Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday PM Stuff

Alan Grayson stands tall again in support of Brave New Films' "Rethink Afghanistan" campaign (more here)...

...and I guess this means Christmas is over - sigh.

More Saturday AM Stuff

God bless our service people - here are some holiday greetings...

...and Turner Classic Movies remembers those who left us from the movie biz in '09 (h/t The Daily Kos).

Friday, December 25, 2009

Saturday AM Stuff

Actually, if PBS wanted to air a "tribute" to Commander Codpiece, I think the most appropriate programming they could schedule would be a test pattern for an hour to indicate what would have happened if Number 43's cabal had had its way and utterly defunded public television (and I think Wayne Slater is being waaay too kind to Glassman, IMHO)...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

...and I think this is a fitting video response.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Stuff

I love the look on the faces of some of the Santas here (h/t The Daily Kos...ho, ho, ho)...

...and this is one of the evergreen tunes of the season that I saved to nearly the end.

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2009 - Pt. 7)

We're about 3/4s of the way there (Part One is here, Part Two is here, Part Three is here, Part Four is here, Part Five is here, and Part Six is here)...

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Hate radio host Neal Boortz, who compared Obama to a child molester here (truly no line these people won’t cross, but we knew that)…

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Yes, I know Max Baucus recently stood tall here, but I don't believe that balanced out the fact that his committee really goofed on health care reform (here).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee ("Nah, Just Kidding" Citation)

This would have been a real shocker, but Bill Orally briefly qualified for this remark about the public option, though he returned to form here.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Bill Orally again for receiving a “Press Courage” award, though the press was barred from attending (here)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Jared C. Monti (courage for real, as opposed to O'Reilly's brand) - Rachel Maddow tells his story below...

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

I’ve dumped on Bob Casey a lot, rightly I think, but I should also give him credit for being one of seven votes here against that ridiculous Senate resolution from Repug Mike Johanns banning funding for ACORN as a result of that even-more-ridiculous sting video from that creep James O’Keefe (Yes, the DC office screwed up, but how about counting the good work ACORN does, which more than balances out this mistake, as well as the fact that the ACORN office in question didn't break any laws, whereas that's still an open question concerning the conduct of O'Keefe and Hannah Giles?...kudos also to Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrick Leahy, Roland Burris, Dick Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse for joining Casey; more on ACORN later).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Fred Barnes, for saying here that Obama’s wise decision not to try and deploy a “Star Wars” missile defense shield could lead to a development worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis (guess what, you asshat – Obama’s decision was seconded by Brent Scowcroft, who’s forgotten more about matters of national security than you’ll ever know)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Butler, PA Repug State House Rep Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who halted a resolution to recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives because, as he put it, “it has a homosexual agenda” (and as Mike Morrill tells us here, “on the same day, also on the House floor, he made matters worse. The House was about to vote on increasing marriage license fees from $3 to $28, with the increased amount going to a fund for victims of domestic abuse. Metcalfe opposed the measure, calling the funding a domestic violence programs 'a slap in the face to family values.'2 The bill passed despite his outrageous claim.”)

(I'm sure we'll be hearing from Metcalfe in 2010, by the way; he has also sponsored a bill to make teacher strikes illegal in PA, which new Pennsbury School Board member Simon Campbell will do his best to publicize, of course, being more concerned about Harrisburg than he is about his own school district.)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Michael Schwartz, chief of staff for Tom Coburn, who basically said here that porn makes you gay (didn’t work on me – h/t The Daily Kos)…

Do Gooders Of The Year Nominees

As noted here, the following NFL football teams made the highest campaign contributions to the Democratic Party:

  • The St. Louis Rams (also worthy of rooting for them, even though they’re real bad, because they have ex-Eagle coach Steve Spagnuolo as their head coach)

  • The San Francisco 49ers

  • The Philadelphia Eagles (yep, despite the fact that they were cheapskates with Brian Dawkins, Tra Thomas and Sheldon Brown, though they were inexplicably generous to Michael Vick)

  • The New England Patriots (despite the presence of Bill Belichick)

  • The Buffalo Bills (despite the presence of T.O.)

