Archive for the ‘Senate’ Category
Live on C-SPAN2, Rand Paul filibustering the Brennan nomination. He started at 11:45AM and is on a roll.
As Emily Zanotti Skyles put it,
There’s nothing better than a straight-up for-reals filibuster. I can’t wait until Rand Paul gets to the Betty Crocker cookbook.
He has a ways to go. Right now he’s talking about privacy rights, and there’s plenty to say on that topic.
Ted Cruz joins in,
Ted Cruz is in the unique position of being a Senator who’ll most likely never run for POTUS since he was born in Canada. His professional background is second to no one’s (particularly the current POTUS’s),
Before being elected, Ted received national acclaim as the Solicitor General of Texas, the State’s chief lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court. Serving under Attorney General Greg Abbott, Ted was the nation’s youngest Solicitor General, the longest serving Solicitor General in Texas, and the first Hispanic Solicitor General of Texas.
In private practice in Houston, Ted spent five years as a partner at one of the nation’s largest law firms, where he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national Appellate Litigation practice.
Ted has authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court. During Ted’s service as Solicitor General, Texas achieved an unprecedented series of landmark national victories, including successfully defending:
- U.S. sovereignty against the UN and the World Court in Medellin v. Texas;
- The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms;
- The constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument;
- The constitutionality of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance;
- The constitutionality of the Texas Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment law; and
- The Texas congressional redistricting plan.
The National Law Journal has called Ted “a key voice” to whom “the [U.S. Supreme Court] Justices listen.” Ted has been named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America, by the National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America, and by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century.
From 2004-09, he taught U.S. Supreme Court Litigation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law.
Prior to becoming Solicitor General, he served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as Domestic Policy Advisor on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign.
Ted graduated with honors from Princeton University and with high honors from Harvard Law School. He served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court. He was the first Hispanic ever to clerk for the Chief Justice of the United States.
Cruz has jumped into the fray:
So far he is the only senator who has dared challenge the many blatant falsehoods President Obama and many congressional Democrats have been pushing regarding guns, in particular the bogus claim that 40 percent of gun sales are done without background checks.
To add to the Dems’ outrage, Cruz is demanding that Chuck Hagel disclose the source of funds Hagel receive for speeches (particularly $200,000),
Lanny Davis is among the few democrats who agree that Hagel should make full disclosure.
A guy who was at Harvard Law at the same time as TC had this to say,
@ryanlizza I was there then. Cruz is basically correct: there were more Marxists than Republicans. Mayer should have talked to more people.
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) February 22, 2013
This is only the beginning, folks.
Give ’em hell, Ted!
Linked by Extrano’s Alley. Thank you!
Now that Senator Robert Menendez’s friend and major campaign donor Dr. Salomon Melgen is under investigation for Medicare fraud, two of the prostitutes they hired have been missing for several months:
Following the trail of Sen. Robert Menendez scandal leads to dead end in Dominican Republic
Women named by tipster exist and were there — but not anymore.
Maybe they’re hiding at the Doll Palace, maybe not.
As you can see from the article, at least one tipster is not anonymous.
Meanwhile, blame Cuba…
The bigger issue, which I pointed out months ago, is whether he violated Senate rules by accepting two round-trip flights to the Dominican Republican from Melgen. Menendez goes back a long way,
Menendez, who scaled the political ladder in Hudson County, a Democratic bastion long known for its flexible ethics, is no stranger to controversy.
In 2007, Chris Christie, who at the time was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, began a federal investigation of Menendez over potential conflicts of interests with recipients of government financing.
The Star-Ledger reported then that Menendez had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent for a building he owned in Union City from the North Hudson Community Action Corp., an antipoverty group. Menendez had helped the group win millions of dollars in federal funding.
But no charges were filed, and Menendez ultimately received a rare clearance letter from the U.S. attorney’s office informing him that the case was being closed.
Last May, Joseph Bigica, a major supporter of Menendez, pleaded guilty to using straw donors to funnel nearly $100,000 in illegal contributions to the senator’s campaign, which was not accused of any wrongdoing. It acknowledged having received the donation, but said it had been a victim in the case.
A campaign official said they planned to give the money to charity.
