Tag: senate

Election 2012: Congress

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Despite the Obama administration’s poor performance, it appears that President Obama is on his way to a second term. It also appears that the Senate will continue to remain in the hands of the Democrats and now there is speculation that favors the Democrats taking back the House of Representatives.

What has changed? Up with Chris Hayes host Chris Hayes and The Nation‘s Washington correspondent, John Nichols discuss the status of heavily contested U.S. House and Senate races across the country, and the polls that show a potential uptick for Democrats.

At the New York Times, Nate Silver, who writes Five Thirty Eight, gives his analysis on key Senate races and what has gone wrong for GOP Candidates:

Since we published our initial Senate forecast on Tuesday, Republicans have seen an additional decline in their standing in two major races.

Two polls of Virginia published on Wednesday gave the Democrat, the former Gov. Tim Kaine, leads of 4 and 7 percentage points over the Republican, the former Senator George Allen. [..]

The other problematic state for Republicans is Wisconsin, where their candidate, the former Gov. Tommy Thompson, had once appeared to hold the advantage.

Mr. Thompson’s Democratic opponent, Representative Tammy Baldwin, had published an internal poll earlier this week showing her pulling into the lead. [..]

Wednesday also brought bad news for Republicans in Massachusetts, where a fourth consecutive poll showed the Democrat Elizabeth Warren ahead of Senator Scott Brown; in Connecticut, where a poll gave the Democrat Chris Murphy a slight advantage over their candidate, Linda McMahon; and in Florida, where a Fox News poll gave the Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson a 14-point lead.

The Democrats’ chances of controlling the Senate have increased to 79 percent in the forecast, up from 70 percent on Tuesday.

Nate has two theories on what has effected the downturn for the GOP:

Theory No. 1: Is Romney a Downballot Drag?

Mr. Romney has not dictated much in the way of detailed programs in these areas, and some of the policy stances that he has articulated are unpopular.

Mr. Romney has also been less able to campaign effectively against an unpopular Democratic initiative, the Democrats’ health care bill, because he passed a similar bill as governor of Massachusetts.

Finally, some voters who disapprove of Mr. Obama, but who also have lukewarm feelings toward Mr. Romney, might lean toward voting Democrat for Senate in effort to ensure divided government, especially since Republicans also have control of the House.

Theory No. 2: G.O.P. Conservatism Is Hurting

An alternative hypothesis is that the shift has to do with overall perceptions of the Republican platform.

Nate’s last comment in the article was that if this trend continues with the Senate races leaning to Democrats just how vulnerable is the GOP to losing the House? Well here are a couple of articles that discuss just that possibility:

Breaking blue? Will Romney-Ryan troubles give Dems shot at House Majority?]

by Michael John Spinelli

(As) Romney-Ryan lose steam just when they’re supposed to be gaining on the White House, Republicans, including House Ohio Congressman and House Speaker John Boehner, show by actions they took last week that maintaining control of the people’s chamber may not be the slam dunk they once thought.

Reports surfaced late last week that House Republicans are throwing in $3.2 million to save their majority. Speaker John Boehner, one report said, is in “all-out panic mode,” manifested by his initiative to ask his Republican Members to put up $3.2 million from their coffers to save their shaky House majority.

If the Senate can stay in Democratic control, as many pollsters believe it can, and the House gavel leaves Boehner’s grip to be wielded by California congresswoman Nancy Pelosi again, President Obama’s second term will turn on a dime from being four years of more GOP obstruction to his every policy recommendation, to a term he can double down on, learning from the battlefield of missed first-term opportunities. [..]

Democrats are currently leading in national “generic ballot polls that ask people which party they prefer for House races (without naming candidates), Dylan Matthews at Wonkblog writes, about the fact that has led a forecasters like Princeton’s Sam Wang to conclude that, based on past elections, Democrats are favored to retake the House. Wang puts the odds of that occurring at 74 percent.

