tagged w/ Senate
Ron Paul speaks out about how when the congress tried to get a bill passed thaat congressional approval must be gained before any US attck on Iran, speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi killed it and when asked why she stated that Israeli leaders had told her to!!!
Ron Paul speaks out about how when the congress tried to get a bill passed thaat... more
David Satterfield, U.S. State Department's Coordinator for Iraq, on Tuesday said that the bipartisan long-term agreement between Iraq and the U.S., currently being debated, will be executive, legal, and international between two sides.
He added that the treaty will embrace no items that require Senate approval.
"The bipartisan long-term agreement between Iraq and the U.S. will be executive, legal, and international between two sides, and during the negotiations with the Iraqi government's negotiators, the U.S. government stresses that Iraq is a state that has sovereignty, and a partner in the negotiations that rely on the Iraqi national decision," Satterfield said in a press conference in Baghdad.
"The agreement will embrace no items that require Senate approval, as it is not the first treaty that the U.S. holds with a state that has sovereignty," he added.
"This agreement's importance is not symbolic, but perceptible," he explained.
"In December 2007, the Iraqi government explained to the U.S. that the authorization of Multi National Forces (MNF) presence in Iraq ends by the end of 2008, and that the Iraqi government demands having an agreement that arranges the relation with the present forces on its lands," he noted.
"The U.S. responded to the demand, especially that there is a mutual tendency between us and the Iraqi government to establish the bases of mutual relations between the two countries," he proceeded.
The agreement arranges U.S. forces presence in Iraq after 2008, as those forces currently operate in that country according to UN clearance that is renewed on year basis per the Iraqi government's request.
The treaty will require the 275 members Iraqi Parliament's enactment .
"There is no relation between the Iraqi funds in the U.S. banks and imposing pressures on Iraqi negotiators concerning the bipartisan agreement between Iraq and U.S.A," he said.
"Iraqi funds are in U.S. banks to protect them, as per an order from the U.S. president," he asserted.
"Yesterday, we had a negotiations session with the Iraqi side, and we concentrated on the security dimension, because it is the most important, and we achieved tangible progress, in addition to the other dimensions, especially in how both sides' proposals are mutual and flexible; a matter that any negotiations require to accomplish the mutual interests, after putting the agreement's strategic frame," he explained.
"The U.S. Ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, leads the U.S. team to the negotiations, while the Iraqi Deputy Premier, Barham Saleh, leads the Iraqi team that consists of members of Iraqi government's quintuple council, which includes Iraqi components, not one component," he added.
Concerning negotiations' transparency, Satterfield said, "Transparency of negotiations between Iraq and U.S. will appear when the agreement's draft is submitted to the Iraqi Parliament."
"Points under discussions cannot be exposed to the public opinion, unless there is an agreement upon them," he added.
David Satterfield, U.S. State Department's Coordinator for Iraq, on Tuesday said... more
Senate Republicans blocked a proposal Tuesday to tax the profits of the largest oil companies, despite America's anger over $4 a gallon gasoline.
The Democratic energy package would have imposed a tax on any "unreasonable" profits of the five largest U.S. oil companies and given the federal government more power to address oil market speculation that the bill's supporters argue has added to the crude oil price surge.
"Americans are furious about what's going on," declared Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and want Congress to do something about oil company profits and "an orgy of speculation" on oil markets.
But Republicans argued the Democratic proposal focusing on new oil industry taxes is not the answer to the country's energy problems.
The Democrats failed, 51-43, to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster and bring the energy package up for consideration.
Senate Republicans blocked a proposal Tuesday to tax the profits of the largest oil... more
Rep. Dennis Kucinich said Monday he wants the House to consider a resolution to impeach President Bush. Kucinich, D-Ohio, read his proposed impeachment in a floor speech. He contended Bush deceived the nation and violated his oath of office in leading the country into the Iraq war.
