by Senate Guru, Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 05:27:33 PM EDT
One of recent Republican Arlen Specter's weak but frequent lines of attack against Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak is that Congressman Sestak has missed handfuls of votes in the House. Now, given the hundreds of procedural and substantive votes, most Representatives miss some votes here and there. Still, Congressman Sestak's 94% attendance record in 2008, for instance, is very strong. Nevertheless, Specter has, over and over again, harped on Congressman Sestak's attendance record.
August 4, on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
Specter, on Sestak: "He's missed 105 votes; worst record of any Pennsylvania member of the House of Representatives. He's AWOL, been absent without leave. If he were still in the Navy, he would be court martialed. Now he wants to be promoted. How can you be promoted with a voting record like that?
August 9, on CNN's State of the Union with John King:
''He talks about his military record. If he was still in the service, he would be a court martial, and he's been AWOL,'' Specter, appearing on CNN, said of Sestak, who has missed 15 percent of votes in 2009, ranking him 10th among the chamber's 434 members.
So apparently Specter thinks missing work, even to meet with constituents, is bad. OK, fine. Then how does Specter justify this?
Coaxing Arlen Specter into switching parties and running for re-election as a Democrat was a major coup for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is bending the Senate's schedule to accommodate a presidential fundraiser for Specter Tuesday afternoon in Pennsylvania.
Reid announced Friday that the Senate would hold no votes after 3 p.m. Tuesday. His office later said that the scheduling decision was meant to accommodate a long-planned fundraiser that President Obama is headlining in Philadelphia to benefit Specter's campaign.
The move could delay efforts to finish work on the fiscal 2010 transportation spending bill, which the Senate began considering Thursday.
Because of Specter's fundraiser, the entire U.S. Senate is shutting down Tuesday afternoon, delaying important transportation legislation. After spending over a month weakly misleading voters on Congressman Sestak's attendance record, Specter is getting the principal to close the entire school early one afternoon to accommodate his political campaign. Just more hypocrisy from Arlen Specter. Hey, Arlen, for an encore in hypocrisy and dishonesty, why don't you create a website that looks like it's raising money for cancer research but actually sends all contributions right into your campaign coffers? Oh, right, you already did that.
Does recent Republican Arlen Specter's all-too-frequent hypocrisy aggravate you? Consider a contribution to Congressman Sestak via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.
For daily news and analysis on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.
by Nathan Empsall, Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 02:33:41 PM EDT
Cross-posted from Blue Moose Democrat.
Reading up on Van Jones last night, I said to myself, "I need to write a post on right-wing outrage about Obama's `czars.'" I guess great (fairly decent?) minds think alike; today's Center for American Progress "Progress Report" e-mail was titled "Crazy Czar Conspiracies." I dug up many of the links and facts in this post myself, but I also owe a major hat tip to Think Progress.
Right-wing talking heads like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Lou Dobbs have decided that any presidential advisor not approved by the Senate is an unconstitutional "czar" with too much power. Unfortunately, their outrage is filled with lies (many of the "czars" they complain about WERE confirmed by the Senate), hypocrisy (Bush had even more "czars" than Obama), and bad policy (what's wrong with the President having an advisor on violence against women?). First things first. What is a czar? According to Wikipedia,
The title `czar' is an informal term for certain high-level officials who direct or oversee federal operations on a given topic or who coordinate policies between different departments on a given topic... In the United States, the term czar has been used by the media to refer to appointed executive branch officials since at least the early 1940s... Since then, a number of ad hoc, temporary as well as permanent United States Executive Branch positions have been established that have been referred to in this manner. For example, President Richard Nixon created two offices whose heads became known as "czars" in the popular press: drug czar in 1971, and energy czar in 1973.
According to this Wikipedia article, Barack Obama has 32 "czars," three less than did Repub George W. Bush. The right-wing noise machine, which to my memory was nowhere to be found when Bush appointed a swine-flu czar, is outraged that a Democratic president would dare assume to have the same rights as a Repub president. Beck even lied about these numbers, claiming in June that"Other presidents have also named czars, but no one can hold a candle to President Obama who has named 16 czars so far!"
After the resignation of Jones, the "White House Council on Environmental Quality Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation,"Hannity declared, "We got rid of one [czar], and my job starting tomorrow night is to get rid of every other one. I promise you that!" According to Neil Cavuto, these czars - who actually have titles like White House Adviser on Violence Against Women, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, and Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for International Affairs - are "evil despots accountable to no one." That's right - if the President wants someone to inform him about violence against women but does not subject her to a lengthy and unnecessarily brutal vetting process, than she clearly must be described with the same word that Bush applied to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il.
It gets even better below the jump.
by Nathan Empsall, Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 02:44:59 PM EDT
Remember those jumbo prop checks Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) was passing out in Louisiana? Money he was taking credit for even though it came from the federal stimulus, which he had opposed?
Jindal is not alone. His neighbor Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), who is facing a make-or-break primary campaign against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, has also bought a ticket for the stimulus hypocrisy train. (If you're more of a boat person than you are a train person, then call it the S.S. Crass Political Opportunism.) From the Houston Chronicle:
Gov. Rick Perry rallied opposition to federal stimulus spending, but he now is the manager of one of the biggest pots of federal gold in Texas: crime grants to local law enforcement agencies. And those grants have become an integral part of Perry's political machine.
Perry in the past has decided what law enforcement agencies receive about $23 million a year in Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grants. Now, because of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Perry will have an additional $90 million to hand out...
Every time Perry doles out the federal Byrne grants, he sounds like the money is his.
"Texas is tough on crime and remains dedicated to equipping our law enforcement with the resources necessary to protect our citizens and ensure the safety of our communities," the governor said while handing out $2 million of the federal money to East Texas communities last year.
Perry created a controversy this year when he rejected $550 million in federal unemployment compensation funds, saying it had too many "strings attached," but he later accepted more than $12 billion in stimulus funds to balance the state's budget.
It is worth noting that Gov. Secession is not representative of the average Texan. He won re-election in 2006 against three other candidates with only 39% of the vote.
by RDemocrat, Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 05:19:27 PM EDT
Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.
Boy, to hear many Republicans tell it they have been the watchdogs of fiscal responsibility. They have recently begun squawking about deficits and spending. They try to say our country is spending too much and we cannot afford Universal Healthcare. Of course, they conviently leave out the facts about why our deficit is where it is right now.
by RDemocrat, Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:09:57 PM EDT
Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.
All over the country right-wing folks have made a special effort to make it to various townhalls to protest- and make sure that anyone with positive things to say about the healthcare bill do not get heard. These folks are angry about many things, from what they percieve as a "government take-over" of healthcare, to the debt and deficits they see as being caused by Barack Obama, and most ridiculously to their parents and grandparents being put before Obama's "death panels" whose sole purpose they believe is to murder the elderly and sick children who are not worth the cost to keep alive.