  • The Oakland Raiders
  • Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Ivan Marte, the ex-chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Hispanic Assembly, who quit the Repug Party over the Joe Wilson “You Lie” outburst (here)…

    Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

    Former Bushco ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe here for noting the fact that our embassies are getting more and more expensive (and a supplemental citation to James Gordon, formerly of ArmorGroup, the company contracted for security in our Kabul embassy, for blowing the whistle on the antics going on there)

    Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

    Sen. Al Franken, for, as noted here, “reading the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution to David Kris, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, who was testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee to urge reauthorization of expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act” (seems Al wasn’t happy with the answers he was getting from Kris in response to questions he was asking about why the provisions should be reauthorized…there were reasons why we stuck it out with him during the Norm Coleman recount nonsense, and this is one of them)

    Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

    Dem Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, for slapping down that idiot Jon Kyl of Arizona here on the question of whether or not maternity care should be covered in the health insurance reform legislation…

    The “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – For White People Only, I Guess” Citation

    Andy Williams, he of the omnipresent white turtleneck sweater at Christmas, said that he thinks President Obama “wants the country to fail” here (let me know when your '60s variety show is ever syndicated, OK dude?)…

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    So many reasons for this one, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gets it in particular for, as the New York Times puts it here, being “way behind the curve” on global warming (and kudos to Nike and the other companies who have resigned their memberships in protest)

    Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

    Dem U.S. House Rep Alan Grayson of Florida for pronouncing that the Repugs “want you to die quickly,” in response to the statements noted by The Daily Kos here (also, Grayson happens to be, in effect, telling the truth)...also for this

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    BET co-founder (and major donor to VA Repug gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell) Sheila Johnson, for making fun here of Dem gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds’ habit of stuttering and stammering when speaking (somehow, I think she can find more substantive reasons to disagree with Deeds than that if she so chooses – she later apologized)

    Do Gooders Of The Year Nominee

    The English rock group Muse for telling Glenn Beck to withdraw his endorsement of them here (which he did - the update, however, tells us this whole citation is questionable)

    Dregs Of The Year Nominees

    Repug Sen. Jeff Sessions and every other clown from his party in that body of Congress (including serial philanderer David Vitter) who voted against Sen. Al Franken’s amendment barring the awarding of federal funds to any company that “restrict(s) their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court,” as a response to KBR/Halliburton’s actions against gang-rape victim (and employee) Jamie Leigh Jones, as noted here (Do-Gooder nominations within this citation to Franken and, especially, Jones)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Bob Dole thinks Bob Dole would have won the 1996 presidential election if the media had listened to Bob Dole and highlighted the Clinton business with Monica Whatsername, even though the WaPo “spiked” a Bob Dole story about Bob Dole having an affair, as noted here…nice.

    Dregs Of The Year Nominees

    Don Imus (God, is he STILL around?) for saying here that, after 9/11, President Obama was “the second attack on America” (also to “Straight Talk” McCain for laughing at it…and I give Imus no credit for admitting that it was a dumb thing to say; yep, so how come you even opened your mouth about it in the first place?)

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    The offending employees of CIGNA for their treatment of Hilda Sarkisyan, a mother who, as Will Bunch tells us here, “marched into (the company’s) headquarters on a chilly fall day, 10 months after the company refused to pay for a liver transplant for her daughter,” and yelled out "You guys killed my daughter,"(the diminutive San Fernando Valley real estate agent declared at the lobby security desk). "I want an apology."

    Cigna employees, looking down into the atrium lobby from a balcony above, began heckling her, she said, with one of them giving her "the finger."

    At times like this, I wish stupidity and arrogance were pre-existing conditions, because all of those CIGNA bastards would surely lose their own coverage.

    Do Gooder Of The Year

    President Obama has to get the nod here for winning the Nobel Peace Prize (and of course it’s indirectly a slam at Dubya –so what?)…

    …and having a lot to do with this also; the U.S. jumps from seventh to first in a poll by the Nation Brand Index (NBI).

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    Repug strategist Floyd Brown, for launching an impeachment drive against Obama here (inevitable I suppose from a bunch of partisans with no clue whatsoever about how to solve our myriad problems, which they largely created after all)…

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Robert Lowry, Repug U.S. House candidate running against Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida’s 20th district for next year, who used pictures of Wasserman Schultz for target practice at a gun range, noted here (I wish this were only a bad joke)

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Dem NJ Congressman Rush Holt for winning congressional approval of a measure to mandate videotaping of interrogations (here)

    Non-Story Of The Year

    The utterly ridiculous “will she or won’t she support health care reform” saga of "President" Olympia Snowe (I think we have our answer here, assuming there was ever any doubt)