The article by Mr. Wang that is cited above is from August. This is Mr. Wang’s latest analysis of the Democrat’s change of taking back the House:

Conditions through August showed a 2% lead on the generic Congressional ballot for Democrats. As of September 20th, in the wake of the Democratic convention, the lead has widened to 4.0 +/- 2.0%. Although it has yet to be appreciated by pundits, this could well translate to a November loss of the House of Representatives by Republicans. Based on the generic Congressional ballot, the probability of a Democratic takeover is 74% with a median 16-seat majority. Whichever party is in control, the seat margin is headed for being narrower than the current Congress. Like any probability in the 20-80% range, this is a knife-edge situation. This picture may change over the coming six weeks as more information, especially district-level polls, becomes available. [..]

Predicting the House outcome is challenging. First, there is the basic problem that we have to estimate how far opinion will move between now and November. On top of that, there is uncertainty in knowing how the polling measurement – generic Congressional ballot preference – translates to a seat outcome.

Another approach would be to use district-by-district polls and ratings. An estimate like that can be seen from our data partner, Pollster.com. Their House outlook shows retained GOP control, and RealClearPolitics implies the same. However, many of those polls are weeks or months old. My estimate today suggests that in the coming weeks, we might look for district polls to move in the Democrats’ direction. This is also an opportunity for a detailed analytical approach, as taken elsewhere, to shine.

Regardless of which party controls the Executive Branch, it is the Congress that can dictate the direction of policies. We will be following these races and trends closely.

Elizabeth Warren: “Pats Gonna Spank The Giants”

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Democratic challenger for the US Senate seat from Massachusetts and Harvard Law professor, Elizabeth Warren has been a popular guest this week on the cable networks. She appeared on MSNBC Thursday following the Republican debate and assessed Republicans as favoring a policy to “invest in those who already made it”. She specifically addressed wealthy businessman Mitt Romney’s income and his preferred tax rate:

“Mitt Romney pays 14 percent of his income in taxes, and people who get out there and work for a living pay 25, 28, 30, 33 percent. I get it, Mitt Romney gets a better deal than any of the rest of us because he manages to earn his income in a way that has been specially protected for rich folks,” said Ms. Warren.

Her assessment of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was equally critical on his proposed tax policy of reducing everyone’s tax rate to 15% and expressed her support of “Warren Buffett rule” that would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Earlier on Tuesday night with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show, she informed Jon that “The Pats are gonna spank the Giants” and addressed tax policy, lobbying, and investment, her signature issues. She opposes cuts in education research as detrimental and the need to invest in the middle class. In Part 2, she goes on to describe the role that government should play in regulating America’s private sector.  This is the unedited interview that is only available on line

There are those who are concerned that Warren, a political novice, will compromise her principles to the pressure of Wall St. hawks like Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). After watching her dress down Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner during hearings as chair of the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the implementation of TARP, I think she’ll be able to stand her ground. I’ll forgive her for her support of the Patriots. Nobody’s perfect.

Congressional Game of Chicken: The House Of Unrepresentatives

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

House Rejects Senate Payroll Tax Deal

by David Dayen

The House of Representatives officially rejected the bipartisan agreement that passed the Senate with 89 votes for a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, extended unemployment benefits and a doctor’s fix to prevent a 27% reduction in Medicare reimbursement rates. They did so under a complicated scheme whereby members did not vote on the Senate deal itself, but on whether to move to a conference committee on the package, with the rejection of the Senate deal implicit in the exchange. The final roll call was 229-193, with seven Republicans switching sides and voting with Democrats to reject the conference committee. All Democrats present voted against the bill. [..]

The seven Republican no votes: Charlie Bass (NH), Jeff Flake (AZ), Chris Gibson (NY), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Tim Johnson (IL), Walter Jones (NC), Frank Wolf (VA).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won’t play:

“My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today. If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans, their intransigence will mean that in ten days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians. “Senator McConnell and I negotiated a compromise at Speaker Boehner’s request. I will not re-open negotiations until the House follows through and passes this agreement that was negotiated by Republican leaders, and supported by 90 percent of the Senate. “This is a question of whether the House of Representatives will be able to fulfill the basic legislative function of passing an overwhelmingly bipartisan agreement, in order to protect the economic security of millions of middle-class Americans. Democratic and Republican leaders negotiated a compromise and Speaker Boehner should not walk away from it, putting middle-class families at risk of a thousand-dollar tax hike just because a few angry Tea Partiers raised their voices to the Speaker. “I have always sought a year-long extension. I have been trying to forge one for weeks, and I am happy to continue negotiating one once we have made sure middle-class families will not wake up to a tax increase on January 1st. So before we re-open negotiations on a year-long extension, the House of Representatives must protect middle-class families by passing the overwhelmingly bipartisan compromise that Republicans negotiated, and was approved by ninety percent of the Senate.”

