Posts Tagged ‘United States Senate’

Return of the Baron

March 28, 2016

Baron Hill was the Congressional Representative for the ninth Congressional district of Indiana, the district I happen to live in, from 1999 to 2005 and 2007 to 2011. Now he wants to be one of Indiana’s Senators.

David,

I have known Baron Hill a long time. I worked to get him elected to Congress and was honored to serve as his Chief of Staff — and I am thrilled the Indiana Democratic Party has endorsed him to be our next U.S. Senator.

Baron is the just the kind of man we need in Washington. He will start fixing problems again in Washington instead of playing political games that we see coming out of the Republican majorities right now.

Will you add your name to let Baron know he has your support in 2016?

Baron’s roots in this great state go deep. He grew up in Seymour as the youngest of seven kids, played basketball at Seymour High, and worked in his family’s small business. He’s seen firsthand the changes the past many years have brought to Indiana.

Baron knows we are at a turning point. Inequality is growing as working families are getting left behind. Special interests have a voice in Washington, but what about regular people?

He is going to be a voice for all Hoosiers — our voice. He’ll fight for an economy that works for everyone. He’ll work to grow our local businesses and make college affordable for our kids.

Baron knows Indiana is worth fighting for. But he needs us standing with him.

Will you add your name to show you’re on Baron’s team in 2016?

Baron Hill will do the job he is elected to do in the U.S. Senate, and he needs your help today.

Thank you for all you do.

John Zody
Chairman
Indiana Democratic Party

I remember Baron Hill very well. It’s not likely that anyone outside of the state of Indiana would know anything about Mr. Hill, although he did receive a certain amount of national attention before his defeat in the 2010 election. Here are a few videos to remind the viewer who Baron Hill is and why he doesn’t belong in the Senate

 

The political terrorists he refers to are his own constituents who happened to object to his vote supporting Obamacare. Because they were actually challenging him over his vote, he considered them to be the same as al-Qaeda.

Here is another.

 

This isn’t a town meeting in which the representative of the people of the ninth Congressional district responds to the concerns of the people, but an audience in which the Baron deigns to speak to his subjects.

There are a lot more videos of Baron Hill being dismissive or rude to his constituents at town hall meetings, etc. He is apparently something of a sore loser as well, if the people in this video are correct.

This is why Baron Hill was defeated in 2010. His name, Baron, seems to fit him very well. He acts with all the arrogance and condescension to his “inferiors” as some medieval baron. He is part of the problem of an arrogant and unresponsive political elite that is causing Americans to turn to outsiders for leadership, even such obviously unqualified candidates as Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. Baron Hill is the last person I would want to see in the Senate.

Even if their Name is Barack Obama

March 6, 2016

I have been privileged to receive another fund raising e-mail from none other than James Carville.

Friend, if there’s one thing Republicans love yammering about (besides building walls and banning Muslims), it’s the Constitution.

But this Supreme Court drama tells me they could use a refresher. So here goes:

  1. A president’s term lasts FOUR years, even if their name is Barack Obama
  2. The president fills Supreme Court vacancies, even if they’re a Democrat
  3. The Senate confirms nominees, even if they’d rather cross their fingers for President Cruz, Trump, or Rubio

Mitch McConnell may think obstructing is his job, but holding a branch of government hostage to obstruct President Obama and demoralize Democrats is not just unprecedented — it’s unacceptable.

And boy, will he be upset when he sees how FIRED UP he’s made Democrats about demoting him and putting REAL leaders back in charge!

Can you chip in and help the DSCC close the book on McConnell’s failed majority? Every dollar helps — and if you give by Monday’s FEC deadline, it’ll be MATCHED!

Friend, if you didn’t do your job, you’d be fired. McConnell and company work for US — and this latest charade is the last straw if you ask me. But unless we help the DSCC get the word out and hold Republicans accountable, we’ll be stuck with these guys for years!

That’s where you come in, Friend. Please pitch in (and get your gift MATCHED) to help the DSCC kick this sorry GOP majority to the curb!

Well, one party, at least, has to yammer about following the constitution, enforcing federal immigration laws, and protecting the country against its enemies. The Democrats don’t seem to care about talking or doing any of that. I just wish the Republicans actually followed up their yammering with action.

I think that it is Mr. Carville and the Democrats who badly need a refresher on how Supreme Court vacancies are filled. Here is the relevant section of the constitution.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Note the words in bold, the advice and consent of the Senate. The Senate does not automatically confirm the Supreme Court justices, or any other of the offices mentioned. Here is the way it goes.

  1. The President nominates a person to fill a vacancy.
  2. The Senate decides whether of not that person is suitable for the office and votes to confirm or deny the President’s nominee.

I think that the Republicans in the Senate are making a tactical mistake by saying that they will not even consider anyone nominated by President Obama. They ought to at least go through the motions of holding a hearing, even if they believe that any person nominated by Obama is unacceptable. But, if the Senate wants to delay the proceedings until after the upcoming presidential election, they can do it. In fact, I think it would be better if Obama waited until after the election to nominate anyone to fill Scalia’s seat in order to spare the country the political drama and posturing that will inevitably occur during an election.

The Democrats seem to have this curious idea that the job of the Legislative Branch is to rubberstamp everything the president proposes, at least when the president is a Democrat and Congress is controlled by the Republicans. If a Republican Congress declines to support the president’s legislation, or even passes legislation that the president doesn’t like, they aren’t doing their job and are being obstructionist. Naturally when the situation is reversed, with  a Republican president and Democratic Congress, obstructing the president’s “extreme” agenda is a vital necessity.

In fact, Mitch McConnell is doing his job by obstructing the president. That is what Congress is supposed to do. The framers of the constitution did not want an efficient government that could act quickly. That leads, all too easily, to tyranny or bad policies. They wanted a government that acted slowly and deliberately and they wanted to ensure that no one person or faction could dominate the government and force their policies on the country. They wanted laws to be passed only when there was a broad consensus that the change was needed and only after compromise had made the legislation acceptable to everyone. What we call gridlock, they called checks and balances and did not want the government to act, even if the president is named Barack Obama and is the lightworker trying to bring about fundamental change.

If the president does not want the Senate Republicans to obstruct him, he could perhaps consult with them before he makes any nomination and try to find someone acceptable to both sides. For their part, the Senate Republicans could seriously consider any nominee. But this would require a spirit of compromise which Obama hasn’t shown much sign of having for the past seven years of his presidency and isn’t likely to develop now.

 

Some Political News

May 17, 2012

There have been one or two interesting developments in politics this week. First, there was an upset in the Nebraska primary.

Upstart state Sen. Deb Fischer triumphed in Nebraska’s bitterly contested Republican primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday night, winning the right to face Democrat Bob Kerrey in November.

The race had become a high-profile showdown among tea party leaders, who split their support among three candidates. The seat being vacated by Democrat Ben Nelson is considered the GOP’s best opportunity for a Senate pickup this fall.

Former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had endorsed Fischer last week, giving the little-known rancher from the Sandhills region a boost. “The Palins are in your corner,” the endorsement said. This week, former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain followed suit.

Fischer’s two main opponents, state Atty. Gen. Jon Bruning and state Treasurer Don Stenberg, had spent months battering each other.

Like the Mourdock victory here in Indiana, this is being played as a Tea Party victory, but really it is a sign of how tired voters are of an increasingly dysfunctional and unresponsive political class.

Speaking of which, the federal government still doesn’t have a budget after three years. President Obama submitted one but Congress rejected it unanimously. According to the Washington Times,

President Obama’s budget suffered a second embarrassing defeat Wednesday, when senators voted 99-0 to reject it.

Coupled with the House’s rejection in March, 414-0, that means Mr. Obama’s budget has failed to win a single vote in support this year.

Republicans forced the vote by offering the president’s plan on the Senate floor.

Democrats disputed that it was actually the president’s plan, arguing that the slim amendment didn’t actually match Mr. Obama’s budget document, which ran thousands of pages. But Republicans said they used all of the president’s numbers in the proposal, so it faithfully represented his plan.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, even challenged Democrats to point out any errors in the numbers and he would correct them — a challenge no Democrats took up.

“A stunning development for the president of the United States in his fourth year in office,” Mr. Sessions said of the unanimous opposition.

The White House has held its proposal out as a “balanced approach” to beginning to rein in deficits. It calls for tax increases to begin to offset higher spending, and would begin to level off debt as a percentage of the economy by 2022. It would produce $6.4 trillion in new deficits over that time.

By contrast the chief Republican alternative from the House GOP would notch just $3.1 trillion in deficits, and three Senate Republican alternatives would all come in below $2 trillion.

The Senate is holding votes Wednesday on Mr. Obama’s budget, the House GOP’s budget and the three Senate Republican alternatives. None was expected to gain the 50 votes needed to pass the chamber.

I gather that the president’s budget was not really a serious attempt to control spending but  more of a political gimmick.

I have been pessimistic about the Republican’s chances of defeating Obama in the coming election, especially after it was clear that Romney would be the nominee. I am beginning to think, however, that Obama’s days in the White House are numbered.


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