Draining the Swamp

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Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:11 pm

The Sheehanoids managed to cow Rep. Rahm Emanuel into shutting down his press conference. And from the Angry Left bloggers who once cheered her on: silence. Browsing the homepages of the Daily Kos, Atrios, Talking Points Memo and the Puffington Host, we can't find a single mention of the erstwhile moonbat heartthrob.

It comes as a relief to realize that many of those who once treated Sheehan as a heroine did so merely out of partisanship, not hatred of country.

The incoming Democratic leadership promised a fast start to the new Congress, with an ambitious '100 Hour' agenda. They then restated that they didn't actually mean the first, you know - 100 hours, or anything. They meant the first 100 legislative hours - a period that could stretch over a number of weeks, actually.

Now, they further clarify that they don't really mean the first 100 legislative hours - they mean the first 100 legislative hours not counting the new House rules package:
Time spent debating changes to the rules package will not count against Pelosi’s 100-hour legislative blitzkrieg, set to begin the week of Jan. 8 and last approximately 10 legislative days, ending when President Bush delivers his State of the Union address on Jan. 23.

You would think that they might actually want to include that package into their accounting, since that's when they're going to:

...ban all travel paid for by lobbyists or organizations that employ lobbyists, require the ethics committee to pre-approve travel paid for by outside groups, enact a total gift ban, and require lawmakers to pay the market cost of flying on a corporate jet, said Democratic staffers and officials with government watchdog groups.

And, because they feel they lost the 2003 Medicare prescription drug benefit vote because GOP leaders held it open for three hours, during which they flipped opponents into the “yes” column, Democrats will include a provision in the rules to prevent any sort of repetition, said aides to incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Democrats also will eliminate the practices of changing conference reports after members have signed them and excluding elected members from conference committees.

Seems like ambitious stuff not to include in the accounting, doesn't it? And isn't it a little ironic that the Democrats do not intend to count this stuff toward the first 100 hours - but include in it a measure to prevent leadership from stopping the House clock in order to hold votes open? This is different how, exactly?

Do you suppose I could promise fidelity in my marriage, but 'not count' the hours between 9:00pm and 3:00am? Or maybe I should go for the gusto, and promise the IRS that I will report all earned income, except that which I judge doesn't really belong...

Yes, the Democrats certainly changing the way Washington does business.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby Shapley » Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:33 am

Haggis,

I'll give them a bit on this one. I had expected the 'first 100 hours' to be the 'first 100 working hours' all along. That's normal in business. I really didn't expect them to pull four all-nighters to get it done.

I would, however, expect the 'first 100 hours' to actually be the 'first', and not the 'first - after we've done this and done that and, well, we'll let you know when they start. Oh, and, by the way, they may not be the first, you know, consecutive 100 working hours". :D

V/R
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Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:20 pm

Just wait until they’re not paying attention

” During four decades of Democratic rule ending in 1994, committee chairmen amassed almost unchallenged authority, often becoming more feared and influential than the elected leadership. They were nearly impossible to budge from their perches, and the concept of term limits was unimaginable. In a move that caught some new Democratic chairmen by surprise, House rules pushed through by the Democrats this week retained the six-year limit on chairmen imposed by Republicans, but the leadership reassured lawmakers they would revisit the restrictions when there was less attention focused on the dawn of the Democratic era.”


Emphasis mine.

Business as usual during the last time Democrats had power. At least the republicans tried to moderate the influence/
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:17 pm

Finally, Strong Leaders Who'll Get Things Done!

"Democrats Plan Symbolic Votes Against Iraq Plan"—


Well, I guess that put me in my place!!!!

And I thought they were going to go for the jugular, which today, apparently, is located in the ankles.
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Postby Shapley » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:57 am

Congress Imposes Five-Day Work Week ... Well, Sort Of

Keep in mind, Haggis, that that swamp they're planning to drain may be a protected wetland...
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Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:04 am

The Los Angeles Times continues its in-depth look at the finances of Harry Reid, who apparently intends on leaving his political careers as a land baron.

The LAT reports on a transaction that gave Reid a 160-acre parcel of land at one-tenth its value, which coincidentally came from a lubricants distributor who shortly afterwards became the intended beneficiary of a Harry Reid-sponsored piece of legislation.

This isn't the first shady land deals involving Harry Reid. He also got paid over a million dollars on land for which he never disclosed his ownership, a story the LAT reported in October of last year.

Will the reformist zealotry of the Democratic majority be brought to bear on Reid?

Don't count on it.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:34 pm

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told reporters today that, in response to demands from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department is turning over documents that include orders that have been issued by the FISA court, and applications for such orders by investigators. This relates to the NSA's "domestic"--i.e., international--terrorist surveillance program.

