Monday, January 30, 2006

Senate

Post and discuss.

10 comments:

Judy B. said...

Washington States junior senator, Maria Cantwell was in the state this past week gearing up for her re-election bid. On this swing she was promoting energy independence.
At a biodiesel news conference, the following informtion was available. "Seattle Biodeisel", a small manufacturing facility, "pumps out 5 million gallons of alternative diesel a year, primarily for sale to commercial vehicles. That's a drop in the bucket compared to the 67 billion gallons of traditional diesel pumped in the U.S. each year..."

john Ashman said...

Yikes! We have a *long* way to go. Better start now......

Cheryl V said...

This is a great example of the miserable representation Alabama has. Lou Dobbs had to explain to Senator Sessions what the Davis-Bacon Act is.
------------------------------

DOBBS: Well we're looking at already just about 15 no-bid contracts, Senator. One of the things that concerns me is this administration's decision to wave the Davis-Bacon Act and not pay prevailing wages. That seems to be politically tone deaf and, frankly, an insensitive and unconscionable decision for the very people who need that money in a prevailing wage in the recovery and rebuilding efforts.


Aired September 13, 2005 - 18:00 ET

SESSIONS: Well, you know, Davis-Bacon prevailing wage, I'm not sure what that is. We'll be able to get --

DOBBS: Well what it means is, that waiver, Senator, means that people are not going to have to pay that. The contractors, many of them with no-bid contracts, aren't going to have to pay the prevailing wage.

SESSIONS: They'll pay competitive wages in the region. That's what they'll have to pay. And it's going to be a good time for workers, because any worker that's in the construction trade or rebuilding trade are going to have a premium on their salaries. They may make above that rate, really. But, you know, some felt that this federal Davis-Bacon Act didn't need to apply and the president agreed and went along with that.

I would just say that we need to watch that money. We are in a way throwing money at this problem. We want to help. My state was hit badly. I saw people that lost everything they had, working class people, poor people, and we need to help them, but it's not helping them if we don't spend the money wisely. If we end up with 100, $200 billion spent and we haven't done it wisely, it would be a tragedy.

DOBBS: Wouldn't you say it also would be a tragedy, Senator, not to be paying the prevailing wage? That's the only reason -- the way Davis-Bacon, is if somebody is not thinking of not doing that. I couldn't agree with you more about your sense of prudence in terms of this money. But at the same time with no-bid contracts in the billions and to worry about dollars or cents per hour for people who really need the money, that doesn't seem quite the American way to me, does it you?

SESSIONS: Well we'll pay -- they'll have to pay a competitive wage. And there's no doubt about that, and meet all the other federal laws and regulation. But what I would say to you is we have a mentality right now in the Congress, Lou, in which this thing is hot politically. And the safest thing for us to do is just put so much money out there that nobody can blame us. The storm won't hit us, you see, politically. And that is a dangerous thing. If we had a good businessman who's managing all these contracts, who's watching this money, who's able to meet with people who have complaints and concerns, I think that's the right way to do it.

DOBBS: Senator, I think that prudence is well placed. I'm wondering if we shouldn't have a serious business man running the federal budget altogether, because we're now looking at $350 billion right now in deficits and have been for now several years. Senator Sessions, it's always good to have you here. We thank you for being with us.

deb said...

Glad I checked this out Cheryl. Thanks for posting the Dobbs/Sessions interview.

I think Buffet said it best..."If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane"

Cheryl V said...

Deb,
Sorry I missed your message last night. I was so completely flabbergasated when I heard his interview on Lou Dobbs, that I saved the transcript.

We'll see if Sessions manages to surpass himself this week in the domestic spying hearings.

Cheryl V said...

Gonzales was not sworn in for the hearings today.

Specter wins the vote but concludes “this is really not a very good way to begin this hearing.”

Full Transcript:

SPECTER: So the question is, should the ruling of the chair be upheld that Attorney General Gonzales not be sworn?

HATCH: Aye.

GRASSLEY: Aye.

DEWINE: Aye.

GRAHAM: Aye.

KYL: Aye.

CORNYN: Aye.

SPECTER: By proxy, for Sen. Brownback, aye. Sen. Coburn – We’ve got enough votes already. Sen. Leahy?

LEAHY: Emphatically, no.

KENNEDY: No.

BIDEN: No.

KOHL: No.

FEINSTEIN: No.

FEINGOLD: No.

SPECTER: Aye. The ayes have it.

FEINGOLD: Mr. Chairman, I request to see the proxies given by the Republican senators.

SPECTER: Could you repeat that Sen. Feingold?

FEINGOLD: I request to see the proxies given by the Republican senators.

SPECTER: The practice is to rely upon the staffers. But without counting that vote – Well, we can rephrase the question if there’s any serious challenge of the proxies. This is really not a very good way to begin this hearing.

deb said...

Cheryl: I've read your post a couple of times and keep coming back to it. It's just constant... disregard the rules and then act like it's somehow "proper" to be disregarding them. But, catch a democrat saying or doing anything that can criticized and it becomes front page news and gets negative attention on TV for days. What a surreal government and media we are living with.

You know the Dean "scream" speech? If he had been a neocon the country would be thinking that he was a mighty orator, a strong man standing up for what is right and good.

dan said...

Deb,

"You know the Dean "scream" speech?"

When I've read your posts over the last couple months about the media, I've always thought back to that incident. The massive amount of coverage over a "scream" at a pep rally and the almost universal conculsion that Howard Dean was no longer electable, really drove home some of the points you made.

I don't expect the Republican pampering of the Attorney General and his stonewalling will raise the same firestorm in the press as the Dean incident.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I actually received an e-mail from my wanna be Senator today about my idea from SSB. Ed Case is my current state Rep, but he is bucking the seniority system and running against fellow democrat and long time Senator Dan Akaka. Impatient little whippersnapper. I am not really sure what that is about.

His reply follows and he actually makes a good point about all the diverse county, state, and federal election laws that would need to become more uniform for this idea to be implemented.

Dear Christopher:

Thank you for sharing with me your thoughts on campaign finance
and election reform and your proposed idea on an election channel
and election.org.

I will certainly keep your concerns in mind as campaign finance
and election reform legislation are considered in Congress. The
overall challenge facing your proposed idea is that county, state,
and federal laws govern their respective elections.

I have been a committed supporter of campaign finance reform,
both here and in my state legislative days, and I am pleased to be a
cosponsor of H.R. 3099, the Clean Money, Clean Elections Act,
which was introduced by Congressman John Tierney on June 28,
2005.

Again, I appreciate your sharing your ideas with me.

With aloha,
ED CASE
United States
Congressman
Hawaii,
Second District

deb said...

Christopher, Ed Case sounds promising. How's he doing in the polls? The fact that he took time to read and and give a thoughtful response to your letter is a good indication that he doesn't have a preset agenda and is willing to work on behalf of his constituents.

BTW, I am forwarding information that I find to be of importance (a lot from breadcrusts) to some of the local campaign offices. I made contact with office personel and send them the e-mails and have gotten great feedback. They have been so busy that they don't have the time to surf for information that comes in under the radar.