It is finished

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Late in the midnight hour, the President addressed the nation basking in the glow of a landmark political triumph over right-wing massive resistance to health care reform. His understated demeanor and measured words belied the enormity of this breakthrough.

Ted Kennedy would be so proud that his dream of universal health care is on the path to reality. His instinct that Barack Obama was the president we needed was vindicated in last night’s roll call. At the president’s side in this fight was the most effective Speaker of the House in living memory, Nancy Pelosi.   She refused to let this effort die and she helped revive the push for reform the pundits thought dead.

Nobody but Barack Obama could have pulled off this legislative victory.  Behind the genial exterior and megawatt smile is a disciplined, ruthless, pragmatic pol equipped with a flawless mastery of policy minutia.

The president’s  politically expedient compromises with the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies greased the skids of the legislative process and ultimately resulted in the enactment of a recycled package of Republican proposals from the last health care showdown 16 years ago that provide at last a framework for health insurance for most Americans.

While others focused on progressive goals like covering everyone, bringing down health care costs and providing competition, Obama focused on getting a passable bill that partially addressed those goals. This President is interested only in the art of the possible.  Ideology is secondary.

Obama won and left the Republicans sputtering unintelligible nonsense for over a year.  They showed their arses last night, every flat hairy butt cheek. They used every arrow in their quiver to defeat reform: fear, deception, xenophobia, and racism.  They still lost.

Over the course of the next few years, 32 million Americans will finally gain access to health insurance they should have had all along. It is the most expensive in the industrialized world and doesn’t cover what it should, but it is better than nothing at all. 

My hat is off to the Commander-in-chief for this triumph over unadulterated Republican evil.

I still want a public option.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones 1949-2008

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The reaction to the death of Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones has been swift.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

“On behalf of all Members of Congress, I express my deepest condolences on the sudden death of our friend and colleague, Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, to all who loved her, particularly her son, Mervyn Leroy Jones, II, and her sister, Barbara Walker. 

 

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a tremendously vibrant presence in the halls of Congress.  She believed in all the best things about our nation, and was a tireless force for justice, equality, and opportunity.  As a leader in election reform, she fought on behalf of voting rights to ensure that every American voter can vote.  She loved her hometown of Cleveland, and she believed that serving her constituents was the best job in the world. 

 

…Stephanie Tubbs Jones was always full of enthusiasm for the work of the Congress and for life in general.  In our sadness at her sudden passing, we remember that she seized every opportunity and enjoyed every moment that she was given.  I hope it is a comfort to Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones’s family and friends that so many people mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”

 

President and Senator Clinton:

 

“There are few words to express the shock we feel at this time. Our deepest condolences are with Stephanie’s son, Mervyn, her family, and her many loved ones, friends, and supporters.

 

Stephanie’s friendship meant the world to us, a friendship that deepened through every trial and challenge. We could always count on her to be a shoulder on which to lean, an ear to bend, a voice to reassure. Over the course of many years, with many ups and many downs, Stephanie was right by our side—unwavering, indefatigable.

 

It was that fighting spirit—safely stowed behind her disarming smile, backed by so much integrity and fiery intelligence—that allowed Stephanie to rise from modest beginnings, to succeed in public service, to become a one-woman force for progress in our country.

 

All of us who were lucky to know her and love her can only hope now to live like her—to be as passionate, loyal, hard charging, and joyful in life’s pursuits.  Stephanie was one of a kind. We will miss our friend always.”

 

Senator and Mrs. Obama:

 

“Michelle and I are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Stephanie was an extraordinary American and an outstanding public servant. It wasn’t enough for her just to break barriers in her own life. She was also determined to bring opportunity to all those who had been overlooked and left behind – and in Stephanie, they had a fearless friend and unyielding advocate. It was an honor to serve with Stephanie in Congress, and I know her legacy will live on in all those who walk the trails she blazed and walk through the doors she opened. Our hearts and prayers are with all those who knew and loved her.”