Bigica, of Franklin Lakes, admitted that from April 2005 to May 2009 he had conspired to make the illegal contributions to the campaign committee of an unidentified candidate for federal office. Officials did not identify the candidate, but campaign finance records show the donations went to Menendez.
Ah, the scent of New Jersey politics…and now he’s chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Stacy checks out the facts, and also points out (emphasis added)
This is highly interesting, because on Jan. 4, Menendez paid back Dr. Melgen $58,500 for three flights, but this (alleged) Easter weekend trip wasn’t one of those, and it was during the Easter weekend trip that one of the sex parties (allegedly) took place.
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Billion With a ‘B’: Did Menendez Provide Special Favors to HookerGate Donor? “Follow the money – if Melgen had a billion-dollar contract at stake, his ‘friendship’ with Senator Menendez was obviously more than a mere social acquaintance, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it was illegal for Menendez to pressure the administration to help Melgen enforce his Dominican port security contract. But how and why does a Florida opthamologist become an international port-security mogul?”
Video starts below the fold:
The nominee for Secretary of Defense flunked the interview:
“It is very clear from the testimony that Sen. Hagel will not be bringing the potato salad to the next Mensa picnic.”
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) did an immense amount of danger, disclosing that Hagel would still oppose unilateral sanctions. (How then could he possibly be the defense secretary in this administration?). Moreover, in reading his own words from the Global Zero report, she forced him to squirm, insisting the words she read didn’t mean what they said.
Even more damaging was the brilliant — there is no other word for it — interrogation from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who challenged him to name one senator “intimidated” by the “Jewish lobby” and to name “one dumb thing” the United States did as a result of that intimidation. He couldn’t. Why did he say those things, then? The result of this exchange was to cast Hagel as a gadfly who speaks rashly.
And then came Ted Cruz,
with the al-Jazeera clips:
First, Cruz played excerpts from a tape of Hagel’s 2009 appearance on al Jazeera, in which a caller suggested that Israel had committed war crimes. In responding to the question, Hagel did not dispute the caller’s statement. Cruz also pointed to statement by Hagel that Israel had engaged in “the sickening slaughter” of Hezbollah, which sounds a bit like war crimes.
Taken together, these pieces of information show that Hagel regards Israel as a criminal state, or at least is comfortable with that characterization. Hagel tried, with the same lameness he displayed most of the day, to talk away around this conclusion. He stated that both sides — Israelis and Hezbollah — had slaughtered each other. Perhaps Hagel will produce a tape in which he accused the Palestinians of engaging in a “sickening slaughter” of Israelis. Perhaps he will produce a tape (from the period before he was in the running for a cabinet job under President Obama) in which he took exception to the claim that Israel has committed war crimes. Perhaps, but don’t hold your breath.
Next, Cruz played an excerpt from the same interview in which the al Jazeera host read a reader e-mail claiming that the United States has served as the world’s bully. This time Hagel not only failed to take exception and stick up for his country, he said on al Jazeera he found some merit in the claim, calling it “a good observation” (the Washington Post report linked to above fails to report this fact).
Pressed by Cruz, Hagel tried to squirm his way out of this bit of anti-Americanism by misrepresenting both the email and his response. But Cruz brought him back to the text, which makes it quite clear that Hagel endorsed the view that America is the world’s bully.
Paul Mirengoff ask, “Does ‘smart power’ require a smart Secretary of Defense?” and concludes,
Hagel’s testimony is an insult to the intelligence of the Senate and the American people. When he is confirmed, as I assume he will be (probably on a laregly party line vote), the Pentagon will be under the control of less than mediocre thinker and a less than honest man.
We’re in the best of hands.
Cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding.
Remember, Hagel is the guy Obama wants. So is John Kerry.
It doesn’t matter that it’s a funeral, for a war hero, Medal of Honor recipient, and president pro tempore of the United States Senate; O has to blab on about himself,
In the short 1,600 word speech, Obama used the word “my” 21 times, “me” 12 times, and “I” 30 times.
Because O is historic, you know.
The ego has landed.
