul 19, 2007 READ MORE


Déjà Vu:  Another Iraq Withdrawal Bill Shot Down

Well, we might have seen this one coming, but yet another plan to set a timetable to begin the gradual withdrawal of American troops from Iraq has been deep-sixed in the Senate.

Posted on Jul 18, 2007 READ MORE


Bush
tdhstrategies.com

Bush Scoffs at Subpoenas

The president is sick and tired of those Democrats and their pesky checks and balances and will not allow his aides to testify, as summoned, before the Senate. Bush and his legal team are relying on executive privilege—the notion that what happens in the White House stays in the White House. But Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy isn’t buying it.

Posted on Jun 28, 2007 READ MORE


Immigration Bill Sinks in Senate

After attempting to collaborate on a workable immigration bill, President Bush and the Senate couldn’t see eye to eye on the issue.  The vote count fell 14 short of the 60 required to pass the bill Thursday.

Posted on Jun 28, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Ally Calls for Withdrawal

Sen. Richard Lugar, a respected figure in the Republican Party and a traditional backer of the president’s war policy, has broken with the White House and called for a draw-down of troops in Iraq—ahead of the much-touted September review of the surge. In what some have described as a watershed speech on the Senate floor, Lugar warned that the coming election would make rational policy choices in Iraq politically unrealistic.

Posted on Jun 26, 2007 READ MORE


showdown

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Chances are your elementary school education about how the federal government works (or doesn’t) wasn’t much like the schooling of these L.A.-area public school students.  Perhaps some big players on Capitol Hill might want to drum up their own hip-hop-inflected response to the key issues addressed here in “Showdown in the Senate.” 

Posted on Jun 12, 2007 READ MORE


Stop Blaming the System

We have become political hypochondriacs. We seem eager to declare that “the system” has come down with some dread disease, to proclaim that an ideological “center” blessed by the heavens no longer exists, and woe unto us. An imperfect immigration bill is pulled from the Senate floor and you’d think the Capitol dome had caved in.

Posted on Jun 12, 2007 READ MORE


Gonzales
slate.com

No-Confidence Vote on Gonzales Stalls in Senate

Senate Republicans successfully blocked a symbolic vote of no-confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday, although none defended his performance. A handful of Republicans, including some who have called for Gonzales’ resignation, voted with the Democrats, while Joe Lieberman voted against the measure.

Posted on Jun 11, 2007 READ MORE


Lute
news.yahoo.com

War Czar Admits Doubts About ‘Surge’

Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that he had “concerns” over the military “surge” in Iraq during its planning and development. He said the operation would “likely have only temporary and localized effects” unless it was matched by efforts from the Iraqi government and American civilian authorities.

Posted on Jun 7, 2007 READ MORE


Conservative Senator Loses Battle With Cancer

Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., died at the age of 74 on Monday. Under Wyoming law, the state Republican Party will choose three candidates, and Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal will appoint the successor.

Posted on Jun 5, 2007 READ MORE


A Study in the Rhetoric of George W. Bush

In his commencement speech to the class of 2007 at UC Berkeley’s Department of Rhetoric, author Mark Danner gives the new graduates a crash course in Bushian rhetoric (not quite on par with Aristotle’s celebrated canon) and dubs Bush the “first Rhetoric-Major President.”  (Note:  Article courtesy of Tom Engelhardt at TomDispatch.com.)

Posted on Jun 1, 2007 READ MORE


Immigration Reform’s Rosy Future

Senators on both sides of the aisle have serious misgivings about the immigration reform bill but, at the end of the day, it’s just too good a political opportunity to let slip away.

Posted on May 29, 2007 READ MORE


Senators Shame Bush Over Prewar Intelligence

The Senate Intelligence Committee has declassified and released two prewar intelligence reports that warned a postwar Iraq could struggle with sectarian violence and might benefit al-Qaida and Iran. Democrats on the panel, along with Republicans Chuck Hagel and Olympia Snowe, criticized the Bush administration for ignoring the prescient warnings.

Posted on May 25, 2007 READ MORE


Democrats Will Try Again to End War Funding

Sen. Russ Feingold, Majority Leader Harry Reid and eight other Senate Democrats have decided to respond to Bush’s veto with an amendment that would halt war funding if troops were not safely withdrawn from Iraq by March 31, 2008. Exceptions would include operations against terrorist organizations, training for Iraqi soldiers and protection of U.S. infrastructure and personnel.