A couple of point where I disagree with Barney Frank is that we are doing better than Europe and that the economy is doing better. Maybe for the 1% it is but the middle class is shriveling. The important part of this bill was an extension of the UI which is about expire.

Did Reid Just Use The “Nuclear Option”?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

It sounded like Senate Majority Leader did just that last week in getting a vote that overrule the Senate parliamentarian’s decision. And while it didn’t end filibuster, it did leave the door open for its eventual demise. This is what took place this evening as initially reported by The Hill:

Reid and 50 members of his caucus voted to change Senate rules unilaterally to prevent Republicans from forcing votes on uncomfortable amendments after the chamber has voted to move to final passage of a bill.

Reid’s coup passed by a vote of 51-48, leaving Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fuming.

The surprise move stunned Republicans, who did not expect Reid to bring heavy artillery to what had been a humdrum knife fight over amendments to China currency legislation.

As Ryan Grim and Michael McAuliff at Huffington Post point out, Harry Reid Busts Up Senate Precedent

McConnell moved to suspend the rules and shift debate over to the American Jobs Act. Reid argued that doing so amounted to another filibuster, because it required 60 votes to move back to the original bill, and so therefore was out of order. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who happened to be the presiding officer at the time, asked the Senate parliamentarian what he thought. The parliamentarian advised Begich that McConnell’s motion was in order.

Reid then appealed the ruling, following a script that advocates of ending the filibuster wrote long ago. What some senators call the “constitutional option,” and what others call the “nuclear option,” involves as a first step appealing a ruling that a filibuster is in order. The second step is to defeat a motion to table that appeal, which is exactly what happened next, with all but one Democrat sticking with Reid.

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With the chair overruled, McConnell’s motion was declared out of order, setting a narrow precedent that motions to suspend the rules are out of order during a post-cloture period.

But it also set a more important precedent. The advice of the parliamentarian is considered sacrosanct in the Senate. Reid’s decision to overrule him opens a gate to similar efforts that could also be done by majority vote.

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Reid’s move Thursday, in that context, is less abusive of Senate precedent than it first appears. The current rules create a situation in which two 60-vote thresholds must be met before a bill can pass, the first to end debate and the second to move to final passage. McConnell’s move to suspend the rules could have created additional 60-vote hurdles, clearly in violation of the spirit of the post-cloture period, which is intended to be a short stretch until moving to final passage.

David Waldman st Daily Kos came to this conclusion:

(T)he discussion on the floor has in fact wandered into rules reform territory, which is not altogether unfitting. If this really were the nuclear option, that would of course mean that the infamous “Gentleman’s agreement” was now inoperative, since part of that deal was that neither party would use the “constitutional option” (which would under most definitions encompass the slightly different “nuclear option” as well) in this Congress or the next. Do Republicans really want that door open? We can do that, I guess. But we might as well go all the way, then.

We’ll just have to see how much more frustrated Reid gets with the Republicans blocking everything. This may have some two years too late.

Up Date: The jobs bill failed to get enough votes to pass cloture. Looks like Harry still hasn’t found his last nerve with Republican obstruction.  

What Social Security cuts REALLY mean — IMPORTANT!

Michael Hiltzik, of the LA Times, , offers a clear understanding of what actually is being offered by President Obama by putting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — OUR Trust Funds — “on the table.”  

This is a most important article, in terms of your own complete comprehension about what is at stake in this “offer” by President Obama.  Please be sure to read it entirely.

Basing Social Security cost-of-living increases on the chained consumer price index, which presumes people will trade down to cheaper goods as costs rise, would force elderly people on fixed incomes to forgo essentials.



