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Bizarre Scene on the House Floor

UPDATE 5:30 PM: It's over. Approximately 20 minutes ago, the remaining members and staff on the floor sang "God Bless America," chanted "U.S.A., U.S.A!" and then, finally, left the chamber. Since none of this was broadcast anywhere, you're just going to have to take Capitol Briefing's word for it. A safe and pleasant weekend to you all.

UPDATE 5:10 PM: A group of Republican lawmakers just held a press conference off the floor, where cameras could capture their words for posterity, during which they reiterated their desire for a vote on opening up more land for oil drilling. They vowed to keep up their floor demonstration for ... well, for awhile anyway. They wouldn't really specify how long they're planning to stay here tonight, though they did suggest they might come back at various points this month to stage more floor rallies. Capitol Briefing is already making plans to be sick on those days.

Culberson, by the way, is also Qikking (sp?) about today's events.

UPDATE 4:35 PM: Scratch that. The visitors gallery has been emptied but the unseen, unheard fight on the floor lives on.

UPDATE 4:15 PM: There seems like a decent chance that this spectacle will end around 4:30 p.m. That's when the galleries are officially supposed to close and when the Capitol typically closes to tour groups. In theory, Republicans could keep up the fight even after the hundreds of visitors have filtered out of the chamber, but members usually like to have some kind of audience. A progressively smaller group of reporters is hanging around until the bitter end, as many journalists have already left the Capitol for a traditional bout of last-day-of-session drinking. Capitol Briefing, of course, is very pleased not to be sitting on a bar patio somewhere enjoying the sunshine and a beer. He'd much rather be here listening to the 78th consecutive speech about gasoline prices.

UPDATE 2:40 PM: Capitol Briefing will admit to never having seen anything remotely like this in 10 years of covering Congress. As "The Phantom Session" continues, the chamber is packed with tourists, and the line to get in the galleries stretches down the stairs inside the Capitol. What appears to be an entire troop of Boy Scouts is sitting in the chamber. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) apparently went to the airport to go home but then turned around and came back. He walked into the House a few moments ago wheeling his suitcases behind him, prompting a huge round of applause and high-fives from his colleagues.

Democrats face a dilemma here. The longer this goes on the more attention it will get. But the last thing they want to do is turn Republicans into martyrs by having the police force people to leave. The GOP would like nothing more than for tourists to be manhandled out of the chamber (especially those innocent Boy Scouts!) and for reporters to be told they have to leave the press gallery. So don't expect the majority to take the bait and kick everyone out anytime soon.

Meanwhile, you can keep reading updates on Culberson's Twitter page. They're pretty dramatic:

"We are speaking without microphones - as though it were 1908 - acoustics of House chamber are good and gallery and you can hear us"

"Retweet these messages - these are the only words being broadcast from the House floor today"

UPDATE 1:45: This spectacle increasingly is entering a gray area in terms of official House rules. Most of the chamber's seats are now filled with tourists, who are sitting and listening to the speeches, bright shiny visitor stickers affixed to their chests, as though they were members of Congress. A handful of reporters have also gone to the floor, a definite no-no when the chamber is actually in session. It's not clear whether they can be on the floor as a lawmaker's escorted guest when the chamber is technically out of session. (Capitol Briefing was offered the opportunity to go but declined, as he values his press credentials and the career they have afforded him.)

Democrats, meanwhile, see the whole affair as a political stunt. Here's a statement from Nadeam Elshami, spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.):

"Republicans are too scared to go home to face their constituents after voting against bills to force Big Oil to use it or lose it, demand that the President free our oil from the government stockpile and crack down on speculators. In a week when Exxon Mobil made the largest quarterly profits by a U.S. corporation, Republicans are staying in Washington to argue that Big Oil deserves more taxpayer lands. That sums up their priorities."

UPDATE 1:05 PM: It turns out that Rep. Culberson is not actually streaming video or audio from the House floor. He is posting updates on the current protest using his Twitter account. That makes sense, as Culberson has been a vocal critic of House policies restricting members' and aides' use of Twitter.

ORIGINAL POST: If a party stages a protest on the House floor but no one can see or hear it, does it make a sound?

That's the question at hand right now, as House Republicans have essentially taken over the House floor to protest the lack of action on energy legislation, despite the fact that the chamber has officially recessed for the August break.

The cameras in the chamber are off, so C-SPAN is currently showing footage of press conferences. At the direction of the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the microphones in the House are also off, so the lawmakers present are yelling to make their voices heard. (Though Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) apparently has been using his cell phone to stream video to his office, which is supposedly putting the footage on YouTube, which may or may not violate House rules. Capitol Briefing is trying to confirm details of this.) There is no member sitting in the Speaker's chair, no parliamentarian and no clerks. The lights were off, then on, and now off again.

Still, roughly 20 GOP lawmakers and about the same number of staff are on the House floor, chastizing Democrats for going on break without a vote on more oil drilling.

Gesturing toward the tourists still filling the visitor's gallery above, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said: "Tell your friends the Republicans refuse to go quietly!"

The GOP may not be going quietly, but they haven't been amplified, either. "The microphones have been on, and they have been off, and by God's grace, I can not tell whether right now whether they are on or they are off!" Pence shouted.

Capitol Briefing himself might not have been able to see this unusual scene, since the doors to the chamber's seats for the press are typically locked when the House goes out of session. But a member is apparently allowed to keep those doors open, so House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) has been sitting in the press seats with a handful of reporters so the media can bear witness to their protest.

How long will this go on? Despite the enthusiasm of the handful of members present, most Republicans appear to have already beat it to the airport to catch flights home for the five-week recess. Capitol Briefing will keep you updated on this non-session as it continues to unfold.

By Ben Pershing  |  August 1, 2008; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: The Phantom Session, Part II


Wow, just wow! Have Republicans actually gone past the point of no shame into dementia? Apparently 20 of them feel the need to foist this sham on the American people. I guess they do care more about winning elections then they do about their country.

Posted by: John D in Houston | August 1, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

What's more important than Congress actually doing it's job? VACATION!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the author calls this a "bizarre Specticle"...interesting. I wonder what the headline would be if this was the dems instead?

Posted by: Robert | August 1, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

headline mispells bizarre as bizzare...c'mon

Posted by: bonzo | August 1, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of clowns.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

It is possible to just report the news? This article is so slanted it is sickening.

Posted by: jim | August 1, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Its about time that the dems do their job. Its funny that no one in the media has reported that this has been happening for the last two or three months. Republicans have been blocked from debating what comes on the floor. Billions in pork have been pushed thro by the dems without debate. We all wonder why we cant get a balanced budget, well pork spending will do it. We need to drill in the US so that 700billion dollars can stay within the US so that our roads and bridges can be fixed. DRILL HERE DRILL NOW GO REPUBS GO!!!!!!!!! KEEP THAT PRESSURE GOING>

Posted by: Denise E. May | August 1, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Beyond silly are the antics Republicans pull to advocate for their true constituents -- Big Oil.