 

 

Iconic, intelligent, and irreplaceable, Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones is being remembered today for her zest for life, law and politics.  A trailblazer in law and politics, she was the first African American woman to sit on both Cleveland’s Municipal Court and Cuyahoga County’s Court of Common Pleas.  After losing a 1990 race for the Ohio Supreme Court, she entered the race to become Cuyahoga County Prosecutor and served until her election to Congress to replace a legendary member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Louis Stokes. 

 

As a member of congress, she became the first African American woman to sit on the House Ways and Means Committee and chair the House Ethics Committee.   A fighter of legendary prowess, she challenged the counting of Ohio’s electoral votes in the aftermath of deliberate subterfuge perpetrated by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a black wingnut who subsequently ran for Governor and lost, and his Republican minions who deliberately understaffed polling places with machines and personnel in Democratic areas to create long lines that frustrated voters and compromised their right to vote.

 

With the congresswoman’s passing, she leaves a void to be filled.   According to MyFox Cleveland:

 

With just four months remaining in Tubbs Jones’ current term of office, Governor Ted Strickland is required to issue a writ of election setting the dates for both a special primary and a special general election. The winner of these contests would be elected to serve until the current session of Congress ends in January.”  

 

“… The Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Central Committee must also decide who will replace Tubbs Jones as the party’s nominee on the November general election ballot.  Party chairman Jimmy Dimora has until October 27 to hold a meeting to select a replacement.”

 

Cuyahoga County Commission President Peter Lawson Jones, Cleveland City Councilwomen Nina Turner and Sabra Pierce Scott and State Representative Michael DeBose are some of the obvious names that should be looking into a race to succeed the late Congresswoman.

Extorting Nancy: White Hillarycrats threaten to lynch Speaker Pelosi

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Nancy Pelosi First Woman Speaker of The House 

 “If the votes of the superdelegates overturn what’s happened in the elections, it would be harmful to the Democratic party.”    -Speaker Nancy Pelosi

I agree with the Speaker that it indeed would be harmful to the Democratic Party and harmful to the goal of replacing the brain dead, wingnut cabal atop our federal government.   It is apparent, however, that a well-heeled group of white Hillarycrats, with a billionaire blackface minstrel and wealthy Indian couple thrown in to make it look kosher, think otherwise.  

According to TPM, the group sent a threat letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi which reads in part, “Several states and millions of Democratic voters have not yet had the chance to cast their votes.   We respect those voters and believe that they, like the voters in the states that have already participated, have a right to be heard.  None of us (meaning your ass) should make declarative statements that diminish the importance of their voices (votes for Hillary) and their votes.  We are writing to (threaten your ass if you don’t take it back) say that your remarks on ABC News This Week On March 16TH did just that. “

“…We have been strong supporters of the DCCC (the campaign arm of House Democrats). We therefore (are extorting you) urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments (exactly what we fu*#ing tell you) a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the national convention in August.   We (don’t give a sh*t who the hell you think you are because you wouldn’t be there if not for our money) appreciate your activities in support of the Democratic Party and your leadership role in the party and hope you will be (compliant with our demands) responsive to your major enthusiastic supporters.

The brazen extortion evident in this arrogant missive really ticked a sistah off, which is probably why TPM got a hold of this letter.   I love the Illusion of inclusion that asking the colored folks to sign implies so that the strong-arming of Nancy Pelosi would look less like the high tech lynching that it is.  These Mofo’s ain’t slick.  It’s just another example of the lengths the Clinton crime family will go to in order to win. I really don’t have more to add, I just thought y’all would benefit from a few edits to put it all in the proper context.  

Big Backers: The Democratic contributors who wrote Nancy Pelosi have been major donors to the party and its candidates.