    The “No Truth To The Rumor That His Next Work Will Be A Bird Feeder In The Shape Of A Swastika” Citation

    German Artist Ottmar Hoerl posed 1,250 garden gnomes with their arms outstretched in the stiff-armed Hitler salute in an installation that he called “a protest of lingering fascist tendencies in German society” (here)

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    Repug U.S. House Rep John Shadegg, who ranted here that health care reform will result in “Russian gulag, Soviet-style gulag healthcare” here (and we’re supposed to take members of his political party seriously after disgusting garbage like that – a new low indeed)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Bill Maher, believe it or not, for arguing against getting the H1N1 vaccine during an interview with Bill Frist on “Real Time” (here, with Frist actually the voice of reason on this…I know Maher is on this “anti-medicine” and “anti-religion” kick, but what works for him may not work for others)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Louisiana justice of the peace Keith Bardwell, who refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple because he believes such marriages “don’t usually last very long” (here…you just bought yourself one sweet lawsuit, buddy)

    Stupidest Halloween Costume Of The Year

    The “Illegal Alien” here (Fix Noise thought it was hilarious, of course)…

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    I hate to do this, but I have to give it to Dave “Mudcat” Saunders for saying here that it’s “bullshit” to blame Creigh Deeds for the eventual loss of Va.’s gubernatorial seat (read this kos post and try explaining to me how Saunders is actually right).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Steve Forbes here, for going all “humuna, humuna, humuna” when Glenn Beck complained about being nominated as one of the “scariest people” of 2009 (Forbes is a pussy with waaay too much money and not the slightest inclination of how to use it constructively)

    Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

    Dede Scozzafava, named as the Republican to run for the U.S. House in New York’s 23rd district, who was basically blackballed for not being conservative enough by the likes of Just Plain Folks Sarah Palin Dontcha Know and former Senator Man-On-Dog; after the wingnuts endorsed third-party candidate Doug Hoffman, Scozzafava gave the Repugs a great big middle-digit-raised-on-high by endorsing Dem Bill Owens (here and here)…

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    Bob Schieffer, for comparing the shortage of flu vaccine (presumably blaming Obama, and it’s not Obama’s fault) to Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina here; you know, it really is a sign of the moral bankruptcy of our corporate media that Schieffer is allowed to pontificate about anything having to do with Dubya when Schieffer’s brother Tom was a co-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team with Number 43 (oh, but Tom gives to Democratic candidates also – riiiiight - more here)…

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    Me, for proposing that Bart Stupak be nominated as Commerce Secretary here before he turned into a total anti-choice wanker on health care reform here (thanks, Bart, for giving Catholic Democrats a bad name)

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    Terry McAuliffe, for dropping himself into Virginia just enough to totally screw up the Democratic primary contest for governor, taking out Brian Moran (who should have been the nominee) along with himself and thus ensuring that the useless Creigh Deeds emerged as the nominee, who of course got steamrolled by Repug Bob McDonnell on election night

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    This goes out to any Internet-based enterprise that claimed that they were discontinuing “support” of web browser IE6, thus encouraging users to upgrade to Google Chrome, Firefox or IE8.

    Now I certainly am not a fan of Microsoft, but really, how much does, say, a web hosting service “support” one browser or another besides resolving configuration issues? And how many years has IE6 been out there? At this point, what is there left to “support? Nothing, that’s what.

    And isn’t it con-vee-nient that, right next to the note on the site that claims that that site will no longer support IE6, there are links to upgrade to the browsers I noted above?

    You know why these sites decided not to “support” IE6 anymore? It’s because they’re all getting a cut for forcing users to upgrade from the companies that developed the other browsers, that’s why.

    Just be honest and admit it and not act like cowards for a change, OK?

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee

    Chris Matthews, for putting down the Corzine campaign here for the commercial implying that governor-elect Chris Christie (still having a hard time trying to fathom that) is fat (yeah, that probably was brainless by the Corzine people), when Matthews has regularly criticized Al Gore and Al Sharpton for their periodic weight gains (h/t Atrios)

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    Anyone who “jumped the line” ahead of school-age kids to receive their H1N1 shots before those who needed it most got their injections (including NBA and NHL players, noted here, and Goldman-Sachs/Shitty Group employees here, to name those who come immediately to mind)

    The "Oh, But A Change Of Heart Comes Slow" Citation

    MTV and, in particular, the band U2 here for sponsoring/performing a concert at the Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and, in so, doing, building an – ahem – six foot wall around the concert venue so people from the street couldn’t see the show (can you say irony?)