Posted by: Sara B. | August 1, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Let the stupid Republicans keep at it until they exhaust themselves. Sending the cops in will only give them what they want. When the House comes back in the fall, the Democrats should then censure the lot of them for breaking House rules. Either that or have them prosecuted for criminal trespass. We live in a democracy and the Republicans have to respect the majority - they had their chance for 12 years and lost.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Just turn the lights and A/C off.... that'll steam those hot-heads out of the chamber! Seriously, go home and stop posturing....

Posted by: TrophyWife | August 1, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

To the last post:

Greatfully, we live in a democracy, we have a right and duty to debate....remember H. Clinton's rant about debating Iraq? While I disagreed with her on the policy, it certainly her right to voice it. The same goes with this...good job on taking a stand.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The lack of coverage is interesting. The Democrats did the same thing in 1995 when the GOP majority adjourned for a week. The media had a hay day...I guess the dem machine is working to squash the coverage.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Democracy doesn't mean you can flout the rules. The law in the House is that the majority rules and if the majority wants to adjourn then that right under the law is absolute. If the Republicans want that power back, they need to convince the voters that they deserve it, and right now that isn't going to happen. To hijack the House chamber and violate House rules with impunity is going too far. It would be like the President refusing to leave the White House after being defeated. It's illegal.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Things like this make congress pretty fun, just like here in Texas in 03, when the dems ran out to New Mexico and Oklahoma to avoid the special session of gerrymandering--oops, i mean "redistricting."

Posted by: jlm062002 | August 1, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans had six years to do anything they wanted with energy policy and have had two years to work with the Democrats to create an energy policy. The only thing they seem to be remotely competent at is pulling blatant, pointless political stunts like this one.

Posted by: Taha Meele | August 1, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Respond Taha:

Well they learned from the best...the dems. They have made entire careers posing these type of stunts.

Response to the post above:
"Democracy doesn't mean you can flout the rules....It's Illegal"
Thank God, the founding fathers didn't have a similar belief...they set up a government were you are free to assemble and debate....funny the double standard that you libs tend to have.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

from a blogger

Republicans are literally hugging each other on the House floor. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), not normally known as an distinguished orator, just gave a rousing speech, accusing Democrats of stifling dissent. He referenced President John Quincy Adams, who returned as a House member after being defeated in his bid for re-election as president. Waving his arms and yelling, Manzullo brought the crowd (including a lot of staff shipped in by GOP leaders to fill up the place), and he left the floor to hugs from his colleagues. You don't see that up here every day.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

While I think reps. have the right to be heard, i believe they are taking the wrong approach. Instead of trying to push the will of the very few who think that this vote could help their presidential candidate, they should go home and listen to their constituencies and find real comprehensive energy reform. I for one like the Pickens plan, would like to see more hydro farming and all the skycrapers in cities line with solar panels...among other things.

Posted by: jlm062002 | August 1, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I'll go Taha one further: the R party has spent their time aiding and abetting the Bush-Cheney plunder of the nation's treasury and resources. Cheney's secret energy plan is STILL IN EFFECT. We will be muddling through their legacy for decades. They should go home and stay there.

Posted by: Wisco | August 1, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

For all of you to have selective memories and takes on this development...In 1995 the dems did the same thing. The Democrats placed a big photo of Speaker Newt Gingrich wearing a diaper in the Speaker's chair. I can only imagine the outcry from the media and most of these bloggers if the Republicans did something similar.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what the Democrats did 13 years ago - they were wrong to do it then and the Republicans are wrong to do it now. They can sit around and debate anywhere they want - just not on the House floor. It's a nice sunny day here in Washington and there is a big grassy area in front of the Capitol and they are free to go there, or their offices, or the sidewalk. There are strict rules about who can go on the House floor and the Republicans are breaking them by packing the place with staffers and creating a ruckus. It is disrespectful to the institution, no matter which party is in power.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

then i guess they need to send in the police...good luck!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree--they are like those children you see at the grocery store on the floor throwing a tantrum because they are not getting their way... and yeah, some democrats did the same thing before, and they were like children too.

Posted by: jlm062002 | August 1, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Democracy doesn't mean you can flout the rules."
I agree - and while I support individual rights like freedom of speech, there is something to be said about following decorum. If an open dialogue about energy reform is what they want, I don't think anyone would disagree with that request - given that the proper channels are followed. Where was this outrage last month?

Posted by: TrophyWife | August 1, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

They followed the normal decorum and rules of the house and Pelosi single-handedly blocked the vote from commencing...I believe it was bi-partisan as well. The point that is being made is that they shouldn't be going on vacation...without at least voting.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Since we haven't heard from Ben in two hours, can we assume he leaves the office early on Friday?

Also, for those condemning the Republicans tactics, I'll note that better reporters are reporting the fact that Democrats have staged similar productions in the past, most recently in 1995.

Posted by: AlvintT | August 1, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

About time the Republicans grew a pair! RESIGN, PELOSI!

Posted by: bryan2369 | August 1, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's the problem. Most constitutents mistakenly think that extra drilling will solve gasoline problems. But they won't. There isn't enough oil to make a dent and it won't affect futures markets either, because the dent would be so small. And the drilling wouldn't produce any oil for 5 years. Basically the only people who benefit are a few of the larger oil companies who can afford to drill.

Posted by: RiverGuy | August 1, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Good grief, knock off the 1/2 truth dem talking points regarding energy.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Despite your left leaning coverage of the ordeal, I at least appreciate the effort to give some coverage.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

OK then, you tell me. What areas are currently off limits, and how much oil is estimated to be there?

Posted by: RiverGuy | August 1, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Bizarre ??? I call it HISTORIC. Maybe this is the little bit of leadership we've been hoping for.
Shame on you Madam Speaker.

Posted by: nanceone | August 1, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Historic? Just like the 95 democratic stunt? This will get very little media attention, and will be seen primarily as an inside the beltway thing.

Posted by: RiverGuy | August 1, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Although their tactics are a little too late, I applaud the Republican's in the house for finally standing up to the loonie tunes leadership of the House. All the arguments against drilling, too long (to get the oil), too late (we need alternative energy instead), not enough (there's not enough oil anyway), too much (all that oil will just pollute our coast lines) fly in the face of a start reality that the american people are tired of it.
Besides, the main reason Speaker Pelosi has not even allowed debate, not to mention an actual vote, is because she know's she would lose. If her arguments carried any water then of course she would try and get legislation rammed through. Instead she's decided to play russian roulette with the american people and economy. She better watch out though, she's starting to run out of chances.
If the President were to all of a sudden grow a pair, when it comes to internal politics that is, and use his constitutional powers to demand an emergency session of Congress things could get very interesting. Cant wait to see how this all comes out in the end.

