Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nancy versus Steny

The House Democratic Caucus is scheduled to select its majority leader Thursday and the Dems are jockeying over the spoils of victory.

Presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed Iraq war critic Rep. John Murtha to be majority leader (her second-in-command) over Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the current minority whip.

Amazingly, the left-tilting Washington Post today endorsed Hoyer as “by far the better choice for the job. He is a moderate and highly capable legislator whose selection would reinforce Ms. Pelosi's announced commitment to govern from the center.”

“Murtha's candidacy is troubling for several reasons,” said the Wash Post, “beginning with his position on the war in Iraq.” While crediting Murtha for sounding an alarm about the deteriorating war, the Post categorized his descriptions of the stakes as “consistently unrealistic,” and his solutions as “irresponsible.”


Last week Murtha denied that the United States was fighting terrorism in Iraq, while Pelosi said it was not a war to win but a situation to be managed. Those two deserve each other.

According to the Post, Murtha claimed that “stability in the Middle East, stability in Iraq,” would come from an abrupt withdrawal, when, in fact, “virtually all Iraqi and Middle Eastern leaders have said that it would lead to a greatly escalated conflict that could spread through the region.”

In addition to his war fantasies, “John Murtha is not the right poster child for a message that stresses ethics,” said Thomas Mann, a Brookings Inst. expert on the Congress.

During the Abscam congressional bribery investigation in 1980, Murtha was videotaped discussing a bribe with an undercover FBI agent. Murtha has opposed stronger ethics and lobbying rules. He has been an avid participant in the orgy of earmarking, including numerous projects sought by a lobbying firm that employed his brother.

Pelosi is about to blow another divisive decision when she chooses the new leader of the Intelligence Committee. She has decided to dump Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the panel, in favor of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), an African American who was impeached as a federal judge in the 1980s. Pelosi voted for his impeachment.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D), leader of the conservative Blue Dog Democratic coalition in the House, supports Hoyer. Cardoza warned that Democrats would suffer if the liberals in line to head many of the House's key committees don't listen to the conservatives.

In fact, Steny Hoyer may have enough votes to win the job of Speaker of the House himself. Just imagine if the Blue Dog Dems join with all the House Republicans to select a conservative Democrat, say Cardoza, as Speaker. The Republicans in Conn. did just that, voting to retain Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman.

Nancy P will pull out the rest of her eyebrows.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My God -what a lineup!! I would LOVE to see her get dumped!


12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


We should all try to see this show when it comes to town...

O'Reilly Opera Much Better Than Cats


While the sexual harassment allegations levied against Bill O'Reilly by former Fox News producer Andrea Mackris might seem like fodder for a made-for-TV movie, some have decided to elevate the he-said/she-said back-and-forth to a more refined art form. Enter Igor Keller, a tenor saxophone player from Belltown, Washington, who has re-imagined the O'Reilly saga as a 31-part, concert-length baroque oratorio titled, rather theatrically, Mackris v. O'Reilly. Keller's opus doesn't cut any corners: The libretto opens with a reading of the original complaint filed by Mackris and runs through seven chorales, four recitatives, and numerous arias before the denouement, which features a dramatic reading of the settlement O'Reilly (played by Charles Robert Stephens, once hailed by the New York Times as a "baritone of smooth distinction") reached with Mackris.
Those who aren't quite sure they can stomach two hours of O'Reilly opera might be better advised to come in for the recitative and aria that comprise part 27, when the infamous loofah-as-falafel finally makes an appearance.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do you teach college Helen?

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


On December 5, 2002, at the 100th birthday party for Senator Strom Thurmond, who in 1948 had run for president as a segregationist, Repblican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said,

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."

A blog-fueled firestorm ensued. (Credit to Josh Marshall for banging that drum). And Lott resigned as majority leader, though he remained a senator from Mississippi and became chairman of the powerful rules committee. Wikipedia describes the controversy this way:

After President Bush voiced his own harsh criticism of Lott's remarks ("Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive, and it is wrong. Recent comments by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. He has apologized and rightly so. Every day that our nation was segregated was a day our nation was unfaithful to our founding ideals"), Lott's position became untenable. It was obvious he would be unable to remain as Senate Republican Leader, although the official White House line was that Lott did not need to resign....

Under pressure from Senate colleagues, and having lost the support of the White House, Lott resigned as Senate Republican Leader on December 20, 2002. Bill Frist of Tennessee was later elected to the leadership position.

Yesterday, nearly four years after Lott's Strom gaffe, the Republican caucus in the Senate rehabilitated Lott, electing him to be the Senate minority whip--the No. 2 Republican position in that body.

Three questions:

* Is what Lott said any less offensive--or insensitive today--than it was four years ago?

* Are the Senate Republicans so devoid of potential leaders that they have to bring back Lott?

* Is this a big kiss-off to the soon-to-be-gone GOP party chief Ken Mehlman's effort to reach out to blacks?

The answers: No. Yes. Yes.

The restoration of Trent Lott is far more squalid than anything going inside the Democratic party.

3:20 PM  

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