With the documents apparently going to Senators Leahy and Specter, as well as to both lawmakers and staffers on the House and Senate intelligence committees, what's the over/under on how long it will be until selective details of the FISA court's oversight of the NSA program are leaked to the Washington Post?

I get to choose first so I'll say no later than 1 Mar :mrgreen:
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:58 pm

...what's the over/under on how long it will be until selective details of the FISA court's oversight of the NSA program are leaked...

Are we allowed to use negative numbers? We're talking about politicians, reporters, and mud, right?

I'll have to guess about January 15. It'll be phased in some fashion indicating that it was recently discovered that...
>^..^<
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Postby Shapley » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:30 pm

Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Postby jamiebk » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:54 pm

I agree...Looks like a grab for a freebee and a BS request, but apparently she's not the only one:

Mrs. Pelosi's request is not new for a speaker, who is second-in-line in presidential succession. A defense source said the speaker's regular access to a military plane began after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Rep. J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, who was speaker at the time, started using U.S. Air Force planes for domestic travel to and from his district for security reasons. A former Hastert aide said the congressman did not use military planes for political trips or regularly (my emphasis) transport his family.
The defense source said Mr. Hastert requested a plane with good communications so he could conduct legislative business. The military flights increased to the point the speaker used a military plane for many, if not all, flights to his Illinois district, the former aide said.
Sources said Mrs. Pelosi's request goes beyond what Mr. Hastert received. The speaker's legal counsel is spearheading the talks.
Jamie

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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:59 pm

I'd be willing to offer her one of the folding chairs in a C-2; they could drop her off at Alameda. There's still a runway at Alameda, right?

I'd be willing to wager an entire donut that the COD isn't what she had in mind, though.
>^..^<
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Postby Shapley » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:37 pm

There's still a runway at Alameda, right?


Yeah, the use it on Mythbusters every now and then.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:58 am

Hot Air has video of an invocation at the winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee by Husham Al-Husainy, Imam of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, a Shi'ite mosque in Dearborn, Michigan.
Here's a transcript:

In the name of God the most merciful, the most compasionate. We thank you, God, to bless us among your creations. We thank you, God, to make us as a great nation. We thank you God, to send us your messages through our father Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Mohammed. Through you, God, we unite. So guide us to the right path. The path of the people you bless, not the path of the people you doom. Help us God to liberate and fill this earth with justice and peace and love and equality. And help us to stop the war and violence, and oppression and occupation.

Ameen.


Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch points out that

In mentioning "Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Mohammed" I expect that he sounded wonderfully generous and ecumenical to the assembled Democrats. But in fact, he was almost certainly invoking them in their capacity as Muslim prophets: it is mainstream Islam that all of these were prophets who taught Islam, and that the followers of Moses and Jesus corrupted their teachings to create Judaism and Christianity. So what seems to be a gesture of ecumenical generosity is actually a declaration of religious imperialism and the delegitimization of other religions
.

It is interesting to see the Democrats standing with heads bowed piously while the Imam Husham Al-Husainy prays, in veiled terms to be sure, for their conversion to Islam, and oh yes, for the destruction of Israel ("And help us to stop the war and violence, and oppression and occupation").

And no one thought it was odd, what idiots
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Postby BigJon » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:44 pm

Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:I'd be willing to offer her one of the folding chairs in a C-2; they could drop her off at Alameda. There's still a runway at Alameda, right?

I'd be willing to wager an entire donut that the COD isn't what she had in mind, though.

Does that mean "with parachute?"
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Postby GreatCarouser » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:54 pm

Wonderful link, Haggis! The commenters illustrate the sanity level of the thread as a whole. I love folks who quote any type of 'Scripture' and profess to have discovered the 'hidden code'. I sent them a bag of marbles to replace the ones they've lost.

While it's certainly possible this imam intends ill will to our way of life I prefer some pertinent facts addressing his subversive acts to attempts to stereotype and 'mind read' which is what these folks are doing. Their approach is as naive as believing all southern white Christians are KKK members or that all Christians believe in the Trinity. While there may be some validity in what the OP is saying about certain Muslims and sects in general this whole cloth blanket condemnation is nothing more then paranoia and thinly veiled racism. These blogs are just a version of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' aimed at Muslims.

Yes there are Muslims with an agenda against what this country stands for. There are Christians with the same agenda. I'm sure there are those of other religions as well.

America's First Terrorists
The link is an mp3 file. The difference is he's trying to be funny, Haggis' poster doesn't realize he is....
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Postby Nicole Marie » Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:49 pm

Shapley wrote:Pelosi asks for 'Carte Blanche' on Military Flights

Still lookin' for a free ride...


