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Everything off the table but Unity Ponies

intranets's picture

From BradBlog we learn that Pelosi, Reed, and Steny Hoyer have "postponed" the criminal contempt charges until they properly stimulate the Bush war machine.

On a side note, how is this "contraversial"? Did I miss something about what contempt means and the big middle finger that was shown to Congress? It seems the more dangerous precedent has already been set (not a failed vote, but no vote at all).

Also a classic, Kucinich quote

“If impeachment is off the table,” Mr. Kucinich said, “truth is off the table. If truth is off the table then this body is living a lie.”
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bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Brad Freedman sources his story from John Bresnahan at Politico:

Brendan Daly, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said “no decision has been made” as to when a criminal contempt vote would be held by the House.

The Judiciary Committee approved contempt citations against Bolten and Miers on July 25, but Pelosi has yet to bring the measures to the floor.

Well that’s terrible isn’t it? What in the hell is the matter with Pelosi? Why would she not move the contempt measures to the floor?

Pelosi, who personally supports the contempt citations, has gotten mixed messages from her own leaders, as well as rank-and-file members, on whether to move ahead, although it is clear that there are not now enough votes for the citations to be approved by the House, according to Democratic insiders.

Pelosi personally supports the contempt citations but there aren’t enough supporting votes? With 233 out of 435 members in the Democratic caucus, how could that be?

“Right now, we’re focused on working in a bipartisan fashion on [the] stimulus,” said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), indicating that the contempt vote is not expected for weeks, depending on how quickly the stimulus package moves.

And there you go. Steny Hoyer and his bipartisan Blue Dog buddies are the ones holding up the vote, not Pelosi.

“When we have the votes, we’ll go ahead with this. Right now, the votes are just not there,” said one top House Democratic insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Who knows what, if anything, the Blue Dogs want from Pelosi for their votes, or if they are blocking the contempt citations to embarrass Pelosi as part of their ongoing plot to replace her with Hoyer, but if you’re unhappy about the House not moving forward on this then blame them.

Not the Speaker.

As to whether it would be better to bring up the votes even if the measures lose, I don’t think that would be wise. If they are defeated they will never be brought up again, and the Blue Dogs will gain more power over Pelosi. The only functional choices for her are to not bring the measures up or round up enough votes to pass. Lobby the Blue Dogs, they are the obstructionists.

Not the Speaker.

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Headline on the front page of today's Washington Post:

Some in Party Bristle At Clintons' Attacks
Anti-Obama Ad Heightens Unity Fears

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

And people blasted her for opposing Hoyer as Majority Leader. Did she lose political points? Yes, but she actually took a courageous stand to make it clear that she did not care for Hoyer and that does matter.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

has gotten mixed messages from her own leaders,

i thought the "speaker" was the "leader." guess not.

and sure, BIO, it's the blue dogs, again. so is she punishing them for their reluctance to caucus with the party? stripping privs, assigning them to things that don't bring them power and control? is she shutting them down with procedural tricks and the power of her office? working with anyone anywhere to castrate them, politically of course? tossing some money to their primary challengers is "too far," i'm sure. but she could do a lot, in a million little ways, to pressure them.

instead, she and her people and apologists keep telling me i'm wrong and people like me to shut up. how on FSM's green urth does that do anything to "lobby" the blue dogs? because if i'm quiet and don't point out the speaker's many, many failings and shortcomings, they'll what? ride a unity pony and move forward on the contempt cits?

don't make me laugh. there are two parties in this country, Glenn is right to say this often. one is the party for the wealthy, and the other is the party for the other 99% of us.

from the voting record and 'explainations' of voting that didn't happen in the past year, it's clear to me that my party is ~25% of the house, maybe 15% in the senate. none of them hold the ranks of speaker or maj leader. i will not cease to critique members of the majority, no matter what the corporate media tells me "they are."

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Not nice, that one. Free speech, always; say what you please when you please. If it’s all right with you, I’ll do the same. Actually, I’ll do it anyway. My suggestion is that you criticize the people who are obstructing progress rather than those who are not. Take that for what its worth.

If Pelosi strips the Blue Dogs of their perks, they will either bolt the party (not likely) or join with enough offended caucus members to replace her with Hoyer (quite likely). Tell me how either of those make sense for progressive interests?

And I am hardly the corporate media but I can count too and you are right, the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party is in the minority. Believe I’ve been saying that here for a while now, and that will be the actual problem. You want Pelosi to turn on her incumbents? Undercut the membership of her own caucus? Come now. How long would she last as Speaker with that approach? That just gets you Hoyer, again. Have you got a thing for Steny?

What’s happened in this Congress is the fault of the Blue Dogs and the Republicans, our enemies. Blaming Pelosi for the Blue Dogs won’t help. Barney Frank understands that, which is why he supports Pelosi unconditionally.

You want better Democrats, get them elected. And don’t bother complaining to me about how hard that is, it always has been; what good comes easy?

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

you realize, of course, you just left me a comment at another post ending with "'re wrong. stop picking on harry." if that's not "shut up" i don't know what is. or is 'freedom of speech' only the freedom to say Nice Things?

