Category Archives: Congress

Alaska: Race is over

The prince has been dethroned. The long recount in Alaska is almost over, and not enough ballots remain to give convicted incumbent Senator Ted Stevens a chance of overtaking Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. Next stop: prison. So long, Citizen Stevens; I recommend the bologna sandwich with mac-‘n’-cheese. (More here, here, and here.)

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-NC) had already written up a resolution of expulsion from the GOP conference just in case Stevens managed to stage a comeback, but DeMint was persuaded to hold off until the election results were certain. Now the expulsion plan has been shelved, as Alaskan voters have done the job Senate Republicans should have done months ago.

Total Senate seats in Democratic hands in the coming Congress: 58. Number of Senate races with results yet to be determined: two (MN and GA). Chances of a filibuster-proof Democratic majority: long, but still within reach, at least in terms of party. Republicans may be virtually incapable of mounting a filibuster in a practical sense anyway, given their demonstrated aversion to anything resembling a sense of unity.

Advertisements

Both sides of p0rn, thru the Fairness Doctrine

Congratulations, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), you’ve said what may well win you the Single Stupidest TV Sound Bite of the 2008 Election Season award. And that takes some doing.

The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to limit pornography on the air. I am for that… But you can’t say government hands off in one area to a commercial enterprise but you are allowed to intervene in another. That’s not consistent.

So Senator Schumer believes that you can’t regulate hardcore smut flicks and, at the same time, not regulate mainstream conservative talk radio, because that just wouldn’t be “consistent.” You see, it’s all or nothing when it comes to government intrusion. You can’t hide your kids’ eyes from a degrading cable goatsex simulcast, and still leave them free to turn the radio to Laura Ingraham. For the love of all that is sacred, Think Of The Children!™

Which side of this inconsistency bothers you more, Sen. Schumer? That mainstream conservative talk radio may be inappropriate and harmful to minors or those with delicate sensibilities? Or is it that bondage reels won’t give sufficient “equal time” to the submissive party for rebuttal?

More here, here, and here.

UPDATE: Barack Obama has won the election. First, congratulations, Mr. President-elect. Second, I ask that you resist Sen. Schumer’s entreaties for an appointment as your new Minister of Information.

America’s newest “ex-Marine” panics

Rep. John Murtha is drowning.

Camp Murtha has hurried out a mass mailing to the Congressman’s donor list begging for an additional $1 million so that he may cling to his seat for two more years. Such a cash infusion would supplement the eleventh-hour ad buys the DCCC have suddenly dumped on his district in an effort to save some of the votes their candidate is hemorrhaging. If his “racist, redneck” statemates decide they haven’t blown all their spare cash on Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and tractor pull tickets, perhaps they will come to the rescue of this pitiable, vestigial relic. Or perhaps not.

(Speaking of Murtha’s “racist” and “redneck” comments, check the latest mailing from his opponent Bill Russell, who is obviously having a ball with this. Bringin’ Jeff Foxworthy up north!)

A new Dane & Associates poll (H/T Miz Michelle) shows the race a statistical dead heat, with Murtha hanging onto a 1.8-point lead (45.5% to 43.7). With this many voters still undecided about a thirty-plus year incumbent, Murtha’s got plenty to worry about.

Republicans, on the other hand, finally have something to look forward to.

Kiss Alaska goodbye. Thank Ted Stevens.

Newly convicted Sen. Ted Stevens is digging in his heels, and this blogger sees no sign of any intent to resign, before or after the election. The man honestly thinks he won’t spend day one in jail; I don’t think he’s capable of envisioning a Senate without him.

National Republicans are abandoning him, the state party is clinging to him, his fellow senators (of both parties) are talking openly about expelling him, and local political experts are still saying he might eke out one final re-election victory.

News developments, analysis, and more wonkery below the break.

Continue reading

Welcome to the bighouse, Ted. Now what?

The Congressional Indicted Caucus officially has one fewer member. Senator Ted Stevens has been convicted on all counts. To quote a certain played-out, over-the-hill cartoonist: “Guilty, guilty, guilty!” (More here, here, here, and here.) For his part, Stevens has announced he will appeal, maintaining his innocence and lacerating the prosecutors for what I admit was some pretty messed-up lawyering.

I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see Sen. Stevens go, which will come as no surprise to WitSnapper readers (who may have read my thoughts on the man here, here, here, here, and elsewhere). His Senate seat will likely go to his Democratic opponent, Anchorage mayor Mark Begich, now effectively running unopposed. Republicans now are scrambling to assess their very limited options.

Bunches of scenario-weaving below the break.

Continue reading

Are Murtha’s days numbered? Polls say maybe.

Rep. John Murtha, whose claims to fame include Abscam conspiracy, slandering Marines, smearing half his own state as racist, and serving up enough pork in Congress to supply Oktoberfest, may be watching his custom-gerrymandered seat slip away.

One poll recently released has Murtha’s Republican opponent, Bill Russell, pulling within the margin of error in the upcoming election, while another poll leaked to Miz Michelle by her Pennsylvania source shows Russell with a comfortable lead.

No need to remind me that I just tossed up the world’s longest freakin’ post on how I think the polls this year are about as useful for toilet paper as they are for predicting elections. However, given that Murtha is a guy who has held this seat since 1974, who typically considers a 2-to-1 victory margin on Election Night a squeaker, who lives in a district with a 63% Democratic registration roll, and who is running in a “we all hate Republicans worse than liver worse than root canals” year, it is absolutely unheard of that Russell, a Republican Iraq hawk who won a spot on the ballot with a write-in campaign, could be giving Murtha the race of his life.

I don’t think it’s petty of me to note how anxiously I am looking forward to seeing Murtha assuming long overdue civilian status, bringing with him little but his shredded dignity, his Abscam souvenirs, his various coffee mugs from his favorite defense contractors, and his pending slander suits.

UPDATE: Commenter MommaMT (see below) is kind enough to alert me that the “worse than liver” expression is not quite apt in significant parts of Pennsylvania. I hope my substitution is satisfactory.

The Fairness Doctrine, resurrected from the Pit

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has finally made public intentions toward a plan whose existence many Democrats have been trying to deny for years: bringing back that speech-suppressing abomination, the Fairness Doctrine. (Links here and here, and with audio here and here).

More on the Doctrine’s history, why it’s a dangerous assault on the Constitution, and why Democrats like Bingaman love it so much and want it back so badly, below the break.

Continue reading