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elevated from the diaries by DemFromCT. Watch this if you can. Ted Stevens has just apologized to the entire Senate and pulled the IRS provision that Stevens said was 'slipped into the bill' by 'some staffer'. The provision apparantly allowed certain Chairs of Senate committees to have access to anyone's IRS data (like the Texas DA going after DeLay). Harken wants to know who the staffer is. Watch the show live. McCain was livid. So was Grassley, both (R).

Sen. Conrad from ND just called the GOP out on this budget bill.  Apparently they stuck a provision that removes any expectations of privacy regarding our tax returns in the middle of this 3000 page bill in the middle of the night.  They didn't tell the Dems.  But they caught them.  This is amazing to watch - they're going OFF.

This tactic is NOT new, but getting caught and having Dems throw fits IS.

[editor's note, by kd4dean]I changed title so people would know what it's about. Plus I found this on the Weldon Amendment - Weldon Amendment One particularly harmful amendment to the proposed Labor-HHS Appropriations bill in the House of Representatives is the Weldon Amendment. This provision would allow healthcare entities to refuse to provide abortion services, counsel women about abortion, pay for abortions for low-income women, and refer women to healthcare professionals who provide abortion services. States that refuse to comply with this Amendment risk losing federal funding for health, labor and education programs. Latinas, along with all women, risk losing essential reproductive health services if this Amendment passes.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:50 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  McCain is pretty pissed, too (none)
    He was on about 15 minutes ago.

    All the snark that's fit liberal street fight

    by Joan McCarter on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:08:14 PM PST

    •  Hopefully the media will report this (none)
      Yeah, right.

      As if they'd do their jobs.

      Media Matters for America.

      •  I watched "Network" last night (none)
        Paddy Chayefsky should have let the media know that he wasn't recommending that they all start to act like UBS.

        A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. - Emerson

        by freelunch on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:58:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A pretty boring movie... (none)
          I didn't get much enjoyment out of watching it, but it's sad just how prescient it ended up being.  On the other hand, if it hadn't ended up being prescient, it would have just been a bad movie period.    

          In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

          by Asak on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 01:13:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  They're Reporting It (none)
        ...just spoke to a New York Times friend of mine; they have it and will report it tomorrow morning.

        "He serves best the party who serves best the country". Rutherford B. Hayes

        by Thinking Republican on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:43:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If a tree falls in the woods... (none)
          "They're Reporting It....just spoke to a New York Times friend of mine; they have it and will report it tomorrow morning."

          Unless your friend can get it (or any of the other myriad refuklican shenanigans) plastered on some NASCARs...
          (Do I seem bitter???)

          •  Holy crap, that's brilliant! (none)
            If only we could get George Soros to sponsor a NASCAR team! Why didn't we think of this before the elections?!?

            "I won't be your monkey."

            by ThatsNotFunny on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 09:27:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You (4.00)
              know who should sponsor a NASCAR team?  Operation Truth.  Think about it. A lot of Army and Airforce bases are in the South where NASCAR is extremely popular (though its a growing sport everywhere).  And there is this notion put out there by the media that Southerners are the most likely to serve in the military even though many of the folks dying in Iraq are coming from states like California and New York.

              Daily Kos Community: For People for a Change!

              by EMKennedyLucio on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 09:42:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is a really good idea (none)
                NASCAR has cars sponsored by military branches.  They would reach a lot of people who aren't hearing that side of it.

                Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act. -Orwell

                by TracieLynn on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:49:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  YES!! I just started watching CSpan (4.00)
    since I found this web site - I love it. Evidently everyone got into their office this morning and found a huge stack of papers to read before passing this bill. And you say this goes on all the time?? Gosh, do I have a lot to learn.

    "Wars will cease when men refuse to fight."

    by Griffen on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:08:17 PM PST

  •  I love that guy! EOM (none)
  •  Even the DINO Baucus (none)
    was railing about this. Raise hell, guys!!

    All the snark that's fit liberal street fight

    by Joan McCarter on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:09:11 PM PST

  •  Time to stop dispensing with bill readings. (3.99)
    It's boring and it takes forever, and there's no guarantee anyone will stay awake long enough to catch anything, but the GOP has lost its right to unanimous consent for waiving the reading of this or any other bill.

    Make 'em read every one out loud. It's in the rules. You have to consent to waiving the reading. Stop doing it. It'll throw a huge wrench in the works and delay every single piece of legislative business.

    But don't be afraid. Have a press conference. Explain why you're doing it. You're in the right here.

    •  I wish I could give you more 4s (none)
      This comment is spot on. Very good idea.

      Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.

      by justinb on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:29:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (4.00)
      Have a press conference...

      Do away with the obstructionist BS right away:

      Trust in the colleagiality and integrity of our colleagues used to allow for a more efficient legislative process, but now, thanks to the leadership's abuse of power on even the most basic of ethics and rules, we must now have every bill read into the record.  The reprimands from the ethics committee do not add confidence that we can trust either the word or the process that the leadership has now crafted.

      In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

      by a gilas girl on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:51:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bill Readings and Time (3.87)
      All bills should be read completely and then there should be a 24 hour period after the final reading after amendments before the vote takes place. No Congressman should ever vote for a bill if he doesn't understand every provision.

      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. - Emerson

      by freelunch on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:51:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "No Congressman should ever vote . . (4.00)
        . . . for a bill if he doesn't understand every provision".

        This is the most visionary proposal of all time.

        •  if no time to read the bill, just vote 'no' (4.00)
          what's so hard about that?
          •  They'd get decimated on the campaign trail (4.00)
            The reason you vote for a bill even if you haven't read it, is because in these days of sound-bite media, bills are just marketing slogans. If you vote against them, you can be ruined by an opponent.

            Example: what would happen if you voted against the "Clean Air Act"? What, you don't want clean air! Throw that bastard out of office! Or, what if you vote against the "PATRIOT ACT"? You're not a patriot! You traitor! Let's get the negative ads ready!

            More subtly: what if you vote against the omnibus appropriations bill, just because it has nasty anti-abortion crap in it? You're hurting our troops! You're paralysing our federal government! Look at what they did to Kerry for voting against the $87billion porkbarrel for Halliburton: they turned it into "Kerry doesn't support our troops". Fuckers. And of course there's the war resolution-- pushed through immediately before the mid-term elections so that everyone would be too terrified of negative ads to dare vote against it.

            Most people are totally unaware that reps don't read bills (thank you Michael Moore, the single best journalist to never practice journalism!).

            Many people who oppose the PATRIOT act, still to this day don't know that it was pushed through the sausage-maker during the Anthrax scare (Moore strangely didn't mention it), when everyone on the Hill was running around terrified, and Democrats and Planned Parenthood clinics (those mortal enemies of Islam) were getting sent deadly spores in the mail [insert favourite conspiracy theory here]. I mean, are you gonna vote against it at a time that you personally and your office and staffers are afraid they are under attack? No way.

            And during those days that Daschle's office was getting Anthrax mailings, do you know what the Repugs were pushing through the Senate with high priority? Yes-- right-wing federal court appointees. Lots of 'em. In a great big hurry.

            But that is an extreme and dramatic case; the typical scenario is much more mundane. This stuff stinks because the light of day hasn't shined on it in a long time. Thank you, Britney Spears Media. Luckily, we're starting to poke a flashlight in here and there. And I'm glad to see the Dems start raising a ruckus. That's key.

            Most people have no idea of the procedural issues. They're so complex and byzantine that I learn something new every day, and more and more people like us are getting plugged in and starting to pay attention. Please keep diaries like these coming, as well as the one listing a bunch of hilarious "Tom Delay Amendment" parliamentary stunts.

            If Pelosi and Reid start raising shitstorms like these from within the halls of Congress, and we compliment them with own Sinclair-like shitstorms from out here in blogistan, then I think we're on our way to taking back our country.

          •  Have you seen the size of some of these bills? (none)
            I would rather our politicians politik than spend all of their time indoors reading several thousand page documents they can't understand without a team of lawers.
            •  Then perhaps that would be an incentive (4.00)
              for them to stop writing bills in the several thousands of pages.  Perhaps actually having to read these things will make them realize just how rediculously oversaturated they are, and cause them to start trimming out the excess (including the riders and the pork) to get them down to a manageable level.
            •  Documents (none)
              Doesn't matter. Forcing them to read the bill would at the very least free up enough time so that the lawyers COULD read the bill. Even if the GOP went 24-7 with bills like this, it would give the Dems at least two days or so to read the bill themselves.
      •  We'd need to elect smarter people... (none)
        ...a lot of those guys wouldn't understand everything if they had a lifetime to read the bills!
      •  Conyers (none)
        Do you remember the look on Conyers' face when M. Moore asked him if he'd read a certain bill in F/911?  It was like "are you for real?"

        "Whatever it is, I'm against it." -- Groucho

        by moltar on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:04:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Could dKos help? (4.00)
      Could dKos be a source of additional bill reading just to informally point out, "Hey this looks strange."  We could portion it out just like we did for rapid response to the debate points.

      The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

      by TarheelDem on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:53:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good idea (none)
        If the logistics could be worked out, I'd be totally into that.
        •  Responsibility for Hill Staffers (none)
          Sure, this is something the public could assist with. I understand, in addition, this is a responsibility of Congressional staffers, including, among many things, to read, analyze, and make recommendations regarding pending legislation.
          •  The reality: not a chance. (3.66)
            Most Members get their information on what's in the bill from summaries provided by the party organizations in their respective houses. That information comes from committee staffers who've watched the bill from start to finish, but very few if any of them have actually read the entire bill word for word. They each have sections they're responsible for, and specific provisions they're interested in, but they wouldn't tell you their job is to read every word of the bill and know it cold.

            The staff of a bill's sponsor provides a summary of the bill's provisions to the Members of the subcommittee that first considers the bill. Then a summary of the bill and the subcommittee action on it gets passed up to the full committee, where more staffers summarize the subcommittee's summary. When reported out of committee, the summary of that summary gets summarized by the party organizations (the GOP Conference and the Democratic Caucus). Finally, Members get a summary of the summary of the summary of the summary from their personal staffers.

            In essence, nobody reads nothin'.

            •  full text search (3.66)
              although a "distributed computing" approach to bill vetting is a good idea, you don't even really need to do anything more than just use control-F on the full text of a bill (all the associated files).. for a set of republican "code-words" to their agenda items.  Can legislative staffers/minions work this in as part of their regular activity in vetting bills?


              by pawlr on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:14:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  XML of the bills (none)
        Of course we can help...there's even a website,, with information on how to use the XML files of bills. If I didn't have all these projects up in the air right now, I'd set something up myself. But maybe someone out there has more initiative....if you'd like any help, email me.
    •  Love to watch them read the Patriot Act... (none)
      ...all 1,200 pages or whatever.

      Proud Member, Controversial Daily Kos Extremist Group

      by DC Pol Sci on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:56:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Damn, (none)
      ...Kangro X, you are good!!  I'd vote for you for just about anything.  

      "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

      by eyeswideopen on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:46:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Even better idear (none)
      I love it! I'd give you a 4, but at this point it's kind of superfluous.  

      But I have a better idear. Instead of requiring reading the bills out loud (which wouldn't be that effective -- those things are darn convoluted), wouldn't it be great if our elected officials, or at least their staff, would actually read these frigging things before voting on them??!!

      I'm reminded of the expression on Charlie Rangel's face in Fahrenheit 9/11 when he admitted that nobody in Congress actually reads things like  the Patriot Act before voting on them.  Ugh.

      •  F 9-11 (none)
        That was John Conyers, not Charlie Rangel.
      •  No Congressman Left Behind (none)
        How about if the took a test on the bill?  We need to keep up our standards, don't we?
      •  Mandatory readings would work wonders for you... (4.00)
        We have them here in New Zealand for all legislation, which keeps lengths down rather effectively.
        You'd have to be insane to propose a bill 1200 pages long when you know you'll have to sit through 3 readings of it.

        Finally - it makes it a bit harder for our "representatives" to pass evil legislation when no one is looking. Doesn't completely stop them though.  Things like pay rises for politions just get passed 'in urgency' instead, where they have to keep going until agreement is reached.

        All laws should be understandable by any reasonably intelligent person with a basic legal dictionary.  (Except for the tax-code, naturally.  That is the only bill we have of ridiculous length)

        note: by 'reading' I don't mean the whole thing is read aloud.  Each article/ammendment/whatever of the legislation is brought to the houses attention for possible debate and needs to be individually approved.  This means there is no "we didn't know that clause was in there" defense.

      •  We have the same rule (4.00)
        in the Nebraska Legislature where I served four years. In fact, the reading out loud of the bills on Final reading is in our constitution. It goes back to the 1800's when not as many people could read so it was required to read each bill out loud before passage. It's been tried many times to eliminate this procedure from the constitution but fails always. It is very time consuming and the clerks read the bills in a low mumble as fast an auctioneer. However, one provision we have in our legislature that is not in the US Senate, we have to be in our seats on the floor while the bill is read. Now THAT is torture. Can you imagine Santorum or some other toad having to sit for hours in their chairs while their own idiotic bills are droning on in the background?
    •  time to dispense (none)
      with 3300 page bills !

      This is BS ! they are screwing women on their reprouductive rights and they put this IRS records crap into it ..

      This Goverment is NOT serving us ..

      I am so outraged by these idiots .

      •  We Need for Repugs/Red States To Be . . . . (none)
        repulsed by all this.

        They are the ones that need to wake up and realize that they just finished voting for.

        Maybe then, they will realize they have been screwed and vote these sorry bastards out of office.

        Recall anyone?

    •  If I could I would go a step further (none)
      and require each change made in committee to be voted on seperately by members of congress.  Such a provision would really cut down on the pork and things like this.
    •  I'm in favor of anything that slows the process (none)

      They don't give us health care and they don't give us decent or reasonably education.  All they pay for is wars and prisons, and anything that slows that down, gets my stamp of approval.

  •  Tipjar (3.98)
    Durbin says it crosses a line that we should never allow to be crossed - He referred to his files being hacked awhile back - they're mentioning Nixon and McCarthy.

    Everyone is just pounding on this - Barbara Boxer on now.

    •  What staffers have found (4.00)
      downloading stuff in the middle of the night, all taking portions of the bill, they discovered this little bit. There's much more they haven't even analysed yet.

      Boxer discussing the Weldon amendment, a "conscience clause" for HMOs to deny services for women reproductive health. Another sneak in the dark move.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. --Jerry Garcia

      by TaraIst on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:14:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "A line that should never be crossed" (4.00)
      This is a tip o' the rhetorical hat to Bill Clinton's speech two days ago on the dedication of his library in Little Rock, AR.

      Clinton nicely, and gracefully (too gracefully, but what the hell) delineated the difference between Republicans at their best, who would say, this line is not to be crossed under any circumstances, and Democrats at their best, who would knock down barriers which should no longer be standing, or which should never have been put up in the first place.

      Durbin was basically pointing out that the Republicans are violating their own tenets.

      (I have paraphrased the Big Dog's remarks; he was much more eloquent, but I think I have accurately expressed the sentiment.)

      Durbin and Obama are my state's senators. Go thou, and do likewise! :-)

      •  Illinois Senators (none)
        Yup, Clinton was too nice. I wouldn't have done so well. "Republicans haven't quite managed yet to completely destroy the country." Probably doesn't go over so well.

        Durbin and Obama are my state's Senators too.

        My first state was Wisconsin. Feingold and Kohl look pretty good too. They get ranked ahead of Durbin and Obama for now mostly because Obama only has a state legislative record--we still have to see what he'll do on a national level.

        In between living in Wisconsin and Illinois, I was in Iowa.

        Iowa's Senators are not so good. Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin. To be truthful, I agree with most of Harkin's politics (a glaring exception being DHSEA cosponsored with Hatch--which Durbin is on the correct side of), just find him to be personally repugnant.

        And if you need anything...there's some ants.

        by Skipbidder on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:51:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That defines true "conservatives" (4.00)
        A true conservative is someone who has an almost religious respect for law and order, for clear, black-and-white standards of conduct. Think "military ethics" here: a consistent, almost authoritarian system of rule-following whose strength comes from its rigidity and consistency.

        True "conservatives" also have a deep reverence for the past, for tradition, for the status quo, and an almost visceral dislike of change, novelty, and modernity. I consider many environmentalists and followers of ancient Eastern and Native American traditions to be "conservatives" in this respect. These can be good qualities that are useful and appropriate in some situations. Standing up for Senate procecures and opposing the "Tom DeLusional Rule" are good examples of such situations.

        Perhaps this is the quality that Big Dog was praising (damn, he is such a brilliant speaker). I also wish he had done it in a more pointed way. The Repugs have become unmoored from conservatism, and have been taken over by a cabal of radicals who won't ever be appeased (c.f. the intro of Krugman's "The Great Unraveling"). They started out with fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist free-market economics, and have degenerated into what seems to be a complete disdain for anyone and anything else. At this point, they're all about naked pursuit of power and nothing more. Krugman's right: they really just don't seem to recognise or acknowledge the legitimacy of our system of government.

        Yikes. We really have no choice but to fight those guys with everything we've got.

      •  Your Senators (none)
        Actually, Obama won't be your Senator until he is sworn in early in January 2005. For now, Peter Fitzgerald is still the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois, and he doesn't seem to likely to be of help with these concerns.
    •  My Senator Durbin (none)
      oozes integrity.
  •  holy shit (4.00)
    this is going to be filibustered to death. They almost thought they got away with it. hahaha. Yay Sarbanes! (i'm a marylander) There's no way this is going to pass with this provision.
    I am very happy to see the Democrats taking on a Libertarian position. This is where we need to go. We need to make Republicans big government facists and Democrats small government proponents of freedom. This issue will trump the supposed 'morals' bull shit. we can do this.
    •  Wooooo! (none)
      This is a great start to our new geurrilla legislative war. Oh, and the other 49 of you - MD says "you're welcome" :-).

      The world's address
      a place that's worn
      a sad pun that reflects a sadder mess
      In case you haven't already guessed:
      The world's a dress.

      by Jaiwithani on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:16:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even this Virginian... (none)
        ...thinks Paul Sarbanes is an excellent Senator, much better than the two Rethugs we've got.

        Proud Member, Controversial Daily Kos Extremist Group

        by DC Pol Sci on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:57:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed, Sarbanes is a good one... (none)
          ....even better than the two Republicans we have in Indiana!

          Are you listening, Senator Bayh?

          "The terrorists never stop thinking of ways to harm our country, and neither do we." - George W. Bush, 8/5/04

          by IrishAlum on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:29:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You know what I never got (none)
            On issues like this, where we can clearly delineate Democrats from Republicans why aren't our moderate voices out there berating these extremists policies as an explanation for why they can't join that other party.

            You want to give kids health care, then put Lincoln's face on it.  Tax reform: Bayh.  Protecting small farms: Johnson and Nelson (NE).  Re-importing pharmaceutical drugs: Landrieu.


            by DWCG on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:20:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I missed it (none)
          What did Sarbannes do?

          Also a big fan.

          Did we get to hear from that slimy bastard George Allen?

        •  Just two more years... (none)
          Repeat after me: "Senator Warner. Senator Warner. Senator Warner." Now go look at some VA demographic trends. Especially North VA. Then get out your blue marker and recolor your state.

