Who Killed Ethics Reform?

Red State says the Democrats:

Last night in the Senate, and for the second time in a week, Republicans scored a victory for spending restraint when they forced the majority Democrats to object to a vote on an earmark reform amendment. The amendment to S.1, The Ethics and Lobby Reform Bill, was offered by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) and would incorporate the “A Second Look at Wasteful Spending Act of 2007” into the legislation.

***

The fact is that Democrats object to the Gregg amendment and the DeMint amendment because they aren’t really against earmarks. They only wanted to campaign on the issue, not actually do anything substantive about it. Now that they are in the majority, they want all the perks of office; and that includes easier access to taxpayer dollars for their constituencies and their re-election chances. But feisty Senate Republicans are not letting them have their pork and eat it too. So, Sen. Reid, Sen. Durbin and the rest of the Senate Democrats are obstructing their own bill and explaining. And, as we know in politics, when you’re explaining, you’re losing.

The Washington Post says the Republicans:

Senate Republicans scuttled broad legislation last night to curtail lobbyists’ influence and tighten congressional ethics rules, refusing to let the bill pass without a vote on an unrelated measure that would give President Bush virtual line-item-veto power.

The bill could be brought back up later this year. Indeed, Democrats will try one last time today to break the impasse. But its unexpected collapse last night infuriated Democrats and the government watchdog groups that had been pushing it since the lobbying scandals that rocked the last Congress. Proponents charged that Republicans had used the spending-control measure as a ruse to thwart ethics rules they dared not defeat in a straight vote.

Considering the line-item veto was found to be unconstitutional in 1998, and the GOP had the last six years to pass a workaround and chose not to, I am hard pressed to figure out how the Democrats are in the wrong here.

Oh, and for double special bonus chutzpah, the GOP filibustered:

The bill was to be the Democratic-controlled Senate’s first piece of legislation, a statement of bipartisanship and a break from the scandals that helped return the party to power. Instead, a measure that began with Reid and McConnell as co-sponsors was chased from the floor in a partisan showdown when Republicans prevented the Democratic leadership from bringing it to a vote. The 51 to 46 vote was nowhere close to the two-thirds majority needed to break the Republican filibuster.

There was no mention of the much loved GOP nuclear option. I wish I could honestly support the line item amendment, but I know damned well that as soon as it looks like it would pass, the Republicans would no longer want it. Right now it is a convenient tool to be used against the Democrats, but you don’t need to be too cynical to realize they don;t really care about ethics reform. If they did, they would recognize their amendment failed, and move on with the proposed reform (which although not perfect, is better than no reform at all). They want an issue, they want their earmarks, but they do not want ethics reform.

*** Update ***

I am aware this is not a line-item veto. Which is why I did not call it that. I stated that the LIV was found unconstitutional in the late 90’s, and they had plenty of time to find a workaround (such as this) in thepast six years. But they didn’t. Why not?

Because they don’t care.

I would love to give Presidents the authority to strike wasteful spending from bills, but I do not know if it is legal, I do not know if it will be passed (and it won’t now), and I additionally don’t know anymore, after this administration, if I trust Presidents with this authority. For all I know, Bush would use it and decide we simply do not need the Department of Education.

Given all that, I still care about reform. So rather than be a petulant chilkd (like the Senate Republicans), I would accept I am not in the majority anymore, and vote for the ethics reform they are advancing. While not perfect, it is better than what is out there now. Instead, the GOP has chosen to block it and has delivered us:

NOTHING.

They, however, have an issue and rightwing blogs can now babble incessantly (as Red State already as) about how the Republicans are the real reformers. How do they get the title of real reformers? By blocking the reform package.

Up is down. Black is white. You don’t need to worry unless you are doing something wrong.






144 replies
  1. 1
    Jake says:

    I guess the folks at RedState are puzzled by the mysteries of a fricking roll call.

    They are also unaware that one of the chief whiners about this bill (Richard Viagra? Vieugre?) is a well known conservative who links to RedState on his website.

    Arseholes.

    As I noted in another thread, Reid voted Nay so the bill could be reintroduced later this year. He is the only Democrat who voted against it and he must be pretty damn powerful if his one vote is enough to lay the blame at the feet of the entire Democratic party.

  2. 2
    Mr Furious says:

    In fact, with the exception of that one sentence at the end, you wouldn’t even know that the Republicans filibustered at all. Even when the Post fingers the GOP, they help them out in the coverage.

    This is as cynical as it gets. The Democrats should make the Republicans actually filibuster this shit on the floor, in front of the cameras. All the Republicans can do is try to point the line-item veto, and claim “the Democarts aren’t willing to do what it takes for real reform.” IT is of course complete BS. The Dems just have to point out that the LIV is unconstitutional. End of story. The GOP is then left with opposing a reform package that, however flawed, looks pretty damn good to the public.

    MAKE THEM EAT IT, HARRY.

  3. 3
    Steve says:

    Line-item veto NOW? Gee, all those in favor of giving George W. Bush more power, raise your hands.

    We’ll see how many bills the Republicans are willing to block for the sake of the line-item veto. There will be electoral consequences.

  4. 4
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    Redstate operates on a separate plane of existence. They live in an alternate reality where is warped into whatever is most convenient to them.

    They are absolutely useless for any type of reliable information, and the best way to describe them is that they are the blog equivalent of the National Enquirer.

    As long as you know this, reading what is posted there can be very humorous. Especially when the social cons tear into anyone in the party who will not march in goosestep along with them. Every single one of the social cons are living in their own intrepretation of the bubble bible. Hell has a special place set aside for these sickos. It is at the left hand of Satan.

    At Redstate, most of the members are related to Darrell…

    And they like pie! They thrive on it…

  5. 5
    Mr Furious says:

    Every day, the GOP hammers those nails a little deeper don’t they, John?

  6. 6
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    MAKE THEM EAT IT SHIT, HARRY.

    Fixed.

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    As I noted in another thread, Reid voted Nay so the bill could be reintroduced later this year. He is the only Democrat who voted against it and he must be pretty damn powerful if his one vote is enough to lay the blame at the feet of the entire Democratic party.

    Didn’t Bill Frist get pushed into a similar position last year?

  8. 8
    maf54 says:

    Didn’t Bill Frist get pushed into a similar position last year?

    We had agreed not to tell anyone about it, but I guess Bill talked.

  9. 9
    Zifnab says:

    Who Killed Ethics ReformJesus?

    Red State says the Democrats

    Fixed

  10. 10
    ChrisB says:

    John, you (and it appears the Post) and slightly uninformed about the amendment the Republicans were proposing.
    You said, “Considering the line-item veto was found to be unconstitutional in 1998”

    Which is true, but describing what the Republicans wanted a vote on as a “line item veto” is incorrect. As McQ at QandO talked about, it is more properly called rescission authority, which would allow the president to send line items back to congress to have them pass them individually. This would satisfy the unconstitutional argument against the line item veto (namely that it’s congress that controlls the purse).

    To quote McQ here for those that might not follow the link,

    Essentially, the Gregg amendment would allow the President to send up to 4 rescission packages per year back to Congress which would force Congress to take a second look at wasteful spending – including both discretionary spending and new mandatory spending – as well as targeted tax cuts.

    — Congress would be required to fast track the President’s recommendation within 8 days.

