Category Archives: Richard Lugar

Harry Reid Has Lunch

From TALKING POINTS MEMO:

By a vote of 71-26 this afternoon, the Senate ratified the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), exceeding the two-thirds majority required for passage.

The vote brings to an end a long, winding and at times hostile debate over the arms agreement, which enjoyed broad support among one-time GOP influence peddlers, but was held up for much of the lame-duck session by several Republican senators who raised a series of procedural and policy objections to the treaty.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl led the opposition, and at times appeared to have rounded up the 34 votes he would have needed to block START. Kyl made a name for himself in the GOP in 1999 when he shocked American and international diplomats and handily blocked President Clinton’s Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

This time, his efforts fell well short.

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Ask and Tell

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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King-size Stupid

From The Wonk Room at THINK PROGRESS:

Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti this week, many activists and politicians have heightened the cry for granting undocumented Haitians in the U.S. Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS is a longstanding cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy that is afforded to undocumented immigrants from a small number of federally-designated countries suffering armed conflicts, natural disasters, or other extraordinary circumstances until conditions improve. Many claim Haitians should’ve received TPS after four consecutive tropical cyclones in 2008 left 800 people dead, hundreds missing, and made the Haitian city of Gonaives “uninhabitable.” However, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) seems to think that not only were undocumented Haitians undeserving of TPS status then, undocumented Haitians living in the U.S. should now be deported back to their country to specifically serve as much-needed relief workers.


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No Soup For Them!

From MEDIA MATTERS:

Joseph Curl and Matthew Mosk at the Washington Times came up with a heck of a non-story story today for the reportedly troubled newspaper, titled, “Top Republican lawmakers not invited to State Dinner [for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh].”

…snip…

The print article ran on the Times‘ front page with the headline, “Obama’s big tent leaves out GOP bigwigs; Dinner to honor India’s leader.” Slightly different, but it gets the same point across. From the headlines, one would think that Curl and Mosk had exposed President Obama as a biting partisan, who ran Republicans’ invitations to the White House’s first state dinner through the shredder while they eagerly awaited them at home. But one would have to read on.

As it turns out, Obama did invite “top Republican lawmakers.” They just aren’t attending.


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Supreme Irony

From abcNEWS:

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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Shhh! It’s a secret!

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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Pass the Barbecue Sauce!

From MSNBC:

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D) opposed yesterday’s $410 billion omnibus spending bill because it was “bloated” and included $7.7 billion in earmarks. “At a time when so many American families are tightening their belts to make ends meet, Congress should be as equally committed to living within its means,” he said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the spending bill a “missed opportunity” and urged President Obama to veto it. “The bill costs far too much for a government that should be watching every dime,” he said.

And Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe (R) said in opposition to the legislation: “Each and every time, whether a Republican or Democratic initiative, I have refused to go along with big government spending or big government solutions.”

But as it turns out, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Bayh had four solo earmarks attached to his name in the legislation, worth $2.7 million; McConnell had 36 totaling $51 million; and Inhofe had 34 earmarks worth $53 million.


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