Posted by: Pete | August 1, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Capitol Briefing doesn't like misunderstandings ... Misunderstandings make Capitol Briefing upset.

Don't touch Capitol Briefing!

Posted by: Jimmy | August 1, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

According to the Energy Information Administration the amount of oil available in areas that currently CAN be explored is 40 billion gallons. The amount of oil off limits? 18 billion. We currently use about 146 billion barrels a year.

Posted by: RiverGuy | August 1, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

let the Republicans continue their absurd antics, it won't help.

If they were dogfood they would be recalled.

Too little too late. Why weren't they doing this 6 months ago??

Posted by: Sal | August 1, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

SOrry, I mean to say 40 billion barrels.

Posted by: RiverGuy | August 1, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

You want to hear something "bizzare". Pelosi says she is saving the planet by blocking oil exploration. I wonder what planet she thinks Saudi Arabia and Venezuala are on?

Posted by: Spider79 | August 1, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Quite telling that the exercise of elected officials' rights to speak freely on an issue of importance to many Americans is called "Bizarre"; while the move by the Dem House Majority leader to cut off power, lights and publicity to the free speech of those w. opposing political views is not. And, for those of you who believe this is a "sham", why is San Fran Nan so afraid to have a debate AND an up or down vote?

Posted by: mjhlaw | August 1, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Time for the President to call a special session and force that petty tyrant Pelosi to come back and do her job.

70% of the American public wants more drilling.

Posted by: Matt | August 1, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Ha, shine the lights on the Communists? Congressional approval ratings? Nancy " I'm trying to save the planet" Pelosi and the do nothing libs in congress. Bizarre, only in your pathetic world.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Yeagh! | August 1, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

To the commenter who said: "To hijack the House chamber and violate House rules with impunity is going too far. It would be like the President refusing to leave the White House after being defeated. It's illegal."

Your legal scholarship is impeccable. Is that you, Nancy Pelosi?

Posted by: mjhlaw | August 1, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

How is this bizarre?!? The GOP is trying to carry out the will of the American people and the Democrats are preventing this. Czar Nancy has even threatened to have her Fascist storm troopers physically remove the Congressmen. This is the second Boston Tea Party! I have never been more proud of the GOP!

Posted by: Cory | August 1, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

So many people support drilling because they mistakenly believe there is a lot more oil then there really is.

Why screw up tax payer owned land for a few drops of oil.

Posted by: RiverGuy | August 1, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

RiverGuy - perfect liberal.. We have more oil than Saudi Arabia. Remove finger from nose.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Annonymous poster - nice facts to back up your case. Continue to live in ignorance.

Posted by: RiverGuy | August 1, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

from the independant-"Ignorance" as defined by RiverGuy apparently must be anything that doesnt sound like the left wing talking points (aka drinking the koolaid)...see original post.

Posted by: 3rd party guy | August 1, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Grow up:

The largest known oil shale deposits in the world are in the Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Estimates of the oil resource in place within the Green River Formation range from 1.5 to 1.8 trillion barrels. Not all resources in place are recoverable. For potentially recoverable oil shale resources, we roughly derive an upper bound of 1.1 trillion barrels of oil and a lower bound of about 500 billion barrels. For policy planning purposes, it is enough to know that any amount in this range is very high. For example, the midpoint in our estimate range, 800 billion barrels, is more than triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per day. If oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand, 800 billion barrels of recoverable resources would last for more than 400 years.

July 24, 2008) -- The area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey 3rd party guy, the poster who won't use his name,Cory, mjhlaw, and the rest of you 28%er's:
Any one of you stop to think that the GOP had a f@ckin' majority since 1994 when Newt(Sorry you're sick, I've been banging someone else and I'm leaving your arse) Gingrich imposed his contract on America and the rest of the Repubs got in bed with the moral majority (Good Ole Ted first comes to mind)that NOW isn't such a great time to spew about drilling in ANWR ? You had your chance and didn't take it. Is that ALL you got ? Let's hear it for Foley, Cunningham, Ney, DeLay, Jack A., hell, all of 'em (including Jefferson), a crook is a crook. If I give you until mid-day Monday(after Rush has given you your thoughts for the day,) will you respond ? Bunch of losers.

Posted by: Dennis S | August 1, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

thanks for detailing the facts...

Posted by: otherguy | August 1, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Capitol Briefing is already making plans to be sick on those days."

Yeah because I would hate for you to cover something about the republicans. This is a perfect example of the liberal media bias...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Capitol Briefing is already making plans to be sick on those days."

The link to this blog on WaPo's main page is the only clue that something is happening on the House floor. What a stunning committment to unbiased journalism.

Posted by: April Mulqueen | August 1, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Beware the peasants with pitchforks, Ben.

Your complete misreading of this situation is the most obvious example of how badly you need to get outside the Beltway.

Somebody from D.C. doesn't understand the rest of us? Wait until November 4.

Posted by: Finally, a REAL choice! | August 1, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

While Pelosi blocks a vote that she knows she would lose, the American public are supposed to 'eat cake' and suck it up.... that's their answer.

The Republicans on the House floor are not doing anything "bizarre" as the liberal Wash. Post states..... only if you think the Boston Tea Party was 'bizarre' (on second thought the Post probably does think that.

DRILL NOW and stop the rhetoric... Liberals are jeopardizing our country every day they delay.... if they care.

These 'rebels' (a word all the old hippies in the Democrat party should understand) are heroes in my book. Keep it up....

Posted by: L. Davis | August 1, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

So Ben has covered the house for 10 years and thinks this is stange? There have been fistfights, challenges to a duel, among other outlandish displays. Rep. Preston Brooks, a DEMOCRAT, beat a sitting Senator Sumner to the floor with his cane. Ben's knowledge of the House is weak and his posts are full of snark.

Dennis S,
Bush has been trying to implement a policy since 2001 and the Dems, with the help of a willing press to make them look good, filibustered and used every other parlimentary trick they could think of to stop him. Nattering Nan is doing the same thing. Bring the bill to floor and vote. That's what is supposed to happen.

GOP members get caught and quit, Dems re-elect them and give them a more important committee (Franks, Studds), you hoser.

Posted by: Bill M | August 1, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

by all means we should have our elcted officials who work for us taking 6 week vacations? where do all you people work at?, the government, if your a democrat. and you think you will build on a majority by passing more pork in history? ya sure , just like O is going to win in November.

Posted by: matt | August 1, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Dennis. Angry? Google John Edwards. It seems he was out pimping his cancerous wife for money and votes while cheating on her. Classy. Rush didn't report on this. And we Conservatives are sorry you only have Airhead America.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

*******TOP SECRET******* wait until you hear the never heard before audio from the House today...A future 527 ad is coming as a result of it.....