    — Unlike the previous 1996 line-item veto proposal, A Second Look at Wasteful Spending requires Congressional affirmation of the President’s rescission package.

    — Savings from rescissions passed by Congress must be used for deficit reduction.

    — The authority sunsets after 4 years – giving Congress the ability to evaluate merits of rescission authority after President Bush and his successor have had the opportunity to use.

    This seems to me to be a fair compromise to the “line item veto” power and a good tool for earmark reform (assuming it’s used, which is always a big assumption)

    PS. I don’t think I’ve ever commented here, so I just hope that you allow all that html I just used or else this post will look very messy. Advanced appoligies if it does.

  11. 11
    Sherard says:

    Typical. It’s not a “line item veto”, though calling it that results in the predictable response from Tim. No, it is an earmark resindence which does fit in an earmark reform bill.

    As usual, nice try avoiding the actual truth of the story.

  12. 12
    Punchy says:

    Didn’t Bill Frist get pushed into a similar position last year?

    Missionary. His wife demanded it.

  13. 13
    Sherard says:

    Typical doesn’t even begin to describe the dishonest asshattery going on here. Harry Reid tried to pass this bill absent of almost ANY teeth, and when the Democrats further resist an earmark line item rescindence, it’s actually the GOP that is holding it up, but, get this, not because they want it, but because they are just holding up reform.

    Too bad you retards can’t admit that the guys pushing this bill from the GOP are well known pork busting reformers. This site is just about as pathetic as it comes.

  14. 14
    Blue Neponset says:

    Shepard,

    Tim isn’t spelled J-O-H-N C-O-L-E anymore.

  15. 15
    Tim F. says:

    Typical. It’s not a “line item veto”, though calling it that results in the predictable response from Tim.

    Could you point to this response? Thanks.

  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    Typical. It’s not a “line item veto”,

    Shorter Sherad: Watch me lie my ass off!

  17. 17
    Mr Furious says:

    the guys pushing this bill from the GOP are well known pork busting reformers

    Can you really say that with a straight face after the last six years, jackass? If there are any pork-busters or reformers in the GOP, they must have missed all the votes. This bill is being pushed by guys well-known forpartisanship above all else.

  18. 18
    jenniebee says:

    Sherard:
    Typical. It’s not a “line item veto”, though calling it that results in the predictable response from Tim. No, it is an earmark resindence which does fit in an earmark reform bill.

    It’s not a “line item veto,” it just gives the President power to reject earmarks in future bills without rejecting the bill entirely, line by line, as it were.

    Of course, the presnit wouldn’t (perish the thought!) ever try to expand on this new, already extra-constitutional power, should it be granted to him, say by using it to selectively punish or reward individual legislators, or by cross-applying it to other bills that cross his desk (hey, by the time the courts sort it out either he’ll be out of office or else silly things like courts won’t have any say over our first El Presidente for Life, so where’s the risk?)

    Call it a Line Item veto, “earmark rescindance” or “Refund Adjustment,” a skunk cabbage by any other name…

  19. 19
    Mr Furious says:

    This is what they are claiming is “not a line-item veto”:

    Gregg’s amendment uses the president’s existing recission authority as a mild version of a line-item veto and is designed to give the President a tool for highlighting wasteful spending and forcing Congress to take a second look at such proposals. The proposal would clearly make it more difficult for Members of Congress to slip wasteful spending like earmarks into legislation.

    According to Gregg, the amendment provides that the president can send up to 4 rescission packages per year. Congress would be required to fast track the President’s recommendation within 8 days.

    Also, unlike a line-item veto proposal that was defeated in Congress in 1996, Gregg’s amendment today requires congressional affirmation of the President’s rescission package.

    Savings from rescissions passed by Congress must be used for deficit reduction. The authority sunsets after 4 years – giving Congress the ability to evaluate merits of rescission authority after President Bush and his successor have had the opportunity to use.

    That is from a source at Instapundit, so you can be sure it is carrying the maximum GOP water possible. By that definition it is not exactly a line-item veto, but it’s pretty damn close. And it’s funny how neither the WH or the GOP Senators ever had interest in this before…

    If that description is accurate (dubious, I know) Reid could counter it by breaking up legislation as much as possible, including a poison pill in each one, and have Bush waste his four rescissions by March.

    Go for it Harry.

  20. 20
    Pb says:

    The moonbats over at Congress Daily call it a line-item veto, too. Stick a fork in Sherard, he’s done.

    Incidentally, the Dems could let the GOP go forward with their little temper tantrum–bring their crappy, syncophantic, executive-enabling bill up for a vote, and promptly vote it down.

    But of course debate it first, so you can ask them just why they think that President Bush should have more authority here. Maybe the GOP could also mention all the spending bills he was forced to veto in the past (zero) because he didn’t have these powers before, or why they didn’t give him these powers six years ago. I’d love to hear their explanations. I mean, if they had any real ones to offer.

  21. 21
    Steve says:

    Sherard’s posts remind me of how the Republicans decided one day that “Social Security privatization” wasn’t polling well, and they suddenly decided “our term is going to be ‘personal accounts’, privatization is a Democrat word!” And all the little zombies started nodding their heads up and down, yep, we’re sure not proposing any kind of privatization, that’s for sure!

  22. 22
    OCSteve says:

    ChrisB beat me to it. I’ll second his post though.

    Can someone explain to me how this (rescission authority) is the same as a line-item veto? Congress can still pass them as individual items if they want to – but it can be used to put the spotlight on individual items in the budget rather than the current ‘sign it or not, pork and all’.

    It seems like a good step towards eliminating pork to me. What am I missing (other than it being spun as a line-item veto)?

  23. 23
    ChrisB says:

    If that description is accurate (dubious, I know) Reid could counter it by breaking up legislation as much as possible, including a poison pill in each one, and have Bush waste his four rescissions by March.

    Go for it Harry.

    Why would you be against saving money in this way? Why are some of the people here so caught up in partisan acrimony that they can’t see how we should all be supporting earmark reform and that this rescission would do exactly that while not having the draw back of the line item veto (namely that it’s unconstitutional and places more power in the president’s hands).

    Did the republicans add this in to scuttle the whole bill? Perhaps I suppose, but no one has given as reasons on why this Rescission authority is a bad idea and shouldn’t be passed along with the other reforms.

  24. 24
    dreggas says:

    McConnell and Gregg are on CSpan giving a presser right now trying to spin this as democrats being against the bill and this is of course accompanied by the usual amount of NO FAIR YOU GUYS ARE DOING WHAT WE DID TO YOU!

  25. 25
    Mr Furious says:

    Gah. I missed ChrisB’s post when my eyes glazed over from Sherard’s… Sorry for the repeat everyone.

    To answer OCSteve, if we were talking during a time of one-party control (like, say, the last six years) I’d be willing to hear it. But this is clearly a line-item veto dressed up as something else. There is no good reason to give a President as vindictive, abusive of power and just generally a fucking asshole as Bush is, this kind of power.

  26. 26
    David says:

    Well, the fact that its purpose is to force another vote on what is, constitutionally speaking, a settled matter (passed by both houses of Congress in identical form, and all that) strikes me as pretty line-item vetoish, myself. Plus, it’s not just another opportunity to reject earmarks; “Savings from rescissions passed by Congress must be used for deficit reduction.” That sounds like power of the purse in executive hands – if Congress, after reconsidering, decides to reject the legislation, they have no choice on how to spend that money.

