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I didn't get your vote but I hope through my work to earn your respect

In a special election to fill the seat of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg, Newark Mayor Cory Booker (Booker previously on the Metafilter) has defeated Tea Party favorite Steve Lonegan. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 17, 2013 - 154 comments

"October is a fine and dangerous season in America"

Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)! In one corner: the first federal government shutdown since 1996, born of the House GOP/Tea Party faction's crusade to delay, defund, and destroy Obamacare (and the Democratic Senate and President's resolve to not do that). "Continuing resolutions" have ping-ponged between the two houses, fighting over language to cancel healthcare reform (plus a few other items, such as the implementation of Mitt Romney's entire economic agenda). National parks are closed, contractors are hamstrung, and 800,000 federal workers furloughed until Speaker Boehner drops the "Hastert Rule" and passes a bill the other branches can agree to. In the other corner, heedless of the chaos (though not without glitches of its own): the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its state insurance exchanges. The portal at Healthcare.gov is your one-stop shop for browsing, comparing, and purchasing standardized, regulated insurance coverage with premium rebates, guaranteed coverage, and expanded Medicaid for the poor (in some states). A crazy day, overall -- but peanuts compared to what might happen if the debt ceiling is breached in 16 days. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 1, 2013 - 2207 comments

A New Era for Iran?

Iran has a new president, Hasan Rouhani, does that mean there might be hope for a thawing in diplomatic relations? In his inaugral speech Roughani urges an end to sanctions and promises a new era. While the White House response seems cautiously optimisitic US Senators have been pressing for tougher sanctions.
posted by Artw on Aug 4, 2013 - 56 comments

postmodern attack ads don't always shoot where you point 'em

What rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Jul 24, 2013 - 106 comments

Gun control amendments defeated

Despite widespread popular support, on April 17th, 2013, the US Senate voted to defeat four legislative amendments that would strengthen background checks for gun purchases and place a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Victims and survivors of victims of recent shootings who were in the Senate audience were heard to yell "Shame on you" at legislators as the final votes were tallied.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 17, 2013 - 288 comments

Robert Bork's America

Robert Bork, the conservative jurist at the heart of two political firestorms--in 1973 he carried out the "Saturday Night Massacre" by firing Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and in 1987 had his nomination for the Supreme Court rejected by the Senate after a combative confirmation hearing--died yesterday. A perennially divisive figure, Bork's passing drew encomiums from the right and condemnation from the left.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 20, 2012 - 88 comments

Harry Reid Endorses New Filibuster Reform Proposal

As the least-productive Congress in a generation draws to a close, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has spoken in support of a new proposal to reform the filibuster. The proposed changes would not eliminate the filibuster, but would restore the talking filibuster, which requires that the opposition explain their objections and keep talking in order to delay a vote on the bill under consideration. [more inside]
posted by wintermind on Nov 16, 2012 - 54 comments

"The Senate is an unknowing world."

Tired of the Presidential race? The battle for 33 Class I seats in the 100-member United States Senate, once commonly known as the "World's Greatest Deliberative Body", now known for stifling torpor with record-breaking numbers of filibusters and a total logjam of pending confirmations, is also taking place on the same day. With many key Senate races happening in states where the Presidential outcome will be lopsided, all eyes are on split-ticket voters. 53 Democrats (2 of them independents) and 47 Republicans make up the current chamber. Who will control the second Senate ivory gavel, the first of which was shattered in 1954? [more inside]
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College on Oct 13, 2012 - 71 comments

Mark Kirk & the Candy Desk

What do John McCain, Rick Santorum, and George Voinovich have in common? They have all been seated at the Senate's candy desk throughout their careers. [more inside]
posted by Bukvoed on Mar 27, 2012 - 35 comments

Spring Awakening

Mother Jones: The 10 'Occupy' candidates vying for seats in the US House Of Representatives and Senate and their prospects.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 14, 2012 - 27 comments

Down But Not Out

With the recent news that unemployment applications are at their lowest levels since 2008, Congressional Republicans are attempting to curtail unemployment benefits. Democrats want to extend benefits for another year. This has led to an impasse. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Dec 22, 2011 - 64 comments

Send Congress To Boot Camp

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore has a solution to the increasing splintering and radicalization of Congress: send all the members of Congress to boot camp and keep them there until they recognize their duty to America.
posted by reenum on Aug 5, 2011 - 56 comments

I think Lulzsec is a pretty cool guy. eh hacks US Senate and doesn't afraid of anything.