    Dregs Of The Year Nominee ("Where No One Wants To Know Your Name" Citation)

    Actor John Ratzenberger, known partly for his role as Cliff Clavin in the 1980s sitcom "Cheers," who slammed the Democratic health care bill as a form of socialism at the 11/5 “Tea Party” rally/meetup/press conference/whatever the hell that bozo Michele Bachmann is calling it right now (here)...

    "These are Woodstock Democrats," (Ratzenberger) said at the rally. "We have to remember where their philosophy comes from. It doesn't come from America. It comes from overseas. It comes from socialism. And socialism is a philosophy of failure."
    So let this remove any doubt once and for all that Ratzenberger is truly the same obnoxious buffoon as his “Cheers” character.

    Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

    Rich Stearns, who runs World Vision, which, according to this story “(sends) the impoverished around the world thousands of team championship caps, jerseys and T-shirts produced before the World Series and Super Bowl and then rendered unusable for marketing in the United States when teams don't win the title” (the Phillies’ stuff after the World Series loss was a hit, as it turns out)

    (Presumed) Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee (Commemorative PFC Jessica Lynch Citation)

    Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley, who reportedly shot Fort Hood attack gunman Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan and thus saved the lives of people Hassan otherwise might have killed, though upon further review as they say, it appeared that she did not (here)

    Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

    Repug U.S. House Rep Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana (he won the seat after William Jefferson, he of the $90G in the freezer, lost) for being the only House Repug to vote in favor of health care reform (here)

    We're getting close to the end here; I don't know if I'll finish this up next time or not - we'll see...

    Where The Rubber Meets The Road (12/23/09)

    As reported in last Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer, here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress were recorded on major roll-call votes last week (and I also posted here).


    Jobs, benefits spending. Voting 217-212, the House sent the Senate a bill (HR 2847) to provide $74 billion to create or preserve publicly funded jobs in areas such as education, law enforcement, school and housing repairs, and highway, airport, and mass-transit construction. The bill also would appropriate $79 billion to fund unemployment checks and COBRA health benefits for the long-term jobless and help states meet Medicaid obligations, among other social safety-net outlays.

    A yes vote was to pass the bill.

    Voting yes: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), and Joe Sestak (D., Pa.).

    Voting no: John Adler (D., N.J.), Michael N. Castle (R., Del.), Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
    Here is the press release from Patrick Murphy’s office explaining this vote, which was just flat-out bad as far as I’m concerned.

    For about the 150th time, can we please forget about the deficit for the moment until this still-moribund economy actually creates jobs instead of shedding them and people are no longer losing their homes??!!

    And this is par for the proverbial course as far as Adler is concerned; no sense even wasting my time commenting on it.

    2010 military appropriations. Voting 395-34, the House approved the conference report on a $636.3 billion fiscal 2010 military appropriations bill that includes $128.3 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and $28.3 billion for service members' health care. The bill (HR 3326) funds a 3.4 percent military pay raise; caps production of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet; funds C-17 cargo jets over Pentagon objections; and appropriates $15 billion for procuring seven Navy ships and $6.3 billion for buying 6,600 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) all-terrain vehicles.

    A yes vote was to approve the conference report.

    Voting yes: Adler, Andrews, Brady, Castle, Dent, Fattah, Gerlach, Holden, LoBiondo, Murphy, Pitts, Schwartz, Sestak, and Smith.
    Wow, even Pancake Joe voted for it? Color me shocked!

    National debt limit. The House voted, 218-214, to raise the national debt limit by $290 billion to $12.39 trillion. Now awaiting Senate action, the bill (HR 4314) would extend Treasury borrowing authority until about Feb. 11, at which time Congress would vote again to raise the debt ceiling.

    A yes vote was to raise the national debt ceiling.

    Voting yes: Andrews, Brady, Fattah, Holden, Murphy, Schwartz, and Sestak.

    Voting no: Adler, Castle, Dent, Gerlach, LoBiondo, Pitts, and Smith.
    The last thing in the world I want to do is give ammunition to the wingnuts running against Patrick, but at least Adler is consistently wrong in that he voted against the jobs bill and against raising the debt ceiling. I don’t see the point of opposing the jobs bill in the name of fiscal prudence while supporting an increase in the debt ceiling.