  27. 27
    Pb says:

    OCSteve,

    Check out the CBPP‘s take on it from August:

    The line-item-veto provision in the Gregg bill is particularly troubling in this respect. It would give the President one year after enactment of a bill to propose the cancellation of provisions in it. It would then allow the President to withhold the funds proposed for cancellation for 45 days after submitting his veto request, regardless of Congressional action. This would enable a White House to use these procedures to withhold some appropriated funds through the end of a fiscal year, which could cause the funds to lapse — and the appropriation thereby to be cancelled — even if Congress had voted to disapprove the veto.

    Moreover, the President would be allowed to package cancellation of items from different bills into a single veto package, and Congress would have to vote to accept or reject the package as a whole, with no amendments allowed. The President could combine vetoes of egregious earmarks that had received damning publicity with vetoes of more meritorious items from other bills that he opposed on ideological grounds — and confront Congress with an “all or nothing” vote. This could lead to the cancellation of some programs that, by themselves, enjoyed support from a majority of Congress. It should be noted that the line-item veto’s likely use would extend far beyond earmarks; it could be used to eliminate entire programs.

  28. 28
    Cyrus says:

    Last night in the Senate, and for the second time in a week, Republicans scored a victory for spending restraint when they forced the majority Democrats to object to a vote on an earmark reform amendment.

    I was getting all confused reading this. A victory? When they talk about spending restraint they mean the line-item veto, right? But doesn’t the article say it wasn’t allowed to come up to a vote? So where’s the victory? (And it only makes any sense if you assume that Bush has any problem with wasteful spending anyway… but that’s just garden-variety wingnutism, not new or remarkable.)

    RedState is exploring new linguistic territory for them. Apparently, “scored a victory for spending restraint” means “failed to pass a bad policy that would theoretically supposedly restrain spending, but at least they used it to block something Democrats think was good.”

    Remember the Dark Ages, when the Democrats had to take stuff like that as good news? When holding a meeting against the wishes of the Congressional majority was considered a victory, regardless of whether anything actually came of it? You know, like three months ago? And now, the Republican base is gloating and cheering over a line-item veto… failing, but in a big way. After mere weeks as the minority party.

    It’s fun to see how quickly the Republicans are settling back into the role of aggrieved, persecuted whackos. I’ll try not to rejoice until the Democratic majority actually accomplishes something — the minimum wage increase was good, but it’s just a start — but we might, just might, be headed in the right direction here.

  29. 29
    Andrew says:

    It seems like a good step towards eliminating pork to me.

    Seriously, stop talking. Just stop it. Stop stop stop.

    Because you look like a damned fool for complaining about pork at this point.

  30. 30
    Mr Furious says:

    Why are some of the people here so caught up in partisan acrimony

    Come on, ChrisB. Those are the rules on this field…

    Seriously? In theory, I would be fairly liberal (pun intended) in employing whatever methods possible to control spending. Up to and including this one if I knew it would be used properly.

    Frankly it’s the “partisan acrimony” of the last six years dispolayed by the GOP that makes this a non-starter. They are reaping what they sowed.

  31. 31
    Stealth says:

    Article I, Section 7:

    Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

    You don’t like it, pass an amendment.

  32. 32
    dreggas says:

    Did the republicans add this in to scuttle the whole bill? Perhaps I suppose, but no one has given as reasons on why this Rescission authority is a bad idea and shouldn’t be passed along with the other reforms.

    Reasons why this “authority” shouldn’t be given to the Preznit?

    – AUMF

    – Patriot Act

    – Iraq

    I mean what more reasons do we need to NOT give this shithead more power?

  33. 33
    DoubtingThomas says:

    Too bad you retards can’t admit that the guys pushing this bill from the GOP are well known pork busting reformers.

    Calling people ‘retards’ is a great way to convince others that yours is the superior argument….well, in Oceania anyway.

    This site is just about as pathetic as it comes.

    Which is why Sherard spends so much time here…. Birds of a feather, you know.

  34. 34
    ChrisB says:

    There is no good reason to give a President as vindictive, abusive of power and just generally a fucking asshole as Bush is, this kind of power.

    All he can do is nominate, the Congress has the final say, so it’s not all that much power. Furthermore, there’s a 4 year (meaning the next president would get it for 2 years too)sunset clause, after which congress would review the power and have to reauthorize it.

    The President could combine vetoes of egregious earmarks that had received damning publicity with vetoes of more meritorious items from other bills that he opposed on ideological grounds

    While I would hope it wouldn’t (or couldn’t) be used like this, isn’t this business as usual for congress? Don’t they do stuff like this all the time?

    it could be used to eliminate entire programs.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing ;P

  35. 35
    Mr Furious says:

    Two very good points, David. Particularly the “power of the purse” part. I was actually going to dispute Byrd’s contention on that, and you highlighted the flaw perfectly — since the recission reallocates the money, it’s out on Constitutional grounds. Plus, the passed both Houses…we all watched Schoolhouse Rock. Unconstitutional, bitches!

    Where do I pick up my black robe?

  36. 36
    OCSteve says:

    Pb: Thanks. The “one year after enactment” and package aspects of it are troubling, and I admit if those provisions are still in the amendment today I’m less enthusiastic about it.

    Mr. Furious: Points taken, and while I understand your anger (er, fury) I was hoping for more from the Democrats than retribution and “well you did it to us”. I don’t need shiny happy people – just hoping for some real reform.

  37. 37
    ChrisB says:

    Reasons why this “authority” shouldn’t be given to the Preznit?

    – AUMF
    – Patriot Act
    – Iraq

    And those have what exactly to do with this proposal? You’re giving non-sequiturs.

  38. 38
    Tsulagi says:

    Last night in the Senate, and for the second time in a week, Republicans scored a victory for spending restraint

    Yeah, coming right on the heels of all those spending restraint victories over the past six years. Of course Sherard and like-minded ‘fiscal conservatives’ at RedState not only can say that with a straight face, but also have the faux balls to shout it out. Gotta love the comedy these guys provide.

  39. 39
    John Cole says:

    And those have what exactly to do with this proposal? You’re giving non-sequiturs.

    BECAUSE HE CAN NOT BE TRUSTED.

    There. I didn’t even use any big words that might confuse you.

  40. 40
    Mr Furious says:

    OCSteve,

    I’d love to react to this stuff more objectively, but it’s become impossible. As John said in his update, the Republicans had six years to do this stuff. They are bringing it up disingenuously now to scuttle otherwise good legislation.

    It should be perfectly clear to everyone, that you cannot give this PResident (or any other from now on) an inch. They’ll take a mile country…

  41. 41
    Richard 23 says:

    BECAUSE HE CAN NOT BE TRUSTED.

    Well said.

  42. 42
    TenguPhule says:

    Shorter ChrisB: Bush has dropped the soap and asked me to pick it up and I think I will.

  43. 43
    Mr Furious says:

    There have been plenty of ideas that look good on paper, and Bush has proceeded to abuse every goddamn one of them.

    More non-sequiters?

    bypassing FISA
    firing US Attys
    data-mining
    Gitmo

    They don’t relate to budgets, but they are germane to be sure. As John said, you cannot trust him. At. All.

  44. 44
    Mr Furious says:

    Shorter ChrisB: Bush has dropped the soap and asked me to pick it up and I think I will.