A man waits for free care at the Remote Area Medical clinic at the Los Angeles Memorial

Sports Arena last year. A proposal to change the formula that determines annual cost-of-

living increases for people on Social Security could leave fixed-income seniors having to

choose between medical care and food.
(Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times / July 13, 2011)

Of all the ways policymakers in Washington show they have absolutely no conception of how their tinkerings with the federal budget affect average Americans, one stands alone. That’s the proposal to change the formula that determines annual cost-of-living increases for people on Social Security . . . . (emphasis mine)

Of course, this particular type of “indexing” is a preserved offering strictly for the elderly, children and disabled.  And ideas to suggest that it be across the board were quickly “nayed.”  Hummmmm! Wonder why!

“Shared sacrifices?”  You’ve got to be kidding!  When and where were sacrifices ever shared in these past eleven plus years?  Except between the so-called “middle-class” and the so-called “middle-class?”  Now, the decimated “middle-class.”

Drifting Over the Edge 2

We can blame “them” all we want but as my first teacher in politics Walt Kelly had his main character Pogo say “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”

Leaders and media personalities all have their own motivations and little cabals and interests and careers but in the end they reflect who we are. It isn’t just because we are, a democracy (more or less) but that the cultural ambience always has an effect at least for those who interact on various levels with the world. The more rarified and wealthy a person, of course, the more likely they will be out of touch with everyday interactions. But even then there are influences of the media, the music, the arts (both good an bad) and even the language itself. In fact, as an aside, language itself carries inherent values not only in the meanings but in the rhythms and sounds as well. We are, also, influenced by each other in other ways, body language, facial expressions, clothing, hair styles even moods and “vibes.” We are far more connected than we think. Yet, part of that connection involves a culture that is focused on what I describe as narcissistic isolation. To be more precise, the culture encourages people live separate lives focused on fulfilling fantasies. Work life and “personal” life are largely segregated-a person has to put on a work mask and take it off and be “real” when they home. Work is, usually, a place where arbitrary and often inexplicable goals and values are pursued where mysterious and all-powerful hierarchies largely frame your work life. When we get home we play, like children, at life-play fantasy sports, watch porn, shop for clothes so that we can be our very own dolls, and “unwind” (does anybody wonder why we have to be wound up in the first place).  

Social Security: Get On The Phone Tuesday And Wednesday And Help Fight Cuts

So it’s been about three weeks since we last had this conversation, but once again we have to take action to try to keep Social Security from being the victim of “deficit fever”.

I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, considering the disconnect between Social Security and the deficit-but once again it’s “Continuing Resolution” time on Capitol Hill, where some use the threat of an impending shutdown of the Federal Government to extract concessions from the other side…and some on the other side try to make points with the voters by out-conceding their opponents.

So Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, there’s a national push on to get voters to call their Senators and remind them to vote for an Amendment that is a big ol’ “I’m not willing to cut Social Security just because other people philosophically want to cut Government any way they can” kind of reassurance to the voters, and I’m here to encourage you, once again, to make a couple phone calls and do some pushing of your own.

I’ve also been storing up a couple somewhat facetious random thoughts which will be the “garnish” for today’s dish; you’ll see them pop up as we go along.

An Interview with Adlai Stevenson III: Part Five, The Death of Congressional Sanity

In this final section, I’ll cover the portion of our talk in which we discussed the differences and distinctions in government between the House and Senate.  Stevenson was a first-hand witness to their devolution for eleven years while a member of the Senate.  Having won a special election in 1970 to serve out the remainder of a term vacated when a Senator died in office, Stevenson then won a full term in his own right.  By its conclusion, burned out and disillusioned, he decided that nearly two full terms was enough for him.  He instead returned to his home state of Illinois, preparing to run for Governor.  That is quite a story in and of itself, and one I will leave for those who wish to read his new book, again titled simply, The Black Book.

Arrrrrghhh !!!

As Lieberman deliberated, the new chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), told HuffPost that the party would consider supporting Lieberman if he returned to the fold.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Joe Lieberman,Senator Joe Lieberman

Joe & George the President


The feeling of ill will is mutual: Lieberman said during the health care debate that one reason he opposed a Medicare buy-in compromise was that progressives were embracing it.

