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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Congress: We're Watching Too

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Part of a constantly updated thread that will, at the very least, remain linked on the main page at all times for reference and update (Can we do that in a prominent position, David?)

11/23/04 - Washington Post - GOP Sneaks Provision in Spending Bill That Would Allow Committee Chairs to Examine Tax Returns of All Americans/Corporations:
"The provision, added to the spending package of more than 3,000 pages last Thursday, would give staffers of the House and Senate Appropriations committees similar powers to enter IRS facilities and examine tax returns"

11/21/04 - Chicago Tribue - Intelligence Reform Bill Derails in House:
"The House did not bring the measure to a vote Saturday as Congress was trying wrap up its remaining business."

11/17/04 - New York Times - House Republicans Change Rules: DeLay Can Maintain Top Spot, Even if Indicted.
"House Republicans today approved a change in party rules to prevent their majority leader, Tom DeLay, from having to step down from his leadership position should he be indicted in an investigation in Texas."

Posted at 09:33 AM in 2006 Elections | Technorati



November 21, 2004
Bill Clears Way for Government to Cut Back College Loans

November 18, 2004
Senate Backs Higher Debt

Posted by: Marc at November 23, 2004 10:50 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You guys will be able to do better than the first three stories over the next year or so. Yes, I do know that it is early yet and the 109th Congress hasn't even met yet. But (1) the provision by the GOP is being written off by most as a rougue staff member or two, (2) you need individuals to point fingers at for the intel reform bill, and (3) the rules changes don't mean much as long as DeLay can claim the charges are politically motivated.

Look for items in their voting records, remarks on the floor, or in committee. You know, the stuff they do to keep DeLay happy but hide from their districts. It really won't take much. Just give opposing candidates something to point at that is tangible and meaningful to the average voter.

Cutting back college loans and raising the debt are a good start. Go to (http://thomas.loc.gov/) and see who sponsored those bills and who said what in support of it. Those bills both had to go through committe of some kind, right? Who said what to support it there? There has to be some good stuff with this. If you compare the Reps who signed or supported this with their campaign literature and find a discrepancy, its gold. If you can't connect unpopular political outcomes with individual reps, all you are doing is pointing blame at "Congress" as a whole. Every one loves to do that.

At some point, it may be worth while to start writing "letters to the editor" to major newspapers in the districts of particular target Republicans. Tell voters why they shouldn't support the Republicans one vote at a time.

Posted by: Dan Hogan at November 23, 2004 03:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Ecellent comments, Dan.

Posted by: Marc at November 23, 2004 04:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


For the most part, I agree - and the "never ending link" will reflect that in the future.

That being said, I do think it important to point the finger at the Republican controlled Congress as a whole, as well.

In my mind, in a year and a half, many will forget about not already passing intelligence reform recommended by the 9/11 commission. In addition, I think information about the IRS amendment when looked at in concert with The Patriot Act and other disruptions of civil liberties is a powerful form of message amplification through repitition.

But on the whole, I agree about the importance of shedding the light on individuals in Congress, especially those in competitive races.

I certainly agree about letters to the editor at some point, based on information we collect on individual Member's role played in bill passage, or lack of passage.


Posted by: Tim T. at November 23, 2004 04:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


It sounds like we are in agreement on this. I do have one note of caution, though. Raising the fact that Republican controlled Congress failed to pass something brings up two opposing questions. Did it fail to pass because the Congress is controlled by Republicans? Did it fail because it is Congress? People who don't watch CSPAN every day (if anyone actually does) and don't have much exposure to the workings of our elected government tend to think it is this overcomplicated beast of a thing that is never able to get anything accomplished. Unless you can point to individuals or groups that caused the slowdown and show that their stated reasons were not reasonable, you'll just get drowned out by all of the other agruements (uhh, debates) that take place every day inside the beltway. This is the stuff that turns people away from the political process and we need those people to stick around. I still believe that high turnout elections favor the Democrats.

My biggest fear right now is that all of those people you guys got to the polls three weeks ago will end up even more frustrated than before W took office. On the other hand, if they consistantly see a party that has solutions to all of these problems (IRB, college loans, reduced debt), they might just be willing to stand out in the rain for another 8 hours next time around.

Posted by: Dan Hogan at November 23, 2004 09:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Hello everybody,
I think this site is doing great. The most important thing IS to KEEP WATCHING, and get SPECIFIC details. At some point we have to educate the American public and we will need these.
The level of ignorance on what's going on is appalling. Most people don't know what C-Span is.75% of my own "friends" don't even believe there is a Patriot Act, leave alone what's in it. I just keep repeating it over and over.
George Bush's election has the Right Wing Christians actually "scoffing" at us and doing what they want> It's hard to believe as this is TOTALLY against their own scriptures. Remember "he who is exalted shall be abased, he who is abased shall be exalted".?
On the news yesterday there was a pharmacist who refused to fill a prescription for birth control pills because he said he had religious objections, and it was the same as abortion. The girl had been advised by her Doctor not to have another child for a couple of years for health reasons. She was pretty young, and she started crying. He was "in effect" calling her a murderer of a person not even conceived yet!!! I know what it's like. The Right called me a "murderer" because I once had an abortion. It's a hard thing to take. They think they have Carte Blanc now - they are GOING AGAINST EVERY SCRIPTURE - "mercy", "don't judge"-all of it out the window. THEY are now the judge, jury and executioner. This one incident may not ring the alarm bells, but this is how our rights will slowly be taken.
But I wanted to pass on some news:
A number of us PEOPLE (WE THE PEOPLE) are organizing to take back our Country. We had a "nationwide" conference call on Sunday. It is being headed by MoveOn. They have a real good Forum going on now
or go thru moveon.org. We're working on strategy.
Also, check out the site sorryeverybody.com. Thousands of people have sent in apologies "sorry, World -we tried" etc. "we are so goddamn sorry" "please don't hate 50% of us" "Please send the UN to help" "I'm extra sorry because I'm from Texas". Canada, France, Greece other countries have sent in saying "We are so SORRY for you. We forgive 50% of you". A lot of people have had trouble connecting to this site for some reason. Netscape works best.
Give me some feedback??

Posted by: Pamela at November 24, 2004 01:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Check out JABBS at http://jabbs.blogspot.com, for posts on how the House GOP handled the DeLay rule, and how the Senate GOP handled the Specter nomination.

Posted by: DM at November 29, 2004 11:30 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment