After more than three decades in the Senate, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014, leaving behind two important vacancies: the chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the title of America's Most Disheveled Statesman.
Let's meet the nominees for the latter job:
In the far left corner, our first nominee: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the sincerely frazzled socialist who would be attracting stares in your local public park as he railed against Wall Street cronyism, if he hadn't been elected to the Senate… where he rails against Wall Street cronyism.
And in the other left corner we have Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the wrinkliest populist the Midwest has to offer.
Ugh, this is impossible. We need a tie-breaker. Is there a photo that shows one of these gents in something other than his everyday garb?
Winner! Congratulations, Sen. Brown. May you
stand tallslump awkwardly as America's next Rumpliest Senator.
Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images, Ibid., Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images, and Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images, respectively
Tags: Bernie Sanders, Carl Levin, Senate, Sherrod Brown
Well, it was a nice effort on Sen. Bernie Sanders' part last week, but you know the old saying: Washington D.C. is a horrible place filled with horrible people and everybody would probably be better off it it just descended back into the putrid swamp from whence it came…
President Obama's $858 billion tax package won a huge bipartisan majority in the Senate on Monday evening, setting it up for a contentious debate in the House. On an 83-15 vote, the Senate quashed a filibuster by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)…
"It makes no sense to me to provide huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires while we drive up the national debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay," Sanders said in a statement after the vote…
Obama applauded the Senate's action to move his tax-cut compromise with Republicans and urged the House to do the same quickly. In a statement in the White House briefing room, Obama hailed the Senate's "strong bipartisan support" for the package and declared "this proves that both parties can, in fact, work together."
Yep! That's what it proves, alright! Both parties can, in fact, work together (so long as their doing something for the benefit of millionaires, billionaires and quagazillionaires). Very extremely inspiring.
Tags: Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Filibuster, Senate, Taxes
As you may have heard, progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown are threatening to filibuster Obama's deal with Republicans to "temporarily" extend the Bush tax cuts due to the clear damage it will do to the US economy.
And you may also have heard that Republican Sen. Jim DeMint is also threatening to filibuster the deal due to the slight damage that it might maybe do to billionaires' pocketbooks given the tiny chance that the cuts are not made ultimately permanent.
But what you may not have heard is that Rep. Michele Bachmann also has a big problem with the deal, but not for the same reasons as DeMint or Sanders or Brown. Her problem is that she's a… a… Um, what do you call them? Oh, that's right, a not smart person…
"As part of the compromise, the President wants to extend unemployment benefits for another 13 months," Bachmann said. "Unemployment benefits are already at a historical length of 99 weeks, and the President's request would push benefits to three years."
Problem is, the president's request would do no such thing. It would preserve the 99 weeks by reauthorizing Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs, which together provide up to 73 weeks of benefits beyond the standard 26 funded by states.
Excellent work, Rep. Bachmann. It isn't every congressperson who's so aggressively vigilant and willing to take a stand against the very idea (literally) of relieving some of the burden of working class Americans.
Tags: Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, House of Representatives, Jim DeMint, Michele Bachmann, Republicans, Senate, Sherrod Brown, Taxes, Unemployment
Contrary to conventional wisdom, there seems to be something on which all U.S. senators can agree: Fuck the Federal Reserve!
Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) Audit the Fed amendment to Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform bill just passed the Senate in a bipartisan landslide, 96-0 — with every Senator present on board with the populist amendment. The Sanders amendment requires the Government Accountability Office to audit most of the Federal Reserve’s books since Sept. 2008 by Dec. 2010.
Speaking just before the vote, Sanders said that people now "recognize the immense power of the Fed, and people are demanding transparency of the Fed."… He also promised: "This is not the end. This is the beginning. We are beginning to lift the veil of secrecy on what is perhaps the most important agency in the United States government."
Unfortunately, I've seen the last reel of this movie before. After devouring Sanders whole, the monstrous, gelatinous banking system smashes its way across the country while an embittered, frizzy-haired Ron Paul laments that the government should have listened to him all along. When will senators learn to stop seeking to understand the un-understandable?
On the plus side, though, we do get to see Chris Dodd's boobs.
Tags: Bernie Sanders, Chris Dodd, Federal Reserve, Money, Senate
True fact: The U.S. Senate has not held a Christmas Eve vote since 1895, when Senator Byrd was serving his first term. (That's also when the Democrats began trying to pass health care reform, I believe). To mark this moment, last night Sarah Palin offered some inspiring words and, uh, letters:
c tomrrw's Healthcare Takeover vote=the sleeping giant will awaken&action will b takn by"average"Americans as lite shines on big govt growth
Yeah, right. The sleeping giant would've had to get up at an ungodly hour, and I know for a fact the "average" American prefers to hit snooze. At any rate, I watched the whole thing so you didn't have to. Recap below.
Tags: Bernie Sanders, Democrats, Harry Reid, Health Care, Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, Republicans, Robert Byrd, Senate