Archive for The Senate – Page 2

Sen. Grassley's Staff Gets Nabbed In His Own Investigation

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The SEC lawsuit alleges that the House staffer, Brian Sutter, spoke with a lobbyist -- identified by the Journal as Mark Hayes - - who happens to be a former aide to Grassley -- on the day of the leak.

Oopsy. Looks like Grassley not only found his leaker, the dude worked for him. Now Grassley may have to recuse himself from the hearings because he himself might be called as a witness, or even more concerning, as a part of the insider trading conspiracy scandal itself.

 

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Secret GOP Campaign Strategy Training Tape Revealed

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The Party of No

Have you ever wondered how the Republican Party got the name, the Party of No? Of course NOt. Ever wonder why winter is the GOP's favorite season? It has sNOw in it. Do you kNOw what word hurts the Grand Old Party the most? It's kNOwledge. That's because it contains a NO in it, but it can't be trusted It's the education exception to the NO rule. And don't get me started on the lack of NO in compassion or justice. These words just don't exist in the Republican world. NO way.

So where does this top secret GOP training video come from? People don't just wake up one day kNOwing NOthing. It's a studied science -- science, another NO-NO because it lacks -- that's right, you got it, a NO.

Well, fortunately we here at The Political Carnival have spies everywhere and we've, at great risk to life and limb, unearthed the secret Republican training film which was previously stored in the late Eric Cantor's office and tossed out with his sorry ass after his defeat last week. We're proud to present this NO NOnsense video so you'll better understand how Republicans gained their obstructionist ways. After you see this, you'll be saying 'NO' much more often. And if you say NO eNOugh, you'll have a chance someday to be NObody -- or as the Republicans call it, Speaker Of The House.

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Lindsey Graham Is Hated By Tea Party, Yet Today He'll Win. Why?

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Lindsey Graham

When it comes to South Carolina's long-time senator, there's a love-hate relationship with him. A lot of Republicans like him because he's a cute little imp of a man, not really anyone who does anything, and that quiet, gentlemanly demeanor goes over well with the unwashed of his state.

But for the Tea Party, not so much. Fortunately they're a minority recently stepped off of their mother ship from the planet Moron and their association with the GOP is strictly a coincidence. Their spaceship crash landed and they were overtaken by the drum beat of hatred and bigotry coming from the Republican Tent. Besides, the word "No" in moron means "fart" and that puts a perpetual smile on their faces, as the GOP says "no" to everything.

To get a flavor for what these Tea Party aliens think of Senator Graham, or as Joel McHale referred to him at the recent White House Correspondents Dinner, " the Blanche DuBois of "A Streecar Named Desire..."  here's a bit on Blanche as reported by The Beast:

With a vitriol usually reserved for rapists and traitors, some of the most extreme Palmetto State conservatives have burned Graham in effigy and then flushed him down a toilet; derided him as a “war mongering, cowardly, fiscal liberal whore;” openly questioned the unmarried senator’s sexuality with the label “Miss Lindsey,” and promised Low Country voters a 2014 primary challenge against Graham of epic proportions. 

Sadly for America, and with great relief for Blanche, five candidates are splitting the conservative and Tea Party vote. Graham will easily win his party's nomination. In South Carolina, that's tantamount to winning the general election. The big question is whether he can muster up 50% of he primary vote to avoid a run-off. Now that could be interesting if the true conservatives would coalesce around his second place finisher should there be a run-off.

Conservative rag, Fitness News has this to say:

But Graham isn’t just a whore for our unwieldy taxpayer-subsidized military industrial complex – he’s a whore for all sorts of special interests. In fact he’s everything that’s wrong with Washington, D.C. – and he’s a “Republican.” Hell, recent television ads run by those same special interests are trying to fool impressionable South Carolinians (of which there are many, sadly) into believing that Graham is a “conservative.”

Meanwhile Graham – in an effort to ramp up those “conservative” credentials in anticipation of his 2014 reelection bid – is raising holy hell (again) in Washington, D.C. over the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. His public relations machine is also placing plenty of nice puff pieces in the Beltway media extolling his statesmanship and proclaiming his invincibility.

