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Current location: New Orleans, LA
Member since: Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:48 AM
Number of posts: 1,846

Journal Archives

Congress to make history -- but for the wrong reason?

By NBC's Kyle Inskeep, posted on NBC.com on 28 nov 2012:

According to a recent Gallup poll, only 18% of Americans say they approve of the work this Congress has done -- so it's more than likely it won’t go down as one of the more popular congressional bodies.

But with only weeks to go before it concludes, the 112th Congress (2011-2012) is on track to make another type of history.

By passing just 196 bills into law so far, it is in the running to become the least productive Congress since the 1940s.

In fact, that amount is 710 fewer public laws than was produced by the 80th Congress (from 1947-48), which first earned the moniker "Do-Nothing" Congress.

The lack of legislation passed by Congress in recent years has become frustrating to many lawmakers. Outgoing Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) decided not to run for re-election because of the congressional gridlock, partisan politics, and lack of work being done on Capitol Hill.

“As I have long said, what motivates me is producing results for those who have entrusted me to be their voice and their champion, and I am filled with that same sense of responsibility today as I was on my first day in the Maine House of Representatives. I do find it frustrating, however, that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions,” Snowe said in a statement announcing her retirement last February.

The U.S. House Clerk’s office keeps official records of all congressional activity dating as far back as 1947. During those 65 years and 33 different Congresses, more than 20,000 public laws have been passed.

The 104th Congress (1995-1996) currently holds the holds the record low for passing the fewest pieces of legislation since 1947 -- just 333 bills were passed into law during that two-year span.

The 107th Congress (2001-2002) is next, passing only 377 new laws during its time in Washington.

To avoid earning the distinction as the least productive Congress since 1947, 138 bills must move through the House and Senate before the end of this Congress next month.

And with just 11 scheduled voting days left before the House’s target adjournment date for the year -- and with all eyes fixed on the looming fiscal cliff -- time is running out.

The number of bills passed into law by Congress since 1947:

80th: 906
81st: 921
82nd: 594
83rd: 781
84th: 1,028
85th: 936
86th: 800
87th: 885
88th: 666
89th: 810
90th: 640
91st: 695
92nd: 607
93rd: 649
94th: 588
95th: 634
96th: 613
97th: 473
98th: 623
99th: 664
100th: 713
101st: 650
102nd: 590
103rd: 465
104th: 333
105th: 394
106th: 580
107th: 377
108th: 498
109th: 482
110th: 460
111th: 383
112th: 196 (so far)
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:03 PM (2 replies)

Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon to let the confederate states secede . . .

Please realize there ARE some sane and rational people living in said states. Over 60% of those who responded to a recent poll on NOLA.com thought the idea of Louisiana seceding 'silly'; 30% said secession was a good idea:

The White House set up the section, We the People, to allow citizens to have their voices heard. If a petition gets 25,000 signatures within a month, the "White House staff will review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."

The website Gawker notes: "As unilateral secession was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, it remains to be seen if this movement is more than a toothless temper tantrum thrown by armchair revolutionaries."

On Monday morning, the Louisiana petition had more than 13,000 signatures. If the petition gathers 25,000 signatures by December 7, the White House pledges it will be place the petition in a queue for response from the Obama administration."

Here are the vote tallies on the NOLA.com website as of today:

Yes, we would be better off - 30.64%

No, it didn't go so well last time - 5.78%

This is just silly - 63.58%

Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:51 PM (11 replies)

Say what you will about CNN but . . .

their election coverage is amazing. I just went to their website to check the results of the presidential race in Florida (they haven't called it yet, still processing results) . . . so much data, and in very easy to read graphics! Check out this website . . .

Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Wed Nov 7, 2012, 04:03 PM (13 replies)

How is Lyin' Ryan doing in Wisconsin, in his other race?

Any chance he will lose that one too?
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Nov 2, 2012, 09:45 PM (11 replies)

Nate Silver is on Rachel's show right now! - n/t

Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Nov 2, 2012, 09:20 PM (12 replies)

The Young Turks

I recently started watching Cenk Uygur's show, The Young Turks, on Current TV. I love this show!

In my area, it's aired at the same time as the Hardball re-broadcast. Tweety gets on my nerves sometimes. I hate it when he talks over all his guests.

Cenk is my new refuge! And he's pretty cute!
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Nov 2, 2012, 07:16 PM (9 replies)

Your sanctimonious bullshit is wearing a little thin

I’m getting a little tired of certain people on DU shitting on the efforts of those of us who reside in red states. Sometimes (not always), when a red state DUer relates a story of an attempt to convert a republican or independent, some of you on DU just HAVE to take a dump on our efforts. More often than not, our progress is dismissed.

Yes, one vote for Obama in a red state won’t make much difference today, but there are other, long-term, exponential factors to consider. If one of us can convince one republican or independent NOT to forward an anti-Obama email or tweet to half the world, isn’t that a win for our side? I think it is well worth the effort. And sometimes, that also results in one of our friends or family members having a conversation with a repuke in an effort to dissuade them for voting for the rightwing. Isn’t that a good thing?