    Drug importation. Voting 51-48, the Senate failed to reach 60 votes needed to pass an amendment under which individuals and businesses could import U.S.-made, federally approved pharmaceuticals from Canada and other countries at retail costs much lower than in U.S. stores. This amendment was offered to a pending health-care bill (HR 3590).

    Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.) said: "As much as we want to cut costs for consumers, we cannot afford to cut corners and risk exposing Americans to drugs that are ineffective or unsafe."

    A yes vote backed drug importation.

    Voting yes: Arlen Specter (D., Pa.).

    Voting no: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Ted Kaufman (D., Del.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.).
    As noted here, Lautenberg sponsored an amendment that competed with the amendment sponsored above by Sen. Byron Dorgan (Lautenberg’s amendment approved of importing the drugs provided they could be FDA certified), which actually garnered more votes than Dorgan’s, even though both fell short of the dreaded “60 votes needed for passage to prevent yet another Repug filibuster” scenario (I don’t think Lautenberg’s was necessary, to tell you the truth, but it only served as “a spanner in the works,” as they say, Big Pharma being REALLY big in NJ and all that).

    And the only reason Specter actually supported Dorgan’s common-sense, consumer-friendly amendment is because of Joe Sestak’s primary challenge (and by the way, to help Admiral Joe, click here).

    Health-bill taxes. Voting 56-41, the Senate tabled (killed) a Republican bid to delay until 2014 the start of new taxes that would help pay for HR 3590 (above). While most of the bill's new programs and benefits would be delayed until 2014, its taxes would begin before then, some as early as 2010.

    A yes vote was to kill the Republican motion.

    Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Specter.

    Catchall 2010 budget. Voting 57-35, the Senate approved the conference report on a $447 billion catchall spending bill (HR 3288) for 2010 composed of six appropriations bills that Congress has failed to enact individually. Covering the budget year that began in October, the bill funds military construction projects; dozens of independent agencies in areas such as financial regulation and disaster relief; about 4,800 earmarks totaling $3.7 billion; and the budgets of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Commerce, State, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development. The bill also clears $650 billion in fiscal 2010 entitlement spending for programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and veterans' benefits.

    Sen. Ted Kaufman (D., Del.) said the bill takes "tremendously important steps toward creating a better and safer climate. More than $1.2 billion are intended to help us face the threats of climate change."

    A yes vote was to send the bill to President Obama.

    Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Specter.

    2010 military appropriations. Voting 88-10, the Senate sent President Obama the conference report on a $636.3 billion fiscal 2010 military appropriations bill that includes $128.3 billion for war in Iraq and Afghanistan and $28.3 billion for service members' health care.

    A yes vote was to pass the conference report.

    Voting yes: Carper, Casey, Kaufman, Lautenberg, Menendez, and Specter.
    This week, the House is in recess, and the Senate continues to debate health care, of course.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    Tuesday Stuff

    Kind of drifting into a holiday mode here without the usual political videos, though there is some stuff I want to get to before year-end (probably about three more "Do-Gooders And Dregs" posts, among other items).

    In the meantime, here's something a little mellow from a seventies icon...

    ...and something a little more flipped-out from a guy popular a decade later.

    Much Wingnut Ado Over A "Bush Dog" Dustup

    Over at Irrational Spew Online, someone named Stephen Spruiell is crowing here over a defection from the U.S. House Democratic ranks, and that would be someone named Parker Griffith of Alabama who just announced that he would become a Repug.

    Well, considering Griffith’s horrible voting record, as noted here, that really isn’t much of a surprise (and good for the DCCC here).

    However, that didn’t stop Spruiell from saying the following…

    …that puts the Blue Dog scoreboard at:

    Retirements: Dennis Moore, John Tanner, Bart Gordon, Brian Baird.

    Defections: Parker Griffith.

    We need a ticker to keep track of these.
    Not yet you don’t, unless, of course, Spruiell has difficulty counting beyond the number four (in that event, I believe Spruiell could purchase an educational aid of some type from Fisher Price).

    But if it’s a ticker he wants, then he might need one to keep track of the following Repug defections from Congress…

    109th (here):

  • 28 November 2005 - Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham - Republican - California CD 50 resigned, effective at close of business 1 December, from the U.S. House after pleading guilty to Federal charges involving bribes, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion.