Donor Name Total to Democrats Total to Clinton Total to Obama Total to DCCC
Haim & Cheryl Saban
$10,892,848
$31,600
$0
$1,142,000
Bernard L & Irene Schwartz
$4,245,750
$32,400
$0
$1,082,300
Robert L. Johnson
$1,535,800
$24,800
$4,500
$117,500
Mark & Susie Tompkins Buell
$1,066,625
$79,200
$13,500
$207,550
Steve & Maureen White Rattner
$1,062,144
$31,300
$1,000
$45,500
Jay T. & Tracy M. Snyder
$824,999
$28,200
$0
$27,666
Alan J. & Susan Patricof
$770,918
$39,200
$1,400
$62,841
Hassan & Sheila Nemazee
$523,000
$21,200
$0
$28,000
James R. & Mary K. Pritzker
$492,900
$18,400
$8,200
$12,900
Stanley S. & Sydney R. Shuman
$454,082
$51,300
$1,000
$21,666
Marc & Cathy Lasry
$422,000
$23,900
$0
$100,000
Pradeep R. & Amy J. Rao
$341,850
$46,200
$2,000
$66,000
Sim & Debra S. Farar
$252,450
$38,800
$2,500
$0
Clarence A. & Jacqueline A. Avant
$227,300
$19,200
$15,600
$26,000
Lynn Forester de Rothschild
$218,679
$39,700
$2,000
$39,000
Christopher G. & Irene Korge
$189,600
$18,300
$0
$0
Mark A. & Judith M. Aronchick
$80,300
$9,950
$500
$7,000
 
Grand Total
$23,601,245
$553,650
$52,200
$2,985,923

Cindy Sheehan arrested in capitol protest

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Hat tip: WASHINGTON (AP) — Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Monday at the Capitol for disorderly conduct, shortly after saying she would run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the California Democrat’s refusal to try to impeach President Bush.

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Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan says “Impeachment is not a fringe movement.”

Sheehan was taken into custody inside Rep. John Conyers’ office, where she had spent an hour imploring him to launch impeachment proceedings against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Conyers, D-Michigan, chairs the House Judiciary Committee, where any impeachment effort would have to begin.

“The Democrats will not hold this administration accountable, so we have to hold the Democrats accountable,” Sheehan said outside Conyers’ office after the meeting. “And I for one am going to step up to the plate and run against Nancy Pelosi.”

Sheehan and about 200 other protesters had walked to Conyers’ office from Arlington National Cemetery. She said Conyers told her there weren’t enough votes for impeachment to move forward on the issue.

Forty-five of Sheehan’s fellow protesters also were arrested. Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said that after they are processed, the arrested activists could each pay a $50 fine to be released.

“Impeachment is not a fringe movement, it is mandated in our Constitution. Nancy Pelosi had no authority to take it off the table,” Sheehan told her group of orange-clad activists before they began their march from the national cemetery.

Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Iraq, has been saying for two weeks that she would seek to oust Pelosi from office by running against her as an independent in her San Francisco district if Pelosi didn’t change her mind by July 23 on trying to impeach Bush.

Conyers introduced a bill last term calling on Congress to determine whether there are grounds for impeaching Bush. Pelosi has steadfastly dismissed any talk of impeachment, saying Democrats should focus their efforts on ending the war in Iraq.

Activist Cindy Sheehan to Challenge Speaker Pelosi

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HAT TIP: Associated Press, Washington Post

CRAWFORD, Tex., July 8 — Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan said Sunday that she plans to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unless Pelosi introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.

Sheehan’s deadline, July 23, is the same day she and her supporters are to arrive in Washington after a 13-day caravan and walking tour departing from the group’s war protest site near Bush’s Crawford ranch.

Sheehan said she lives in a suburb of Sacramento but declined to disclose the city, citing safety reasons. She added that she would run against Pelosi in 2008 as an independent and “would give her a run for her money.”

“Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership,” Sheehan said. “We hired them to bring an end to the war.”

Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said the congresswoman has said repeatedly that her focus is on ending the war in Iraq.

“She believes that the best way to support our troops in Iraq is to bring them home safely and soon,” Daly said in an e-mail.

Sheehan first came to Crawford in August 2005 during a Bush vacation, demanding to talk to the president about the Iraq war, in which her son Casey was killed in 2004. She became the face of the antiwar movement during her 26-day roadside vigil, which was joined by thousands.

Nancy’s triumph

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HAT TIP : By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer 

A sharply divided House voted Friday to order President Bush to bring combat troops home from Iraq next year, a victory for Democrats in an epic war-powers struggle and Congress’ boldest challenge yet to the administration’s policy.

