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The 110th Congress Arrives

It's here!

Less than two months after voters swept Republicans out of their House and Senate majorities, the 110th Congress is set to convene today with Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as the new Speaker of the House and Harry Reid (Nev.) as the Senate Majority Leader.

The handover of congressional power is a rare occurrence -- an event The Fix couldn't resist. So, I'll be spending the day on Capitol Hill watching the pomp and pageantry. I'll do my best to offer up a post or two to capture the moment, so be sure to check in this afternoon.

And, don't forget about tomorrow's Friday Line where we look rank the top five contenders for each party's 2008 presidential nomination.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 4, 2007; 6:52 AM ET
Categories:  House , Senate  
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Next: The Senate's New Era of Collegiality?


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Posted by: xjsfagqu jozfhviwl | January 20, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: xjsfagqu jozfhviwl | January 20, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: vbwxta mhyorp | January 20, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Congresswoman Sherri Davis, R-CA, Launches Two New "Internet-Only" Talk Shows in 2007

"Talking on Tuesdays" to debut on Tuesdays; "Talking on Thursdays" will broadcast each Thursday. Says Davis: "Expect Some Controversy!"

New York, NY (PRINSIDE) January 5, 2007 -- California Congresswoman Sherri Davis, R-CA, known as the "Ann Coulter of Anaheim" for her fierce opposition to flag-burners and illegal immigrants and her unyielding support for the American family, issued a statement today announcing the debut of two new Internet-only talk shows, "Talking on Tuesdays" and "Talking on Thursdays," to be hosted by herself.

"Talking on Thursdays," which will be broadcast on the Internet each Thursday, will focus on the top political issues of the day. Davis' second show, "Talking on Tuesdays," will be broadcast each Tuesday and will focus on "the lighter side of life": fashion, film, self-improvement -- and tips to viewers on how to acquire the essential "people skills" that are the keys to success in today's service-oriented society.

The two new shows will be produced by cable television's Myron Kempelstein. Davis will moderate both shows, and surprise celebrity guests can be expected. Selections from the shows can be seen at these links.

Typical topics for Davis' "Talking on Thursdays" show will include inside legislative looks at some of Davis' signature legislation -- dubbed "Sherri's War of Ideas" by her friends in the American media. "'Sherri's War of Ideas' is a pure war of ideas that seeks to portray Democratic proposals as "pro-spending, pro-tax - or just plain unworkable," notes Davis.

In her premiere edition of "Talking on Thursdays," Davis says she plans to go on the attack against the Democratic War in Iraq -- and offer some sensible solutions. "Nancy (Pelosi) and I have been engaging in a number of think-tank-style discussions on the issue of the Democratic War in Iraq - and I think you'll be surprised at the solution we've come up with," says Davis. "Most likely the solution we will propose in my premiere show will take the form of some kind of a 'Grand Bargain' - but you'll just have to tune in to see what our solution to the war really is!"

Davis also promises her fans that a "special edition" of "Talking on Thursdays" will pay tribute to the many legislative contributions of fellow Californian Bill Thomas, former chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. "Around the House, Bill was known as 'Compassion With a Calculator,'" says Davis. "And there is even talk of legislatively renaming the famous Donner Pass after Bill -- and calling it 'Bill Thomas Way.' Because the story of the Donner Pass is really a story about people helping people, people helping people, and that's what Bill was all about as well."

With her second show, "Talking on Tuesdays," Davis steps into the television shoes vacated by the recent cancellation of the "Megan Mullally Show." "It's a much lighter show than my 'Talking on Thursdays' show," says Davis. "In one sense, it's almost frivolous."

Among the treats in store for viewers of "Talking on Tuesdays" are dramatic readings by Davis herself from Jack Welch's best-selling book, "Winning," and fashion tips on how to attain the "Nancy Pelosi look" on a shoestring. "Not to give too much away, but instead of wearing an 18-inch strand of Tahitian pearls like Nancy does," advises Davis, "you can wear a 16-inch strand -- and slouch." Davis will also review Mel Gibson's new film, "Apocalypto."

Davis - who heads the House Entertainment Committee - has become known as the "Voice of Hollywood" in the House, and recently proposed increased trade subsidies to promote America's D-List celebrities to the world market. "Early market research shows a substantial demand for Wilmer Valderamma in nations such as Pakistan and Bolivia," notes Davis. "And Kathy Griffin would do very well in Palestine and some of the bordering states, if only we had a way to market her there. And just imagine where Carrot Top could go." It is "small baby steps" such as these that will help America solve its ever-growing and increasingly menacing foreign trade deficit, says Davis.

Despite the fame and notoriety that typically accompanies the launch of any new broadcast venture, Davis promises not to allow the spotlights to distract her from her legislative mission this year, noting that she has already introduced five Constitutional amendments so far this year. "And there are more to come!" says Davis with her trademark grin.

Congresswoman Davis, a rising star of the Republican Party, has been gaining traction in political popularity polls recently through a series of think-tank-style town hall meetings. Most recently, Davis told a cheering crowd in rural New Hampshire about her proposed "Bible Repatriation Act," (BRA), which she intends to push through in the coming legislative sessions in order to bring control of the Bible back into the hands of America by requiring that all Bibles be printed in this country.

"Just yesterday, a constituent sent me a copy of a Bible he had acquired that was printed in a foreign country -- and I can't tell you which country because of National Security reasons," says Davis. "While reading this particular Bible, he discovered that in Kings and then again in Deuteronomy, the sections of the Bible that talk about 'approved entrances' to the human body had been altered somehow during the printing process to include new, unapproved entrances to the human body that the Lord in his wisdom never intended to open up for use. And it is safe to say that this is obviously the work of America's foreign enemies - enemies who are not only anti-American, but also anti-family. Hence my support of BRA. Bring our Bibles home. Bring them home."

As she presses for swift Congressional passage of BRA, Davis continues her work on the rest of her "signature" legislative packages, including the Mandatory Portion Control Act (MPCA), aimed at curbing America's growing obesity problem and "Project SATYR" (Scrapboooking Accelerates Terrific Youth Reading), a program designed to capitalize on the recent "scrapbooking craze" to increase youth reading levels through individual vouchers and major tax-breaks to the American scrapbooking industry.

"One of my favorite new singers, Kelis, sings about how her 'milkshakes' bring all the boys to her yard, and it is this exact same proposition we seeing in regards to scrapbooking and teen literacy," says Davis. "We view teen scrapbooks as the 'milkshakes of teen literacy' that will bring underperforming teen readers to the 'yard' of teen literacy. Let's face it -- if teens won't read about themselves, in their own scrapbooks, then what will they read about? What's wrong with capitalizing on our youth culture's own narcissism to 'trick' underperforming teens right into literacy!"

Davis continues to push for swift passage of her Yoga Mat Cleanliness Act (YMCA) through taped appearances with New York-based actress Sarah Jessica Parker. "As Chad Lavigne recently pointed out, Sarah has a remarkable nose. Get her within four feet of an unclean yoga mat, and she can sniff out those tinea cruris germs in a twinkling - and that has been useful on more than one occasion!" Davis also continues to work with the Congressional Black Caucus to force the racial integration of television's highly popular "The Daily Show;" and is making plans for her Valentine's Day introduction of a new legislative package to create "Sexy Fridays" nationwide.

Prior to responding to the call of democracy, Congresswoman Davis was a star of stage and screen, appearing with show business luminaries such as Helen Hunt, Amy Sedaris, Nathan Lane, Bette Midler, Leslie Kritzer, Woody Allen, Kristin Chenoweth, Paul Dinello, Matthew Broderick, Martin Short and Susan Sarandon. Davis, known widely as the "face behind the Pashmina" for her role in successfully launching that foreign garment into closets of middle America, skyrocketed to fame in the 1990's with her lively rock-anthem "Baby Dance," which reached No. 4 on the Billboard pop charts. Davis was appointed to her Congressional seat late last year after the tragic death of her husband and was re-elected this November by a "slim but substantial majority." Prior to leaving show business to represent her Congressional district, Davis also played the role of Penny Pingleton in numerous regional performances of "Hairspray."

Posted by: Congresswoman Sherri Davis, R-CA | January 5, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, they would all be fired so the company could survive. why not just raise it to 500 per hour. If it is a good idea, then go all the way. another dumb idea from non-thinking Dems.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 4, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon, you mention the possibility of raising the minimum to a living wage, but say that it would mostly affect part-time workers. But you have to remember that a large increase in the minimum wage would affect a lot more people than just those who current earn minimum wage. I don't know the statistics, but an increase in minimum wage to $10 would affect a significant percent of workers.

Posted by: Blarg | January 4, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

'So when none of these actually make it into law because they are anathema to capitalism and liberty,'

i love how the wingers call anything that doesn't favor transnational corporations over citizens 'anathema to liberty'... just like they equate 'freedom' with 'free markets' --meaning the ability to pry a country's resources out of the hands of their citizens and into the hands of -- transnational corporations.

It's interesting that these super 'patriots' are willing to cede so much power and sovereignity to foreign CEO's who just might well be our enemies but certainly in every case have little concern over our future survival.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

BSimon: "if you're going to set a minimum, why not make it a living wage"

A living wage by whose definition? Living Wage varies by state and even part of state. One national definition just doesn't come close.

Posted by: Dan W | January 4, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Andy: First, no one on Min wage can realistically afford to send their kids to college without assistance. And that assistance is currently available. But lets discuss assistance some other time.

You are arguing against me but making my point for me. Which is "It costs more to live in Boston than it does in Charleston so the Min wage in Boston should be higher than it is in Charleston."

The higher cost of living in Boston totally offsets the higher Min wage.

Im not atguing for or against Min wage here, only against FEDERAL/NATIONAL Min wage.

Posted by: Dan W | January 4, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Basically in my opinion there needs to be some basic level that all employees in America start from and seven bucks seems resonable to me."

I'm neutral on the idea. For one thing, if you're going to set a minimum, why not make it a living wage? There aren't a lot of areas in the US where you can live on $7/hr, particularly if you have kids. On the other hand, according to the George Will piece, most of the folks making minimum wage are under 25 and working part time. If that's the case, I have a hard time arguing that the minimum should be raised. If nothing else, minimum wage is a good incentive for those kids to get an education and/or learn a skill that will raise their earnings. The best incentive I had for finishing college was a summer working in a factory.

Posted by: bsimon | January 4, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Andy R writes "Poor people cannot afford to send their children to college because the make 800 dollars a month on minimum wage. Now someone in Boston who makes twice that on Mass minimum wage can send there child to school."

Wait, Andy are you saying that you think someone can afford to both live in Boston and send a child to college on $1600 a month? Have you been to Boston lately? That plan might work if you live under a bridge and eat out of the trash, but if you live in Mass on $1600/month, your kid will only go to college if its via grants and/or loans - just like for the W.Virginian making $800.

Posted by: bsimon | January 4, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

How about this Dan. Poor people cannot afford to send their children to college because the make 800 dollars a month on minimum wage. Now someone in Boston who makes twice that on Mass minimum wage can send there child to school. Now we know that a college education means that that child will make more money then his WVA counterpart. Therefore, his kids go to college etc etc.
Now you have a situation where a State like WVA is full of less educated low-income workers and states like Mass are full of wealthier educated people who can demand more money and control buisness. This is similar to what led to the Civil War in this country where the North was developed and wealthier and in escence milked the South's access to free slave labor for their own profits.
Basically in my opinion there needs to be some basic level that all employees in America start from and seven bucks seems resonable to me.

Posted by: Andy R | January 4, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the R's in Congress (unlike today's R posters) know which way the wind is blowing - away from Bush and the do-nothing 109th.

"MCCONNELL: I think Harry's got it right. This opportunity we had in the Old Senate Chamber was a chance for many of our members to express some of their quiet frustrations, that we get past the level of partisanship that we've witnessed in recent years and develop stronger personal relationships, as well as work across party aisles -- and I -- across the party aisle.

I think it's important to remember that some of the most significant achievements over the last 25 years have been during periods of divided government. I think, for example, of Ronald Reagan-Tip O'Neill Social Security solution in 1983. I think of the welfare reform when President Clinton was in the White House and Republicans were in the majority here in the House and Senate.

I think we ought to raise the crossbar and do important things for the next generation. And we can do that on a bipartisan basis. And I think that's the broad view among all senators, that they'd like for us to tackle the big issues."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 4, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

S: My mistake. Glad you are paying attention.

Posted by: lylepink | January 4, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Andy R: When the people in Charleston identify that the price of milk is beyond th ereach of people, they have the option to raise the min wage to compensate.

