209 posts tagged with Senate.
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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

Won't you be my neighbor?

Mr. Rogers before the Senate in 1969. [video; YouTube]
posted by Sticherbeast on May 25, 2006 - 63 comments

Primary in Connecticut

Have the netroots finally hit solid ground? There's been a lot of debate about how effective left-wing blogs have been in the political process, but tonight a huge factor has just been added to that debate. Fueled by net support from big-name blogs, Ned Lamont has secured the vote of nearly twice the necessary 15% of delegates in Connecticut's state Democratic convention to force a Senate primary against Joe Lieberman.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on May 19, 2006 - 78 comments

You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to...

Taste's great! Less filling! So did "several former judges who served on the panel also voiced skepticism at a Senate hearing about the president's constitutional authority to order wiretapping on Americans without a court order" or did "FISA judges say Bush within law"? Just in case you doubted that different newspapers present news stories (even those with official audio coverage available!) differently...
posted by twsf on Mar 29, 2006 - 15 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

Tell 'em Uncle Alberto Says It's Cool

'The committee is, to put it bluntly, basically under the control of the White House," said Jay Rockefeller, vice-president of the Senate Intelligence Committee, after the committee quashed a broad inquiry into the legality of the NSA spying on Americans -- despite an increasing number of legal scholars coming forward and declaring that the program is "blatantly illegal," in the words of Yale Law School dean Harold Koh. Meanwhile, the GOP proposes giving spying on Americans the "force of law" while subjecting it to "rigorous oversight."
posted by digaman on Mar 8, 2006 - 175 comments

Obama wins -- Collegiality!

"I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness." McCain and Obama engage in the Senate equivalent of The Dozens.
posted by empath on Feb 7, 2006 - 138 comments

He has the balls to torture

Jack Bauer isn't afraid to cut the eyes out of any (deliberative) body; or, Rupert Murdoch demonstrates the 17th Amendment's fatal flaw.
posted by orthogonality on Feb 3, 2006 - 37 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

Works best in a one-party state

"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof...." The Seventeeth Amendement provides for the direct election of U.S. Senators. Originally, Article I Section 3 of the United States Constition provided that each state's senators be chosen by that state's legislature.

The Populist Party platform from 1892 on, called for direct senatorial election; and the Progressive movment made it, along with Prohibition (18th Amendment) and Women's Suffrage (19th), a cornerstone of reform. The 17th was ratified 8 April 1913, when the required 36th of 48 states, Connecticut, approved it. Utah, however, had rejected it 41 days earlier, on 26 February 1913. Although Utah never subsequently ratified it, the 17th Amendment, as part of the Federal Constitution, applies in Utah as in all U.S. States.

But in the name of re-invigorating States' Rights, some on the Right -- and some less easy to label -- have called for the repeal of the 17th Amendement. In 2003 Montana's Senate, after passing it out of committee, indefinitely postponed by floor vote a bill calling on Congress to repeal the 17th. Now, the President of Utah's 29-member State Senate [pdf], with 19 co-sponsers, thinks he's figured out a way around the Constitution's 17th Amendment. Debate on the S.B. 156 began yesterday.
posted by orthogonality on Jan 25, 2006 - 52 comments

Meet the Bloggers

Meet the Bloggers is a group of Ohio citizen journalists who have been interviewing state political candidates, podcasting the interviews and taking questions from anyone who is interested in the candidate's policies. [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Jan 10, 2006 - 3 comments


Pete Ashdown, the founder of Utah's oldest ISP, is apparently crazy enough to challenge Orrin Hatch's reelection. Ashdown descided to run when he heard Hatch propose that p2p user's computers should be required to explode (see also the INDUCE Act). Ashdown's campaign is the first to wikify its platform & strategy. Boing boing has endorsed him.
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 1, 2005 - 40 comments

Bye Bye Funding.