Ignoring a White House veto threat, lawmakers voted 218-212, mostly along party lines, for a binding war spending bill requiring that combat operations cease before September 2008, or earlier if the Iraqi government does not meet certain requirements. Democrats said it was time to heed the mandate of their election sweep last November, which gave them control of Congress.

“The American people have lost faith in the president’s conduct of this war,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif. “The American people see the reality of the war, the president does not.”

The vote, echoing clashes between lawmakers and the White House over the Vietnam War four decades ago, pushed the Democratic-led Congress a step closer to a constitutional collision with the wartime commander in chief. Bush has insisted that lawmakers allow more time for his strategy of sending nearly 30,000 additional troops to Iraq to work.

The roll call also marked a triumph for Pelosi., who labored in recent days to bring together a Democratic caucus deeply divided over the war. Some of the party’s more liberal members voted against the bill because they said it would not end the war immediately, while more conservative Democrats said they were reluctant to take away flexibility from generals in the field.

Republicans were almost completely unified in their fight against the bill, which they said was tantamount to admitting failure in Iraq.

“The stakes in Iraq are too high and the sacrifices made by our military personnel and their families too great to be content with anything but success,” said Republican Whip Roy Blunt (news, bio, voting record), R-Mo.

Voting for the bill were 216 Democrats and two Republicans — Wayne Gilchrest (news, bio, voting record) of Maryland and Walter Jones (news, bio, voting record) of North Carolina. Of the 212 members who opposed the bill, 198 were Republicans and 14 were Democrats.

The bill marks the first time Congress has used its budget power to try to end the war, now in its fifth year, by attaching the withdrawal requirements to a bill providing $124 billion to finance military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of this year.

Excluding the funds in the House-passed bill, Congress has so far provided more than $500 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including about $350 billion for Iraq alone, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. More than 3,200 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since war began in March 2003.

President Bush mourns the people’s trailer park princess

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President Bush released the following statement tonight:

I am utterly devastated. The whole of our country, all of us, will be in a state of shock and mourning. Anna Nicole was a wonderful, warm, compassionate, illiterate gold digger, playboy playmate and minor celebrity who people, not just in America, but throughout the world, loved and will mourn as a friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, in particular with her baby girl, and with all of the trailer park trash families bereaved in this quite appalling tragedy.

I feel like everyone else in this country today – utterly devastated. We are today a nation in a state of shock, in mourning, in grief that is so deeply painful for us. She was a wonderful and warm human being. Though her own life was often sadly touched by dysfunctional B.S., she touched the lives of so many others in the United States – throughout the world – with drug-addicted and drunken joy. How many times shall we remember her, in how many different ways, blitzed outta her damn mind, babbling incoherently, stumbling around, or blissfully high, when, with just a look or a gesture that spoke so much more than words, she would reveal to all of us the depth of her empty-headed fatuousness and her questionable parental skills. How difficult things were for her from time to time, surely we can only guess at – but the people everywhere, not just the executives of TrimSpa but everywhere, they kept faith with Anna Nicole, they liked her, they loved her show, they regarded her as one of them. She was the people’s trailer park princess and that’s how she will stay, how she will remain in our hearts and in our memories forever.

I have asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid to pass a joint resolution to allow Anna Nicole Smith, the people’s trailer park princess to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol at a state Funeral so that all of America can pay their respects and shed crocodile tears. 

Pelosi digs in her heels on Iraq

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi has dug in her designer heels and called on the President to justify the so-called ” troop surge” plan supported by Senator John McCain and rumored to be at the top of Dubya’s menu options to turn the situation around in Iraq.  All of the major military generals with command responsibility, as well as the Secretary of Defense, have been replaced.  The major prognosticators see this as a sign that the all engines are a go for the troop surge plan. 

In a further sign of Pelosi’s enormous influence, she and Senate Majority Leader Reid have written a letter to President Bush in which they said “Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed.  Like many current and former military leaders, we believe that trying again would be a serious mistake.  They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq.  There is only a political solution.  Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain.  And it would undermine our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future.  We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.”  

“Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror.  A renewed diplomatic strategy, both within the region and beyond, is also required to help the Iraqis agree to a sustainable political settlement .  .  In short, it is time to begin to move our forces out of Iraq and make the Iraqi political leadership aware that our commitment is not open ended, that we cannot resolve their sectarian problems, and that only they can find the political resolution required to stabilize Iraq.” 

After watching this interview, I am more confident in Mrs. Pelosi’s ability to wield her influence into bringing this ill-conceived imperial crusade to a close.   There will be no vote in this congress to cut off funding now, because it would undoubtedly fail, given the conservatism of her newest brood of freshman.  However, she can use her skills of persuasion as a first salvo, rather than legislative power, to apply the needed pressure and assure the American people that she will grant no “blank check” like the previous Republican congress.

Nancy Pelosi’s agenda as Speaker

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Nancy Pelosi’s assent to power is complete as she assumes the office of House Speaker.   It places her second in the line of succession and places in her hands more legislative power than any woman has wielded in the history of the United States. She has called the Iraq war a “grotesque mistake” and for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld.  However, she has also said that she does not intend to cut off funding for the war.   To me, that is inconsistent.  What more clearer signal could the people have sent than to elect a democratic congress that ran on platforms of redeploying U.S. troops.   She has said that we have sent our troops to fight “without a plan to prevail” We know the President’s so-called “Surge plan” will fail.  I thought that was why she so aggressively supprorted Jack Murtha for Majority Leader because he courageously and articulately laid out a common sense plan for redeployment.  She has much to prove and little time for indecisiveness. I wish her well and admire her skills as a politician but I remain, as always, skeptical.

Give “Dollar Bill” Nothing

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Nancy Pelosi is duty bound to deny “Dollar Bill” Jefferson a committee assignment in the Democratic controlled Congress.   CNN is reporting that he is trying to reclaim his seat on Ways and Means. The consitituents and victims of his chicanery need a congressman, not a crook.  They will not receive the help they need and deserve until he is convicted and dethroned for his crimes.  They have chosen a different path and as a result, she has no choice but to deny the tainted SOB an assignment.  If the democratic house is to “drain the swamp” of influence peddling and corruption from the marbled halls of power, they must stand firm and deny this two-bit hoodlum a toe-hold on power.   Dry up his money and his power.  Lay down the law and cut  off anybody or lobbyist that contributes to him.

Let him figure out how to bring home the bacon with no committee assignments.   Deny him the opportunity to amend legislation on the floor and completely cut him off at the knees.  Allow him to do nothing except mediate people’s social security and medicare benefit problems.  Let him cool his heels waiting for indictment.  If the Congressional Black Caucus wants to champion his cause and become bigger jokes than they already are, fine.  It won’t be the first or last time those Negroes got laughed at for their hypocrisy and corruption.

I trust that Mistress Nancy, the incoming Speaker of the House will see the wisdom of what I, and others are saying , and give him nothing.  While I would stop short of Impeachment, I am really not all that opposed to the idea. I just think that it will hamper their progressive agenda and put the focus in the wrong place.

UPDATE:  Miss JUDYB of THANKS, KATRINA has the scoopHouse Democrats denied Jefferson’s request for a Ways and Means Committee assignment this afternoon. 

Pelosi’s plantation: the screwing of Alcee Hastings

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The fight to chair the House Intelligence Committee was a fight between two people with differing positions regarding the Administration’s prosecution of the Iraq War and the role of oversight regarding the Administration’s broad ranging program of domestic surveillance. On one side of the debate is  Jane Harmon, the Democratic ranking member of the Intelligence committee.  On the other, is Alcee Hastings, her more senior rival for the throne of chairman in the new Democratic controlled congress to be seated in January.

To say that Mrs. Harman has been a coquettish doormat for the Administration’s imperialist objectives internationally is to understate her treachery. She has provided no check on Administration power and has not used her leadership position as top democrat on Intelligence to advance an oppositional agenda. Instead, she has used her position on Intelligence to partner with Republicans in their Imperial quest and euphemises her abdication of responsibility with rhetoric couched in cautious and timid language.