Joe Lieberman and John McCain

Joe & John the Presidential Candidate




March 20, 2003

” What we are doing here is not only in the interest of the safety of the American people. Believe me, Saddam Hussein would have used these weapons against us eventually or given them to terrorists who would have. But what we are doing here, in overthrowing Saddam and removing those weapons of mass destruction and taking them into our control, is good for the security of people all over the world, including the Iraqi people themselves.”

http://www.lobelog.com/lieberm…

John McCain Joe Lieberman,McCain,Lieberman

Joe and John in Iraq


September 29, 2011.    10 years and 18 days after 9-11 attacks on NYC



” It is time for us to take steps that make clear that if diplomatic and economic strategies continue to fail to change Iran’s nuclear policies, a military strike is not just a remote possibility in the abstract, but a real and credible alternative policy that we and our allies are ready to exercise.

It is time to retire our ambiguous mantra about all options remaining on the table. It is time for our message to our friends and enemies in the region to become clearer: namely, that we will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability — by peaceful means if we possibly can, but with military force if we absolutely must. A military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities entails risks and costs, but I am convinced that the risks and costs of allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability are much greater.

Some have suggested that we should simply learn to live with a nuclear Iran and pledge to contain it. In my judgment, that would be a grave mistake. As one Arab leader I recently spoke with pointed out, how could anyone count on the United States to go to war to defend them against a nuclear-armed Iran, if we were unwilling to go to war to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran? Having tried and failed to stop Iran’s nuclear breakout, our country would be a poor position to contain its consequences.

I also believe it would be a failure of U.S. leadership if this situation reaches the point where the Israelis decide to attempt a unilateral strike on Iran. If military action must come, the United States is in the strongest position to confront Iran and manage the regional consequences. This is not a responsibility we should outsource. We can and should coordinate with our many allies who share our interest in stopping a nuclear Iran, but we cannot delegate our global responsibilities to them.”

http://www.lobelog.com/lieberm…

http://lieberman.senate.gov/in…

Senate’s Conrad Cashes Out

North Dakota “Democratic” Senator Kent Conrad, 62, has announced he is not going to run for re election in 2012. He is the current majority Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.   He is also on Agriculture Nutrition Forestry, Finance, and Indian Affairs committees.  Kent Conrad


Conrad said he would serve out his term.

“Although I will not seek re-election, my work is not done,” Conrad said in his statement. “I will continue to do my level best for both North Dakota and the nation.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

He says he’s going to spend his remaining time and energy trying to reduce the national debt and dependence on foreign oil.  And working on a Farm Bill.  http://www.valleynewslive.com/…

Senator Kent Conrad’s legacy will include recommending former OMB head Peter Orszag for his White House position early in the Obama administration (Orszag sharing Conrad’s curious blind spot on what drives the deficit, see more of that here: https://docudharma.com/diar…    ) , being a phony “deficit hawk,”  who couldn’t see anything wrong with increased military budgets and decreasing domestic needs being met, and opposing the Public Option during the Health Care reform legislative battle. Voting for reducing the payroll tax that funds Social Security, and for continuing the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest in Dec of 2010 during the Lame Duck Session.  http://www.thestate.com/2010/1…    Oh, and being part of that Democratic Senate Supermajority of 2009 That Didn’t Do Any Energy Policy, Global Climate Change,  or Tax Code Changes.  Other than a lot of stimulus money got earmarked for “research.”

Kent Conrad was also on the President Obama Deficit (“Catfood Commision”) Committee of 2010, which called for cuts in Medicare and Social Security.


“You know, a certain amount of this is shock therapy,” Conrad said. “There are different options and, of course, what everybody has fastened on is the most extreme of the options. But, look, the important thing for people to know is that we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. That’s utterly unsustainable. It can’t continue much longer, so it’s got to be dealt with.”



“Fundamentally, if we’re going to raise revenue, I don’t think the way to do it is to raise rates. I think the way to do it is to eliminate some of the loopholes that exist in the system,” the senator said.  

