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Congress WILL try NOT to shut down the Government over spending….

They’re gonna punt…..

Again….

Lets see if the can extract a little MORE drama out of this from the Conservatives in the House?

Senior House and Senate leaders voiced optimism that they could reach agreement on a stopgap spending measure that would prevent a government shutdown shortly before the November election.

Congress has more than two months to figure out how to fund the government this fall, but because lawmakers are only in session for less than three weeks during that time, discussions about a continuing resolution have heated up in recent days. The Senate has made little progress passing annual appropriations bills, necessitating a stopgap measure to keep the government’s lights on through the November election.

It could be political suicide to have a government shutdown before voters go to the polls — for both sides of the aisle. Congress’s approval rating is a scant 16 percent, according to a July Gallup poll.

The central issue has been the length of a stopgap, and both sides appeared to be moving toward a six-month bill, which would keep the government running into 2013.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday talks were occurring “at a high level” and had been “very productive.” Reid also suggested that he would support a continuing resolution that would extend into 2013, aligning him with House conservatives who have pushed their leadership for a six-month bill. “It would be to my preference that we do something that would alleviate this being an issue that we have during the lame duck,” Reid said….

More….

July 26, 2012 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Law, Politics, Projections, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , , | 4 Comments

The Afghan War Bill and Earmarks……

The House is trying to keep a ban against earmarks for For-Profit companies…..

The Senate won’t entertain the ban……

The Dog thinks all this posturing will result in LESS earmarks …but the tradition will continue….

Bring home the bacon to your district is a basic component of the American political system that simply will not go away…..

House leaders don’t seem eager to force their new bans onto the Senate.

“We have faith the Senate will do the right thing,” said Ellis Brachman, a spokesman for House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.).

The office of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the ban would apply only to House GOP members.

House leaders have sought unprecedented restrictions on earmarks in an election year, when both parties have blamed each other for a deficit expected to approach a record $1.5 trillion this year.

The bans aren’t likely to make a huge dent in the number of earmarks or the expected $1.5 trillion deficit, said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense.

About $11.1 billion in earmarks was approved for fiscal year 2010, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Of the nearly 9,200 earmarks for 2010, more than 1,000 went to for-profit companies, the House Appropriations Committee has said.

Ellis’ group estimates the amount is much higher – nearly $16 billion. That includes money that didn’t have a specific sponsor in Congress but was steered to a district or state at the request of a lawmaker.

“I don’t think [earmark restrictions] will have a huge effect except for the fact that there’ll be pressure to keep it clean and increase scrutiny on the bill,” Ellis said……

More……..

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , | 1 Comment

Did you know? …… The Supreme Court Justices have to go to Congress for money …..

This story starts off about the Supreme Court ( Justices Clarence Thomas and  Stephen Breyer ) going up to the Hill to ask the House for more money for more (12 to 24 ) police officer’s for the Supreme Court……

[ Justices Breyer and Thomas ]

Thomas said the court was making the request “with some reluctance” but that the court’s security personnel felt a strong need after conducting a review. The review came after the justices were asked specifically about security needs at last year’s funding hearing.

Most of the new officers would be used to secure areas of the court building and grounds that will be newly opened to the public following completion of its renovation.

“We understand this is a period of austerity,” Thomas said in outlining the court’s $77 million overall budget request, which included an increase of 5 percent from the previous year.

The visit gave the House memeber’s to quiz the Justice’s (ironic ..isn’t that?) on other issues besides money…..

The justices discussed a range of issues related to the federal judiciary, with the notable exception of any actual cases, which the lawmakers recognized as off limits.

At one point, Thomas became involved in a tense exchange with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who pressed the justice on the lack of diversity among the Supreme Court’s prestigious clerkships.

Lee, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, asked if the court had made any effort to attract clerks from minority groups and particularly from law schools outside of the Ivy League. Thomas responded that while he looks for clerks from a wide range of schools, the justices start from a pool of candidates that have clerked for other federal appellate courts.

Within that pool, Thomas said, “Hispanics and blacks do not show up in any great numbers.”

When Lee asked how the justices could increase the pool, Thomas demurred. “I don’t think it’s up to us to increase the pool,” he said.

The answer did not satisfy Lee, who brought up Thomas’s votes against affirmative action during his time on the bench.

And about camera’s in the court…..

