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View Full Version : General Politics For all the complaints about back room deals and bribes


dirk digler
02-04-2010, 10:42 PM
WTF do you call this? You want to know what is wrong with Congress here is example #1

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary "blanket hold" on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, CongressDaily (http://www.nationaljournal.com/congressdaily/coa_20100205_1148.php) (sub. req.) reports. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.

"While holds are frequent," CongressDaily's Dan Friedman and Megan Scully report, "Senate aides said a blanket hold represents a far more aggressive use of the power than is normal."

Shelby has been tight-lipped about the holds, offering only an unnamed spokesperson to reporters today to explain them. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke the news of the blanket hold this afternoon after Shelby announced it to him in a letter sent today. Reid aides told CongressDaily the hold extends to "all executive nominations on the Senate calendar."

According to the report, Shelby is holding Obama's nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track. CongressDaily laid out the programs Shelby wants to move forward or else:
- A $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers. From the report: "Northrop/EADS team would build the planes in Mobile, Ala., but has threatened to pull out of the competition unless the Air Force makes changes to a draft request for proposals."

- An improvised explosive device testing lab for the FBI. From CongressDaily: "[Shelby] is frustrated that the Obama administration won't build" the center, which Shelby earmarked $45 million for in 2008. The center is due to be based "at the Army's Redstone Arsenal."

Though a Shelby spokesperson would not confirm that these programs were behind the blanket hold, the Senator expressed his frustration about the progress on both through a spokesperson earlier in the day, the magazine reports.

Back in Alabama, the Mobile Press-Register picked up the story (http://blog.al.com/live/2010/02/senate_leader_shelby_blocking.html) early this afternoon. The paper confirmed Reid's claim of a blanket hold, and reported that a Shelby spokesperson "did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages seeking confirmation of the senator's action or his reason for doing so."

A San Diego State University professor and "Congressional expert" told the paper "he knew of no previous use of a blanket hold" in recent history.

petegz28
02-04-2010, 10:48 PM
Shelby is a fuckstick.

BigRedChief
02-04-2010, 10:50 PM
Thats obscene.

dirk digler
02-04-2010, 10:52 PM
Shelby is a fuckstick.

What is interesting is there is another story out today that Kit Bond held up the appointment of the GSA chief for 9 months because he wanted a $175 million dollar grant for a building in KC. The Senate just approved her today 96-0.

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to confirm Martha N. Johnson as head of the General Services Administration, nearly 10 months after she was first nominated to head the federal agency.

Upon assuming office, Johnson "will become the first permanent Administrator of the General Services Administration in nearly two years."

Earlier in 2009, Johnson was unanimously approved by members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. But a single senator, Republican Kit Bond from Missouri, has used his symbolic 'privilege' to hold up consideration of Johnson's nomination since last summer. The delay was meant to pressure GSA administrators to approve a $175 million federal building project in Kansas City.

petegz28
02-04-2010, 10:55 PM
What is interesting is there is another story out today that Kit Bond held up the appointment of the GSA chief for 9 months because he wanted a $175 million dollar grant for a building in KC. The Senate just approved her today 96-0.

Well, I have about had it with all the pork. It has gotten out of hand. We don't need Senators and Reps bargaining for $'s back home. If someone's home State needs some Fed Funds then the State Gov. should take that up with the Feds. This is what happens with a big Fed Gov. Everyone's money gets thrown around all over the place and usually very unequaly I might add.

patteeu
02-04-2010, 10:58 PM
What's the problem here? Until today, the democrats had all the votes they needed to override his hold. There must be some democrats who are sympathetic with his position.

petegz28
02-04-2010, 10:59 PM
What's the problem here? Until today, the democrats had all the votes they needed to override his hold. There must be some democrats who are sympathetic with his position.

This is true. But I am more pissed behind the motives of all this. These are the same Repubs crying about spending yet here they are holding up nominations until they get their $'s. It's really a good way to give yourself a black eye.

dirk digler
02-04-2010, 11:01 PM
Well, I have about had it with all the pork. It has gotten out of hand. We don't need Senators and Reps bargaining for $'s back home. If someone's home State needs some Fed Funds then the State Gov. should take that up with the Feds. This is what happens with a big Fed Gov. Everyone's money gets thrown around all over the place and usually very unequaly I might add.

I don't have a problem with senators and reps trying to get money for their states or districts. That is part of their job to help better their constituents. What I do have a problem with is holding up qualified people for unlimited time because of personal issues or trying to blackmail the government to give them money.