          And, then come up here and get this slimy one-armed bandit of a governor off our backs. Erlich...

          The world's address
          a place that's worn
          a sad pun that reflects a sadder mess
          In case you haven't already guessed:
          The world's a dress.

          by Jaiwithani on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:48:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Well written. (4.00)

      I am very happy to see the Democrats taking on a Libertarian position. This is where we need to go. We need to make Republicans big government facists and Democrats small government proponents of freedom. This issue will trump the supposed 'morals' bull shit. we can do this.


       This should be carved in stone, stuck in a sock and said stone-filled sock should be used to brain the Democratic "leadership" on Capitol Hill.


      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

      by BenGoshi on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:54:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  hear.... (none)

        Dem leadership. Grow a set.

        by Espumoso on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:08:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hear, Hear! (none)

        This is the kind of principle we need to stand on!

      •  asdf (none)
        looks like an edition of "Prime Minister's Question Time" just broke out here.
        •  And next up: President's Question Time (none)
          I wrote this awhile back, and every day that passes makes it seem like a better idea:

          Shall we push it?

          •  Oh yah (none)
            I'm totally infavor of President's Question Time, have been for a long time.  PMQT brings politics right down to earth, in a format average citizens can understand and gain from, and it has its entertainment value.  This is not to be scoffed at, one of the striking problems in America is the shallowness of the national grasp of our own political culture.  Of course those benefitting would prefer it to remain that way, but how can Democrats continue to believe we benefit from public disengagement from civic life?  I think we could usefully ally Dems, independents, third parties etc.  It would quickly find a constituency.  Although the CSPAN demographic is pretty narrow, it's surprising the number of people that are familiar with PMQT.  Would Americans watch President's QT?  Would they ever.

            One other valuable attribute about PMQT, is that it forces the Opposition to actually oppose.  Which is a useful exercise under any circumstance, and one all too often bypassed by our "opposition".

    •  Sarbannnnes! (none)
      I'm also a Marylander, and I think Sarbanes is absolutely wonderful. I'll never forget the time he emailed me back about a 20 paragraph response to the depletion of social security.

      (I know it was probably pre-written and answered by a staffer, but still it was sent back to me in about two days time.)

      Has Mikulski said anything yet?

      "In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners." -Albert Camus.

      by BrianL on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:45:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Go Dem Senators!! (none)
    Don't let this piece of junk pass!!!

    Many Americans want you to stand up and fight for us!

    Keep fighting!!!

    •  Sane Repubs, too (none)
      Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ted Stevens (R-AK) are kvetching about the "Big Brother" IRS business.
      •  That's my point (none)
        That's at least three Republicans who are with us on this. If it came to an up-down vote, I'm not sure it'd pass with this provision.
      •  Where's Hatch? (none)
        Senator Hatch used to be one of the integrity hawks in the Republican party, too. Has he had anything to say?

        Go Grassley, too bad so few Republicans exhibit as much integrity and common sense as you do.

        A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. - Emerson

        by freelunch on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:46:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Good Senator R-Disney... (none)

          ...Is too busy bowing and scraping to his almighty corporate masters to try and do something so inconsequential as ensure his party's integrity. After all, if Disney doesn't have a perpetual right to the likeness and story of Mickey Mouse, why, our entire society would simply collapse!

          Its like the media listened to Weird Al's "Dare to be Stupid" and said "Yes! This is how the world should be!"

          by RHunter on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:56:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  watching now.. (none)
    Love this.BOXER IS PISSED....thanks for the tip.

    educate 'em when they're young

    by Chamonix on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:17:12 PM PST

  •  nt (none)
    They have to pass a budget. This bill will die if they don't remove the provision. And it might not even pass if it came to a vote, now that this has become an issue.
  •  'Bout damn time (none)
    to see some fighting spirit in the Dems.  

    Very kewl.

    Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. - Albert Einstein

    by smugbug on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:22:15 PM PST

  •  blog bill checking? (3.94)
    When there are these massive bills with just a few hours for review, is there a way (or is it already being done somewhere) for a blog with a ton of people to download the bill and divide sections for review?  With 35,000 members, if only a small percentage participated, maybe more junk would be found.  Could a system be set up for this?  Is there one already?
    •  Damn good idea (none)
      Let's see what we can find out and if it isn't already happening, let's get it started.
    •  good idea (4.00)
      it'd be a shitload of work though. Ever read through a bill? They're obfuscated to all get out. "Section 762 of Chapter XVI of Paragraph 32 is amended, striking the word "not" in the second sentence and inserting "dogs, cats and rabbits" after "boats" in the third sentence" and so on.

      If I had to pick just one constitutional amendment, sometimes I think a plain-language one would do the trick. With a germane-riders-only clause, of course.

      •  The way to do it (none)
        is the break the bill into readable segments.  That way no one would have to check the whole thing - we would only check some parts.  I think this would be very effective.  It would probably make for some good PR too, since I'm sure we'll find all kinds of junk in there.

        I'm a member of a minority group: the reality-based community.

        by Unstable Isotope on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:48:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would There Be (none)
          an easy way to have a page devoted to each bill, then have links on there to each page. Any dKossite could go to the site, click on a page, and that page link should then disappear. That way, anyone can go online anytime and pour through a few pages and we'd know which pages hadnt been read by the links remaining.

          Does that make sense?

      •  Amen to that (none)
        I tried reading the last tax bill, it was s-l-o-w going. Divide and conquer would have to be the method to making a go of the idea.  

        A plain language amendment would make government much more open and accessable to us regular folk, and probably our congress-persons as well.

        I was wondering,what is a riders-only clause?

        •  Germane Riders (4.00)
          If you limit all amendments to germane riders, nothing that is not directly related to the primary purpose of the bill will be in the bill. No amendments offering subsidies to the Lawrence Welk Museum would be germane to a tax bill.

          I would go further and outlaw the vast majority of omnibus bills, particularly spending and revenue bills; though, for example, a comprehensive reform of the IRC or the US Criminal Code would have to be one bill to work properly; it just might take up the entire session of Congress.

          A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. - Emerson

          by freelunch on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:56:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The only problem is (4.00)
            that proscribing non-germane riders can deprive the minority party of one of its last lines of defense.  This is especially true right now since the Republicans will almost certainly move to denature the filibuster once the fight for the Supreme Court heats up.  A non-germane rider is sometimes the only shield against majoritarian will.  
            •  How? (none)
              Amendments to a bill get added in committee (requiring a vote of the committee members, and in the Senate at least, only the Ethics committee is evenly divided - the rest are controlled by the majority party) by a vote in the Senate (again, controlled by the majority), or in conference (which the Republicans like to exclude Democrats from). I suppose you could slow things up by offering amendment after amendment, but without filibuster, not for any longer than the majority party is willing to entertain it without demanding a vote.
        •  That's "germane-only" riders. (none)
          It means, you can't stick riders on the bill that aren't directly related to the main purpose of the bill.

          What did we do to deserve George W. Bush?

          by republicans are idiots on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:56:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's in the frickin' Rep party platform (none)
            Of Texas, anyway.  Of which the President and the House leadership happen to be members.  

            My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don't get right. (TH Huxley)

            by sberel on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:09:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  germane riders only (4.00)
          means that any amendment to a bill would have to be at least mostly related to the purpose of the main bill. Right now basically anything can be offered as an amendment, which means that all sorts of pet projects and bugbears get tacked on to "must-pass" bills like the omnibus spending bills.

          Even more egregiously, the Republicans have adopted a practice of disallowing Democrats into conference meetings after a bill has passed. Tthe House and the Senate frequently pass versions of the same bill that are different to a lesser or greater degree, so a select number of Congresscritters from each house meet in a "conference" to work out the differences and come to a compromise. Then the bill goes back to each house, and they have an up-down vote on whether or not to accept the bill as it came out of the conference.

          No new amendments are supposed to be added to the bill in conference, but somehow it just keeps happening anyway. And since these riders are always tacked on to "must-pass" bills, and the bills can't be amended once they come out of conference, and our lazy Congresscritters rarely read the post-conference bill beyond scanning the conference report, all sorts of shit gets passed that way that would never stand on its own.

          •  Re: germane riders only (none)
            Even more egregiously, the Republicans have adopted a practice of disallowing Democrats into conference meetings after a bill has passed.

            Hello Soviet.

            Mccain speaking now BTW.

          •  Ahhh . . . (none)
            Germane riders.  Thank you all for the effort that you put into your replies.  

            I am shocked, althought I shouldn't be, by the underhandedness that our 'critters practice and the secrecy which they seem to be allowed to practice.  


          •  Oh, "Germane"! (none)
            I misread it as "Germaine Riders"... and I thought, "Why would anyone want to ride Germaine Jackson?  And won't Tito get jealous?"

            Thanks for clearing that up :)

            Insert trenchant political observation here

            by 40 and Fabulous on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:22:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Limit length of bills. (none)
          What is "germane"? What is "plain-language"?

          But 10,00 word count is 10,000 word count.

          Just a thought.

          (not sure what the number should be actually - just picked 10,000 out of the hat)

          Evil is always well-funded.

          by blue secession on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:00:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it's workable... (none)
        Not in our current setup.  The whole "herding cats" problem with a bunch of people all spread out across the country and on different schedules, plus wildly diverse levels of knowledge so that.. well, I suspect a lot of time would be spent on points of information, not to mention time spent in the inevitable arguments over what's a big deal and what isn't.

        Someday, there will be a nice content management system for apportioning texts of these giant bills to staffers/experts/etc at the ready to pull them apart.. Honestly, I bet over at the Congress they're still parcelling out hard copies of text files, right?

        We must cultivate our garden.

        by daria g on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:26:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In Practice (none)
        You're right.  For anyone to actually understand what they're reading they'd have to also have the entire U.S. Code on hand ad look up every cross reference.  The code is available on-line but slogging through that shit is hard sledding, especially if you don't know what you're looking for and you aren't particularly interested in what you're reading.

        This aggression will not stand, man

        by kaleidescope on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:28:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately... (4.00)
        ..."plain language" creates its own set of problems.  I'm involved in contract negotiations and writing, which is something akin to writing laws, and there are legitimate reasons for writing something the way it is.

        The problem is that the English language, like many others, isn't precise.  A lot of our communication uses context to transmit information in addition to what we are writing or saying, and while that works fine at the moment or the near future, further on, someone reading what was written who might not be aware of the context might not understand what was meant.  In the worse case, they might substitute their own meaning.  It would be perfectly legitimate, but was not what the original writers intended.

        "Legal language" gets around this by using strict forms or sentence structure, reference to other applicable documents, using archaic English, Latin or French terms that have a precise legal meaning, and so on.

        A good example of how "plain language" can screw things up is provided by your own Constitution.  Second Amendment, specifically.  The way it's written is interpreted differently by different people, usually depending on their philosophical viewpoint.  It's not precise.  What's "the militia"?  What does "Well regulated" mean?  Is there a membership link between the militia and the right to bear arms?  Who defines what is a militia and what isn't, and who regulates it or not?

        •  Another good example (none)
          of how plain language can screw things up in legal spheres:  "gay marriage."
        •  true (none)
          I guess when I say plain language, I don't so much mean legalese, as I mean that when someone amends an existing law, I want to see that entire section engrossed in the bill, instead of "Section 534 of Title XVI of US Code is amended to...". I don't mind wading through legalese, but tracking down all those citations and working out what it means to strike "to" in the second paragraph and insert "or people who are" in the third sentence makes it damn near impossible to read a bill.
    •  Might find (none)
      that law students would eat that up.  The junkies would for sure.

      "But why'd I have the bowl Bart? Why did I have the bowl?"

      by Mean Green on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:52:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thoughts on the how (4.00)
        Law professors might be the place to start.

        Get a couple of professors and a few law student blogger friendly types who could get credit for starting a new law school org, then let them outreach to other law schools and get a national network going.

        Almost a "real time" law review in that there's research and an output end product.

        Not much prestige compared to th journals, but there is something in "being the first" that can look good on the initiative front.  Something students can talk about in interviews.

        A number of law students have worked on the Hill.  Some want to use their degree as a leverage into politics.

        Strt with the DC schools: G'town, GMU, Maryland, American, etc.  Coordinate with the law school democrats.

        Just some thoughts.

    •  Keep this idea going..... (none)
      how can we get this done and not let this idea drop once this tread dies?  Who can take this forward to Kos or others?  I'm sure there are lots of people who would help, and some of the best would be those who deal with verbage like this on a daily basis in their work (attorneys, contract administrators,etc.)  
      •  not sure how (none)
        It probably would take a lot of work and need a fair bit of time from someone with legislative knowledge and blog programming knowledge to do it well.  I think Dems should tackle it early because others will probably figure out a system for this soon if they haven't already.
      •  How to.... (4.00)
        It would require:

        a) A spark.  Someone on the Hill with access to a downloadable version of the bill has to alert the troops;
        b) Troops.  Best organized around a separate blog, I would think, so as to keep everything straight and off the dKos servers, which are clogging on this right now!
        c) Supply lines.  IM or text messaging is fastest, but a list serv is best way to get the word out.  IM or text messaging through cell phones would be good for quick communications (go; no-go kind of stuff).  The blog seems best suited for accumulating responses and getting word back to the hill
        d) Response from the Spark.  We need to see results and know the effort is worthwhile.  Remarks on the floor, response on the blog from staffers, suggestions for improvement, etc.

        This is the single best idea I've seen for making use of our collective power.  Law students, law profs, and lawyers alike should eat this up.

        I, for one, am.

        •  ORACLE (none)
          is the answer.  Oracle can store the entirety of US law, proposed bills that fail, that succeed, all drafts, and provides a massive text search facility.

          Sorceress Sarah

          It is no accident that Liberty and Liberal are the same word.

          by Sorceress Sarah on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 08:07:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  blog checking? how about listserv plus blog? (none)
      It's hard to be organized about bill-checking, especially on a blog that has unpredictable visitation.  How would you make sure you got the parts all distributed out?

      Better would be to use a data-merged listserv with many, many more participants than there would be parts to a bill.  A big group like MoveOn could do this very effectively.  Parts could be distributed, say each part to fifty different people, by email.  That way, each part would be seen at least a few times.

      Really icky stuff could be reported to a blog, and a blog admin could email juicy results out to the listserv.

      •  How about MoveOn (none)
        Yeah - good idea.....I know MoveOn has what are like volunteer subgroups who work on particular "projects" as needed. On Sunday I'll try to connect with them on this idea and if I get response I'll be back. If others of you are members it would help I'd think to send too....the more voices on this idea the better!
      •  How about... (none)
        A modified Wiki, with immutable text (the bill) on top and a Wiki of annotations below ? Whenever a new bill is posted, it can be chopped up and people on a mailing list notified with the segment they are assigned (I agree, e-mail 50 people per segment... some people do have lives -- even if only occasionally). Entries/segments can be flagged as "stinky". Trusted users can assign a higher level of "stinkiness". An automated system can then give "top 50 stinky", open for review to all. If I were a Democratic congressperson, I would have that puppy bookmarked.

        Here's a title for that page: "Legislative conscience of America". Wait, can I trademark that?

        •  And more staffers needed too (none)
          Are there limits on the number of staff that congress people can have? Can their salaries be funded by organizations like MoveOn? Seems to me that Dems could use more full-time expertise around to keep track of these bills -- maybe also a "night staff" who are as knowledgeable as the "day staff". Also, if bloggers were to be organized to help, staff would be needed to keep this up and going.
    •  There's a 4 in your tipjar (none)
      for that one...


  •  It's gonna be a long night... (none)
    in the Senate. Heh, heh, heh.  This is a really underhanded, slimey thing to do, even for ReThugs.  Go DEMS!  

    It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

    by TheOtherWashington on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:28:42 PM PST

  •  It will pass (3.00)
    There is no way they will hold up the budget because of these provisions.  It will pass.

    Somehow Frist will compromise, there will be a debate the Weldon provisions after the holidays and have an up or down vote on them.

    The Democrats will agree to this.

    •  McCain (none)
      It's more than the Weldon piece.

      It doesn't sound to me like McCain is happy with this bill, or the dirty tactics being used here.

      And there's been a bunch of Repubs backtracking on how the Tax Return piece even got in there (apparently two "staffers"). Although Feinstein is right now calling that idea crap.

    •  It's already happened re: the abotion provision (none)
      I just heard on All Things Considered that Boxer had decided to back off protesting the abortion provision in exchange for a vote by early March of next year on the amendment.

      She brokered this deal with Frist, so I'm not sanguine about the fate of the vote. Since the IRS provision seems to have riled up members of the republican caucus in the Senate, it might disappear before the bill is voted on.

      Given the size of this bill, I'm sure there are a number of other surprises that the staffers have missed.

      It's going to be a long two years.

      I listen to wingnut radio so you don't have to!

      by Sharon on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:52:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Frist will Fuck her Over (none)
        These people are not to be trusted. I was at a speech by Rep. Bobby Etheridge (D-NC) where he just went off on the Republicans for screwing him and others on deals like this. Up or down by March? Fuck that. Debate it now. Vote on it now. What's there to figure out?
  •  re (4.00)
    I can see this information (tax info) being used on a district attorney in texas - Senator Diane Fienstein.


  •  This is fascinating! (none)
    It feels like a historic moment. Feinstein and others are shining a spotlight on the dirty tricks going on under everyone's noses, including those of the Senate itself!
  •  Who says Dems don't ever fight? (4.00)

    Yay, makes me proud!

    Self-appointed Framing Police ;-) Divisive bitching = quicksand; constructive criticism and reasoned analysis = moving forward

    by Newsie8200 on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:45:25 PM PST

  •  This makes me wish that (none)
    I got a better reception on CSPAN2

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:46:17 PM PST

  •  Now (4.00)
    they're talking about starting an investigation to find out who inserted the language and firing them... this is sweet.
    •  Like it was really just a staffer... (4.00)
      ...if only we could fire the Senator who made the staffer do it and then hung him/her out to dry.
      •  beneficiary of IRS provision (4.00)
        The odd thing is that both the Senate and House chairmen who would be given this awesome authority are losing their posts at the end of this Congress because of term limits.

        Why would they run the risk of putting this authority in for someone else to exercise?

      •  Don't let them pin it on a staffer (4.00)
        Staffers do their work at the direction of senators. They don't go sneaking provisions into bills on their own.

        The Dems should push for an accountability modification to the rules: every line of every bill, and every official draft bill, must have the name of the member that requested that the line be added.

    •  "...just a few bad apples...." (none)
      "...just a few bad apples...."

       hey i didnt know lynddie england got a job as a senate staffer!

       was that her "punishment" for abu grahib?

      by n69n on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 07:27:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If this passes we will have a POWERFUL wedge issue (none)
  •  Feinstein just used (none)

    How about the Dems use this to describe the Republicans from here on out?  

    Someone with money PLEASE buy

    Self-appointed Framing Police ;-) Divisive bitching = quicksand; constructive criticism and reasoned analysis = moving forward

    by Newsie8200 on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:49:18 PM PST

  •  Ted Stevens on the defense! (none)
    He's the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, which I believe sponsored this bill (?). He literally ran onto the floor, huffing and puffing, to assert that the mistake was made under "bipartisan" oversight and completely unintentional.
  •  The Appropriations (none)
    Comittee chairman is trying to blame both the Republicans and Democrats, and make it look like an honest mistake.
  •  Senator Ted Stevens out of breath (none)
    Anyone listening to Sen. Ted Stevens. He is clearly out of breath like he was running to get to the Senate chamber. He is too old to be running like that .... he could have a heart attack.