Weekend polling data is going to be very interesting...Public sentiment is going against Pelosi and her gang of thieves...

American public is even blaming Congress for the bad economy--Bush is not being blamed anymore!!!!!!!!!!!

Messing around with oil will keep Obama out of the White and give the Congress back to the GOP...
McCain and the GOP can ride the democrat initiated oil crisis all the way to victory....

Posted by: charko825 | August 1, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Over the years, because of demands or snafus regarding my job, I had to take work home with me during vacations or weekends. No, I'm not a "corporate suck-up," but I do feel that this is a normal part of being an adult. My dad instilled in me a a base of honor, of responsibility to follow through on my duties, no matter if I was inconvenienced. Nothing remarkable there, as millions of hard-working Americans do this with regularity.

However, Pelosi has again proven she is oblivious to such basics about responsibility. Or maybe it's a liberal thing, a sense of entitlement... avoiding a crucial vote that the majority of Americans (per polls) want and going on vacation? Where is the sense of responsibility to get a job done? How elitist can Dems get? (*banging my head upon my keyboard from sheer frustration*)

"Id monster" has been added to my growing list of Pelosi-inspired terms. She likely believes this will all be forgotten when they reconvene following their summer vacations on tropical islands or palatial East Coast summer cottages, because Americans have such "short attention spans." But, she would be wrong. Most of us working stiffs can't AFFORD THE BLOODY GAS to go on a family vacation this summer.

Posted by: classic_film | August 1, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Bizzare? Spectacle? Stunt? No agenda journalism here...
I loved it. I imagine English thought The Boston Tea Party was a bizzare spectacle too. The American people want a discussion, a vote on our current energy policies. $4 dollar a gallon gas will do that to a reasonable person. It is also hurting our food prices and the cost of most everything else. We are sending too much money to the Middle East. We need to drill here, develop alternatives here and we need to start now. Pelosi is stonewalling for political purposes. The public sees through this for the most part. Gas cost an average of 1.49 when Bush was sworn in; it cost 2.33 when the Dems took over control of Congress - and thus what bills can be brought to the floor for a vote. It is now an average of 4.04. That is a 74 % increase since Dems decide what gets brought to the floor for discussion and a vote. hmmm...

Posted by: Denise | August 1, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

As much trouble as the GOP is in, I'd think those Congresspeople would make it a point to act like grownups rather than spoiled, petulant children. But the mentality is what it is, I guess.

Posted by: Helena Montana | August 1, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I could be wrong here but I think the nation may be facing some serious issues. Stuff that goes way beyond whether we do some off-shore drilling for oil.

And the DemPublicans are vacationing. Again. Except for a few loonies who are merely hanging around in order to create spectacle.

Is it time for the next American Revolution yet?

Posted by: 2cats | August 1, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Pershing see what this is? Something for Hannity and Druggie Limbaugh to blather on about. It fits perfectly in with their talking points. It's not meant to accomplish anything, or get coverage in the corporate print or TV media. It's so the Radio Interhamwe babblers will have new material to work with. The propagandists can use it to fire up the 28% of regime dead-enders. So can the paid Repiglican operatives who post here.

Meanwhile, your economy is continuing to collapse. GM loses more money than any other company in history has in one quarter, while Exxon-PlanetRaper has quarterly PROFITS of nearly the same amount. More jobs are lost than are created for the eighth month in a row -- even the government's lying statistics can't cover that up. The U.S. dollar is well on its way to becoming the Zimbabwe dollar.

You people are so screwed, while the fascist Rethuglicans and the lickspittle Democrats continue to argue about "who moved my deck chair on the Titanic." I'm so glad I moved out of the country. Pass me the popcorn. Watching the U.S. implode is the greatest disaster show EVAH!

Posted by: Bukko in Australia | August 1, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

repugs, sad, pathetic, visionless, fat and stupid. Turn off the mikes, turn off the lights, call in a code orange.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 1, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Since the constitution is just old toilet paper now thanks the regime in power and the utter cowards who claim to be "opposing" them in the congress - the only protection we get from our government anymore is when they go on vacation.

So let the republicans have stamp their feet, and let the democrats laugh at them, who cares?

Don't go away mad you ridiculous pukes, just go away.

Posted by: pro-tection | August 1, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Anyone opposing more oil exploraion and drilling, please turn in your car to the state impound and start walking. Youy'll be using more than your share just to keep your house lit and conditioned.

Oh, and go pick up your sample on an endangered species. Keep it at your house. If it dies, it's on you. We have better things to do with the big ol earth than mourn a snail darter.

Or hey, you could just quit using any ecological assets, like oxygen. You would then be doing your part to not increase the CO2 pollution you believe in. Make our earth better - leave.

Posted by: Bill J. | August 1, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

These people have lost it.

Posted by: Mike Dania | August 1, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Republicans owned the House from 1992 to 2006 and during that time they did NOTHING concerning energy. Their man Cheney met in secret with Big Oil CEO's and still will not tell us what was discussed.

I'll bet it wasn't subsidies for hydrogen fuel cell development.

Now the Party of Maximum Slime is pretending like this is a new problem and, oh so sadly, out of their control.

Piss on each and every one of them. Shame on them and all Republicans for bringing America to the brink of depression.

Posted by: Hypocrites | August 1, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

The tragedy of the commons. Clearly the need for a dictator is evident.

Posted by: Shiloh | August 1, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they should burn the Capital building and blame it on the liberals and instate martial law?

Then the Banana Republicans would applaud and say "about time!"


Posted by: nonsenseinwash | August 1, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch if immature, unprofessional hacks.
It's funny: The GOP played dirty for so long while it was in power, that's all it knows. And now, it's come back to bite the party on the a$$.

Posted by: vegasgirl | August 1, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Denise E. May: Ok, we get it: You're a GOP troll. Now, run along, get your check and go home.
You're not fooling anyone. You only sound like a raving, right-wing idiot.

Posted by: vegasgirl | August 1, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi censored C-SPAN?????

Is she running the Chinese Olympics also?????


Posted by: Lisa | August 1, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

There were 3 good healthy air quality days in July in the metro Washington, D.C. area.
There were 22 days in July of moderate amounts of ozone air pollution.
4 days in July hit the 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' mark.
2 days of Code Red ozone levels in which 'everyone is advised to stay inside.'

Leave it the Republicans to 'defend' and even try to extend our reliance on the gasoline burning internal combustion automobile circa 1932 technology with the addition of some bells and whistles.

I suppose the Repubs next staged high drama event might be 'saving' Terry Shiavo.

Whoops, they have been there and done that.

This is more of the same.

Posted by: gracefulboomer1 | August 1, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

51,000 people lost their jobs in July. Evidently, the wrong people got laid off. We should have laid off this group of Congressional clowns.