CNN reports that the House passed HR 4241 this morning by a narrow vote almost entirely along party lines. This is part of the Republican Party's Operation Offset (previously discussed here) designed to cut spending to counter the deficit, growing by leaps and bounds because of Iraq & Katrina (among other things). Now they'll have to work to reconcile it with the Senate version, SR 1932 (voting record here). You may want to Write your representative to let them know how you feel. You might also want to express your displeasure to the two Dems who didn't vote, considering the bill passed by a margin of 2. [Budget Filter]
posted by papakwanz on Nov 18, 2005 - 48 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

"Operation Offset"

"Operation Offset" is what the Republicans are calling their budget cut plan to pay for Hurricane Katrina. Will there be tax cuts for the rich? Nope. The great majority of the proposed cuts target the elderly and the poor, heavily targeting Medicare. They eliminate all federal funding for energy conservation, the "Energy Star" program, energy efficient vehicles, hydrogen vehicles, high-speed rail, light rail, PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, AmeriCorps, the "Even Start" program, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, security/anti-drug funding for innercity schools, and all federal loans to grad students. Also facing cuts are the Global AIDS Initiative, the EPA, the Center for Disease Control, pensions and healthcare plans for retired federal workers, job programs and revitalization funds for poor neighborhoods, the school lunch program, community health centers, and health care for soldiers.
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 27, 2005 - 120 comments

Democracy in Action

Bush to Senate: Go to Hell. As expected, President Bush bypassed the confirmation process and made a recess appointment to elevate John Bolton to the post of US ambassador to the United Nations, brushing off what he calls "partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators." Bolton was previously discussed on MeFi here.
posted by digaman on Aug 1, 2005 - 213 comments

WTF Mate

Senate proposal to ban Chimeras - How long will it take our elected betters to tank all US scientific research on moral grounds. I don't see christian ethics stopping the Chinese
posted by sourbrew on Jul 30, 2005 - 47 comments


The Nuclear Option has been avoided. A handfull of senators have reached an agreement killing the nuclear option, and limiting the future Filibuster to "extraordinary circumstances".
posted by delmoi on May 24, 2005 - 79 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

Jeffords to retire

Senator James Jeffords (I-VT) has decided not to run for re-election in 2006 and Bernie Sanders will run for the Senate seat. Major General Martha Rainville (adjutant general of the Vermont Army National Guard) is thinking of making a run as a Republican.
posted by C17H19NO3 on May 9, 2005 - 19 comments

Filibustering The Frist Center

Princeton Students and Polticians Stage Filibuster -- Princeton students started a filibuster at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University to protest the impending unloading of the "nuclear option" in the United States Senate. Bill Frist is a Princeton alum and his family donated the building the filibuster is in front of. It's been going on for a whopping 78 hours already and looks to at least go through the weekend. Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) spoke earlier today, and NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora was there yesterday. They've even got physicists (one and two) and a Nobel Prize winner.
posted by nathanrudy on Apr 29, 2005 - 20 comments

Franken 2006

Al Franken, senate contender for Minnesota in 2006? He's got name recognition out the wazoo, a national radio program, and is returning to his blue state home to try and take Norm Coleman's republican seat in the US Senate. Is there any way he can lose? Are Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh next for making senate bids?
posted by mathowie on Apr 27, 2005 - 62 comments

Cloture for Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

A Senate bill to overhaul federal bankruptcy laws, a top priority of retailers, auto lenders and banks, cleared a key hurdle Tuesday afternoon. Sixty-nine senators -- nine more than needed -- voted for "cloture," a procedural move that limits debate. Republican leaders hope to push the bill to a final vote by the end of the week. Earlier, the Senate turned back a controversial, abortion-related amendment that has scuttled previous efforts to pass bankruptcy legislation. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 was first introduced in 1998 as The Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act.
posted by airguitar on Mar 8, 2005 - 63 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

Senators' Night Out

Jeff Johnson wants to know what Pete Coors has to say.
posted by yerfatma on Nov 4, 2004 - 15 comments

Chafee drops Bush

Dissent is patriotic. "I'm a pro-choice, antiwar, antideficit Republican," says Senator Linc Chafee (R-RI). But his party affiliation is not stronger than the deep ideological gulf between the conservative and moderate wings of the GOP. Today, Sen. Chafee announced that he will not support George Bush's bid for re-election nor vote for him in November. Already there are rumbles of a party defection that might quash hopes for a GOP hold on the U.S. Senate. Remember this guy? "I understand the feelings that he has," Mr. Jeffords said. "I'm going to be talking to him, so I'm not going to say any more. I probably shouldn't have even told you that."
posted by PrinceValium on Oct 4, 2004 - 21 comments

Please CLICK HERE to donate now!

