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Democrat: Blagojevich 'called our bluff' on Senate pick

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 03:51 PM
Original message
Democrat: Blagojevich 'called our bluff' on Senate pick
Source: CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senate Democrats have no choice but to change their tone about Roland Burris becoming a U.S. senator because Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich "called our bluff" in appointing someone over their objections, a senior Democratic congressional source conceded Wednesday.

"We tried to send a political signal to Blagojevich that we would not seat someone he appointed. He called our bluff, in a reckless way," the Democratic source said.

A second senior Democratic source said that the issue had clearly become a "heightened situation" that needed to be dealt with and that Burris' face-to-face meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Majority Whip Dick Durbin on Wednesday helped to establish a "person-to-person dialogue."

Burris described his meeting with Senate leadership as warm and called Reid a "very warm and charming gentleman."

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/07/illinois.senate/...
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darkism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. It's going to be a painful couple of years here in IL with this tainted hack as senator. n/t
Edited on Wed Jan-07-09 03:52 PM by darkism
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. no, to the contrary, it shows the need to
elect better democrats to the senate. These spineless bastards have been weighed, they have been measured, and they have been fully understood by the GOPers still creeping around like Lurch in the dark corners of the senate. (McConnell, for one).

Of course Reid would cave in, especially when the law was against them.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. What has he done to earn your "tainted hack" award.
And why is EVERYBODY saying "taint"?

T'aint seemly.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. They are following the lousy example of their Democratic Senators, who claim that,
although Burris is an honorable man who has done nothing wrong to get this seat, he cannot be seated because "the whole process is just so tainted." Now, what the hell does that mean?
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. The following six will be even more painful for you (and us) with a *repuke* hack, unless
IL Dems can avoid the circular firing squad mentality that so often plagues Dems everywhere and get behind a solid (and untainted) candidate.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. "Circular firing squad mentality" certainly describes many Democrats
who favorite hors d'oeuvre is other Democrats. Will Rogers had it right when he said, "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." How true.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. Tainted? Obama and one Democratic Senator after another have said he is an honorable man who
has done nothing wrong. And the Governor has both the power and the duty to fill this seat, so long as he does it without corruption. There was no corruption in this appointment, or Obama and the Senators could not be saying that Burris has done nothing wrong. The Democrats were unconstitutional on this, period. And they are trying to be even more unconstitutional by threatening not to seat him unless he promises not to run next election. That is an outrage. Whether he is the Democratic candidate for the seat next time is his call and that of the people of Illinois, not the Senate of the United States.

I'll take the rule of law and the Constitution any day over Democrats gone wild.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Burris is anything BUT an honorable man...
Unless of course you think attempting to execute a person one has reason to know is innocent- for the purposes of self-aggrandizement and furthering his career is acceptible behavior.

The people of Illinois have rejected this POS the last 4 times that he's stood for election- and if he runs again, they'll send him packing just like they did before.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
33. Links, please. You are being mysterious with your taint. n/t
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Nothing mysterious about it- it's a well known incident
Edited on Wed Jan-07-09 07:23 PM by depakid
Public fury over the governors alleged misconduct has masked the once lively debate over Burris' decision to continue to prosecute the wrong man despite the objections of one of his top prosecutors for a high-profile murder case.

While state attorney general in 1992, Burris aggressively sought the death penalty for Rolando Cruz, who twice was convicted of raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. The crime took place in 1983.

But by 1992, another man had confessed to the crime, and Burris own assistant attorney general was pleading with Burris to drop the case, then on appeal before the Illinois Supreme Court.

Burris refused. He was running for governor.

"Anybody who understood this case wouldnt have voted for Burris," Rob Warden, executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, told ProPublica. Indeed, Burris lost that race, and two other attempts to become governor.

Burris role in the Cruz case was "indefensible and in defiance of common sense and common decency," Warden said. "There was obvious evidence that Cruz was innocent."


Assistant attorney general Mary Brigid Kenney agreed, and eventually resigned rather than continue to prosecute Cruz.

<snip>

Kenney was not alone in her beliefs. Prior to Cruz 1985 trial, the lead detective in the case resigned in protest over prosecutors' handling of the case, according to news reports at the time.

And rather than argue Burris case before the state supreme court, Kenney also stepped down.

"What I took away was that Burris wasnt going to do anything to seem soft on crime," Kenney said. "He didnt have the guts."

In her resignation letter, Kenney claimed Burris had "seen fit to ignore the evidence in this case."

"I cannot sit idly by as this office continues to pursue the unjust prosecution of Rolando Cruz," she wrote. "I realized that I was being asked to help execute an innocent man."

http://www.propublica.org/article/in-90s-burris-sought-...


This guy deserves time in Club Fed- not Club Senate.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. This is pretty standard for retrials, though, isn't it?
Didn't Ryan get HUGE press (and republican
condemnation) when he finally rolled over on
some of the death-row appeals?
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #35
38.  The Assistant AG and the lead detective don't usually resign
Edited on Wed Jan-07-09 08:07 PM by depakid
although you're right- it's all too common in the United States for defendants to be railroaded and kept in prison despite compelling evidence.