Now I am sure the Dems did this too so it is not like they are innocent but what Shelby did is unprecedented.

stevieray
02-04-2010, 11:02 PM
for all the complaints? this isn't any worse or a better example...this generation of legislators is corrupt...it's just indicitive of how the state politicans get in bed with the govt and eventually give their power to them, exactly opposite of how it was designed...

dirk digler
02-04-2010, 11:05 PM
What's the problem here? Until today, the democrats had all the votes they needed to override his hold. There must be some democrats who are sympathetic with his position.

The hold was put on today. How convenient of him. Add in the fact the Dems 60 vote was always tenuous because of Lieberman.

Mr. Flopnuts
02-04-2010, 11:07 PM
It's pretty apparent that these two parties are unable to work together. Why do we keep electing them again?

dirk digler
02-04-2010, 11:07 PM
for all the complaints? this isn't any worse or a better example...this generation of legislators is corrupt...it's just indicitive of how the state politicans get in bed with the govt and eventually give their power to them, exactly opposite of how it was designed...

There were alot of complaints about the Dems making a deal with Nelson and another Senator to secure their vote on health care. IMO this is no different.

But I agree with you that legislators are corrupt and we need term-limits in the worst way.

stevieray
02-04-2010, 11:15 PM
There were alot of complaints about the Dems making a deal with Nelson and another Senator to secure their vote on health care. IMO this is no different.

But I agree with you that legislators are corrupt and we need term-limits in the worst way.

and those complaints were justified, and I agree..it's just more of the same.

jjjayb
02-04-2010, 11:28 PM
We need to vote out every last one of these vermin scum.

BigRedChief
02-05-2010, 06:11 AM
What's the problem here? Until today, the democrats had all the votes they needed to override his hold. There must be some democrats who are sympathetic with his position.It's a handshake deal. When they want to hold a nomination hostage for some pork back home the others won't stop them.

These back room deals and pork are bad enough but holding up qualified candidates because you want more pork? :cuss:

BigRedChief
02-05-2010, 06:11 AM
It's pretty apparent that these two parties are unable to work together. Why do we keep electing them again?What choice do we have? Ron Paul isolationism?

The Mad Crapper
02-05-2010, 06:53 AM
http://www.moonbattery.com/culture-of-corruption.jpg

HonestChieffan
02-05-2010, 07:22 AM
I don't have a problem with senators and reps trying to get money for their states or districts. That is part of their job to help better their constituents. What I do have a problem with is holding up qualified people for unlimited time because of personal issues or trying to blackmail the government to give them money.

Now I am sure the Dems did this too so it is not like they are innocent but what Shelby did is unprecedented.

How many holds were places by then Senator Obama?

BigRedChief
02-05-2010, 07:28 AM
How many holds were places by then Senator Obama?Who cares. This is done by both sides. It's not a party issue. It's a system issue.

Norman Einstein
02-05-2010, 07:34 AM
Who cares. This is done by both sides. It's not a party issue. It's a system issue.

It is a system issue, but what are the ratios between the standing senators and the back room deals and bribes by Obama? The would be very interesting to know and I'm sure, regardless of the actual numbers, would be good for America to know. If he is corrupt it would be a good find, if he runs par with the system that would be good to know as well.

As for your two word response above: "Who cares." I think the American people would care.

Amnorix
02-05-2010, 08:13 AM
My understanding of holds is that they are an institutional measure accorded respect out of tradition. If stuff like this happens, then the rules may very well change.

(I could be wrong about holds. I don't pretend to be positive. But it's certainly not like they're written in the Constitution).

HonestChieffan
02-05-2010, 08:14 AM
Who cares. This is done by both sides. It's not a party issue. It's a system issue.

I agree.

Chief Henry
02-05-2010, 09:00 AM
There were alot of complaints about the Dems making a deal with Nelson and another Senator to secure their vote on health care. IMO this is no different.

But I agree with you that legislators are corrupt and we need term-limits in the worst way.

Exactly...term limits would help greatly imo.

Direckshun
02-05-2010, 09:30 AM
Thanks, dirk. I was going to post this.

Huffington Post had the exact right beat on the Kit Bond story when they called this whole episode "a broken system."

Because that's exactly what this is. It is a broken system.

We can go back and forth over the filibuster on legislation, and needing 60 votes to beat it. I think it's too cumbersome but I can see the disagreement.

But these holds that simply stall the entire nomination process single-handedly for any reason whatsoever make our government unworkable. There's no way around it.

jiveturkey
02-05-2010, 09:44 AM
Exactly...term limits would help greatly imo.People have been saying that for year but new blood isn't going to change the system. Lobbyists aren't going to stop calling because they don't know the new guy and the rules aren't going to change.

fan4ever
02-05-2010, 10:22 AM
I think it's very interesting the conservatives on this board are not trying to defend this move, or react the most popular way; "Well your guy did this back in . . ."