You also neglect to remember that sending all that milk to Boston makes it more readily available and the price will drop in Boston. At which point the sellers will once again sell in WVA rather than have it get spoiled unsold in Boston. Its a combination of free market and principles of Supply and Demand.

(At this point we need to change commodities or you will get a VERY long diatribe on the Illegal price setting of the price of milk by the Commonwealth of Mass.) Can we talk bread instead?

Posted by: Dan W | January 4, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Negroponte slides down to deputy to Condi the Unready.

The Supremely-challenged Harriet Miers has resigned.

Rumsfeld is history.

Who is pulling the WH strings, depriving Georgie of his props?

Posted by: Truth Hunter | January 4, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Good morning. Lots of talk about 2008 and the Democrats in the 110th Congress, and its effect in the Senate in order to govern. So if Johnson will be out of commission for months of therapy, I doubt we will see much of him until he comes in on a stretcher or a wheelchair to hold up his hand on important Senate business to pass. That is sad but true. Therefore, the Senate has only 50 Democrats (including Lieberman) to get anything voted on. Now if Hillary, Obama, Biden, and Dodd and Kerry are on the fundraising trail doing voting days in the Senate, there is a loss of another 5 votes. This hurt Kerry and Edwards in 2004, since they were too busy seeking higher office to get work done in the Senate. Now we are focused on 2008 and whether the Democrats will repeat their presidential mistakes from 2004.
Now on the matter of women, did anyone watch the swearing-in today of women in the Senate? On the Democrats side, only Hillary wore a red jacket, all other women being sworn in wore either gray or beige or white with black trim like Amy Klobachar of Minnesota.
On the Republican side, Kay Bailey Hutchison wore bright blue and pearls. Were the Democrats who are female told not to wear BOLD colors and to allow Hillary to wear the only RED to show off her power?
Conspiracy on the dress code?

Now, on the House side, lots of women wearing red, and blue, some yellow, and even pink. Also, lots of children and babies with their Congressional mothers. So the libbers should stop yapping about the lack of ability for women to run for office and still take care of their children.
Still waiting to hear how many women are in the House for this cycle. I heard there are 71 voting members in the House, so I hope that is true. Women representing their states on both sides of the aisle is good for all of our society and giving women a voice in our government. Also, lots of women in the Bush Administration to help create policy and help achieve the goals of policy.
Yippee for the women in the USA.

Posted by: Gloria is Glorious | January 4, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Dan the reason why is that we buy the same goods that the people in west virginia buy. Lets say you can sell milk for 5 bucks in Boston but only 4 dollars in WVA, where are you gonna ship your milk? Boston. Now there is less milk in WVA driving the price up to 5 bucks. Except that the people in WVA don't have the buying power that people in Boston do because of their lower minimum wage so they have to buy less milk. The thing is that this only effects 1% of the population. So they don't have the voting power to change the law to push the WVA rate up.
Now as a heartless Yankee's fan you don't really care about the folks in WVA, but then what happens is manufactoring jobs that require low-cost low-skill labor will leave Boston and head to Morganton WVA so they can get in on this cheap labor deal further exploiting poor people, and also draining the economy of States like Massachusetts that pay their people a living wage.
Also 5.15 an hour is like 800 bucks a month. Before taxes.
(Also sorry about the Yankees insult)

Posted by: Andy R | January 4, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Che - STOP. Seriously.

Posted by: S | January 4, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

W pushes envelope on U.S. spying
New postal law lets Bush peek through your mail

Daily News Exclusive


President Bush added a "signing statement" in recently passed postal reform bill that may give him new powers to pry into your mail - without a warrant.
WASHINGTON - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the Daily News has learned.

The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.

That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.

Bush's move came during the winter congressional recess and a year after his secret domestic electronic eavesdropping program was first revealed. It caught Capitol Hill by surprise.

"Despite the President's statement that he may be able to circumvent a basic privacy protection, the new postal law continues to prohibit the government from snooping into people's mail without a warrant," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the incoming House Government Reform Committee chairman, who co-sponsored the bill.

Experts said the new powers could be easily abused and used to vacuum up large amounts of mail.

"The [Bush] signing statement claims authority to open domestic mail without a warrant, and that would be new and quite alarming," said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington.

"The danger is they're reading Americans' mail," she said.

"You have to be concerned," agreed a career senior U.S. official who reviewed the legal underpinnings of Bush's claim. "It takes Executive Branch authority beyond anything we've ever known."

A top Senate Intelligence Committee aide promised, "It's something we're going to look into."

Most of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act deals with mundane reform measures. But it also explicitly reinforced protections of first-class mail from searches without a court's approval.

Yet in his statement Bush said he will "construe" an exception, "which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection in a manner consistent ... with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances."

Bush cited as examples the need to "protect human life and safety against hazardous materials and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection."

White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore denied Bush was claiming any new authority.

"In certain circumstances - such as with the proverbial 'ticking bomb' - the Constitution does not require warrants for reasonable searches," she said.

Bush, however, cited "exigent circumstances" which could refer to an imminent danger or a longstanding state of emergency.

Critics point out the administration could quickly get a warrant from a criminal court or a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge to search targeted mail, and the Postal Service could block delivery in the meantime.

But the Bush White House appears to be taking no chances on a judge saying no while a terror attack is looming, national security experts agreed.

Martin said that Bush is "using the same legal reasoning to justify warrantless opening of domestic mail" as he did with warrantless eavesdropping.

Posted by: che | January 4, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It is only being wasted if you disagree with the program. If you agree, it is quite useful. I personally think Social security is a waste and the military is quite useful. Others may not agree. but if you sit on a powerful committee, you get to decide. guess which gets cut first, assuming anything ever gets cut at all? guess which demagouges rally to support failing programs despite any facts? why do we need a rule to tell us what we already know? and guess how and when that rule gets broken - whenever Mr chairman says so.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 4, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The only suicide committed is by the D and their poorly reasoned bills. Looks like all the left wingnuts are out in force today (I guess you guys got a pay raise today).

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

lyle - you seem to always go on and on about Obama but PLEASE spell his name right if you feel so strongly. It's BaraCk not Barak.

Posted by: S | January 4, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

KOZ: "Increases in spending to be offset by decreases ignores the responsibility of congress to actually make decision" Actually this would force the congress to actually make a decision. And sorry, I expected you to realize the other half of the quote without needing it spelled out.

Whats wrong with requiring that all increases in spending be offset by decreases in spending elsewhere or an increase in taxes.