I've been working to convince my mother to vote FOR Obama recently and finally succeeded. She has been working to convince my sister NOT to vote for rMoney (my sister won’t commit to Obama, but she absolutely WON’T vote for Robme). My mother has also pledged to DELETE any nasty anti-Democrat emails that she receives.

Yes, both my sister and mother are in red states, as am I, but isn’t their rejection of rightwing propaganda a good thing for us in the short term, as well as the long term?

So many conservative people that I know are tired of the rhetoric. They may not necessarily be Democrats today, but they are sick of the antics of the republicans. Doesn’t it mean something if we can convince people NOT to spread anti-Obama memes and bullshit rumors, and maybe even to write in ‘Jesus’, or ‘Shiva’, or whatever deity, on their ballots, as opposed to voting for rMoney? Voting for Obama would, of course, be preferable, but I’m thinking long-term strategy here.

I believe we are well positioned to win the presidential election next week and retain a Senate majority. Shouldn’t we be working to keep both of those, and retake the House in 2014?

I’m getting a little annoyed with the dismissal of the efforts of those of us who happen to reside in red states. Our efforts are no less significant than those of you who happen to live in blue or swing states, maybe even more significant!

It is no easy thing to be a Democrat living in a red state! Your sanctimonious bullshit is wearing a little thin. I’m not going to call out anyone out in particular . . . you know who you are!

Thanks for your attention . . . End of my ‘Red State’ Rant.
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Thu Nov 1, 2012, 11:24 PM (169 replies)

Biden: 'When your insurance rates go down, then you'll vote for me in 2016'

By Michael O'Brien, NBC News, Oct. 31, 2012, psoted on NBCNews.com

Vice President Joe Biden made a reference to possible future political ambitions at a stop Wednesday at a restaurant in Florida.

A short while after an earlier rally -- where the vice president boasted of "being a good Biden" today -- Biden slipped into a characteristic moment, to the delight of DC's chattering class.

NBC's Carrie Dann, who is traveling with the vice president, describes the scene:

At an off-the-record stop at a restaurant called "400 station" in Sarasota, Joe Biden spoke on the phone with the brother of a voter who wanted him to chat with her Republican relative.

After chatting about the health insurance law, he concluded, "Well look, I'm not trying to talk you into voting for me, I just wanted to say hi to you, okay? And after it's all over when your insurance rates go down, then you'll vote for me in 2016. I'll talk to you later."

Biden is among the handful of Democrats included in early speculative lists of possible presidential candidates in 2016, at which point the former Delaware senator would be 73-years-old.

His viability as a candidate, though, might well hinge on the outcome of the 2012 election next Tuesday, when a second term for President Barack Obama is far from certain.

Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Wed Oct 31, 2012, 02:48 PM (5 replies)

Atlantic City mayor on Gov. Christie's rebuke: 'Misinformed and ill-advised'

By Eun Kyung Kim, TODAY contributor, posted on NBCnews.com

Atlantic City mayor Lorenzo Langford escalated tensions with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after the mayor said Tuesday he would welcome the chance “to confront the governor mano y mano” over how he handled the city’s evacuation during Hurricane Sandy.

A day earlier, Christie had criticized Langford as a “rogue mayor” for supposedly encouraging residents to ride out the storm in designated shelters rather than leave the area entirely.

He told TODAY’s Matt Lauer on Tuesday that Atlantic City residents received mixed messages from his executive order requiring everyone to evacuate and Langford’s encouragement to take cover instead.

“I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic City who listened to him and sheltered in Atlantic City, and I guess my anger has turned to sympathy for those folks, and we’re in the midst now of trying to go in and save them,” Christie said.

Langford strongly denied the characterization of what happened, saying the governor was “either misinformed and ill-advised, or simply just deciding to prevaricate.”

“I’m telling you that is absolutely false and the governor needs to be challenged,” he said. “Where did he get that information? He is dead wrong.”

New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie talks to TODAY's Matt Lauer about his disappointment with Mayor Lorenzo Langford's "mixed messages," saying "I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic City who listened to him."

Officials estimate that as much as 80 percent of Atlantic City was under water at high tide Monday during the brunt of the storm. Water as much as eight feet deep surged through the streets. Christie said both state and federal search and rescue teams arrived on site early Tuesday morning to help those stranded in their homes or at shelter sites.

Langford accused Christie of turning the situation into a political battle.

“Here we are in throes of a major catastrophe and the governor has chosen a time such as this to play politics. I think it’s reprehensible that he would stoop to the level to try and make a political situation out of something that is so serious as this situation,” he said.

During a news conference Monday, Christie said Langford encouraged residents to take shelter at designated sites because he “didn’t want his people leaving the city.”

“I don’t have a feud with the guy, but I wish he’d do his job," he said at the time. He also tweeted, “I am very disappointed in those who did not listen to my order to evacuate.”

Langford refuted the charge, saying most Atlantic City residents did evacuate, as ordered.