November 14, 2010.  Kent Conrad in an interview with Christiane Amanpour on “This Week” about the Deficit Commission

http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek…

On How To Honor The Brave, Or, Why We Hate Republicans

We are coming down to the end of the 111th Congress, and we are all surprised that a number of things actually got done: a nuclear arms reduction treaty appears to be on the verge of approval, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed; we have new health care and financial reforms (admittedly, they’re imperfect solutions, but…), food safety reform, a better way to do student loans, and a credit card reform act that’s forcing issuers to spend thousands of labor hours to develop new and better ways to work over consumers.

And yet there is one important bit of legislation that is still being blocked by Republicans, and, amazingly enough, it’s a bill that would provide health care and compensation for those people who ran down to the World Trade Center site on September 11th, and for months thereafter, in the effort to rescue and recover victims, and to restore normal operations in the city after the attack.

Yes, folks, you heard me correctly: the Party of waving flags and “Second Amendment solutions” and tri-cornered hats and Rudy (“noun, verb, 9/11”) Giuliani is now engaged in a desperate battle to screw over the very 9/11 first responders that you would think they would be…well, putting up on a stage somewhere next to Rudy Giuliani.

Senate Somehow Manages NOT to Screw Up DADT Repeal

Saturday, December 18, 2010, The Lame Duck Session:

The Senate took 2 votes today on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the archaic discriminatory policy against gays from serving openly in the military, leftover from the Clinton administration, which Judge Virginia Phillips found unconstitutional this past September.  

https://docudharma.com/diar…

Both times the Senate voted to repeal DADT.  

First we had the House pass getting rid of DADT as a stand – alone bill last Wednesday the 15th, 250 to 175, on a bill offered by Rep. Patrick Murphy, (D PA who was sadly not re elected) after it was not going anywhere in the Senate as part of a larger bill.

http://content.usatoday.com/co…

The vote to repeal picked up 15 Republicans and lost 15 Democrats, here’s the roll call #638 on Govtrack:

http://www.govtrack.us/congres…

The first “test vote”  in the Senate today was 66 – 33 to get rid of it.

The second vote passed getting rid of DADT by 65 to 31.

That 2nd vote got Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Scott Brown (Mass.)  and George Voinovich of Ohio.

3 Republicans who probably did not like the bill had enough sense to just abstain from voting, as did Vichy Dem Manchin of West Virginia, who helped scuttle it earlier.  Both CA Senators voted for it, the usual Republican Chickenhawk Caucus of NorCal (Lungren, Herger, McClintock) voted against it, of course.

Note that the bill has a weird title, most of them at this point do and are relying on the “and for other purposes” to be able to make it through the House and Senate during the lame duck session.  Roll call here: http://www.senate.gov/legislat…

John McCain of Arizona, the maverickity 2008 GOP Presidential nominee, of course voted against it, proving once again his greatest attribute is acting too old to remember what his stance was on an issue last year.   Some of the Republican Senators are now indicating they would like to scuttle ratifying the START Treaty with Russia on Nuclear safeguarding and disarmament,  because the Senate actually passed something.  It is unknown if they have a secret communications line to the Kremlin or N. Korea,  and are capable of calling in a strike on the remaining Democrats.

The DADT repeal still has to go to the President’s desk for his signature, so we’ll get to see if he adds some sort of signing statement to it, delaying its implementation until several more excuses can be thought up to protect the tender sensibilities of the Marine Corps and the challenges they will face in coming into this century.   Sen. Lindsey Graham (R, SC ), the perpetual and petulant AR reserves JAG who typically spends months crafting bipartisanshipthingee bills in the Senate and then withdraws his support at crunch time, with great glee, accused supporters of caring more about politics than governing the country.

Per Sen. Wyden, nearly 10,000 of the 14,000 soldiers forced out of the military since 1993 were language specialists, and he was alarmed by how many Arabic and Farsi linguists were discharged during this current mid east conflict. Unspoken was the impact this is having on the proceedings at Guantanamo.


http://www.politicsdaily.com/2…

But a change in the law will not automatically change the policy. Rather, the bill stipulates that the policy will only be discarded after the president, the Secretary of Defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that changing it will not hurt the armed services’ readiness, morale or cohesion. After a 60-day review by Congress, the Pentagon is to develop procedures for ending it altogether, a process that could take months or years to complete.

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