    LOL!

    Sorry, ChrisB, I’m not sure you deserve that, but’s pretty damn funny…

  45. 45
    Pb says:

    Gonzales just told Congress that we don’t actually have a right to Habeas Corpus after all–who knew? Of course, if we did, maybe it was unwittingly suspended by Congress when they passed the AUMF?

    No, they are not to be trusted.

  46. 46
    ChrisB says:

    So you don’t want a bill that would help decrease the budget and help reform the earmark process because you don’t like the president? Seems short sighted and petty. Frankly this has nothing to do with who the president is. Bush is only president for 2 more years. Power shouldn’t be given to the president or congress predicated on who or which party would use it wisely, if it’s not good enough for the party you distrust, then its not a good bill. I’d support this whether Bush was the president or Clinton, democrat or republican.

  47. 47
    TenguPhule says:

    Perhaps I suppose, but no one has given as reasons on why this Rescission authority is a bad idea and shouldn’t be passed along with the other reforms.

    Because trying to Neuter Congress’s powers of the purse combined with the theory of the unitary executive is begging for trouble.

  48. 48
    dreggas says:

    So you don’t want a bill that would help decrease the budget and help reform the earmark process because you don’t like the president? Seems short sighted and petty.

    I don’t trust him period there’s nothing petty about it. The line item veto in any form stinks and I wouldn’t want this asshat having that power.

    Frankly this has nothing to do with who the president is. Bush is only president for 2 more years. Power shouldn’t be given to the president or congress predicated on who or which party would use it wisely, if it’s not good enough for the party you distrust, then its not a good bill. I’d support this whether Bush was the president or Clinton, democrat or republican.

    I fully agree with the text in bold. As far as bush being president for only 2 more years means there are two more years for bush to further fuck things up. He has a track record and no I wouldn’t trust him to make me a cheese sandwich at this point.

  49. 49
    ChrisB says:

    they had plenty of time to find a workaround (such as this) in thepast six years. But they didn’t. Why not?

    Because they weren’t in the minority. This is why I and many others refused to vote for republicans in 06, and put them in the minority. Because as the opposing party, they seem to find their lost principles of fiscal discipline. This is exactly what we wanted, why are you against the bill just because of who offered it John? It’s either a good bill or it isn’t regardless of who wrote it.

  50. 50
    Zifnab says:

    it could be used to eliminate entire programs.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing ;P

    When President Hillary Clinton vetoes the military, we’ll talk. Until then, please stop and think before you type.

  51. 51
    jh says:

    David hit the nail on the head.

    It’s a backdoor line item veto.

    Sherard and Chris B:

    You lose. Thanks for playing. Your Year’s Supply of Turtle Wax is in the mail.

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    So you don’t want a bill that would help decrease the budget and help reform the earmark process because you don’t like the president?

    if it’s not good enough for the party you distrust, then its not a good bill.

    Shorter ChrisB: Watch me shoot down my own argument!

    This idea doesn’t help decrease the budget or reform squat. What it does do is offer Bush new ways to fuck with the government, giving him the power to decide what items he wants funded in a bill and what he doesn’t is *begging* for cuts to things Bush doesn’t believe in even though his beliefs go against the nation’s best interests.

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    Because as the opposing party, they seem to find their lost principles of fiscal discipline.

    Shorter ChrisB: Bush promises he’ll pull out in time and it’s one of my safe days anyway.

  54. 54
    Zifnab says:

    This is why I and many others refused to vote for republicans in 06, and put them in the minority. Because as the opposing party, they seem to find their lost principles of fiscal discipline.

    They haven’t learned fiscal discipline over the course of two weeks. In fact, just the opposite. The Republicans can’t spend money via the Congress, so they’re trying to give the President power of the purse instead. That’s all a line-item-veto is. Give the President authority to control spending. And for this particular Republican President, it’s perfect. He can toss the military about like a child with a chaingun, then demand Congress pay for his mess or be convicted of “failing to support the troops”. Then he can hack away at Medicare, Education, Social Security, and the like, all the while claiming he’s keeping down deficit spending.

    That way, rather than building roads or schools or pay cops or funding science research we can just buy more military. Brilliant.

  55. 55
    pharniel says:

    ChrisB Says:

    So you don’t want a bill that would help decrease the budget and help reform the earmark process because you don’t like the president? Seems short sighted and petty. Frankly this has nothing to do with who the president is. Bush is only president for 2 more years. Power shouldn’t be given to the president or congress predicated on who or which party would use it wisely, if it’s not good enough for the party you distrust, then its not a good bill. I’d support this whether Bush was the president or Clinton, democrat or republican.

    That is absolutly not the way the constitution was desgiend.
    the constitution was designed under the assumption that the worst possible person you could imagine would have that position and there was dick all you could do about it.
    and then framed in such a way as there was recourse against that person.
    checks ‘n blances.

  56. 56
    Pb says:

    if it’s not good enough for the party you distrust, then its not a good bill

    Good call–it’s not a good bill. I could write a better bill in no time, and it’d be way shorter, too. But I still wouldn’t, because I don’t think the President should have that kind of authority in the first place.

    However, I would support a law that forces Congress to actually keep all the items within a bill on the same subject. And, separately, a law to mandate that there can be no items added to a bill in conference committee that were in neither the House nor the Senate versions of a bill, nor can there be any items removed that were in both versions.

  57. 57
    Zifnab says:

    And with legal minds like these, who would argue that the President should be given additional power?

    Specter: Now wait a minute, wait a minute. The Constitution says you can’t take it away except in the case of invasion or rebellion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus?

    Gonzales: I meant by that comment that the Constitution doesn’t say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

  58. 58
    Steve says:

    Power shouldn’t be given to the president or congress predicated on who or which party would use it wisely, if it’s not good enough for the party you distrust, then its not a good bill.

    You seem to be in total agreement with the rest of us, and you don’t even know it.

    The point here is not that Bush is a uniquely bad guy. The point is that Bush illustrates the concept that a bad guy can become President, and there are just too many ways for a bad guy to use this idea to partisan advantage.

  59. 59
    pharniel says:

    my jaw drops.
    these people need to be braught up on the only criminal charge in the constitution.

  60. 60
    Jake says:

    Gonzales just told Congress that we don’t actually have a right to Habeas Corpus after all—who knew?

    ‘Kay, then that little sucker won’t squeal when he winds up in the slammer and his jailers laugh when he asks why.

  61. 61
    neil says:

    Up or down vote! Up or down vote!

  62. 62
    ThymeZone says:

    Gonzales: I meant by that comment that the Constitution doesn’t say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

    This may be the greatest piece of doublespeak ever uttered by an official of the US Government.

  63. 63
    dreggas says:

    Abu is just applying the standard weasel defense. If the constitution doesn’t contain the exact words “Everyone has a right to Habeus Corpus” then no one has a right to it.

    Un-fucking-believable that there are people like this that would use exact words to limit our freedoms. Even more unbelievable that these people have cheer leaders. Seriously I hope that sometime down the road the tables are reversed and every asskisser for this administration is subject to their own words. The dipshits in Congress are finding out just what it’s like to be subject to their own rules and boy are they whining.

  64. 64
    TenguPhule says:

    This may be the greatest piece of doublespeak ever uttered by an official of the US Government.

