OverviewThe Democrat-led 110th session of the US Congress was elected in 2006 as part of a backlash against the abuses of the "do-nothing" Republican-led 109th US Congress and the corruption in the Bush administration. However, they largely failed to do the duty for which they were elected, i.e. defending the US Constitution by investigating, exposing, and ousting (via impeachment and other legal means) the de-facto neoconservative coup spearheaded by that administration, and have mostly been seen promoting acts of appeasement to the global terrorists now in charge of the US government. (Conservatives like to accuse liberals of favoring "appeasement of terrorists", but oddly they never mention it in this one case where they would actually seem to be correct.)
- 2007-08-05 House OKs taxes on oil companies: "Declaring a new direction in energy policy, the House on Saturday approved $16 billion in taxes on oil companies, while providing billions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives for renewable energy and conservation efforts. .. Republican opponents said the legislation ignored the need to produce more domestic oil, natural gas and coal. One GOP lawmaker bemoaned 'the pure venom ... against the oil and gas industry.'." Well, you know, "duhhh..." Of course people are upset at the oil industry, and on our continued dependence on non-renewables – a status quo the industry generally fights very hard to maintain.
- 2007-08-03 Senate Roll Call: Terrorism Surveillance: "The 60-28 roll call by which the Senate voted to temporarily give President Bush expanded authority to eavesdrop on foreign terrorists without court warrants. ... Voting "yes" were 16 Democrats, 43 Republicans and 1 independent. Voting "no" were 27 Democrats, 0 Republicans and 1 independent."
The Republican minority have so far blocked the following actions, by stating intent-to-filibuster:
- 2007-01-17: Reid Amendment to Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007: Senator Harry Reid's bill to provide greater transparency in the legislative process.
- 2007-01-24: Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007: a bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
- 2007-02-05: A bill to express the sense of Congress on Iraq: disapproving of the troop escalation in Iraq.
- 2007-02-17: A bill to express the sense of Congress on Iraq: disapproving of the troop escalation in Iraq (again).
- 2007-04-17: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007: an original bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2007 for the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Intelligence Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.
- 2007-04-18: Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007: a bill to amend part D of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for fair prescription drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.
- 2007-06-11: No confidence vote on Alberto Gonzales: a joint resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales no longer holds the confidence of the Senate and of the American people.
- 2007-06-21: Baucus Amendment to CLEAN Energy Act of 2007: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for energy advancement and investment, and for other purposes.
- 2007-06-26: Employee Free Choice Act of 2007: A bill to amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes.
- 2007-07-11: Webb Amendment to the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2008: to specify minimum periods between deployment of units and members of the Armed Forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
- 2008-06-20 [Talk|Index] Kucinich threatens 60 impeachment articles if Judiciary doesn't act § “Kucinich tells us he's giving the House Judiciary Committee 30 days to act on his resolution proposing 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush or else he'll ... go back to the House floor next month armed with nearly twice as many articles.”
- 2008-06-20 [Talk|Index] House approves overhaul of wiretap laws § “The House on Friday approved a bipartisan plan to overhaul the nation's wiretapping laws. .. The House vote was 293-129, with 188 Republicans and 105 Democrats voting for it. .. One Republican voted against the measure, which now moves to the Senate. ... The deal breaks a four-month impasse between the Bush administration and Congress over whether to protect telecommunication companies that took part in a program critics say was illegal.” Commentary on this event: Dana Hunter, with links to others
- 2008-05-16 [Talk|Index] Senate Votes to Reverse FCC Decision Allowing Media Consolidation § “Thursday night, the Senate cast a near-unanimous vote to reverse the Federal Communication Commission's December 2007 decision to let media companies own both a major TV or radio station and a major daily newspaper in the same city.”