Posted by: Bob22003 | August 1, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

We have to be thankful we have Nancy Pelosi to keep the Republicans (and quite a few Democrats) at bay here. We can not allow a debate on drilling if the wishes of the people, as only the Speaker knows them, in her heart, to be, will be subverted by honesty.

Posted by: fredjackson1 | August 1, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Just watched ABC & NBC nightly news shows.

Not one word on this !!!!!!!!!!

I see Pelosi had a book show in Va. about

3 PM. So forget the our nation, (Check

Amazon for her book review---PU!!!)

Posted by: B. Shaw | August 1, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

"If a party stages a protest but no one can see or hear it, does it make a sound?"

Sure, if it's covered on the front page of the Washington Post. Are you seriously suggesting that that's low profile?

Posted by: estiv | August 1, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The slaves to the oil companies are at it again... More additions to their already large homes, more gifts, more of the same with the hogs.

Posted by: Chuck | August 1, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Congress, just stop fighting and do your JOBS!

Posted by: Dem + Rep = Love | August 1, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Can it be heard, You tell me OBAMA FLIPPED today he said he would drill off the shore of Florida! Guess he saw all those voters YELLING with the republicans!!!

Posted by: HA HA HA | August 1, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this the same Republican Party who pouted when they lost the majority and had to give up their FOUR DAY WORK WEEKS?

Posted by: DCExpat in Durham | August 1, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

a comment on a comment. Did you not realize that W has no intention of leaving the white house after the next president is elected? Why do you think the Justice Department was so deliberately perverted?

Posted by: Alvin | August 1, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

HA HA HA is a dumb kinda jrk

Posted by: Shiloh | August 1, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

It seems the rants from the right wing, neo-con shills are showing how desperate they are becoming. It should be an interesting next few months.

Posted by: John Cook | August 1, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

What kind of reporting is that? The lights, microphones did not turn off by themselves,
Pelosi shut down congress,
threw out journalists, call the police
(i guess to show her love for free speech) in order to not allow debate on energy policy, but compost reported
it as bizarre. Shameless marcsist press,
I am from former Soviet Union, I know what
is this reporting all about.

Posted by: elena | August 1, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

If the Pres stays in the White house after 1/20/09, then that's trespassing because he's no longer an elected official. If the Reps in the house stay in the House after it's recessed, but they haven't yet been elected out of office, then they have every legal right to stay there. It's there house...let them yell. They have the legal right to let their voices be heard. The Dems have the right to refuse a vote, as stupid as that may be. Why refuse a vote? Do they think they'll lose (they are in the majority after all)? If they would lose, then doesn't that mean the majority want the legislation? Isn't that what a Democracy is all about, going with the majority vote? I think it should be illegal to refuse to vote, because it's my voice being refused.

Posted by: Jeff | August 1, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

The Piper keeps playing his song and many appear to be quite willing to be lured to the river. I continue to hope, however, that he will lead the rats out of Congress so that those who are deaf to his song can lead us with their foresight into a new age, free of our "oil addiction".

Let's get on with it!

Posted by: JAH | August 1, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Since the neocons have no substance and no agenda (other than making their rich friends richer), they have to rely on spectacles, sound bites, and sensationalism.

Well done Dems!

Posted by: bam | August 1, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Do the puppets of Exxon/Mobil have no shame?

They'll have plenty of opportunities to repeat this tantrum after the elections. All three of them.

Posted by: trippin | August 1, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

At least hey are doing something. The democrats should have STAYED and VOTED or debated! We gave the democrats control and they have done nothing. And now the Democrat nominee has done nothing.

The whole Democrat party has turned into the nothincrat Party.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

This is a sign that our government is wheezing along without reference to doing the people's business and without traditional restraint against each party going for its opposite number's jugular. Why are Republicans so upset that drilling for oil on the continental shelf and in a wildlife preserve will not be permitted before the upcoming election? Because the public is upset at them for doing nothing to lower gasoline prices and the public believes permitting more drilling here at home will lower gasoline prices tomorrow. The important thing to most Americans is that the hulking SUV they bought from Detroit runs on cheap petrol. The Iraq War and myriad scandals? Not so much. Anybody with half a brain knows any oil brought to the surface here in Amurica will go on the world petroleum market and be sold at world prices. It won't be sold for cheap here at home because it is Exxon-Mobil's patriotic duty to do so. And it won't be extracted until 5, 10, or 20 years have spun by. So the Republican exercise is ludicrous, crazy, and not based on substantive fact. Motivation? They fear having to go back home to get real jobs.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | August 1, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Just what this country needs, more publicity stunts. Will anything of a constructive nature ever get accomplished in Washington? "This town needs an enema"

Posted by: blindspeed | August 1, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I am glad someone wants to stay and get business done. Yes, this is showmanship, but the demoncratic led congress has failed to produce and deserves the bad publicity, as little as it is.

Posted by: djl | August 1, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Great political theater! Thank you so much, Ben. This made me laugh harder and longer than any Dana Milbank piece. You have a real flair for dead-pan reporting. Will the Daily Show be calling you soon for an audition? Your posting is a humorous closing at the end of a very strange week. The visual imagery of all those unsuspecting tourists (especially all those boy scouts!) pouring into the gallery just to see the House chambers while one party staged an unrecorded, but much felt, protest were hysterical. Thanks!

Posted by: Dabeckster | August 1, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

This great American experiment is almost over. Nancy, remember 1776, when patriotic Americans threw off another imperious leader...

Posted by: Apostrophe | August 1, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

No matter what you want to say about the potentials of offshore drilling oil is a non-renewable resource that will run out eventually. Instead of delaying the inevitable and investing billions of dollars in a resource that will run out why not invest that money in renewable sources of energy and other technologies that will help reduce our dependence on oil, instead of pouring more money into the big oil companies. If these congressmen were real American heroes who actually cared about the well being of this country they wouldn't be trying to spark debate about offshore drilling but they would be pushing for increased utilization of wind and solar energy. If you want to talk about a potential source of energy in the U.S. talk about wind power which has huge potential in the U.S. where the mid-west has some of the greatest potentials for producing wind power in the world.
If you want to talk about raising oil prices and thje failing economy don't blame democrats for not drilling in the U.S. blame president Bush for starting a poorly planned and executed war. Our problems will not be fixed with offshore drilling at best they might be delayed for a few years while precious time and money which could be invested in renewable resources is being wasted

Posted by: dnad | August 1, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans have been blocked from debating what comes on the floor."

This is hilarious, coming from the party whose last Speaker invented the notion of "the majority of the majority."

When T. Boone Pickens says you can't drill your way out of the current oil situation, even oil-state representatives should consider that drilling that started yesterday will have no effect on price or supply till at least the end of the next president's term.