The case against Alcee Hastings is summed up in one word, Impeachment.   Not Bill Clinton’s, his.  He was a Carter appointed Federal Judge that was tried, and acquitted by a federal jury of bribery charges and then subsequently impeached, and convicted of those same charges before the U.S. Senate and removed from office.

The case against him was garbage and the Congressional Black Caucus was manipulated into voting against its own interests by sacrificing Hastings in a racist witchhunt.  They seem to be rectifying their error by standing behind Hastings now.   Unfortunately, there is only one decision maker in this battle and the White Washington power structure has made their feelings known to incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Ruth Marcus, and people I respect like David Corn, and Joe Conason have come down hard against Hastings chairing Intelligence.  In this battle, they have elected to share sides with the right-wing in what suspiciously looks like a racist power play launched by Harman and her right-wing apologists that mimics the crucifiction of Hastings by impeachment from the federal bench 27 years ago.

What they don’t tell you about his Impeachment is that 26 Senators, both Republican and Democrat voted against conviction and that three articles of impeachment failed.  One article failed unanimously 95-0.  The case against Hastings was far from airtight.  In fact, the method by which he was tried in the Senate was overturned on appeal.

Hastings detractors never tell you about the 41 page statement concluding Hastings innocence issued by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA.  They never tell you that Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT also voted against impeachment. They never tell you that then freshman Sen. Bob Graham, D-FL also voted against impeachment and defends that vote to this day.  In all, 26 senators voted against Impeachment on all counts. twenty Democrats and six Repbublicans, a group that includes nine presidential candidates. They were Sen. Joe Biden, D, DL, Sen. Bill Bradley, D-NJ, Chris Dodd, D-CT, Bob Graham, D-FL, Tom Harkin, D-IA, Orrin Hatch, R-UT, Joe Lieberman, D-CT, Terry Sanford, D-NC, and Arlen Specter, R-PA. Half the senate voted against at least two articles of impeachment.

All of that is irrelevent now that Nancy, the House Democratic Plantation mistress, has stuck her shiv into Alcee’s back and caved to the right-wing spin machine.   She will not appoint Harman or Hastings. I had a wonderful analysis of Harman’s and Hastings’ national security votes but that is so totally useless now.  Now that the beautiful Speaker-Elect has caved, the hard right will spin against her and attack her agenda without conscience now. 

There is no fixing this. She has betrayed her few progressive allies in the black caucus despite the fact that she killed any possibility of a challenge to Rep. James Clyburn becoming House Majority Whip, making him the highest ranking black in the House.  Placing anybody else in the chair of the Intel committee is both a racial and political slight that will culminate in someone less progressive in the driver’s seat. 

That is exactly what the right-wing wants.

David Price’s official response

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My congressman, David Price, officially responded to my request that he support Jack Murtha for Majority Leader.  The text of his form letter is as follows:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the race for Democratic Majority Leader in the 110th Congress. I appreciate your support for Rep. Jack Murtha to be the next Majority Leader, and I agree that he has been an important voice against the war in Iraq.

On November 16,2006, the House Democratic Caucus elected Rep. Steny Hoyer, the current Minority Whip as the next Majority Leader.  Rep. Hoyer received 149 votes, while Rep. Murtha received 86 votes. While Rep. Murtha’s leadership on Iraq was a factor in the Majority Leader race, there were a number of other important issues that came into play that made clear to a majority of the caucus, including me, that Rep. Hoyer would be a more effective leader. Rep. Murtha will continue to have an important role to play as the Chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.

Rep. Pelosi and Hoyer have worked effectively together over the last four years to unite the Democratic Caucus, and I am confident that their partnership will continue to be effective in leading the house in the 110th Congress. I look forward to helping them lead the country toward a brighter future.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please continue to stay in touch on issues of concern.

Sincerely,

David Price

Member of Congress

This swift and prompt response was courteous and showed the proper deference.  It also deftly papered over the signifcance of the rift between Pelosi and Hoyer no matter what they both have said to the contrary. I don’t trust Steny Hoyer and I never will.

