Senate scuttlebutt..

According to Bob Geiger, the Senate will be voting this morning on what to do about Joe Lieberman – as well as electing leadership for the next Congress. The questions is whether or not to strip former-Democrat Joe Lieberman of his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as punishment for his despicable conduct during the 2008 presidential campaign. Geiger says:

Today’s vote will be by secret ballot but CNNABC News and others have reported what I am also hearing from Senate sources: That Lieberman will be allowed to stay on as chair of the Homeland Security Committee but will lose his position as Chairman of a subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee, known as the Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection Subcommittee.

This is like giving him fifty lashes with a cooked spaghetti noodle.. What’s the point? He should be removed from the Caucus. At the very LEAST he should be stripped of his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

UPDATE: Democratic senator says Sen. Joe Lieberman keeps committee chair despite backing McCain.

Also taking place today (or actually, now NOT taking place), is the issue of Ted Stevens who was facing an expulsion vote in the Senate by fellow GOP colleagues.  Beings the final tally of the ballots from the Alaskan Senate race is completed today with the outcome expected to favor Stevens’ opponent Mark Begich, they have decided to postpone that vote.

Convicted Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens will remain a member of the GOP conference in the Senate pending the outcome of his re-election bid.Stevens critic Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, announced Tuesday he’ll hold off on a move to expel Stevens from the GOP conference and strip him of plum committee assignments starting in January. He said some of his colleagues want to see whether Stevens wins another term before voting to sanction him.

UPDATE!! Alaska Senate race has been called for Mark Begich

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has lost his bid for a seventh term. The longest-serving Republican in the history of the Senate trailed Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by 3,724 votes after Tuesday’s count. That’s an insurmountable lead with only about 2,500 overseas ballots left to be counted.

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53 thoughts on “Senate scuttlebutt..

  1. Smart move by the Dems… the last thing they want to do when they’re so tantalizingly close to a “supermajority” is to piss off Joe Lieberman. Once again, politics beats out principles.

  2. 60 votes merely invokes cloture, to allow an up or down vote on a bill, sheeple. A supermajority is 67 votes, which is needed to override a president’s veto, something the Democratic Party will not be needing for awhile.

  3. At the risk of getting into a semantic argument, I’ll just concede I was using the simplest form of the word (denoting a filibuster-proof Seanate) as opposed to the true form (the TRUE supermajority 2/3 membership)

    After all, if Chris Matthews calls 60 votes a “supermajority”, it’s good enough for all of us, right?

  4. I’m sorry, did you just use Chris Matthews as a reference? He’s not really a credible source, and he is dead wrong if he called 60 votes a supermajority.

    Stevens is a RINO? Is this like Faux News putting up his picture with a “D” by his name? If he is not re-elected there is no reason to vote him out of the GOP, or the Senate.

  5. Sure there is. That’s why the UCMJ contains “conduct unbecoming” language. His conduct leading to felony convictions my book demonstrates conduct unbecoming a member of the United States Senate, much less the GOP. Never mind his affinity for pork and past “indiscretions” for gifts. As for RINO he did vote for the Bailout so in my book, that makes him a RINO.

  6. Defrauding taxpayers and asking for 3.4 Billion in earmarks over 13 years? Yeah… sounds like a RINO to me.

  7. I’d be happy to. I think a true Republican (although in my case I prefer the term Conservative) believes and supports certain core values: the priority of individual freedom, property rights and limited, decentralized government. Further, the acknowledgement of natural rights of the citizenry, protection of civil liberties, constitutional limitation of government, free markets (note this does not mean completely unregulated), limited scope of public goods and welfare, strong military capability, encouragement of entrepreneurship and individual responsibility and constructionalist adherence to the Constitution and founding principles.

  8. When we are done with that I will be asking how we are going to decide what these alledged founding principles might be, in case you all want to plan ahead…

  9. A well-known conservative (I won’t say which) said this in a recent column about the Constitution. He said that it “secures liberty as a byproduct of pitting levels and branches of government against one another.”

    If this is correct (and I disagree with him), then why do Republicans want to control all branches of government? Are they the ones who think that government should be pitted against itself? How does that help serve the people?

    This, to me, is the inherent flaw of Republicans and Conservatives seeking high elected public office – they do not believe that government should be used to serve the people. They do feel, for reasons surpassing logic, that government should serve Corporations. Corporations are not people; they are merely abstract concepts on paper. But they have their representation in Congress in the form of the Republican Party.

  10. “natural rights” sort of intrique me as well but I suppose we should take these things one at a time…

  11. @ Zooey – Abortion. I believe that other than the baning of late term abortions in the absense of a legitimate medical purpose, the federal government should be neutral on the subject, neither funding nor conferring or revoking a Constitutional right. This is a matter that should be decided by the states.