Posted by: Norwegian Blue | August 1, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

what a bunch of puppets. big oil pulls the strins and bush and his band of lemmings dance. They all should be indicted like Ted Stevenson.

Posted by: ex-republican | August 1, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Wind, solar, geothermal, suger cane, etc.


Posted by: see the future | August 1, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

What a joke, like anyone really cares. They had 7 years to do something with a Republican president, it is over, too late, ta ta goodbye!

Posted by: hmmmmmer | August 2, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I really do not think there is a person in this country that does not want to get off oil. But we need stepping stones and all this bickering will do nothing. Wind is good but the wind does not blow all the time solar the sun does not shine all the time either! I think there has to be a drill now bill passed, as a stepping stone to the future. An electric car will not be ready for use till what 2020? Well in case you don't have a brain we all need to get to work tomorrow! A physicist from Columbia University has made a carbon scrubber it removes one ton of carbon a day, any one know why Gore is not cheering? No well that puts a cramp in his future I repeat his future not ours! T Boon Pickins, he has gas wells stupid look what he is pushing! United we get through this divided we go back a hundred years! Wait a min. I have twenty eight horses, any one want to rent a horse and buggy!

Posted by: United we stand divided we fall | August 2, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe all of these comments over something that is only a distraction promoted by the right. There is such a constraint in refinery capacity that if 70 billion barrels of oil were pumped tomorrow, it couldn'tbe refined anyway! There willnot be any more gasoline or heating oil available, and the price will not fall significantly. Do a little research before you let Dubbya & the boys suck you into this emotional argument.

Posted by: bones 4209 | August 2, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Geez What happened to all the change the democrats promised to bring ?

I guess 9% approval rating, and $ 4.00 for a gallon of gas.
Is looked upon by Democrats as a badge of honer.

Enjoy your 5 week vacation, Demo-rats, it will cost you more than you thought, come November.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

I've been a rock ribbed Ronald Reagan Conservative, since I blew my 1st chance to vote, on that fully worthless & useless Jimmy Carter.

Since then, I've grown up, had my own family, & now, all my kids are Conservative & all the grown one's have worked for, & voted for, Conservatives every time, as early as possible!

Lately, we've been so disappointed with this bunch of weak kneed Leftist & Pelosi appeasing so called Republicans, last week I almost changed my party affiliation from GOP to Independent.

But this rousing late week GOP development finally gives me some new hope for the Conservative movement.

Perhaps, this small handful of GOP Representatives, that seem to have found their spines, this very courageous group, will help all the others find their spines too?!

Having just watched the broadcast news, I saw that not one of the liberal news readers of the so called "Main Stream Media", have bothered to cover this "Revolt" against Pelosi's Democrat tyranny.

So once again, it looks like it's going to be up to the rest of us, to help carry this flaming torch forward!

Conservative House Republicans, keep it up! Please, please, don't continue to let everything good about this country, what it has stood for, & shed blood for, be lost. At the hands of these ignorant Leftist fools!

I'm really so fed up with these Leftist goons, quoting Rep. Donald Manzullo, I "want our country back" too!

Posted by: Just Tex | August 2, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

The poor quality of the discourse in this comment thread is appalling.

Can't we get some kind of "karma" or rating system like going?

I'm a I'm skeptical about I really would like to hear better facts (stuff like "The area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil" doesn't cut it; what are the real costs and the OPPORTUNITY costs?)

Posted by: Ethan | August 2, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Drill now !get the dems back for a vote stop this nonsense and drill our own oil theres no valid reason for opposing it to this we can all agree. its time Nancy pelosi started doing her job and passed a bill that will help us all Drill Now !

Posted by: jon hicks | August 2, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse


Your take on Congress' recess is fascinating. Clearly you are a Republican party line drone per the vitriol you spout on the Pelosi and the recess. It was your Repub boy George who was on vacation more than any President in history when 911. It was while on vacation that he ignored the report that Al Queda planned to use planes in attacks on American soil. Get your head out of your ass and your blinders off - pay attention to the facts and science and make decisions and loyalties based on that and not childhood emotional ideaology (sp?).

Posted by: mucker | August 2, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Shame on Pelosi and bravo Repubs! I wish I was able to take a 5 week paid vacation and do nothing - which for some of these folks is no big deal - they do nothing in office!

We have real problems, so if Ms. Pelosi doesn't like it she can bring her bony butt back to DC and talk it out.

Where the heck do these people get the idea that they are fighting each other? We are fighting for our lives and it's a game to them!

Pelosi only knows how to do one thing and it isn't keep her campaign promises. She knows how to stir the pot. It would be better for all of us if we had people in DC who were there to serve the people and not themselves.

I hope Bush calls everyone of them back to DC!

Posted by: webfool | August 2, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

by the way

whatever came of the audits of oil company audits? Do they pay anything?

Posted by: Alvin | August 2, 2008 4:54 AM | Report abuse

scuse me oil company royalties owed to the us

Posted by: Alvin | August 2, 2008 4:55 AM | Report abuse

You have to hand it to those neo-cons, they want to drill to get oil to the american people. Even though there's no guarantee that the oil they drill will go to the U.S. One question, if you really want U.S. citizens to get oil, why did you kill a vote for 70 million barrels of oil from the federal reserve. Hypocrites, phonies---losers

Posted by: tylerdrew | August 2, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

It is ironic for Republicans to complain about Democrats loading up pork and not allowing votes. Folks, it is just what Republicans were doing when they were in power. Our two party system is one party with two wings beating against each other, in unison!!!

I'm sure it has made them heroes in their districts.

It would be interesting to know if these are all Republicans from safe seats, or if any of them are from competitive seats?

(Competitive seats would indicate they think this is potentially important, safe seats says this is just posturing (and yes, both parties do it.))

Posted by: PatrickInBeijing | August 2, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Just a little FYI..the Boy Scout troop who was sitting in the chamber is Boy Scout Troop 641 from Maitland, Florida. My son and husband were there and I am proud that they were able to witness a very important part of history firsthand.

Posted by: Proud Boy Scout Mom & Wife | August 2, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Want to know who is behind the "Drill Here, Drill Now" crowd?

Newt Gingrich is just the front man for a cabal of billionaires who want to control the policy! Your Dick Farmers, and Roger Millikens. They want what they want and they want it NOW!
And who are we peons to deny them?

Posted by: athena3 | August 2, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Save this planet!!! Pelosi is going to save this planet??? Pelosi's stupidity, arrogance, and inflated ego should be enshrined in Ripley's Believe it or Not.

Posted by: nuss | August 2, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Proud Boy Scout Mom,

All your kids and husband witnessed was a mockery of democracy. They witnessed spoiled politicians acting like babies. This same group ran the country for 12 years and did nothing. Your family witnessed a dark day in our country, not something great....


And were should Dubyas ego be enshrined? Walter Reed?