In addition, under current law, it's perfectly constitutional to execute an innocent person, provided that he or she has had all the process that the state says is due. Actual innocence is longer grounds for relief- and when cowardly, unethical sorts like Burris become governors- forget about executive clemency.

See: Herrera v. Collins (the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment does not prohibit the execution of one who is actually innocent and actual inncoence claims are not grounds for federal habeas relief).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herrera_v._Collins



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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-09 05:28 AM
Response to Reply #34
42. Maybe, but, under applicable LAW, that decision is not for you to make or for the U.S. Senate. Sue
me. I think the rule of law is important. Blago may well appointed this guy to spite people. However, the law does not prevent him from doing that. The rule of law is what is important here.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-09 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #33
44. I think my taint is fairly mysterious
among other things
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-09 05:18 AM
Response to Reply #21
41. Then why are Obama and Democratic Senators saying he is an honorable man? Point is, though, we have
Edited on Thu Jan-08-09 05:22 AM by No Elephants
a document called the Cosntitition of the United States. It may not be perfect, but it is the only rule of law we have. And Illinois has laws too. Both together put this appointment in Blago's hands and only Blago's hands. The U.S. Senate gets to decide if this guy meets Constitutionally-specified qualifications, like age, etc. It does not get to decide beyond that.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-09 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
45. An honorable man would not have allowed himself to be used by a crooked governor like this
Even Burris opines that the governor is dirty. He had to have known the firestorm this would cause (though he likely didn't gage the severity of it). He also knew at the time of his appointment by the governor that everyone from Obama on down were telling him NOT to do it. But he let himself be used as the skirt that Blago is going to hide behind, something to buy him a little more time in this whole mess, and he has made a nakedly selfish ambitious grab for power when he knew how it would reflect on the party.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-09 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. Under Illinois law, the Governor HAS to make an appointment. You would have turned it down? If
Edited on Thu Jan-08-09 02:12 PM by No Elephants
accepting the postition was, in itself, dishonorable, then Obama and the Democratic Senators should stop saying how honorable this man is. I didn't evaluate him. They did. I am only accepting their word. If they are not telling the truth about it, how honorable does that make them?
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-09 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. He'll always be sullied with this
So if he is concerned with his reputation, then yes, he should have turned it down. But then maybe power is more important than reputation.

I know the govenor had the right to do what he did, which is why Congress has to suck it up and take it. And for that matter, I'm not even sure it's illegal to sell a senate seat to the highest bidder. It's definitely poor taste, but is it actually illegal? I think that is arguable.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. Democrats need to hone our bluffing skills. OR NOT DO IT.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. Props to Blago---Puppet Reid will give in
He has to, they have nothing on this guy and as a matter of fact I don't see any brown faces in the White Senate ala "Sheets" Byrd
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awoke_in_2003 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. Funny how Harry..
always manages to find his spine when confronting democrats.
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GinaMaria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. At least Illinois will have
as much voting power in the senate as most other states. We were at risk of being seriously under-represented.

We've got two years to find a more ideal candidate, but Burris is a decent guy, not perfect but decent.

I'm relieved this is nearly over.
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. we got punked by an asshole
it sucks but it happens sometimes.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Beyond punked
How did this guy sneak past the Illinois voters?

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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Twice??
Fool me once, shame on you...
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. with the help of Roland Burris
http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/1...

To understand, you have to return to 2002, when no one in the country was paying attention to politics in our goofy little fiefdom, and Blagojevich was running for governor in the Democratic primary. Hard as it is to believe now that he's an international sensation, Blagojevich, then a relatively unknown congressman from Chicago's northwest side, was not the front-runner in that race. His main opponent was Paul Vallas, the former head of Chicago's Public Schools, who had built quite a reputation as an unpredictable and slightly autocratic reformer--just the type of take-no-prisoners bulldog who had the potential to clean out the swamp of Illinois politics.

Vallas strength was his popularity in the city's black wards. During his six-year stint with the schools, he had assiduously courted the black community--the running joke was that he had attended more Saturday-morning meetings at Operation Push than Jesse Jackson. In contrast, Blago had no standing in the black community. There were few blacks in his district. More to the point, his father-in-law and political patron, Alderman Richard Mell, had vehemently opposed Mayor Harold Washington, the city's first black mayor--a fact that older black voters still have not forgotten. If Blagojevich and Vallas split the statewide white vote, it would be the black voters of Chicago who would put Vallas over the top.

And then Roland Burris jumped into the race. When the primary election was over, Blago had about 457,000 votes, Vallas 431,000, and Burris 363,000. But the real story was in the black precincts of city's west and south sides, where Burris accumulated about 85 percent of the vote. In the aftermath it was clear, had Burris not run, Vallas would have won, and we would have been spared the spectacle of the Blagojevich circus, as entertaining as it's been.