HonestChieffan
02-05-2010, 10:26 AM
The system is always broken to those who are frustrated. When the Republicans had the power and the dems could stop them, the dems loved the system.

The fact is the system works by protecting us from loony legislation. Both sides have loons. It protects us from both.

dirk digler
02-05-2010, 10:30 AM
How many holds were places by then Senator Obama?

I don't think none.

The Senate has confirmed 366 of President Obama’s nominees. How does this compare historically? At this point in President Bush’s first term, 421 of his nominees were already at their desks. At this point in President Clinton’s first term, 379 nominees were on the job. And 480 of President Reagan’s nominees were confirmed. But Senate Republicans have only allowed President Obama 366.

“In fact, in the first four months of the Bush Administration, when the Senate was controlled by the President’s party and we were in the minority, there wasn’t a single filibuster of a Bush nominee. Not one.

“But in the first four months of the Obama Administration, Republicans filibustered eight of his nominees. That means that President Obama faced twice as many filibusters of his nominees in his first four months as President Bush faced in his first four years.

jjjayb
02-05-2010, 12:03 PM
I think it's very interesting the conservatives on this board are not trying to defend this move, or react the most popular way; "Well your guy did this back in . . ."

I don't find it interesting at all. It's what I'd expect the reaction to be. Bullshit is bullshit, no matter which side it's coming from.

Mr. Kotter
02-05-2010, 12:05 PM
I think it's very interesting the conservatives on this board are not trying to defend this move, or react the most popular way; "Well your guy did this back in . . ."

Actually, that's a reaction much more typical of the left.

HonestChieffan
02-05-2010, 12:06 PM
I don't think none.

You need to look closer.

patteeu
02-05-2010, 12:08 PM
Thanks, dirk. I was going to post this.

Huffington Post had the exact right beat on the Kit Bond story when they called this whole episode "a broken system."

Because that's exactly what this is. It is a broken system.

We can go back and forth over the filibuster on legislation, and needing 60 votes to beat it. I think it's too cumbersome but I can see the disagreement.

But these holds that simply stall the entire nomination process single-handedly for any reason whatsoever make our government unworkable. There's no way around it.

If only you had been around during the Bush presidency to point this type of thing out when the shoe was on the other foot.

I personally think the President should have his nominees voted on in a timely fashion, but then I thought that when Bush's nominees were being blocked too.

As for the pork issue, we can't expect change there as long as the President who gave the impression he was promising to end pork ends up signing one of the biggest porkfests we've ever had just weeks into his first term.

Norman Einstein
02-05-2010, 12:12 PM
I think it's very interesting the conservatives on this board are not trying to defend this move, or react the most popular way; "Well your guy did this back in . . ."

There is probably plenty of opportunity to do so, but why follow a path that is obviously more damaging than good for the sitting pres?

HonestChieffan
02-05-2010, 12:14 PM
Obama does Holds: Good
People hold on Obama:Bad

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/03/obama-denounces-tactic-he-used-senator/

dirk digler
02-05-2010, 12:33 PM
Obama does Holds: Good
People hold on Obama:Bad

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/03/obama-denounces-tactic-he-used-senator/

My bad good job. So he did 1 compared to 70 that Shelby did. So you think what Shelby is doing is right?

acesn8s
02-05-2010, 12:52 PM
WTF do you call this? You want to know what is wrong with Congress here is example #1What I get from this is that the nominations are not important. More to the point, the jobs are not needed. I say this because the Dems held up Bush's nominations, Reps hold up Obama's nominations, these jobs are clearly not important.

IF these positions are important, then the politics involved should become a crime punishable by the judicial branch. Which will never happen.

If you want change, every sitting congressman needs to be ousted and term limits imposed.

HonestChieffan
02-05-2010, 12:52 PM
My bad good job. So he did 1 compared to 70 that Shelby did. So you think what Shelby is doing is right?

One?

patteeu
02-05-2010, 12:54 PM
My bad good job. So he did 1 compared to 70 that Shelby did. So you think what Shelby is doing is right?

The article suggests he placed a blanket hold on EPA nominees in addition to the one that you noticed.

dirk digler
02-05-2010, 01:27 PM
The article suggests he placed a blanket hold on EPA nominees in addition to the one that you noticed.