I left it out because i didn't want to imply support for tax increases. I cant support tax increases while so much money is being wasted.

Posted by: Dan W | January 4, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

No teenagers want million dollar jobs playing video games. Maybe you Libs could come up with a way to make that happen.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 4, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Nope, we'll be waiting for the Senate to help the GOP commit political suicide by vetoing the bills passed during that time. Any other requests?

Posted by: In 100 hours can we have the house back | January 4, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Dan that idea is so contrary to the all-controlling anti-capitalist wing of the communist.... I mean democrat party.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 4, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Making arguments about econ with stupid claims like teenagers WANT minimum wage jobs makes you look like the fool that you are AND that you live in your Mom's basement.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

None of those will make it out of the Senate so Bush has it easy. this is all about 2008, not about governing. As in "We tried to do that and it was blocked" - by the minority? the chickens are coming home to roost on Reid's windowsill.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 4, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Andy: Why should us in Boston have a say in the Min Wage in WVA? Don't the folks in Charleston have a better idea for their min wage than the people in Boston?

Since the states are going to be setting their own wage above the baseline anyway, why waste congresses time on it and move on to issues the states can't handle for themselves.

Posted by: Dan W | January 4, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Nope, we'll be waiting for Bush to help the GOP commit political suicide by vetoing the bills passed during that time. Any other requests?

Posted by: In 100 hours can we have the house back | January 4, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Increases in spending to be offset by decreases ignores the responsibility of congress to actually make decision. They have historically been vary good at creating sepnding while have shown zero success at cutting much of anything ever. this is simply code for Raise Taxes. If you want to raise taxes, I guess you should support this idea. but if you don't, why require it, shouldn't you just do it? what if we experience a huge problem as a nation, we just throw it out the window. We must have the ability to borrow if needed, just like you do at home on occassion. I would be less skeptical if a single program was ever cut in the entire history. but what will happen is we need this and we need that and as a result we need higher taxes. Repeat.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 4, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Interesting advice from the communist wing of america:

Allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies to attempt to lower the price of prescription drugs for some senior citizens: 87/12/1 - kill all medical innovation by forrcefully reducing profit on high-risk endeavors.

Raising the minimum wage: 85/14/1 - price fixing because we know what things cost better then you

Cutting interest rates on federal loans to college students: 84/15/1 - price fixing because we know what things cost better then you

Creating an independent panel to oversee ethics in Congress: 79/19/2 ethics in congress - ha ha ha Reid, Murtha, Jefferson, Mollohan, Moran, Hastings...

Making significant changes in U.S. policy in Iraq: 77/20/3 - you mean like give up now?

Reducing the amount of influence lobbyists have in congressional decisions: 75/21/4 - no sense having a voice from the people in congress

Implementing all of the anti-terrorism recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission: 64/26/10 - no sense thinking about it at all, just do as you're told

Maintaining the current Social Security system to prevent the creation of private investment accounts: 63/32/6 - because 1% return is good enough for you people

Funding embryonic stem cell research: 62/32/6 - because the Government doesn't do enough already

Reducing some federal tax breaks for oil companies: 49/49/2 - because we need to punish anyone who makes a profit providing needed services

Changing the rules to allow Congress to create new spending programs only if taxes are raised or spending on other programs is cut: 41/54/5 - RAISE TAXES

So when none of these actually make it into law because they are anathema to capitalism and liberty, will you still whine about how the polls wanted it so bad? In 100 hours can we have the house back since you will be done then?

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 4, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Dan because states have different minimum wages is the reason why the federal rate needs to be raised over the next two years. If you look at inflation rates alone the minimum wage should have been raised to 6.50 or so.
Why is 7 bucks an hour not rational for West Virginia? Now I know people in Boston doing minimum wage jobs WILL make more then someone in Lincoln Nebraska, but there should be a certain bottom level that provides a livable wage for the employee. Hence a national minimum wage.

Posted by: Andy R | January 4, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

KOZ: Whats wrong with requiring that all increases in spending be offset by decreases in spending elsewhere?

WHile I disagree that the govt should be pretending to be an HMO, since they are, why shouldn't they be allowed to make the same deals that other HMOs are allowed to make???

Posted by: Dan W | January 4, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

you Libs should refrain from trying to attach emotional arguments to economic debates. economics may be the dismal science but it is generally based on mathematical observations. the simple fact is that if you raise the price of most things, you get less desire for them. If you disagree with this in your heart, it does not make it false in the world. Making arguments about econ with stupid claims like teenagers don't want jobs makes you look like the fools that you must be. will's argument is sound and if you want to dispute it, try to come up with some facts or figures. As usual you attack someone's personality or motives when you have no legs to stand on. I am sure you will do the same to me and ignore the merits fo my position. but in your shoes, what else can you do, the policies you advocate are just so naive and unreal. Let's keep all the failing programs and invoke more of them, that essentially characterizes your hopes doesn't it? too bad for the schoolchildren and the retirees.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 4, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Rob: Your post states the obvious: A federal minimum wage is unnecessary. Most states already have minimum wages that are higher than the federal rate.

Each state should set its own minimum wage which should reflect the economy of the state. A Minimum wage appropriate for West VA is not appropriate for LA.

Rather than harp on a NAtional Federal Min Wage, voters in states with out a min wage should be demanding their legislatures (Or city councils) provide them with one.

Posted by: Dan W | January 4, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: my finger gets tired from scrowling around these LONG posts that are yes, as you say, those interested can go directly to the site.

Posted by: lylepink | January 4, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

a 7.50 an hour job is gonna lure kids out of school??!! Heck, When I graduated back in 2001, I was working for 10.00 an hour and had been for 2 years, never mind 7.50. 7.50 is about what people are making today in your typical Wal-mart/Burger King type of job and thats not going to lure anyone out of school that doesn't already plan to drop out.

Posted by: Rob Millette | January 4, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Okay, it's past Noon, the 110th Congress is in session.

Why haven't they done anything yet?

They're now officially a failure!

Posted by: R N C | January 4, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

che, I see that your posts all begin with "For uncensored news please bookmark." Could you extend us the courtesy of trusting that those interested in uncensored news will go directly to your site, rather than needing you to incessantly post overlength, offtopic diatribes here?

Thanks in advance-

Posted by: bsimon | January 4, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

Missing votes in Ohio call races into question

By Bob Fitrakis

While Democratic Party supporters celebrate their success in Ohio, where their statewide candidates won four out of five executive offices and they now control both the U.S. House and Senate, they are ignoring massive and verifiable irregularities in the 2006 election. Similar irregularities -- including missing votes, undervotes and overvotes -- may come back to haunt the Democrats in the 2008 general election.