Posted by: American First | August 2, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse


When Dubya took office gas was 1.21 a gallon, and he was given a surplus of over 250 Billion dollars since then he has invaded an oil country and gas is now 4 a gallon and we have a deficet of over 9 trillion, blame the Dems all you want, but at the end of the day the GOP stands front and center as to who should take the blame for our energy policies. They didnt investigate Cheney's secret engery meeting, and right after that is when energy prices skyrocketed, you remember Enron dont you?

Posted by: No Oil | August 2, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse


Nancy Pelosi has just started saving the earth by switching off the lights and A/C.

Keep saving the earth Nancy.

Posted by: TheEnforcer | August 2, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

if they use the oil that is caped off in alaska they will have 199 years to make a new energy there was 200 years worth of oil reported there check that out why ddrill when it is already there?

Posted by: thad | August 2, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

nancy pelosi can save the world by putting impeachment back on the table

Posted by: thad | August 2, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

nancy selling her book is more important to her than upholding the constition or reducing oil prices fine american she is

Posted by: thad | August 2, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

if the last three statements offended you guys sorry the truth herts so much

Posted by: thad | August 2, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse


So far i havent seen any truth in your posts.

Posted by: American First | August 2, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

So if delusional out of touch with reality
Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Band of
Do Nothing Democrats think they will get
re-elected in 2008 and that Marxist Socialist Democrat Liberal Phony Empty Suit
Barack Hussein Obama will be elected POTUS
then they are sadly mistaken. And if Mad
Madame Nancy Pelosi thinks she is going to
"Save The Planet," then who will save us
from Nancy Pelosi,Barack Hussein Obama and
their band of Democrat Do Nothings?

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | August 2, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

The House goes home, leaving the American people another five weeks of suffering with high costs of everything. The Senate is going to Tax Big Oil. The Oil Companies make 8 cents profit per gallon of gas. The House (who does nothing to produce gas) makes 18.4 cents per gallon.

When our government taxes the oil companies, the companies are forced to pass the tax on to the citizens of the USA. The Coastal areas have mass transportation and they have enough people to support it. Mid America has no such systems and not enough people to support mass transportation.

We really do the suffering. Our food costs have doubled. we have to make a decision to buy a gallon of gas to go to the doctor or grocery store, that decision is: Do I buy a gallon of milk for the family or do I buy a gallon of gas to go where I need to go. They cost the same and with the milk, I still have to buy the gas to go get it. No, I don't have any money to buy a Hybrid or a house nearer to the grocers. You coastals might but we surely don't.
So, we compromise with the Senate and raise taxes. OK? After that we can't afford the milk or the gas. Why don't we pass a bill to drill as long as we are supporting the many other alternatives to oil?

The price of gas has dropped by 30 cents per gallon here since Bush OK'ed Offshore Drilling. Remember, we honestly don't have an alternative. We have to drill soon or the nation will get awfully hungary and it will be our governments fault, not the oil companies.

It takes oil now to lubricate and drive the tractors that plant and harvest the food that we produce. When we can't produce food, the coastals will feel the knawing bite in their stomachs. If you think that we must wait until after harvest time, you will see more Republicans in office. Do you really want that? It is time to OK the drilling and SEE the immediate failing results. Let's quit trying to fool everyone, it is only the coastals that are presently fooled. Hunger is remembered.

Posted by: Caleb Hunt | August 3, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

The 'Bizarre' House Floor Scene?
Want to see it. Thanks to our new cell phones, we don't need video cameras any more. We even get to also hear it.
Try google.

Let the Whole Floor VOTE! That is what they were sent there to do. Presidents don't spend taxpayer money like Congress does. Congress controls the purse strings. Always have and always will. Presidents ask for money, Congress provides it, except they add big bonuses for themselves or their Lobbist and Home States. (It is called "Ear Marks.")(Sometimes it is called "PORK.") Obama voted "PASS," after it passed, he changed his vote to Against providing Protective Gear for the Military Troops. Now, THAT is LEADERSHIP!

It is not shameful to relieve the hardship of fuel and food costs that are forced onto the American people for the sake of politics. When Pelosi took over, gas only cost $2.19 per gallon and milk was $1.69 per gallon. Look at it now. Caused by: Oil and Bush? Give us a break! It is all about retaining Congressional POWER and getting Presidntial POWER! And making everyone, NOT just the rich, pay more TAXES. There are more Greedy Rich Democrats in POWER than Greedy Rich Republicans. They have had 1 1/2 years and have accomplished ZILCH for the good of the American People! The American People, will now have to PAY in BIG TAXES for the Economy that Congress has destroyed over the last 1 1/2 years if the Dem's succeed in their SCAM. Yes, It is far more easy to prove than Global Warming. By the way, The Temperature has also risen on the surface of Mars. It is the fault of those MEAN Martians that will not sign the Kyoto Accords. How ignorant do we have to get before we wake-up?

Some people are easily distracted by the Socialist Soviet News Media (CNN, ABC,CBS, & NBC. Pravda stayed in Russia) screaming "HATE BUSH!" in the USA. He has ONLY saved five American cities in this Nation. They were all on the Left and More Left Coasts. After Obama gets in, Bush will be gone, those 5 will soon after, be gone, too.

Posted by: C in AMA | August 3, 2008 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Sophistication has the Answer? I think NOT.

Why is it that the Calm, Loving, Caring, Openminded, Liberal Left is the first to start NAME Calling anyone that disagrees with them. I have only seen that much HATE come from an Iranian, a Preacher, and a Professor at Berkley. Nakita while slamming his shoe on a UN lectern told us that the Soviets would infiltrate our Universities, Big Media, and Government and "Bury the USA." It sure looks more and more like he was right.

PLUS, I have never seen so much one sided ignorance about energy come from such sophisticated, illogical, unreasonable, gobbletigook attitudes without a quarter of the FACTs that they assume that they possess. The 3 wells are capped in ANWR, near a pipeline in Alaska. Congress will not let the OIL Companies make the connections. Just like they will not allow the wells that were shut down by Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico be re-connected. You should notice that there is NO oil/tar washed up on the beaches of Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.

I know T. Bone Pickins, he is NOT a friend of mine. T.Boone cares ONLY about getting the price of Natural Gas up to $4.00/gallon. He lied and screwed a city here out of its own gas field. "It was going dry!" Since then he has pumped stripped Nat.gas to Denver, CO and Midland, TX for the last 23 years. Still is. He sold off the stripped Butane and Propane. He destroyed several good businesses with his greed. He tried to do it again in Japan, but they kicked him out of the country. T Bone looks out for T Bone and he will lie to do it! I am so sick of his lies that every time his new commercial comes on the radio or TV, I change stations. "We can't Drill our way out OF this One." Don't Bet Your Life ON IT.