The campaign website of Alan Keyes, Illinois Republican Party's nominee for the United States Senate. [via Chicagoist]
posted by azul on Aug 17, 2004 - 48 comments

I smell a crook

Dirty Dirty men..... America, Mark Twain once said, "is a nation without a distinct criminal class with the possible exception of Congress."
posted by sourbrew on Jul 21, 2004 - 4 comments


Would you call Googlebombing on Amazon Amazabombing? Ask Bill Frist, since whatever you call it, it just happened to him.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Mar 28, 2004 - 28 comments

Conservatives Win Big With Fetus Bill

Conservatives Win Big With Fetus Bill
posted by SpaceCadet on Mar 27, 2004 - 26 comments

The Leak About the Leak

Pickle's pickle. "The sergeant at arms is facing the oddly postmodern task of investigating a Senate leak of a report on the investigation of a Senate leak."
posted by Slagman on Mar 10, 2004 - 9 comments

Tricky Dix

Republican Dirty Tricks "From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight -- and with what tactics. The office of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle has already launched an investigation into how excerpts from 15 Democratic memos showed up in the pages of the conservative-leaning newspapers and were posted to a website last November." They just can't get Nixon out of their system, huh?
posted by owillis on Jan 22, 2004 - 124 comments

Shocking! They were lied to.

Senators were told Iraqi weapons could hit U.S. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush administration last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities. If this is true, is he in trouble for saying it?
posted by bas67 on Dec 17, 2003 - 32 comments


first the plame affair - now stolen confidential memos from democratic senators servers ... business as usual on capitol hill?
posted by specialk420 on Nov 28, 2003 - 30 comments

Senate AntiSpam Bill

Senate approves S.887 Can-Spam Bill. Spammers unhappy.FTC to report to Congress with a plan for creating a Do-Not-E-mail registry.
posted by elpapacito on Oct 23, 2003 - 23 comments

Folks, that's the news, and I am outta here

Sen. Dennis Miller, R-California
posted by Espoo2 on Oct 21, 2003 - 83 comments

Big FCC rollback vote this Tuesday.

Big FCC rollback vote this Tuesday. I know a lot of mefites are passionate about this issue and it looks like Senators Byron Dorgan (D–ND) and Trent Lott (R-MS) are doing something about it. More info, free faxes, etc at the ACLU. Read S.J. res 17 here.
posted by skallas on Sep 15, 2003 - 13 comments

Move Off

John Kerry joins the Forest Service: In an effort to more effectively manage the increase in the volume of e-mails received by my office and to respond as quickly and thoroughly as possible, I am using a new web based system that you can access through my web site at kerry.senate.gov. The e-mail address john_kerry@kerry.senate.gov will no longer be active. Thus we see that the economies of power, access, and influence quickly respond to unmanageable distortions caused by new technology. Will the new equilibrium be any different from the old, or is technology ultimately irrelevant?
posted by alms on Jun 18, 2003 - 15 comments

Orrin Hatch, your Big Brother

Senator Orrin Hatch [R-Utah], chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, favors legislation allowing copyright holders to remotely destroy the computers of illegal file traders. Hatch, an accompished songwriter in his own right, is quoted as saying that damaging someone's computer "...may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights." Apparently the good Senator is forgetting that our legal system is based on the presumption of innocence.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jun 17, 2003 - 32 comments

Jer-ry Jer-ry

Jerry Springer is running for Senate. It looks like all our campaigns will now be powered by blogging.
posted by owillis on Jun 11, 2003 - 22 comments

Robert Byrd, American Hero

Robert Byrd speaks to the Senate, May 21, 2003 Regarding the situation in Iraq, it appears to this Senator that the American people may have been lured into accepting the unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation, in violation of long-standing International law, under false premises. There is ample evidence that the horrific events of September 11 have been carefully manipulated to switch public focus from Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda who masterminded the September 11th attacks, to Saddam Hussein who did not...

...We cower in the shadows while false statements proliferate. We accept soft answers and shaky explanations because to demand the truth is hard, or unpopular, or may be politically costly.

Words of wisdom from a senior US Senator.
posted by jasper411 on May 22, 2003 - 45 comments

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