congress


Congress started today,

Will the Real Senate Please Be Seated

and already fighting with each other,

Senate Dems May Try To Seat Franken

Defiant Burris Heads to Washington to Claim Senate Seat

Obama is back to work in Washington,

Obama Discusses Tax Cut On First Day Back: Wants $500 Tax Cut For Most Workers 

the teachers had to go back, but we have one more day of freedom!

Not sure how much more I will get to post now that I’ll be focusing on classes, debate, clubs, and trying to graduate early or enroll in the dual credit program, so may not be here much.

Happy new purple beach house to the folks at Relaxed Politics!

Last night the Senate confirmed Mukasey as attorney general, but they didn’t have to.  They could have filibustered it and made the Republicans come up with 60 votes, just like the Republicans do to them ALL THE TIME!
Someone showed me this article this afternoon a it pisses me off!  The title is “Reid Allowed Vote On Mukasey In Exchange For Military Funding Bill” which is disturbing enough, but this is the part that’s really disturbing:

What of the talk that Reid might allow a filibuster of the Mukasey confirmation vote? Asked why this didn’t happen, a leadership source claimed that it was because Dem leaders were convinced that Repubs would be able to break off enough Dems to reach the 60 vote threshold and defeat the filibuster.

“They would have gotten 60,” the leadership source says, adding: “Some on the Democratic side honestly fundamentally don’t believe in filibustering cabinet secretaries. We are on the cusp of a new administration, and we think it will be a Democratic one. Filibustering here would have set a bad precedent.”

Why is the leadership concerned about “a bad precedent” when the alternative is to let every other country and all of the future Americans will think that WE think torture is OK.  Also, this strategy won’t work and now democratic voters will think that the Democrats in the Senate are all wimps.  Greg Sargent, the author of that article, says

Of course, this argument will ring hollow to some. Good behavior by Dems now is hardly likely to produce the same on the part of Republicans; indeed, they’ve already been filibustering like nothing else. And it also seems likely that the Dem leadership preferred to avoid the filibuster because it really wanted to get the defense approps bill passed as a shield against GOP criticism (though it can also be argued that there’s pressure on Dems to get defense approps passed for other reasons) and so leaped at the chance to do this. That seems to be the reason that Dems rushed the vote through last night. Critics will point out that Dem worry about GOP attacks was hardly a good enough reason to wave the Mukasey vote through.

Forget critics.  Who DOES think that last night’s vote was a good idea?

General Peter Pace

 

photo from ABC News

General Peter Pace is the chairman of the joint chiefs, making him the most elevated military office in the United States. He is not our priest-in-chief or our parent-in-chief, but he seems to think he is, and that his “upbringing” and his beliefs make him qualified to tell the rest of us, the entire military, and the United States Senate what is immoral. Why is that his job? It isn’t, but he doesn’t seem to know that!

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The first amendment to the United States Constitutions says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This may be why Pace refers to his upbringing and not his religion, but it is commandments from his RELIGION that is causing him to repeatedly condemn homosexuality and adultery.

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In a March newspaper interview the general said that:

My upbringing is such that I believe that there are certain things, certain types of conduct that are immoral. I believe that military members who sleep with other military members’ wives are immoral in their conduct, and that we should not tolerate that. I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral, and that we should not condone immoral acts. So the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell allows an individual to serve the country, not — [inaudible] that allows individuals to serve their country. If we know about immoral acts, regardless of committed by who or — then we have a responsibility. And I do not believe that the Armed Forces of the United States are well served by saying through our policies that it’s okay to be immoral in any way, in any way, not just with regards to homosexuality. This is from that standpoint saying that gays should serve openly in the military to me says that we, by policy, would be condoning what I believe is immoral activity. And therefore, as an individual, I would not want that to be my policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that, if were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with someone’s wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior between members of the Armed Forces.

You can listen to that here.

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Two days later, the Washington Post reported this,

The Pentagon’s top general said Tuesday he should not have voiced his personal view that homosexuality is immoral and should have just stated his support for the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in an interview that has drawn criticism from lawmakers and gay-rights groups.

The written statement by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not apologize for his stance on homosexuality. In a newspaper interview Monday, Pace likened homosexual acts to adultery and said the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces.

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But ….. the general repeated all his opinions again this week in a Senate hearing, and this time the Code Pink protesters replied by quoting (very loudly and repeatedly) their favorite bible verse, “THOU SHALT NOT KILL! THOU SHALT NOT KILL!” They are absolutely correct — if we need any religion at all mixed in with the military, THAT is the kind of morality we should be following.


Like most of my political posts,

 

this is cross-posted at Political Teen Tidbits

 

and at YouThinkLeft.

These suggestions are from Code Pink. (Thanks Franya.) What else might work? Please leave a comment.

