16 Dec 2017

John Neely Kennedy
First in our new series aiming to highlight and commend partisan figures who rise above partisan pressure to do the right thing, our inaugural Transpartisan Trophy goes to Louisiana Republican Senator John Neely Kennedy, for fairly and directly highlighting the inadequate qualifications of a Trump court nominee. Kennedy's Transpartisan Trial for Peterson A great way to kick off this new series, there's a lot to like about this case. Not only so we have a Republican US Senator rising above partisan pressure to fairly lightlight the wea poor choice for a nominee to a high court, but his actions are also being dishonestly hyped by most of the stories I could find in the media (across the spectrum). The reality here is that Louisiana Republican John Neely Kennedy merely fulfilled his constitutionally stipulated responsibility. If you didn't know what the Constitution says the US Senate's job here is, and just read most coverage of this in the med...

11 Dec 2017

Roy Moore's Broken Oath
Amending our Constitution is very difficult (as it should be), but 17 Amendments have been ratified since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. Some of them are rather integral to our democracy, and valued across the political spectrum, but apparently Roy Moore thinks getting rid of all 17 would "eliminate many problems". Moore's Troubling Interview with Blight Wing Conspiracy Theorist A few years back, Roy Moore went on a controversial radio program and said some rather disturbing things. This radio host believes not only in a range of conspiracy theories that place him, along with Moore, squarely in what I call the 'blight wing' (the very worst elements of the extreme right), but he even thinks a Constitutional Amendment should be passed that would erase all of the Amendments past the first ten / Bill of Rights. Sorry ladies - no vote for you, and what could possibly be wrong about getting rid of the ban on slavery...? Roy Moore, who had...

03 Mar 2011

This is a heartening development... a group of moderate democrats in the US Senate has reorganized under some new leadership, has actually expanded, and will be focusing on education, the debt and energy. From Roll Call: Unlike the fiscally conservative Blue Dogs in the House, the Senate group doesn’t have a colorful name or a political action committee. But it has a broader policy focus and aims to play a key role in bringing the parties and the president together, the trio told Roll Call. “The moderates can work together and focus on education, the debt and the deficit, and a clean energy standard,” Hagan said. “We’ve got to come together, bring Republicans and Democrats to the table and pass good, common-sense legislation.” Carper has been pushing President Barack Obama to embrace President Bill Clinton’s strategy of “triangulation” after the 1994 Republican takeover and said the moderate group stands ready to back his efforts to move t...

14 Feb 2011

A group of legislators in Maine have created “The Moderate Caucus”, looking to bridge the gap between a narrowly split legislative chamber that the GOP recently took a majority in. These 45 lawmakers will form a buffer between the two parties to make sure that neither will be able to push legislation easily without some moderate and/or bipartisan support.

Maine has a long history of independence, having elected independent Angus King as governor in the 90’s, continuing to support moderate republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins in the U.S. Senate, and nearly electing Eliot Cutler, another independent, to the governor’s mansion this last cycle.

We could sorely use this same common sense style caucus in the House and Senate in D.C. Just a handful of votes in the Senate, and a couple dozen in the House, would all but ensure neither party could push through thoroughly partisan legislation.

29 Jan 2011

I'm not at all surprised that these four did this... they're all examples of some of the most extreme politicians in positions of power, and DeMint and Ensign are some of the most corrupt politicians in Washington (I'm not very familiar with Lee, and Paul is new) but they deserve particular scorn for this. I'd heap a portion of the same scorn for those who didn't vote at all, but I'm not sure what their excuses are. The four U.S. Senators voted to keep secret holds... where a single Senator can not only stop a bill, but it can be done without anyone knowing who it is. This cowardly tactic has been overused so much recently that this issue has become one of those rare things that everyone from left wingers to right wingers, and everyone in between, agrees has no worthwhile purpose. Jim DeMint - South Carolina Rand Paul - Kentucky Mike Lee - Utah John Ensign - Nevada There is a chance I may be moving to one of these four states. I...

28 Jan 2011

Those who have bought into the talking point, used by congresspersons on both sides of the aisle, that earmarks wont really save us much money and that its taking away rights that they are supposed to have and giving it to the executive branch... they really are getting suckered. I wouldn't say tens of billions of dollars is chump change... and anywhere we can save billions is something we should be doing... but that isn't the big issue here. Its also garbage that congress gives up power they should have to the executive branch. The regular way of designating money back to the states can be done in a way that congress determines how the money is allocated. The Executive Branch has to follow those rules. Banning earmarks doesn't transfer power to the executive branch, it transfers power from individual powerful lawmakers in certain positions and spreads it out more among all of them. It forces them to go through a much more open process... and ...

27 Jan 2011

With a divided Congress, no bill has a chance to become law without bipartisan support. Therefore, says the non-partisan citizens group No Labels, "Congress should abandon the time-consuming futility of sending political messages and instead send good legislation to the president for his signature to solve our economic and foreign policy challenges." The group on Wednesday called for a ban on what it called "partisan message bills," asking that "House and Senate Committee chairs should require at least one co-sponsor from each party before any bill receives committee consideration." The proposal was one of four that No Labels presented Wednesday "in an effort to build on the bipartisanship of last night’s State of the Union address." The other three are: Bipartisan presidential meetings: The President should pledge to meet with the leadership of both political parties in the House and the Senate on a monthly basis to foster ongoing dialog...

30 Dec 2010

Through the recent tax bill vote and through reactions to the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan, we are able to begin sorting the "Deficit Hawks" from the "Deficit Albatrosses" in Congress.  We'll start today with the Senate deficit hawks. December's compromise tax bill raises deficits on both ends -- decreased tax rates and increased spending.  Only 19 Senators and 148 Representatives voted against this Deeper Deficit Bill, as it might be called.  Also in December, the Simpson-Bowles Debt Panel released its final recommendations -- many spending cuts with some tax increases.  While Congress as a whole has not been forced to vote on Simpson-Bowles, a number of Congressmen and -women have availed themselves of the opportunity to support it or to denounce it. The good news is that at least 25 Senators out of 100 have now taken tough stands for cutting the deficit (not counting those leaving office next week, and not counting a couple of mayb...