Breyer was also asked by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) about the prospect of opening the high court to cameras for the first time. The justice backed a pilot program for cameras in lower federal courts, but he said it would take a while before a “comfort level” is reached to allow Supreme Court proceedings to be televised.

“How to get to that comfort level is going to be a long, complicated matter,” he said. “Eventually we’ll get to the comfort level, but we’re not there yet.”

He warned that once cameras are allowed in, “there’s no going back.”

Schiff replied that the only way the justices would reach that point of comfort would be “by taking the plunge.”

The discussion of cameras in the courtroom also provided for one of the hearing’s lighter moments.

Subcommittee Chairman José Serrano (D-N.Y.) noted that one argument against allowing cameras would be that the justices’ remarks could be taken out of context in the overheated atmosphere of cable news.

“Did you hear Breyer? What a jerk! Did you hear what question he asked? Did you hear Thomas? Oh my god!” Serrano said, doing his best imitation of an MSNBC or Fox News talk show.

At that point, Thomas, who has a well-known reputation for never asking questions during Supreme Court oral arguments, replied, “No, you mean you didn’t hear me.” The room erupted in laughter.

More……..

April 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Crime, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, The Economy, Updates | , , , | 3 Comments

The Healthcare Bill….. already law…is finished…and done…..

President Obama discusses health insurance reform at the University of Iowa on Thursday.

[ President Obama out selling the Bill at the University of Iowa ]

Note the presidential grey hair process starting………

From the Hill……

The House put the finishing touches on healthcare reform Thursday night by passing a “fixes” bill that finally will allow President Barack Obama and his allies on Capitol Hill to declare final victory on what had been one of the Democratic Party’s biggest pieces of unfinished business.

The bill encompasses the White House-brokered compromises between the Senate-authored healthcare reform law Obama enacted Tuesday and the version the House passed in November.

The House passed the bill on a 220-207 vote, with 32 Democrats voting with every Republican against the measure.

Little over six hours after the Senate tweaked and approved the reconciliation package, lawmakers in the lower chamber sped through a Rules committee meeting and several votes to send the “fixes” to the healthcare bill to the floor.

The scene unfolding in the House chamber was starkly different than on Sunday. Instead of protesters and packed galleries, lawmakers spoke to a sparsely attended chamber.

A handful of members discussed the merits of the amended reconciliation bill, which includes a student loan program to help offset the cost of the president’s billion-dollar healthcare plan, while others attacked the healthcare law and the philosophical differences of the parties.

Most, though, wanted to go home and did — quickly.

Though the healthcare reform bill is already law, Congress had some work left to do after Obama’s signing ceremony Tuesday.

More……..

Enough already!

Move on…..

Let the diehards keep complaining and fighting ….the public seeing it passed and life still going on..is tired and wants to move on…..

Finally…The Democrats led by Obama have proved that they can do something when they dig in…..

We’ll see how it plays in November…..

The GOP maybe surprised…….

March 25, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , | 6 Comments

Daniel points to Chris Cilizza’s The Fix and ‘Five Days In May’……

Hello Dog!

Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza has published his latest House Race Ratings on his blog

The Fix

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/

Scroll down: It’s called “Five Days in May”

Cilizza is spot on with this. If Democrats lose the HI-1 Special Election, they’re TOAST in November.

Daniel G.

Ok…..here’s the piece from the Washington Post about 20 of the more than 40 seats that COULD switch sides……..(but they all won’t )

Five days in May

Five days in May — from the 18th to the 22nd — will tell us much about just how bad the political environment is, and will be, for House Democrats this fall.

On May 18, voters in southwestern Pennsylvania will pick a replacement for the late Rep. John Murtha in a special election. Businessman Tim Burns (R) and former Murtha district director Mark Critz (D) will carry their respective party banners in the 12th district special election.

Four days later, a second special election will be held — this one in Hawaii’s 1st district. Two Democrats — state Sen. Colleen Hanabusaand former Rep. Ed Case — as well as Honolulu City CouncilmanCharles Djou (R) will face off in a winner-take-all race.

For Republicans to build genuine momentum — and perk up what, to date, has been surprisingly sluggish fundraising — it would help immensely to win one of these two races.

House Democrats are currently on an amazing five-race winning streak in contested special election that dates back all the way to 2008 and it’s hard for Republicans to make the case that the majority is in play if they can’t take advantage of the favorable political climate to steal a race in the runup to the midterms. (If Republicans swing and miss at these two races, they’re likely to have a third chance in a special election for former New York Rep. Eric Massa‘s 29th district although Gov. David Paterson has yet to set a special election date.)