The only statewide partisan loss for the Democrats was also the closest contest. Republican Mary Taylor defeated Democrat Barbara Sykes for State Auditor by an official vote of 50.64 percent to 49.36 percent. Taylor prevailed by 48,826 votes. The Columbus Dispatch's final poll, usually the most accurate in the state for candidate races, predicted Sykes would win by 10 percent.

An analysis by the Free Press documents massive discrepancies between the unofficial turnout reported by Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell immediately following the election and the official general election turnout numbers reported in December 2006. These discrepancies may help explain Sykes' unexpected loss.

In Cuyahoga County, which contains the Democratic stronghold of Cleveland, immediately following the election 562,498 votes were reported cast with 30,791 listed as absentee or provisional ballots. The official results show 468,056 counted in Cuyahoga. This means that 94,442 ballots cast in the unofficial total disappeared in the official tallies. This represents a shocking 16.8 percent of all the votes cast in Cuyahoga.

Sykes won 62 percent of the vote in Cuyahoga County.

Cuyahoga County uses the controversial Diebold touchscreen voting machines. These machines suffered a notorious meltdown in the 2006 primary where many machines malfunctioned and an Election Science Institute (ESI) report documented significant differences between votes actually cast on the machines as opposed to counted.

Similarly in Lucas County, another Democratic stronghold, 17,351 votes disappeared (10.6 percent of the total vote) between the unofficial and official turnout numbers. An analysis by Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips indicates that Taylor, a first-time statewide office seeker, ran significantly ahead of Republican incumbent candidates Mike Dewine and Betty Montgomery, in the Senate and attorney general races respectively.

Other counties with significant and unexplained loss of votes include: Auglaize (15.7 percent), Coshocton (14.1 percent), Jackson (11.3 percent), Licking (14.1 percent), Morrow (17.4 percent), and Tuscarawas (11.7 percent). In these less populated counties, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland won in five out of six and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sherrod won in four out of the six.

Normally, the official total vote tally increases as provisional ballots are added to the unofficial total. For example, Franklin County had 342,958 votes unofficially with 46,458 provisionals and a few late overseas absentee ballots. The official Franklin County result was 385,863 votes cast, a pickup of 42,905 ballots once the provisionals were counted. Eleven of Ohio's 88 counties reported this anomaly of fewer votes in the official total than the unofficial total.

Other election anomalies that bear further investigation are six counties with improbable undervote percentages in the U.S. Senate race. On average in Ohio, 3.9 percent of the ballots contained an "undervote," meaning no vote was cast in the Senate race. But, in the Senate race there were significant undervote totals: Adams County had 14.1 percent; Darke County had 13.5 percent; Highland had 13.8 percent; Mercer had 11.2 percent; Montgomery had 13.8 percent; and Perry had 16.3 percent. The city of Dayton is in Montgomery County where more than 30,000 ballots recorded no vote for Senate, Brown won 53 percent of the vote in Montgomery County.

In comparison with the undervote in the well-known District 13 race in Sarasota, Florida, the undervote was 18,382.

In the Sykes race, the undervote for auditor in Cuyahoga County was 10.7 percent. Undervotes were 8.3 percent of the total vote in Lucas County. Skyes' undervote total in these Democratic havens should have been examined along with the bizarre unofficial vs. official vote totals in these counties.

The state auditor's office in Ohio has enormous power to investigate and root out official corruption involving public funds. Many critics of Republican Party scandals in Ohio have pointed to the GOP's control of the state auditor's office as the key to delaying and minimizing public scrutiny.

Franklin County and the Squire challenge

Although the election numbers are stranger in Cuyahoga and Lucas counties for the Democrats, an election contest complaint filed in the Franklin County Court of Appeals by Judge Carol Squire documents in great detail the problem with electronic voting machines based on the results of her 2006 race. Incumbent Squire filed the action on December 22 after losing by 13,064 votes to Chris Geer for a seat on the County Court of Common Pleas.

The action seeks to "declare invalid and set aside" Squire's loss. The complaint requests a full evidentiary hearing.

Squire hired Dr. Rebecca Mercuri, president and chief technical officer of Notable Software, Inc. as an expert witness and investigator. The former Bryn Mawr computer science professor holds a Ph.D. in computer and informational science from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Mercuri's sworn affidavit contains detailed criticisms of the Franklin County Board of Elections (BOE) and its conduct of the 2006 election. Her sworn statements include the following:

* Thirty-five precincts were unable to close "due to problems with printers, machine malfunctions, infrared readers, PEBs [personal electronic ballots]. . . ." Squire paid for a recount of these 35 precincts but the BOE used the real time audit log (RTAL) paper tapes to recount only two of the 35 precincts. The RTALs are the only way to accurately assess how people really voted on the Election Day.

* In the BOE warehouse "hundreds of RTAL paper rolls were sitting out on various tables . . . It had been my understanding that sealed containers holding the rolls would be open only in the presence of observers, but this apparently had already been done, and the rolls extracted, prior to the observers' arrival."

* "Many of the rolls" lacked "tamper-proof" tape, which seals the RTALs at the end of Election Day in case of a recount. Instead, they had stickers which could be easily tampered with.

* "Some of the [RTAL] rolls did not have a sticker" leaving them open for tampering or accidental destruction.

* " . . . Others [RTALs] had a sticker with handwritten initials on it" indicating that the roll "was replaced by a service person during the Election Day." This raises questions concerning chain of custody of the rolls, the functionality of the machines, and identity and background of the technicians who initialed the stickers.

* " . . . A considerable number of the rolls were incomplete, possibly because the paper roll had run out or been changed, although for some, it was evident that the end of the paper roll had been damaged or ripped."

* " . . . between five and ten percent of the machines had either not printed an end tally," or "it was missing."

* In one case, when Mercuri requested the information at the beginning of the RTAL roll be read aloud during the recount, the phrases "password override" and "PEB failure" were read from the audit log. Mercuri concludes that " . . . this might have indicated a pre-election breach of security or protocol for that equipment."

* "It was observed that some of the equipment problem report pages had been previously removed from the pollbooks."

* "The warehouse facility appeared to be shared by other agencies,
as there was a large SWAT team truck behind some of the rows of voting machines. . . ."