Of course, Blagojevich has a funny way of thanking the folks to whom he owes the most. Once in office he almost immediately cut off Alderman Mell, who has been steaming mad ever since. And now with this senatorial appointment, he has made Burris the butt of jokes across the nation, even if Burris, ever eager for higher office, doesn't quite get it.

Over the years, I've wondered if Burris candidacy in 2002 was part of some convoluted back-room deal engineered by the wily Alderman Mell, who moved heaven and earth to advance his son-in-law's career. I guess we'll never really know, unless of course it turns out that the feds were wire-tapping Blago even way back then.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #13
24. is`t illinois politics fun!
throw in daley and madigan...it`s the abbot and costello`s-"who`s on first"
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. Make no mistake - this is a kick in the nuts
To the Democratic Party
To America
To Illinois
To Democracy
And, to Burris

By appointing him, he painted a golden boy with his own filth

Blago is dead to me

Rot in hell, Blago
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. What blufff?
Reid's middle name is weakwimpcaver.
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OakCliffDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
22. What Bluff? Milorad Blagojevich was operating within the law
Laws are funny, you either heed 'em or change 'em.

In America, you get the best Justice you can afford.

Apparently Rod can afford a pretty smart legal team.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. Look idjit
Blago didn't get any $$$ off his choice plum. He punked himself.
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scytherius Donating Member (576 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
15. Just cause you get called and lose one hand . . .
doesn't mean oyu lose the tournament. Blago's career is over completely. IF he had any goodwill it is gone.

So you've got 59 Senators now. Use em to destroy the GOP and put the country back together.

Last laughs are always the best.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
18. Blag did us a favor, maybe? Blessing in disguise? Because we get our Senator a lot faster this way
and the only real problem is his re-election.

He's only tainted if we say he is. The repukes can't do a thing with this situation in 2 years. It will all be forgotten.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. as long as madigan will run for the senate....
i`m betting will get a republican governor if they can find a moderate...but knowing the republicans they pick some right wing nut ball---the milk nazi is still avaiable
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. But in 2010 anyone can run as the Democratic candidate.
If Burris turns out to be unpopular, he'll end up running against one of his own in the primary.
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kevsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #26
39. If we're really lucky...
...maybe Oberweis will run for both governor and the senate.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
23. IMHO Harry Reid has been much more detrimental to democracy
than some hack governor. He should seat Burris; Reid should be the one to resign. His decision to bring Rockefeller's Intelligence bill up for FISA instead of the Judicial Committee bill was pure criminality. That is only one example of his lack of concern for the Constitution, but it is a key one. Not seating a legal senator is just a drop in Reid's bucket.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
25. I wonder what sort of deal was cut? nt
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goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. no deal
it was a bluff after all
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Nah, I think there was a deal.
An on-the-way-out governor does not call the Senate's bluff unless the Senate wants to be "bluffed".
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
29. Seat Burris! He is a good choice. Reid needs to STFU already.
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RBInMaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. NO ! The Illinois Sec. of State, who is black, WON'T certify the appointment. It needs to be cleared
up at the state level before the federal Senate can or SHOULD seat him.
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BumRushDaShow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. The IL SOS said that his signature is NOT required
and he doesn't want to take the blame and be the scapegoat.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28545102/
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
31. Who is doing the cost/benefit analysis for the Senate Democrats?
Edited on Wed Jan-07-09 06:47 PM by MJDuncan1982
Seriously...I can't believe they didn't see this coming. And if they did see this coming, who in the hell decided that taking an unequivocal stance immediately was worth risking being in this mess?
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
36. Thats the Chicago way
Did Blagojevich dig up dirt ?
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unkachuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
40. I feel sorry for poor misunderstood Blago....
....he's going to get impeached and for what?....doing what all politicians do, shake money tree....how do most politicians get the bulk of their stash?....Blagos' crime is that he got caught with his fingers in the cookie jar....

....Illinois stinks, but no worse than any other state....nobody died because of Blago....wasn't repug ryans' shaking of the money tree indirectly responsible for 5 children burning alive?

....and didn't our Mr. Number Two, Durbin, recommend to bushco that ryans' sentence be commuted?....nice....some need to get off their phony high-horses....
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-09 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
43. I would love to play poker with Senator Reid.
n/t
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-08-09 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
46. ROFL. Gutless turds who everyone knows are gutless turds CAN'T BLUFF.
Edited on Thu Jan-08-09 01:03 PM by tom_paine
A BLUFF only WORKS is if someone has something to FEAR from you, be it a great poker hand or some inside info.

But Senate Democrats? For the last 28 years, and I am SOOOOOOOO puking sick of it and it even continues NOW, our fucking party mascot should be a Care Bear getting it's ASS KICKED by a Bushie Stromtrooper!

I keep praying Obama is the man to change thios, but he's bending over for Mitch McConnell too, it looks like.

I want to be wrong about this, but I have seen this act far too many times not to be worried.

Might Obama be different? At this point we can only hope.

But it doesn't look good AT ALL.

Maybe it's a Brilliant Keep Your Powder Dry Double Secret Probation Plan that will turn Freepers into Democrats, like everyone says (exaggerated only slightly for effect).
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