    I think the shit has hit the fan and the Republicans know it.  Why else would an old guy like Stevens be running ... or should I say sprinting to get to the Senate floor.

    •  Yeah, I noticed that (none)
      Now, I watch Senate hearings on CSPAN absolutely never, but I happened to flip past tonight and stopped there because I realized some bizness was going down.  It was fascinating.  Right when Stevens ran down there and got all defensive I suddenly thought to myself.. "WTF is going on here?  I thought we were the minority party?"  

      This is great.  Is it true that one of Dorgan's staff found this provision in the middle of the night?

      We must cultivate our garden.

      by daria g on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:31:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  reading the bills (none)
    It takes a certain institutional knowledge to know how to read these bills sometimes, because you have to know how to go back and find the provisoin in the existing legislation that it cross-references.

    Despite what Feinstein has urged, it is pretty likely that the Senate will go ahead and passed this omnibus bill tonight, since the House has already passed it, and then do a quicky technical correction bill the first day or so of the next Congress to get rid of this obnoxious provision.

  •  222 (none)
    This is going to be used, as something all Americans can get behind, in order to try to get the budget bill re-conferenced and create a situation where they can try to get the abortion language out as well.
  •  This is better... (none)
    than watching WWF!!!


  •  Lautenberg!! (none)
    My senator from NJ is calling the GOP out big time!!
  •  "If one party is shameless" (4.00)
    "The other party cannot afford to be spineless"

    I don't know who is speaking, due to my crappy reception on CSPAN2

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:57:46 PM PST

  •  well, now. wouldn't it be nice if it passed (none)
    and got fought all the way to the supreme court, with people like mccain and grassley leading the charge. especially with antonin scalia there - and his sidekick clarence thomas, waiting to be named chief justice, who do not believe there is a right to privacy. it's a claim being made by many on the right. this might be a nice case with which to test that claim.

    imagine the horror of the day the senate changed hands and the power to access that data lay in the hands of democratic chairs.

    We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

    by yankeedoodler on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 02:58:05 PM PST

  •  Having trouble following this (none)
    Please correct me if I am wrong.  This am the House passed this bill, which was primarily a $388 mil spending bill.  That bill also apparently included the anti-abortion measure, as well as the measure concerning availability of tax returns.  So now the Senate is considering it?  
    •  Lautenberg (none)
      He's doesn't have a flashy rhetorical style, but it's jaw-dropping to hear someone speak the truth. All I can think of doing is e-mailing the various news agencies and insisting they cover it (most will, of course, ignore me--but pehaps if they get enough e-mails and calls). People tend to get upset over the use of IRS information (kind of a bleed over effect from their not being too thrilled about the IRS anyway), and abortion is going to remain a hot button issue for quite awhile. This really ought to be NEWS.
    •  see the main page post on (none)
      anti-abortion provisions for details. Having gone through committee, each body has to pass the final product.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:07:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (none)
      Supposedly considering conference changes before final passage.
    •  house bill (none)
      It takes both houses to make it law. If the senate rejects it it will go back to the house for revision.
  •  Go Lautenberg!!!!! (none)
    That's my Senator.

    Just called GOP out on the provision gagging doctors from discussing aboritons with patients.  Used a Frist quote about doctor-patient privilege against them.


    Self-appointed Framing Police ;-) Divisive bitching = quicksand; constructive criticism and reasoned analysis = moving forward

    by Newsie8200 on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:00:51 PM PST

  •  Sen. Lautenberg great line!! (none)
    He said "If the Republicans are going to be shameless then the Democrats can not be spineless".

    I love this guy!!! He has backbone. He's the one that had the poster of a chicken hawk when he was giving a speech on the Senate floor about the Cheny/Bush  crew.


  •  Preach it Frank!! (none)
    I don't know that we have a hope of defeating this, but I sure hope we raise enough hell to get people to notice it's happened.

    All the snark that's fit liberal street fight

    by Joan McCarter on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:02:46 PM PST

  •  Apparently ... (none)
    absolute power also corrupts quickly.
  •  Yeah Lautenberg (none)
    He showed the picture of all of the men looking over Bush's shoulder as he signed the partial birth abortion bill, controlling WOMEN'S bodies.  We still have some men and women of wisdom and conscience in Congress!
  •  "Maligarchy" (none)
    He just showed the photo of Bush signing another abortion-related bill (partial-birth abortion ban?), surrounded by just MEN. He's making a major statement about how women's rights are being systematically attacked. He ROCKS!!
  •  Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) (none)
    Takin' it to them on the Weldon anti-abortion amendment.

    • "federal gag rule" overturning local law in his state of NJ

    • doctors' duty to provide health information abrogated

    • showcases telling snapshot of Bush signing previous no-choice legislation... surrounded by MEN. "No women, no Republican women, in that picture."
    •  I love my senator! (none)
      I'm definitely sending this guy a major fan letter!
    •  About that photo (none)
      its not just that its only men in the photo, but did you notice the preponderance of white hair?  

      Talk about a symbolic representation of patriarchy...

      In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

      by a gilas girl on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:27:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and did you also notice (none)
        5 of 6 were smiling?
        •   And sorry sumbitches at that (4.00)
          On the whole, they're as scurvy a collection of bipeds as ever demoralized a community.

          Their oily grins are an offense to public decency, but even so, a year ago I hung this photo some others of the signing of the "PBA" Ban in the waiting room of our clinic.  

          The photos are mounted in a large frame on a background of flag-striped lamé -- all very patriotic-looking -- and are separated by the following captions:

          "Why are all these old men smiling?"

          "Because they know that if you are a young American woman"

          "Your body is in their hands."

          "It's time to say 'Hands off!' our bodies and our lives."

          It will hang until they do.

  •  Everything we've been talking (4.00)
    about for the last two weeks, summed up by Sen. Lautenberg in one sentence:

    "If one party is shameless, the other party can't afford to be spineless."

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. --George Bernard Shaw

    by Categorically Imperative on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:05:06 PM PST

    •  that (none)
      is the greatest quote of his entire speech

      "When you trade your values for the hope of winning, you end up losing and having no values, so you keep losing." -- Howard Dean, "You Have The Power"

      by Muboshgu on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:07:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's a great line! (none)
      Especially since this provision made it past the house.  If the senate hadn't caught it, we'd all be screwed.

      It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

      by TheOtherWashington on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:09:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The NAACP's Julian Bond was the source for that (4.00)
      "And what about the opposition party?" Bond asked, rhetorically. "Too often they're not an opposition; they're an amen corner. With some notable exceptions, they have been absent without leave from this battle for America's soul. When one party is shameless, the other party cannot afford to be spineless."
      That's from the speech that got the IRS breathing down the NAACP's collective neck.

      NAACP Refuses to be 'Silenced' by IRS

      •  aeou (none)

        You know, this is starting to sound like a reality show.  Team Republican's captain goes too far and some of the members join Team Democrat in whacking them down.  

        As for IRS records -- I don't think that Falwell and Robertson want that cat out of the bag.  There was a national scandal when the head of the San Diego Red Cross was found earning $300,000;  I wonder what Falwell and Robertson earn?  How many Social Security checks does that come to?  


    "When you trade your values for the hope of winning, you end up losing and having no values, so you keep losing." -- Howard Dean, "You Have The Power"

    by Muboshgu on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:05:31 PM PST

  •  McCain taking sense!! (none)
    As betrayed as we might feel over his supporting Bush, he's doing a good thing right now.
  •  McCain (none)
    "No one is physically possible, even if they wanted to, to read this bill"

    "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." - Thomas Jefferson

    by chi mai on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:08:00 PM PST

  •  McCain is ripping the Appropraitions committee (none)
    On timing, size of the bill, slipping in 'extras' and the like.

    He's pissed too.

    "The concentrating [of the legislative, executive and judicial powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government." - Jefferson

    by El Payo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:08:34 PM PST

  •  Snake management in Guam!! (none)
    •  Oh yeah! (none)
      it's shameful how our tax dollars get mis-used

      Norwegian American Foundatin to fulfill its charter?  hey, it's only $1 million

      MCain's  one of the few who rails against this pork barrel spending bullshit -- and it ADDS UP --the last bill had $11 BILLION worth!!

    •  Might actually make sense (none)
      They've a problem with the brown tree snake, which isn't native to Guam, has wiped out many native bird species, and which is causing power outages by crawling into transformers.
      •  Yes (none)
        and if the brown tree snake makes it to Hawaii (they have very strict cargo inspections, etc, to help prevent that very thing), you can kiss all the Hawaiian birds bye bye.

        Guam has been battling this since WWII (IIRC), when the snakes slid into Guam via military and cargo ships.  All the birds are gone, and the snakes are everywhere.  They have tried many ways to get rid of them - and the best hope is to come up with a virus or some such that only attacks the brown snake.

        Invasive species tragedies are everywhere.  This one really does need some attention.

        "Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1814.

        by Mountain Don on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:15:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  but not in an OMNIBUS bill! (none)

        Evil is always well-funded.

        by blue secession on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:15:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  also (none)
        it is an interstate problem - Hawaii is pretty worried about those things getting there from Guam somehow - the native bird species in HI would be devastated by a snake invasion. I don't know how many other states would be effected - most of them have snakes already, I guess - but it's not Guam's problem alone.
      •  Jeff Corwin was talking about it (none)
        It's already wiped out like 14 species of native birds on Guam. It's actually a pretty important cause. I would object to it being part of an omnibus bill (I agree 100% with the Old Byrd's sentiments on the process). Instead, it should be part of a "Non-native species control act" or something.

        -- Want to make a difference? Join the taskforce! --

        by fwiffo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:28:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  snake-free Hawaii (none)
        We have NO snakes in Hawaii (no rabies, either for that matter) so this is huge. Especially since the Bushies have already cut the number of inspectors.

        HAWAII has redoubled its efforts to contain brown tree snakes and other alien pests that pose environmental and economic threats to the islands, but the best strategy would be to keep them from getting here in the first place.

        So it is alarming that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be forced to cut the number of employees whose jobs are to do exactly that. Lacking enough funds, the department's Inspection and Wildlife Service on Guam already has eliminated four positions and intends to cut eight more next month. Honolulu Star-Bulletin

        The critters have been found wrapped around the wheels of military transport planes from Guam--alive!

        Here's the factoid that really makes me crazy:

        A single female snake which has mated can carry  fertilized eggs within her body for as many as 7 years. Garden Club of Honolulu

        That's when I start thinking evil thoughts like a quarantine on Guam (sorry, Guammies).

        "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

        by hono lulu on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:12:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually... (none)
      Guam has a HUGE problem with snakes...they are not indigenous and there are no natural predators.  They even supposedly coil up on aircraft landing gear, I hear that they have people in Hawaii whose job it is to check runways for snakes that have dropped off.  Seriously.

      Peace in a world free of Religion, Peace in a world where everyone gets Heaven... -- Toni Halliday

      by Wintermute on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:31:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  come on, have courage (none)
    McCain just said that he doesn't have the courage to hold up the travel plans of all his colleagues.

    Hold them up!  What a little blip of trouble in their lives compared to the huge pain they are creating in others' lives.

    Have courage John!  Hold them up!

  •  Pork time (none)
    McCain has dug up some good stuff.

    And I want some salmon baby food!

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:10:59 PM PST

  •  $1Million (none)
    to the Norwegian-American Foundation of my tax money???


    •  TIP of the iceberg (4.00)
      of how those crooks in Congress use OUR money:

      Mr. President, there is over $11 billion in unrequested, unauthorized, run-of-the-mill pork projects contained in the 1,182 pages of this conference report. Let's go through some of the more interesting provisions:

      • $200,000 to the West Oahu campus of the University of Hawaii to produce the "Primal Quest" film documentary.

      • $225,000 to the Wheels Museum in New Mexico.

      • $7.3 million for Hawaiian Sea Turtles.

      • $6 million for Sea Lions in Alaska.

      • $450,000 for the Johnny Appleseed Heritage Center in Ohio.

      • $100,000 to the State Historical Society of Iowa in Des Moines for the development of the World Food Prize.

      • $200,000 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, for the Rockin' the Schools education program.

      • $1 million for Mormon cricket suppression in Utah.

      • $450,000 for an Alaska Statehood celebration.

      • $225,000 for an Hawaii statehood celebration.

      • $175,000 to a city in Missouri for the painting of a mural on a flood wall.

      • $90,000 for fruit fly research in Montpellier, France.

      • $225,000 to Traverse City, Michigan, for the restoration of an Opera House.

      • $250,000 for the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum.

      • $200,000 to the Town of Guadalupe, Arizona, for the construction and renovation of a shopping center.

      • $325,000 to the City of Salinas, California, for construction of a swimming pool.

      • $100,000 to the city of Macon, Georgia, for the renovation of the Coca-Cola building.

      • $100,000 to the City of Atlanta for the renovation of Paschal's restaurant and motel.

      • $900,000 to an economic development association in Idaho to continue the implementation of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial commemoration plan.

      • $175,000 to the City of Detroit for the design and construction of a zoo.

      • $238,000 to the National Wild Turkey Federation. Speaking of Wild Turkey - you almost need a bottle of it in order to swallow the lack of fiscal discipline in this bill.

      • $200,000 for the City of North Pole, Alaska, for recreation improvements. I guess Santa had a tough year and the elves need a little help from the American taxpayer.

      • $100,000 for restoration of the Jefferson County Courthouse Clock Tower in Washington State. I'm sure that this is a beautiful clock tower, but probably not what most taxpayers have in mind when they think of economic development, as this project is characterized.

      • $220,000 to the Blueberry Hill Farm in Maine for renovations. For $220,000, I can only presume that somebody will be getting their thrill on Blueberry Hill!
      •  asdf (none)
            I don't give a shit if they play cricket in Utah, or if they don't!
      •  SCREW FDRism? (3.57)
        yes, all you idiots who pipe up about the DLC being a crypto-GOP force inside the party pulling us toward being Bush lite, and yet here's the sentiment of your new Democratic party.

        • SCREW art and heritage museums!
        • SCREW murals and public artwork!
        • SCREW environmental protection measures!
        • SCREW sea turtles!
        • SCREW historical restoration!
        • SCREW zoological parks!
        • SCREW musical education!

        you have no moral backbone if you attack these things whole hog just because it makes bush look bad. if bush starting subsidizing abortions 100% coast to coast you'd probably all start posting pics of aborted fetuses just to take up the anti-Bush position. this wholesale bashing of "pork," a large porition is beneficial to the sciences and arts represents an opportunism FAR worse than anything the DLC has ever pulled. think of all the jobs these programs create. think of all the good both concrete and cultural that most of these programs will provide to communities around this country. then be ashamed. who are you people? where did you come from? are most Dkos posters the lost tribe of the fabled Reagan Democrats or what?  
        •  There's a difference between good spending and (none)
          dumb spending.

          I disapprove of dumb spending. Part of the reason for the deficits and debts is due to dumb spending.

          "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

          by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:31:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  of course (4.00)
            lots of spending sounds stupid until you see what it actually accomplishes in terms of jobs, historical preservation, the environment, cultural posterity, etc.

            and of COURSE there's a difference between good and bad spending. but the newly re-wooed mccain bootlickers here are dropping rhetorical nukes on this omnibus and it's spending without admitting what they USED to believe, which is that the majority of pork is GOOD.

            the IRS portion of the bill, what this post was originally about, is the story here. THAT was the point of the diary, and THAT is the problem with these omnibus bills. not the reaganesque "pork," a word that for so long during the 80's and 90's was simple GOP spin but we now wholeheartedly parrot...

            •  I agree (none)
              it sounds like McCain is actually trying to shanghai the opposition to the bill to get back to  his mantra of "no Pork".  

              See my comment below, not as forceful or clear as yours but in the same vein.

              In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

              by a gilas girl on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:43:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  uh no (none)
          You know maybe it's just me, but no one's arguing whether or not these projects should be done.  But perhaps we shouldn't be paying for them with federal tax dollars.

          I think the people of guam should be paying for their own snake control.  

          I think Utah should be paying for it's own cricket control.

          I think if Atlanta wants to renevate the hotel then government has no business adding money to that anyway but if neccessary, Atlanta should be paying for it.

          I think Salinas, CA should be paying it's own money to construct a swimming pool if it wants one.

          I don't feel my federal tax dollars should be used to fun other cities/states projects is all.  I pay state and municipal taxes for these kinds of local projects for my state/city why shouldn't they too?

          •  there's a solution for you. (none)
            invent a time machine, go back to 1980, and vote for ronald reagan.
          •  Agree with you on (none)
            Atlanta and Utah, but CA and Guam, are a little different.

            For one thing, I think the Federal Government owes CA shitloads of money given the shameful performance of the Bush Administration and the Cheney Energy Commission in helping Enron bankrupt the state. So I'm all for funding public projects of community development/improvement in CA (swimming pool in Salinas, that's something the gov't should kick in for).

            Similarly with snake control in Guam, given that colonization of Guam by US military has wreaked  havoc on the environment of Guam, snake control may well be collateral damage of some US policy of empire.  In that case, getting the snakes out of the pipes is one of the costs of unilateralism.

            Shopping centers, and motels I say leave to the private sector.  But like Addison, I'd much rather the tax money were going to local projects promoting arts, public culture, community development than lining the pockets of various arms manufacturers or big Pharma.

            In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

            by a gilas girl on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:50:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why our money (none)
            is funding corporate/private stuff or why state's shouldn't pay for their own stuff w/their own taxes for recreational stuff eludes me too --

            Addison's so ticked off he started his own thread decrying how we're somehow treasonous to the Party to be outraged at, what I see as, a lot of just plain old wasteful spending.

            Of course he sees it differently -- and that's the beauty of DailyKos ;)

            Rock On!!!!!

            •  Recreation in North Pole, AK (4.00)
              There's a federal responsibility there.  Almost the entire population is military related, being localted betweena major air base and a major army post.  And, having been stationed at that air base through two winters, I can assure you recreation facilities are a need.
            •  We can't find enough money (none)
              to pay for health care for all Americans, but we can find money for this stuff?

              I'm a member of a minority group: the reality-based community.

              by Unstable Isotope on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 08:26:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  thanks for tolerance! (none)
              Addison's so ticked off he started his own thread decrying how we're somehow treasonous to the Party to be outraged at, what I see as, a lot of just plain old wasteful spending.

              my new thread bombed!!! argh!

              but i'm not for wasteful spending, i'm just against defining large swaths of the omnibus that provide funding for arts, culture, environment, jobs, etc. as wasteful "pork."  as for the argument that other agencies will fund these things... ha! those other agencies are being taken over by bushies, and they can funnel those funds where they want to funnel those funds. so if we get a chance to fund social projects now, i say let's do it! (vide: EPA)

              mostly was angry about people, who just a few weeks before were all for social programs, now actually acting on the internecine xenophobia and saying "red states get none of myyyyy money." that's not what liberalism is about, and it's thesis certainly is counteracted by the maps showing just how "purple" most of the "red" states are...

              thanks for tolerance!