Shap, this is not new. A few years ago military personal could hop a military flight when they were "off duty". People think military flights and they think a cargo plane or transport. The military often will "rent" a plane from commercial airliners to transport troops. If extra seats are open then other military personal (not associated with the original rental) could book a ticket cheap if they wanted. (This happened a lot when the military sends people to Florida or the Carolinas for training - other military will book cheap seats and fly on the same flight for personal vacation time in those areas. Some flights let the off duty personal take family members too. It was a cheap way to take the family on vacation.) Since the report you posted was very minimal, I have a feeling this is inline with what Nancy is asking about. (Now-a-days the military has cut deals with commerial airlines and active duty and their families can book really cheap seats on regular commercial flights. Thanks to my military dad I've flown to Pittsburgh from Hartford for $56 round trip!)

Now, that said, I still think Nancy and the fam need to buy their own tickets and stay off the military flights. They are not active duty and should not be allowed on the flight.
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Postby Shapley » Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:22 pm

Nicole,

I'm familiar with the military 'hops'. I've taken advantage of them myself back in my Navy days. Being a lowly enlistee, I would arrive hours early to get my name on the list to ensure I had a seat, only to be 'bumped' at the last minute by some General who decided to take his family to Chicago for the weekend. Annoying, but that's life in the military.

It appears Ms. Pelosi wants to expand the speakers' access to such flights to include staff, family, and other members of Congress. This would be fine if they, to had to take their place in line and run the risk of being 'bumped' by senior military. However, I suspect that they will be the ones doing the 'bumping'. Congresspersons have an inflated opinion of their importance, you know.

But, we'll have to wait and see how it pans out. I suspect that, in the end, the Speaker will get some or all of her request granted in exchange for her support on some military measure or another. Business as usual down there in the swamp. :D

V/R
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Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:44 pm

GreatCarouser wrote:Wonderful link, Haggis! The commenters illustrate the sanity level of the thread as a whole. I love folks who quote any type of 'Scripture' and profess to have discovered the 'hidden code'. I sent them a bag of marbles to replace the ones they've lost.

While it's certainly possible this imam intends ill will to our way of life I prefer some pertinent facts addressing his subversive acts to attempts to stereotype and 'mind read' which is what these folks are doing. Their approach is as naive as believing all southern white Christians are KKK members or that all Christians believe in the Trinity. While there may be some validity in what the OP is saying about certain Muslims and sects in general this whole cloth blanket condemnation is nothing more then paranoia and thinly veiled racism. These blogs are just a version of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' aimed at Muslims.

Yes there are Muslims with an agenda against what this country stands for. There are Christians with the same agenda. I'm sure there are those of other religions as well.

America's First Terrorists
The link is an mp3 file. The difference is he's trying to be funny, Haggis' poster doesn't realize he is....


That's why I posted the hot air link. I'm always open to genuine debate. What's your take on what the words of the prayer meant?
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Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:03 pm

Nicole,
Trust me, the Speaker has the aircraft assigned to the 89TH AIRLIFT WING in mind when she made this request. I was closely involved in SAMs (Special Airlift Missions) in the late 70's and 80's flying with the aircraft that our boondoggling Congressmen and women used to travel all over the globe.

I can truthfully say that I would rather be in combat than being that close to some of the most egotistical asses the country has produced again. And some of them are STILL in office.

Giving her what she wants is opening a door that can never be closed. And I can assure you that if she does then the USAF will get obscene quantities of taxpayer money earmarked to increase that fleet of very pricy and customized aircraft.

[rant]Jeez, they already get first class seats for paying less than economy now from most American carriers, their own special waiting room and private parking at Regan now. If they have to travel ALL THE WAY to Andrews (10-12 miles as I recall) I can also guarantee they'll want helicopter transportation as well.

I am so fed up with all of the members of congress on both sides of the aisle continually giving themselves perks and special privileges. They should all travel like the rest of us......[/rant]
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Postby barfle » Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:20 pm

When I was in the military (admittedly in a previous millenium), whenever I had to be transported because of orders, I was provided with a means of getting where I was told to be, although in one instance I was given a travel allowance since the scheduling was a bit sudden (like one day).

I had the "privelige" of flying on military standby, which cost half as much as a regular ticket, and if there was an open seat, I could have it, as long as I was in uniform and had leave orders. If there was no seat, I waited until there was one, or paid full fare. This was long before deregulation.

I usually flew on chartered commercial planes (anyone else remember World Airlines?), although my trip to Europe was in a MAC C-141, and the amenities were minimal, to say the least.

I was single at the time, so "family members" (of the dependent variety) wasn't an issue for me.

Military planes should be used for military purposes, not as perks for civilians, and not as a tool for junkets. :rant:
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