Looks like sometime later today, we'll know if South Carolina is going to be sending it's "whore" back to Washington to keep in tact the three musketeers of crazy land-- John McCain and that lady who always stands behind them, I think her name's Senator Kelly Ayotte. She's the dumb one -- and by dumb I mean can't speak. She's been elected to the senate to just stand and nod. That's her super skill. McCain's is he can fly -- off at the mouth and Graham's super power is he's a master of disguise (he's equally as comfortable portraying a real conservative as he is on the boards playing Blanche Dubois, if Joel McHale is really onto something).

Streetcar named desire

Can't wait to see the results of this primary. Listen closely and you might even hear the screeching breaks of that "Streetcar Named Desire."

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The Perfect VA Secretary Replacement For Shinseki

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VA Veteran's Administration

Okay, there's a big job opening now in the Washington area -- a cabinet post. It's the position of running the Department of Veterans Affairs.

There's probably not a less desirable position right now as the scandals and systemic problems have blown wide open. There's trouble in this most important Veterans division and it's not going to be solved by the normal political appointment to someone who's been faithful to the president and gets tabbed onto the cabinet to fulfill a political favor.

This time it's different. Whoever takes this job is most likely going to fail. At best, he or she will be under such scrutiny that they'll be tested beyond most mortal breaking points.

Let's face it, the VA is on life support. Without a heart transplant, the patient will never recover.

So what's a president to do? Fortunately President Obama is getting a lot of suggestions. Here are the top five, according to a report from The Hill: (abridged)

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal who was forced to resign from his position as a top commander in Afghanistan [because he couldn't control his personal staff], Retired Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli who served in the Obama administration as the former vice chief for the Army, Retired Admiral Michael Mullen who chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staff in both the Bush and Obama administrations and finally, Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) who is the highest-ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress.

All of these folks are serious contenders to replace VA Secretary General Shinseki. And all of them are WRONG.

First off, the problems with the department are not military. They are organizational. They require a man or woman who can handle the demands of building a corporate structure from the ground up. The new leader doesn't need to know how to handle a weapon or understand the horrors of war. They need to understand a monetary bottom line and hospital administration. We saw what a stellar job General Shinseki did during his stint. He may have been a terrific military general and leader, but he didn't have a scintilla of skills in hospital administration. He was clueless as are the other military leaders on this list. So strike off McChrystal, Chiarelli and Mullen. Brave military personnel, sure. But knowing how to build a hospital's cost-effective flow chart, not so much.

That leaves Reed and Walz. Start with Reed. A lawyer, he might be able to see some of the issues but again, this isn't a legal problem, it's structural. And even more important, the control of the Senate is in the balance this year. No reason for another Democratic-held senate seat to be put in play. So Reed's out.

Finally that gives us Walz. He's a good guy, a military background capping out at sergeant. Hardly admiral or general, but again, rank isn't the issue here. This is a hospital and health care problem. When Walz wasn't in the army, he was teaching history. Good for him. And good for us. But not good for the job at hand.

So where should Obama turn? Why to the Republicans, of course. As this is a thankless job and there's really no one outside of the political realm with the skill set to handle it, there are two choices. One is grab a hospital administrator from a flourishing medical organization or... wait for it-- pick a sitting GOP senator. Even one not up for reelection this year. Put their seat into play to increase the chances for the Democrats to keep control over the Senate.

Here are a few names --Roy Blunt. Maybe take him out of the Senate and his state's Democratic Governor, Jay Nixon will appoint a Democrat there. Or how about a lady like Kelly Ayotte? Maybe this whole thing needs a woman's touch. And coming from New Hampshire, with a Democratic Governor, she could be replaced with a Democrat. Certainly John McCain and Lindsay Graham would be losing their shadow, but if it's for the good of the country they could never vote against her. The same could be said for Senator John Boozman from Arkansas or Mark Kirk from Illinois. Both their states have a Democratic governor.

Obama should see this opening as a legacy opportunity. He can save the back half of his second term if the Senate stays blue. The VA isn't going to be fixed over night, but with a Republican in the position of having to fix things, it's never going to work and yet the GOP won't be able to stymie any legit chances to make changes, even if it's going to cost money. Remember, 44 senate Republicans voted against increasing the VA's budget.  So this becomes a win-win for Democrats and more importantly, for our brave veterans.

Hopefully Obama and his advisers are listening.

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