    I still believe the winner for doublespeak is the ‘we do not torture’ followed by ‘we want to legalize torture’.

  65. 65

    It’s sad that Republicans are such obstructionists.

    Democrats should have used the Nuclear Option to end filibusters.

    It’s interesting, I once saw someone claim that you needed Dick Cheney to invoke the Nuclear Option, but that’s not true. You simply need the presiding officer… Either the VP, or the president pro-tempore, who is now a Democrat from West Virginia.

    Given Byrd was a member of the Gang of 14, it remains unlikely.

    But still, it’s kind of fun to poke Republicans in the eye with it.

    Down with obstructionist Republicans! Don’t they realize they are obstructing the People’s Will!

  66. 66
    Steve says:

    This may be the greatest piece of doublespeak ever uttered by an official of the US Government.

    Does it really top “it’s a success that hasn’t occurred yet”?

  67. 67
    dreggas says:

    Sure we heard it from your brother’s wife’s third cousin twice removed but…what the hell we’ll Kill ya anyway! YeeeHawww

    Lady Liberty’s face is now rust thanks to the sheer volume of tears she has shed as she has watched the nation she held the torch for undermine everything she has done it for.

  68. 68
    ThymeZone says:

    Does it really top “it’s a success that hasn’t occurred yet”?

    I think so. After all, the latter line is technically true.

    It’s all in the attitude. Let a smile be your umbrella. Etc.

  69. 69
    TenguPhule says:

    Does it really top “it’s a success that hasn’t occurred yet”?

    Hell, Rice topped that one already with “It’s bad policy to speculate on what you’ll do if a plan fails when you’re trying to make a plan work.”

  70. 70

    What about “I haven’t seen the video” turning into “I guess it kind of looks like a revenge killing.”?

  71. 71
    Tsulagi says:

    Zifnab said,
    And with legal minds like these, who would argue that the President should be given additional power?

    Specter: Now wait a minute, wait a minute. The Constitution says you can’t take it away except in the case of invasion or rebellion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus?

    Gonzales: I meant by that comment that the Constitution doesn’t say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

    So Gonzales is saying yes, there is a right to habeas corpus, but not to “every” citizen. Decider Man decides who has that right and who doesn’t. After all, as wartime president he’s the ultimate authority on the Constitution and its application.

    After that Gonzales statement, which is just one more tiny turd on the mountain range of shit from this spoiled brat president, you would be beyond brain dead to suggest giving him any additional authority that he hasn’t already grabbed.

  72. 72
    Dave says:

    So you don’t want a bill that would help decrease the budget and help reform the earmark process because you don’t like the president? Seems short sighted and petty. Frankly this has nothing to do with who the president is. Bush is only president for 2 more years. Power shouldn’t be given to the president or congress predicated on who or which party would use it wisely, if it’s not good enough for the party you distrust, then its not a good bill. I’d support this whether Bush was the president or Clinton, democrat or republican.

    a) As has been pointed out above the power of the purse is explictly given to Congress in the Constitution. To change the Constitution you need to amend the Consitution, not just attach riders to other bills.

    b) I wouldn’t trust ANY president with a line item Veto, I don’t care who it was. The constitution provides a way for the president to object to any provision in a bill. This is called a veto. Here’s a nice video that explains the whole process.

    In short the line item veto (or anything resembling a LIV) is about shortcutting the Constitution. Shortcutting the Constitution is always a bad thing and leads to wonderful laws like the War Powers Act.

    The framers wanted it tension between the three branches of government, they wanted it to be hard to pass laws. That’s how the system is set up, and it works brilliantly, until one branch lays down in bed with another (e.g. the last six years).

    Of course all of this assumes the GOP was operating in good faith, but we know all this Line Item Veto in disguise crap is just a poison pill to kill ethics reform.

  73. 73
    Dave says:

    However, I would support a law that forces Congress to actually keep all the items within a bill on the same subject. And, separately, a law to mandate that there can be no items added to a bill in conference committee that were in neither the House nor the Senate versions of a bill, nor can there be any items removed that were in both versions.

    Amen.

  74. 74
    dreggas says:

    The framers wanted it tension between the three branches of government, they wanted it to be hard to pass laws. That’s how the system is set up, and it works brilliantly, until one branch lays down in bed with another (e.g. the last six years).

    Using the term “In bed with” and the past 6 years leaves a really bad taste in my mouth but you are right. I mean the past 6 years have been split between daisy chains for bush and daisy chains for jesus.

    Of course all of this assumes the GOP was operating in good faith, but we know all this Line Item Veto in disguise crap is just a poison pill to kill ethics reform.

    Good Faith : GOP as Straight : Ted Haggard.

  75. 75
    Ryan S. says:

    Gonzales just told Congress that we don’t actually have a right to Habeas Corpus after all—who knew?

    wHAt?! W- w WWHAT?! *Bangs head on desk* WHAT!!!

  76. 76
    Faux News says:

    Isn’t it about time for Darrell to show up and change the topic?

  77. 77
    Jake says:

    …Constitution doesn’t say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus.

    Really? Well let’s take a look at some of the other things that aren’t assured to every citizen shall we?

    Well, what do you know? The Founding Fathers forgot to write “This applies to every single person in the United States with no exceptions even if some rat raping little dip shit addict decides otherwise.” Oh well, guess that was a waste of paper. Someone inform the NRA, according to Gonzales, the members DON’T have the right to own guns.

    If Thomas Jefferson’s statue got up and stomped all over the White House I would not be the least bit surprised. I’m trying to think. If the Washington Monument keeled over in the right direction…yes, I think it too would take out the White House.

  78. 78
    dreggas says:

    OMFG they have Hayden and Negroponte on right now testifying in Congress that the Jihadi movement has become a Pepsi movement in this country that it is popular and they are claiming that on the east coast west coast and in the middle of America kida are becoming radicalized by…THE INTERNET and that our kids are the new incarnation of Al Qaeda and extremists in the vein of Jihadists.

  79. 79
    Pb says:

    dreggas,

    I hope that’s satire. Jihadi, the choice of a new generation? WTF.

  80. 80
    Ryan S. says:

    Just to head off any Darrells Habeas Corpus is a part of common law. When the Constitution was written it was taken for granted that common law was the right for every citizen ( or so I thought, I’m not a lawyer).

  81. 81
    dreggas says:

    Pb,

    I shit you not am listening right now on CSpan radio and he called it a “Pepsi movement”.

  82. 82
    pharniel says:

    dreggas Says:

    Pb,

    I shit you not am listening right now on CSpan radio and he called it a “Pepsi movement”.

    HANGN’ TOO GOOD FOR ‘EM. BURNINGN’ TO GOOD FOR ‘EM. THEY SHOULD BE TORN INTO LITTLE BITS AND PIECES!

  83. 83
    Jake says:

    THE INTERNET and that our kids are the new incarnation of Al Qaeda and extremists in the vein of Jihadists.

    Huh? So does this mean all kids will have to report to the Mark Foley correctional facility until the War Against Terra ends? Will that be Gonzales’ dodge after Feingold spanked him? “We didn’t say Democrats were helping terrorists, we said Demon BRATS.” Although I can’t imagine the average parent will be pleased to hear Junior compared to terrorists. Oh wait, let me guess. We have to shut down the InterTubes to protect our youth.

    he called it a “Pepsi movement”.