Jack Murtha for Majority Leader

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The battle for House Majority Leader may not be an obvious thing for me to be blogging about. Too inside baseball.  However, I do have an opinion.  Democrats have an obligation to present a unified, dignified, and diverse front to the American People.  In her reign as House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated a personal style in some respects reminiscent of a plantation mistress.  Her treatment of the Congressional Black Caucus as her personal servants and her refusal to defend the honor of Cynthia McKinney has left a bitter taste in my mouth. 

Mrs. Pelosi forced the removal of some members of the Congressional Black Caucus from co-sponsoring the Voting Rights Act of 2006 for fear the Republicans in control of Congress would back off and kill it because it was “too black.”  Miss Nancy rules with an iron hand and demands compliance with her dictates.  She cut Congresswoman Jane Harman loose from having a leadership role as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, where she has been nothing more than a coquettish doormat for the Bush Administration. 

Now, as she sits on the precipice of unprecedented power as the Speaker of the House in waiting, she has made her choice for Majority Leader known for all to see.  When she needed someone to manage her race for House Leadership, Jack Murtha was the man to who she turned.  When the House Democratic Caucus needed someone of unchallenged credibility on military matters to articulate opposition to the Iraq debacle, she turned to decorated marine and Vietnam Veteran Jack Murtha.

Now that she needs a number two man of unquestioned loyalty, she has turned to Jack Murtha again.  Jack Murtha is a conservative, there is no doubt about that.  But when events called upon someone to speak out about the calamitous events in Iraq, Jack Murtha rose to the challenge.  

In March of this year he called for the resignation of the arrogant bastards in charge of Defense policy in this administration: Cheney and Rumsfeld. When American service men massacred innocent civilians in Haditha this year, Murtha told the world and didn’t participate in covering it up. “It’s much worse than reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. And that’s what the report is going to tell. “

Jack Murtha is a man of courage and a man of compassion, it is because of that courage and compassion on the central issue of concern to the people that Democrats, in concert with a fifty-state strategy, were able to mount credible challenges in congressional races and take back the Congress.

Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Whip, is Murtha’ s only opposition.  A DLC republicrat, Hoyer led the charge against Kweisi Mfume’s Senate campaign and strong-armed democratic donors from giving to Mfume and steered them to Ben Cardin. 

According to an article on AlterNet by Joshua Holland, “For six weeks after his announcement, Mfume was the lone candidate. I spoke with a number of Democratic operatives for this story, on and off the record, and several told me that House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and his allies tried to kill Mfume’s candidacy. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which is in charge of recruiting and aiding Senate candidates across the country, was less than neutral early on, according to (Joe)Trippi.”

Mfume detected the machinations against him, “I think in many respects this has become a manifestation of the good old boy network in the Democratic Party refusing to embrace me. Now was that because I’m black, because I’m an independent Democrat? Was it because I’m from the city and not some other part of the state? I don’t know.”

The Congressional Black Caucus has never had adequate representation in the U.S. Senate and their failure to rally around a progressive black candidate is unconscionable political negligence.  If not for the negligence of the CBC and the malevolence of Hoyer, Mfume could have won.

For the second ranking House Democratic leader to sabotage a black former colleague’s candidacy and expect anybody to believe he has the interests of black democrats and black America at heart is ludicrous. He has disqualified himself in the eyes of thinking black folks from a position of leadership in this House.

Nancy Pelosi has stepped on a lot of black toes during her reign, but on this matter she is right and should be supported.  She is a committed liberal, but will rule pragmatically, kinda like former Speaker Jim Wright in a dress.

I intend to contact my member of Congress and ask that he vote for Murtha.  Y’all should do the same.  It is just that important.   Prominent Black democrats like Maxine Waters, have announced they are going to support Hoyer.  Call your member of Congress and tell them to support Murtha 202-224-3121.

Democrats retake both houses of Congress, Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!

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Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Let’s check our predictions, shall we?

RHODE ISLAND SENATE RACE

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According to MSNBC, Sheldon Whitehouse defeated GOP Senator Linc Chafee 53%-47%.  Skeptical Brotha called this race 54%-46% for Whitehouse.  Skeptical Brotha’s Prediction: Correct.