Marco Rubio’s first speech in the Senate,
The Foundry posts on Marco Rubio’s Exceptional America
Rubio concluded by acknowledging the fear that “America’s century” was the 20th century and that someone else might lead the next. But this, he argues, would be entirely a failure of the American government. Our government is bankrupt and seems unwilling to fix itself. But the American people are not broken. They retain the same capabilities and desires to succeed that their ancestors did. Rubio exhorted his fellow Senators that:
If we give America a government that could live within its means, the American economy will give us a government of considerable means. A government that can afford to pay for the things government should be doing, because it does not waste money on the things government should not be doing. If we can deliver on a few simple but important things, we have the chance to do something that’s difficult to imagine is even possible: an America whose future will be greater than her past.
That would be an exceptional America, indeed.
Ace calls it “Vice-Presidential?”
Babalu wants to draft him.
WHO was the STIFF that did THIS?
…A button-down shirt and tie to play softball in? Really?
Everyone else wore baseball tee shirts and shorts.
I’ll give you ONE clue: it was a contest between US Senate office teams from the same state and the bosses were on hand. No CHEATING!
Massachusetts Sens. Scott Brown (R) and John Kerry (D) are developing a healthy rivalry, but it’s not over partisan politics. It’s all about sports.
The athletic lawmakers faced off on the National Mall on Tuesday for a friendly softball game between their office teams, which Brown’s team, the Great Scotts, won handily, 11-6. Brown, wearing a team jersey and shorts, played a very capable first base for eight innings and went 2 for 3 at the plate, scoring two runs.
Kerry, who arrived in a shirt and tie, had one at-bat and grounded out to third.
But before he batted, the senator took off his tie — to whooping cheers from his staffers.
When it was Brown’s turn to bat, however, Brown asked to wear Kerry’s tie at the plate. Kerry was happy to oblige and Brown batted in “business attire.”
Glad to see that Scott Brown, while behaving like a Dem, has not taken up yet the sartorial statements. Next, Brown and Lurch will be going out for bike rides. Let’s hope Kerry wears a helmet.
In nepotism news, the Kennedys are still working on a Capitol Hill dynasty: the article also mentions that
In a twist of fate, Brown was tagged out once, at first base by Kerry intern Jack Schlossberg, son of Caroline Kennedy and the great-nephew of Brown’s predecessor, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).
I humbly pray, “Dear Lord, no more Bushes, Clintons, or Kennedys in politics, ever. Amen.”
The Republicans made a point, albeit temporarily,
Finance Bill Fails to Move Forward in Key Test Vote
Delay is Likely Temporary as Parties Continue Negotiations on Terms of Overhaul
U.S. Senate Republicans stood together Monday to successfully block lawmakers from moving ahead with sweeping legislation to overhaul U.S. financial markets, a temporary stumble for the Obama administration’s top domestic policy priority.
The Senate voted 57-41 on a procedural measure allowing lawmakers to move toward debate on financial regulatory overhaul legislation, falling short of the 60 votes needed. All GOP senators present voted against invoking cloture, joined by at least one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.).
The partisan vote underscores the high political stakes surrounding the legislation, which would subject the nation’s financial institutions to new consumer and capital rules, boost regulation of derivatives and allow the government to respond more aggressively to crises in the financial system. If enacted, it would represent the most sweeping changes to regulation of financial markets since the Great Depression.
The Republicans oppose it because it’s essentially a permanent bailout bill:
Republicans have also criticized what they consider loopholes in the Senate bill that would give the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. flexibility in how it deals with creditors during a new regime for winding down faltering financial firms whose failure could harm the entire economy.
However, the Obama administration is hell-bent on passing this, and they will.
We will all pay for it.
At the Washington Post,
Financial overhaul falls short in procedural vote
The Senate voted Monday afternoon to prevent the start of formal debate of legislation to overhaul financial regulation, creating a largely partisan standoff over a far-reaching Democratic bill meant to strengthen oversight of Wall Street.
It would have taken only a few Republican votes to reach the 60-vote threshold needed for debate to begin. The measure received 57 votes with 41 senators voting in opposition. Two Republicans did not vote.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) joined Republicans in voting to prevent debate from proceeding. When the outcome was clear, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) also voted no, a move that allows him to reintroduce the measure later.
While the procedural vote delays formal consideration of the overhaul bill, lawmakers in both parties have said they expect it will ultimately be debated — and passed — in the coming weeks, though the exact contours of the final legislation remain uncertain.
Because, as we are all told, you have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.