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

moar and butter dumocrats! That'll fix their wagons. More people to roll over on their bellies.

I'd rather have Steny. First of all, people would blame spineless capitulators instead of making constant excuses for Harry and Nance. (Insert battered spouse or enabler of child molestation analogy). People might actually get pissed off when Steny rolls over again and again.

Submitted by lambert on


[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I do believe I said “please”, twice; once at the beginning and again at the end. That makes it a request. I made it a request because that’s what I’m doing, requesting – begging, actually. If I knew how to make an emotocon for “begging on my knees” I would.

“Shut up” is a command, a very different thing. Not my place, or anyone else’s, to tell you or anyone here to do that. I would never, and I have not. Unfair for you to say so.

My issue here is people getting beaten up on for things they aren’t doing. I don’t like it. I especially don’t like it when it’s directed at people I view as my allies. When it happens, I speak up about it and express my opinion, logically, thoroughly and with lots of supportive links. If that discomfits you, well, deal.

I don’t like what the Plutocrats of both parties have been doing, and I want it to stop. One thing I’ve learned is that attacking your own allies needlessly only ensures that the opposition wins. The Republicans are masters at splitting the Left; I object when I see that happening. You do as you please, whatever you think is best, but when I see someone doing what I think is wrong I’m going to speak up and, if I feel I need to, speak forcefully; what I’m not going to do is shut up.

Free speech and all that.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Lots of criticism, the usual mockery and more bizarre analogy but all you offer here is to - in your framing - stop the alleged child abuse by hiring a serial killer as the babysitter.

I'm not buying that the way forward is to step backwards. Steny Hoyer as Speaker, that's your plan? Give more power to the enemy? I believe you are what you deride, battered to the point that you can only complain but are unable to see your way through to a practical solution.

If you have something constructive, please put it up, I'd love to see it. Oh, wait, déjà vu, this is the point where you leave the conversation only to pop up again elsewhere with more complaint and nary a positive, workable suggestion. Never mind.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

do, my friend. cling to your illusions, and disparage me to your content. i wear a martry's crown as well as i wear italian, handcrafted leather boots.

i know you were nice, i respect your request. in another time, i'd take it more seriously, and i take is somewhat seriously now. but this is a gotcha moment for me: you can't have it both ways,, friend. no matter how 'nicely' you put it, you can't ask me to 'lay off harry' in one post, and claim that you don't want to shut down progressive, critical discourse in another.

even if the matters at hand were not the issues, this would still be a problem, in terms of logic. you know, of course and by now that i am a progressive, even a 'radical' by various measures. what does that mean? it means that i am not, nor will i ever be, happy with "less." or "compromise" or "keeping the powder dry."

i want action. i want results. i want Justice. i want no bullshit. i want even less babble.

harry can talk and talk. i only know what is done. like my passive use there? still, don't talk to me babee, show me. my eyes are open.

will harry stop FISA from passing? i believe he won't. could he do more than he has and is to stop it? i believe he could. would such effort make a difference? i don't know, but i believe it would even as i accept that i could be wrong, and there is a strong possibility it would not.

here's what i know: i would be a very, very different Maj leader. *very* different. i would look at this chance, and at all my wealth and priv, if i were in harry's boots, and i'd say to myself, "fuck it. this is my chance to be a Hero." that's what i'd do. harry seems more interested in making sure people like you defend him on blogs like mine. which makes me go, "hmmmm."

put another way: if you're in any way like me, and truly vulnerable (and i think you are, i doubt you have that much wealth (a lot)) you'll see, in bitter reflection, that i am right, someday down the line. you'll see that you've wasted your efforts here defending the likes of nancy and harry, and that nothing they say, which you use to defend them, amounts to a hill of beans. not in terms of your life, my life, the lives of those like us.

harry and nancy and the blows-dogs DINOs will retire into a nice bipartisan sunset. they will have wealth and comfort, while you will end your days fearing for the lives of your grandchildren and perhaps even your own. you will feel bad that you spent so much time defending people who turned out to have no concern for you and yours, and every willingness to abuse your trust, at your expense. i know because i was like you, once. before certain truths about such people were made clear to me in blood, money and the fire of a dying nation, the destruction of a treasure of human heritage.

it's ok. i understand. keep on keepin on, we like it when you're around.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Do hope, friend, you can discern the difference. I think the world of you, your occasional misplaced smackdowns not withstanding. My argument is with your positions, not with you as a person.

My dissenting over what I see as unjustified criticism of Reid and Pelosi is in part because I see it as wrong from a moral standpoint, perhaps a personal nit that no one else need feel bound to notice. But on a broader scale, I also see it as a tactical error in contending with our worst enemies. Criticizing the Dems when they deserve it is something I’m all for. Hoyer and his Blue Dog allies are as far as I’m concerned no different than Republicans; damn them all. When Harry and Nancy screw up they need a good thumping in response. But beating on them when they aren’t wrong just lessens the value of what gets said when they are. They’re only human, and just like you and I if they are getting yelled at all the time they will simply tune it out. Who benefits from that?

