How are we going to make progress with a Senate majority leader like Harry Reid? We have 59 Democratic senators (and one day, I hope, 60) and yet we often hear from Harry that “we just don’t have the votes”. This is almost as good as it gets for Democrats but “we can’t get the votes.”
We have to have 60 senate votes to pass legislation. No chance of reconciliation. We won’t make the Republicans filibuster. We have presidential appointees who have been blocked by anonymous holds with no outcry and no action from Reid. We have Republicans running roughshod over Democratic initiatives but little pushback from Reid.
What we do have is hand wringing and little action. "We just don't have the votes." He doesn’t seem to understand that WE WON! What’s going on? Follow me below the fold for a little information.
On January 26th, Halliburton reached tentative settlement agreements with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission over an investigation into bribery charges against its former KBR subsidary.
Albert "Jack" Stanley, a former chairman and CEO of KBR, pleaded guilty to participating in a joint venture that lasted from 1995 to 2004 which paid $180 million in bribes to government officials in Nigeria order to build a $6 billion dollar liquified natural gas (LNG) plant on Nigeria's Bonny Island. Stanley also received $10.8 million in kickbacks from a consultant who was hired to facilitate LNG contracts around the world.
Stanley, who worked under U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney when he was CEO of Halliburton, was fired in 2004 for violating the company's business code and receiving "improper personal benefits".
Plea in Bribery Case
As I sat at my computer, mired in the unsavory articles about Sarah Palin and feeling the hangover of the negative Republican convention, I felt pulled down and vaguely depressed by this whole election. Babygate, troopergate, earmarks, an unqualified vice presidential candidate, the unrelenting criticism of Barack Obama last night by a group of people who fail to measure up in even the smallest way - all of it seemed a bit overwhelming. The pure nastiness that has become our national election process is demoralizing.
As if the universe in someway sensed my malaise, an email arrived from my sister-in-law, attaching a Boston Globe article from January, 2007, about Obama. The article is entitled "At Harvard Law, a unifying voice. Classmates recall Obama as an even-handed leader."
The title itself seemed a far cry from the miserable, petty stories of Wasilla and Palin, so I read on.
Bill Kristol's column, "A Joe of His Own?", in today's NYT speaks volumes about the state of the race from the neocon perspective. Kristol points out that, despite Republican protests that the selection of Biden was one of "weakness", Biden's selection complicates McCain's choice for VP and has the Republicans worried. Pawlenty is inexperienced, Romney is too wealthy (too many houses), and Rice and Palin have never run for national office. Who then should McCain chose? Why Joe Lieberman, of course. Although I'm certain Kristol did not intend it this way, his comments are a ray of hope for the Democrats and the Obama presidency.
As an exercise in examining media bias, I examined the article from The New York Times, August 15, 2008 edition, entitled “With Obama Away, McCain Talks Foreign Policy” by Michael Falcone. The photographs show Obama eating ice cream with his family and McCain at a podium with a flag behind him, pointing rather majestically to recognize a questioner. A subtitle for the article reads “While one candidate vacations, another takes an opportunity to look presidential.” Between the visuals and the titles, it is almost not necessary to read the article to see the outrageous bias, but I decided to take a look.