From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who helped shepherd through today’s Senate repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, told reporters after the final vote this afternoon that ending the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers is a big step for LGBT rights.
“To me, it is a step forward to a larger societal acceptance [of gay rights,]” Lieberman said. “This is a civil rights piece of legislation in my opinion.”
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From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:
The relatively quick arrest in the botched May 1 Times Square bombing temporarily quieted the political sparring over national security policies.
But the cease-fire has now ended. Missouri Sen. Kit Bond, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he doesn’t yet buy the Obama administration’s claim that the alleged bomber, Faisal Shahzad, was trained, directed and likely financed by Pakistani Taliban militants.
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From POLITICS DAILY:
With no votes to spare, Democratic senators moved health care reform past its first major hurdle Saturday night, with a party-line, 60-to-39 vote to begin consideration of the 2,000-plus page bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled this week.
The bill that senators will begin debating after Thanksgiving combines proposals passed by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Committee Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), and is designed to make health insurance more accessible and affordable. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would expand coverage to 94 percent of Americans at a cost of $848 billion over the next 10 years.
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(Shnooks and ninnies, from the top: Chinless Mitch McConnell, Kit So-Not-James Bond, Orrin Down-The Hatch, Richard Who? Burr, Mean Mike Enzi, Chuck Yer-Ass-Is Grassley, Captain Underpants, Limpy Snowe, Diaper David Vitter)
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The Senate voted to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court today, making her the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice and just the third woman to sit on the court.
The 55-year-old Sotomayor, who was confirmed by a vote of 68-31, will be sworn in on Saturday at the Court.
Despite strong and vocal opposition from some Senate Republicans, nine GOP senators voted for her confirmation, more than the number of Democrats who supported Justice Samuel Alito, but fewer than the number who crossed party lines to support Chief Justice John Roberts.
One of the Rethug votes against was Captain Underpants. One of the Rethug votes for was Lindseypoo. Does this mean the end of the romance? Nah, they don’t know how to quit each other.
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From The Plum Line:
A rather intriguing reaction from one of John Ensign’s Senate GOP colleagues to the news of Ensign’s extramarital affair:
“I think he will be welcomed back by his colleagues and go back to being a good senator,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said Ensign shouldn’t have resigned his leadership spot.
Graham downplayed the political impact this would have on the GOP, saying, “Most Americans look at this as a personal situation.”
Graham let out a laugh and said: “I’ve got plenty of sins that I’m not going to share with anyone else.”
Sins? Well, kids, you know that your intrepid reporter (that would be me) cannot let that go without an investigation. Through my sources, I was able to obtain a photograph of what goes on when the Senate Republican are not voting no or making speeches about why they voted no.
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(With a little bit of help from this poster)
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From Paul Krugman at The New York Times:
Everyone’s talking about a new New Deal, for obvious reasons. In 2008, as in 1932, a long era of Republican political dominance came to an end in the face of an economic and financial crisis that, in voters’ minds, both discredited the G.O.P.’s free-market ideology and undermined its claims of competence. And for those on the progressive side of the political spectrum, these are hopeful times.
There is, however, another and more disturbing parallel between 2008 and 1932 — namely, the emergence of a power vacuum at the height of the crisis. The interregnum of 1932-1933, the long stretch between the election and the actual transfer of power, was disastrous for the U.S. economy, at least in part because the outgoing administration had no credibility, the incoming administration had no authority and the ideological chasm between the two sides was too great to allow concerted action. And the same thing is happening now.
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From The American Spectator ( 😮 yeah, I said The American Spectator! I am just as surprised as you are!):
The tin-foil-hat crowd was almost immediately pushing a Jack Abramoff angle to the surprise resignation of Sen. Trent Lott. But a more recent scandal brewing — which has already ensnared Sen. Ted Stevens, among others — may also be playing on Lott’s mind.
Lott, Stevens, as well as Rep. Dennis Hastert all have ties to Bill Allen, a larger than life Alaskan businessman who owned Veco, an oil-field services company, and who was a huge benefactor of Republican politicians. Between 1980 and 2000, Allen, Veco executives and Allen’s friends generated more than $1 million in political donations.
From Think Progress:
Allen has pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska legislators, including Ben Stevens, the son of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK). The elder Stevens is currently the target of multiple federal investigation, including one on his ties to Veco.
Lott continues to stand by Stevens, donating $5,000 from his political action committee to Stevens’s re-election campaign. Lott also has ties to Allen, who accompanied him to the lavish annual “Waterfall Fishing Tournament” in Alaska. Since 1996, at least 10 current and former lawmakers have attended the trip, an opportunity for “the energy industry’s top brass” to influence lawmakers.
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Filed under Alaska, Ben Stevens, Bill Allen, Daniel Akaka, Dennis Hastert, Frank Murkowski, humor, Jack Abramoff, Kit Bond, Larry Craig, Michael Enzi, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, snark, Ted Stevens, Thad Cochran, Trent Lott, VECO, Wordpress Political Blogs