Mercuri's 16-page affidavit concludes that Squire was denied "an appropriate recount" from a voter-verified paper trail using the RTAL rolls and also points out that the "voting system was inappropriately configured and improperly used during the election." The Franklin County BOE used different versions of hardware that were not certified prior to the election.

"The use of mismatched components violates certification requirements and also runs the risk of exposure to programming errors (bugs) or security vulnerabilities that could compromise the integrity of the election and result in the loss or mistabulation of votes," Mercuri states.

In late November the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), one of the federal government's premier research centers, condemned electronic voting machines noting that as presently configured, they "cannot be made secure."

In an audit of 25 percent of Franklin County's precinct pollbooks and signature books, Squire's elections investigator Rady Ananda found massive problems with over reporting of votes. Only 29 out of 216 precincts matched the number of signatures to the number of votes cast. Eight precincts reported more than 100 more votes cast than signatures in the pollbooks.

A similar problem of fewer votes being recorded than voter signatures also occurred with one precinct having 100 fewer votes on the machine than signatures. In all, 136 precincts fell into this category. Columbus Ward 66 Precinct G was missing 123 votes. An audit of Miami County by a Free Press investigation team following the 2004 presidential election found a similar problem of optiscan precinct totals not matching signature books. In the spring 2006 primary election, the ESI audit of Cuyahoga County found similar problems.

Cuyahoga's problems reappeared in the 2006 general election. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that, "Nearly 12,000 people in Cuyahoga County cast votes illegally on Election Day without signing the election books, or likely, showing identification as required by a new state law."

"An analysis showed that 533 of the 570 Cuyhoga County voting precincts reported more votes than voters signed in." The Plain Dealer found that: "With some polling places, the numbers were off by more than 100."

Beverly Campbell, a 2006 Democratic candidate for the Ohio Statehouse, lost by 368 votes in Franklin County. She told the Columbus Dispatch that "her campaign has questions similar to Squire's about vote and signature totals." In a meeting with the Free Press, she supplied a worksheet from her own investigation of 98 precincts where there were problems in 88 of them, either with more votes cast than signatures or more signatures than votes cast. In all, she found 483 more votes than signatures and 300 missing votes.

Squire's complaint also asserts that "over 2,500 provisional ballots were discarded with no opportunity for observers to obtain the basis or justification for rejection."

The voting irregularities in the 2006 election appear to be greater than in 2004, but many Ohio Democrats have chosen to ignore that reality. But one who hasn't taken that position is newly-elected Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who has pledged a complete review of the electronic voting machines. The facts remain that not every vote is counted or accounted for in the Buckeye State and this could be the key factor in deciding the next president of the United States.
Bob Fitrakis is the co-author of "What Happened in Ohio: A documentary record of theft and fraud in the 2004 election" published by the New Press.

Posted by: che | January 4, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

anuary 3, 2007 -- No sooner had WMR reported yesterday on the mob-connected activities of Rudolph Giuliani in connection with New York mobster Gideon Chern, among other dubious players, the New York Daily News obtained a 140-page confidential dossier on the pitfalls foreseen by the Giuliani camp in the 2008 presidential campaign. In the dossier, prepared in October last year, Giuliani contends that his campaign would have to deal with the following issues:

His association with disgraced former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, the breakup with ex-wife Donna Hanover and his marriage to Judith Nathan, and his business interests and views on "social issues."

It is Giuliani's business interests with companies that clearly profited from the 9/11 attacks that should have him the most worried.

Posted by: che | January 4, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Several experts, including a Clinton White House chief of staff and a Reagan-era Pentagon official, have prepared a memo offering President Bush advice as he plans to announce an anticipated change in his policy for U.S. involvement in Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

...and along with the new Congress we have (1) the outgoing Republican's calling for their participation in the legislative process and (2) President Bush calling for fiscal restraint. Oh, excuse me! I'm laughing so hard I'm choking and tears are streaming down my face. Give me a break. If the Democarts have an ounce of sense, they will make the Republican's and that idiot in the WHitehouse regret the day they were born. Investigate. Impeach. Undue the damage done to my country by the greasy crooks from the right.

Posted by: MikeB | January 4, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

If Democrats have lofty visions of enacting sweeping change in American government upon taking control of House and Senate today, a look at history may be sobering. Stalemate is the most likely result when a newly elected Congress of one party faces a president of the other, according to Bruce Carlson, host of the My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast, which provides listeners with a historical spin on politics.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Thanks bsimon, now I get it.

Posted by: candide | January 4, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

drindl: Please check your posts at 08:43am, 08:48am, and 09:05am. Something is wrong. Let me know.

Posted by: lylepink | January 4, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

drindl: Please check your posts at 08:43am, 08:48am, and 09:05am. Something is wrong. Let me know.

Posted by: lylepink | January 4, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

candide writes "I asked a question in good faith: how will Tim Johnson vote?"

He will not. He is under no obligation to vote. If he remains incapacitated, it is quite possible that he could serve out his term recovering in the hospital, without casting a single vote. According to the rules, Senator Johnson can be replaced only upon resignation or death; until one of those things happens, he is a Senator. As was already mentioned the Ds have 50 votes to the Rs' 49, so Cheney will not be asked to break ties & the D majority holds.

Posted by: bsimon | January 4, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

'As I read various articles in the Washington Post, today, I see an all too familiar pattern by its contributing writers. The constant referral to Democratic majority, House Democratic leaders, Democratic leaders, Democratic Senate, and my favorite sic Democratic Party. Apparently most of the writers are trying to make the Democrat party, Democrat Senate, and Democrat leaders the only democratic people in politics. All our Senators, House Representatives, Presidential administration personnel are supposed to be democratic regardless of their party affiliation. Stop misleading people. There are those out there in the reading audience that are easily mislead.'

I had to post this -- I pulled it off the comments to Milbank's article. My god, the wingnuts have come out of the woodwork today--and it's really depressing how clinically stupid some of them are. I mean, it's shocking, in a country like this that anyone could be moronic. Willfully moronic, or maybe they were exposed to toxic chemicals in the womb. Don't know how else to explain it. My favorite part of this is how the writer states that .there are those out where who are easily mislead.
God help us. I always wonder who is dumb enough to vote against their own self-interest -- but there's a whole gallery of them over there.

We really ought to grant chimpanzees and seals the right to vote -- it would raise the collective IQ.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I asked a question in good faith: how will Tim Johnson vote?