On paper, Pennsylvania’s 12th looks like the better of the two options for Republicans as it was the only district in the country to vote for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 and then support Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.

But, Democrats have a major registration edge in the district and the timing of the special to coincide with primaries across the state likely gives Critz a leg up since Democrats are playing host to very competitive primaries for governor and Senate while Republicans have little going on statewide to help drive turnout for Burns.

Hawaii, however, is shaping up to be a major headache for Democrats for two reasons. First, Case and Hanabusa seem to be moving toward an all-out assault on one another with the likely result being a fractured Democratic party vote. Second, the winner-take-all nature of the special elections means that that sort of splintering of votes between two well-known commodities in the Democratic party could make Djou a winner if he can simply consolidate Republican votes and peel away a few Democratic-leaning independents. (All of the candidates run on a single ballot.)

A loss in a district as Democratic as Hawaii — it is, in fact, President Obama’s home district — would have an effect on Democratic elected officials similar to that of Sen. Scott Brown‘s (R) victory in Massachusetts in January. That is to say, panic.

Below you’ll find our rankings of the 20 House races most likely to switch parties in the November election. As always, the number one ranked race is considered the most vulnerable to a party turnover.

To the Line!

Coming off the Line: Arkansas’ 1st, Alabama’s 2nd, Idaho’s 1st, Washington’s 3rd.
Coming onto the Line: Hawaii’s 1st, New York’s 29th, Pennsylvania’s 15th, Virginia’s 2nd.

20. Pennsylvania’s 15th (Republican-controlled): In an election without much good news, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan is a Democratic bright spot. Democratic strategists are convinced that he will be coming to Congress based on his candidate skills, internal polling and the fact that Rep. Charlie Dent (R) hasn’t had a serious race since coming to Congress in 2004. It may not be that easy. This is former Rep. Pat Toomey‘s (R) old congressional seat and he’ll need a big turnout in it this fall if he hopes to win the Senate race. (Previous ranking: N/A)

19. Virginia’s 2nd district (D): Rep. Glenn Nye (D) was swept into office in 2008 thanks to a surge in African American turnout in this Virginia Beach-based district where one in every five resident is black. Without President Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, it’s harder to see how Nye gets to the magic 50 percent marker. Auto dealer Scott Rigell (R) faces a primary but with $500,000 in the bank he should be able to navigate those waters for a chance at Nye in the general. (Previous ranking: N/A)

18. Pennsylvania’s 7th district (Democratic controlled): Republicans remain ecstatic about former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan‘s candidacy although at a recent candidate meet and greet in Washington we were less impressed with him than expected. One thing Meehan clearly does well is raise money; he ended 2009 with $694,000 in the bank. Democrats have rallied behind state Rep. Bryan Lentz who was recently named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” list. (Previous ranking: 20)

17. Hawaii’s 1st (D): As we mentioned above, this special election spells trouble with a capital “T” for Democrats. The infighting between Hanbusa and Case coupled with Djou’s credible candidacy is a problem waiting to happen for the majority party. (Previous ranking: N/A)

16. Florida’s 8th district (D): Rep. Alan Grayson is probably too liberal for this central Florida seat and his strident public pronouncements (and love of the spotlight) don’t do him any favors electorally. But, Grayson’s high profile has helped him raise scads of cash — $861,000 in the final three months of 2009 alone — and preferred Republican nominee Bruce O’Donoghue faces a late (August 24) primary fight. (Previous ranking: 15)

15. Ohio’s 15th district (D): Two years ago, national Republicans believed that state Sen. Steve Stivers was their best candidate in the country. But, he lost by 2,000 (or so) votes to Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D). Stivers is back again and without presidential year turnout at THE Ohio State University, Kilroy may struggle to preserve her winning margin from 2008. (Previous ranking: 18)

Continue reading this post »

March 12, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Daniel G @ PolitcalDog, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , , , | 17 Comments

Daniel points to Chris Cilizza's The Fix and 'Five Days In May'……

Hello Dog!

Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza has published his latest House Race Ratings on his blog

The Fix

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/

Scroll down: It’s called “Five Days in May”

Cilizza is spot on with this. If Democrats lose the HI-1 Special Election, they’re TOAST in November.

Daniel G.