          •  You don't pay enough (none)
            City or state taxes to do all the things that cities or states need to do.  The money has to come from the Federal govt.  If you take your argument to its logical conclusion, we should pay less taxes to the Federal govt. more to city and state....which then would not have to depend on the Feds which they do and always have done.   The problem with you think that waste and corruption...and pork....exists at the Federal level, it is far far worse at the state level.  There is minimial oversight and they get away with lots more....CSpan, for example, doesn't cover what happens in your local capital.  In this case, the devil you know is much better.

            Some of these "pork" projects are probably worthwhile.  The problem lies in the fact that this kind of bill and funding is just so huge as not to allow sensible investigation.

            •  very helpful (none)
              The problem lies in the fact that this kind of bill and funding is just so huge as not to allow sensible investigation.

              yes, this is exactly right! i wish i had included this qualification on my posts. thanks for bringing it up clearly and without a call for me to "stfu!"

          •  There is an (none)
            ideological chasm -- in very general terms:

            Corporate Cronyism:

            Republicans - good (see 2002 Farm Bill, etc.)
            Democrats - bad (unless it's in my state)

            Government Cronyism

            Republicans - bad -- (at least before they got in power -- lol)
            Democrats - good (never mind the waste)


          •  why are you folks yelling at each other ? (none)
        •  Thank you (none)
          for this.... I read this list and thought, um, well I actually support lots of this stuff, and don't mind having my tax money go there.
        •  You JUSTIFY (none)
          spending taxpayer money on that BULLSHIT when we are atleast $7.4 TRILLION  in debt?!?!?! Fucked up priorities thats all I can say.
        •  listen, dumbass (none)
          no one's saying we like clubbing baby seals.

          What we ARE saying is that the GOP is trying to hold us hostage.

          if you can't see that, wake up.

 - for insurgent consumers.

          by sunzoo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:10:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I work in the arts (none)
            and many of our projects receive state and federal arts funding.

            Unlike you, however, I can't be bought off or scared away by a cut to my paycheck.   I've lived through worse, and if you think giving a Republican Congress  the power to rifle through your IRS records at will is a swell idea just so you can get your funding RIGHT NOW THIS VERY MINUTE, you can kiss my ass.

            And yah, I can be meaner.  

   - for insurgent consumers.

            by sunzoo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:07:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hold on (none)
              The post scolded us for supporting McCain's complaints about some fairly resonable pork items that supported historic preservation, the environment etc..  

              That has nothing to do with the IRS provision, which is what the Dems are sounding off about.  The Dems aren't bitching about those pork item, probably because they generally support them.

              So chill out!

        •  Well... (4.00)
          ... I can't speak for the rest of the readers on here, but here's why I disapprove of the pork projects that have been added to the omnibus bill. It's not the projects themselves. It's that these projects have been slid into a bill that needs to pass, without any discussion or deliberation by the legislature.

          It's more than that though. We have federally funded organizations, such as NIH, NEA, and NSF, that request and accept proposals every year for projects similar to these. Those proposals are evaluated, often by the peers of the proposer, and approved or rejected based on the quality of the project. Direct government appropriations, particularly as part of a ~1600 page document, for these projects bypass that, or any, review process and that's wrong.

          It's really simple, it's the lack of review that these projects receive that upset me rather than the projects themselves.

          To further highlight my point, let's take a look at one of the  projects in your list: What is the purpose of the sea turtle study? Is it a research project that is needed by marine biologists or the EPA? Are the methods to be employed by the researchers likely to yield the answers sought? It's likely a useful project that will supply a lot of good data, but I doubt any of the members of the Senate could answer any of these questions. This is why it's important to provide funding for specific projects through established funding agencies rather than direct government appropriations.  

          •  to pork or not to pork (none)
            Besides the lack or review (which could apply to every single item in the omnibus as Senator Byrd has pointed out at length), I think what qualifies these items as not kosher (that's a pun, folks) is that they are individual items which are probably the price tag of some senator's vote.

            They should be part of the budget from the responsible agency, e.g. the NEA, EPA, Interior, etc.

            It's also why, in Hawaii, Dan (Inouye) IS the man.

            On the other hand, I'd be happy to give up a lot of that bacon if one of the other 49 would like to home port thoe nuclear subs in Pearl Harbor and offer up some valleys full of endangered indigenous species for the military to blow up.

            "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

            by hono lulu on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:24:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (none)
            It's really simple, it's the lack of review that these projects receive that upset me rather than the projects themselves. -Jeff in NY

            Lots of people have said this throughout responses to my and others' posts and I wholeheartedly agree. The IRS near-scandalous insertion that was included in unpardonable, and who knows if there are OTHER similar features in the omnibus bill that are presently undiscovered.

      •  Surprised but not shocked (none)
        I grew up in Alaska and I find it amusing how often Alaska shows up in that list of pork.  

        They didn't rename Anchorage International airport after Ted Stevens for nothing I guess.

      •  Have to say (none)
        some of that I would support:

        like the funds for the sea turtles, sea lions, mural on the flood wall and the swimming pool in CA.  Those are the publicly-oriented kinds of projects that fed money should go to assist. Especially in places like CA where there's a state budget crisis due in no small part to corrupt FED GOV'T policies and support for the creation of an expensive (but largely thoroughly manufactured) energy crisis.  

        In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

        by a gilas girl on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:37:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  wait (none)
        call me crazy, but some of those things on the McCain list sound worthwhile, particularly the environmental and historical preservation appropriations.  
    •  Uff dah! (none)
      I'm pretty sure that we can perpetuate lutefisk and lingonberry recipes and celebrate Syttende Mai without 1 million in federal funding.  

      As a Norwegian-American, I suggest that the dritsekk responsible for this pork be paddled soundly with a lefse stick, and that the allocated sum be directed to Head Start instead.

      Well, here we are in mid-stream, still staring at that same horse's ass!

      by rhubarb on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:58:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  aeou (none)
        mmmmmmm, lefse.

        Still, what would a Norweigian do with a million bucks?

        Judging by my family, uh, buy a really, really thick cardigan?

        •  Oh jeez (none)
          Starbuck, Minnesota: Lefse Dagen - to commemorate the world's record for largest lefse!

          Scroll down the page and check out those awesome two old guys in the band, The Norskies.  Look just like my granddad.  He'd be out curling instead, though.

          With a million bucks, my family would buy a lot of beer and Polish sausage and Potica cake, I think.    Mmm, beer.

          We must cultivate our garden.

          by daria g on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:40:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  while i respect your knowledge of norge (none)
        you're being like the republicans! you're taking one allegedly ridiculous spending item, using it as an example of all the spending items, and then parading it around to show how the omnibus is full of "pork."  
        •  Yes, you have a point (none)
          And it is still hard to understand why money is allocated as unfairly as it is.  While I think something like Head Start should get priority, I would much rather see Norwegian-Americans receive funds than I would a boondoggle road construction project or, say a war in Iraq.

          Actually, in all honesty, I don't mind Norwegian-American Foundation getting a million at all.  One of my grandfathers was a prominent Norskie speaker and author, and perhaps some of that grant will help cement his legacy as a progressive humanist.  

          Well, here we are in mid-stream, still staring at that same horse's ass!

          by rhubarb on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 06:58:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Slipped in? (none)
    I'm hearing the senators talking about being surprised by the anti-abortion add-on.  I read about it in the NYT before the house ever passed it.
    LOL McCain is calling this an "appropriations montrosity."  He is hilarious.  "Snake management in Guam, Research on babyfood containing salmon.  Animal waste research lab. " A few more of the items covered by this $388 mil appropriation are:
    - $335,000 to protect sunflowers in North Dakota from blackbird damage.
    -- $60 million for a new courthouse in Las Cruces, N.M.
    -- $225,000 to study catfish genomes at Alabama's Auburn University.
    -- a potential present for Bush himself, $2 million for the government to buy back the presidential yacht Sequoia. The boat was sold three decades ago.
    Bush gets a yacht and what do we get??
    Nice, huh?
  •  McCain (none)
    Railing against all the pork in the bill.

    Didn't I see this film already?  Mr. Smith goes to Washington?

    Is there any chance this will actually go down?

  •  Those Norwegians (none)
    "one million dollars for the Norwegian-American foundation to fullil their chearter - so I ask; 'what does the Norwegian-American foundation need one million dollars of my taxpayers' money for?'"

    Man, he's laying into everything. I'm loving this list of pork he's reading out.

  •  mccain no longer evil? "mandate" (none)
    haha, glad to see the "McCain is a devil snake never to be trusted" chant that popped up when he supported Bush has dissolved. that was a pretty useless and reactionary proclamation.

    also: is this the start of the much ballyhooed republican civil war? i hope so but doubt it. however, this is a pretty strange event we're watching here considering one side has had an OVERWHELMING MANDATE (tm).

  •  McCain's Attack (none)
    --$350,000 for Rock n roll hall of fame

    --$790,000 for snake control in Guam

  •  Save (none)
    the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame!

    International Fertilizer!

    McCain is saying that we all know that the President is soon to come begging for more money for Iraq. We can't afford all this other shit!

  •  1,630 (none)

    Holy shit. There's way too much in there. No one can read through all that.

  •  who ARE you people? where are your values? (3.50)
    also, while mccain's diatribe may be very entertaining considering who controls the gov't, but since all of you have been so adamant about not ceding your values, maybe take a few seconds to think about all the jobs these science and arts appropriations are providing, maybe even YOUR job (i know i'm employed at the moment on a federal N.E.H. grant). by jumping on this bizzare anti-federal spending reaganesque hatewagon whole hog you're both betraying the goal of the united states to fund arts and science through federal grants.

    everyone whining about the vast majority of these spending items should really think about how they'd react if BUSH cut them. you'd be absolutely incensed. these spending items are, many of them at least, GOOD for the country and PROVIDE JOBS...

    if you really agree with mccain's litany and the spirit it's being spit out in, stop pretending you respected FDR, kennedy, or johnson. just quit it. because you're being opportunistic ahistorical hypocrites.

    •  It's not just the spending he's objecting to (none)
      as I understood him, he doesn't want all these requests crammed into these monstrous "omnibus" bills that no one has the time or strength to read and digest.
    •  OK (none)
      It's my understanding that all these little "provisions" are back door pork. Under the radar favors where tax dollars are being funnelled back into specific states and counties so politicians can point and say to their constituents "Look at the money I got for you!"

      NEH grants are more out in the open, no?

    •  my job and I say hold up the crap! (none)
      If funding isn't passed, I won't be paid in a couple of months.  

      I say don't pass the crap!

    •  I Understand Where You're Coming From, But... (none)
      I've always thought that these appropriations should be delt with in the appropriate comittees and not in a giant year-end omnibus bill.

      You can't ever get a handle on budgeting if this is SOP. It's a real failure of the system that its come to this sort of "earmarks at the last minute" type of budgeting.

      I don't think it's hypocritical to demand some type of sanity in the appropriations process. It's really the fault of the GOP leadership. They thought it was more important to make members cast symbolic votes about abortion and gay marriage instead getting the individual appropriations' bills passed back in the fall.

      I listen to wingnut radio so you don't have to!

      by Sharon on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:33:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  just curious... (none)
      WHY does the stuff have to be snuck into an omnibus bill?

      And yeah, before we cut benefits for social security, medicare, education, etc, I'm all for getting rid of these piddly-ass portk bits strewn around as payoffs or to get support from someone's constituents.

      Evil is always well-funded.

      by blue secession on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:34:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you don't even know what's in the bill (1.33)
      so STFU. - for insurgent consumers.

      by sunzoo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:41:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  stfu? no. (none)
        uh. your plea for me to "stfu" aside, mccain just READ the portions of the bill that i'm commenting on. i'll just go ahead and say "whoopsie!" for you. certain people agreed with mccain and thought the portions were all ridiculous, and they link mccain's "pork" list. my point is that mccain's list includes many items that under any other, less mob controlled, circumstances we'd be all for.
        •  ah yes (none)
          Rock n Roll hall of fame is mission-critical for the U.S. Government while soldiers walk around w/o body armor.

          Sorry addison, I've seen you here before and you interject nothing of value to the conversation.

 - for insurgent consumers.

          by sunzoo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:05:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  god, this IS the 1980's remake... (none)
            and your false choices between funding for music education and kevlar vests for our troops add so very much to the conversations? so your funding scheme is that until we've won this war on terror we have to defund all public school and local art programs? what?

            it's the reagan plague all over again. democrats (!) advocating ending good federal spending programs until the vague threat of some foreign enemy (them USSR, now Al Qaida) is killed off and the debt (GOP made both times, mind you) paid off. history allows you to hate reagan for his cuts (or does your present situation force you into the position of reagan apologist?) but when the exact same situation pops up again you take on the same position reagan democrats did then...

            don't any of you remember the GOP plan to asphixiate the federal government by drowning it in debt? you're acting as cheerleaders for it now.

            •  oh for god's sake, (none)
              it's the GOP that is forcing this false choice on us.


     - for insurgent consumers.

              by sunzoo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:57:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  peas in a pod when it suits? (none)
                well, you and the GOP. a reminder, here's what you said sarcastically just a few hops upthread: "Rock n Roll hall of fame is mission-critical for the U.S. Government while soldiers walk around w/o body armor." so the GOP has forced a false choice on us, but it's in fact a REAL choice that demands we not fund musical education in Cleveland, or what exactly?
                •  Rock and Roll hall of fame (none)
                  is a museum, not musical education.

                  you've got one weak-ass argument.

         - for insurgent consumers.

                  by sunzoo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:15:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  projector extraordinaire (none)
                    yes, "one weak-ass argument" backed only by facts. pitiful me. here's the entry from the mccain list that was referenced:

                    $200,000 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, for the Rockin' the Schools education program.

                    are you going to stop now, or do you have yet further misrepresentation and blustering that you'd like to unleash?

                    i don't think one person has agreed with your posts, even if they agree with your general POV! now look at my ratings. look at the responses i've gotten. average post ratings around 3.5-4 (though i admit these mean next to nothing). large volumes of replies and discussions split about 50% for and 50% against. a sign to me that i'm performing some useful function if half are for and half against what i'm saying, and i'm getting rated.

                    now look at your comments on this thread. look at the paucity of ratings and responses you've elicited.

                    so when you say i have "weak-ass arguments" and that i add nothing useful to the conversation and imply that i'm a troll or some sort, all i can think is: proooooojection!!!

                    •  still weak (none)
                      why don't you scroll back and answer the orignal question i put to you, instead of avoiding it?

                      What, you think this is the one and only chance for the Rock n' Roll hall of fame to get their grant?  

                      Is it worth handing the keys to the IRS file cabinet  to the GOP?

                      You've still got a weak-ass argument.  

             - for insurgent consumers.

                      by sunzoo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:32:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  yeah (none)
                      You know I can write you ten thousand item list with nice spending ideas, think about it, which museum is the least likely to need a lot of money because it has access to some of the wealthiest guys ever to care about art .... or more specific to care about the future of Rock .... I don't think fundraising is a very difficult thing for the Rock'n Roll Hall of Fame
          •  completely disagree with sunzoo (none)
            Nobody has to STFU and Addison is 100% right. I like clock towers and swimming pools and murals.

            I don't like princes from royal families who think soldiers are cannon-fodder.

            Can you be any meaner dude?

            •  Funding doesn't work this way. (4.00)
              As many others have pointed out, and as people like you and Addison keep ignoring because you are too busy calling everyone Reaganites, these things are normally funded through other agencies, not through general funding.


              Take a deep breath.

              Take another.

              Now think:

              Do you think your average Senator has the brains and the expertise to know whether the plan to restore the clock tower is going to work and come in under budget, or whether the fruit fly research will yield valuable results, or whether the snake control plan will not harm other species as well?  NO!  Nobody can know all that.  That's why the federal government has agencies and departments and such:  NEA, NSF, EPA, etc.

              That's why this is pork, and that's why it doesn't belong in the general budget.  I mean honestly, do you want Congress evaluating each and every research project out there?  Those bozos?  Hell no, that's what the NSF is for.  So Congress gives money to the NSF, and the NSF gives money to researchers.  So the fruit fly project, for example, is bypassing the NSF and you have to wonder why.  Probably because it's not such a good project and some politician owes some researcher a favor.

              Someone should make a schoolhouse rock cartoon about this.

              •  schoolhouse rock - good idea (none)
                1st verse:
                Federal funding sits on a shelf
                I'll come in at night and take some myself
                Wait 'till the very last moment and then
                Pass the bill, pop the cork with my friends
                But anyway, thanks. I understand. Pork is no accountability, no follow-up, no efficiency it's just pork. I love this site.
        •  McCain (none)
          Most of the stuff is good, although it should be in a separate bill, like most of the omnibus bill.

          McCain's motive to eliminate those portions is to divert the funds to the military. He even said so himself.

    •  Arts and science grants (none)
      Have been easy targets since the early days of the culture wars-- back in 1988-89. They were great for rabble-rousing then, despite the fact that this money generally goes to nonprofit institutions that are scraping, scrouging and working their asses off to do something positive for their communities. So, while I am all in favor of holding the line on provisions like the one that would enable  partisans to violate tax privacy laws, I can't endorse a wholesale condemnation of some of these provisions without knowing what they're really for.
      •  yeah. (none)
        yeah, i should point out my remunerations is currently drawn from an NEH grant given to a non-profit organization. so i might be biased. haha.
      •  Arts and science grants (4.00)
        are properly handled by the NEA and the NSF.  They should never be individual items in the federal budget.  Do you want some Senators deciding whether a particular artistic endeavor or research project is worth funding?  Do you know what a nightmare that would be?

        The fact that these things needed a backdoor to get funding makes me suspicious.  It's easy to say you want a mural or more research on fruit flies, but how do you know whether the particular mural is feasible or whether the research will yield good results?  That's the value of peer review.  I wouldn't be surprised if most of these things are turkeys.

    •  In a perfect world (none)
      While I do understand your point, there are times when you need to pull in your belt.  This is one of them.  Okay the spending for necessary government agencies, but let Guam kill its own snakes for a while. Bottom line, we simply can't afford it.
    •  Just ignore Addison (none)
      I have yet to see him say anything that wasn't simply trolling.
      •  in what world? (none)
        yes, because it's such a troll thing to do to advocate and defend federal spending on a lefty liberal website. in what world should this be considering trolling?
      •  Addison is right (none)
        Of course you'll call me a troll too. I'm not. I like murals, I hate illegal & counter-productive wars.

        Besides, this kindof pork is so old news its ridiculous. I remember seeing lists such as these things in 7th grade. They're funny to read, but I'm not too outraged by most of it.

        McCain isn't focusing on the privacy ammendment, he probably hasn't objected to the abortion ammendment - he's just out listing pork that conservatives think is bull-shit (i.e. funding for a mural).

        At first glance, it might sound like he's going to bat for us - he's not.

    •  I'd rather... (none)
      That NIH determine who gets federal medical research grants than Sen. Stevens.

      The issue is that some of those programs couldn't get funded if they applied for a grant like everyone else has to.  It's not waste because it's funding for what some may perceive as questionable science.  It's waste because since they aren't competing, there may be others providing that same science at a much lower cost to taxpayers.