  • 9 June 2006 - Congressman Thomas Dale "Tom" DeLay - Republican - Texas CD 22 resigned. House Majority Leader DeLay was indicted on one count of criminal conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme by a Texas grand jury on 28 September 2005. House rules required him to relinquish his leadership position. Mr. Delay was renominated in the 7 March 2006 Texas Primary but withdrew his nomination 4 April and announced his intention to resign on 11 May.

  • 29 September 2006 - Congressman Mark Foley - Republican - Florida CD 16 resigned and withdrew his candidacy from the General Election. Mr. Foley had received his party's nomination in the 5 September primary.

  • 3 November 2006 - Robert "Bob" Ney - Republican - Ohio CD 18 resigned. He pleaded guilty on 13 October 2006 to charges of conspiracy and making false statements in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

  • 110th (here):

  • Dennis Hastert (resigned from the House; seat won by Dem Bill Foster)

  • Richard Baker (resigned from the House; seat won by Dem Don Cazayoux)

  • Tom Davis (resigned in advance of retirement)

  • 111th (here):

  • Mel Martinez (resigned from the Senate)

  • George Voinovich (resigned from the Senate)

  • Jim Bunning (resigned from the Senate)

  • Sam Brownback (resigned from the Senate)

  • “Kit” Bond (resigned from the Senate)
  • (Also, as noted here, Spruiell had an issue with K.O. referring to Obama’s predecessor as “Mr. Bush,” even though that “dastardly liberal” Bill Buckley did the same thing.)

    To be fair, there have been plenty of Democratic member changes in Congress over that time for a variety of reasons, including winning the presidency (Obama in the Senate), winning the governorship of New Jersey (Jon Corzine, who handed off his Senate seat to Bob Menendez in ‘06; as we know, Corzine lost his bid for re-election this year), and deaths (Bob Matsui and Tom Lantos in the House and Ted Kennedy in the Senate).

    Also, if Spruiell’s point is that the Dems would have to play defense in the election cycle coming up as well as 2012, I should point out that that’s something that has been known for some time (much as the Repugs had to do so in 2006).

    And though I would rather that the Democrats do so on the wings of passage of a health care bill that actually is more than about 60-70 percent of a loaf, as it were (as opposed to what will likely pass), I would rather be in their shoes at this moment than that of a national party whose primary hope for electoral success lies with a bunch of “teabaggin” values-voter throwbacks to the earlier part of this decade (happily now over) who think that Obama is trying to control one-sixth of the economy, who believe we will sacrifice jobs in the name of reversing the horrific effects of climate change (assuming that is still possible), and who actually have bought and will buy Sarah Palin’s book.

    Update 1 12/23/09: Maybe another on the way (here)? No big loss (h/t Atrios).

    Update 2 12/23/09: I hope this fraud ends up having to pay every penny owed back to the DCCC, with interest (here).

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    Monday Stuff

    I'm too busy doing hallucinogenic drugs to look for political videos, so I'll just put up some holiday stuff here - first, something stirring and traditional...

    ...and something that isn't.

    “Torture Yoo” Delivers A Christmas Lump Of Coal

    As long as Philadelphia’s conservative house organ of record continues to give column space to one of Bushco’s most notorious enablers, then I and/or others will have no choice but to respond.

    Here is some true balderdash (trying not to use bad words) from yesterday’s column (and I’ll try also to avoid Yoo’s laughable editorializing about Obama “growing up,” “(leaving behind) the apologies,” and “recognizing reality”)…

    …instead of fleeing Afghanistan, as many in the antiwar left hoped, Obama is sending an additional 30,000 troops. Instead of accelerating the drawdown of American forces in Iraq, Obama is keeping to the Bush timetable.
    Uh, no.

    If Obama were truly keeping with “the Bush timetable,” then he would be continuing to short change our military in that country while engaging them in the black hole of Mesopotamia with no end in sight; indeed, one of the many problems is that there never was a “timetable.” And while I don’t agree with Obama’s actions in Afghanistan, I understand that he at least is trying to resolve the war in a manner that he thinks is best; I’ll admit that the drawdown over there should take place a lot earlier than the “glide slope,” as National Security Adviser James Jones put it, of July 2011, but however insufficient, this constitutes an improvement from the wretched mistakes of Obama’s predecessor.

    As this story tells us (with more here, by the way)…

    The problems began in early 2002, former Bush administration, United Nations and Afghan officials said, when the United States and its allies failed to take advantage of a sweeping desire among Afghans for help from foreign countries.