On the Net:
Rep. Dennis Kucinich said Monday he wants the House to consider a resolution to... more
I am afraid this bill is going to limit conversation. Will we be afraid to speak when things happen that we feel are against our freedom? Will we still be able to utilize our Constitution to speak up against people who do not agree with certain portions of the Constitution? Will we be able to express our concerns, or will they silence our voices with bills enacted to instill fear? I fear many will be afraid to speak up, or support others who do. No one wants to be found guilty and declared a 'Homegrown Terrorist'.
by: Lee Rogers
The Internet is now becoming a new front in the phony terror war. Legislation like the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 that is in the forms of HR 1955 and S 1959 which seek to give the government powers to define thoughts and belief systems as homegrown terrorism, is on the brink of being pushed down our throats. HR 1955 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 404-6 and now it appears as if the U.S. Senate is attempting to justify its future passage. The U.S. Senate homeland security committee lead by war mongering fascist Joesph Lieberman, investigated the so called growing threat of terrorists using the Internet for recruiting and training purposes. In their report, they paint the Internet as a dangerous tool for terrorists and conclude that new laws need to be passed “to prevent the spread of the ideology.” It is incredibly convenient that S 1959 provides the legislation that is called for in their report. The true purpose of this report is to push for the passage of S 1959 which will give the government powers similar to what the government of Oceania used in George Orwell’s book 1984.
The Hartford Courant ran an article on this Senate homeland security committee report. According to their article, the report hypes the threat of homegrown terrorism and how the Internet is playing a key role in spreading the message of so called terrorists. Below is a blurb taken from the article.
A Senate homeland security committee report set for release Thursday details a growing threat from terrorists’ use of the Internet as a recruiting and training tool. The report concludes that the U.S. government should consider its own outreach program as a counter to the Web strategies of groups such as al-Qaida.
This report paints Internet use by terrorists as having an unlimited reach, including into English-speaking communities in the United States. Al-Qaida, it says, runs a “a multi-tiered online media operation in which a number of production units associated with [al-Qaida] or allied violent Islamist organizations produce content consistent with the core terrorist enlistment message.”
The “thousands” of terrorist-operated websites have become “an effective distribution system for the core enlistment message and other content,” the report contends. There is no longer as much of a need, it suggests, for physical training camps.
I am afraid this bill is going to limit conversation. Will we be afraid to speak when... more
I think it's great that he's running. Comedians are just another type of activists, and politicians who were activists first are the type of people I want with the power, not corporate pets. We've got blacks, women, Jews, and hopefully more minorities running for politics. It's a good change in America.
"Al Franken has won a resounding endorsement for U.S. Senate from Democratic activists at the Minnesota state convention.
The former "Saturday Night Live" writer and performer beat college professor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer on the first ballot Saturday. Franken had just given a speech to delegates apologizing for past jokes that offended some fellow Democrats.
Nelson-Pallmeyer conceded the endorsement to Franken and moved that Democrats unanimously back Franken. They did so by voice vote.
Republican Sen. Norm Coleman has his party's endorsement for re-election. "
END QUOTEI think it's great that he's running. Comedians are just another type of... more
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a global warming bill that would have required major reductions in greenhouse gases, pushing debate over the world's biggest environmental concern to next year for a new Congress and president.
A bill to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere was blocked Friday.
1 of 2 Democratic leaders fell a dozen votes short of getting the 60 needed to end a Republican filibuster on the measure and bring the bill up for a vote, prompting Majority Leader Harry Reid to pull the legislation from consideration.
The Senate debate focused on bitter disagreement over the expected economic costs of putting a price on carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas that comes from burning fossil fuels.
Opponents said it would lead to higher energy costs.
The 48-36 vote fell short of a majority, but Democrats produced letters from six senators -- including both presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain -- saying they would have voted for the measure had they been there.
"It's just the beginning for us," proclaimed Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, a chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate, noting that 54 senators had expressed support of the legislation, although that's still short of what would be needed to overcome concerted GOP opposition. Watch more on the global warming debate »
"It's clear a majority of Congress wants to act," Boxer said at a news conference.
She and other Democrats said this now lays the groundwork for action on climate change next year with a new Congress and a new president that will be more hospitable to mandatory greenhouse gas reductions.
