Reid, Pelosi Ought To Let The Sunshine In

Created in 1979, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (or C-SPAN as it is more popularly known) is a must for concerned citizens wanting to keep tabs on what lawmakers are doing in Washington. Since its inception three decades ago, countless hours of congressional hearings, political conventions and rallies, debates, and other public affairs events have appeared on the C-SPAN networks in a pure, uncut and unfiltered manner.

Recently, C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb sent a letter to Democratic and Republican congressional leaders requesting that C-SPAN's cameras be allowed into the final negotiations of the 2,000-page, multi-billion dollar health care bill.

Lamb's letter, which was sent to most media outlets including the blogs, said that reforming the nation's health care system affects every American and as such should be televised in order to further facilitate a transparent discussion on health care reform.

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Max Cleland: Pete Domenici Makes Me Sick

Okay, so Max Cleland didn't really say that. What he said was technically past tense, which means he kind of said that, and I do have fun with a good headline.

The Huffington Post reports that the war hero and former Democratic Senator's forthcoming memoir, "Heart of a Patriot," contains some really interesting (and juicy) Hill tales, including:

  • Cleland had mono at the time of the Clinton impeachment vote, and so "wrapped a green scarf around my neck, trying to keep warm. Pete Domenici, the senator from New Mexico, insisted I remove my scarf, as it 'violated the decorum of the Senate.'" As a result, Cleland got far sicker.
  • One of Cleland's aides, Trey Ragsdale, was a former White House intern with high-level White House access. Ragsdale claims that Monica Lewinsky would frequently ask him to take her to the White House mess for snacks, and the president would always swing down for a hello. "He ultimately came to realize he was only being used as a cover to set up meetings between Monica and the president. In effect... to get Monica signed in to the White House without involving anyone on the president's staff."
  • As one might expect, there is lots of well-deserved venom and bile for Saxby Chambliss and even George W. Bush. A sample: "The inauguration of George W. Bush as president ushered in a period I can only describe as unshirted hell."

More about the patriot and war hero at HuffPo - because I've had a long day and would rather sip my bourbon and blog about political gossip than serious-minded Sunday morning talk show policy discussions.

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My Post-Mortem of Chambliss v Martin

Crossposted on Progressive Blue

Let me begin this with something upbeat.  The winner of the Jim Martin sweepstakes is Meridian05. Enjoy your prize!

Analysis below the fold......

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The Final Word On Georgia's Senate Race

"This isn't about anything but winning."

[Source:  Insider Advantage Georgia, "Re-Tooled Campaign Put Chambliss Over The Top", December 3, 2008]

That six-word sentence attributed to Republican National Committee member and former head of the Georgia Republican Party Alec Poitevint says it all about Saxby Chambliss' successful re-election campaign.

Chambliss, the GOP and their allies didn't care how nasty they had to get or what they had to do so long as their team got the most votes at the end of election day (and trust me, here in Georgia, the ads run against Democrat Jim Martin called him everything but a child of God).

The motto and mantra of Saxby's campaign seemed to be "Just Win, Baby," and win is what they did.

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Gergen: Chambliss Win Means Obama Must Govern From The Center

Last time I checked, 41% was a failing grade. Not so in the Senate it would appear. No, now that Chambliss has won, apparently having just 41 votes in the Senate is REALLY great news for Republicans and bad news for Democrats, especially President-elect Barack Obama.

On AC360 earlier David Gergen declared:

I think this actually puts a lot more pressure on Barack Obama to govern much more from the center and not from the left. He is going to need Republicans now, he is going to need a bipartisan approach...

Right, a 41 vote minority should by all means have Barack Obama shaking in his boots. I wonder if Gergen said something similar about Republicans on Nov. 4th, perhaps something like...

I think the fact that Barack Obama won 53% of the vote tonight and that Democrats will have won at least 7 more seats in the Senate and 20 more seats in the House puts a lot more pressure on Republicans to govern much more from the center and not from the right.

Oh, he didn't? Ya don't say...

Gergen's refusal to put the burden on the Republicans to be cooperative and "centrist" rather than the Democrats is really a symptom of the persistent beltway "center right nation" conventional wisdom, which always puts the burden on Democrats to be the centrist ones since the Republican Party, so goes the logic, is where the people already are. Was there any greater evidence that the Democratic Party is where the people are than the results on November 4th?

Barack Obama has fed into this narrative, of course, by insisting on being the one who's cooperative and above the fray and never punishing Republicans or one pesky former Democrat in particular for being partisan obstructors. But in fact, the burden should be placed squarely on the shoulders of Republicans in Congress to move toward the center where, let's face it, Barack Obama already is. That's not a slam on Barack Obama, it's merely an acknowledgment of the reality that his agenda, which is largely a progressive agenda, is a mainstream agenda and it's the Republicans who need to move leftward toward the rest of us.

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