LulzSec (twitter account) have hacked senate.gov. The group has previously hacked Bethesda, Pron.com, FBI affilliates amongst others. Although some argue that LulzSec represent the catalyst to improve IT security, this message to the Senate seems likely to provoke a more direct investigation: [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Jun 13, 2011 - 141 comments

It's not the spectacles and pagaentry.....

The mayor of Washington DC has been arrested, along with 6 of the 12 members of its city council, during a protest today near a US Senate office building, objecting to the city's use as a bargaining chip while negotiating the 7th Continuing Resolution to avoid a government shutdown last Friday. The bill prohibits the District of Columbia from locally funding abortion services, and imposes a locally-unpopular school voucher program. Had the government shutdown taken place, the DC government would have also had to suspend most of its operations including trash pickup. For those of you keeping track, Vince Gray is the 3rd (of 6) DC mayor to be arrested while in office. [more inside]
posted by schmod on Apr 11, 2011 - 93 comments

WTF, Senate?

Filibustery, making the filibuster — and the proposals in the U.S. Senate to reform it — more understandable. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jan 31, 2011 - 5 comments

Pencils down.

It's Election Day in America, and as is so often the case in this fickle land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 2, 2010 - 858 comments

DADT stands.

Cloture to force a vote on the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill has not been achieved. DADT will stand. Chances are not better in a possibly more Republican Senate post-November, and the bill is unlikely to pass before then. Republican voters against cloture: Every single senator; Democratic voters against cloture: Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 22, 2010 - 186 comments

Christine O'Donnell wins Republican primary for Senate

Tea Party candidate and Sarah Palin endorsee Christine O'Donnell - a former chastity lobbyist - has defeated the longest-serving Congressman in Delaware's history by six percentage points to claim the Republican nomination for Vice President Biden's former Senate seat - despite Karl Rove's televised statements to Sean Hannity that she says "nutty things": It does conservatives little good to support candidates who, at the end of the day, while they may be conservative in their public statements, do not evince the characteristics of rectitude and truthfulness and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 15, 2010 - 448 comments

Politics on the March

How broken is the Senate? George Packer asks in his New Yorker piece, "The Empty Chamber."
posted by Trochanter on Aug 8, 2010 - 44 comments

Alvin Greene is on the Scene

"When I say Alvin, you say Greene." - So begins a promotional rap video* endorsing United States Senate candidate Alvin Greene (previously).
* - Link to Countdown segment on MSNBC that includes the video [more inside]
posted by ODiV on Jul 26, 2010 - 46 comments

Ladies & Gentlemen. Mr. Al Green!

Vic Rawl has filed a protest against the man who beat him in the South Carolina Democratic primary for the US Senate. The official reason is election irregularities, however at the core of the protest is the fact that the winner Alvin Greene is a complete unknown with no prior experience. He won the primary despite the fact that he has no campaign headquarters or material and in fact did not seem to campaign at all. Also curious is the pending criminal case in which he is accused of showing a pornographic website to a college student. Mr. Greene does not come across particularly well in interviews and CNN interviewer Don Lemon even went so far as to question his mental health and called it one of the most bizarre interviews he's ever had. So is this Republican tampering as many observers are accusing? (FiveThirtyEight weighs in) Did South Carolina voters give him the (59%-41%) victory because they thought he was Al Green, soul music's most insinuating singer? Or perhaps these are the wrong questions and we should be focusing on Alvin Greene's platform: jobs, better education for children and justice.
posted by jeremias on Jun 15, 2010 - 115 comments

"A Death Threat Magnet"

The FBI has released their extensive files on US Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the public, covering their relationship with him between 1961 and 1985. The seven files, totaling more than 2,200 pages of documents reveal (among other things,) the perhaps unsurprising news that the late Senator received "scores" of death threats from radical groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, “Minutemen” organizations, and the National Socialist White People’s Party. The release was initiated by a Freedom of Information Act Request from Judicial Watch on May 3, 2010, (Complaint pdf) but the FBI gave the Senator's family the "rare opportunity" to raise objections before releasing the file.
posted by zarq on Jun 14, 2010 - 20 comments