      (For the record, I don't know for sure that Sen Stevens put earmarks in for medical research grants; this was just an illustration.)

      •  grants versus non-competitive allocations (none)
        "It's waste because since they aren't competing, there may be others providing that same science at a much lower cost to taxpayers."

        that's a very good point!

    •  NOT grants or agency projects/they're PORK (none)
      Anything put directly in a spending bill that goes to one of these projects is by definition PORK.  This is money that goes out without hardly any review.

      These are not grants from the NEH, DOE, etc.  They are not projects funded by an agency.  They are favors that individual representatives get added to bills.

      If these projects arre worth funding with federal $$ then they will some under an existing program run by a federal agency trying to acomplish it's work.

    •  FDR's projects were ACTUAL good stuff. (none)
      Bridges, highways, hydroelectric dams, etc.  THESE were things we needed anyway, and putting people to work during the Depression to build them was good policy.

      Sticking little funding amendments in a must-pass bill here, there, and everywhere, with no discussion as to the merits of any of them is NOT good policy.  If it can't stand on its own two feet, it shouldn't be passed at all.  Gingrich had it right when he insisted that the president be given a line-item veto; too bad the courts found it unconstitutional.  Perhaps instead of trying to pass bullshit, they can send THAT to the states.  I'm sure it would pass even easier than the repeal of Prohibition.

      What did we do to deserve George W. Bush?

      by republicans are idiots on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 07:23:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  McCain does this every year. (none)
    Usually he posts the 'pork list' on his webiste.  He's never been able to really affect this behavior though.
  •  Animal waste research in Bowling Green (none)
    Are you saying we dont need 1 million for that? Treasonous!
  •  Senator Kent Conrad (none)
    D-North Dakota

    If this bill passes tonight, why wouldn't the tax snooping provision come into law?

    It's already passed in the House of Reps. If they pass it tonight, it goes to the Pres for signature. Then it becomes the law of the land.

    •  Now... (none)
      Stevens (R-AK) is now claiming that it was "one of those things that happened at the last minute."

      Clearly, the section wrote itself, though, as the Republicans claim it was not their intent.

      Stevens also wants the bill to be passed now with the President issuing a statement regarding the disregarding (err...) of said appropriation.

      What legal standing would the President's declaration have, you ask?

      Go ahead and guess.

      •  I'll guess (none)
        The same legal standing as a concession speech.
      •  Ah, yes - (4.00)
        Clearly, the section wrote itself, though, as the Republicans claim it was not their intent.

        I almost fell over in my seat when I heard the section described as having been included "by accident."

        How, praytell, does such an artfully worded and cleverly camouflaged scrap of powerful legislation magically worm its way into the exactly correct section of a 3,000-page document where it just so happens that no one is likely to notice it? IT'S NOT LIKE IT'S A FUCKING TYPO, SENATORS!!

        The more I think about it - and I have thought about it a LOT in the past four hours - the angrier I get. What makes me particularly angry is the self-righteous umbrage the Senator from Alaska seems to have taken at the very idea that his esteemed colleagues in the Senate would not trust him to not invoke the powers provided unto him because he promised he would not exercise them.

        Well, excuuuuse me for being cynical, Mr. Senator, but, frankly, I just don't trust you to do your job properly. Someone slipped that wording in there, somewhere along the line. And, the last time I checked, it was YOUR PARTY that controlled all those committees. It's your FUCKING JOB to know what's going to be in there. This is a party that is relentlessly on message on even the most miniscule provisions of any piece of legislation that has the potential to stick it to the Democrats. This is a party that marches in lockstep to whatever tune the White House happens to be banging out in any given week.

        So, please, spare me the whining about how hard your staff has been working, and how long you have pleaded for the House to get the bill in front of the Senate, and how angry you are that this provision was "accidentally" included without your knowledge. YOU PEOPLE control the House. YOU PEOPLE control the Senate. YOU PEOPLE control the Executive Branch. Don't tell me you can't get shit done or you can't get the rest of your party to fall in line. And don't you dare complain when you get called on your incompetence and mendacity.

        You wanted it. Suck it up and take the blame, because you damn well deserve it.

      •  hmm... (none)
        I was gonna guess the Patriot Act was involved.
  •  asdf (none)
    1. Since I haven't been watching, to whom in the Senate do I send thank-you's? (GOP, I mean -- I know who the responsible Dems seem to be -- but it's critical that we praise the GOP for good behavior, too, just like they teach in those behavior mod classes :) )

    2. Whoever suggested this as a wedge issue -- yippee!  It's all about the privacy, yes?  I'm keeping an "issues" folder under my bookmarks; this definitely goes on the list.

    3.  Now, why isn't Boxer in the leadership?  
  •  Holy! (none)
    Don't you dare trust them!  This bill must not be voted on.  This is our first test of Harry Reid.  He must filibuster this bill.
  •  The Republican hypocrites (none)
    The Republicans are always railing against entitlements which is their code word for welfare and other programs benefiting minorities. Yet they have no SHAME in doling out one million dollars to the  Norwegian-American Foundation. Who are these people and what the hell do they need with one million dollars of the tax payer money!!! They need to raise their blankety blank dues... Why should the American tax payer have to subsidize their operation??!!!
  •  Wouldn't four days be a more reasonable (none)
    period of time for members of congress to read over legislation before voting?

    If it's good enough for the Iraqi constitution wouldn't this be an OK rule for us to follow:

    A bill shall not be voted upon by the National Assembly unless it has been read twice at a regular session of the Assembly, on condition that at least two days intervene between the two readings, and after the bill has been placed on the agenda of the session at least four days prior to the vote.

    Maybe we could have school children gaining public speaking experience on CSPAN while the members of the senate actually spent some time critically reading the budget bill.  

  •  Now they are saying "Trust Me" (4.00)
    Sounds like the horny teenage boy who says "Trust me you won't get pregnant". Now the Republicans are saying "Trust us, we'll never use the authority".

    PLEASE tell me that the Democrats won't fall for this line.

  •  Sweet Kalamazoo (none)
    I love it ... the repubs took thier MANDATE (TM) ... and fumbled it right out the gate, now the dems should take this and run with it ... i say we take em to the matress with this ... if we cant trust them to not fuck with a bill, then how can we trust them to the point to pass this bill ... if we push the continuing resolution then only the repubs and Bush are to blame if the government cant pay for itself ... isnt this iuronic coming the day after they raised the debt limit?!?!?!

    This could be huge ...

  •  The Senator from Alaska (none)
    is whining about his staff members not sleeping for TWO DAYS.

    Wah wah.

  •  Go Kent Conrad!! (none)
    He's a former tax attorney and he's calling Stevens out on this provision!
  •  hissy fit! (none)
    Senator Stevens is making an ass of himself.
  •  we've been working hard on this bill! (none)
    jeebus, this guy is gonna blow.

    if ron reagan dyed his hair, and i'm not sayin' he did, it was only to show his strength to the communists - hank hill

    by leif on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:30:06 PM PST

  •  HOLY FUCK (none)
    Mr. Chairman from Alaska just fucking LOST IT
  •  Stevens (R-AK) is bat-shit crazy... (4.00)
    We didn't write this!  We don't intend to use it!

    Keep telling yourself that, buddy.

  •  Please somebody (none)
    Make a list of each and every one of the senators who's spoken up about this outrage (if possible with contact info or a link to same) and post it for those of us who can't view C-SPAN. Each one deserves letters and calls of thanks.

    Any time any senator -- Democrat or Republican -- stands up against these acts of infamy that person deserves immediate positive reinforcement.

    Action is the antidote to despair. -Joan Baez

    by Nancy in Berkeley on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:30:39 PM PST

  •  New Video (none)
    "When Ted Stevens Goes Wild!"
  •  Sen. Kent Conrad (none)
    is kicking ass!!!!

    I think Stevens may have a coronary at any moment.

  •  Stevens (none)
    just broke the mic.


    Dem leadership. Grow a set.

    by Espumoso on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:30:45 PM PST

  •  Not all surprising (none)
    There is no way this is accidental. Can you beleive the outcry if they pas this? Stevens is in total meltdown. I agree with the Senator from NC, they cannot let this become law. This is a GROSS abuse of power.

    Absolute power corrupts ABSOLUTELY!

  •  Stevens is apoplectic (none)
    Me thinks he doth protest too much . . .
  •  Wow (none)
    I think Stevens is about to have a coronary..and he also almost broke his mic.
  •  Conrad (none)
    is rubbing Stevens's nose in it still.  You have to give Stevens credit though: the moral outrage is touching, and I almost believe it.  
  •  Weldon Amendment--Constitutional issues (none)
    It's way too long to post in comments here, so I'll just point out that I have a lengthy discussion of the constitutional implications of the Weldon Amendment on my blog.
  •  Official GOP motto (none)
    "It's hard work."
  •  Can somebody copy and paste this provision? (none)

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:32:18 PM PST

  •  conniption time (none)
    Stevens totally loses it, needing his nap.  Slams his fist on the podium. tee hee hee

    "But aren't there fascists in your country?" "There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes." - Ernest Hemingway

    by saiyoku on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:32:23 PM PST

  •  call the senate switchboard 202/224-3121 (4.00)
    and tell your senator to vote to hold the appropriations omnibus bill and demand the house come back and revote on revision!

    thanks to dear_pru at dfa for the heads up, f

  •  The Dems stay cool and reasonable (none)
    Our side is doing GREAT through this whole process. Logical, strong, clear, and calm.
  •  Hastert's word, and that of the rest of the House (none)
    is shit.  
  •  I can not believe that I'm sitting here (none)
    on a Saturday night, in a very entertaining city(NY), and I'm sure that CSPAN2 on my TV is the best show in town.

    This is freakin' awesome.

  •  I love (none)
    to watch Senators earning their keep.

    Keep banging your podium, Teddy. I was going to the movies tonight, but hell. I'm staying in and keeping it tuned to CSPAN.


  •  posted upthread, and here it is again! haha! (1.28)
    yes, all you posters who pipe up about the DLC being a crypto-GOP force inside the party pulling us toward being Bush lite, yet here's the overwhelming sentiment of most Dkos posters' new Democratic party as espoused by once and future villain, your (for the present) hero John McCain:

    • SCREW art and heritage museums!
    • SCREW murals and public artwork!
    • SCREW environmental protection measures!
    • SCREW sea turtles!
    • SCREW historical restoration!
    • SCREW zoological parks!
    • SCREW musical education!

    you have no moral backbone if you attack these things whole hog just because it makes bush look bad. if bush starting subsidizing abortions 100% coast to coast you'd probably all start posting pics of aborted fetuses and writing diaries about how life clearly starts at conception just to take up the anti-Bush position. this wholesale bashing of "pork," a large porition is beneficial to the sciences and arts represents an opportunism FAR worse than anything the DLC has ever pulled. think of all the jobs these programs create. think of all the good both concrete and cultural that most of these programs will provide to communities around this country. then be ashamed. who are you people? where did you come from? are most Dkos posters the lost tribe of the fabled Reagan Democrats or what?
    •  Point taken, but... (none)
      The problem is not necessarily what types of projects the earmarks support, but that because they are earmarks, these programs do not have to compete for funding.

      If these programs are worthy of federal funding (and many likely are), they would likely receive funding through a competitive grant program anyway.

      I also think it's a bit hypocritical that while Americans still seem to view the Republican party as the party of fiscal responsibility, the number of earmarks in appropriations bills has skyrocketed under a Republican congress.

    •  So.... (none)
      there shouldn't be an oversight process? Anyone should be able to tack on any provision that they want to and shove it through on an omnibus bill?
      •  because that's EXACTLY what i said! (none)
        uh, wow, way to stuff a straw man!

        that provision was awful, the diary whose thread we're talking on rightly point it out. look at the posts, though, after a certain point when repatriated anti-establishment comrade mccain started listing "pork." you'll see they aren't concerned with the IRS anti-privacy insertion. they're talking about the evils of "pork." to which i think: whaaaaaaaaaaaat?

    •  The problem is OMNIBUS bills (none)
      Let these items stand or fall on their merits - amd many WILL stand on their merits woth the dkos community, I can assure you - but not get hidden in a must-pass bill that is forced through in such a way no one can actually read it.

      As Sen Byrd is just now stating.

      Evil is always well-funded.

      by blue secession on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:51:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I tried to explain my objection to... (none)
      Omnibus appropriations bills upthread.

      I think that funding for the NEA/NEH are worthwhile and I also think that there are merits in shore restoration and other projects targeting the environment.

      I also thinkk that there are saner ways to fund projects and I do think that there are great merits to sane fiscal/budgeting policy. That doesn't make me a Regan Democrat or a closeted DLCer. I'm an advocate for prioritizing (hope that's a real word) appropriations. I'd like not to shift all of our current spending to the Bush Credit Card.

      You can still be a progressive democrat and not want to bankrupt the country.

      I listen to wingnut radio so you don't have to!

      by Sharon on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:57:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As an animal rights activist ... (4.00)
      I am strongly against screwing sea turtles. That's just wrong.

      Spare the poor people of Crawford, Texas. Send Bush a one-way ticket to the moon instead.

      by JacksonBlogs on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:40:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Objection not for Science or Arts funding (none)
      Disregarding McCain (who is anti-choice), most people here, I suspect, object to the pork in the bill which might be defined as inappropriate appropriations for special-interests. Liberals must be the last bunch in the nation to object to music education or arts in general and scientific research.
    •  Heard you the 1st time (n/t) (none)

      My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don't get right. (TH Huxley)

      by sberel on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 06:13:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Links to the appropriations and report language (none)

    The report and bill language are divided by the original separate appropriations bills. The abortion amendment is in the Labor/H bill; not sure about the IRS amendment.

  •  Accidental my Ass (none)
    Poor Stevens got caught with some really bad shit.

    Thank-you Lord for teaching me humility -- Friar Tuck

    by bonddad on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:34:31 PM PST

    •  Accidental (none)
      How could this possibly slip in without  some senator or congressman knowing it? No way in hell. If this passes, fascism in in FULL Force. Anyone in congress can look and publicize anyone's tax return?? The most amazing thing is they actually think they can get away with it!!!!

      Stevens is claiming they want use this power. How many people believe this?? This is the Republicans doing this. Didn't they once believe in reducing government's power? Thats only when they are the minority...

      Orwell described our future under right wing rule well.
      "Imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forver."

  •  Boo-Hoo Senator Stevens (none)
    Senator Stevens looks like he is going to cry.
  •  What Ifs? (none)
    What happened if we went to shutdown? anyone?
  •  what a fucking liar stevens is. (none)
    pity nobody will actually see this. think fox news will carry it?

    not a chance.

    "Democrats obstruct Budget Bill - Details at 11"

  •  R-Alaska (none)
    Chairman of the committee thinks if he whines loud enough and acts angry that they should pass the bill just because he feels bad.
  •  "SOMEBODY wanted it!" (none)
    "Somebody wanted this provision!"

    Why Conrad can't just take Stevens' say-so.


  •  Wow! (none)
    I thought Sen. Stevens from Alaska was going to explode there!  Go Conrad!  
  •  GREAT POINT by Conrad (none)
    Stevens won't even be the Chairman next year! So the new guy will be free to act on this provision.
    •  Conrad didn't give an inch to Bush ... (none)
      Senator Stevens' pride is hurt to think anyone would question his word.  Conrad stated he respected Senator Stevens but added if they vote for this omnibus bill tonight it will be law and having the president's word on its removal isn't good enough.  I'm paraphrasing but it's damned close.  This is like watching the BBC when the members of parliament rip into Blair.  CSPAN has always been great theatre but this gives new meaning to 'bring it on.'

      Also I've never had a job where I can say I'm 'so tired' I made a terrible mistake that will effect 290 million people.  Gee, it's a shame this is hard work.  And remember, no overtime.

      "If we cannot name our own we are cut off at the root, our hold on our lives as fragile as seed in a wind." Dorothy Allison

      by caliberal on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:05:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  they get mad when it affects them personally (none)
    but not when the presidental election is stolen.
  •  Hey...stupid question (none)
    I don't watch CSPAN a lot, but how in the hell can you tell who all is in the Senate chamber right now?
    •  Sometimes (none)
      They will pan across the chambers, or pull back and show the whole place, but in my limited watching of CSPAN this rarely happens.

      When they are voting, they usually pull back.

      OTOH, I have seen Senators and Congresspersons giving empassioned speeches to an almost empty chamber.

      Dem leadership. Grow a set.

      by Espumoso on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:35:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Let the record be clear" (none)
    Go Boxer!
  •  Go Barbara! (none)

    This is not a time for Democrats to retreat and accommodate extremists on critical principles -- it is a time to stand firm. -- John Kerry

    by Feanor on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:39:24 PM PST

  •  Boxer (4.00)
    Pointing out that Steven's motion to REMOVE this provision by unanimous consent was objected to BY SENATOR STEVENS.

    These people are fascists, not republicans.

  •  Those AHoles (none)
    are slipping in anything they freaking want to...

    House and Senate negotiators have tucked a potentially far-reaching anti-abortion provision into a $388 billion must-pass spending bill, complicating plans for Congress to wrap up its business and adjourn for the year.


    "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." - JFK

    by jillian on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:39:46 PM PST

  •  Who just objected (none)
    to taking the provision out? Anyone know?
  •  Oy Vey Nancy (none)
    Nancy Pelosi is going to catch shit for letting this slip.
  •  IS THIS ABOUT TO PASS??? (none)
  •  Voting for bills that haven't been read (3.75)
    This is how Senators like Kerry for example running for election get hammered during the campaign. They get backed into a corner to vote on bills that are loaded with hidden clauses that no one has been given time to read.

    You better believe if one of the Democratic Senators decides to run for re-election, one of the good ole Republicans will bring this up. Here is how the campaign ad would go, "Did you know that Sen. XYZ voted for a bill allowing government agents to snoop through your tax records and make them public. Sen. XYZ, he wants Big Brother in your life. Vote for Republican so-and-so... he'll protect your rights".

  •  Good catch, you CSPAN watchers! (none)
    There's a little bit of sancimoniousness up in that joint.  Holy cow - I mean, people are dying in Iraq and mothers grieve less violently than the Rethug Senator from Alaska...
  •  asdf (none)
    it's threads like this that prove Dkos is NOT broken......

    thanks for getting us all tuned to C-SPAN 2!!


  •  Sen. Byrd's flashy vest!! (4.00)
    Only Sen. Byrd could get away with wearing a vest like that.  
  •  a Malignant Excrescence!! (4.00)
    Byrd, though jittery, absolutely ROCKS.

    The whole plan hinged upon the natural curiosity of potatoes. - Stanislaw Lem

    by bumblebums on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:44:53 PM PST

  •  Sen. Robert Byrd (none)
    Looks quite spiffy this evening.

    I just love his language.

  •  does anyone know what the bill number (none)
    they are debating is?  i.e., how I could check and see how the house voted on it?
    •  House version is HR 5006 (none)
      An early version of the house version is H.R. 5006, and is titled the "DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005" in the Congressional Record.

      The senate version is S.2810

  •  Shut it down. (none)
    Ask the American people, do they want this or do they want the House to reconvene?
  •  Hot damn! (none)
    Sen. Byrd just flew in from safari to tear Stevens a new one.  He still is wearing his leopard skin vest.
  •  MSM (none)
    Why the hell isn't CNN or MSNBC covering this? This is a HUGE story....