I realize that many dead people are counted as living: when they go to the polls; when they rule the nation; when they do many things a dead person normally wouldn't do.

If George Bush were really dead it would excuse many things. Unfortunately he is alive and evil.

Posted by: candide | January 4, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

lark: I am glad you noticed the media regarding Barak Obama. Several days ago I made a comment about how the media had created and made Obama their "flavor of the month" and "todays special", I can't remember my exact words but the media created Obama for whatever reason and they are simply responding to critics. As some have pointed out the media will build you up just to take you down.

Posted by: lylepink | January 4, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

'While the Beltway Gasbags talk about "healing" and "bipartisanship", the numbers show that the American people are firmly behind the Democratic agenda.

Allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies to attempt to lower the price of prescription drugs for some senior citizens: 87/12/1
Raising the minimum wage: 85/14/1

Cutting interest rates on federal loans to college students: 84/15/1

Creating an independent panel to oversee ethics in Congress: 79/19/2

Making significant changes in U.S. policy in Iraq: 77/20/3

Reducing the amount of influence lobbyists have in congressional decisions: 75/21/4

Implementing all of the anti-terrorism recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission: 64/26/10

Maintaining the current Social Security system to prevent the creation of private investment accounts: 63/32/6

Funding embryonic stem cell research: 62/32/6

Reducing some federal tax breaks for oil companies: 49/49/2

Changing the rules to allow Congress to create new spending programs only if taxes are raised or spending on other programs is cut: 41/54/5

The Democrats' number one task is to serve the American people and demonstrate that they are responsive to their needs. That's our whole reason for existing.

Let the Republicans oppose the Democratic agenda, whine that they're being shut out.

Republicans shut out the people's agenda for the last decade. The people finally got fed up and got rid of them en mass.

It's our time to be responsive. And as the numbers show, it's not even a close question.'

Posted by: you can keep your date rape, thanks. | January 4, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Andy R writes "WOW who thinks that the minimum wage should be eliminated. Don't these people talk to their maids, butlers, and drivers?"

Yo, Andy, undocumented workers are not subject to the minimum wage.

Posted by: bsimon | January 4, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"George Will is approaching the Strom Thurmond/Terry Shiavo threshold of conscious awareness of the world around him..."

Drindl I doubt that anyone in Congress would intervene to stop pulling the plug on George Will.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 4, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, Love the Charlie Brown analogy.

And Blarg you have a point that Will is just being honest, but WOW who thinks that the minimum wage should be eliminated. Don't these people talk to their maids, butlers, and drivers?

Posted by: Andy R | January 4, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

'unless Harry Reid decides to allow some concessions to the Republicans so that everyone will play nice'

andy, it's nice to be hopeful about such things, but... you know the republicans who are currently in congress. savagely partisan and ruthless. what makes you think they are capable of 'nice'?

Any slack Reid cuts them will promptly be used to hang him. Say the Dems allow amendments to their first 100-hour priority bills. Will not Rs then insert poison pill amendments, so the Dems cannot possibly pass the agenda they have promised the voters?

Of course... and then they will taunt Democrats for breaking their promises. It's time for Dems to stop being Charlie Brown and thinking that someday, Lucy won't take the ball away before he can kick it. Time to wise up.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

George Will is approaching the Strom Thurmond/Terry Shiavo threshold of conscious awareness of the world around him...

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Andy, at least George Will is being honest. He admits that he's against the minimum wage and thinks it should be eliminated. Usually when conservatives argue against the minimum wage, they say that it should stay at the current value.

But there's no reasonable argument why the minimum wage should stay at $5.15. If there's any purpose to having a minimum wage, then it needs to increase with inflation. Otherwise we may as well eliminate it entirely, instead of letting it gradually decline until it's worthless. But it's rare to see conservatives admit they want to eliminate the minimum wage, since it looks terrible politically. At least we can count on George Will to be simultaneously honest and absurd.

Posted by: Blarg | January 4, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Andy R: wow. That is remarkably brain-dead. Will has effectively been isolated from "regular folks" for many year but still, you'd think he'd actually KNOW one or two teenagers. If he did he'd realize that 'work' and 'attractive' never appear in the same sentence for them.

Furthermore, and I realize that his isolation makes this knowledge even more unlikely, a minimum-wage EXISTENCE is not even remotely attractive to the typical American teenager.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 4, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Chris or anyone at the Washington Post could you please put a muzzle on George Will. The man has gone insane. In his article today on abolishing he says and I quote
"Raising the minimum wage predictably makes work more attractive relative to school for some teenagers and raises the dropout rate."

I sit in awe at the absurdity of that statement.

Posted by: Andy R | January 4, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats still have a 50 to 49 advantage in the voting with Senator Johnson still in the hospital. Therefore, it won't effect organization at all unless Harry Reid decides to allow some concessions to the Republicans so that everyone will play nice. I seriously doubt that will happen after the way that the last senate treated the Democrats, but Reid and the Minority Leader Mitch McConell are on pretty good terms so they might work something out.

Posted by: Andy R | January 4, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

It is like the first day of school.

Posted by: Matt | January 4, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

From accounts by the media there will be little change, if any, in the House regarding any degree of "Trying to get along and get something done." For many years now the House members have been split by various groups in both parties and it becomes more clear, at least to me, that the folks we elect are so indebted to their campaign contributers and the campaign to get re-elected starts, or so it seems, even before they are sworn in for their current term. Hopefully, I will be wrong and things will work a little better.

Posted by: lylepink | January 4, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

'With Tim Johnson still in treatment how will the Senate be able to organize as Democratic?'

Strom Thurmnd was dead the last several years of his term but they let him vote anyway.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Judge. I'm trying so darn hard to be bipartisan and centrist and all, but I can just never make the DCCC PC cut with some folks...

I expect we'll be hearing an enormous whine emanating today from repubs today about 'healing' and the need for date-rape, I mean bipartisanship - maybe john boehner will join hands with nancy and sing 'kumbaya' -- they'll crawl on their bellies and beg to pass another tax cut for their fatcat patrons...

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

With Tim Johnson still in treatment how will the Senate be able to organize as Democratic?

Posted by: candide | January 4, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

With Tim Johnson still in treatment how will the Senate be able to organize as Democratic?

Posted by: candide | January 4, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

'Iraq unity possible, says Cameron

Conservative leader David Cameron says he believes a stable Iraq is possible as "the alternatives are frankly unpalatable".
He said the situation in Iraq, where the government says almost 2,000 civilians died in sectarian violence in December alone, was "truly dreadful".'