Into The Mud They Go

Yesterday, the New York Times published an investigative report showing Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) either lied or spoke ambiguously about serving in Vietnam in several past public appearances. Blumenthal is currently the Democratic frontrunner for Senator Chris Dodd's Senate seat, and is expected to face former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R). Today, McMahon's campaign announced they "fed" the story to the paper and posted the video of Blumenthal's statement to their YouTube channel. More from Politico. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 18, 2010 - 124 comments

Is the acorn better than the oak which is its fullness and completion?

ACORN, the low-income community grassroots organisation, is set to close by April 1st, citing "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era". Meanwhile the New York Times has issued a correction on the stories which led to the 87-3 vote to remove ACORN's Federal funding (previously), admiting that "while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O'Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers."
posted by Artw on Mar 22, 2010 - 87 comments

This may be the "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" of political ads

Carly Fiorina, perhaps best known as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is attempting to become the Republican candidate for Barbara Boxer's long-time Senate seat. But her nomination isn't sewed up yet; her potential GOP challenger is former Congressman and Stanford Law professor Tom Campbell. So earlier today, Fiorina's campaign released this political attack ad against Campbell. It features her newly-minted acronym "FCINO", it's about six times longer than most political ads, it makes copious use of stock photography, and it stars demon sheep with red glowing eyes. Wait, what?
posted by Asparagirl on Feb 3, 2010 - 155 comments

a very long article

How America Can Rise Again by James Fallows
Is America going to hell? After a year of economic calamity that many fear has sent us into irreversible decline, the author finds reassurance in the peculiarly American cycle of crisis and renewal, and in the continuing strength of the forces that have made the country great: our university system, our receptiveness to immigration, our culture of innovation. In most significant ways, the U.S. remains the envy of the world. But here's the alarming problem: our governing system is old and broken and dysfunctional. Fixing it—without resorting to a constitutional convention or a coup—is the key to securing the nation's future. (via|previously)
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2010 - 61 comments

Senate Sends Health Care Bill to Floor

The Senate votes to bring health care bill (text in an amendment) to floor, 60-39. Major concessions extracted by holdout senators. Other analysis here and here. Differences between this and the House bill.
posted by shivohum on Nov 22, 2009 - 74 comments

ACORN under fire

ACORN already drew fire last year during the election, accused of voter fraud, although ACORN points out there was no real fraud going on [pdf]. Now, they are facing controversy over a recent video showing ACORN officials offering advice to amateur actors posing as a pimp and prostitute on what to say when seeking a mortgage for a brothel. A second video captured an ACORN worker claiming to have murdered her husband (she later said she was simply messing with the filmmakers). As a result of these recent controversies, the Senate voted 83-7 to prohibiting the use of funds to fund ACORN. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Sep 16, 2009 - 159 comments

Let the games begin

Today began Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearings, with opening remarks from the Senators on the Judiciary Committee, introductions from NY Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and an opening statement from Judge Sotomayor herself. Among the shouted protests from pro-life advocates in the gallery, highlights included Sen. Lindsay Graham's statement about what he thinks the advise-and-consent function of the senate should entail, and Sen. Al Franken's first real moment in the U.S. Congress.
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 13, 2009 - 86 comments

“I want you to know I care deeply about your views”

Single-payer health care advocates arrested at Senate hearing. On May 5, 2009 advocates of a U.S. national health care program disrupted a Senate Finance Committee event to call for single-payer healthcare to be part of the discussion. The eight protesters were subsequently arrested. The protesters included representatives of Physicians for a National Health Program, which favors the The United States National Health Care Act, H.R. 676. Committee Chair Max Baucus (D - Montana), who has received more money in contributions from health insurance companies than any other member of Congress, favors requiring Americans to purchase private health insurance from those companies. Baucus, who has previously said that single-payer is "off the table," responded to the doctors and their fellow activists with, “I want you to know I care deeply about your views," and then, "we need more police [to eject protesters]."
posted by univac on May 6, 2009 - 146 comments

A Profile in Courage

With so many of our citizens in prison compared with the rest of the world, there are only two possibilities: Either we are home to the most evil people on earth or we are doing something different--and vastly counterproductive. Obviously, the answer is the latter.
Sen. Jim Webb takes on the real third rail in American politics, the entire criminal justice system.
posted by empath on Mar 30, 2009 - 112 comments

An Economic Stimulus Without the Stimulus?