    Democracy in America is dying a slow death...

  •  We need to contact all senators (none)
    and let them know that we are ALL watching!!!
  •  ahh, Byrd, ye olde klansman... (none)
    ...just shaddup. Give yer time to Boxer.
  •  freepers (none)
    Just checked free repg--apparently they don't watch C-span.  Why am I not surprised?
  •  Can someone post (yet again) (none)
    the website to get all of the congress' email addresses.

    They all need some "sweet email lovin" (highly sarcastic)after this

  •  I flipped away for a sec and they passed a Res (none)
    What was it?
  •  Thank you so much... (none)
    for giving us the heads-up.  Byrd is right...this is the only thing they have to pass, and they wait til the last damn minute and try to shove it through.  They were too busy months ago passing corporate tax cuts and debating the meaning of marriage to do any real work.  It's an outrage.

    Decisions are made by those who show up...GOTV!

    by poe on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:51:10 PM PST

  •  "my dear friend..." (none)

    how he can say that without choking on his own vomit...I don't understand.

  •  asdf (none)
    GO ROBERT BYRD. He's giving the entire committee on hell of a civics lesson. The old guard lecturing to the new. Man, we are gona miss him

    Change the world- One vote at a time

    by YoungDem05 on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:51:21 PM PST

  •  Oh if only (none)
    Wellstone was still with us.  He'd be right up there.
  •  The Voice of Reason and Eloquence (none)
    Senator Robert Byrd is making excellent points. It IS embarrassing that we have these compacted appropriations bills, it IS embarrassing that we have only passed 2 out of the nine appropriations, and it IS embarassing that the senate has squandered so much time. I agree with Senator Byrd, we need a new senate with new leadership, I believe the Senator Schumer will give us a new majority.
    •  Robert Byr, d (none)
      Byrd's making some good procedural points, and bully for him for voting against it; it does feel like "chicanery."  I don't see how hey can keep it becoming law short of convincing Republicans to vote against it. Are there that many decent Republicans in the Senate?
    •  Robert Byr, d (none)
      Byrd's making some good procedural points, and bully for him for voting against it; it does feel like "chicanery."  I don't see how they can keep it becoming law short of convincing Republicans to vote against it. Are there that many decent Republicans in the Senate?
  •  Happy Birthday, Senator Byrd (none)
    He's turning 87 today; octogenarians kick ass!

    Love that spiffy vest and love the message!  We don't have to leave town, let's do some actual work!

    "I'm sitting here completely surrounded by NO BEER!" Onslow

    by Helena Handbag on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:55:30 PM PST

  •  Robert Byrd is freaking awesome! (none)
    Hell yes - we need to have an angry old man making the Republicans look like a bunch of unqualified punks.
  •  I missed the good stuff. (none)
    Someone please capture this and get it on the Internet.  Please!  Thanks.
  •  Details (none)
    Who exactly would get access to tax returns under this provision?? Google News has nothing on this...
  •  BS,BS,BS (none)
    Fuck McCain and fuck Grassley, they are always livid but continue to support the wingnuts and their anti-democratic agenda, wake up and realize that the supposed moderates are just stringing you along until you are dirt beneath the GOP shoe, damm America start acting like you have a brain and fight fire with fire for once in awhile.
    McCains upset because they got caught for crying out loud not because he disagrees with the methods.
  •  Mini lecture while Dems figure out what to do... (none)
    ... shit, Stevens throws a don't impugn my integrity speech, then objects to Conrad's amendment... liar... hypocrite...

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire: French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694-1778)

    by lobezno on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 03:59:12 PM PST

  •  I say I say I say... (4.00)

    I just had a Foghorn Leghorn flashback for a minute there.

  •  Bob Byrd just said (none)
    It was a slam against the integrity of the entire Appropriations Committee.

    Give them hell, Bob!

    He also said that the minority was being shut out. There was an audible gasp in the chamber. And here at my house, too.

    Bob is from my hometown. I may send him flowers.

  •  I Just Came in From Yard Work.... (none)
    ...what is the strategy of the Dems?  To let the finacing of the govt expire at midnight by talking this bill until then, and then using a three-day or so shut-down of the govt to blame the Repubs for this attack on everyone's privacy?
  •  I love that (none)
    Byrd just reminded everyone that we are watching!
  •  GOP values on display (4.00)
    We have the party on privacy inserting the Big Brother provision. The party of transparency in government passing a bill before anyone can read it, the party of fiscal discipline creating a new standard for pork, and the party of personal accountability blaming it on staffers.
  •  Bob Byrd Telling It Like It Is . . . . (none)
    Robert Byrd simply does not get enough credit for his belief in the santicity of the Constitution and his integrity.

    He is going to vote against the Bill.

    Go, Byrd, Go!

  •  Byrd voting against the bill... (none)
    as a protest against the process.  NICE!
  •  Byrd voting against! (none)
    As a protest to the omnibus!

    Hip! Hip! Hooray!!

  •  Oh, Robert Byrd is going to vote against it! (none)
    Even though he worked so hard on it!
  •  Sen. Robert Byrd (none)
    I love my senator, but what the hell is up with that vest?

    "I'll vote against this process. I'll vote against a process that allows this kind of chicanery." Byrd.

    Happy Birthday, Sen. Byrd.

    Well, Watson, we seem to have fallen upon evil days. -- Sherlock Holmes.

    by Carnacki on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:02:46 PM PST

  •  Chicanery (none)
    I want this removed.  I was going to vote for it but now I won't.  Go, the wise Senator from West Virginia!
  •  Who was the dork with the birthday wishes? (none)
  •  Teddy's up! (none)
  •  So.... (none)
    Byrd's civics lesson was in order to buy time for cloakroom negotiations? Cool.

    Oh, I have so much to learn about this process.

  •  breathtaking arrogance! (none)
  •  Ted Kennedy (none)
    Calls this "breathtaking abuse of power".

    Under this provision, our tax returns can be released to the press. Amazing...

  •  Kennedy requests a delay (none)
  •  They just announced (none)
    they are negotiating a settlement off the floor.  Said that the provision will not become law. . .

    "breath-taking arrogance of power"  -- Senator Kennedy from my great state of MASS

    Kennedy says delay passage until bill can be reviewed. . .

  •  Now Ted Kennedy (none)
    Is saying it's an abuse of power and a shocking display of arrogance. He listed every single objectionable thing we know of (as yet).

    Now Landreau is back on.

  •  Could Ted Kennedy cut the crap? (none)
    Jeez, he really is a self-parody.

    Let's be honest about this provision.  It isn't for companies to use against their employees.  It's for the GOP to dig up dirt on political opponents.

  •  check it.. (none)
    Getting live coverage on the Capital Gang... (CNN)
  •  Dems are stalling (none)
    While a proposition is created
  •  This has got to be (none)
    the best television ever aired. I hav to take a shower and get ready to go out, but I cannot drag myself away.


  •  Landrieu (none)
    Oh Please.  I don't care about Breaux.
  •  WTF? (none)
    Mary Landrieu is also buying time for cloakroom negotiations? Or is this some kind of honest love fest for John Breaux?
  •  Congressional appropriation are a joke now (none)
    Working at Dept of Transportation, in recent years (especially since the GOP takeover), budgets are never on time and all spending stops cold on Sept. 30 (end of fiscal year) and nothing can be purchased often for over a month, even then spending is often on continuing resolutions. Now we know how often are these spending bills ever read before being passed. Rarely, if at all. The GOP cannot do their jobs responsibly.  They are all about politics and not about responsible government.  Circuses work more efficiently then this!
  •  Landrieu is French for buzzkill (none)
  •  Mary, this is crap (none)
    we don't need "This is your life, John Breaux"; we need some more ass-kicking by the Democrats.
  •  Classic filibuster (none)
    Landreau is hysterical. . .

    singing the praises of the great John Breaux. . .

    droning on and on and on. . .

    Dems getting their fil on!  That's an opposition party!

    Keep it up baby!

  •  riders not pork, are the problem (none)
    all that "pork" is a teensy part of the budget... some of that stuff sounds ludicrous, but it's not that serious a problem.  Those are all part of the discretionary budget which is NOTHING compared to entitlements and the military segments

    The real problem is the NONappropriation riders like the abortion and privacy things that the Reds are sneaking in.

    let's focus on what's important to kill

    •  good point. (none)

      Evil is always well-funded.

      by blue secession on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:18:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Precisely. (none)
      And the "pork" insertions have been going on for many years, to varying degrees, and are certainly a problem that needs addressing.

      The unrelated riders, especially such egregious ones as these, seem to be a newer phenomenon that MUST be stopped.

      I just wish some of the posters upthread would recognize this and quit quibbling over this little bit of pork vs. that little bit of pork, and focus on the real problem here.  Some are acting like they never knew spending bills were padded like this (or are getting new-found outrage over it).  We can fight that battle another day, but today we must come together and focus on fighting these extremely sneaky and evil bits of poison.

      "Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1814.

      by Mountain Don on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:02:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't Laugh (none)
    But if you don't know much about Congressional procedure, a great place to start learning is the West Wing episode: The Stackhouse Filibuster.  

    "It takes all kinds to make a world" - Jean Genet from The Balcony

    by Beckylooo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:11:21 PM PST

  •  We don't get these giant picture displays often (none)
    do we?

    God Bless America and our giant pictures!

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:11:38 PM PST

  •  Question (none)
    Do these Senators all have these huge exhibits in their offices ready to pull out whenever a tactical delay is needed?
  •  That cartoon (none)
    is pretty funny
  •  If we need more time... (4.00)
    ...all of the Senators should sing Byrd happy birthday in 30 different languages.
  •  where's cheney? (none)
    absent, tardy, or truant?
  •  No Quorum on the Floor ! (none)
  •  That was (4.00)
    one of John Breaux's greatest contributions to american democracy, and he didn't have anything to do with it.
  •  Hahaha (none)
    Today is national adoption day..

    and the soon-to-be Senior Senator from Louisiana has adopted a newer way to stall

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:18:48 PM PST

  •  Negotiations... (none)
    What's not included in this spending bill (from WaPo article, yesterday):

    "...negotiators were still juggling figures to try to comply with a White House demand that domestic spending grow by less than 1 percent.

    To meet that target, lawmakers agreed to trim almost all non-defense programs by 0.75 percent across the board -- a move that could wipe out much of the $1 billion increase for federal aid to education that negotiators had agreed to in the final stages.

    But negotiators rejected a White House request that they drop a 3.5 percent pay increase for civilian government workers.

    Negotiators ordered cuts in congressional favorites such as the National Science Foundation and the $3 billion-a-year Environmental Protection Agency program that funds sewer and water projects in cities, rural communities and Indian reservations. Money was to be reduced for the Housing and Urban Development and State departments, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Bureau of Land Management, sources said. The Labor and Interior departments were to receive only nominal increases."

  •  John Breaux (none)
    was an extremely conservative Demo Senator from Louisiana.  He was always threatening to go over to the Repubs.  I think Bush considered him for his first cabinet.


  •  National Adoption Day! (none)
    This is hilarious.
  •  why are they even trying to hide it? (none)
    just stand there and say "la la la la la la la" for 10 minutes. or sing a song or something.
    •  Twenty-third hour (none)
      You don't that until your twenty-third hour of holding forth.

      The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

      by TarheelDem on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:25:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    • brought it back (none)

      Sing -- sing a song
      Sing out loud, sing out strong!
      Sing of good things, not bad.
      Sing of happy, not sad
      Sing, sing a song
      Make it simple, to last your whole life long
      Don't worry that it's not good enough
      For anyone else to hear,
      Just sing -- sing a song!

      Sing -- sing a song,
      Sing for long, very lonnnnng!
      Sing the phone book, for France
      Sing "Taxonomy of Plants"
      Sing, sing a song
      Keep it turgid, to last the whole night long
      Don't worry if you can't keep a tune,
      Or've anything good to say,
      Just sing -- sing a song!

      (Sorry about any errors -- I learned verse one in first grade.)  

  •  heehee (none)
    teehee now she's anecdote-ing about adoption. this is so funny.
  •  Mary -- part II (none)
    What will she pull out of her bag of tricks next?  Maybe a song or a little soft shoe?
  •  Just switched over to C-SPAN 1... (none)
    ...during Landrieu's ode to DINO Breaux. Talking heads...boy are we more interesting than these folks!
  •  Our Riechstag is burning... (4.00)

    While we watch this debate (and the current delaying tactics), its a good time to ponder this...

    The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism

    Lawrence Britt published a article in 2003 on the 14 defining characteristics of fascism enitiled Fascism Anyone?. In light of Bush's second term, now is a good time to review these for comparison to America in 2004.

    1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.

    2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.

    3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.

    4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.

    5. Rampant sexism.

    6. A controlled mass media.

    7. Obsession with national security.

    8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.

    9. Power of corporations protected.

    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.

    11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.

    12. Obsession with crime and punishment.

    13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.

    14. Fraudulent elections.

    Britt goes on to state "Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not."

  •  Landrieu (none)
    What a touching story!
  •  Abuse of Power (none)
    anyone know any good historical quotes on the abuse of power?  the arrogance of power?
  •  Bob Graham, Retiring Dem form Florida (none)
  •  Bob Graham! (none)
    This is going to be good!
  •  oh goodie (none)
    Bob Graham (D-Floriduh)
  •  Quagmire Accomplished in Senate (none)
    Bob Graham just called this all a "quagmire."

    Go Bob!

  •  Did The Intelligence Reform Act Pass Earlier.... (none)
  •  Sucks to be late. (none)
    I tuned in the minute I saw this up top, and I get only the last half of Byrd, and 15 minutes of Mary Landrieu blathering on.

    Bah. Anybody tape/post it?

  •  Pssssssssssssssssssst (none)
    Speaking of National Adoption Day, did you hear that Senator McCain has a black baby?

    Oh yeah, that's right, he and W are best of buds now.

    Never mind!

  •  those darn republicans! (none)
  •  Which section was this income tax crap in? (none)

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:32:24 PM PST

    •  Conrad... (none)
      ...mentioned something about section 222 on page 1118 or thereabouts.
      •  well (none) doesn't specify page numbers and I can only find one "Section 222" which states as follows:

        SEC. 222. None of the funds appropriated in this title may be used to impede the exchange of information between the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Congress, including its members, committees, and staff.

        "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

        by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:39:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Broken clock? (none)
    What's with the times that appear with each post on dKos?  It is at this moment 18:38 PM Central Standard Time, and the last post I looked at was labeled 19:10 CDT.  I don't think that's possible... is the clock wrong on the server?  

    Let's get this fixed, Kos.  Please.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive! Sir Walter Scott.

    by tomathawl on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:34:21 PM PST

  •  Next silly thing we should filibuster about: (none)
    Robert Kennedy's birthday today
  •  doesn't look (none)
    as exciting as people wrote about earlier.
  •  Is there a (none)
    Congressional drinking game we could all be playing?

    One sip of beer for every 'q' word.

    One tequila shot every time someone whines "it's hard work."

    Other ideas?

  •  now what's happening? (none)
    Are they taking out the language or not?

    The senator from Montana asked for unanimous consent to remove it and the republicans's objected.... what's the deal?

    When the hell is the rapture getting here?

    by fourlegsgood on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:36:51 PM PST

  •  How Can This Issue Be Worked Out Tonight.... (4.00)

    1.  The House has passed the Omnibus Approp. Bill with the offending provision in it, adjorned, and left town.

    2.  The Senate, if it strips the bad provision, must send the bill back to the House to agree to the stripping of that provision but that cannot happen for a few days, meanwhile the govt shuts down at midnight and the FBI goes home, the Homeland Security Department shuts down and the nation is flooded with terrorists, or so the Repubs will say.

    3.  Or, the Senate passes the Bill with the offending provision and it becomes law, with a promise of the Repubs to repeal it in January.  That is awful.

    So, what solution is there?  And, what solution allows the Dems to shove this down the throats of the Repubs for weeks to come?
    •  I believe (none)
      that there's an emergency extension, already approved, that extends gov't funding until Dec 3. The deadline is definitely not tonight, because even if the Senate passes it,it'll need to go to conference and the president still needs to sign it.
      •  Whether Govt Funding Expires Tonight..... (4.00)
        or December 3, the House will still need to return, right?  I do not see how this can be fixed without either a) the House returning soon or b) the provision becomes law until repealed.  This is a majr f**k-up by the Republicans.
        •  presumably (none)
          no one's left town yet (the House only left earlier today), and the House can be called back without too much trouble.

          If the Senate strikes the provision, the House will definitely need to come back - but I don't see how they could have expected the Senate to pass something this large without any changes, so a conference would be expected anyway.

          •  I Do Not Think That Is Correct.... (none)
            ...the Omnibus Approp. Bill has already been to conference...that is where it was essentially written, by the Republicans behind closed doors... and it then went to the House which passed it, and adjorned (Nancy Pelosi did not catch this provision) and it went today to the Senate with the expectation that it would be passed and the Congress would adjorn until January.  So, this problem cannot be fixed without calling the House back into session and letting the Democrats plaster egg on every Republican and maybe demand to find out just who it was you put this provision in the bill (Tom DeLay?).
            •  from what I can see (none)
              According to the AP, the House passed this for the first time today. I think it's HJ Res 114, "making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 2005, and for other purposes". A different appropriations bill went to conference today from the House, but it's not the omnibus one.

              Also, according to the House floor schedule for today, the House adjourned conditionally, with a meeting scheduled for Nov 24th unless they hear from the Senate that the bill was passed as-is.

        •  Payback for Clinton holding firm (none)
          I believe at the end of 1996, the Republicans tried to force through an appropriations bill loaded with riders.  Clinton vetoed it.  There was a stalemate.  Clinton sent folks home, turned out the lights, and blamed it on the Republicans.  The public supported Clinton.

          In this situation, the shoe is on the other foot.  Democrats risk being labeled as the one who shut the government down.  The problem is, the tax privacy provisions in the bill will not go down well with voters if they are convinced that their income tax form might be examined by a Congressional staffer.

          Expect a Christmas shutdown of the government.   I hope the Democrats hang tough.

          The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

          by TarheelDem on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:52:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  slight difference. (none)
            repubs held the congress and clinton was a dem. it was as much an exec vs. legislative branch fight as anything else. presidents tend to come out ahead in the public view in that kind of situation. current situation: fight is within the congress. repubs control congress - but they don't seem to know how to run it.

            i agree that the public will not be happy about tax records being on call. more importantly, though, i think a lot of lobbyists and others of bush's well-off base will not be happy, either. i don't think it's just dems and john q. public who are going to want this changed.

            We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

            by yankeedoodler on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 06:01:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The shoe is on the same foot, isn't it? (none)
            In '96, the Republican-controlled Congress tried to pass a spending bill with a bunch of riders.  The Dems (Clinton) didn't let them, and the government got shut down.  Same thing this year, except replace (Clinton) with (some Democratic Senators).
        •  Frist Leadership -- At Its Worst . . . . (none)
          Those goons are being shown to be the true idiots they are.  Frist is a crooked moron --  totally bought and paid for by the drug, medical, and insurance INDUSTRIES -- nothing more than a walking agenda for screwing America.
      •  yea ... (4.00)
        They are already on a continuing resolution ... theyd have to broker a new one, which they might be doing, or go into shutdown, or pass this thing as is today ... they blew this call huge, if we cant trust them when they try to slip crap like this into the bill we need to go through our bills with a  fine tooth comb and while they wait to see if they didnt try to slip in 3 billion dollars to slap bar codes on all of us ...
    •  They must have some plan (4.00)
      Or they wouldn't be chatting about Haiti and adoption and people's birthdays.

