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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

$40bn and you get the Senate back unharmed

[A] seminal moment in the evolution of Republican obstructionism. [A] seminal moment in the history of Congress.
Senate Held Hostage. America Held Hostage.
Richard Shelby Shuts the Government Down. [more inside]
posted by jckll on Feb 5, 2010 - 282 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

Puppet Joe Lieberman that is.

Joe Lieberman has a pony request.
posted by tylerfulltilt on Dec 18, 2009 - 66 comments

where are the jobs. where are they. also what is your favorite food

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley opens up another Ask Chuck Webcast. The people respond. Grassley answers.
posted by Optimus Chyme on Dec 17, 2009 - 12 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

Health Care Has Passed

The House of Representatives just passed the health reform bill in a vote of 220-215.
posted by reenum on Nov 7, 2009 - 425 comments

Cattle mutilation

A long-standing element of ufo/paranormal conspiracy theory, cattle mutilation has been reported in the United States for several decades. Here's some FOIA documents relating to the FBI's investigation (and discussions of whether they had jurisdiction to investigate) from the 1970's. All links are PDFs: cattle1.pdf, cattle2.pdf. cattle3.pdf, cattle4.pdf,cattle5.pdf.
posted by rmd1023 on Nov 3, 2009 - 30 comments

Franken's anti-rape amendment

Jamie Leigh Jones alleges she was drugged and gang-raped by co-workers at Camp Harper in Iraq while employed by KBR. As explained by Senator Al Franken in this youtube clip, Ms. Jones had signed a contract requiring binding arbitration of employment related disputes. Sen. Franken introduced Amendment 2588, which would prohibit any use of Federal funds for Federal contractors that require such agreements. The amendment passed 68-30 (roll call). [more inside]
posted by aerotive on Oct 19, 2009 - 186 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

About time.

Samuel Kent is the first judge to be impeached by the House in 20 years. [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg on Jun 22, 2009 - 26 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

When I switch you switch we switch

The last time any party had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate was 1977-1979. With Arlen Specter's announcement that he is switching parties and Al Franken's recent court victory all but guaranteeing his victory in Minnesota, the Democrats will have a filibuster-proof 60 seats in the Senate. Eight years ago, Jim Jeffords switched parties to change control of the Senate from a 50-50 tie (resolved by VP Cheney in favor of the GOP) to Democratic control. [more inside]
posted by allen.spaulding on Apr 28, 2009 - 227 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

We're Coming to You Tube!

Welcome to Congress, YouTube. Check out House Hub and Senate Hub for a state by state directory of YouTube videos created by House Representatives and Senators for the purpose of, among other things, "increasing transparency." [more inside]
posted by lunit on Jan 15, 2009 - 12 comments

I, for one, welcome our new lizard people overlords.

Minnesota's recount of the Senate race between incumbent Norm Coleman (R) and challenger Al Franken (D) began yesterday. Some results are already being reported. One unintended consequence of the recount is the exposure of a shocking write-in challenger: Lizard People.
posted by nathan_teske on Nov 19, 2008 - 70 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

Doesn't everyone exaggerate the size of Lake Ontario?

Humorist and candidate for the US Senate for Minnesota Al Franken draws a map of the United States from memory.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 5, 2008 - 83 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

Senate Intelligence Committee Phase II Reports

Senate Intelligence Committee Unveils Final Phase II Reports on Prewar Iraq Intelligence. Phase II Report on Public Statements [PDF] and Phase II Report on DoD Policy Office [PDF]. This may come as a shock, but most of what the Bush Administration said about Iraq wasn't true. Republican co-chair Bond, Kit Bond, says the reports are "political theatre." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jun 5, 2008 - 70 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

"an expression of truckliness"

Senate lawmakers in Florida move to ban fake testicles on vehicles. NSFW(?)
posted by mrducts on Apr 24, 2008 - 88 comments

Congress 2.0

Opencongress.org is a website for keeping track of the U.S. Congress. (previously) But, now it also a social network. So, sign-up and see what your favourite Senator has been doing, track bills and, follow important issues. Then, share that information with your friends or write about it on your blog.
posted by geos on Feb 4, 2008 - 20 comments

The 30-Second Senate Session

The 30-Second Senate Session: In order to prevent President Bush from making recess appointments, the U.S. Senate will technically stay open over the Thanksgiving holiday. The result? A U.S. Senate session that lasts, gavel-to-gavel, exactly 30 seconds.
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Nov 21, 2007 - 79 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

LAN Party in the Senate Chamber? Call Terry.