TENNESSEE SENATE RACE

According to MSNBC, Bob Corker screwed the Whore, 51%-48% .  I predicted a Whore win 50.5%-49.5%. Skeptical Brotha’s wildly optimistic prediction: WRONG.

MISSOURI SENATE RACE

According to MSNBC, Auditor McCaskill defeated Richard Nixon clone, Senator Jim Talent, 49%-47%, a two-point spread.  I predicted a McCaskill win by two points, 51%-49%. Skeptical Brotha’s Prediction: Correct.

NEW JERSEY SENATE RACE

According to MSNBC, Appointed Senator Bob Menendez, was elected to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey over Tom Kean, Jr. 53%-45%. I predicted a 53%-47% win for Menendez.  Tom Kean, Jr. didn’t hold up his end of the deal.  Damn him.   Skeptical Brotha’s prediction: Correct.

PENNSYLVANIA SENATE RACE

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According to MSNBC, Auditor Casey beat Rick Santorum’s ass somethin’ awful, 59%-41.  Praise the Lord, everybody. I didn’t know how high this was going to go;predicting he would get nothing under 55%.  I truly revel in this one because Santorum was such a sanctimonious and contemptable wingnut.  Skeptical Brotha’s prediction:  Correct.

OHIO SENATE RACE

Again, according to MSNBC, Congressman Sherrod Brown defeated GOP Senator Mike DeWine, 56%-44%.   My prediction was dead on.  Skeptical Brotha’s prediction: Correct.

VIRGINIA SENATE RACE

In what has to be the sweetest victory of all, the would be President-in-waiting, got his damn ass handed to him by a man who endorsed him six years ago.  He warned him a few years back that Iraq was a mistake.  He didn’t listen.  Then he proceeded to show his pure ass, as revelations of his poorly concealed racism were revealed for all to see.  Even though the Ignorant Confederate has refused to conceed this race until the Board of Elections certifies it, the party is ovah.  According to him, he was bored with the job anyway.  I predicted a comfortable 52%-48% win.  I underestimated the comfort level some Virginians had with bigtory.  I won’t make the same mistake twice.  The important thing is that the Ignorant Confederate lost his seat. The razor thin margin will hold. Skeptical Brotha’s prediction: Correct.

MONTANA SENATE RACE

MSNBC just called this race for Jon Tester, the Montana state senator over GOP U.S. Senator Conrad Burns. Burns has refused to conceed the race.  It does not matter because his time is up.  Tester won a squeeker 49%-48%.  I predicted a more comfortable win with 52%-48%.  However, the state is extremely Red and Bush is still somewhat popular there. Skeptical Brotha’s prediction: Correct.

CONNECTICUT SENATE RACE

One of the most interesting of the year, this race ended where it started: For Joe Lieberman.  Now that the Senate majority depends on Lieberman’s vote, I shall refrain from calling him out as the Lieberwhore.  MSNBC reports a 10 point spread ,which I also predicted.  Skeptical Brotha’s prediction : Correct.

MARYLAND SENATE RACE

MSNBC is reporting that Congressman Ben Cardin was elected to the Senate over Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, 55%44% which is right in line with my prediction of 55%-45%. As I postulated earlier, the general public was not impressed with Steele’s ex-con and crackhead parade of black endorsements.  His content free campaign was deceptive and the electorate peeped it in time to avert disaster.  Good Riddance. 

THE HOUSE

The House of Representatives is what had me shouting, dancing, and speaking in tongues for the majority of the evening.  Praise the Lord, Everybody.  Hallelujah!!!!  Thank you, Jesus!!! I predicted a win of  35 seats and the Democrats are sitting pretty with a projected 32 seat gain.  Skeptical Brotha’s prediction : Correct.

 

Congressman Foley resigns in disgrace, dooms GOP control

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Congressman Mark Foley, 52 the House Chairman of the Missing and Exploited Childrens Caucus, resigned from the U.S. House of Hypocrisy today for soliciting sex from a minor, a male teenage House page.   The culture of corruption on capitol hill is nailing the coffin shut on GOP chances of retaining control of the House this fall.  This was a safe seat that is now in jeopardy.

I have no doubt that Nancy Pelosi will be elected the first female Speaker of the House.