      Unless they've all gone batty with rage, which I suppose is possible.

  •  Go Bob Kerrey (none)
    I love that he mentioned hidden motives when talking about the House Repug Freakshows in holding up the intelligence reform.
    Not that it matters as Goss is going to insulate W completely.
  •  sausages and laws (none)
    Bismarck famously remarked that sausages and laws are two things that the people are better off not knowing how they are made.

    My take on that, being on the opposite side of the aisle from Bismarck, is that sausages and laws are two things that the people really ought to know how they are made.

    This thread, while having nothing to do with sausages, is an excellent illustration of the other half of this principle.

  •  Kind of sad (none)
    seeingf Graham knowing it over for him. Here's hoping he will be in President(insert Dem 's name here)'s cabinet in 4 years.  

    More people voted for a liberal senator from MA than voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984.

    by JP2 on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:39:14 PM PST

  •  house went home? (none)
    Too fucking bad. Get your asses back.

    This language better not stay in.

    When the hell is the rapture getting here?

    by fourlegsgood on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:43:12 PM PST

  •  It's not exciting right now (none)
    because Demos are stalling.

    The best part earlier was when Repubs were still trying to strong-arm passage.  Stevens got himself so worked up he was shrieking and spitting and screaming and broke his microphone.  He was claiming it was all a mistake and Demos should just trust him and pass the law because "don't worry, we'd never use that power to look at any American's tax returns we want and release it to the public if we feel like it."  ha ha ha   He totally freaked but Demos didn't buy the intimidation.

    So they are negotiating a resolution off the floor while Demos stall for time with these speeches.

  •  Mark Dayton up.... (none)
    States those that say they are "compassionate Conservatives" should be charged with fraud.
  •  Mr. President (none)
    "Where is Senator Akaka?"

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:45:48 PM PST

  •  Dayton! (none)
    "all this other garbage is in the bill"
    "so much for compassionate conservatism"
    and more...
    Dayton was awesome.
  •  Where's Kerry? (none)
    I want him to filibuster about something. i miss him.
  •  WTF (none)
    I'm buying a gun. Those fucking Republicans better stay the hell away from me. And my tax returns.

    "You're Bush's brain, Karl? I was expecting a much smaller man." - Triumph the Insult Dog

    by michigandemocrat19 on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 04:53:21 PM PST

  •  Why are Democrats bearing the burden of stalling - (none)
    why don't they keep criticizing the stealth provision.  If Repubs need to stall to try to clean up their mess, let them figure out how to do it.  They must have some beloved retiring Senator or some cause to ramble on about.
  •  Yawn (none)
    So, now I know what a filabuster is.  Everything you ever wanted to know about Haiti and were afraid to ask.
  •  Anyone know (none)
    where Kerry is?
  •  gee. (none)
    criticizing the NCLBA NOW? gee thanks, bitch.
  •  link? (none)
    Has anyone found the video archived?  It sounds good.
  •  Love the way Ted says... (none)
    ..."reform". I can't even write it. Maybe "refawm". Awesome.
  •  250 mil cut to NIH? (none)
    Shit, looks like I really may be going to Ireland afterall...
  • (none)
    has live feed of all of their channels - Ted Kennedy's on now, listing all the programs that are underfunded

    The Kool-Aid. We drank of it. And it tasted sweet. It tasted like something...Truth.

    by Pluto101 on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:04:44 PM PST

  •  Must see TV.... (none)
    Boxer was right.....bring the House back to clean up their mess.....they're the ones who voted for it with the excresence included.  (Bob Byrd is my senator and my hero.)

    A proud member of the reality-based community!

    by roxtar on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:06:55 PM PST

  •  Frist to speak now (none)
    Expecting bullshit.
  •  Now is the perfect time... (none)
    ...for the dems to make sure that Mr. DeLay is protected from the IRS provision.
  •  Frist on... (none)

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire: French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694-1778)

    by lobezno on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:07:31 PM PST

  •  They're here (none)
    Here's the repugs, ready to concede. Score 1 for the dems!

    The Kool-Aid. We drank of it. And it tasted sweet. It tasted like something...Truth.

    by Pluto101 on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:07:40 PM PST

  •  Frist is on now (none)
    Frist is on C-Span2 right now explaining whats going to happen. Apparently there are some procedural steps that need to be taken to get that bullshit line out.

    The Kohlman Observer: If you don't know you better ask somebody...or go to

    by kohlmanobserver on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:08:03 PM PST

  •  Istook Wrote the Language ! (none)
    The wing-nut from Oklahoma.
  •  Thed Istook Amendment (none)
    Frist just referred to this as 'The Istook Amendment" as in my congressman, Ernest Istook, (R)-OK.
  •  Don't trust anything Dr Evil says (none)
    Daschle agrees with passing it!

    "I'm not going to be your monkey"

    by gabie on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:09:49 PM PST

  •  The Democrats Are Way Too Accomodating.... (4.00)
    this four-step process is good government...that is not how Republicans play the game.
  •  Daschle=Dead Man Walking (none)
    Looks like we fold on the anti-choice stuff.
    •  Boxer (none)
      Good chance that there will be another technical correction on the Weldon (anti-choice) amendment.  Boxer will demand a Senate floor vote.  Republicans will still try to roll Dems, but there's still a chance that will be fixed too
      •  Filibuster! (none)
        Block the choice thing and the overtime pay thing. This bill sucks. How about a little backbone out of the Dems? They need a locker-room pep talk, a la "Hoosiers" or something.
      •  I Do Not Think Boxer Gets Another Chance.... (none)
        on this bill.  It is passing tonight and the Senate will never consider it again.

        The "deal" is that the Senate takes out the Istook language, passes the Omnibus bill but holds it in the Senate until the House returns on Wednesday to pass it again without the Istook language, then the Senate releases its then-passed Omnibus bill and it goes to the President to sign.

        Boxer does not get another whack at the Weldon Amendment.

  •  Great. (none)
    So they're going to trust the Republicans to 'hold the law' on the desk, trust the house to do as it says, and they're going to vote on a bill that they have yet to read... filled with pork... a monstrosity...

    Along with a gag-rule.

    Man, if there was ever a time for a filibuster, this was it.

  •  Byrd's on the wire (none)
    Give him a listen!!

    politics: from Gk. "poly" (many) and Eng. "ticks" (bloodsucking insects)

    by garbo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:17:56 PM PST

  •  I missed all but the tail end... (none)
    Does anyone have a cap or know how to access an archive of it?  I can't see how to find it on

    Hope will heal us all.

    "For the serious empire-builder there was no such thing as a final frontier." - Terry Pratchett Jingo

    by notapipe on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:18:28 PM PST

  •  question (none)
    The tax report provision is apparently getting removed, but what happened to the abortion provision?

    PS: The bill is actually 3016 pages according to Byrd. Now that's a lot of trees.

  •  Byrd's back... n/t (none)
  •  Caving on Overtime Pay, too (4.00)
    This thing is awful.

    I'd like to see Byrd raise his staff and say, "You shall not pass!"

    He still might.

  •  Hahaha... (none)
    Byrd just called it the 'Lame Appropriations Bill of 2005'. Classic.
  •  ByrdStyle (none)

    "It should be titled lame apprioriations act 2005"

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:20:45 PM PST

  •  Yeah, but... (none)
    Bush is going to get his yacht!
  •  Scooby-Doo flashback (none)
    Byrd, shaking his fist: you meddling White House!!!
  •  OUCH! (none)
    The White House does not believe in the constitution, does not believe in separation of powers, does not believe in the legislative branch.

    Go Sen Byrd!

  •  Bryd's voting against it (none)
  •  Get ready... (none)
    Another round with Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

    His swan song!

  •  Boxer is gonna get another crack... (none)
    This has been great television.

    Here goes Senator Boxer.

    Don't waive your rights with your flags.

    by ttagaris on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:34:00 PM PST

  •  Oh and to complete my Byrd outfit (none)
    I need one of those round the neck rigs to carry my laptop around.
  •  Here comes Boxer... (none)
    •  Frist is agreeing to Boxer's request on a vote (none)
      on repealing the Welding amendment (they've obviously discussed this previously).

      Of course, her bill to repeal that amendment will fail, so I don't see why this is a good thing.  If she really cared, she should have filibustered.

      Now they are voting...

  •  In the Senate stands a Boxer (none)
    ...and she's angry about the Weldon abortion amendment...
  •  Go Boxer!! (none)
    She's calling the Weldon abortion provision out!
  •  Go Barbara Boxer!!!! (none)

    politics: from Gk. "poly" (many) and Eng. "ticks" (bloodsucking insects)

    by garbo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:35:24 PM PST

  •  Boxer Got Her Deal ! (none)
    A Vote Agreed April....
  •  Byrd quote (4.00)
    "That's the White House meddling.  A White House that does not seem to recognize that there is a Constitution of the United States. A white house that does not seem to recognize that there is a separation of power. A White House that does not seem to remember that the legislative branch is not, indeed, subordinated to the executive branch."

    Cuts Byrd detailed in this bill:
    Title 1  $661 mil
    Special Ed $658 mil
    NIH $537 mil
    EPA clean and safe water grants $312 mil
    VA medical care $235 mil
    Public Housing $975 mil
    National Science Foundation $277 mil
    Cops program $154 mil

    "Behind each dollar is an American citizen"
    "Fewer children with disabilities will receive the specialized services that they need."
    "Fewer dollars for cops means fewer officers on the street at the very time when crime is up and the terrorist threat is very real across America."

  •  Hey! (none)
    It's Harry Reid.

    I have seen him in debate on the floor and liked what I heard.

  •  wait.. (none)
    isn't the Weldon amendment legislation in an appropriations bill?

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:37:22 PM PST

  •  Making Frist Go on the Record (none)
    Promising 4 hours of debate with no amendments. Has to occur Tue-Thurs during daytime business.

    I feel better about the choice thing now.

    But the overtime pay thing is totally bogus.

  •  Does she have any expectation her bill will pass (none)
    and be signed?  If not, then why isn't this just a cop out?
    •  It Might, in the Senate...but never in the... (4.00)
      House.  It will not be repealed by the 108th Congress but Box will make sure that all Senators have to go on the record with a vote on this abortion issue.  The Republicans have been brilliantly effective in avoiding votes on such issues and forcing votes on issues such as Gay Marriage to score political points.  Now, Boxer has turned those tables.
    •  no chance (none)
      There's little to no chance her bill will pass.

      I'm incredibly disappointed in the dems.

  •  Morals (none)
        Goddamned Dems.... No morals.
  •  Here comes the letdown... (none)
    And the bill passes by a margin of?

    Make your guesses here...


    Don't waive your rights with your flags.

    by ttagaris on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:42:19 PM PST

  •  Damn (none)
    what are there, like 12 senators actually there?  What happened to the Quorum call?

    Insert trenchant political observation here

    by 40 and Fabulous on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:43:16 PM PST

  •  That was a short list of names voting aye... (none)
  •  The irony of modern day conservatism (none)
    This is truly ironic, Republicans inserting a clause allowing the gov't to peek into tax returns.  Conservatism used to stand for less-intrusive government.  It used to stand for balanced budgets.  Now it stands for government intrusion, unfettered spending, you name it.  This is a weapon for us, if only we know how to use it.
  •  Well... (none)
    Kerry voted against it...
  •  Quite A Few Democrats Reserved Their.... (none)
    votes to make sure it would pass and then voted No.  That seems to be what is going on now.
    •  Why (none)
      would they do that?
      •  So they could be on the record as to voting no... (none)
        ...but they wanted to get it over with and go home.  This is not uncommon-something you want to pass but don't want people to know you want to pass, so you make sure it passes before voting no.
      •  This is the "Club" and.... (4.00)
        ...there is a deal to pass the Omnibus Approp. bill in this four-step process that strips the Istook language and otherwise keeps the govt funded.  for the deal to stick, it has to have the votes to pass and I am sure they were all counted when the deal was made in the cloak room a hour ago.
        •  Ah ha! (none)
          Thank you too, Arthurkc, for the insight.

          I am so grateful for everyone here at dKos for their generosity and willingness to share their knowledge.  I never realized how little I really understand about the process of government, but then again, I think that my last real study of the subject was on a Saturday morning back in the 'seventies watching Schoolhouse Rock.  

  •  mikulski (none)
    my senator betrayed me! and hillary, what are you doing!?
  •  Also... (none)
    ...the wingnut from OK who put the tax privacy garbage in the thing in the first place appears to have voted "No" since it includes the resolution to get the House to take the stuff out of the bill...
  •  Sheesh... (none)
    Clinton, Schumer, Mikulski, Feinstein, Breaux...what other Dems voted for this?! At least Kerry has some principles and voted no.
    •  Kerry finds a spine (none)
      Maybe this is an indication that he realizes he's got nothing (more) to lose and will spend the next 4 years being the biggest troublemaker and pain in the Republicans' butt they've ever seen.

      hope springs eternal

      "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

      by hono lulu on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:56:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  kerry nay vote (none)
        That's the way I see it as well. He is focused on the 08 election right now and will make sure he has the right voting credentials to get him elected.

        This is the Nixon candidacy all over again. When Nixon lost to Kennedy he didn't go away, instead he got going.


      •  Kerry found a spine (4.00)
        about 40 years ago when he protested a war and got a president on his bad side.

        (not to mention the whole getting shot at thing)

    •  Do Not Forget (none)
      2008 is a long way away but don't forget H.Clinton voted YES!

      "I'm not going to be your monkey"

      by gabie on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:58:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  McCain, Hagel no, Clinton Daschle Feinstein yes (none)
    Democrats are hopeless wimps
  •  Hagel no?! (none)
    I wonder how many republicans don't trust the process enough to ensure that IRS language gets stripped.
  •  Kent Conrad, he the man (4.00)
    I met him one time, when he was a freshman senator in the 100th Congress and i was a bright-eyed intern. In the elevator. He introduced himself; had only been in D.C. a week and hadn't heard that he didn't have to talk to interns.

    Been an admirer ever since.

    The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

    by SensibleShoes on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 05:51:04 PM PST

  •  which way (none)
    has our future minority leader voted? has he voted yet? i'll be interested to see...
  •  asdf (none)
    The Department of Homeland Security is making employees and contractors sign pledges barring them from telling the public about sensitive but unclassified information.

    Maureen Dowd in tomorrows column.

  •  John Edwards Not Present ? (none)
  •  What was the reasoning for the IRS amendment (none)
    in the first place? Was that ever given?
  •  Kerry, Edwards and Sarbanes all vote no (none)
    But Mikulski votes yes.  For no good reason.

    And you know, if I were Daschle, I would have so wanted to lead a last hurrah against the GOP before slinking off into the night...

  •  What! (none)
    How could Byron Dorgan vote for it when Conrad mentioned all those problems? Sheesh.
  •  Sessions voted no (none)
    Interesting Republicans that are turning out to vote no on this...all the moderates voted no, though. Is this bill filibuster-able, or since it's spending all it requires is simple majority?
    •  WTF (none)
      Dayton just voted 'aye', even though I swore earlier he said no. They can change their vote?
    •  Appropriation Bills Cannot Be (none)

      Dayton, after an hour ago railing about how bad this bill was for the children of Minnesota, voted Yes...!  No wonder voter turnout is so low.  People think all politicians are liars who just posture.  That is why voting for Bush The F**K-Up did not matter to a lot of people.  Kerry would be no different they figured.  Thanks, Senator Dayton, for meaning what you said.  

      We the grassroots need to watch what they do, not what they say.

      •  Yes, but he actually voted no before he voted yes (none)
        That should sell really well in his next campaign.  He can invite John Kerry to help him explain it.
        •  And they are gunning for Dayton (none)
          Mark Dayton is on the republican hit list for 2006.  Dayton will have a very difficult time of it.  And he barely squeeked through last time.

          The man is a walking contradiction.

          •  Maybe Dayton will lose in the primary... (none)
            I'm in Minnesota.  I couldn't bear to vote for Dayton in 2000, and it's going to be tough to vote for him this time around.  The guy is a putz with a mediocre voting record.

            Any idea who the Repubs are thinking of at this point?  The only name I've heard is Pawlenty - he wanted it in 2002, but was ushered out of it to clear the way for Bush's handpicked Coleman.  

            I'll campaign for Dayton if it comes to that though; holding my nose the entire time.

            •  also in MN (none)
              A little hamlet called Buffalo, MN.  Oh yea, republican central.  Mark Kennedy (6th District) is my slimeball congressman who just beat Patty Ketterling, but not by much.  Mark Kennedy is who I have heard being named as the most likely candidate to run against Dayton.  

              Kennedy is a knownothing, do nothing, robot of Rove.  Hand picked by D.C. republicans to do their bidding.  He is their candidate. Pawlenty and Coleman are going on up the ladder in D.C.  Coleman would like to be a candidate for the WH someday.  Former dem, now spouting all pure republican trivia.

              I will, of course, vote for Dayton.  But sometimes he is great, and sometimes I just wonder where his mind is.

  •  Um, are they changing their votes? (none)
    Because I coulda sworn Dayton was "no" before and they just said he was "aye".

    The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

    by SensibleShoes on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 06:06:29 PM PST

  •  Istook? Istook put this in? (4.00)
    Oooooooooh, I know what that's about!

    Istook has been itching to get at IRS records since forever! If you remember the "Istook amendments" of the mid-90s, you'll remember that Ernie Istook has always sought to shut down grants for political advocacy groups that lobby the Congress.

    It's been his claim that the federal grants they get free up other operational money that these groups then spend to lobby... usually for more money. But the reality is that he was hoping to "defund the left" with his amendments. Right wing groups operate mostly as tax-exempt organizations, getting their money through private donations, while left wing advocacy groups tended to be federal grant recipients.

    He never did get those amendments passed, as I recall. But this would give appropriations chairmen (he's a subcommittee chairman) access to IRS records. He'll be wanting the records of left-leaning advocacy groups as part of his continuing campaign to shut down their funding.

    Now I get it!

  •  What's happening is... (none)
    ...everybody who would have politcal advantage to voting no is voting no.  Those that would have no advantage politcally in voting no (like Dasche, who's going home), are voting aye, so the damned thing passes.  This was worked out in the coatroom confrence.
  •  As I can tell. (none)
    The bill will pass which allows insurance companies and HMOs to disallow physicians from having to counsel women (receiving aid) regarding abortion.  This issue was buried in over 3,000 pages of the bill.

    The Dem Senator from South Dakota caught this nifty little piece of legislation and brought it to the committee in protest of passing the bill.

    Several dems argued three points and McCain was on their side this time.  McCain also pointed out that the bill contains alot pork.

    The discussion was about how:

    1.  Bills are often given to them to review with only 3 or 4 hours left until it's time to vote.
    2.  The bills are often impossible for even an entire staff to review within that time period.  This was is over 3,000 pages long
    3.  The bill is presented right before they are all to leave for Thanksgiving, which means everyone would have to sacrifice the holiday to stay and debate this bill.