Both Obama and McCain have called for capping carbon dioxide and other emissions linked to climate change. President Bush has opposed such measures and said he would have vetoed the Senate bill if he had received it.
The bill would have capped carbon dioxide coming from power plants, refineries and factories, with a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 71 percent by mid-century.
"It's a huge tax increase," argued Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a prominent coal-producing state. He maintained that the proposed system of allowing widespread trading of carbon emissions allowances would produce "the largest restructuring of the American economy since the New Deal."
Supporters of the bill accused Republicans of muddying the water with misinformation.
"There is no tax increase," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, one of the bill's chief sponsors said. She said the emissions trading system would provide tax relief to help people pay energy prices. And supporters disputed that it would substantially increase gasoline prices.
Four Democrats joined most Republicans in essentially killing the bill.
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a global warming bill... more
Even for the Senate, where members are well-known to prefer talking to listening, the amount of unilateral jabbering on the climate bill has been remarkable, with lawmakers both for and against it arguing repeatedly over how much time was allotted for them to speak.
It was also hard to keep track of who was on which side. The bill’s main sponsors are Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, and Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California.
Typically, the floor debate is divided evenly between the two parties, but there has been constant confusion about whose time was being used.
At one point Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, was struggling to get his turn. “It’s my understanding that I have 15 minutes at 12:15 which I have been waiting for all morning,” he said.
A short argument followed — involving Mr. Specter, Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, Mrs. Boxer and Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee — over who should speak and for how long. As they bickered, Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, who was serving as the president pro tempore, made an announcement: “The time of the senator from Tennessee, three and a half minutes, has expired.”
Mr. Domenici was perplexed. “How did his time expire?” he asked.
“Through this conversation,” Mr. Tester explained.
To help give everybody time on center-stage, the senators on Tuesday proposed delaying the weekly party lunches by 10 minutes. The majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said that was all right, but he also urged senators to be back in time for their official portrait.
Why am I not surprised? Why would I ever expect to see a reasoned intelligent debate on this from a Congress that acts like nothing but a bunch of vindictive prima donnas? This is why we will never get effective legislation from Washington Dc on climate change. Too many only wanting their 15 minutes of fame in front of the camera, and too many making this a politically partisan issue when it is not.
And my God, what ignorance comes out of Senator Inhofe's mouth. He is an embarrassment to the state of Oklahoma. I really tried to be positive that this could be debated in Congress with that higher consciousness, but it is not possible when consciousness in and of itself is not present. This is why we have to press and demand what this bill must look like in order to be acceptable and effective... but alas, I fear no matter what we say they will continue to do what they want, which is why those working outside the confines of the beltway have made more progress regarding this crisis. This just proves the point.
However, that doesn't mean we stop pushing for what is right. I still say on the whole that states, businesses, and individuals will do more to address this crisis effectively than any Congress in this political system, but we cannot relent in making these representatives see how they will be accomplices to the catastrophe unfolding unless they look beyond poltiics to see the big picture. Damn them for their total lack of moral courage and for making a mockery out of the most crucial crisis this planet now faces on a global scale.
I have a one sentence message to Congress:
THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.Even for the Senate, where members are well-known to prefer talking to listening, the... more
The report shows an administration that "led the nation to war on false premises," said the committee's Democratic Chairman, Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia.
The committee studied major speeches by Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other officials in advance of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and compared key assertions with intelligence available at the time.
Statements that Iraq had a partnership with al Qaeda were wrong and unsupported by intelligence, the report said.
It said that Bush's and Cheney's assertions that Saddam was prepared to arm terrorist groups with weapons of mass destruction for attacks on the United States contradicted available intelligence.
The report shows an administration that "led the nation to war on false... more
The Bush administration misused intelligence to build a case for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a report issued Thursday.
The White House exploited its ability to declassify intelligence selectively to bolster its case for war, the committee chairman, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-West Virginia, said in the report. Senior officials disclosed and discussed sensitive intelligence reports that supported the administration's policy objectives and kept out of public discourse information that did not, he said.
The report also found that the administration misled the American people about contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.