    Are you sure he didn’t say Pelosi Movement?

  84. 84
    pharniel says:

    sorry. just. oi.
    seriuosly.
    fucking oi.
    wtf mate. wtf.

    wtt [Asshole President] and [useless executive branch]for [decent government] pst.

  85. 85
    Jimmy Mack says:

    The line item veto has proven in many states to be a useful means of controlling pork barrel spending. Why not at least give it a try in Congress…unless you don’t really want to control pork barrel spending after all? That’s certainly what this sounds like.

  86. 86
    Steve says:

    Just to head off any Darrells Habeas Corpus is a part of common law. When the Constitution was written it was taken for granted that common law was the right for every citizen ( or so I thought, I’m not a lawyer).

    I’m no expert, so I did a little research today, because I was “sure” there must be some recognized exception to habeas corpus that prompted Gonzales’ comments. As far as I can tell, there were no exceptions at common law, other than during wartime, and that topic is covered explicitly in the Constitution.

  87. 87
    Jimmy Mack says:

    Didn’t Lincoln, the liberals’ favorite president, suspend habeas corpus once? Not to say we should do it again, but let’s not be too disingenuous here.

  88. 88
    TenguPhule says:

    Didn’t Lincoln, the liberals’ favorite president, suspend habeas corpus once?

    Shorter Jimmy Mack: Look! An obvious distraction.

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    Why not at least give it a try in Congress…unless you don’t really want to control pork barrel spending after all?

    Shorter Jimmy Mack: Oh Mr. Bush, you dropped the soap. Let me pick it up for you!

  90. 90
    Pb says:

    Steve,

    I was “sure” there must be some recognized exception to habeas corpus that prompted Gonzales’ comments

    What, you thought he might have some sort of widely recognized, historical legal basis for his comments that doesn’t involve living under some sort of dictatorship? The more fool, you (see also: John Yoo).

  91. 91
    Jimmy Mack says:

    Shorter Jimmy Mack: Look! An obvious distraction.

    How is it a distraction to bring up another time it was suspended? I understand your disagreeing with me, but why label a valid point a “distraction” unless you don’t have anything to back up your argument?

  92. 92
    Ryan S. says:

    Didn’t Lincoln, the liberals’ favorite president, suspend habeas corpus once?

    There was this thing in like the mid 19th century. I think it was called something like Oohh THE CIVIL WAR. It kind of fulfilled this

    The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

    I think

  93. 93
    Dave says:

    The line item veto has proven in many states to be a useful means of controlling pork barrel spending. Why not at least give it a try in Congress…unless you don’t really want to control pork barrel spending after all? That’s certainly what this sounds like.

    What part of Congress has the power of the purse do you not understand? It spelled out pretty clearly in the Constitution. It does not say that the Congress can pass laws then the President gets to pick and choose what he likes and doesn’t. He can veto a bill or he cannot. If you want to change this, there is a provision in the Constitution called an amendment. You cannot change the way the Constitution works by simply attaching a rider on to a bill.

    This is not about “controlling pork” It has nothing to do with “controlling pork”. This has to do with two things: kethics reform and to a lesser degree expanding the powers of the President.

    Pork reform needs to happen where it belongs; at the Congressional level, not at the Presidential level.

  94. 94
    dreggas says:

    Jake,

    No he said pepsi movement *sighs* welcome to complete and total idiocy.

  95. 95
    Dave says:

    Ryan S. Says:

    Didn’t Lincoln, the liberals’ favorite president, suspend habeas corpus once?

    There was this thing in like the mid 19th century. I think it was called something like Oohh THE CIVIL WAR.

    He was also smacked down for doing so

    Ex parte Merryman, 17 F. Cas. 144 (1861), is a well-known U.S. federal court case which arose out of the American Civil War. Against President Abraham Lincoln’s wishes, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a judge of the United States Circuit Court for the District of Maryland, ruled: “1. That the president […] cannot suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, nor authorize a military officer to do it. 2. That a military officer has no right to arrest and detain a person not subject to the rules and articles of war […] except in aid of the judicial authority, and subject to its control.”

    I wonder if our wunderkind AG has read this case?

  96. 96
    Jimmy Mack says:

    unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

    I think 9/11 qualifies as an invasion, don’t you?

  97. 97
    TenguPhule says:

    I understand your disagreeing with me, but why label a valid point a “distraction” unless you don’t have anything to back up your argument?

    You would need to bring up a valid point first. You’re allowed to suspend Habus during a Civil War, idiot.

    Though the way Lincoln abused even that is still regarded as “not a good example to follow”.

  98. 98
    AkaDad says:

    Someone inform the NRA, according to Gonzales, the members DON’T have the right to own guns.

    Any strict constructionist knows, that everyone has the right to bear muskets.

  99. 99
    Ryan S. says:

    I think 9/11 qualifies as an invasion, don’t you?

    ARE YOU INSANE!!!!!! If that was an invasion then that was the most pathetic invasion ever, all the attackers died. There was no attempt to cede land away from us. A suicide attack does not an invasion make.

  100. 100
    dreggas says:

    Jimmy Mack Says:

    I think 9/11 qualifies as an invasion, don’t you?

    Do we really need to explain just how disingenuous let alone tenuous that argument is? We weren’t invaded on 9/11. Attacked yes but there was no invasion or invading force.

  101. 101
    TenguPhule says:

    I think 9/11 qualifies as an invasion, don’t you?

    Only if you’re a yellowbellied conservative pussy who wets himself when he’s in the dark.

  102. 102
    dreggas says:

    ARE YOU INSANE If that was an invasion then that was the most pathetic invasion ever, all the attackers died. There was no attempt to cede land away from us. A suicide attack does not an invasion make.

    Second only to The Mouse That Roared

  103. 103
    jg says:

    I meant by that comment that the Constitution doesn’t say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

    This guy has as much integrity as Insta-asshole. He knows he’s dropping bullshit on us. All that matters is he’s saying the right words for the wingnuts to pick up on. The statement doesn’t even make sense but that doesn’t matter. When it says the right shall not be be suspended who’s right is being talked about if not the the citizens of this country?

    I think people need to understand the constitution doesn’t grant rights to citizens. We have them from birth, they exist outside of the constitution. The constitution only guarantees your rights can’t be taken away by the government, an unnescessary guarantee given the makeup of our government (power being derived from the consent of the governed and all that). Once you get this you can’t be swayed by stupid claims like ‘if it isn’t stated in the constitution that I have a right to privacy then I don’t have one’.

  104. 104
    Jimmy Mack says:

    I think 9/11 qualifies as an invasion, don’t you?

    Only if you’re a yellowbellied conservative pussy who wets himself when he’s in the dark.

    I guess you don’t live in New York. And you talk tough, but I’d like to see what you’d in a real fight — probably wet yourself.

  105. 105
    dreggas says:

    Now Negroponte just said and I quote “We need parents of kids and residents of neighborhoods to call our JTTF’s and report it when they are suspicious of their kids becoming radicalized…”

  106. 106
    Jake says:

    ARE YOU INSANE

    Yes.

    SA2SQ

  107. 107
    TenguPhule says:

    On the plus side, if the Redstaters swallow Gonzies line of Bullshit then the other side can run “the GOP wants to take your guns away”.

    Kill one right, kill them all.