    During Bush's 4 years, this is how he took away many of our rights.  The dems are on top of it, at least in this case, and caught the legislation being snuck through.  However, the dems seem to be willing to cave so they can get home for the holiday.  Guess Bush's system works.  The dems can hoot and holler all they want as long as they pass it.  Which is what they are doing.

    Boxer, in a last ditch effort to salvage something from the debate, has called for a Boxer Bill (?) which would repeal this one upon their return.

  •  It's highly irregular to leave a roll call open (none)
    this long...

    at least it used to be... before collegial arm twist became a pain compliance hold...

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire: French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694-1778)

    by lobezno on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 06:11:51 PM PST

  •  Oops, posted on wrong are the nays (none)
    Dayton (Changed vote to aye ???)
    Nelson Nebraska
    Reid RI
  •  I sure was hoping (none)
    that they would stand firm this time.  Well at least we got some excitement and maybe this is the beginning of a new side to some of our reps.
    We can only hope...
  •  So when are we gonna have a tally? (none)
    Are there still people who haven't voted yet?
  •  Oh yeah (none)
    the IRS records!  That was the biggest hoodwink of all.

    Thanks for reminding me.

  •  Hilary is not running for pres in 2008 (none)
    Every Dem that was considering running for pres in 2008 voted no-except Hillary.

    She's out.

    You heard it here first.

    •  I sure hope your right! (none)
      If she runs, it's a problem.

      Go Edwards!

    •  Now we just have to pray Edwards doesn't run. (none)
      It's laughable to think Edwards could believe he could get it done on the only issue that matters in a lifelong war on terror : national security.

      My fear is he and his supporters will believe they can overcome his lack of resume', his voting record, his background as a personal injury lawyer, etc with being cute.  He's a better speaker than Kerry but he's not a great speaker.  

      For the sake of the future of the Democratic party let's hope Edwards' career is over as a Presidential candidate.

  •  Boxer agreement with Frist is what set this up (none)
    Boxer got Frist to promise that he would allow a bill by Boxer to come up to a floor vote in early april. Promised that it would come up during the day, have 4 hours, not on a Friday or a weekend or at night, etc.. (sheesh, she really didn't trust him did she) to repeal the weldon amendment.

    They agreed to let the IRS provision never take effect by some rules procedures.

    After that, the bill was a foregone conclusion.

  •  Catch me up here would ya (none)
    What's happened or going to happen to this IRS amendment ? Is it in or out ?In but will be out?

    and whats the deal with the choice issue ?

    Just got back from Dinner, so i am a little lost as to where we are, looks like I missed a doozy earlier !

    someone gimme the highlights rell, please.

  •  Catch me up here would ya (none)
    What's happened or going to happen to this IRS amendment ? Is it in or out ?In but will be out?

    and whats the deal with the choice issue ?

    Just got back from Dinner, so i am a little lost as to where we are, looks like I missed a doozy earlier !

    someone gimme the highlights reel, please.

    •  See above (none)
      Boxer will get to submit a bill to repeal Weldon amendment (anti-abortion part) in April. Was promised a straight floor submision (no commitee to bottle it up).

      The IRS provision is getting some sort of technical procedure so that it can be removed.

  •  65-30 (none)
    "Are there any senators who still wish to vote or wish to change thier vote?"  Heh.
  •  65-30 it passes (none)
    You know what? Piss on the Democrats who vote for this. It sounds like, and I've been watching all along, a bunch of Derms, like Fienstien, Clinton and others are voting for it, while some republicans are voting against it. It might not even have passed, it is that close.  But the Dems in their first public battle, over some worthy stuff, can't even vote as a block.  Call themselves a damn Party. Who is the Whip, where is some damn solidarity. This is so lame.  The vote is still stalled, a few last votes trickling in. Can they change their votes at the last minute?  Pisses me off to see the Dems like this. Or more specifically, the Dems who voted for this, when we could all really use a show of solidarity.  So it's just gonna be business as usual.

    Stay tuned.

    65- 30, final vote

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 06:23:53 PM PST

    •  18 seconds (n/t) (none)

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 06:25:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  well (4.00)
      Numbers werent there to vote it down, blocking it could have brought claims of trying to close down the government, and in the end Boxer gets her bill in (it will probably lose, but at least get a roll call vote on it) and it looks like the IRS shennanigins is gonna be out.

      so not a bad outcome, and we'll get some good press on the Repug tactics and dishonesty.

      Now I am listening to Frist, boy he pisses me off, he is so full of shit. I feel like punching his lights out. After Bush he is the next most annoying politican to listen too.

    •  asdf (none)
          They all have stuff in there that they don't want to be dumped.
    •  The minority party (none)
      I am so disgusted with the Democrats in the Senate!! This vote is a complete travesty!!!!

      How could anyone vote for a bill that allows Congress to raid our tax records and several limits a womans right to choose??? After all their bluster, they let this POS bill pass with token opposition. The Rethug party would have bitched and moaned for weeks if they were the minority party and some idealogue idiot slipped in a couple of nasty provisions on them. The Democrat party as it stands today will never push the right out of power. They do not have the spine for it.

      None of the issues progressive care about have a chance in this environment. The right rules, and the left has no respresentation with any power. I hope and pray for a major second term scndal that cripples this Whitehouse everyday. Of course, with their control of the press, one wonders if any scandal would be enough to derail the right.

      •  In the news.... (none)
        Senate approval took longer because of disputes over provisions dealing with abortions and members of Congress' access to income tax returns. Leaders agreed to not send the spending package to President Bush for his signature until the tax returns issue is resolved in a separate bill, expected to be passed by the House on Wednesday.

        Scary way to do things...


    •  my senators (none)
      Kohl and Feingold, both voted nay. Good boys!
  •  heh (none)
    Chaffee in the chair.
  •  Frist thanking stevens for his hard work (none)
    very hard work.  long days and nights.  Staffers up 48 hours at a time.  What is this, the explanation for the insertion of the IRS language?

    My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don't get right. (TH Huxley)

    by sberel on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 06:26:55 PM PST

    •  As a longtime Alaskan, I can explain it. (none)
      Stevens is an a***e.

      The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

      by SensibleShoes on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 06:30:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As many have said... (none)
      The theme of the GOP seems to be "governing is hard work." One of the main arguments put forth by the Rs seem to be "our staffers are tired - appropriating is hard work."

      You know what? It is. And I don't fucking care. You're elected because you're supposed to be willing to work hard, and your staffers are hired because they're supposed to be willing to work hard for the Senator. So stop fucking pretending that you didn't know working in the Senate would be difficult.

      Anyways, isn't it a bit much to argue that sloppy governance and shitty amendments can be made ok because some people are tired? What's more important - some tired DC staffers, or the fate of the Nation?

      •  Might be hard because (none)
        they're not very good at it?

        The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

        by SensibleShoes on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 06:39:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Such hard work that their Thanksgiving (none)
        vacation was threatened!!!  I've got news for them -- for most of us, Thanksgiving vacation begins next Wednesday at 5 pm, not today.  I have no sympathy.
        •  Retail Mgrs (none)
          Don't forget those in store level retail mgmt. who don't get home until 11:00pm Wednesday night and have to go back in at 5:00am Friday morning. Then there are all those health care workers, nurses, aides, emergency personnel, IT etc., who will be working Thanksgiving day/nite and often go 48 hours straight without sleep. Frist doesn't have a clue....

          "Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything." ~ Unknown

          by mad ramblings of a sane woman on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 06:40:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Run with big dogs (none)
        get big fleas.  

        I mean, come on.  They run the process, they tolerate riders like this.  If they would crack down on crap like this, governing might not be quite so hard.  Saying no one got any sleep doesn't excuse their (at best) incompetence and (at worst) callous power grab.

        My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don't get right. (TH Huxley)

        by sberel on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 07:14:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Did Patty Murray from WA vote? (none)
    •  Patty Murray voted YES (none)
      Sad to say, and so did Maria Cantwell....

      Andrea from Seattle

      by Andrea7470 on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 07:54:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  what??? (none)
        I just got home from dinner with friends - hop on here right away to see what happened - it passed, with some hard-fought provisions, okay - but come on, both of my democratic senators voted for it??  I'm emailing them both right now to express my dismay.  We need to be READING every bill and FIGHTING every bill for the next four years.  The majority party will be trying to sneak stuff in under the radar all the time, but especially before holiday breaks and all the other times this 'club' used to allow itself some slack.  There is no more slack.  There is only fight.
  •  Don't Count On Any Theater.... (none)
    on Wednesday when the House returns.  It will all be done "without objection" and so there may only be five reps on the floor and the Omnibus Bill without the Istook language will pass unanimously.

    The Dems should object to proceeding by consent and make the House debate how this happened and why these Omnibus bills are bad for Congress.

  •  Istook (none)
    For anyone who's interested -

    This is the wikipedia article on Istook.

  •  Good Night, All ! (none)
    This has been another great night at the real-time intersection of DailyKos and politics.

    Thanks to all of you for being here.

  •  Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid (none)
    What scares me as much as anything is that this is the lame duck Congress. With all the crap we've seen from these folks just in the last few days, how much worse is it going to be when the NEW Congress is sworn-in next January?
  •  A Knife in the Back from... (none)
    (I'm not positive this list is complete)

    Daschle (good riddance)
    Breaux (good riddance)
    Bill Nelson
    Miller (good riddance)

  •  Unbelievable (none)
    They just keep spending and spending and spending with no restraint.
    Raising the debt ceiling.
    Limiting privacy.

    I want to know why the politically savvy Mrs. Hillary voted yes on this monster?

    How long can they keep spending money like this. In four more years will the debt limit be 16trillion dollars?
    And everybody just wants to go home for the holiday, while they slowly and steadily bankrupt the country.
    This is treasonous if you ask me.

    I hope folks urge the media on to make a big stick about this.
    And they can't be bothered with the 9/11 commisions recommendations? But I thought we were at WAR. More like these folks are making war against their own country with their greed. I hope all those who voted yes get fired.

    Here is my rating of your passing of the spending bill you fat cats in Congress.
    Boooooooooooooooo......***! SSSSSSSSSSSssssssstttttt***!

    one liberal fighting against the Christian jihadists

    by missliberties on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 07:02:27 PM PST

  •  Congressional Bills (none)
    At the very least there should be limitations to attachments on bills.
  •  One week review period... (none)
    ...for all legislation that is cost-heavy or significant to liberty. This nonsense of 1000-page bills being plopped onto desks and voted on two hours later illustrates how legislators view democracy as a cavalier inconvenience. Riders, horsetrading, trailers, logrolling...this is no republican (small r) democracy. This is a con game.

    Institute a one week review period for legislation which needs to be reviewed. If it means legislators must stay in DC for longer sessions, so be it. This reform is on par with campaign finance reform...we must do what we can to ensure "patriot act legislation tactics" never happen again.

  •  Best C=Span yet (4.00)
    A touch of Prime Minister's Question Time in the Senate. It needs more of that. The Chairman of the Approriations Committee forgot the Golden rule: never lose your kool. He did, big time.

    Byrd was excellent.

    Boxer's deal was a good one - in as much as the Dems are in a weak position, so she got all she could.

    I will say that a composite bill of that type is disgraceful - there should be rules to prevent it, particularly given the short time in which to consider it.

    In the UK a bill gets three readings and is passed to the House of Lords at the end of each reading for further discussion and amendment. There would be an outcry if a stunt like this Appropriations Bill was tried.

    Some of the frustration here because the Dems don't reject everything is unrealistic. If a Consitutional crisis were to result, the Dems would be slaughtered by the country.

    They will "lose" everything with the Rethug having both majorities but if they use the rules well they will score points as Boxer did. For the next couple of years the Dems will need their experienced political wonks to play these games with skill.

    Great entertainment. Political theatre at its best. Meanwhile, though, people are being killed in Iraq.

    Thanks for an exciting thread, folks. It added to the ball game.

  •  News Make It Across The Pond To The UK (none)
    The Guardian has the story about Republican Fuck-up Day in The Senate.,1280,-4628320,00.html

  •  Did Frist Have His Conscience Removed??? (none)
    With all this going on tonight, he is up there tonight talking about the Boy Scouts and castigating the ACLU.

    God, I hate that prick!

  •  asdf (none)
        What the hell is Frist still doing there?  Oh! Waiting for the interns to get off. Doh. Bill, let 'em go.
    •  He's Blow Smoke and Scaring Old People (none)
      Don't you know?  Without him and his fucking drug card you would be scrwed?  Without him fighting to get rid of law suits you will not have a doctor when you need one.

      That mother-fucker lies like a fucking rug.

      That little speech probably got another $100K depositied in his bank account tonight.

  •  The Dems who voted for this should be ashamed (none)
    If we could hold a goddamn UNIFIED FRONT, we would have defeated this bill. Enough Republicans crossed over that we could have defeated it and made a statement to Bu$h. Instead, we have nearly 20 Dems - including liberals such as Clinton, Feinstein, and Mikulski, along with outgoing wuss Daschle and incoming wuss Reid - vote for a spending bill that has anti-abortion language in it. First of all, what the hell does abortion have a damn thing to do with spending bills for government agencies?! Secondly, we will never get anything done if we can't hold ourselves together and make a damn statement on Bush's reckless spending. Yes, this would've put the government in crisis, but it would've made a statement to the American people that this government can't spend money like a drunk chugs rum. Even centrists like Bayh voted against this bill, along with conservatives like Jeff Sessions and Jim Inhofe! COME ON!

    One thing made me happy: Kerry and Edwards both voted against the bill. Edwards may not have a political future, but I'm damn proud that Kerry is standing up for what he believes in. Be a liberal, John, and be damn proud of it!

    •  Anyone Have Any Insight Into Why? (none)
      Why Dems like Clinton, Mikulski, and Feinstein, as well as Daschle and Reid whimped out?

      What did they have to gain by sucking up to the Republicans?  Do they think you can pet a snake and it will never bite, or what?

      Anyone have any insights, or even guesses, as to why they did it?  Stopping the Republicans in their tracks right now would have sent the perfect message and would have put egg all over the GOP faces.

      •  They wimped out 'coz it was "must pass". (4.00)
        Frankly, they knew that it would have to pass- it was a budget bill that would have brought the government to a standstill had it not passed.

        Us Californians are familiar with that crisis and the consequences of it not passing, since we sort of fail to pass a budget, well, pretty much every year. No state employees get paid, no state contractors get paid, schools and special programs get no funding until the budget is passed. The state government comes to a standstill until a solution is hammered out.

        This is not something anyone wants to see on a federal level; hence the stalling tactics and the last second re-working to axe the provision. In the end, the Democrats knew they'd have to vote for it. Since the most visible offense (the tax provision) had been neutered, the bill not passing would make it look like partisan politics and make them look bad. Though I do appreciate the ones who took a stand against it. (Thanks Mr. Byrd- you seem like a great guy for an old codger!)

        Plus, watching "Show-and-Tell on the Senate Floor" was priceless. Was it the Senator from Louisiana who was holding up those 18x30 prints? Did she have those prepared specifically for a stall tactic like this? Or did she have her aides run out and prepare them when she knew they'd be needed? That was classic.

        •  Landrieu voted for the bill (none)
          She of the "I vote 74% of the time with President Bush" in her 2002 runoff election. I can't stand Republican-lite candidates anymore. Harry Reid is going to send our party down the path of submission to right-wing fanaticism. I don't give a damn that he comes from a town called Searchlight. Give me a blue-state senator who can make our John Kerry, for example.
    •  When Boxer's bill comes up in April (none)
      .....many of them will vote to repeal the Weldon Amendment.  And they will all have to say in unison..."I voted for it before i voted against it."

      And we all know how well that works......

      Problem is, this time they had some April they'll have zip......and the House will also have to pass Boxer's bill if they even agree to consider it, which wasn't put on the record as being part of the deal......yeah, good freakin luck.

      If you're keeping a scorecard for '06, this should be in the leadoff position.

      A proud member of the reality-based community!

      by roxtar on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 03:59:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why is the Senate still in a quorum call? (none)
    Are they waiting on the House to revote based on the bill with the IRS language removed?
  •  What did Grassley mean? (none)
    Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the measure will "bring us back to the doorstep to the days of President Nixon, President Truman and other dark days in our history when taxpayer information was used against political enemies."

    What did Truman do with tax returns?  Or is this a squalid attempt to make Nixon's chicanery appear to be bipartisan?

  •  shameless self promotion#3 (none)
    I saw some of it.  I didn't know if they were talking about the anti-abortion provision or not.

    Check out my new blog:

    I wonder when Evan Bayh will be on a sunday morning talk show...and when the next time i will be up early enough to watch.

    The Kentucky Democrat

    EB08 Rosenberg for Chair

    by dsolzman on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 10:55:12 PM PST

  •  A perfect example of why the Dems have lost cred (3.66)
    Sure, a few put on a good show and lambast a very shoddy piece of legislation with some very  questionable (if not downright sinister) riders and ammendments attached to it- but really- what good are they in the end?

    For all their posturing, they rubberstamp a ridiculous and offensive GOP bill AGAIN.

    Dems have lost all credibility as far as I am concerned. Sure, there are some good ones in there, but institutionally, in Congress the Dem Party has done nothing but sell their supporters down the river since 2000.

    NO Dem worth voting for should have voted yes on that lame ass bill.

    Not one.

    And their total and complete wimpiness in the end, to back down from a good and righteous fight is yet another betrayal.

    Sure, Frist promised Boxer a vote. Yeah- okay- in April. Sure.


    That means NOTHING. It may be a symbolic move on Boxer's part, but really. Trust a partisan hack GOP to keep a promise??

    Makes me sick.

    THIS is why I am a registered Indy and it is why after this year, I will never give my money or time to the DNC again unless they get their shit together (and if this is any indication, is not going to happen anytime soon).



    If the Dems can't be a real opposition/minority party- what good are they?

    My question is: What else is in this bohemoth of a bill that they don't even know about (since they refuse to read these things).

    Congress should pass no law- that they have not been forced to read, verbatum, outloud, on the floor.

    That would hold them all accountable for this crap.

    No wonder GWB is President and our country is going downhill and fast. These clowns are totally irresponsible- on BOTH sides of the aisle.

    "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

    by wild salmon on Sat Nov 20, 2004 at 11:14:53 PM PST

  •  Dems and Liberals (4.00)
    >  "including liberals such as Clinton, Feinstein, and Mikulski,"

    I know Feinstein hasn't been a "liberal" for many, many years.  She's Rep-lite.  I'm still waiting for a real liberal to run against her in CA so I can vote her out.

    Not holding my breath, tho...

  •  Where can I watch? (none)
    Is there a place to download this and watch it?  I want to but found nothing.  I am dying to see this!  Thanks in advance.

    "The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." -RFK

    by apmiller on Sun Nov 21, 2004 at 06:53:43 AM PST

  •  In case anyone is interested (none)
    C-Span tonight
    · House Re-air on Tax Provision (8:05pm)
    · Sen. Conrad (D-ND) Briefing on Tax Return
      Provision in Omnibus (8:15pm)

    They didn't state the time zone in the email alert

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