    Gay marraige – Also federal government neutral. For federal purposes, the concept of a religious marraige and a civil right should be divorced from each other so to speak. Civil unions should be mere contractual formalities no different than a business partnership. Marraiges can remain the realm of the spiritual up to each particular denomination.

  12. @dbadass – Individual freedoms shoot.

    @Wayne – Yes. I believe checks and balances are a good thing and the inherent jealously in each for independence from the other, helps to create a system when no branch will willingly cede inordinate power to the other branch.

    I’m sure either party is happy to have all the power to themselves regardless of their reasons to have it. Otherwise, Republicans and Democrats would make a power sharing deal where one controls the House for 6 years while the other has the Senate and then they switch, and the Presidency goes to each party for 8 years and switches.

    Checks and balances ensures that one branch does not ride roughshod over the other two. Much better to me than any other model. I do not feel that Corporations should be served above people but you need to understand why they have standing to participate and who makes up a corporation.

    If I own a corporation as sole shareholder, that income flows up into my individual tax return. Even as a shareholder in Ford or whatever, I pay on my individual tax return for any earnings I made as a shareholder. So long as corporations have standing to sue and be sued in court, they are recognized as “persons” and are allowed to participate in the political discussion. An abstract concept cannot be sued in Court, hence the dismissal of lawsuits against God. While not proven not to exist, no one so far as I know has been able to serve him with papers. Besides, not all corporations are in the pockets of Republicans either. Pixar, Dreamworks and Harpo Entertainment did a lot to support Obama.

  13. Individual freedoms?

    I respect that you have already addressed abortion question Mr Wiseman. It seemed a very insightful yet left of center sensibility if I remember correctly

    Death with Dignity?
    Recreational Private in House Drug Use?

  14. I do believe big corporations (as well as lobbyists) fund both sides in a political contest. It is in THEIR best interest.

    Just as with our government selling weapons to both sides in any and all conflicts. It’s just good business.. War is BIG business. (Yes, again, sarcasm..)

  15. Death with Dignity is a very, very close subject having had a Grandfather who suffered from Alzheimer’s. There is a point though when we must balance the sanctity of life and the free will of the person. As a matter of conscience I cannot condone the practice of allowing society to force a sense of burden onto someone who is sick. I believe in DNR protocols and believe that perhaps that is something that could be carried with you on a State ID similar to an organ donor option. In the absence of such a directive I believe doctors must err on the side of caution. In an actual “assisted suicide” scenario, I believe they should they should be treated akin to a competency hearing to ensure that it isn’t being forced on the patient, that they are capable of making the decision and that an independent panel of doctors must certify that the prognosis is terminal. It must however be a matter of the family and there should be absolutely no obligation for the taxpayer or insurance company to pay for it unless there is a specific benefit built into the policy.

    Recreational Private in House Drug Use? – I do believe that there are gateway drugs. I have seen it in my own family not so much as physiological effect but a social effect. I believe that use should be treated as a health problem rather than a criminal one. Decriminalization should only be applicable for those 21 and over. Distribution should not however be decriminalized. It is no more practical to regulate illicit drug sales offering some kind of “consumer protection scheme” then to ensure kids don’t sniff model glue or aerosols.

  16. How very Republican of you, Chris.

    To hell with your prior pontificating on “the priority of individual freedom” and “the acknowledgement (sic) of natural rights of the citizenry, protection of civil liberties.”

    For shame….

  17. @dbadass re: the marriage and abortion issue, those do not reflect my personal beliefs only how I believe the federal government should effectively address them. I believe that marraige is between a man and a woman and that abortion should never be an option except in the case of rape or incest.

    I would however add one thing to the abortion position, I believe the federal government should ban the ability for a minor to receive or a provider to perform abortions without parental consent.

  18. Um….Chris. This is from your blog: “…when it comes to individual rights, I am very much a Libertarian.”

    What’s up with that? You sure like the idea of a lot of rules — for a Libertarian. Very inconsistent.

    You might want to check that before 2010.

  19. The guiding principles of libertarianism should be followed as best as possible and I’d like to see a time when there is a much smaller role for the federal government but in this day and age it is not at all realistic for the entire government to do an about face and pare itself down to the size of a state government for instance.

  20. Christopher Wiseman:
    Can I interrupt to ask for the respectful shorter form of Christopher Wiseman? I look forward to talking more with you but don’t really want to have to hit all those keys.

  21. Dito Lady Z,…dbadass I don’t want to hit any of this one’s key’s…..LOL…..Blessings all

  22. @ Zooey – I’ve never denied being a Republican. I’m not apologetic for being a Republican but I find that I have nothing to do with being a neo-Con and do not take talking points from the RNC. If you had read my blog on campaign finance reform, its clear that this wouldn’t buy me any favors with either party.

    http://politicalthirdrail.wordpress.com/about/campaing-finance-election-reform-policies/

    @dbadass – not quite tracking with you “Can I interrupt to ask for the respectful shorter form of Christopher Wiseman? … but don’t really want to have to hit all those keys.” btw Chris is fine.

