Dems win Congress - then what?

Let's suppose that the Dems take control of both houses this November.

Clearly, there will be no chance of passing much in the way of controversial legislation - a veto-proof majority is far away in the realms of fantasy!

And Bush will no doubt be happy to out-Truman Truman in the veto department.

So what about those investigations that the lefty sphere has been looking forward to?

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Toll Free Congressional Switchboard numbers: 888-818-664

(However, if lines are busy or mail boxes are full, local phone -- and especially fax -- are better options.)

in your calls today ask for a commitment that they will either vote against cloture OR abstain (either is acceptable).


Senator Blanche Lambert Lincoln [AR]  DEMOCRAT SWING VOTE

Washington, 202-224-4843 (phone), 202-228-1371 (fax)

Dumas, 870-382-1023 (phone), 870-382-1026 (fax)

Texarkana, 870-774-3106 (phone), 870-774-7627 (fax)

Little Rock, 501-375-2993 (phone), 501-375-7064 (fax)

Fayetteville, 479-251-1224 (phone), 479-251-1410 (fax)

Jonesboro, 870-910-6896 (phone), 870-910-6898 (fax)


Washington, 202-224-2353 (phone), 202-228-0908 (fax)

Little Rock, 501-324-6336 (phone), 501-324-5320 (fax)

Washington, 202-224-3954 (phone), 202-228-0002 (fax)

Charleston, 304-342-5855 (phone), 304-343-7144 (fax)

Senator John D Rockefeller IV [WV]  DEMOCRAT SWING VOTE

Washington, 202-224-6472 (phone), 202-224-7665 (fax)

Fairmont, 304-367-0122 (phone), 304-367-0822 (fax)

Martinsburg, 304-262-9285 (phone), 304-262-9288 (fax)

Charleston, 304-347-5372 (phone), 304-347-5371 (fax)

Beckley, 304-253-9704 (phone), 304-253-2578 (fax)

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Is Sotomayor Catholic? And What About Roe v. Wade?

'Is Sotomayor Catholic?' was the headline I read first today.  And I have to say that it's a fair question.  If she's appointed she'll be the 6th Catholic sitting on a 9 person Court.  The question being ignited now is how will her religion affect her stance on abortion and in particular Roe v. Wade.

Research into her decisions has not shown whether she'll support the precedent of Roe v. Wade or not.  While I'm inclined to think that President Obama would have asked these questions ahead of nominating her given his track record on nominations I'm not convinced that he did get the right assurances.  Although, if things follow precedent we need only worry about whether she paid her taxes or not.

USA Today questions Catholic support of Sotomayor saying:

"Next up: Expect her nomination to re-ignite the ongoing Catholic blogosphere wars over who is Catholic enough. If confirmed, Sotomayor, who grew up in Catholic schools in the Bronx, would be the sixth Catholic on the high court. It may be that her life experiences will align her with the social justice issues pushed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on race, poverty, immigration and economic issues. But for some outspoken Catholics, the 'life' issues -- abortion, family planning, so-called 'conscience clauses' for health workers, embryonic stem cell research and end-of-life choices -- are the litmus test."

The central question of the Sotomayor confirmation debate will not be framed by President Obama and his advisors but has already been framed by the media: What is Sotomayor's position on Roe v. Wade and are we going to have a SCOTUS 'wafer watch'?  We have no idea from her record where Sotomayor falls on the abortion issue.

How serious is the debate going to be over Sotomayor's position on abortion?  The New York Times reports:"In a letter, Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, urged supporters to press senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote." Further, Robert Gibbs' response was worrisome yesterday when asked about Obama discussing abortion with Sotomayor.  Gibbs said Obama "did not ask that specifically," meaning Obama may not know Sotomayor's opinion on abortion.

Ironically, "as president, Mr. Obama has sought to avoid being drawn into the culture wars of the last several decades and has encouraged each side in the abortion debate to be respectful of the other's opinions. " Unfortunately for President Obama nominating Sotomayor opened this, the most divisive issue in American politics, and, if he doesn't handle it carefully it'll severely taint his Presidency.

The thing I find most ironic about this debate is that if it is revealed that Sotomayor will follow in the traditional Catholic path (pro-choice without exception) then her confirmation will, undoubtedly, be reversed, with many Democrats against her and many Republicans for her. 

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Arizonans Widely Support the DREAM Act In Contrast to Governor Brewer's Stance

Andrew Johnson contributed to this post

On August 16, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order to block state benefits, including driver licenses for recipients of Deferred Action--a new federal government program that reflects the goals of the Dream Act to temporarily delay deportation for undocumented immigrants who moved to the U.S. before the age of 16 and are currently under 30 years old.

Despite the Governor’s claim that this is what the citizens of Arizona want, nearly three-quarters of Arizonans (73%), regardless of their race, ethnicity and party affiliation support the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants who graduate from college or serve in the military to become U.S. citizens. This according to a new state poll by the Morrison Institute (Marist Poll, April 2012).

There is even strong support among Arizonans for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants: 78% of all Arizonans, 76% of Whites, 81% of Latinos, 69% of Republicans, 89% of Democrats and 79% of Independents., according to a November 2011 Marist Poll.

Governor Brewer strongly supports Arizona's racial profiling law SB 1070. The Supreme Court has already ruled that Arizona’s attempt to take federal law into its own hands is largely unconstitutional. It struck down three of the four sections of the law that were challenged, and the Court basically invited future challenges to the one section it upheld for now.

Surprisingly, about 70% percent of Arizonans do support Arizona’s SB1070, (Marist Poll, November 2011) despite their support for the practical and immigrant friendly policies described above.

What all the research show is that voters around the country are hungry for solutions to what most see as a broken immigration system. Given Arizonans' support of the DREAM Act and pathways to citizenship, Deferred Action is a good first step that a majority of Arizona’s citizens and the rest of us can get behind.

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