I don't know how to classify this kind of thinking. It's kind of like if I said ' I think my growing wings and flying across town is possible, as there's a lot of traffic and driving is unpalatable,' or something.

Posted by: lark | January 4, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and let me post for the concern trolls who'll show up later: "As a loyal and long-term Democrat (I dusted FDR's fedora in 1943 and again in 1944) I think we should definitely set aside politics as usual and give our PRESIDENT all the deference he deserves. PRESIDENT BUSH is clearly leading the way and, for the good of the Democratic party, our Democratic representatives better follow him, gosh darn it! And give all those poor huddled masses of Congressional Republicans as many minority rights as they need to govern like the majority even though they aren't.

Anybody who disagrees with this is a terrible Democrat and should be excommunicated (this means you, Drindl) from our party."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 4, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

'The mystery thus far: Advisers to Rudolph W. Giuliani say that someone stole an aide's luggage during a political trip last fall, found a 140-page strategy notebook inside and photocopied it, then returned the luggage in some manner and gave the goods to a Giuliani opponent.'

Anyone want to place bets on whodunnit? I say McCain. Simply because I think he's the most devious and desperate of the motley repub presidential hopeful crew. He's also recruited bush's cabal of dirty campaign tricksters who are more than capable of such a deed.

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

And this from Kurtz (Drindl, I think some of them are getting it although CC will probably continue to be "irony-deaf" as one poster put it yesterday) at :

Let me get this straight. After six years of a Republican Congress earmarking truckloads of pork for home districts, much of it for Bridge-to-Nowhere projects, Bush has suddenly decided--the day before the Democrats take control--that earmarking is an outrage?

How convenient.

It's still a good idea to make it harder for lawmakers to slip costly goodies into bills. But when has Bush exhibited much concern for the inner workings of Congress? Whenever he's been asked about the Foley scandal or Tom DeLay's problems, the White House line has always been, that's a congressional matter.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 4, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

vwcat -- well anything is possible in politics, but i don't want to demonize hillary without any proof. there's plenty of people on the right who do that every day -- i don't see any reason for dems to pile on the woman too. it could just as easily be mccain or just the distate the media establishment has for honest, non-corporate politicians who really move people. look what they did to howard dean...

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

This from Polman (; note the perfectly appropos title:

Bush underscored this theme this morning, declaring in a statement at the White House that he would like to see the number of earmarks cut in half during 2007. A laudable goal - and very convenient, politically speaking. After saying nothing for years about the burgeoning earmark practices of his Republican brethren (there were 3000 earmarks during the 1996 GOP Congress - and 13,000 in 2006), and after never vetoing a single spending bill that would have at least shelved some of the sweetheart deals, Bush declares that he wants those lawmakers to knock it off - now that the Democrats are running the show.

The Democrats would probably be well advised to curb the practice anyway - in order to mollify independent swing voters, not the president who has suddenly gotten religion on this issue.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 4, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Judge, none of the press anywhere I've checked [except milbank] seems to have picked up on the um... irony of it, the fact that it's a tad hypocritical. But then the entire press corps seems unable to recognize hypocrisy in republicans. It's just invisible to them. Hmmm...

Posted by: drindl | January 4, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

two thoughts.
regarding Lark: Many, including myself, think it may be a salvo fired by Hillary. Her machine is gearing up and taking aim.
regarding the 110th: I love Nancy Pelosi!

Posted by: vwcat | January 4, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Anyone want to bet that CC cranks out a column critical of the Dem's refusal to give the R's the minority rights the R's absolutely and totally refused to give the Dem's when the R's ruled the roost? Without a whiff of awareness regarding the total hypocrisy of the situation?

Milbank has a pretty balanced treatment of this, fortunately:

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 4, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Go get'em, Chris. Can't pass up all the free grub, booze and whining Republicans, eh?
Maybe, while you are up there you can quote an anonymous Congressman saying that "Pelosi won't allow any amendments to the first bills being offered by the Majority, wah, wah" or "The next six months in Iraq are going to be important."

Posted by: capeman | January 4, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Oh, man -- first CNN, now Yahoo News. As you know, CNN has apologized to Barack Obama for putting his name on a picture of Osama Bin Laden. Now Yahoo News has committed the opposite blunder: On their photo page, the caption on their photo of Obama reads, "Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida."

man, how much does the MSM hate and fear obama? all of these different incidents at different stations just cannot be an accident/

Posted by: lark | January 4, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

As US prepares to escalate war in Iraq
Bush seeks bipartisan backing from Democratic Congress
By Bill Van Auken
4 January 2007

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

President George W. Bush appeared with his Cabinet Wednesday in the White House Rose Garden to make an appeal for bipartisan collaboration between the administration and the incoming Democratic-led Congress. He called upon Democrats to join him in pursuing an agenda that includes an escalation of the US war in Iraq, intensified political repression and a continuation of social and fiscal policies aimed at transferring wealth from the broad mass of working people to America's financial oligarchy.

The brief remarks came on the eve of the 110th Congress's opening session Thursday and expressed the White House's determination to continue its reactionary policies, both foreign and domestic, despite their overwhelming defeat at the polls in November's midterm elections--and its confidence that it will be able to do so.

"The Congress has changed; our obligations to the country haven't changed," said Bush.

His speech begged the question that dominated the November elections and continues to overshadow all aspects of American political life--the debacle confronting the US in Iraq.

Bush spoke for little more than five minutes before turning on his heels and marching back to the White House without taking any questions from the assembled media. He commented on the Iraq war only indirectly when he discussed his plan to submit a five-year budget proposal next month. He said that this document would include provisions to address "the need to protect ourselves from radicals and terrorists, the need to win the war on terror, the need to maintain a strong national defense, and the need to keep this economy growing by making tax relief permanent."

In addition to demanding that his tax cuts for the rich be made permanent, Bush called for "spending restraint" and the "reform" of entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, which he suggested were on the verge of "bankrupting our country."

His brief remarks closely tracked an opinion piece published under his byline in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, headlined "What Congress Can Do for America."

As examples of the ability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, this column cited passage of the repressive USA Patriot Act and the misnamed No Child Left Behind legislation. It dealt more explicitly with the Iraq war--which Bush could have also invoked as an example of bipartisan collaboration.

Bush wrote, "If democracy fails and the extremists prevail in

For the rest of this article please go to:

Posted by: che | January 4, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

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