  108. 108
    dreggas says:

    Jimmy Mack Says:

    I guess you don’t live in New York. And you talk tough, but I’d like to see what you’d in a real fight—probably wet yourself.

    Nice try, New Yorkers know it was an attack, they see it as an Attack and considering they just sent Democrats to Congress and made their state true blue, by your own logic, they don’t see it that way.

  109. 109
    TenguPhule says:

    I guess you don’t live in New York

    Shorter Jimmy Mack: I think New Yorkers are Pussies!

  110. 110
    jg says:

    TenguPhule Says:

    Shorter Jimmy Mack: I think New Yorkers are Pussies!

    I would have to agree. Well, Yankee fans are anyway.

  111. 111
    Jake says:

    “We need parents of kids and residents of neighborhoods to call our JTTF’s and report it when they are suspicious of their kids becoming radicalized…”

    Is there any response to this flaming fuckload of bullshit? Or is this where you say “Ha ha, fooled ya”?

  112. 112
    ChristieS says:

    Jimmy Mack Says:

    The line item veto has proven in many states to be a useful means of controlling pork barrel spending. Why not at least give it a try in Congress…unless you don’t really want to control pork barrel spending after all? That’s certainly what this sounds like.

    Excuse me, but…what part of UNCONSTITUTIONAL didn’t all y’all get the first 200 years or so?

    The President gets ONE shot at a bill and it’s ALL OR NOTHING. No grey areas, no debate about one portion. It’s like a true or false answer on a test. If ANY part of the question is false, the whole thing is false. If the President doesn’t like one part of a bill, under the Constitution, he must shit-can the ENTIRE bill. Period. End of discussion.

    Someone upthread made the comment, “if you don’t like it (the Constitution), AMEND IT” or something along those lines.

  113. 113
    Jake says:

    Holy fuck, I guess you won’t

    “We see in this country on the East Coast, on the West Coast and the center of this country _ kids who have no contact with al-Qaida but who are radicalized by the ideology…”

    – Philip Mudd, Senior official in the FBI’s National Security Branch

    Where is he seeing this? I live in DC and I’ve yet to see tags praising Allah.

  114. 114
    dreggas says:

    Jake I am not kidding ya man I swear. I am listening to these shitheads say these exact things right now. They must not have gotten Abu’s memo either because they were calling for changes to FISA as well.

    Just wait for the transcript. I sent a heads up to TPM and they’ll probably have the dirt going on. They’re also being asked what we are doing about Cuba and Venezuela yadda yadda. Trying to say the jihadi movement among youth in europe is making its way here yadda yadda.

  115. 115
    Pb says:

    We see in this country on the East Coast, on the West Coast and the center of this country _ kids who have no contact with al-Qaida but who are radicalized by the ideology

    So that’s, like, what, three kids?

  116. 116
    Zifnab says:

    Didn’t Lincoln, the liberals’ favorite president, suspend habeas corpus once? Not to say we should do it again, but let’s not be too disingenuous here.

    Ah, Lincoln. The liberal’s favorite President.

    You should say that at GOP conventions right before, during, and after they’re pointing out how virtually identical Bush and Lincoln are. You should also mention it whenever a conservative pundit talks about how Lincoln was the model of the Republican Party. Then you should call liberals hypocrites for saying they supported Lincoln when they won’t vote Republican. Liberals are such total flip-floppers.

  117. 117
    dreggas says:

    Jake Says:

    Holy fuck, I guess you won’t

    “We see in this country on the East Coast, on the West Coast and the center of this country _ kids who have no contact with al-Qaida but who are radicalized by the ideology…”

    – Philip Mudd, Senior official in the FBI’s National Security Branch

    Where is he seeing this? I live in DC and I’ve yet to see tags praising Allah.

    Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Jihadi Movement…

  118. 118
    Zifnab says:

    We see in this country on the East Coast, on the West Coast and the center of this country _ kids who have no contact with al-Qaida but who are radicalized by the ideology

    Perhaps we should consult Mr. Rumsfeld on where these kids are located. Mr Rumsfeld?

    “We know where they are. They’re … east, west, south and north somewhat.”

  119. 119
    dreggas says:

    Pepsi Jihad!!!! All your Coke Are Belong To Us!!!!

  120. 120
    ChristieS says:

    Dave Says:

    JimmyMack said
    “The line item veto has proven in many states to be a useful means of controlling pork barrel spending. Why not at least give it a try in Congress…unless you don’t really want to control pork barrel spending after all? That’s certainly what this sounds like.”

    What part of Congress has the power of the purse do you not understand? It spelled out pretty clearly in the Constitution….(snip)

    Heehee, didn’t read far enough down the thread. You’re much more polite than I am.

  121. 121
    TenguPhule says:

    I would have to agree. Well, Yankee fans are anyway.

    You’re looking at the wrong hole for Yankee fans.

  122. 122
    Jimmy Mack says:

    “We see in this country on the East Coast, on the West Coast and the center of this country _ kids who have no contact with al-Qaida but who are radicalized by the ideology…”

    – Philip Mudd, Senior official in the FBI’s National Security Branch

    Okay, can we all agree that that just nuts?

  123. 123
    dreggas says:

    Jimmy Mack Says:
    Okay, can we all agree that that just nuts?

    That is the general consensus unless you believe there are satanic lyrics in every Ozzy osbourne album when played backwards, D&D leads to satanism and witchcraft and even killing people and oh that heavy metal will make you kill yourself.

  124. 124
    Pooh says:

    Can someone explain to me how this (rescission authority) is the same as a line-item veto? Congress can still pass them as individual items if they want to – but it can be used to put the spotlight on individual items in the budget rather than the current ‘sign it or not, pork and all’.

    He ‘rescinds’ it, they pass it individually. He vetoes without touching the larger bill.

  125. 125
    Jimmy Mack says:

    “We see in this country on the East Coast, on the West Coast and the center of this country _ kids who have no contact with al-Qaida but who are radicalized by the ideology…”

    Wait..aren’t those some of the lyrics to that John Cougar song they play in that Chevy commercial?

  126. 126
    Pooh says:

    Wait..aren’t those some of the lyrics to that John Cougar song they play in that Chevy commercial?

    Well, thanks to certain folks, “this is our country” now.

  127. 127
    scarshapedstar says:

    I glanced at The Ole Perfesser’s take on the issue and let’s say it’s best viewed on an empty stomach.

    Incredibly, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL, Reid’s majority whip, is claiming Gregg’s amendment is actually a parliamentary trick by the GOP to “bring this ethics bill down.”

    Can you imagine!??!?!?!?

  128. 128
    Andrew says:

    So, to sum up this thread, Jimmy Mack is a cowardly bed wetter who masturbates furiously whenever he sees a dead farm animal?

    Of course, that’s just my general impression. I could be wrong on the technical details.

  129. 129
    TenguPhule says:

    So, to sum up this thread, Jimmy Mack is a cowardly bed wetter who masturbates furiously whenever he sees a dead farm animal?

    Yes.

    This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

  130. 130
  131. 131
    SeesThroughIt says:

    However, I would support a law that forces Congress to actually keep all the items within a bill on the same subject. And, separately, a law to mandate that there can be no items added to a bill in conference committee that were in neither the House nor the Senate versions of a bill, nor can there be any items removed that were in both versions.

    Amen.