Ok…..here’s the piece from the Washington Post about 20 of the more than 40 seats that COULD switch sides……..(but they all won’t )

Five days in May

Five days in May — from the 18th to the 22nd — will tell us much about just how bad the political environment is, and will be, for House Democrats this fall.

On May 18, voters in southwestern Pennsylvania will pick a replacement for the late Rep. John Murtha in a special election. Businessman Tim Burns (R) and former Murtha district director Mark Critz (D) will carry their respective party banners in the 12th district special election.

Four days later, a second special election will be held — this one in Hawaii’s 1st district. Two Democrats — state Sen. Colleen Hanabusaand former Rep. Ed Case — as well as Honolulu City CouncilmanCharles Djou (R) will face off in a winner-take-all race.

For Republicans to build genuine momentum — and perk up what, to date, has been surprisingly sluggish fundraising — it would help immensely to win one of these two races.

House Democrats are currently on an amazing five-race winning streak in contested special election that dates back all the way to 2008 and it’s hard for Republicans to make the case that the majority is in play if they can’t take advantage of the favorable political climate to steal a race in the runup to the midterms. (If Republicans swing and miss at these two races, they’re likely to have a third chance in a special election for former New York Rep. Eric Massa‘s 29th district although Gov. David Paterson has yet to set a special election date.)

On paper, Pennsylvania’s 12th looks like the better of the two options for Republicans as it was the only district in the country to vote for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 and then support Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.

But, Democrats have a major registration edge in the district and the timing of the special to coincide with primaries across the state likely gives Critz a leg up since Democrats are playing host to very competitive primaries for governor and Senate while Republicans have little going on statewide to help drive turnout for Burns.

Hawaii, however, is shaping up to be a major headache for Democrats for two reasons. First, Case and Hanabusa seem to be moving toward an all-out assault on one another with the likely result being a fractured Democratic party vote. Second, the winner-take-all nature of the special elections means that that sort of splintering of votes between two well-known commodities in the Democratic party could make Djou a winner if he can simply consolidate Republican votes and peel away a few Democratic-leaning independents. (All of the candidates run on a single ballot.)

A loss in a district as Democratic as Hawaii — it is, in fact, President Obama’s home district — would have an effect on Democratic elected officials similar to that of Sen. Scott Brown‘s (R) victory in Massachusetts in January. That is to say, panic.

Below you’ll find our rankings of the 20 House races most likely to switch parties in the November election. As always, the number one ranked race is considered the most vulnerable to a party turnover.

To the Line!

Coming off the Line: Arkansas’ 1st, Alabama’s 2nd, Idaho’s 1st, Washington’s 3rd.
Coming onto the Line: Hawaii’s 1st, New York’s 29th, Pennsylvania’s 15th, Virginia’s 2nd.

20. Pennsylvania’s 15th (Republican-controlled): In an election without much good news, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan is a Democratic bright spot. Democratic strategists are convinced that he will be coming to Congress based on his candidate skills, internal polling and the fact that Rep. Charlie Dent (R) hasn’t had a serious race since coming to Congress in 2004. It may not be that easy. This is former Rep. Pat Toomey‘s (R) old congressional seat and he’ll need a big turnout in it this fall if he hopes to win the Senate race. (Previous ranking: N/A)

19. Virginia’s 2nd district (D): Rep. Glenn Nye (D) was swept into office in 2008 thanks to a surge in African American turnout in this Virginia Beach-based district where one in every five resident is black. Without President Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, it’s harder to see how Nye gets to the magic 50 percent marker. Auto dealer Scott Rigell (R) faces a primary but with $500,000 in the bank he should be able to navigate those waters for a chance at Nye in the general. (Previous ranking: N/A)

18. Pennsylvania’s 7th district (Democratic controlled): Republicans remain ecstatic about former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan‘s candidacy although at a recent candidate meet and greet in Washington we were less impressed with him than expected. One thing Meehan clearly does well is raise money; he ended 2009 with $694,000 in the bank. Democrats have rallied behind state Rep. Bryan Lentz who was recently named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” list. (Previous ranking: 20)

17. Hawaii’s 1st (D): As we mentioned above, this special election spells trouble with a capital “T” for Democrats. The infighting between Hanbusa and Case coupled with Djou’s credible candidacy is a problem waiting to happen for the majority party. (Previous ranking: N/A)