The Sergeant at Arms of the US Senate, as chief law enforcement officer of the "greatest deliberative body in the world", wears many hats. Capitol security, IT support and network security, telecommunications, videography and photography, human resources, getter of you out of bed and dragger of your ass to work, and house mother for the occasional slumber party.
posted by litfit on Jul 24, 2007 - 28 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

lolassholes

Senate disrupted by jerks. Three members of anti-abortion Operation Save America disrupted the daily opening prayers of the Senate yesterday morning, which were being lead that day Rajan Zed, a Hindu priest. This was the first time a Hindu priest lead the opening prayer. Operation Save America has a small press release. Youtube link.
posted by Snyder on Jul 13, 2007 - 81 comments

If you can't say something nice...

NewsFilter: Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY) has died. He had been receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia. Wyoming's Democratic Governor will appoint a successor from one of three finalists chosen by the state Republican party.
posted by pruner on Jun 4, 2007 - 55 comments

Senator Secrecy

A senator places a secret hold on a bill designed to counter secrecy in government. The Society of Professional Journalists, which supports the bill, smoked out Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) as the source of the hold, one of the more obscure parliamentary tactics possible in the Senate. The bill in question is the OPEN Government Act of 2007, which is an overhaul of the Freedom of Information Act. (See also.) Kyl claims the bill would force the release of "sensitive information." Kyl is also behind a measure that would criminalize the leaking of classified information.
posted by beagle on Jun 1, 2007 - 47 comments

I have no recollection of remembering that recollection

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is in the middle of his testimony before Congress on firing of eight US Attorneys. The questioning has gotten heated at times, and TPM Muckraker has many highlights from the testimony. DailyKos has been giddily blogging live, and there are many sites carrying the live video feed. Conservative blogs have been mysteriously quiet about this.
posted by OldReliable on Apr 19, 2007 - 190 comments

"Make Congress more transparent and encourage civic engagement"

OpenCongress.org is a site that aggregates data about the United States Senate and House. Keep track of your senators or representatives through rss feeds, read bills on topics that are important to you, and find out what industries are behind the scenes providing money to your politicians in Washington among many other uses of this new resource.
posted by rfbjames on Feb 27, 2007 - 18 comments

History of the Senate desks

From the Candy Desk to the Cherokee Strip, the desks in the U.S. Senate Chamber have a long and fascinating history.
posted by Vidiot on Jan 4, 2007 - 21 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

Vote for, er, Jim?

Vote for James H. "Jim"? Voters in certain Virginia precincts will see electronic ballots featuring only part of some candidates' names. For some reason this is said to be "unfixable", even though this has been discovered two weeks ahead of election time. This problem only affects voting machines made by... not the one you'd expect, but Austin, TX-based Hart InterCivic, whose motto is "Always Accessible". Senatorial Candidate James H. "Jim" Webb (D) is, one may assume, not amused.
posted by clevershark on Oct 24, 2006 - 56 comments

No Saddam and Osama? :(

Senate Releases Pre-War Intel Reports. The two sections of the report released by the Senate intelligence committee are: "Postwar Findings about Iraq's WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How they Compare with Prewar Assessments" and "The Use by the Intelligence Community of Information Provided by the Iraqi National Congress" (both PDFs). This seems to contradict previous evidence. [Via TPMmuckraker.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 8, 2006 - 51 comments

Rick Santorum Hates Gorillas

Santorum on Gorilla Action Friday Fun - A giant gorilla is chasing around Rick Santorum
posted by cjoh on Aug 25, 2006 - 11 comments

Handicapping the midterms

As in the 2004 elections, several useful sites have sprung up to keep track of the 2006 midterms for House, Senate and state gubernatorial races. Some have a political point of view, others don't, but they don't differ significantly on the outcome at this point. One of the veterans in this game is ElectionProjection.com, which was pretty close to actual results in '04. (A creation of "the Blogging Caesar"). From the right, there's MyElectionAnalysis.com, while ElectionPredictions seems to come from a neutral corner. All of these track statewide polls as they are published; they may differ in how they weight results. For a more subjective approach, see Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball or the Cook Political Report. Overall, the consensus seems to be that the GOP will hold both houses, but with slimmer margins, and lose on the gubernatorial front.
posted by beagle on Jul 10, 2006 - 30 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

What does John Solomon have against Harry Reid?

Harry Reid accepted free boxing tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission says John Solomon of the AP. Solomon implies that Reid might have gotten himself into an ethical dilemma as the NAC opposes the creation of a federal boxing commission, something the Senate was considering at the time. The article also tosses in some digs at Reid by repeating the claim that Reid is involved in the Abramoff scandal.

However, Media Matters points out that Reid did not act in the NAC's favor and instead allowed the passage of legislation that would create a federal commission, in opposition to the giftgiver's wishes. This is not the first time Solomon has attacked Reid. Politics/News-filter
posted by papakwanz on May 31, 2006 - 34 comments

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