    The Defense Department initially opposed a request by Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and Afghanistan's new leaders for a sizable peacekeeping force and deployed only 8,000 American troops, but purely in a combat role, officials said.

    During the first 18 months after the invasion, the United States-led coalition deployed no peacekeepers outside Kabul, leaving the security of provinces like Helm and to local Afghans.

    ''Where the world, including the United States, came up short was on the security side,'' said Richard Haass, the former director of policy planning at the State Department. ''That was the mistake which I believe is coming back to haunt the United States now.''

    The lack of security was just one element of a volatile mix. Twenty years of conflict had shattered government and social structures in Afghanistan, the world's fifth poorest country, where the average life expectancy is 43.

    American officials said the country was more destitute than they had envisioned, yet the $909 million they provided in assistance in 2002 amounted to one-twentieth of the $20 billion allocated for postwar Iraq. Officials quintupled assistance to $4.8 billion by 2005, but then reduced it by 30 percent this year.

    The Taliban leadership, meanwhile, found safe haven in neighboring Pakistan. And Robert Grenier, the C.I.A.'s former top counterterrorism official and Islamabad station chief, said Pakistani officials largely turned a blind eye to Taliban commanders, who later seeped back across the border.
    And as noted here, as of March 2008, we had about 142,000 of our military deployed in Iraq, with about 31,000 deployed in Afghanistan. That tells you all you need to know about how Bushco failed to prioritize the conflict that truly mattered.

    It should also be noted that, in a column ostensibly having to do with foreign policy, Yoo engages in the typical right-wing fearmongering on domestic issues by saying that Obama “wants to nationalize one-sixth of the economy by taking over health care,” and wants to “limit greenhouse gas emissions, which will result in energy rationing.”

    These idiotic remarks could laughably be dismissed as the product of a hopeless partisan, as indeed they should be, though concerning health care in particular, the following should be noted (here)…

    Obama has rejected a British/Canadian-like single-payer reform and most policy makers are looking for a “uniquely American solution” that preserves the employer-sponsored system and creates a hybrid public-private partnership. In other words, American reforms would look a bit like the Swiss health system in which the government “leaves the provision of health care and health insurance in private hands” but creates a marketplace within which insurers can compete on price, and not avoid insuring the sickest patients.
    And this was written in April, while Ted Kennedy still drew breath and long before the public option and Medicare for All were drug into a Senate cloakroom somewhere and bludgeoned to death by the Repugs and their pals Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, and of course Joe Lieberman, among others.

    And Yoo’s line that “Congress has conveniently forgotten how to howl about an imperial presidency,” is laughable (funny, but I don’t recall any member of Congress yelling out “You Lie!” to Dubya, though they would have been correct to do so, bad manners and all). But the following line in his screed stating “the attacks on Bush were always more about partisan politics than the Constitution” is too repugnant to go unanswered; in reply, human rights lawyer Scott Horton tells us the following from here…

    (Last March) the Obama Administration released a series of nine previously secret legal opinions crafted by the Office of Legal Counsel to enhance the presidential powers of George W. Bush. Perhaps the most astonishing of these memos was one crafted by University of California at Berkeley law professor John Yoo. He concluded that in wartime, the President was freed from the constraints of the Bill of Rights with respect to anything he chose to label as a counterterrorism operations inside the United States.

    John Yoo’s Constitution is unlike any other I have ever seen. It seems to consist of one clause: appointing the President as commander-in-chief. The rest of the Constitution was apparently printed in disappearing ink.
    After enduring another exercise in propaganda like this from Yoo, it would seem that the Inky never got the memo about the “good will towards men” that is commonly cited as an inspiration for our holiday celebrations. And the former Bushco stooge’s latest ramblings should be treated with the same seriousness we devote to tales of toy-making elves, jolly snowmen in silk hats, flying reindeer and sugar-plum fairies.

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    Sunday Stuff

    Good for Dick Durbin for calling out Coburn’s BS here, in as polite a manner as allowed by “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

    The “gentleman” from Oklahoma is insane, people, though our corporate media will never point out that plainly obvious fact, as we know (and if he were actually interested in learning why and how his constituents would benefit from health care reform – though we know he isn’t, of course – he might want to read some information from here)...

    ,,,and yeah, I know I said not to waste time with this schmoe, but MoveOn did go to the trouble of coming up with this catchy ad, so…

    ...and here's more traditional, seasonal stuff...

    ...and we could've used a great, big sled today.