"Policymakers' statements did not accurately convey the intelligence assessments" about contacts between the then-Iraqi leader and Osama bin Laden's group, "and left the impression that the contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation or support of al Qaeda," the report said.
The report also took the administration to task for its predictions about the aftermath of the invasion, including Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators.
The Bush administration misused intelligence to build a case for the U.S.-led invasion... more
"Senate debate on Boxer-Lieberman-Warner videos".
The White House on Monday slammed legislation the U.S. Senate will consider this week aimed at controlling climate change, arguing it would cut economic growth and lead to soaring gasoline prices.
"As you can imagine, our opposition to this will be quite strong and we'll be making these points throughout the week," Keith Hennessey, director of President George W. Bush's National Economic Council, said at a White House forum on the economy and taxes.
U.S. gross domestic product could be reduced by as much as 7 percent in the year 2050 and gasoline prices -- already at record highs in the United States-- could soar by as much as 53 cents a gallon by 2030, he said.
The legislation the Senate will debate, which is not expected to become law this year amid a presidential election, could cut total U.S. global warming emissions by 66 percent by 2050, according to a summary of the measure.
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions would drop by about 2 percent per year between 2012 and 2050, based on 2005 emission levels, under the measure.
The bill would cap carbon emissions from 86 percent of U.S. facilities, and emissions from those would be 19 percent below current levels by 2020 and 71 percent below current levels by 2050, according to a summary of the bill's details released by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The Bush administration has consistently opposed an across-the-board cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas emitted by fossil-fueled vehicles and coal-fired industries, as well as by natural sources including human breath.The White House on Monday slammed legislation the U.S. Senate will consider this week... more
Kennedy Having Surgery for Tumor
By PAM BELLUCK - NY Times
BOSTON, June 2 — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was to have surgery for his malignant brain tumor on Monday morning at Duke University Medical Center, his office said.
Mr. Kennedy, 76, who was diagnosed two weeks ago with a malignant glioma in the upper left portion of his brain, was to undergo an operation that was to begin at around 9 a.m. and last roughly six hours. He was to be operated on by Dr. Allan Friedman, chief of the division of neurosurgery in the surgical department at Duke in Durham, N.C.
Mr. Kennedy’s office issued a statement at around 6:30 a.m. on Monday saying that he expects to remain in the hospital at Duke for about a week and then return to Massachusetts, where he will undergo chemotherapy and radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital, where his tumor was diagnosed after he suffered a seizure at his home on Cape Cod.
Mr. Kennedy said in the statement that he and his wife Vicki, “along with my outstanding team of doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, have consulted with experts from around the country and have decided that the best course of action for my brain tumor is targeted surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation.”
He said that, “after completing treatment, I look forward to returning to the United States Senate and to doing everything I can to help elect Barack Obama as our next president.”
It was not clear from the statement how long his course of chemotherapy and radiation treatment would take.Kennedy Having Surgery for Tumor By PAM BELLUCK - NY Times BOSTON, June 2 —... more
By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ (New York Times)
Photo by Michelle V. Agins (New York Times)
Published: May 1, 2008
Charles B. Rangel, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is not so caught up in the question of gas mileage. He leases a 2004 Cadillac DeVille for $777.54 a month. The car is 17 feet long with a 300-horsepower engine and seats five comfortably.
“It’s one of the bigger Cadillacs,” Mr. Rangel, of Harlem, said cheerfully this week. “I’ve got a desk in it. It’s like an airplane.”
Modest or more luxurious, the cars are all paid for by taxpayers. The use of a car — gas included — is one of the benefits of being a member of the House of Representatives.
Full story at link.
By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ (New York Times) Photo by Michelle V. Agins (New York Times)... more
Message on May 21, 2008 from our friend Bill Brown up in Taos, New Mexico with www.nmglobalwarming.org
Greetings, All -- Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that attempts to continue production and investment tax credits for clean energy.
The concept faces opposition in the Senate and veto threat from the Bush Administration.
-- Bill Brown
from TouchArt.net and OneEarthBlog.blogspot.com
for Earth Day is everyday.
Write, call, email and lobby your congress people to support this bill to continue production and investment tax credits for clean energy.
And please remember to turn off the lights and switch off your power strips when not using electronic devices. We are all part of the problem and can each be part of the solution.
Go to the link below to find contact information for your senators and congress people.
Photo "Moon over Mihammy"Message on May 21, 2008 from our friend Bill Brown up in Taos, New Mexico with... more
Now that we've figured out, six years into it, that the war in Iraq wasn't about fighting Al Qaeda, but straw men, it's time to turn our attention to the Senate who singlehandedly showed their horsepower this week by adding protections for veterans, and the jobless, onto the the Iraq war funding bill. Notably, the bill passed the Senate by a wide, bipartisan margin...
Now that we've figured out, six years into it, that the war in Iraq wasn't... more
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) didn't find time in his busy campaign schedule Thursday to make it back to the Capitol for votes on money for Iraq and Afghanistan as well as new educational benefits for veterans that he opposes. After all, even though he has been quite outspoken on the new GI Bill and even pushed a competing bill of his own, he still has to, um, win the Republican nomination (isn't Ron Paul still running??). And, apparently, he had to campaign and raise money in that pivotal swing state, California.
McCain's absence helped cement his lead in one key category over his potential Democratic opponents and every other Senator -- missed votes.
Through last week, McCain had missed a nice, round 60.0 percent of Senate votes so far in the 110th Congress. After Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), who was absent for several months following a brain hemorrhage, comes Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who lay well behind McCain with 41.8 percent of votes missed. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), a former presidential candidate, was fourth, followed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who had missed 31.7 percent.
Obama and Clinton both managed to make it to the Capitol Thursday to vote for the war money and the new GI Bill. Obama and McCain skipped the vote Thursday on overriding President Bush's veto of the Farm Bill (even though McCain really, really dislikes the Farm Bill), while Clinton voted nay.Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) didn't find time in his busy campaign schedule... more
Republican John McCain took aim at presidential rival Barack Obama's lack of military service on Thursday, drawing a rebuke from the Democratic front-runner for his "endless diatribes and schoolyard taunts."
McCain's opposition to Senate legislation that would expand educational benefits for military veterans ignited a heated cross-fire between the two White House contenders as they gear up for November's presidential election campaign.
"I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans," McCain said. "And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did."
Obama, a Harvard-trained lawyer who did not serve in the military, drew McCain's ire by saying on the Senate floor: "I can't understand why he (McCain) would line up behind the president in opposition to this GI bill. I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans."
[Credit: Steve Holland, Reuters]Republican John McCain took aim at presidential rival Barack Obama's lack of... more
Republican presidential candidate John McCain is in good health and has had no recent recurrence of skin cancer, according to medical records released on Friday.
The Arizona senator, who turns 72 in August and would be the oldest elected first-term president if he wins the November election, "enjoys excellent health and displays extraordinary energy," said his physician, Dr. John Eckstein.
"I can find no medical reason or problems that would preclude Senator McCain from fulfilling all the duties and obligations of president of the United States," he said in a statement.
McCain's health records were made available to be viewed by a small group of reporters in Arizona in an effort to put to rest lingering questions about his health and ability to handle the rigors of the presidency.
[Credit: Steve Holland, Reuters]
I don't think it bodes well for the GOP that they have to try and convince people that their nominee isn't going to die in the next four years.Republican presidential candidate John McCain is in good health and has had no recent... more
The Senate on Thursday approved an additional $165 billion to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan for another year after lawmakers blocked proposed timetables for withdrawing American troops from Iraq.
By a vote of 70-26, the Senate passed the new war money the Pentagon says it urgently needs to avoid civilian layoffs within months and the interruption of soldiers' paychecks.
The House of Representatives still must weigh in on the legislation. Last week, it passed a drastically different bill that failed to provide any new money for the wars and would withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of 2009.
The House could start debate as early as Friday. But more likely it will take up the legislation in early June after lawmakers return from a week-long recess.
[Credit: Richard Cowen, Reuters; Photo: 2008 Reuters]The Senate on Thursday approved an additional $165 billion to wage war in Iraq and... more