- 2008-02-18 [Talk|Index] Why Torts Trumped Terrorism § “Pelosi could have exercised leadership prerogatives and called up the FISA bill to pass with unanimous Republican support. Instead, she refused to bring to the floor a bill approved overwhelmingly by the Senate. House Democratic opposition included left-wing members typified by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, but they were only a small faction of those opposed. The true reason for blocking the bill was Senate-passed retroactive immunity to protect from lawsuits private telecommunications firms asked to eavesdrop by the government. The nation's torts bar, vigorously pursuing such suits, has spent months lobbying hard against immunity.” Novak frames Pelosi's decision as bowing to a special interest group (trial lawyers) rather than being a principled stand against Bush's illegal wiretapping.
- 2007-12-20 [Talk|Index] Inherent Powers, Ignoble History Make New Idea Anything But Innocuous § “According to the bill, â€œhomegrown terroristsâ€ can be anyone who â€œ... intimidate(s) or coerce(s) the United States government, the civilian population ... or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social belief,â€ a definition broad enough to include Americans who organize mass marches on Washington to â€œcoerceâ€ changes in government policy.”
- 2007-12-19 [Talk|Index] Bush set for another win over Dems § “The Democratic-controlled House is expected to give President Bush an end-of-session victory in his yearlong battle with anti-war lawmakers over Iraq by approving $70 billion for U.S. military operations there and in Afghanistan.”
- 2007-12-10 [Talk|Index] Congress to say Christmas is important. Sun and Moon declared good too § “As someone with a Christian background, I can safely say this may be the silliest resolution ever introduced by, or voted upon, by Congress, although I am a little curious to see if anyone will vote against it. .. Do we really need Congress to say Christmas and the Christian faith are important? Isn't that pretty self evident by now? Don't Christians already pretty much run everything in this country, except for the mainstream media, which is of course controlled by a Jewish-Illuminati-Bill Gates cabal?”
- 2007.10.12 What Would You Like Me to Ask Nancy Pelosi?: the meat is in the comments, and presumably in the interview which followed (video)
- 2007.08.10 How the Democrats Blew It in Only Eight Months by Alexander Cockburn, The Nation: "Thanks to the Dems' inaction on Iraq and compliance with Bush on the FISA bill, the Democratic-controlled Congress now has a "confidence" rating of 14 percent, the lowest since Gallup started asking the question in 1973 and five points lower than Republicans scored last year."
- 2007.08.01 Democrats scramble to expand wiretapping: WTF? Is Bush holding their spouses and children hostage? Or is the proposed legislation being misrepresented/misinterpreted?
- 2007.07.25 House Democrats pass contempt citation: "The House Judiciary Committee approved a contempt of Congress citation Wednesday against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and one-time Counsel Harriet Miers, setting up a constitutional confrontation over the firings of federal prosecutors."
- Monday Action: on the Campaign for America's Future's efforts to expose the GOP members who have been blocking every major initiative
- Liberal media, my tailfeathers (filibuster edition)] by D.C. Simpson: more on the blockage
- 2007.04.26 Dems vote subpoenas in widening probes: "Putting their congressional control to work, Democrats approved new subpoenas Wednesday — and a grant of immunity – for probes ranging from the prosecutor firings and White House political activities to President Bush's justification for the war in Iraq."
- 2007.02.08 Playing Politics with Plane size? by Tim Moore
- 2007.01.08 Democrats warn Bush on Iraq plans: "The newly-empowered US Democrats have warned President George W. Bush he will have to justify any plans to boost troop levels in Iraq." (ohnoes, those darn terrorist-lovers are making us come up with good reasons before we do stuff! why do they hate our freedom so much??)
- 2007.01.06 Dems prepare slew of oversight hearings: "From the war to environmental policy and secret surveillance, the Democrats who now control both the House and Senate are armed with subpoena power and ready to summon panels of witnesses."
- 2007.01.04 Leahy Introduces Bills To Combat War Profiteering, Public Corruption
- 2007.01-02 The 2006 Elections and the Rightward Shift: "How should the Democrats’ 2006 recapture of Congress be interpreted in the context of the broader trends in American politics over the last decades?"
- 2007-08-07 I Drew This (cartoon with commentary): cowardly caving