Posted on May 8, 2007 READ MORE


Time to Reevaluate Hillary?

Hillary Clinton has come under fire for her relatively hawkish stand on the war, but the candidate made an aggressive move Thursday to counter that perception. Joined by antiwar Sen. Robert Byrd, Clinton announced plans to de-authorize the war, saying: “If the president will not bring himself to accept reality, it is time for Congress to bring reality to him.” Update: Kucinich calls out Clinton…

Posted on May 3, 2007 READ MORE


Senate Panel Demands Gonzales-Rove E-Mails

The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Alberto Gonzales on Wednesday, demanding in full any e-mails between the attorney general and Karl Rove. Committee Chairman Pat Leahy also warned Gonzales that if wants to avoid further subpoenas, he’d better provide previously requested information, as promised.

Posted on May 2, 2007 READ MORE


Minimum Compassion for Wage Slaves

Senate Republicans continue to oppose a minimum-wage hike, despite the fact that the buying power of the working poor hasn’t approved in five decades.

Posted on May 1, 2007 READ MORE


Here Comes the Showdown

The Senate on Thursday followed the House’s lead, passing the bill that allows $124.2 billion to be dedicated to the war effort so long as our troops begin pulling out of Iraq by Oct. 1 and continue withdrawing over ensuing months.  The ball is thus in Bush’s court, and his veto is practically a foregone conclusion at this point.

Posted on Apr 26, 2007 READ MORE


leahy
AP Photo/Dennis Cook

Truthdigger of the Week:  Sen. Patrick Leahy

Truthdig tips its hat this week to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who proved to be one of the most forceful, and appropriately relentless, interrogators of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales during his grilling (or perhaps broiling is a better word) by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. 

Posted on Apr 21, 2007 READ MORE


reid
varifrank.com

Reid: Iraq War ‘Lost’

President Bush may still be in denial, but Sen. Harry Reid is at least telling him the raw truth:  The surge isn’t working, and the Iraq war is not likely to result in any kind of victory.  The Democratic majority leader says he told Bush on Wednesday that the war “is lost,” judging by the “extreme violence” in Iraq lately.

Posted on Apr 19, 2007 READ MORE


gonzales
washingtonpost.com

Gonzales Grilled by Senate Committee

Facing the music (and some skeptical senators) Thursday about the U.S. attorney firing controversy, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales insisted that he had not acted out of any politically motivated impulses or pressures and had nothing to hide about his role in handing eight federal lawyers their pink slips.

Posted on Apr 19, 2007 READ MORE


Let the Showdown Begin

The president has threatened to veto a war spending bill that includes a timetable for the withdrawal of troops, but that didn’t stop the Senate on Thursday from passing one. The next step is for the House and Senate to work out the differences between their competing withdrawal plans, and then it’s off to the White House.

Posted on Mar 29, 2007 READ MORE


Harry Reid
washtimes.com

Senate Approves Iraq Timetable

The Senate narrowly defeated a Republican amendment Tuesday that would have removed a withdrawal plan from the emergency war spending bill. As the legislation stands, the U.S. will have to begin a troop withdrawal within four months after the law is enacted and complete the pullout by March 31, 2008.

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Hagel
nytimes.com

Republicans Waver on Gonzales

Three prominent Republican senators expressed their lack of confidence in Alberto Gonzales on Sunday. GOP support has dropped off since Justice Department documents released on Friday caught the attorney general misrepresenting when he first knew about a plan to fire eight U.S. attorneys.

Posted on Mar 26, 2007 READ MORE


Leahy

Senate Scoffs at Bush Offer

The Senate told Bush to shove his “take it or leave it” offer and ordered subpoenas for key figures in the U.S. attorney scandal. Sen. Pat Leahy had this to say about the president’s above-the-law attitude: “A system of justice does not serve at the pleasure of any person in this country.”

Posted on Mar 22, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Threatens Constitutional Showdown

The president gave Congress an ultimatum Tuesday regarding testimony in the U.S. attorney scandal: His aides will talk in private and off the record or not at all. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy balked at the proposal, setting up a possible constitutional showdown over executive privilege. Bush continued to dismiss the scandal, even as the Senate voted to require confirmation of U.S. attorneys.

Posted on Mar 20, 2007 READ MORE


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