A list of cut, halved, and quartered items from the Senate version of the stimulus bill was released to CNN. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Feb 7, 2009 - 162 comments

AP Calls Alaska Senate race for Begich.

One last goodbye for the memories. Theodore Fulton Stevens has lost his Alaska Senate seat.
posted by daHIFI on Nov 19, 2008 - 75 comments

One closer to 60

Sen. Stevens (R, AK) found guilty of of seven corruption charges. Stevens was behind in the polls before this point anyway, so it looks like a solid Dem gain at this point. Palin has obviously thown him under the bus.
posted by jaduncan on Oct 27, 2008 - 131 comments

Former United States Senator Jesse Helms, 1921 - 2008.

Fmr. US Senator Jesse Helms, 1921 - 2008. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 4, 2008 - 315 comments

The Jihad Will Be Televised

NewsFilter: Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID - Conn.) strikes a decisive blow against another Islamic terror front group: YouTube.
posted by digaman on May 19, 2008 - 96 comments

What's the difference between Democratic and Republican congressmen? $55,000.

Want to live it up at the U.S. party conventions and get access to Senators and Congressmen? USA Today has posted the campaign committee price lists:
Democratic Senate and Congress
Republican Senate and Congress

If you've got the dough, you may conveniently request a convention package online from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The National Republican Congressional Committee and the NRSC have other price lists on their sites, but it seems like the DSCC and DCCC sites keep theirs under wraps.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on May 1, 2008 - 10 comments

I do not plan on voting for or against any US legislation not directly related to Texas Independence

Texan Larry Kilgore is running for a seat in the US Senate. Agree or disagree with the man, he certainly has the courage of his convictions.
posted by dersins on Oct 10, 2007 - 45 comments

Oooh wah heee everyone on the war train (again)

Lieberman-Kyl’s Iran amendment passes. By a vote of 76-22, the Senate passed the Lieberman-Kyl amendment, which threatens to “combat, contain and [stop]” Iran via “military instruments.” Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) called the amendment “Cheney’s fondest pipe dream” and said it could “read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action.”
posted by psmealey on Sep 27, 2007 - 111 comments

Taxation without Representation

Senate kills bill to give D.C. representation (L.A. Times). [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Sep 19, 2007 - 76 comments

Obstructacular.

"If this pace of blocking legislation continues, this 110th Congress will be on track to roughly triple the previous record". Ah, for the halcyon days of yore, when obstuctionism was so obviously unconstitutional that it required a nuclear response.
posted by Flunkie on Jul 20, 2007 - 23 comments

Senate Back Up For Grabs?

Newsfilter: The United States Senate may once again be up for grabs. Senator Tim Johnson, D-SD, 60, has reportedly just suffered a stroke and is currently undergoing tests at The George Washington University Medical Center.
posted by The White Hat on Dec 13, 2006 - 71 comments

Foley was a Republican, but those Dems are TELEMARKETERS!

Abu Gharib? Feh. The newest Dark Side: telemarketing abuse. The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a $2.1 million campaign calling individuals, including those on the Federal Do-Not-Call Registry, with automated telephone messages scripted to sound as if they are coming from the Democratic candidate up for election, in the hopes of driving away support come Tuesday's elections. "Hello. I'm calling with information about [Democratic candidate]," the recording begins, and then pauses for the traditional hang-up. If the recipient does indeed hang up, they then receive repeated phone calls back. This manner of scripting violates 47 CFR 64.1200(b)(1), which requires that "the identity of the business, individual, or other entity that is responsible for initiating the call" be "state[d] clearly" "at the beginning of the message." The New Hampshire Attorney General got them to stop calling those on the Do-Not-Call Registry, at least. (In their best interests, perhaps, due to the $5,000 fine per call potentially racking up hefty fines.) This is going on at the very least in the Pennsylvania 6th, the Connecticut 4th, the North Carolina 11th,, the New Hampshire 2nd, and nationwide.
posted by WCityMike on Nov 5, 2006 - 142 comments

"Things like that happen."

Calling All Wingnuts blogger Mike Stark (previously discussed here) found himself in a fight with George Allen's staffers after asking the Senator an impertinent question about his first wife and sealed divorce file and court records.
posted by homunculus on Oct 31, 2006 - 29 comments

A defeat for "death tax" propagandists.

GOP Senators have lost their bid to kill the currently-defunct estate tax. This defeat of the permanent repeal effort is a major triumph for the 98% of Americans who've never been in danger of having to pay the tax.
posted by maud on Jun 8, 2006 - 164 comments

Censuring Domestic Surveillance

"Resolved that the United States Senate does hereby censure George W. Bush, president of the United States, and does condemn his unlawful authorization of wiretaps of Americans." Invoking "high crimes and misdemeanors," Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold introduces a motion to censure [PDF link] President Bush for his controversial, legally dubious NSA wiretapping program. Feingold declares: "The President must be held accountable for authorizing a program that clearly violates the law." Republican leader Frist retorts: "It's a crazy political move" that sends a "terrible" signal to Iran. Democratic bloggers say: Call your senator. [More legal fallout from the NSA program recently discussed here.]
posted by digaman on Mar 13, 2006 - 259 comments

Media Blacklists Net-based Filibuster Push

Media outraced by Bloggers, Kerry appeal to netroots galvanizes suprise drive against Alito On Google News, you'll read how US Democratic Senators Obama and Biden are against a filibuster. Old news. They've agreed to support it. Encouraged by direct appeals by Senators. Kerry and Kennedy to internet activists, a blizzard of calls, emails, and faxes, organized via the Daily Kos and other blogs - with tactical direction from Kennedy - have helped flip the positions of several Democratic senators, and as of Saturday some claimed the push was already within 2 votes of forcing continued Senate debate on the Alito nomination. In fact, the pro-filibuster bloc might have started with 37 votes Meanwhile, today, Morning Edition, which declined to run the filibuster push as a top story and failed to mention the internet effort, asked Senator Kennedy on Senator Hillary Clinton's opposition to the filibuster: actually, she joined the effort last Friday [ see main link ] : D'oh !
posted by troutfishing on Jan 30, 2006 - 236 comments

Sounds serious

News Filter: Senate in closed session. Looks like Senate is now in close session, after Harry Reid invoked Rule 21 and asked for an investigation into the lead-up to the war. Does it sound like a major deal or is it political maneuvering?
posted by TNLNYC on Nov 1, 2005 - 126 comments

...concerns about Owen go to the heart of what makes a good judge...

Meet Priscilla Owen, 2-time nominee for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Senate nuclear option trigger, and "activist judge" who White House Counsel Gonzales himself criticized ...for "an unconscionable act of judicial activism" in seeking to restrict a minor's right to an abortion. ...

This PDF from People for the American Way goes case-by-case to paint a damning picture: It focuses not only on the evidence from Justice Owen’s dissenting opinions that she is a right wing judicial activist, but also on the fact that this conclusion is established by the criticism often leveled at her by her conservative colleagues on the Court, particularly including Alberto Gonzales. Indeed, during the relatively brief time that they served together on the Court, Gonzales wrote or joined numerous opinions sharply criticizing opinions written or joined by Owen. This report also addresses Justice Owen’s failure at her confirmation hearing to dispel the serious concerns that had been raised about her record. For the reasons we discuss below, the Judiciary Committee made the correct decision in refusing to confirm Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit. It should make the same decision again.
posted by amberglow on May 18, 2005 - 30 comments

Byrd on the Nuclear Option

Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) on the "nuclear option." "The Senate is intended for deliberation not point scoring. It is a place designed from its inception, as expressive of minority views." As the Senate gears up for another round of contentious judicial confirmations, and as Washington gears up for all-out war following Rehnquist's imminent retirement, here's an eloquent, if Godwin-invoking, defense of deliberative lawmaking from the Senate's preeminent historian.
posted by Saucy Intruder on Mar 1, 2005 - 40 comments

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