    Amen seconded. I really have a strong distaste for this sneaking-provisions-into-an-unrelated-bill bullshit. If you want to give a huge sop to your district or make it illegal for gays to ride public transit or whatever the fuck thing you’re trying to sneak on…then create a bill proposing it. If it’s such a great idea, let it stand on its own merit. Don’t try to sneak it by everybody by attaching it to the Puppies And Kittens Are Adorable Act (and then, of course, howling at the top of your lungs that anybody who opposes the bill with your bullshit rider actually thinks that puppies and kittens will sacrifice you to Satan).

    I live in DC and I’ve yet to see tags praising Allah.

    But do you still see Disco Dan tags? I haven’t been to DC in a while, but I remember dude’s tag was everywhere.

  132. 132
    Jonathan says:

    Here’s something interesting that I found just now.

    WASHINGTON –In a published report, the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania has detailed findings of a four month study of the intelligence quotient of President George W. Bush. Since 1973, the Lovenstein Institute has published its research to the education community on each new president, which includes the famous “IQ” report among others.

    According to statements in the report, there have been twelve presidents over the past 60 years, from F. D. Roosevelt to G. W. Bush who were all rated based on scholarly achievements, writings that they alone produced without aid of staff, their ability to speak with clarity, and several other psychological factors which were then scored in the Swanson/Crain system of intelligence ranking. The study determined the following IQs of each president as accurate to within five percentage points:

    147 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
    132 Harry Truman (D)
    122 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
    174 John F. Kennedy (D)
    126 Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
    155 Richard M. Nixon (R)
    121 Gerald R. Ford (R)
    176 James E. Carter (D)
    105 Ronald W. Reagan (R)
    98 George H. W. Bush (R)
    182 William J. Clinton (D)
    91 George W. Bush (R)

    The six Republican presidents of the past 60 years had an average IQ of 115.5, with President Nixon having the highest IQ, at 155. President G. W. Bush was rated the lowest of all the Republicans with an IQ of 91.

    The six Democrat presidents had IQs with an average of 156, with President Clinton having the highest IQ, at 182. President Lyndon B. Johnson was rated the lowest of all the Democrats with an IQ of 126.

    No president other than Carter (D) has released his actual IQ, 176. Among comments made concerning the specific testing of President GW Bush, his low ratings were due to his apparent difficulty to command the English language in public statements, his limited use of vocabulary (6,500 words for Bush versus an average of 11,000 words for other presidents), his lack of scholarly achievements other than a basic MBA, and an absence of any body of work which could be studied on an intellectual basis.

    More:

  133. 133
    jake says:

    But do you still see Disco Dan tags?

    I do but I’m fairly certain they aren’t by THE Disco Dan. The style is very different and I’ve been seeing them for at least 25 years (or whenever the subway started running) so he’d have to be at least my age. Although I like the idea of a nearly 40-ish guy slapping on his climbing gear and grabbing the spray cans for a bit of Urban Embellishment. [/Urban Geek]

    As for the Untamed Radicalized Jihadi Teens from Planet X (a Mark Foley favourite) I bet Mr. Mudd is wetting his pants because he heard two teens greet each other with Salam Malakim [sp]. Something my mom’s hippy/Black Panther friends used to do.

    I’m looking forward to some explanation of what exactly will happen to any kids who are reported as possibly being “radicalized.” This could be a great way for kids to get rid of peers who keep tease them!

  134. 134
    Dave says:

    Whoa…a thread with over 100 posts without a Darrell post. That’s pretty impressive.

  135. 135
  136. 136
    RSA says:

    In a published report, the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania has detailed findings of a four month study of the intelligence quotient of President George W. Bush.

    Snopes has the scoop on that. Bush’s IQ remains a mystery.

  137. 137

    […] Who Killed Ethics Reform? […]

  138. 138
    Jonathan says:

    Bush’s IQ remains a mystery

    LOL, I’m starting to make a habit of this.

    Unless Bush is feigning stupidity well enough to get an Oscar, he’s stupid.

    Bush couldn’t write dialog for a porno flick and is about as cunning as a dodo bird. I love that divide-by-zero look on his face.

    He’s shrewd and understands his base quite well but beyond that he’s clueless.

  139. 139
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Although I like the idea of a nearly 40-ish guy slapping on his climbing gear and grabbing the spray cans for a bit of Urban Embellishment.

    Hell, I know some over-40 graf dudes who still get out there and do the damn thing. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the OG Disco Dan hung it up a while ago.

    because he heard two teens greet each other with Salam Malakim

    As-Salaamu Alaikum, according to what Muslim friends have written to me. And sadly, there are right-wing idiots who think the phrase is some sort of terrorist rallying cry (it just means, ironically enough, “peace be upon you”).

  140. 140
    Llelldorin says:

    The Other Steve–fun question: Can you actually prevent the VP from being the presiding officer, if he shows up for every minute that the Senate is actually in session?

    If not, you really would need the VP to “go nuclear”–but you could glue Cheney’s rear to his seat in the Senate chamber to prevent it.

    It’ll never happen, but it’s fun to think about, isn’t it?

  141. 141
    jake says:

    As-Salaamu Alaikum, according to what Muslim friends have written to me.

    Oops. Thanks. I knew I was wrong, just not how wrong.

    And sadly, there are right-wing idiots who think the phrase is some sort of terrorist rallying cry (it just means, ironically enough, “peace be upon you”).

    Yep. Secret code for “Kill Whitey!” I wonder what the r-wers think when guys instead say Shalom (same thing, slightly different language) as they sometimes do. Eeee! Jewish African-American radicals is gonna take our women!

  142. 142
    Mr Furious says:

    I know it’s just a function of HTML, but it’s amusing that the “parentheses R” after the Republican President’s names in Jonathan’s comment turn into registered trademark symbols…

    Wholly owned by big business and all…

  143. 143
    scarshapedstar says:

    I think

    105 Ronald W. Reagan®

    is my favorite.

  144. 144

    […] Republicans halted ethics legislation yesterday, because they want a line item veto in the mix. However, as John Cole points out, since the line item veto was deemed unconstitutional, they’ve had 6 years to come up with some type of workaround but, as of yet, haven’t… There was no mention of the much loved GOP nuclear option. I wish I could honestly support the line item amendment, but I know damned well that as soon as it looks like it would pass, the Republicans would no longer want it. Right now it is a convenient tool to be used against the Democrats, but you don’t need to be too cynical to realize they don;t really care about ethics reform. If they did, they would recognize their amendment failed, and move on with the proposed reform (which although not perfect, is better than no reform at all). They want an issue, they want their earmarks, but they do not want ethics reform. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Republicans halted ethics legislation yesterday, because they want a line item veto in the mix. However, as John Cole points out, since the line item veto was deemed unconstitutional, they’ve had 6 years to come up with some type of workaround but, as of yet, haven’t… There was no mention of the much loved GOP nuclear option. I wish I could honestly support the line item amendment, but I know damned well that as soon as it looks like it would pass, the Republicans would no longer want it. Right now it is a convenient tool to be used against the Democrats, but you don’t need to be too cynical to realize they don;t really care about ethics reform. If they did, they would recognize their amendment failed, and move on with the proposed reform (which although not perfect, is better than no reform at all). They want an issue, they want their earmarks, but they do not want ethics reform. […]

  2. […] Who Killed Ethics Reform? […]

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