"Unfortunately, there will always be those who did not heed that warning," he said. "We had a plan in place for those few residents who would decide at the last minute that they would not try to heed our warning and vacate the city but would try to hunker down, tough it out, only to find at some other time that they wanted to flee. We had that contingency plan in place."

Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 30, 2012, 05:00 PM (9 replies)

The 9 Most Anti-Science Candidates in America

Wow . . . I'm shocked to see that Liebelson included 2 Dems on her list . . . oh, West Virginia and Georgia . . . never mind.

By Dana Liebelson, Tue Oct. 30, 2012, posted on MotherJones.com

In 2012, America landed an adorable robot on Mars, found oxygen around one of Saturn's icy moons, and discovered a headless ladybug in Montana, among countless other achievements. A great year for science, right? That depends on whether you're watching the 2012 election. This year, candidates for Congress are actively denying climate change, slashing science funding, and even disputing basic facts of human anatomy. Here are nine of the worst offenders:


The race: Republican candidate for US Senate in Montana

The issues: Climate change, environment, health

Why he makes the list: Rehberg has been making Montana scientists cower in their cowboy boots since 2001. He calls climate change mitigation policies "unnecessary and economically destructive." He's voted twice against science and technology funding and also against stem cell research, according to Project Vote Smart. He also opposed AIDS funding in 1994, because, according to him, "The problem with AIDS is, you get it, you die, so why are we spending any money on people that get it" He inexplicably doesn't want to ban human cloning.


The race: Republican candidate for US Representative of Georgia's 10th congressional district (incumbent)

The issues: Evolution, astronomy, geology

Why he makes the list: It's pretty easy to figure out where Broun stands on the whole evolution issue. He said recently that "all that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang Theory—all that is lies straight from the pit of hell." Broun also thinks there is a scientific plot to hide the true age of Earth, which he believes is "9,000 years old." He serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, but even Bill Nye "the Science Guy" says Broun is "unqualified to make decisions about science, space and technology."


The race: Democrat candidate for US Senate in West Virginia (incumbent)

The issue: Climate change

Why he makes the list: Manchin sort of believes in global warming: He told the Register Herald that "I don't think all the evidence is in it—that it's conclusive. That being said, there's 6 billion people on this planet earth and we're going to emit and we're going to use more and we're going to have an effect. Anyone that doesn't believe that, I think would be disillusioned."


The race: Republican candidate for US Senate in Indiana

The issues: Climate change, reproductive health

Why he makes the list: Mourdock made the "most anti-science lawmakers" list long before he said that conception from rape is God's will. Although the tea-party-backed candidate holds a master's degree in geology from Ball State University in Indiana, he calls climate change "the greatest hoax of all time" and says basing energy policy off of it "is a threat to our national security." At a news conference last week, he also told reporters, "I believe God controls the universe…I don't believe biology works in an uncontrolled fashion."


The race: Republican candidate for US Senate in Nevada (incumbent)

The issues: Climate Change, environment

Why he makes the list: Apparently environmental issues don't exist in Nevada: The "issues" section of Heller's website makes no mention of them. But Heller's voting record speaks louder than words: He's voted against cap and trade, voted to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gasses, and voted against tax credits for renewable energy, energy production, and renewable electricity. He does, however, support stem cell research.


The race: Republican candidate running for US Senate in Oklahoma (incumbent)

The issues: Scientific research

Why he makes the list: Don't be fooled by the "M.D." after Coburn's name: He authored a report last year attacking the National Science Foundation for funding "wasteful and controversial projects." The diverse projects listed in the report seem only to have one thing in common: Coburn doesn't like them. The studies include a well-known nature vs. nurture experiment, a citizen science program for urban youth to study birds, and the impact of YouTube on the 2008 election.


The race: Democrat candidate running for US Representative of Georgia's 4th congressional district (incumbent)

The issue: Geography, Environment

Why he makes the list: Johnson seems to have confused islands with sailboats. But at least he shows some concern about climate change.


The race: Republican candidate running for US Representative of Minnesota's 6th congressional district (incumbent)

The issues: Climate change, environment

Why she makes the list: Bachmann is on the League of Conservation Voters' list of the worst environmental offenders in Congress. She calls global warming "all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax" and dismisses climate change by saying "Carbon dioxide is natural. It occurs in Earth. It is a part of the regular lifecycle of Earth. In fact, life on planet Earth can't even exist without carbon dioxide." This of course, goes against the scientific consensus that higher atmospheric CO2 levels caused by human activity are causing climate change.


The race: Republican candidate running for US Senate in Missouri

The issues: Reproductive health, climate change

Why he makes the list: Akin is famous for popularizing the term "legitimate rape." In August, he said that women who are raped won't get pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." (Akin also wants to ban the morning-after pill because he mistakenly believes it causes abortions.) Akin also has an unusual perspective on climate change. "In Missouri when we go from winter to spring, that's a good climate change," he said in 2009. "I don't want to stop that climate change you know." Despite confusing the change of seasons in Missouri with global climate change, Akin serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology with Broun.

Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 30, 2012, 12:09 PM (0 replies)
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