It is tradition for elected officials to hold conference calls with members of the press, or constituents, so they can weigh in on/bore people with the issues of the day. But it seems conference calls with New York's junior Hillary senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, are becoming very strange indeed.
Per the New York Daily News, which sits through these things so you don't have to:
[O]ne of the regular conference participants apparently finds these [discussions] amusing, and regularly peppers the calls with recorded sound effects of things like maniacal laughter, screams, and various exclamations of "Ohh!" and "Hmm!"
Today's interference also featured a parrot-like voice saying "Hello!" repeatedly. Gillibrand motored on through though, once even saying "Hi!" back.
Team Gillibrand vows it will punish the perpetrator.
Um, has anyone seen Caroline Kennedy lately?
Tags: Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, Senate
By now, we've probably all heard that the crazy conservative conspiracy theorists who thought that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or ACORN) was a corrupt tool of the worst elements of liberalism were completely justified in their crazy conspiracy theorizing.
But have you heard this interesting thing?
[T]he Senate yesterday voted overwhelmingly to prohibit Housing and Urban Development grants from going to [ACORN], which bills itself as "the nation's largest community organization of low and moderate income families."
That's not really the interesting part. Of course the Senate would "overwhelmingly" vote to stop American tax dollars from going toward the illegal trafficking of sex workers and the fostering of whorehouses. I mean, really, you'd just have to be pretty dumb and politically suicidal to not vote against a thing like that.
Here's the interesting part…
Eighty-three senators voted for an amendment from Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., to ban the funds, with seven senators voting against the amendment and nine not voting.
Seven United States senators voted against the bill! And they're all fucking Democrats (except for one who's an independent socialist, which is pretty much like a super Democrat)…
NAYs —7 Burris (D-IL)
So, you were wondering how the Democrats were planning their spectacular implosion in the 2010 midterms? Does this give you any ideas?
Tags: ACORN, Bernie Sanders, Bob Casey, Corruption, Dick Durbin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrick Leahy, Roland Burris, Senate
It's quite possible that Kirsten Gillibrand was not in fact chosen by David Paterson for her similarities to her predecessor Hillary Clinton, as I speculated last week.
No, it might be that she was chosen for her similarities to whatever Democratic ideal the Democrats want her to look similar to…
"Her views will evolve," Chuck Schumer offered, bluntly, as she stood next to him at a press conference, noting his own evolutionary embrace of agricultural subsidies when his district expanded beyond Brooklyn.
Today, David Paterson offered his expectation that Gillibrand will "review some of the points of view that she has, as they apply to her new constituency."
You want her to make a complete 180-degree U-turn on her support for the NRA? Give her five minutes. Want her to believe that Guantanamo Bay should be relocated to Saratoga, New York? Give her a mop, some fishing line, Elmer's glue and a vocoder.
She can totally make this happen.
Tags: Chuck Schumer, David Paterson, Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, Senate
David Paterson finally has the Herculean task of choosing a single person to replace another single person for a single government position off his shoulders.
This afternoon, he officially introduced New York to its new junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand…
Ms. Gillibrand said she aspired to follow in the footsteps of Mrs. Clinton. While she acknowledged that many state residents did not know her name, she pledged to "bring upstate and downstate together, to work on behalf of all New Yorkers."…
Speaking from a platform crowded with New York political figures, Mr. Paterson described Ms. Gillibrand as "the best candidate" for the job.
Yeah, the more you think about it, the more she seems like a fantastic replacement for Clinton.
She seems very smart. Her politics are definitely liberal, but leaning toward centrist. She used to oppose gay marriage when that was politically expedient, but now suddenly seems to have changed her mind for similarish reasons.
She likes guns. Or at least likes having people who like guns liking her.
She has the same number of X chromosomes as Clinton. They're both around the same height. And — as my friend Upma points out — they both kind of have similar tastes in fashion and hair. Tastes that say, "I am a serious and intelligent politician, but that doesn't mean that I have to sacrifice my feminity or my bond with the middle class, specifically with people who are mostly socially liberal but still like guns or who have fluctuating opinions about the gays."
All told, she seems like a pretty fantastic replacement for Hillary Clinton, considering the fact that Hillary Clinton herself wasn't available to replace herself.
In fact, I'll bet many voters won't even realize that there was a change-over.
Tags: David Paterson, Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, Senate
Believe it or not, New York Governor David Paterson seems to have actually made a decision on the empty senate seat for New York.
I know! It seems crazy. I mean, the man has only had several months and a small roomful of advisers with which to make the choice. It kind of baffles the mind to imagine that anybody can make a single decision under those circumstances…
Gov. David A. Paterson has selected Representative Kirsten Gillibrand, a 42-year-old congresswoman from upstate who is known for bold political moves and centrist policy positions, to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a person who spoke to the governor early Friday.
The governor will announce his selection at noon in Albany. An aide to Ms. Gillibrand confirmed that she had accepted the appointment.
I looked her up, and Kirsten Gillibrand does appear to be an actual person who actually currently holds a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. I have not yet been able to determine which former U.S. President she's related to. But I'll keep at it.
So, when exactly did Patterson, "never had any intention of picking [Caroline] Kennedy," make this important decision? Must have been at least a week ago, Right? Back when he promised us a decision right after inauguration. (I'm not sure, but I think that blind people can't see time. So, today still counts as right after the inauguration.)
Mr. Paterson made his final decision shortly before 2 a.m. Friday after a marathon series of phone calls and deliberations with his top aides, according to the person who spoke to him. He began making phone calls to other contenders about 9 p.m., and had notified most of the other contenders by midnight. By then, the only two candidates who had not heard from Mr. Paterson were Ms. Gillibrand and Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers.
That's how I like my senators chosen. The same way I like my Sophomore year philosophy papers written. At the last conceivable second.
Update: According to the Huffington Post (which I'm just noticing posted its article on Gillibrand last night at 8:16 pm), Paterson chose Gillibrand last Friday night, which of course leads to the inevitable question: What the fuck? Why did he wait a full week before telling us and having her get to work? Is this not, like, an important thing? ("Oh, yeah, my choice for senator. I'll get around to telling people about that eventually.")
This would also mean that when, on Wednesday, Caroline Kennedy "dropped out" of consideration for the empty seat, she had already been informed that she was no longer under consideration for the empty seat.
That's sort of like the Philadelphia Eagles dropping out of competition for the Super Bowl today, nearly a week after having been beaten by the Arizona Cardinals. (On a related note: No, I'm not at all upset about the Eagles not going to the Super Bowl. They didn't even want to go. That's why they just dropped out of competition today.)
(photo via New York Times)
Tags: Caroline Kennedy, David Paterson, Hillary Clinton, House of Representatives, Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, Senate