Archive for ‘US Senate’

January 9, 2010

Legislators legislating legislation

by thoughtfulconservative

I’m talkin’ about the whole kit and kaboodle. US House, US Senate, Wisconsin legislature. Probably yours. Could include county supervisors, city councils, school boards. Go ahead take your turn at naming one.

What most of these have in common (I can’t say all, because some one would say, “Prove it!” and I can’t) is the propensity to invade into areas that don’t really concern them or that are a waste of time and they wouldn’t have thought about it except for the fact that some lobbying group is telling them how many votes they would get if they would co-sponsor this wonderful bill that is really non-controversial.

Right.

OK, let’s look at some particulars:

The first is the most recent of Wisconsin state symbols–cheese as the official state snack.

Cheese would become Wisconsin’s official state snack under a bill up for public hearing on Thursday.The proposal by Democratic state Sen. Jim Sullivan of Wauwatosa doesn’t differentiate between cheddar, blue or Swiss. And it also doesn’t say anything about curds.

Yes, folks a state snack. I’m sure you also remember hearing that the Wisconsin legislature is debating the state microbe and state motorcycle:

But a pair of contenders hoping to join the state symbol club would honor two equally famous Wisconsin traditions: cheese and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

One bill, introduced last week, aims to celebrate Lactococcus lactis, a tiny organism that makes the state’s estimated $18 billion per year cheese industry possible, by naming it the official state microbe. The other, introduced in the Senate on Wednesday, would designate Harley-Davidson the Wisconsin state motorcycle.

No time for less important issues like school funding and the budget deficit.

Congress, of course, gets in on the act. Now that they have successfully given us the 2,000+ page health care bill, they have time to tackle important things like probing NFL  concussions.

These are not the only examples. Most states have symbols ranging from amphibians to trees.

It’s mostly harmless cheerleading. And it keeps them away from serious legislation that might screw with my life some more.

February 11, 2009

Gee, I wonder why?

by thoughtfulconservative

Politics – Senators found unwilling to share tax info

Most U.S. senators are unwilling to share the kind of personal tax information they demand to confirm Cabinet appointees, a survey indicated.

Even as such senators as Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, grilled Obama administration appointees on lapses in paying their taxes, they were among 55 senators who either failed to respond or gave generic answers to Politico’s survey asking all 99 senators whether they or the Internal Revenue Service have ever discovered an error on returns they’ve filed, and whether they’ve ever had to pay back taxes.

Let’s try something novel; hold every one to the same standards.

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February 2, 2009

Agreeing with Feingold twice since the inauguration

by thoughtfulconservative

UPDATE: This is getting ridiculous. Once again I agree with Mr. Feingold,

[Gregg] is well qualified for this position. But the apparent behind-the-scenes deal-making that went on to determine who will fill Senator Gregg’s vacancy is alarmingly undemocratic. Once again, Americans will be represented in the Senate for nearly two years by someone they had no hand in electing. As the number of Senators appointed to their seats continues to rise, it’s increasingly clear that we need to fix this constitutional anachronism. It is time to pass a constitutional amendment to end appointments by governors and the political gamesmanship they encourage.

First his call for to end Senate appointments by state governors and now he votes against confirming Geithner

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. Independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted against confirmation.

I gotta go check the sky and make sure it’s not falling.

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February 2, 2009

Democratic scandal round-up

by thoughtfulconservative

UPDATE III: Daschle is out.

UPDATE II: And the hits keep coming,

Tom Daschle backed the patron who paid him a million-dollar salary and supplied him with a free car and driver for a job inside the Obama administration, two Democrats said Monday.

Leo Hindery, whose InterMedia Partners employed the former Senate majority leader, had been mentioned as a possible secretary of commerce or U.S. trade representative.

“Tom was pushing for him,” said one Democratic source.

To Obama’s credit,

Obama’s aides rejected Daschle’s suggestion that a top job go to Hindery, for whose private equity fund Daschle had served as a rainmaker and adviser.

UPDATE: And another one bites the dust

Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday.

