Category Politics

237 Millionaires in Congress

From Politico:

Talk about bad timing.

As Washington reels from the news of 10.2 percent unemployment, the Center for Responsive Politics is out with a new report describing the wealth of members of Congress.

Among the highlights: Two-hundred-and-thirty-seven members of Congress are millionaires. That’s 44 percent of the body – compared to about 1 percent of Americans overall.

CRP says California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa is the richest lawmaker on Capitol Hill, with a net worth estimated at about $251 million. Next in line: Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), worth about $244.7 million; Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), worth about $214.5 million; Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), worth about $209.7 million; and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), worth about $208.8 million.

All told, at least seven lawmakers have net worths greater than $100 million, according to the Center’s 2008 figures.

(via Gerry Canavan)

Veto of the Day


The California Assembly and Senate recently unanimously approved Assembly Bill 1176 to help the port of San Francisco with financing issues. But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has decided to veto the legislation, sending a letter to the state Assembly chastising them for focusing on “unnecessary bills.” The San Francisco Bay Guardian also notes a second, more direct, message hidden in Schwarzenegger’s missive — contained in the first letter of each line:

Bush Officials Objected To Awarding Medal To J.K. Rowling Because Harry Potter Books Promote Witchcraft

From Think Progress:

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civil award, and is given to individuals who have contributed to: 1) the security or national interests of the United States, 2) world peace, or 3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

In his new book, Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor, former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer reveals how politicized the revered Presidential Medal of Freedom became during the Bush administration.

Latimer writes that administration officials objected to giving author J.K. Rowling the Presidential Medal of Freedom because her writing “encouraged witchcraft” (p. 201):

Al Franken Reads the 4th Amendment to Justice Department Official

From The Washington Independent:

Just in case he wasn’t familiar with it, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) decided to read the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution to David Kris, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, who was testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee today to urge reauthorization of expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act.

Franken, who opened by acknowledging that unlike most of his colleagues in the Senate, he’s not a lawyer, but according to his research “most Americans aren’t lawyers” either, said he’d also done research on the Patriot Act and in particular, the “roving wiretap” provision that allows the FBI to get a warrant to wiretap a an unnamed target and his or her various and changing cell phones, computers and other communication devices.

Noting that he received a copy of the Constitution when he was sworn in as a senator, he proceeded to read it to Kris, emphasizing this part: “no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Rep. Wilson Also Had To Apologize After Attacking Strom Thurmond’s Illegitimate Daughter

From TPM:

Flashback to mid-December 2003, when Essie Mae Washington-Williams came forward with the bombshell that she was the illegitimate daughter of the recently-deceased patriarch of South Carolina politics, Sen. Strom Thurmond.

Rep. Wilson, a former page of Thurmond’s, immediately told The State newspaper that he didn’t believe Williams. He deemed the revelation “unseemly.” And he added that even if she was telling the truth, she should have kept the inconvenient facts to herself:

“It’s a smear on the image that [Thurmond] has as a person of high integrity who has been so loyal to the people of South Carolina,” Wilson said.

Of course, Williams’ story was entirely true — and never really in doubt. Thurmond was 22 and Williams’ mother, a black maid working in his family home, was 16 when Williams was born in 1925. Thurmond supported Williams financially for decades.

It Was a Good Night for the Opponent of the Rep. Who Yelled “YOU LIE!”

From Blogasm:

“You lie!”

The words were shouted during Obama’s healthcare speech by South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson, and progressives were not happy with the disrespect his words showed toward the presidential office.

So they took action, with literally thousands of twitter users linking to the Act Blue fundraising page for Joe Wilson’s opponent, Rob Miller.

So how much money have they raised so far? It’s now 11 p.m., mere hours after Obama’s speech, and so far $11,507 $41,000 has been raised in that short span of time.

It’s now closer to $100K.

Diagramming Sarah Palin’s “Full-Court Press” Metaphor

From Deadspin.
(via Buzzfeed)

Obama to Cut Spending for Abstinence Only Programs

Good news since it’s a program pushed by the religious right that, like everything else they push, doesn’t work.

Colbert Study: Conservatives Don’t Know He’s Joking

From the HuffPost:

This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert’s political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert’s political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.

Ron Paul Wants to Make the Sale of Raw Milk Legal

We haven’t had a Ron Paul item here in quite some time. Here ya go. I like my milk with 1% fat and 0% pathogens so pasteurization for me please.

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