Yep I missed that. Then I went to do some fact checking and actually all it was 1 other nominee...Susan Bodine and in fact Sen. Boxer had the hold and was the last to release her.

fan4ever
02-05-2010, 01:33 PM
Actually, that's a reaction much more typical of the left.

That was my point...in a stealth kind of way.

Bootlegged
02-05-2010, 01:36 PM
Whoever this Buck kid is needs to have his authority checked - blocked me from starting threads and then sends me the following PMs. Is this what CP has come to?


NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:20 AM Buck May your children grow up to marry someone black and be gay. That'd be funny
NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:19 AM Buck drink the dick sock
NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:19 AM Buck Racist POS
NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:18 AM Buck Idiot

dirk digler
02-05-2010, 01:42 PM
Done bootlegg. Never say I didn't do something nice for you

patteeu
02-05-2010, 01:59 PM
Whoever this Buck kid is needs to have his authority checked - blocked me from starting threads and then sends me the following PMs. Is this what CP has come to?


NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:20 AM Buck May your children grow up to marry someone black and be gay. That'd be funny
NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:19 AM Buck drink the dick sock
NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:19 AM Buck Racist POS
NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:18 AM Buck Idiot

How did he block you from starting new threads?

KC native
02-05-2010, 02:01 PM
Whoever this Buck kid is needs to have his authority checked - blocked me from starting threads and then sends me the following PMs. Is this what CP has come to?


NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:20 AM Buck May your children grow up to marry someone black and be gay. That'd be funny
NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:19 AM Buck drink the dick sock
NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:19 AM Buck Racist POS
NBC celebrates Black... 02-05-2010 11:18 AM Buck Idiot

ROFLROFLROFLROFLROFL

patteeu
02-05-2010, 02:01 PM
As for Buck, he embarrassed himself in that thread more than anything you did when he said with certainty that you were being racist when the post had nothing at all to do with race. Some people see racism wherever they want to see it. They don't really even need a reason.

Mr. Kotter
02-05-2010, 02:05 PM
As for Buck, he embarrassed himself in that thread more than anything you did when he said with certainty that you were being racist when the post had nothing at all to do with race. Some people see racism wherever they want to see it. They don't really even need a reason.


On the other hand, there are other people who refuse to see racism in situations that it's clearly obvious to rational people (especially in the context of other posts)....even if it escapes the technical definition.

Buck
02-05-2010, 02:29 PM
You are right, that I was wrong when I said that post was racist, but don't act like he's not.

Inspector
02-05-2010, 02:32 PM
Oh...so this is how government works. I was wondering about that.

alpha_omega
02-05-2010, 02:38 PM
WTF do you call this? You want to know what is wrong with Congress here is example #1

Typical, justifying bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior.

patteeu
02-05-2010, 03:47 PM
On the other hand, there are other people who refuse to see racism in situations that it's clearly obvious to rational people (especially in the context of other posts)....even if it escapes the technical definition.

Hmmm. Clearly obvious but doesn't meet the definition.

Cognitive dissonance?

patteeu
02-05-2010, 03:49 PM
You are right, that I was wrong when I said that post was racist, but don't act like he's not.

I don't know if he's racist or not, but if he is, that thread wasn't evidence of it.

Kudos for manning up and admitting a mistake though. :thumb:

Mr. Kotter
02-05-2010, 09:20 PM
Hmmm. Clearly obvious but doesn't meet the definition.

Cognitive dissonance?

Obvious to a rational person vs. meeting a technical definition

A legitimate distinction, epecially given the qualifier "rational person"

patteeu
02-05-2010, 10:10 PM
Obvious to a rational person vs. meeting a technical definition

A legitimate distinction, epecially given the qualifier "rational person"

If it doesn't even meet the definition, how can it be obvious? How can it even be unobvious racism if it doesn't meet the definition, for that matter?

notorious
02-06-2010, 08:44 AM
You guys are insane.


This is the way that congress has been doing business for decades (both sides). It finally received a lot of media coverage when the Neb. Senator got bribed during the health care debates.


Hopefully the people of this country continue to get this kind of information so we can flush all the crooked bastards from power.

WoodDraw
02-08-2010, 04:31 PM
What's the problem here? Until today, the democrats had all the votes they needed to override his hold. There must be some democrats who are sympathetic with his position.

In theory, sure. But that's not how the Senate works. Floor votes are time consuming and rare. For the most part, the Senate runs off of unanimous consent. If you had to bring a closure motion on every single nominee, even the noncontroversial ones, nothing else would ever get done.

I think we're headed towards rule changes that will be politically controversial, but good for the Senate in the long run.