Killefer was the second major Obama administration nominee to withdraw and the third to have tax problems complicate their nomination after President Barack Obama announced their selection.

And Michelle Malkin has another tax problem for Daschle.

We’re gonna need a scorecard pretty soon.

Amanda Carpenter has a collection which includes the recent newsmakers, Daschle, Geithner and Rangel and reminds us the Al Franken still has some tax problems.

Franken, who is still fighting incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman for Minnesota’s Senate seat, failed to pay at least $70,000 in taxes to 17 states prior to running for office.

Michelle Malkin reports on the White House’s opinion on Daschle’s troubles. If only the Democrats had been as understanding the last eight years.

Via TheHill.com Here’s what Gibbs said

It’s a serious mistake, but laying that mistake next to a three-decade career in public service, the president believes that Sen. Daschle is still the best suited to shepherd healthcare reform through Congress and get something to the president’s desk that will save the American people money and make the quality of healthcare better.

Can you imagine this being said about a Republican? Yeah, me either.

And now via the Instapundit and The Corner, we hear that Chris Dodd is refinancing his mortgage.

Sen. Dodd, whose committee has oversight over the mortgage and banking industries, faced heavy criticism in his home state for not releasing details of his mortgages when the controversy erupted last year.

Sen. Dodd said Monday he received a $275,000 30-year, adjustable rate loan at 4.5% interest for his East Haddam home. The Washington home was financed with a 30-year adjustable loan of $506,000 with a 4.25% rate.

The terms of the mortgages are under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee.

The TaxProf has more on Daschle than you will want to read (H/t Instapundit).

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January 8, 2009

Now the work begins

by thoughtfulconservative

UPDATE: Heh. It happens too often. As soon as I post I run across another article. This guy thinks Obama may not do enough.

We may not simply be facing a steep recession like that of the early 1980s, from which we can extricate ourselves in a year or two, but something resembling the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Ah, not only the “D” word, but preceded by “the Great.” Seeing soup lines? His solution?

It would consist not merely of updating or repairing the nation’s infrastructure, but in undertaking massive new investments that would expand the scope of American industry, and address other urgent problems in the process: global warming, over-reliance on petroleum, and the need to revive America’s domestic manufacturing capabilities–not just to provide jobs, but also to provide tradeable goods that can reduce the country’s current account deficit.

Just like Obama’s “trickle-down” government-financed approach only BIGGER! MORE! The fiscal equivalent of war!

Then in the next three paragraphs, high-speed rail. Yippee! Makes no difference if no one is riding, build it and they will come.

Then he wants some way to smooth out international trade balances.

One more. Tax cuts? No way? James Rowen asked what conservatives would think of Obama’s tax cuts and I countered in the comments, what would the left think.  Now we find out.

President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed tax cuts ran into opposition Thursday from senators in his own party who said they wouldn’t do much to stimulate the economy or create jobs.

We’re in for a long ride, folks.

From Politico.com. Here’s a selection:

“There is nothing written in stone,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D.-Mont.) said that changes will have to be made to “improve” upon the Obama plan.

“I just don’t think it works. I don’t think that’s going to give much lift to the economy, as well intended as it is,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat. Conrad wants a homebuyer tax credit to help housing prices.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), an early Obama supporter, was among those pressing for more to be done in the energy field.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) argues for a greater emphasis on tangible infrastructure investments in roads, bridges, transit.

This is Congress. This is deliberation. We can only hope what they come out with works. Since they’re Democrats, I doubt it, but the ball’s in their court.

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January 6, 2009

April 7 election set for Emanuel’s seat

by thoughtfulconservative

Politics – April 7 election set for Emanuel’s seat – ArcaMax Publishing

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Monday set April 7 for a special election to fill the U.S. House seat Rahm Emanuel gave up to join the Obama administration.

Blagojevich, who is facing federal corruption charges, issued a Writ off Election from his Capitol office in Springfield that also set March 3 as the date for a special primary election, if one is needed.

Wait. Wait. So they’re going to have a special election for Emanuel’s house seat, but he wants to appoint someone to fill Obama’s Senate seat?

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