  23. Social issues, Chris. That’s what I asked you about, and you failed miserably — Republican talking points out the wazzoo. Wow.

    Try a little self awareness.

    Toodles.

  24. My question is Chris you are obviously on the conservative side while we are mostly progressives around here why would you waste time with us. We would never vote for you or go to your site unless we were looking for somebody to annoy. Wouldn’t you be better off communicating with people with the same outlook as yours? We’ve argued with people like you for years and there’s not one idea you’ve come up with that we haven’t already seen and disagreed with.

  25. @Shayne – I honestly don’t see it as a waste. I see it as an intellectual exercise. I find both major parties tend to surround themselves with people who can recite chapter and verse their respective dogmas and talking points. To me, that stiffles innovation and debate. Labels and ideologies be damned, I’m looking for solutions certainly not to annoy you guys and I have endeavored to remain as respectful as possible not giving into the party line bs. I will be the first to admit I’m on the conservative side of political philosophy, but it doesn’t make me close minded. There are venues I spend time on which are conservative, however I also have had some very insightful dialogues with Libertarians and two anarchists. They’ve all helped me clarify my thinking and forced me to approach questions differently and with perspectives I wouldn’t of come up with on my own.

    Unless I’m incorrect and dbadass is just yanking my chain, at least one of my ideas is left of center. I’ve also found some common ground a couple times with Gorn. I would at least ask you to look at my position on campaign finance and election reform and tell me that its a position that you’ve already seen and disagreed with.

  26. @ nwmuse – agreed, get rid of the lobbyists and the influence their money brings and the political offices it buys and you get a free market of political ideas. Free market of ideas means more accountability to voters, more accountability and diversity of political opinion equals less partisanship and less partisanship equals long term solutions.

  27. Hmmm… the good stuff always happens after I shot down for the night… pity.

    @Zooey: Methinks you’d do well to read up on textbook Libertarianism. It IS possible to separate personal and political beliefs, and Libertarianism is NOT simply laissez-faire governance (I would direct your attention to “anarchism” or, at the least, “minarchism”) as your Poli Sci professor would have you believe.

    Zooey, I’m also failing to see Chris’s “Republican Talking Points” that you’re so vocally decrying… And instead of the token Progressive-typical “That’s because you are one” response, please point out exactly where, in your opinion, Chris is just toeing the party line.

  28. No, use of the “@” sign is common in large, multiple-response forums that lack “reply” buttons for each individual response… it comes in awfully handy when you’re responding to one particular person as opposed to an entire group.

    Also, I’d love to look closer to find the “talking points” in Chris’ post, but I’m really interested to see if you can point them out. Maybe I’m not the only one who can’t see them, eh? Maybe someone (this would mean you, Zooey) is so quick to claim “REPUBLICAN TALKING POINTS~!!” (which, is oddly, in and of itself, a talking point) that they never actually saw one? Perhaps they just assumed (like they do with any rational, well-worded response from a Conservative) there must be SOME kind of talking point in there? Just maybe, Zooey?

    But, by all means, if you’d like to keep ducking the question at hand, please do.

  29. So defensive, brainwashedbubblebutt. Why is it so important to you to defend Chris? Maybe you think Chris is incapable of defending himself?

  30. “as your Poli Sci professor would have you believe.”

    Interesting implication. It suggest that the learned know less. That always amuses me

  31. @ Zooey I’m curious that if you believe something that others may believe in, is that a talking point? Is believing that the Constitution is the fundamental document to our nation a talking point just because the RNC and I agree? I’m not calling your criticisms of my positions liberal talking points or progressive talking points though they may be on some issues.

    Second, my belief that abortion is a states rights issue as is marraige is not a Republican talking point. Marraige being divided into a civil union subject to contractual law and marraige being a spritual matter is hardly a typical talking point among Republicans. In fact it is setting up a seperation between Church and State, is something that Republicans and/or Conservatives are not often accused of.

  32. It isn’t a question of the document. It is a question of the interpretation of the document.

  33. @dbadass – point taken. All I’m saying is that my ideas are based on my individual interpretations and beliefs, I’m not simply doing a cut n paste job from the RNC Platform. If I happen to agree with something Michael Steele says on one issue and happen to agree with something Ron Paul says on another, I’m not taking anyone’s talking points.

    I have problem taking the buffet approach to ideas and political solutions. I’d quite frankly prefer more selection and variety than the #1 and #2 meals offered on the menu.

    @ Zooey – see, the free market system works, check’s in the mail.

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