16. Florida’s 8th district (D): Rep. Alan Grayson is probably too liberal for this central Florida seat and his strident public pronouncements (and love of the spotlight) don’t do him any favors electorally. But, Grayson’s high profile has helped him raise scads of cash — $861,000 in the final three months of 2009 alone — and preferred Republican nominee Bruce O’Donoghue faces a late (August 24) primary fight. (Previous ranking: 15)

15. Ohio’s 15th district (D): Two years ago, national Republicans believed that state Sen. Steve Stivers was their best candidate in the country. But, he lost by 2,000 (or so) votes to Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D). Stivers is back again and without presidential year turnout at THE Ohio State University, Kilroy may struggle to preserve her winning margin from 2008. (Previous ranking: 18)

Continue reading this post »

March 12, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Daniel G @ PolitcalDog, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , , , | 17 Comments

Healthcare Bill House vote on Senate version by March 18?

Nothing like a deadline to get people focused…right?

Since Obama decided to get involved…finally..

……things seem to be moving right along…..

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday the White House hopes to see the House approve the healthcare bill by March 18, the first day of the NCAA college basketball tournament and just before President Barack Obama leaves the country on an international trip.

Based on conversations the White House has had with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, healthcare reform is on track to move through Congress before Obama leaves for the trip to Indonesia and Australia, Gibbs said.

We’re leaving on March 18 and we believe that we’re on schedule, based on our conversations that have been had with the Speaker of the House and the majority leader, that we’re on schedule to get something done before we leave,” Gibbs said Thursday during an appearance on MSNBC.

Pressed on what would be done by March 18, Gibbs said the first step would be for the House to pass the Senate’s original healthcare bill.

“I think this is going to get done in the next couple of weeks,” Gibbs added.

In an address on Wednesday, Obama said Congress should give healthcare an up-or-down vote, signaling his support for a process in which the House would pass the Senate-approved bill. The House and Senate would then pass a package of fixes to that legislation, with the package considered in the Senate under budget reconciliation rules, preventing Republicans from forcing a supermajority vote on the measure.

Democrats are looking at an Easter deadline for completing healthcare reform, which would put final measures on the president’s desk by the end of March.

Gibbs said the White House is continuing to work to ensure the votes are there to pass healthcare.

“We’re going to work every day to make sure we have the votes,” he said. “My sense is that if the vote were held today, we would have the votes.”

From the Hill…...

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Healthcare, Law, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , | 1 Comment

Online privacy is getting a serious look by the government, congress and by activists….

The two big guys of the internet, Google and Facebook, have indicated that they are working on software to limit who see’s your online content…..The House is talking, and working on Internet privacy standards  for this country, and the Federal Trade Comission is discussing the issue on this Monday….Finally, the Fedral Communications Comission is still talking about broadband availablity……

All of this effort is to keep up with the fast moving medium that is still the ‘Wild West’, where anything goes…..

Stay tuned..there will be more……

December 3, 2009 Posted by | Computers, Government, Media, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The lone Republican to vote for the Healthcare Bill in the House…..Rep. Anh Cao (R-La)…..

The House member from Louisiana, Anh  (Joseph) Cao (he is Vietnamese – American ),  met with White House staff and stayed in touch over the last few months…..He was amenable to supporting the bill from the beginning…but could only move to cast his vote when the leadership went with the Stupak-Pitts amendment, limiting federal money for abortions ( The former Jesuit seminarian was dead-set against voting for it if it expanded abortion rights in a new health care exchange.), then he was in…..

Careful to not incite his fellow republicans too much…he waited for the last-minute to cast his vote, when it became apparent that the bill would pass….Cao , who is a republican, in a largely democratic district, has decided to spend his time in the Congress helping his district as much as he can….Knowing fully well that he could be swept out of office by a strong democratic candidate for his seat in 2010…..

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Government, Healthcare, Politics, Religion | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The House passes the Heathcare Bill by a surpising narrow margin of 220 to 215…..

The House of Representatives pasted the Healthcare Bill last night by a narrow version…..what is surprising is that contrary to democratic predictions …..the ‘blue dog’ democrats voted against the bill in a block…..39 democratic members of house voted nay…..while they all knew the bill would pass and give them cover….the fact remains that the political winds from the two governors races have blown over the nation’s landscape…….

The Senate will be a repeat of the house…and while I thought the best thing for Obama would be a bipartisan effort…that is not how this is playing out……

There are several things that where dropped from the House bill to get it thru…..And some of them will come back in conference with the final bill with the Senate…..

 

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Healthcare, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment