Archive for June, 2009

Welcome Sen. Franken!!!

MSNBC is reporting that the MN Supreme Court ruled in favor of Al Franken and said that Al Franken has won the election.  The Uptake has more.

Gov. Pawlenty said he will sign the election certificate for whoever the MN Supreme Court decides in favor of.  This will no doubt help President Obama and Sen. Reid in advancing their agenda.

UPDATE: Swing State Project linked to a source saying the MN Supreme Court did not order an election certificate but Franken is entitled to one.  It’s still Gov. Pawlenty’s decision whether to keep his word and sign the election certificate.

UPDATE 2: Coleman Concedes!!!  Franken is headed to the Senate!!!

Coleman has the distinction of losing to two celebrities in two high profile contests.  He lost to  professional wrestler, Jesse the Body Ventura, during Coleman’s 1998 gubernatorial run and to a professional comedian, Al Franken.

Categories: Elections

This Week in the Senate

The Senate is on their Fourth of July recess.  Time to contact your Representative or Senators from your state and tell them you support the public option and health care reform.

Categories: This Week

House Passes Obama/Waxman-Markey Climate Bill

I’m all smiles :).  The Climate bill passed the test vote and will get a full vote later today that the House Leadership expects to pass.

After the House passes the climate bill, the Senate will take their turn to debate cap and trade.

UPDATE: The House just passed the Climate bill on a vote of 219-212.  The measure heads to the Senate for debate.

Categories: Environment

Congressional Tri-Caucus and CPC Unite to Fight for Public Option … Wait a Sec, There’s a Congressional Tri-CAUCUS!!!

Daily Kos diarist slinkerwink mentioned a press release stating that 120 members of the House of Rep. from the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and the Congressional Tri-Caucus considers a robust public option to be a must for any health reform legislation.  Together, they should become a check on the attempts of certain Senate Democrats to water down the public option for health care reform.

I don’t know how many people were familiar with the Congressional Tri-Caucus before, but this is the first time I’ve been made aware of them.  Apparently, the Congressional Tri-Caucus is the mega alliance of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  I’m confident in saying the Congressional Tri-Caucus has got to be the most awesome caucus in all of Congress.

In fact, I am in total awe of the name’s awesomeness, and the Congressional Tri-Caucus deserve their own TV show and/or movie franchise.  Congressional Tri-Caucus = AWESOME.

As for the Senate, Senators have a tendency to form gangs like the Gang of 18 led by Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine who worked to “rough up” and water down the Stimulus.

So will there be an epic showdown between The Congressional Tri-Caucus and The Gangs of the Senate?  We’ll find out soon enough.

Categories: Health Care Policy

Obama Convenes Bipartisan Closed Door Meeting on Immigration

President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders today on the issue of immigration reform, an issue that Obama said he supports and will work to pass.   We know some of the invitees are:


  1. Sen. Schumer (D-NY)
  2. Sen. Menendez (D-NJ)
  3. Sen. Leahy (D-VT)
  4. Sen. McCain (R-AZ)
  5. Sen. Martinez (R-FL)
  6. Sen. Sessions (R-AL)
  7. Sen. Cornyn (R-TX)


  1. Rep. Lofgren (D-CA 16)
  2. Rep. Becerra (D-CA 31)
  3. Rep. Berman (D-CA 28)
  4. Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL 04)
  5. Rep. Velazquez (D-NY 12)
  6. Rep. Weiner (D-NY 09)
  7. Rep. Diaz-Balart (R-FL 21)
  8. Rep. Smith  (R-TX 21)

Like his strategy on other issues, President Obama will let Congress take the lead on the issue and will support whatever bill Congress creates.

Sen. Schumer, who will take the lead on creating the immigration bill, outlined what he thinks immigration reform will need to do with the chief goal of preventing future illegal immigration.

Speaking on the eve of a White House summit with congressional leaders on immigration, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) said a national system to verify work documents is necessary because Congress has failed to crack down on unscrupulous employers and illegal immigrants with fake documents.

By announcing his plans, Schumer, who chairs the Senate’s main immigration subcommittee, ushered in what President Obama has signaled will be his next major legislative campaign, after the economic stimulus plan, health care and energy.

Schumer said legislation should secure control of the nation’s borders within a year and require that an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants register with the government and “submit to a rigorous process to convert to legal status” or face immediate deportation. Rejecting the euphemism “undocumented workers,” he said: “Illegal immigration is wrong — plain and simple.”

A senior White House official said Obama is open to all of Schumer’s proposals, including his ID plan, saying that “he wants to listen, he wants to talk. All of it is on the table.”

Categories: Immigration

President Obama: Caving on Public Option or Fighting for the Public Option?

Conflicting reports came out of Obama’s press conference yesterday as to his support for the public option.  Daily Kos praised the President for his remarks defending the public option against critics and said Obama “comes out swinging for public option.”

Paul Krugman, on the other hand, said Obama “messes  up on health care big time” for saying that a public option is not a “line in the sand” when it comes to his willingness to sign a health care bill.  Krugman argues this will only embolden the opposition and further weaken the spines of certain Senate Democrats.

Who is right?  The President will have a town hall meeting on health care tonight that will air on ABC at 10 PM Eastern, and we’ll hear more from him there.

Categories: Health Care Policy

Harold Koh Soon to be Confirmed by the Senate

The Senate today invoked cloture on the nomination of Harold Koh, a Yale Law School Professor and President Obama’s pick to be the Legal Counsel to the State Department.  Mr. Koh was also one of the contenders for the Supreme Court, a spot that eventually went to Judge Sonia Sotomayor.  The President really had an embarassment of riches when it came to his Supeme Court choices.

I really have no idea why the Republicans even tried  filibustering Harold Koh in the first place.  No matter, the Party of No failed, and Harold Koh will soon be headed to the State Department.

Yesterday, the Senate swiftly passed HR 1777, a bill that will make technical corrections to the Higher Education Act according to the bill description.

Categories: Nominations