1. Tell Senator Lieberman: No War in Iran!

Joe Lieberman is waving his sword again. On Sunday, he told CBS “I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq.”

Upon hearing these words, our own Leslie Angeline, a CODEPINK member from Santa Rosa, CA, decided to go on a hunger strike until Senator Lieberman agreed to meet with her. Leslie, who recently returned from a peace delegation to Iran, has made it her mission to prevent America from attacking the country.

You can join us in solidarity by calling and emailing Lieberman’s office to demand that he retract his irresponsible call for military action in Iran. Call (202)224-4041 and ask to speak to Vance Serchuck, Lieberman’s Legislative Aide on foreign relations and Iran, or click here to send an email along with the picture on the above right of our action outside his office. We are holding photos taken from Leslie’s recent trip to Iran. Ask Lieberman if he really wants to attack these beautiful people, this beautiful place. See more action photos here.

As Leslie says, “70% of the Iranian population is under the age of 30-the age of my son. Iran is a country of warm, kind, and generous children and their families. We cannot start bombing these kids.”

Download and distribute our latest DON”T IRAQ IRAN flyer!

 

2. Learn What Presidential Candidates Are Saying About Iran

It is critical during this election season, to listen to what the presidential candidates – both Republican and Democrat – are saying about Iran. When a candidate says “No options are off the table,” they are sanctioning not only a possible military attack, but also a nuclear attack on Iran. This is totally unacceptable. We must insist that they put a nuclear attack off the table, and that they call for negotiations, not war.

Click here to download our list of presidential candidates and their positions on Iran.

3. Sign Our Petition to the UN Security Council!

Click here to add your name today!

4. Tell Congress! Don’t Iraq Iran!

Help us prevent another war in the Middle East. This time Congress must stop a pre-emptive attack! Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has introduced legislation (S.759) that would prohibit any funds from the recent supplemental bill to be used in attacking Iran. Urge your Senator to support S.759 TODAY!

5. Ask Your Press to be Critical and Vigilant!

The mainstream media is already jumping on the bandwagon about the Iranian threat. We hoped they would have learned their lesson after spreading falsehoods about WMDs in Iraq. But once again journalists such as New York Times’ Michael R. Gordon, Judith Miller’s sidekick in the WMD and phony aluminum tubes reporting, are quoting anonymous sources as proof that Iran is providing Iraqi militias with powerful explosives to attack US troops. For more analysis of the press and Iran, click here.

In fact, the evidence against Iran is insubstantial and full of exaggeration. Even General Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he hasn’t seen any intelligence that supports the claim. We need to tell the press that now is the time to ask serious questions instead of blindly supporting the administration’s headlong rush into another tragic and unnecessary war. Please contact media outlets and tell them we demand a critical, vigilant press. Click here to send your letter now!

 

6. Learn More!

PowerPoint Show of influential and famous Iranians in our midst:

In recent years, the media has damaged Iran?s image so badly that when people hear the name of Iran, they only picture black chadors, terrorism, and ayatollahs. These stereotypes are being constructed to make it easier for governments to attack Iran with public approval. This is why NoWar SA has produced a prsentation to help break down these negative stereotypes.

This is from Progressive Democrats of America. Please call or email.

Fema Trailers

Push the Senate Today to Support Katrina Survivors

September 25th, 2007

100,000 displaced. 65,000 families still living in FEMA trailers. This is the Gulf Coast two years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. After years spent dragging its feet, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs is holding hearings today on the Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act, the bill that will create a real road home for thousands of renters and owners in New Orleans and throughout the region.

Tell Chairman Dodd (D-CT) and the committee to move the legislation and bring Katrina survivors home.

The legislation, already passed in the House, will establish a right
to return for residents of public housing, release funds to create a
Road Home program that really works, designate $1.7 billion for rental housing and earmark millions for community development programs.

Read more about the bill here.

The legislation is finally on the agenda; let’s work together to make sure the Senate makes it a priority.

Send a letter today.

Thank you for standing up for just recovery in the Gulf…and nothing less.

Le’Kedra, Rosa, Ditra, Noeleen, Josué and Andre
The KIN Team

Many photos available here.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Bush would nominate some honest lawyers who respect the constitution to head up the justice department?  All of the top spots are empty.  But he will want people he can trust to not investigate his administration, someone who agrees to illegal wiretaps and torture and  prisoner rendition around the world, and I really hope that the congress doesn’t give in.

Gonzales leaves Justice Department

Outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wipes his eye during his farewell ceremony before Justice Department employees, Friday, Sept. 14, 2007, in the Great Hall at the Justice Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)AP – Resigning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales left the scandal-scarred Justice Department on Friday, declaring himself hopeful about its mission of ferreting out crime and defending the truth. Gonzales quit after 2 1/2 years at the department amid investigations into whether he broke the law and lied to Congress. He has denied any wrongdoing.

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