I’ve been told here repeatedly that my personal assessment of Pelosi as a decent sort, having met her in person many times and followed her political career in detail since its beginning, is of no worth because my own character is unknown; fair enough. But does it not give pause when Barney Frank says the same thing? Is Barney Frank also a tool or a fool?

As to having caught me out in an inconsistency, well, young lady, not so fast.

but this is a gotcha moment for me: you can’t have it both ways,, friend. no matter how ’nicely’ you put it, you can’t ask me to ’lay off harry’ in one post, and claim that you don’t want to shut down progressive, critical discourse in another.

Shockingly, I beg to differ. My request to “lay off Harry” was narrowly framed, limited to asking that, my words, you (and others) “Please quit picking on him when he’s doing right.” If you can make a case for him doing wrong, flay him; that would legitimately be progressive critical discourse. It is, however, my contention that unfounded criticism is not within the bounds of progressive principles and therefore speaking out against it and asking for it to stop is in no way inconsistent.

Unfounded criticism bad; deserved criticism good; deserved constructive criticism better; seems coherent to me.

Sometimes circles are all there is, and going round them again until a way off appears is the best that can be done. A couple of circle songs appear at the end of an Edwards post and may indeed be what he’s feeling as well as you and I these days, poor fellow.


intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

(oh Tatoo, you brilliant little man)

bio, my plan is not more people who do nothing for American and constituents. my plan, naively, is to hold people accountable. Hold republithugs accountable for their crimes, hold spineless dems accountable for choosing political calculus over the bill of rights and magna carta.

You have a more forward looking plan, in which you assume there will be a country and elections where you can slowly adjust the "bravery" of Congress-rats by changing their make up of (D) to (R).

I maintain this is a flawed approach for two reasons. One, who the hell can wait that long. Two, you are making a lot of assumptions that the future is static and political climate will be the same in teh future. What if there is another 9/11? Three, and here is the point you really don't agree with me on....

If you want blue kool-aid and you are starting with red and purple kool-aid. Just adding gallons and gallons of more purple kool-aid will NEVER get you there. It may not be as red as it once was, but adding more spineless, do-nothing, stimulus package, fisa-RI-approving assholes does nothing for America. It is in the exact same place it started from.

Don't worry, when net neutrality goes away as congress rolls over yet again, you won't have to listen to me anymore. Because places like this will be third tier service.

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

nothing gets done until everyone and everything gets investigated. Period.

I don't understand the plan is to elect people who will eventually investigate things... ????

We form lynchmobs and go one by one down the line throwing people out of office if they oppose or obstruct investigations.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Thanks for the reply, appreciate the straightforwardness. I read everything you write here, whether I agree with it or not, and do hope you are wrong about the future of the net although I share your concerns. Keeping this new tool of freedom available to all is as important a battle as any other. We’ll have that net neutrality discussion another time, OK? Complicated piece of business and the arguments I think need a bit of honing.

Back on thread. You gave a long litany of things you’re opposed to or disagree with, which is fine but not quite what I’m asking for. Tell me what it is you want, phrased in a positive, constructive way and bolstered by an outline of how you see it being achieved. Think of it loosely in terms of, say, building a car, or a house, or a web site; listing what you don’t want just goes on forever and doesn’t get to what you do want.

From your comment above:

”my plan, naively, is to hold people accountable. Hold republithugs accountable for their crimes, hold spineless dems accountable for choosing political calculus over the bill of rights and magna carta.”

Which is fine for a start, but – What does accountable mean exactly? How will they be held accountable? By whom? Mind, I’m not at all disagreeing with you about accountability, but flesh it out a bit more so that it becomes a plan rather than just a goal, and a plan with a sharper focus.

And what else? Because in addition to building the political structure to enable and enforce accountability for the past, there is a need to simultaneously build a new political structure for the future so as to prevent, or at least minimize, a continuous repetition of the same events by new people. How do you see that happening, in terms of what that new structure might look like, what attributes will it contain and how it will be built?

I’m not at all being flip here, or disingenuous or laying a trap; I’m completely earnest and interested, as we all should be. Tell me what you want to have happen, and how we could get there. The last part is key, the how, because we all agree that promising ponies for everyone is not a plan. And I understand this isn’t easy to do; that is in part my point. But you’re a clever person so block it out and let’s chew on it together. Can’t save the world all on your own.

Oh, and really bad news on the whole ” who the hell can wait that long” question. Brace yourself, because there is no end to this struggle. 3o,ooo years and counting we’ve been at this, the Don’t Have Much masses contending with the Have A Lot And Still Want More gang. It doesn’t end; it just goes on and on and on. If you don’t have the patience for it, I suggest a lobotomy; you’ll be happier. Otherwise, if you’re up for the struggle, gird your loins and settle in for the long haul; rough road, lousy food, poor pay, sorry about that.

Looking forward to your response; if you will, please start it up as a new post so as not to be missed. Thanks.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Lynch mobs? I believe that approach was tried by the French around 1790 or so and IIRC it did not turn out well.

Violence-free solutions, please.