Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)
In one corner: the first federal government shutdown
, 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
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
, 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 -
, 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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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
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 -
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 -