70 Million barrels of Reserved oil will last about 2 months in the USA. What a waste of effort. When Russia wanted one of our islands just off of the west coast of Alaska, our Congress gave it to them. Russia found big oil. So Alaska drilled on nearby Gull Island, the well was very difficult to cap due to the immense oil pressure from that well. Where the wells are on the North Alaskan coast, the Carribou and their fawns thrive in the summer up there. I have seen the pictures on the internet. They are real. It is bare snow covered tundra in the winter.

We have to have some oil until we can develop Algae and other good sources. You can't produce food or lubricate anything useful without some oil. For those of you that think that we need NO OIL, you will get hungary along with the rest of us and you will complain the loudest. Are you really ready to bet your life or your kids/grand-kids lives on your opinion?
It is comparable to quiting a job before you have another job and finding out that no one will hire you. ONLY, you will not have Mom & Dad, or some family to mutch off of for very long, if at all. Your napping time is over.

Posted by: EX-Dem Casual Observer | August 3, 2008 4:20 AM | Report abuse

At least they are doing something. We sent these guys to washington do WORK. Democrats ignore the will of the people and go on vacation. Nancy Pelosi's book is more important to her than the little people paying through the nose for gas. Time to send this do nothing Democrat congress packing.

Posted by: Michael | August 3, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

"whatever happened to tom delay?"

some of the republicans guerrilla tactics boehner? it's really gotten pathetic....

Posted by: jeff | August 3, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh well,why of course the Do Nothing Democrat Controlled Congress had to go take
a five week vacation again,so that their
misleader Mad Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
will have time,to go and "Try To Save The
Planet" and so didn't the Republican's get
Nancy Pelosi's Memo about it and Her Crazy
Arrogance Nancy Pelosi Orders to do so?

And besides Sen John McCain and the GOP are
kicking Hell out of Nutty Nancy Pelosi's
hand picked Democrat Presidential Candidate
Empty Suit His Arrogance Herr Messiah Barack Hussein Obama and Nancy Pelosi wants
all her Do Nothing Democrats to go run and
act as Obama Surrogates so that Der Leader
Herr Obama can do more flip and flop phony
baloney and BS the voters round the clock.
NO WAY OBAMA And Pelosi In 2008! NOBAMA!

Posted by: Sherry Kay | August 3, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

So sorry you had to miss having a beer on a sunny Washington afternoon. "Bizzare Scene?" "Spectacle?" Give me a break!

Go Republicans! Go!!!

Way to go Congressman Thaddeus McCotter!

Posted by: Patti Hill | August 3, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Wow, how "bizarre"! A group of people would rather work than go on vacation! What's this country coming to?

Posted by: Stephen | August 3, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The position that lack of refinery capacity would cause oil prices to stay high in the face of increased oil production is not a well thought out position. In fact an over supply of oil relative to refining capacity would cause much downward pressure on oil prices. The understanding of business displayed by many anti drilling posters is dismal,unless like Nancy Polosi their real motive is to keep gas prices high and "save the planet". Personally I would like to see the planet saved but I would like to work and eat also.

Posted by: DJM | August 3, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Say the word "drill" in this country and watch gas prices drop! Finally Republicans are getting their groove back!! But where are the Dem's? (out to lunch)

Posted by: Lauren Friedman | August 4, 2008 3:36 AM | Report abuse

Simply amazing how the kool-aid drinking GOP faithful waste everyone's reading time with the lame old "liberal media" meme thrown at Capitol Briefing.

It was a cheap publicity stunt by a gang of no-good crooks and liars, probably in violation of House rules, sent via phone cam to Pravda--er, Fox Noise--to rally the faithful around the lie of drill, drill, drill. Notice how they left after 1700, when they stopped being PAID?

Why the GOP faithful support these lying POS is beyond me, God and country.

Posted by: vonBeavis | August 4, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on here,my friends don't all of you
people realize that it is looney toons DINO
Madame Nancy Pelosi's God Ordered Duty for
Nancy Pelosi,"To Try To Save The Planet!"
now then? And which proves Nutso Nancy is
just as delusional and out of touch with
reality as her hand picked Democrat Presidential Prodigy His Highness,Democrat
Messiah Barack Hussein Obama,the First
President of the World as well. Say NO to
Nancy Pelosi and Barack Hussein Obama 2008!

Posted by: Sandy5274 | August 4, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

American commercial field production made up 38.69% of the total supply of crude oil, while imports made up 60.28%. In 2005, when I wrote the last post, those same percentages were 33.67% and 65.84%, respectively. (These numbers are different from what I wrote back in 2006 as adjustments have been made to the official statistics; these types of revisions are normal for economic statistics.) In 2007 (the most recent year), the percentages were 33.72% and 66.19%, respectively. While there has been an extremely slight increase in the amount of oil pumped domestically (0.05%), imports have also increased as well. (The reason why both numbers can increase is because a third number, "supply adjustments," fell.)

In 2007, the U.S. imported a total of 3,656,170 thousand barrels. Of those 3.66 billion barrles, the U.S. imported from a total of 46 different countries.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 4, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Hooray for the Patriotic Republicans remaining and fight for the American people. Here is Harry Reid's Las Vegas office phone number. 702-388-5020 A nice young man will answer the phone, or at least did so today when I called to express my outrage and disgust with Reid's performance. I intend to call EVERY DAY until Reid cuts off his vacation, gets back to work and allows a straight up/down vote on S-3202 - Expanded drilling. I would encourage every single American to likewise call DAILY along with me and someone, PLEASE post Blowski's (Pelosi) phone number so we deal likewise with her.

We had a big revolution a couple hundred years or so ago about an issue of "No taxation without representation." Today we have plenty of taxation and governmental regulation and interferrence, and guess what? Still no representation.

Average Americans have just about had enough. Tea, anyone?

Posted by: Janet Anthony | August 7, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

I think they just do not want to go home to face the complaints of their constituents. If I had their track record, I would not want to go home either.

Posted by: bewildered | August 7, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: k0g4q44p96 | August 10, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: k0g4q44p96 | August 10, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: l7ayi9b8o6 | August 10, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Hello venting citizens,
I am actually the Senior Patrol Leader of the Boy Scout Troop that was in attendance that day. I feel proud to have witnessed what I did, as it was a once in a lifetime experiance; however, in no way were we used as pawns for the Republicans as inferred in some articles. We were simply touring the Capitol when we were invited in by a senator from Ohio, I believe it was, to witness the interesting spectacle that was unfolding.

I must say that I personally wonder how so many of you can comment on what happened that day without being there. I also personally find your posting of statistics and you beliefs quite baffling; is this really what our democracy is about? "Dissing" whichever party we disagree with? Do you really wish to raise your children in a political civil war?

I again add that these are my personal views and do not represent in any way the views or beliefs of my Troop or the Boy Scouts of America.

Posted by: Scout In Attendance | August 10, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

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